A number of authors have told me how much they hate social media. Their reasons range from, “I’m a writer, I don’t want to spend all my time on Facebook,” to “I can’t figure it out,” and even, “Facebook is run by the CIA!”
I don’t personally believe Facebook’s run by the CIA, but I do believe that if you take the service at face value, use it for what’s good, and leave out the bad, you’ll have a pretty effective marketing tool at your fingertips. The same goes for other social media and marketing solutions. I strongly believe you can make technology work for you without letting it run your life. I think of my mom, who used to say, “I don’t want a cell phone,” and “What do I need with a computer?” That was five years ago. Now, because computers and cell phones have become so common there’s no margin for anyone to avoid them, my mom checks her email on her Blackberry, embeds YouTube videos in her emails, and takes care of work issues on the road by connecting her laptop to wifi. There was a learning curve, but now doing these things is second nature to her.
What I’m trying to convey to you is two-fold: Technology is ever evolving and, in many cases, it becomes so popular that it’s impossible to avoid. New technology eventually becomes habit, and you learn how to incorporate it into your life with very little forethought.
So, if you’re a self-pub author, you have a message you’re trying to communicate, right? Well, let me share something with you: “Marketing” is an industry term that describes sharing, communicating, and ensuring that people know about something that’s really good—for example, your book. Social media, and marketing solutions in general, are tools—just like the telephone and email, only better and more effective—to let people know that your message is available to them in the form of your book. The key is, you’ve got to know how to make these solutions work for you.
Keep in mind that there are many marketing solutions, and finding the right solutions is part of making marketing work for you and your book. You might not like Facebook, and that’s okay. However, you might still want to connect with other readers and authors, so you could choose to use Goodreads and LibraryThing. Or you might decide that the good old-fashioned telephone and email work just fine—there’s nothing like a personalized approach! If used correctly, all marketing solutions work and can help you achieve your sales and other goals.
In upcoming posts, I’ll be writing about specific marketing solutions in more detail. But I want to begin this blog by breaking down some barriers between you and marketing, and making sure you understand that marketing solutions are a customizable means for spreading your good word.