An Adventure in Social Media Marketing

Delilah and Horse Web Cover

In my post, It’s All in the Packaging, I interview cover designer, Dawn Leslie Mullan and I issued a plea for your help and support as the cover art for Delilah made it to the second round in a book cover contest on Facebook. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it into round three, but I want to thank all those who took the time and went to the effort to vote. Delilah has a great cover that fits her story, and I appreciate everyone who jumped in a tried to help us win. I also want to thank DL Mullan for providing such a great cover and Robin Conley for nominating it.

Although I have participated in release parties, it was my first experience with an event like this on social media, so I learned a lot from the experience. I think there are several reasons why we didn’t make it to round three. The promoters of the event were romance authors, and many of the covers we were up against were romance covers, especially the ones which got the most votes, which leads me to believe romance readers were the majority of the audience attending this event, so I considered it lucky that I was able to get the votes I did. Again, all those that voted, whether from my previous blog post, or from my massive marketing campaign to gain votes, you guys are great, and greatly appreciated.

I also learned what not to do when hosting an event like this. The event promoters laid out a set of rules for voting, which had participants clicking and liking various pages, and although the rules were laid out, it seems several of the participants failed to do so, because in later rounds, new “Rules” posts were put up, saying those who failed to follow each step would not be counted. Also, at the end of round two, they announced that hearts did not count as votes, only ‘likes’, but this was not stated at the beginning, so anyone who had someone who loved their cover enough to give it a heart was disqualified.

I think these events should be made as easy as possible to participate in. Think about it. We’re asking people to take time out to go to a page and vote, or play silly games to win prizes in the case of release parties. The games should be fun, or at least funny. The prizes should be something that will be viewed to have some value. And voting should be quick and easy, only taking a few minutes of their time. And for heavens sake, if someone does accept your invitation and attends, or votes for you, show some appreciation and thank them. I know I do, and it keeps readers coming back for more.

I was happy that the cover for Delilah made it to round two, and disappointed that it didn’t go to round three. Maybe next time. Although, I am wondering how effective these social media events really are. A couple of authors I’ve talked said they’ve participated in release parties, but haven’t seen any real increase in sales from them. That could be partly because they are attended mostly by other authors, so we may be playing to the wrong audience there.

I’d be interested in hearing from other authors who participate in these events. I’d like to know how beneficial they really are. Do they bring in sales of your books? Or are they a waste of time? If you’d like to weigh in, leave a comment here, or contact me at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.


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6 Comments on “An Adventure in Social Media Marketing”

  1. I’m realizing more and more that much of what we authors call “marketing” on social media is really just talking to each other. I know many other authors also read as much as I do (my husband says “is that possible?” lol), but I also suspect that they (like me) also have wish lists that would spend every penny in the bank and then some. Personally, I’m scaling back on the amount of time and effort I’m spending on social media and targeting the time I do spend there to focus on groups that are focused on the topic that I write about. That is, I’m targeting New Mexico history groups, since I write historical fiction set in northern New Mexico. I’m seen some results. I’m also getting away from my computer and talking to gift shops and bookstores in my area. This is slow and it can be uncomfortable making “cold” calls, but it seems to be paying off.


  2. That being said, in my opinion, the most important thing that ALL of us should be doing is editing more. If we all produced better high quality stories, more people would be willing to risk buying the work of people they’ve never read before. It’s the poor writing quality of much of what’s being offered out there that turns a lot of people off. And yes, I know that books published by the major traditional houses aren’t necessarily the best writing in the world. But we “unknowns” shouldn’t let that be an excuse to be sloppy. And many of us, quite frankly, are.


  3. I’m sorry I missed the release party and voting, but I would have voted with a ❤️ This cover is spectacular! 😊


    • Thank you for the compliment on the cover, Anne Marie. It is pretty spectacular, and it has seen an increase in sales. My cover designer is amazing. I tell her what the book is about and she comes up with something perfect that fits the story. I love it. And don’t worry. There will be other contests.


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