Marketing According to Authors

Marketing According to Authors

In this final post in my Misadventures in Marketing series, I’ll reveal which marketing tools authors think are effective.  (You’ll find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.) Full disclosure: there is at least one magical platform that apparently works wonders. But since I used the non-paid version of Survey Monkey, I missed out on finding out what it is. More on that below.

Most effective social media platform for engaging readers

Note that I specifically asked in this question about engaging readers, not getting sales. The received wisdom at the moment is that if, as an author, you make yourself available and brand yourself, that will lead to sales. I’m not going to comment on that here – I’m just presenting the numbers. What I will say is that this list directly contradicts in-depth analyses I’ve read online in relation to sales. According to several articles, Facebook and Twitter are least effective whilst Pinterest is actually the number one social media platform for converting posts to sales.


Most effective book-related social platform for engaging with readers

In this question I asked specifically about those platforms that are meant to help authors find readers, and vice versa. Goodreads and Amazon are clearly in the front here, with Book Bub fairly close behind. Anecdotally, a Book Bub promotion can be incredibly effective for getting sales if you are lucky enough to be featured. After I did the survey my publisher told us about a shared promotion site called Story Origins, which some authors have found helpful in building newsletter lists.

Where do paid ads get results?

This is interesting, because it contradicts what I’ve read online. Pinterest rates very low here, yet several articles say it’s best for converting posts to actual sales.

Here’s the frustrating ‘other’ I mentioned above. Somehow, somewhere, a social media platform is getting good results. But because I used the free version of Survey Monkey (being a poor author) I was limited in how I could set up the survey. I could include ‘other’, but I couldn’t ask authors to explain what ‘other’ they used. So ‘other’ looks pretty effective, but you’ll have to quiz your successful author friends to find out what it is.

My guess from conversations with fellow authors is that it’s probably Book Bub, but don’t hold me to that. It might be a few different book-related sites.

Most effective marketing tools according to authors

Here’s the answer to the 64-million-dollar question, according to the authors I surveyed. Once again, it seems to contradict a lot of the received wisdom that gets thrown about. I know myself and other newbie authors have been told over and over again ‘get an email list, have a website’. But amongst the authors I surveyed, they rank right down the bottom in terms of effectiveness. Word of mouth is the clear winner.


As usual, I’ve over-estimated how much I can fit in a blog post, so I will follow up next week with some qualitative information – the words of wisdom from authors. I’ll also include my own thoughts after all this research. Thanks for reading.