Minor marketing plan

While I’m going to write this mainly from the writer/publisher point of view I should point out it works across many businesses.

Let’s do the mechanical setup first. You’ve got a webpage on which you’ve a blog. On the side you have a link to your book(s) sales points. You want more visits because more visits means more click-throughs for your books.

Go to the sites of other books in your book’s genre and read their posts. Respond to the post on YOUR blog, making sure you have a link to the post to which you’re responding.

The linkback will show up to the other authors. Some will let the link show on their pages while others won’t. The majority of these will take a look at what you said, on your blog. If they allowed the linkback into their comments a lot of their viewers will follow as well. If they liked what you said in the blog then some, perhaps many, will check out your book.

It looks cynical, and in fact can be done cynically. But here’s the really neat thing in my eyes: if you actually take the time to be intelligent and add to the conversation, you’ll pick up converts. Even better, you’ll pick up people who are heard who will listen to you.

Back when I ran Priestly Endeavors (a World of Warcraft blog) I did this. Admittedly I did it for another reason that I actually consider more important. That is, I used it because I was taking MY readers to blogs I found interesting and useful. See, I was a strong third-tier blog, getting a hundred or so hits per day. If I commented on someone’s blog via mine, my readers would go there to read the original post to which I was responding, and would often browse through the site. What I learned at the same time was when the original was Big Red Kitty or Big Bear Butt or, well, any of the other top or second tier bloggers, not only did my readers go there but their readers would come to me, at least for a bit.

I said I had a hundred hits or so a day. That was fairly early. When I quit writing it I was approaching a thousand hits a day, and the majority were people who’d found me through these cross-visits and stuck around.

Be advised that if you do this in a purely cynical fashion, you will not only look like a spammer you’ll be a spammer. You will get a lot more long-term gain if you do not post just for the ‘look at me’ response. And if you’re going the indi-micro publisher route, you’re all about the long-term gain.

Instead of a digression, a spinoff. You’re going to find some of these people turn into close acquaintances if not friends. Do not be afraid to ask friends for a favor. (but don’t abuse them, ok?) In this case, “Hey, xyz, I’ve got this book about to come out. Will you read it and if you like it give it a review?” If you do this remember you’re asking busy friends and if they say not it isn’t because they don’t like you.

Heh – there are a couple of readers of this blog who, if I actually get this [censored] story finished, will get exactly that email.

The technique works. It won’t stand up to abuse, and if used correctly will pay greater benefits long-term over ‘just’ getting some of your books sold.

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