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The Marketing Conundrum

If it Defies Father Time, it Passed the Test

There I was, with my morning off from the Dreaded Day Job (DDJ), pacing one end of the library to the other, staring at the floor, arms crossed.

 
How do I reach a max audience for Northern Knights, my first book in the Lord of Columbia Series?

 
Here’s a brief list:

 
1. Social Media? Check.

 
2. Amazon Author Central? Check.

 
3. Triberr, Pinterest, Blog? Check.

 
4. Engaging my audience? Check.

 
5. Building Email List? Check.

 

Early Results?

For a new author with zero reviews and zero credentials as recent as last month:
Fair.

 
120 sales.

 
Nowhere near enough to make a living off this, but a good start. I even snagged a review and a second one on Goodreads.

 
Good early returns, too.

 
Feedback from those who’ve read it and don’t even read in the genre?

 
Excellent.

 
Fantastic.

 
But, to make things take off to the point I can flip the double bird on the DDJ and walk out while firing my boss?

 
120 sales and KENP Page Reads won’t do the trick.

 

My New Hope

Ah, living the life of a millennial. How do we advertise?

 
Social media, of course!

 
Because when we’re social media famous, we’re famous these days, right? Just post a picture or update milestone and the Likes pour in!

 
Fantastic, if you want to pump up your ego.

 
And how many times have I read articles where Facebook and Twitter ads are, well, ineffective?

 
99% of the time.

 
Yet, the new hope, the answer to the marketing conundrum, is in front of me.

 
No, it’s not my laptop or phone screen.

 
Far from it.

 
No, this is an ancient, ancient tactic.

 
We’re going back in time, because there’s one single tactic that people continually believe to be obsolete, but see, I base my views off numbers and facts and if there’s one fact that can’t be denied and it’s one main, overlooked tactic that a stupid millennial like myself overlooked.

 
Why?

 
Because we have it drilled in our heads if it’s not online, it’s 65 million years old.
I’m talking, of course, about newspaper advertising, and the newspaper is more popular than ever.

 

But, the ancient ways defy father time for a reason: They work!

 

Defies Father Time

Whoa, Todd, the newspaper?

 
Isn’t that like, what old people read?

 
Once again, it’s stronger than ever, because the internet, instead of killing it, empowered it. In fact, newspapers these days are more popular than ever before because they’ve gone digital.

 
Know how much local news the Intelligencer gets in my local area?

 
Mid-five-figures’ readership per day (there’s no major metro area within forty miles).

 
Six-figures’ readership online per month.

 
How do those older and wiser than our young selves make money?

 
No one’s exploiting anyone, it’s because we don’t know how to reach others.

 
We think we’ll post a buy-link to all our social media accounts and let our hundreds or few-thousands of followers click the link and buy, buy, and buy!

 
Then, when we post enough links, the opposite happens.

 

We lose followers!

 
Thank goodness I read about this mistake before I made it, because I assure you I would’ve.

 

Social Media Advertising

Why do people post endless links to social media?

 
It’s free.

 
And again, people will press the like button and you might get a share or two, but how many people have bought my stuff via social media links?

 
I can count on one hand.

 
I have 7,000+ followers on all my networks combined (I started this platform thing back in February).

 
How many clicked the link or expanded the details?

 
Forty!

 
How many bought?

 
I’d be lucky if one bought.

 
So, how often do I post a buy-link to social media?

 
Once a month, if that.

 
If I have a new book out.

 
If I have a discount or free promotion going on.

 
And that’s it.

 

Word of Mouth

On the contrary, word of mouth has garnered me at least five sales to all five people who I told in person.

 
So, on Twitter, I’m one for forty.

 
On good, old-fashioned word of mouth advertisement, I’m five for five.

 
Doesn’t take a genius to answer which technique is better.

 

Back to Newspapers

So, is my marketing conundrum solved?

 
Doubt it.

 
However, do I think people will buy my book in droves?

 
I do, because I have two areas to target.

 
See, Northern Knights’ setting is derived from the local Eastern Ohio, Northern West Virginia, Southwestern Pennsylvania Tri-State Area.

 
Naturally, I’m targeting this area, because if there’s one thing I know, people around here love reading books and other works that are set or the setting is inspired by the local area.

 
Now, there’s an underlying allegory within this work.

 
Cleveland Browns fans, I’m talking to you because this Browns fan is giving you all hope.

 
A lot of hope.

 
Because yes, I’m targeting the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

 
How many readers does The Plain Dealer and its site, Cleveland.com garner per day?

 
237,000+ daily readers daily.

 
7,000,000 readers monthly.

 
84,000,000 readers yearly.

 
Imagine if one in one-thousand bought Northern Knights?

 
237 new buyers per day.

 

But, I’m realistic.

 
What about one in ten-thousand?

 
23 new readers per day.

 
Feeling pessimistic? One in one-hundred-thousand?

 
2.37 new readers per day.

 
Even at 2.37 new readers per day, we’re looking at 71 per month.

 
852 per year.

 
Not enough to quit a day job, but even then, it’s still a profit from a $90 monthly ad.

 
Beats paid book promotion with the exception of Book Bub.

 

Speaking of Book Bub

I’ve heard it’s hard to get in, right?

 
The bright side?

 
The more readers, more reviews. Book Bub loves reviews, especially four and five stars.

 
The higher your Author Rank, the more Book Bub takes notice.

 
Enter a few book contests and if you placed well, Book Bub loves it.

 
Authors complain about never getting into Book Bub.

 
Look, Book Bub has a section on its site that TELLS you how to get accepted by them!

 
And guess what?

 
That’s another 7,000,000 people for a single ad.

 
Sure, it costs to earn, but as the old saying goes in the Greater Pittsburgh Area: You spend Nutting, you get Nutting.

 
And that’s why the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t won a playoff series since 1979.

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