I really love Indies Unlimited! The team at IU are always coming up with new information or new angles to make a writer’s life easier and better. Today’s tutorial, by Yvonne Hertzberger, on how to use Bublish, is a great example of how the IU staff help all writers market their books, no matter how they are published.
The concept behind ‘Bublish‘ is simple : instead of spamming the same, tired ‘My book is awesome so buy it’ type nonsense, give readers a short excerpt and an insight into that excerpt. These titbits of interesting information are called ‘bubbles’ and bubbles are then tweeted by the Bublish team [I think I have that right?]. Bubbles also contain links to where you can buy the book.
As a reader, I prefer to make up my own mind whether a book is ‘awesome’ or not, so the spam not only misses its mark, it tends to annoy the hell out of me. And when I’m annoyed with an author I don’t feel like giving them any of my cash. I suspect I’m not alone in this. Nonetheless, I can understand that authors have to market their books. The question is how do they let me know their book exists without ticking me off in the process?
Bublish may have solved this problem, for both authors and readers, by helping authors give potential readers a ‘sample’ that has value.
In the real world, free samples tend to ‘stick’ in a way that straight advertising does not. I have received samples of tea from Twinings, samples of porridge from Be Natural, fridge magnets and even free movie passes [from a plumber of all things]. I can’t pretend that I’ve gone out and bought all the products I’ve sampled, but I’ve had that plumber out to my house twice now so he has recouped the cost of his ‘sample’ many times over.
In a sense, interviews and reviews serve the same function as samples for authors. Both allow authors to talk about themselves, their books and the processes they go through to create those books. They advertise in the old fashioned meaning of the word, but they do so by giving something away for free, something real, if intangible. Now we can add a third option to these ‘freebies’ – Bublish ‘bubbles’.
Only time will tell whether the concept of bubbles takes off, but I hope it does because I’m always on the prowl for new, interesting, well-written books to read, but I hate spam. Coincidentally, if the concept does take off, then perhaps Twitter will become a bit less boring than it is now.