Marketing, Schmarketing…A One Reader (Me) Case Study

marketingWhenever I try to promote myself or anything I’ve written, I feel like the guy with the bullhorn in the image to the left. I obviously don’t have a clue how to do this correctly. Considering how much more expertise the other Janes have on this topic, I’m totally passing the buck.

I mean, come on. C. Morgan Kennedy, the woman who literally wrote the book on author marketing, started us off on the topic this month. And Mary Oldham works at a marketing conglomerate, her post included a detailed budget and market research. So, all I can do is give you one person’s opinion on what works when writers market their work to me.

There are several authors whom I follow on Facebook and Twitter and quite a few to whose newsletter I subscribe. There’s no logic behind why I start following a certain writer. Maybe I took one of their freebies at a book signing and felt like I should put my name on their mailing list as a payment. Maybe I know them personally. Maybe I’m a huge fan of their books. Maybe they once tweeted something interesting that was retweeted by someone I already follow. Maybe they started following me.

However, I am very aware of why I stop paying attention to an author. And there are quite a few reasons for why I always check in with certain authors on social media and/or from whom I eagerly anticipate newsletters.

The number one reason for why I hide a writer’s feed on my Facebook wall or unfollow them on Twitter is because I feel like the guy who’s not holding the horn in the picture above. The only time I hear from the writer is when he/she has a new book out. And when they do, I hear from them several times per day, many days in a row.

The writers who are successful when marketing to me are the ones who don’t always promote themselves in every post. They talk about other writers, about their families, about their interests, and share tips and tricks of the book reading and writing business.

Here are some authors who do this well, and the medium through which I most interact with them:

Blogs: I read Jill Shalvis’ posts because they are funny, clever, and she often has pictures of hot guys. (Also true for her Facebook page.) I love Anne R. Allen’s blog (Ruth Harris also posts) for amazing writing tips and encouragement. I’ve followed Jane Porter’s blog for a long time and admire how often she promotes other writers she thinks her readers may like. She also has the best goodies and giveaways, and they happen often.

Twitter:  I follow a lot of people on Twitter and love the tool, but don’t check my feed every day. Partly because there is no way to keep up, so I like the idea of the universe determining whether I will stumble on a gem or not. That said, I love how writers Seanan McGuire (@SeananMcGuire), Jim C. Hines (@JimCHines), and Neil Gaiman (@NeilHimself) use the twittersphere to carry on conversations with their readers, promote upcoming writers, make jokes about themselves and the publishing world, and  speak out against things like misogyny in the Sci-Fi publishing world.

Facebook: A couple of writers I love to read stand out on my Facebook wall for posting about things other than writing. Catherine Mann often posts about dog rescues and shows adorable pictures whatever puppies she’s currently fostering. Mary Buckham relates fun conversations she has with her husband and ponders everything from historical figures to how to get unlost at IKEA. Cherry Adair has me laughing out loud to her Snapple cap reports and pithy one-liners. She also runs a great Facebook group for her street team.

Newsletters: The number one reason for why I subscribe to author newsletters/alerts is because I get freebies and pre-reads before any of the “regular” readers do. Writers who do this well include: Shelli Stevens, Virna DePaul, Crista McHugh, and Delilah Marvelle.

There are many other writers whom I follow (the other Janes for example) who are marketing savvy and funny in their social media updates. But I think I’ll stop here, or you’ll realize that I spend way too much time on the internet when I really should be writing. 😉

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About Asa Maria Bradley

2016 Double RITA finalist, romance author, news junkie, physics instructor, and diver. Loves Norse mythology, ranch dressing, and cop shows. Lives with husband and rescue dog of indeterminate breed in Pacific Northwest. Represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Writers about sexy modern-day Vikings. More at www.asamariabradley.com and @AsaMariaBradley.

Posted on March 20, 2014, in Auth: Asa Maria Bradley and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Thanks for all the great links!

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  2. I’m always in awe of prolific bloggers who manage to keep their content fresh AND find time to write their books as well! One of my favorites is Amy Lane.

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  3. Excellent piece, Asa! And thanks much for the shout-out. I’m honored. Ruth thanks you as well. You’re so right about the bullhorns. I’m going to be talking on Sunday about how increasingly pointless that kind of marketing is.

    Love Jamie’s phrase above” “The Internet is a black hole of social opportunity.” Brilliant.

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  4. Am following you now, Jamie. Can’t wait to see what you Tweet about, especially since Twitter recommended I’d find Xfinity interesting since they are apparently similar to you. 🙂

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  5. People who do it well make it look so easy! My theory is that if I follow them long enough, I’ll figure it out through osmosis 🙂

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  6. The internet, a black hole of social opportunity. Like you, Asa, I try to keep a balance. There aren’t a ton of authors I follow, but I’m very loyal to those I do. And as for Twitter, I left it for the reason you stated above– too much bullhorning — and recently came back to it with a more curated approach.

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  1. Pingback: Writer Asa Maria Bradley » Blog Archive » On See Jane Publish: This Mysterious Thing Called Marketing

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