Happy weekend, family and friends. Might I just mention if I can get 20 subscribers I will show up on a few search engines? Hint, hint.
Alright, to the juice of the blog. I’ll try to keep it short this lovely Saturday morning. (Hubby is taking me to the White Sands Missile Range Museum to look at V-rockets. Cool, huh?) I’ve been reading a book on marketing recently. In case you’d like to read it – and so I don’t get in trouble for plagiarism (I’m not Scott McInnis) – the title is “Guerrilla Marketing for Writers” by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen, and David L. Hancock. “Guerrilla Marketing for Writers” is published by Morgan James Publishing and the second edition is copyrighted 2010. Anything that sounds like I took it from the book was probably lifted from the book. I admit the original ideas are not mine, but the implementation of the ideas is mine.
Anywho, the book has some interesting ideas about marketing. They seem to think your network needs to be other authors who can sell your book. Maybe I am coming at this from too much of a political view point, but that seems just plain stupid. Here’s what I always tell volunteers when I come in to a camp. I’m there as staff on a campaign where I may or may not be from the area. How many people are going to listen to me because I’m a staffer? Studies show not a lot. Now, a volunteer from the precinct gets a better response. “Howdy, I’m Joe Smith. I live over on Vine St. You’ve probably seen me walking my dogs around the neighborhood. As your neighbor, I’d like to tell you why I am supporting Lisa Jones for state rep. Lisa is a lot like us. She lives over off Main and Holly. Lisa has kids that go to the same elementary school my kids go to. Oh, you’ve got kids? Over at Washington? Your kids go the same place. You know, Lisa’s really worried about her kids education and the fact our classrooms now have 40 kids in a kindergarten class. Got a moment for me to tell you Lisa’s plan to reduce classroom sizes?” That tends to work better than this. “Hello, I’m Adam White. I’m with Lisa Jones campaign. I work with the campaign. No, I’m not from here. I’m from Denver. Just because I’m not from Cedaredge doesn’t mean I don’t know what matters to you. You are worried about the economy and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. You want to end both wars and bring the troops home before they are dishonored. After all, they are murdering innocent civilians over there. Lisa Jones wants to bring the troops home and make sure they can find new jobs. Who wants to be in the Army their entire life? Your husband what? He’s been in the Army 18 years. Oh, um, well, wouldn’t you agree that he needs a new job where he’s not killing people? You don’t? You’re very proud of him? You’ll vote against Lisa? Can I…?” (Door slams in face. Yeah, I actually saw this go down on a campaign by an out of town staffer in a neighborhood that was a known military neighborhood.)
Be truthful, who are you going to trust more? Your friend and/or neighbor who you have stuff in common with or the stranger? Most surveys I’ve seen and conducted claim it’s the former. Gotta say I’m more likely to pick up a book or go to a movie a friend suggests. I haven’t picked one up yet because some stranger said to buy it. Besides, another writer wants his/her book to sell at the cost of you selling your book.
My network needs to be built on my friends and family, and their friends and family, and so on. That way when my book comes out it is you guys telling people to go out and preorder the book. (Pre-orders are important. The more pre-orders we have, the more likely the publisher is to think the book might sell. We are competing with 10,000+ other titles to drop in any given year from one publisher.) Therefore, gang, we need to build upon this network.
What does the network need? Well, I agree with the book (and others) that a blog is a must. Once I get a publisher to pick up the book I’ll start putting out teasers from the book on the blog. Until then, let’s see if we can’t get people to think I have something to say that they would like to hear. That’s where the tags come in. Each tag is a group of blogs. All of those with “Not Quite About the Book” are my actual writings not about trying to get published. So, blog is covered. In order to get the search engines to recognize this here blog exists I have to have hits and subscribers. If you haven’t already done so, hit one of the two ways to subscribe. (WordPress is on the right. Networked Blogs is on the bottom of the page.) Then, go tell all of your friends about this. Please!
I’ve got the Twitter account, but have two whole followers (Howdy Jack & Rachael). Until I get 10 people following me I think it’s kinda mean to bug my two followers. (You, too, can follow me on Twitter @antrisdale.) I’m keeping my Facebook personal for the time being. If you’re a friend and want to know the pups are sick or Jacob’s gone (again), Facebook is the place to find that information. The website is live. Any suggestions on the website can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to send in suggestions. I know it looks like a high school project right now. My creativity is lacking on the website at the moment.
“Guerilila Marketing for the Writer” also suggests giving away your book. So, here we go. Since I am dreaming big here and believing I will get published, we are gonna keep that thought process in announcing our first contest. First current subscriber (all five of you) who refers five friends – that then subscribe to the blog – gets an autographed copy of my manuscript. Not the finished book, but a bound copy of what I am sending to the publisher. Cool, huh? Just make sure your friends comment on this post with who sent them. And I’ll head on down to the print shop to print you off a copy of the manuscript. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Or pathetic. Probably pathetic.
Having a network proves I have people who want to read my books. Having subscribers to my blog shows perspective agents that I have people who read me almost daily. He/She can tell a publishing house that I have X number of people who will likely read me. That will help convince a publisher to take me on. And if that network is mainly people who aren’t competing against me, I think it works better. Besides, what was the last book you read? Why did you read it? Because some writer you had barely heard of suggested it? Because a friend suggested it? Feel free to comment on what convinces you to buy and read a book. The comment link is right under this post.
Anywho, there’s my blog on networking. Hope y’all enjoyed it. As usual, comments are appreciated, along with referrals. Just push that little comment button. And if you happen to be new or a referral, welcome, friend. Say a quick “howdy”, and sign right up for a subscription to be notified when the new post goes up daily. Until tomorrow, have a great Saturday and be careful. I’m off to go to the museum with Jacob.