I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting recently on the marketing strategies I’ve used to promote my books. I’ve tried them all: adverts on websites, Twitter ads, blog tours, press releases, paid for social media campaigns. None of these individually activities have cost a fortune, perhaps £50 at most, but collectively the money soon ads up. I quickly realised this when I went through my figures for my annual tax return. Of course, one can achieve a great deal of free downloads with the right mix of PR and indeed I have, but ultimately we still want to achieve sales, reviews (good or bad, they’re all important) and gain a warm feeling that we haven’t completely wasted our time along the way.
One thing that certainly has paid off is joining Rave Reviews Book Club. If you follow my blog regularly then you’ll have seen interviews and posts by other members here. I also cross posted content from a recent tour I did with the club as “Spotlight Author of the Week”.
So what is it? Rave Reviews Book Club (I’m going to call it RRBC here on in to save on my fingers) is an online community of readers and authors who come together with one purpose – to support authors. That includes providing support and advice to authors, promoting three members books each month as ‘ Books of the Month’, running competitions and incentives, online chats, social media promotions for members and much more. There’s also quite a lot of hanging out with each other on Twitter. You don’t have to be an author though, you can just be someone who likes a good read and wants access to new reading material!
To join Rave Reviews Book Club is pretty easy. Just follow the join up instructions here and mention my name (Helen Treharne, @Tea_Talks) as the referring member. In return you’ll get this:
- Listing as a member with encouragement for other members (both readers and other authors) to follow your social media platforms.
- List up to three books for free on the online book catalogue. You can add additional book titles for a mere $5 each. To keep your books listed online you’re just asked to review four listed books a year… and of course those reviews should be honest, this isn’t one of those “lets trade reviews and guarantee everyone gets five stars” thingies.
- The site receives upwards of 500 hits per day, and the majority of those hits are views to the Online Catalogue (it’s also about to be made available for download to libraries, booksellers/bookstores and shared via regular press releases so it’s a good time to sign up)
- Free 3 months of consultations with your own Mentor, including a critique of your work in progress.
- FREE or highly discounted entry into club writing contests;
- For approved works, inclusion in our upcoming RRBC Anthology;
- Discounted rates to our future Writer’s Conferences and Book Exposure
- Being selected as BOOK OF THE MONTH, “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR and #PUSHTUESDAY winner has taken some member’s Amazon rankings from the 1 million plus mark, down to #38, #35 and as low as #22 on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Seller’s List. I’ve personally been selected as a “spotlight author” which meant I had an amazing weeklong blog tour for free, a boost to sales and a huge amount of support.
Membership is only $25 per annum which works out around £16 depending on exchange rate on the day. It’s probably the best value for money advertising I’ve used – not just because of the online catalogue but the sheer amount of support you get on social media.
But it’s not all about promoting your book of course. I’ve been surprised how much support I’ve had generally from other club members, and even directly from the President Nonnie Jules. I’ve found Beta-Readers, reviews, writing advice, pick-me-ups when I’ve had a bad day and made some great friends – none of whom I’ve met in person yet! I’ve certainly got more out of it than Goodreads or some of the other virtual communities (I’m not naming names).