Work Work Work but It’s Not All About Marketing

I’ve spent my morning, really most of my day, worrying about my own personal projects instead of everyone else’s. This has been made possible by the letter E. E stands for such words as empty, as in empty cue. It can also stand for egomaniac, which I have been accused of being, and exercise, which I’d like to get to some day before my death.

Someone offered me a large sum of money to promote their material. I could use a large sum of money right now – dearly – but I still hesitated before accepting. More than a large sum of money I appreciate my own moral integrity, such as it is. Would I be letting that person down? This meant I needed to research on what I could do for him, to make sure he wasn’t investing unwisely.

My personal marketing strategy is a simple one. I talk like I’m a real person on my blog, I mention real life stuff everyone can relate to, and I’m just me. I’ll buy adverts once in a while when I have $5 to spare (no really, $5) and I give things away for free sometimes… mostly because I figure if i don’t then it will never ever get read. Turns out this strategy of mine, built largely out of shyness and partly out of lack of time, is the recommended model. Who’d have thunk it.

I have notes in front of me of the things I do that work and some things in front of me I found today that might work. I’m picking based on two things: being shy and whether or not the strategy requires I fake being friendly and use people as stepping stones. When I have it all formulated out, I hope to make a post here of what I’m doing for others to adopt and follow. Let’s all hope I find the time. And I’ve decided to accept this person’s offer, but on one condition: he writes like a real person once in a while and mentions things people can relate to. Otherwise, the campaign is doomed to fail.

Anyway, through my forays I rediscovered Scribd. I’d joined them a long time ago, when I was doing Akashik, and uploaded the first book. And promptly forgot them. Upon finding them again, I saw… I have readers there! I have followers! What the HELL! When did THAT happen???

Scribd also sells your books now. How nice is that?

So then my time, which was supposed to be spent working on 10 Confessions & A Kiss, got set aside so I could spend some time updating my Scribd. Ha ha ha, silly me.

The first thing I’ve done there besides take down one of the two books I had up is to upload another book, because it seems to me I should expand my base there. I chose to put up Black Wolf, Silver Fox, as that’s the first book I ever published and usually comes first. I’m linear that way.

I have my doubts about Scribd suddenly shooting me to the stars and giving me the royalties I need to stop doing stuff for everyone else, but … it’s still something that brought me some followers and I never knew it. Perhaps you also should check it out.

Black Wolf Silver Fox by Katrina Joyner

Twitter Promotion Fail – a review from the busy side

It’s 25 days until the Kickstarter campaign to get Chapter 2 of 10 Confessions & A Kiss ends and I only have 5% of my funding goal. It’s 30 days until the Indiegogo campaign ends, and I have 0%. Promoting these things, considering once you make them they disappear into the thick woodwork of the campaign websites and won’t see the light of the day unless you get somebody – anybody – to at least look at the webpage, is a full time job. It’s more than a full time job. It’s two full time jobs, and unless you’re in contact with thousands of people or at least one generous millionaire it’s not likely to go anyplace.

For the sake of my privacy and sanity, I had shaved my Facebook account to the bare bones of family for contact purposes only. That left me with only Twitter to use as a networking and promotional platform. But that will be fine, I told myself for the third time in the past year. It’s a very active website.

A contact suggested I also join Triberr, which is Facebook and Twitter powered, and I did. (On a side note, Triberr is a very interesting platform I urge you to check out.) I’ve also been haunting Goodreads – which I already did anyway – and generally spending time I didn’t have trying to make my comic dream come true.

So two days of trying to get people to at least take a look at the 10 Confessions website, and I’m reminded why I never used Twitter all that much. Tweeting on Twitter is like shouting in a crowd. With laryngitis. You might be heard, if someone is standing nearby and paying 200% attention.

Tweets I make go and are immediately drowned out in a flood of thousands of other tweets by other writers looking for attention, or politicians looking to get elected, hackers wanting to protest Trapwire (and you should too), and comic book wannabes dying for that big break. “Read my book.” “Read this article.” “Take a look at this and this and this and THIS!” So that it’s one long din of spam. Noise. One-sided chatter.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have their head up their ass, you’ll stop your own tweets to read that article, ad infinitum. But if you stop for too long, your tweets are going to disappear. And it isn’t long before you realize that even if you’re not that selfish kind of person, over 90% of your friends list is.

And those that don’t have their head up their asses probably have as little time as you do.

Strike up a conversation, and you might get somewhere. The problem with that tactic for me is that I don’t like to strike up a conversation as if I’m a nice person only to trap you into a sale – or a promotional campaign as it were. It feels dishonest to me. So the conversations I’ve struck up were genuine. And, BTW, never went farther than three tweets.

So pros and cons I have noticed so far:

1. It has great marketing potential. It can get the word out very quickly and to a lot of people, especially with the use of mass-tweeting platforms like Triberr.
2. You will definitely never be bored. In fifteen minutes my page got over a thousand tweets.
3. It’s easy to use and has a lot of ways to plug in to it, be it by RSS or app.
4. It can be slightly fun and addicted.

1. It can be fun and addictive – bad if you have to work for a living.
2. The marketing potential can only be reached if you have the time to tweet successfully against the stream of tweets your own tweet is swimming up against. And if you manage to choose people on your friends list who will read and respond to your tweets.

I acknowledge there are those that can get Twitter to work for them. They’re people with a lot more time than I have, and I tip my hat to them. These people are marketing geniuses. I never was a marketing genius – which is why I’m not more famous – so I’m not knocking those people who managed to use Twitter successfully. Nor am I knocking Twitter in itself. As with any tool – or weapon – it’s not the tool or weapon. It’s in how you use it.

There are people who are heard. I’m just not one of them – well, unless I’m being negative. Then I’m heard all over the place. But on the whole I don’t like being negative.

On the outside, Twitter looks like it can be a great promotional tool. I have seen it work effectively. There’s this one guy running for Congress that doesn’t return his tweets that I’m watching with it, for example. I’ve seen a couple of interesting articles with it.

On my end, however, so far it’s a marketing ploy fail. It’s not one I’d recommend for someone who can’t afford more than five minutes a day. And for the rest of us who are lucky to have that five minutes, it’s recommended you find a way to hire someone who has the time and might be listened to above the din.

(If anybody wants to tweet for me for free, lemme know. LOL)