Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bethany’s Rules for Marketing

by Bethany Maines

In my quest for world book domination I frequently peruse tips on how to better market myself/books.  Some come up with some interesting strategies that are worth pursuing and then there’s this list…

I won’t mention the name of the blog I found it on because I don’t believe in public shaming.  But let’s just assess a few of the items on this list shall we? 

Comment on Blogs – The theory is that you will become recognized and friends with other blog commenters as well as those running the blog and then you will RISE TO FAME!  Or… not.  Of course, having additional friends will help you expand your fan base.  But pursuing that strategy for the sake of selling books is so lacking in any genuine feeling that it will actually turn people against you. 

Bethany Rule #1 – always be your best self online.  Only comment on a blog if you have something interesting and positive to add to the conversation. Trolls don’t sell books.

Create a Viral Video – Let’s just hop right on that shall we?  We’ll get out or cell phones and film our cats and then, bam, done!  As this article on Slate indicates, only 10% of YouTube videos get more than 1000 views.  Videos these days are higher in quality and there a simply MORE of them out there than in the beginning days of social media. Here’s my attempt at a viral video – it’s awesome, you should watch it.  But I only paid for food for the crew and a make-up artist to make the video happen, everything else was done in trade.  I felt comfortable with my investment  and I view the video as a great sales tool to introduce people to my book series, but I never counted on it going viral. 


Bethany Rule #2 – if you have to pay a lot of money for a product that you’re going to giveaway for free, it’s probably not worth it.

Go on National TV – Yup, I’m just going to dial up Oprah right now, promise her some bread, and book myself on National TV.  Getting air time, particularly on a National level, is one of the things that happens when you’re ALREADY famous.  There’s a reason Donald Trump has ceased to advertise.  He’s getting 15% of the national news time (according to a recent news piece I saw on my local news) and 50% of the election coverage.  He doesn’t NEED to advertise.   I’m not recommending that you be Donald Trump – one is more than enough – but being getting air time is something that you either pay for, or you get because your famous for something already.

Bethany Rule #3 – work to be locally famous.  Join groups.  Send press releases.  Volunteer to judge writing contests.  Talk to people.  Network and connect – people sell books.

The internet is full of many tips, some are more helpful than others.  I just hope that you find mine a little more helpful than the one from the blog that shall remain nameless.



Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, Tales from the City of Destiny and An Unseen Current.  You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.


4 comments:

  1. Excellent blog, Bethany! I shudder when I read some of the marketing tips that are out there--and even more when authors who read them bombard me with spam.

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  2. I agree with Linda, above. Some ideas are nuts and marketers can be SO annoying. And unrealistic in their advice, as you have so ably pointed out, Bethany!

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  3. There are some things I like to do, and that's what I do. Good post!

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  4. Yeah, while there were a few items on that list worth working into your marketing plan, the ones you pointed out are misleading and, I imagine, would seem overwhelming to a newbie. It's not easy to get on a local TV show, let alone a national one. And superstar blog tours? Hang on while I dial up Janet Evanovich. Maybe she'll let me include her on my viral video.

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