Monday, 27 July 2020

The Write Stuff with... Renny deGroot

Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Renny deGroot back to the blog to talk about Marketing, the Indie Author way.
“We are at the tipping point where the majority of writers will want to indie publish, not get a traditional publishing deal.”
Laurence O’Bryan    
Founder BooksGoSocial & The International Dublin Writers’ Festival, 20 July 2020
As an indie author, I’m responsible for the whole process of writing, publishing and promoting my book. I love the control I have over the end product but it is a lot of work.  You know what that’s like. The fun part is the writing. I get absorbed into the story and laugh and cry along with my characters. The editing is less fun. First a couple of rounds of self-edit, then working with a professional editor and then another round or two with a proof-reader. It’s fun again seeing what the cover artist comes up with and then – oh joy – it’s done and ‘out there’. Now what? How to get it into the hands of readers is the biggest challenge of all.

In today’s world, social media and digital marketing is such a key piece in the overall promotion plan. I’ve tried most of the current methods. I’ve written blog posts on my blog and as a guest for others (thank you Sharon for this opportunity!). I’ve tweeted and I’ve used the services of an agency that blasts out thousands of tweets. I’ve shamelessly (or perhaps in fact a little shamefully) used facebook and I’ve even opened an Instagram account, but how the daily blocking of dodgy fellows wanting to send me messages actually helps me is still a mystery.

So – do any of these things work? I would say yes, a little. Exposure is good. I will continue with all these ‘tools’ but the one that has helped me the most with actual sales has been…drumroll please…amazon ads. During the Isolation I took a free 5- day amazon-ad workshop given by Bryan Cohen. He holds them regularly and I highly recommend it. When I make enough, I’ll probably sign up for the full ‘school’.  The workshop took me step by step through the process. The bottom line is – you want people to click on the ad that gets pushed to them, and then you want them to turn that click into a purchase. Don’t get me wrong – it costs money. Every click will cost you something – if you follow the Cohen formula, the click will never cost more than 30 cents each, and maybe less – and you’re going to get a bunch of clicks that don’t result in a sale.  According to my amazon dashboard, since I started the ads going in April, I’ve spent more than earned in sales – but – the truth is that I’ve had way more than 21 sales since April – they just haven’t all come after a click on an ad. Perhaps the person wanted to look at all my books first, or they might have gone away to have a think, and then come back. Whatever the reasoning, you can see in figure 2 that I’ve enjoyed a steady increase in sales since I started the amazon ads regime in April.

For those of you who have the weight of a publishing house behind you – lucky you! You’re in more of a support role than the driver of your promotional plan – but for indie authors like myself who do it all from start to finish – this may be useful to you. It’s work – but the great news is – you get to keep more of the royalties! I’m a believer in amazon ads and will continue to tweak them to see what works and what doesn’t.

Good luck!

Figure 1

Figure 2


Renny deGroot-MacKinnon is a first generation Canadian of Dutch parents. She was born in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Her debut novel, Family Business, was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Her second novel, After Paris, has been well received by fans of Historical Fiction and her latest novel Torn Asunder, published late 2019 has garnered several readers’ awards including an IndieB.R.A.G Medallion, a Five Star Award from the Coffee Pot Book Club (U.K.), A Book of the Month Premier Award from Chill With A Book (U.K.), Five Star Readers’ Favorite (U.S.) and a Readers’ Pick badge from the Miramichi Reader (Canada).

In 2019 Renny was commissioned to produce a coffee-table non-fiction book about the military history of her former regiment, called 32 Signal Regiment, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals: A History.

Renny has a BA in English Literature from Trent University. She lives in rural Ontario with her Great Pyrenees and Golden Retriever, and vacations at her cottage in Nova Scotia.

Social Media:
Facebook: Renny degroot
Twitter: @renny_degroot

1 comment:

  1. I'm delighted to be your guest today - thanks so much for the opportunity!