Friday, September 10, 2010

The Cyber-Land of Confusion

As I continue to market 'Let's Do Lunch,' I am struck by the strangeness in the world of forums.

It is a hostile environment.

I suppose you can't blame each forum for creating rules based upon their experiences. Faceless spamming is annoying – slapping a book plug into random threads is enough to irritate anyone. I had enough bad experiences with flaming trolls and creepy sock-puppets on Autho' to empathize to a certain extent.

However, I'm convinced there has to be a better way.

I've already decided that LinkedIn has far too many people shilling services to all and sundry. However, I get many hits from the site. They are definitely a source of hits, if not a source of sales. I have decided to keep a presence in the discussion groups, but send people to the blog so I don't have to repeat myself.

British literary salon Litopia has arcane membership rules. Membership is based on the number of posts (either 50 or 250 I've see both mentioned) after that you have to submit a sample of your writing to some unknown entity (and pass a grammar test?) in order to become a full member. I don't have time to read and comment even 50 times. I doubt their market for women's fiction is large enough to justify my time and effort to obtain full membership.

Kindle boards has me thoroughly confused – I'm not going to remark further. Suffice to say that there are WAY too many people selling books. They have rules for everything. Blogspot tells me that I'm not getting many hits from that site.

Good old Face Book is a winner – their networked blogs function appears to be the source of most of my blog hits. Since joining networked blogs my hits per day have doubled. It may well be worth the investment of time and money to take out an ad through them.

I did enjoy the brief time I spent on the Authors on Show site. It has a good mix of US and UK readers and writers. Lorraine has been kind enough to link to Jordan's Croft – I really need to get over there and learn their site.

Oddly enough – I have not found a forum for Smashwords. I think I've missed it. I do enjoy their coupon function – I made one up the other day. (See the Books by K.A. Jordan page.) However, until I go over their marketing guide a couple more times I don't think I'll get the jist of it. It took me two weeks to understand Amazon DTP so I'm not going to sweat it. FWIW 'Lunch' was accepted by the premium catalog. I could go to iBook if I got an ISBN number.

The total waste of time this week was the Amazon Romance forum. I was taking part in two discussions – very lively and interesting. The first was deleted by Amazon, the second was taken over by a pro-erotica contingent.

The good news – 'Let's Do Lunch' continues to sell steadily. Since the price has increased to $2.99 I have made as much money in one week as I did the entire first month.

The bad news – 'Swallow the Moon' has fallen afoul of my chaotic life. The book hovers at just under 59.5k words. While I sit down to complete this pass every night – it seems there is always some crisis distracting me. If it's not the fox after my chickens in broad daylight, it's Trouble racing down the road.

Farm life has drawbacks.


Jean Davis said...

Good information here. Thanks for sharing and I wish you many sales! :)

Rosanne Dingli said...

Kat - I am so glad to hear of your good eBook sales. I wish I could say the same for mine: perhaps eBooks are just not my thing. Perhaps my covers are not good enough. I'm off to look for your cover.

Ms Kitty said...

Rosanne - I glad when my e-book sells a few copies a week. I didn't get into this to get rich quick, which is a good thing. (G)

I am trying to get an idea of how internet marketing works. "Lunch" is an experiment - I've learned a great deal and made a few bucks on the side.

I've been experimenting with Face Book advertising, just the free stuff so far. I intend to keep tinkering until I understand what works.

I must say that I'm finding the most exasperating way to 'spread the word' is on the forums. I've been caught up in a couple of catfights and blown my top twice this week.

I'm going to take it easy for a few days - after 6 weeks of formatting and marketing, I'm tired.

Ms Kitty said...

Speaking of confusion - I have just discovered why I couldn't get into the Authors on Show website.

I had the screen too large. If I could read the type - I couldn't see the whole page.

Grrr - this middle age stuff is for the birds. I'm going to have to surf the web with my reading glasses on. lol