Posts Tagged advertising books
Okay, any of you who regularly follow my blog know that I am
totally out of my mind a bit eccentric. This past weekend I was speaking at the Idaho Book Extravaganza, and I had to excuse myself to the ladies’ room. As I closed the door to the stall, I noticed all the advertising on the back of the bathroom door. This cluttered wall of ads made me think about all the authors spamming non-stop about their books on Facebook and Twitter.
Writers were becoming worse than an Amway rep crossed with a Jehovah’s Witness. I mean, could the author book promotion get any more invasive?
Maybe it could.
I’ve blogged so many times about the dangers of automation and how spamming people is counterproductive. I’ve talked until I am blue about how advertising our books has a terrible ROI (return on investment) and how most people don’t pay attention to it. Ah, but then it hit me. The main reason spam doesn’t work is because people ignore it and no longer “see” it, but what would they see?
Panty Prose—Not Advertising, Padvertising (TM)
We all know that roughly 85% of readers are women, and what do women need? Panty liners. YES, but what do they need more than springtime fresh girl parts? More FREE! books. Indie authors shouldn’t spam about their latest book release or free title on KDP select.
Because it’s rude? No! Because it is obnoxious? Not quite. Because it smacks of desperation? Not at all. The reason authors shouldn’t spam about their books is because spam is for amateurs.
The real writer of the Digital Age doesn’t settle on blasting out non-stop self-promotional tweets. That is SO 2011. The REAL writer of the Digital Age realizes a captive audience is a a buying audience.
Catch readers with their pants down with Panty Prose.
Panty Prose is perfect for the indie author. Most readers are female and even females need something to read in the bathroom. We at Panty Prose (a new imaginary division of WANA International) have teamed up with Always
against their will to offer your readers the best deals right in their pants.
Panty Prose not only offers you Padvertising to a guaranteed clientele, but we have all kinds of layouts to suit your Padvertising needs. Technology is your friend with Panty Prose. Put your book where it counts…
At Panty Prose, we even make it affordable for you to place your face in your reader’s pants…
As you can see, Panty Prose is inserting your ads into a virgin market begging to be tapped.
Why are all the romance authors giggling?
Anyway, while others might see a protective strip that gets tossed in the bin, we see an unused space to Padvertise your latest novel AND save trees! Instead of throwing away that paper strip, we can print of lines from your book so fans can collect them ALL…
My brilliant WANA International Operations Manager, Chad, was happy to step in and help me launch the Panty Prose Motivational Series:
Panty Prompts for Writers:
Panty Prose is dedicated to keeping women fresh while selling your books. Attending a writing conference? Well, there is a bathroom and everyone knows that even agents have to go potty sometime. Why not help them out? Keep them springtime fresh and give them your query. Elevator pitches are for losers, when you can use the Panty Pitch. The Panty Pitch comes in three fragrances, Sonnet’s Eve, New Office Supplies, and Cinnabon.
Panty Prose for the Published Professional is a smart, savvy way to stand out from all the competition that still is relying on scheduled tweets and auto-DMs. Make an impression that will last for Always.
Yeah, I am a wee bit tired. I’ve been stranded in airports more hours than I can count and my humor gets warped, even for me. But you know I am on to something! WANA is dedicated to giving you the evil genius you need for success. Aside from Panty Prose, what other “free spaces” could we exploit for book advertising? You know, to catch those who missed our 23 tweeted links, 6 auto DMs and five form letters.
I was also thinking we could launch a Panty Politics line so a 4 star general can gain access to panties more discreetly (and save taxpayer dollars!). And Congress? They can campaign where it counts! What other ways can we use the power of Padvertising?
Ok…I’ll stop. By the way, if you want something a bit more serious, I hope you will check out my blog over at Mansfield Magazine. Pleeeeeeeaaaaase. *insert cute face here* Have a Happy Healthy Holiday–Team Up with the Green Hulk. Anyone who comments there gets entered in a separate contest for ten pages of free edit, so your odds of winning is WAY better (and the comments make me look good to my new boss :D).
I love hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of November, 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 once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.
Note: I was supposed to get October’s winner posted this week, but I got stranded AGAIN. This time in Seattle and I had no Internet. So will announce next week. I can’t get to anything right now anyway because I leave for my last trip of the year (New Orleans) on Friday.
At the end of November I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!
I also 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 . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.
advertising books, Always, author Kristen Lamb, author spam, book marketing, femening hygene products, four star general scandal, General Petraeus scandal, humor, Kristen Lamb, panty liners, Petraeus, publishing, self-publishing, sex scandal four star general, WANA, WANA International
Author Piper Bayard and I are “WINNING!” Foxy with Moxie at DFW Con 2012
Last week we talked about some changes with Facebook. Can they now hold our fan pages hostage? Now that the giant is a publicly traded company, we just should expect that they are going to look for ways to generate profits for shareholders. This doesn’t make Facebook evil. It isn’t personal. It’s just business.
I am very careful to not be too indignant, because what did I expect for free?
Last week, I mentioned how fan page holders could expect to show up in the feeds of only about 10-15% of their fans. But, Facebook is now offering a promotion service to make sure your posts show up in all our fans’ feeds. And, the price per post, from what I have seen, ain’t cheap. Some fan page owners were looking at $300 or even $500 per post.
Remember, Facebook is only sharing posts with fans who repeatedly return to your page, post on your page, comment on your page, or otherwise engage on your fan page.
I am hesitant to charge Facebook with doing anything nefarious. I watch how many fan page holders use their pages, and a 10-15% ROI is actually not bad. I know we would all love to believe that when people “Like” our page, that they are hanging off every word, every announcement, and every post. But, the sad truth is they likely aren’t.
A World of Invisible
We have created a world where mass marketing is powerless and most products are invisible. Technology has fragmented the marketplace, which means that modern consumers are inundated with choices.. We no longer live in a world with three major television networks who control the lion’s share of content.
We have hundreds of channels and Internet and blogs and You Tube and dozens of additional social sites to tickle our collective fancies. These days consumers can focus on what they want and then ignore the rest.
Exposure Doesn’t Mean What It Used To
I’m always seeing these marketing companies offering ways for authors to have some “exposure,” but in a world where most ads are invisible, what real use is this? I’m not saying exposure is worthless, but it certainly doesn’t have the impact it did in the Golden Age of Advertising.
The TV-industrial complex is hemorrhaging, and most marketers don’t have a clue what to do about it. Every day companies spend millions to recreate the glory days of the TV-industrial complex, and every day they fail.
Exposure used to be all we needed to catapult over the competition. We just needed the right ad in the right magazine. The right commercial at the right time on the right network.
Of course this was before the day of DVRs, The Power of the Four Arrows, and Sirius radio.
A Quick Survey
How many of you have ever clicked on an ad on Facebook or some other social site? Now, of those ads you clicked on, how many of those translated into a sale? When you look at your purchasing habits as a whole, what percentage has been influenced by interruption marketing? How many books have you bought from authors who tweet:
Title of MY Book. Rated best book of the year by ME and fans you’ve never heard of. Buy NOW! Only 99 cents #fiction #freebooks #Iamseriouslyannoying #Ilovespam #sales #memememememememememe #lookatme #allaboutme #buymystuff
Yeah, me neither.
Facebook is Feeding the Delusion
Facebook is charging to make sure our posts come up in the feeds of all of our followers. Okay. All this means is that Facebook, for a fee, will guarantee that all our fans will see what we post…not just the vested ones. But, in a world where most advertising is invisible, does this do us any good?
I think it might do some good for the large companies/brands like Coca Cola or Colgate. I mean, we need to give them a break. Newspapers are going under and most of us throw away our mailers before we ever take a look. We use the Power of the Four Arrows to zoom by their television ads.
Let’s face it, they are running out of places where they can tell us about their products. Yet, here is the deal, most of those products or companies who would find the new FB service helpful?
They are already brands. They aren’t going anywhere. They are using advertising merely to maintain their market supremacy, and they have multimillion dollar budgets to fuel this.
Millions of Americans are going to buy Tide and Kleenex whether we see an ad or not. Proctor and Gamble is not going anywhere. These guys entrenched themselves back in the Golden Age of Advertising, and start-ups would be INSANE to try and go against them on their own terms. When was the last time you saw a T.V. ad for a detergent that was totally new and NOT part of an established mega-brand like P&G?
The big guys have the ground and they have the budget to use Facebook in ways the new and upcoming competition cannot. Facebook is a way of maintaining what they have in the market.
In fact, want a real dose of reality?
Interbrand values the top 100 brands in the world every year. When we look at the 2011 report of the top 100 global brands, most of them are brands that were relevant 30 years ago back when heavy TV ads and magazine campaigns worked. Of the top 100, maybe 25% were built by harnessing word of mouth and generating a grassroots campaign. (I learned about Interbrand via Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. Great book that I HIGHLY recommend).
Writers would be wise to pay attention.
Artists are Entrepreneurs
Here is the deal. Artists are entrepreneurs. Writers, especially self-published and indie published authors are small businesses. We can’t use the same tactics as Phillip Morris and have success. Frankly, we never could.
When we rely on paid advertising, we are hoping for an easy way out that takes away accountability for failure. It is easier to throw a couple thousand dollars at buying Facebook advertising than it is to get in the trenches and create relationships.
Is Facebook Really Up to No Good?
I don’t believe Facebook is hiding anyone’s feeds, but since I don’t work there, I can’t be sure. I know that some authors have been complaining that their posts seemed to be disappearing into the ether and that fans were having a hard time finding them. This very well could be the case.
Facebook could be manipulating the data and hoping we pay money to get back in front of our fans. Thing is, Facebook is free and they can do what they want, so it is difficult to complain. Even if they aren’t doing this now, we should anticipate and plan for a day that they will juke the stats to make a buck.
***Note: I might recommend that you sign up for WANATribe, the new social site for creative professionals. No ads, bots, spammers or friend limits. Also, you can customize your page to be as unique as you. We aren’t trying to be Facebook. We’re very niche. We want a fun place for creative people to hang out, network, make friends and build a community of like-minded professionals. We are not alone!
Tactics that Work in the Modern Age
My goal has always been to help creative professionals, primarily writers, understand that they cannot use the same tools as Proctor & Gamble. Mass advertising and relying on fan page ads works for Target, but not for us. There are many ways that we can build a thriving, vested community to support our goals and careers, but here are five of my favorites.
1. Be Remarkable with Your Product
This is one of the reasons I blog about craft. Good books generate buzz that can’t be bought. These days everyone can be published, so we need to be better than the competition.
At WANA International, we bring the top teachers in the industry to help you take your writing from good to outstanding. Invest in yourself, your business and your future. NY Times Best-Selling Author Shirley Jump is teaching The Basics of Scene & Sequel and Plotting with Paper Bags this month for WANA. The author of the Digital Age has to write better, cleaner and faster. We offer classes to help you up your game.
2. Reach for Everyone and We Reach No One
Mass marketing doesn’t work, but these days it doesn’t have to. We don’t need to reach all the people, just the right people. A dedicated group of hardcore fans are worth more than all the advertising dollars in the world. In fact Kevin Kelly asserted that all an artist needed to make a good living was 1,000 True Fans.
WANA methods and a blog are the best ways to locate and nurture that critical 1000. In fact, this is one of the reasons I push authors learning how to blog. We have the power to create that base of 1,000 True Fans before our book is even ready for purchase.
3. Use a blog to build/fuel a grassroots movement for you as an author brand.
WANA methods have been responsible for launching authors from total obscurity to success. A fan page is powerful, but paired with a great blog? You won’t need to pay Facebook to put your posts in your fans’ feeds because your fans will be vested. They will come to you. And, if Facebook goes crazy and implodes? Your blog is yours and your fan base will remain in tact. Your 1,000 True Fans will follow wherever you go.
4. Be genuinely interested in service.
Serve first. Talk to people. Interact. Stop marketing and STOP SELLING. I love the #MyWANA group on Twitter. I love it when I see true WANAs talking and helping one another. I know those people will have all the help they need when it comes time to promote their books. The same goes for Facebook. Comment on other people’s pages. Be interested in other people.
I take regular breaks throughout the day and I scan down the home feed on Facebook and look for ways that I can interact, serve, compliment or encourage. Genuine kindness is so rare, and people are so hungry for it, that they remember it and look for ways to repay in kind.
5. Be different.
If everyone else is doing something, then it has already become invisible. One thing I teach in my classes is how to use our artist imagination to be remarkable even in our social media. My Blogging for Author Brand class will be starting tomorrow, so I hope to see you in class. You can sign up here.
If you want to know a little more before making a decision on what class is right for you, I am giving a free webinar tonight at 7:00 p.m. CST. Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World. Sign up asap because slots are limited. I look forward to seeing you guys tonight.
Facebook has almost a billion members. They are valuable, but Facebook advertising (like all advertising) is virtually invisible to the modern consumer. When we understand that hard truth and focus, instead, on people, we have more impact and are far more resilient to change.
What are your thoughts? Is Facebook too big? What are your favorite parts of social media? What are your pet peeves?
I love hearing from you!
advertising authors, advertising books, artists advertising effectiveness, author platform, effective marketing writers, Kristen Lamb, P&G, Proctor Gamble, publishing, social media authors, social media creative professionals, social media writers, TV industrial complex writers, WANA, WANA International, We Are Not alone
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