Choosing Tools Wisely

So I was talking to my friend Hartley (aka PetLvr) about Pinterest.   It seemed to me to be yet another sort of cool, sort of so/so  photo sharing site.    And then he showed me the pin for his book.   “That’s nice,” I thought.   Then he showed me how the pin is linked to the book’s actual download page.   He asked me for my book’s landing page,  and then added a pin for it.     It took me only moments then to realize,  hey this is WAY cool.    My friend and I just made a bookstore.   And it’s a bookstore that could get lots of casual browsers if only we got a bunch of other folks to join us.

I’m looking for authors who are willing to let me promote their books.   Your e-book or print book must already be for sale at a unique URL.    You will only need to permit me to pin a picture of your book cover and link it to where  you’re already selling it.   If it’s on Smashwords or Amazon please note that I will use affiliate links and earn a tiny commission,  though I am happy to feature ebooks that are offered for download from your own web site or even books that are sold,  but not on Smashwords or Amazon.   As long as you have a decent book cover image and a unique sales URL,  you’re in!

Just leave a comment with your book’s URL  and I will take care of the rest.   That Pinterest makes a great free virtual storefront may not be what the folks who created it intended,  but it seems perfect for this use,  at least for books with colorful covers.   I am thinking that this could be a great way for lots of us #indie authors and bloggers to promote our work–  as Hartley pointed out we can All re-pin each other’s books and the links to the sales pages will endure no matter how many times you re-pin the book cover image.   This is a great example of a friend showing me how to use a tool that had not seemed very useful to me before.    And you know,  maybe Michael  is right that all of the tools he promotes really are  necessary for a serious social networker.   But honestly,   I think it’s more likely that as my friend Stu Rader (aka 12flat of Olivia International) observed the other day:

” For a company, brand or client I whole-heartedly endorse a social media manager to have a central focus to a max of say 4 top level outlets from within a central hub. The hub should be a collaborative cloud or internal web based network/intranet. The front door to their business online is the Web site. Facebook personal profile is pretty obvious, G+ is gaining the momentum for businesses that cannot be ignored in 2012. Quora is a great place for an executive and brand/product manager to field questions about a product or service, since it does not allow business aliases. Facebook page with a possible tumblr feeding in. You notice I didn’t say Twitter, though we re-publish to it from #fb. Way too much IM noise/short link affiliate types there but fun when you’re bored. The above all applies to sole proprietorships and mega corps with many business units. ”

I greatly admire Michael‘s perseverance,  and honestly I don’t ever actually expect to “win”  our little argument.     I’m not a fan of all the sites Stu talks about–  you may remember that I hated G+ and canceled my account on that network months and months ago;  I also have never tried or used Quora.  And while I acknowledge what Stu said about the spammy short links and noise on Twitter,  I think that Twitter can be a very powerful tool for businesses and activists alike    I don’t think there is nor can be any “one size fits all”  answer for marketing,  social networking or anything else.   But I am dead certain that no individual or company can afford to be  everywhere.

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26 comments on “Choosing Tools Wisely

  1. As with anything people want to do in life, the outcome shall be decided on the amount of effort you put into it. This would include your careful selection of tools and other resources. Remember we must do our homework first if we want to succeed at the end with our projects.

  2. That’s great, Alan! Would you add a pin for my book, Circle City Blues? http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/21871

    So true about not being “everywhere.” Though I’ve seen a lot of my friends showing interest in Pinterest, I just can’t add another social-media site! I’m already spending more time “networking” than working — which is a bad thing when one has novels to write!

    Keep writing, Alan — you always seem to have something interesting to share.

      • Hi Alan! Sorry for the late reply — spent the day out buying a new puppy! LOL

        I’m glad you linked the paper version from Amazon. There’s an e-version on there, too. I’ve decided to try the KDP program with just CCB, which is why it’s not on Smashwords for now.

        Thanks for adding it to your Pinterest account! 🙂

      • Susan,

        I think that to any extent the KDP programs exclusivity requirement persuades authors to remove books from Smashwords, it is NOT a good thing for #indie authors. While I can totally understand the desire to get a bigger audience (and I know that Kindle is extremely popular and you can be profitable selling only on Amazon— for now) I fear that by weakening Smashwords, which imho is the biggest and best alternative to Amazon for writers, we risk driving Smashwords and other competitors out of business. Absolutely NOTHING about my experiences to date with Amazon leads me to believe they would treat writers fairly if we let them become the ONLY choice for #indie authors. (And this is not a criticism directed at you, Susan– just something I feel strongly about and wanted to share.)

      • I completely understand your position re: KDP, Alan. In fact, I mostly agree with you. I dislike the idea of any bookseller claiming a monopoly on my work. However, I have eight books (the 8th one is scheduled to be published in a few weeks). This is simply a test run to see if the KDP program will gain me additional readers. At the end of the 90-day commitment, I fully intend to pull the book from the program and put it back with Smashwords and all of the other vendors.

    • Well, Hartley definitely showed a use for it that I think would work very well for me. I am not against any particular site (though I admit I do dislike some). I just don’t think that anyone can Really be anywhere. And some folks aren’t even astute enough to be everywhere that someone talks about them, even though they claim to be everywhere 🙂

  3. Alan .. I’ve come up with some instructions how to get this going (for me anyway lol). This is based on most people pinning images without changing the description . so write what you want people to read instead of “nice” or “buy my ebook” etc.

    ||||| INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO GET YOUR EBOOK IN HERE! |||||
    (1) You must be HART’s Friend 😀
    (2) PIN your ebook to YOUR board with description you want
    (3) PIN my PetAdoptionandRescue Ebook to YOUR Board
    (4) I’ll come and pin yours to my board! (or tweet @PetLvr if this doesn’t happen in same day)

    :=)

  4. Oh, and I did get a Pinterest Acct. Can’t wait to see what you write about that….. or did you. Gimme Da Link Alan !

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