Day 2 of ‘How to sell’ 11th August, 2015

So, to continue with my theme on launching your book, a word of warning, don’t use the ‘like’ system on Facebook, where you just pay to get so many likes – it’s fairly pointless really, people ‘like’ it because Facebook will target people who like everything they see so you will get your likes on your page but it’s meaningless because the people won’t really react to your content – which is a bit tricky for a writer as we are all about content!! They won’t really react to you at all and are unlikely to buy your book or pass your links on –

the promoting for ‘likes’ is useful if you want to just boost awareness of your page and make it look a little more respectable but it isn’t going to sell your book. If you have lots of money then you could aim to do two adverts; I recommend that the first must be about pushing people to your buy page on your site or on Amazon if you are publishing through them. Nothing wrong with a good old school advert saying ‘come here, buy this’ My latest book went live last night and that is what my advert does – takes them straight to the buy page. The second advert, if you have the spare cash, which might work alongside would be to push people to ‘like’ your page so when your first advert brings people to your Facebook page it looks more professional to see you have a building number of likes on it-  but for that to work well you would need to drop a lot of money to make it look professional enough. I have got about 300 likes on mine and that’s not particularly good – to get the likes influencing people then I’m talking people about getting 10,000 plus, which is a challenge so it is up to you if that is an important objective to you or not.
So here we are, you’re working really hard to get people spreading your stuff and this is where it becomes quite difficult really – how on earth do you get your campaign to go viral? We have all seen those lucky ones who suddenly find something explodes- we are all after that, looking for our moment in the sun or ‘show-time!’ Whether it is music, books, poetry, drawing – whatever – it can happen to people almost accidentally – and we all would love that. I am happy to own up that I would relish it – to have a break like that so how do you make it happen, how can you orchestrate a campaign of such magnitude?

It seems there are three main ways that folk seem to do it: the first and most obvious one is to do something really, really, stupid – I mean look at half of the vine stars, youtubers and almost all the prank channels going on – just doing stupid things, most of which isn’t funny but it gets an audience, so you can go that route.  I wouldn’t recommend it but it does work in some cases, take one example, that British You Tuber who thought he was some sort of prankster by jumping off a bridge and nearly drowning himself. He wasted the time of the rescue services that had to fish him out but then look what happened – it propelled his channel from obscurity to quite lofty heights – a total idiot gets rewarded. When you see things like that you do consider it, not jumping off a bridge of course, but having some sort of crazy event, perhaps I should have occupied a large book store in London dressed as one of my main characters, who knows, it might have worked – I was  contemplating doing it with some friends which isn’t a bad idea really, I mean it would bring some interest, but then on the other hand you’ve got to consider the fact that this kind of tactic is like the outside of the sun – it is the hottest part and most explosive but it burns for the shortest amount of time so if you want to have your 15 minutes of fame then do something stupid but for those of us in for the long haul, it isn’t a good option. It is best to just keep on slogging away as I believe that most of you, like me, want to be respected for your writing or whatever your art form is, and actually enjoy the process, the work – even the marketing – and don’t want to become the writing equivalent of David Blaine doing some idiotic trick just to pull focus for a short moment.  So option one is a no go – what about option two?

The second most obvious way to become viral is to basically pay for it, which is shady but it’s what a lot of people do and is certainly what all the big publishing houses do. Those with a wad of cash can pay for their song, video, stunt to be repeatedly out there – and familiarity makes you famous! A lot of people do this, more so then we realise, pay for it from some stupid song to stupid video some sort of stunt and some sort of campaign you can pay for it. You only have to look how many ‘celebrities’ there are who are just famous for no particular reason. A chap on master chef was introduced as his claim to fame as having 1 million followers on social media – that was it – he wasn’t an artist of any type – just used option one and two and works the ‘celeb’ circuit.  Few of us can do that but some budget set aside will help to promote your work – just don’t get yourself in debt.  A third option is vlogging, not expensive to do and a good way to share your content – which is what it is really about – although it does mean you have to not worry about having your face out there – for all to see, which doesn’t sit comfortably with writers – but more on that tomorrow.

Don’t forget – if you want to help me with my book launch then do pick up a copy on any of these and share with your friends and colleagues Kindle     Kobo    ibooks

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