My Secret Weapon: Free Book Marketing Webinars

 I’m all about the Free Webinars.

The other day, it was “New York Times Bestselling Author” Alessandra Torre, whose promotional post I found on Facebook. She writes romance and erotic suspense and seems to do well at it. She promised to teach me (and countless others) "5 Secret Site Tools on Goodreads to Sell More Books."

'm already investing hundreds or thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours; on publishing and promoting my book; so, anytime I can get something free, it's worth at least looking into. Reedsy and MailChimp and Ingram Spark all offer free training and tutorials. Mostly it's stuff you'll have heard dozens of time before - primarily aimed at complete beginners. Depending what part of the learning curve you're in, every one of these 'courses' can teach you something useful or at least help you work out where you stand in the grand scheme of things. I've sat through tutorials at all three of those sites - usually just tracking down a specific nugget or two of information and then turning the tutorial off when I have what I need. If you are a complete beginner, then by all means sit through any seminar that promises to offer insight or lessons on how to use the basic tools. Otherwise it's just the same old same old.  "Move along folks, nothing of value here."

I've found that the best information always comes from 'private courses' offered by writing coaches, marketing coaches, editors, other authors; or small start-ups that are in the process of trying to sign you up for paid courses. They all want to prove their value by giving you a taste of what they have to offer. This is often the kind of information you can't get directly from the resource providers - or if you can, it's buried in hours and hours of repetitive drivel that put you to sleep before you get to the good part. 

Ergo, Alessandra and the Goodreads secrets. I figured I had nothing to lose, except a bit of time, so, I signed up. Did she come through? Well…yeah. 

She definitely sold me on the potential of Goodreads as a book marketing platform. Granted, I was already leaning toward it as one of the two selected social media platforms for me to concentrate on. I discovered early on that the Goodreads giveaways - one of which had been an important channel for me when I was launching my collection, Psychedelia Gothique now come with a significant price tag of $119 to 599 dollars US. Ouch. I'm still going to do one, but it's another cost I didn't have in my budget. Then Torre showed me a number of strategies to get the most of that investment. 

As with most free webinar’s, there was a great deal of pre-amble and post-amble, with most of the good stuff jammed into a very condensed and somewhat superficial 20 minutes in the middle. But the point is, there was definitely lots of good stuff.  I did not know that I could enter my book into Goodreads prior to publication - or how to go about it. The webinar enlightened me. And it did point out the existence of lots of other promising tools I wasn’t using (and in many cases, didn’t even know about). Sure, I had to sit through pitches for her Inkers Con convention and stories about how she was courted by Hollywood. But many participants probably found those stories inspirational. And I did think the webinar was a bit short on actual instruction. After she revealed the existence of the tools and showed participants how to find them, there was precious little guidance on how to actually use them. But what would be the point of giving away ALL of her hard-work putting together and marketing the seminar if she was going to give away all her hard-earned knowledge for free?

As a result, I may have embarrassed myself a bit with my first attempts to implement some of those secret weapons she told me about. We can't be afraid to uncover some knowledge by trial and error. It helps customize our approach. Alessandra Torre gave me a very nice kickstart. She's giving this Webinar on a regular schedule and I would advise anyone interested in using Goodreads to boost your launch to hear her out. Take it with a grain of salt, perhaps. But it was definitely not a waste of an hour. In fact I watched it twice and it was two hours well spent. 

If she sends me random sales pitches by e-mail, I will continue to check them out. But right now I’m busy. Tim Grahl is giving a free webinar called “From Zero to Platform: The First 3 Steps to Start Your Book Marketing” and I know from experience how good his free webinars are. He's written two books on the subject that are both concise and useful, If you get onto his mailing list, he'll send frequent updates so you can keep abreast of what he's offering and when.

With all these things of course, “the truth is in the pudding” (I know what it means, but where the hell did that saying actually come from? Is there actual pudding involved?"

Ask me in about six months whether my cheapskate ways have ultimately paid off and helped me launch a successful book marketing campaign.

Get the scoop on my new novel, The Human Template at


  1. The saying is actually "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" and it dates back to the 14th century. I love that the Spanish version of the proverb (by way of Cervantes) says "You'll see the truth when you fry the eggs" (or something like that). The origin seems to have been the concept of using something common to most people (cooking) to argue that the quality of a product can only be determined by testing it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Learning to Write by Sculpting - Getting Down To Details

We ARE the Magic

Getting a Book Ready for the Beta-Readers