Home » Business » Marketing a Self-Published Novel: Part 2 of 5

Marketing a Self-Published Novel: Part 2 of 5

So I did a poll, here in WordPress and on Facebook; asking all my friends, family, contacts, former co-workers if they would click “like” to show they would re-post, re-blog or re-tweet up to three marketing posts for my novels each week.

Between all the people I connect with online, I probably know 200 people. If all of them re-posted or shared my updates and such, that would probably be around 5,000 or so sets of eyes seeing my posts. The idea here is to get eyes on the books, see how many people would be interested in buying them, and see if it is possible to market the books virally, and maybe get noticed by a traditional publisher that way.

But it didn’t work at all. For whatever reason, all of 17 people saw the post in Facebook, and three people saw it here in WordPress (all of them were Facebook friends who linked to the article from there), while 78 people had seen my previous post (Part 1 of this message).

Of the 17 people who saw the poll, three really good friends clicked “like” in Facebook.

What I learned from this is that it’s really cool to be able to see the numbers on Facebook and WordPress. But the timing of that poll message was poor. Hardly anyone saw it. While viralization is probably a great way to get a message out to large numbers of people, the jury is out on whether an unknown person can make money on creative endeavors this way.

Would the results have been different if I had 3,000 “friends” in Facebook, and 500 “followers” here in WordPress? Maybe someone in that category can try a poll.

That wedding proposal performed and filmed here in Portland last year got a bazillion YouTube views, but those people weren’t trying to sell anything (I think), and what they did was amazingly complex and challenging (how do you get 60 friends, family and neighbors to¬†choreograph and rehearse that without the bride-to-be knowing anything about it?).


8 thoughts on “Marketing a Self-Published Novel: Part 2 of 5

  1. Is it possible that some of them might not have fully understood what they were to do? I may even have been in that category.

  2. Viralization is a fickle mistress. Some deserving things go unnoticed and some not-so-deserving ones hit the big time. I just got back from vacation, so I haven’t seen your poll yet.

  3. Vince, I have a contact that might be able to help (maybe). His name is Justin William Price and he just got a book of poetry published. Not sure if he self-published or what. He’s with Sweatshoppe Publications (http://sweatshoppepublications.com/). Maybe a point of entry?

    I wish you the best. Let me know how it goes and what you did. I’m curious myself as to the “mysteries of the process.” I think I need me some rejection letters…

  4. I think timing of the post on WordPress has a lot to do with whether people see it or whether it gets slowly shuffled under the accumulation during times when posting traffic is high. I know I’ll post one thing and get two views and then another similar thing (keyword and category wise) at a different time, and get 20 times that. Strange. And the more I attempt to use Facebook to promote my book or my Kickstarter project, the more I see of external people donating and buying and the less I see of friends supporting my causes.

    From everything I’ve read, I think having a huge, loyal following is the best way to promote anything. Like in the thousands.

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