There seems to be a critical mass for marketing efforts. I’ve observed it in action a number of times, and I’m seeing the other side of it right now.
The critical mass happens when you have enough followers on social media that at least some of them are sharing your posts, retweeting your tweets, following what you post. I don’t have that right now. It starts with content though, having enough that is interesting to people that they want to come back to your website, to find out what else you have to say.
This means building up a lot of content, and that’s the phase I’m in right now. At this moment there are 40+ posts on this blog, not quite one a day since I started it. I try for one a day, and sometimes I miss one. It’s cool, but not nearly enough. Google hasn’t really started to like me yet, especially since I’m not using my keywords often enough yet. Most of what I write is genre fiction, specifically Science Fiction or Horror. Not that much of my content is about those genres yet – although when I finally launch my novel that will probably change. Specifically my novel is Zombie Survival Horror. I suppose I could have started making all of my posts about those topics from the start, but I wanted to write about writing on here – the content of what I write is only a part of that. So, I need a lot of content to get the words I want to be high on the search list to actually appear often enough.
Twitter. I have, at last count, thirty followers on twitter. At least two of those followers are companies I used to run or was involved with, and so they don’t really count. Another one is an ex girlfriend I’m not on speaking terms with. She doesn’t use twitter, so she hasn’t bothered to unfollow me. Right now my tweets are just vanishing into the ether. That’s fine though, I don’t really expect it to be different at this point. I really haven’t said much of interest on twitter.
Then there’s facebook I’m good on facebook I have hundreds of friends on my friends list, and something like 10% of them have liked my authors page – it has more followers than my twitter account does. I have been using twitter for something like 5 years, I told people about my facebook page two days ago. However facebook makes user engagement challenging, wanting you to pay for boosted posts. Don’t get me wrong, I plan to spend some money on my marketing efforts, but not yet – it’s too soon for me to be paying money. Once there is something to buy, cool… my two 99 cent short stories don’t really fill that role very well (although you should buy them – seriously, they are awesome! If you don’t want to buy them, they are also available on this site for free, but you could give me a quick review on Amazon if you did like them, I would be grateful).
So, this is all building up to a critical mass. Once I have enough content, enough tweets, enough facebook posts, enough blog posts, all of it starts to work together. It snowballs – briefly. I still need to produce books though. One book just won’t do the trick, not only does every single thing I’ve ever read confirm that, my intuition does as well. People who like my book are more likely to buy other books I write… clearly having more than one is an advantage.
To that end – I use a piece of software called apollopad to write. I have 13 writing projects created there, and at least another dozen as ideas sitting in Google Drive. Now, I don’t work on most of those right now. I need to finish the current project before I can allow myself to do those ones. A few of those projects are series. For example, my current novel (working title: A Long Walk) is the first book in a series. Don’t worry, it’s stand alone. You don’t have to read the others for this one to be finished. In fact the rest of the series is set twenty years after this book. It’s an exploration about what a society would look like if it evolved after a zombie apocalypse (while the first book is the zombie apocalypse).
I also have The Tales of Jenny Dark – Urban Fantasy/Lesbian Paranormal Teen Romance. I promise it’s better than that description makes it look…
Nic Styx – CyberNoire with a hefty dose of humour. Nic thinks he’s the hero in a 30’s detective thriller, but he isn’t and this isn’t that world.
Tales of the End Times – Post singularity weirdness. The early parts are hard SF. Later it reads more like epic fantasy.
Transcendence – A street kid develops a hive mind.
So, those are a few of the series ideas I have in the works. Each of them is planned for many books. Thing is, that’s what will make or break me as a writer. The more of these books I get written, especially series, the more likely it is that I will make sales.
That’s my critical mass.