Go on a Scavenger Hunt with Night Owl Reviews
When Tammie King launched her website, Night Owl Reviews, in 2004, she was thrilled to get 10 pageviews a day. Now in March 2015, her site gets around 500,000 pageviews a month. As Over this past decade, she has learned a lot, about herself as she has become a successful woman entrepreneur, about her website as she navigates to sustain a thriving book review site, and about authors as some have latched on to online opportunities while others get lost in the World Wide Web.
During her journey, Night Owl has worked with thousands of authors, producing over 22,000 online reviews. Today she is here at See Jane Publish to share five tips with authors about being smart with their resources.
1. Brand Your Author Name and Stay Consistent
Building a well known author name is really important to future sales for an author. Readers who find an author they love will start looking for similar books by that author to buy.
Don’t be an author who is so quick to market that he/she misses the mark and gets low reviews.
a. Inferior Material: Don’t jump the gun and start putting out inferior material just because it’s easy to get a book up on Amazon / Barnes and Noble. Make sure you have taken the time to get a good editor who doesn’t just fix your grammar, but also knows how a story needs to be put together. They need to know how to make the story engaging from the start to the end and let you know when you’re going in a direction that is too boring.
b. Newsletter = Authors who don’t have a newsletter are losing follow-up sales. A newsletter that just lets readers know when a new book is out is perfect. It keeps readers in the know and isn’t hitting their inboxes excessively.
c. Genre – Stick to a genre for at least your first 5 books. Most readers are genre readers. After they read a book by you they will be on the hunt for something similar by you. If they read a paranormal…they will want another paranormal. If you don’t have another in the same vein you will lose the reader that you just hooked.
d. Also make sure to get an awesome cover designer as readers do buy with their eyes.
e. Reviews – Focus on getting reviews on Amazon as well as with well known review sites.
f. Follows – Make sure readers are using the “Follow” button on your Amazon profile page. It’s free and keeps readers engaged with your books as new stuff comes out.
2. Know Your Numbers –
When a website gives you their stats, make sure you know what their stats mean:
– (Not Important) Hits – Don’t even look at this number as being important when purchasing advertising. This number doesn’t mean much in the gist of stats that mean anything for advertising. Hits includes any page and image that gets downloaded. So say a webpage has 50 images on it. Each of those images is includes as a hit…but you only had one person come to the site. That one person visiting could equal out at hundreds of hits.
– (Important) Unique Page Views – This is a great number to find out about when inquiring about advertising. Page Views are tallied by how many pages are viewed on a site over all the users.
– (Important) Unique Users – This is also a good number to ask about when purchasing advertising. This number is tallied by how many unique computers / people have accessed the site.
3. Make Your Time Online Useful and Productive
You can’t spend so much time online that you are no longer writing. Instead of a writer, you’re a social network guru. You can social network so much that it has no return on your investment. It’s more important that you are developing your author branding instead of one more tweet. High reviews will lead to additional sales over another tweet. Getting quality reviews is far more important. Seek them out from readers and book review websites. Your goal is to keep your Amazon review score high as well as your amount of reviews. You want to get over 50 reviews. People are more likely to buy the book with 50 reviews versus the book with five 5-star reviews. Quantity is important.
4. Tech Opportunities and Limits
An author is limited by their knowledge of the Web. An author doesn’t have to be a tech guru to do it well but they must get educated. We are not longer in the days of authors sending manuscripts to the publisher and that is it. To score readers authors need to use opportunities that are out there and provided by other companies, such as advertizing, Amazon author follow button, contests, the digital word-of-mouth and incentives such as free first book. This is all limited by who you know and creating a marketing plan. Seek out friendships with people who know digital marketing and are willing to help but also be willing to give of yourself in exchange. It must be a two-way street.
5. Promo Ads / Return on Investment
In regards to promotions, your return on investment doesn’t pay off very quickly. Authors have to have a quality product as well as visibility to readers. Advertising is essential to getting your book viewed by many but advertizing must be part of an overall marketing plan. Adverting by itself it’s enough. If you don’t have a good story, good cover, and something that draws the reader’s eyes, they are not going to reach your purchase page.
Purchasing one ad on one website won’t always get a return on investment right away.
They might not buy the book off of one website. They have to see it many places before it will start to cement in their minds and begin the possibility that they will purchase it, provided that it’s in the genre and style that they enjoy to read. Big companies have learned this so they have to advertise far and wide. Billboards are a good example. A person is not going to buy a product cruising by or walking thru the mall or while watching it on TV but each of these times they saw it, it created an imprint that it might be something that they are interested in. A week later, they might see it on their Amazon side bar and buy it. Each of those incidents were crucial in the overall buying experience. The same goes for purchasing a book cover ad. It might not be a one-click-buy but the ad was crucial in buying the book in the future.
Author Opportunity: May Scavenger Hunt
With those tips in mind, I invite you to take advantage of an opportunity to participate in the May Scavenger Hunt at Night Owl Reviews. This event is niche social networking, very specific to people who enjoy books. This is where authors come together, share their readerships, and build with each other(s) reach to more readers. During the Scavenger Hunt, authors send readers to the Night Owl Reviews website, readers get prizes from participating authors, which leads readers to find new books and new authors that they might not have come into contact with on their own. If you want more details please follow this link.
Thank you Jessie and See Jane Publish for giving me the opportunity to share some insights into the book industry.