The Secret to Selling Books Part I–Let’s Get Sticky

Two weeks ago, I introduced you guys to the WANA Theory of Book Economics and explained why traditional marketing doesn’t sell books. Books are not like cups of coffee or breakfast cereal, and thus they require a different approach. Writers are unique as well. Since we are responsible for producing the product, we need a social media approach that leaves time to write great books. That was the first lesson to connecting to potential readers. We needed to know HOW to connect, WHAT kind of message to send and WHY.

We also needed to understand the critical element that could make a book a mega success. What was this key variable? We had to mobilize the fat part of the bell curve, that group of people who would not normally define themselves as readers. Harry Potter, The DaVinci Code, Tuesdays with Morrie, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and The Help all tapped into groups of people who normally didn’t read for pleasure. But, once some key non-readers read these books, word of mouth sparked like wildfire and made literary history.

Then, last week we discussed the typical non-reader. There is a misconception that non-readers don’t read. They DO read, they just happen to be highly selective. The benefit, however, is that once one of these guys becomes a fan? He is the most loyal, devoted fan any writer can have. Often this guy is the best salesman a writer can have, too. He is the flint that creates the spark that can start the fire.

Ah, but here comes the problem. Too many writers are getting on social media and hanging out with each other and marketing to each other. It is an over-saturated market full of people who can only buy so many books. Also, since all of us LOVE books, we might not be the best people for starting that wildfire of word of mouth that can push the non-reader population past the tipping point.

Many of you are chomping at the bit. Kristen, for the love of all that is holy, where can we find the magic well of readers?!!!

I would love to give a website. Go to www.loyalbookfans.com . Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Or a formula for success. A + B = Wild Success.

But, unfortunately there is no specific formula and no guarantee….BUT that doesn’t mean that we can’t change some behaviors that will improve our odds.

I did say it was simple to connect and mobilize the fat part of the bell curve, and it is. Simple, however, is not necessarily easy. There are actually a number of components we need to understand, but today we are only going to focus on one, because it is the most important. If we cannot do this, then nothing else matters.

We need to get sticky.

In The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell, Gladwell defines The Stickiness Factor in the following way:

The Stickiness Factor says that there are specific ways of making a contagious message memorable; there are relatively simple changes in the presentation and structuring of information that can make a difference in how much of an impact it makes.

The Stickiness Factor not only applies to our social media message, it applies to who we are as writer personalities. It also applies to our books. Nailing what I will call The Sticky Author Triumvirate is key to publishing success. We need to get sticky on all three to have the best odds of reaching the tipping point.

Let’s take a look at The Sticky Author Triumvirate:

Get Sticky with Social Media Messages–One of the reasons that traditional marketing doesn’t work when it comes to books is because the messages are not sticky. In fact, we are so blitzed with marketing messages in modern society that most static marketing messages become white noise and invisible. Thus, why blitzing about our book non-stop on ten different sites is almost a total waster of time is that the message is rarely seen. Auto-tweets are ignored and are what marketing experts call clutter.

Additionally, it is not enough to have a million people “see” a message/pitch. There has to be a compulsion to SEE then ACT. If a zillion people see my commercial for car insurance, but none of them ever change policies, then the campaign is a failure. It’s a big waste of effort, time and money.

What can make people care? Care about them first. Just talking to people can go a long way to making a sale. People buy from who they know and who they LIKE. Stand apart from all the takers and learn to give.

Beyond that?

Sit and write out a hundred activities, shows, channels you enjoy. Yes, most of us love writing, but we love other things too. We need to extend ourselves and simply start talking to people. We have to learn to be unselfish. Stop demanding that others connect with us via OUR interests–books, craft, writing–and take initiative. We need to find the common ground and extend ourselves and connect where the potential READER feels comfortable.

Surely you have friends, family or coworkers on Facebook who are not writers. Who are they talking to? Who are their friends? Start poaching (befriending) normal people and talk to them. If you meet a pet lover on Twitter who works as an engineer and he is nice? Look at who his friends are and extend yourself. Hey, I am a pal of Jim’s. Thought I would say hello. (DO NOT pitch to them, just talk and be cool).

Just once a day make it a point to add non-writers who are active on social media to your network. Pay attention to them and start a dialogue. Be genuine and positive, and that will be STICKY. People crave attention and positive energy.

Next week we will talk more about why this is critical and how to use this tactic to reach the tipping point. Not all conversations have equal weight. But in the meantime? Let’s get sticky!

We Need to Be Sticky Writer Personalities–The Stickiness Factor applies to who we are as writer personalities. Chit-chat on social media is actually very valuable. People who repost, compliment, question, serve and are positive are MEMORABLE. We stick. People like us. When they think “writer” we become the first person they think about.

This is one of the reasons that it is beneficial to get out of the comfort zone and talk in other circles. As long as we are all hanging out with other writers we blend into the din. But, if we start talking to other people who love sports, parenting, knitting, the military, politics, animals, horses, celebrities, then we are now injecting ourselves into groups that are not comprised of people just like us. We stand out so we are a bit more “sticky.”

Pick a favorite channel on cable TV, a favorite show, or a video game, and I guarantee there is a Twitter # for it. Start talking to people who love #Lost or #AI, #Glee, #ESPN, #Oprah, #Ellen, #Halo #GoW. Profile your potential reader. What does she do with her day? Maybe she is a #teacher or she plays #WOW. Get creative and get out of that comfort zone.

Sure you can still hang out with writers, but we are your peers, not substitute for a fan base. To be sticky, we need to stick out.

Go to the websites of your favorite channels and shows and find their Twitter # and then make a column for it. Chat with people. I have columns for #GoW (Gears of War) ,#MW (Modern Warfare), #military because I am also an avid gamer and I am military. LOTS of great people in these groups.

We can use blogging to super increase this Sticky Factor. How? First, stop blogging about the same topics as every other writer. Blogging about writing is great, but not necessarily memorable. There are better things to blog about that can make you stick like Super Glue. Author blogs, written properly, are a FANTASTIC way to increase our Sticky Factor exponentially.

If you want to learn to get sticky with your blog, I highly recommend taking my Blogging for Author Brand Workshop. It’s only $40 and TWO months long (one month lessons and one month launch) and it is from the comfort of your home. There are tools and tactics that I am only sharing in my workshops and that I am saving for my next book, so this is a cool opportunity to get lessons I won’t be teaching on the blog.

Finally, We Need to Write Sticky Books–At the end of the day, THIS is why I teach social media for writers. We need to have time to write great books. Great books are STICKY. Sure, if I have a popular blog and a good social media presence I will probably sell some books. But, the only way my book can break past that initial layer of contact is to write a sticky book. Turn politeness into PASSION.

It is not enough for someone to buy our book. They must also love it so much that they can’t wait to tell someone, recommend our book or even buy a gift copy for a pal. THIS is how word of mouth wildfires get started. We will talk more about this next week and I hope you pick up a copy of The Tipping Point. It’s a fun read and highly relevant to all authors serious about creating a long-term fan base.

What are some things that make authors on social media memorable to you? What makes you want to share a message? What turns you off? What are your thoughts? Opinions?  I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of August, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of August I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

In the meantime, I hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.

Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Fave Stuff

My NEW favorite blog, Penelope Trunk’s Blog Blog Under Your Real Name and Ignore the Harassment LOVE THIS POST. Read THIS blog. “Awesome-sauce” as the brilliant Chuck Wendig would say.

Kait Nolan’s Can Cinderella Save Herself?

This is another gem (well they are all gems but this one is particularly shiny) Terrell Mim’s Living in the Dash. I cannot tell you how important it is that every one of you read this blog.

Writing Stuff

Don’t Be a Cheerleader for Crappiness–25 Things You Should Know about Self-Publishing by Chuck Wendig

Why Your Blog’s “About” Page Matters by Joel Frielander

Are You Keeping Yourself on a Short Leash? Great post about getting outside of the comfort zone by Kerry Meacham

What Do I Look Like, a Protag? Great advice about how to describe our protag without being ham-fisted and obvious.

The Changing Landscape of Publishing for Writers by NYTBSA Bob Mayer

Playing to Your Strengths by Jenny Hansen

Behold the Power of a Nap by Jennifer Hale

The Great Back-Story Debate by the amazing writing teacher James Scott Bell

How I Do It: Ease Into Responsibility by Jody Hedlund

Three Keys to Marketing in the Current Fiction Environment by Michael Hyatt

Three Things that Come First before You Tackle Social Media by the brilliant WD contributing editor Jane Friedman over at the awesome writer resource Writer Unboxed

Is Your Writing Group Helping or Hurting Your Career? by Steenah Holmes

You are Not Tolstoy or Dickens by Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner

How to Get Your Blog Post on Google’s 1st Page by Keli Gwyn

The Anti-Procrastination Diet by Roni Loren

How Much Time Do We Really Need to Write? by Natalia Sylvester

Funny Stuff

The Must-Have Urban Redneck Belt by Natalie Hartford

Planking–Not Just for Pirates Anymore by Piper Bayard

Lili Tufel’s Top Ten Signs You’re Married to an Author

My Dirty Little Secret by Tameri Etherton

Fun and Nerdy Fact Blogs

Who Were the Celts? by Kate Wood

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  1. #1 by susielindau on August 31, 2011 - 10:12 am

    I am ready to get sticky!
    Thanks for sharing. I love the idea of finding like-minded followers and making myself sticky!

  2. #2 by Jessica O'Neal on August 31, 2011 - 10:14 am

    Another great blog! I am just getting started in all this social media stuff (I am currently reading We Are Not Alone and it is a HUGE help, btw) and it can certainly be overwhelming. I already see examples of the things you mention all the time. People who constantly tweet messages promoting their work get annoying and spamlike and those who are personal and helpful are the ones I remember. Now to figure out how to crawl out of my own comfort zone and put into practice all you preach! Thanks for all your help, Kristen!

  3. #3 by Keli Gwyn on August 31, 2011 - 10:21 am

    Let’s hear it for being sticky! Great info, Kristen, as usual.

    Thanks for including my post in your Mash-up of Awesomeness. I feel like a celebrity or something. =)

  4. #4 by broadsideblog on August 31, 2011 - 10:21 am

    I don’t read other author’s sites, so can’t say which I like better or worse.

    I have found, in some of my public events and readings, some super passionate fans of my new book. Other than asking them to blog, tweet or like the book’s FB page, not clear to me how to turn these people into those who can urge thousands of others, even hundreds, to buy it. I am not disagreeing with your points, but I do not see how to scale their enthusiasm.

    • #5 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 10:31 am

      A lot of reaching the tipping point boils down to cumulative actions piling up. Think of a boulder sitting on a cliff. It will take a lot to move it, but once it gets going there isn’t any slowing it down. We (writers) are like a crow placing pebbles on top of the boulder. It might take 20 pebbles to tip the boulder or 20,000. There isn’t any way to truly “know.” All we can do is keep placing pebbles. When we place a pebble in a spot that causes the boulder to budge even the slightest…we know to increase putting pebbles on THAT spot. This is one of the reasons it pays to plan to blog, tweet, post for the long-term. Be consistent and be positive and hopefully one day? Over the boulder will go.

      In future posts I’ll give some more tips to increase our odds of leverage. Not all pebbles have the same weight ;). Some people have MUCH more influnce than others.

      Yet, at the end of the day we cannot control the outcome. All we can do is improve the odds. If we can nail the Sticky Author Triumvirate–Stick in our message, stick as a person and write a sticky book–then we will have far more impact. Trial and error, networking and constantly modifying and improving our methods is all we can do :D.

  5. #6 by Gene Lempp on August 31, 2011 - 10:25 am

    Speaking of your blogging class, Kristen. When is the next one?

    I wasn’t familiar with the Tipping Point but will be adding it to my “read” list.

    • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 10:32 am

      The class is in October. I hope you will sign up!

      • #8 by Gene Lempp on August 31, 2011 - 10:44 am

        I’m looking forward to it. Count me in :)

      • #9 by Jessica O'Neal on August 31, 2011 - 12:03 pm

        Is the workshop for people who have started a blog and want to make it better, people who don’t have a blog and want to start one, or both?

        • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 12:12 pm

          Both. Give new life to an old blog or get started on the correct foot, doesn’t matter. The more the weirder…um merrier :D.

          • #11 by Jessica O'Neal on August 31, 2011 - 1:42 pm

            Awesome! Thanks! I will definitely be signing up :)

    • #12 by Jenny Hansen on August 31, 2011 - 11:19 am

      Gene,

      Do you see that our last Life List Club post made the Mash-up of Awesomeness?? (Doing the seriously happy dance!)

      • #13 by Gene Lempp on August 31, 2011 - 11:37 am

        Saw that. Kristen is too awesome (really, she is, take her class)!

      • #14 by Angela OrlowskiPeart (@Angela_Peart) on September 1, 2011 - 8:56 am

        I completed Kristen’s workshop in July (she even extended the class through the month of August FOR FREE!) and I’m not the same blogger/writer as I was before. I highly recommend this workshop, it is a must for every serious writer. Kristen’s methods work, they make sense and are easy to apply, of course with some effort. Nothing happens miraculously but Kristen showed me, and my classmates, what works the best. Thank you, Kristen!

  6. #15 by Graeme Smith on August 31, 2011 - 10:33 am

    “We Need to Be Sticky Writer Personalities”

    One of the things WANA says loud and clear (and also rightly says writers often don’t like) is that the writer is as much the Product as the book or books. Not just (although especially) before there is any published written Product, but after as well.

    Writers, in my poor wit and view, don’t just need to ‘stick out’ in the places they go. They need to ‘stick’ fairly consistently to the ‘writer as product’ image they want to project, which should be a part of selling their written product.

    Damn. That means I should be funny I guess (www.graeme-smith.net – ‘A soon to be published fantasy writer. Mostly comic fantasy, which is fantasy intended to make you laugh, not fantasy in comics). Hmmmm…

    There were these three trolls – Gorbast and Smarg….

    • #16 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 10:44 am

      LOL…Writers just need to be authentic and positive. We live in a world of fake, superficial and negative. Be the light and others will be drawn to you :D. Your comments are always so wonderful! DEFINITELY STICKY!

  7. #17 by lorie.kaufman.rees on August 31, 2011 - 10:33 am

    GREAT book on Stickiness: “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” by Chip and Dan Heath. I am 2/3 of the way through it and it is changing the way I think about my content. Add it to the list of great “makes-you-think” resources!

  8. #18 by tamerietherton on August 31, 2011 - 10:39 am

    Kristen, thank so much for the shout out! I’m honored, really.

    For those of you considering her blogging workshop, but not quite committed yet – Sign Up NOW!! It’s the most fabulous class and you will get so much more than you ever thought possible from this two month excursion. Kristen rocks. Period.

    Great post. Never thought of approaching my friend’s and family’s friends, but yes, they are also potential readers and not writers.

    I’ll be spending the afternoon reading your suggested blogs. It’s going to be an awesome Wednesday!

  9. #19 by the writ and the wrote on August 31, 2011 - 10:47 am

    Great post. I am definitely saving this one for future reference. Look forward to learning more from you.

  10. #20 by Graeme Smith on August 31, 2011 - 10:50 am

    It also occurs to me that this is _so_ important, it needs something more. That little extra. It needs… multimedia!

    Elders and wise, young and bold. Let’s start a petition. What do we want? We want the good Lady Kristen to release her first single! And the dance video! And it can be (with maybe a little help from Will Smith) -

    “Gettin’ Sticky wit It”!

    Song. Dance. Heck, we can do our morning exercise to it! So…. what about it, Lady K?

    (Scuffling noises off, and a glimpse of some men in white coats)

    Phew. It’s OK. I took my blue pill. _And_ the red one. I’ll shut up now… :-P.

  11. #21 by Angela Wallace on August 31, 2011 - 10:55 am

    This is the kind of very specific advice I can follow. Thanks, Kristen! When I first published my book, my non-writer friends were the only people I told and the ones who read my book! Then I got into social media and suddenly I got sucked into MyWana’s little corner. It’s been a great environment, but I need to branch back out again.

    And I second Tameri, take Kristen’s class!

    • #22 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 11:00 am

      Well, the entire point of #MyWANA is to be a congregating place where we can take your posts and spread them to our networks. It’s a hub. When I see posts, I change the #s to appeal to other groups to reach beyond JUST writers. This is why it is TREMENDOUSLY helpful when you guys blog about stuff other than writing. For instance, Natalie Hartford wrote a hysterical blog (in the MUA, btw) about the redneck beer belt. I shared that with hubby and his military peeps. When you guys write about stuff other than writing, it helps people like me share it in groups beyond other writers.

  12. #24 by kerrymeacham on August 31, 2011 - 11:02 am

    “The Tipping Point” is a great book, and you nailed the “sticky.” I’m betting that awesome sauce is sticky too. You should have an “Awesome Sauce Award” each month for a special person and/or blog.

    I’m going to take some of my own advice, along with yours, and step put of my writer social network comfort zone. Great post, as always, and thanks for the blog love.

  13. #25 by Anne-Mhairi Simpson on August 31, 2011 - 11:20 am

    I’ve met readers, as opposed to writers, by shouting out for them every now and then on Twitter and because my Facebook account predates any serious effort on my part to write novels by several years, most of my friends on there are non-writers. Which is great. I’m rather overwhelmed by the thought that I met a lot of these people when I really had nothing else to do and now that I have a lot else to do I worry that I won’t keep meeting people. Just gotta keep talking, I guess, which shouldn’t be hard, but I have edits to finish!! Ugh. Ironically, I don’t think I’m connecting with enough people on Twitter anymore. I seem to be chatting to fewer and fewer new people. Must be more proactive about that. Guess my stream is too full to pull the interesting bits out on a regular basis.

    I need to make these comments more specific. Or maybe I don’t. This is me. Like it or not :)

  14. #26 by Jenny Hansen on August 31, 2011 - 11:29 am

    Holy cow! It adds serious zing to my whole week to make your MOA…thank you!

    Because it is YOU, I’m leaving all my jokes about Sticky Sauce and “getting sticky” in my twisted mind, where they’re ROFL.

    As far as Kristen’s class, there is only one answer and that is “Ooo, Ooo, Yes! Enroll in the Big Sticky-Fest!!”

    Oops. One little teensy sticky-ism slipped out.

  15. #27 by Jane Sadek on August 31, 2011 - 11:46 am

    This makes blogging about travel, faith and care-giving seem even smarter than it was when you first made me think of it. Yeah – I know WANA says you shouldn’t blog about faith – but I already knew my audience and my Wednesday Faith Talk blogs are far and away my most popular feature.

    • #28 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 12:14 pm

      Noooo…WANA says not to blog on faith unless it is part of your platform. BIG difference. If I write sci-fi fantasy but my blog is an atheist rant or a political diatribe, not only am I being negative, I am building the wrong platform. Faith, sex, and politics are fine so long as they are adding to our platform not cracking it :D. I happen to love faith blogs. Katie Ganshert and Ali Dent both have great faith blogs, but they are always positive and the posts target their reader demographics. WANA was really warning writers away from being sensational and inflammatory to the detriment of the platform.

      • #29 by MGalloway on September 1, 2011 - 11:03 am

        I think for some of us, though, the road to an audience is going to be a lot longer than most. For example, I’m mixing the outdoors, technology, and apologetics in one place…but for a very good reason. This is due to what I’ve read here and in other places.

  16. #30 by Sharon Hamilton on August 31, 2011 - 11:51 am

    I like the build it and they will come idea. Sort of like writing. No instant gratification here. Or we’d choose another job. I good writer is judged by his/her career. Just like a good athlete. Sometimes great athletes strike out, or blow the putt. But they get right back up and practice.

    I blog for the future, but know my future depends on what I write and how I write it.

    Great post, as usual, Kristin.

    And I see a new conference coming up, “Stickyfest-Get Yourself Stuck.” Counterintuitive, I know, but still a little amusing. Would we all dress up in duct tape instead of costumes?

  17. #31 by Roni Loren on August 31, 2011 - 11:58 am

    Ooh, the mash up was particular rocking today. Took up half my morning clicking on almost all of them, lol. (And thanks for including my post as well!)

    Now back to working on writing a sticky book. :)

  18. #32 by Nicole Basaraba on August 31, 2011 - 11:59 am

    These are great tips on how to be sticky. It helps because eventually if one runs out of ideas for posts on a particular topic, they can pick a new one to remain sticky and reach new audiences. I think I really need to work on my blog comment stick factor. :)

  19. #33 by Stephanie Scott on August 31, 2011 - 12:18 pm

    Good point about being well-rounded. For awhile I was thinking I should only follow other writers and agents on twitter, and leave facebook for my “real” friends and other interests. But I’ve found through following comic con coverage, a lot of writers and creative types lurk there too, and it’s fun to just talk about TV and movies which all shape our creativity anyhow. #ProjectRunway is a good hashtag to follow if you like the show!

  20. #34 by lisa on August 31, 2011 - 12:24 pm

    Great advice. Can’t wait to take your course.

  21. #35 by Juliana Rowland on August 31, 2011 - 12:29 pm

    Wow! Thanks for all the great links today. I’ll probably never even get to the rest of my Google Reader today — I’ll be too busy reading your suggestions! :-)

  22. #36 by Kathy Bennett on August 31, 2011 - 1:03 pm

    As always, fascinating information!

  23. #37 by Jeff Imig on August 31, 2011 - 1:48 pm

    Kirsten… Dumb Question: you mentioned Twitter # tags and you said add a column for each new topic you love. When you say “column” are you talking about an application, a spreadsheet, or a piece of paper?

    • #38 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 1:53 pm

      I recommend using Tweet Deck. Then you can create columns for each word filter or #. So you would have one column with all the tweets streaming by, but then can use #s to filter all tweets on twitter. For instance, if I want to connect to people talking about horses, I can create a search column for every time “horses” is mentioned or when people specifically talk about #horses.

      For example, tweets like these might appear:

      @HayGirl_84 I went out to feed the horses at the ranch today. Boy is it HOT.

      New training tips for dressage (link here) #horses

      This will connect you to people chatting about a topic. Some of the tweets might be garbage, but others could be gold. Sorting topics into columns just helps you keep organized and to connect more to other people surgically.

  24. #39 by Piper Bayard on August 31, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    Great tips, Kristen. I find what sticks with me is genuine humor or good will. When I see that in a person, I will always do what I can to promote them. Thanks for your blog.

  25. #40 by areelcoolsummer on August 31, 2011 - 2:27 pm

    Thank you Kristen. I knew I wasn’t crazy for thinking some of the same things that you write about! This was just what I needed today. I’m glad you’re out there sharing your thoughts and ideas. Gotta go, lots to do!

  26. #41 by alicamckennajohnson on August 31, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    I have sticky # happening in my head right now- thanks Kristin!

  27. #42 by Gretchen on August 31, 2011 - 2:55 pm

    Kristen, thanks for your logical and persuasive arguments regarding writing excellence versus social media excellence. I was having difficulty fathoming how I could work, write and build a website at the same time. The answer is – until I have a product, i.e. a book, I should continue to focus on writing as job one. I love it. Thanks for the blog and Tweets – very helpful to this aspiring writer.

    • #43 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 2:59 pm

      Actually we have to focus on all three and the earlier the better. Social media, when done properly, only takes 15-30 minutes a day, if that. Platforms take time to build. Start early so when the book DOES come out, you aren’t scrambling trying to be relevant. All THREE aspects of stickiness are important. A good book alone has a 93% failure rate. A great platform with a crappy book has even less of a chance. A writer who is a spammer, a ranter or a jerk? ZERO chance of success. We have to be able to nail all three, but practice will make us better :D.

  28. #44 by Tamara LeBlanc on August 31, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    I aim to be sticky!
    Loved this post and thanks so much for the mash up of awesomeness list.
    Also, I never heard of The Tipping Point. Can’t wait to get my mits on that one.
    Always fantastic Kristen!!!
    Have a great Wednesday:)
    Tamara

  29. #45 by Maryann Miller on August 31, 2011 - 3:20 pm

    Awesome advice and something I needed to read. My new publisher has just asked me to blog once a week and I was wracking my brain to think of something new and different from every other author’s blog. An idea came to me when I read your section on not always writing about writing.

  30. #46 by Derek Haines on August 31, 2011 - 3:20 pm

    Great post Kristen. Thanks to Twitter I stumbled upon it. Your analogy of ‘Sticky’ is a very good one in nailing the essence of what writers using social media should have as their priority. As you say, it’s not to hang out with 1,000s of other writers, but to build relationships (get sticky?) with potential readers and more importantly, potential readers who buy books.

    The writing crowd are readers of course, but it has been my experience that I can access any number of books from other writers who are keen (as we all are) to perhaps get some feedback or a review or two into the bargain.

    One of my most loyal buyers and reader of my books is a firefighter. Another a stationer and yet another a dermatologist. I could add more, but my point is that you cannot tell a potential book purchaser by their social media profile. Except of course if it says ‘Author of X book’, then it’s probably no sale.

    The beauty of social media is that you can get to know your readers via posts, messages and blog comments and thus build a relationship with them and build ongoing sales through their recommendations to others or by buying more of my titles.

    • #47 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 31, 2011 - 4:05 pm

      Yes….all of that. Awesome-sauce :D.

  31. #48 by Roxanne Skelly on August 31, 2011 - 3:36 pm

    I definitely try to stay well rounded and have interests outside writing and such. I think that’s healthy. I’ve even found myself in somewhat visible roles within those areas. I hope that’ll help me when I start marketing, but I’m finding it helps me greatly when writing, of course.

    I’m finding that I’m putting tidbits of those interests into my writing, and I’m hoping that’ll give my writing a bit of stickiness for those groups. And I can’t help it. Those are my other interests, of course they’re gonna be in there.

  32. #49 by ramblingsfromtheleft on August 31, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    This is why you’re so smart! You answered my question from yesterday (in part) and then gave me a new host of great links. Reading each of them has given me more ways to improve my approach to all this madness. Thank you, Kristen :)

  33. #50 by Catherine Johnson on August 31, 2011 - 4:51 pm

    Great tips ready for when the back to school pro-activeness kicks in. Thanks Kristen!

  34. #51 by Coleen Kwan on August 31, 2011 - 7:26 pm

    Great advice, Kristen. As a newbie author with her first book coming out soon, I’m concerned at the amount of time marketing is taking over from writing, and I want that marketing time to be as productive as possible. Thanks!

  35. #52 by Renee Schuls-Jacobson on August 31, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    As school starts up, I asked for help from other bloggers/writers, but also regular commenters. Some of my regular folks (read: non-writers) are fabulous and are excited about posting.

    Okay, they may not come with “followers,” but I figured they might tell their families, friends, co- workers– all of which could expose my blog (and my writing) to some other folks. See how much I done learned from you? ;-)

  36. #53 by Leanne Shirtliffe on August 31, 2011 - 9:25 pm

    Some of my most loyal followers are relatives-of-friends. I was at a party in June where I met one of these people and we chatted for ever. Soon her other relatives (cousins and brothers) and I were chatting. Friends are powerful marketers, indeed. Possibly better than ourselves because they seem more objective.

    Great points, as always. Thanks for making me think.

    Also, re Gladwell: Outliers is my fave book of his. My favourite quote, which actually reminds me of what you profess, is this: “No one—not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses—ever makes it alone.” Not writers, either. As you say, we are not alone.

    • #54 by Jess Witkins on August 31, 2011 - 11:41 pm

      I completely agree about the relatives of friends. I get email messages from friends parents and their parent’s friends telling me how much they loved reading about something, or introducing me as “the writer” which I, of course, love. That’s the great thing about social media allowing people to connect with you in so many ways. Many of them don’t get how to sign in to leave comments on the blogs, but they take time to read my blog, then email me a comment. That’s really sweet and I am always so grateful.

  37. #55 by Jody Moller on August 31, 2011 - 11:08 pm

    Great post Kristen – I am definately guilty of ‘hanging out’ with other writers – off to friend some non-writers right now :)

  38. #56 by Diana Murdock on September 1, 2011 - 10:22 am

    Great reminder, Kristen. I love chatting with people who are “off topic.” I can let my hair down and think of thinks other than writing or blogging. It’s kind of like getting out of the work clothes and getting into comfy sweat pants and getting real. I’ve had great conversations when I reach out of the box.!

  39. #57 by Lacy Camey on September 1, 2011 - 10:54 am

    This is a great reminder, Kristen :). I will most definitely implement. Thanks so much. When does your new class start?

  40. #58 by melsar93 on September 1, 2011 - 1:09 pm

    Another thought provoking and well written post.

    I am not an author and other than in my day dreaming I don’t really have any plans for “going pro.” I subscribed to your blog a while back and every time the notification shows up I think, “I’ll just check what it is about and read the whole post if it is interesting. I don’t need to read a blog about promoting my blog because I’m not really trying to do that.” Then I read the entire post because it just flows. Thanks for all of your work and for sharing these tips.

  41. #59 by Sarah Forgrave on September 1, 2011 - 8:24 pm

    This post is brilliant, Kristen. (Didn’t I use that word to describe you in a Tweet this morning?) :) Great practical tips of how to branch out of our little writer world. Thank you!

  42. #60 by Emily on September 2, 2011 - 6:32 pm

    Thanks for the reminder, Kristen. And thank you also for the link to Penelope Trunk’s blog! That’s a new find for me, and I really enjoyed perusing it.

  43. #61 by Gilliad Stern on September 3, 2011 - 8:11 am

    Thanks for the post. I have been wanting to search out new avenues to find readers, but it always seems like I get stuck talking to other writers. Not that writers are bad at all, and in fact I get great information from each and every one of them, but I don’t feel like I’m connecting with the reader base that I should be. This information will help me out a ton! Thanks for the post.

  44. #62 by loubelcher on September 4, 2011 - 6:29 pm

    Just tweeted this blog post. It’s so thorough. Thanks for the time it took to write this.

    Lou

  45. #63 by Sell Book on September 5, 2011 - 6:20 am

    The secrets which you shared with the people through this article regarding selling books are fantastic and i really appreciates these.

  46. #64 by Julie on September 8, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    I think I should sign up for your class. One question I have is, what if we write in all different areas AND want to do other things in our careers? For me, I write children’s books, personal essays and travel pieces. I may write a novel someday. I am also working on launching an annual creativity retreat. I’m wondering if your workshop will cover what schizos like me should do if we have all different types of people we’re trying to reach with the same blog. I can’t bear the thought of starting separate blogs, since I just barely have time to post regularly on the one I do have. Thanks in advance!

  47. #65 by Amanda on September 19, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    Thank you for giving me the permission I needed to not to be myself on social media. I think I’ve been far and away too restrictive and trending worse: your post had more spirit than those with the formulas for target audiences and their likes etc etc. You’re inspiring. And you’re sticky. ;)

  48. #66 by steenaholmes on October 12, 2011 - 8:27 pm

    You are a sweetie for linking to my blog Kristen! Great post. I’ve recommended your class to many of my writer friends and I know they’ve signed up :)

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