In this post I am going to further the conversation on impressions. My original plan was to start a new subject today, but I’ve decided to save the new subject for some time in the future. Many of you left comments or emailed me, or left word via Twitter and my Facebook page about the original post. I am overwhelmed that my post touched so many of you. As of this writing 165 of you have seen the post. Because so many of you seem to be interested, I wanted to spend a little more time on impressions.
For those of you who haven’t read the post on Lottery Mentality, I suggest you scroll down to it now before you read this. It’s just below. This post will make little sense to you if you haven’t read the first one.
So… in my earlier post I discussed getting impressions. Impressions first, because impressions will lead to sales. There’s some very good news about getting impressions. Two of the best tools you can use to get them are free. The first tool I am going to discuss with you is Goodreads. If you are not on Goodreads get on it NOW. Immediately. It should be every indie authors number one tool for marketing. And like I said—it’s FREE. My humble description of Goodreads is it’s Facebook for readers.
In the Lottery Mentality Post I touched upon Goodreads giveaways. I am going to expand upon it here. The way I see it, there are two ways to gain impressions with a Goodreads giveaway: first are the people that sign up for the giveaway, and second are the people who add your book to their “to read” list. Everyone who signs up for the giveaway is not going to add your book. If you have 500 people who sign up for the giveaway and 250 of them also add your book, you have made 250 strong impressions. Some of these people will go ahead and purchase your book when the promotion is over. Others will buy it the next time they see your title. It may take several more impressions to convince others. But that’s okay. We’re not trying to win the lottery here; we’re trying to build a writing career.
With giveaways, shorter is always better. My giveaways usually last 5-7 days. Here’s why. The first day of your giveaway you’re included in a “recently listed” posting done by Goodreads. The last two days of your giveaway you are going to be included in a “closing soon,” posting. If you schedule your giveaway for five days that means three out of the five are high visibility days where Goodreads is promoting you. These are the days you are going to get most of your hits--impressions. If you want to do a month of giveaways, schedule four giveaways for the month. This way you will have 12 high visibility days. This just makes good marketing sense, people. Put yourself in the best position to reach the most people possible.
Another reason not to do long giveaways is something I learned from the marketing people at Disney when I was a producer there. The longer a message is out there, the more your message becomes diluted. People will begin to take your message for granted until they don’t notice it anymore. We all do it. It’s human nature. What’s going to get the most buzz: “Sting Appearing Here One Night Only.” Or “Sting Will Be Performing Here All Month?” The answer is obvious, isn’t it? So, in my opinion, short focused giveaways are the best way to get the most impressions on Goodreads. And only give away one book.
The other FREE marketing tool I use is Twitter. You must be on Twitter. With Twitter you can test the viability of your message and tweak it all day, or all month until you begin to see results. The key with Twitter, however, is you have to tweet in waves. Say, four (or more) tweets an hour for a five hour period. Half of these tweets should be a pitch for you or your book (whether direct or indirect), the other half should be useful information. If you don’t tweet in waves you cannot have a strong presence and your message will be diluted. You will notice this because as soon as you begin tweeting in waves you are going to get more followers.
Here’s how I see it. About six months ago a novelist showed up on Twitter. This person seemed to tweet all day. One day I counted 30 tweets in an hour. This person’s tweets were annoying to me. I assumed most people had stopped following the novelist or just tuned the message out. Wrong. I went to the novelist’s Amazon page and discovered the person had two books in the Amazon kindle top 100. Then it dawned on me that the author realized the power of impressions. Sure the constant barrage of messages were annoying to some, but even those who were annoyed were going to remember the author’s name. Impressions.
Most people do not hang out on Twitter all day. Many people will only see a few of your messages, if any. You send out one tweet a day and it’s like dropping a grain of sand in the ocean. So don’t look at it as 30 annoying messages, rather, look at it as 30 opportunities to make an impression. Car companies buy hundreds of 30 second TV ad spots a day. You might see two or three, if any.
For Superbowl Sunday--a bad business day for most--I devised a list of sixteen tweets scheduled to go out between 11am and 3:30 pm, which was the start time of the game. The tweets said things like: “Not into The Patriots vs The Giants? Try angels vs demons”… and I linked to my paranormal novel Earth Angel. Or “Here’s MY Superbowl commercial. My Boyfriend From Hell book trailer,” and I linked to my book trailer (HERE). By the time the second tweet went out I had four retweets by people who were not my followers until then. I can’t say the campaign worked, but I did get several new followers, and I also sold several books on Superbowl Sunday. So I’m guessing I made a few impressions.
I realize this is a slow build for success. I'd like it to happen for you overnight. I really would. These tools are here for you to use in case it doesn't.
That’s my advice for the day. Use Goodreads and Twitter to increase your impressions. They are the most awesome marketing tools around and they are both FREE.
And like I said in the earlier post, if what I am saying doesn’t work for you—cool. But if my words resonate with you please come back, please leave a comment, and please tell your friends. I am not trying to create a controversy here; I am no expert; this is not the gospel according to E. I don’t have an axe to grind or anything to prove. This advice is just the way I see it.
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