As a full-time author/writer, my focus is on two things: writing and marketing. I got into the business for the former and hate the latter. In my earlier days of writing, writers saw social media as a short cut to the marketing effort needed to put words into the hands of readers.
But social media has turned into a moving target.
The internet abounds with classes, podcasts, and books about utilizing social media best, but once that school of fish (hungry writers) move toward one direction, the rules change with the social media moguls or what worked before quits working.
It only makes sense that doing what everyone is doing will only dilute the effect of the latest gimmick. That’s because marketing is about being different, about rising above the fray, about being heard in a sea of shouting voices crying “buy my stuff.” And when too many shout the same thing, the same way, nobody hears a thing.
Word-of-Mouth Still Matters Most
The most tried and true method of selling products has proven to be word-of-mouth. Today, word-of-mouth can mean sharing a post, liking a comment, or recommending what you saw on social media in addition to book clubs sharing titles and friends having coffee and discussing a new author.
I do not have an author page, book page, or commercial page on Facebook, and I do not splash my work across eight different types of social media. Instead, I prefer to focus on word-of-mouth. I maintain my Twitter account and a personal page on Facebook, and I use both as if everyone on there were my friend.
My Friends Get First Dibs
Because my followers are my friends, they learn first and foremost about book releases, steps in the publishing process, sale discounts, and new contract signings. If I have extra books from the publisher, they get them. If I am cleaning out all the writing-related books I’ve accumulated from publishers for blurbs and critiques, I offer them to my friends first.
But they also are asked first for favors. Would they write a review? Here’s a book, print or eBook. Would they like me to write a post for their blog? Tell me the theme, and I’ll pen it for them if they’ll only mention my latest release. And once it’s posted, I’ll promote their blog to my readers.
My Friends Don’t Get Abused
There is no sales pitch on my
social media. There is no, “buy my book for 99 cents” when my book goes on
sale. First, I don’t want to become known as a K-Mart Blue Light Special, where
it matters more how cheap the item is than the story written. Like the school
of fish reference above, too many writers lead with cost. I don’t want to be
remembered as a cheap book. I want to be remembered as a good writer.
Second, my friends get pounded
with that sort of advertising all the time, and I don’t want to lose their
friendship. Plus, I don’t want to get lost in that horde of commercialism
screaming at my friends day in and day out.
Third, I promise no religious or
Fourth, I thank them endlessly.
No Marketing at All?
I use visual posts, flaunting the book cover and release date, or a review quote, or a tiny excerpt from inside the book. All point to the book, not its price.
If I want to advertise, I’ll go
with Facebook ads, BookBub ads, or Amazon Marketing. But people would much
rather discover a book than be sold a
book. They don’t watch for ads, sales or gimmicks.
People today crave
relationships, and that’s what I try to give them. Advice? Sure. A review copy?
If I have one available. A free blog post? Absolutely.
I prefer the give and take between my readers and me be friendly and close. . . and loyal. Ads and commercialism don’t buy loyalty. Delivery of a good product and a person who cares, does.
About the Author:
C. Hope Clark’s latest release is Dying on Edisto, Book 5 of the Edisto Island Mysteries, and her ninth novel. She has also authored two award-winning mystery series and is fast at work on another. In her other life, she manages FundsforWriters.com, selected by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 18 years. Her newsletter reaches 35,000 readers. www.fundsforwriters.com / www.chopeclark.com
death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup. A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover, standalone mystery!
renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo
Plantation, Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan agrees to head the
investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as
questionable as the death itself. When death turns to murder and a watchdog
from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to
Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of
poison is growing on this plantation and someone knows how to use it well.
corruption, and page-turning intrigue are usually the elements that shine the
brightest in mysteries like Hope Clark’s latest Dying on Edisto. But it’s the
characters that bring a vivid literary element to Clark’s prose and create a
strong emotional response to their tangled lives. The scenic town of Edisto
Beach is peopled with a modern-day pirate claiming to be a descendent of
Blackbeard, a degenerate travel blogger, a yoga teacher who drives a baby blue
vintage Benz convertible, a mixed race waitress and her matriarchal
grandmother, and a whole slew of wealthy and crooked good ole boys. Leading the
cast are two strong female protagonists—a police chief and an investigator with
the Department of Agriculture. Did someone say hemlock? —Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and editor of
Southern Writers on Writing
a plot as complicated as the numerous waterways that create Edisto Island in
South Carolina, C. Hope Clark has combined the characters from her two series
to solve the murder of a renowned travel blogger. They mystery requires all of
their detective skills and blends the two mystery worlds in a page-turning
standalone. The story opens with a floater and progresses with
edge-of-your-seat action. Prepare to be absorbed by Clark’s crisp writing and
compelling storytelling. This is one you don’t want to miss!”— Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of
three mystery series. She is the author of over 80 books and has received
numerous writing awards.
Clark converges her sleuths, Carolina and Callie Jean, on Edisto Island for the
finale, Dying on Edisto, concluding her two murder mystery series. Slews of
fans always awaited these highly addictive and superbly penned novels – grabbing
you from the first page and not letting go until the last. A pristine, sleeper
sea island, two determined masters of law who butt heads, a mystery corpse from
Atlantic waters, a few idiosyncrasies along the way – the absolute best cast
and plot for an intense coastal thriller. ~Karen Carter, Owner, Edisto Bookstore