Friday, May 11, 2012

Celebrating SPAM

OK, the title is largely to get your attention. Today is the anniversary of Hormel’s registering of the Trademark “SPAM” for a food product. However, SPAM has taken on a whole new meaning since 1937. 

What got me thinking of SPAM is that so much of book marketing today seems to depend on “social media.”  And, so much of social media is, let’s face it, the SPAM of interesting blurbs.

We’ve all been warned not to burn the follower bridges by producing too much garbage, or if not garbage, an unappealing blob of non-nutritious information.

Sometimes the reason we do, is we believe in social media and hear the success stories, but the truth is social media is not a panacea and it is NOT where you SELL your book. Brian Jud puts out a blog that has some good advice (although, like way to many marketing advice for authors, he focuses on advice that often is obviously for non-fiction books, while in general the hurdles are greater for fiction (strategically)). His recent two entries were 50 Tips to promoting your book parts I and II. 

Note tip

31. Implement a social commerce campaign. Use Facebook, Twitter and the other social media to spread the word about your book, but not for book sales.

The last clause is important. You are NOT selling your book on social media. You are spreading the word and generating interest. The interest is appropriate for the audience. If you are trying to get librarians interested in your book, they need to understand why their patrons will be interested. Their goal is subtly different than a bookstore, which is subtly different than a radio talk show.

Jumping back to earlier tips of Jud’s:

  • Stop selling your books. Sell what the content in your book does for the readers—what are the benefits to them?
  • People do not care about your book. Retailers display products to increase store profits. Media hosts want a good show for their audiences. Librarians want to help their patrons. Appeal to the right motive and you will sell more books.

Note that what he is trying to tell you is don’t SPAM the audience. Don’t SELL … inform. Connect. Make it pertinent to THEM. Otherwise it is an uninteresting blob of non-nutritious information byproducts.

Keep the SPAM at Hormel and of course, Monty Python.

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