Mar is the owner of The Bold Mom, a book promotion company that specializes in promoting horror, sci-fi, thrillers, and crime fiction on social media.
What gave you the idea for starting your business?
Well, due to the need of taking care of my daughter, I started it to be able to work from home. At first it was a blog, I slowly contacted and started working with some authors, some little publishers… and from there, I don’t know how I reached this point, haha.
Why do you think it is important for authors to use social media to market their books?
Nowadays, readers are connected to social media. Everyone is (live) in social media, lol. So, if you want to reach to the audience, you need to be active too.
What are the biggest marketing mistakes that you see authors making?
Hmmm… it’s difficult to say because it all depends on the book and the author. What works for some, doesn’t for others. One thing that I think is not very effective is when an author systematically gives away books constantly. It’s OK to do it for a special occasion or advertisement, but not all the time. Writing a book is very hard work, and people don’t give value to things they don’t pay.
Even more so, with Kindle’s that are already at the low price of $0.99, I personally think that people can pay for that. I do, I purchase the books, I never ask for a free book, even being the promoter of that author. I deeply believe that effort and work deserve compensation.
What do you think are the most important things authors should do to market their books?
A good cover (it seems obvious, but sometimes it’s not like this), to join the main social media networks (Twitter, Facebook…) and interact personally with readers.
What have you personally learned about marketing books? What would you not do again (or maybe focus less on) and what really worked over the past year?
Hmmm… that’s a difficult one, lol. Well, I have been researching and working on improving my own tools, such as graphic design, formatting books, using new resources and branding. I wouldn’t review for websites again. I can make a favor to an author who needs it, but not for presses or websites anymore.
People often debate about which social media platform (Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter) are better to use. What is your opinion on the topic?
Facebook seems the main one but ONLY because everyone is there, lol. The network makes it more and more difficult. Algorithms give you a ridiculous visibility, exposure is very low. Tumblr is difficult to engage with, because people are not very responsive unless you already have a big audience, so they just follow you wherever you go lol. I honestly think that Twitter is the key to spread the word. Exposure is high, people don’t have to follow you to see your tweets (because of the hashtags), and the speed of the scrolling feature makes it very agile.
Besides, on Twitter it is very easy to share other’s tweets, and helping/supporting one another is essential, in my opinion, for healthy audience growth.
Beyond that, it’s a good thing to have a proper Facebook Author page, not with the intention of having a million followers, but to have a wall where you can show all your material, where you can send people to check it out. I think it has the same function as a little blog.
The rest of the networks are a bit complex. In my opinion, keep it simple and under control.
What new services will your business be providing this year to help authors market their books? Or do you feel that you’ve discovered a successful formula for marketing books and will continue with the tried and true tactics?
Well… my recipe for success is to engage every author on a personal level. Because not everyone needs/wants the same. Every book needs a different promotion, channels, tools…
And this year, well I’m in a million projects (as usual). I’ve been making new sections, like the Dark Fantasy Project, I have horror art, and now I’m building up something very special, but it’s still in the backstage, lol
What advice would you give writers who are getting ready to release their first book? What advice would you give authors who have already published but are suffering from stagnate sales?
Before you release your book it is a good practice to work on engaging people on social media, and not after. Twitter is a good option.
About stagnate sales… well that’s a complicated answer because I need to understand what is failing. Maybe it’s the interaction of the author, maybe it’s a bad wrapping, maybe it’s lack of advertisement… I would need to see first-hand.
Mar is the head of The Bold Mom which promotes horror, science fiction, crime fiction and thrillers. She enjoys drawing and creating disturbing illustrations for her clients (and sometimes just for fun!) She has a two ferrets, a tortoise, fish and a four-year-old little girl named Alexia.