Discoverability Adventures: Week 2

This week, I got my feet wet with something I have very mixed feelings about: Content marketing.

That’s like writing for the Huffington Post for exposure.  Of course, they don’t pay the writers.

Even before the internet, fiction writers have always been told to get exposure by writing for free.  At one point, I ran across numerous magazines that made it sound like they were doing a favor by publishing the writers at all, even though they wouldn’t have had any business without the same writers.

Plus the big name publishers have been trying to cut paying the writer out of the process as much as possible.  The advances are getting smaller and smaller.  Some publishers do a “royalty-splt” which translates out as not-much in the payment department.

One of the BookBaby panelists said to everyone, “You need to get over getting paid.”

Yeah. Right.

But I also need to get more visibility so people will discover my books.

So I’m wading in content marketing.

I’m looking at doing them from the woman veteran perspective.   In all the anthology calls I’ve submitted to, I’ve often been the only woman soldier.  There might be other women, but usually a daughter or a spouse of a male soldier.

I tried one site, really on a lark.  It’s site that is an active publisher of military books.  They had a blog up and were looking for content for it.


That part of the site hadn’t been updated in almost a year.  The rest of the site was current, so it made me wonder if the veterans simply weren’t submitting stories.  Writing is challenging to learn to do well for publication.  Writing about military experiences is another story entirely, especially if they’re painful.

So we shall see what they say.

A second one was just an opportunity that landed in my lap, from a class I took about 6 years back.  They have a new session coming in January and were looking for blog posts to promote.

For a third, I’m following the blog and monitoring what they publish to see if I can do something for them.  It’s a site that publishes all things about the military.

I’m also gathering sites that might be possibilities and just thinking about what I can do.  Not all of them are good fits.  I want to make sure my time is being well used.

If any of these get in, I’ll post the links here.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting site (aside from the annoying pop up) that I ran across that talks about content marketing and has some interesting ideas.  Hmm.  Slide share.  Could I do something there?

I also emailed my local library. They had a WWI exhibit of women veterans that was pretty awesome, so I told them I was a Desert Storm vet and asked if they wanted a Q&A session on “What was it like?”  Or a writing session on how to write military characters if you’ve never been in them military.

The Search for Discoverability

I attended the Bookbaby conference last weekend.  It was a marketing conference, from a company that does a lot of marketing.  I expected a lot of selling of the services and books, like a lot of those one day training workshops.

What I got was a big goal that I’ve been looking around for: Discoverability.

I want to write full time, but people have to find my books. So far…well, I’d like to do better.  So I thought it would be fun and interesting to write about what I’m going to do here.

Social Media for Writers

When I first started playing around with social media, it was about collecting numbers.  Somehow, if you got XXXX followers, you would have publishing success. And everyone had their personal preferences:

  • Get on everything and start posting on all of them
  • Twitter is it! Start Tweeting
  • Facebook is the way to go!

Most of them ended up with the same problem.  No writing at all.

I was in a blog writing class–now seems like ages ago, but probably 2010.  We all got our tag lines (another area I will be playing with a later date) and blogged three times a week.

Soon, the other writers were dropping off their blogs because they were spending all their time laboriously writing and revising and revising their blog posts.  No work on the writing project.

I also had a hard time with the personal side of social media.  It was partially because of the military, because there’s a lot of emphasis on not giving out personal information.  We saw some of the early signs of that during Desert Storm, where we were told not to mention troop numbers to anyone.

Meanwhile, the Tacoma Morning News Tribune was counting how many soldiers in an individual unit was leaving and was publishing it!

The other part was that I’m an INTP on the Myers-Brigg scale, and I think that plays into it.  Twitter, the social media highly recommended in the blog class, was like having a lot of details thrown at me. I started out overwhelmed with Twitter and struggled a lot with it.

Anyway …

One of the panels suggested something different.

Sign up for ALL the social media.

But pick which ones to use that will work for your readers.

The reasons to sign up for all of them?

  1. If you start writing in a new genre/category, you already have the social media account.  For example, Pinterest is the place to go for YA.
  2. Google ranking.  It just gets your name out there in more places.  The important part here is the the profiles all have to be as complete as possible.  Writers tend to leave off a lot of information, like the bio.

And the slides showed a list of all the social media accounts.  Yikes!  It was a lot.

But it also sense.  Sometimes you have to do work up front so you don’t have as much later on (a lesson I’m getting at work now and suffering the pain for not doing that).

Linda’s Goal:

Check on and update all my existing accounts first:

  1. Twitter
  2. Pinterest
  3. Asian Efficiency Dojo
  4. Facebook
  5. Google+
  6. YouTube
  7. Website
  8. Linked In
  9. Rabbit Bundle
  10. Amazon
  11. Smashwords
  12. Draft to Digital

It’s shocking writing these down, because it’s just the ones I’m on.  I haven’t even touched the ones I’m not on.  It’s amazing how many of these are out there.

So I had to first update my bio, since I found that just about every social media I’m on had a different bio and different photo.  Some had my old website address and others were missing my middle name…arrgh!  This definitely needed some attention.

For the writers here, if you want to try the same thing, let me know what you find.

Meanwhile, I’ll be posting up my next installment of Broken Notes soon.