Excellent ideas--thanks for sharing! I am always amazed by the suggestions I get from people who are and have been working with all of this for a long time. The virtual assistant is probably the best idea if you can afford it (I can't right now) and I've heard you can use that for Twitter and other things as well. Thanks again!
It really does take a lot of time doing social media marketing yourself! Posting contents on facebook and tweeter takes several hours already though in the long run your effort will be well paid. Social media is a long-term commitment to openness, experimentation and change that requires time to bear fruit! So I always suggest to hire someone to do social media for you rather than doing it yourself so you can focus on writing your book.
Social media marketer is not that expensive if you hire off-shore. I know a lot of authors who choose this option and they are quite enjoying the good leads and exposures they get.
I'm with you on the not being able to afford it right now. I do everything on my own, Press releases, Social media updates, Web page maintenance, Networking, AND the writing.
It's not easy and it can take a lot of time by doing it all on my own, however, if I waited till I had the cash, I'd be waiting for a long time. I feel that time could be better spent marketing the book myself.
I also have a nice networking tool that works with Mozilla. It's called Yoono and it will automatically post an update to your popular networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Yahoo, Goggle, AOL, and LinkedIn-- to name a few. It's very easy to use.
You can not only post your own updates, but you can reply to other people's tweets or retweet if you like. The only thing that can get a little annoying is the popups. A popup will appear anytime there is an update, so if you have a lot of friends, you will have a lot of updates.
My friends on the net tend to update often and the number can be in the thousands. I don't get to every update, obviously, but this tool does give me a chance to be able to give a quick hello to some people that I might otherwise miss if I'd have to back in and out of a ton of social networks.
Sometimes personal contact with your readers can make a big difference. Some of my readers were so amazed at how approachable I can be. A few of them really thought that I'd be too busy to respond to their email or Twitter updates. I have some cherished friends now because of this.
TIME! I require that Superman flies backwards around the planet at least 10 laps so that I can gain a couple extra hours a day! Of course, if Superman keeps up with his end of the bargain...then I require caffeine.
If these factors are all met, then I can complete my books in a timely fashion. :)
My biggest challenge is momentum. I can't get motivated to push the book. When you write fictional adventure stories, how do you sell them? How do you tell someone this book is going to change your life? The non-fiction, how-to books are easy to get behind. There is a tangible product or service. A novel is just that - novel.
What I find rewarding is the new ebook format. Whimsy is so much better supported by the lower cost and the diverse readership playing with their iPods and Kindles. The idea of the press release, the marketing blitz, somehow gives me a belly laugh followed by indigestion.
I would appreciate the fiction writers out there telling how they were able to deal with marketing pressures and how to push back to be noticed.
I write fiction and love it. The process is tough but the rewards are fantastic. My Amazon account does not sell many books, but my personal long time Florida printer and my large lots from the publisher make it all worth while. I published five books in the last two years and there are five more listed with the publisher for this year, then to top it off, I have five of a third series planned for 2013. When you write for pleasure, the selling takes care of itself in some way because when there is no pressure to sell, they seem to sell. I can't figure that one out. My first book back in 1980 was an inspirational and it is due to come out in the fourth edition in the next few weeks. I don't plan to try to sell it because there are thirty years of my readers waiting for the book to show up. Keeping good records, making good friends and treating my readers like family works for me. I don't make customers, I make friends. If you want to be one of my friends, I am always here or you can google my name, Dr Robert E McGinnis and get on many of my pages. Hope to see you soon. And by the way, I honestly would like to hear more about your book. You can also list your book for no charge and talk to some of my buyers on my Paradise Readers page.
You mentioned a timeframe of thirty years. That's a good solid time to build friends that like your writing. What it says to me, and how I feel about the long term success of writing is start local and build out with friends, friends of friends, and social networking until you establish a presence in the reading community. When your name is on TV or an Internet broadcast announces a new book, people, followers, will respond and buy the book or ebook. What's remarkable about the Internet is that "local" community can transcend the local area and crop up anywhere in the world as pockets of "friends."
I started an Internet presence sight for authors at foxandquill.com built from people I met through my publisher (Infinity Publishing). I added addressees to it from social networking that I thought would be interested in articles about writing or about authors. The sphere of influence bounced over to India of all places. This is a small pocket, but nevertheless exists. Also, writing groups in other States read the articles. We have a following in Florida, for instance, and I live in California. So it ever expands. Now when I mention a new book, or someone else within the circle, this whole organism feels it. The curious thing is I have no idea how many people are actually readers, because of word of mouth expansions. There is no formal sign-in or log-on.
There hasn't been a tsunami of sales generated, but tens of sales. Maybe they are all poor; I don't know. But, I do get to read some of most marvelous books I know I would never have come across in a Borders or Barnes&Noble. The NYC low-life trash-thrillers are getting old. One of the benefits of a network is the privilege to review books from authors. No money exchanges hands, but the books are wonderful. I line my shelves with these unique volumes and have enjoyed every one. Now, I have a folder of ebooks along the same line.
I'm not sure I could hold up under the rigors of actually being a popular author. There is a downside to being in the public eye. My goal is to break even so I can afford to keep producing the next book. I'm closing in on that goal. I’ll be absolutely giddy when I reach it.
My oldest daughter always winds up introducing me to people as "she's a famous writer on the internet-- you should check her out." I usually chuckle while saying, "famous, not rich."
I have to agree with you John that a breaking even goal is a good one to have. I achieved that with my last book that I published in 2007 (it took 2 years but I did it). I hope to do that and a just a little more with this latest one.
Aren't our kids the best encouragers? My daughter listens to my chapters pretty often, and sometimes she'll post something on her FB (she's 13) like, "Just hearing some of my mom's new book--can you say bestseller?" Or, "my mom's book is gonna be awesome!" I know she's not objective, but still...