Tag Archives: FaceBook

Attack of the Bloggers – Achieving Book Sales Through Social Media

Looking Back ~ 1958 ~ Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman

Looking Back ~ 1958 ~ Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (Photo credit: erjkprunczýk)

One Writer’s Perspective of the On-line Marketing Game

I don’t know about you, but social media is a whole new world I’ve yet to fully explore. Don’t think, though, that I haven’t already started tweeting and blogging and posting etc, because I have.

You see, as a struggling writer I’ve been led to believe the Internet can provide me with a way of connecting directly with the reading public. So I’ve started a Twitter and FaceBook account and signed onto Pinterest, StumbleUpon and WordPress, as well, to name but a few. In fact, I’ve got so many accounts now I can’t remember all the passwords and usernames I’ve had to come up with.

Ultimately, I suppose my point is that I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing. Once I log into the various sites I’ve signed up for, I’m immediately struck by the fact everybody else is doing the same thing. Everybody has got something they’re trying to get out there. They’re all musicians, artists and writers like myself, or worse pyramid sellers flogging their e-wares! Each site is like a virtual market place where everybody is vying to be noticed so as to promote their cause, idea or product.

At its most basic social media seems to be a numbers game. Or so I have gathered. It’s not enough to have a fantastic book, independent clothing brand or jewellery range. You have to attract followers. And you have to attract them across a range of social media platforms. Or do you? The thing is, while I have 850+ supposed FaceBook fans of my novel and 600+ Twitter followers and such, as well as a presence on YouTube and WordPress and Pinterest and the rest, I’ve only managed to sell one eBook of my novel so far. This after three months of engaging in a bloody and relentlessly ruthless viral-marketing blitzkrieg!

Don’t get me wrong! I’ve also had a bloody brilliant time doing it. Along the way, I’ve connected with every kind of person imaginable from across the planet…

But I can’t turn these connections into a profitable business. Not yet, anyway. And I don’t want you to think it’s because of a lack of engagement by my various followers/fans that’s the problem. Quite truthfully, I can report that an alarming number of them have gone so far as asking if they can join the religion that I am obviously starting. No, instilling blind devotion hasn’t been a problem. Well, other than ethically-speaking, that is.

The problem must therefore be the product itself (the novel I’m trying to sell), I hear you say. Quite possibly. Although I would prefer to think the issue is the fault of the medium I’m trying to sell it through – the various social media sites I mentioned earlier. Whatever, my novel and these sites are not a happy match.

It seems the sad fact is nobody reads books any more, I’m convinced of it. Twitter, for instance, only allows its users 450 characters at a time to get their ideas across. And I think this is a reflection of the concentration span of most people today. We’ve all got so many things competing for our attention every day that any block of words over 450 characters seems to us like an epic on the scale of War and Peace. Meaning that I can sell people on the idea of my novel (over and over again); but I can’t make anybody buy it, because they know they will never find the time to read it.

The end of Western civilisation as we know it? Not likely.The end of the novel? Who cares? Nobody but us unsigned writer-folk living in the cyber-fringes desperate for a sale. And you know what? Maybe it’s time we all learnt to lol at ourselves a whole lot more anyway, before then simply sitting back and enjoying the ride! 😉 The future is now, right?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Join me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/missingzero666


Missing Zero – A Case of Username Envy

Envy

Envy (Photo credit: iThinkergoiMac)

The face of writing has changed forever. Due to the Internet, that is. It’s obvious, sure. But it can’t be denied that everything we do today as writers is now influenced by the vagaries of the great almighty World Wide Web. For better and worse.

Take this blog I’m writing. I don’t even know what a blog is. But I know as a self-published author I have to write one. I’ve also created a FaceBook page, a Twitter account, a Tumblr and Pinterest site and produced a YouTube video to help me promote the novel I wrote, called Missing Zero (see more links below).

Without the Internet there would be no Smashwords, granted. Or eBooks, more generally. Meaning my treasured manuscript would no doubt have been left in a bottom drawer somewhere to serve as cockroach bedding. Instead copies of my magnum opus are available for download at Smashwords, Diesel, and Barnes and Nobel for the modest price of $6.66. This being just one of the many obvious boons of the Internet for an unsigned author.

Personally, I have also somehow relished the challenge Twitter, for instance, presents of using only 140 characters at a time to convey one’s ideas. Distilling Missing Zero’s 116,000 words and central conceit to just 140 characters or less proved strangely liberating – namely “the role of Antichrist is defunct in a world so gone to hell”. Hilarious premise for a darkly-comic satirical novel, huh?

More incredible to me (a child of last century), though, is the fact I’m writing this on an iPhone, while lying on my back on the couch. Technological advances continue to make writing easier…Again, for better and worse.

Which brings me to the main point of today’s blog: username envy. Because don”t you agree with me there ought to exist a single amusing and universally-accepted word to describe it? That pissed-off feeling you get when you go to open a new Internet account only to find someone already owns your username. Damn! It happened to me just today, here at WordPress. The URL missingzero@wordpress.com was already taken! Believe me, it sucks. But what can I do? Change the title of my novel? Not f#%*ing likely!

No, the genre-bending comic masterpiece I wrote shall keep its title of Missing Zero for evermore. Unfortunately, its companion blog shall be hosted at zeromissing@wordpress.com for evermore, also. Oh well, it could be worse I could share Justin Bieber‘s sex life. Hmm…

As an experiment I just posted the following request for help on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/missingzero666 – Anyone know the Internet slang word for “username envy”? “Ah, fuck, it’s already taken!” seems a bit cumbersome. Any ideas, twitterfolk?

Within about 30 seconds someone favorited (if that’s even a word) my post. But no-one offered up the kind of zippy slang term I was after. The more observant amongst you will notice, by the way, that even my twitter account is @missingzero666 (@missingzero having already been taken). The 666 tag on the end was forced upon me, essentially. Although the story of the novel does centre around a character named Lorem Ipsum, who starts to believe he just might be the (now defunct) Beast of the Apocalypse or Antichrist, I’m not an advocate of Satanism per se.

Anyway, so, in my wider search for answers, I happened earlier upon a random username generator (http://www.jimpix.co.uk/words/username-generator.asp), where I got given malmseynosedzero as a suggested username. Who nose/knows maybe I’ll use it someday? Whatever. Either way, this conveniently leads me to my next point. Cue segue music now, please!

What I am trying to say is this: many of the characters in my novel got their names from online usernames I have used over the years. Names like Lorem Ipsum, Sdeerwf Eggeth and Missing Zero itself! I must admit I have a personal affection for Sdeerwf Eggeth, having been asked once in an Internet forum about this most unusual of names. My reply was that I believed it to be of Norwegian origin, before leaving it at that.

Yes, the face of writing has changed forever. If you don’t believe me, simply take a look at how many writers are now using social media and online hosting sites to promote their e-wares. Me included! Follow the links to see the kind of web presence I’ve started to build up around Missing Zero in just over 12 weeks. It’s a numbers game. With a world population of 7.071 billion, you only need a fraction of a percent of people to pick up on your talent and you’re away. Sure as hell beats watching your unpublished prize manuscript slowly decompose into compost in the bottom drawer of your desk. So get tweeting/posting/blogging today, right this instant. Who knows, it might be your novel that’s the next “now trending” success story…if trending is even a word, that is.

Missing Zero eBook downloads:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/missing-zero-lorem-ipsum/1114301801?ean=2940045109604

http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000256919/Ipsum-Lorem-Missing-Zero/1.html

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/256919

Missing Zero social media sites:

https://twitter.com/missingzero666

https://www.facebook.com/zeromissing?ref=hl

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/missingzero

YouTube