blogging, book promotion

Styles of Promotion.

In terms of promotion, what works?

In the marketing groups (there are many) on Facebook, there’s so much schmaltz: “Amid the burning chaos that has become his life, Saro finds a solace he never expected, eyes filled with understanding and a smile that steals his heart even though he’s only begun to trust.”

Your eyes start to glaze over.

Here’s a restrained pitch: “Discover a love so deep it defies a 40-year family feud.” One short sentence, and there’s a cover, with no tits and no muscles, amazing! I guess that works if you’re known. Another Gage! He’s great! I’ll read anything he writes. 40-year feud. Sounds fascinating!

One guy is offering – for five dollars – to post your book on his personal book promotion group:

I will promote your EBook by posting your ad on my HUGE Social Media Network. You get massive exposure! This Facebook group has 114,000+ members and adds almost 1,000 new members per day!!! All of these members WILL SEE YOUR ADVERTISEMENT.”

114,000 members? (Hard – damn hard – to buy.) Most of whatever number probably inactive, like on any site. No thanks.

___________________________________________

Most of the marketing groups are closed groups, you have to ask to join, but permission to join comes almost immediately. I doubt that they turn anyone away except (maybe) folks pushing extra nasty porn.

I’ve seen thoughtful entreats, but way more gush. I’ve come to the conclusion that it makes no real difference. Nobody pays much attention to any of it. (FYI: I’m my own guinea pig.)

I’ve asked a dozen promotional geniuses (Ladies! You’re not going to believe how hot this is!) how their various styles of tout are doing (I asked nice, I swear) and have had no replies.

Jim Meirose is one I followed up on. He sounds like he’s arrived, like he’s successful. (He is, with shorts. I don’t think he’s got his novels off the ground yet. His novels on Amazon are down in the million-plus with the rest of us.)

He has a long list of credits for stories published in some well-known magazines. I read one of his shorties and liked a whole lot about it. I will definitely read more of him. I found him by accident. He happens to be married to a cousin I’ve been out of contact with for decades. I recently joined FB. Long lost relatives are coming out of the woodwork.

Facebook is useful. I’ve gotten some good advice on there. (Nothing astonishing, that I didn’t know or couldn’t have figured out.)

___________________________________________

Tim Flanagan in the group Marketing for Authors says:

Hi Mimi – I’ve just had a look at the writercoop website. I like the idea – authors should always support other authors. Have all the authors got their own independent mailing lists and websites and social media pages? If not – that’s the first thing you should ALL have, separate to the coop website. If you have each got your own platforms you should have all that information on the coop website.

I notice a few of the authors have their own websites but they’re not particularly engaging or visually interesting from a reader’s POV. You should also be cross promoting each other on your own platforms. Use each other’s mailing lists. Add links to each other’s books in the back of each others books. Put a box set together -one book from each author.

Your greatest strength is in cross promoting between each other. Alternatively, improve your coop website so that it appeals to readers rather than just explaining who you are. Set up a mailing list for the coop as a whole. Give away a small starter library featuring a short story from each writer in exchange for a reader giving you their email – build a coop following that each writer can tap into.

Separately, have a short story on amazon for promotional purposes only – each other can use their 5 free days every couple of weeks so there is more exposure for that author, but also the others in the coop. There’s lots you can do but it depends how serious you all are as individual writers, as well as a cooperative. Message me if you want more information.”

Crap! That’s a job of work there. But we have to implement at least some of these suggestions if we want to flourish. I have my hands full with my own site, but as I learn, I’ll pass it on.

___________________________________________

Here’s a piece off Scribophile:

I’ve just discovered that there’s a thing called debut author classes (class as in class of 2017, not as in lesson). Basically, all the debut authors with books coming out in a certain year (and usually from the same genre/age group) form a group where they help promote each other. They also have a blog that showcases all of their members, their books, and blog posts. Members have to contribute blog posts, read and review a certain number of their peers’ ARCs, promote their peers, and do a bunch of other stuff. I’m following some of the members on Twitter, and seeing all the camaraderie and conversations and shoutouts and shameless promotion of other people’s books is really cool. Unfortunately, you have to be traditionally published to join. Is there anything like this for indies? Not a typical book blog, the focus not to promote a *book*, it should be book-themed entertainment to subtly hawk your wares.

(Isn’t that what we’re trying to do?)

______________________________________________

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.58.01 PM.png

I like this, clear, lots going on, front and center links.

I think our best immediate move is to punch up the layout of our site, have a prominent list of previous features, the front page presenting a lead article and a roster of additional titles and links.

Here’s a screen shot of a site that caught my eye. This will be a lot of work to set up. But it may be easy to maintain.

We have great content, for a certain audience. (Not for the Ladies-this-book-is-hot-hot-hot crowd. Thank God.) But we must boost our visibility, and our vitality.

Can we get our articles accepted on other sites, with links to us? Everybody is hungry for striking content, and we certainly have it.

 

Advertisements
Standard

7 thoughts on “Styles of Promotion.

  1. GD Deckard says:

    Thanks, Mimi. The ideas that you have presented from your research sound great. As we add new members, maybe we should ask each one to do something to promote the site. Recruiting writers -and, maybe, why not?- marketers who want another place to pitch their services could bring us the energy, talent and skills to build WritersCo-op.com along the lines suggested. And seriously, thanks again for the effort. We need these ideas to start with.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mimispeike says:

    The thing is, we have to convince people this is an energetic site, a worthwhile place to engage and promote. I have not felt this essential until now. We now have a lot of fine content built up. It’s time to get the word out.

    These pieces take time to write, how about we start a sideshow: ‘Quick Takes’, our stray thoughts. For instance, we comment on other sites, proactive, without being asked. I should think that most folks would be glad to realize they’ve been noticed.

    We’ve got good heads here, let’s see what we can come up with.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. mimispeike says:

    We have had folks who have participated once or twice and (seem to have) dropped out. They want a place to promote, that means traffic, not a fun forum for their wide-ranging thoughts. I fault them for not seeing the potential here, but that will be the case for many and many. We need to make that potential happen.

    A question for Curtis, who may know the answer: I am going to buy the use of one of the WordPress templates. Will I own the rights to use it for myself and for another site? (Here, of course.) If everyone agrees, that is. I will be using it for a companion mobile-friendly site of my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Perry Palin says:

    I don’t know what styles of promotion work. As emerging writers we have to make a personal connection with our readers. How do we do that?

    I attended my local writers’ group meeting yesterday. They are nice people, but most of them will never be published. Only a few have gone into self publishing. The most active of our members has self published a number of books, has tried a variety of promotions on-line, and sells the most books in person at book fairs and community events.

    My wife will read every book by a successful mystery writer from the Twin Cities. She says his books are very good, and others must agree because he makes a good living at writing. But she might never have picked up one of his books except that she met him when he made pancakes while she served customers at our church’s state fair dining hall.

    In the last two weeks I’ve had eight or ten of my readers ask me when my novel will be available for sale. I know I can sell the first 100 copies to people who have read my earlier stories. I will need them to talk the book up to other readers. I’ve just today queried a regional publisher for the novel, I’m hoping a traditional publisher will lend some exposure to the book. That comes at a cost, shared control and shared royalties. Still, the connection with the reader, traditional or self-published, has to be personal.

    Like

  5. mimispeike says:

    The personal touch certainly works, on a small scale. A website and web engagement are essential strategies in a wider game. Perry, do you have a website? I’d like to see it.

    I think that us asking for links to author websites, putting the word out everywhere, Scrib, Book Country, the author groups on Facebook come immediately to mind but there will be many others, these requests will lure folks to our site for a look-see. But I would not do this until we have a reworked format, the better to reel nibblers in.

    I am going to start working on a topic, ‘Show Us Your Website’, which should be a permanent slot on a front page.

    We ought also have a way to collect emails, start building a resource there. I give out my email address reluctantly, only when I am really impressed with the quality of the material presented. Great material, we have it. It’s the delivery system that needs a fiddle-with.

    Curtis, if this sounds like too much work, I will fiddle with it while I continue to construct my own site. What’s going on with my site? I have the art to create. I’m designing custom backgrounds related to each chapter, part motif and part collage-style sprawl.

    I’ve reworked the intro pages to a standard width, but I’m trying to sneak in additional information. It looks like a space-filler background unless you have a wide screen. I have decorative-type short comments scattered about, but beyond the small screen space. And I had felt that the shift in approach from my intro to my chapter pages was too jarring, I’ve got a more uniform look.

    So far I have two intro pages (one character-focused), an index, three chapter pages set up, and a final coming attractions page like you see in many a series. I have fourteen chapters, each will have its own piece of real estate, so I will eventually have eighteen pages. It is a monster project.

    A lot of work for something that few people may ever see. I must believe in it, don’t ya think?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Perry Palin says:

    Mimi, no, I do not have a website, yet. I’ll have a website when I know how and when the novel will be published. I’m writing copy and trying to find out how to use it in a productive way.

    Yes, the personal touch works on a small scale. I’m a small fish in a small pond, trying to get bigger. The fish I know who did get bigger (and a few of them are now making a living as writers) did it by growing their personal contacts. They have websites, and they’ve told me that their websites have contributed exactly nothing to their sales.

    I am not discouraged, and I don’t want to be discouraging. Your ideas, Mimi, go beyond what my small to medium fish friends have done with their sites, and you may have something that works. I hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mimispeike says:

    “They have websites, and they’ve told me that their websites have contributed exactly nothing to their sales.”

    They are not the only ones who (apparently) think that. My cousin by marriage Jim Meirose (jimmeirose.com) has been quite successful placing his short stories, and has two novels published, but has a totally nothing – and I do mean nothing – website. He must feel the same way.

    I have a cute novelty item (at first glance), a talking cat. From viewing a bumper sticker (or somesuch), I think many people will be curious enough to pay me a visit. I will lose most of them as soon as they realize that my book is not at all what they’d thought. (It’s an adult literary farce.) But some will stick with me and, hopefully, tell their friends. That will be my equivalent of your word of mouth.

    That is why I’m making my site an extravaganza. Something for everyone. Fun to look at, if nothing else.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s