If you’re not a Facebook superstar, fear not! You likely have other strengths.
In the scheme of marketing things, my Facebook fan page is NOT growing in leaps and bounds. I opened it, because it was one of the many things marketing experts tell authors we must do to sell more books! Well…I think my personal page was a help in letting my friends know that I did in fact finally finish and publish my novel, SECRET AGENT OF GOD. Much to my surprise, many of my friends purchased the book. I rather expected to give copies away to my nearest and dearest, but they beat me to it. Now if I had thousands of ‘friends’ I can see where this might be a place where people sell tons of books. But does anyone really have thousands of friends?
I actually personally know all the people on my Facebook page and I hang in there because among my small group of good people, I might actually lose touch with some of them if I was not there. Time zone differences and my multiple moves have made Facebook necessary.
As far as fan pages go, I think the successful folks in this arena truly love Facebook and are not like me, suspicious by nature and private to a fault. They like sharing. They like getting personal with just about everybody.
In my Facebook beginnings, five years ago, I was so paranoid I refused friends I didn’t know especially well and deleted people who didn’t communicate with me regularly. Suffice to say, I did not really get it. Most of my very best friends refuse to join Facebook at all. Many of us feel forced to take part.
But to the Facebook lovers, maintaining their pages is not work. To them, it’s fun. Now the new push is to start your own Facebook group. I participate in a few of the groups, but do I want to be responsible for one? Not really. Time is the real factor here. None of us has an infinite amount, so where do you spend yours?
This makes me wonder, is Facebook really for everyone? More importantly, if I feel this strongly about it, Is it even where my fiction audience lives?
I have developed a twitter addiction. Of my 3,113 followers, 80% come from Twitter. Approximately 16% come from WordPress and about 4% come from Facebook. Which means, this is already where I spend my time. Why turn myself inside out trying to be someone else?
While some people may handle both Facebook and Twitter well, most tend to fall into one camp or the other.
Writers love Twitter because we can show off how well we write flash fiction and catch phrases. It’s like Facebook for nerds. I’m sure I’ll catch hell for saying that, but I find a real discrepancy in content between the two sites. Facebook on any given day is ripe with messages about friendship, moms, sisters, confidence boosters, pictures and films about cats, dogs and babies. On Twitter I find news, poetry, art, and quotes from the great thinkers, writers, and historians of our time.
Twitter is not as much of a popularity contest as Facebook. A business person may have as large a following as a celebrity. So, do you spend the bulk of your time Facebooking, WordPressing, Tweeting or Instagraming? Do the math. There’s strength and truth in numbers.
And if you’re feeling charitable, please “Like” my page!
Looking for a fast-paced, thriller with a touch of romance? Uncover the SECRET!
I was reading about the page 99 test on http://www.page99test.com/ and decided to give it a whirl. It’s an interesting concept although I guess it’s not really new, it was new to me. Readers read your page 99 and then offer feedback and or decide based on this page whether or not they would be interested in reading the rest of the book. My husband has a copy of my book on his desk and a co-worker picked it up and read page 99. This is what started me thinking about it. It makes sense, because in my book, this is about the halfway mark, and some pivotal things are happening in the story here. Although, taken out of context, can you judge the book by it;s page 99? Anyway, here’s my page 99 excerpt from Secret Agent of God:
“That’s weird,” she said. “I haven’t had a problem all day.”
She had her arm wrapped with an Ace bandage. Another message came to me like a flash of lightning: “Her boyfriend hurts her.”
Makeup covered up the remains of faded bruises on her face. She couldn’t get the card machine to work, and the line behind me snaked around the market. I started to hyperventilate. I pulled out all of my cash to pay for my small basket of groceries, and sprinted out of there. Maybe I should have done something to help her. That thought still haunts me.
Speaking of haunting, I’d read that spirits can wreak havoc on electronic devices. It has something to do with them being all made out of energy. Wonderful, so now Spirits were following me around the grocery store and whispering things in my ear. I only hoped I wouldn’t start seeing them next.
I hated not having control over what was happening to my body and my mind. Father B. was still traveling around Italy. Maybe I should’ve gone with him. I could’ve stayed there; and been a runaway. Only how do you run away from your own mind? I checked the listings for psychiatrists in the area to see if any of them worked on a sliding scale.
I wake up to the hum of an engine and the sound of the tires on the driveway stones again. A car door opens and slams, the front door creaks and heavy feet pound the floor. Outside of my room, Ape and English bark at each other. It’s just how they communicate. I stand with my body against the wall, listening to their language. Tonight, I’m sure they’re talking about me. I hear Ape say, “Zahera.” English’s voice is louder. Maybe they’re arguing about whether tonight is the night they’ll kill me or not.
Now English sounds pleading. I know he’s been keeping me alive and he has his reasons. What I don’t know is exactly what those reasons are.
The name game. What’s in a name? Well, we’ll see! I just changed the name of my blog and my twitter page. I’m a little bored with my current set up so I’m changing things up.
Lately, I’ve held my breath,
waiting for a gust of fresh air about book promotion and my writing life…
and I then I started turning blue…
wow! That sucked.
I knew I needed a new focus!
I think we can all agree that no one cares to hear any more advice about writing. Writers aren’t really experts on writing anyway. We know what is working for us and that’s about it. Here’s what I’ve learned in eight years of trying to become a professional writer…read more…write more…edit everything twenty-five times before you publish it and then hire an editor…done! That’s all I know! So I will continue to post short solitary fiction that doesn’t fit “Seeing Scarlet” and the odd poem here and there (see The Authors Spouse).
As regards book marketing…three months in and I’ve already had it. I wasn’t cut out for this BS! Buy my book, don’t buy my book, whatever! I wrote it for readers but so did a few million other authors who are selling on Amazon’s site. It’s a fast read. Many folks seem surprised by how much they enjoy it and that there’s humor in the book. Maybe the title scares them a bit. I know eventually word will get out. Meanwhile, I’m working on the sequel to “Secret Agent of God” and writing some more shorts of “Seeing Scarlet”:
I have experimented with different promos and what have you. Here’s what I found: twitter and Facebook ads will get you more followers, but do those translate into book sales? I’m not sure. You need to focus your energy on finding people who read, plain and simple. I leave my business cards with my book links in libraries and at restaurants I frequent, everywhere that I can:
If someone asks me what I do, I tell them I’m a writer, and eventually give them my card.
I post flyers on community selling boards. You have to do this often since most remove them weekly.
People who read buy books. You need a presence on book reading sites.
Pricing: I did some pricing strategy research recently. So many authors are giving their books away or selling their e-books below $2.99 or for $.99 that if you do try to sell your fiction at a higher price you may suffer from lagging sales. My best sales price so far has been a .99 promo for the e-book but if I always make it .99 then I’m forced to make it free for promotions. Amazon promotes books that are under $2.99 or .99 and take part in the kindle countdown deals, so there you have it. Why not allow Amazon to do what they do best, which is promote stuff like books.
Thoughts on free: I’m a hold out on free. If you want to read my free works please click over to the short story tab or read this blog. There’s something discouraging about busting your butt to write a good novel and then giving your book away. I give my book away to family, my best friends, the library, for fundraisers, etc. So, I’ll let you know how this works out, but for now my e-book is $2.99 and the paperback is $9.95 or $8.95 for prime members. I will occasionally run a .99 promo. The e-book cost less than a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk or a fancy coffee, and I promise it’s worth it, so that’s that. Here’s the link:
Book promotion in general. I come from a sales and marketing background and I would still much rather promote someone else’s work on twitter, my author page or my blog than my own. If I’ve read the book and liked it I may put a review up there as well. I don’t write bad reviews because I have no interest in hurting a fellow writers feelings in a public way. I leave that to the haters. If I have read a sample of your book and didn’t care for it I won’t read any more of it. If you asked for feedback, I will be honest in a private message. If you can’t handle my honest opinion please don’t ask me. I’m one person with one opinion. If you don’t like my opinion, ask someone else.
About Facebook, I keep my personal Facebook page for family and close friends and my Facebook Author page for writing stuff. Please don’t be offended if I divert you to my public page. This way I don’t bore my family and friends with too much book stuff and I don’t have to bore you with pictures of my kids playing sports and my cat.
OK, sometimes Licorice appears in both places. She’s my first ‘Beta reader’ or ‘Beta listener’ since I’m pretty sure she can’t read, although, I strongly suspect she might be trying to figure out how to use the toilet and turn door knobs and is smarter than some humans.
Since Facebook is really not my thing, I prefer to put a variety of other authors book links on my author page for my fans because how often can I talk about my book without being a total bore and most of them have already read it. I read a post by another writer complaining about authors posting their book links, looking for likes on their pages. I guess if you are famous I can see where that might bug you. I’m not famous but I have some followers who read. If you need some help, send me message, a link or whatever. Some nice writers helped me when I was a flailing newbie and I’m happy to help others in any way that I can.
On my Facebook author page, https://www.facebook.com/authoreileenslovak I will also be adding some pictures and quiz type things about my book, “Secret Agent of God” since it is about Maryland and several readers have begun asking things like, “Is this character based on this person or that person” and “which little Bay front home was Gram’s?” Things like that. I thought it would be a fun exercise and like I said, when I’m not writing, I’m bored.
My favorite medium is twitter. https://twitter.com/EileenSlovak I do follow back unless you are crazy, perverted, naked, racist, bigoted, or exclusively only selling followers. I consider twitter a place where writers like me with ADD and OCD can connect with my audience and with like minded people who also have short attention spans. I love that on twitter I can show off my writing prowess with ‘quippy’ catchy phrases in 140 characters or less. If that audience is 3 people, so be it. If it’s one person, well it’s that much more intimate now isn’t it? Actually, I have a great following on twitter, so join me and if I like your tweets, I’ll share them. Incidentally, I’m trying to get these hash tags off the ground: #Janice #SAOG.
So, my future promotional energy, which is waning as we speak, will go in this new direction. Because I’d rather be writing than doing anything else and for Indies this is a challenge!
So what do I really want to blog about? Being a female writer over 40 with kids who run rings around me and about things I laugh about with my girlfriends. What else occupies my mind? Sometimes I have bizarre thoughts that I’d like to share. I truly miss having fun. To those of you who stuck it out through my boring phase, thank you and wake up!!! Things are going get spicier around here. I’m turning this thing around, putting it in reverse and spinning a few wild donuts in parking lot near you! Come along for the ride, which, I’m just saying, could get wild at times.
Next blog topic: Are you overwhelmed by all of the options in toilet paper?
Thanks for reading and keep writing (and reading!)