The Way of the Word

5. September 2010

CLAWS 2 Blog Tour 2010 – Stacey Cochran

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/CLAWS-2-ebook/dp/B003TU20HE

Hi Jens,

Thanks so much for hosting me on my Blog Tour for CLAWS 2. The new novel is the second in a series that features wildlife biologist Dr. Angie Rippard who gets drawn into police investigations when hikers and campers are attacked in wilderness areas in the American West. The books are available primarily in eBook format, though the first book is available in paperback as well.

Today, I’d like to discuss a couple of marketing tools that I’ve found effective in marketing and promoting these self-published novels.

The Book Trailer

I created a book trailer for the first novel CLAWS that I posted on YouTube. This week, the book trailer will cross one million views (very likely during this visit to your blog). Here is the trailer:

There has been a lot of debate in the blogosphere about whether book trailers actually work in helping to sell books. Most book trailers that I have seen rarely get more than a few hundred views (let alone tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of views).

I have no data that directly links the million views the trailer has received with a single book sold. That said, CLAWS is one of my bestselling books to date, and it’s likely that its sales have come from many marketing efforts in a lot of different locations.

I’ve never seen another book trailer receive a million views, so I’m going out on a limb here in analyzing why this trailer worked so well. My hunch is that it became viral early on and started getting re-posted on 3rd-party blogs. I put a lot of effort into titling the trailer with key words that people would likely be looking for, and people love to comment on it (it has nearly 400 viewer comments).

The Blog Tour

The Blog Tour on the other hand has had a direct impact on sales. Because of the immediacy of Amazon Kindle sales reporting, I can see if a book sells well on a day that I visit a particular blog.

For those unfamiliar with a Blog Tour, it is essentially what you’re reading right this moment. An author prearranges with blog hosts to visit their blogs on specific dates with specific topics. The author sends his/her guest post to the blog host as a Word file, and then the blog host posts the text on the scheduled date.

For the first CLAWS book, I visited blogs for 45 days. For CLAWS 2, I’ve done nearly three months of “touring.”

I generally write up new posts for each blog I’m visiting, so it takes time and organizational skill to stay on top of everything. But aside from that, it costs nothing to do, and it’s fairly effective with helping to spread the word.

Conclusion

Well, thanks so much for letting me visit your blog today, Jens. It means a lot to me and it definitely helps to spread the word. If anyone has questions about book marketing or publicity, I’ll be checking in over the next few days to answer any questions or respond to comments.

Thanks so much, folks.

================================

Stacey Cochran

Stacey Cochran was born in the Carolinas, where his family traces its roots to the mid 1800s. In 1998 he was selected as a finalist in the Dell Magazines undergraduate fiction competition, and he made his first professional short story sale to CutBank in 2001. In 2004, he was selected as a finalist in the St. Martin’s Press/PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Contest. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Dr. Susan K. Miller-Cochran and their son Sam, and he teaches writing at North Carolina State University. His books include The Colorado Sequence, Amber Page, CLAWS, and CLAWS 2.

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2 Comments »

  1. I’m happy to host you, Stacey. Let me get the obvious questions out of the way first (fond as I am of cheap puns): will the next installments in the series be titled Claws 3-D and Claws 4 – The Revenge? (drum roll, thank you, I’ll be here all evening)

    Seriously, though. Seeing as I’m one stop of your blog tour, I am of course curious how the tour came to be. What inspired you to do this tour, and how did you get it started?

    In a similar vein, what are your experiences in print vs. e-book? Both in making them, and in selling them? Or is it too early to tell regarding the selling?

    Comment by jensaltmann — 5. September 2010 @ 17:53

  2. Thanks, Jens. Great questions. I have seen very little connection between the eBook sales and the print book sales. To date, I’ve sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000-5,000 copies of CLAWS eBooks (in about 16 months). By comparison, I’ve sold less than 200 copies of the print version of the book during that same time. For that reason, I didn’t even publish a print version of CLAWS 2. CLAWS 2 has sold close to 1,000 eBook copies since its release on July 1 and this has mostly been at the $2.99 price point.

    Comment by Stacey Cochran — 5. September 2010 @ 21:10


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