First, let us be clear. Oh, so very clear. Clear like a mountain stream, like a windswept sky, like a razor in the eye (clearly painful…): I have not made it big. This is not about that.Continue reading “On Making it Big”
Tag: marketing your book
Avast, Ye Readers!
Nothing says nautical mayhem like the word “avast,” doncha think?
Right out of the box you know the words that follow are coming from some seafaring devil, a maritime monster, a nautical ne’er do well. This is because good guy pirates and Navy types don’t use the word.Continue reading “Avast, Ye Readers!”
Facing Your Inner Fred
Do you think Fred Flintstone ever made it big? Do you think he owned an expansive place in the Hollyrock Hills, up next to the sign, and hung out with the likes of Dash Riprock, Stoney Curtis, and Ann Margrock?
And, do you think he ever expected to? That’s the big question.Continue reading “Facing Your Inner Fred”
No Errands for Fools
This is a very simple post. Not because we are simple people, my writer friend (although there is an argument in my household about my side of that equation), but because what you and I do is NOT simple. Not by any stretch of the imagination. As they say in France, it’s very difficult.Continue reading “No Errands for Fools”
Remember when you were a kid, and you had to do chin-ups at school? OMG, that was the worst thing ever! I always cheated and took a little jump up, so I always got a count of at least one. That second one was murder. And the third? Forget it. Same with push-ups. To this day, when I think of push-ups, I see the unmoving gym floor swim before my eyes…
And so it is with marketing your own novel, as I am marketing mine. Which novel(s) do we speak of? Why, Droppington Place and Marigold’s End, of course. You’re a writer. You know how it goes.
Marketing is all about getting people to pay attention to you. You could make YouTube videos – tried that. You could make your own website – mine is right here: PhineasCaswell.com. You could make podcasts or something.
Whatever you do, you have to somehow drive traffic to it. That’s the key, the thing, the line over which you must cross to become the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling.
So, I’ve been posting oodles of posts about the famous pirate Blackbeard on my site (see the shameless marketing plug above). In particular, I’ve focused on his most notorious ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Beyond that cool name, there’s just not much information available about her, which I take as a personal challenge. Why?
Okay, sit down – you’re not gonna believe this. My next novel deeply involves Blackbeard. Whoa! Huh? Did not see that coming, right? Blackbeard was born in 1680. My character Phineas Caswell, hero of Marigold’s End, a Phineas Caswell Adventure, was born in 1694. Both were sailing around the Caribbean at the same time, 1706… See? Those gears are a’turnin’,right? Blackbeard was 26 – in command of privateers or something, right? And Phineas… well, I leave it to your imagination to link those guys together. Or, actually, to MY imagination…
Anyway, I just ran a Google search on the phrase Queen Anne’s Revenge. My website didn’t show up on the first page, or the third, or the seventh. I gave up on Page 15, certain that I’m just not out there in the world. In fact, my site would appear, if I could find it, after “great snacks for the kiddos” and “cool dog names.”
Just like in middle school, in gym class, it’s all a question of keeping one’s chin up. Someday. Someday I’ll cross some magical line and come up on the first page of a Google search. And then the angels will sing, and the heavens will open up, and somebody will click through, visit my site, and buy my books.
Or, I could win the Powerball. The odds seem to be about the same.
Responsive websites? I always thought your website was responsive if you just answered your emails.
You’re a writer – you know how it is. You toil and slave over your book, you publish it yourself, you get your website, your Facebook page, your logo… and then, who knew, it’s useless if your website isn’t responsive. Useless. Who knew?
While, the standard, desktop, not-so-responsive website still has value if you’re a corporation that sells oodles of things that deserve their own big pictures and stuff, the little screen, however, is clearly the road ahead.
So, what does it mean to “go responsive?” It simply means that you scale your website to look good on mobile devices. That’s it.
Sort of. Once you scale your whole website down to that itty-bitty size, you realize that your whole outlook about your website changes. Gone are the stacked images, the carefully layered pages that had a certain snap to them. Gone are the cool, zoomy galleries of your favorite pictures.
Those big, splashy pages have been replaced with simple, easy-to-read, direct-to-the-point, cell-phone sized articles and galleries and images.
It’s great news if you’re a writer, which you are. All you have to do is write! You don’t have to be a web designer? You just write – that’s really what you and I do best anyway!
PhineasCaswell.com has been a desktop site for quite a while. I built it with Open Element software – free!!! But, Open Element doesn’t support responsive websites yet. Rats.
For around $30 USD, I found Serif’s WebPlus – I’m running x7, whatever that means. It has a set of really simple templates for making a responsive website. It was seriously easy to make the conversion.
I’m trying to sell my novel, Droppington Place. It’s aimed at the young adult market, which is comprised mainly of mobile device users. Market? Meet website. Website. Market.
As you know, I’m a big proponent of Gorilla Marketing – do nothing and hope for the best. I did a little something by going responsive, and now I don’t have to do anything else. My site is ready for the world to beat a path to my door.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my other Gorilla Marketing project – you’ll like this. It’s called Soon to be a Major Motion Picture. All you have to do is download Droppington Place – do it for free, if you’d like. Encourage your friends to do the same. If your friends tell their friends, who tell their friends, who tell…you get the idea… why, we’ll be way over a gazillion reads, which is more than enough for any savvy movie studio or book publisher to jump on the bandwagon and make Droppington Place into a major motion picture. Brilliant!
So, download Droppington Place, and go tell all your friends.
This is gonna be great!
Let the Marketers Market
You’re washing your face in the bathroom sink. The warm water makes a pleasant gurgle as it swirls down the drain. It’s California, so you don’t run the water too long.
Suddenly, the water reverses course, and comes up out of the drain. Thinking quickly, you shut off the tap. No good. The water is gray and malicious, and soon the sink is full. It stops filling before the water spills over the edge, but just barely.
So? What do you do? The sink is full, which means the pipes under the sink are full. Are you a plumber?
In my household, I would attempt to fix it, would flood the bathroom, and never hear the end of it from my wife and teenaged daughter.
“Why don’t you just call a plumber?”
“I can fix it, honey! See, it’s just a… oh.”
Slosh, gush. Gaglub, gaglub, gaglub.
“Nice going, Dad.”
You’re a writer. You know how it is. We write, you and I. Unless you’re a marketing writer, the whole business of promotion and publicity is outside our bailiwick.
So, here we are in the world of self-publishing. I did all the work – I wrote Droppington Place, I edited it, had it read and ignored by family and friends, I published it, I created a Facebook page for Phineas Caswell, I opened a website, PhineasCaswell, and I even bought a book about Dummies marketing on Facebook.
So far, I’ve sold 4 copies of the book – three to people I know and one that might actually be legit.
By day, I’m a technical writer/illustrator. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and am good at it. I’m not a plumber, although I do get my hands wet upon occasion. But, I am a miserable excuse for a plumber.
So, my writer friend, must it be true with marketing. Here we are in the most freewheeling, enabled, and unshackled time in history for writers – dude, anyone could read your book right now! – but are fettered at the gate of success by a lack of time and marketing knowhow.
The answer is to let the plumbers plumb and the marketers market. The answer is the same as it always was: do what you do best. If you need the help of a specialist, for goodness sake, hire the specialist! Unless you can do your own dentistry.
As for me, I’ve got to fix this sink before my wife gets home… it’ll all be done and she won’t even know I did it myself until I tell her!
Crack. Gaglu, gaglug, gaglug…
Make Yourself a Magic Virus
If you’re sick, don’t read this post. There’s a stupid wordplay about viruses that is, well, so bad that we’re just going to skip it.
When you have just under two minutes free, watch this video: Build the San Salvador 4. How about now?
You know how people eat up those “dude, you had one job” videos? That was the thinking behind this little gem. Have to tell you, it still cracks me up, and I had a hand in making it.
So, why make a movie – especially one as dumb as this?
Three little words, my friend. No, not I love you. Or hands up, suckah. No, no, no… and no, not no, no, no either. Magic, she gasped. Ah, yes, our mantra/manta/bantha.
It’s a tight circle, my friend, this marketing thing. At the end of the video, which is calculated to be just funny enough to appeal to a certain age – the very age I’m hoping will read Droppington Place – is my new little logo, and the whispered word “magic.”
So you, you’re so fascinated by the video, you type in PhineasCaswell.Com, just like you see it in the image at the end of the hilarious video, and there is a link to Droppington Place. You click on the link – blink – why, here’s a nifty book for you to read!
Like a spider’s web, one slimy tendril at a time, you have no choice but to be roped into reading at least the free sample. Bwahahahahahaha.
It didn’t take a great deal of effort to make the motion picture. Sort of like, really? And all this linking is sort of sleep-inducing. And, at the end of the day, YOU have to do all the clicking and reading and stuff.
NOW you can see how Gorilla Marketing works… or doesn’t work, because I’m not doing much work… oy, this get’s confusing.
So, click on the link (HERE it is again in case you can’t find it up there), and repeat after me:
“Magic,” she gasped.
If you’d like to read all of Droppington Place for free, go HERE, and tell ’em you’re not paying a dime today, thank you. Boom. Freebie!
“Magic,” She Gasped.
“Magic,” she gasped.
Say it again: “Magic,” she gasped.
Tell your friends to say it: “Magic,” she gasped.
It’s a mantra, unless that’s the bat-shaped fish. Whisper it in your sleep.
“Magic,” she gasped.
What is it? What does it mean? Why should you care?
What makes a Subaru a Subaru? Actually, Subaru puts a comma in their statement – a comma with which I have never agreed. Love, it’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru. What does that second comma do? It makes a clause out of “it’s what makes a Subaru,” which isn’t a clause at all. It equally makes a clause out of “Love a Subaru,” which is a clause, but is so widely separated by the non-clause that you have to remove the non-clause to see it, by which time you’ve simply beaten the whole darned thing to death…and doesn’t make me what to buy the car because they have trouble with punctuation.
“Magic,” she gasped. It’s a mantra, or manta. Or Banta if you’re into Star Wars.
I was trying to come up with a way to sell my book, and the only catchphrase I could think of was “buy my book.”
Hmmm, lacks a little something.
Hailey, one of the characters in my novel, Droppington Place, has a fascination with magic – just to point out that there, right in that sentence, is the proper use of commas to separate a clause – which causes her to utter the mantra/manta/banta phrase. Several times throughout the story she gasps the word “magic,” in what I sincerely hope is a running joke.
So, you see, sometimes your characters can give you a hint on what’s special in your work.
But, here’s the dealio, the thing, the bomb, the cat’s pajamas: What happens if you Google search “murder, she gasped”? Well, probably nothing yet, because I just loaded the tags.
But eventually, my impatient friend, you’ll go to either Phineas Caswell’s home page at PhineasCaswell.com, or to his Smashwords Droppington Place page.
If you simply Google Phineas Caswell, whose name appears beneath the logo, brings you all manner of Droppington Placey options.
Is this marketing genius? Does Procter and Gamble sell soap?
Or is it simply some degree of self-delusion that I’m making progress in marketing my book? Self-delusional like a fox!!!
Already, the pieces are falling into place…bwahahahahah.
You, because you’re a friend, can actually skip all the marketing hype and get Droppington Place by simply clicking HERE. When you get there, type in this Coupon Code: NJ38D, and you can get the book for free!!!
Why, that seems almost like…
“Magic,” she gasped.
Gorilla Marketing – Again
If you’ve read earlier posts here, you’ll know I’m developing a theory called “gorilla marketing.”
It’s really quite simple: you don’t do anything, and people beat a path to your door. Usually they bring loads of cash, and things turn out great.
Well, you don’t do nothing, actually. You do some stuff – you know, little marketing things that get people reading you and believing in you and eventually giving you the oodles of cash.
So, here, without any ballyhoo or marketing phrasing, is my pitch: the second chapter of my novel, Droppington Place, is posted on the web, here. It’s totally free.
Read it now, as the price is sure to go up.
Take out your marketing pencils, kids, and let’s just do a little analysis.
Interesting proposal – check.
Product offering – check.
Call to action – check.
Free offer – check.
Dude, it’s all there, and we haven’t really done any work. See how easy this was?
Now, for you to do your part. This involves oodles of cash, so you might want to take some notes…
Just to recap: Chapter 2 of Droppington Place is now ready to read, and you got a nice, healthy sampling of Gorilla Marketing in action.
Wow. What a great day!
Pass me a banana, would you?