Marketing Madness

It seems that here at the Scribes a lot of us have books coming out this year. Whether it’s with traditional publishers or the indie route we all have the same goal: To get our books in the hands of readers.

I find the task very daunting, terrifying actually, even with the street cred of a big publisher behind me I know that much of (98%) the marketing is going to fall on me. Where do I begin?

To some of us  MARKETING is a dirty four letter word that we hope we never have to do. Social Media is a term that so many of us have a hard time defining. I know from everybody I have spoken to, my agent, editor, successful authors there is no right way, no surefire way to ensure the masses flocks to your books.There are a hundred books you can read, it seems everybody is ready and willing to give advice.But  I never know who or what to listen to. But I stumbled across this.

30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore by HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog. Click the blue words if you would like to read the full version. I’m going to share  an abridged version of my top 5 from this list.

You need to be on every single social network.

Especially if you have limited time and resources, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to maintain an active presence on every single social media site. Research and learn about the makeup of the audience that populates each social network so you can figure out where you should focus. If your audience isn’t there, don’t waste your time. And as new social networks pop up (as they do all the time), feel free to experiment with them, but be ready to let them go if they don’t work for you, and let your analytics be your guide. Not sure where to start? LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are safe bets. They have huge audiences that span many demographics and industries.

Don’t get personal.

Social media gives you the opportunity to share a bit more personality than your website may allow. In fact, personality is often what gets you noticed in social media. After all, “People don’t fall in love with hex colors and logos — they fall in love with people,” as branding strategist Erika Napoletano (@RedHeadWriting) shared. Show the personality behind your brand and people to make your social media marketing more lovable so people naturally want to connect and engage with you.

Send an auto DM to all your new followers.

Whether you want to thank them, tell them to visit your website, or anything else, please please please don’t send an auto direct message (DM) to every new follower you get. Auto DMs are incredibly impersonal and perceived as spam by most. Sending auto DMs not only seems inconsiderate, but it also makes you look like a complete newbie who doesn’t understand social media etiquette.

Fan/follower growth is the most important metric.

Sure, fans and followers are nice, but they don’t actually pay you money or keep you in business. Instead, think about what matters most to your business — leads, customers, etc. — and focus on that as your top priority metric. Not to say that fans and followers aren’t important. They may be a piece in the puzzle that gets you to where you want to be. Just make sure you’re focusing on the end goal.

You don’t need a strategy for social media.

While you do need to be an agile social media marketer to be prepared for the unexpected, it’s also important to go in with a strategy. More specifically, you should know your goals in regard to your social media efforts — and how you’re going to work to achieve them. Do you have the content you need to support publishing? Do you know who you want to engage with and how? Have a plan in mind, identify what supporting materials you need, and know how you’re going to measure it on a regular basis.

I encourage everybody who has a book to sell or a business to read the full article and check out They’ve got some good tips and they update their stuff daily.

So what about you? What about marketing scares you? What do you find successful? Are there any sites that you would like to share? Any and all comments are welcome.


20 thoughts on “Marketing Madness”

  1. HUGE topic, Sugar. Some great tips there and I love HubSpot. They always put out useful material. I’ve learned so much over the past couple of years about marketing, I feel like I’ve been in college…not that I would ever in a gazillion years have chosen to go to marketing school. With new social media sites popping up all the time and mega changes in the book industry, it’s both easier and harder than ever to get your message out to readers. Some of it is just trial and error and plugging away at it.

    This is what I’m doing to maximize my visibility and minimize my time on social media.

    1) I’ve connected my FB and Twitter accounts so that my FB posts go to twitter. That way, I only have to visit the one site a few times a day to be seen in both places. I stop by twitter once a day to retweet for others and pass along useful information to my tweeps. During a promotion, I schedule my tweets using HootSuite, so that my message gets out about three times a day. I also use my loops that allow promo to help spread the word.

    2) I try to do one big marketing effort per month, rotating through my four current books. Each has their own marketing strategy so that I can attempt to reach new groups of readers vis niche markets. (see my post on Niche markets here)

    3) I’m just beginning to use GoodReads more by joining groups and will plan another Goodreads giveaway soon. I will also try to add some time to Tumblr, which is where my teen demographic is reportedly hanging out these days.

    The trick with all of it is that you just have to find what works for you, stay focused on your goal of reaching readers, and do a little at a time. It will make you crazy if you try to tackle it all at once. Keep breathing, my friend:-)

    1. I need a plan. I’m on Goodreads but I still don’t know how to master it yet. I don’t get Tumblr. I’m on Twitter and FB. I blog but I really don’t know what direction to turn in.

  2. Excellent advice, Sugar, and you’re so right: marketing is something I avoid like the plague. But even your five tips make sense so I’m going to head over to HubSpot and read what other twenty-five marketing mistakes I should avoid!

  3. Great points, Sugar, and thanks for the link! I’ll be checking it out for sure.

    My one suggestion would be to come up with a … well, I hate to call it a ‘schtick’, but I’m not sure what else to call it. Basically, a theme you can fall back on for you posts. I use my typos, which tend to be funny/naughty. Other authors post cute or sexy pictures on a certain day, etc.

    For me, it helps to have a trigger in my brain that says ‘gotta post that!’ Also, it gives me something to post other than pictures of my lunch, ‘buy my book’ links and too-personal info, and reminds fans that I’m out here writing!

    1. Oh no, I’m not the post sexy pictures of men type of romance writer. There are enough of them that could do a better job at it than I could.

      1. LOL glad I’m not the only one! I don’t mind them, and i think a lot of them are fun, but I just can’t bring myself to do it–not me. I’m a nerd. 😉

  4. Hi Sugar. Thanks for this post. I’m in the throes of developing my marketing plan and finding all the social media options concerning. There’s only so much time and determining ROI is a huge factor. It’s a process that I find is best undertaken with vast quantities of chocolate!!

  5. Terrific post Sugar and a very important topic even for the aspiring writer
    Finding a balance between working social media to build a presence a platform and writing is a difficult one.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. It think it’s important for even aspiring writers to start building platforms now, so they won’t be overloaded when they get THE CALL.

  6. Don’t get creeped out, Sugar, but I’m watching what you do and will probably imitate it over the next year. I will most likely concentrate on the blog, hanging out a bit more on other people’s blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Realistically that’s all I’m going to be able to do and get all the writing done I need to in 2013.

  7. I actually kind of *cough* LIKE marketing. It’s something that is active…I can’t explain it. What I don’t like is that it takes time away from writing, etc. I think an important thing is to have a plan, and stick to it. ADHD people like me seize opportunities like candy even though we may not really need them. So I always need to write things down and then think about them over night, look at things in the large scope.

    Thanks for the post Sugar, very informative!

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