As I begin to devise my marketing campaign for The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey it’s time for some social media stocktaking.

  • I have only 223 twitter followers and I suspect some of them are not human beings but bots with absolutely no purchasing power and even less interest in the story of a chubby boy stung by an atomic bumblebee.
  • My Facebook friends number 276.
  • Linkedin is slightly more encouraging: 500+ connections, though a fair few are people who want to sell me something and with whom I foolishly linked out of some misguided sense of politeness.

At first I found these numbers disheartening – until I read that social media is not a great way of selling a self published book anyway, apart from in the marketplace populated by friends and colleagues.

Friends and colleagues. Yes. Those poor saps.

I love them all.

Nevertheless, using Canva, the idiot proof design tool which allows the likes of even me to cobble together social media friendly content, I make some dummy concepts for what I believe are called memes. I resolve to set them adrift in cyberspace when the time is right and also target carefully anyone and everyone in my address books and implore them to share.

Mark Gorton The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey

Mark Gorton The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey

Mark Gorton The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey

I realise it also makes sense to assume that amazon has ideas about how to help authors sell their books and I am not disappointed. Kindle Direct offers various marketing tools and research I should have done at the outset proves encouraging.

It seems I need to think about things like:

  • setting up a pre-order period in which, hopefully, a thermal of interest will push Bumbling-Boy up the amazon rankings
  • countdown discounts once the book goes on sale that allow buyers to snap up an even bigger bargain before the novel returns to its modest list price
  • encouraging positive reviews, though I feel a little nervous about the ethics of soliciting praise from people who will say my book is good even if they think it sucks.

Hold on. Ethics? Only those who stand up for what is right, people like Kenny, Dinkesh and Samantha, would care about such things.

As far as this wannabee children’s author is concerned, business is business.

Goodreads also needs my attention. I can join the Author Programme and attempt to promote Bumbling-Boy to the 55 million Goodreads members.

55 million sounds exciting until you ponder a) the challenge of reaching any of the small percentage of Goodreaders interested in children’s books; and b) the weighty fact that, since its launch in 2007, 1.5 billion books have been added to its catalogue. My needle may be finely polished, but it will have to be found in a haystack of gas giant proportions.

I also notice (and feel slightly embarrassed by my ignorance) that Goodreads was acquired by amazon in 2013. Though it’s possible to be nervous about a company which might be trying to see off competition in all its forms, the linkage between Kindle Direct Publishing and Goodreads also inspires hope in the heart of the aspiring author with a zero budget marketing plan.

Artist Dave Kennedy sends some sketch ideas for Green Bogey 2.0. I like this one. The notion that his face and daywear can be seen vaguely beneath his hideous slime is funny – it’s part of that no one ever guesses who anybody really is malarkey that is a key quality of superhero stories.

Mark Gorton The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey

We’ve more or less signed off on the plan for the cover and Dave says it should be ready by the end of the week. It’s probably time to give the manuscript one last read and tweak.

Let’s get ready to Bumble…

To be continued…




Author: Mark Gorton

I am a television producer making things for screens large and small. In my spare time I write, with a particular interest in fantastic fiction and sport non-fiction. It is an honour to host Samantha Kwok's local news site, the Blackwater Bugle. Blackwater never ceases to amaze.

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