Marketing Not-Monday

“The most popular and best time slot for posting on Twitter looks to be 7am – 9am on a Friday, while Wednesday at 9am is also a popular time, with engagement levels remaining strong throughout the day.”,remaining%20strong%20throughout%20the%20day.

I don’t have a Patreon or a Kofi. There’s no Kickstarter attached to my name. I’m not going to spin you a sob story to make you feel like you should help me out in my distress.

I just have some books out there that I think you’d enjoy. Certainly, based on the reviews I have gotten, few though they be, a lot of readers agree.

They’re priced pretty low, because I think you’d like them, too.

(for some reason, this one loaded differently than the others…it’s still my personal fave, though.)

(This one, too, didn’t load the same way…if you want to know more about me…)

^^^Free on KU!^^^

This one’s kind of an academic thing about early medieval Irish food…good for worldbuilding and re-enactors, though.

How marketing works…


So there was this tweet saying that retweeting links about other authors’ books was no good, and that it would be better to buy the book – that the RTs were basically useless….

And there I was, gobsmacked and basically “I.Can’t.Even.”-ing all over the place.

Because one of the things that every writer is nagged at in tweets and adverts and writing videos about getting a following and becoming successful is about MARKETING.

And marketing is just how to get your name and work/title recognition out to a significantly large number of people so that enough of the people who would like what you write get to hear about it and consider buying your stuff.

Every day, my email in-box is stuffed full of services wanting – for a price – to tweet out my links to their thousands of subscribers, in order to generate not only sales, but wider reach so that more people who like the kinds of stuff I write have a chance to at least think about buying something. (I know. I’m repeating myself. But it needs stressing, apparently.)

Advertising/marketing is, at its core, pretty simple.

The more people know about a thing that is for sale, the more likely it is that someone will at least consider purchasing the thing.

The more times they see it, the more likely it is that they will consider it more seriously.

The stronger the association they have with “things they are interested in” and “the things you are offering for sale”, the more likely it is that when they do decide to buy a thing, your thing will be the one they choose.

Big corporations spend millions of dollars on this stuff.

Us smaller fry also spend a lot on these things. Bookbub has this reputation of making authors a lot of money by tweeting  their book links (plus some other stuff they do) but they are expensive, and an impoverished writer might feel they can’t afford a $500 dollar risk, so they either go with less expensive services, or with the free ones, and hope that it will work a bit.

But really, the #writerslift thing often does just as well, and reaches entirely new pools of readers/buyers, and in a somewhat more organic and less impersonal way.


I began my self-publishing life getting perhaps one or two buys in a month.

Five years on, I sell at least one book most days, and often three or four in a day. It’s not much, but it has grown, and I can see that this growth is at least 80% due to an ever-widening reach, and name recognition.

I never ran a Bookbub thing (I never got accepted, and eventually, I decided the outlay probably wasn’t worth it, anyway) but I’ve used free services a fair number of times, and a few inexpensive paid ones. The tweet thing, though: that’s been incredibly successful for me.

But that’s because I know, now, how this works.

If someone on a “writers’ lift” tweet RTs my link, I don’t expect to see any instant buys. First off, because most people, but especially other writers, cannot afford to buy 40 books every week, let alone every other day. Secondly, the people seeing my link may not like the things I write…but when they RT, it goes out to a couple-three thousand other people, some of whom might look at my link and think “Oh. That’s exactly what I’m in the mood for!”

But not all of them can afford to buy it right then and there.

Hell, a lot of them might not even see that post or link on the same day it goes out (some people are not connected to Twitter by an umbilical cord. Shocking, I know, but there it is.)

And there are days when people buy, and days when they do not. Weekends are better than other days…except not always. Wednesday seems to be the day when people are less inclined to buy my books, and I do understand that one. Wednesdays are the worst – most of us would rather just stay home and weep.

And it often/mostly takes people about a dozen moments of “That looks interesting” before they really are ready to buy an unknown author’s work.


Look, this is not a sprint – it’s a marathon. Word of mouth does more than any fancy ad campaign, and Twitter is the electronic version, with the potential to insinuate your name/book/brand into tens of thousands of complete strangers’ consciousness…for free.


Not a Good Look for Indie Authors


Back a couple of months ago, when people were just starting to social distance/shelter in place/self-isolate, various sectors of the economy started to “give back” – understanding that with people suddenly bereft of income, and  because we all needed to do some stuff to at least slow down the spread of a deadly disease, museums put digitized collection stuff on line for free, on line colleges put up courses for free, and writers – especially indie writers – lowered their e-book prices  and put more books on for free.

Sure – in some cases, organizations and individuals hoped that some of this might pay some dividends further down the road, but mostly, we just wanted to do something, contribute something, and make this enforced separateness and anxiety-inducing crisis just a teeny bit easier.

Things are going on much longer than I think any of us anticipated, and now, anti-racism protest and the concomitant backlash of white supremacist-led vandalism and looting, not to mention increasing violent reactions by police and some government authorities, even people who were coping fairly well are upset, freaked out, depressed, demoralized.

The hole is being dug deeper and deeper for us all.

And then, creepily, some – only some – indie authors thought they might actually be able to capitalize on that collective state of mind by social media ploys like this:

“You’re struggling through yet another week of endlessly tumultuous social, economic, and political insanity while social & physical distancing from family and friends during an apocalyptic pandemic, and you just want to kick back in a comfortable chair with your favorite beverage close at hand and escape into another world with a good book.”

Followed by advert links to their books.

There are two facets here, and both are really egregiously insidious and ugly.

First off: it’s a pretty blatant shill tactic. It’s got a kind of snake-oil salesman feel to it, as if you can cure the world’s ills by reading a book completely unrelated to the here-and-now.

I don’t know about you, but I have to say that when I see this, I resolutely do not buy. Because I won’t support anyone who wants to take advantage of people’s enforced discomfort.

But the real problem is that it trivializes the current turmoil, unrest, and uncertainty. It makes it seem as if at least some people can “escape” from what is happening – just turn away and pretend it isn’t happening at all.

If – as the kinds of announcements that writers used around the beginning of April showed – you offered the book as a “break” and as a way for the author to give you something (a free or very cheap book), then it could be viewed kindly. It could be viewed as an attempt to alleviate the boredom of the complete lack of routine that people were experiencing.

But now?

Now it obviously is an appeal to those whose privilege enables them to ignore very real crises happening all around them – not just to step back, maybe have a couple-three hours to de-stress, but to just completely check out.

Now it just looks like a cynical attempt to get someone to buy stuff and pretend that nothing is wrong in the world.

That’s not going to play out well over the long haul.

Author Spotlight on A. R. Silverberry!

Cerberus Cover Reveal and Excerpt!

Fantasy author A. R. Silverberry is stopping by today for a cover reveal and excerpt from his forthcoming short story collection, Cerberus, Tales of Magic and Malice. To celebrate, he’s giving away prizes! And the book, available for pre-order, will be on sale for $0.99 from now until a short time after it’s released. To enter the contest, just use the handy Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post, where you’ll also find the pre-order link. But first, the cover!

Cerberus 72dpi-1500x2000-4

From A. R. Silverberry

Nine Timeless Tales of Enchantment

Does Magic Exist? Discover the strange and curious events that unfold when …

  • A belligerent bailiff has his fortune told
  • A little girl searches for one last spell
  • A reclusive actress receives a mysterious knock on her door
  • An orphan fights to survive in the shadow of a menacing terror

Don’t stop there … a wizard, a friendless boy, a devil cat, and Shakespeare’s fairy queen lie within. From the boundless imagination of A. R. Silverberry, these irresistible tales conjure up a wondrous brew of MAGIC AND MALICE.

FEATURING SEVEN ALL-NEW STORIES: Cerberus, Tangles, The Willow Sister, Titania, Blaze, and The Mask

From the Preface:

Though he penned some of the most memorable novels in science fiction, Ray Bradbury thought of himself as a sprinter, a short story writer. I always thought of myself as a marathoner. Blame my personality. Big things done alone have always appealed to me. In elementary school, I challenged the “fastest kid in the class” to an endurance race around the schoolyard. By lap nineteen he dropped out clutching his side. I kept going another ten laps, even though I was running solo. When I discovered novel writing, it seemed just the thing. The form allows for the creation of intricate worlds, twisty plots, and complex and compelling characters. And plenty of time for the story to unfold. It came as a surprise, then, that I would enjoy writing short stories. The concentration of time, place, and emotions was startling and satisfying. And there’s nothing like knocking out a finished piece in a few days or weeks, rather than one to three years, my pace for writing a novel.


In this volume, three stories sprouted from prompts from The Fellowship of Fantasy, an online support group for fantasy authors. One of these stories, “Three Steaks and a Box of Chocolates,” was published in their anthology, Fantastic Creatures. Another, “The Demon Monkeys,” was published in their anthology Hall of Heroes. “Blaze” was also inspired by the story prompt for Fantastic Creatures, but you can’t always control when something is ready, and it needed more time to gel. “Cerberus” on the other hand had been rolling around my brain for some time. The prompt for that first anthology fit it to a tee, but I decided to retain it for later publication. Two unfinished stories, “The Tea Party” and “The Mask,” were dredged out of old computer files and completed for this collection.


Flash fiction lends itself wonderfully to fairy tales, and I couldn’t resist conjuring up two of these with “The Willow Princess” and “Tangles.” A third flash fiction, “Titania,” was inspired by the magical forest in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

So there you have it: mix six short stories with three flash fiction stories and you get a potion for magic and malice. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did writing them.

Pre-order from Amazon. Book goes live on May 18!

Follow A. R. Silverberry:




About the Author:

Author Photo Web

A.R. Silverberry writes science fiction and fantasy for children, teens, and adults. His novels, Wyndano’s Cloak and The Stream, earned numerous awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. He lives in California, where he explores enchanted forests, searching for pixies and elves.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



There was this guy…


It was a “fan group” page a writer had. He got discouraged, apparently, by the fact that the number of people following his page didn’t amount to the equivalent number of buys and reviews.

So he issued an ultimatum, saying that if you hung around for over three months and still didn’t buy or review his stuff, he was going to purge you from the group.

Other writers took exception. They pointed out that people don’t respond very well to threats of this type.

He went ballistic.

But those who did respond had some salient points, one of which was that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of books that readers want to read. Not reading his might not be the terrible hardship he assumed it would be.

They pointed out, too, that other writers/readers were just as cash-strapped as he was, but that both begging and insulting your fans/potential customers was not the most tactful way to tip the balance in your favour.

People tried the old bromide of “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”, but he riposted that he didn’t want to attract flies.

It was maddening and a little bit sad, in an amusing sort of way, because a whole lot of those people went ahead and purged themselves right off his page, which was, I would guess, not what he wanted for results.

There are, in fact, way more people on my author page than have written reviews of my books. Occasionally, I remind them in a general, non-forceful way, that reviews are really important to authors (usually via memes other people have posted…).

Even if it only prompts those readers to go review some other book by some other author – well, that’s something, isn’t it?

And judging by my sales numbers, it’s possible some of the people following me as an author haven’t bought my books, either. It could be friends who just want to lend support, but don’t read the kinds of stuff I write. It could be they have no money. (Hey – if that’s you, message me. I might have a deal for you.)

Still, eventually, they might buy something.

At some point, they might go on the ‘Zon and give that book some stars and an “I liked it!” (or, as chance might warrant, “I hated it”. That’s really okay. I promise not to weep in public.)

But I refuse to beg people to do anything, much less plead for them to spend money on me.

Not just because it’s annoying and undignified, but because that’s not what the author page on FB is for.

First and foremost, it’s for communication. It’s like meeting someone at a party, and them asking what I do for a living – I’d want to put my best non-pushy, witty self forward, so that when the time comes, they think, “Yeah, I feel like checking that out!”.

Which is why my page, and my Twitter feed (here: @morganauthor1) is not a non-stop promo machine, but weights heavily towards funny memes about being a writer, and occasional reports of where I’m at in whatever I’m writing, and some plugs for other authors, because that makes both me and the other author feel kinda good about life..

You can follow it all here


Sauce for the Goose

Why Terry Goodkind was not the only one being “unprofessional”.



I swore I was going to keep my mouth shut on this one.

I may even have meant it.

But as this tempest in a teacup seems to be refusing to go away, I do, in fact, have some thoughts about it.

(For those not in the know, there have been scores of news stories. Just google “Terry Goodkind Cover” and read on. Long story short: Goodkind didn’t like the cover of his latest release and publicly said so. The artist responded, as did a million other people.)

As a published writer, I’ve been told like six hundred billion times that if I get a negative review, I should ignore it, at least publicly. It would be unprofessional, says everyone and their aunt’s grandmother, to respond or even acknowledge the bad review.

And while I do sympathize with the artist, and agree that Goodkind was an idiot to have created the problem in the first place (Why go public with your dissatisfaction? Why? It was stupid.) I think what is getting lost in this is that the artist behaved just as unprofessionally.

No? You disagree?

Well, basically, what Goodkind did was give the artist a bad review.

If writers must not respond to bad reviews —– why is it different for artists?

Why are they allowed to be outraged – openly, in the press and on-social-media outraged – when someone publicly says “This is crap” – but writers cannot?

And frankly, if the artist went to any decent art college in his youth, he must have sat through innumerable critiques, wherein not only his artistic skills, but his general worth as a human being, was routinely called into question on a weekly basis, so he ought to have grown a thicker hide.

I have some experience with that particular torture chamber, and I’ve written about why it was such a good experience, giving me skills that transfer to a hundred other life situations, but let’s just say that in terms of creating an acid test for weeding out dilettantes from actual artists, it works like a charm.

It also can create serious neurotic conditions that last a lifetime, and it’s not a recommended course of action for everyone.

Still, if you want to put your stuff out there – writing, music, art, whatever – you need to understand that some people will not like it.

Frankly, this was just two grown men behaving equally badly, and I think their best bet is to shut the hell up and hope it all blows over.



PS: I don’t want to start a flame war, but Goodkind was not entirely wrong in his opinion. The cover is not very good. It’s not as bad as the writer makes out, but it certainly isn’t anything higher than “vaguely competent but pedestrian” as far as cover art goes. Goodkind’s beef, however, ought to have been with the person who chose it.