Thursday, January 26, 2012

Literary Gimme Caps

A gimme cap is a freebie businesses give away with their logo on them.  John Deere Tractors.

You get a promo pen all over the place, right?  If you're lucky because you're always losing pens anyway.

And from stupid politicians in an election year, they'd rather give you a button than give you their honesty.

Promo.  These are publicity items.  A car dealer doesn't give you a free tune-up, he gives you a memo magnet with his phone number on it.

Kindle Select.  The Alibaba of the bookselling world.  (What's Alibaba?  I don't know, some importer of cheap crap that turns up in my google searches every once in a while.)

Do not fall into the Amazon trap of giving anything valuable away!  Let me repeat that.  DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING VALUABLE AWAY.

This is the Jacob Javitts Center Trade Show.  This is a souk full of carpet sellers.  Haggling.  Grabbing.  Free is King! 

Do Not Give Anything Valuable Away.

What's valuable?  Uh, your whole book that took you months to write and you hold close to your heart like the treasure it is.

What's not "valuable"?  A short story you wrote specifically AS A PROMOTIONAL ITEM.

Promotional items only are free!  Do I need to repeat it?  No.  You're smart, you'll remember.

I can't make it more plain than this.

Of course this means rethinking the game plan you didn't have.  You will have to create "business cards" in order to play Kindle Select Lotto.  That means writing something specifically you will not make money on.

Don't listen to the people who say stuff like "My book was downloaded 10,000 times an hour and then sales skyrocketed".  They hit the lottery.  We don't care about them because we can't reproduce whatever they did.  We can only have our own strategy to maximize our efforts.

Maybe you don't agree with me.  Okay.  Lots of stuff works.  Lots of stuff doesn't.  I'm saying this issue has become really clear over the past two weeks.  I started to ask myself "What do I want from these cheesy 5 days?"  5 days a MONTH, Jeff, if you really wanted to help, but out of 90?  Grinchly.  So how to maximize these.  What do I expect from them.  Skip the great sales.  What do you want.  I want people to be exposed to my name so they will go to my books.

Okay.  If I already gave them my books, there's no point in going to BUY my books.  Ah, yes, that's not a feature in the system, it's a bug and it's not in my favor.  Then I can't give away my books.  And I can't give away cool memo magnets.  Or can I?  If I put up promotional items, it's like a billboard going down the highway.  Burma Shave.  Eat At McDonald's.  Yeah I need a shave.  Some fries would be good.  Where's the exit ramp?

You need to flood the Kindle Select system with your memo magnets.  If you had (don't make me do the math!) 5 promo/throwaway items on Select that's 25 days.  It's also 25 weeks.  You pick 1 day a week to run your "advertisement".  ME!  Here I am!  Great Invisible Storyteller.  Make me Visible!

Every week for your entire 90 day lockdown, you get to rise up out of the muck of a million other writers clammoring for attention.  You give the reader the sizzle not the steak.  You give them a taste of how good you are but you don't waste your best product on them.  You don't throw pearls before swine.  I'm only partially calling all those people in a feeding frenzy to get free books free books free books hahahahahaha like the guy in Frankenstein swine.  Some will prove themselves to be drunk trolls.  Shouldn't you at least get paid for it?

I'll probably say more later, but there you have the strategy and the reality.

Yeah that means you have to stop what you're doing and write some short pieces whatever they are.  Sorry.  So do I.

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