Tag Archives: marketing

Online Privacy, Security and Newsletters

I’ve just come from Indies Unlimited, one of my favourite websites because of all the free information they provide to Indie authors. The article that prompted this post concerns the new EU regulations and how they relate to newsletters. One of the key facts in the article is that people who use newsletter companies, such as Mailchimp, will have to ask their European subscribers to formally ‘opt in’.

I strongly recommend that everyone who uses a newsletter to communicate with subscribers take a close look at this article:

https://www.indiesunlimited.com/2018/05/14/authors-with-newsletters-must-get-subscribers-to-opt-in-again-per-eu-regulations/comment-page-1/#comment-3488092908471512056

After reading the article, I was curious to see what Mailchimp had to say about the new EU regulations. What I found was not really a surprise, but it did concern me enough to write the following comment:

Great post, RJ and something all Indies have to look at very seriously, because very few know exactly what the Newsletter companies are doing with their own data and the data of their /subscribers/. This ignorance, and the responsibility that goes with it, will not disappear with a simple opt-in form.
I don’t use a newsletter service but I decided to check out your link to Mailchimp, as it’s a very popular one. The following quotes are taken straight from their various pages:
INFO COLLECTED
‘That information may include your IP address….and other information about how you interacted with our Websites or other websites.’
[the important bit is ‘or OTHER websites]

TRACKING DEVICES & PERSONAL INFO
‘In some cases we may use cookies and other tracking technologies described in this Cookie Statement to collect Personal Information, or to collect information that becomes Personal Information if we combine it with other information.’
[the important bit is ‘that becomes Personal Information if we combine it with other information’]

THIRD PARTIES
‘The third parties that set these third party cookies can /recognise/ your computer both when it visits the website or service in question and also when it visits /certain other websites or services/.’
[the important bit is that Third Parties can include every tech company on the internet including Facebook, Google, Amazon and countless others. Seriously].

TRACKING SUBSCRIBERS
We also enable our users [that’s people who use Mailchimp for newsletters] to employ cookies and similar tracking technologies in connection with their use of our Services in order to allow us and our users to track their subscribers.
[the important bit is ‘to track their subscribers’].

“Do Not Track” or “DNT” signals. Since uniform standards for “DNT” signals have not been adopted, our Websites do not currently process or respond to “DNT” signals. MailChimp takes privacy and meaningful choice seriously and will make efforts to continue to monitor developments around DNT browser technology and the implementation of a standard.
[the important bit is that Mailchimp IGNORES do not track requests. In other words, until they’re forced to obey, your choices don’t matter doodly squat to them].

Now that the EU is bringing in such strong regulations [and other countries may follow], we all have to make choices about how we treat other people’s privacy and security [because data gathered by ad companies can be hacked and used by anybody with the technical skills].

I don’t use any of the newsletter companies, but I know that in the past I’ve signed up for newsletters from online friends and colleagues. Now I’m quietly seething because I am very concerned about my privacy and online security. That’s why I deleted my Facebook account AND deleted everything to do with Google. To learn that I’ve been spied on like this is…not pleasant.

I know that most of you don’t see the privacy/security issue the same way that I do, but I’m asking you to please consider those who get caught up in it without any idea that it’s happening to them.

Not happy,

Meeks

 


The Innerscape Post Mortem

Apologies for the misleading title –  I haven’t killed off Innerscape. The post mortem is actually about the lessons I learned while publishing Innerscape last year. You thought it all went smoothly, didn’t you? -sound of maniacal laughter-

The Truth about publishing before Christmas – Guest Post by A.C. Flory


Weeding my #Reader list

Dear Everyone,

Please don’t worry, 98% of my Reader list remains unchanged, which means that I’m still following you, still popping in whenever I can, still enjoying your content.

meekathara furiousThe 2% of blogs I have weeded out include some ‘professional’ rebloggers and an 18+ site that suddenly appeared out of the blue [excuse the pun].

I have nothing against ‘soft porn’, or even erotica. If that’s what you enjoy, great, just allow me the freedom not to be bombarded by it. This is not the first time that the WordPress Reader has gifted me with questional blogs, but I really hope it’s the last.

I have nothing against reblogs either, in fact when I find a post that really grabs me, I’ll reblog it myself. But…if I recommend something it’s because I genuinely think its good. You may disagree with me – we are different after all – but at least you’ll know that my recommendation is honest. When I find my Reader filled with recommendations that smack of professional marketing, well, I get a little annoyed.

Do I flood you with endless posts about my books?

Maybe I should. Maybe I should become a professional marketer myself. Maybe I should treat all of you like potential dollar signs…but I can’t. Most of the people I follow, I really like and to my old-fashioned way of looking at the world, when you like someone you treat them with the same respect you’d like them to show you.

So no spamming of marketing material on Meeka’s Mind. If you like my fiction, great. If you only come here for the how-to posts, that’s great as well. If you only drop in for the music or some wacky tech, you’ll always be welcome. And if you stay and chat, you’ll become part of the family. My Manifesto.

Phew…I feel so much better after that rant!

hugs to all,

Meeks

 


‘Free’ doesn’t sell books – and here’s what does — Matthew Wright

canstockphoto8443816This is one of the best articles I have ever read about marketing.

https://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/free-doesnt-sell-books-and-heres-what-does/

cheers

Meeks


List of book promotion sites

Apologies to all my non writer friends. Today’s post is to share info. about this very handy list, and save it somewhere safe for my own use.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually gone back to some of my own posts in order to check a how-to, or some other piece of information. Having it all here saves me trying [and failing] to remember where the hell I put it.

Now, to the list. It’s been created to allow Indie writers to find, use and keep track of promotional sites. In other words, collecting all your important information in one place. Again, saves on the memory doesn’t it?

I’ve only just discovered this list so I haven’t had a chance to try out the interactive part of it, but just having all this information in one place makes me happy. If I can actually track who I’ve sent what to, and when, then I’ll be ecstatic!

http://www.readersintheknow.com/list-of-book-promo-sites

If any of you use the interactive part of the list please let me know how well it worked [or didn’t].

On a more mundane note, the weather continues to stay most un-summer-like. I’m loving it, of course, because this is the most peace of mind I’ve had in January for years. Now I just have my fingers crossed for February. I’m supposed to start teaching again in February so I may get a little stressed out over leaving the house, and the Daughter, on hot days. Meh…I’d better not jinx myself!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Meeks

 


3-part article on reviews and reviewers

I woke this morning to find that Indies Unlimited had posted the first part of a three-part article I recently submitted. Damned timezones! Anyway, Part two comes out tomorrow, and Part three the day after.

Why should you care? Because it’s my first attempt at ‘investigative journalism’, that’s why!

No! I’m kidding. You should care because the article[s] tries to determine if :

a) Reviews make a difference to sales, and

b) There is any strategy that can increase the effectiveness of the reviews you do get.

Non authors will probably find these articles boring, but they do give an insight into how difficult it is to make any headway in marketing, and how desperate the need to be ‘seen’ can be.

So if you’re at all interested, head on over to Indies Unlimited.

cheers

Meeks


Latest Wildstar video clip

I’ve posted about Wildstar before, but this latest video clip was so good, and so fiendishly clever, I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Even non-gamers should appreciate the artistry, and Indie authors might learn something about marketing.

Okay, so admit it, that brought a smile to your face didn’t it? The animation was very good, the storyline was clever, and the whole thing made you want to see what those critters were really like, didn’t it?

Well, the Wildstar video clip certainly had that effect on me, so much so that… I’m doing their marketing for them!

This is how buzz happens. You give people something clever and fun – for free – and hope they like it enough to tell their friends about it. Each such teaser builds momentum, sometimes for years. Then, by the time the game/book/movie is ready to launch, you have a ready made audience drooling to buy it.

Given how much money game developers have to spend creating their product, the money they spend on this kind of promotion is money well spent, imho [in-my-humble-opinion].

Do you have any favourite examples of clever marketing? Something that sticks in your memory, and makes you want to talk about it?

The marketing doesn’t have to be about games. It can be about toothpaste, or a movie, or anything that grabs your interest, and makes you want ‘more’. Please share in comments!

cheers

Meeks


I’ve just had a ‘duh’ moment.

You know how sometimes your left hand doesn’t seem to know what your right hand is doing? And then something happens, and you go ‘Duh, I have two hands, why don’t I use them?’

Well, I’ve just had one of those moment, and it has to do with marketing.

I discovered I had two hands when I read this post by Catherine Caffeinated, and realised that social media is just word of mouth on a grand scale.

Now that simple concept may be obvious to you, but I it wasn’t obvious to me. I saw word of mouth as the only real way of achieving success, yes, but I dismissed social media as nothing but advertising.

Not all social media, of course. I love my blog, so it doesn’t count as advertising, but Twitter? Facebook? Goodreads? The truth is I don’t love those media.  Why should I waste valuable writing time on something that is just <<cue evil music>> advertising? Especially when it doesn’t seem to work anyway…

I doubt my ‘duh’ moment will increase my presence on either Twitter or Facebook, however it will increase the time I spend on Goodreads. Why? Because I love talking about books with people who share my passions. The only thing that has kept me away from Goodreads in the past has been my dislike of the user interface. It really is horribly clunky.

So there you have it – my personal moment of revelation. If you’ve been like me, and avoiding social media like an STD, please read this eye-opening article.

Happy Monday!

Meeks


Email lists – yes? no? maybe?

sad dunceAfter reading this post on Indies Unlimited, I started wondering whether I should start using email lists myself. The first question that popped into my head though was – ‘why bother’?

I already blog about all the important happenings in my life as a writer. Isn’t that enough? After all, if people aren’t interested in a particular event then how will sending them a generic email make a difference?

I know professional marketers would say that all marketing tools are important, and should be used, but… I personally don’t like receiving mailing list type notifications.

Rightly or wrongly, my online presence has evolved out of building relationships rather than marketing. Do I really want to risk alienating people I consider to be friends?

Then there is the issue of actually creating such an email list. I can do it, but it will take a lot of time and effort away from what I consider to be more important tasks – such as keeping up with my blog and getting book 2 finished.

I really am torn by this issue. My gut instinct is to say no, yet I also feel kind of guilty at not doing what I ‘should’ to market Vokhtah.

I think it’s time to get readers’ perspectives on the the question of email lists and marketing. How do you feel about it? Do you have enough junk in your inbox already?

cheers

Meeks

p.s. My interview with thebookcast.com is going live late tomorrow. I’ll do a quick post as soon as it’s up.

 

 


Earning Your Place – reblogged from CaressingTheMuse

This post by Stephanie Allen Crist really hit the spot for me today. I’ll comment at the end.

Earning Your Place
Posted on April 20, 2013 by Stephanie Allen Crist

“In most people’s minds, marketing is about promoting a product or service. It’s about advertising. It’s about sales.

But the full cycle of marketing involves discovering what customers want, providing customers with products and services they want, reaching out to them so they know how to get it, and analyzing your results.

Simply put, you don’t start with a pitch. You start with a product or service that’s worth pitching. In your case, that means you start with a book that’s worth reading.

It could be said that people (at least some of them) on the bestsellers’ lists write crap churned out for the masses. There’s some truth to that, though not as much as the struggling writer likes to tell him/herself. The thing of it is that these writers know or stumble upon the secret to sales: Giving customers what they want.

This doesn’t mean following the hottest trends to make the best sales, though people do that, too. Let’s assume for the moment that you don’t work that way. Most writers don’t.

Instead, take it to mean producing the best book you can and then finding the people who will want it. It might not be the masses, and that’s okay. The thing of it is, though, you have to find them, at least at the start. When you’re building your initial following, you have to go out and look for people who might like your book. Then, you share your message, i.e. your pitch, with them.

So, to earn your place among successful authors, you need to:
Write the best book you can.
Find the people who will want to read it.
Tell them about your book.

If you do, then you will earn your place. If you do it well, you’ll earn your living. You might even become a bestseller in the process.”

***

This is the bit that made those little bells start ringing in my head :

 “…producing the best book you can and then finding the people who will want it.”

As soon as I read that [words in bold] it hit me that I have spent my whole life looking for kindred spirits, people who will like the kind of person I am, people who will accept me for who I am.

I can tell you right now that I do not have many real life friends who fall into that category. But. The friends I do have are friends for life. We have grown together, suffered together, supported each other in bad times and laughed like crazy during the good times. I would walk over hot coals for these kindred spirits of mine!

But what does this have to do with marketing? Everything. 

Just as I could never be the uber popular person with a million friends and acquaintances, I cannot become the uber popular writer whose work is loved by all. That will never happen because I am not that kind of person, and will never be able to write that kind of book. But I can reach out to readers who are kindred spirits and share my work with them. And that is exactly what I am going to do.

Love ya!

Meeks


%d bloggers like this: