Saturday 24 January 2015

William M Dean's Marketing Plan 1.0 Update

* My choice to follow every single person who requests it led to a Twitter feed littered with pornography. Finding something of substance to retweet was considerably difficult... and distracting. The good news is that a couple of weeks later, things had settled down a bit. There's still a lot of porn in my feed, but a lot of other things as well. The latest trend is unremarkable young people promoting themselves and/or their relationships and/or their body parts: Substance is drowning in a sea of banality. Recently, I am noticing that gay guys may be trending.

* I am going to try to alter the types of people who end up asking me for follows, by intentionally searching for and following a specific type—probably science fiction fans. Then Twitter should start recommending more of these new types and eventually, they will drown out the others. (update to the update: this plan worked.)

* My next experiment will be to stop following some people and see if they return the favour. If not, then I can work my way to only being followed.

* I've connected my FB page to my Twitter feed which has increased my Twitter posts by quite a bit. It does cause some of my FB re-posts comments to seem a bit brief and stilted as I don't want to exceed the 140-character Twitter maximum.

* One trick I found: Following the advice from the APE guide, I want to post 4 times, at least twice a day but could not make this work with my schedule until I realized that I had another Twitter account for work and retweeting my original posts can be done in a few seconds, at work. I am now trying to build the work account's audience so that my retweets will hit more people. This is not exactly the same as what is suggested in the APE guide, but I just can't work that out without help from an online service. I'm not yet willing to spend the money, but I am considering it.

* I still accept almost any Twitter-request to follow, but I try to keep the outflow pure with higher quality stuff that truly interests me. Following all the requests is now becoming a significant time-suck; probably 30 minutes a day. Too much for such a small thing. I will soon have to turn this task over to a service of some kind.

* Suddenly, I have hit Twitter's arbitrary following limit. Didn't know there was one. Anyway, once you are following 2000 people, some sort of algorithm kicks in and bans you from following any more until you hit a magic ratio of followeds vs. followers. Exactly how this algorithm works is a carefully guarded secret and it sets limits differently on every account. It has been a problem for many: CLICK FOR DETAILS AND SOLUTIONS Guess I'm now forced to unfollow some people.
   There's a lot of debate over this "feature" of Twitter—especially from writers who might be reaching out to everyone and anyone—but it forces you to cull and hone your list which might be a good thing. As I mentioned above, culling was going to be my next experiment, anyway.

* I no longer will follow anyone who's language I can not understand. There are messages I do not want to spread.

It's probably significant that the largest, closest hashtag to scifi is "free." An indicator of a trendy marketing strategy.

(ABOVE) on a related note...
is my new favorite place to go to improve my hashtags. The interface is better than, it's faster and I can interpret the graphic display much quicker than's graphs.

* The Facebook author's page is pretty much useless. You can't like other pages from it, you can't post using it's identity. I think I'm just going to direct people to my real life on FB. My friends will just have to suck it up and deal with being known as "William's Entourage." It's probably going to get messy.

* I rarely make it to Goodreads, but am increasing my presence there. Took me a while to understand that the only discussions that I can participate in are on books in my "have read" list. I must have already read a book to discuss it.

* A bit restricted, to me. My memory just doesn't work well enough to allow me to add to in-depth discussions on books I read 10 years ago.

* Another unexpected thing was that I had to rate every book on my reading list. I had read a couple of books by people I have met on Google+ and because I felt there were large flaws, I decided not to comment, review or rate them publicly. However, I still support those writers and would like to  discuss these books. Unfortunately,  in order to do that, Goodreads forces me to publicly rate the book. Now I feel that I should review them in full because the reasons I did not care for them were largely editorial and this may not be important to many potential readers.

* Seems very list-based without a good way to search and jump around. I can't see any way to like a comment or to reply specifically. Also can't see any easy way to mention someone's name in a comment. I'm sure that some of these features must be there.

* I have signed up for their author's program and linked my profile to my book. We'll see what that has to offer.

 * I read somewhere online that Amazon bought Goodreads and people think it will be absorbed. That might prove to be convenient.

* I always make it to LinkedIn though I do not like the platform and can't see what good it's doing me. As a result, LinkedIn informs me that I am an "All-Star!" top contributor! I contribute a comment to some thread or other about 2-3 times per week. I don't want to, but can't stop myself. It's because they email me directly with interesting new conversation topics. If Goodreads or Amazon did this, I'd get to them more often. This does graphically demonstrate the power of email.

Still my home turf and favourite place to be. Love the people and the communities there. I need to spend a bit more time finding readers. I want to be genuine and at least appear to be intelligent in whichever forum I participate and strangely enough, most straight-up, hard-core sci-fi discussions bore me so I haven't spent enough time in the sci-fi communities. I don't obsess about much except my writing career. Somehow, I will have to work this out.

I only use this as a repository for my original work and as a way to attach a url to specific images. I can use these url's to refer to an image on platforms that only allow links. I have somehow gained 8 followers. Two are known associates; how the rest stumbled upon me is a mystery.

* Rarely visit, except to check out new books or see if I have another review. My print book seems to have settled in to the 1.3 millionth postion in the rankings; the Kindle version closer to 700,000th.

* I think that in February, I will check the discussion forum out, rather than visit Goodreads, which to me is limited to discussing the most recent book I've read.

* I did fix up my author's profile so that it's linked to my book. I also added myself in to the top-seller's list using completely fictitious sales information. That lasted for about 3 weeks before it was removed. Those were heady days, my friend—heady days, indeed.

* Got my first 2 fan emails, thereby tripling the content of my exhaustive list of known readers. 

* Because of the way my "publisher," iUniverse, gathers stats, I still do not have any sales numbers. However I am not really looking forward to this information as it will probably be the only number I am disappointed in.

Overall, I am satisfied with the progress, however, being back at work after Christmas holidays has really impacted my ability to keep up with social media while continuing to write. I've slacked a bit, on the writing, but must soon reduce my reading, commenting and re-posting because, if I'm not writing, then why am I doing any of this?

Another thing that has come to light is that I enjoy talking with other writers about writing and marketing more than I enjoy talking with readers about science fiction. This could be a major marketing stumbling block and it must be addressed.


Post Script:
I stumbled upon this graphic about the best times of day to post on various platforms. Great info, but you've got to realize that it must be applied time-zone by time-zone. In other words, you will want to time your posts for peak-readership within time-zones that have the greatest number of readers. I don't have such flexibility, but am considering an online post-scheduling service.

to follow my progress,

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