Friday, June 17, 2016

FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Newsletters by Christine

I’ll be honest, I can write books, but I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to marketing “said” books. 

Forgive the casual way I slap up my book lineup every chance I get. 

But through talking to my writing friends, those with the greatest marketing success purchased ads in the following places:


There are other great places to advertise, but when I chat with my peers the above organizations create the most buzz. Ads with these groups are expensive, and as in the case of Bookbub, hard to get your book chosen. The reward of getting your name and your books out to thousands is well worth the money though---if you have an advertising budget.

And there’s the rub—not all of us have that kind of money.  

Like many other authors I’ve had to rely on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and newsletters to market my work. And like I’ve said before, my rise to fame---muttered with a humble smirk---has been a slow one with many starts and stops and with practically zero dollars spent on advertising. Here’s what I’ve done to increase my readership slowly but steadily over the years.

Facebook

I personally find Facebook to be a natural, easy way for me to communicate with friends, family, and readers. It suits me, but I recognize that it’s not for everyone. My dear writer friend Elaine Stock prefers Twitter.

Whatever social media you prefer, it’s important to post frequently and to respond to others. Because FB fits me better I tend to respond to others quite naturally. I’m not so good at responding on Twitter, and I feel badly about that. But oh well…I’m not going to beat myself up about that.

I have two FB pages, my personal one that is open to family and readers, and my Facebook Author Page. This past year I’ve purchased a few ads with FB, mostly through boosting significant posts, such as when my latest book Sofi’s Bridge was released. I have found the cost of this to be moderate. By setting my limit to what I can afford—often around the $30 mark—I find the ad reach to be moderately successful. I do believe that my FB add success will increase as my number of followers increases on my author page. Again, this is one of those areas, that in my case grows slowly, but naturally. I don’t believe in “friending” everyone with the hopes they’ll friend me back.

I’d say the biggest reward I have using Facebook as an author is that this enables me to be a real person with my readers. This is where I can interact with them, and get to know them.

Twitter

The only success I’ve had with Twitter is when I ask other authors with bigger
accounts to Retweet my posts. Whenever this happens, for sure I get a bunch of Tweeters checking out my blog posts or my books, but I find it hard to interact on Twitter. Whenever I work with a network of other Tweeters, it’s great, such as my belonging to
Christian Authors’ Network and we retweet for each other. So far I have not used the Twitter advertising, but will probably test that out soon.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place to flagrantly advertise. No one seems to mind on this site if you don’t go back and comment—no one does that anyway, but your pics will get shared. I find as many places on Pinterest that allow authors to post their own books. Again, not sure how successful it is, but it costs me nothing and it’s easy. Here are my boards to give you some ideas https://www.pinterest.com/clindsaywriter/

Newsletters

My newsletter officially began about a year ago, and in that year the number of my subscribers has increased by 30%. I’m encouraged by that number. What I’ve noticed though is that my newsletters seem to become an extension to my Facebook interaction, a deeper way for my readers to follow me “officially”. 

Here is my latest newsletter.

This first year getting my newsletter up and running, I’ve played around a lot with the look of the letter to find what is going to attract people to read the entire letter. I’ve been offering draws with each newsletter to win a copy of one of my books. As of my last newsletter I have also been offering a free ebook of my novella Londonderry Dreaming. This is a wee bit expensive for me, but at this stage of my career this gift enables me to connect one on one with readers in a positive way.

If you have read any of my previous posts on my writing career, you’ll recognize that I’m like most other authors. I find it difficult to be constantly trumpeting my name and my books. It goes against the grain. I’ve learned though that this aspect of the writing life cannot be shrugged off. We must do it, and with God’s help we will be good stewards of the business He has given us.

Yet…even so, I tend not to act aggressively in my marketing attempts. It just doesn’t feel right to be aggressive as a Christian author. That may mean less book sales and a slower growth in my career. However, I have seen the Lord gently come in and do something to increase my readership that I had no control over, especially when I have been unable to take advantage of the larger advertising groups.


I trust the Lord with my career, and He has been gracious in opening it up at exactly the right time.FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Newsletters by Christine

Christine

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