Posted by solitaireparke
Some months ago, I came across a post written by Tom Conrad, from The Indie Pedant called “Selling an ebook – is it a little like begging on the street?” His satirical point of view on how we as self-published authors are using social media as our “cardboard plea” struck me as funny, but also made me wonder about my approach to marketing.
Is my method one that will improve sales and stats, but not leave me looking like the character “Puss In Boots”…you know, those big sad eyes, luring you in…”pa pa pa please buy my book!” Ha!
With the advent of indie authors/self publishing, we have found that we alone are our sole promoters. If we don’t get out there and plaster the many social media sites with our name and product, we are just as unknown and unheard of as ever! And of course there’s the “etiquette” one must follow to avoid being blacklisted as a spammer of sorts. Everyone’s looking for the next hook or gimmick to stand out above the rest. It all does begin to seem like one massive sales pitch!
In essence it is, but for the author it begins merely as a love of writing and the hope that someone else out there will enjoy reading what you have to offer. While many of us still work a full time job and dream of the day when we can give our two weeks notice, oh hell, our 2 minutes notice and gallivant off on our ticket to fame…we humbly climb back down to reality and trudge on. Our approach may mirror at times the bum on the streets begging for change, but I think I speak for everyone…the truth is, we all know deep down that we’re the next superstars! We just have to convince everyone else!
The strategy I have adopted is certainly not the most original, but it is one I believe in most! So what is it, you ask? To help others. To quote Nick Thacker of LiveHacked.com, “You’re in charge of your own career, and you know that helping people is a major reason why successful writers, creators, and entrepreneurs are successful.” There are tons of ways to help others online:
- Tweeting someone’s link or post
- Commenting on a great post
- Reviewing someone’s book
- Participating in an online forum
- Writing an awesome guest post
- Sending an email
Nick’s post called “Why You Should Start Doing My Work For Me”, states that “If you think of these tasks as doing someone else’s work for them, you’ll be making a great step toward building a reputation as someone who helps others first.” That’s not to say that you don’t promote yourself at all…but instead of a post touting your novels and why people should buy them, include a link back to your website or blog instead. The content within your post will do the promoting for you and you’d be surprised how many people will actually click through! As far as posts on your own blog…put more emphasis on posts that will help and/or entertain your reader in some way. These will not only bring quality content to your blog, but will consistently draw readers back to your blog.
I don’t claim to be an expert, but I will continue to share what I have learned and I hope that it will help in some way! 🙂
Be sure to visit LiveHacked.com – excellent site for writers and bloggers!
Nick Thacker also has an excellent ebook available on Amazon – “Building A Blog For Readers”…a manifesto that will help you ask the right questions!