I'M Michelle Hughes

Romance Author . Publishing Coach . Publisher

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Promoting Romance in 2018

When the self-publishing phenomenon kicked off in 2009, it was a open market to all the writers who couldn't get their manuscript published traditionally, or were fed up with doing all the work and having the majority of their profits eaten by the publisher. Today there are millions of self-published books out there flooding the market and what worked even last year seems to be slowing to a standstill. What works today in marketing? Ask a dozen people and you'll get so many answers it will make your head spin. These are my observations.

Bookbub (don't groan I know how hard it is, and expensive, to get a slot with this powerhouse, but it works). Ereader News Today and Robin Reads are two less expensive services that work, but obviously you get what you pay for and Bookbub is still the 'Holy Grail'. The lesson you can take away from those services is that a mailing list should be your number one goal to build in. I'd go so far as to say forget everything else you've been working with (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter) and focus solely on building your mailing list. Why? Because people are FLOODED with book ads on those social media accounts and getting seen is like being a needle in a haystack. Unless you're willing to spend money on Facebook ads (which I can't say work because I don't use them).

If I had to choose how to spend my money, it would be with the mailing list services or building your own so the group of readers that will love your work come to you. How do you build a mailing list? Obviously you want to put your newsletter link in the back of every book, place it prominently on your webpage and facebook page, and then get crafty. Offer a free book or some other incentive to anyone that signs up. Not to rain on any parades but the free book might not work as an incentive so get creative. You're competing with a million authors who all think they have the next big bestseller, so dig in and offer readers something they don't.

Bottom line. Writing romance is competitive and not for the weak hearted. Know your craft, learn your audience and be prepared to work your butt off and spend some money. Getting visibility in this polluted genre isn't easy. Obviously you need a great book, but let's step out of the clouds and look around too. Some lame books are hitting the bestseller lists and you can bet it's not because they write better than you. They either built up a great following or spent some serious money to make sure you saw their book everywhere you looked. Writing romance might be your dream but if you want to succeed at it, remember first that it's a business.

If I haven't deflated your bubble of happiness, join my mailing list. and stop by my blog Tears of Crimson where I share great romance books.

Michelle Hughes is an international bestselling author of romance. She has currently self-published 30 books on her own and one with Kindle Press. Discover more about Michelle by visiting Tears of Crimson


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Michelle Hughes
Verbena, Alabama