Marketing gimmick #1: spam, delicious spam…

Shizzle, Inc got up to #23 on the free Top 100 in Humor on the weekend! In fact, it stayed in Top 100 the entire time, thanks to you my dear readers and supporters. I was overwhelmed to see all the messages on the blog and retweets on Twitter – thank you so much!!

I couldn’t be more excited. I mean, I could be, of course. Like, if Cohen brothers called me and told me they want to make Shizzle, Inc into a film, I would totally lose it. For now, I’m just trying to function as a normal, middle-age adult, with a job and other responsibilities. Trying to get through my workday without giggling like an idiot has been a challenge. Also, trying not to turn every conversation into a discussion of self-publishing is proving to be nearly impossible.

Back to the topic at hand. Oh, the exciting times of marketing my novel! Most other writers blog about how much they hate this part of the writing-publishing projects, but I don’t get it. I can’t wait to implement my marketing strategy and see what results it may bring. Although, to tell the truth, I don’t have a strategy per se, at least not yet. All I have is a long list of gimmicks I’m going to test and blog about.

Which brings me back to the delicious spam. Ok, so maybe it’s not delicious, but I hope mine has been at least palatable. Ever since Shizzle, Inc was released on 4 September, I have been sending out 5 Twitter messages per day, each with a quote from Shizzle, Inc and a link to Amazon Kindle. My hope was that because they are entertaining, they will not piss off my followers. Here’s what a couple of them looked like:

Tweet 1Tweet 2Tweet 3

So, how did I do by spamming the entire world with these quotes and passive-aggressive attempts to get unsuspecting folk to buy my novel?

When I’ve looked at Twitter Analytics statistics, my first thought that the this particular gimmick backfired. Yes, the average number of views went up to 7,200 per day. Over 7 thousand views each and every day! In the previous weeks, my average views per day were around 4 thousand. So far so good, right?

Well, not exactly. These quotes/links did not get very many likes or retweets. In fact, the average rate of engagement dropped from my long-term average of 4-5% to about 2.1%. That’s an indicator of how many people have actually engaged with the tweet by either retweeting it, liking it, clicking on the link, or viewing my profile.

Quick math:

7,200 views * 2.1% engagement = 151 engagements

4,000 views * 4% engagement = 160 engagements

I stopped giggling long enough to consider abandoning this gimmick, until I checked how many “link clicks” I got. And this is where I finally saw some good news: the number of link clicks per week jumped from an average of 100 to 293. People actually clicked on the links! Considering that an average cost per click in advertising campaigns is $0.50, I’ve saved about $150 on advertising during the last week alone.

So I’ve decided to continue with this for now, unless you tell me that you’re sick of seeing quotes from Shizzle, Inc. In case you’re interested, I am doing it using a free version of Buffer – a website that lets you schedule tweets ahead of time. The free version lets me schedule up to 10 tweets and I can choose to send all 10 of them in one day, if I want to.

I’ve reduced the number of these spammy tweets to 4 per day – I will let you know what effect it will have on the number of engagements and link clicks. Most importantly, I will let you know the effect it will have on the number of sales. Stay tuned – I’m working on a post revealing exactly how many sales it took to get into the Top 100 list – the number may surprise you!


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

37 responses to “Marketing gimmick #1: spam, delicious spam…

  1. Josh Wrenn

    That doesn’t sound like spam to me. I would make sure you Tweet something not from the book on occasion just to balance it out if you’re not already doing so. Nothing wrong with promoting something you’re proud of. Those quotes were funny, and so when I get paid next, I might just have to check out the book. I would not have known if you weren’t promoting it,

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Josh! I usually tweet jokes, so to me the quotes were a natural extension of what I tweet anyway. I have not tweeted much of anything else lately, simply because all my head space is filled with the book, but will try to now – I need to get back to retweeting others!

      Thank you for liking the quotes, too 🙂 I hope you like the whole novel 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As someone planning to publish next year (probably self-publishing, but we’ll see…), following your adventures is both helpful AND hopeful! You’re doing such a great job and I’m happy for you. You’re an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Using quotes is an excellent idea! I snagged a copy of your book this weekend, thanks to your blog posts. (I’m on, “Bitches be crazy.”) So far, I think your story is hilarious! I don’t usually read this type of book, but I’m loving your character’s sense of humor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Honestly, nothing about your idea is spammy at all. I think it’s a great way to promote your book. Maybe people didn’t RT or like as often because they were too busy looking at the link for your book?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great strategy Ana! Thanks to you I just discovered Twitter Analytics! Very insightful stuff!


  6. Five plugs on Twitter each day doesn’t sound like a lot to me. Still, yes, kind of spammy, but it isn’t the kind that invades.

    Just so you know, I’m advertising your book on the sidebar of my blog. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Quick note then I’ve gotta boogie: Are you hashtagging your tweets? If not you may not be reaching the audience you want to reach.
    Suggestions: #newbooks #YoungAdult and anything else which may be applicable.
    I’ve never cheked my stats but can you tell when the most retweets and other interest occurred? If so perhaps keep tweeting about it to those times. You might also want to find and tweet TO reviewers. @MyGoldenReads is one and a publisher @writeawaybliss.
    Gotta go. Will be mobile in a bit if you have any questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 5 tweets a day isn’t spam. I have twice or more of that show up in my feed from other writers. And with no variation, like you did with the quotes!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This does not seem like spam to me. I am now signed up on Buffer. Thanks again. I am definitely deficient on the marketing part of writing and appreciate any useful information.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m excited for your great book sale. I love following your blog to see how you are doing all of this. Writing a book, selling, advertising. There’s a lot going on…exciting. I need to buy your book. I’m finishing one, and will suggest your book for our next book club read. I have collected several stories over the years that I’ve written … would like to turn them into short stories, one day. Loving your journey. Yaz.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Launching my book in the next month or so. Watching your marketing with interest!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. olivia barrington

    I think you should keep doing it. I personally think it’s a brilliant but cost effective way to reach thousands of people. It will pay off in the long run. Always keep your book(s) in the public’s eye everyday in anyway you can. Like someone else said mix them up with what you normally tweet. I haven’t done this because I haven’t asked your permission. Is it alright if your follower’s re-tweet these tweet’s with a line out of your book? Didn’t want to legally step on your toes since it’s your marketing and actual lines from your book. Some of them I just love and think I could reach a few more folks for you. Whatever you prefer on this matter let me know and I’ll be happy do abide by it. I got to download your book but been so busy haven’t had time to read much but I will. Looking forward to it. keep up the ideas your doing great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Olivia – I’d love for you to retweet any of my quotes, as long as there’s a link to the book. That’s what social media is all about 🙂 do you have a particular favourite so far?


  13. I think it’s a great idea. I’m going to do it too when the time comes. Thanks for the advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for that, Ana – and also for following my blog, which allowed me to find and follow yours. You’ve obviously given the whole marketing thing a lot more thought than I have, so I’ll be following your progress with interest, and wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pendragonslibrary

    Hello! I nominated you for a blog award! You don’t have to participate if don’t want to.

    Liked by 1 person

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