I’m the first to admit that when it comes to internet promotion/marketing, I suck cock. I’m a good writer but I’m terrible at selling my stuff. I wish I was better at it, and I’ve tried but got almost nowhere. This has to change, it’s the only aspect of being an author that I not only hate, but I’m very bad at.
I’ve been listening to other authors on facebook, talking about this very subject. I’ve come to realise that using social media for promotion is a skill; one has to learn how to do it artistically and creatively, rather than being a bull in a china shop. The authors I’ve connected with, all seem to agree that the best social media for promotion, are twitter, facebook and pinterest, with stumbleupon coming up at the rear. Now I know this, I have a starting point.
I’ve been fine tuning my use of twitter for a while now and it’s running quite well, to a point. I use Feed 140 to drip feed tweets throughout the day, and I’ve compiled a playlist of almost 300 ‘content’ tweets that drip through to my twitter at 3 per hour. I sort this playlist into groups of 5, like this -
1 – a quote
2 – a link to an interesting article
3 – a promo for one of my books
4 – another quote
5 – a link to one of my blogs
By doing it this way, my followers don’t get snowed under by my promos, and they get to know that I offer stuff that interests them away from writing. By interesting them in other ways, they might then take a moment to check out my books or my blog. They might not, but there’s a better chance than just throwing “buy my books” tweets at them incessantly. I add to this playlist from time to time, so there’s fresh content coming through and I have found that since I’ve been using twitter in this way, I get a lot of followers, and a lot of my tweets are favourited and retweeted, although those are never my book promo tweets. I don’t know if this is ever going to help me sell books, but at least I’m trying.
I’ve decided to try to use pinterest in a similar way. Up until now, I’ve kept pinterest to my books and blogs and I’ve never had any traffic to my blog from there and comments from other authors have convinced me to try something similar to my twitter use. I am in the process of building ‘content boards’ that have nothing to do with my books or blog. Recipes, gardening, decorating, craft ideas etc will form the bulk of this content, and hopefully I will get more traffic there which may migrate to my blog and books.
I already have a facebook author page, separate from my personal page and I use that for my blog posts and all book related stuff. I also make posts that are not just book related, so people can see I’m a person with ideas and imagination, a sense of humour and not just someone trying to sell their shit. I post funny photos and humorous quotes as well as book stuff, and I get a few ‘likes’ to such posts from time to time. The problem with facebook fan pages, is that facebook don’t let your posts be seen by everyone who subscribes, unless you pay, so you know that your post isn’t going to be seen by everyone. I’m trying to engage people more, with my fan page, but it’s a slow and thankless task. There are so many author pages, all vying for everyone’s attention, and this oversaturation makes readers eyes glass over.
I have this blog linked automatically to my facebook fan page, my twitter feed, my linkedIn page, my google+ page and my goodreads blog, so I am trying to keep up a presence in as many places as possible. Beyond paying for promotion space, which is out of the question because I’m broke, I don’t know what else I can do. I take every opportunity to be interviewed, and I accept guest posts on this blog from others.
I’d be interested to hear about any other ideas or opportunities, especially those that cost nothing.