What can we do to market our books better? Here are my ideas for a happier 2013:
1. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed the power of Twitter losing traction. Since Triberr loosened the chains, there’s too much to retweet so we’ve had to get very picky about what we retweet so Twitter timelines don’t become spam sluices. Getting pickier is a good thing. I’ve blocked a couple of people and, for a retweet, I’ve got to be confident my following will appreciate it. I read articles before I retweet them.
World Literary Cafe Tweet Teams remain a healthy approach, though I encourage more people to participate so the reach extends beyond hitting the same Twitter followings too often. I appreciate the people who retweet my stuff very much. New people in the mix makes this approach stronger.
2. I’ve gently encouraged my fellow authors to provide more in their tweets than the title of their book and Amazon links. We need content with value. Write something your readers want to read and keep in mind who your audience is. For the aforementioned WLC tweet teams, I more often than not tweet links back to my blog posts rather than trying to send strangers straight to Amazon. It’s a noise versus signal battle. Noise loses.
One writing guru went so far as to actively discourage others from blogging about writing (though she does) because writers aren’t your market. I say, blog your passion and write books about your passion so your marketing chakras are aligned. (I write about writing and publishing and turned several years of blog posts into two books on the subject, so there’s that. My next step is to snag more strangers who aren’t writers. More on that in a sec.)
3. Whatever you write, your unique voice comes through. It will probably be at least somewhat consistent. Ergo, sexy on the blog means sexy in your books. Funny here, hilarious there, and so on. When you provide a valuable link back to your blog, you’re inviting people into your home. Give them more to look at and book covers to click so they can buy and read more of your stuff if they’re moved to knock back more of The Magic That is You. There are many bookselling platforms besides Amazon. The most effective one, where there’s no immediate competition for their attention, is here on my first bookselling platforms: ChazzWrites.com and AllThatChazz.com.
4. Innovate. Most writers don’t have podcasts, therefore I podcast. I actively encourage more authors to join me, but since most of you certainly won’t, I’m secure enough to be honest with you. My personal podfather, Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting, recently pointed out that the marketplace for blogs is millions upon millions. Podcasts? There are only a few hundred thousand and they’ve become easier to access and enjoy than ever. The barrier to entry can be really quite negligible — don’t try to do it free, but you can do it cheaply — and potential readers are on treadmills right now with headphones in their ears. They aren’t hearing about you though, are they? Not yet, anyway. (That’s my strongest, boldest and borderline rude pitch for you to consider podcasting. If that won’t give you pause, I don’t know what will.)
5. Be different. The All That Chazz podcast is vamping and amping. I’ve serialized my fiction on the show and will do that again. I’ve incorporated the use of more music and I’m getting in touch with my inner badass. That translates to less crying from me and more value to listeners. The first year of All That Chazz was therapeutic and I got some stuff off my chest. Expect more interviews, more value for those who are not-me plus a new attitude: I’m coming for you, worldwide. Being different means daring more.
6. Go deeper. There’s much more to be done with my author site besides making it prettier. I’ll soon serialize my first crime novel as blog posts chapter by chapter once a week as I dive into Higher Than Jesus a la audio.
There’s much more coming: I’m beginning a new challenge to add to the author site. I’m using bio-hacks and (some would say) extreme measures to get to phat from fat. The past year of working full-time as a writer has been awesome, but the sedentary nature of the work has taken a great toll on my health. Weight loss and life improvement are issues a lot of people face so I’m going to blog and podcast about that at AllThatChazz, too. I’m taking steps to widen my repertoire of subjects as I narrow my waistline and bring down my blood pressure. That’s a rabbit hole I’m sure a lot of people will follow me down. Why? Because I’m still blogging my passions, whether it be writing and publishing on this blog or my journey to lose 90 pounds at AllThatChazz.com.
7. Grow up. We love the idea that we can just write good books and our throngs will magically find us. When there were fewer media options, long ago when most of us were de facto quasi-Amish, that might even have been a slim possibility. It’s not now. Get over it. Give up that idea along with hopes for your privacy and that the profession of milkman will make a comeback.
The key to growing an audience is selling yourself, but being honest. Abandon any delusions you aren’t part of the marketplace. Whatever you do, you aren’t just selling your book. You’re selling you. Spare me any complaints because, inevitably, whiners confuse an Ought with an Is. This is the marketplace and if you’re out to make a big splash with ripples, you’re in it.
This is my promise to you:
In my fiction, I’m a great liar. On my blogs and podcasts, I’m brutally honest about myself.
This is your call:
Whatever your hobby, career, quest, challenge, problem or greatest aspiration, get in the game. Blog, podcast and write books about your passion and be honest. Your audience will find you, but you have to put yourself out there.
~ Robert Chazz Chute writes funny, hardboiled suspense about an assassin who, as one reviewer put it, “you hate to love.” Chazz has a wife, She Who Must Be Obeyed, who has sometimes considered herself similarly afflicted. Hear his latest motivational and media clip-laden extravaganza of a podcast at AllThatChazz.com.
- What will you make of 2013? Help is on the way. (chazzwrites.com)
- The sorts of people a writer needs (chazzwrites.com)
- TOP TEN: Reach more readers with these blog tweaks (chazzwrites.com)
- Marketing Your Books: #11 is really harsh. Sorry. (chazzwrites.com)
- Happy New Year! Together, we’ll make it a great one. (chazzwrites.com)
- Ta-da! Motivation, Inspiration & Information for Writers (chazzwrites.com)
- Writers, Readers and the Blame We Get (chazzwrites.com)
- Setting writing and exercise goals that work (chazzwrites.com)
- My Year in Indie Publishing: Lessons learned (chazzwrites.com)