Reinventing the Blog – Please Bear With Us!

AUGUST MALE AUTHOR GUEST:

08/19 – WALT MUSSELL – JAPANESE INSPIRATIONAL HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Delilah Marvelle - Cracking The Promotion Code

I have learned quite a bit about promotion since first being published in 2008.  I’ve learned that cracking the promotion code is like trying to find a flea in a haystack.  There simply isn’t any one thing that will guarantee that you will reach your readers.  BUT…I will say this.  If you do nothing to promote yourself, rest assured you won’t get any buzz at all. 
If I can give you four BIG pieces of advice in best promoting yourself, here it is:

1.)  Brand yourself.   You are selling your writing.  You are not selling your dogs, your cats, or your children.  Remember that when you decide to blog.  Most writers make the mistake of creating a blog that serves no purpose but entertaining a select few.  It’s an amazing opportunity that is lost.  Think bigger.  How can you reach more people?  How can you reach people who don’t even know who the hell you are?  An example of how to step outside of the box is what I did with my own blog:A Bit O’Muslin (www.DelilahMarvelle.blogspot.com)  I created a blog on Sex Throughout History which I post to every first of the month.   Why only once a month?  Because that way, I don’t get burned out and neither to my readers.  I want an ongoing relationship without being in their face every day. 
I get several thousand hits a month and I will say that most of the traffic is rather random.  People who Google “The History of the Dildo” will discover that I am actually #1 in the Google search engine.  It took a bit of time to establish myself as number one in the dildo search, lol, but I assure you, it’s strategic.  I’ve had quite a few people who accidentally came across my blog who started not only following me but were curious enough to pick up my books.   My blog reflects my writing, not my life.

2.) Make use of Social Media to do MORE than promote yourself.  Whether you do Twitter or Facebook or whatever other Social Media poison you choose, remember to use it for more than promotion.  Get to know your readers.  Get to know reviewers.  Follow them and converse with them without being annoying.  And only pimp yourself when necessary.  People know when you’re selling and when you’re being genuine.  Be genuine at all times.  Not just some of the time.  

3.) Forget the pens, the mugs and those endless trinkets you buy to pimp yourself.  Here’s what I noticed when going to events and what readers (not writers) pick up.  They pick up signed bookmarks, excerpt booklets and books.  Which makes sense.  They want your writing.  Not your pens.  So put your writing INTO the hands of your readers by doing excerpt booklets or handing out free copies of your books.  Sure, it costs more in the long run, but think about it.  Books will never be thrown in the trash and will make its way around.  Can you say the same for a pen or some of the other promo?  Even bookmarks will eventually find their way into the trash...sadly. And though the excerpt booklet may not last long, if they picked it up, they will most likely READ the chapter booklet.  Which gives you a better chance of getting a sale than any pen.

4.)  Write the best damn book you can.  Your writing is really the ONLY thing you can control in this crazy business.  A good book will continue to find its audience with or without promotion.  Word of mouth, after all, is the greatest promotion of all.

6 comments:

Vonnie Alto said...

Bravo, Delilah!

You are a whiz at this stuff. I think what is key for me is to brand myself with an out-of-the box blog. But finding that out-of-the box blog is difficult. Something unique, different, and with a wide audience like your 'bit of muslin' does for you. I just can't seem to think of a subject suitable for myself. However, I've had others say that they like my comments on blogs and follow me because of that so I know I'm reaching people as an unpub, but I'm at a loss as to how to translate that to a wide audience. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Paty Jager said...

Great advice, Delilah! Some of these I need practice more. I"m thinking after the first of the year, I'm going to change my blog to only two days a week. Still promote other authors and one day that is interesting western/Native
American facts.

Thanks for posting at the generistas!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Delilah, for excellent tips and for Guesting at Romancing The Genres.

This month in particular our guests have put out lots of ideas I can use.

Figuring out who my 'author self' is from Jessa Slade.
Creative and cost-effective tips from Kristina McMorris.
How to grow an audience from Pat. And from you, how to brand myself.

Now to keep on writing so I have the 'best damn book' I can write so I can do the virtual book launch party like Cassiel did!

Diana Mcc. said...

Thanks for all Four pieces of advice! Great post!

Sarah Raplee said...

Delilah, Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us! The info on blogging inspired me tobrainstorm my personal blog.

Your take on swag confirmed my suspicions. Thanks! And your advice on Facebook/Twitter/etc. is much appreciated.

It's generous authors like this month's guests that make such a difference in the writing community! Thank you again for being an enthusiastic mentor.

Delilah Marvelle said...

Vonnie,
Thank you!!! And yeah, coming up with a great blog idea is the hardest part. It's understanding WHAT you write and then twist your blog to represent it. Given you write historicals, link your blog to historical facets that fascinate you and find a theme you know would give you tons of endless blog posts. We'll brainstorm on this sometime soon!

Paty,
Thank you! We all need more practice, lol. Good for you in getting control back over that blog by cutting back the amount. Western/Native theme is PERFECT! There's a huge audience for it and you will continue to draw people in. So bravo on that!

Judith,
Thank you so much for HAVING me!!! So glad the gang could help :) it's amazing how many heads can come together and create something magical. And lol, yeah, the hardest part in all this is writing the best damn book every single time, lol.

Diana,
Thank you! And thanks for posting!

Sarah,
Thank you so much! Yeah, sadly, I was closely watching the swag train and I just kept seeing a pattern which I have officially applied to what I will and won't do. Thank you so much for posting!