Archive for the online marketing Category

Friendly Buzz

Here’s 10 things your friends and family can do to help you and your book catch a little online buzz:

  1. Set up a Google alert for your name and book titles.
  2. Search for your name or book title frequently using various search engines. (Google, Dogpile, Alta Vista, Bing, etc.)
  3. Visit your website and blog, then comment while they’re there. Read more

New Promotional Goals (daily, weekly, monthly)

I made a list of promotional efforts that I want to be more consistent about and decided to share my new goals.

Give out more bookmarks! I read about people who say they do this everywhere and with everyone, and I must get into the habit. Goal: Give out 3 bookmarks a day. And I intend to start ordering them in large quantities from online printers. (Nothing like having 2000 bookmarks sitting around to motivate you to give them away.)

Send out one e-mail a day to writer/mystery/review blogs offering to guest blog or participate in a Q&A.

Send out two e-mails a week to writers I know online offering a free copy of my novel. If they like it, they’ll probably say so. Free promotion from other writers is as good as it gets.

Spend 10 minutes a day on Goodreads in discussion forums and adding books to my list. This is a direct connection to readers.

Spend 10 minutes a day on CrimeSpace. I used to do this everyday, then got out of the habit when I started spending more time on Facebook and Twitter (and blogging everyday). As a result, I’ve noticed a drop off in the number of books I sell on Amazon.

Comment on two other blogs everyday. This one is easy, and I’d like to do more of it, but I have to leave some time for writing novels.

Write one article a month and offer it online magazines—even for no pay—just for exposure. (This will be the hardest one to keep up. I hate writing for free…except for blogging!)

Get all of this into an Excel spreadsheet so I can track it and not get sloppy.

Get up earlier to get it all done!

Online Promotional Etiquette

This seems to be a hot topic, and so it’s worth revisiting.

Even though I’ve been participating in the online community (in a significant way) for six months, I still feel like I don’t know all the rules about promotion. Yesterday, for example, a woman on a mystery list serv said she was in a funk and couldn’t get into any of the books she had at the house. So I sent her an e-mail and offered to mail her a copy of The Sex Club. Then instantly wondered: Was that improper? Will that be considered blatant self-promotion and therefore, unwelcome? So I sent another e-mail immediately afterwards and apologized. She was not offended and sent back her mailing address. But it’s so easy to cross this line. I know. I’ve done it. Because I’m never sure where it is. Especially after reading the following post from another blog about online promotional etiquette:

“You can’t just barrel in and announce you’re everyone’s friend and aren’t they lucky you have a book out now for everyone to buy. Well, you could. But I’m trying to be effective, not stupid. I get those emails a lot from people. I routinely delete them without reply. Every other blogger I talk to does the same thing. I see those kinds of posts on listservs I belong to, and I skim right over it as the ineffective mention that it is. The books I do mention on my blog, are by people I know, and like, and want to promote. The books I do notice on listservs are those talked about by actual readers as books they liked . . .”

I’m the kind of person who usually doesn’t hesitate to introduce myself or ask a question. I figure there’s no harm in doing so. But now I wonder if I can do actual harm to my writing career if I cross the line too many times or offend the wrong person by sending an unwanted e-mail. So what are the rules? Tell me what you think.

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