Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Survey Says . . .

Last week, the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood posted the results of a survey on reader habits they did. They had 311 responses to the survey. Despite some particularly snarky remarks in the comments, nowhere did they claim this survey was a scientific sampling.

Go read it.  I'll wait.

What I found interesting is that the No. 1 marketing technique matches my own research--word-of-mouth makes the difference in a writer's sales.  But how do we generate this buzz?


Okay, beyond the obvious, I think it's a delicate balance between promotion and engagement with others. I've seen several writers send out desperate tweets of "Buy my book" every two seconds. I've seen writers spend too much time on social sites to the detriment of their craft.

Jon F. Merz is a good example of balance. He started following me on Twitter. My little pecadillo is you'd better have an interesting website for me to check out. If you don't, I won't follow you back.

Jon had a cool website. His first tweet had the tagline for his Lawson series--"James Bond with fangs." I love Ian Fleming and vampires, so I had to check the first book out. Plus, Jon is gracious enough to respond when someone tweets him. Also, his tweets find a happy medium between his promotions and other life stuff.

I read Jon's book, loved it, and STARTED RECOMMENDING IT to friends and family, especially males who like the action hero genre.

Word-of-mouth--it's the best way to advertise.  Oh, and being nice works too.


  1. I couldn't agree more. I try to space out my advertising on social sites. But I have great friends and family who spread the word. I couldn't be more grateful to them. Nothing worse than a writer hounding someone to buy their book. I don't like to do that in fear they won't like it and I pretty much put the gun to their head to buy it. Oh well...great post!

  2. Savannah, I freely admit I owe most of my sales to my cohorts at the Northwest Houston Chapter of RWA. These folks are wonderful at supporting each other and spreading the word.

    But what really tickles me is when a trad-published author (who's not one of my crit partners) comes up to me and says, "I was really suprised that X is a great book."

  3. Thanks so much for this great post, Suzan! I really appreciate it! And I'm thrilled you enjoyed THE FIXER - hopefully you'll dig the other novels in the series as well! :)

    Really glad we connected on Twitter and if you ever need anything, don't hesitate to drop me a line!

    Be well,

  4. LOL Jon, to read the other Lawson books I downloaded, I've got to pry my Kindle out of my hubby's tight grip. I did manage to read Drop Dead while he was walking the dog one night.