Direct or Indirect Marketing?

Crow in Kaslo - Bruce Witzel photo

As I cruise down the road towards getting the third book in the Crater Lake Series out and into the world, I am, once again, asking myself a couple of marketing questions. If you follow my blog or know me at all, you’ll know these type of questions make me nervous. But part of being a self-published author is marketing. No getting around it.

We live and learn, right? Or at least that’s what the old saying claims. For my first book, I went down a number of semi-expensive, mostly fruitless marketing routes. Though, that evaluation is subjective. What might seem expensive to me could be peanuts to you. One thing I’m sure of, I didn’t get enough bang for the dollars I spent.

On the second book, I was frugal and DIY to the extreme. On the up side, I’m not pining after the loss of money I could ill afford to lose. On the down side, I don’t think I’ve been that effective in getting the news of the second novel in the Crater Lake Series out there.

This time around, I plan to try a direct marketing strategy – one short email to inform people that the third book is out. I’ll include a pertinent Amazon buy link.

How would you feel about one such email? Would it seem intrusive? Or would you file away the information and move on? Would this type of notice put a book you might like to read a bit further up your purchase and eventually read list?

I’m also considering a change to how I interact on Twitter. When I started with Twitter, I vowed that all my tweets would be live and authentic. If you saw a tweet from me it would mean I was at my computer, in the midst of my life. Using a service like HootSuite to schedule and manage tweets seemed phony to me. Just another way to manipulate the whole social media world. Now I’m not so sure.

First and foremost, I don’t believe that Twitter sells books so I’m not planning to use it as a direct marketing tool. But I’d like to tweet more effectively in terms of raising awareness about myself as an author and maybe driving traffic to my blog. Perhaps, there’s no reason those type of tweets can’t be scheduled and allow me to do my other fun tweets on my own time – live and as real as any tweet can be.

Brief aside – always, I recognize that a presence on any social media platform is manufactured reality. But what reality isn’t manufactured to some degree? Let’s leave that philosophical debate for another post.

Do you do Twitter? If so, what do you think of services that manage the scheduling of tweets for you?

I still believe that this blog is my most effective indirect marketing tool, hands down above Facebook, Twitter or a static web page. It allows readers to get to know me and in that way become curious about reading I book I wrote. As an indie author, I build my following one reader at a time. It’s not a glitzy approach to book marketing or one likely to send me off on an expensive vacation any time soon. But it feels right.

Today, my view of the lake is grey to the extreme. Rain lashes the front of the cabin and the wind is whipping the trees on the cliff around in some kind of frenetic dance – whirling dervishes come to mind. For the first time this year, snow covers the mountain peaks and the old rhyme of April showers is far too tame to capture this onslaught of moisture.

April Showers - Guenette photo