I’m my marketing man’s nightmare.
To have a strong brand and to market oneself through that brand, one should narrow one’s focus – making all social media representations sing loud and long about whatever one is releasing to the world, be it books, music, art, theatre or anything else…
For example, I’ve written about the twelfth century over six books and with all the tools at my disposal (website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and my blog) I should be blogging about the period, deconstructing politics, philosophy, individuals, artists, religieuses.
My Pinterest account should be devoted entirely to the period.
My Instagram account should have images relating to my timeframe or of my books, or about writers and writing.
Twitter should have links and grabs of short sentences relating to the twelfth century.
Facebook Page? Links to the timeframe, chats about history, about books and writing.
MM (Marketing Man) claims I’m a poor example of marketing as it should be done.
For one thing, I’m cross genre. By the end of this year I will have written 11 ½ books over four genres – historical fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary fiction and illustrated childrens’. He shudders at the complex nature of trying to market someone with such a varied portfolio.
I look at the tools at my disposal and shudder as well. Where do I start?
Twitter and I did not get on, right from the get-go. I’m not denying it’s a fabulous tool for any writer. Pacy and witty, if one knows what to do. And if one can say what one wants in a short exclamation.
Me? I’m a novelist! Nothing I do is short!
Twitter and I divorced some time ago but not before I had done the most amazing thing – written an Austenesque novel with forty+ other tweeters in the one hundred and forty characters that Twitter required at the time. The organisation, timing and skill needed to keep a narrative running to The End, stretched us all to the max. But for me, perhaps too much. I left Twitter and went where I could talk longer!
Facebook is good – I’m surrounded by likeminded souls – readers and writers both, and also specialists in my various genres. So it works. To a point. I agree though that perhaps I should narrow it to an area of expertise. But which area? Which genre?
Pinterest. Aaah, MM sighs with relief. That’s more like it! The Pinterest account has the appearance of history of the medieval era. He doesn’t even mind the Finding Fantasy board because it relates directly to another of my genres. But he isn’t happy with other boards within my account. There’s embroidery! Gardening! Things that are blue! Blue? For heavens’ sake why?
Well, we’ll get to the why shortly.
Instagram is new for me and I am still coming to terms with it. Initially I only ever used an app called Uplet to load images from my i-photo library because I didn’t know how to set up my i-phone to integrate images immediately with Instagram. My daughter sorted it all for me and I’m still learning. But MM wonders why the account is littered with scenic pics of Tasmania, of family, of personal life, instead of just #bookstagram stuff.
Then there’s my blog and I daren’t look at MM’s face.
My blog is as eclectic as my whole life. A bit of this, a bit of that…
Maybe that’s the thing, you see.
Life is short and there’s so much to see and do and I’m always busy with Life – not just writing. My blog is representative of me the writer for sure, but maybe, like part of Pinterest, it’s also representative of me the person.
For example, a Pinterest board on blue. Why? Blue is honestly my favourite colour. Why not pin exciting and unusual blue objects? Not that MM can even begin to understand.
I can’t separate myself from my writing. It’s intrinsic and whatever I do, whatever I experience on a daily basis makes for much better writing and a wider emotional scale. In my opinion.
Others might disagree.
I’ve seen any number of social media accounts used to brilliant effect by being far more focused than I.
But when’s all said and done, I love pinning and posting variety and as William Cowper said in The Task in 1785,
‘Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.’
Anyway, when I googled Prue Batten to see what kind of presence she had, there were many images and links. Maybe it’s not such a fail after all. (I hope).
MM will of course, disagree…