Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pondering Marketing

Every so often I get stymied by the marketing aspect of being a writer.  In the 'olde' days, authors spent their time in front of a Royal typewriter pecking away at the keys, conjuring up those perfect phrases and combinations of words before putting them to paper. When they finished, off to the publisher, a check came back, the author celebrated and then began the process all over with perhaps a couple of trips here and there to promote the book by presenting oneself at a bookstore.

Today?  The author does it all electronically and for some strange reason, the publishers now feel the author must be part of the marketing program.  Yes, authors must hustle their books.

And we've all done it.  But I wonder, are there some marketing strategies that are better than others? Is there some simple trick to get the book to the targeted audience?

There is the proverbial book signings but book stores have fallen to the wayside and there are only a few of them left today.  Libraries are even falling into non-use with the arrival of the Internet.

Ah, the Internet.  The electronic bane... uh, boon to everyone.  An author can hustle themselves on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Blogspot and several other sites of social interaction.  The only drawback I've discovered is...

Invite your friends to join [..insert website name here..]

Uh, I have replicated many of my friends on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc etc etc.  Oh, yes, I definitely have 'some' different friends on each of the lists but I'm discovering everyone on these lists are there for the same reason I am -- to hustle my book(s).  We're only friends because we hope the other person will purchase a copy of your book.

But wait, there are other marketing ploys out there.  I listened to a speaker at a writing group I belonged to -- she had a book out with a title similar to "Tea and Murder With Mrs. Tuttle" or something like that.  Each of her business cards she handed out had an image of her current book and a tasty bag of tea stapled to it.  Another speaker came, spoke, and handed out colorful freezer magnets with his book cover, name and where to purchase a copy of the book.  Yet another author was handing out book markers with her name, book title and where to purchase.

I saw those as viable marketing strategies.  Freebies.

My question is a simple one and I hope you'll share your insights.

What marketing gimmicks do you use or have you seen that seem to work?
There has to be more to marketing than just "friending" every soul you meet online.  At least dating services attempt to match you with another.  To me, it seems the electronic marketing of Facebook, Twitter ad nauseum is very generic and hit and miss logic.  I'm connecting with other authors -- I really want to be connecting with readers.  Is my logic flawed on this one?
Until next I ramble on...

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