Marketing Update: Lessons I Have Learned.

In honor of the massive number of new followers I have on Twitter, most of whom are writers themselves, I thought I would post some of the things I have learned about marketing so far this year. This is the year I try to teach myself marketing and self-publishing, and it is a long, slow road. See, unlike writing, I haven’t been actively trying to learn this stuff since I was fifteen, nor have I been building up an unconscious core competence in it since I learned to read at age three. So, two warnings:

  1. This is VERY basic stuff, which I provide to those more ignorant than myself. Yes, they’re out there.
  2. Some of it is probably wrong. Feel free to correct me.

I got the massive number of new followers on Twitter as a result of the latest thing I learned that no one told me about regarding building a Twitter following: There are people who will essentially throw out invitations to reply to a thread and follow everyone on it for follow-backs. This is a tedious process, but I went from ~70 followers to ~300 followers in less than 24 hours by jumping on one of these. I realize that’s VERY small cookies in the Twitterverse, but its about four times as many cookies as I had before. So, without further ado:


  1. Learn to convert your WP documents into Kindle/.mobi format. It is challenging, but worth it. Just one of the benefits is that it makes life a lot easier for your beta readers. And it’s essential to doing self-publishing. I used Calibre. It’s not the most intuitive, but it gets the job done.
  2. Know your beta readers. Friends, even friends who write, aren’t good enough. You really have to find people who are down with specifically the kind of thing you write. Be aware also that your perception of what constitutes any given genre (horror, epic fantasy, YA) may not be the same as THEIR perception. And you need to read them back. Do a good job.
  3. Do not be afraid to ask people more experienced than you are at this for their advice. Many of them are happy to share.
  4. Do not be afraid to ask elder authors for blurbs. You will get a lot of “nos.” That’s okay. That’s the same as getting published. The default answer to not asking is always “no.” You lose nothing.
  5. Always be polite. Never suck up.
  6. When you ask for criticism, be willing to take it, no matter how much it hurts.
  7. Most importantly, BE WILLING TO LEARN.
  8. Equally most importantly: ENGAGE WITH QUALITY MATERIAL.

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