Being the social media slut that I am, I’m on LinkedIn. But if you were to ask me what LinkedIn was, being the woefully inadequate social media slut that I am, I’d tell you to Google it. I do, however, appreciate the writerly discussions on LinkedIn, specifically about marketing, because imo, writers are the most clueless when it comes to marketing their own work.
Example: I manage social media for an insurance company. I can come up with numerous relevant Facebook posts for them like there’s no tomorrow. My own author page however, consists of sporadic postings involving photos of half-naked men, quotes I’ve sucked off of other writers, and inane comments like, “Am eating my son’s gummy bear vitamins to satisfy a desperate sugar craving.”
One author on LinkedIn started this discussion: “There are a gazillion people with books out there. How does one stand out?” Everyone regurgitates the same old crap about how to market one’s book. She wanted to hear original ideas, crazy ideas, ideas that were outside the box.
When I think outside the box on how to market my book, it almost always involves something deviant or sexual—like, Hmm, if I do something to get arrested, I can give a shout-out about my book while being taken away in handcuffs, or Hmm, I can make a sex tape and somehow incorporate the reciting of passages from my book.
Another author on LinkedIn suggested standing on the street while naked between two sandwich boards advertising her book, so I’m not the only twisted one thinking along those lines. The problem is any idea involving sex isn’t all that original. The other folks who responded wrote about the same tried and true tactics we’ve all heard over and over again: hard work, luck, book trailers, door-to-door fliers, signings, writing crappy fan fiction without any knowledge of basic grammar. (Okay, maybe not the last one.)
Think outside the box.
The problem with cats is they think too much inside the box:
But mostly they remain inside the box, thinking of ways to kill you in your sleep:
Casting Charlize Theron in Monster was thinking outside the box. Gilbert Gottfried reading Fifty Shades of Grey? Pure fucking gold, as well as also thinking outside the box. James Redfield sold over 80,000 copies of his self-published book, The Celestine Prophecy from the trunk of his Honda. John Grisham who wrote A Time to Kill? He traveled around the South selling that baby from the trunk of his car, too.
This concept of thinking outside the box consumed me all week. I’m an Aquarian. I’m supposed to be unconventional and original. It should come naturally for me to think outside the box.
Sometimes I succeed at thinking outside the box in other areas of my life. Because I can’t afford to go on vacation, I vacation through beer. Sampling beer from different countries allows me to visit places without ever having to be strip searched or robbed by gypsy children. Now when anyone asks me whether I’ve gone away lately, I can tell them Denmark, for example, adding, “And their Doppelbock really knocked me on my ass.” I consider that thinking outside the box.
Since my first book, The Accidental Cougar is a romance between an older woman (41) and a younger man (25), I’m constantly wondering: Where does my target audience hang out? I’m a middle-aged woman, but the only place I hang out is the grocery store. I don’t really feel like standing outside the supermarket selling my book like the Girl Scouts’ sell their cookies.
So I went onto Facebook and searched “Cougar” sites and found one with thousands of followers. Now granted, most of the followers are probably men trolling for what they hope are horny, touch-starved cougars, but women over the age of 35 are invited to submit their photo for posting on the site. Special preference is given to those wearing this T-shirt:
I don’t know what you’re thinking, but singlewritermom thinks she should pole vault outside that box right onto that FB page. All I would need to do is put on my Victoria’s Secret Miracle Bra, aka Wishful Thinking Bra, aka Fooled You Bra, the Cougar T-shirt, some lipstick, and with a genuine smile, pose with my book. They’ll post it, all the cougar women will see it, buy my book, and I’ll be instantly catapulted to Amazon Bestsellerdom.
I could take Dean Wesley Smith’s advice and stop wasting my time on social media, focusing instead on writing my next book.
What do you think?