I have to say marketing has been a … challenge. Everyone seems to want a piece of the tiny pie.
After weeks of homework, I have concluded everyone makes money except the authors. I jest! There are ways to create buzz without breaking the bank, I, like you, just have to find what works and what doesn't.
Here is my experience so far:
PRnewswire, awesome company, handled Hunger Games, however they are not a 'marketing company'. In a recent statement from a representative I received this: "My suggestion may be to consult a marketing agency, etc. that may be able to provide you with additional services and outreach that could help drive your sales and success." They handle the press release and they do a great job for the small fee they charge, but what happens after the initial release? Not much. They have fantastic tools you can use to track hits and click-throughs of your website. It's interesting to see these stats.
Createspace, self-publishing agency, however, their marketing is … lacking. In fact, if you self-published through Createspace, they do not advertise your book in the ‘New Release Section.’ A representative sent me an email stating: "It is not the policy to add Createspace authors to the New Release List. We hope this will change soon." So, with no REAL marketing help and no REAL advertising, Createspace is strictly a 'distribution company.'
Sites like: AtomRBooks.com, BookBub.com, Ereader News Today are all for free or reduced ebooks. Since, one cannot totally control the price with Amazon, reducing the price is difficult.
I still have hopes that something is out there! I’m working with a great company California Videoworks. Dan and James are easy to work with and usually have a 5 day turn around on scripts and another 10 days of filming. They produce Indie Style book trailers for peanuts! Just about any site you go to for a book trailer - it’s about $1100.00 starting price and goes up from there. That’s 'Still photos' meshed with floating words, very basic. Dan and James quoted prices at $300.00 under everyone else for live actors in an Indie Book Trailer. I can’t wait to see the results!