Bisky's Twitterling's Scribbles! discussion

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message 1: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Now, to go with my latest blog post about negativity and what I have encountered as a promoter of my own work, I will probably be doing a blog on promoting at some point. But I don't really feel 'big' enough to offer really good advice yet. Since, I haven't sold any books. (Because its not published yet maybe :P)

And I understand some of you are very new at this, so I was wondering:

Is there any advice you wished you had gotten when you first started out?

Or, is there anything really specific about promoting you wish to know about?


(please don't talk about sites other than, blogs(and tumblr), GRs, Facebook, Twitter, google+, pinterest, YouTube and deviantArt)

Also, I understand getting reviews is hard, but no whining about it please. Infact its off topic as a question but advice about it is more than welcome

The advice I'd wish I'd known earlier (on Twitter) is that you need to tweet about one thing consistantly, then people will come to you in search of the same thing.

But make it something you are good at talking about.

(for instance there are lots of inspirational tweeters, but some are better than others: I'm not with the big boys yet :x but I am pretty new at this myself :3)

If they like your tweets, your wit and humour, they will ask for your writing.

(But bare in mind you have to do it ALOT) :3


message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) I'd say something completely different about Twitter, but maybe that's because I started using it way back when, back before I ever thought I could properly make a shot of this writing mallarkey either.

I actually like some of the mundane stuff that people talk about, the Instagrams of their dinner, the "OMG, I just saw this film" and the like. I like to know that the person on the other end of the computer is a real person, and not just a series of automated tweets: however inspirational they are, it's the character that I like to see. That might seem to contradict your own advice (and maybe that's what I'm doing wrong!?) but I think there are so many "gurus" and "experts" and other-such-words on Twitter, in all fields, that the character and fun that you bring to it is what helps you stand out from the crowd.

That, of course, comes from the way in which I use Twitter myself, and I know that everyone has slightly different reasons and motivations for being on it.

There are some other pieces of advice that I'd give too, but they're WAY more cynical, and I'm afraid I'll drag down the tone of the thread if I start on them this early :P


message 3: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
"that the character and fun that you bring to it is what helps you stand out from the crowd."

Thats kinda a betterway of putting what I meant about the people who make it and those who don't :3 I think people like me because I'm not an expert or guru... I'm just Bisky :3


message 4: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) Haha, sorry for stealing your moment there. But yeah, I've been followed by so many "social media experts" (that I then blocked) specifically from my occasional mentions of the day job that I've grown very cynical of those inspirational tweeters and their inspiration.


message 5: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I don't understand social media experts. If you were an expert why don't you have more followers O_o


message 6: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) Bisky wrote: "I don't understand social media experts. If you were an expert why don't you have more followers O_o"

*like*

(see also, "Or why are all your followers spambots.")


message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments Brisky, you're such a brat. Hence, why I love thee. <3

I am interested in this too because I feel worn down by trying to keep up with my 43728 social media sites AND hold down a full-time job outside of writing!!


message 8: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
*tantrums* AMM NOT! :p

I've just been asked alot of advice recently, and I don't really have that many followers. I guess its because the followers I do have are so interactive :3


message 9: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments "...don't really have that many followers."?????
I have 153. You have >7,000! LOL

*loser status confirmed*


message 10: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Yeah, but there are indie authors that have like 100k o_O

Just because they follow me doesn't mean they will read my book though :3


message 11: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) *stirs pot*

Doesn't affect anyone in this thread, but there are also indie authors with 100k+ and when you look at their tweets and their content, they're talking an awful lot of shite.

That was one of my other cynical pieces of advice: there are writers who are very good at selling (themselves and their books) and there are writers that are very good at writing. Rarely do those two things cross over. And there are quite a few writers on Twitter who will lie through their teeth to make themselves appear a hell of a lot more successful than they are. (And you'll only notice how much of a lie it is when you've gone through it yourself.)


message 12: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments Oh totally. Some people just want to say "I have 100k+ followers!!!!111111" Big deal. If no one pays attention to you, you're in the same boat as well, me. LOL

Interesting, Ken... Hmm...


message 13: by Bisky (last edited Aug 28, 2013 01:03PM) (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
@Ken Doesn't affect anyone in this thread

Always think that means it means me :x

There is a guy who has his name (well his describtion anyway) as 'writers tips' but all he does is auto tweet quotes from other authors. Thats fine. But it doesn't make me want to read his stuff :x

@Nicole I get too excited when a celeb follows me. Its all I can do not to DM them with WHY?? DO YOU LIKE ME??!?! :p


message 14: by Ken (last edited Aug 28, 2013 01:15PM) (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) Yeah, I don't want to drag the conversation way off topic, but I discovered a blog post from someone talking sales, both in terms of units and revenue. Having followed this person before I published, I didn't know any better and was in awe of their success.

And then I read one of their three/four (?) books that they've published already this year, and was really unimpressed. And once I got my own sales reports, the numbers jumped out at me, because the figures he was quoting meant he would have to be shifting around 1000 books a month, every month, and even then, at a list price of around €10.

My response: lies. All lies.


message 15: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
:O I didn't know that.

Bisky tends to believe alot of what she reads :x


message 16: by Paige (new)

Paige Edward | 6 comments Its hard to figure out how to promote your book--its hard enough to finish it :). I'm going to take a class with KP Simmon of Inkslinger PR. She has tons of NYTimes bestsellers and she is teaching a course at www.romanceacademy.net. i figured learn from the expert...


message 17: by Paige (new)

Paige Edward | 6 comments Ken wrote: "Yeah, I don't want to drag the conversation way off topic, but I discovered a blog post from someone talking sales, both in terms of units and revenue. Having followed this person before I publishe..."

were they high up on amazon etc.? sometimes i've learned even horrible books do really well :(


message 18: by Paige (new)

Paige Edward | 6 comments Ken wrote: "*stirs pot*

Doesn't affect anyone in this thread, but there are also indie authors with 100k+ and when you look at their tweets and their content, they're talking an awful lot of shite.

That was ..."


EXACTLY!!!


message 19: by Paige (new)

Paige Edward | 6 comments Bisky wrote: "Yeah, but there are indie authors that have like 100k o_O

Just because they follow me doesn't mean they will read my book though :3"


NO, but i found when I published my book that interacting with these big authors (some much more than others) was very helpful when my book came out. they often retweeted.


message 20: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I'm just hoping to look cute and sit in the corner and hope someone pays attention to me :3

I can't take any classes like that I'm in europe :x


message 21: by Paige (new)

Paige Edward | 6 comments Ha! I think the class is online 24 hours a day...


message 22: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Ashlock | 10 comments So I recently went to an Author's Marketing Workshop for the authors of my publishing company. I wrote an article summarizing what I learned there: http://www.bkconnection.com/news.asp?...

I think the most solid advice was "be generous." Right now on Twitter I am focused on having fun and helping others. Mostly people will not do you favors, unless you have done them a favor first. Once I have been helping others for a long time, then I think I will get more traction with any promotional requests I may wish to make.

You should view yourself as the servant of your followers, but also be sincere. So, when you're deciding what content to post on any social media site, think about what will most serve and delight your followers and the people you wish would be your followers. But the things you post ALSO need to come from a sincere place in you, and not just be BS you made to pander to the masses. It's that mixture of authenticity and service that is key, I think. That's what all The Great Youtubers I look up to have (especially the vlogbrothers.)


message 23: by J (new)

J | 301 comments Mod
I wished I would've learned more about novel structure when I started, but venturing on your own is beneficial, too. :3


message 24: by Paige (new)

Paige Edward | 6 comments Charlotte, that article was helpful. Thank you.


message 25: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) Paige wrote: "Ken wrote: "Yeah, I don't want to drag the conversation way off topic, but I discovered a blog post from someone talking sales, both in terms of units and revenue. Having followed this person befor..."

Some of them are, some aren't. The blog-post example that I used though...he wasn't high on Amazon at all. As a matter of fact, I was higher. And that's part of the reason why/how I knew it was all lies.

@Josh, I don't think you need to know about novel structure at all: I'll probably get lynched for saying/thinking this, but there genuinely isn't a set structure. There's a way that's commonly acceptable to do things, but some of the best and most successful novels are the ones that do their own thing.


message 26: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
@Charlotte, thanks for the article. Good stuff! I agree with the points you said. I've done stuff for other twitter users, read through short pages, beta reading etc. Mostly because I like helping and its fun, but I quickly found people wanted to do things for me too :3

(only thing I've asked people for is to pay for artwork they want to commision becuase they see illustrater in my heading. But I mention that I'm focusing on writing and they will have to pay for it since Illustrating takes a really long time for me because Im a perfectionist :x Dunno why I keep getting requests either I don't have any art up O_o )

I agree that I don't think there really is a structure. As long as it flows I think thats the main thing :3

And Ive noticed some porkies on twitter. Like a 'publisher' who searched me out afew months ago. The simple fact he searched me out himself should have raised flags before another more savvy Twitter writer told him to buzz off.

P.s Ken no one will lynch you here ;]


message 27: by Sarah (new)

Sarah LaFleur (lafleurdeplume) | 37 comments I like the social interactions so if you talk to me, chances are I will respond AND follow you back. Maybe not the wisest model but I do feel like my people listen when I tweet...


message 28: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
@Sarah I used to do that, only problem was it took me 3 months to gain 500 followers, only about 5 were regular chatters in the end. It wasn't fast enough, even though not everyone I follow talks to me, the odd retweet gets seen by people and it expands that way. Its only until I started pushing for followers did I find all the people I talk to regularly :3


message 29: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments So I bit the bullet and created a Facebook ad campaign on Saturday. I limited my budget to $40 until 9/21. So far I have spent about $10 and gotten 37 Likes. It may not mean sales directly, but the more likes a page has, the more "legit" it seems. Between Twitter, Facebook book/reading pages and the ads, I have gotten about 45 Likes in the past DAY. I asked who would be by 240th like yesterday morning, and today I have 286 Likes. :)
So, I think it is worth it. (You can customize the hell out of your ad too.)


message 30: by Jack (new)

Jack Strandburg | 51 comments Nicole - can you provide concise instructions on how to go about with a FB ad campaign - as expected, when I "googled" the topic, it's way too much reading for me at this time - thanks in advance for any help.
Regarding promotion, I'm struggling with whether Twitter is the way to go.


message 31: by Nicole (last edited Sep 10, 2013 08:39AM) (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments Twitter helps but you can't just tweet 438279 times a day about your book. You have to be interesting. You are selling yourself as a brand, not just a book. You have to mix it up and >>be interesting<<. I also follow every NYT etc author I can find and every publishing house, literary agent, etc. If nothing else, there is some sage advice out there.

I just clicked on the "promote your page". Maybe try www.facebook.com/ads. It was pretty easy. You put a limit on your budget and for how long you want your ads to run. The big thing is to pick great pictures to use and spam the hell out of the "precise interests". My ads reach up to 92 million people (IKR!). You can edit your ad whenever you want too. Some pics/page descriptions work better than others.


message 32: by Jack (new)

Jack Strandburg | 51 comments Thanks for that link Nicole.


message 33: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) I've tried Facebook ads a few times, both in day-job-ville and as a writer.

I'm not entirely convinced that their numbers aren't somewhat inflated, but I've found them a great tool.

As a writer, I've used them to support promos where the book is free: it seems a bit counter-intuitive to pay for ads to drive people to pick up your book for free, but...um, it worked for me. I'm tempted to go for page promotion now based on Nicole's results!

The only thing I'll say is, if looking into any online ads, if you're looking for results (rather than just brand awareness) make sure you're paying for clicks rather than impressions.


message 34: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
So interesting :3


message 35: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments You're welcome. :)


message 36: by J (last edited Sep 10, 2013 03:17PM) (new)

J | 301 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing Ken and Nicole. I'll keep Facebook Ads in mind! :3

Ken, I wouldn't mind paying a little so many can read the book for free. I never think about money when I write. I just hope for a few people to like it. :3

My dad and an old co-worker's former girlfriend read my story--and I talked to her about it -- so it was worth it. I like to hear people say "Oh, I like this character..." xD


message 37: by Valerie (new)

Valerie O'Brien | 28 comments Great tips here about the ads on Facebook. I don't have much to advertise or promote yet, but I've learned something here.
Thanks!


message 38: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) I love that, Josh. Went out with a bunch of friends a few months ago and started talking to one of their girlfriends who had not only read and loved the book but she bought the paperback and talked at length without breathing for a good five minutes about how she hated X and loved Y and ohmygodwhat'sgoingtohappenwithZandandanda. It felt great.

I don't mind the ads, I think we all have to promote in some way, and I'd prefer to pay a little for ads than pay a lot to get paid-for-reviews.

That said, my experience with Goodreads ads hasn't been great: I think it could just be that Facebook ads are a lot easier to understand, but there's a reason Goodreads ads are in beta...


message 39: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments Right now I have 341, for those keeping count. :D


message 40: by Jaeme (new)

Jaeme (J_Haviland) | 40 comments Charlotte wrote: "So I recently went to an Author's Marketing Workshop for the authors of my publishing company. I wrote an article summarizing what I learned there: http://www.bkconnection.com/news.asp?......"

I agree. The best promotional approach is to be nice, be helpful & be honest. Promote your personal character first, then your work.


message 41: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Its working for me atleast :p


message 42: by J. David (new)

J. David Clarke (clarketacular) | 418 comments I have found that the ROI on Facebooks ads doesn't support my use of them at the moment. Perhaps when I have a larger library for new readers to choose from I may revisit that. On Twitter, I am myself, first and foremost. I post all the time and I post about a core set of subjects (not just one but about 4 or 5) and have a coalition of followers who enjoy those. I throw in one marketing post for one of my books usually once a day.

I think the main advice I'd give is that marketing your books all day long spamming them over and over is not the way to go. Be yourself, post interesting stuff and be interactive. Most of all be positive and friendly.


message 43: by J.P. (new)

J.P. Sloan (jpsloan) | 19 comments Three big things I learned from last year's marketing of Curse Merchant:

1. Blog Tours are no guarantee of sales. I chose an online service to make a blog tour, and they got me about 20 stops, including reviews and interviews. They were all urban fantasy-specific sites, to boot. At the end of the month, I had only sold two copies... one of which was an old friend I reconnected with. So I can attribute exactly one sale to the blog tour. It may have been worth it still to have some exposure, but tours don't equal sales.

2. The best Twitter presences are real people (as has been mentioned before). But this also doesn't mean you have to be a white-washed version of yourself. I was advised to never take sides on issues or be controversial... until I read some articles by Erica Napolitano that actually urged people to take genuine stances and be flawed. My favorite online author presence is Chuck Wendig, and he's salty as hell!

3. The best way to market your book is to have a good book. I've sampled several readers personally, and all but one said they make book purchase decisions based on personal (word of mouth) recommendations. The last one bought books based on blurbs and cover art. I feel that if you don't have a genuinely engaging novel that won't hook a prospective reader on the first page, marketing will be an uphill battle in the rain.


message 44: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments My Facebook campaign is over and I got 237 more Likes for $40. I don't know if this will actually help my sales (I doubt it) but at least my name is out there. I think most of my likes were actually from creepy guys just clicking on my picture (of my face). :-\ Not sure it was worth it...


message 45: by Ken (last edited Sep 25, 2013 08:16AM) (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) Funny you say that, Nicole: within about ten minutes, two different women liked my page and then messaged my personal Facebook telling me how they had long been searching for a man like me.

And another two people encouraging me to join a different site, where they'd get me "real" followers.

Then I pulled the campaign...(though there were still a good 20-30 official likes over the course of 24 hours.)


message 46: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I already got that on my personal facebook before twitter.

"I found you by searching for a friend with the same name."

Yeah... Right... lol


message 47: by Ken (new)

Ken Mooney (kenmooney) It's creepier if they actually know you and are real people.

"I saw your picture on a friends profile"...no, you didn't, cos the mutual friend that we have is actually more of an acquaintance, but you are still my ex and I'll just assume you googled/searched me specifically...


message 48: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Castro (nicolecastro) | 116 comments I figure they will get sick of my book pushing and unlike the page eventually. Oh well. :\


message 49: by J.P. (new)

J.P. Sloan (jpsloan) | 19 comments Hugh Howey had a good post about self-pub promotion... a lot of which we've kind of touched on here already. http://publishingperspectives.com/201...


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