The Under Ground Writing Project

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M is for Marketing

Posted by Jenny Maloney on September 3, 2012 at 8:55 AM

During meetings,our group doesn't focus on marketing or platform building - the current call-words of publishing - because we're more about getting our work in the best shape possible. The philosophy is: if our product sucks, what do we have to market?

But, let's face it, there is HUGE focus on numbers in publishing and if we want to be published authors, we should have some marketing ideas tickling in the back of our heads. In a world where it's incredibly difficult to get noticed, editors want to have something along with (read: not instead of) a great product. Mainly, they want numbers: how many blog followers? How many Twitter followers? How many Facbook friends/likes/etc?

 

It's a huge pain in the tush.

 

My friend F.T. Bradley - author of the upcoming book Double Vision - pointed me toward a website called Klout. Prior to that, I'd heard of this website on Rachelle Gardner's blog, when she posted about marketing. Basically, Kout is a website that measures your online influence.

 

If you don't have an online platform, of if you don't have any clue what to do to build one, Klout is a good place to start because it points out when/where/why/how you make an impact online. It is an incredibly useful tool. Once you have a good base and you know where you stand, you can build from there.

 

But here's the thing about marketing and platform building in general - it's about relationships not selling. If people think you're nothing but a pushy salesman, they will hate you. They will hate your product (your book). They will think you have ugly children.

 

For Example:

On my twitter feed - @JennyEMaloney - I get all kinds of tweets from authors that go like this:

"Amazon five star review for BOOK TITLE."

followed by:

"BOOK TITLE available on Kindle for $.99!! Get it now!!"

followed by:

"Review of BOOK TITLE on Goodreads."

and so on.

 

This kind of bombarding is A.) Obnoxious and B.) Ineffective. All it has ever done, for me, is put those books on my Do Not Read pile.

 

However, if you make funny jokes, post inspiring quotes that speak to me, and otherwise behave in an engaging, not-jerkish fashion, I'll be more inclined to look at your work. Especially if you put in your Twitter bio that you're the author of BOOK TITLE.

Categories: Klout, Publishing, Rachelle Gardner

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3 Comments

Reply Samuel A Helms
6:04 PM on September 3, 2012 
I try to avoid the jerkish marketing with tweets and the like. One of the strategies I was thinking to market my novel was to start reviewing indie-authors on my site.

I had one reviewer turn me down based on my blurb and I sent one revision of it to her with the line "if you are still not interested, I will leave you alone from now on; you can't blame a new author for trying :) " I think (taking the emoticon as a form of punctuation) that we new authors need to be a bit annoying but know when to back off or take it easy. A huge volume of sales in the first whatever (week? month? year?) is not possible. I am just happy if people read my book and like it (and leave reviews so I know what they thought).
Reply Samuel A Helms
6:06 PM on September 3, 2012 
Oh, I also read that a five star review on Amazon for a new novel and new author is a BAD thing since it likely represents the author's friends and family.
Reply Jenny Maloney
6:56 PM on September 3, 2012 
Samuel A Helms says...
Oh, I also read that a five star review on Amazon for a new novel and new author is a BAD thing since it likely represents the author's friends and family.


The 5-star review has definitely become suspect. Did you see the big mess with John Locke paying a review company for something like 300 5-star reviews in order to get word-of-mouth going on his titles? My jaw hit the ground on that.

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