Category Archives: marketing

Facebook marketing ain’t what it used to be

I have recently been learning a bunch about marketing. My wife has started marketing her fourth novel. Along the way, we have also started boosting Facebook posts about the freebie opportunities. And in my quest to better understand these types of campaigns, I have stumbled into a concept called “organic reach”. That is cute language for “reaching people without spending a nickel.”

“Organic reach on Facebook has been in decline for a few years now and has almost hit zero. If you want to break through now, Facebook is all but a pay-to-play network.” —The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising

In the olden days, people would “like” your group/page and then see anything you posted there. Today, not so. Facebook has algorithms that “decide” what shows up in people’s feeds. Sponsored postings can interrupt a newly minted post on your page that a friend liked, causing them to miss content.

Yup. Someone that you catered to, who decided they liked your content, isn’t guaranteed to see everything posted on that page. Suffice it so say, many are up in arms over this. It backs up a rule I teach at any of my Blogging & Marketing sessions – build your own platform.

Yes. Build your own platform. Craft a site. Curate a mailing list. It will take awhile, but in the long run, you will be running things your way. Sure, you will continue posting things to Facebook, Twitter, and what not.

But don’t presume that the rules of yesterday and today won’t be different tomorrow. Such are the woes of using other people’s platforms.

Marketing your book with a launch group

I’ve recently been working on building up a new aspect of marketing – forming a launch group. A launch group is a close knit circle of people that help you get the word out when your book, as they say, hits the stands.

I have two fronts in progress: Darklight and Learning Spring Boot 2nd Edition.

One is my speculative fiction title that I’ve sent off to a tentative publisher. The other is my latest tech book slated to go out this September.

Getting the word out

When it comes to marketing, it’s key to get the word out. In fact, it’s so important, that I learned of an author that used Russian pirate book sites to actually distribute his novel. What had been maybe 1000 downloads per year, turned into one million downloads a year, resulting in him carrying #1 ranking on Amazon.

(I’m not ready to pull the lever on THAT strategy yet. But if you can write a fleet of books, it’s a path to consider.)

When it comes to writing, people have a rather dated concept of marketing. Perhaps some of us can remember an author visiting our hometown. We’d load everyone up in the car and drive to the bookstore to get in line, buy a copy, and have the author sign it. Sorry, but those days are long gone. Book signings draw such little attendance these days, that authors tend to lose money carrying them out.

If you’re writing a book, tech or not, you may assume your publisher will advertise and publicize it. Nein! The only marketing dollars that are getting spent are on authors that don’t need it. In other words, unless your name is Stephen King or Lee Child, publishers aren’t spending two nickels on you. You (an unestablished author) are flat out not worth the risk of that investment.

Marketing is up to the author. Each of us has to get the word out on our works. And one of those avenues can be putting together a collection of people to help share it in various circles.

Launch group, assemble!

As I said, I’m putting together two core teams of people. For each team, I have a super secret Facebook group where I share in progress work, advanced copies ahead of public release, and will host contests from time-to-time when I need help with things like character names, plot tips, and more. On the day of release, I turn to my inner circle to help blog/tweet/facebook about the title.

If you’re interested in being a part of The Undergrounders and fighting the forces that oppose Darklight‘s release, you can sign up right here.

If you’re interesting in being a part of The Turnquist Techies and helping spread the word of Spring Boot, you can sign up for that group right here.