Saturday, May 5, 2012

How I Promote...Sometimes By Not Promoting At All!

I guess you could consider this a post script to my post about spamming on social networks.  A new facebook friend recently asked me how I promote.  She mentioned she had noticed that I have a lot of friends, and a lot of reviews on my books.  She wondered if I was doing anything special.  I intended to pop a quick answer back at her, but realized, she was really interested in my answer and I owed her to treat it with courtesy.  As I wrote, I thought others might benefit from my response.

When I first started writing, I wasn't even ON facebook.  I had a blog, but I didn't feel I had that much to say.  And as for facebook, truth be told, I had an irrational fear of it.  I thought people would be unkind, laugh at what I had to say, and anyway who would care?  Who was I anyway?  I finished writing my first book and the publisher who welcomed me told me I was just a bit nuts not to be on facebook.  I was told it was a great marketing tool, so in July I think, of last year, I joined up.

I was amazed.  I found people who were going through the same things as I.  I found fellow writers, published authors and friends.  Another discovery was blogs.  I loved them!  I learned more about the publishing business than any class would ever teach me.  And then, I took an even bigger step.  I joined Twitter!  Even now, admittedly, I haven't much idea what I'm doing.  But in my blogging, my facebooking and my tweeting, I have learned one valuable thing:  people want to know about you as much as your work.

I have blogged before about being annoyed by the constant marketing some people do, so I shy away from doing  it myself.  I will market when my book comes out, but I don't constantly pound my books in posts.  Rather, I let myself be human.  I may not name or allow photos of my family, but that doesn't mean they don't figure prominently in my facebook or blog posts.  I give my readers a chance to get to know me as a person and an author.  I give a glimpse, and sometimes way more than a glimpse, into my writing process.  I think social networking gives writers today far more of an edge than previously published authors had in this respect.

I feel confident that my readers and, dare I say, even some I could call fans, follow me and join my blog because I don't just talk about my own books.  I showcase other writers and their books, I offer advice that has worked for me, and I comment and invite discussion on topics in the industry important to both established authors and aspiring ones.  I probably should do giveaways and contests, but they seem self-serving to me, so I don't.  They work great for others and I applaud their efforts and success, its just not my thing.

What I do do, is try and blog on other's blogs as often as I can.  I average 2-4 outside blogs a month.  I guess it could be more, but as a working, writing, publishing, mothering wife, its a tall order.  :-).  I also invite others to blog occasionally on my site.

I like to think these things are working for me.  I have great facebook pals and a good deal of activity on this blog, and better still, the books are selling.  Well after their release date, they continue to sell.  I suppose my point here is remember that you may be an author/writer now, but you have a whole other part to you.  Let your readers in on that part too, and you'll have friends and followers galore.  So, go ahead.....get social!

7 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I think that when blogging or social networking, the old addage "only speak when it improves the silence," is great advice.

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  2. I need to learn this method. Your comment on outside blogs 2 to 4 times a month gives a strategy to follow without burning the midnight oil or burning out. As a newbie, some of the social stuff can be fun. It's neat to promote other authors' work and see my own results climb,too! :)

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  3. Blogging on other blogs may be the right way to go. Doing so gave my book a little bump this past month. I'm not a fan of marketing, but apparently the right kind can help.

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  4. Good advice, gently given, happily received :>).

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  5. THANK YOU! I need all the help I can get.:)

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  6. To some extent I think success breeds success. It's partly having something to say and partly being in a position where people want to hear what you've got to say. So keep on doing your thing!

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