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Alley

Author Platform discussion (part 3)

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Let's discuss author platforms. This is a huge topic, so I'm starting a series with different themes/questions for each one. 

 

Part 3

 

What parts of each platform you are on do you dislike the most, and do not help you reach your audience as you expect, or you find completely useless? 

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14 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

Alley ("Superwoman"), thanks for doing this. It will be helpful to me.

LOL! I am glad it will help. I actually have somewhere I am going with this, and wanted everyone's honest options. 

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3 hours ago, Alley said:

What parts of each platform you are on do you dislike the most, and do not help you reach your audience as you expect, or you find completely useless? 

 

Goodreads: They used to run author supported print book giveaways at no charge. Years ago they were effective at getting your book in the hands of readers, and it often generated a review. Then the scammers came in to enter giveaways with the intention of reselling any books they won. Then it all came crashing down after Amazon purchased Goodreads and started charging for the privilege of giving your book away to scammers. 😣

 

Facebook: After setting up pages for my books, FB came along to suggest that I pay them to boost the visibility of my book pages. Otherwise, they will languish in obscurity. Hum...😒  

 

 LinkedIn: Pretty much a useless platform if you don't write in a genre that connects professionally.

 

Amazon Advertising (formerly AMS): Where do I start? Amazon has cultivated a pay-to-play system in order to further maximize their bottom line off the backs of their vendors. The advertising tool itself has become a complicated mess that few can master, and utilizes algorithms they won't explain. I liken it to gambling in Vegas against a loaded deck. The house always wins.     

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8 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

I liken it to gambling in Vegas against a loaded deck. The house always wins.  

Lovely. 🙄 

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I languish in obscurity.  Nothing I post resonates with the audience. The #WritingCommunity is just a bunch of writers who follow each other to boost their numbers.  Well, they are friendly folk and have interesting and amusing things to say, but I don't resonate with them.  

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Awww...widen your circle, Nicola. You want to connect with others who are readers. I can't imagine someone not wanting to connect with you! :D🧡

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Thank you Lynn! I got myself shut out of the forum for two days because of password trouble. That's how socially inept I am. 🙄

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On 3/25/2020 at 8:22 PM, Nicola said:

I languish in obscurity.  Nothing I post resonates with the audience. The #WritingCommunity is just a bunch of writers who follow each other to boost their numbers.  Well, they are friendly folk and have interesting and amusing things to say, but I don't resonate with them.  

This resonates deeply with me. Twitter, as I have said before, is rather like screaming into a void. Or, perhaps, like screaming into a secret club where you don't have the password.

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I have a website that is decent enough, but no great way to drive people to it. In a different era and a different business I had success with Google Ads, but when I went back to try it again for this last year I decided they had completely broken that system. I still tried an ad and it was useless.

 

There is a lot I love about Facebook, but as mentioned you now have to pay to boost a post otherwise you get just a handful of reactions from the people who already have your book. I certainly understand having to pay to attract new people; having to pay to make content visible to people who already actively liked your page is garbage. And in my experience, I never generate enough sales from an FB ad to actually break even on the cost of the ad. I just did a boosted post about my last award that got over 300 engagements, over 20 new page likes, and apparently 0 sales.

 

LinkedIn is totally useless for this. I'm actually not sure what LinkedIn is useful for anymore. I'm only still using it due to momentum.

 

IG is owned by Facebook so I'm not sure what extra benefit I would get, and I just don't have that many images to share.

 

Likewise for YouTube, there is no way I'm going to produce videos on a regular basis. 

 

I enjoy GoodReads personally but I haven't gotten anything out of it for this. When I've looked at their promotions I haven't been able to see how I would ever get the value out of them.

 

I have been reviewed by a couple of minor Christian book blogs, which as far as I could tell netted me zero sales. (I contacted about 40, but most of the Christian book blogs only review Amish romance fiction. Seriously) 

 

I've gotten a couple of awards, which cost me money to enter and as far as I can tell have gotten me zero sales. Some awards are outright scams, but even the ones that aren't mostly exist because they want to sell you other services after you win or place. Some I'm pretty sure are their way of vetting who they want to pursue as clients.

 

I've published a couple of articles on Red Letter Christians, which I believe got me 2 Kindle sales. 

 

I have an acquaintance who is a professional PR person and she is constantly talking about how she can make all sorts of amazing things happen... right after she talks about how people have to be willing to pay for quality PR. I'm blessed that I can sink some money into this effort without sweating it, but I can't pour thousands of dollars into a professional PR outfit with no guarantee of return. 

 

I haven't read parts 4 and 5 of this thread series, so I'm hoping that's the part where you all share the secret sauce of getting noticed in the crowded market without having to mortgage the house. 🙂

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6 hours ago, PenName said:

This resonates deeply with me. Twitter, as I have said before, is rather like screaming into a void. Or, perhaps, like screaming into a secret club where you don't have the password.

 

For sure! When I first started on social media years ago, I went with Twitter. I was doing okay and enjoying it somewhat. Comments on Twitter were like a puff of smoke. Gone in an instant. Then, I started on FB and I enjoyed it so much more. FB was more like a low-lying fog that hung around for a while. ;)

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11 hours ago, Nicola said:

Thank you Lynn! I got myself shut out of the forum for two days because of password trouble. That's how socially inept I am. 🙄

 

Ack! I'll never believe that, Nicola. 🧡 Btw, have you ever tried LastPass?

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