Tag Archives | social media

Why Nathan Bransford’s self promotion fell flat – and why you should take note! (Part 1)

Okay, Nathan. You know we love you and all that but… (Of course, not real love, just that bloggery appreciation for other people in the industry.) #i’mnotastalker

I know Nathan as the ex-agent extraordinaire/tech guy. I look to his blog for breakdowns on ebooks and publishing industry info. That seems to be his thing.

Then he wrote and got a book published. Jacob Wonderbar and the Great Space Kapow.  Yeah, it surprised me too but I thought, cool. I bought the book because I was curious. My son read it two times the first week. He really liked it. The book is well written and perfect for advanced first grade readers through fifth graders. Middle schoolers might read it, depending on their maturity level. #greatgiftbook

Honestly, I don’t think Nathan’s blog is really set up to promote a middle grade book. Of course, he’s more than welcome to do it. No one minded the announcements and the initial push when the book released. At least I didn’t.

But then he wrote this. Some comments were very supportive but he received a few negative remarks. #theyweren’treallythatbad And then, he got a tad bit defensive. #whichweknowisanono  #evenex-agentsextraordinairemakemistakes

Then he wrote this blog post the next day in response.

His rational was, ‘hey, I spend a lot of time writing this blog for all of you, so here’s my book you should buy it’.  #notexactwords

Yeah, not the best approach. Even if he meant it to be light hearted. We all put a lot of time into our blogs so that rationalization doesn’t add up for me. I think his readers got it right in the comments. His post and approach to self promotion just didn’t seem to fit with his blog.

His post didn’t seem to fit with his blog.   #notatypoimeanttorepeat

And yes, we’re going to cover this topic (self promotion and the whole you should not be blogging about writing) on my blog because I’ve been giving it a lot, I mean A LOT of thought. So start thinking fellow bloggers because even Nathan Bransford felt the backlash of creating a brand on his blog that doesn’t support his book. And even Nathan blogs about writing.

And Nathan, don’t worry. I thought your misinterpreted self promotion was kinda cute. It’s nice to see you struggle with the rest of us. Almost endearing. Was that your evil plan?

So, fellow bloggers, what does self promotion mean to you? And what advice do you have for Nathan, for all of us?

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Who are you? And why is that important?

This one question resonated with me. It lodged into my brain and my heart and keeps repeating over and over again. I look at my story that is polished, ready to go. I look at the work I’m currently revising. And I look at the idea bubbling in the back of my mind, ready to burst forth onto the page.

Why do I write the stories I write? Why do I focus on certain themes? Why do I love the books I do?

I know the answer. I think. Just like if you asked yourself that question and looked at your work, you’d probably find the answer too.

I heard this question in a workshop on Finding Your Marketing Voice at NESCBWI. The speaker was referring to the question in terms of marketing and social media. But that’s not what the question meant to me. Instead of marketing voice, I started thinking in terms of story voice.

Not voice as we usually think of voice as writers. I mean the subtle heartbeat behind our ideas and our themes that can’t help but be present in our writing, creep into our character arcs, and find a way into our plots.

Do you see a consistent theme in your stories? Do you see any kind of vague reflection of yourself in your writing? And how do you think as writers we can or should capitalize on that in which ideas we choose to pursue or our marketing/branding?

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Borders and my sad walk through the store.

I literally jumped for joy when I learned that the Borders closest to me (40 minutes away) would stay open. Barnes and Nobles is 50 minutes away. So I don’t have a lot of options with a big selection.

One of my favorite mom-and-daughter dates is lunch at Panera’s and then browsing in Borders, because both my daughter and I love books. We eat and chat while sipping our drinks, both excited about the next stop. We enter Borders with a spring in our step and a grin on our face, our fingers itching to pick up books and smell the pages and read the back flaps.  #iknowyoucanrelate

Except this last time was, um, er different. And we’ll go back but…not as often. There was a dramatically smaller selection of books – and more gimmicky gifts. Most of the books I wanted to buy, they didn’t carry. #verysadday

I did purchase 2 books to support bookstores. But I can’t justify spending 17 or 18 dollars on a book when I can buy it for 10 online.

What do you think? Will bookstores truly be irrelevant one day? Someday, will only lead titles and best sellers make into bookstores? At that point, what will be the difference between the self published and the traditionally published? We’ll all have to sell ourselves and our books.  #thoughtmuchaboutsocialmedia?

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To twitter or not to twitter?

Tough question.

It’s almost like asking someone if they like chocolate cake. Some people love it. Some people don’t. And some just say, “Eh.”

Reasons I joined Twitter:

  • Curiosity – (I had to see what all the fuss was about.)
  • I’d rather learn it and develop followers as an unpublished writer.
  • Follow agents and get a feel for their personality. (Research baby.)
  • Connect with other writers.
  • To tweet about contest and get more points.

I went into it the same way I did blogging. I had good reasons.

Why I’m glad I joined Twitter:

  • It’s been so cool to connect with blogging friends. Blogging is like waving from across a crowded room. Twitter is like having coffee by the pool early in the morning.
  • It’s been great to encourage other writers and promote other writers.
  • It’s been fun experimenting with voice and humor.
  • It hasn’t been a time suck. I check in. Read. Post. And leave.
  • I’ve run across great retweeted blog posts.

Do I understand everything about Twitter?  Heck no. I finally understand hashtags. I know how to block spammers. Baby steps.

My biggest frustration: For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get a twitter button to show up on my sidebar. (But that dips into my blog deficiencies and this is about Twitter.)

Final words:  Social media comes second. Writing a fantastic book comes first!

What are your hesitations or frustrations about Twitter?

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