Debra is a social media failure.
I will be the first to admit I am not very good at using social media effectively for promotion.
I really, really enjoy our conversations each week here at Heroines with Hearts, but as a marketing tool, I don't think blogs are very effective. At least for me personally. I've pretty much given up doing blog tours for my new releases. I found that I didn't get any new visitors, which means I'm not getting myself or my work in front of a different audience than I already have. Overall, my book sales have remained steady, so at least there hasn't been too much of a negative effect in not doing those tours. I still participate in one other blog, Book Beat Babes, but gave up the third I was a member of.
When I first got on Facebook, I was very careful to keep personal things off of my timeline. I only used my page for authory type news. But since many people who friended share personal information, I find my page filled with pictures of their kids, what they had for dinner, where they went on vacation, etc. Eventually the lines blurred for me as well, and I started posting personal things here and there. I am not on Facebook often, so again, as a marketing tool, it hasn't been effective. I do have a page, created by a friend, called "Fans of Debra St. John" which I really need to figure out how to use more effectively for book promotion. But again, if someone I've friended on there posts something personal, won't that appear on the timeline? Then personal and professional get all mixed up. This is something I need to investigate. I know many authors who have author pages on Facebook. I'll have to really study their timelines and see how it works for them to figure out how to make a page more professional than personal. With One Great Night, I tried a release party on Facebook, which was attended by several of my friends and fellow authors. But again, no one new. No one who wouldn't haven't known about my book already.
I haven't tried Twitter yet, although my publisher puts out a regular call for Tweets to share about our books on the TWRP Twitter feed. I think I may try giving Twitter a go this summer and see what happens. It will definitely be a learning curve, since I really am not familiar with it at all, but I'm open to learning something new!
Word of mouth...okay, so technically this isn't social media, but it can be a marketing tool. When my first book came out, my friends were so excited. They bought copies for themselves, their families, and other friends. Now that I have ten out, the excitement has died down a bit. When This Feels Like Home came out, I bought 30 paperback copies, thinking I'd sell most of them to my friends. Well, I still have a box of about 18 or so sitting in my den. I still let them know when I have a book out, but there doesn't seem to be a rush to buy them. Maybe they aren't romance fans. Maybe they don't like my writing. Maybe it's just that the excitement has worn off and it's 'same old same old' at this point.
I maintain a web-site, which I recently updated with a different theme and style. I have some ideas for adding a few more pages - pictures, a sub-page for each book, etc. - and I enjoy playing around with it, but I'm lucky to get half a dozen hits a month, so this probably isn't hitting any new readers either.
And I'm sure there are other things out there I'm missing.
What success (or failures) have you had with social media?
Until next time,