The following article is written by Rebecca Dahlke, author of four great mystery/suspense novels, including “A Dead Red Oleander,” “A Dead Red Heart,” “A Dead Red Cadillac,” and “A Dangerous Harbor.” She is also the publisher of the All Mystery e-newsletter!
In 2010, I started an e-newsletter for mystery and suspense authors. It ran, free of charge to the authors until December 2012. I decided to let it go because: 1) authors just weren’t with me on how effective this kind of advertising could be, and 2) I had my own books to write.
So I put the website in mothballs, but kept the Facebook site, the yahoo group (which is where authors meet to talk about promotion, and readers come to see what authors are talking about.) and Good Reads group for Indie and small press promotion, and a Twitter account.
Since then, I have put four mysteries up on Amazon/Kindle, and because I understand that this my book is a product, I also began a six month quest for the best, and most effective, form of advertising my books.
The results were exciting! I discovered that with a combination of inexpensive paid and free promotion, I could sell more books. I thought the results of this were interesting enough to share with my writing friends. So the first thing I did was put together a 7 page handout and speak on this subject with my local Sisters in Crime chapter in Tucson. The handout was necessary because I had a lot of powerful and helpful information to share, but cautioned my grateful listeners with the following: The only thing I could guarantee about this information was that some of it would change.
That was in June, and sure enough, things have changed… again. One of the sites I listed as smart and creative just bit the dust, and another site, Digital Books Today, has taken a giant leap after only 18 months in the business. Eighteen months? Gee, All Mystery e-newsletter had started before Digital Books Today… so that meant… but wait! There’s more!
In a recent e-mail from the founder of Digital Books Today, Anthony Wessel, he says, and I quote: “Traffic on our Sites: March: 8,000, June 16,000” and in their “The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List: November 2011: 600+ and June 2012- 10,000+ with 38,000 click outs to books on Amazon.”
It is obvious that Indie and small press authors are now using paid book marketing as part of a successful campaign to sell their books. I know, because I was using them too, and the results have been gratifying—except for one thing. As a mystery writer, all of the best e-newsletters had mystery squished in between vampire and memoir.
It didn’t take me much more than a nano-second to see that All Mystery e-newsletter was needed.
I ticked off the possibilities for resurrecting this e-newsletter against the fact that it might take some time to gain momentum. Then realized I already had all of my requirements for a good promotion site: Facebook page, Yahoo and Good Reads groups, and Twitter with a small army of Re-Tweet pals.
The website is now up and running. Better yet, September is already SOLD out, but I am accepting submittals for October through December 2012. And, yes, the ad insertions for this e-newsletter are reasonably priced: $10.00 a book insertion.
Here are links to All Mystery e-newsletter places:
- Twitter handle: @allmysterynews
Last but not least, for those of you who would like a copy of my updated copy of that 7 page hand-out for both free and paid promotions for authors, send me an e-mail with “promotion handout” in the subject line and I’ll send you a PDF copy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org