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How Do You Know? September 5, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in Chain story, conventions, e-books, fantasy, ideas, iPad, VIPub, web & computers, writing.
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Leonard ‘s comment a couple days ago got me thinking on this. Try as you might with all the various PR gimmicks and campaigns and stunts (the latest attempt at viral marketing has a car speeding through a red light–the red light camera shot 4 pictures, most of which are filled with lumbering zombies. Or is shamble the accepted term?) Do you have to break the law to get eyeballs on your work? How do you know what increased sales for your product are a result?

Things I have tried that don’t work: I had mentioned the freebie code for my e-store that would let any user nab a free book. No takers out of over 600 copies of the Bubonicon 42 program book being distributed. Naively, I thought this would get me some customers. Can’t give it away takes on new meaning. This tells me print, or at least one time print, ads don’t work. That goes to what Pari said about consistency, perhaps. Run ads, do them for a long time to get people used to seeing them.

I also had an ad a few years back in a publication distributed at the Albq Balloon Fiesta. Half a million potential eyeballs, assuming they are peering through one eye at that ad. Increased traffic on my website? Couldn’t tell but my guess is zero. Perhaps hot air balloon enthusiasts and sf fans don’t overlap? With a couple years hindsight, a single ad hyping a story about balloons or zeppelins would have been more effective. Maybe. Target the audience better. Check.

What has worked: The Chain Story Project. has been effective. Immediately after my first story, traffic to my website markedly increased. When I can get clear and have time to do it, I’ll have another story to post there. (A new Rigel Ailur story is up, btw).

This blog has drawn an inordinate amount of traffic from specific words. I won’t use them again since they were not what this is about and were originally used in passing but for whatever reason those words are huge SEO targets. Check my iPad blogs for a hint what I’m talking about.

Need to look into: figuring out why/if Twitter would get people to notice my fiction. Ditto with Facebook and MySpace. I’m there, they’re fun, but I don’t generate the immense traffic it’s claimed can be brought in.

So what works? Definitely a work in progress.

Coming soon: Choose Your Own Corpse Mystery

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