A collection of horror tales to titillate your senses and scare you. These stories are quick reads for those who love to pick up a book an peek a bit coming back for later.
Scheduled for Release — October 20, 2020
Kael and Zyla journey through the Badlands with the Honor Guard hot on their tail. A story that is full of intrigue, love, deception, and war. The epic ending you never saw coming!
Begin the series now!
Well… actually it is pronounced (way-shin), but what is it about this app that is so appealing and what can we learn from it?
To understand what this app is doing that we should do if we want to better utilize social media to reach fans and others; we must first look at what they’re doing.
They strive to understand their audience. Wait… what? They want to know their audience? Yes, they do… Not only that, they try to accommodate them so they never need to leave the app to find whatever it is they’re trying to do. They introduce new functions or campaigns to try and satisfy their audience. One example is the red envelope campaign, in this users can send virtual money (PayPal or Venmo only inside the app) Can you see where I am going with this? If you’re thinking that I am considering this a great way for you to pay me for all this great content…
DING… DING… DING…
That would be cool (just send some bucks to my PayPal), but no. Where I am going is with understanding your audience and keeping them firmly planted within your network. Weixin has done this by integrating all the things users want to do right on their interface, but how can we emulate this?
Being the queen of the world in some not so inconsequential post-apocalyptic author and readers groups on Facebook offers insights to this question. One of the things I say to the minions “ENGAGE!” Talk to them, introduce them to the weirdness that creates the books they love to read. This, in essence, is doing the same thing only in a smaller platform. Creating content that the readers want to see that keep them from wandering off and cheating on us, (ahem, I mean visiting other reader groups).
Applying this model to other social media formats is not difficult. While Wiexin seems to have the market cornered on the “all-inclusive, can’t miss, do everything for everyone and pay the bills at the same time while ordering food and a taxi” app; we can strive to be that on a smaller scale.
How can we be the “all-inclusive, can’t miss, do everything for the readers of the apocalypse, and write books while at the same time trying not to look fake to them kind of author?”
- Content is king, remember that while Wiexin IS trying to sell everything to everyone that you simply want your followers to understand you.
- Offer tiny glimpses into your world, or scarier yet, your mind
- Host a game or contest
- Ask for opinions on anything — from the ability of the Mowgli like creatures to overtake Luke Skywalker and become the preeminent ninja Jedi warriors in the galaxy to why does a clock go clockwise? What if it went the other way? Who decided this and let’s revolt.
- Be everything, in so far as what the audience hopes
to see with your interaction (like don’t be a real zombie, perhaps just
dress up like one for Halloween and post pics).
- Offer ideas on how to connect
- Where the reader can find you at a signing. Especially if it is an Authors of the Apocalypse event (shameless plug inserted).
- Be part of the audience’s daily routine. Make a regular post each day that is both interesting and engaging. Like my good friend N.A. Broadley
(another of those shameless moments, I just can’t help myself), who
posts each day in the group and on her page about a stupid rooster named
- Take five munites to ask a question that they look forward to seeing each day. Easy ones like “do cannibals like broccoli with that leg of human?” would surely elicit some great responses!
Bottom line is that one key point that many miss the mark on is that tailoring your social media marketing campaign to your audience’s needs, mood, and interests is a must and keep it simple and easy to use.
No matter how hard I tried I could not find a catchy title for this post. I guess it’s just as well because there is no Orkut anymore.
What? You never heard of Orkut?
This was Orkut, originally put out there by Google after Friendster wouldn’t sell to them, (probably should have — oh well, hindsight and all). It emerged about a year before Facebook. Looks kinda similar, doesn’t it? It had an interesting run and actually took off and had 1.5 million communities within a year.
Did I not tell you? Orkut’s original purpose was to help users find communities by keyword searching where they could connect with other users. Yes… you heard that right, communities. Isn’t this something I’ve been talking about ad nauseam in social media when it comes to marketing? Let’s touch today on the ways that this innovative platform functioned. First, it was clean, simple, and sophisticated, and users could make recommendations about products and services through these communities.
Are you putting the pieces together yet? I’ve been talking about our groups and how we can create a marketing strategy using these communities. Something that we can take from Orkut is the ways that it promoted these communities. We have our own, but unfortunately, it requires user input to be beneficial.
Most traditional marketing strategies want you to consider the audience that is most likely to use your product (for us this is books). With communities, these audiences are pretty much a sure thing.
Let’s apply this to the Branded Social Experience
What’s a brand experience? In a nutshell, it is the way consumers “Feel” about your brand. How did Orkut help this? Orkut was invitation-only, this tells everyone that it is an exclusive opportunity but it was more than that, the community feel of the platform contributed to the “feel” about the marketing.
So, what is this branded social experience? It has four basic dimensions, Sensory, affective, intellectual, and behavioral that are connected to the brand or product related to design, identity, packaging, communications, and environments. Let’s look at them.
These include something to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel in association with you and your product. This may be difficult but as writers aren’t we adept at show and don’t tell? How can we show the consumers? Perhaps with the little blurb. What words would incite these senses?
These allow consumers to emotionally connect with products. We need to appeal to a part of the audience’s lives. How the heck?
Communities… here is where you are effective — if a reader (aka the consumer) is unhappy you can cheer them up with a word perhaps. If they love your book they can share it within the community affecting others. See where this is going? You have to participate to affect them though. JS
First, let’s just be clear. Don’t just patronize them. They want something that requires thought and energy. For us, this means don’t just chuck a book link at them and then not talk to them for the next two months because you’re writing [for them] so they can read your next big mass of pages full of word vomit. (did I just say that?) Yea… I kinda did, but it is meant to show you how it feels to be patronized, those in the community won’t like it any more than you just did.
All of these lead to the behavioral. Real-life action! Consumers find in communities the prompt for a real-life behavioral change [aka they buy your books] where they may not have done so before! Here is where the mobilization comes in. Utilizing these communities to mobilize consumers. Combining multiple sensory experiences into the behavioral prompt.
Orkut offered us a map of sorts when it opened up its communities based platform and showed us how communities can offer these experiences were traditional marketing efforts may fail.
My purse of course…
Does anyone remember the Facebook statuses that prompted women to put simply the color of their bra for their status, or the “I like it…” followed by the location of your purse?
The goal was to raise awareness for breast cancer, and it was meant to draw attention and get people to ask what it was all about. The post went viral and soon every timeline it seemed had the same post with no explanation as to the reason why. Did it actually raise awareness for breast cancer or merely spur a lengthy litany to follow about bad dates.
Something that we might want to note here was the question I ask… Did it? Did it actually help raise awareness?
This is a powerful form of social media mobilization called cyberactivism. But the question remains…Do all breast-cancer memes on Facebook really have to involve sexual innuendo?
This was the question asked and it seems that with the underwear color, where you like your purse… each of these led the man’s eye to the woman. Not as an advocate for their health, I’d venture but more to the innuendos that provoked it. Did it raise awareness?
Probably not, but it sure gained some interest.
This is likely that what made it viral was indeed the innuendo. For both men and women, the women carried a mystique, while the men wanted to know what it was. Has anyone heard the old saying sex sells? In this case, the sex was only implied, but it offered the one thing that many seek in social media… Attention.
What is cyber activism, and how can it help with marketing?
We actually see it every day on social media, we see it in political posts, we see it when others are raising money for causes on their birthday, we see ribbons, flags, and sports team profile picture filters. It’s everywhere! The question is how do we harness it?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IN TERMS OF MARKETING?
Wouldn’t we all want to incorporate these things into our messages and capitalize on the power of a viral internet meme? This is the holy grail of marketers in the social media age. According to Mahoney and Tang, the utilization of social media to ignite behavior change exists on a tricky continuum. Cyberactivism should go beyond awareness only. Tangible action is tied to the messages that correspond to the initiative’s goals.
“I like it… On the Desk.”
If there is to be cyberactivism uses for content, it needs to have more information that would lead those that see the content to the cause. It should lead to engagement beyond the innuendo. Brand awareness, product awareness, brand loyalty, and consumer engagement beyond the cause is the reason so many companies choose to engage in it.
The “game” should offer the consumer the engagement relative to the cause along with a side of the brand. The action that is tied to the message needs to have a tangible promise of more than an innuendo.
Figuring out that special way to encourage active engagement? Now that is a skill.
*previously published on DJ Cooper’s Blog
Have you ever heard the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?”
Well, I’m here to tell ya’ there is truth in them words.
This past week has been a bit hectic. Let’s forget for a moment we are all cooped up like caged animals [pretty sure my animal is a chicken], all of us going stir crazy lurking about the internet and social media like it is our only connection to the outside world. School has just been finishing up for me and I finally got everything done with that. It’s also no secret that I write. This here batch of chicken scratches on the page might give that away. Now comes the story… You knew there had to be one right?
My day begins like any other… I wake up. Ahem, I mean….
Bored out of my mind and scratching at the floor for the thing I was sure I saw move got old, so I decided to hop on the ole’ cell phone and begin to surf the social landscape to regain a little bit of my sanity. “Oh wait!” said I. [yes, I’ve begun to talk to myself]. “I should do a little book promo while I am here.”
I begin the task of pimping my books like Guido the pimp to any passerby I can find and whammo! It happened
“We need you to verify your account.”
Wait? What? Why? I’ve had this Facebook account for more years than the app for the phone existed. Never mind that… Yes, there was once Facebook only on the computer. But, back to my story and I swear it has something to do with eggs. I jump through the hoops and send probably the worst picture I’ve ever taken, please tell me others are wandering about in disarray because we are stuffed into these little boxes we call houses with no reason to even COMB OUR HAIR. Oh, sorry… Anyway, I supply the Facebook CIA with my very awkward photo, phone number and respond with the text code they send me and…
Just like that… I never existed!
I said I would tell you about eggs and so I shall. I am going to say at least 85% of all the reaching out, communicating, interacting, and pimping of books I do is on that platform and suddenly nearly my entire audience was gone.
Eggs — I’d broken the carnal rule and put all them dang eggs in the same basket.
I will set your mind at ease now and say that they found me and I do exist! However, while I can do some things, this Guido book pimper is out of commission for the moment because it is limited in what I can do. It made me realize the wisdom in this old saying.
We get so caught up in these apps, oh they are so nice and easy to get sucked into; don’t even get me started on Tik Tok. I’m pretty sure there is some kind of mind control going on with that app.
Ok I gotta do it, how many have you seen the videos with “you can really dance” or “men don’t like nostrils?” Worse yet, how many sang it and then made a sound like a pterodactyl in their heads. Rest assured we will come back to that.
The eggs in the basket are what brings me here today. Thoughts of how I’d learned to leverage other avenues in my marketing mix that would pick up if one failed. Also, I am not sure the whole Guido thing works anyway but it is better than chasing ladybugs around the house. What else can we incorporate into our mix to diversify our marketing strategy one might ask. Well, I am here to offer a shortlist of things that I’m considering tossing myself into the ring with. I do have all the appropriate social accounts but I’m not using them effectively so here it comes, the dreaded list!
- Facebook — There is the profile but also the business page (mistake fix 1: Make someone else an admin in all your Facebook holdings, just in case).
- Instagram — Owned by Facebook it is a photo-sharing platform, don’t forget to use #hashtags.
- Twitter — This little gem does not penalize you for being a Guido book pimper, in fact, it is recommended you toss it out a few times in a day to be sure the audience sees it on this fast-moving feed. Again, the #hashtags help here.
- LinkedIn — More of a business atmosphere, but hey they are probably chasing ladybugs too and could use a book to read but don’t get too spammy here. This is one where you want to put your pro-face on and brush your hair. You might find some good B2B type contacts here.
- Pinterest — Here you pin things to boards and others can see them. I am not good at this but it, like Tik Tok, is like a vacuum and once I fall in I struggle to escape.
- YouTube — Speaks for itself. Video aficionados come forth.
- Then there are others —Snapchat, Tik Tok, Mewe, Tumblr, Reddit to name a few
So, lesson 1? Diversify.
Two words … Post Scheduling
I was introduced to Hootsuite and while I knew what it was, I wasn’t using it properly. This is the holy grail of social media marketing. Spend an hour or so outlining all the posts and setting them up for the week and walk away. Spend time writing blogs about eggs and ladybugs!
Another way to reach your audience is through E-mails, the consistent and relevant email is always welcome as long as it doesn’t hit their inboxes six times per day, weekly, biweekly, or monthly would be welcome. I get emails from others and yawn while scrolling to the bottom. Give the recipient a reason to open it. Is your business a bakery? Toss in a recipe. Capitalize on your own niche and “work it baby …work it.” (Totally stolen from Pretty Woman).
I own Prepper Podcast so I capitalize on that not only with the email list [tips and tricks] but also in that I am on the air and can plug the books. As with YouTube, a podcast is great and the best part is you don’t even have to brush your hair.
I’ve rambled on enough for the moment, but I think the best take away is not only diversifying in your approach to marketing your product but to create a schedule of posts, emails, and other non-social medias.
Before you go…TikTok, this platform has a way of mesmerizing people, figuring out how to make short videos that are entertaining and relevant is my next quest. Check back to see if I emerged victorious, if at all.
*Previously published on her blog
But… I just want to write.
One of the most difficult things about being an an indie author is the marketing. We must spend time to get the word out about these magnificent works of ours, and to do so takes time. But who has time for that when our characters are in peril, and fans await the next book?
What to consider
- Website presence
- Social media
- Which social media?
- Running ads
- Where to run ads?
- But… I’m a writer, our very nature is to be introverts.
- E-mails and reader communications.
There are actually many things to consider, so much so that if we only knew back when… right? One key that I’ve learned is to align with other writers, possibly ones that know more than me so I can learn. I write post apocalypse and am after all the author of the apocalypse, right? So, I did just that and together we help one another on the Written Apocalypse a group that works together to help all of us attain more. I met with others who also had groups and we gathered together to create a larger pool of information.
Many will say run ads, while others will say no need. We each need to determine what is best for our own needs and if the ROI isn’t there then it is just money spent.
Figuring out the best graphics, who to target, who your market is (that means who likes your books) and finding a way to put your book in front of them is far harder than it seems. I’ll make this short and just say keep writing and keep sharing. The rest will come in time!
Previously published by DJ Cooper on her blog. Head over to my website and check out what’s new over there. (see how I just told you to go look at my stuff? I am learning too.)
★★★★★ Five Stars
The multiple rave reviews are entirely justified. This is a story which effortlessly balances character development with plot and description. I am immersed in the action from the start. I smell the post-pandemic chaos; see the ruin around me; hear the sounds warning of ever present danger; taste the blood of wounds–intentional and accidental. The characters are exquisitely unique and fascinating. The price is trifling for the quality of fiction offered. I commend the author and, like the quickly growing list of fans here, eagerly await more sequels. A darn fine read. — Amazon customer