Category Archives: Marketing Your Novel

Poorly Written Headlines #1

Yesterday, I discussed how a bad press release headline can kill your book promotion efforts before they’ve begun. But I’d like to provide some actual examples of what headlines do right, and what they do wrong.

So here’s the first in what will be an ongoing series:

What this headline does right:

  • Gives the genre: science fiction adventure
  • Gives the intended audience: young readers
  • Tells us that this is a series of books, so either the author already has books published, or they intend to publish more, i.e., we should all keep paying attention to them
  • It’s concise, just 67 characters, meaning most of it will appear in search engine results pages

What this headline does wrong:

  • Describing the book as fabulous

What makes a book fabulous? What makes this specific book fabulous? Is it fabulously well-written? Is there fabulous characterization, or fabulous world-building? Is the plot fabulously paced?

Flowery adjectives can make a headline pop, but by leaving the description vague, this headline is effectively meaningless.

The first ten words tell me a lot about the What, which is great. But the final two give me no hint of Why I should care. Young adult sci-fi books are a dime a dozen right now, and this headline fails to stand out from the crowd.

That’s it for now. I’d be happy to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this headline or my critique. I’ll try to do one or two of these each month.

Steve D

How Bad Headlines Ruin Your Book Marketing Efforts

Way back in 2017, I wrote about the four basic elements of a good press release. In that post, I discussed how the headline and sub-headline should be used to hook a potential reader into actually reading the rest of your press release.

But I don’t think I emphasized enough one simple truth about press releases:

If your headline and/or sub-headline are not eye-catching, no one will read your release. Continue reading How Bad Headlines Ruin Your Book Marketing Efforts

Awesome Con 2019: We Have a Table!

It’s official. We’ve gotten our table assignment for Awesome Con 2019! So, who’s going to be around DC on April 26-28 to visit M.L.S. Weech, Jessie, and me?

I guess it’s time to start laying out my con plans. Continue reading Awesome Con 2019: We Have a Table!

Marketing Your Novel: 2019 Goals

I know we’re already a month a and a half into the year, but I haven’t yet laid out my book marketing plans. I needed some time to mull over what my real goals were and how I can actually reach them.

Answering the first question is easy: Sell. More. Books. As for the second question, well, let’s discuss. Continue reading Marketing Your Novel: 2019 Goals

A Quarterly Sales Report, and Other Things I never Thought I’d Write

At some point during the pre-publishing process for my first novel, I said that I wanted to be relatively transparent about how well my books did.

Well, it’s been over three months since I published The Warden of Everfeld: Memento. I’ve already talked about how my PPC campaigns performed. Now, it’s time to have a quick look at how they and my other marketing efforts helped me actually sell books.

Continue reading A Quarterly Sales Report, and Other Things I never Thought I’d Write

Belated Numberbrag and Marketing Goals

Goals are funny. Sometimes, when they’re outside of your direct control, it’s better not to pay too close attention to them.

I lost sight of any specific marketing or statistical goals for this website for this year, since most of my efforts focused on publishing and promoting The Warden of Everfeld: Memento. So without particularly trying, we’ve hit a lot of goals… from 2017.

Continue reading Belated Numberbrag and Marketing Goals

How My Taboola PPC Campaigns Performed

Last month, I wrote a brief summary of how to create and manage a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign through Taboola.

Now that my campaign has ended, I’d like to go through and analyze how it all performed. Continue reading How My Taboola PPC Campaigns Performed

Reblog: The Basics of PPC Marketing with Taboola

MLS Weech was kind enough to host one of my marketing pieces on his site last week — thanks man! Definitely check out his blog, and his books Caught and The Journals of Bob Drifter!

I wanted to include this piece, “The Basics of PPC Marketing with Taboola” with my ongoing Marketing Your Novel series. I’ll write a follow-up in the near future about how my campaigns performed overall.

M.L.S. Weech

Greetings All,

I’m super stoked about this post.  I’ve known Steven since I’ve started blogging, and I consider him a friend above all. I also consider him one of my top marketing mentors, so when he offered to create a post, I jumped at  the chance.  His book, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, is out now, and I’ve already ordered my paperback version and added it to my impossible to whittle down TBR list on Goodreads.   So, if you’re like me, and you feel like marketing is a tough nut to crack, please see below.


When I tell people I used to use PPC marketing as part of my job, they give me funny looks. When I tell them that I am now using PPC marketing to promote my first novel, they’re downright flummoxed.

But Pay-Per-Click Marketing is really quite simple: you pay a particular service to feed…

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How to Promote A New Book Release

Well, I’ve had about a week to collect myself and focus on the business side of publishing a novel. Now, I’d like to discuss how I am planning the pre-release and release phases of my novel from a marketing perspective.

Whether or not this turns out to be the right way to market a soon-to-be and newly published novel remains to be seen, but I like my plan and I’m sticking to it. Continue reading How to Promote A New Book Release

Slightly Revised Marketing Plan… 2018!

Apologies for the late post today. A certain Jessie kept me on a video call for four hours last night.

With the revisions of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento coming along nicely, it’s time to talk about how I’ll be promoting this book.

My marketing efforts last year were focused on audience-building, and that’s largely still the goal. But now, with a tentative release date of early 2018, I need to be sure that the audience I build is actually interested in buying my book.

Continue reading Slightly Revised Marketing Plan… 2018!