Thursdays with Amanda: Marketing Tip and Social Media Critiques, part 12
April 18, 2013 | Written by Amanda Luedeke
Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon andBarnes & Noble.
I’ve been hard at work this month, marketing my book The Extroverted Writer…and I’ve learned A LOT.
So before I offer a few Social Media Critiques (the offer is now closed, for those of you wondering), I figured I’d give a few marketing pointers, based on what I’ve learned.
I’ve appeared on numerous blogs this week.
- I blogged at Devotional Diva (where I’m giving away a free book)
- I was interviewed on Jennifer Murgia’s blog (You need to scroll down to view)
- I was interviewed on Melissa Tagg’s blog
- I was interviewed on Rebecca Jacoby’s blog
- I was interviewed on the My Book Therapy blog
Am I missing anything? I feel I am. Which leads me to my point…
When you’re in the midst of heavy marketing, it’s so easy for things to spiral out of control–for you to forget what you’ve done where and when and then miss opportunities to connect with others. I can’t stress how important it is to stay organized during this process. Spreadsheets, calendars, and obsessive compulsive disorder are your friends at this stage in the game. Without them, you’re going to sink.
Another truth that was reinforced is that appearances on blogs and the like don’t always translate into big sales. But what they do is plant the seed. You see, readers aren’t going to buy a book on a whim. But they’ll buy it if they see it popping up in numerous places or if they read something about it and then a few months pass and they hear someone talking about it. You see, readers like to be wooed. They like to know that the book is going to be a good fit before they take the plunge. So when you’re in the midst of marketing craziness and you don’t feel as though you’re making any headway, remember that it takes time. You’re planting the seeds now, and hopefully one day you’ll get to reap that harvest.
Okay, now for a couple of SOCIAL MEDIA CRITIQUES:
1. Marie Andreas submitted her blog, Faeries, Dragons, and Spaceships
- With a title such as yours, I expected a blog on fantasy and science fiction…but this is a blog for writers. I’m not sure the two mesh quite like you’re hoping. I also feel as though if you write science fiction and fantasy, you’ll get more traction in the long run by having a blog that caters to those fans (as opposed to having a blog that caters to other writers).
- Your short story looks cool. I wonder if it should be highlighted more?
- I’m not a fan of the writing progress widgets. First, if you don’t keep them updated they make you look like you never write. Second, they make you seem like a writer that hasn’t really finished anything. Not sure either are what you’re going for
RECOMMENDATIONS: I really really like your writing voice, by the way. Just not sure it fits with this blog theme. If you have a site for writers, make it writerly. If you have a site about spaceships, make it…spaceship-ish.
2. Chris Plumb submitted his blog, Plumbed Down
- I have a hard time reading the black text against the purple background at the top. This may seem minuscule, but it’s actually very important.
- To look more professional, I wonder if you should have something designed for that top space where you have your blog title, etc? Just thinking it could be spruced up for a maximum good first impression.
- Your right nav was difficult for me to notice. I kept thinking “where is his ABOUT ME page?” and it was hiding in plain sight all along
RECOMMENDATIONS: I wish I could impart great wisdom that would help you blog take off, but I think this is just one of those blogs that is more of a personal journey. Therefore, people don’t really read it to glean info or advice or help. They read for entertainment. So if you want to grow your blog, you’ll probably have to start hanging out online with others who write similar blogs so that you can team up and cross-promote.
- I like the look of your site. You may want to rearrange the items in your top nav so that the ones that people would be most interested in come first. Ones such as “Blog”, “Books”, “About Lynn” and “Freebies” are always fan favorites. So bump the others to the end of the line!
- Reorganize your Freebies page so that the most-downloaded freebies are at the top
- Your post on April 8 got a strong reaction! What did you do differently? Was it the fact that it was a reader-submitted question? A tough topic? Or the fact that your daughter helped answer? Was it because you did a giveaway along with it? Think through that, because more posts like that one could help grow your readership.
- Your Facebook page needs to be a professional page…not your personal profile. So I suggest starting one right away!
RECOMMENDATIONS: Work to dial in your blog posts so that they draw a more consistent readership and better interaction. And start that Facebook page!!! You really shouldn’t be using your personal profile as your author hub. Give the page a try, and if you need more info on how to do it right (and why the page is better than the profile) check out old Thursdays with Amanda posts or my book.
Has anyone been through marketing craziness before? What did you learn?!