26 June 2007

REPOST 1/9/2007 Talking a lot about promotion lately...

Which means, if one person asks about it, someone else might, and I may as well address it outright!

ANY promo you do will only appeal to a certain slice of the total population. Only some readers will read tag lines. Only some will read reviews or see print ads (but that is a whole other discussion...the print ad phenom). Only some will read interviews. Only some will use MySpace. Only some read blogs or go to sites. Only some will look at banner ads. etc.

When choosing promo ops, you MUST weigh the following...
What will it cost me in time?
What, if anything, will it cost me in money?
How much exposure can I POTENTIALLY get from it?
How successful have others found it?
Is it groundbreaking, and therefore has the potential to catch eyes just for the novelty?

If it's not going to overload your time constraints or monetary constraints and it has the potential to bring exposure with new readers OR continued exposure with existing readers, it's a solid idea.

You have both hit on the truth AND missed it at the same time. Bear with me.

Yes, you MUST get people to your site and keep them coming back. And, yes...search engines are not your BEST friend, though you can use them to your advantage.

A web page, blog or MySpace is not the end all of your internet promotion. It is one piece in the puzzle, along with chats, banner ads, announcements on review sites, reviews, interviews, lists, etc. In fact, done correctly, you aren't annoying those you ENTICE to your spaces/pages, because your message is in a hundred different places and not repeated in one. Here is what you do...

You cross link with other authors, publishers and industry professionals all over the web (on MySpace, on web sites, on blogs). Cross-links up the search engine on you in relation to certain topics (using the search engines) and provide more exposure for you. This works especially well if you set yourself up as an expert on certain topics. The more people quote you, use articles you write on the subjects, etc....the better the chances that someone will find your site.

Use a tag line. That means not only making one that is eye-catching...PLEASE, do not use a laundry list tag line.... It means USING it...on lists, on personal e-mail, everywhere.

Get on lists. I'm on Mike's (and the stats on this list are FAB! 8000 members and very active), but I'm also on almost 100 other lists, a dozen of which I own or moderate. Some are reader lists. Some are publisher lists. Some are writer lists. Don't overload yourself. I have a way of following only the threads I want to and mass deleting the others.

Now, what you do on those lists vary, depending on the lists.

On reader lists, you can get spotlights or engage in spotlights for your genre or publisher. That's always good. But netiquette comes into play. DON'T just talk about yourself and your work. Talk about the work of others. Who do you enjoy reading? What books do YOU suggest to the readers? They remember that and think of you as a reader AND writer and not just a self-promoting machine...but your tag line is on every post.

On publisher lists, you can only talk about your books with that publisher, but still the tag line is there. These lists are NOT just for self-promotion either. Have fun. It's more like an endless, ever-changing chat room than it is another reader list.

On writer lists, like PNWriters and Mike's, don't just share your news. Look back over the last month. I think I've posted ONE promo/news post on Mike's...maybe two, but you consistently see posts from me on the topics of the day. Again, the tag line is there. At least once a week...on one writer list or another, I get an e-mail telling me that someone visited my site and was blown away by it for one reason or another.

THAT is the promo machine at work, and it really doesn't take up much of my time to do it. To be honest, MOST posts you are going to put up are going to be a few parargraphs or less. THIS is one of the longest posts I've written in a long time. Of course, I will stop here. Since I've already written several articles on this subject, there's no sense repeating everything in them. Grin...

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