Why did you publish a #zombie book?

July 27, 2017

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Valerie Lioudis, author of the zombie thriller, Aftershock: A Collection of Survivor Stories, asked me to write about how authors can use social media to market their books.

VL Aftershock.jpg

Valerie specifically wanted me to write for the authors that participate in the Reanimated Writers Zombie Fiction Fan Group on Facebook. I’m flattered by Valerie’s request and I hope I don’t disappoint her and Kevin. Because before I can get into the process and tasks, I have to get into the purpose. If the purpose and grit is lacking, there really isn’t any need to proceed further.

So I must ask you, fearsome author, why did you publish a book?

You published your book for it to be read, enjoyed and praised. By many. More than 100. Maybe, 5000. OR you have published a book for the wrong reasons.

Of course, many often say, just write. Others, write for yourself. In other words, write to understand you and, perhaps, benefit from truthful self-examination. Maybe you can fix you. Heal you. Find the path to a better you. Certainly, writing can help you do these things.

But once you have an ambition to publish your writing, you seek to be known. You seek to be trusted, preferred over others, honored, praised and otherwise rewarded. You want to matter to others. Me too.

Even if you possess talent, technique and style (however challenging they are for you to achieve in your work), these are not sufficient to get known. And, truth be told, a published book is not the accomplishment today that it was 100 years ago. In fact, anyone can publish a book today. And everybody seems to be doing it too!

Who will buy your book?

People need to see it to believe it. They need to believe it is worthy of their attention and time before they will taste it and see for themselves if it is good. Your book needs to be brought to market and it needs to succeed in a fierce competition among other books and, often, among better written books than yours.

It’s great, for example, that the zombie market is huge. Last year, there were over 12 million total viewers of The Walking Dead. But how will your book get to that market of zombie fans?

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 8.53.19 PM.png

Your book is competing for the attention of readers against 500,000+ new Indie books per year – not to mention all the books published by the industry leading publishers with their long experience and proven strategies for selling and marketing books. Today, an accomplishment is selling 5,000 or more copies within five years of publication.

Of course, there is some accomplishment in writing a book fit for publication. But the line between fitness and self-humiliation has been blurred much by the celebration of self-publication. And what self-respecting adult prizes a participation trophy?!

But those with purpose and grit will succeed in the serious accomplishment with a modest financial investment. Under $1200. Do not think, however, that it’s easy to compete against millions of dollars of marketing and ad spend of the top 20 publishers. That would be some really bad maths and poor common sense on your part!

With much, enduring and persistent effort to market your books and build positive and mutually beneficial relationships in social media, you can become known. My friend, business professor and author, Mark Schaefer swears it in his best selling book, Known.

MS Known

Building positive and mutually beneficial relationships may not be why you are on social media. It may not be how you do social media. That’s something we can easily fix if your purpose is to be an accomplished author.

Since I find that most learning is actually happening when there is doing, therefore, I will only continue to write further on this subject if I see 20 retweets and shares of both of the following tweets and posts. Even if there is not enough of you do so easily, encourage your friends to retweet and share. Because that’s how social media savvy is done.

Click the link below and retweet the tweet from your Twitter account.

https://twitter.com/Faryna/status/890376572481490947

Click the link and like and share the post from your Facebook account.

https://www.facebook.com/stan.faryna/posts/10155576931798415

Stan Faryna
26 July 2017
Fairfax, Virginia

P.S. The conditions for a second blog post were met. Here’s the link to it:

stanfaryna.blog/2017/07/31/strategy-for-zombie-authors

Have you heard about my novella, Francesco Augustine Bernadone?

“This fast and furious LitRPG, sci-fi book packs a punch like Saitama, the One-Punch Man, while giving us haunting glimpses of the near future and our existential predicament. With subtle hints of Dostoyevsky, Tolkien and The Walking Dead, this story is more delicious than the world’s greatest chimichanga. Sorry, Deadpool.”

Yogizilla

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071S75DWB

FAB ebook cover 200


#BlogSoup Reboot 22.08.14 @AdrienneSmith40 @berget @yogizilla @ce_kilgore @snowglobeman

August 23, 2014

#BlogSoup Reboot 22.08.14 @AdrienneSmith40 @berget @yogizilla @ce_kilgore @snowglobeman

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup

Some may remember the much celebrated blog soup which I had retired some years ago in the naïve hopes that others would take up the torch and advance blogosphere and social media for sake of our humanity and dignity.

None did. That bummed me out.

… 
If you don’t know about the epics of blog soup, a deliciously OP (Over Powered) explanation follows.
The comments below represent comments that I posted and those that failed to post to the websites and blogs that I visited. On occasion, they may represent Tweets, Replies, or Comments made on Facebook and other Social Media networks. Not everyone will appreciate the comments made to their post (I rarely suck up, brown nose or gush), but hopefully they’ll forgive me any offense (real or imagined) and they should love the serious link juice to blog and Twitter. This is not a noob’s blog.
… 
I art one blogger who is-has serious histories and algorithms.
Luna Moth 3 Faryna May 2014
Without further ado…

Thank you for stealing my identity

http://www.adriennesmith.net/beware-impostor-among-us

Adrienne Smith writes about how spammers are using your identity to create back links. And sometimes, they forget to back link! Silly bots – tricks are for kids.

My comment

My heart goes out to you, Adrienne.

Spam is getting interesting, indeed.

The consequence of identity theft in this regard is typically unintentional. But even unintended consequences remain consequential – especially for the victims of identity theft. This kind of black hat activity, however, will only increase. Such is our dilemma.
… 
Your prolific comments actually single you out as a preferable identity to use for black hat seo purposes. They hope that use of your identity will increase the value of the back link, discourage back link deletion and get past spam detection.One way you can make your identity a nuisance to spambots is by contacting the businesses/persons at the links and let them know that you hold them responsible for their sinister seo practices and that you will seek damages against them for their fraudulent use of your good name and reputation. If you are lucky, they will apologize and fire their trollish seo people.
… 
If the business is unsympathetic, the next step involves a blog post and a lawyer. And it may involve a lawyer in the local region of that business. Such is the internets. With much benefit, there is much cost.

What’s right? What’s wrong? What can people get away with.

This is the unhappy conclusion of a world that celebrates moral relativity. Sometimes, things work your way. Sometimes, they don’t. But I wish it were otherwise. I would rather we were all led by Christ and that we acknowledged and repented of our own wickedness and all the wickedness of the world.

The Trial

http://www.snowglobeman.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-trial.html

Thomas Snow writes beautifully here. And that is no exaggeration.

My comment

Beautiful. Wonderful. THIS makes me feel alive. Thank you!

How do you measure success on Facebook?

http://slymarketing.com/measure-success-facebook
[note: site is under new and untrusted management]

Jens-Petter Berget solicits opinions from social media pros on how they are measuring success on Facebook.

Update: Link has been removed in 2017 as Jens’ website seems to have gone spammy and rogue.

My comment

The cost of creating and maintaining relationships on social networks can be considerable. I see social marketers investing the equivalent of hundreds of dollars (or more) in one to one relationships that just aren’t feasible for corporate (big to small) online strategy.

Businesses want conversions and transactions at the cheapest possible price. The internet advertising and marketing mumbo jumbo suggests that that they can do it for pennies on the traditional ad spend dollar. But it gets worse. The social media people try to sell the imaginary numbers and benefits of social based on the recycled lies of online advertising.

None of which means that there is no value in online advertising and marketing. Or social. As Ted Rubin suggests, the conversation is most of the content in an online relationship.

Yet the cake remains a lie.

… 

I’m a former IAB European National Director. So I’m not talking out my…

So my effort and measurement is based on a completely different model – a business model that may remind you of the business of the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Have I made impact in the minds, hearts and lives of the people that tune in to me?

Have I helped them work through their own self-deceits, delusions and vanities?

Have I helped them discover, see, and live out true love, truth, goodness and beauty?

The return is small but this is work for which we shall not count the cost.

Because this is the only work that is worthwhile.

10 Myths About MOBAS Debunked – Perhaps

http://geekyantics.net/10-myths-about-mobas-debunked-l2p
Yomar Lopez addresses the hate growing around games referred to as Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas.
… 
My comment

If you aren’t into games, you might wonder why you should care about MOBAs. But online games are a powerful segment of online business. In terms of growth, it may be second to porn.

Because people got time to kill. Because some don’t have work. Or can’t get work. Because some people need something more than what they got offline – love, acceptance, admiration, purpose, etc.

And if you say you know a little something something about the internets, you gotta know something about MOBAs, MMORPGs, FPSs, etc. You know what I’m saying!

Age and disinterest are not excuses. In the age of internets, we are all expected to know a little about everything.

Yomar really wants to tell you about how you can get in and get out of the MOBA experience with a little grace. Maybe, you can even retain some dignity and self-esteem too. But not really.

I just wish he’d focus on that. As for MOBA players – they’re seriously demonized. They breathe hate, contempt and hostility like it was air.

Note:

Demonized is not demonization. Demonized a la Derek Prince is kinda like possession but minus 360 degree head spins, levitations, glowing eyes, biblical boils, etc.

You know I love you, bro.

Authors and Twitter: You’re Doing It Wrong

http://www.tracingthestars.com/authors-and-twitter-youre-doing-it-wrong
C. E. Kilgore writes about the problem of faking it as a curator via Triberr, etc.

My comment

The cake is a lie.

I’m sorry you had to figure it out the hard way. But we all do – all who dare to dream. We all learn the hard way – unless we came to the game as a taker.

The problematic extends to all who hope to do something epic in social. Because the cake is a lie. Beyond the cake meta of social, the dynamic of reciprocity and all the dreams of pyramid schemes never works out like it should. For many reasons.

Mostly, it doesn’t work well because the effort is herculean – not to mention that it requires a serpent’s cunning. And even if this was all in place, the rewards are intensely insufficient.

But our lessons in online advertising and marketing are not over. Nor our disappointments.

Beyond our desperate need for reach, there is too much noise in social. Competing for attention is expensive – one way or the other. If you succeed in getting that one to 10 seconds of attention for which you fought tooth and nail, then the truth shall out: is your value to your customer explicit, intense and irrefutable?

Ironically, the above walkthrough represents another common and devastating error  – putting the cart before the horse.

The business model for books (as suggested by the New York Times’ bestseller list) is selling 5,000+ books per week. If what you are doing can’t go there, you may have a problem – if ever you dreamed of limos, five star hotels, big houses, elegant clothes, fancy cars, vip events, etc.

This Week and other Social Media DOHs

Geeks are all excited about the pending debut of the 12th Doctor (13th regeneration) on Season 8 of Doctor Who. John the Baptist almost wrote poetry about Ferguson. Meanwhile, we continued to mourn Robin Williams’ suicide and I still can’t get anyone from Revel Casino to talk to me about how they were supposed to pay for the damages done to my car by their valet people, but they are officially bankrupt. Obviously.

Hamas finally admitted that it’s own people abducted the Israeli teenagers and killed them. Christians in Iraq and Syria are being slaughtered, raped, robbed, displaced, etc. for being Christians. That includes the beheading of children in public places. The video of the beheading of a freelance, American journalist James Foley ignited American outrage. His ransom for 100 Million Dollars had not been paid. So much for the religious ideals of IS. But there’s not much in tears or outrage for the murder of helpless, Christian children. That bums me out. Maybe, it’s just too horrible for some people to think about.

I have no doubt that IS has brought a heavy curse upon their own heads, their people, and their nation. For God keeps all of His promises – the beautiful and the terrifying. It will go very badly for them and it will go badly for many generations.

The Christian solution, I imagine, is not to send soldiers to kill the bad guys – unless Jesus has shouted down from the heavens and no one told me. The Christian solution is for us to unite in repentance, praise, thanksgiving and prayer – we must plead with God for Him to bring peace to His peoples on Earth. One million people united in humility, hope and prayer to God, our heavenly father, will accomplish more than 100,000 soldiers on the ground, 10,000 missiles and rockets, ten billion dollars worth of air support, and ten million rounds of various ammunition.

What we got here is a lack of leadership, wisdom and love – political and spiritual.

Likewise, Ferguson would never have become what it did if political and leaders had stood with the people in solidarity and led them in mourning and healing. Ten million dollars of tax payer money in fancy military gear does not obtain anything resembling peace, justice or the American way.

The death toll of the Syrian Civil War approaches 200,000. Egyptian blogger and human rights activitst Alaa Abd El Fattah remains imprisoned. Thousands of Pakistanis overran the security barrier around the house of Pakistan’s Prime Minister and demanded his resignation. Ebola remains to be contained in Africa. Quakes surging around the Eyjafjallajokul volcano in Iceland.

The only thing that made sense (of everything) this week was Patti’s recitation of Keats on HBO’s 8th Episode of HBO’s The Leftovers. Coincidence?

Michael Robartes Bids his Beloved be at Peace by Yeats

HEAR the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,

Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;

The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,

The East her hidden joy before the morning break,

The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,

The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:


O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,

The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:

Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat

Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,

Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,

And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

Myself, I am not a believer in coincidence. Serendipity, however, is never recognizable to the foolish and proud.

God enlighten us, everyone. Soon. Actually, make that sooner…

Stan Faryna
22 August 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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What’s wrong with your social strategy?

March 19, 2014

What’s wrong with your social strategy and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Mint Royale, Singing In The Rain

Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes:

The most unconvincing [statements] are those in which you patently… try to enhance your status without contribution.

The measure of your contribution will be evaluated by it’s real time value (currency) to your audience – not your own self-deceiving imagination of value.

Here’s five rules that I used in the past when developing and planning a social or online 0strategy:

1. Value is proven only by exponentially increasing factors (not one out of three and not geometric rates of growth): attention, interactions, and head count of a target audience.
… 
2. If you have no audience, you provide no value.

3. Buy your initial audience; buy a target audience that will and can immediately benefit from your proposed “value” – not bots or just anyone. You can buy a list of leads, data, etc.

3. It is always cheaper, better and faster to have others raise your status in the eyes of your target audience. Admiration requires the recognition of unexpected and rare superlatives.

4. The organic growth and success model typically results in loss, failure and despair; none of which represents a reasonable expense (cost of doing business) or investment.

5. Organic growth and success is faked, frequently and successfully. Everybody loves a good story tacked to evident success. This is a warning – not a prescription.

If you learned something of value from this blog post, tell no one about me.

Stan Faryna
19 March 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Programmatic, native and other social media DOHs

February 28, 2014

Programmatic, native and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Pharrel Williams, Happy

Mixed metaphors are not to be trusted.
A word must bear some relation to truth. That’s how trust is won.
Mad money makes liars, thieves and pirates of educated, well-meaning and despicable fools, equally.
But me, I’m happy. Because I don’t have to lie, anymore. Nor do you. It’s simple. Love!
Love and make the first object and beneficiary of your love, Truth.
Stan Faryna
27 February 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

Self-promotion, value and other social media DOHs

August 22, 2013

Self-promotion, value and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

4MIN News August 22, 2013

Etta James, At Last

Papilio glaucus Eatern Tiger Swallowtail and Buddleia butterfly bush Faryna

Read the rest of this entry »


Social Shopping, Open Sky and other social media DOHs

February 10, 2013

Social Shopping, Open Sky and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna
Mumford and Sons, I will wait
Social Shopping
Social shopping is all bout building and supporting online communities around amazing products and services. As a business strategy, it can provide multiple competitive advantages for business owners. The model can also provide significant value to customers via recommendations, reviews and rewards – not to mention that a common shopping experience provides subject for social interaction and conversation.
Social shopping is win-win – if done right. Read the rest of this entry »

Does Design Matter? And other social media DOHs

October 25, 2012

Does Design Matter? And other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Fellow blogger Ralph Dopping asks if design matters when you are buying a toaster. Read it here:

Does Design Matter when you are buying a Toaster?

The higher cost of a well designed product, Ralph suggests, deserves a second chance – even if the price tag stabs you in eye. Because there’s a chance that the functionality of the design may represent benefits (for you) which may or may not be immediately obvious and useful to you.

All of which reminds me of a frequent and recurring conversation that comes up when someone new visits with me in my home office.

The conversation usually begins like this:

Them: I like this chair. It’s [interesting, cool, and makes a statement]. Where did you get it?

Me: It’s made by Poltrona Frau. The company that does the leather upholstery for Ferrari – among other things. It’s called a Hydra armchair.

Them: FERRARI?! It must be expensive. How much was it? $1,000?

Me: $5,000. Each.

At which point, the person recognizes that their curiosity about the price was inappropriate.

Or, if they lack tact, they say that they would never spend that kind of money on a chair, that they could never imagine having the kind of money that would allow them to make such a purchase decision as I have made, OR they ask me if it’s the best fucking chair in the world.

My favorite armchairs for sitting, however, are not the Poltrona Fraus. They are also “design” products – leather upholstered, cubic in form, but they cost about $500 each. They were made by a currently bankrupt, no name company in a bad neighborhood of Bucharest. Those well designed arm chairs are in the living room and they have resisted  heavy wear and tear for ten years. And, I suppose, they shall go another ten years. Or longer – if I rehabilitate them.

I once put a Poltrona Frau Hydra armchair in the living room – it did not take kindly to wear and tear. It was yellow and the color of the leather faded on the arms in two years. In three years, the leather began to wear noticeable in places. And, then, that poor thing suffered from the affections of my then toddler son.

Johnny loved the Poltrona Frau – a testament to the proposition that good design, like art, can appeal to all ages regardless of prejudice.

The Poltrona Fraus in my home office, however, serve different purposes. These armchairs inspire and provoke the imagination, they are fire starters to passionate conversations, and they make an authoritative statement. About design, mostly. But, perhaps, the Poltrona Fraus also tell a compelling and interesting story about me, what I know, what I have done, and what I can do.

Perhaps. Function and value should never be overstated.

The question, however, does design matter?, is an important question – especially to those of us interested in a successful online strategy – online presence, online advertising and marketing, websites, blogging, ecommerce, etcetera.

Good design matters. It goes beyond the first impression. It goes beyond the look and feel. It is an end to end matter. Good design, however, is not perfection.

Regardless of your design insight (or lack thereof), your own resources will determine how and when you can apply design solutions to the various present or impending challenges at hand.

Too often, the lack of resources which we (you or I) bring to the design of whatever we are doing – will, unfortunately, overstate the following:

  1. who we are not
  2. what we have not done, and
  3. what we can not do

That sucks…

What’s your junk saying about you, your business, your product, or your services?

Stan Faryna
25 October 2012
Bucharest, Romania

Other quick meditations of online strategy, social media, design and everything else:

Professional brand (yours) and other social media DOHs

Sustainable Failure

The Future of Blogging is Hot Magenta