Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - three marketing myths


It's one of our responsibilities as writers to research things. Not just stuff we'll need for our stories, but marketing, websites, covers, etc. There are a wide range of things we need to keep on top of to remain marketable. And it can be exhausting.

Many articles tell us the things we must do. But as I've cruised around the internet, I am reminded there is nothing we must do. There are things we should do, but every writer's journey is different. What works for one person might not work for others. We each must try out various strategies to see what works for ourselves. It's frustrating there's no magical formula, but if you're determined, you'll find a way.

Here are three marketing myths I've discovered in my research adventures:

1. "Create an author tagline." I've heard again and again this is essential in branding yourself. It does help in letting readers know your genre, but what if you write in more than one genre? It doesn't work for you. Many of the bestsellers' sites I've visited do not have author taglines. The majority of them have "New York Times Bestseller" to accompany their name on site banners. It says nothing about their genres. They use other aspects of their sites to let readers know what they write, and you can too.

2. "The newsletter is the new, big thing. Every writer must have one." Nope. Not essential if you have another way you're connecting with readers. Newsletters are bigger with some genres than others. Romance readers love them. Horror readers, not so much. Most bestsellers have newsletters, but they maybe send them out twice a year. I've signed up for ones that I have never received an email from.

3. "If the story is fantastic, it will sell your books." There are so many amazing stories that get buried under the millions of other books out there. What helps is to have a professional cover. It tells the reader what kind of genre it is at a glance and what to anticipate in the story. While I've seen authors that sell well with simple covers consisting only of text and maybe a symbol or an object, they usually already have an audience. A gorgeous cover can draw readers to you even if they don't know your name.

Don't exhaust yourself trying to figure out your marketing formula. Trust me. I know from experience how maddening it can be. Do what you're comfortable with. Do what you enjoy. Because if you lose your joy, you might lose you drive to write. Marketing has chased many aspiring writers away. Don't let it crush you.

What marketing myths have you discovered?

36 comments:

  1. LOL! As a publisher I can tell you that last one is total bunk. We've published a couple amazing books with great pre-pub reviews that just didn't sell big.

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    1. I've read fantastic books that had little to no reviews. It's too bad that sometimes all the marketing doesn't amount to much at all.

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  2. Great post, Christine! I'm not on a lot of social media, which always seems like one of those "shoulds" of marketing. It might be better if I was, and maybe some day I will, but at this point in time, I'm okay with what I'm doing. :)

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    1. I'm on a few social media things, but I definitely don't have time to do them all. I don't know how some writers manage to write and market a lot!

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  3. You're such a smart lady.

    -The Hermit WRiter

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  4. Nice post! It's true that great books can get snowed under; if the marketing isn't there, no one knows these books exist. A good cover definitely helps, too. And different things work for different people--or even different things for different books (which is what I've discovered as I go along).

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    1. What's even more, it's different for each book. It's crazy!

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  5. Interesting. I've just ordered some business cards with a tagline on them - but it's quite inclusive. It's nice to have something a bit different to fill up the space on cards, on banners and my awesome pens - in lieu of a 'bestseller' accolade :-)

    I'm also trying hard to reestablish my newsletter because my Facebook page reach is so poor these days, and I'd rather not resort to paying to boost posts if I can help it.

    Author logos also seem to be very popular at the moment, in some genres.

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    1. I've seen a lot of author logos too. I post once a day on FB, but I get more interaction on Twitter.

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  6. Hi Christine - wise thoughts here ... we're all individual and need to do what suits us, as well as be sensible in our approach ... you've got your finger on the pulse ... all the best - Hilary

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  7. Thank you for your honest and wise tips!!! I needed these today. I've been floundering with my newsletter - I think I've sent it a total of 8 times, maybe, and changed it in the middle of those times. I have been thinking about changing it again - giving it some kind of name/tribe/etc. I like the way your newsletter looks and the way you've set it up - it's pretty awesome.
    But, that may not ever be my strength.
    I do need to rework my book covers, or have someone awesome create the next ones. And, I need to re-work some of my blurbs. I think those are the most important aspects of online sales.
    Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. You're welcome, Tyrean. It is about trying various things. I tried newsletter swaps for a while, but I just felt the newsletters turned into ads rather than giving readers something special from the author. So I try to be more personal in them.

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  8. I'm so glad you said that about newsletters. I've gone back and forth as to whether I should have one, but in the end decided not to go forward with it at this time.

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    1. Some people say newsletters are essential for keeping up with a writer's new releases, but if you follow the author on Amazon, Amazon sends out emails for that themselves. Saves us some time!

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  9. I think the key to marketing is doing what works best for you, being open to trying new things, and always working on the next book. The easiest is probably working on the next book, though. *laughs*

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    1. Yes, that is the easiest and the part I enjoy the most! :)

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  10. Great Advice. Enjoyed the post.

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  11. I love your list and how true it is.

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  12. I so appreciate your thoughts on this! It's really nice to have a reminder that it's okay to focus on the marking efforts I actually enjoy. Everyone really is different, and I think we're best at the platforms we actually like using.

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    1. It's true. I think it shows when we enjoy something too.

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  13. Number 3 is so true. I knew someone who had an audience and he sold tons of books and the covers weren't always that good, and there were some glaring obvious typos in the stories (like chapter one misspelled)

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    1. Oh, I know books like that. I wish I could figure out their magic spells!

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  14. So true about how maddening marketing can be. I've hit so many dead ends with it over the years that I now feel like nothing will ever work for me, heh.

    And that third one from your list is such a sad reality. I've loved so many books and comics over the years that just never found the audience they deserved. It's always so mind-boggling to me...

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    1. It stuns me, too, that some marvelous books never make it big.

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  15. So true! I think the biggest thing that surprised me when I jumped into the self-pub game was that even paid ads on major sites is not a magic ticket. And you are so right about not burning out your joy on marketing. I've decided over time that I enjoy genuine engagement with people I know and like on social media, and responding to the occasional fan comment, and that's it. I'm not going to follow/retweet/newsletter share/blog hop/etc. with a bunch of people I don't know or care about. I like to make new friends, but only genuine ones, not people just trying to get me to sell their book!

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  16. All so true! BUT I want the tagline "New York Times Bestseller" LOL

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  17. I totally agree about a professional cover. The cover is what hooks me, and probably a majority of readers too! Good Post.

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  18. This is a crap shoot. I just wish I'd known that before I subbed my first book. Some great books get nowhere and some not to so great ones are hot sellers. I still scratch my head.

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