An alliterative title for my first blog post of the month – and it’s a Monday too! I’ve been hopeless at regular blogging these past few weeks, and excuses of bad backs, holidays with the family, and a major book launch just don’t cut it! But I’m back now (watch out), and ready to take on the new task of marketing not one but two novels. And I need your advice …

Having two novels out has caused quite a lot of extra work already. My spreadsheet where I track my sales and royalties has had to be updated, for one thing, causing all sorts of problems with links to my accounting sheets … well, you don’t need to hear about all that. But the new systems I’ve set up allow for the fact that there will be more novels, an indefinite amount, and that got me thinking. Prior to the release of The Family Trap, all my marketing efforts were mainly focused around Can’t Live Without. It was like, this is my book, guys – take a look! But now, and in the future, this approach seems awkward and unlikely to work. (It didn’t work so amazingly well anyway, to be honest.) So, what I need is a new plan. A proper, bona fide, Marketing Plan.

I sort of have a marketing plan already, but it’s more of a list: promote book, Tweet about it, go on Facebook etc. Nothing concrete. Nothing measurable. I need a clear vision of what I’m supposed to be doing, and how to do it.

Most authors I know, or know of, do some or all of the following online activities:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Goodreads
  • Blogging
  • Forums
  • Other social media sites

We’ll leave ‘other social media sites’ out of the discussion, as there’s enough to do without confusing it any further. Now, while I love my blog – and will never stop blogging – it doesn’t bring me in front of many new potential readers of my novels. Not pure readers, anyway. But it’s fun, so I’ll still devote time to it. Forums I’ve tried and just don’t get on with. I think you have to be really careful in these cynical times that readers don’t think you’re there purely to sell your book – and let’s be honest, you are! Lots of authors have built up a great following with relevant forums, but I don’t think they are for me.

Stress

Goodreads I get as a reader, but as an author I can’t see how activities translate into sales of books. I do all the usual stuff – events, giveaways – but I’m not sure how far I can go beyond that. Which leaves Twitter and Facebook. Now, the problem for me is this: I don’t have time to do both well. (And I think it’s important to do one well rather than both half-heartedly.) Some authors I see in my Facebook feed seem to link their Tweets and FB posts, but when this results in a FB feed of meaningless hashtags and @names it just gets annoying! Other authors market their books almost exclusively on Twitter, and it works for them. But I find just Tweeting lines of a book, or snippets of reviews, a bit boring and repetitive. I’ll do it, but I don’t like it. Likewise, taking a photo of my dinner and popping it on Facebook isn’t really me either, but lots of authors do this kind of thing …

So, I need advice. Should I focus on Facebook or Twitter? And whichever I choose, what do I have to say that’s interesting to readers? Readers, readers, readers … how can I connect with them in an ongoing and meaningful way? And how can I do all this and still have time to write? Over to you πŸ™‚

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