My amazing promotional campaign idea crashes and burns

… before it’s got off the ground. Anyone have a celebrity friend I can borrow?

Still using the new editor. You need lots of Real Estate in order to create a post. I’m on my phone. And no Siri that’s not a capital R and a capital E.

Today, I had a brilliant idea while I was having lunch. I dropped my food and wrote everything down. Then I joined Fiverr. As I’ve referenced in my previous post, I am miserable because I was trying to get going on Twitter when they imposed a new feature that allows a small group of people to select limited accounts from which to receive tweet replies. This limits who can directly engage with a post. It is another way of creating an elitist clique among already popular feeds. That is not fair.

Going off on a tangent here, let me say that I’m sick and tired of people telling me how amazing social media is for promoting myself. The number of unanswered tweets I have read daily makes me sad. On top of that, Twitter wouldn’t allow me to promote my tweets because my account was too new. I feel that it is impossible to grow through organic engagement. 

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Photo from Pexels

I read that on social media, between 4.7% to 5% engagement is good. And anything above 9% is rare. It is a lot of singing and dancing for paltry rewards. Therefore, I thought it would be efficient to use many existing networks to get my project idea out there. I want to meet and correspond with people who like to read books. I don’t know how many people are reading my chapters on this blog and I don’t want to trash my project because I don’t get a lot of feedback in this forum. The plan was to create redundancies by launching as many campaigns as possible and renew them periodically.

Do I continue writing or do I shred my novel? I think it would be a good idea to encourage people to sign up to read it chapter by chapter in chronological sequence. Based on demand or continued mailing list subscriptions, I can decide what to do next.

My plan so far: Readers who are interested in reading an entire book for free will subscribe to a mailing list and receive a new chapter each week. Subsequently, I will ask readers to share testimonials and links to my blog, or write reviews. I estimate it will take several months to a year.

Fiverr has everything I need for my campaign. All of the individuals I contacted are popular and sought after. They advertise shout outs, interviews and advertisements. I was thrilled. I typed out my stump speech, added some bona fides and messaged every one I could find.

Six hours later, almost everyone responded. I got three positive replies. However, most were not willing to do any promotion for a new author. Others needed to read the whole book first.  

This means I may not get my project promoted as widely as I’d like even though it’s a FREE fiction novel. But isn’t that the point of promoting a product via a total influencer roll out?

I agree that name recognition helps. Chanel, Dior, Estée Lauder, Fancl and Shiseido give away skincare and makeup products all the time. They’re still able to sell full-size products for ridiculous prices. I should know because I’m on all of the above birthday mailing lists, and receive free, limited edition products in the post or over the counter. 

Even so, I felt like a start-up skincare company being told by a beauty vlogger that they won’t even patch test my products because they’ve never heard of my “brand”. I appreciate everyone’s honesty and will now proceed to feel sorry for myself.


Other images in this post are free from Unsplash.

25 thoughts on “My amazing promotional campaign idea crashes and burns

  1. I think it’s a good idea to develop a relationship with your audience first and then when you have an ask it’s a favour from a friend. I intended to give away all of my content for free. I keep the asks to a minimum on my blog and do all of my promotional activities elsewhere. Hopefully, my subscribers noticed that I gave away a free copy of my book the week before last.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sabisquit, I feel your pain. I think you are doing great, though. You engage with people wonderfully. Your writing is powerful. You might want to do some guest posting. I’d love to have you do a post on Always Write. Do you have an emailing program? Check out Jon Morrow, Jeff Goins, and many of the other professional bloggers and authors that can help you get started. I am recommending keeping a blogging journal and have written several posts on that. I’m going to be sending out my first-in a long time email this week if you’d like to sign up for my mailing list.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Even when I had a little side business as a mobile fitness instructor I had a terrible time promoting myself on social media – and at the time that was only Facebook and Instagram. I’ll admit part of it was my underlying disapproval of social media in the first place so I wasn’t about to spend lots of time posting about myself and interacting with other people. Even here on WP I don’t actively seek out other people with similar interests. I’ve been on here since 2010 and have only amassed a few hundred followers, averaging maybe 10-20 likes per post. There’s a core group of people that I engage with and read on a semiregular basis. But it all comes down to me getting tired of sitting on my ass and looking at a screen all day for work, then when it’s time to write, and then again for anything extra on here.

    I had to look up Fiverrr, I’d heard of it but didn’t remember what it was. Your experience reminds me of trying to get a new job say, as a barista, and they say we can’t hire you since you don’t have any experience. And you say how am I supposed to get experience if I’m never allowed to join and learn. You’re just trying to get your foot in the dang door…I feel like I’ve seen smaller publishing companies that take pride in finding and promoting brand new authors, but they are few and far between. I wish I had more advice to give you but I’m not the best at promoting myself. I do follow one guy on Instagram who seems to be very successful, he gets a lot of short stories published in horror anthologies and has other books he’s written and publishes via Amazon. He often promotes his work by reading snippets out loud. He promotes others’ work and gives little reviews so that they in turn promote his work. He’s very active on Instagram and has many followers. I swear he must spend gobs of time liking other people’s photos and watching their IG stories. He interacts so often it’s like he has a full time job. He also posts plenty of humorous memes and bits and bobs from his own life. And lastly he’s ridiculously good looking. But people also go nuts over mystery – not showing any pictures of yourself, or perhaps just bits and pieces. Your hand holding your book. A video of you reading from your book but only showing from the lips down. That sort of thing.

    I agree with Nik, don’t shred it and keep on keepin’ on.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for this lovely comment. I enjoy your blog very much, so thank you for showing up and engaging with my post. I am all about talking to people. I am naturally introverted, so having a public blog should be taken as a sign that I want to engage, broaden my horizons and learn new things. I am grateful for your understanding and encouraging words. I have cycled back over my strategy and decided to try things a different way. I will be posting the results here soon. You are correct that being beautiful is a talent that most writers would love to have. That was great advice – having an air of mystery. It works just as well, so I will keep that in mind for later.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely! And glad to hear you’re enjoying my blog, too. I’m also introverted but have met some really cool people here on WP. I wish you the best of luck with your promotion strategy and look forward to seeing how it works out. You already have a mysterious profile pic on here, so you’re workin’ it! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I took your advice on that and changed out the photo to one of the mannequins I dressed up for an art project. Thank you for your support. I have an update coming out on Tuesday. Hope you’ll get to see it. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Self promoting books sucks. It is the honest truth, but I’m still glad I published the books I did and managed to sell what I have. I’ve even gotten a few fan letters/reviews, which makes it all worth it in the end!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Maranda. Glad you survived the process and made friends. I’ve listened to a few other authors and their experiences with it and I’m starting out by enlisting help from the very beginning. Meeting lots of nice people and hearing from authors like you is making the process more fun than I anticipated.


  5. Given my extraordinary totals of 283 WordPress followers and about 150 on Twitter I suspect I’m not the guy to give advice about self promotion! Don’t shred the novel, and it’s good that you have a plan even if it feels like the game is rigged. Whatever you do, keep writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nik, I am grateful for the encouraging words. Thank you. I love writing and have done so even when I was the only one reading. But I really want people to read my work so I’ll keep trying. Hugs for the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can relate to the writing even if no one is reading part 🙂 Good on you for wanting to get your work our there to a wider audience – it’s something I keep promising myself I need to try but as yet the ambition has eluded me. My plan was always to submit short work more widely and grow a base that way but somewhere I settled into a comfort zone of familiar places and gradually life got in the way of writing. I’ve been getting some ideas again though recently so maybe the plan can be resurrected! Have a lovely weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Sabiscuit, I hear you! Self promotion is challenging and that’s why I am starting now, before I even have a book or product to promote. I would encourage you to give Twitter another go, it’s quite fantastic after you get over the first hump. I got my Twitter account from 0-810 followers in less than two months and my tweets do get a decent amount of engagement – mostly a handful of comments, but a few in the 10s and 100s. In terms of your book, I do some promotion on my Twitter account – my friend recently said he got a sale through me – and I also read/ review books myself. Please get in touch if you’re interested in collaborating.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for this, Kathrin S. I am very interested in collaborating and I am grateful to you for making this offer. I might be too boring, insecure and unattractive for social media so I am going to stay off it. I have no issues acknowledging my shortcomings. I can write and tell a good story, and I can pay attention to other people and keep engagement high, but I am not a natural seductress. I decided to put some requests out instead of approaching freelancers directly. I hope they’ll pan out. Please contact me so we can chat behind the scenes. I am open to advice and direction, so let me have it:

      Liked by 1 person

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