January 27th, 2013

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

A Marketing Wrap Up

At long last I've reached the apparent end of my posts about marketing.  I hope that a few of you find them useful.  As time goes on, and as I become more involved and learn more, I might post again on the topic.

Here are links to the next two installments or segments of Anne Mini's video interview with me.

I finished reading Patrick O'Brian's The Mauritius Command a week or so ago.  Now I'm reading Ship of Magic by Robin Hobbs.  (Or is it The Magic Ship?  The book is at work, so it's kind of difficult to check right now.)  Good story, as far as I've gotten.  I'm getting in to it.

Oh yeah!  Anyone who has visited my web-site in the past has probably noticed that the "Research" page has been "under construction" for just about forever.  Yesterday I took the first steps to remedying that.  I've posted a list of characters from the Stone Island Sea Stories, along with a very brief mention of who or "what" the individual is.  Some folks are from the second and third book, and quite possibly some might see the list as having a few "spoilers" in it.

A Marketing Wrap-Up

            Over the last few posts here, I’ve been talking about marketing.  Most recently I’ve tried to illustrate some of the computer, web, and internet things I’ve done to initiate, sustain, and increase book sales.

            I resisted being on Face Book page for a long time.  It was only after Beyond the Ocean’s Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story was published last spring that I succumbed to Face Book.  In mid-May, with help from my daughter, my at home computer expert, I set up a page.  I’m not sure if we did it the way we should have, but I ended up with an author’s page, rather than a personal Face Book account.  It took me a little while to get used to doing anything with it, but now I do so regularly.  Apparently I’m restricted in what sort of accounts I can connect with.  My page cannot be friended, but it can be liked.  In similar fashion, I cannot like or friend personal accounts or profiles.    Over the past few months I have liked other authors, writing organizations, a self-publishing service and assistance company, branches of the armed forces, and a museum.  I’m trying to focus my likes on things related to my writing or to those things that interest me in general.  To me, the idea is to view, comment and like entries on those other pages whenever I can.  Occasionally I’ll post or share something, a picture, perhaps from one of those pages.  Hopefully others might notice, check out my page, and eventually go to my other on-line locations.

            Face Book and other “social” media should not be construed as direct marketing or sales tools.  They are a way of connecting with people, some of whom might become buyers and develop an interest in my work.  It’s all about getting one’s name out there.

            I have a blog or Live Journal page, a web-site, and a Face Book page.  So what?  It’s great to have them, but who do I get people to visit them?  Creating and putting them on the internet doesn’t automatically make folks aware they exist.  There is no magical alert system that tells the world that I now have these things available for everyone to see.

            To begin with, I must tell everyone that I have an on-line presence.  E-mail is a good way of doing this, whether it is an e-mail specifically stating the fact, or the inclusion of a signature at the bottom of all e-mail messages.  When I post something on Live Journal, I should occasionally mention and provide a link to my web-site or my Face Book page.  On Face Book, I can also share links to my Live Journal. 

            I can get my web-site and other on-line locations mentioned or linked to on other sites.  Quite often, if one becomes a regular commenter on other blogs, a link to one’s site will be established.  For example, every time I comment on a particular individual’s blog, there is an automatic link to my web-site.  Other blog readers might get curious and check out the links to the commenters.  If someone is nice enough to feature me in a post, he or she will possibly also include links to my sites.

            Many organizations also include links to their members’ sites, and one can have links to one’s sites there as well.  Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers has a links page on its web-site.  Pacific Northwest Writers Association includes a Members’ Web-site page.  The Historical Novel Society has a directory, listing many of its members.  I am listed in all these organizations, and each has a link to my web-site.  One also has a link to my Live Journal, and another, a link to my Face Book page.  (You may notice that I've linked to just about everything I can think of within this post.  If doing so doesn't help me, it might help them.)

            Perhaps I’ve strayed a bit from the idea of marketing and selling books.  However, if no one knows that I’ve written and published a book, how is anyone going to consider buying it?  Establishing an on-line presence lets folks know I exist as a writer, and that I have a book (or books) available for purchase.  My marketing effectiveness might be greater, had I opted to spend more on the sales and marketing products offered by the self-publishing service and assistance company I work with.  Again, I had to balance budget concerns with my perceived effectiveness of those products.

            As I end, I hope this has been informative.  Writing these posts dealing with marketing helped me wrap my brain around the subject a little better.  I certainly have more of an idea of what I’m trying to do.  Whether or not I’m succeeding is another story, and one that only time and patience will answer.  I hope you will take time to visit my on-line locations, my web-site, my Live Journal, and my Face Book page.  Buy a copy of Beyond the Ocean’s Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story, either in hard copy or as an e-book.  Tell others about the book, and send them to my on-line places.  I would appreciate any comments you might care to post at Live Journal, and your likes, posts, and comments on Face Book.