Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thinking About Local Markets

It's a small world - in many ways the Internet has made the world much smaller. My e-friends are scattered all over the globe. The readers of this blog are everywhere. (Which may be a blessing and a problem when the Great Migration takes place.)

I've been concentrating on marketing to e-reader owners all over. I've had some success, the numbers are trending up. What I haven't done is look to my own backyard for readers.

Now that I'm on the Square, things look different. I have hundreds of people I can see and talk to, face to face. People I never thought of as my customers, but who would be interested in a book written about a local restaurant. I've done no outreach to them at all.

Last weekend I did a sales push. I talked to a dozen people FtF and sent out many tweets and re-tweets. I even dropped a Smashwords code on Twitter to see if anyone would pick up the book.

I sold 4 books - and I know who I sold them to - FtF customers.

I wasted an enormous amount of time tweeting and re-tweeting. Time I could have spent talking to people who live around here. The shear volume of tweets ensures that some will be missed - unless you sit with the software open and read EVERY tweet.

The MAIN drawback: Twitter is just another Indie Writer's Ghetto.

I had nearly 200 followers in a couple of weeks - they were all other writers or services geared to writers.

Except the Restaurant software company who advertised 'The Best POS' software. That cracked me up!

Twitter is pushed as a marketing tool - some people say it is THE Marketing Tool of the 21st Century. Everyone has an agenda - and expects others to get in line.

Frak that - I've got more work to do that I can handle already. Learning yet another fast-paced culture is too much of a pain to do right now.

The Kindle and Nook boards are filled with people who push the Dollar Dreadful - which is a wonderful thing for readers on a budget. But quality varies radically from book to book. The downward pressure on prices has made it nearly impossible to sell a book on those boards at a reasonable price.

But for the locals - $3.50 for 'Let's Do Lunch' was a BARGAIN. Even $4.95 for 'Swallow the Moon' was welcomed as a reasonable price for an interesting story.

Every writer is different - we must all play to our strengths. So for now, I will look to the local FtF marketplace for my readers.

While I'm doing that - I'm going to be re-building my web platform. (Re-building or refining? Not sure, taking it to the next logical level for sure.)

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