Book Marketing Tips and Farewell to Net Neutrality



If you read any online writing blogs or discussions, one of the first topics you'll encounter will be that of marketing your new book. There are mobs of new authors out there who appear to be convinced that the only thing standing between them and a stack of money high enough to climb and roll down is some uber-secret marketing plan.

Don't believe me? A cottage industry has sprung up overnight on Amazon alone, as hundreds of how-to books appear, each with titles like How to Make a Million Dollars Overnight Before You Even Finish That Pesky Novel or 100 Sure-Fire Tips and Tricks to Reach Best-Sellerdom and Quit Your Day Job and Show All Those Nobodies in the Crit Group That Grammar Doesn't Matter After All So Ha

I'd be a lot more impressed if these sure-fire can't-miss tell-all books weren't mostly written by people I've never heard of. I'd be even more impressed if many of them were longer than 15 pages, or contained fewer than half a dozen formatting and grammar errors on the first couple of pages. But hey, what's a fewe spellinging errorz between budding billionaires, right?

No marketing efforts can do more than temporarily boost sales of a bad book. And even good marketing plans can't propel goods books instantly into the sales stratosphere -- for every best-seller, I believe there are ten or a hundred equally good books languishing in the weeds, left behind out of caprice, not incompetence.

But of course there are actions and strategies any author can undertake to make the most of a fickle and ever-changing market. And since I'm a generous sort, I'll give my tricks and tips away for free (although donations are gladly accepted, after all, my one-way Mars rocket isn't going to pay for itself).

Thus, I give you Frank's Marketing Tips and Tricks for Authors. Use them with care, lest ye summon down a furious plague of royalties and movie producers!

Frank's Tips

1) Branding yourself is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. Not the kind of branding done to cattle in Westerns, though. Don't make that mistake no matter how many hits the YouTube video is likely to get.

2) Keep readers engaged with a series of high-profile crimes and arrests. Strive to have your booking photos plastered all over the net  at least once per quarter, and right before every new book release.

3) When using the Tweeter, maximize your content with lots of hashtags, abbreviations, and acronyms. HEY #AGHTY & CPHY @ASJESDF,#LOLOLOL SPDER/GHTY says what mere words can't.

4) Constant blatant self-promotion is ineffective and annoying, except when you do it. Automate Twits and book-face posts to remind readers to buy your new book every few minutes, or you'll be lost and forgotten by all.

5) Invite bloggers to blog on their blogs about your blog and then blog about their blog concerning your blog.

6) Google yourself. Pull the blinds down first, you pervert.

7) Always approach editors and agents from behind, while wearing cork-soled shoes, or they'll hear you coming and you'll struggle to force the chloroform-soaked rag over their mouth.

8) Book signings are a powerful way to reach and build an audience. Bookstore owners are busy people, so don't waste their time by asking permission before you set up a table and start signing. An attitude of quiet self-assurance and a pair of burly roadies named 'Big Mike' and 'Butcher-knife' are all you need to establish your presence.

9) Receiving a bad review is part of any author's life. But you're not any old author, so respond to a poor review with calm, professional mercenaries, who can be found for hire in the pages of Soldier of Fortune magazine.

There is a 10th tip, but it is so powerful and potentially dangerous I must wait and publish it in my own upcoming how-to book, which shall be entitled Writing For Big Bucks: How to Command Financial Mastery of the Publishing Industry With Only Two Small Ice Cubes, the Shinbones of a Hamster, and a 42-syllable Sanskrit Word Spoken Beneath a Total Eclipse, Part 1 (available in December for only $39.99).

And now, a few words about net neutrality in the US.

One word, really, and that word is 'goodbye.' The FCC, which is an acronym for 'F*ck Consumers Constantly,' is now run by a former Verizon lawyer who is going to wreck the whole net so he can buy another pair of summer yachts. 

Oh, you signed one of the many online petitions? Hate to tell you this, but Pai and his minions aren't even *reading* them. Or the comments, or the emails.

They respond to only one thing -- money. The ISPs have it, and you don't. 

So we're screwed, at least in the US. Of course we're screwed so many ways here these days Turkish whorehouses are taking note of the new positions. 

So it's back to dial-up speeds or higher bills, and maybe no access at all if you enjoy sites that lack the clout to lobby for special treatment. And won't it be convenient now, for some power-mad oligarch to take control of your access to the net? Yeah. Good times.

Well, there's always the old fuzzy blue-ink mimeo machines, snail mail newsletters, and 1990s style BBS sites, I guess. 

The future really isn't what it used to be.