Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Industry View - Laurence O'Bryan - Book Promoter

By JJ Marsh

Hello Laurence. I want to talk to you about your book marketing service, BooksGoSocial, but first I’d like to know a bit about you and your own writing.
As a trad-pubbed author, how did you come to offer promotional services for indie authors?

I started on Twitter and with an author blog in 2009. These helped me land a trad publishing 3 book deal and be translated into 11 languages and have Hollywood producers pay for options on the series.

I am, therefore, a total believer in the power of online promotion. Within a year of being published I had 100,000 readers following me. I decided to help other authors reach these readers. I did this for free for a year, but costs mounted. I was paying for web site hosting, graphics software, video software and images for commercial use. I decided to charge low prices and offer a money back guarantee, the only one in the whole industry, because I know writers need to be able to test the market, without risking their shirts.

The word on the street is that BooksGoSocial works. With so many services claiming success, what are you doing right?

I believe our focus on long term support helps. We are not a one email - one night stand - type book promotion service. We offer a supporting relationship through our weekly emails, our online video chats, our Facebook groups, our conference, and the one to one advice we provide for all members.
Our guarantee helps too.
Our honesty, recommending writers hold their paid promotion until they have three real reviews or a professional cover, illustrates that we are more interested in a book selling, than simply taking a writers money. We also have an Amazon compliant system for getting real reviews for writers.

Laurence on a panel with Jeffery Deaver at the Key West Mystery Writers Conference August 2015

Spending cash on book promo is not a wise investment for everyone. What kind of genres see results and when would you advise authors to seek another route to readers?

Highly targeted books, with a limited general appeal do not do well with our service. If your book is for dentist practice managers we recommend you reach out to these people through dental industry web sites, for instance.

We also see little demand for literary, experimental, childrens and YA novels. Our reader are adults with an interest in popular genres such as mystery, romance, adventure, and true crime. If you might expect to see your book at the front of the book store in the popular novels section then you are a good fit for our promotions.

OK, let’s say I’m a romance author with three books out there and I opt for a basic package. What can I expect from you and your team?

The basic package gets two weeks of Tweets (this month's special offer) and advice on getting your Amazon book page ready for the visitors we send to it. In addition we provide an opportunity to promote that book each month for a year through our special offer email to readers and our blog post Tweets for authors. These are real free extras. Some authors are getting thousands of visitors to their book blogs because of this. Personal blogs are not promoted, because mostly they don't sell books.

We also have member only competitions, advice in our Facebook groups, and we can put your trailer on our YouTube channel. All these provide a good test for your book in the market. At $59 this is real value.

Do you think authors with a social media platform and a certain amount of net nous benefit more from a collaboration with book marketers?

Yes, If you have the ability to create interesting posts and mix well online you will get more from our services. But it's not required, if your novel is popular and well presented. That means a great cover, great reviews, appealing description and a low price.

Laurence speaking at BooksGoSocial conference in Dublin, June 2015

Back to you. What kind of books do you read and was there a stand-out novel of 2015?

All The Light You Cannot See, is my fav novel of 2015. It combines wonderful writing with an exciting story. It's my book of the decade, so far, too. It's about World War Two, which is what I am reading about these days as I research my own next novel, The Nuremberg Puzzle, which I will self publish.

I would have to sell four times more as a trad published author to make the same money as with self publishing. For mid list authors, such as myself, the basic economics are irresistible.

Top three tips for authors to make more sales?

1. Edit your book until you are blue in the face with frustration. Use a paid editor. I have, twice, for The Nuremberg Puzzle.

2. Ensure your cover is amazing. Low cost and amazing cover services are now available. Never publish a book that has a cover created by anyone who isn't a professional cover designer. Do not do this yourself.

3. Create a blog about your book. Write a monthly post or one twice a month. To see ideas for that click here for my blog post on the subject.

Publishing predictions for 2016 – what do you see on the horizon? Sunshine or black clouds?


2016 will be the year of the Indie. For indies - us self published authors - ebook sales will grow to achieve more than 50% of ebook revenue in the U.S. market overall in 2016. The tables will have turned. Democracy, new voices and new stories, held back by a limited and traditional system of supply, are all coming to the book market.
To see evidence of this trend click here.

Writing is not just for the elite, with time on their hands and friends in publishing houses.
Not all indies will do well. But far more writers will sell books and make money than was ever possible under the traditional publishing system.

Laurence O’Bryan
Founder BooksGoSocial
Try some 1st pages now on:
Author web site & blog:

1 comment: