This is the second post in a thread on author marketing metrics, specifically about some fascinating advice I got through a Facebook group (that spawned these posts). Part 1 provided a cantankerous but realistic intro to the subject of author marketing metrics.
What follows is someone’s sincere advice broken down one item at a time because it makes it easier to isolate assumptions and test rigorously.
The key to using Twitter is to get noticed. – Read no further if getting noticed is your endgame. You want to get noticed to sell books? That I get. You want to get noticed to schedule more signings? That I get. You want to get noticed for the sake of getting noticed? Do something stupid on Youtube. It’s easier and might be fun.
My point is getting noticed whiteout a reason to get noticed is (to me) foolish. You waste time and money. Using myself as an example, I’m not on Twitter to get noticed. But I never joined any social network to get noticed.
So first, figure out why you want to get noticed. What’s your endgame?
Then you must ask, “Who do you want to notice you?” I got noticed by lots of people, companies, groups, et cetera, when I started getting patents. I got noticed by credit card companies when I got out of college. I got noticed by Uncle Sam when I didn’t pay my taxes.
So second, figure out who you want to have notice you. Specifically, who, once they notice you, can help you achieve your goal/get you to your endgame?
That means first using effective search terms. – Well, once you’ve figured out your goal and who can help you get there, then yes, third, figure out what search terms they will respond to.
Here’s a tip for authors seeking Twitter search terms. Go find 5-10 authors in your genre that you know are selling lots of books. Follow them (or just read through their streams for about a week. See what search terms they’re using. Use them. This search term discovery strategy will work on any advertising platform (Amazon, for example). I’m not saying you’ll start selling lots of books, I’m saying that people who pay attention to bestselling authors’ search terms will now find you popping up in their searches.
If you use the same terms over and over, you will not get new followers. – I disagree based on experience. I use few search terms, if any, and my followers have grown steadily and organically over the past year, meaning the kind folks who’ve decided to follow me are genuinely interested in me, not a search term, and stay with me. (THANK YOU!)
If you don’t post interesting stuff, you will not get new followers. – I’m boring and dull. I don’t tweet interesting stuff by definition. What I do tweet are things that interest me.
And here’s the kicker. People interest me. Genuinely and honestly. I believe everybody’s special, everybody has a purpose, everybody has a story to tell and it’s a great story if they know how to tell it. I spend more of my Twitter time listening to others than talking about myself. Because I don’t do a lot of marketing, don’t hit people over the head with offers, don’t bore them with my bland life, I’m interesting.
Or so it seems.
The real question is can you get noticed. Sadly, 90% of marketing is just that, getting noticed especially by people who might want to read a book. – One modification; people who might want to read your book. A slight and significant modification. Every other book out there is your competition. Doesn’t matter how well written it is, its genre, the author, et cetera.
And it gets worse. Milk is your book’s competitor. Bread. A movie. A cigarette. An upgrade from a free to a paid app.
And once someone buys your book, its got another set of competitors; project deadlines, crying babies, household chores, kids’ sports, your gym time (I read when I’m doing the stairs), going out with friends to the movies, to dinner, to lunch, to the bar, shopping, … It takes time to read a book and dedicated time to read a good book.
You want your book to so captivate the reader that they can’t put it down. Reviewers of The Augmented Man write that they missed bus stops, fought sleep to keep reading, picked it up first thing when they woke up. Wow!
The Piker Press editor Sand Pilarski wrote “What a captivating and thought-provoking story! Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Every interruption seemed like a catastrophe.” re The Goatmen of Aguirra. Harvey Duckman Presents V3 editor Andy wrote “By the way, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed ‘Morningsong’. In this role I get to read a heck of a lot and sometimes I think I become a bit desensitized and reading/editing becomes ‘the job’ rather than something I do for fun… but something about Morningsong really struck me. It’s a really powerful story. So thank you.
It’s nice to know the cynic in me hasn’t completely killed of all my humanity and occasionally something can still get through that reaches my soul ;)” re Morningsong.
Next up, we continue analyzing the advice received via Facebook. (note it won’t be available until 29 Jan 2020)