Saturday, June 2, 2012

Social Media

Tell us about your online marketing and use of social media.

I am marketing challenged. If it wasn’t for Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and the web in general, I have no idea how I would promote my book. I’d be forced to send hundreds of query letters and synopses to literary agents in hopes of getting signed.
That’s how I promoted my first book (for children), ‘Being Is Good’. I received 60 rejection letters before an agent (Parenting Press) showed interest. In my query letter, I made the mistake of mentioning the next ten books that I intended to write as part of a series. They were interested! (but in the entire series), and asked me to send them the first three books. Looking back, I can’t figure out why I never wrote the next two and contacted them again. Maybe I will now…
Anyway, I hated sending those letters, and hated the rejection mail even more. It takes one tough cookie to not be affected by sixty letters of disinterest. If I can’t pull of the marketing of Scarlet Begonias by myself, I’ll be forced to go that route again.  Except now the task has been made simple as pi by  They have the contact info for every agent in every genre and what kind of submissions they are looking for. You can make a custom list of agents, and keep notes, and track status, and even send your queries right from the site – it’s a dream come true…if that was my dream.
My dream is for the book to gain momentum by word of mouth.  If it is compelling enough, and high profile people give it good reviews, then interest will grow like some recursive virus, and the book will sell itself.  That is my dream.
So, who are these high profile people?  How do I get my book in their hands? How many friends do I need on Facebook before I dazzle one of them? Where should I advertise and how much should I spend? (I’m currently advertising on – top billing shared in rotation with nine other ads) The site averages 25,000 hits per month, so if 10% of those see my ad, then I’m reaching 2500/month.  If 9 of those 2500 (about 0.4 %) buy my book on Amazon, then I’ll be breaking even.  If they buy from my website,, then I’ll break even at 5 sales.
But, I created my site myself and it looks pretty rinky-dink.  Brian Markovitz (from has offered to re-vamp it for me, but the prospect is overwhelming to me. I’m not sure why.
I’ve been trying to get as many friends and page likes as possible on Facebook, but I don’t think I’m approaching it in the best way.  I need direction.  Should I make a group? Should my book be a page, how do I get my personal profile and book page in sync? How do I get my 300 friends to like my book page? If they like it, does that increase my chances that they will buy it?
Some people post like posting fools on Facebook. Is that what I need to do? Or should I be replying to other peoples’ posts on their pages? My admin page tells me how many people I am reaching and the percentage of virility each of my posts has. But I have to be operating as ‘Scarlet Begonias’ when I post, or else it doesn’t count.
I want two buttons on my facebook page. One to go to my scifisteph site and one to go to Amazon.  How do you do that? 
And I have no idea how to use twitter – at all!  Somebody please explain why it is better than Facebook.
Any and all marketing advice is welcome – please post on

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