Blurbs

Noun: blurb
1. A promotional statement (as found on the dust jackets of books

 
I’m studying blurbs.

You know that stuff you find written on the backcover and/or dust jacket of most books? That’s the blurb. It’s underneath the endorsements (if there are any) and the grabber-headline.

My study revealed that opinions differ (Duh!). Some times the terms used for the same things differ. There’s no hard and fast rules, only opinions.

Opinions are called soft data, meaning they’re subjective and hard to pin down into something actionable. However, get enough soft data and you can do some statistical analysis and turn it into hard data, meaning objective and pin downable.

Provided you remember your original source is soft data and therefore your valid results could be valid results of invalid information. Two-thousand people claiming something is valid doesn’t necessarily mean it’s valid. It could mean two-thousand people are incorrect.

The Chinese General Solicitation
I study soft data using The Chinese General Solicitation. I learned the Solicitation a long time ago, it’s served me well ever since in any number of situations:

  1. Ask the same question to lots of different people.
  2. Get their answer,
  3. then ask lots of questions to get an explanation for their answer.

Do that until you run out of time, money, or both (and recognize that the data won’t harden up quickly. You generally need lots of people taking part), then make a list divided as follows:

  1. Top of the list – find out what everybody agrees to.
  2. Second part of the list – find out what most people agree to.
  3. Bottom of the list – pay attention to what you agree with (not because it’s least worthy but because it’s your gut-check station).

1. What does everybody agree to?


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Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin metrics! (finale)

I got ya charts right here, they make the data clear, unless you’re doing metrics you’ll never know if you’re near. Can do, Can do. This is what metrics can do…

This is the fourth post in a thread on author marketing metrics, specifically regarding 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. Part 2 started an analysis of the advice along with a few suggestions re selecting keywords on Twitter and Amazon and closed asking how one demonstrates their story-telling and -crafting ability in a tweet (we’re getting there). Part 3 continued the analysis.

Here we get to some tough questions that should be asked about any advice you get. But before we do…

Only take advice from someone you’re willing to trade places with.

 
It’s worth pointing out that the person giving the twitter advice is

  • Not a recognized name author
  • Publishes through a POD service that does no marketing (and isn’t it amazing how many POD publishers make doing all your own marketing sound like a godsend?)

I’m not willing to trade with the person who gave the advice analyzed in Part 2 and Part 3 (should be obvious from my comments on the advice. if not, read the following).
Continue reading “Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin metrics! (finale)”

Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 3)

Social Equations

This is the third post in a thread on author marketing metrics, specifically regarding 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. Part 2 started an analysis of the advice along with a few suggestions re selecting keywords on Twitter and Amazon and closed asking how one demonstrates their story-telling and -crafting ability in a tweet.

Here we continue the analysis.

Try to post at different times and different days during the week. – Hmm… a lot of marketing is repetition. The more people encounter your marketing material the more likely they are to respond to it. Much of that repetition involves always having your material in the same place at the same time. People see it often enough in the same place at the same time they know where and when to look for it when they’re ready to act.

And much of repetition is touching the prospect out of sequence. We’re now in the realm of marketing psychology. The general rule is you need to touch someone a minimum of five times before they’ll act (I’ve also heard 7-10 times before they’ll act). Let’s go with “The more you touch the prospect, the more likely they are to act.” To that point, marketing is like voting in Chicago; do it early and often. Be the first thing someone sees, the last thing someone sees, and make sure they see it in between often.
Continue reading “Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 3)”

Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 2)

Even God created man to be noticed, he told himself.

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?
Continue reading “Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 2)”

Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 1)

Tanri bile farkedilmek için insani yaratmis, kendini anlatmis

Have you written a book? Do you market it?

Extremely important question that, “Do you market it?”, because if you market it then you want to know which marketing is effective (yes, we’re back to the ROI discussions).

Knowing which marketing is effective involves numbers. Not “Look what I can do!” but “This number tells us something. We may not like what it tells us but it’s telling us something we can use to do better.”

You may be spending money on things but that’s not marketing. Example: My tweets. I tweet for fun. It’s a relaxation for me, something to do when I need a break from writing, and it probably shows. I long ago gave up believing I would sell books via Twitter. A few here and there, sure, but to make that a profit center?

I don’t have that kind of time.

More correctly, the time necessary to turn Twitter into a profit center takes too much time away from my writing. I want to improve my writing. I can be a crappy author and a great social marketer, a mediocre author and a mediocre social marketer, a dynamite author and a crappy social marketer.

I’ll take Door #3, Monty! And I must be doing something right because Mary Elizabeth Jackson said in Writers’ Corner Live’s interview with Sergio Troncoso “Joseph’s a great author. You have to look him up” (it’s up around 30m49s) and she talks to lots of authors so she should know!

Caveat Emptor Continue reading “Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 1)”