Hey everyone, Flobo here.
Today I want to talk to you about marketing for a bit. As authors (or screenwriters or poets) we want our work to be seen, read, or heard. This I understand. Like I said in previous posts, if no one reads our stuff, can we truly call ourselves authors? Nowadays, it’s the norm to start a social media campaign to get the word out about your work. Almost everyone has a Facebook or Twitter page for example. Including Yours Truly. Check the right side bar to “Like” my Facebook page or to “Follow” me on Twitter.
There is a slight problem with a lot of my fellow authors and their Facebook and Twitter pages: They run them like infomercial channels!
Listen, there is nothing wrong about writing about the availability of your work. After all, that’s what a platform like Twitter is for. The problem arises when advertising your book is ALL you talk about. Sure, I’m an indie author, but I am also a fan of books as well as a student of the writing craft. I follow an author on Twitter to learn about the person behind the $2.99 special at Smashwords. A lot of times, there is an opportunity for an author’s followers to see what the author herself finds interesting but that tends to get passed over. I bring this up because it defeats the purpose of “social media” by in essence taking the social aspect out.
Before the explosion of Barnes & Nobles and Borders bookstores in the 1990s, I used to hate going to a bookstore. Why? Well, the environment wasn’t conducive to learning about new writing talent. You were expected to walk in, grab the book you wanted and to leave, (Again, these are the days before it was OK to grab a book and read it at your leisure at the store’s cafe). A lot of authors had their book judged by their covers (giving even more weight to the adage). Anyway, flash forward twenty-five years and now a potential costumers can learn about the craftsmen and craftswomen who create the literary worlds they love so much. They can get some insight into their favorite writer’s process, or even ask questions if they get the urge. At least in an ideal situation. Instead my Twitter Feed is filled with Review Blurbs and links to buy books like a virtual flier! I’m inundated with advertising messages all day so when I get a flood of Book Ads, I tend to tune them out….And I’m a WRITER!
If there’s one thing I learned from companies like Apple, BMW, and Ben&Jerry’s is that people are willing to check out and invest in a brand because they can tap into, and identify with that brands IDENTITY. It isn’t “buy an iPod because its available at Apple.com” but there’s a feeling of quality in the product and the expectation in enjoying said product.
Hey, advertise your books; we have to to eat after all. Just don’t forsake social media tools and not use them to their full potential. I like to let my followers know that I am a real person. A person with failed daily writing goals, an unhealthy love of karaoke, and a fan of US Soccer. Giving the public some insight can only help you as a brand in the long run. Make your followers feel as if they are part of a Text Revolution!