Down and Dirty Marketing for Authors (notes)

This was absolutely the most helpful panel I attended at the entire con. Again, I was trying to catch a little of EVERYTHING, and most of these notes are what I gleaned that would be applicable to my own writing and marketing style.


Panelists: Gail Z Martin, Kiernan Kelly, Cynarra Tregarth, Sascha Illyvich

Think about Kickstarter, Twitter

Gail published ‘The Thrifty Author’s Guide to Marketing  -#1 mistake is not realizing that your book is a business.  Don’t assume that the publisher will take care of promotion, etc.  They usually spend their time on the big, tried and true authors.  Also, don’t wait until the book is out to start promoting it.  The idea is to have people waiting for your book by the time it actually comes out.

Kiernan Kelly- writes MM romance -Be creative and cheap.  Think of new and interesting ways to market (shows a pencil with a handmade head on it instead of just another postcard).

Cynarra Tregarth- Easiest things are to create a website and register the domain.  Group together and cross-promote.  Blog and chat together, have Facebook parties.  Add a signature to every last piece of email with as many ways to reach you as possible.  Add your FB, Twitter, website, etc.  Give people a thousand ways to find you.

Sascha Illyvich- Sizzler editions (adult).  Look at your ROI (return on investment).  Use free story sites with excerpts and well-written blurbs.  Draw people into your world. 

-Give away free short stories, not free books.  Maybe a prequel?  Do NOT write a cliff-hanger as a prequel.  At the end of the free story, give a link to pay for the book.,, renaissance editions,

-Look into the Kindle lending library instead of an actual free download.  Do the free book for a very limited time, then increase to $1.99 or $2.99.  $.99 seems to cheap, and a lot of people won’t buy anything less than $1.99.

-Give book away for a week and tell friends to help promote your free book.

-Print books feed your ego, ebooks feed your wallet.  People will only line up to buy your books if you speak somewhere, but ebooks will sell better if your main interaction is online.

-Kindlegraph- Kindle autograph app

-Platforms for ebook are very important.  DRM can be a pain in the ass for your readers who actually pay for the books- can sometimes require a password.  Pirates will still pirate, but they’ll pirate other books that don’t have DRM, and you can lose out on exposure that way.

-Need to establish a personality, etc, so that people like you and want to root for you.  Develop a persona.


-Get to know websites that your target readers read.

-Try to make commections with people, build a buzz about anything you’re releasing.

-Other authors in your genre are competition, but they can also be your best friends.  Friend them on FB, congratulate them on new releases, etc.  They may return the favor.

-Do a podcast with readings?

-Also think about self pub/publisher.  You can find ways to do both!

-Always reply and say thank you to 3, 4, and 5 star reviews.  Pay attention to 1 and 2 star reviews, but don’t respond.

-Build an author support network.

-Adult Fanfiction, 1 free month if you mention D*Con.  Don’t count out fanfic people.  They’re voracious readers and will check back over and over to see if a favorite author has uploaded a new story or a new chapter.