Don't Know Marketing
Do you ever feel like you're only barely qualified to talk about something? Yeah. Me and marketing. It is a gaping black hole in the speckled galaxy of 'stuff Marcella knows'.
My current 'favorite' paid marketing is actually a class on marketing I just started taking. Not that I intend to turn it into a business or anything - this is a base layer so I can understand how marketing works.
Marketing is about relationships.
If you are authentic, you build organic and lasting relationships with people who think like you do. See? My classes are paying off already. Before two weeks ago, marketing was just selling something. Maybe it's no surprise, then, that my favorites are about relationships.
Relationship the First and the Free
Feline-L. These are people I've known for years who are members of a Feline Fancier's Listserv. We may be techno-dinosaurs (those should totally be a thing), but we have members in Turkey, Israel, France, the UK, South America, Canada and the US, all of us bound by our appreciation for felines. Our members encompass people from all walks of life. Scientists. Veterinary professionals. Artists. Techies. You name it. Fellow sci-fi/fantasy author Noel-Anne Brennan is a member. She even coached me through a few things when I was first published.
Several of my friends of Feline-L have come over to Twitter. Several of us have a 10% pact - 10% of what we make goes to charity whether it be animal welfare, environmental causes, or any other charity. We Tweet that we're donating and to whom, but dollar amounts never go on social media. We're interested in being accountable. Not in boasting or being jerks.
These folks buy books, talk about books and they leave the best reviews. To this day, I have a file folder full of pictures of their cats with my books.
Relationship the Second and the Paid
World of Warcraft.
Laugh if you like. While you laugh, I will sing songs of raids conducted in imaginary, animated dungeons by groups of like-minded geeks talking to one another live in real-time via Ventrilo. Or Mumble. These are people from across the world, techies, mostly. Your main tank may be an IT tech for the US military in real life. The lead healer may be a cyber-security expert from Down Under. One of the hunters is a programmer who lives just down the street from you. Sure. A few of the raid members are still nerds living in Mom's basement. Most of them aren't, though, cause the ones who can't afford to move out can't afford the monthly pay to play. Almost all of them will bend over backwards to buy a book from that little gnomish fire mage with tragic fashion sense. One of my fellow raiders ended up joining the guild I belong to so I could talk him through working on his own book and getting it ready for submission. This is my other group of friends from all over the world. These people whisper me in game demanding to know when the next book is coming out. The guild leader posts my releases in the guild message of the day and leaves it up for a week. We host real life guild events that pull people from all over and my guildies bring their copies of my book for me to sign. When we hear a guildie is coming in from out of town (or from out of country) word goes out and we meet up. These people buy and consume books like they weren't addicted to an aging massive multiplayer online roleplaying game. They write awesome reviews and twist their friends' arms to read my stuff.
Getting to be friends with your readers, does it get any better?