Marketing – A Cautionary Observation

On the subject. This afternoon I had this experience, there is no other way to describe the event. It was not a bad one, nor was it one which opened up a brightness which illuminated a pathway to a certain level of success. This was more of a certain type of epiphany, an enlightenment on the subject. Let me explain.

Firstly if one should type in Google ‘Marketing My Book’ in 0.70 seconds the dear old programme will proudly announce it has located ‘About’ 8,150,000,000 results, which suggests there are more items on the subject than there are people in the world: currently estimated at ‘About’ 7,874,965,825. Therefore using a certain skewed logic it could be fatuously argued that everyone on the planet has an opinion on how to Market A Book.

It must therefore be argued in the Writing process that Marketing and views on Marketing are topics of some importance; possibly second only to How To Write A Book ( Google records 14,360,000,000). And therefore a matter which should be taken with a degree of seriousness, maybe not as much as writing itself but certainly deserving of attention. Although I did encounter an advice pamphlet some years back and geared to the self-publishing sector which had the sub-heading ‘You’ve written your book. Now comes the hard part- Marketing’

Anyway on a personal level, making an effort to view the issue in a far more mature and constructive manner and having noticed an article on how to use Instagram to assist, it seemed only correct to consult this. I began to and was quickly drawn to a sub-topic of using hashtags as a means to promote your work. This was written in a confident, informative and intelligent style, obviously the writer had experience in using Instagram hashtags to further their own efforts and there was much which made sense; although I was struggling to make the necessary connection with advice and the intentions swirling about in my head. At this stage my attention should have been given to this lapse; the warning sign that my concentration was not correctly attuned. But onwards, ever onwards, maybe things would be clearer. Sadly this was not to be so.

There was a harmless enough suggestion on hashtags. This one revolved around the hairdressing industry and as an example for a hashtag which people could relate to used ‘hairstylemens, this was a example which was obviously well-founded and whereas may not be blindly used could be a good foundation or ‘food for thought’. Errr….not so.

You would have thought a 70 years old with several unsuccessful books would have stopped here and given the topic some thought in the hope of sales improvement. No, instead my eyes fell on the last six letters, flashed the signal back to the brain which promptly translated this hashtag into Hairsty Lemens and aside from the sniggering which would have been more in place with myself 55 years ago had me thinking how I could build a book around someone of this name, was ‘Hairsty’ a nick-name or their true first name and should it be pronounced as ‘Hair-sty’ or ‘Hair-stee’ ?

The sad point here is that whereas there may be some cause to celebrate the imagination of a febrile brain, such gyrations of perception do nothing to further the cause of making previous efforts known to the public. It is actually essential to adopt a serious and structured approach to some sort of Marketing, albeit in a ‘Garage Band’ sort of way, it would at least get you, maybe 4 figure sales. Therefore at what ever stage you are in your work consider some approach to Marketing, though be warned about those who claim to assist you professionally, there will be those genuine and hard-working folk who will do their best, for a fee of course, it’s a business after all; regrettably they work in a jungle replete with opportunists who talk a talk but have no intention of walking even one step of a walk. There is a great deal of free advice out there take it on board and invest some time in the processes.

Hairsty Lemens may be amusing company but they will not help you sell even one book.

Meanwhile on Kindle:


A Woman Unbowed. Wish Her Well.

Mohadese Mirzaee

23 year old Mohadese Mirzaee became the first female commercial pilot in Afghanistan. With the arrival of the Taliban she fled her home and currently lives in Bulgaria. Determined to continue with her ambition and nurture her talent.

May her ambitions be fulfilled, her courage and determination be rewarded.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/nov/16/mohadese-mirzaee-female-afghan-pilot-refuses-to-be-grounded-taliban?fbclid=IwAR0cQfcKsJjsjLnIqzNQBvGiuPVXsV24-hT2hPo8FFg9EpbxnvC6bHfYZdg

  

Restless

Sailing Ship

I must go back to a narrative again, to follow the Muse’s eternal cry

And all I ask is my laptop and an idea to guide me by

(Thank you John Masefield for Sea Fever)

You finish one project, it’s taken you quite a while, you’ve experienced all the varying emotions, you’ve fought through the ‘Why Am I Bothering’  fug, you’ve edited or negotiated editing, all typos etc have been sought out, a book cover was navigated you have striven with marketing  and finally the work is ‘Out There’ . Then you might think to yourself ‘ I deserve a rest,’

Of course you do

And yet to visit another nautical bit of plagiarism from a jolly yarn.

‘Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November* in my soul [a few more ‘whenevers’ have been omitted Melville being Melville ] …….. then, I account it high time to get to my paper and laptop as soon as I can’  

In short. Do writers ever rest? Did not one plot have away in its unused corners threads and motes which begged examination? Was there not a minor character whose shadow would dog your heels and whisper possibilities? On some journey, be it physical, of the imagination, or amongst the other tangles of human consciousness was there not a murmuring of creativity beginning to coalesce?  Or did something just come into a writer’s head, a modest literary version of The Big Bang?

Ever wonderous, and tortuous is Creativity, calling you on. Embrace the Restlessness, it requires you to fulfil.

Would we have these feelings any other way?   

*Actually those are qualities which make November my favourite month. It marks the finality of the Summer’s assault on my senses – I know, singular. Anyway it has set loose my own restlessness- two projects are beckoning. One SF which requires a dip in Quantum Physics and Mechanics and might take some time (Quantum and Time, now there’s a paradox in the making). The other, that’s a follow on from my previous work, a generation later, and I have not the faintest idea what the plot might be, but one of the Muses is insisting I get writing. Ah good ol’ stream of consciousness, what little nuggets might there be amongst all the silt which will come forth from the dredging. 

  

 

5 Days of Marketing… Well, That Was Interesting

Firstly, there was nothing new in the option, process, call it what you will. Books uploaded on Kindle and as a Promotion Option select a number of days…Free. I’ve taken that pathway before and notched up maybe 10, 15 tops on each occasion, and no reviews, the latter is understandable, more about that later.

This time I decided ‘What The Heck’ and put the whole trilogy up as Free, to summarise for those new hereabouts:

Of Patchwork WarriorsSkirmishersthe-gilrs-in-yermetz-in-finality

The results were, to repeat……interesting. Now maybe it was the chance to snap up an entire trilogy for nothing or maybe it was the stunning art work on Vol 2 & 3 by Matthew David Sharpe See FaceBook or Odiousrule on Instagram. It certainly was not my haphazard, chaotic, sometimes barely visible Marketing stratagems. Anyway as of today 1st November 2021 at 08:54 GMT the totals are 2 sold and 110 taken up for free. Well that was different. I’m not certain of the breakdowns because neither figure divide into 3, and there are various permutations: Taking up the whole trilogy; opting for Volume 1 as a tester; taking Volume 2 and/or 3 to get the full set. Who knows?

Of course there always have to be perspectives on these matters. A noticeable take-up on a free offer, does not signify the beginnings of a writing success; you have to be practical and consider the paring down. Not everyone who picks up a free book will read it, not everyone who intends to read a book free or purchased gets around to reading it straight away; (I have five sitting in my Kindle and have given myself strict orders to read them, no excuses); not everyone who reads a book even if they like it finds time to rate or review; not everyone who takes the time to place a review is going to complete the book and the review within but two weeks and finally not everyone who breaches those previous ‘nots’ is going to be kind about the business. To name but three Brandon Sanderson, George R. R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie may get 5,000 to 15,000 ratings with 80% 5 star and many positive reviews but not everyone is at their standard or has that sort of following. Thus the sense of perspective is vital to avoid any crashing disappointments, just file the whole event in the ‘Interesting’ category and see if anything else comes of ‘The October 2021 Initiative’.  

This, therefore, is not a post of the sort which suggests ‘A Way’ . No, this is nothing more than one writer recording an event which was, and it cannot be stressed enough, …’interesting’ (in a modest way of course). I will of course follow the progress, what author wouldn’t? But will only report back my findings at the end of 2021. Did this ‘interesting’ pick up have any profitable (not in terms of monetary gain) results? Who knows?

Meanwhile back to reading, jotting down notes for a Space Opera SF, which may or may not see the light of day. As maybe writing up more on the trilogy of its own little blog 

The Precipice Dominions

It does need up-dating.