Those of you paying attention when you read my posts over the top of your lunchtime cup of noodles may have begun to notice something of a theme as of that…in that, there’s an awful lot of discussion going on around here about marketing type stuff….
As you should be aware, I’ve been spending my off hours engrossed (engrossed seems inappropriate to use, as it infers enjoyment, as opposed to the absolute need I feel in pouring myself into this research) in studying ways in which to increase sales and awareness of my books (and my author platform/brand/random marketing gobbledygook).
Today shall be no different!
You see, when I review all of these ideas on the things you ABSOLUTELY MUST DO in order to succeed in publishing, I can’t help but feel a little…well…dirty seems to be the appropriate term. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with a little salesmanship, but more often than not, the main idea behind most book marketing plans of today are very difficult to discern from the plan behind how to sell things like the Sham-Wow or Oxi-Clean or anything else you might have seen on the home shopping network for a few months before being lambasted with commercials of the product over and over again every night while watching the higher-up channels on cable television after 11pm…
In other words, market saturation seems to be the key phrase (that no one actually uses), but through the absolute cheapest methods available to you. Put your name everywhere, make sure to comment on everything but always make sure your comments lead back to your site or your books or whatever, make sure everyone you ever come into contact with ever knows about the fact that you have something to sell.
Now, while I can hardly debate that this is the number 1 way to increase awareness (you know…through shouting from the rooftops about your product), the general idea seems as though it might be a bit more annoying than effective. And even if it is effective…it’s still annoying.
I honestly view most marketing concepts I’m presented with as being similar to that image, even if they’re quite a bit more subtle, or, you know, appropriate. So, whenever I come across something that ABSOLUTELY MUST BE DONE OR RISK DYING A PAINFUL DEATH OF ABSOLUTELY NO SALES WHATSOEVER, I take a step back for a while and try to imagine if there is a way in which I might be able to approach things in something more of a…well…informational, yet not quite screaming billboard type of way. I’d like to use the word professional here…but the professionals are the ones doing this…and besides, indie kind of denotes more of a non-professional status anyways.
For example, I recently worked up my e-mail signature, something that ABSOLUTELY MUST blah blah, you get the point. All of the examples I found across the web were these fifteen page long one-sheets about everything possible about the author. An entire list of books complete with links to where you can buy them, testimonials, links to all of the social media outlets, brief bios, book blurbs, where you could see them present next, and, well, the list could seriously go on and on. They were this giant clutter of information that just wasn’t even readable. It was something anyone would easily overlook…basically something that told me one thing time and time again. This is not a concise person.
I may not be an Ad Man (although that was my nickname for a short while…or at least I wanted it to be), but I know that something like that is not going to mean conversions (marketing term for, someone sees your ad and goes out and buys your product). It was clunky and overall just seemed desperate.
I knew I wanted to keep mine shiny and new and, ultimately, not something that would make it difficult to know what I’m trying to get across. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
I’ve got a few changes I want to make to it already…but it’s the basic deal. Feel free to shoot me your thoughts on what you like (or…more importantly, what you hate) either in the comments below, on facebook, twitter, or e-mail (this is what marketing folks like to call a Call to Action, people). But this is how I like to work. I’ve got that whole brand building term of Adventure Novelist, I’ve got a few details about what I’ve done and how to find me. That’s a signature, more or less…and it doesn’t mean that the person has to scroll through pages and pages of my junk to figure out what they might have said in a previous e-mail or whatever.
Ultimately, I dig it. It’s simple, it’s got more than enough spots for people to click and find out things about me, and, I have to admit that the term Adventure Novelist makes me want to put on a fedora and grab my whip and go out seeking hidden treasure.
But seriously, what do you think? Maybe you’re the type who hates e-mail signatures altogether. I know I despise my actual work one, which goes more along the lines of absolutely too much information. Maybe you think there could be more to add…maybe you like the ones that have all the possible information you could possibly want to know about someone? Inquiring minds (specifically mine) want to know! (Call to Action completed!)
Have a good one!