It really is amazing how often the Aaron blogs are read. If you weren’t aware of it, this blog is getting tremendous traffic and depending on how many are on the site, it may be a little sluggish. My servers are located in eastern Europe so should not be affected by internet traffic. Sometimes it is at the local level. People send me messages asking if the site is slow, but it’s not. I check it and it is fine. Just a fyi for everyone.
I have received a lot of feedback on the Goodreads international contest that I ran awhile back and evidently people would like a little more details. For starters, the contest to run, as an author, was free. I just had to incur the cost of mailing a paper version of the book and pay for postage. The first contest I ran, was in the United States, Canada, and a couple of other countries. It was a total of 10 books that I autographed and mailed out. 7 books went in the US, 1 to Canada, 1 United Kingdom and 1 to Australia. The contest was advertised on Goodreads as well as my own platforms. Thousands of people entered and I felt it was highly successful for a marketing/advertising campaign. It was exposed to thousands upon thousands on Goodreads. With my own platform hundreds of thousands knew about the contest. In return, hundreds of Goodreads users put my book in their “to read” after they entered the contest. In addition to the contest I also started a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign that would run on the right hand side of the website targeted to people who had indicated a liking for certain authors. So for instance, Doreen Virtue writes a lot of angel books. My ad now shows on her page.
I have a huge following of fans & friends in southeast Asia, the middle east, Egypt, and lots of fans in Algeria. So for my friends in those countries who could not participate in the first contest I ran a second contest after the first one completed. Goodreads only allows you to do one at a time. I opened it to the rest of the world, and only picked one winner. It cost me more than the value of the book to mail it. Goodreads picked the winner for me and notified me of her mailing address. There was no promise that a review would come from the free book, but most of the people who entered had an understanding. I also put a note in the book asking for a review when I mailed it out with signed bookmark.
The winner came from Israel. It’s kind of a cool story of how I picked up that country for fans. I think it was through Twitter that one of my tweets about the book was retweeted to someone in Israel. That someone happened to be a journalist from the Huffington Post, who like a lot of reporters, checked out AaronMstephens.com, liked what he saw and came back for more.
Word of Mouth
I have talked about word of mouth marketing a little bit in my prior articles. We all know how important and valuable it is. If you didn’t know, a recommendation from a trusted source is extremely valuable in this day and age. You trust that whomever told you, is going to give you good information. Don’t waste your money on that movie, restaurant, book, or whatever. That is what the recommendation or “willing to recommend” is all about these days.
Fortunately for me, there are a lot of people who are willing to recommend (WTR) me. In fact, daily people are telling their friends and coworkers to come check out my blog. Keep in mind that I do have a pretty big following of fans due to my extensive, consistent writing routine. Why? Because I write often, a lot, and I don’t disappoint. Goodreads and Facebook both indirectly provide the WTR. By choosing to enter the contest (after you read the overview of the book) already demonstrates an interest. If you are interested, and your friends see you are interested, guess what … they are interested too. After people started reading the book, they gave it a four or five-star review or a thumbs up on Facebook. There are a lot of people who found out about me because Facebook said their friend liked me.
Facebook “Book” Page
Using the Facebook “book” page, dedicated just to the book, was extremely important in the marketing of the book. Initially I started with that page and later created another page. My new book, Platform MBA, actually goes over in great detail what I did, how I did it, what my strategy was, and still is, the budget, timing, audience, images and so much more.
Angel Academy received record likes. Faster than any other book in history. Trust me when I tell you this. As of today it has over 96 thousand likes and it was created in June. Do you know that some books and authors never get that many likes? I used to analyze Facebook business pages day and night, who had the most likes, how old was their page, what did they do to get likes. After I built that page I realized I needed a page just for me. I was getting too many messages daily on the Angel Academy page that I didn’t feel were relevant to the book or angels.
Shazam, AaronMstephens, author page was born a month or two later. What was most interesting is that page actually got likes faster than Angel Academy. Today that page has over 102 thousand likes. Both pages increase with likes daily. They are totally different audiences from different countries. I also have to confess that I lose followers also. It happens to everyone. After you get to a certain level you don’t take it so personally. When you first start out and have less than 100 likes, you certainly know when the number drops. Chin up. Pouting won’t change things. That is what my mom would tell me as a kid.
If you were go and look at the Angel page on Facebook from the very beginning, you will see I did a lot of very creative things to engage with my audience. When you first start getting followers it is natural to see who they are. So I would spend time looking at profiles, pictures, see what they posted and put on their wall. It was fun. I even would randomly pick a profile and highlight it and give a shout out. People really liked it and I learned a lot about my new friends. The book page was really important BEFORE the book launched. I don’t update that page as often as I do my public figure page. In the new book I will probably go into a lot of detail in my marketing executions.
I have had some people ask me what is the difference with being an author and a public figure. Good question. Think of your favorite author, that you have no idea what he/she looks like. Okay. Got it? Why don’t you know what they look like? Many authors, believe it or not, do not want to be in the public eye. In fact, there are thousands of authors who NEVER show their face. They are just a name. Some even go further and change their name, or just use initials. J.K. for example. Why? Well for some women, fear they will not sell books because they are a woman. It’s true.