Monday, June 18, 2012

Is online book marketing a waste of time

Is online book marketing a waste of time? One writer's results.

Over the last two months, I've made a push to boost my online presence by blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Linking In, GoodReading, Search Engine Optimizing and more. Each week, I spend one full day on this stuff, plus another eight hours here and there.

My results have been middling at best. I've increased my blog traffic, number of connections/friends/followers but not by a huge amount. Haven't gotten anything to go viral. 

Worse still, I just read some articles by a respected writer that claimed that blogging and social media can be useless for building a book marketing platform and selling books.

Though it's only been two months, the articles still depressed the hell out of me and led me to ask...

But other experts claim that this is a gradual process, so I'm going to keep at it for another few months.

My results since my online surge began May 1, 2012.

1) Linked In: 1,002 connections (increase of about 200)
- Currently adding about 5 a week.
- Relatively easy to increase: send out about 10 new requests per week.
- Adding mainly writers, agents, book editors and other publishing people -- not a potential audience for my novel.
- Re: the agents and book editors: When it comes time to query, will I have a leg up? will anyone care if I say: "Hey buddy, we're connected Linked In." Also, not sure if these folks will respond to a direct note on Linked in. (many have as many connections as I do, so they can't possibly be familiar with them all. Linked In maybe useful joining groups in which agents and editors hang out and post pithy comments to get my name under their noses.

2) Facebook Author Page: 2,010 (increase of 125)
- Currently, adding about 5 a week
- Disheartened by small number seeing my posts. (Facebook limits the number of fans you can reach to about 15 percent if you don't pay up. (So, my posts only reach 300 or so of my fans.)
- I've joined a few groups frequented by other writers. Will they buy my book? Not sure.

3) Twitter followers:  560 (increase of 300)
- Currently, adding about 10 a week
- Using Hootsuite, which makes it easy to pre-schedule and send a couple of tweets a day.
- Hootlet makes it easy to send new articles. (go to article, click hootlet icon and send.).
- I'm following some agents and publishing people. They are not following me.
- Still unclear how this will be useful for either finding a publisher or selling books.

4) Blog: 1,000 unique visitors a month, up from 625.
- Been blogging weekly: A good blog takes me four to eight hours to write.
- Getting more traffic than ever, but mostly I drive it myself by posting in various Web sites, forums, and Linked In groups.
- Few people signing up for blog-- what you really want because then you have direct connection.
- SEO seems to be helping, but still not getting big numbers (I need to get 100 times what I'm getting now to impress anyone.)
 - Added a donate button -- nothing. Signed up for Google adds in hopes of generating some income. Earned a dollar and my site was cluttered with ads. I canceled it.

For more online book marketing articles:

- Tools for measuring online book marketing progress.
- How writers can earn a living (Content warning: men eating lightbulbs, being run over by cars, hit with sledge hammers.)
- Greetings from Twitter Hell.