The Art of Seducing a Reader

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I was challenged one day by some of my soon to be fraternity brothers to pick up a woman in a bar one night. I was a headstrong, full of confidence nineteen year old that couldn’t lose. I had the charm to be able to smooth my way into any relationship I wanted, but my brothers knew that, so they added one condition.

“Put a bag over your head and find her,” they said to me laughing. Well, that made things a bit harder…

That night, after being liquefied at the fraternity house, we all left for the bar and found our way inside. I was allowed to take one long look around the bar before the bag was placed over my head and pushed into the crowds of drunken students. Over the course of the next few hours, I stumbled into many people, making apologies, trying to explain why I was wearing a bag in a bar, but nothing seemed to guide me towards a woman that I could even talk to much less get a phone number from.

Sadly, this is also how many authors go about marketing their books to potential readers. They are not looking for the audience that would be interested, rather they are looking for anyone who reads a book. Continue reading

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Twitter This and Twitter That: Tips, Tricks, and Basics to Get You Off the Ground and Running

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Twitter. It’s reminds me of the Tardis. Only because it’s so little on the outside and so HUGE on the inside. And, depending on who’s managing the thing, there might be a mad doctor at the helm. Ah, Twitter. It’s like a little home away from home. 

People don’t like Twitter. “It’s too hard to say what I want under 140 characters!” They say. I say, “Oh, come on now! Are we not writers? Have we never mastered the art of using just a few words to express many?” I also say, “HAIKU, People! HAIKU!” but that’s beside the point. 

140 character limit messages or not, Twitter is a platform that, undeniably, can be more than massive effective if you use it right. Sure, it’s just another social media trap to get stuck in and not be able to pull yourself away from to finish your writing, but…wait. No. No, it isn’t, because no matter how much you want to say, you can only tweet 100 times an hour. And we all know how fast most of us can type and how much most of us, potentially, have to say. So, you can’t find yourself trapped on Twitter, even for an hour, before they shut you down and lock you up in their proverbial dungeons. So, you see, you can’t waste a whole day there. It’s part of the beauty of the site. You can tweet and still have time to write. Or even eat (possibly while you are writing). It’s a gorgeous thing. Continue reading

Social Media Marketing Terms Defined

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So, most of us have at least a vague idea of marketing. I asked my 15 year old daughter just now to tell me what marketing is. She looked at me like I’d crash landed into the Earth, riding a teacup that was manufactured on Mars, and told me she didn’t know. I asked her to tell me anyway and she said, “It’s selling stuff.” And she’s right! Marketing is the art and science of making a sale. There are literally thousands of different ways to market, but for the self-published author, the main, least expensive route, and the one you get the most punch out of, is Social Media Marketing. Which is, simply put, using the internet to get the word out on your book.

Some writers come into the world of self-publishing with certain advantages. Some of us have a background in public relations or advertising. Some of us know editors. Heck, some of us ARE editors! But many are just people who wrote a book that they’d like for others to read with no real experience in the industry. It’s confusing and overwhelming and often feels like you’re swimming with sharks. And, speaking of sharks, there are many, so you need to get your swimmer’s legs kicking as quickly as you can. I’ve heard it said that a book sells itself. What a total lie! It’s really an unreasonable idea that anybody could toss a book up on Amazon and have it immediately sell like hotcakes. Does it happen? Sure, but not usually to people who haven’t painstakingly prepared and sunk a whole lot of money into advertising. The truth is, to be read, you must be SEEN. Social Media Marketing is your ticket to visibility and you need to know where your hot spots are. And then, you almost need to burn blisters into your fingers to ensure that you’ll be noticed there.  Continue reading