Sand Castle Marketing

IMG-4574In the past week, when thinking about PR and marketing my upcoming book, I’ve become a bit depressed. The more I search out, the more it feels I’m building castles made of sand. Everything online changes so fast, by the time I decide to use a marketing tool, will it have melted into the sea? What set me off this week was hearing from many writers (via email and posts on Facebook) talking about a new rule: writers who set up mailing lists, like for newsletters, are subject to new rules. They have to be transparent about how they will use reader information. These letters and posts I’m seeing ask contacts to sign up for their list again and agree to a privacy policy that meets new standards.

It’s a bit confusing, just one more of the many marketing “tools” that flow like sand through my fingers. Then there’s the persistent rumor that Facebook business pages (for authors these are known as fan pages, and yes I have one) will cost authors, thus we should drop our fan pages in favor of group pages, which are free and better.

I don’t have a newsletter and have never collected a mailing list which lets me out of the first headache of crafting and sending out an email to my readers, asking them to re-sign. As I understand it, websites and Facebook page notifications are not included in the new rules. It’s just if you send a newsletter. Plenty of people have encouraged me to send a newsletter through the years as a marketing tool. I never did it and now I’m glad. I feel like everything people need to know about me, they can find out on the website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

As to the mob saying “Don’t use Facebook business pages and pay to advertise your books, instead use Facebook groups where advertising is free.” Just like I didn’t see myself sending out newsletters, I don’t see myself having a Cindy Harrison Group, ever, on any platform except this one. I’m an writer who just wants to write. Every year or two I want to talk about my new book, but only to people who are interested. I can do that here. So, after all the hoopla, here’s my plan, as least this week:

I will work with my publisher’s marketing guru on my Facebook business page. I’m still going to advertise when the new book is released even though it has costs associated with it. And I’ll still post a link to my weekly blog there, which is free. I don’t see writing my blog as advertising. I don’t use my website to advertise anything but my books. I write this blog because I enjoy talking about writing and books and relationships. And yes once a year or so I do promote a new book. I’ve been blogging a long time (since 2002!) and it’s nice to have a few places to drop the link, like Twitter and Facebook.

I’ll ask my web manager if I should put up a privacy policy on the landing page of my website assuring people I will never use their personal information. I never have used anybody’s email to send them anything, let alone unsolicited “news” about a new release, so I think people who do read the blog or visit the website already know that I’d never use their personal information for spamming, which is really what the new ruling is about. I’m all for stopping the spammers!

I’ve settled into the slightly more upbeat view that NOT being a hard-core marketer who uses every tool available will, at times, work in my favor. Perhaps the answer is really that simple: only do what I like doing. It’s always been that way. If it makes me feel uncomfortable, I don’t do it. The exception is I’m going to do public appearances, despite my aversion to public speaking, but that will be fine. I know those ropes really well as I had to learn to handle them when I became a teacher many moons ago.

After much ado about nothing, I’ve reached a place of peace with it all. For now. xo

 

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. I’m not sure about this rule that writers who use mailing lists have to be transparent… just writers? What about all the other zillions of people and companies that use lists? Who made this rule? How do you know if it really applies to you? I’m confused. When people sign up for my newsletter from my website, I state upfront that it’s so they don’t miss a giveaway, event or announcement. I assume that’s sufficient. I send out a mail campaign about once every couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s sufficient Linda. It’s not just for writers. It’s for business on the internet. It’s called GDPR. And the real intent is to stop spammers who illegally sell email lists.

      Like

  2. Great anology, Cindy. Just lately (and nothing to do with my rapidly advancing years) everything seems to slip through my mind and fingers like sand, and I’m not quite sure what to do about it.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I love slow days filled with writing and/or reading a really good book, when I actually feel myself dialing down all the activity. I start to panic when I have too much going at once. Life is unpredictable for sure so I savor those days when I can relax and recharge.

          Liked by 1 person

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