Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book Promotion: Crunching the Numbers

An author has to do a fair bit of work to promote his/her book(s), regardless of who the publisher is.  I knew that going in... sort of...

I'm happy to promote my books - hell, why wouldn't I be?  But I had no idea just what exactly promoting my books would entail.  Here's a few numbers:

  • 245+ Blog posts since July 2009
  • 6500+ Tweets since October 2009 (@JillEdmondson)
  • ~2000 Tweets since May 2010 (@DeadlyLetters)
  • 1060 followers @JillEdmondson, listed 70 times
  • 330 followers @DeadlyLetters, listed 9 times
  • 1200 "Fans" or "Likes" on Facebook page for Sasha Jackson Mysteries
That's a lot of time in front of a computer or chained to a BlackBerry!

Has it been worth it?  YES.  Is all of the above necessary?  YES.

In short, via Facebook I've gained or been introduced to a lot of readers.  I have fans in Hawaii, Texas, UK, and Amsterdam that I'd never have connected with wthout Facebook.

As for Twitter, I've gotten at least four reviews that came (even circuitously) via Twitter.  Maybe even five or six... And they were all very favourable!

As for the blog, it's helped me connect with many other authors, plus a number of readers.  I get about 3000 pageviews a month on the blog, so that`s good. 

So, okay, yeah, the effects of social mmedia book promotion are positive.  But keep in mind how much time it takes to get to those numbers:

  • Each blog post takes anywhere between 10 minutes and 60 minutes to write.
  • Tweets only take a few seconds to write, but 6500 of them adds up!
  • Everything I put out there in cyberland gets plugged online here and there: blog posts are added to StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Gothise, Google+ and Facebook, and, of course, to Twitter (both accounts).  This takes time - even if it's only a few minutes (or even seconds!) for each thing, it adds up.
  • I spend as much time "liking" or re-tweeting or mentioning other authors & their updates on Twitter et al as I do with my own updates.
  • Even with RSS feeds, you still have to post or repost things hither and yon, and not every site can have an RSS feed attached to it.
So, even though I can tweet and post stuff online from the comfort of home, in my jammies, with a big mug of coffee and some cheesy music playing, it`s still a time bandit.  All together, I spend at least ten hours a week doing social media book stuff.  Often, it's more than that...

I could have written a whole other book in the time it took to promote the ones that have already been published!

More on book promotion - other than via social media - in the next blog post.


  1. Jill - Thanks for this look at what it takes to promote a book. It does take a lot of time and effort, even if it doesn't involve getting to an office, etc.. I think it's even more time-demanding in today's online world because the time drain can be insidious.

  2. Interesting post. I'm not even close to publishing a book yet. I like to think I'll be ready to do all this, but I guess it's something you never know until you're doing it!

  3. Thanks for the preview of what I have to come. And thanks for the +1 of my book on Google+.