C. Kevin Thompson

Take it from me. When researching the topic of marketing for fiction, it seems there are about as many “experts” out in cyberspace and our local bookstore as there are writers of fiction. Each one believes they have the formula for success. Yet, when you check their sales numbers on Amazon or CBD (if they are Christian-based), their sales are often not very good. What does that say to you and me?

What it tells me is that selling books is a lot like creating a product. Some become household names, like Kleenex and Ford. Some were mistakes that found a purpose in another realm, like sticky notes and Rogaine.

Others never get past the cutting room floor.

In just about every case, marketeers abound. You’ve got your Ronco people, who appear in your face every Saturday afternoon and at night between the hours of 2:00-4:00 AM, offering their wares to the “Next 20 callers.” This has become so popular, a spin off crowd of QVC mavens have taken this concept to 24 hours a day! I wonder how many of these folks actually read books…

Then there’s the Guru group who put out ads in the next city on the tour, inviting you to a convention center setting for an evening. Their promise is to hand you their million-dollar fiction marketing makeover kit, regularly $599.00 for only $149.99. Others create companies that do the same thing and are primarily cyberspace cadets.

Lastly, there’s the “local experts” I spoke of earlier. They’ve written a book. Usually, it’s self-published. And they desire to sell it to you. They promise 10,000 followers on Twitter when their own personal account has only 702. Hmm….

What I do find amidst the noise is they all end up in the same stomping grounds. Arenas of expertise that seem to ebb and flow based on a variety of 50 Percent Off Shows Discount Promotion Advertisement Stock Photofactors.

For example, authors must have social media accounts, they say. What I’m finding is that most people on social media like me are doing the same thing. We all “like” and “follow” each other, but how many of us actually purchase and read each other’s works? Not get it for free in exchange for a review. Not wait until the eBook goes on sale for 99 cents. But actually buy it when it first comes out in all of its $17.99 per paperback glory?

Authors, they say, should hold promotional gimmicks like giveaways and swaps. Again, what many people are finding is these folks get the free copy, read it, give a review, and then sell it online…some of them making more money than the authors. Sigh.

Another thing is, authors need a website. I’d be interested to know how many fans actually go to their favorite author’s website.

What’s the point of all this?

Perspective.

Finding what works for you amidst all the noise is so critical. It’s really one big roll of the dice. Sometimes, we come up snake eyes. Other times, we hit it big. Some love social media and find that it works for them very well. Others see social media as the spawn of Satan. Some love book signings. Others would rather go to the dentist for a week of days before sitting behind a table, pen in hand.

So, find what works for you. Get good at it. Then, expand to the next trial and error method.

Build your platform.

One thing at a time.

One day at a time.

So that, in the end, it’s something you can live with.

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Short Bio

C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister, and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1.

 

Website:           www.ckevinthompson.com

Blogs:               www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com

http://www.thehelpfuleducator.blogspot.com

Facebook:          C. Kevin Thompson – Author Page

Twitter:            @CKevinThompson

Goodreads:        C. Kevin Thompson

 

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GraceC. Kevin Thompson - Author Photo and Peace from Hot, Muggy, Sticky, “No, you don’t want to move down here and retire” Florida! Really. If we get too many more people, the peninsula will break off and float out into the Atlantic. I hear North Carolina’s nice this time of year… They have golf up there, too. 🙂

 

It’s Marketing Wednesday. Since I am not a marketing genius, I always feel a little inadequate trying to help those of you in the writing business who are much further along in the “selling” aspect of the biz than I am.

I’m old school. Call me a fuddy-duddy. Call me old-fashioned. Call me crazy, even. I am a firm believer gallery-thumbnails (56) that good writing will sell books…eventually. It’s just a matter of time. God’s timing. All the tricks and gizmos and slants and talking points one can muster are all well and good, provided they are backed up with the ultimate test: Does the reader want to read on? Complete you’re the next chapter? Complete the book? Complete the series? Look for your next work? Tell others about you? If the writing isn’t good, they won’t be back.

So, the way I figure it, whenever I run across an article, a book, or a method that can help some of you take your writing to the next phase of what God has in store, then Praise Him!

gallery-thumbnails (57)Jayson DeMers is a regular contributor for Forbes. He “demystifies SEO and online marketing for business owners.” Well, that’s his claim. I guess I’m not a business owner, because some of the content he produces still mystifies me.

However, many of the things he covers, not only in this article, The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014, but in other articles he’s written, have information that can help a writer. Much of it probably applies more to a non-fiction writer than a fiction author, but there are still some principles fiction people can take away and use. There are also several links embedded in the article you may also want to check out.

Number 1 on the list probably applies more to the non-fiction crowd. Two, Three, and Four really apply to us all. Number 5 more for non-fiction. Six and Seven, everybody.

Hope this helps! Have a great writing day!gallery-thumbnails (55)

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KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister, and his published works include not only numerous articles in a varied allotment of magazines and newspapers, but also two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (OakTara, 2012; winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1 (OakTara 2013) – another award winner! You can find Kevin at the following locations online:

Website:          www.ckevinthompson.com

Blogs:               www.clevinthompson.blogspot.com & http://www.thehelpfuleducator.blogspot.com

Facebook:       C. Kevin Thompson – Author Page

Twitter:          @CKevinThompson

Goodreads:    C. Kevin Thompson

 

 

*Pictures courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 

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Author Photo.Christina Lusk.2.color

Grace and Peace to you from C. Kevin Thompson!

Does anything annoy you when it comes to authors marketing their own writing? A barrage of Facebook posts, perhaps? Sent out like Hootsuite clockwork to all the pertinent reader groups? “Buy my book! Buy my book! It’s only 99 cents for another two-and-half-days.”

Or what about constant twits from the infamous Twitterverse? “Buy my bk! Buy my bk! Only .99 4 2.5 more days.”

Okay, so I jest. A little bit. We’ve all probably been guilty of this kind of annoying marketing at some point. It’s one type, according to Jonathan Gunson, fiction authors should never do on a regular basis.

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