Selling My Books: Samantha Warren’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

Every Writers’ Wednesday, a successful self-published author shares his or her favourite book promotion tip here.

Headshot of author Samantha Warren

Samantha Warren

I met Samantha Warren, who writes vampire novels, through the Alliance of Independent Authors. When I heard Samantha use the phrase “passive promotion” to describe her top book promotion tip, I couldn’t wait to ask her more about it. (I also loved her phrase “Spammy McSpamface”!) Thank you, Samantha, for sharing your top tip here today, via the usual questions. 

Debbie Young: What’s your favourite book promotion tip?

Samantha Warren: My favorite way to promote books is through what I like to call Passive Promotion.

Debbie Young: How do you do it?

Samantha Warren: Passive promotion is pretty simple, but it’s also very hard and takes awhile to work. It’s as easy as talking to people. Hop on Twitter, Facebook, what-have-you, and get sociable. Join groups, find new friends, and talk to them. Not just about your books, but about your life, their life, everything. The goal is to be real and to connect with each reader, one at a time, personally, before you even try to sell them your book. They get to know you, they get to like you, and then they become one of your biggest fans. As Neil Gaiman says about writing, it’s as simple as that. And as hard. Another quote (paraphrased) that I like is from Chuck Wendig. You don’t “find” your readers. You EARN them.

Cover of Vampire Assassin by Samantha Warren

The first of 10 books in Samantha Warren’s vampire series

Debbie Young: Why do you particularly enjoy this activity?

Samantha Warren: Passive promotion takes a long time to work, but in the end, it’s worth it. You find your true fans, those who will buy any book you write, even if it’s not in a genre they normally read. They’re the ones all the writers who say “Find your 1000 true fans” are talking about. It’s these people, the ones you connect with on a deeper level. Those are the ones you want. Not only do they become readers, but they become friends. Who could ask for more than that?

Debbie Young: Which book(s) have you used it for and when?

Samantha Warren: I’ve employed this method since the beginning of my journey for the most part. I used to be Spammy McSpamface, and that kind of sucked because I hate self-promoting. But while Passive Promotion is difficult and takes a long time to work, I learned that it seems to work better than any of those ads I wasted money on, and it’s the only fool-proof way to sell books.

Debbie Young: If you were doing it again for another book tomorrow, would you do it any differently?

Samantha Warren: Nope. It can pretty much only be done one way. Be you, be true. The more I do it, the more I realize who my core readers are, and I can see that core group growing. And it’s awesome to know it wasn’t from money spent. I didn’t have to buy their loyalty. It’s because we interacted and became friends, and that’s just the bees knees.

Debbie Young: Which part of the book promotion process do you like least?

Samantha Warren: I hate that I spend so much time and money on ads and blog tours and stuff when I’d much rather be writing. But like everyone, I want to find that one trick that will make me a bajillionaire. Silly me, I know that’s not true and that it doesn’t really work like that, but still, I keep trying and hoping and being disappointed. So I should really just stick to passive promotion. 🙂

Cover of Bloodshed by Samantha Warren

The 10th in the series (wow!)

Debbie Young: Can you name one promotional activity that you’d like to try that you haven’t tried yet – or tried but not yet perfected?

Samantha Warren: Everyone I talk to says Bookbub is the big trick, but I have yet to get a book accepted despite meeting all the requirements. I have a feeling that no matter how much I try and how much I spend, though, it won’t live up to the hype once it happens. 😉

Debbie Young: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers now? e.g. news of your next book or event.

Samantha Warren: I just released the 10th and final book in my vampire novella series on April 10th. Jane started with Vampire Assassin which is free on all formats.

To find out more about Samantha Warren and her books, please hop over to her website: www.samantha-warren.com.

FOR MORE TIPS FOR SELF-PUBLISHED & INDIE AUTHORS:

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6 thoughts on “Selling My Books: Samantha Warren’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

  1. Please, coulds someone explain to me how you make money from e-books. Writing non fiction, the days of good advances (25 years ago £2,000) have long gone, and straight commission rates apply – sevenand a half percent of published price in paperback, 10% hardback. Or cash (which I choose now for age reasons) £2,000 – £2,500. Anyone any thoughts please?

    • Self-publish them, David – that way you earn way more than 7.5%. On Amazon, up to 70% of the selling price. You have total control, minimal outlay – but you have the responsibility for marketing them, rather than having a publisher to do that for you (though these days, trade publishers expect their authors to do a lot of marketing too). Plenty of indie authors will tell you the same.

  2. Thanks for this post, Samantha and Debbie. I can see the sense in Samantha’s ‘passive promotion’ method in order to build a fan base but it must take such a lot of time to interact with individuals in that way. However, I’m guessing that in time these readers will start recommending your books to others and a chain of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations will begin. I assume that this is when the earlier time spent social networking starts paying off.
    I think I better start that networking now …

    • Best marketing in the world is word-of-mouth recommendation, I reckon, Sally! And if people already know you, like you and have goodwill towards you from your social networking, they’ll be far more likely to be well-disposed towards your books when they come across them, whether because you’ve told them directly about them or whether they see them elsewhere. Authors ignore the powers of social media networking at their peril!

    • It sure is a lot of work, Sally, but it’s the only thing that really works. I’ve been published since 2011 and I now have a small handful of core readers who literally buy anything I write, no matter what it is, and always interact on my FB page. I was almost brought to tears the other day when one of them told me she was rereading my vampire series in preparation for the next book **for the third time!!**. She read that series three times, and I’m convinced that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t connected on a deeper level.

      Definitely start networking now. Connect with people you want to be your core readers. Casually mention your book on occasion, get them excited about it. Once you have that core built up, they’ll start doing the hard work for you. 🙂

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