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Old 01-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #26
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Ah, I see. It may therefore be that they are backed up as you say... I know I have several books I need to read and not getting anywhere with. I hope you manage to get some soon. Have you mentioned this to your publisher? They may be able to do something about it such as send it to some more or gently remind the ones they have already sent it to.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:57 PM   #27
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I think for a debut, it wouldn't do you any harm to self-promote, even with the big e-publishers.

I edit/handle submissions with DSP, but I can't tell you anything about promotions (sorry). I write for smaller markets that handle taboos that the more mainstreamers wouldn't work with, so self-promotion is a huge help. I've had four reviewing sites agree to pick up my work (mine was released a month ago), but I'd also go with aret on googling your name. I've done it a few times and found out I keep dancing about in the 100 bestsellers (ebooks-eros.com) in my genre (BDSM (small steps probably to most, but, still -- steps ).

I also like the social aspect on Goodreads, but spend the majority of the time away from any promotion just hanging out on there. So a lot for me is just being social more than anything else.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:48 PM   #28
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Help, my inner Luddite is showing. I followed the fringes of a big webinar last night on using Twitter and Facebook for marketing. Some of the information was interesting and useful.

But at the end of the evening, I was left with a certain - slimy - feeling. Much of the automation and targeted marketing seemed really brash and off-putting to me.

I don't use FB for privacy and security reasons. I do read and post on Twitter, but I really don't like shallow marketing Twitterbombs aimed my way, and I don't want to do that to anyone else.

Take the lists of SEO keywords I've seen incorporated into art marketing and gallery sites. To me, there seems to be an inverse proportion to the actual value/skillset of the artwork promoted, and the number of SEO keywords shoehorned into the website copy. I'm beginning to see similar correlations in some writing genres.

I'm slowly building my brand, but the last thing I want to do is spam my readers in any way. What middle ground have other writers found, or should I just grit my teeth and start pitching myself everywhere?
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:05 PM   #29
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I don't spam. Okay, well I do for a few days after release day, but after that I stop. Like you it made me feel slimy. I don't really do Twitter, I'm too wordy, so FB works for me. But the thing with FB is I use it more like I'm bullshitting with friends than interacting with readers. Yeah, I post excerpts now and again, but for the most part it's just a stream of bullshit with an occasional dirty or funny picture thrown in.

Does it help with sales?

No idea.

Does it allow me to interact with people without coming off like a used car salesman?

Yes.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:16 PM   #30
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I'm on both Facebook and Twitter, and I use them to *chat*, not to sell. Sometimes the chatting leads to sales, or it leads to promo opportunities such as when someone started a review blog specifically for GLBT YA fiction and contacted me on Facebook to ask whether she could do a feature on me because she'd seen me talking about my GLBT YA books there. Not *promoting* them, per se, but mentioning that they existed, talking about how important I think it is to have GLBT characters in young adult, etc. That exposure in turn led to an increase in sales of the book she featured.

On both sites, Twitter especially, I also share/retweet tidbits from others, whether it's a quote I like or a new release announcement from another author or something like that. I share other people's good news as well as my own.

I can't wrap my head around Goodreads. I've been trying for over a year, and so far all I've managed to do is add my books to the bookshelf of the M/M Romance group (and a friend of mine actually added some for me as she tried to push me to do it myself), and hang out on the YA GLBT group. Both of my pen names have author accounts there, but other than existing, I don't really know what to do. The groups I've joined, other than the YA GLBT one, are huge and overwhelming and confuse the heck out of me; I don't rate books because I'm picky as hell and don't want to piss anyone off by rating them lower than they would like. So I'm not quite sure of the use of Goodreads as a promo tool, though I know some authors have a lot of success interacting with readers there. (Oh, and I've done a few book giveaways there, which has boosted my visibility.)
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:43 PM   #31
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KimJo, one of the Goodreads Yahoo groups recently had a workshop on using GR - I have the notes. They're a little more coherent than trying to decipher GR's hints. I'll send them to you, if you want.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #32
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Filigree, thanks! That would be awesome. I'll rep you my email.

I know that part of my difficulty with it is not taking the time to explore the site, but I'm just going to have to suck it up and deal with that if I want to make it work. (Double entendre possibly intended...)
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #33
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When I go to convention promo talks I generally disagree with a lot that is said. A recent one advised that you offer pre-written reviews to bloggers. Any author who did that to me would get blocked. It's insulting.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:24 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerwoman View Post
I don't really know that I've got sales through twitter I've just noticed that after tweeting about my books several hours later there would be a new sale on Novel Rank or on the Samhain website quite often so I think it does work sometimes. Most often this seems to work when Samhain has a sale on and I can tweet that it is on sale. They have special sale days.
Okay, thanks! That's how I've been interpreting things with my promo too.

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Originally Posted by MsLaylaCakes View Post
Or use Ann's list from the Romance thread -- by the way, thanks Ann for that list! It gave me a starting point.
Which thread is that on? Depending on what happens with the subs I have out now, I may need more new markets. Or I could just keep sending new material to the big guys until they beg me to stop submitting.

Fallen -- Thanks for dropping in! I haven't stopped promoting, but it looks different now that the holidays are over (since my release is a holiday story). I'm the same way on Goodreads, I have an author page but mostly drop in to find new books to read & review the ones I like.

Filigree -- I was at that webinar too. A lot of the info was contradictory, but at least I learned I'm not still at square-one.

The one thing I wish I could do is to be more interactive on Twitter. It moves so fast I've hardly had anything resembling a conversation. I RT a lot, but am not really sure how to engage anyone. *lol* I was hoping they'd talk about HOW to engage in the webinar, not just tell us we should.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:05 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimJo View Post
I can't wrap my head around Goodreads. <snip> I don't rate books because I'm picky as hell and don't want to piss anyone off by rating them lower than they would like. So I'm not quite sure of the use of Goodreads as a promo tool, though I know some authors have a lot of success interacting with readers there. (Oh, and I've done a few book giveaways there, which has boosted my visibility.)
Kim, I'm still finding my way around there (didn't know they had a depraved minds group until a few days ago and ). I tend to see what friends are doing, go where they invite etc. On rating/reviewing, I've only ever rated one a 1 star, usually there's something that will bring it up to a two or three.

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When I go to convention promo talks I generally disagree with a lot that is said. A recent one advised that you offer pre-written reviews to bloggers. Any author who did that for me would get blocked. It's insulting.
I've not done any promo talks, not even solicited for any. I think I'm still finding my feet and just waiting to see how things go before I see if I should be asking.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:18 PM   #36
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I have a life, so constant Twitter monitoring is not going to happen. I barely remember to check it once a week, or when an update/alert shows up in email. I look at people following thousands, with thousands of followers, and wonder how much of that is just fluff.

Even this AW account pops up in a separate window on one of my three monitors, while my writing is on my main screen.

I have an opportunity for in-person promo in a few months, so I'm pondering how that would work with an e-book.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:28 PM   #37
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Some people just volume tweet and tweet reciprocally at 1000s of other volume tweeters.

I follow people I want to read, and expect the same. They only thing that worries me us that I seem to gain followers during quiet periods and lose them when I tweet : /

The only manipulative sort of thing I do it that I use empire avenue to get send people on targeted missions. For example to retweet something specific.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:03 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriterInChains View Post
The one thing I wish I could do is to be more interactive on Twitter. It moves so fast I've hardly had anything resembling a conversation. I RT a lot, but am not really sure how to engage anyone. *lol* I was hoping they'd talk about HOW to engage in the webinar, not just tell us we should.
Hashtags are really the best way to start conversations, even just short ones, with other people on Twitter.

You can either do a search for something you're interested in or include a tag in one of your tweets. That's how I get most of my interaction. (Bear in mind I have a teeny tiny crowd of followers and maybe a third of those are borderline spam.)

Tags that have proven useful to me are:
#amwriting
#wordmongering
#wordwar
#wordsprint
#freefiction
#flashfiction
#shortstory
#shortstorysale (or acceptance)

I also tend to pick up a couple of followers a week based on the hashtags about what I'm writing. It varies but I frequently use #darkfantasy #steampunk #mystery #JackTheRipper (very popular that one) #magic #werewolves and so on. Obviously, you would want to tag whatever YOU write.

If I spent less time on the computer writing and more time screwing around on the internet I could probably do more with Twitter, but the "networking" aspect of my writing career is not my main focus at the moment.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:00 AM   #39
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Here you go:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226419

These are actually the better known ones (lower chances of getting reviewed as a new author). I use Twitter to monitor reviews other (relatively) new authors in my genre get and note the sites down to send a review request. This I how I got my first and only review :-)

I use Twitter mainly to interact with other authors/writers...I don't DM anyone about my book/blog, but I've received a few. I don't mind getting them, I'm just too shy to do it myself.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:19 AM   #40
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I think for a debut, it wouldn't do you any harm to self-promote, even with the big e-publishers.

I edit/handle submissions with DSP, but I can't tell you anything about promotions (sorry). I write for smaller markets that handle taboos that the more mainstreamers wouldn't work with..
Who are your publishers?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #41
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Aggy_B, thanks! A lot of those hashtags are new to me, I'll have to give them a try.


MsLaylaCakes -- Thanks bunches! I'll have to take some time and check out the ones I'm not already following. Even if they wouldn't be interested in me now, who knows what'll happen or who I can meet by reading them all.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:54 PM   #42
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Sent you a rep with the gories
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:23 PM   #43
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When I go to convention promo talks I generally disagree with a lot that is said. A recent one advised that you offer pre-written reviews to bloggers. Any author who did that to me would get blocked. It's insulting.
Um... yeah. There is definitely promo advice going around that makes no sense and/or could potentially damage a career. I've found that much of it comes from the same people who are promo-bombing their friends/followers on social media, post incessant promos over and over on Yahoo loops, and send me unwanted private messages and emails begging me to buy their books. Needless to say, they've found their way onto my auto-NEVER-buy list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallen View Post
Kim, I'm still finding my way around there (didn't know they had a depraved minds group until a few days ago and ). I tend to see what friends are doing, go where they invite etc. On rating/reviewing, I've only ever rated one a 1 star, usually there's something that will bring it up to a two or three.
Fallen, I can't find my way around at all. The groups I have managed to join, on recommendations from my editors or other authors with whom I'm friendly, are either too big and fast-paced for me to keep up with, or are so small that someone might post there once every other month. I think I would need an entire weekend to explore the site fully enough to make effective use of it, and honestly, I would far rather spend that time writing. I've rated a few books on there, ones written by friends of mine, but in general I prefer not to, especially if I can't articulate what I liked/didn't like about the book.

I read through the stuff Filigree shared about Goodreads; some of it, I'm already doing, so at least I know I'm on the right track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggy B. View Post
Hashtags are really the best way to start conversations, even just short ones, with other people on Twitter.

You can either do a search for something you're interested in or include a tag in one of your tweets. That's how I get most of my interaction. (Bear in mind I have a teeny tiny crowd of followers and maybe a third of those are borderline spam.)

Tags that have proven useful to me are:
#amwriting
#wordmongering
#wordwar
#wordsprint
#freefiction
#flashfiction
#shortstory
#shortstorysale (or acceptance)

I also tend to pick up a couple of followers a week based on the hashtags about what I'm writing. It varies but I frequently use #darkfantasy #steampunk #mystery #JackTheRipper (very popular that one) #magic #werewolves and so on. Obviously, you would want to tag whatever YOU write.
I always forget to use hashtags...
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #44
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I think you can track clickthroughs on bit.ly and some of the other URL shorteners if you sign up with them. I've not really tried it myself.

This is a couple of years ago now, but I found when Loose Id sent my last book out to review it took nearly a year before stuff stopped popping up. I didn't have much of a lead on that book (there was about a week between the end of edits and it going on sale, since they needed to fill a spot in the queue) so I don't know whether they normally send out ARCs earlier, but a lot of review sites have long queues and it can take a while before they get to your book. My social media footprint was smaller than baby's first booty at the time, so my impact in those terms was less than none; everything I sold was pretty much Loose Id's doing. Sales tapered off after the first quarter but I still sell a couple of copies a month.

I think the next one will do better - it's a longer book in a more popular subgenre - and I've got a better idea of what promo I want to do. More guest blogs, free shorts, giveaways, stuff like that. My own blog doesn't have much of a readership; I don't update it often enough and I've found when I have made the effort I stop working on my actual writing.

Something I've seen bantered about recently: has anyone here ever tried a street team? I don't think I've got enough of a following to pull it off anyway, and I've heard some horror stories, but I'd be interested to hear from those who've made it work.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #45
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I've tried a street team. I put out a call on Facebook, Twitter, and in my 400+ subscriber newsletter.

Only one person responded to the call. And she was already pimping my books to her friends and acquaintances; she joined the street team so she could get some swag of mine to hand out, and because I promised a free gift to anyone who signed up.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:47 PM   #46
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I see street teams mainly for authors who already have rabid fans in large numbers, and mainly in reports where they have done something outrageously inappropriate.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:28 PM   #47
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Personally, I would be really reluctant to assemble a street team - and I'd want to keep some distance from any mistakes they might make.

I have noticed that when I post an excerpt on the Goodreads M/M Yahoo groups, I tend to get a one-or-two copy sales spike. I'm still getting reviews trickling in from the stuff LI sent out last July. I have only one Amazon review, so I linked to some of my better reviews in the 'editorial' section. That at least gives me some good press when customers browse my book on Amazon.

I blog, but not always about my books and writing - in fact, my books aren't even on the front page of the blog right now. I have no idea how many blog readers I have, because I don't track that.

I certainly don't have $100 to plunk down on advertising right now.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:56 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
I think you can track clickthroughs on bit.ly and some of the other URL shorteners if you sign up with them. I've not really tried it myself.

. . . snip . . .

I've found when I have made the effort I stop working on my actual writing.

. . . snip . . .
I've tried, but haven't been able to figure out how to use bit.ly. Maybe next time I try it'll become clear?

Balance is always a challenge for me, but I'm not ready to give up yet. I can go to school, write, and promote in one week, just maybe not ALL in one day.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:10 PM   #49
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Hi, all.

I'm new here. Finished writing and createspace publishing my first and now I'm trying to figure out how to market it (on a budget that permits the occasional postage stamp). Certainly is an interesting discussion here! Many thanks.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:52 PM   #50
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Nice to meet you, Lynn. I'll allow those who actually know something about self-promotion answer your question while I sit here hoping to absorb their knowledge.

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