I finished reading William Martin’s new historical fiction novel City of Dreams last night. Great read. Here is the review I just posted on Amazon.
William Martin just released his latest novel – City of Dreams – featuring recurring characters Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington searching for a box of priceless Revolutionary War bonds. After reading the comments below about how he’s utilizing social media to promote the book, return to my e-newsletter and use “Send This To A Friend” to redirect Fast:Forward to someone who would enjoy reading it – or post a link on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or favorite social site.
Shoot me a quick e-mail with “Done” in the Subject line afterward. (Honor system in place!) I’ll randomly draw one name from all responses – and that person will receive an autographed copy of City of Dreams.
> View a short trailer on City of Dreams to experience just how much the publishing world is changing.
William Martin’s Comments:
“The traditional platforms are being dismantled. There may be half a dozen newspapers left in the country that continue to review books on a daily basis. And other platforms are being closed to writers. Just the other day I was supposed to be on a local televison show to talk about “City of Dreams.” The host was ready to do the the show. Then the higher-ups saw an interview with another writer and said, “No more writers.” So no more Martin on that TV station. The old ways of doing things are changing. Out in media land, they’re all worried. They’re all scared. They’re all cutting.
So what do you do? You can’t quit. You have to find new ways to market yourself. Instead of being swamped by the cyberwave that is sweeping everything before it, you should try to catch its crest and dive into it.
I haven’t mastered Twitter and don’t think I want to. Don’t understand all the “following” business. And I haven’t pushed too hard on Linked-In. I have friends who are urging me in that direction, but you can only do so much. I decided to use FaceBook. I’ve figured it out. It’s easy to post things there. I refuse to tell you what I had for breakfast or what kind of beer I like. But I’m able to tell readers about my characters when I’m writing and about my events when I’m promoting.
I don’t think FB will change my life. I only have about 500 friends and about 130 on my fan page but they say that you only need about a thousand real fans to help you get the ball rolling. I’ve sold a lot of books over the years, and I’ve counted on a lot more than a thousand fans. But FB reaches people who are genuinely interested, the kind of people who can help light the lttle brushfires of interest that can burst into a best selling conflagration. That’s how viral marketing – I’d call it brushfire marketing – works. At my book launch on May 11, we had an SRO crowd, in part thanks to FB. So friend me or join the fan page and see the pictures from that night. Help me toward the thousand fans who I hope will light matches in the brush around the country and help me onto the best seller list again.”
Many smaller communities – even those in the suburbs of a big city like Houston – have weekly newspapers that cover the local scene…from new business openings, to city council updates, to high school sports. As major dailies across the country struggle for survival, local weeklies continue to arrive in mailboxes with pictures of the latest Rotary luncheon speakers or features on the latest resident to turn 100.
One reason the local angle resonates with readers is there’s something special about seeing a story on a restaurant you frequent or recognizing the photo of your fifth grader’s friend who finished as runner-up in the spelling bee. That’s much more personable than traveling on business and picking up the Omaha World-Herald or Memphis Commercial Appeal – or even reading about the politics of your nearest metropolitan area.
Residents of a community share a bond – a oneness – that’s somewhat like supporting a high school football team. All week long kids separate into smaller social groups and pursue individual interests, but starting with the Friday afternoon pep rally, they join together in a unified front aimed squarely at defeating their archrivals on the other side of the field.
There is an opportunity in your business to capitalize on that same camaraderie. Becoming the local expert positions you in a unique way to stand out from competitors. Identifying the bullet points of your unique knowledge base and communicating it in written pieces and speaking platforms positions you for success. When people think, “Wow, she really knows her stuff,” you’re building a relationship of trust that exceeds even a glowing front page article. (If your company is global, you would do well to think of situations where you can act local!)