Friday, March 9, 2012

Tis a Writer's Life for Me! - Marketing!

Hey everyone, check out the new tabs at the top of this blog! Each one leads to a separate page that has all kinds of cool info on my individual books, including character pictures. Let me know what you think!

This week I've taken some time off from writing and worked on the dreaded, the insidious, the revolting and disturbing job of Marketing! Can you tell I don't like marketing?  Hey, if I wanted to sell things, I'd go back to working retail at a Christmas shop in Tennessee.  But I digress.

We authors have the internet and the invention of "Social media" to blame for this sudden overwhelming burdensome responsibility of "talking up" our books to any and every Sally, Jane, and Elma, sailing around on the cyber waves!  This includes but is not limited to:  Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Blogging, Google Plus, Linked-In, BookClub Networks, Gather, Myspace, Ning, Mylife and the new fish on the block, Pinterest!

And No, I'm not on each of those listed. There's only so many hours in the day! I mean, my real job is to write compelling stories that will keep you up at night. (In a good way, that is) And believe me, that is a full time job! So, that doesn't leave much time for all this other stuff. Frankly (and can I be frank with you?) I'm not very good at this social media stuff. In truth, I'm a introverted, social-inept hermit who would prefer to stay in my cave all day and night. Just the word, Social, causes hives to break out over my body.

If you feel the same way, yet you have a need to get out there and have your message heard, then here's some tips that have worked for me.

  • Be consistent on your blog. Blog every week or on certain days and stick to a schedule so your followers know what to expect on what day when they visit your blog. (On this blog, I do a devotional on Monday, A Cool Picture on Wednesday, and Something about Writing on Friday)
  • Be consistent in your Tweets and your posts on Facebook and don't use them to advertise yourself. Use Facebook to get to know other people. 
  • In fact, it's important to approach Social Media not as a marketing tool but as a way to get to know a lot of different people. 
  • Think of something you have to offer your "social" contacts, whether it be something instructional, something inspirational, something fun. That's why I do a devotional on this blog every Monday and something instructional every Friday. It's important to offer something of value to your social followers. 
  • Gather a group of devoted friends/followers who will help spread the word about your books or whatever it is you're selling. This takes time and energy developing this tight group as you get to know people on these media sites. 
  • And last, but not least, think of your interactions with others as a ministry not marketing. Jesus said "Give and it shall be given unto you"   Even though you may be trying to sell something, in God's economy, it's important to give freely first without any expectations and leave the results up to God.

That's what I try to do. I will use this blog and my Facebook to help promote my books from time to time, but the majority of the time I hope and pray you find it a comfortable safe place to come, get to know each other, be encouraged, and maybe learn something too.  I've made several great friends in the process and I love you all so much!!  Thank you for dropping by my blog and my facebook and all the other areas out there!  I treasure all your comments and your friendship!

Speaking of friendship, look me up on Twitter! I just joined!

So, what are your thoughts on Social Media? What do you use it for? Have you made new friends? Do you enjoy hearing what others are doing? If you are trying to sell something, has it worked?  Or are you one of those people who'd rather boil in oil than be social on the internet?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, opinions and if you have any suggestions on how a true introvert can use these social outlets better.


  1. Friday, March 9th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    For starters .... I think what you've done re the 'tabs at the top of your blog' ... is absolutely brilliant !!! Obviously ... you are so much more than just being an author !!! We all knew it ... you are "multi-talented" ... yes, "you" !!! Anyway ... you've done an amazing job with all the info in each and every tab ... and it promotes your novels. Wow, you've been one busy gal ! Great job !!!
    As far as the 'social media bit' re the marketing, etc ... alas, I too am a 'cave-dwelling hermit' for the most part. I prefer to just 'be quiet', in my own home, and read. Funny though ... when I do get out and about with others, I enjoy myself. But mostly, I'm a loner. (In fact ... there are 'times' when I truly just want to cancel my e-mail account, and, my FaceBook account. They 'can be' so addicting and time-consuming ... and I don't like that.)
    Yes, I've always found your blog-site to be 'a comfortable, and safe place to come' ... and that is 'why', I write on them, weekly.
    Keep on keeping on, MaryLu ... you are doing an outstanding job, truly !
    (P.S. ... very difficult to think of you as an "introverted, and a social-inept hermit" ... somehow, that description does NOT come to mind at the mention of your name !)
    Have a great weekend.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Absolutely LOVE your new tabs. What a great bit of information.

    Social Media - yep, you hit the nail on the head exactly. Using it to connect with readers or customers and becoming more human. That is exactly why we use social media. Thanks for the thoughts. :)

    I love your blog and thank you so much for the consistency :)

  3. Thanks, Ladies! I worked on those tabs all week.
    Brenda, yes I suspected we were alike in our cave-dwelling tendencies. :-) Yet, I too, enjoy seeing others as well. I just can't take a lot of social activities for a long time. I know I don't come across that way here.. but I'm usually all alone with my computer and I like it that way!

    Sheri, you're really good at social media! I've learned a thing or two from you!

  4. I love these new tabs!!! I really do enjoy hearing what other people are doing and have to say on social networks. By the way, I love how you do your blog so consistently!

  5. I love this post-its so true in so many ways. I know some people who spend more than four hours on facebook alone. How can they stand it? It drives me crazy to stare at a computer for even one hour. Seems like everybody is a slave to the computer, the t.v., or their cell phones. I have to constantly tell my friends to stop checking their texts when we hang out-its so impolite and doesn't make a good impression on me. A lot of people in my family already consider me the oddball, but my refusing to join the bandwagon has them all looking at me strange. It can be very funny at times. But I do go on every once in a while to say hi to people, and to respond to your blog! Oh, I also leave at least 2-3 bible verses on my facebook status. Its kind of my way of reminding people of whats important.

  6. Thank you, Heather!
    And Eszter, I LOVE your attitude. I completely agree.. we are all focused on our gadgets trying to communicate that way when people are right in front of us and all around! How many hours do people these days sit and stare at screens? Sooner or later, we'll forget how to communicate face to face!

  7. I am also a self proclaimed hermit. I like staying home. My family has to drag me out of the house sometimes!

    I have met so many wonderful people through Facebook. That is really the only socal media website I participate in. I have a Goodreads account, but that is more for my own personal use, than it is to interact with people. I don’t even have any friends on my account! I love being able to interact with you. I was bragging to my sister last weekend about how I am friends with you on FB and I follow your blog, and you even respond to me when I post something!

  8. Hi MaryLu--

    Went though some of the links and I can't believe how well you've "nailed" these characters! Have always loved Russell Crowe :) He'd be my choice.

    And, I've never seen a ship take on water up close---very scary! (re: the picture)

    I was reading the U.S. News and World Report special magazine for the American Revolution--
    out this month on news stands, and there's an article (a couple of pages) devoted to the American privateers of the Revolution. They cut quite a swath! I'd always known about the War of 1812, but not as much about the Rev.

    Also, they've devoted the latest issue of Early American Life mag. to the War of 1812 because the anniversary will be celebrated in several cities around the country this yr.(they post the schedule)and pay special tribute to the privateers & the tall ships!

  9. Emma, sounds like we are kindred spirits. :-) I rarely leave my house unless I have to! I tried Goodreads too.. even joined some reading groups but find it much harder to interact than Facebook. And of course I respond to you.. I try and answer everyone. That's why I have this blog!

    Pat, glad you liked my book links! I need to do some research on the privateers of the Revolution.. sounds like a great idea for a new series to me.
    And now I see there's another magazine I need to subscribe to. Thanks for telling me about it. :-)

  10. I only use Facebook and Blogger. I have a Twitter account but rarely go on it. And then it's only to read what other people said lol. I never post anything. I don't understand all the # and RT. It's so confusing!!
    On facebook, I usually just post fun/conversational/social things. Every once in a while I will post something about my business. Haven't been doing that long enough to see if it makes a difference, though.
    And as for my blog, I just post random thoughts, Bible verses, poems, pictures, etc. Nothing too personal, since anyone can see it. And nothing really about me at all, just the subjects and activities that I enjoy. I don't have much of a following on there, but it's a nice outlet for the wannabe-writer in me :D