Little Bits of Shiny

Photo: IKO by alphaville (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Photo: IKO by alphaville (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I love to write. I love to tell people about my books (and stories). But as I am learning, if I want more than my friends and family to read my books, there is this thing called marketing (aka promotion) This…I do not love.

It’s full of concepts like:-

  • target your audience (this gives me an image of asking someone to stand still long enough to paint a bullseye on their back)
  • advertising (this to someone who makes a cuppa during the ads on TV)
  • selling yourself (reminds me of job interviews), and
  • getting your product ‘out there’ (kind of like – the truth is ‘out there’?).

I don’t have a marketing background. Or promotions. Or sales. The closest to ‘sales’ I ever got was talking to the sales guy at the radio station where I work. I did have a telemarketer job once, where I learned to read a script. Yeah, I lasted two weeks. Only job I’ve ever quit without another job to go to or because I was moving.

Sales. Marketing. Promotions.
Cold sweat.

An author I met on Facebook invited me to participate in a ‘12 hours of Christmas’ event, where for 12 hours several authors (myself included) promoted their books before Christmas so people might purchase them as gifts. I was terrified, but I did it. It turned out to be a lot of fun. I only signed up for a half hour stint, because I didn’t think I could fill a full hour. I was expecting to post, wait five minutes, post, wait five minutes post – yawn, but it wasn’t. I didn’t expect the interaction from readers. Duh! (Remember – this was my first ever of one of these.)
My notifications were dinging every few seconds. Questions, comments, entries into the competition. With so much going on, I nearly didn’t make the posts every five minutes.
I actually enjoyed it. It was awesome.

Apparently, this is marketing. Say what?

The audience was already targeted, by people interested in finding out about books to purchase for Christmas clicking ‘attend’. I spoke about ‘Shattered’, therefore it was advertising. Selling myself consisted mostly of answering questions about my writing and what books are coming out next/soon, and I got my book ‘out there’ in both info, and the prize to the competition being a signed copy of ‘Shattered’.

No sales though.
Oh well. It was still fun. Wait – what? Marketing = fun. Say it isn’t so.

I loved the interaction most. Having people ask questions, and knowing I could answer them. It’s the ‘cold call’ I hate. Posting lone snapshots about my book, on facebook, on twitter, here on my blog. It feels a little like standing on a street corner ringing a bell and trying to get someone interested in the little bits of shiny I have in my trench coat. While everyone I see has their head down, walking fast and trying not to make eye contact.

So, I sit here trying to nut it out on my own, reading marketing blogs, looking at promotions websites, reading ‘how to use social media as an author’ and using google to understand the jargon.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out…one day. Hopefully.

In the meantime – is anyone interested in the little bits of shiny I have in my trench coat?

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4 thoughts on “Little Bits of Shiny

  1. I know exactly what you mean, and I’m terrible at it. Maybe I have the wrong shade of trench coat? At the moment I feel as if Harry Potter threw his invisibility cloak over me…

  2. Well, what I understnad is: the best marketing tool you have is yourself.

    That’s what I’m trying to do. On social media and especially on my blog, I try to just be myself, talk about things I like, reply to things I’m interested in, and generally try to have fun. Which mostly I do. I’ve never imagined I’d enjoy having a blog (which I truely love) and hanging around social media (though I don’t like all of them).

    I also understand this is not something that pays off immediately. You have to be patient and constant and little by little the results will come.

    I am no expert, mind you (far from it!), but I think the best thing we can do is having fun with everything we do. If we start off thinking: this is horrible, I hate it, it will always be an horrible experience. If we start off thinking: I’m doing it my own way, it’s going to be fun, most likely it wil be a positive experience and positive experiences are more likely to bring results.

    Well, this is how I feel about it, anyway 🙂

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