Eight book marketing Mistakes – Review

I just found Reedsy via a Facebook link to this article. I set that link to open this article in a new window so you can read it for yourself.  I am posting it here because it will help visitors understand where and how Writerville can help them with their book marketing.

You're marketing to everyone​

Writerville, was my choice. I have further narrowed that to providing technical tips, tricks, and  advice for writers. Time will tell if that was a good choice.

Picking a domain is hard. Cost & availability being the two most difficult. I have some issues with the conventional domain selection advice. It is obvious many of the popular writing Gurus are technically weak and some of their suggestions are dreadful.

​You don't have a mailing list

That would be me. Although Writerville might change that. You will be able to tell I have gotten onboard the email list train if you get an opt in lightbox while you are reading this post. ​

​"That shouldn't be to hard!"

What a crock!

That statement is an example of how slippery concepts can be.  If by "Setting up"​ they mean open an account at MailChimp and create a list, then it is true. To bad that doesn't buy you much these days.

You need email management​

You need a mailing system that automatically handles the details of list management. Adds, edits, deletes, bounces, should not require you intervention. You need to save your precious time for writing!​ 

Do you write about unrelated topics or genres? Then you need an email management system that will let you subset your list and target your communications. Engagement will be much better if the folks who sign up for your list only receive communications about their specific interests.

This is why products like ActiveCampaign are growing so fast. They are built from the ground up to handle segmentation issues. Of course, no matter how hard they try to keep things simple, the complexity and the learning time increases.

You designed your own cover ​

I have mixed feelings about this one. I have a Kindle Unlimited subscription so I read a lot of books. My biggest frustration is book covers that look like an abstract painting when displayed at the tiny size of an Amazon thumbnail. I lack the artistic sense a designer needs to appreciate all the cover design nuances I am told are important. So cover design is not a topic on which I expect to have anything to say 🙂

Amazon categories and keywords are important​

I have listened to enough webinars about how to rank your books on Amazon to be convinced that understanding how books are given  Best Seller status and rank well is important. I know from some of the garbage that ranks well when I am searching that it must be there because the author has figured out how to game their ranking algorithm.  I have not yet been willing to pay to educate myself. I can see that time coming and it is a topic I expect to discuss on Writerville.

​Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads,  Pinterest, etc.

You can't do it all. Those "name" sites that seem to hire staff and virtual assistants to help them. If you are a one person show you can NOT keep up with it all. The platforms change quickly. Their audiences respond to different things. To get noticed you have to spend enough time on them you understand their culture and the information and presentation which works with a specific audience.

At Writerville I am working  Facebook & YouTube.

That is more than enough to fill the time I can allocate to marketing. I believe the advice to focus on one or two systems and work with them until you are confident they can not be made to work for your audience. I am trying to make the switch to video and both Facebook and YouTube fit into  my plans. 

Does free still work?​

The authors suggest that free still works if not as well as it used to. I have mixed feelings. I spent time today unsubscribing from a lots of lists. Ever had a day where you discovered you were registered for three webinars? Everyone is being told they should do webinars but there is a limit to how many work. They take a lot of time to listen to.

It's painful to spend an hour listening to a webinar and sales pitch and realize the actual content could have been contained on a single PowerPoint slide. While I will no doubt test the use of "Free" in my own marketing I doubt I will say much about it on Writerville.

You do everything yourself​

Guilty. I can accept the argument that to grow you need to delegate. Its hard. I have been collecting ideas about how to work with providers from places like Fivrr, and will probably try it at some point.

The key seems to be what kind of work you are hiring. Non technical people want to hire the technical expertise they lack. That means they can't tell when the programmer is lying to them. That's a bad position to be in.

What I think will work is to hire people to take over routine work you already know how to do. That way you can provide direction and evaluate the quality of their work. You know how long things should take and can immediately see if it has been done properly. That increases they chance both of you will be happy.

​I will be testing my own advice

There are a surprising number of chores required to maintain a website. One I did not anticipate was the nightly crop of spam comments. These people seem to have an unlimited number of domains from which to send their idiot comments.

I moderate all comments so every morning I have a list of them waiting for approval. For the topics I write about it is easy to spot the garbage. I make a list of the IP numbers and ban them. It slows them down a little. However, that is exactly the kind of task which could be assigned to a Virtual Assistant. ​

Is guest posting worth the effort

Guest Posting is often touted as a key to writer platform development .

You MUST have a platform and you must promote it to the world. If you don’t, your writing is doomed to vanish unread. So say the Gurus. They may even be correct. However, the average writer is doing well to find time and energy to write every day. Some of the lists of what writers should also be doing to build their Writer’s Platform would require a full-time commitment by the writer plus a support staff. It’s not going to happen.

What is Guest Posting?

Guest posting is when you write an article for a blog or article site and they publish it where their larger readership will see it. You normally get to include a photograph of yourself, a one or two sentence bio, and a link back to your site. The theory is this displays your work to a large group of potential readers who will follow the link to your Writer’s Platform website and become regular visitors and/or sign up for your mailing list.

Links are a vote of confidence.

Google uses links from other sites to decide how valuable your site is to others. The more links from other good sites the higher your site will rank. Getting your article published on a high ranking related site should help your own site rank. Unfortunately, so many people took advantage of this that the rules have been tightened and obtaining quality inbound links is more difficult than it used to be. Google is very aware of & works hard to discount the value of paid links, link trades, etc.

All links are not the same.

The person publishing your guest post can set your writer’s platform link to nofollow.  In fact, Google encourages/requires them to do that because they see your article as an exchange of value. In other words, a paid link, which is against their guidelines. Of course it also removes much of the value from your guess post.

Guest posting may still have value.

If your post is published on a site with readers who are interested in your topics some of them will follow the link to your site and see what you have to say. Some of them may sign up for your list and ask to be contacted when you publish new material. They in turn may mention your site to their friends/readers which may lead to good links from other sites.

You need good metrics.

The only way you will know if the effort of writing the guest post was worth it is if you have Google Analytics or some other tracking system installed on your writer’s platform website. That will let you see how many new visitors arrive after your article is published and give you some idea of the reward for the time you put into writing it.

AdSense Privacy Policy

AdSense Privacy Policy sounds like it should be something simple. It’s not.

Clicking this link will open a Google AdSense support page titled “Required Content” in a new window.  They describe some of the requirements for your AdSense Privacy Page but do not provide any kind of “Safe Harbor” language. They  say you must have a privacy policy but follow that with  “Because publisher sites and laws across countries vary, we’re unable to suggest specific privacy policy language. ”

Still thinking this privacy policy requirement for my little websites should be simple I did a search for “AdSense Privacy Policy”.

The first site that came up made it very clear I would have to create an account and pay them before I would get anything useful. The second site offered a free privacy policy. That sounded more like it, so I started entering the data they said they needed to create the policy. By the time I got to the third page of questions this “free” option was loosing its charm! The questions were getting so detailed and so intrusive I was no longer comfortable  providing them to a service I knew nothing about. I closed that window.

Looking back on the experience I think the problem is they have no idea what kind of website their automated  tool will be applied to so it has to work for all, no matter how complex. That means it would be massive overkill for my little sites.

AdSense Privacy Policy is a legal requirement

That means you have to have one, but I am not sure many/anyone really cares exactly what it says. I suspect it is a leftover from early internet days when visitors were not aware of how they could be tracked and  profiled from information their browser made public. Internet surfers are much more aware now. They also care less and worry less about it.

My Privacy Policy will be simple

I plan to write a short statement that says I don’t collect any information myself and the only ad service I use is Google AdSense. Then I will link to the Required Content page and tell them to go there if they need to know more.  Hopefully, that will be enough to keep everyone happy.