Tag Archives: promotion

Spam and self promotion – the missing link.

20 Sep

Now I am fully aware that spam is a frequent topic of conversation on blogs. Indeed, even on Twitter, the conversation comes up about what is received via DM.

I have often sat reading these thoughts wondering what did it matter, what harm does it do? After all, DM messages on Twitter are private, as for the blog, Akismet does a pretty good job – in fact, I have only ever had one spam comment break through the site.

My thoughts are still the same.

But, and I find this quite intriguing, in the space of five hours today I received 17 spam comments. Seventeen! I mean seriously, why do these people persist?

The message is generally unrelated, so you wouldn’t follow the link, and as for the spelling…

I am guessing as a whole my attitude is quite relaxed because I don’t have a mass following, I don’t post my URL here there and everywhere, and therefore, my traffic is relatively low. To know someone has popped by even if it is an automated computer generating utter drivel still pleases me. Small victories and all.

The low traffic is a large problem however, and it is something I need to work on. Obviously now I am back up and posting my traffic naturally increases, and the subscribers increase.I am once again using twitter, but it’s really not me. I know what you have to do, but I guess it just doesn’t sit right for me. I can’t really explain it. I guess my main issue is time management. At best of an evening I can commit two hours to the computer. I say at best, once the kids are in bed and I have run around I have two hours left before I head to bed. Hubby doesn’t mind, more often than not he is blogging also, but for both of us there is the guilt.

But lets say I do spend two hours an evening online. Check the blog, write a post, check FB, send some tweets, consider logging onto Google +…my two hours are pretty used up. Obviously in that I am reading blogs and commenting. I never quite manage to indulge with real interaction through twitter. A lot of this has to do with organisational skills, creating my lists etc.

Twitter is basically a no go for me I think is what I am saying.

So I now have two pages on Facebook as well. Lets be honest, the A Simple Guide to Self Publishing page has never been managed properly. Many authors do this so well, but quite frankly, I am rubbish. We have just set up the page for A Cuppa and an Armchair. As there are two admins on this the onus isn’t on me, but I already feel the pressure. How do I get the followers? how can I get the interaction? How do I get people to understand you like the page not the link? (or maybe they know…) More importantly with this particular site, how do I get people who don’t know me, or the charity, to give either their writing or their time?

So all in all, spam is not really a worry of mine. I just find it a little intriguing. Maybe it is my attitude towards spam, why bother, everyone knows it’s a scam attitude transfers to my promotional side (though mine isn’t a scam, let’s make that clear now).

Anyway, any suggestions on how to find a more positive approach to promotion would be greatly received. (And yes, this is coming from the author a simple guide to self publishing. I know I know, I guess I am after a little more personal advice, what you did/are doing, what definitely didn’t work).

If you have a short story that you would like to submit to A Cuppa and an Armchair, please email chat@elenaransley.com.

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My possible plans for A Simple Guide

27 Jun

I have spent  a lot of time thinking about A Simple Guide to Self-Publishing. I haven’t worked on the marketing of it as I should, there has been something holding me back. Just a niggle, but it has been there.

So what is this niggle?

It wasn’t something I was fully aware of at first, I thought it was self-publishing nerves, the doubts that we all inevitably have. What if our work isn’t well received, what if (and you know how I feel about them) you get poor reviews?

It wasn’t nerves.

When I spoke about the guide, I found myself having to explain the book more in-depth than I feel  necessary. Was it that I hadn’t nailed the blurb enough to create a short explanation? Did the fault lay with me?

Nope, not that either.

As I read blogs, and chat on twitter, I find myself (hopefully) advising people on the steps that they can take to make their own self-publishing experience a little easier. There is something very strange about what I am telling people, IT ISN’T IN THE BOOK.

And that’s the problem.

My guide isn’t as comprehensive as my knowledge. It certainly takes you through the basic steps, and I can, quite happily, hold my head up and say my guide does exactly what I set out to do.  It is great for all of those who want to consider self-publishing that haven’t already got a blog – for those truly at the beginning of their long journey. I know this because I have spoken to many people who are at that very stage. I think as ‘bloggers’ we fail to realise the amount of knowledge we gain from one another about various areas of the industry. I am not even convinced when we sign up for our blogs we know what the purpose of that blog will eventually be.

So I’m thinking…

I interact with writers on a daily basis, each at different stages of their career, each with their own goal. The one thing they all have in common is that they have already done the hard part, they have opened up to the world that they write. they want to have their work read. So the question I am now left with is, what can I do for them?

I have 'borrowed' this image. Click on it if you want to know where it came from. (The site itself doesn't provide the source and I am totally confused by the proper way of doing this image thing!)

I have several options;

* Write ‘A Guide to Self-Publishing’

* Forget about the writing a book thing and just continue to throw out advice as and when someone asks

* Update the existing guide, filling it with everything. It will intrinsically make it less ‘simple’, but it will certainly answer all the questions.

So what do you think? I have to say I am slightly stumped by what to do. My gut tells me to make ‘A Simple Guide’ free, once I have written a more comprehensive one. The idea being you will download the first one, like my interpretation of the process, and then buy the new one. However, I really like being free with my information, and I love helping people. At the end of the day, self-publishing is the one industry that says ‘hey, look at me, im free’ but when you take a closer look, free it definitely isn’t.

The problem with writing a more in-depth guide is I know it will be extremely time-consuming. On such a tight schedule, can I afford to undertake a further project? Sure, I say I have more to add, but I would never add the information without checking it several times first. I would say my writing tends to be 90% research, that is a LOT of time.

As writers we are always seeking perfection. Our last draft is never final in our minds (even if it is on the shelves of Waterstone’s). I don’t think my doubts are that. I want to be proud of what I have done, and I am, I just think I could do more.

Am I rambling? I would love to know your thoughts. Oh and yes, this is self-doubt. (For the record I am afraid of  writers that do not show self-doubt, there is something icky about them!)

Promoting your book

31 Jan

So I am still sat here researching and writing this e-book text. I am looking at promotion. Do it yourself or outsource?

Social media, blogging, website, book tours, book signings, radio interviews, reviews….you want me to go on? I have found hardly any help out there for promoting your book. I am trying to be unbiased in my recommendations, if they are recommendations at all. I just want to give a starting point, say look, there are these people, but you can always look elsewhere.

But where?

Seriously, I have found one UK-based and one US-based promoter. Bearing in my mind the amount of companies for creating the e-book, or even just print on demand, you would have thought their would be more people trying to cash in on the industry. Or is that a forewarning in itself?

So basically this blog is more of a plea. Do you know of any promoters out there? Have you used one? Is it worth the cash?

Virtual book tour?

26 Nov

As part of my research I have looked at how we can market ourselves. How can we drive sales of our self published titles? I was very excited to find this little gem,  virtual book tours.

Unlike traditional publishers, Dorothy Thompson CEO/Founder Pump Up Your Book specialises in search engine optimisation and blogger reviews. Dorothy takes the time to make sure that her authors are looked after, and the blogs the reviews are featured on are active and have a full set of archives.
‘I have promoted everything from ebooks to traditional books.  From the no names to Paula Deen, etc.  I treat all equal.  In fact, I’m sometimes more partial to the self-published books and ebooks because in most cases, I’m the one they go to for help.’ 

In times when the market is changing, and publishers are increasingly reducing not only how many authors they take on, but the amount of revenue paid, as writers we must start to find our own way of marketing our work, and hopefully monetizing it.

As the sole promoter of this kind in the online market, Dorothy says, ‘If an author doesn’t have a traditional publisher nor an agent, this is perhaps the best thing an author can do to promote their book.’