Second to writing fiction, my passion is marketing. I know some people dread this part of the process of being an author. I was one of those who had to be dragged into cyber marketing, fighting every inch of the way. I didn't have time for reading blogs on the Internet or interacting with those who did. I couldn't afford to buy all the books they tried to ram down my throat and wouldn't have time to read them if I wanted to. No, I wanted people to buy MY books.
I had an attitude adjustment in 2009. My New Year's resolution was to sit my butt down in front of the computer and make a concentrated effort to understand what the “Information Highway” was all about. More importantly, how could I use the new technology to my advantage?
I quickly learned the Internet was overwhelming. However, I used my former skills as a narcotics secretary to quickly browse sites and separate chaff from grains of knowledge. I used the blog lists of others to scalp sites for my own purposes.
When I became acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press, I realized many of the authors I was interested in had no marketing skills. A small press has to make money and authors are required to pitch in and help with promotion. While I didn't want to play “teacher,” I also didn't want them to spend time navigating a maze that I'd already traversed.
The idea was a no-brainer: have the newbies play Follow-the-Leader. When I marketed, they marketed. I “nudged” them to sites and encouraged them to make comments. Oh, and I followed up to see who took my advice. I e-mailed individual kudos to those who participated, nagged at those who didn't. Since marketing is my niche and because of my Sheriff's Department background, I named us “The Posse.”
The system caught on in a way I never expected. The first time I went public with this subversive ploy was at Killer Nashville. Suddenly, “Posse” was a buzz word. People were fascinated. It soon became clear that something was driving traffic to sites that were languishing in cyberspace. We're 46 strong and we boost numbers at any site we visit. You are going to see the Posse in action when this blog goes live.
We now have badges proudly announcing us as “Posse.” This will make it easier to spot the other riders when we go to conferences. I want to meet the folks who have become friends and are, in turn, teaching me a few new tricks. I'm able to offer my publisher not only the best of the manuscripts I receive, but trained marketeers.
My questions is: why doesn't everyone have a Posse???