Sorry if last week I was a little down beat. The sole purpose of this blog is to encourage, motivate and inspire. So, please excuse me for a couple of sentences while I metaphorically clamber onto my soapbox.
Authors can be sniffy creatures. At the moment there are a lot of turned up noses at much of the stuff that is being self published on the web. Admittedly, in my opinion, some is a lot better than others but the point is that is only my opinion. There is, believe it or not, a market for just about everything. Actually some of the stuff I consider really bad is really enjoyable because it's so awful. Like those old Hollywood B Movies with titles like 'The Brain Who Took Over The World'. That's right, no matter who you are there are people willing to pay for the privilege of reading your books. The trick is finding them.
An article in the March issue of 'Writing Mag' enttiled "Survive the death of the web" pointed the way forward. Rebecca Woodhead is of the opinion that no-one surfs the web any more. Not even Californians. Most people now hang around social websites and interact meaningfully with other people around the globe. This is where you will find folk who want to read your book, or buy your product or engage your services. We would all rather engage with people we know and trust and this includes when it comes to parting with our hard earned money. If you are genuine and honest you can build a loyal fan or client base and enjoy the experience of making new friends.
How? That's the obvious question that springs to mind. Social media marketing has been taken seriously by global companies for some time. What holds good for them holds good for us as individuals. Facebook is the home to fanpages of numerous big hitters like the recent 'Twilight' franchise.
It is also home to the fanpages of lesser mortals! This is one I just created for 'A Christmas Carol Revisited'.
As you can see it has the video I showed you last week embedded. There is no reason why you cannot create a similar fanpage. I am now more than half way through writing 'Fanpage Riches' which will show you how to create such a fanpage and attract interested visitors. The reason it is taking me so long is because I decided to add a whole section on Google+.
* IMPORTANT UPDATE
I have just discontinued writing Fanpage Riches. The reason being, the more I looked at Google+ the more I realised this was the perfect network for aspiring authors and entrepreneurs who wanted to connect with a large interested group of people fast.
Consequently I have undertaken considerable research and the result is Google+ eXplosion, a step by step illustrated guide to creating a list of hot prospects through the internet's newest social network that already has around 50 million users and is growing at a phenomenal rate.
Google+ is set to become massive and while it has not yet attained the heights of Facebook and Twitter it has many advantages over them both for those just of you beginning your marketing journey as authors or entrepreneurs. There is also little doubt that Google+ will grow exponentially month by month, numerically and in terms of its influence on Google's mighty search engine. Google+ eXplosion will be available by mid-June in Kindle or eBook format. Subscribe now and you will be the first to know when it rolls off the press!
The one thing that seems to freak people out more than any other is making a video. Years ago when the internet was still only a little web inhabited by a few small spiders I took my courage in both hands and ventured forth. I had just completed a math program that had taken years to research and write. It was never going to be a best seller so I needed to give it every chance if it was going to survive and flourish. Never at any stage did I imagine I would create a video promoting it that has now been viewed online 1,795 times on YouTube. To be honest its not that good a video really. The truth is you will learn new skills if you enjoy the process and if the process has a purpose. Which of course for you it has.
Video marketing is huge. Just look at the impact of YouTube. If a video goes viral look what can happen.
This is a snapshot of the Most Viewed videos in the How To & Style category as of February 18th. The figures are mind boggling, 138,499 views in 6 days! It's just two women a video camera and some make up. Hardly 'Lord Of The Rings' is it? If just 1% of people watching responded that's 1,385 sales in six days. No complaints if my book sold like that. If you had a fanpage to link to then it becomes a really powerful marketing tool. Once I finish 'Fanpage Riches' I intend writing a book on how to create videos cost effectively for YouTube and your fanpages. Yes, it will be free, I promise.
GoAnimate.com is a website I absolutely love. It will feature prominently in my ebook that I haven't got a name for yet! Animation has always fascinated me and this site allows you to make your own animations with ease. Go check it out and view some of the fantastic animations that people have created. It's a storehouse of ideas and inspiration. It's also a perfect place to create a promotional video. It's free to join so dip in and have fun. They have a feature that allows you to upload your published animations to YouTube. If you want to create your own characters and unlock the voice features there is a fee but that's up to you entirely.
Case Study: Jack's High
Jack's High is a sitcom based around the members of a bowling club situated in the Welsh valleys. The BBC are currently considering it but despite giving me very positive feedback in these financially constrained times I won't hold my breath! Having invested a lot of time and to be truthful become very fond of the characters I decided to animate some of their exploits and upload them to YouTube. GoAnimate has a feature that allows you to record your voice and sync it to the character. I employed this feature to see how it would work out so the voice you hear as Vernon is my own. The other characters have American accents not because there has been a mass emigration from America to Wales but because the voices provided by GoAnimate are mostly American. Take a look and see if you think it works. You may notice a guest appearance from a famous American 'actor'.
Next Week: Life Saving Software