It's a fine line, between marketing and harassment.
It was a Facebook post I read once and I understand it completely as I have been harassed more than a few times to buy someone's book. Isn't that the problem though for so many, hell even regular sales calls, telemarketing can and has been called harassment and there are all these rules around it. What are the rules for selling your work, work you poured if not blood and sweat then definitely a few tears into. A clear one I believe I have found is don't post on Facebook over and over again it's on sale or directly message anyone. Okay, check. After that, what next?
I have read and it seems to hold true that the writers that blog have stronger numbers. This seems to make sense, if someone likes the voice you use to write your blog then they will want to read more of what you write. However if your sense of humor or lack thereof turns someone off then they will know not to buy what you are selling and perhaps complain about it later. But there seems to be so much more than that, I see excerpts posted of stories okay, even better. So here I am on Blogger where I can't post excerpts properly. Fuck, so then I go to Wordpress and I am such a dumbass when it comes to computer stuff of any kind, I spend forty damn minutes on it and can't even update the about me page. *bangs head on desk* I did manage to change the picture on it. That's for another day, I will get it done.
So then there's the whole Facebook page which seems still pretty strong with writers and readers, not just a regular page but an author's page. Which to me doesn't make any sense as the author's page is stiffer and I don't know, just unfriendly to use. There are all these bloggers giving gift cards and books away along with other things like book marks and other merchandising. Is that a good idea? It doesn't seem like anything other than annoying when I 'attend' one but they do have lots of followers and it doesn't seem like it would hurt. What's a few ten dollar gift cards compared to what could result potential sales at full price versus free even?
Which brings me to the next question of free. I'm highly ambivalent of free. Too often I myself have 'bought' a free book and it lingers on my kindle forgotten. I'm not even going to give the number of books I have on my kindle about 10-15 percent are full price paid or .99 and I don't know if I will live long enough to read all of them-I'm in my thirties that's all I'm going to say about that. Then several times in a weekend I've downloaded something for free and went nuts over a story and bought several by the author after that. So how good is it really? I do believe that by my waiting and posting several stories and having them all up at once will put me in a better position in case someone does read and likes and there are more to buy available. I've heard it called a loss leader, exactly. I will be losing money on that but hopefully to get more when someone is willing to buy the others at full price.
There's no easy transition so I'm just going to go there, I love Twitter and have gotten sickeningly attached pretty quickly. It's so simple!!!! I love simple. You spend a few hours, yes hours building of those you want to follow and then after that you hit it up two or three times a day for anywhere to five to fifteen minutes and you retweet specials, promotions and freebies. Pop off with a pithy comments once or twice so people don't think you're a bot and you're golden. Just like in real life people like it's when it's all about them and when you follow and retweet them they love you and spread the word of how great you are. Not even trying I'll get followers who actually have not just writers following them but actual readers and hopefully when the time comes when I have a freebie or promotion they'll tweet to them.
As far as actually paying for advertising, nope. I'm not going into paying for my book to be featured anywhere because, no way. I'd rather give away money to readers who follow just for the chance to win a gift card than an advertiser. Besides, the only place I've heard this really works is on Goodreads and I'm sure by the time I have the money to do Goodreads I won't need to. Yes, I am trying to quit my job and live just off what I make by writing but my needs are few and I'm lucky enough not to have any dependents so it won't take much, especially to make what I'm making now.
Any thoughts, suggestions holes you've fallen into and have advice to avoid?