Monday, May 3, 2010

Passive Marketing


This is going to sound strange, but stick with me. Passive marketing can respect the people you come in contact with without forever directing the conversation to your new book (while directing people to your new book).

There's nothing worse than being spammed by an author with a new book, but there's nothing worse than having a new project and not being able to get the word out. There has to be a happy medium. Happily, I think there is. Let's say you've published a new book and have already gone through your initial wave of marketing. You've put yourself out there, now provide three simple ways for the curious to turn around and easily, painlessly learn more about you.

Here are three tips from prolific author Regina Paul that I'll use to develop my point:

  • Create a presence on the Web. There are many ways to do this, but having your own website to promote your writing is the best way. There are lots of places that have free webpages, but Bravenet has everything you could ever want (webjournals, tell-a-friend service, guestbook, and mailing lists to name a few) and this includes free hosting.

  • Be a regular on message boards, answer newbie’s questions, and don’t forget to add your signature with your website address. The important thing to remember here is to pop in on a regular basis, otherwise it looks like the only reason you’re there is advertise, and participants won’t take you seriously.

  • Speaking of signature lines, create one and add it to all of your emails. This is one of my favorite freebies. People do read signature lines and I have actually ordered books because I found them via the signature line.


Having a website, even a simple, clean blog, gives people to go to find out more about you and your works.

I'm a regular on a select couple forums message board. I post links to writing or culture-related articles to help my peers and give myself a place to go back and search when I go looking for something I've posted in the past, a one-stop history of such articles. It's a way to help others and serve as a resource for myself later down the road.

There's one thing to keep in mind when creating signature lines in your e-mails or forum's signature block—keep it clean and simple. I'm not a fan of signature lines with pictures, animation, or that are loaded with bloat. However, two or three simple lines can do wonders if you simply list your website, your social media names (Facebook or Twitter), and a link to your latest book. Then, as you go about your daily life online and interact with people, you provide the curious a passive resource for discovering more about you and your work without beating them over the head with incessant announcements or outright spam.

Creating a place on the web, becoming active in message boards and forums, and giving people a place to go learn more about you and your latest works is an active way to excel at passive marketing, providing people with simple, effective ways to track you down and learn about your latest works.

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16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these ideas, Johne. I like the idea of being able to market without nagging. Great tips.

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  2. "Clean and simple" tips. Good, Johne.

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  3. Good post, Johne.

    Also, for those with a Twitter accounts, its possible to leave profiles and website links on various Twitter applications and directories.

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  4. Great post! I love the idea of letting your marketing work for you. Set it up and forget about it, and let it work in the background.

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  5. Katie, you were the one I was thinking of when writing this post. You're very good about getting timely mileage out of your various signatures.

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  6. I hope I do get mileage out of them. Like all of us, I struggle with the balance between not enough and too much.

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  7. This is an excellent post! Thanks especially for recommending the webhost - I've been looking to start a website and definitely will check that one out.

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  8. Great advice! I once did a writing course and the teacher constantly talked about her own book (and not in a helpful teaching way). It was a real turn off.

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  9. Thanks! I'm going to post a link to this article. I think more authors need to hear this kind of advice. Especially those of us new to being published. Thanks again.

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  10. Thanks for putting this in language everyone can understand. I am always aware of the hard sell tactics used by some and don't wish to do that to my friends and family.

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  11. Great advice and clearly outlined.

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  12. Good ideas, Johne. I agree with you about bloated signature lines.

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  13. It's so difficult to strike the right balance. I hadn't thought of including twitter and Facebook IDs in signature lines as they always seem to me to be different planets - but doh, it's elementary!

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  14. a good up-to-date press kit also helps

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