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Sunday, May 22, 2016

WHEN NOTHING WORKS in your book's marketing




CONVENTIONAL WISDOM:

 An author has to have a personal relationship with readers and a strong social media presence!

 By all means a writer has to blog, blog, blog. 

You have to get out there and do guest posts!
 You need to start a conversation with your readers!


REHASH OF THE OLD IS NOTHING NEW ... OR USEFUL.


There is one thing the writers of such articles tend to have in common:

They are not famous authors.

In fact, when you start to really examine things,

you will find that most tend to have fewer social media followers than you do!

WAKE UP CALL:


The idea that succeeds is not the one with the most truth,

but the one that has something in it that aids in its transmission.

In this case, people hunger to learn how they, too, can succeed.


I cannot stress this point enough: Outside of your circle of friends, no one cares about you ...

Until you give them a compelling reason to care. 


People read because of who THEY are, not because of who YOU are.


HOW TO LOSE and HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY:


1. Frittering Away Hours On Social Media Without A Plan

It is better to use social media than not to use social media. It is free, so you have nothing to lose.

If you tweet “here is the interview I did with such and such blog” it will not get many clicks. 

If you said something in the interview that was funny, topical, deep put it in quotes with a link.

Someone who is interested in the thought will click on the page 

and might be interested enough in who the writer is who said it to read the whole thing.

This may not sell books, but it has a better chance than the other way.


HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY WITH #1


Set up a schedule.
 
A writer’s life is a business, not an arty dreamscape. Your time investment is valuable.

 

2. Impatience – You Quit Before Your Book Has A Chance


Too many authors give up after a few weeks. 

They complain sales are slow even though they’ve done extensive book ‘promotion’ on Twitter, Facebook and their author blog.

HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY:

Persist, and push on -

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Calvin Coolidge. 30th President of the United States (1923–1929)

 

3. Waiting To Promote Your Book Until After It’s Published


The day it launches is way too late to start marketing your book if you want to see a significant level.


HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY:

Famous Strip-teasers knew better than to come out naked right at the start.  Tease.  Over a period of time.

4. Writing A Lone Book

You launch your book, it starts out well then fizzles. 

Sales slump, and it disappears down the Amazon rankings to languish at the bottom of the well.



HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY: 

You need a whole series of books.

It is not obligatory to do this, but the results speak volumes. 

Your books are attractive products to which people become addicted and increasingly want more.

Furthermore, the third book is when success often starts to appear.

It takes time for an author’s work to find its audience, but when it does, the books all then begin to sell each other.

 

5. Writing Each Book In A Different Genre

Many writers claim “I write what is in my heart and soul. My books will fit where they want to. I can’t focus on the audience as well.”



True enough, except for the second part.

You can’t in fact write for everyone. Instead your books need to be written for a specific genre to build a broad readership.


HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY: 

Pick your fiction genre.

Write your books to appeal to those looking for a specific genre.

For example, 

bestselling Author HP Mallory focuses specifically on the paranormal genre. This played a major role in her hitting the New York Times Bestseller list.



6. DEPEND ON BLOG INTERVIEWS:

The only reason anyone would read an interview with a person he has never heard of before

is to learn something about how to get his own books published, or about your book’s subject, or about the creative process. 


HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY:

Be like a politician -

HEAR WHAT YOU NEED TO HEAR AND ANSWER THAT QUESTION --

 A blogger sends you a list of questions about whether or not you have pets, try to do what the politicians do when they do not want to answer something.

 Change the subject.

 You bring up an interesting point about pets, I’m glad you asked that. It relates to a problem I had in the third chapter of the novel and what other writers can do with a similar problem …”


7.  You believe your karmic scoreboard is over-due for a blessing.


I believe in the concept of a “karmic scoreboard” actually –

that what you put out in the world will come back around to you.

Just not necessarily in the ways your dreams pine for.

 Self-publishing solely to advance yourself reduces your “karmic score.”


On the other hand, being kind, generous, and helpful –

being of service to others as your first goal – increases your karmic score.

If your motivation is to help others with no expectations of what you’ll get in return, 

you’ll find that the process is also self-supportive ... and you will make wonderful new friends.

How cool is that?


8. The 20% author and the fine art of self-promotion:

In a world with lots of talent, success requires more than simply being great.


HOW TO LOSE MORE SLOWLY:

When blogging, tweeting and Facebooking you should spend 80% of your time posting about things other than your book, and 20% selling.

That's right – 80% of what you post should not be a sales pitch.

Why?

Because readers are human beings,
who long to make connections with others. 

They join social networking sites
not to receive non-stop reminders to buy,

but to develop relationships.

I hope this helps a  bit.
***

28 comments:

  1. Sigh. I've been so busy and kinda sick this last week that I'm lucky to just finish my last polish of my manuscript. Even thinking about marketing is out of the question for a few more weeks, but then I've got to get on it. Thank you for the great pointers.

    And now that I'm feeling better I'll also stop by more often, Roland. Hope you've been well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry it took me so long to reply: I worked 24 of the weekend. I slept half the day today!

      I pray that you stay well now. :-)

      Delete
  2. Hi Roland - it's working out one's advantages and using those - but not flogging them to death ... and just building on one's own base, onwards and upwards they say! Using initiatives to help yourself and to help others ... Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great ideas, Hilary, and they make sense. :-)

      Delete
  3. Great tips, Roland. I do love the way you inspire - your style is uplifting and makes the reader hang on every word :) Thanks for sharing.

    ps: don't forget to get back to me when you want to visit my blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such nice things to say. :-) Whenever you can fit me into your blog would be great. I will start writing that guest post now. Thanks.

      Delete
  4. Very good tips. With writing, we need to identify a need and then fill it. Not write to market necessarily, because that changes, but fill the needs of writers.

    Waiting until after the book is published to promote it is just dumb. Promotions need to start 4-6 months beforehand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, if, in our blogs, our posts say something new about what concerns us all, our friends will be drawn to us.

      Who wants to be a boring cyber-host? :-)

      For my books, I write adventures that I would want to read. I am alone mostly, so books with kindred souls who become family draw me to them: Spenser, Longmire, Mercy Thompson, Harry Dresdem.

      This is a society of people who feel isolated, misunderstood, so I write novels with laughter and friends who become family in an enticing world of supernatural danger and intrigue.

      Thanks for thinking my idea of promoting BEFORE the publication of your book is dead-on. :-) And thanks for visiting and chatting awhile!

      Delete
  5. I must say that I am long-suffering. Therefore, I do not give up easily on anything or anyone--until I feel it's over. Another pat on my back (yes I said it) is that I do not fritter away hours on the internet. Love your tips. You DO inspire others. -Teresa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having worked half of this weekend, your saying I do inspire means a lot to this weary courier. :-) Keep on being a champion, Teresa.

      Delete
  6. That one little lone book might just sit there and do nothing.
    I did have a lot of people buy my books after they got to know me. But there is only so many hours in the day you can spend building friendships.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and I need Neil Gaiman to write how much he loves our books on his blog! :-)

      Word of Mouth sells books. And if a book wow's a reader, she or he will tell their friends.

      But how do we get our books noticed to be bought in the first place?

      We have to break out of the Author Blogs Ghetto to do that. And I simply do not know how to do that.

      Delete
  7. There is so much here that makes a lot of sense, but still promotion and what clicks can be so unpredictable. If there were a formula that was foolproof and always worked I would imagine just about everyone would jump on the bandwagon and be equally successful. But what works for one doesn't always work again or in the same way.

    Persistence is extremely important I think, but having a good plan goes hand in hand with the persistence. No point in persisting at things that aren't working. The social media verdict still hasn't come in as an absolute as far as I can see. Recently I read a study from I believe it might have been the Interactive Advertising Bureau that said that blog guest posts generally have little to no impact. Interviews probably do little unless they appear in really high profile sources and are compelling enough to draw consumers to invest in the product.

    Everything you say here is well worth consideration. If one idea doesn't work then try it a different way or scrap it in favor of the ones that do work. One problem is that something that worked well once might not work the same the next time.

    The marketplace can be so fickle! Oh for that magic formula that guarantees success!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No MAGIC FORMULA for book marketing, and that is for sure.

      It is like being in a vicious fight with a bigger opponent: you try every attack you can think of -- if one doesn't succeed, you go on to the next -- and unexpected usually wins the day.

      "Same old, same old" just bores potential readers.

      Mark Williams:

      https://theinternationalindieauthor.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/dan-brown-shows-us-how-its-done-age-group-verticals/

      just gave me a great idea that I have no idea how to implement:

      ADULT COLORING BOOKS of our novel!

      A new way to reach a new segment of our potential audience.

      Now, to find an artist that I can afford!

      Delete
  8. If someone had told me I'd be blogging and fbing and pinteresting and goodreading at this time of my so called writing career, I swear I would have suggested they hie themselves to an asylum. But here I am and so deeply entrenched in social media that I have to hit the Force Quit button quite frequently to stay sane.

    All that you've written is spot on. Wish I'd had this information back in '09 when this perilous journey began. Thanks, Roland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This world of book marketing is so confusing. Like Alex says: we can only reach out to just so many folks in any one day!

      Delete
  9. It is the bane of the writers existence, well, of mine. I keep trying the newest and latest suggestions, but honestly, I think the ones who hawk these techniques are the ones getting rich, not the writers. The more money you can throw at it the better chance you'll have, but how much is too much? I don't have the funds. your suggestions are always valid and your discussions and questions right on point!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. New trends in book marketing are like Pyramid Schemes -- the ones that get on the ground level do well -- the rest of us, not so much. :-(

      Delete
  10. Love this!!! I completely agree with all points, even the ones that I don't do - like, for instance, I write in a couple of different genres - not out of any strategy, but because that's how I'm "built" as a writer . . . someday, I'll be smarter about releasing my books in a way that sets them up for success - even if some are for one audience and some are for another. (Hoping that it will work somehow - I can't be the only squirrel-minded person out there.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John and Tyrean: Ratatoskr, the Asgardian Squirre,l and I are right there with you! I'm going to try and be smarter about THE NOT SO INNOCENTS AT LARGE 6 months before I publish it. Try being the key word! :-)

      Delete
  11. Agh! tip from a foolish blogger - when on social media, make sure you are using the right e-mail address and not the family one . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops! :-) That could have led to "unique" consequences!

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  12. All good tips. I like the one especially about word of mouth.

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    1. Yes, now if only you and I could find a sure way of generating good word of mouth, right?

      Delete
  13. Yes. True. It's not about touting "buy my book" on social media. It's about finding your tribe and getting to know them. At least, that's what I hear. (As I have no book out there, I can't know for sure.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All any of us can do is be the kindest, most caring cyber-friend to all we meet on the Net and let the sales come or not. That way we leave fond memories in our wake. :-)

      Delete
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