Sunday, May 03, 2020

so i've embarked upon some feverish marketing, but as usual it doesn't amount to much. about the time i started i actually got a few bites on the line - people were reading my books (see below) - but i have a sense that it is more because one had "covid" in the name, and it was a new amazon offering - so it was more amazon's marketing (putting it under new) than anything i did.

i market in five places really, blogs, facebook, twitter, linked in, and instagram. i am not quite onto how to get something good up to instagram, so as to have hashtags and really reach everyone. i can put the photo on instagram, on my phone, as you must - you can't do it by computer. but then everyone seems to add all these words to their posts, and i also would like to, but can't seem to do it. i'd like to link it, for example, to the fbook post or blog post

i finished two books recently, hands off that pear, a book of short stories, and all from before is now obsolete, a book of kaiku about the covid crisis. the second one was calle post-covid haiku but was rejected by amazon for having "covid" in the title - i think they did not want to be involved in publishing non-scientific things about the covid. it gave me a chuckle because it was haiku. as such it was very personal and expressed some of my feelings about the world being turned upside down. but it goes to show, if you were going to foment revolution, maybe the way to do it would be through haiku. not that i have any such plan. in fact, though, you get into haiku, and, because you have to apply your mind to reading it (as you do all poetry), you rule out 90% of the public right there.

so i do all my statistics - kindle rating, special kindle rating, paperback rating, special paperback rating. right now i have a book in the top hundred of one of the specials - it's good to be in the top hundred. but it won't last. by a couple of days it'll be down in the two or three hundreds, then over a thousand. some of the ratings are over fifteen million. most of them are in the three or four million range. not that impressive really. i'm lucky if i can keep one below a million, and most likely i can't. with the special ratings (for example, u s short stories) they hopefully stay below a couple thousand. i jealously check to see whether anyone actually reading them has any effect on the numbers. sometimes i come in from the top and buy one of my own (as i need to have my own anyway....).

i get "author's copies" cheap, but that doesn't affect the ratings. you pay a couple of bucks each but then you pay shipping which is hefty. when you come in from the top you get free shipping (as my wife is a member of prime), but you pay full price for the book. then of course i get some piddling amount of royalty, and i get to watch the effect it has on the numbers. this is an interesting game. but since it all doesn't amount to a hill of beans (i'm not really getting what you would call "good sales," i might as well just do whatever is cheapest.

lots of authors hire people to do all the marketing. they have a more professional look about them and they are aggressive on places like twitter where it seems these marketers are searching out opportunities and hitting them methodically with a strategy and an aggressive plan. i always feel like somewhat of a wildcat out there, being much more sporadic, and only spending free time at times like this. and i also feel, there is very little return here. you make a lot of noise on twitter, and what do you get. a lot of noise.

it's my grown kids who are on twitter, though. so that's why i've started making the hashtags into secret messages to them. #readindie #shortstories #shortfiction #americana #stayhome #dontdoanythingstupid.


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