Sunday 28 December 2014

William's Social Media Marketing Plan 1.0

I've been at this social media marketing thing for about two months, now.  I've learned a lot and formed a sort-of marketing plan—or, at least, established some priorities.

I would like to share this with everyone, partially because I like to share, and partially because sharing is the heart of a good social media marketing strategy.

Also, I just like to talk.

Here are some things you might need to know about me:

• I do not take a good picture. I'm actually much more handsome, in person.
• I'm 56 years old, have a wife and 2 kids (7 and 9 years old) and I put them ahead of my writing—though sometimes, it's a tough call.
• I am not a multi-tasker by nature—don't actually believe in it, for humans.
• I am not someone who can just chug out reams of material. I could, but it would all suck. (It takes me 2 years to get a novel ready for professional editing. A typical blog-post will take 3-5 hours.)
• I have written 3 full-length novels—all highly praised in publisher rejection letters. I recently self-published my most current sci-fi novel, The Space Between Thought, through iUniverse (a division of Author Solutions).
   It takes a few weeks for a novel to become available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. My novel began to go live on December 16th, 2014. As with all great science fiction, it started in Japan—on Kobo.  Marketing genius, or what!  By January 2015, it should be fully available, everywhere.
• I have a bit more time than most people as I only work 25-30 hours each week, at my day-job.
• At present, I spend about 4 hours each day, 7 days a week, at the computer trying to learn and contribute and connect. I don't watch a lot of tv.

The following regime may not be sustainable, however, I thought you might be interested in my priorities and intentions...

Using the material I already have to generate new material...
1) Comb through my manuscript for interesting quotes and one-liners. I can tweet some. I noticed that there are many Google Communities and websites dedicated to things like metaphors and similes, so I pull those kinds of quotes, as well. I will keep my eyes open for more venues into which to deposit my book quotes.
   I turn some of these into text-on-graphic jpeg's which I immediately post on a Pinterest board. Sometime after that, they get tweeted and posted as one-liners on Facebook and relevant Google+ Communities.

2) Extract one-liners and memorable quotes from my blog to use later in the same way as above.

3) Edit my unpublished short stories and make them available, either as a free/cheap kindle book or as gifts. I spend very little time on this, but at some point, I'm going to have to take a week or two off of social media to work on this book.

My blog posting rules:
• Make sure that it's entertaining and/or informative. No crap.
• Use hashtags. (check the popularity of a hashtag on before using.)
• Use entertaining pictures.
• Title the post in some catchy, but not irritatingly inaccurate, way.
• When distributing my blog posts, I try to include links to my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.

My personal rules when contributing to discussions etc: 
• No spam.
• Stay within a Google+ community's rules.
• Post only my blog-posts that are truly relevant to the Google+ community.
• Use the +name option to mention people whose posts or comments I comment on.
• If I see someone interesting, try to connect a bit. Engage in conversation, and/or follow them.
• Try to include "" when commenting in a discussion or on another person's post.
• +1 and Share, if I find something useful or interesting.
• If I stumble across something truly interesting and not already saturated, repost it on all my platforms, except my blog which I want to contain only original material.

Here are the forums in which I currently focus my efforts (in order of decreasing priority):

1st PRIORITY) Website: is a domain I own and redirect to my blogger account. This will be the main cache of my information. On this site I will have my regular blog, a bio page, A consumer section on my novel, a reviewer section on my novel with info like ISBN number, page count etc., a small gallery of pictures, contact info with links to every social media platform I am currently on.

2nd PRIORITY) Blogger: Express myself. Create original content about the things I know and the things I am interested in. Blog something significant at least once a week. This will include: Personal Anecdotes, Relationships, Marketing/Publishing Info, Japan, science, time travel, Apple devices, select movies, select books, observations about life. After publishing the blog, post it on Twitter, both Facebook pages, Google+ (publicly) and Pinterest.

3rd PRIORITY) Google+: My main connecting forum. Contribute to interesting discussions, curate interesting articles from communities I follow. Post relevant blogs into relevant communities; including non-writing-related communities. Keep learning about Google+ to make better connections.

4) Twitter: Follow anyone. Whenever I Tweet, I will Tweet 2-4 times, 8 hours apart. (The only exception to my anti-spamming policy, as encouraged by Kawasaki & Welch in their famous APE guide.) I should use the lists feature to segregate followers so that I can direct relevant info to each group, but t his is a long process and I'm already about 400 followers behind.
   At present, I am able to tweet something about twice a week. APE suggests several times a day! I do not think I can do this.
   I am still unsure how to really connect with people on Twitter... it seems so quantity-based. It's one of my least-favorite platforms, but everyone is using it and everyone keeps telling me it's useful. I am not sure I believe. In two weeks I was able to go from 14 followers to over 500. What can that mean? Well, for one, it could mean that you need about 500,000 to make a single significant random connection.
   One thing I do know is that you some people and organizations judge your value by the number of followers you have. Also, I am looking for readers and readers are everywhere so I see no harm in following anyone who will have me because most tend to follow me, in return. In the end, when I post something, if that post goes out to a million people, I am sure to generate some degree of interest.
   Jury's out on this one, but I actually like having followers and tweeting my blog posts and one-liners to see if I can get any retweets. Current record 9 retweets for my blog-post: The Untimely Death of William M Dean. Only 3 for my favorite one-liner... (see pic below)

5) Buy and Read Books by Other Authors and review the good ones on their Amazon page and Google+.
   I only do this for stories that I truly want to read. So far I have found and read 4 authors' debut novels. I liked 3 of them and posted good reviews on Amazon. I did not review the fourth. The writing was slick and the story interesting, but the novel was weighted down by poor editing. I know how difficult a thing it is to put your thoughts, talent, skill and hard work out there, open to criticism. I only want to help, so I only want to post positive things. Also, genre-addicts will accept a much lower standard, so it is entirely possible that his target audience is not concerned about technically deficient prose.  I did contact the author to offer my notes.
      NOTE TO AUTHORS: It might surprise you to learn that a review on does not get published on Also, just so you know, the preview feature is not made available on, though it might be on Look forward to a detailed post on this subject, in the near future.

6) Contribute to discussions in Amazon's Writer's Cafe discussion area. Always a lot of very interesting discussions. Side note: as soon as my book is fully online at Amazon, I must create my Amazon Author's Page. This is a free service offered by Amazon and it helps provide extra info to others, whenever you post a comment on Kboards.

7) Amazon "Meet Our Authors" Forum: Once my Amazon Author's page is complete, I want to check this out. I'll start by checking out the links offered on

8) Goodreads: Contribute to conversations there.

9) Facebook: Keep up with family and friends and post things of general interest on my main personal page. On my writing page, accept connections from anyone who is interested, but reach out to authors and readers, especially locals and ones whose writing I really like. I do not consider this to be a high priority.

10) Pinterest: Post all the lengthier blogs to one board. Post one-liners and short quotes to another board. Bring traffic from other sites here to discover the collected treasure trove of my genius. I'm new to this platform and still not sure how to connect with others. I have 4 followers.

11) LinkedIn: Maintain minimal presence. Mostly by connecting with other professionals in the arts and publishing world and randomly contributing to group discussions. I like this platform even less than Twitter, however, LinkedIn emails me with some interesting publishing discussions to which I can't resist contributing.

12) Email List (Readers/Writers/Individuals in Media or Book-Related Services): Collect whenever possible. Build a list. In APE, this is suggested as the single most important thing but I think it is also the most difficult. Right now, I am pretty much ignoring it, other than having a subscribe button on my blog which will collect interested parties. So far, one. I love you, Mom!

I suspect that this is more true than I suspect.

Another difficult, but important thing is keeping track of what I post, when and where. Within Google+ I am monitoring and contributing to at least 6 communities on a regular basis. I have to keep a spreadsheet to keep track of where and when I publish each of my blogs or one-liners. I do not want to accidentally spam by repeating myself on any forum.

At this time, I think that I am keeping up with most of the above. However, it is stressful as I feel unfocused; that I am spread a little too thin.

This list is for you, but it will also help remind me of my priorities so that I can ignore the lower ones, whenever the workload gets too heavy.

Above all, I want to keep writing—in the blog, for now and start the next novel, within the next year.

To follow my progress,


  1. I took notes and will put your advice to good use after the new year is in full swing and my fiction already will have passed a few stringent litmus tests.

    1. Just don't forget to watch for upcoming blogs on how my plan is going so that you can adjust what you do based on what ended up working for me. One thing since I wrote that, I really noticed that contributing articles to Google+ communities made my blog stats jump. I now typically get 1-200 readers per day on my blog. Before is was less than 20. Every time I post something, no matter how trivial, I get a spike. So I've proved that posting works. My ranking on Amazon seems to follow this curve, but it might be too early to tell yet. Good luck with your project and thanks for contributing your comment!

  2. Thanks for reading. Sometime in the next few weeks I will have an update revealing what I have learned about Twitter. You might want to watch for that.

  3. Thanks for reading. Sometime in the next few weeks I will have an update revealing what I have learned about Twitter. You might want to watch for that.