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message 1: by Neil (new)

Neil Ostroff (httpgoodreadscomneil_ostroff) | 255 comments I’ve been reading a lot of threads and forums lately dealing with the topic of marketing your book. It seems there are a lot of “newbies” out there in this relatively virgin explosion of indie publishing and many can’t understand why their books aren’t selling. When asked if these new authors market and promote their books most say yes, but complain that they have limited time for the endeavor, maybe a few hours a week.


These authors wonder why they have little or no sales. Well, here’s a hard truth. To be a successful indie author you have to market your books as much if not more than you spend time writing them. It takes a lot of work to get noticed in a publishing sea that now includes a million new published books yearly. Competition to get readers’ attention is ten times harder than it was three years ago. But it is not impossible.


With the internet, the exhaustive task of promoting is now accessible to even the most introverted writer. No longer must writers sit in nearly empty bookstores peddling their signed wares or go out on long book tours just to get a little recognition, that recognition can now be achieved at home. It can be done. You can get noticed. But it ain’t easy.


Internet marketing does sell books. I’m living proof. A complete unknown three years ago, since then I’ve sold thousands of books to absolute strangers. I also spend an average of two hours a day marketing. It’s tough to find the time, believe me, but I do it. I used to pay for sponsorships with mediocre results and placed samples of my books on all those hundreds of author sites that promise tons of exposure. They worked to some degree, but not worth the hours of drudgery downloading in comparison to sales. I earned roughly eighty cents an hour in sales royalties for my efforts. And paid Facebook and social media boosts do virtually nothing. Blindly spamming and pushing your book over and over only turns readers off. You seem desperate for anyone to buy your book. Then I discovered the secret to gaining an audience.


The proper way to promote is to build a readership through online book discussions and joining groups. Respond when a reader emails you. Get involved in discussions other than about your own work. Get people interested in you by being interesting online. Word-of-mouth will cause your audience to grow in time. It will! Marketing on the internet will sell your book, but you have to do it properly and have patience. If you tell a great story readers will find out about you. And they will tell their friends.



To read more about me, my books, and my latest release, please check out my blog: ALWAYS WRITING

http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com


message 2: by D.C. (new)

D.C. | 327 comments Quite frankly, marketing can be useful, but I believe many authors devote energy to worrying about marketing strategies when they should be concentrating on craft. The world's best marketing strategy is useless if your work isn't at least reasonably good.


message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments It's worth it if you know what your doing and have an idea in mind with potential places to promote and market. You have to decide if you want to pay and if so whats your budget and who do you want to target and which basis of marketing do you think will be the easiest. I myself am having a difficult time marketing after having written down tons of places only to find out they don't take to SPA's and there is too much involved in getting noticed by them. This is my 3rd book and you'd think I'd have it down pat by now but the truth is marketing doesn't seem to get easier it merely gets bigger and more difficult to sift threw.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael | 29 comments I've just started work on my social media platform. I don't know if that will lead to sales, though....Justin, what are SPAs?


message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments self-published authors, I just didn't feel like writing it out lol


message 6: by Steven (new)

Steven Malone | 43 comments Return can be slow but what Neil says has merit. If you're writing to make money have lots and lots of patience. (Remember: the best advice ever given to those who want to write is 'KEEP YOUR DAY JOB!') Keep your balance though. Blogging and group participation can suck you in and spend your time. Make sure you write.


message 7: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 66 comments I agree - make sure you write. If you really have a vocation for it, marketing will be secondary and you'll accept that you might not sell many books.

For what it's worth, I have found that paid promotion of an author page on Facebook is completely useless - but that careful targeting of a specific post is not. Facebook does permit quite specific targeting. One of my books is about a region of Africa and I was able to enter that and associated themes, and it worked very well.


message 8: by Dina (last edited May 07, 2014 02:50PM) (new)

Dina Roberts Neil wrote: The proper way to promote is to build a readership through online book discussions and joining groups. Respond when a reader emails you. Get involved in discussions other than about your own work. Get people interested in you by being interesting online. Word-of-mouth will cause your audience to grow in time. It will! Marketing on the internet will sell your book, but you have to do it properly and have patience. If you tell a great story readers will find out about you. And they will tell their friends.

Honestly, when I first started reading your post I thought it was spam. Some kind of scheme that would involve giving you money. But then I read the above paragraph. I like what you say here.

I would rather read books of the people I hang out with here than those who are spamming on Twitter.


message 9: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments I totally agree, Neil. I participate in threads here and Kindleboards, but I also comment on other people's blogs, answer questions on Quora, write articles on my blog helping people increase their visibility on Amazon, why 'said' is an invisible speech tag or why you shouldn't edit while you're writing your first draft.

The trick to do that effortlessly is enjoying yourself. If you regard this participation as drudgery that is supposed to help you sell books you're better off not doing it at all, because your lack of enthusiasm will be notable in your content.


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments I like that approach Martyn. A great way to market it by partaking in boards and writing as one normally would and usually people will respond.


message 11: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Justin wrote: "I like that approach Martyn. A great way to market it by partaking in boards and writing as one normally would and usually people will respond."

The most important thing is to not approach it as a 'trick' or 'marketing'. Readers will notice if you're not sincere.


message 12: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Martyn (a.k.a. M'sieur Sang Froid) wrote: "The most important thing is to not approach it as a 'trick' or 'marketing'. Readers will notice if you're not sincere.
"


+1000

You nailed it, Martyn.

I participate in various groups on GR, and the self-promo posts by various authors I come across every day are doing nothing but putting me off.

As SPAs, we are all unknown. We are all looking for readers, we are looking to get noticed, we all struggle with being just one out of hundreds of thousands.

Participating in a natural way, doing what we enjoy doing, and not forcing our books on the unsuspecting public may not be a fast way to find readers, but it is the right way. Honest, quality books will eventually find their readers.


message 13: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Esposito | 148 comments I like (BUY) to take (MY) a very (BOOK) subtle approach. I think (MY) being too (BOOK) bold is (GREAT) the wrong approach. It relationships (MY BOOK) are the most (WILL MAKE YOU) important aspect of the (SEXY) business.


message 14: by S. (new)

S. Aksah | 387 comments Oh Dolores is all about networking, networking and networking, yet she is still single in the big cosmopolitan city of London! http://t.co/RM1PTPff70


message 15: by Lex (new)

Lex Allen (lexallenbooks) | 123 comments Raymond wrote: "I like (BUY) to take (MY) a very (BOOK) subtle approach. I think (MY) being too (BOOK) bold is (GREAT) the wrong approach. It relationships (MY BOOK) are the most (WILL MAKE YOU) important aspect o..."

Excellent subliminal advertising, Raymond! lol

Was it the 60's or 70's when advertisers were supposedly inserted subliminal messages into their product ads?


message 16: by A.L. (last edited May 08, 2014 03:40AM) (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments I hate marketing, I must confess but otherwise no one will know about the books so it is a necessary evil. The tricky side is finding out when spam becomes spam. How much is too much? That all depends...

I use facebook, blogging, ocassionally GR and very occassionaly Google plus. I take part in interviews - both giving and receiving and I also have business cards.
What works? Good question...

I'd agree networking is important, talking about things other than one's books is the key.


message 17: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments doesn't matter how many ratings and reviews you've got if book buyers haven't heard of you, don't know you exist, then they're not going to come browse your book and nits reviews.

My writing style is so idiosyncratic that any author tips I share are unlikely to be of value to anyone. But I offer them up anyway.

I've found marketing to actually feedback into my writing itself, particular with videos and graphics originally only done for marketing purposes, but then they became separate works in themselves. I blogged on it if anyone's interested, I'll post the link


message 18: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments I'm fairly new to twitter and I doub very much it has helped me sell books. I never get anyone clicking on the links, but then I don't click on them either...
Good Reads is primarily a group for readers, and that is mostly what I use it for. It can be useful if your book gets nominated as book or the month, or finding author promo opportunities such as interviews but aside from that I don't think it is directly helpful. However the networking is useful, and sometimes people will check out someone's profile. It is good for reviews as well.


message 19: by Neil (new)

Neil Ostroff (httpgoodreadscomneil_ostroff) | 255 comments Do not do Facebook ads. Total waste of money. Just did $50 worth and got nothing but a graph that showed how many people saw the post.


message 20: by Regina (last edited May 08, 2014 05:23AM) (new)

Regina Shelley (reginas) | 135 comments Keep in mind that if you spend money on advertising, and see an uptake in views but not an uptick in sales, that is still not money wasted. It takes a potential customer an average of half a dozen views or so before she might be inclined to click on your ad. So if you run an ad campaign, and you think it hasn't done much to net you sales but it has gotten eyeballs on your name and title, run it again. You have to prime the pump.

Now, you run and ad and it gets totally ignored, rethink your placement. But views are worth more than you think. Especially repeat views.

Also, consider your placement and the amount of competition at that location. For instance, one of the most useless ad campaign I ran was right here on GR. I don't often place my ads (someone else does), and I thought this would be terrible place to run an ad. However, the person running the ads has usually good instincts, so I went with it. Turns out, not so great. But at least now we know.


message 21: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments I disagree, my debut novel has had over 30,000 views of its first chapter on BookBuzzr and not led to a single sale. Of course it's possible that all 30,000 hated the writing... Readers are highly rational consumers and search out free stuff. Do a free promotion on Amazon KDP, see consumers hoover up your book, but never leave a review, presumably because they haven't read it, or read a couple of pages and decided to sample the next free downloaded title. Eyeballs no longer mean sales.

What few sales I have got have come via Twitter. Talking to readers before they buy your book, as they buy it (tweeting a photo or direct from Amazon - 'I just bought...'), while they read the book and after they've finished. That is uniquely valuable I feel.


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I think practically all of my sales have come from networking on reader/writer social sites like this one. I recently added a website of my own, and a Facebook page, and...nada. No sales bump at all. Maybe it takes more time than I've given it, but I agree with some of the others on this thread that it's probably not worth the time I've already given it. In fact, I'm not even sure that networking is worth that much; withdrawing from all of it to spend more time on writing might be better. At least you'd have more books to sell, and you can spend more time broadening the markets where your book is displayed.


message 23: by S. (new)

S. Aksah | 387 comments From my experience twitter does work but not FB. You need to get one of those counter where you can see how many people click on your link once you tweet. What I do is once I tweet I counted til ten and check on my counter and I can see that on average it moves by 10.So that's great to me, 1 tweet gave me 10 clicks! Anyone is welcomed to add me on twitter :) https://twitter.com/DesperateHearts


message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 108 comments Marc wrote: "I disagree, my debut novel has had over 30,000 views of its first chapter on BookBuzzr and not led to a single sale. Of course it's possible that all 30,000 hated the writing... Readers are highly ..."

Marc, you've gotta blog about your approach. I never though of talking to readers AS they buy or read the book. I'll look forward to the link.


message 25: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Andrea wrote: "Marc wrote: "I disagree, my debut novel has had over 30,000 views of its first chapter on BookBuzzr and not led to a single sale. Of course it's possible that all 30,000 hated the writing... Reader..."

I have mentioned it in various blog posts! Readers are probably bored of it by now :-)


message 26: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments Andrea wrote: "Marc wrote: "I disagree, my debut novel has had over 30,000 views of its first chapter on BookBuzzr and not led to a single sale. Of course it's possible that all 30,000 hated the writing... Reader..."

It's just about getting conversations going, maybe about the theme, or something about how it was written, if the conversation develops after that, then you get the interaction at every stage of their reading pleasure


message 27: by C. (new)

C. Cales (scarybob) | 46 comments When nobody knows your name or the work you do I believe advertising is not cost effective. When readers begin to discover you the equation may change. Advertising may become effective. I believe the best approach is to build a following on social media (it helps if the media is focused on books and readers) by letting people know who you are, what you like and what you do. I read almost the same words from another writer in another group. In my case I'm not just repeating what seems to make sense. I've become an expert on what doesn't work. After all these years I've finally discovered one of the things that do work.

Stop by my place and grab a samples of what I brew. It's free and I'm pretty sure nothing will follow you home…
https://www.goodreads.com/scarybob


message 28: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Julie wrote: ...I don't think anyone ever looks at who they are enjoying a conversation... I found a lot of people I share interests with and I am careful to not push... my novel. So I just see GR as a pleasant outlet and with no hope it is a good "marketing" tool.

I'm a reader not an author and I always check out the people I'm discussing threads with on GR. I've actually bought several books after interacting with the authors. Of course the down side is that there are also authors who have turned me off from ever buying from them because they're sarcastic or ego-centric - basically people I don't find likable.

I'm so tired of the constant marketing - I ignore all of it on every site and avoid blogs that discuss or review books. It's just annoying. When authors slip in a book promo in the middle of a discussion - they just made my no read list. Obviously promo is all they do and their comments are strictly to get a pitch in for their book.

So how's this for a marketing scheme - talk and discuss and enjoy the people on the sites. Do blogs that are interesting or humorous and show your skills as a writer. Amazingly many people buy from new untested authors because they're impressed with the PERSON and take the time to check them out.

Bottom line - stop pushing. The market is flooded and finding buyers will be slow and tedious - getting in readers' faces is not helping. Make a name for yourself as an intelligent sincere person and be sure your writing is worth reading. Put yourself out there and readers will find you.



message 29: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Esposito | 148 comments @lex - lol yes in the 50s they added product pictures to a single frame of movies at the drive in- the brain recognized it although the person didn't. It had a significant effect on concession purchases. In the 60 and 70s they worked more in setting images within magazine ad pictures especially in drink ads and specifically ice cubes. Outlawed practice but advertisers discovered all they really needed was overt sexy imagery to sell anything


message 30: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) If you watch the old 1950s TV shows, usually with one or two sponsors, it's funny to see how they worked the product into many of the skits. It was like posting something here, and interrupting with, "By the way, have you read my book?" (product display)


message 31: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Gillespie (jonathancgillespie) | 18 comments We're not chasing sales, at least not at first. We're chasing a cohort; a reader base.


message 32: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 66 comments Christine wrote: "Julie wrote: ...I don't think anyone ever looks at who they are enjoying a conversation... I found a lot of people I share interests with and I am careful to not push... my novel. So I just see GR ..."

I have a lot of sympathy for this view. A good way to kill off Goodreads is to make it a place where readers feel they're being marketed to all the time, instead of just interacting with other people who love books. Also, with hundreds of books now being published every day, I think some of us should also accept that we write because we love to, and it may be that only a very few people - perhaps just the odd friend - will read our books. And maybe that's all right.


message 33: by Jan (new)

Jan Woodhouse | 17 comments Henry wrote: "Martyn (a.k.a. M'sieur Sang Froid) wrote: "The most important thing is to not approach it as a 'trick' or 'marketing'. Readers will notice if you're not sincere.
"

+1000

You nailed it, Martyn.

..."


Totally agree with Henry, Martyn and others. As somebody new to all this, I feel a bit confused though. On the one hand, I'd love to just get on with my next book and leave the fairy godmother to work her magic on the one I've just published, but I know I have to put in some groundwork. It's a learning curve, how to strike a balance between irritating in-your-face promotion that just alienates people and just abandoning the project we've already started - after all, we publish to be read, not to languish in metaphorical boxes in the attic. I think it's hard too to connect to the sort of readers who would actually choose to read the sort of book we've written. (Not that we have to be restricted to a particular genre.)


message 34: by S. (new)

S. Aksah | 387 comments Christine wrote: "Julie wrote: ...I don't think anyone ever looks at who they are enjoying a conversation... I found a lot of people I share interests with and I am careful to not push... my novel. So I just see GR ..."

Thanks! Will keep that in mind!


message 35: by Janet (new)

Janet Doolaege | 18 comments Mike wrote: "Christine wrote: "Julie wrote: ...I don't think anyone ever looks at who they are enjoying a conversation... I found a lot of people I share interests with and I am careful to not push... my novel...."

Well said, Mike.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Neil! Very interesting article, points and also discussion here. Seems like a book's best marketing is its content - however, how to get first noticed to get the good word of mouth marketing - that's another story. I like your insight and relate to it :) Thanks for sharing it!


message 37: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Julie wrote: "And as a P.S...unless I am on an author discussion with other people discussing the "biz" it just makes me feel squidgy to strike up relationships and conversations with some ulterior motive. That..."

Not with some ulterior motive.

It's more like this:
I'm sitting in a coffeeshop, writing on my iPad with bluetooth keyboard and someone comes up and asks me if they can see my keyboard. In the course of the conversation I mention that I write a lot, so I needed a separate keyboard.
"Oh, what do you write?"
"I'm currently working on my fourth novel."
"Fourth? So you finished three novels?"
"Yes, it's a series."
Etcetera.

Or someone asks me the password for the coffeeshop wifi, and I tell them I don't know, I'm not using the wifi.
"So what are you typing?"
"Oh, I'm working on my fourth novel."
"Oh, cool. What do you write?"
Etc.

And it's not like I'm constantly trying to inject my book into the conversation, but if someone asks me what I do for a living, I'm not going to beat around the bush.


message 38: by Lance (new)

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments I've never really bought the virtual version of hand-selling books as a viable way to rack up more than token sales without burning vast amounts of time.

Think about it -- we're supposed to spend essentially unlimited time being chatty and personable and witty (even if we're not really that way), never saying anything "wrong" (because we then become jerks, and the reader-enforcers will start leaving one-star reviews for us even without reading our books), and never once mentioning we have books for sale (because that would be promotion, and risks getting us banned from the group or put in the virtual stocks for bothering the readers). After all this, people are somehow supposed to learn over several months or perhaps years that we're authors and we're trying to shift a few copies of our books. Really? In what other industry is that considered an actual marketing strategy?

I've tried this over a couple years in Goodreads, but I've sold far fewer books than I have through two paid ads on Kindle Books & Tips.

I've also done the Twitter thing, avoiding tweeting about my books so I can offer "real content" for my followers, and I'm not aware it's sold a single book, even when I was far more active than I am now. I also have a blog in which I avoid both writing about writing and making constant pitches to buy my books. I have posts that are still getting hits, but the number of clicks through to any of the sales outlets are still numbered in single digits. All this takes away from the limited amount of time I have for writing -- real writing, the kind that produced my novels in the first place -- without a shred of proof that any of it is worth a fart in a hurricane.

Is this discussion just rehashing "strategies" that used to work 3-4 years ago, but don't anymore? Things that maybe worked when we had 10% the current number of SPAs, but didn't scale? It's feeling like it. Or maybe they never worked except for a few special cases.

I enjoy knowing people are reading and enjoying my novels. I don't even mind marketing if it works. But the default marketing ploys that we're talking about here not only don't work for me, but judging from what I read and hear elsewhere, they don't work for many other authors either.


message 39: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Martyn (a.k.a. M'sieur Sang Froid) wrote: The trick to do that effortlessly is enjoying yourself. If you regard this participation as drudgery that is supposed to help you sell books you're better off not doing it at all, because your lack of enthusiasm will be notable in your content.

I'd like to believe the best marketing is hanging out and having fun on message boards. I'm having so much fun here.

It's like someone telling me the best way to stay in shape is to eat a hot fudge sundae every night.

That might be a bad analogy. Sorry. Can't think of a better one right now.


message 40: by Robert (new)

Robert Penner | 8 comments I agree with Lance. I think a lot of these strategies may have worked 3 years ago when all this ebook stuff took off, but now other ways of marketing are coming together. It's really hard to stay on top of it. Twitter helps a little if you are leading people to your site with a good blog full of interesting information. Joining conversations like this one don't result in book sales. Just friends.


message 41: by S. (new)

S. Aksah | 387 comments well from my experience you do something youll see resuly..if you just sit by a corner then nothing much happen..marketing wise that is


message 42: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett Finn (scarlettfinn) | 49 comments Lots of very good points made here. I have to say I'm relatively new to the marketing thing but so much of it is trial and error. I've paid for promotions. I blog and though I don't think many people read it I'm a writer so I have no trouble filling the box, lol.
I would agree that paying for ads on Google, Facebook, and other social networks is fruitless. I've tried and failed.
But I have to say I'm not disheartened. Would I like it if my novels went viral? Of course, who wouldn't? But I don't struggle to find the time to write. I write because I love it.
I agree with Steven's comment about your day job. Novel sales should be extra income. It's hard work to write, but we do it for the love of it. Never expect it will make you rich. I think if that's your only goal then you're in the wrong game.


message 43: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 752 comments "extra income", not even beer money in my case! :-)


message 44: by Robert (new)

Robert Penner | 8 comments Good point Scarlett. I agree.


message 45: by Martyn (last edited May 10, 2014 07:39AM) (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Lance wrote: "I've never really bought the virtual version of hand-selling books as a viable way to rack up more than token sales without burning vast amounts of time.

Think about it -- we're supposed to spend essentially unlimited time being chatty and personable and witty (even if we're not really that way), never saying anything "wrong" (because we then become jerks, and the reader-enforcers will start leaving one-star reviews for us even without reading our books), and never once mentioning we have books for sale (because that would be promotion, and risks getting us banned from the group or put in the virtual stocks for bothering the readers). After all this, people are somehow supposed to learn over several months or perhaps years that we're authors and we're trying to shift a few copies of our books. Really? In what other industry is that considered an actual marketing strategy?"


FWIW:

If you google Martyn V. Halm and/or AmsterdamAssassin, you'll see that I'm active on a whole lot of boards. And yes, I spend a lot of time responding, answering, commenting, but I enjoy doing that, so it's not so much 'work'. I wouldn't do it if I didn't like the interaction.

And I'm not always politically correct--I have a dry wit that sometimes confuses or antagonizes people, but other people seem to 'get it' and enjoy my brand of humour.

I had someone on these boards become irate, telling me I was a lousy businessperson for antagonizing people and that she and her friends would never buy my books.

And yes, that got me a few 1-star ratings.

At the same time, more than ten people friended me, bought and read my books, gave me their honest reviews, and thereby negated the irate GoodReader's vitriolic prediction.

But she was right about one thing. I'm not a businessperson or a salesperson, and that's what I told her flat-out. I'd rather give my books away than kiss anyone's ass. Integrity is important to me, even if it would cost me sales.

I also do my own market research by asking people who give me feedback where they found me. So I know that I got a fan because her husband read one of my comments to an article on cracked.com and checked out my profile. He didn't read suspense fiction, but his wife did, so he told her about me.

And I do mention that I write. And if I answer a question on dialogue, I use dialogue from my own books and mention the source (and I can see from the sudden peak in sales that people enjoyed that sample and wanted to read the book it came from).

But there's a chance that your attitude bleeds through your half-hearted attempts to follow a 'strategy' that you 'never really bought'. And even if you're a believer, you might still never succeed, because the market is fickle and you never know what works and what doesn't.


message 46: by Janet (new)

Janet Doolaege | 18 comments Scarlett wrote: "Lots of very good points made here. I have to say I'm relatively new to the marketing thing but so much of it is trial and error. I've paid for promotions. I blog and though I don't think many peop..."

Nor in mine, Marc, though it would be coffee money for me!


message 47: by Lance (new)

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments Martyn (a.k.a. M'sieur Sang Froid) wrote: "...you'll see that I'm active on a whole lot of boards. And yes, I spend a lot of time responding, answering, commenting, but I enjoy doing that, so it's not so much 'work'. I wouldn't do it if I didn't like the interaction...But there's a chance that your attitude bleeds through your half-hearted attempts to follow a 'strategy' that you 'never really bought'."

First off, if it's working for you, congratulations. As you've said, you enjoy the interaction. Some people can walk into a party full of strangers, work the place and come out with a pocket full of business cards and the hottest woman in the room. Others of us try to be social, get the brush-off or the big shrug, and spend an uncomfortable hour hanging around the bar wondering why we came in the first place.

I'm closer to the latter than the former. Being "social" is work, and if it doesn't pay off...we'll, let's just say I have enough other work to do. So you're probably right that I'm not doing it widely enough, or long enough, or _________ (fill in blank) enough. Then again, I'm at a point in my life where if something I'm doing doesn't work for me, I don't keep banging my head against it in the wan hope that it will suddenly start to go right.

I've met a few people through GR, which is a nice thing. By dint of being the only viable book-centered social network left standing (Shelfari is a ghost town), GR is the place to be. But I've noticed a rising level of militancy on the part of self-described non-writing readers who seem to object to the very presence of writers in "their" groups and threads. There's no longer that "cool, you're writing a book" reaction you described previously; it's more often "shut up, and don't you dare say a word about your %#*$!@ book!" Well, okay.

Personally, I think the old methods of indie marketing have failed to scale and have become obsolete, and we're waiting for the new methods that will suit a large, maturing (and currently oversaturated) industry. Luckily, as indies we don't have to worry about that six-week shelf life. It costs me essentially nothing to keep my books on sale worldwide. But if I have to choose between writing and flogging busted marketing ploys, I'll choose writing.


message 48: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett Finn (scarlettfinn) | 49 comments Lance wrote: "Martyn (a.k.a. M'sieur Sang Froid) wrote: "...you'll see that I'm active on a whole lot of boards. And yes, I spend a lot of time responding, answering, commenting, but I enjoy doing that, so it's ..."
I completely agree. I too am that person at the bar wondering just how long I have to hang around before I can make a cool exit - not that anyone would notice, lol.
These forums are the same. I've been coming in and reading for a long time but actually making the leap to posting was difficult. It's easy to write as other people just not as myself, lol.
Also, it is difficult to know where the benefit is or if there is one. I'm very conscious of my writing in that it's often seen that writers are only out to pedal their work. Sometimes we are and sometimes we just have an opinion on something.
I've never found social situations very easy and so forums can be intimidating. No one wants to walk into a room and jump into the middle of a conversation when they don't understand the relationships of the people there.
Anyway I hope you're right Lance about the new methods of marketing. As for writing or flogging? I'll write every time too.


message 49: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Scarlett wrote: "I've never found social situations very easy and so forums can be intimidating. No one wants to walk into a room and jump into the middle of a conversation when they don't understand the relationships of the people there. ..."
The best way to overcome that is to wade into any conversation and speak your mind. Then wait for the beatings to stop, and say something else, and so forth and so on...


message 50: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Lance wrote: "Being "social" is work, and if it doesn't pay off...we'll, let's just say I have enough other work to do. So you're probably right that I'm not doing it widely enough, or long enough, or _________ (fill in blank) enough. Then again, I'm at a point in my life where if something I'm doing doesn't work for me, I don't keep banging my head against it in the wan hope that it will suddenly start to go right."

I totally respect that, Lance. I know several people who feel the same way. My wife is one of them, she also had problems 'joining in' at parties. She'd tell me often that she thought people wouldn't be interested in her views, so why bother?

I give courses in Pre-Conflict Control, so I give workshops on assertiveness where I work with people who feel 'socially handicapped'.

From your careful posts I can see that you're excellent at expressing yourself and I enjoy reading your opinion, even if you might not enjoy participating in these threads as much as I do.

And I think you're not the only one. Writing in itself is often a solitary occupation and people who don't enjoy relating to other people might gravitate towards an occupation/profession where they can deliberate in their responses. Which is also why responding in a forum/thread is often preferable for many people to verbal interaction.


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