Marketing – None on None

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When you were growing up, did you often wake up and think, “Wow! That’s it – I want to be a telemarketer? And then—! When I’m REALLY good at that I can move on up and sell insurance door to door! Yeah baby!!!” Yes – I know there are too many exclamation marks you grammar guru guy you!!! No. You probably wanted to be a fireman or astronaut, or the next president. The problem is that life is a slippery old thing, and things happen, crappy people happen, and sometimes you find yourself upside down in a pit of some horrible thing, and you have no choice but to take whatever means you can to earn your monthly crusts.

Nobody likes telemarketers. Nobody likes in your face buggers trying to force you to insure yourself against clocking out entirely. Nobody likes in your face buggers in general. Having been in sales and marketing for pretty much all of my working life, I learned that the art of salesmanship is more about selling yourself than your product. “Talking the talk” just pisses people off. I was lucky though – I got good packages with cars and trips to cool resorts as well as commission, so I never had that desperate need to make the money for the rent – too often. I also got to teach and lecture a bit. Now as a buyer of many totally unnecessary things, I realise that quite a lot of what I buy I don’t actually want or need – I just really liked the guy selling it.

A lot of indie authors put a lot of time into every day “marketing”. Unfortunately, blamming your book cover in my face every single day is just going to irritate me – a bit – ok – a LOT. So – no – I probably won’t buy your book. I’ll more than likely switch notifications to your site off. Any writer – whether traditional or not, is highly unlikely to make it into the top echelons in the first five years. Now and then you will have moments of glee – HI WILBUR! But mostly – not.

Hi Wilbur!

Even though I’m only a couple of years into this old gorgeous scribbling world, I know that my first five books will more than likely receive the response of – “Meh.” So I say – forget about the big bucks and the red carpet for a while, and build up your backlist. When you’ve published seven or ten books, and you’re comfortable in your author skin – that’s when you’ll find your forever readers. So slow down – relax – enjoy, and write on – bugger the marketing. If you get yourself to midlist, and enough readers love your scribbles, you will afford all the absinthe that your rowdy muse needs, and tea and bickies for you too. Enough of the BUY MY BOOK emails and – stuff. Have fun with your online writers groups and connections for now – don’t get too serious too soon – if ever.

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46 thoughts on “Marketing – None on None

    mihrank said:
    September 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Reblogged this on mihran Kalaydjian and commented:
    Marketing – None on None

    Like

    callummclaughlin said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I’m all for writers having pride in their work and spreading the word amongst their network of connections but I couldn’t agree more that spammy posts and endless tweets with links to buy your books has the opposite effect of making people actually want to buy them.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 6:26 am

      It really does Callum – I admit to buying less than three books from spammy authors – ever – and those were mainly when I was new to the internet, and I was pretty much bullied into it. Never read them though, and I never will. 🙂

      Like

    Kev said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Really encouraging words Jo. 🙂

    Like

    philipparees said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    A good post Jo. Many echoes ici. You are quite right about having more than one or even two or three book covers, if only to be able to ring the changes. But if you were as old as I am you would have to face the accumulation as unlikely which is why I am thinking short stories. A copious writing friend who seems to write a book in three months and has about thirty or more just keeps cranking a handle and new covers appear and five star reviews pour in on a daily basis! Enviable. I do the odd blast in the marketing department like emailing bookshops before Xmas (like now) and then sink back thinking that’ll do for awhile. You keep going on allied things like writing a great many posts and finding a fan base- and that is also (subtler) marketing-enough to get me to buy your book! Which I did last week.

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      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 6:24 am

      I’ve been watching one particular author who is literally publishing one full novel length book a month these days, after publishing two a year to begin with – I can’t imagine how she does it though. I’m all for short stories being published as singles though – there are massive amounts of readers who only ever read shorts, and with your amazing backlist you could probably publish heaps. Thank you for buying mine Philippa – now I’m nervous! 🙂

      Like

        philipparees said:
        September 30, 2014 at 11:14 am

        NO need for nervousness Jo. I look forward to it! As to successful ‘marketing’ you have only to look down this list of comments. I am lucky if I get three.I lack the knack!

        Like

    Rajiv said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    7 books? Be nice!

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      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 6:17 am

      True, true Rajiv! We must try cultivate the patience to get there – especially me who was born with none. 🙂

      Like

        Rajiv said:
        September 30, 2014 at 8:11 am

        I was born with none either. A long sigh follows this… I shall have to cultivate this

        Like

    Ronovan said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    My teammate just said she doesn’t like me? I am wounded. I was a telemarketer, a manager . . . 11 years, and then sold life insurance to people in their homes. Jo hates me!!!!!!!! (not enough usage of the exclamation for me, punctuation guru guy)

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 6:16 am

      LOLOL! I LOVE Ronovan! I admit to sticking toes into telemarketing, and also hard sell timeshare schemes way back in the mists of time. I reckon not all salespeople in those fields are created equal, and I know that I never bullied anyone – rather tried to be honest, and I still made sales. Sorry if that came across wrong – nothing wrong with any career, and long as you have morals and kindness – both of which you have in good measure, so….. all is good. 🙂

      Like

    olganm said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Good attitude. I’m also coming up to two years since I started publishing, but as I’d been writing for very long I’ve been publishing some of the books I had in hiding and some new ones. As I also translate and write in Spanish I have a few ones, but I don’t write in only one genre so… I can’t say I’ve seen much. I’ve seen people doing all the “right” things and not doing much, others seemingly only sending out the same message over and over and selling a lot. In summary, I have no idea what works or why. But I’ve always loved to write so I’ll carry on. And it’s true I’ve met great people and fabulous bloggers, so all is good…

    Liked by 1 person

      teagan geneviene said:
      September 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      I don’t think i realized until just now how refreshing it is (in indie or elsewhere) for someone to just admit they “don’t know.” Hugs Olga.

      Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 6:11 am

      I reckon marketing is a must – but just here and there. Some indies are outrageous with their desperate attempts – even posting buy my book links in other bloggers comment threads. I’m with you Olga – write the books, meet fabulous friends…. ❤

      Like

    Charles Yallowitz said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Not sure what to say here. I think I do fall into the spamming category on Twitter. I do a book-based tweet every 3-4 hours. I’m chopping it down to every 6, but the platform is horribly flawed in that it works better for spamming. Twitter feeds get clogged so quickly, which means I probably have maybe a minute or two before I’m pushed into the crowd. That makes it hard to rationalize doing only a 1-3 tweets a day. Factor in differing time zones too. (This goes for FB groups as well because most nights I make my one post in them and 20 other authors have shoved me down the page within 5 minutes.)

    I guess what I’m saying is that social media is seeming to turn into a yelling match. You get a brief window to scream and then people put tape over your mouth. Honestly, I’m doing it more to garner retweets and followers than sales. Just to further explain some of this, I do try human, real tweets from time to time and those go universally unnoticed. So I don’t really think there’s any point in me talking about myself there, especially when I have the blog. That’s just me though.

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      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 6:07 am

      That’s ok for Twitter Charles – because of the time zones around the world, you have a better chance of your tweet being noticed by a lot of followers in different places. Mostly our tweets disappear into the white noise over there. FB makes my eyeballs wobble these days – so cluttered – I keep on meaning to try and get it so that I see posts from people I want, but it’s impossible.

      Because you already have so many published books – all highly ranked and selling, with forever readers (like me) already following you, you have to keep up the marketing. I think that you’re the opposite of spammy, and I always enjoy your personal posts, and I love your posts about the characters from Windemere. Most indie authors at your level generally ignore comments from followers and fans. You’re special in the time you take to interact, and that is awesome. The people I mean are those with one or two books who literally never post anything other than buy my book links – get right up my nostril. 🙂

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        Charles Yallowitz said:
        September 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        Fully agree about FB. It seems so pointless too at times. I remember a month or two ago, they changed the way they work. You only see the posts of those that you interact with, which really cripples the marketing potential of the site. No idea why they would do that. Almost like they’re promoting having a large friend list with no interactions.

        It does get hard to choose which book to promote. I tend to default to the new one like people suggest, but I get bored. I guess that’s one of the ‘benefits’ of having only 1 or 2 books. Easier to choose which one to throw out there.

        Like

    Jack Eason said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Well said Jo. I don’t know anyone who likes the ‘in your face’ approach which a lot of new writers adopt, seeing nothing wrong with it.
    I equate the practice with those damned nusiance calls from loan companies who are trying to trace people who owe them money.
    A so and so of Indian extraction gave a loan company my phone number to steer them away from himself, the bugger!
    Yes I do get nusance calls from insurance companies, usually when I’m eating. Well I’ve fixed all of them. I just turned my phone off. I don’t use it to keep in touch with friends, so there’s no point leaving it switched on.
    I use Facebook chat for that.
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Exactly Jack! I’ve seen SO many bloggers who literally post nothing other than buy my book posts – how they sell any books at all beats me. Even hugely successful authors don’t do that. Gives us all a bad name, and a lot of readers have been totally been put off all indies because of it. Not cool! I also am not partial to my phone – forget it all over the place, so I’m hard to reach that way too. 😀 X

      Like

    Jack Eason said:
    September 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Jo on all aspects of marketing.

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    teagan geneviene said:
    September 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    “Have fun with your online writers groups and connections for now – don’t get too serious too soon – if ever.” Jo… I think that rather than “slipping into the Twilight Zone” i slipped into the “Outer Limits” and i’m glad i turned control over my TV set to you for the duration of this post! Huge hugs!

    Like

      teagan geneviene said:
      September 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Errrrr… maybe delete the video… It doesn’t match the lyrics for me… Hugs!

      Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 5:51 am

      You’ve taught me a lot about having fun Teagan, and even though your Three Ingredients series is shared with love and humour, rather than attempts to sell things, I reckon that unbeknownst to you, these are the ways you find forever readers. I’ll always read what you have to say, and look forward to more, because you’re warm, and real, and totally cool to follow. Video Killed the Radio Star – tra la laa – ha haaaaaa! HUGS HUGS XXXXXXX

      Liked by 1 person

        teagan geneviene said:
        September 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm

        Jo… you’ve gone and made me cry. LOL. Must be the hormones. Your words touched my heart and i appreciate them more than you’ll know. Hugs!

        Like

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    September 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Like Jo I have been on the sales and marketing side of things for many years – I even trained some of them……oops (blog rule one avoid giving away incriminating information) However, I have always believed that people buy people first and that you attract more bees than flies with honey… I don’t like pests like flies and so agree entirely with Jo. There are plenty of platforms to promote your books Goodreads, Smashwords, on sites such as Chris, The Story Reading Ape where you can have an entire post etc. Not only does it take a number of books for most of us to get a foothold but it also requires a fair bit of work to build your networks as they do not build themselves. For example Jo taught me something important when I began getting to grips with Twitter – How many of you are using your Pinned Tweet to promote your book? Every time someone looks at your profile they will see it. Not offensive but effective…. Don’t re-invent the wheel take advantage of what is already there…Will reblog without the verbage…..

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Thank you! That’s spot on verbage my lovely Sally. We need to learn patience and try and squish those desire for instant gratification. Now I’ve got a terrible craving for honey…… ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
        September 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

        Well I manage to quash most of the time but it does not stop me buying a lottery ticket in the hopes of instant gratification…..we have to get our annual conference funding from somewhere….XXhugs

        Like

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    September 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Be gone damn flies….be gone

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    Jake Adler said:
    September 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Much wisdom in your words Jo. For those of us who want to do it as a living, it must first be viewed as a hobby, a pleasure, a past time, done for the love of writing alone. If one day when our back list is large enough and they become ‘uber popular’ then that is a boon, but if not, then at least we created stories to be proud of that will still exist, long after we’re gone.

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      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 5:43 am

      I totally agree Jake – we shouldn’t try to build Rome in a day, and the amazing fact of completing and publishing a book in a lifetime is an accomplishment that will never be forgotten. I love that ebooks are forever on Amazon too – forever books not mouldering away in forgotten boxes.

      Liked by 1 person

    davidprosser said:
    September 28, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Life’s much too serious to be taken too seriously.
    xxx Huge Hugs Jo. xxx

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      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Ha haaa! I love that quote – laugh, laugh, laugh is the way through it. And just as you say David – LOTS of HUGS! XXXX

      Like

    theowllady said:
    September 29, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

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    Terri said:
    September 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said! I was following a blogger who started posting daily encouraging people to buy their newest book. After these gave way to continued requests for financial assistance in continuing their self-publishing endeavors, I ended up unfollowing them. On the flip side, two bloggers commented on a couple of my posts. In a quick visit to their sites, I discovered that they each had books they’d written listed in their About pages. Because they never tried to sell them to me or used them for bragging rights, I ordered a book from each off of Amazon. Humility speaks loudest to me. Thanks for writing this!

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 5:35 am

      I’m the same with book buying. Those people who only ever demand that you buy their book actually make me ashamed for them. Just because you’re safe behind a computer screen and not face to face doesn’t give anyone the right to rudely toss their wares in your face. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    laurie27wsmith said:
    September 30, 2014 at 10:22 am

    What wonderful advice Jo. Chill and keep on writing. 🙂

    Like

    Sherri said:
    October 2, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    LOVE this Jo…I’ve taken ages to get over here, can’t believe how much mud I’m wading through at the moment and the fun ain’t stopping yet… :/ So when I come here and read your wonderful wise and witty words (haha, I’m a poet and didn’t know it…) I feel so relieved that I just want to come over and give you a huge hug and say thank you so much for being so real with such great advice. Becoming comfortable in our author skin takes time, I see that…patience really is a virtue…that and keeping on writing 🙂 Love, hugs and tons of thanks to you dear friend… ❤ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ❤

    Like

    Seumas Gallacher said:
    October 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

    …yes, yes, and yes, m’Lady, Jo .. the blogging and SOSYAL NETWURKIN represents the Author’s BRAND… as you say, sell yourself as a decent character and sumb’dy that others wanna be pals with ….onward and upward ! “:)

    Like

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