The trials with social media. I'm learning the deck is stacked against me. I'm quickly growing my twitter feed, I have a Facebook author page, LinkedIn, a presence on Instagram and Pintrest. Managing these is a full time job. I've paid for advertising and joined user groups and bumped feeds and I just don't have the secret sauce to social media. It's okay, it's not a complaint. Actually, and keep this to yourself, it's somewhat of a relief. It's forcing me to take a step back and reevaluate my marketing options.
Throwing out a short blurb with a link isn't working because it isn't sales. There's no pitch, there's the bare minimum of humanity, it isn't entertaining and it's easy to dismiss. I have a couple of thousand twitter followers, a couple of hundred on my FB author page and it's my experience there's very little interaction on those, Instagram there's no possibility of dialog and Pintrest is fine if I need a pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Where I am having luck and interaction is my personal Facebook page, because it's made up of my family, friends and a bunch of really cool people. Those people are the one who've bought my book, spread the word and some are actively campaigning on my behalf. I think the difference for me is the human connection. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. It's been my most powerful sales tool.
I do think an author page is necessary. It's a place to push a little marketing, invite people I don't know to place where they can learn about my work and me and hopefully build that relationship. It's also a great place to make announcements.
I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I do meet cool people there. It's also fun to live tweet during a show. I got really into it with Constantine, now canceled in a miscarriage of justice, and 12 Monkeys where the tweeters are awesome and hilarious as we attempt to figure out the twisty turns of a precocious plot. I've also learned and picked up more literature than I can hope to read in my lifetime. What's has it done for my sales, not much. Again, the secret sauce eludes me, maybe I just haven't read enough of those books that promise to increase my sales if I just buy the book. *spoiler alert* Wait for the movie.
Conventions. I have yet to attend a convention and that's high on my to do list. There was a bookcon in New York City last weekend that I learned about when my sister texted me and told me I should be there. I asked here where she was. She told me. I set the phone done and walked a couple of slow circles muttering to myself and couldn't help but think, 'would have been great to know about this a couple of months ago.' It's not her fault. It's mine. A little research on conventions displayed it loud and proud. Love you, Jo! We're two extremely busy, very tired people and we spend a great deal of our time juggling family, careers and oddities like writing novels, or marketing for romance novels. Next years' is in Chicago and I will have a table. We tried to help each other, but she doesn't have a passion for science fiction and I get embarrassed when the words, "moist heat" come into play.
Where I am having some luck is with libraries. First they were thrilled when an author came through the door, they tripped over themselves when I donated signed copies of my book to put in their local author section and they practically swooned with overwhelming delight when I said these words, "how can I help your library?"
After the initial shock wore off, they talked about reading groups, young writers programs, book readings and the list went on from there. This fits with my end goals of using my books to give back. After expenses and marketing, what's left over goes to support the Wounded Warrior Project. Getting involved with the community through the libraries also feels like the right thing to do. There's a lot that goes into writing a book and I'm still struggling with it, but in those struggles there are a lot of lessons. While most have to learn for themselves, it never hurts to hear the words and know there's someone out there that shares the experience. Trust me, you're not alone.
My book Dex Territory is available. My second book Knight and Dex is winding down and will be available soon. Keep an eye out on www.twbpress.com for latest announcements and the first chapter.
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You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
$3.99 for the e-book
$18.95 for the paperback