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Old 06-06-2012, 03:37 AM   #226
gmw
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I was trying to catch up with my reading on some print magazines related to my paid work, one of which is "APC" (Australian Personal Computer), May 2012 edition. There was an article in there entitled "Hashtag Errors" which discussed the various PR disasters that have happened on Twitter for companies like MacDonalds, Coca-Cola and others. The article included this advice to people in marketing or PR:

Quote:
Don't try to use the social media networks to put a spin on a story or to lie to customers. They are the ones who own that forum, not you.
That last sentence in particular seemed like advice that was sound and applicable to some of the discussion this thread.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #227
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My faith in the "wait to be discovered method" diminishes each day. I'm considering submitting some of my work to some small publishers in the near future. It seems like that might be the Confucian "middle-path" solution to my personal Indie/Traditional conundrum. A small publisher loves literature and is small and scrappy and willing to take risks.

I'm also considering making an investment in copy editing, graphic design and purchasing a small quantity of print on demand titles to use as giveaways. A big problem with these online efforts is I feel they're not tangible enough to start word of mouth buzz. Maybe there's no substitute to having a real book in hand.

Regarding social media, whether or not I have a right to butt into the discussion and self-promote on places like Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and StumbleUpon, it's come to my attention that what I do not know on those subjects can fill several hefty books (As I recently discovered at Barnes and Noble where I found several shelves of recently published books on the subject of Social Media Marketing.)
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:43 AM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidwfleming View Post
My faith in the "wait to be discovered method" diminishes each day.
"And all the stars that never were
are parking cars and pumping gas."
-Do You Know The Way to San Jose?

This. In a world of 7 billion and climbing, "waiting to be discovered" is a fool's game. Sure, it'll happen to about .0000001% of the population... how are those odds for you?

So far, I think only one useful thing has come out of this thread: The fact that "waiting to be discovered" is not the same as "getting noticed." And "getting noticed" is about doing the things that no one else is doing... yet. Being the leader... not another rider on the bandwagon.

Social media is great, but it's pretty much all bandwagon. By the time it gets popular, it's already used up by the first-responders. Everyone else is by definition an also-ran. It can be used to connect to you... but people have to know you first to want to connect to you. You won't get that through social media (it's probably significant that social media, when abbreviated, becomes SM).

Authors who go through traditional publishers are essentially paying the publishers to get you noticed in traditional areas... best-seller lists... media promotion... spots on Leno and CNN... etc (as long as they still work). Getting noticed in non-traditional areas... social media, etc... requires more than just Being There. You have to find a way to Stand Out, to be significant, to be an icon.

Unfortunately, writing being a traditional field tends to discourage non-traditional thinking... and many of us like to think: "I'm selling ebooks... isn't that non-traditional enough?" It was in 2005, but now, not anymore. What else you got?

That's our task as independent writers: Figure out What Else We Have that is significant, that is icon-worthy, that will get us a shot at Leno and CNN. Or get yourself a publisher, and let them do the job for you.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 06-07-2012 at 09:26 AM. Reason: sp.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:38 PM   #229
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Great post, Steven.

Your statistics bear repeating. SM is a bandwagon - that's not complaining; it's just the truth.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think I might start focusing on real world interactions to try to promote my fiction: conferences, writing groups, real books, mentoring people, doing readings, passing out cards, submitting queries, supporting other authors, etc.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:42 PM   #230
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Think about this, then: As an independent author, you're already working outside of the box; start thinking outside of the box.

In The Matrix, Neo was told by a young disciple of the Oracle that the secret to bending a spoon with your mind was understanding that “there is no spoon.” Think beyond the traditional layers of advertising and promotion and find new ways to Get Noticed. (Look at how well it worked for Neo.)
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:45 PM   #231
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Wait, so there are no readers?

of no ebooks?

Oh My, now I'm really confused...
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:03 PM   #232
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Calm yourself, Grasshopper.

The ebooks and readers of which you fret are the bowl and rice before you. You can either use the familiar tool to eat the rice... the spoon... or you can understand that there are ways to eat the rice... without the spoon.

Gonnggg...
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:50 PM   #233
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OMG....I think I have transcended.....

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Old 06-07-2012, 03:04 PM   #234
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Good. Now: When you can snatch the pixel from my hand... you may leave...

(I've expanded on these ideas on my blog, if anyone's interested.)

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 06-07-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:11 PM   #235
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Nice post, Steven. I tweeted it and commented.

I began experimenting with direct calls to action at the end of some of my blog posts and I almost immediately sold a copy of my novel. (I hadn't sold a copy in weeks). It was like it happened almost exactly at the same time. Weird. Coincidence.

I got the idea for incorporating calls to action from a link to copyblogger.com that I found in another of these threads.

It struck me while I was reading copyblogger that all salesmanship consists of 1. making their mouth water 2. asking for the order. But almost no ever asks for the order in blogging or, for that matter, Indie Author content marketing. It seems to me like that's a pretty big handycap. It's like taking away half of salesmanship. In the past, I had experimented with picture links at the end of my blogs but now I'm just using a text-based call to action.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:22 PM   #236
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One other thing that I haven't brought up on this thread but I've been meaning to is Social Media Stage Fright.

This isn't a real term yet to my knowledge but I'll be perhaps one of the first ones to put it out there that social media like Twitter and Goodreads can be intimidating. My Twitter odometer passed over the 1000 follower mark this week and I'll admit it: it made me nervous. It seems like it raises the stakes and I get to a point where I don't know if I can predict what the effects of my actions will be. I've felt this way numerous times while I've been doing this, for example when my podcast started to gain some momentum (no longer published) or when I first discovered the effectiveness of commenting on other people's blogs (which I rarely do anymore) or when I realized that over a thousand people had downloaded my ebooks for free in an Amazon promo (and then I left Kindle select) and what if they were all reading them right now and what if they didn't like what they read.

Am I sabotaging myself? Do we all sabotage ourselves a little in these efforts? Is that another benefit of having someone else publish you? that they can push your brand as hard as they want and not have any psychological malaise.

It's nerve-racking sometimes to be continually putting yourself out there in new ways. And I wanted to open up the discussion that just like there is an "inner game" to such sports as tennis and golf, there is an inner-game to web-based self promotion.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:58 AM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidwfleming View Post
It struck me while I was reading copyblogger that all salesmanship consists of 1. making their mouth water 2. asking for the order. But almost no ever asks for the order in blogging or, for that matter, Indie Author content marketing.
It seems to me that getting the order is easy compared to getting their mouths to water; the web has regularly demonstrated that if people want your stuff, they'll get it by hook or by crook. So you just need to make them want it in the first place. Spreading the word about what's so mouth-watering about your book is the trick to master.

Possibly a better strategem than asking for their order might be convincing them to buy it honestly; that is, that you are a nice enough guy that they won't want to just steal from you. This impacts social stage fright: Stop thinking about how many people are staring at your pages and books, and what they think of your content. Instead, think about the impression you're leaving behind: If it's a good one, they'll cut you some slack on the content, and they're more likely to tell others about you (although, if you've already got thousands of followers, you've basically licked that part).
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:29 PM   #238
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I think this is really big. http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2...-with-wattpad/

Kudos to David Gaughran for bringing it to my attention.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #239
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The Smallest Changes...

Discovered this Tony Robbins video on Youtube recently and it's really stuck with me. Probably very relevant to website conversion, author image and exposure in the indie arena. The littlest changes can make the biggest difference, especially downstream.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS9sztfwaN8

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
Judging by the number of views and lack of responses so far, I'd guess that a lot of people are looking for the secrets of indie success, but no one actually has any.

This fits with my observations that, at least at this time, indie success is pretty much a crapshoot. Or, maybe closer to accuracy, a lottery. It could happen to anyone; but it won't happen to many.

I've been selling ebooks online since 2006, myself, and I have yet to see or hear of an idea that all but guarantees indie success. So far most of the things I have seen (interviews in major media outlets, viral videos, public appearances of a unique nature) have worked mainly as a novelty for the first ones who tried it, then quickly lost their potency as more authors tried the same thing. And standard methods of promotion and advertising are pretty much shouted down by the promotional efforts of the major publishers and famous authors.

So it seems that, at the moment, novelty is the best tool for success in the ebook field.

Since I haven't thought of anything sufficiently novel to promote my books, I'm presently relying on what is probably the second-best tool for success: Patience. Continuing along with my efforts, concentrating on providing a quality product, garnering positive reviews, and searching for new places to spread those reviews, is creating a slow-growth business model that may eventually hit a self-perpetuating level and "take off" on its own.

Maybe.
Sounds about right. You have to have a good product, and that product has to find it's way into the right places. Kind of a right place right time thing, I would have to think. But at the same time, if your writing stinks then it's probably not going to happen. Same as any creative type business, you've got to have talent, work hard, and then luck still plays a role.

But then again, what do I know.
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