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Monday, January 20, 2014

Online Marketing Symposium

What are the secrets of successful books?  There are so many talented writers out there and so many good books out there, why do some sell better than others, assuming equal talent?

These are the questions that are being addressed in this blog hop started by:

I can't say.  My writing is my joy, my solace, my delight, and I have little time to do anything with it.  There are lots of reasons why promotions do not succeed.  In my case, I think it comes down to two factors:

1.  The exhaustion factor. 
Basically, you have to accept that you have to do something to promote your work.  But who has time to haunt Facebook and the blogosphere?  Who wants to be like the person I know of who wrote a book that I read and did not like (and did not review for that reason), who peppers the e-waves with Buy!  Buy!  Buy! messages and crows about five star reviews on Amazon?

There is hope here.  I have been looking into some writings about ways to budget time, allowing you to have a presence and at the same time have a productive run (of writing). 

2.  Shyness.  
Basically, I have a hesitation about asking for help.  I have a backlist of books that I am not afraid to put out there to be read.  But I have problems asking friends and acquaintances and followers to possibly feature them, run their covers, interview me…  Why?  Well, it comes down to the 'what ifs'.  Some of them are historical fiction set in a rather exotic venue: ancient Egypt.  Is it so terrible that someone might cringe at the names?  Do I have the fear that someone will think I'm not a 'real' writer?  Maybe so – but the answer is to ASK and be ready for an answer. Did I say two reasons?  Let's make it three – with the third being the positive one.

#3: decide to learn and try.
Self-published books have a long shelf life.  I don't have to be a success by tomorrow.  My books are selling (admittedly,  they only pay for my car loan with a little left over, but still: people are buying them).  And I can take a deep breath and start learning.

There are a great many people out there, an amazing number of which are happy to share their knowledge and expertise.  Only a fool hesitates to ask.  (Yes, I have been a fool.)
What has helped you?  What has helped others?  Check out the other posters and find out!  (And let me know.  I want to learn...)


  1. So many people in the world publish and I have said... just because I write, doesn't make me a writer. I still believe I have a lot to learn and this is a great way to learn what others have done. You have some great advice and overcoming hurdles... thank you for sharing.

    Jeremy H.

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

  2. They pay for your car loan? That's FABULOUS!!!!!! I wish mine would!!!

  3. I think on asking people to feature or interview you, the worst someone can say is "No." And truthfully, in the hundreds of people I've asked to help, I've heard one polite "no," with a promise to help promote other ways.

    I read some truly epic advice about marketing. If you're not having fun, your audience is not having fun. You have to find what works for you and go with it like a boss. =)

  4. Paying for your car loan isn't small beans. I battle my shyness all the time too. I hate the flood Facebook idea.

  5. Don't be afraid to ask readers and friends for help. They can champion your book in ways you can't.
    Thanks for participating in the symposium!

  6. My experience with asking bloggers to feature my eBook is that they agree, or don't respond back. No one has ever told me "no". I think bloggers and authors are generally interested in helping other authors. I have received the best support from fellow authors.

    I do book blasts, character interviews, and cover reveals on my blog, so if you are interested I can schedule you for a spot next month. :) Contact me: ChrysFey(at)Yahoo(dot)Com

  7. I'm shy about asking for help to, but sometimes it can be really, really...well, helpful.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

  8. Shyness and exhaustion also seem to creep on me at times. Deciding to learn and try can really work wonders and bring in the positive things.

    The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

  9. Woo HOO! Your book sales are covering your car payments? That's fantastic! (I hope it's a really BIG payment!)

    I haven't asked anyone to feature me, or done a blog tour, or anything like that. On the one hand, people won't know about a book unless they read about it somewhere, but on the other hand, I don't want to make people sick to death of hearing about it, if you know what I mean. So I bide my time. My old hometown newspaper ran a front page story about me and my book, which was kinda cool, and caused a nice spike in sales, but mostly I'm slogging along, counting on favorable reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. (Just my luck, people are loaning my book to all their friends! Too funny!)

  10. It is exhausting. Writing, self-publishing, marketing - there's so much to do, and you almost have to be a jack of all trades when you write books anymore. Add a dose of energizer bunny, and wow! You're making your car payments from book sales - you must be doing something right! That's totally awesome!

  11. The long shelf life is definitely an advantage to self-publishing. You can keep marketing ten years after it's been published!

  12. I can emphathise with being overwhelmed by the multiple roles we have as writers, whether we publish with mainstream publisher or self-publish. But the long shelf life when you self-publish is comforting. I can pace myself as if I'm running a marathon, rather than sprinting through the process.

  13. With four self published novels in the past two years I am hoping you are right about the long shelf life. Like you I hate to beg for sales and try to balance out both my twitter and Facebook postings.

  14. I totally get the factors that are stopping you - I really do. But since it's not ME, I an step outside of myself and encourage you to ask, anyway :)

  15. That long shelf life is what's really helping the publishing industry right now. It used to be 4 -6 months and if a book didn't sell it was relegated to forgotten failure. That's no longer the case thankfully.


  16. Your book sales pay for your car loan? That is amazing! And something to be PROUD of!

  17. I will be going to all the posters on this blog hop, read and comment. There seems to be so much to see and learn, and I really have enjoyed the little I've been able to read. Let me say that I don't drive a BMW. In fact, I drive a PT Cruiser, so that might give an idea... I think the shyness is something to get over. And the 'just DO something' is something to get going. I'll be visiting - thank you all so very much for stopping by and contributing. I'm definitely smiling!


  18. Hi Diana .. I admire you for having written the books in the first place, and then getting them to ebook ready - has to help along the way. As you get more comfortable and able to want to market .. it'll all come together ...

    I think Lee's idea of the On-Line symposium seems to be really helpful ..

    Cheers to you and all marketers .. Hilary