Naysayers and Online Promotion

There are a lot of Naysayers out there who negate the value of Online Promotion.  Particularly with using social networks to create name recognition to sell their products—books. They tout other methods, proven methods formerly used in promoting books and authors. What I say to the Naysayers, is this:  TIMES CHANGE.  The basic methods of publicity/marketing remain the same but the focus of the methods has changed. To be successful you must CHANGE with the times.  Or get left behind

These days, a great deal of shopping is done online, including books, music, movies, clothes, house wares and appliances—even cars and houses.  Online is a HUGE mall and that’s the way you have to look at it. No it hasn’t replaced concrete stores, but that doesn’t reduce the validity of online sales, or online promotion.  Why?

Face it, we’re a techie generation and the technology is there, in ever-increasing numbers, to facilitate online selling and buying. Studies track how much time the average person spends online for things other than working. While I don’t have the figures at my fingertips, it’s a huge block of time.  Computers can do about anything a TV can—provide you with the latest news, music, TV shows, movies, and books.  Cell phones can hook you to your computer and access the Internet.  C’mon.  The Internet isn’t going anywhere unless some catastrophe happens to eliminate it. Naysayers have to get with the times. Which is why e-Books, Print on Demand or digital technology, and traditional published books in e-book format, aren’t going to go away, no matter how many opinions there are on what constitutes a “real” book. 

 If online sales weren’t valid, why is every paper catalogue put out have an online store?  Why are even major manufacturers providing an online presence and a venue to sell their products?  Everyone from attorneys to roofers sell their services on line.  Manufacturers from Beer to Xanax use known personalities to sell their products. These personalities and stars are known because of their activity in sports and on the silver screen—and known on the Internet. Why? Name and face recognition. 

 Hollywood sells their products online.  Their products are stars, producers, movies, and TV shows. The music industry is the same. Just about everyone who sells something has a website.  It’s real. It’s today, not yesterday. 

For instance, in Hollywood of old, anything that got the actors, producers, and the name of the movie or show, in the paper was publicity.  It was encouraged, it was “leaked”, it fabricated. Paparazzi are still everywhere with hopes of catching something to write about and sell on the citizens of the movie and TV industry.  But now, it’s not the papers that get it first, it’s the Internet and the publicity grinders make sure their people are on the internet. It’s the same method, different focus. Actors get known on the screen by the body of their work—if that was enough we wouldn’t see them in print or on the Internet.  Personalities sell products.  People want to get to know something about the actors not just the shows/movies they’re in. 

 If you’re an author and your product is good, you are going to sell it—if people know you have a product.  How are they going to know?  Today, it’s the Internet.  Authors have to have an Internet presence. Social networks (no doubt there will be other ways in the future) provide a way for the authors to become known and to build a readership base. If the author is a known presence, then readers will know who these authors are, may have even chatted with them online. Readers will know the books, the storylines, and release dates.  Consequently, authors will have better sales both online and where ever books are sold. 

 I’m not discounting the other avenues such as book signing events, speaking to book clubs, newspapers, radio, and TV, but, unless you have an existing platform for it, unless you already have name recognition, this may not increase your sales appreciably. Local, versus the World Wide Web. This is especially so given our present economic situation and the money spent to do this physically. The old ways vs. profits made? Getting known on the Internet can increase your sales. It’s free. Will it give you over night success?  Pfft, not usually, in fact rarely

 It takes time and work to garner success. It may not seem like you’re getting anywhere in the beginning, but this is a long-range goal. The amount of publicity also depends upon how you promote yourself as an author and it depends upon how soon you start with gaining name recognition on the Internet before your book is released. It takes a lot of focused time and work.  

 My thinking on it this is if you go to all the trouble and time to write a book what’s the point if you’re not going to take the time and work to sell it?  Or ignore the new ways to gain name and face recognition. 

 To the Naysayers, I again say, times change and either you change with the times or get left behind. 

Welcome to today.  

Sia McKye

 

I’m married to a spitzy Italian. We have a ranch out beyond the back 40 where I raise kids, dogs, horses, cats, and have been known to raise a bit of hell, now and then. I have a good sense of humor and am an observer of life and a bit of a philosopher. I see the nuances—they intrigue me.

I’m a Marketing Rep by profession and a creative writer. I have written several mainstream Romance novels one of which I’ve out on a partial request.  I’ve written and published various articles on Promotion and Publicity, Marketing, Writing, and the Publishing industry. 

Aside from conducting various writing discussions and doing numerous guest blogging engagements, I write a blog, Over Coffee, http://siamckye.blogspot.com/  Each week I promote and share authors’ stories, on the laughter, glitches, triumphs, and fun that writers and authors face in pursuit of their ambition to write—Over Coffee.

 

12 Comments

Filed under writing

12 responses to “Naysayers and Online Promotion

  1. I feel like you wrote the words down that I believe strongly about online promotion/marketing…and you said it very well. You are exactly right and I applaud your authors for their presence online. I’m trying and know I need to be in more places. Any suggestions will be welcomed.

    Thanks for your words. I, for one, appreciated hearing the truth about “today’s marketplace for shopping.”

    Joyce Norman

  2. Glad you enjoyed my article, Joyce. It’s not always an easy thing to accomplish. But one has to section off time to do on line promotion. Getting hooked up with a blog tour is one way of doing it, especially if you are featured on a popular blog. Taking a set amount of time to make friend/connections on the social networks.

    I’d suggest pick out one or two and make yourself a presence. Comment on other’s status look at their pictures. Share interesting articles you run across, or if you see a blog about writing, publishing, or an author, publish a link to it. People will start to notice and then pay attention to things you put up. Even adding a quote you like will do the same. It’s about being active.

    I find that helping others–ie, links on other authors and books, giving a word or two of encouragment helps you as an author and a writer. Find blogs you like and support them by leaving a comment. Bloggers tend to reciprocate with support.

    It’s about being a personality that people come to know on line. It’s not hard, but it does take structured time slotted just for that and I find what works is at least spending about 4 hours a week on that. 4 hours isn’t that much time really. Get a routine. These two day for reading and commenting on blogs you like and even adding a link on your page or in your status bar on the ones you liked. This day is for going through your list of online friends and dropping a comment here and there on their stuff. It all adds up. Plus it still leaves you with time to write, work, and deal with family.

    These are suggestions and things I’ve found that work. Not hard but does take consistency and if you watch, you’ll see even the Bestseller authors do the same.

    • I really thank you for your words about promotions online. Rather than spend a certain amount of hours each week dedicated to this, I try and do some every day, keeping current,etc. Also, I would add that I think it is very important to add comments and info that is useful…not just, things like “nice”, “good”….we must encourage each other as writers and we need to be personal and as helpful as we can be.

  3. It’s not that long since online stuff was just the realm of my sons, and me promising to keep out of their way rather like I’d keep out of their rooms, as long as they policed each other. But now… They laugh at me for using twitter, having a blog, etc. But you’re right. How else would we get know. Meanwhile I’m still working on getting a routine, so it doesn’t eat all my writing time.

  4. tkthorne

    Thanks for the words and support of writers, Sia. I have a novel coming out soon and have been quite overwhelmed trying to figure out how to have an effective presence online and do all the things you mentioned. Fortunately, I had already started the social networking thing. I just figured out how to post a blog and I’ve got a website up. But the Web is so vast, it seemed like picking the right drops of water in the ocean! I was so relieved to hear you say, pick out ONE or TWO blogs and participate on them. That is doable. I just have to figure out which ones.

    –T.K. Thorne
    Noah’s Wife
    http://www.tkthorne.com

    • TK, yay on the book. Congratulations.

      Promoting is overwhelming and for that reason there are those that call it useless or a waste of their time. Or if they don’t see an immediate results of time spent they say it doesn’t work. It’s like building a house. It takes time to see the results from the architects drawing translated to a finished building. In this case you’re building your career and a readerbase.

      In today’s market, books don’t sell themselves and all avenues must be tackled. If online promotion was a waste of time, why do publicist spend so much time doing it, requiring their authors to do the same? And if you don’t have a publicist, it’s all on you.

      TK, when I said TWO, I didn’t mean blogs. Pick one or two SOCIAL networks, ie Facebook and twitter, or Facebook and Gather.com. Facebook and Goodreads.com. I like Facebook, its easy and I’ve found the best results there.

      Build up a network of connections, take the time to read what your connections are doing and this is where taking a bit of time through out the week to comment on their status, offer encouragement, share something you found that worked. In otherwords, get known. Just joining isn’t enough. You have to be active.

      As for blogs. If you’re creating them, again you have to have have people READ them or what’s the point. So this where you read other’s blogs. Now I don’t have time to read them all everyday. But I do schedule some time on Mondays and Wednesdays (many post new ones on those days, 🙂 ) and I have a list of blogs I read and I track what they’re doing and comment. Pick out a few and follow them. Bloggers will reciprocate.

      If someone comments on your blog, go visit theirs. You want comments on your blog for several reasons.

      One being comments show activity and pick up search engines.

      Two, it draws ‘followers’, people who continue to stop by, if they like what they see, they may add your blog to their list of favorites on their blog. Which gets you known too.

      By announcing your blog on your status on whatever social network you belong to, your connections know you’re blogging too, especially if you’re consistent.

      • tkthorne

        Sia,
        Thanks for the clarification. I am on FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter, though I find the latter …wierd.

        I hear what you are saying about having patience to see what the seeds you have planted might grow. It’s all about relationships. In the end, at least for me, that’s the most important thing anyway. The whole purpose of writing (beside the unexplainable “I got to”) is to share the stories.

  5. Joyce,

    It’s whatever works best for you and your schedule. There are things I do everyday when I read my email. I have to promote my blog and I’m always in touch with some author or publicist or another.

    My comments vary. When I’m not sure what to say, I simply say good info (I may or may not pick out something I particularly liked) or I may ask a question, and say thanking for sharing this. I don’t always have time to get long winded. Another time I may have the time and then I take it.

    You’re correct, it’s being personable and caring. I would add, gracious, especially when they take you to task, or you don’t agree. One thing I never do is argue with people on line. There are trolls out there that take delight in being disruptive and negative. Either ignore them, or make your comment gracious and tactful in addressing the issue.

    Let me know how things go, Joyce.

  6. Sheila, that’s a hard one at times. It’s all about experimenting and finding what works for you.

    Mondays and Wednesdays are pure work days for me online. From 8 to l-ish. If I write those days, it’s in the evenings after dinner. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days in the mornings. I usually am able to write on the weekends as well.

  7. TK, I’ll have to look you up on facebook. Twitter…well it used to be much better until we had people canvasing for a million followers, lol! Oh please. But I do use it to announce my blog or tweet someone else’s blog or story or to share something I find interesting. Otherwise I use Facebook, most of the time. I’m in a different spot, I need to promote my author’s guest spots so I use about 7 to do that, lol!

    Oh, relationships are primary and I’ve made some good cyber friends. 🙂

    • tkthorne

      Sia,
      Would be delighted to be friends. I couldn’t find you under this name. ?? I am Teresa K. Thorne. See you on FB.

  8. christinehusom

    Yes, I do need to do more online promoting. Great article!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.