Monday, June 16, 2014

Marketing…Enough Already! By Linda S. Glaz



A client recently told me that if he saw a post about a friend’s book one more time, he’d have to gouge his eyes out. So playing the devil’s advocate…only an expression, don’t shoot me…I said, “Maybe it was just re-posted by a friend and you’re seeing the re-post.” “Maybe a comment was made about it, and it’s re-posting for that reason.”
Apparently not. The author was just using every opportunity to market, market, market. But if it left my friend wanting to commit self-destruction, was it really a positive marketing tool? Or was he tempted to stop following the individual altogether because of the annoying pest-posts?
Using social media, we all know, is a great way to ‘get out the word’, but when does it cross the line? A wonderful author will be excited when they sign the contract for their book(s), post number one. About their cover when it arrives…post and photo number two. Then when the book arrives, we have post and possibly photo number three. How about a fourth post on the day the book releases? And then, of course, a post for blogs or book launches—numbers five and six. So, even with the most discreet number of posts, we are approaching five or six. And, of course, our family will each post our books, often to the same people we post to, and now we could be closing in on nine or ten. A great review on RT is worth another post, and perhaps a Top Pick award. Now we’re at an even dozen. Or a baker’s dozen if we show off the ad in a magazine or newspaper.
Is it really necessary for the author to post any more than these twelve times for the same book? Or are we beating our FB followers over the head? There truly is a fine line between marketing in a timely, efficient manner and killing our social media followers. Well, maybe we aren’t killing them, but we definitely are stretching the word ‘friend’ really thin. We can’t control what our family and friends post, and who would want to? They’re nearly as excited for us as we are for ourselves, but we CAN keep from overwhelming everyone with re-post after re-post of the same book, same photo of the book, same review of the book, same sale price.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t share each wonderful moment with our friends and followers, after all, this is our lives. We live for our books to release and we want to share them with the entire world, but enjoy each step along the way with a wonderful post, then wait for the next glorious moment before posting again. It isn’t necessary to post each of the above events ten or eleven times.
Marketing is king, but don’t make the mistake of turning what should be a positive tool into a negative marketing mistake!

23 comments:

Rick Barry said...

A very thoughtful post, Linda. Sitting back and considering the situation, I think all of us naturally rejoice over a friend's excitement about receiving cover art or a book's release. But you're right when it comes to repetitive marketing to the exact same audience. Especially when that audience is basically colleagues. It can get wearisome. Does anyone want the local lawn service phoning every single day offering a good deal on a contract? No, thank you. Authors can fall into the same trap of irritating with constant "Buy me!" notices to the exact same recipients.

Diana said...

Great post Linda. I agree that the times to post are just the ones you have listed here :-) Going to be sure my authors see this one. Thanks for saying it so well.

Sylvia A. Nash said...

This goes against most of what I've read about marketing, and I'm really surprised a fellow author--much less a friend fellow author--would say that!

Unless...unless you strictly mean "post" on one's blog as opposed to "promote" in general.

I read something somewhere that said a person has to see something about a given book about 20 times before they consider buying it. That might be a stretch, but it does make sense. And how many people actually see each "post" or "promotion"? I would be naive indeed if I thought all of my "friends" on Twitter or Facebook saw every tweet or FB post I sent out. Unless of course, they have time to sit and watch all of the tweets go by!

A person cannot promote without promoting. Each promotion effort will likely reach a couple of new people--perhaps new readers.

I guess I'm missing something here, but I would never begrudge another author trying to promote his or her book. If I've already read all about it--perhaps even purchased it--I don't have to read it again! All IMHO.

Terry Burns said...

It's where you post. A post that is primarily going to be seen by fellow authors is mostly aimed at friends and others who like and follow your work. But dare I say it? Other authors are not that great a market to sell books to. We know too many people with books to sell. We just can't afford that many. God bless the authors that not only buy what they can but try to get a lot of others stocked by their local library. The name of the game is to find avenues to contact and solicit READERS. Authors buy a few books but primarily they help us get our name out and help us create buzz and name identification. Readers buy and consume books, they should be our primary target, and there are a lot of places they can be found.Often these places are specialized groups or sites where our book is particularly attractive.

Linda Glaz said...

My entire reason for mentioning, Sylvia, is that I have had a few authors tell me they are dropping people from fb because they are sick of seeing 5-10 posts a day about the same book. So I guess for some, it comes across as very negative marketing. I think the 12-13 options I mentioned should do the trick. If not, perhaps it's time to advertise in magazines vs reposting the same old same old on fb and blogs.

Linda Glaz said...

And yes, Sylvia, I did mean repetitive posts like fb and blog. I don't mean marketing in general. There's a huge diff. Sorry, I didn't answer that above. It's HOT here today and I'm not thinking straight.

greenlightlady said...

Linda, I couldn't agree more with your post. I follow a lot of authors on Twitter, and it's annoying when their tweets are simply advertisements and links with rarely any personal posts to hook a reader's interest in the author themselves. Social media is about being social. Carly Watters sets a good example with her posts--engaging and personal. I'm watching and learning from her for when the day comes that I have a published book to share.

Thanks for sharing this needed post. Your suggestion of when to mention one's book is balanced. I'm going to look you up on Twitter.

Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

Sylvia A. Nash said...

Okay, Terry and Linda, that makes sense. I still see problems. Not to be argumentative but this has always bothered me. Putting myself out there is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. And as a self-published author, if I don't promote myself, no one else is going to! My latest release has stayed in the top 20 (usually 9-15) on one of Amazon's bestseller lists for at least a month (which does NOT equate to 100s, more like an average of 2 per day), and if I don't tweet or do a FB post or something every few days, I go to a flat zero.

One of my angst situations is FB. On Facebook, there are several "groups" where you are invited to post about your books. That's their purpose in being. And there are no restrictions about how many times you post as long as you support others in their efforts as well. And as the membership could increase hundreds a day, there are always new people. The problem is that sometimes those posts show up on my FB page; sometimes they don't. I've never figured out how or why. I've told my FB friends when that happens, delete it or hide it! No one has ever complained. They are after all my friends.

I also have an author page, followed by mostly other authors. Some of them post their word count every day! And they certainly post whatever is happening with their book/books on that given day. Some of them are newbies; some of them are seasoned authors with traditionally published books.

I think I'm more confused than ever! :-) I need to get back to writing!

195

Sylvia A. Nash said...

P.S. That 195 was my "show us you're a real person" number. Typed it twice. :-)

Nan Jones said...

I love this and totally agree. I write non-fiction and try to market by the concept that "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I try to be relational even on Twitter. I also try to keep my brand ever before me ("Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord.") so that followers and friends come to expect that type of encouragement and insight from me. This is also the premise behind my writing, so this type of posting familiarizes them with my content. Honestly, I detest the business/marketing side of writing, but I love how you broke it down. Thank you.

Linda Glaz said...

We each have to go on the path that we decide is best for us, but I think we need to also listen to folks who tell us they're seeing a problem. We have to at least consider that it might be a problem, and look at both sides, then decide on how to proceed. Thanks all for the good feedback today. This helps a lot.

Vie said...

Thank you for this post. It is not uncommon for me to get four notifications a day, with no less than two a day from the same author pushing her one book. This has been going on for months. She is posting in two small forums of writers. I finally cut off all notifications from her. I stopped reading the posts months ago. This is misguided marketing.

Linda Glaz said...

Thanks for you input, Vie.

Linda Glaz said...

You know, it's sort of like when you get together with non-writing friends and family and talk so much about writing that all the eyes glaze over. You don't want your friends'eyes on fb to glaze over so much that they unfollow you. Maybe?

Kristen said...

You hit the nail on the head Linda. I am interested to hear from my writer friends at the times that you mentioned, but anything else would just annoy me. I want to hear about the process that your book is going through. Take me on the journey with you and share the excitement. But don't just post the same thing again when something new isn't happening in the process. I think that with all of the speakers at conferences pushing for writers to promote, people have forgotten what this looks like from a non-writer's perspective. Another example is the little ditty about yourself that accompanies every e-mail. "Best selling author of ...." Other writers may see this as normal, but I'm fairly new at this and it always comes across as fabulously arrogant to me. Talked about it with another writer friend of mine and she had the same reaction. So yep, I think putting some thought into how you portray yourself and not just blindly promoting is a good idea. Perhaps I'm being picky, but I'm really hoping that I can get published some day without my publisher demanding this kind of e-mail thingy at the end of my messages. Am I being ridiculous? Hmmm...maybe if I made it into a joke or a cartoon people would think it was fun instead of annoying???

Rick Barry said...

Just to clarify what might be a misconception. Sylvia stated above, "I would be naive indeed if I thought all of my 'friends' on Twitter or Facebook saw every tweet or FB post I sent out." That would be accurate if a person is speaking of his/her activity on their own FB page. However, as soon as you join a group, then EVERY time you post to that group page, EVERYONE else in that same group receives a FB notification that there is new activity. And there's only way to find out what the new activity is: click the little red notification. So, using this method to "promote" is equivalent to holding up the exact same book in front of the exact same people over and over and over....

You can block a friend's posts from appearing in your timeline, but I don't think you can block notifications from a particular person within a group's postings. If I'm wrong, maybe someone will explain how to do that. ;)

Linda Glaz said...

I just think the old adage, do unto others still applies. If we know 50 other people are going to post it, then we should post once and leave it alone. When I posted for a pitch contest on my fb yesterday, a g'zillion friends reposted and I'm sure folks got sick of seeing it, but we can only control ourselves, not others.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

I think much of this FB over-posting problem can be solved by having a separate author page and a personal page. Yes, often you will post author-oriented things on your personal page, but I try to post only when it has something to do with how my friends/personal FB followers can participate or might be something they're interested in (giveaways, etc).

In this day and age, authors have to market nearly constantly. I think we can change up how we market things, but some authors do use scheduled tweets and FB groups to get the word out on their books. I might not read all those tweets/posts, but I understand what they're trying to do, and though I might not choose that method, I know it does work for them.

I think it's always better to be out there and visible than totally invisible in a sea of books. We all go about this different ways, but, in the end, much of marketing falls on the author and we have to determine which ways we'll go about it. I do think personal involvement/comments trump scheduled posts/tweets every time, but again, I know that does work for some.

Linda Glaz said...

I agree, Heather. It has become daunting. But when I heard some folks no longer followed, I figured a blog on it might get the word out to be as effective as possible without making folks crazy. Okay, for those of you who know me, I'm already there, but that a whole diff blog. :)

Heather Day Gilbert said...

I think it does depend on audience, too. I know as an indie author, I totally "get" where authors are coming from who market more than I do and I don't fault or unfollow them for it. I do unfollow people who post erotica links on twitter, etc. I think we're each different in our lines in the sand...what makes us unfollow someone.

Linda Glaz said...

I agree, Heather, that we each have to make our choices and what we are able to do and not do. No one ever walks completely in another person's shoes.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thanks, Linda. I have a new book coming out soon; this will help me to not overdo. I think I went hawg wild with the first one!

Jen

Linda Glaz said...

We ALL do, and if we don't, our friends and family do it for us. I think this post was more just to have people be aware of it and compromise. But I hear ya, it's easy to do. So market away, with Chuckles on top ! :)