Running at the wall. Early marketing efforts

Running at the wall. Early marketing efforts

Firstly an apology for my hastily posted previous blog, which was nothing more than a shameless ad for my Goodreads Giveaway. My intention that day was actually to link the ‘Goodreads Giveaway’ widget to the book page on my website. Three hours later (dehydrated, in need of sustenance and losing the will to live) I worked out that I can’t do that on my freely hosted site. On the plus side I did learn something about Java script, HTML and plug-ins (there must be a rap there somewhere). On the minus, all you lot got was an alert that RussellRomance had posted a blog, only to view a hurriedly pasted clip of the view of my Giveaway which you would have got, if I could have linked you to it. Technical frustration dogs every stage of this process.

Anyway I digress. My marketing efforts so far (all work-in-progress):

  • Beg mates to buy the book. Positives: Hugely successful – 99% hit rate. Generous, gushing reviews resulting in warm glowy feeling. Negatives: Something of a short term policy. Few mates left (less than I started with?)
  • Social media pedalling. Positives: Make new mates (to replace the ones you lost banging on and on about your book). Success rate – not a clue but hopefully aids awareness that your book exists. Additional warm glow (so many nice people out there who are happy to help you along). Negatives: Time and life consuming. Distraction levels at an all-time high. Original thought used up trying to invent interesting posts/tweets.
  • Feature in a magazine. Positives: Great day out! Whole new experience to bang on to the friends about. Book brought to the attention of thousands of potential readers. Negatives: I haven’t seen the photograph that will feature. (Oh, weak vanity). There may be others…I will let you know.
  • Plead for reviews from strangers and book review bloggers. Positives: I don’t know yet, my pleas have not been answered. One potential blogger lined up – I have all my fingers crossed. The reviews will be honest (this could be listed under negatives too, but I’m quietly optimistic). Negatives: See previous sentence (safest to hedge your bets).
  • Run a Goodreads Giveaway of your book. Positives: Raises awareness of book among confirmed bibliophiles. Potential for reviews on respected site. Negatives: Yet another statistic to obsess over – ‘number of people requested’ (I bounce between Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, CreateSpace, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress in a never-ending quest for approval. Sad, but strangely addictive.)
  • KDP (Kindle) Select. I’m still considering this option, but haven’t signed up yet. Positives: Book has potential to reach thousands of readers for free. Negatives: Royalties per read considerably reduced (not such a problem if your readers quadruple in number). Your ebook becomes exclusive to the Kindle store (I currently publish on Smashwords too). I would be really interested to hear your comments and views if you are either an author signed up to KDP Select or a reader who subscribes to Kindle Unlimited (you may be both of course!)

Other ideas still bubbling in the pipeline: Local press, bookish coffee mornings, appearance on Richard and Judy (yes, I jest. But I have been asked why I can’t just go on there. What a wonderful world to live in.)

Wishing you all a happy, fruitful week. You’ll find me running at that wall, lobbing copies of my book over the top.

Networking or making friends? Ever increasing circles.

Networking or making friends? Ever increasing circles.

One of the nicest things about my writing and publishing journey is the connections I have made with others.

Just when the process of marketing my book is becoming underwhelming (when only 3 people have read my blog and my clever tweet has passed unnoticed) someone really nice pops up and lifts my spirits. Just yesterday for example, a fellow author who I met on twitter helped me out with my ‘smiley faces’ (emojis – yes I know that now. I really was that ignorant when I entered this brave new world). The same gentleman has offered his assistance with my webpage (when I have girded my loins in preparation for that task). I have also traded pictures, gossip and book reads (“you read mine and I’ll read yours”- that sort of thing), discussed variations in landscape, language and weather between the UK and Canada, followed no end of interesting blogs and shared the experience of publishing a book with others following a similar path. I have connected and interacted (awful word) with countless colourful new characters, some of whose traits may appear in future novels.

As a marketing and networking experience I can’t tell you (yet) if my efforts to create a ‘media presence’ have had any success. But I have made friends, so regardless of sales figure outcome, it has been worthwhile. The downside if there is one, is that you do get drawn in. The distraction factor is massive. I am no longer sure if I am marketing or just being nosy. Furthering my knowledge or chatting to friends. I might simply be procrastinating. And then there is that disturbing comparison thing. I think you know what I mean: “Their blog page looks better than mine.” “They’ve got so many followers.” “Now that looks like a well thought through marketing campaign” (as opposed to my vague and confused meanderings). I try to fight it, but I don’t always win. I am naturally competitive. Character flaw number ? (does anyone who has been reading my blog since the beginning recall the tally? If not, please do some revision.)

This week’s motto: Learn, don’t envy.

A reminder to myself to put in the work. It would be easier if I knew exactly what I was supposed to be working on. Three new books in progress; the sequel to A Bed of Barley Straw, a brand new romance, and a shorter work of fiction. Launch and marketing for A Bed of Barley Straw is high on my priority list. Meanwhile, the farm accounts are in disarray, housework is nagging and the dogs need a walk.

But I’m busy blogging. And when I’ve finished here I probably ought to check in on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon. Ho hum.