I’m still marketing my new memoir (YOU MUST ONLY TO LOVE THEM, LESSONS LEARNED IN TURKEY), doing my best but falling short of the results I’d hoped for. I’ve set my sights rather low—my humble goal is to sell at least a thousand books. My two previous books have each sold nearly 4,000 copies, so I should be able to manage this. The difference is that I’m marketing this book all on my own, not an easy task. I’m researching, learning, and taking new marketing steps every day. I’m encouraged because the reviews are far better than those on my previous books. With 43 reviews on Amazon, my memoir has five stars. Maybe it’s not so bad after all.
YOU MUST ONLY TO LOVE THEM has been out exactly a month now, and between myself and Amazon, sales are at about 160. Hmmmm… 840 to go.
A writing friend suggested I contact Jessie Voigts, who runs a mind-boggling number of websites, but the one I’m most interested in is Wandering Educators, since my memoir is about living and teaching overseas.
I contacted Jessie and reluctantly made a “date” to chat on Skype. I’m not much of a phone person, and Skype is something I’ve only used for overseas calls. What a surprise then, to revel in every minute of that call. Jessie was enthusiastic, fun, and brilliant. In 45 minutes she shared more information about marketing than I’d learned in a month of research. Amazing. She’s my New Best Friend. She introduced me to the importance of metadata (the words attached to articles and pictures that guide searchers to an online item or web site), and she infused me with a major shot of enthusiasm.
While we were chatting she went to my blog and my website and tried to “pin” photos from them to a Pinterest board. The captions I’d so diligently written into my copy didn’t travel with the photos. Instead the pinned photo announced that I was using an Olympus Camera. BUMMER!
She told me to attach information about the photo, about me, about my blog and about my website. When you upload a photo to a web site, you have to hit the “edit” or “settings” button for the photo, then enter information (your metadata) as Alternate Text. Since I downloaded over 300 photos to my web site as a companion to the book, it’s been a major task. The results should be positive, though, and my New Best Friend Jessie has promised to pin things as I go. Thank you, Jessie!
The included metadata allows people to access my web site and blog from that photo, and they might even buy my memoir. Who knows? Without that metadata, there’s really no chance.
Jessie explained that she gets 70% of her website traffic through Pinterest. Now THAT’S important information. I used Pinterest for decorating ideas while we were remodeling our little cabin, but I had no idea its scope was so broad. I guess I need to spend more time there. Pinterest has boards for just about everything, so I hooked into the boards for Turkey, Education, and Travel. It’s fun, and I follow pins to lots of other interesting information.
I never would have guessed that Pinterest might be my route to more sales—at least a few more, anyway. 838 to go?
By the way, I wrote an article for Jessie’s website, Wandering Educators: “Ready to be an Expat? A life overseas is within your grasp” Check it out.