Friday, July 13, 2012

Author Pratfalls and Great Social Media Wars

This upcoming Tuesday, July 17th, I'll be giving the luncheon speech at the Idaho Writers Guild in Boise. My talk's all about the various mistakes all writers make. I know I've made every single one, a number of times. Most of the problem is that I'm an author and therefore neurotic and unbalanced--as in swinging from one extreme to the other.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the new world of social media. Every writer I know (including myself) swings from one extreme to the other. Part of the problem is that no one is certain what works the best with social media--is it SEO? Part of the problem is that social media seems to operate as virtual word of mouth, but which mouths and when? Us authors drive ourselves wild figuring that out.

The unbalance comes from not knowing how much is too much and wasted time and effort, or possibly even annoying), how much is enough (we want to sell ourselves and our titles), and how much is too little (my mom always said, "If you don't tell people that you have a book out to buy, they won't know.).

So what's a writer to do? Here's a tip from my talk:

ALWAYS REMEMBER THE WRITING COMES FIRST! Or as my wise mom said too, "You need something to sell, and the more product you have to sell the better." I'd add that having more than one piece of writing published is very useful too, for cross-marketing.

So everyone, keep writing!

Anybody got a secret to sell millions of books? Please share here! Anybody got a rant about the life of a writer nowadays? Share here!


dkchristi said...

Ah Idaho, the unsung jewel of the west; how I loved it there. I have found that the best bang for the buck is not the book signing but the news, radio, etc. media blitz announcing the signing. author of Ghost Orchid

J.Q. Rose said...

I wish I had the secret to sell millions of books cause then I could write how to do it and sell millions and millions of that book!! You're right. I feel like I am spinning my wheels when it comes to marketing...I have no idea what works. But when we were in business, we advertised and never knew what was effective either. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Conda Douglas said...

This is a test as I'm not sure if comments are going through, sigh.

Peter Green said...

Hi Conda, Thanks for your support and for these comments.Yes it's puzzling. Fortunately, here in St. Louis we have Bob Baker, who came into writing and publishing through the music world. He promotes both his music and his writing with a combination of techniques. He wrote "55 Ways to Promote your Book on the Internet," from, St. Louis), 2009. When he talks to us, he says, the main thing to remember is not to panic, just take one of the 55 ways each week or month and figure out how to do it. Over seven years, working this way, he has accumulated numerous effective techniques. He says your e-mail list is your most valuable tool. Good luck, Peter

J.Q. Rose said...

I left a comment earlier, but I don't see it. Hope you see this one.

Conda Douglas said...

Okay all, I figured out why the comments were not going through, ah, technology!

Conda Douglas said...

DK--yes, I'm a fifth! generation Idahoan and I've lived all over the world, but always end up back in Idaho.

And I believe you're correct, the value in booksignings, workshops, etc. is in the "Buzz" factor, i.e. the promoting itself is the reason.

Conda Douglas said...

JQ, good point that all marketers really don't know what is most effective--but they keep trying to find out!

Conda Douglas said...

Peter, thanks for the sage advice and I've also heard, remember what you put out there in social media remains, it's not like a daily newspaper, it stays on the Internet! (Good to remember with content, too.)