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Book Marketing – What did and what didn’t work for me? (Part 8)


Before I start here again, let me rephrase my point again that I have been saying for the last few weeks, and I am writing this blog for God’s sake NOT AS AN EXPERT but as of my own experiences and nothing more. As suggested on last blog, this week too, yes, you guessed it right; I will be writing about social networking again and let me promise as well that it will certainly be the last blog about social networking for sure.

Although the virtual world is littered with several of social networking sites, the purposes it serves are almost the same and needless to say, you don’t have to be in each and every site to get maximum exposure. Involvement on just a few main sites will be more than enough to fulfill your social networking needs and we just have to use them in the best possible and proper way. Here is the list of my personal preference of social networking sites that I am currently using and the reason why and what I feel about them.

1. Facebook – It is mostly for family and friends, people post here almost anything that is happening in their life, and I did somehow neglect it at the beginning of my campaign for that very reason. Nevertheless, it has more than a billion users, that is a very big number at any aspects and that cannot be simply ignored for sure. Authors normally do have at least two accounts on Facebook, one for the family and friends, the other for the professional page, and one should be able to use both in the same way and pace. The best way to get involved in FB is to join those many groups of your preference, there are paid one and free one as well, and you really have to be pretty active in those ones if you are to get maxium exposure. Buying ads on FB is another way of getting exposure, but here it charges you on the reaches of people than clicks, which I think quite vague and you ended up feeling like you didn’t get enough bangs for your buck, and that is quite annoying. But because of its sheer size of community alone, we simply cannot ignore it, and should find ways to reach your final customers.
2. Linkedin – It is a networking site for the professional, it is mostly for professional networking, finding the right personnel and eventually the right job. In order to get noticed, you must have a proper profile page, post right and appropriate materials related to your market or profession, and attract the right audiences. Here, having a premium account alone will be enough for your needs, you can find as many people as you like and post as much as you can. The basic key of success in social networking, it is not me but the paid experts say, is engagement, you must remain engaged with other members as long as possible and the more you engage, the more exposure. You do that simply by liking and commenting on other members’ posting, post your own materials in a regular basis, and try to be part of the community by simply joining as many relevant groups as you possibly can. Unlike other networking sites, here you have to be a bit professional, post only the right stuffs, and refrain from posting family related photos.
3. Twitter – Due to limitation of maximum characters usage in Twitter, 140 to be precise, pictures and videos are far more effective than words, and #Hashtags play a key role here. Besides, you have to come up with the coolest sentence that will not only attract peoples’ attention but also force them to click, and to be honest, that is much harder done than said. I have heard many times people saying they have sold this and that through twitter ads, but I have reservations on that and I simply couldn’t figure out how that could be possible. There are so many tweets per second, it comes and goes even before you can blink your eyes, and how one’s particular ads can attract so many buyers at once. I personally think that twitter will only work if you have thousands of followers and the best ways to get them are to have your tweets with nice and attractive pictures, do as many tweets as possible, follow as many people as possible, and find as many followers as possible. Until you have more than tens of thousands of followers, e.g. genuine ones of course not the bought in ones, only then will it starts working on our favor, and before then, you should just keep on trying.
4. Instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler, & Google+ – As you can see on my official website, I also use them but at the minimal, and as I still have to find the right way to use them and generate more result, I don’t think I am qualified enough to write about them, and all I can say here is that as far as I am concerned, it is still in the learning process.

Although I have sold some books to my social networking friends, we should always keep it in mind that social networking sites are not the platform for selling books and it is mainly for well networking, making friends, and gaining exposure, so you could eventually be able to sell more books one day. It is also a great place for learning the trades, harnessing your communication skills, and making the right connections and friends. If you go there expecting to sell tons of books, you will be really disappointed even before you have actually started it and it is also a tricky place to be in if you are not fully familiar with it. It is also full of cheapskates, scammers as well as pretenders. Just like in our real world, there are also people who prey on good people, bully the vulnerable ones, and try to get advantage from the weak and gullible ones. Therefore, we have to be more careful while surfing through the social networking sites, tread warily and avoid childish mistakes. Be safe!

On the next blog, I will write about my other experiences on book marketing, and hope you guys will come back here again, thank you so much and take care!


Book Marketing – What did and what didn’t work for me? (Part 7)

Education metaphor. Isolated on white

Education metaphor. Isolated on white

Social networking is a necessary devil as I wrote on my last blog, it has already become the most significant part of modern book marketing, and if we were to succeed here we must properly have it done. It doesn’t mean that the old and traditional ways of book marketing are dead and over, it is needless to say, still very much alive and kicking, but it is almost certain nowadays that without social networking, no campaign is complete or successful. Especially for the new, aspiring and self-published writers, it is a must, and the earlier you start perfecting it the better.

Let’s face the truth, without social networking and internet, the chance of becoming a real author for the folks like you and me, and becoming successful is almost none to zero. Only big names sell, everybody seems to forget about the universal truth that not everyone born famous from birth and the odd of being accepted by those so-called-big publishing houses is like climbing the Mount Everest in slipper and short by a non-starter. Nobody gives a damn about you or your book if you are not famous or rich, you are alone by your own, and it is entirely up to you to do something about it or die.

Social networking gives us a lifeline, if we can use it properly, we might have a chance here and that’s why using it is so important in our book marketing campaign.

Experts say, the best way of social networking is through engagement and if you have limited time just like most of the amateur writers, the best way would be to use just one or two sites which you are mostly familiar with. It is a very time consuming process, you cannot be in many places at one time and still do a good job. Therefore, just use one or two networking sites and do it properly. Those same experts say, we can get the most out of social networking by joining many groups and discussions, liking other members’ posting, commenting on forums, complimenting good works, contributing expertise or useful insight, and so on. But if you are shy, introverted and don’t like exposure, it can also be a very intimidating place and we humans, whether in a real or virtual world, we behave almost in a similar way. If there are kind, friendly and helpful people, there are also bad, snobbish and bully people as well and there are also many pretenders who are simply there for taking and giving nothing in return. Being on guard is wise.

It is not only animals but we humans also possess the herd mentality and use it pretty often than we want to admit. Our behaviors in social networking are no different.

The most important thing we must always remember when using social networking is this – here everyone is a seller not a buyer, and it is extremely difficult to make a sell through most networking sites. Therefore, if you were expecting to sell tons of books here through social networking, you will be extremely disappointed. It is not a bazaar, it is just one of many conduits through which you reach to your ultimate buyers, and that is the main reason why anything you do on social networking sites, you always attach a link to your Amazon page, so, people will click there and buy your books. Social networking is for exposure, word of mouth, and an excellent platform for learning new tricks on book marketing from many experts. People post almost anything these days on social networking sites, it is a sort of bragging place regardless of merit, and yet, you can still learn a lot from it. However, caveat must be sounded here that in social networking almost everyone is an expert here, and you must use your own judgment to distinguish the real ones from those piles after piles of pretenders.

All in all, take it as a place of learning, practice cautiousness and harness your newfangled skills as a book marketer like I did. Please always keep in mind that I am writing here not as an expert, but of my own experiences and it should be taken only as guidance and nothing more. On my next blog, I will write more about social networking and other methods I used to promote my books. Until then, take care and happy writing.


Book Marketing – What did and what didn’t work for me? (Part 6)


As I wrote on my last blog, social networking is a necessary devil for all the book marketers like us and which particular site is best for what type of writer? I don’t think any of so-called-experts can answer that. Moreover, I am not writing here as an expert, I am only writing here about my own experiences and nothing more. Readers’ discretion is highly recommended – you should read it only as a reference.

I am not going to write on each individual social networking site, they all serve more or less the same purpose, and if I write in general, it would serve the main purpose of this blog pretty well. If you are using social networking sites for fun or pastime, the basic and free services package should be already good enough for you and you will still be able to do many great things with it. However, if you are in there for serious business, you should use the paying service and that will provide you with many options that can give you more exposure. But at the end, it is totally up to the individuals on how they going to maximize their chances and find the real customers.

Connections are mostly useless if you don’t engage with them. But one must always remember that most of the social networkers will accept your invitation just for the sake of connection, and most are there just to boost the number of their connections. Why? Because it makes their profile a lot nicer, even respectable and if nothing more, it can inflate our alter-ego a bit more at the least. Believe me, they have no intention whatsoever of knowing about you and vice versa. Similarly they also have no expectation from you. You can have thousands of connection but you will be exchanging views with just a dozen or so at a time if you are lucky and that should be all about it. Unless you are a celebrity, (If you were, you won’t be reading it at the first place anyway) It is the reality and the earlier we accept and get used to it, the better will it be. The best lesson we can learn from it is to find some good out of our limited connections and keep on trying.

Internet can be a very fun place to be working on, you can be anyone that you want to be at anytime and it is a very powerful tool for both work and pleasure. However, if you are not careful, it can easily go out of hand and you can end up with bucketful of messes that might take a while to clean up later on in life. What’s more, it also can be very addictive, virtual world gives you unlimited power and needless to say, power makes even good people go ashtray in no time. You should setup an ethical, well disciplined and cautious plan of working with internet and try to stick to it until the end.

I certainly cannot talk for others, but for my own sake, I do the following. I am always polite, I always thank people who have liked my posting, and I always reply on peoples’ comments. If the comments are good, I thank them by showing my genuine gratitude, and if they are bad and I don’t agree with it, I reply them politely with my comments. If they are rude, unfair and sometime even insulting, I just un-friend them and I never have to see them again. Furthermore, I also message them on their birthday, compliment them on their success and share their grief whenever possible. The basic rule of good social networking for me is as this – be polite, don’t spam and reciprocate whenever it is due – and I always try my best to follow it up with care. But don’t expect the same from all in return, it won’t just happen and be prepared to face the reality. Experts say, engagement is the key of success in social networking, use it properly and hope for the best.

I will write more on social networking on my next blog again, it is probably one of the most important parts of our book marketing campaign and just like all of the new, inchoate and self-published writers out there, I also have to concentrate more on it and that is precisely what I am doing here. Until next time, take care and keep writing!


Do You Want to Read MY Coming 7th Epic Novel – OLD MEN DON’T CRY – About Hong Kong?

Do you want to read my coming/unpublished 7th epic novel – OLD MEN DON’T CRY – about Hong Kong?

If the answer is A BIG YES, here is the chance.

It will be initially in a pdf file, once you finished reading it, you just have to drop me a few line of your honest comments, and who knows? It might be ended up at the back page of the book itself.

In return, I will send you a signed copy of the printed version of the book as my genuine gratitude once it is published and you can treasure it for life.

Sound interesting? Please write to me at

Please find the details of the book as below.

Thank you so much and I remain.

Old Men Don't Cry!

SIZE – 252 PAGES(155648 WORDS)
WRITTEN IN – 2013/14

1. Hong Kong – It chronicles the vagaries of Hong Kong since 1980 to 2014, if you want to know about Hong Kong, it is the right book that will make you feel like you were actually there throughout those testing years. The last two decades have seen many big changes in Hong Kong, it must be definitely the most important years for both Hong Kong and China, and China had played a huge role on making those changes in Hong Kong. It has certainly affected Hong Kong and its people in great deal. A first hand insight from a true HongKonger who have been continuously living here during those transforming years, witnessed and experienced it through its own eyes, and trying its utmost to put them onto the pages of this epic book in the most honest way possible.
2. Chinese traditions – It covers the most important events of the Chinese calendar for one whole year such Lunar New year, Ching Ming, Tuen Ng, Mid-autumn, Chung Yeung, Ghost festival and many more. It also tries to depict other Chinese traditions in the society which are mostly celebrated throughout Hong Kong as public holidays.
3. Chan Hong had been taking care of himself since he can remember, he lived at the Kam Tin village, and his drunkard father and his gambler mother were never around. Going to the nearby school was nothing more than a formality; he was all by his own during his entire childhood and it was some sort of a miracle itself that he could still survive all in one piece. Fate had send Uncle Seven as his savior, he survived through the cruelty of the mean society under Uncle Seven’s tutelage and everything he had learned in life, he did it from Uncle Seven. After his mother’s sudden death, he was kicked out of the house by his fake uncle, and was forced to find a place and solace at Uncle Seven’s house. After Uncle Seven died, his relatives kicked him out of that house again, and he had become a homeless right before his 18 birthday. After leaving Kam Tin, we wandered off to Tokwawan, did a dozen of oddly jobs to remain alive, and eventually fulfilled his dream of becoming a police officer at the ripe age of 25.

Eddie Ko was handsome, smart and snazzy; Tsang Adele was kind, elegant and astonishingly beautiful; and the pair was the only friends Chan Hong ever had in his entire school years. They met in the high school, they were always seen together and wherever they go, inside or outside school, they always went together. If Eddie was the prince of the group, Adele was the princess and Chan Hong was, well, more or less like their loyal guard. After high school, Eddie & Adele went back to the US for university, and didn’t come back again for quite a time. But when they came back, Adele returned first and Eddie subsequently followed, it changed everything and the humdrum life of Chan Hong never remained the same again.

What he did for the sake of his friends will melt your heart, the sacrifices he had given for the wellbeing of his love will pain your soul, and the sorrows he had to suffer through in life will just make you cry for days. It is a story of pure love, friendship and sacrifice; told in both simple and moving ways all at the same time; and intended to show people the other side of life than the materialistic one that we all have here in Hong Kong nowadays.

All in all, it is a book about Hong Kong, Chinese traditions and a tearjerker.

Last but no least, it is my humble endeavor of presenting Hong Kong from a different perspective other than money, if people like it and read it, I will be really grateful and honored, and I will take it as a job well done!


Book Marketing – What did and what didn’t work for me (Part 5)


Selling books is not like selling other stuffs such as clothes, foods or household products, people need to buy such items regularly and that is the reason why despite the saturated market, shops can still thrive. Books are not a necessity, it is a product of choice and people won’t go hungry or naked without books.

People buy books only if they know the author, read and like his/her works before, or it was highly recommended to them by other friends. Furthermore, the book market is also really crowded, becoming author these days through digital publication is like having your morning coffee at the convenient store, and it is really hard to stand out in front of the masse.

It is the main reason why eking out a decent living out of writing is so hard, experts say only 10% out of the total authors actually make money through writing, and the remaining are said to be just to make up the numbers there. For many, it is nothing more than just a vanity, they don’t possess the necessary will, skill and heart to cut out as a decent author in that vast jungle, and many would be already happy with an author tag behind their names and nothing more.

Writing is a very long, slow and assiduous journey, you must put a lot of efforts, time and money into it, and be very patient. Especially for the nascent, aspiring and self published writers like us, you must have your heart into it. Unless you are from a very rich, famous and well-known family, world leaders or future king of some well-known country like Great Britain – you don’t have to follow the usual path that other mortals like us usually have to and you can have shortcuts that you like. The other path of success can be like this – you have to be extremely lucky, got endorsed by one or two of such rich and famous people and your instant success is guaranteed.

Social networking is a necessary devil for book marketing. Unless you have bucketful of cash to burn, most of the tricks we use in social networking have to learn by our own through experience, and my position was no different. I have Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler and Google+ as my main social networking sites, but my connections are mostly from Linkedin, FB and Twitter, and the others are there as nothing more than a decoration. I have started using social networking sites with just a few dozens of connections at the beginning, today I have more than 5 thousands connections at the most and a few thousands on others, and it is still too early for me to determine which social networking site is good for me. I think it depends on in individual preferences, the main functionality, purposes and services of these social networking sites are more or less the same, and you don’t necessarily have to be in all of them at once. If you can perfect yourself just a few of them and be able to use it at the best possible way, it should be already very good for your needs.

If you think you will be selling a ton of books through social networking sites, that will probably be an overstatement and even partially wrong. Social networking is just one of many methods through which we promote our books and in order to run a successful book promotion, we have to use many different methods which I have been serializing here on my blogs. Most of the social networking sites are not for direct sell, it is a platform for making new connections, helping and learning from each others, and expanding your horizon so at the end you will be able to gather enough ingredients here and there to cook a nice dish we called here – book marketing.

If I say I must have sold just a dozen or so books in total through my social marketing activities – don’t be disappointed. The other lessons I have learned through it were just precious and it has completely changed the way I see things now. Experts say (Paid ones) – the secret of successful social networking is 80% engagement and 20% promotion. In order to be successful, you must give, contribute and be proactive with others for 80% of time and only after you have achieved that, you can talk about selling your book. If you are there only for promotion with no contribution, you will get nowhere and your dream of becoming a decent writer will end even before it has actually started.

I will write more about social networking on my next blog, please keep dropping in and I sincerely do hope that it has been helpful. Thank you!


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