Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To Market, To Market, To buy a fat pig

Read all the way to the end...and play along...and I'll put your name in a drawing for a signed copy of Cowboy Christmas.
Also, if you've GOT Cowboy Christmas and have a request from my backlist we can work a deal if I've still got copies.
If only marketing was as easy as buying a fat pig, herding it home, raising it, turning it into bacon and porkchops, cooking it. Ah, those were the good old 'marketing' days.
The learning curve on marketing is hard for me. But now I've almost got a system. I thought I’d talk about it today and, if you’ve got better ideas or FASTER ideas, please tell me.
First I've got to tell you all about my SHINY NEW WEBSITE. YAY!!!
The western look of my site is all part of Barbour Publishing branding me as a writer of Romantic Comedy with Cowboys.
I never dreamed they'd use a real branding iron, but no one said getting a book published was going to be all fun and games.
I also have a NEWSLETTER. Camy yelled at me the other day because it was hard to find. So I fixed that.
I hope.
Camy is scary so I try to obey her quickly.

Word Press-one blog there Petticoats & Pistols
Facebook-Personal page, fan page

If I’m doing it right I should be able to have my online appearances, book signings, book releases, etc. show up on these with some simplicity.
I’m going to talk about the really easy stuff today, which is using the automatic posting functions of Facebook. (forget I said easy. I managed it but it was painful and messy and required several visits to the ER. It is only easy in the sense that I did succeed in doing it and no one was killed)

When I schedule an ‘appearance’ whether a blog interview or anything else, I always, fanatically, rigidly go and put it on my Yahoo calendar. I’ve created a Yahoo group with only myself as a member. I use almost exclusively the calendar and click on the SEND REMINDER button to remind myself a day ahead, a week ahead, and hour ahead, whatever I deem necessary.
I include in those email notices, links and/or directions or requirements I need to meet. Am I doing a book giveaway? Am I supposed to post the blog myself of send it to someone. If so, who.
Then, immediately after I schedule that, I go to my personal blog Real Life Petticoat Ranch and create a very, very simple blog post about whatever event I just wrote about in my calendar. I mean SIMPLE. I can add more later, but I get that blog post written and SCHEDULED to post at the appropriate time. (I am so full of ... well, even the euphamism that comes to mind doesn't really belong on this blog...let's just say, I'm a disorganized freak who is lucky Tina is a SAINT and she keeps reminding me, then apologizing for nagging. I do regret giving her that cattle prod for Christmas though. Never really thought she'd use it on me.)
I have figured out a way to get my blog to post to my facebook page.
You do this on Facebook by going to the bottom left hand corner and clicking on APPLICATIONS. You’ll get a lot of possible applications, including Blogger and Twitter. Click on them and follow the orders to post your blog to your Facebook page, do the same with Twitter. (I have NOT however figured out how to post blogs and Twitter posts to my Facebook Fan Page--anyone know how to do that? Use small words, and direct commands. Maybe threaten me in some mild way...a rolled up newspaper maybe. That's proved to be effective in the past.)
Every morning I check my OWN BLOG, seriously, and it tells me where I am, what blog I'm doing. Usually I'm aware of it all, and I often go in to my blog dashboard to add stuff so I notice what's already there. BUT recently (and this is partly what inspired this post) I had a great example of me going to my blog, and YIKES there was a reminder for a radio interview I recorded a while back...it was scheduled to be on in about ten minutes from when I checked the blog. So I got to listen to myself. My blog loads to Amazon automatically, too. I’ve got an author’s page there. I also load Seekerville to Amazon.
Twitter has to be done at the exact time you want it to post. I can’t find any scheduling ability on Twitter. So, using my own blog again as a reminder, I go directly to Twitter, post mostly just links and a very few words and THAT loads to Facebook automatically, too.
The real trick is slapping that blog post up ON THE SPOT when I make the commitment. If I'm going to fumbling anything, I do that. But if that's in place, the rest usually follows.I wish I could automatically post a blog to Shoutlife and to my fan page on Facebook. So I need to do those manually and often forget.
I wish I could figure out how to automatically post my Word Press blog, Petticoats & Pistols, but I can't seem to. I found the application but it doesn't seem to recognize my password/username. If anyone knows how to do that, please tell me.
Shoutlife is a Christian Facebook but it doesn't work and play well with others. If I want to post some event there, I have to do it manually and tend to skip that one most of the time.
There seems to be no end to the connections you can weave, but you do NOT have to make it harder on yourself than absolutely necessary.
So marketing, what do you think? Any tricks? I’m open to advice. Tina, that cattle prod thing...ouch...but you know...it's working. So sad.
Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing. AND, if you don't win,

Buy Cowboy Christmas by clicking here


  1. Good morning Seekerville. Mary YOU scare me.

    Pass the cowboy coffee and the biscuits please.

    Have you seen that cell phone commercial where the kid tells his Dad that it is not necessary to document his every movement on Twitter and the teenage daughter reminds the mom that she is ruining her social life by posting of Facebook?

    That's kind of how I feel about them.

    The more social networks I join the less I understand why.

  2. I like these helpful tips. I also like how Mary doesn't pretend they are fun and easy.
    At this point if I can get my blog posts to go to my FB, I'll feel quite accomplished.
    I'm honestly thinking about trying to WRITE MORE and blog/email/loop/browse LESS.
    What a concept!

  3. Mary,

    I need to be doing this with my blog, so thanks for the instructions in plain English.

    I've not done twitter and I can't tell if you are putting the same info. on there as FB?

    I understand channeling it everywhere to save time, but I thought true fans might follow you everywhere and realize you're not saying anything fresh in most of your posts?


  4. Hi, Mary! I have Cowboy Christmas, which is WONDERFUL, but there are two or three of your Heartsongs that I don't have. So I hope I win. :-) Do you realize you have something like fifteen book out now? You did realize that? Okay, just checking.

    One day in the near future I need to come back to this post and figure out how to get my blog to post on Facebook.

    And don't forget, Mary, I have you featured on my blog on Thursday. Not that you even have to come by, but it would be nice if you did. :-)

  5. Thanks for the information, Mary. Allt this stuff makes me shudder, but I guess I should learn how to do it. You're doing a great job, but when do you find time to write?

  6. Thanks, Mary. I'm bringing doughnuts to go with the coffee - (just for you Mary), all kinds of doughnuts, but my favs are chocolate (of course).

    I've not tried to post anything on Shoutlife, but I am thankful my blog is connected to facebook. I'd like to start a facebook fanpage...hmmm, I'll have to try and figure that one out :-)

    Cowboy Christmas was great! I posted my review last night and, as always, had lots of fun writing it with Mary-inspired humor.

    Tina - I am envious you own a cattle prod. It would be handy to have around...especially for slow-moving cowpokes at my house ;-)

  7. Mary, this was a good post for me. Self-promotion has always been difficult personally - akin to running naked through the grocery store somehow.

    I like the sense of organization and anonymousness this method of promotion entails but it seems so much more efficient and effective.

    At this time I only have a self-published quilting book which sells from a spot in a Paula Deen Christmas mag from last year as well as word of mouth.

    I had a request to review the book from a fabric distributor but they said they couldn't promote it because of the photography used as illustration - not their fabric, and the fabric would date itself, so on my next printing I will change the photography out to line drawings with watercolor wash.

    I think at the point I re-publish I would follow a lot of your tips!

    And, of course, after I do the book in a week challenge AND a publisher snaps it up AND I start having to be a "real writer" even more these tips will become even more invaluable.

    Thanks for taking your time to share this.

    Happy Tuesday.

  8. "Camy is scary so I try to obey her quickly."

    LOL!! Too funny! I would love a chance to win Cowboy Christmas!


  9. Good Morning, ladies! =)

    I'm not brave enough to try FB, Twitter, ShoutLife, etc ~ I'm just now getting the hang of blogging period. LOL Maybe one day??? Great job, Mary ~ I love your new "look" ~ it's perfect!

    I would love to win Cowboy Christmas...it's been on my WL for some time now. *grin*

    Thank you so much ~ Lori


  10. Morning Mary, I'm with Cara. All that made me shudder, but then I'm learning how to do most of it so should be into by the time I actually become published again. LOL

    Thanks to Tina and all of you Seekers, I'm learning this.

    Yumm, love the coffee and biscuits. While in Oregon I picked up some wildflower honey that I'll share to go on those biscuits.

  11. I had Melanie on my Yahoo Group but not on my blog.
    So I just went and created a post there to load on Thursday.
    It includes a chance to win Cowboy Christmas so if you don't win today, go over there and try again.

    Like it would kill you to buy the dumb book. C'mon, people!

  12. I think the reason I can't connect my Facebook Fan page to my blog and Seekerville is because Barbour Publishing created that for me and maybe they've got a password for it I don't know.

    I'm going to go ask.

    So often (I'm serious here-I like to label that because it's hard to tell with me) the things I can't do simply boil down to me not FOCUSSING. Not spending time trying to figure them out.

    So when I'm dealing with computers fear is a huge factor because I am so much happier just making stories up. That's when the world makes sense. When I'm making imaginary people bicker and fall in love.

    All this REALITY is just exhausting.

  13. On FACEBOOK seriously folks, in that lower left hand corner, click on APPLICATIONS.
    That's the magic word.
    And yes, you'll get all those maddening "Send your friends a tiara" Pick your Top Friends" things but buried in all that FUN are some serious applications. Loading your blog and twitter to FACEBOOK are in there along with 8000 other things, I think Word Press is there too, but it is a cruel, uncooperative application. Unless I'm not doing it right. We can't help but consider that possibility.
    And there's a search feature for applications. So rather than wade through all 8000 apps, search for Blogger and Twitter or whatever you want.

  14. Mary, I love your website!

    I'm just starting to set up a website and blog, and I'm sure I'll be pulling this post back up when I'm ready to feed my blog to Facebook. It's amazing how interconnected all these outlets are!

  15. And YAY Pepper did such a great review of Cowboy Christmas.
    Go Look

    Thanks, Pepper, so so so so so so so much

  16. YIKES, MARY!!! I just got converted from a PC to a MacPro THIS WEEK, so my head is still spining from learning how to "forward delete" much less how to market myself!!!

    But this is GREAT STUFF, and NOBODY does it better than Mary, is what I aways say, so I'm going to print this puppy off and do it ... someday. Sweet Miralee Ferrell strongarmed me at ACFW and FORCED me to sign up for Twitter and resign up for FaceBook (I was a FaceBook dropout and proud of it). So now I'm learning FaceBook, Twitter and MacPro all at once. Not a pretty picture.

    Great post, Mare -- thanks!


  17. Mary, you're a genius! A yahoo group all to yourself? That's just what I need. I'm printing out this article so I can walk in your footsteps.

  18. Hi Mary,

    I'm on Myspace, Shoutlife and Facebook but don't do much other than the basics. Although, I wasn't getting any readership on my Shoutlife blog so after six months I stopped posting to it because I felt it was a waste of time...

    Do you have a book signing scheduled for Sioux City anytime soon?

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  19. Hi, Erica.

    Please everyone note the use of the G word in Erica's post.

    I shall pause a moment to enjoy that.




    Hard as it may be to believe, I don't get that all that often. :)

  20. Rose, I don't have one coming in Sioux City.

    I usually do one there so maybe we arrange that yet.

    I am doing a signing in Omaha on Saturday. 2-4 at Parables.

    And, stroke of genius (oops, there's the G word again) there is NOT a Husker game on at the same time as my signing. Unlike last time. I don't think the book store owner even came to the signing.

  21. Informative, fun post, Mare. Only you can do both. Like Julie, I'm going to print this off. I need to digest it when I have Tums close at hand.

    I'm loving Cowboy Christmas! Well worth every penny...if readers don't win a copy.


  22. Hi everyone!

    I do Facebook, Twitter, and a blog! I don't have any of them connected except for my blog and Twitter. I didn't really know how to show posts from your blog on Facebook...that's cool! I always thought the only thing you could do is put a Facebook button on your blog! Thanks for sharing these ideas Mary!

    XOXO~ Renee

  23. I don't think I know about that Facebook button. It sounds kind of familiar.

    Here's a question.......

    If my blog loads to facebook, then I link Facebook to my blog, could a force field occur which sent you to Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Bloggerto Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Bloggerto Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Bloggerto Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Blogger to Facebook to Blogger, etc. And create a black hole that would eventually suck all of creation into it and destroy all life as we know it.

    If that is true....I'm totally blaming Tina for it.

  24. Mary, I almost read to the end but all this technological stuff made my head spin. Yikes. If I ever get published though I'll be checking out all of the posts you and other Seekers have done on marketing. Extremely informative!
    I can't wait to check out your website. btw, I did something amazing yesterday.

    Remember I got your book Montana Rose? Well, I read it in one day. Yep. Started it in the afternoon and read until ten at night. I couldn't put it down. LOL! I hope there's one coming out with Belle? I felt really bad for her and think she needs some love. :-)

    Please enter me for the Christmas one! jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoo dot com.

  25. I can't believe this. Camy would never yell, scream, or scare anyone?

    Love the tips. However, I'm wondering if the cross branding of Christmas and Cowboys doesn't have a separate effect. Reading your post, I'm reminded that one of my favorite Christmas movies, Miracle on 34th Street (the original), was actually a summer release and intended to be, please pardon the term, a "chick flick."


  26. LOL! I just saw that there's The Husband Tree! WoooT!

  27. Hi, Mary! Thanks for reminding us that being a successful writer takes more than just the words on the page. You are really moving forward! I would love to win Cowboy Christmas. I need a little Christmas right now! gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  28. Walt, a child of four can easily see that you wrote that because you're so afraid Camy will come and you want to establish plausible deniability.

    I totally respect that.

  29. Yes, AND, I just got the go ahead for a new book from Barbour that is going to be Gabe Michael's story.

    If you're read Cowboy Christmas you may remember him.

    I fell in love with that guy.

  30. Jessica sweetie, go wrap your head in duct tape tightly then get back here and try again.

    I've also found that keeps the aliens from being able to read your thoughts.

    Aluminum foil also works.

  31. Mary,
    This one's for you. I figure anybody who's smart enough to put these two words together deserves the definition ;-)
    "genius cookie-
    An endearing term used to describe a female.
    The nicest, coolest, most beautiful girl you'll ever meet. A genius cookie commonly combines brains and heart with beauty for a killer combination. The term is only to be used to describe the best of the best, the cream of the crop."

  32. Btw - I found the definition on the Urban Dictionary...so never heard of it before (me bein' so urban and all ;-)

    But, I LOVED the idea behind it. Who wouldn't love being called a cookie and a genius in the same phrase. yipee! Word for the day!
    We'll have to share it with Ruthy so she can create a recipe for a real Genius Cookie ;-)

  33. Mary, I may also need an IQ test. LOL Your comment totally confused me!

  34. Beth STOLE Cowboy Christmas.

    Are ya' kiddin' me??? There are moments when I don't like having kids, especially grabby ones with cars.

    But we'll cut her some slack because she loves Seekers.

    Mary, this has my head aching... I mean, did Louisa May Alcott have to do this? Laura Ingalls Wilder? Jane Austen? Any one of the Brontes???????

    Oh, gadzooks, I'm thinking of this stuff with total trepidation. Time is so scarce, that it's hard to know how best to use it. Deb M, I hear you. Writing more is clutch. Key. The sum of all earthly sums excepting chocolate and being nice to most people.

    Note I said most. Qualifiers are my new best friend.

    Okay, Mare, I'm going to brave Facebook soon. Then who knows???

    Dave could become a "Twittower"...

    A "Twitter Widower"...

    Oh mylanta.


  35. Mary--It was fun seeing you at the conference. As for technology--I love it. But then being thousands of miles away from the wonderful world of writing and publishing tends to promote a desire to communicate! So hurray for facebook, email, blogs, twitter, and everything else that connects us in an instant!
    I'd love to read Cowboy Christmas. stonehousehold@gmail.com. Your sense of humor is awesome! No wonder you've got 15 books out. More! More!

  36. Twittower?

    That is bound to become a widely used term and you all heard it here first.


  37. Hi, A.A. I've got the sequel to Montana Rose coming in January, The Husband Tree.
    Book 3 in that series Wildflower Bride comes in May 2010.

    Doesn't it seem like only yesterday we were debating how we'd refer to this century?
    Two thousand ten

  38. Great post Mary! If I had any of those things then I would totally use your advice : ) I'm trying to convince my mom to let me have a Facebook account because the math team at our school uses Facebook for most of their reminders(no I am not kidding at all!). Since I'm in AP Calculus, our teacher automatically puts us onto math team. So.....I really want a Facebook to keep up with that...amongst other things : ) Lol! Anyway, good post, hopefully I'll need to use it soon.

    It's always a pleasure having you here, Mary!

  39. Mary, wherever I go on the Net, I find a blog about you or that you posted. No joke! Yesterday, I went to a very remote site -- one I'd never heard of. Whose pic unrolled across my screen? Mary Connealy, of course. You are everywhere, girlfriend!

    Am I impressed? You bet.

    Thanks for the tips about making cyber chatter work.

    I once wrote a song about being a low-tech mama in a high-tech world. I'm still singing that song!!!

    But here's something I love: Google Alert. Basically, it's a daily update from Google about where my name has appeared. I can click on the site/blog/whatever and visit the person who wrote the comment. Nice time saver.

  40. I enjoy your blog and have gotten on the new site hope I am not banned any longer LOL. I follow you on twitter but just don't understand twitter, I also have you on facebook and shoutlife, so I guess that means I really enjoy your sites and want to win this book so bad. "The Cowboy's Christmas.


  41. Thanks for all the great advice!! I was wondering how to get my blog posts to go onto my facebook....I've been doing so much with re-doing my blog that it's all melding together, and i can't always figure out what is what...so thanks for the tips!!!

    And I can't wait to read cowboy christmas....I've been trying to win it.... but so far no luck :(


  42. G.R.I.T.S. You have my blessing to go and get it from the library.

    However, if the library doesn't have it, I believe a tantrum will be in order.

    Pretend like it's your own idea, 'k?

  43. Hey, I grabbed deli sandwiches for everyone.

    Roast beef, ham, capicola, Genoa salami, olive loaf (yes, that's for me, LOL!) and fresh turkey.

    Build-your-own-sub night in Seekerville.

    Mayo, mustard, oil dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers fresh or fried, sweet or hot, choice of cheese, mushrooms.



  44. Mary, you are impressively organized. I'm inspired. Like Deb, I feel like I'm writing less and figuring out FB more than I want. You've got some practical tips here. And your site looks awesome!

    Please enter me in the drawing!
    srdietze at sbcglobal dot net


  45. LOL, I knew I was an idiot. Heh. Okay, got the comment now, a million hours later.

  46. GRITS have you entered the Treasure Hunt? You have until Friday.

    That goes for the rest of you too.

    A simple email and a shot at 14 prize packages is yours.

  47. Mary, I kept looking for the G word but never did see GOOBER!!

  48. Such great comments. I want to send a book to EVERYONE

  49. WOW! Mary, that was enough to make my head spin! You sound amazingly organized.
    Can't wait for the Husband Tree...really, WHERE do you come up with such ideas??? And, I'm so glad that Gabe's story will be told.
    Keep writing, because of course, I want to keep reading and reading your awesome books!

  50. Hi Mary,
    the tips are brilliant! I have FB and a blog. Haven't twitting yet. And do you know that I found you out from FB? I've been trying to win your books for several times. I guess i'm not that lucky enough to have the chance to read your books (T_T)
    uniquas at ymail dot com

  51. Me, too, please! In a fabulous world, you'd get enough author copies to be able to do that, Mary! In the meantime, please enter me in the drawing!

    hope_chastain [at] yahoo [dot] com

    I'm in the process of redesigning my website, but you're right: it's easy to get sucked into a black hole of social networking instead of writing! Working to avoid that. I'm going to have to start writing FIRST. Then networking. *sigh*
    Hugs, all!

  52. Mariska, you have a really good chance...in fact two chances to win a Mary book in the Seekerville Treasure Hunt.

  53. Mary!!!! Your website is awesome!! I love the brand. So...you didn't brand yourself? Your publisher did? Is that normal? I have been understanding that a writer should have a brand as they begin their serious pursuit of publication. Very interesting!!

  54. Mary, you are amazing. I'm printing this post and tacking it to my cork board.

    I just don't think it's fair that God gave you so many more hours in the day than everyone else. I know Tina is an amazing organizer -- she does the same for me -- but she'd not doing the work for you.

    Thanks for all the tips about linking to different networks. I just went to class on Twitter and yawned through it. You made it make sense in half a page.

    Thanks, pal : )

  55. LOVE the new web site, Mary! Really fits your books!

  56. Great advice, Mary! I just got my blog to post to my FB page, and I"ve already noticed more hits on my blog!

    But I still don't tweet. But gosh, if you can do it, surely I can too! :)