Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG - ASK PZM: December 2013

It's that wonderful time again, the first Wednesday in the month, Insecure Writer's Support Group day, compliments of our very own fierce and noble Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavannaugh. If you think this group sounds like a good place and you'd like to join, click here


Do please check out Alex's post today. He's got an announcement to make AND some niffy surprises. 




It's a simple process: 

"Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post." 

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG co-hosts this month are: Julie Flanders, Heather Gardner, Kim Van Sickler and  Elsie is Writing!



Now that the INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP Website is a reality, please help us spread the word.  



ASK PZM: December 2013

Q:  The internet is constantly changing, so what worked yesterday is old news today. How does that affect marketing?

This is an excellent question because it is something that everyone who uses online marketing, not just authors, has to continually consider.
Who remembers MySpace?  If any authors are currently participating on this site (which still exists, because I just checked), these authors are probably not optimizing their book marketing outreach.
There are always new relationship sites coming online that could be helpful for reaching our target reading audiences.  But we can’t be everywhere at once, especially if we also want time to write our books.
This means that we need to keep a pulse on what new site is taking off and which new site is probably not going to be worth our time investment.
 

For example, I think that Pinterest can be a good site for authors because it does not take a lot of time to participate and keywords can help people find Pinterest boards and pins.  On the other hand, I’m not sure that being active on Pinterest helps sell books. But what is good about Pinterest is that if, for example, your blog posts with photos have the “Pin it” share option, it is easy for people to share.
Besides free online marketing options changing all the time, paid advertising options also change.  For example, Facebook now has very detailed paid advertising options and Twitter is increasing its focus on paid tweets.

Numerous experts give free webinars on these subjects (think Mari Smith for Facebook) and, if you can listen to some webinars live or on replay, the investment in your time can be worthwhile.  Plus certain paid webinars may also be worth your time and money.
You do not have to be an expert about all the major social media marketing opportunities.  But it does make sense to keep up with major changes that can help you promote your books.

Q:  How should an author encourage readers to read their book and write a review if they loved it?
 
One way of doing this is to ask for a review if a reader loved your book.  You can put a link at the end of an ebook or physical book that goes directly to the review page of your book on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever you want to send readers to write reviews.
Yes, the link will not be clickable in a physical book or on some ereaders.  But if you use a shortened URL such as bit.ly for the long permalink to the review page, readers should be able to easily type the shortened URL into their browser windows.

Q: What about marketing ideas related to holidays?
 
Definitely utilize holidays that relate to your books. For example, in connection with Veterans Day I tweeted the Kindle link to my ebook SOLOMON’S JUSTICE: A PTSD SHORT STORY.
Of course, tweeting in connection with holidays is a simple marketing step.  Use your imagination to come up with other ways to attract attention.
Perhaps you have a mystery novel that includes a recipe for holiday cookies.  Maybe an online kitchen utensil site would be interested in selling your book with a shoutout for the recipe and the kitchen utensils needed for the recipe.
     
Obviously these kinds of cross-promotions need to be planned months ahead of time.  Now would be a good time to plan for Thanksgiving in 2014.


When considering cross-promotional opportunities, remember that the starting point is what can you do for the other person.  The second consideration is what the other person can do for you.


TWEET #1 - How does the changing internet affect marketing? (click to tweet) 

TWEET #2 - How to encourage readers to write a review. (click to tweet)

TWEET #3 - Need some marketing ideas related to holidays? (click to tweet)  

 

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books, and she blogs on book-related topics at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com   

46 comments :

  1. I'd seen photos with Pin It in the corner - now I know why!
    That's almost scary that My Space still exists,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once went back to see what was going on, but I couldn't remember my password. When I finally did get on, I was shocked by how young I looked. LOL. Thanks, Alex.

      Delete
  2. I'm surprised MySpace is still alive and kicking. I wonder who still visits? What age bracket and such. This was chock full of great ideas. Thank you for sharing!

    co-host IWSG
    Elsie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elsie. I think only old cronies like me still drop by MySpace once every 5 years or so. Thanks for co-hosting.

      Delete
  3. Oh, marketing and the internet it is driving me nuts, and my eBook has only been out for a week and two days! LOL!!!

    Great tips!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pinterest will be my next foray into social media. But...not quite there yet. Blogging, FB, and Twitter are good for now! I'm not the multi-media multi-tasker that some writers are. But I'm working on it.
    --December IWSG co-host

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to do it all, Kim, until I burned out. Now I'm lucky if I remember where my flashdrive is. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  5. I know people who say Pinterest gets the job done for them. Too overwhelmed to take on anything more. Good tips for visibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get where you're coming from, Joy. I use all these apps, but I never seem to have time to check out what others are doing. It feels very one-sided to me.

      Delete
  6. Marketing is definitely the hardest part of the whole writing process for me. This was a very timely and helpful post for me to read! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Julie. I've yet to meet an author who enjoys marketing, let alone thinks it's easier than writing the novel. Even John Grisham said he didn't enjoy that part.

      Delete
  7. I think marketing is the most difficult part of The Writing Process. And that is saying something since the writing part is pretty darn hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Robin. I'm actually glad I didn't know it would be so hard when I first started out. I may have talked myself out of being a writer because of how stressful marketing is.

      Delete
  8. I always love your pictures!
    As a reader I honestly don't pay attention to the reviews as much. If I like the synopsis then I am more likely to read the book, then pay attention to what others think. I might be in the minority on that, but that is the way I get hooked on a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, David. I think the blurb is essential to the success of the book. If it's badly written, it'll definitely turn readers off. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  9. Marketing sounds hectic!
    Seems like there are a gazillion ways to market your book, but with the constantly changing internet and new social media platforms popping up all the time, which ones are still effective, and how do you know when they become outdated? Sounds like it's also a trial-and-error process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know one thing, it all makes my head spin, which isn't a pretty site. LOL. Thanks for visiting, Michelle.

      Delete
  10. I wish I could keep up with the ever-changingn social media, but I can't. Then, there's this feeling of being manipulated by social bots and so on that creeps me out. So, I just released my A-Z to the Fates and watched it climb to #2 in regional books, an awesome experience as I write regional stories.

    Joylene, I hope the visit to the doc provided good news. I winced when I read about your tumble . . . oh but you love your kitty! I ended up with two lovely bruises on my cheeks, er, the buttocks type -- then, I reached for a book in our bookcase only to have the shelf fall on my hand . . . nothing broken, thankfully, but bruised and swollen beyond words. So, okay, girl, that makes three for us and, hopefully, the end of crashing bones. But please let me know how the doc's visit went!!! (I'm a worry wart!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Turns out I torn the front muscle on my shin. Who knew I had one. Has also felt like bone and skin to me. LOL. But I'm fine and ready to take on the world. Thanks, Kittie.

      Delete
  11. Yes, always a problem, I keep up, but the other part of me worries about actually doing some writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really slowed down on blogging for that very reason, Carole. Seems I'm still far from finishing my WIP.

      Delete
  12. Every year I intend to do something that will tie in with the holiday locally in my town, and then by the time I think about it again, it's too late to make it happen. At least I got to tie in the first book of my series with the summer Olympics last year. Almost missed that, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same thing here. I have such great intentions. And then I blink. Maybe that's the secret, we're not to blink.

      Thanks, Diane.

      Delete
  13. Great advice. I just started trying to use Pinterest more and must be better about using Twitter. Right now I don't have a book to promote but am still trying to work on the platform. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Pinterest, but boy can I lose time while I'm there. It's so easy to get lost. Thanks for visiting, Julie.

      Delete
  14. Hey Joylene,

    Of course, how could I possibly forget the IWSG aka "I Was Seeking Gary" tribute. I'm blushing with all this flattery. Then I woke up.

    All of that marketing advice is well cool. However, me being a smug amateur are fine being a well-kept secret, or something like that.

    Of course, I did learn that Pinterest has nothing to do with acupuncture or voodoo dolls....

    Your starstruck fan,

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late delay, Gary. I always appreciate you taking time to visit my blog. Hope your New Year is the best.

      Delete
  15. Joylene, I hope your leg is better by now. Ouch. Perhaps you could consider adding prunes to the cat food for your poor kitty? I just pinned the IWSG posters and the procrastination poster to my Pinterest page. Thanks for the reminder to use Pinterest.!! It can be addictive and such a time waster, but hey, marketing is such a chore, we need some fun once in awhile. Thanks for the great info, Phyllis.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Joylene - Phyllis always has such good ideas to consider .. and the Pinterest aspect I see awakened Alex' pique .. Social Media is quite daunting .. but I'm sure fun.

    I hadn't realised you'd fallen - so I hope the leg is not that serious and all will be healed by Christmas ... such a nuisance ... look after yourself - mind you a cup of tea overlooking your lake can't be a bad way to relax and recuperate ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the idea, Hilary. Hope your New Year is outstanding.

      Delete
  17. Wow, to touch the Stanley Cup Is A Major Big Deal! Hub's in awe. I don't know much about hockey -- saw a game once, though, and really enjoyed it -- but after reading Canadian blogs bashing the Maple Leafs, I asked hub what the problem was. He was very sympathetic to problems I don't quite remember and ended with, "They'll come back."

    Hey, here's hoping your leg's okay. That was a nasty fall you had. Please take care of yourself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Kittie. Best wishes to you and your family in the New Year.

      Delete
  18. Those are some interesting points. Definitely worth some pondering.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lots of great tips! Now all I need are more hours in the day to make some of these happen! Thanks. And if you have extra hours call me.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, Joylene. I hope you will stop by to accept an award that I've nominated you for.

    http://susannedrazic.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-award-nominees-are.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for thinking of me, Susanne. I'm recovering from a fall, a cross country flight, and a nasty cold. LOL. I know, just too much excitement for one person. Happy New Year.

      Delete
  21. Awesome thoughts and ideas. I've been getting more into pinterest the last little bit, and I do think it's such a great way to quickly share things. And some of those webinars out there, even the free ones have been so amazingly helpful! I guess the key is to constantly be stretching and growing, eh? Being an author never leaves you room to stagnate, and in that regard, it's probably one of the healthiest ways to live.

    Here's to an amazing 2014! May yours be the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I missed this until now, Crystal. I love pinterest and purposely stay away because it's so addictive. LOL. I never get much done if I even stop by to take a peek. One peek turns into an hour or more.

      Delete
  22. I don't see the appeal of Myspace. Pintrist is just confusing for me.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinterest is so addictive, Gina, it's probably a good thing you find it confusing. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  23. Joylene, wishing you a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2014!
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please come in and sit for while. We will talk about writing. We will share our dreams. Then I will serve tea and cookies. Home made and Gluten Free.