Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Rollercoaster! Marketing Round 1...

Ups, downs and all arounds! I've been so busy with book launch duties, I haven't had a moment to my blogging. With Facebook parties, blog tours and guest blogs, my busy cup runneth over!

First Facebook party was a success! Well, it was fun and the attendees enjoyed themselves. It took some time to come up with the trivia and fun facts elements, but I was assisted in the actual party by none other than Maggie Mae Gallagher who ran all the behind the scenes stuff while the party progressed. I just responded to what people posted. Was it widely attended? I'd say no, but this is my first and you have to start building a base In all honestly, I started building that base with this party! I developed some nice friendships with some attendees, everyone got a free eBook while attending and a few people promised to read the books and follow along with the sequels just because the party was so entertaining and the book previews were too. Definitely gained a few readers and, really, what more can you ask from a book launch party? I'm sold on doing the same for all my other books.

Blog tours = a fairly significant prep time. Well, fairly significant for some people. I had to write unique guest blogs for each blog and some requested a unique book synopsis as well. Had to provide author bios and a few pics. So, that was several thousand words I donated to the cause that weren't spent on books. But, you know what? I was quite pleased to do it! Here I have an opportunity to write brand new material and get new readers to view it! Asking a writer to write something is asking them to do the easiest thing they have on their plate! The only damper on the whole thing was actually other events going on in life - unfortunately, book marketing doesn't happen in a vacuum. Life happens. So, while it was easy to write, it was stressful due to my real life being busy and complicated at the moment they needed the copy.

The uniqueness of guest blogs (not blog tours) is they happen relatively quietly. The built-in readership of the blog is primarily your audience, but there isn't a lot of interaction. I do provide purchase links and social media contacts, but really no telling how many people look at the blog, click on the links or follow me via social media. While this may seem a waste of time, you would be dead wrong! Here is yet another opportunity to reach a reader I otherwise may not have touched. The writing f the blog itself should be the selling point. OK, to a degree, I don't have as much opportunity to tell what kind of impact the efforts of a guest have for my marketing efforts. However, I'm convinced it cannot hurt. Any new reader could be the word of mouth my book(s) need to get the ball rolling and expand that readership.

Looking at all these simple writing exercises, it doesn't really appear much time was spent at all in the marketing effort. This is where the behind the scenes marketing comes into play to suck up your free time like a sneaky black hole. Promoting these events on Facebook and Twitter (primarily Twitter) is the big time suckage. While I'm promoting the events, I'm also promoting books. If I added up all the text from these activities, I have several thousand words a day under my belt. Unfortunately, none of that is in book form. In fact, when your book launches, you can forget about writing for a while. It will absorb and consume your attention! I haven't managed to pull my focus off the marketing and sales to get any writing done. This takes some supreme time management skills, especially as life (family and part-time consulting work) invade the precious few hours you have to devote to your writing business.

Did I mention booking time at conventions? Yeah, that takes a bit of research as well which is more time not writing. The bag here is mixed as well. Some events you can apply as a guest fairly easily. Others require more lead time than I had - must be published before you can apply and that application date has already passed. Still, I've managed to either apply as a guest or get a table for book signing/book selling at a convention every month through September. What that also means is a significant outlay of cash. Not for each event, but cumulatively, it's quite a chunk including accommodations, travel and food. I've been fortunate enough to get additional consulting work to draw out my savings longer. I simply hope the tail of the sales from the books is sufficient and quick enough to support my efforts in the short run as well as the long run. Ah well, you can't plan for everything. The universe reveals itself at its own pace.

I write this blog not to complain but to give others writers a perspective of what to expect when and if they become published. It's not a write a book and forget it kind of lifestyle except for the quaint few celebrities who actually can do that. For the rest of us, the work has just begun when the ink is dry.

Keep writing!


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