Marketing Tools That Didn’t Work…(the way I’d hoped)

Hi, Paul R. Hewlett here. It’s my turn to post and I’d like to talk about marketing. But first I wanted to leave a quick note.  Be sure to check out our current Back to the Books Giveaway Hop featuring 3 great new-release middle grade books, and visit all the other great family friendly blogs and giveaways in the list. Then be sure to come back for the upcoming Under the Sea Hop, including our review and giveaway of C. Lee McKenzie’s Alligators Overhead.

I wrote Lionel’s Grand Adventure: Lionel and the Golden Rule first, followed by Lionel Turns the Other Cheek. I published my first book in December of 2011, so I have been at it about eight months or so. I’m certainly no expert, but I feel as though I have learned quite a bit in that time.  I would like to share some of what I have learned (as well as some of what I think I’ve learned) with you. I invite you to leave a comment with anything that you’d like to add, agree with, or disagree with when you’re done.

*Sher A Hart butting in to add Paul’s book pictures. I liked them well enough already, but if you click on them, a new tab will open so you can see how the covers now on Amazon differ from the earlier versions.

Are they more eye-catching? I think so.

Now, back to Paul.

I want to touch on two major social media outlets and discuss whether they work for generating sales. But first, let me say that whether you decide to self-publish or go the traditional publishing route, I subscribe to Jeff Bennington’s thinking in his book The Author’s Guide to the Universe. You must not cut corners in the areas of editing, your cover, and formatting. Jeff refers to these as the Big 3, and I wholeheartedly agree. If you cut corners or skip any of the Big 3, your readers will know, your sales and reputation may suffer, and all the marketing in the world might not help.

Click here to take a look at my twitter page.  Feel free to follow me if you want.

Moving forward under the premise that the Big 3 are done properly, let’s talk about the first of the social media outlets, Twitter. Twitter is a wonderful tool and great for many things. Sales, however, just isn’t one of them. Sure, you will gain some sales by way of Twitter, just not enough to take you where you want to go. One issue that I have found regarding sales on Twitter is your audience. In my experience I have predominantly connected with other authors and people in the writing industry. They may very well purchase your book and while a sale is a sale, they are most likely not your target audience. They are out there trying to sell their own books and/or services, and these sales will not help you in building your following among your target audience. Connecting with your target audience is the key to consistent, long term sales.


Is this how you feel (insert your book title on board) you’re connecting with your target audience ?

I don’t want to take anything away from Twitter; it is a must for writers marketing their products. It can be great for marketing your book in fact. As Melissa Foster, award winning author and founder of the WLC web site says, look at Twitter as your own personal advertisement or billboard. It is also great for connecting with like minded people. I have met great people that have been very helpful in exchanging ideas and answering any questions I might have. You may even come across avenues that are exactly what you are seeking to reach your target audience. A great example is my connection with Marie Renn of the great web site This site has activities from sports to science and everything in between for kids. It’s a kids-safe site that has tons to offer. Through Twitter, I connected with Marie and my books (along with other great children’s books) have been highlighted on her Triple Exposure-It’s Vacation Time segment. This is a great example of how Twitter can help you market. Twitter can help you sell books, just in the form of exposure and brand building, not necessarily in direct sales.

The second major social media outlet I’d like to discuss is Facebook. Facebook has more users than I can count and it is a great outlet for marketing your book. Again, in my experience, it just doesn’t lead to direct sales. By direct sales, I mean that customers are not clicking on your link and buying your book when they are on Facebook. Like Twitter, it is great for exposure and an author or book page is certainly a must for any writer. I like to look at my book page on Facebook as my forum to discuss and introduce my characters to my readers/followers. The idea is to drive readers and/or potential readers to your page and give them something about your book or characters that they cannot get anyplace else. In this aspect Facebook is very helpful in marketing and building your brand. While this can and should lead to sales down the road, it doesn’t lead to direct sales.

Click here to take a peek at my facebook page and “like” it if you want.
Facebook, like Twitter, is a social media giant. They are great for marketing your product, building your brand, gaining exposure, and connecting with great people. These have been the biggest benefits of my use of these two marketing outlets. So as you can see, once you have accomplished the Big 3, you have the whole marketing world to navigate to gain exposure and sales for your book. Hopefully, I’ve been able to provide some guidance with my experiences on Twitter and Facebook as marketing tools. Both have tons to offer, but you shouldn’t expect to rocket to the top of the best seller list just by posting your book on them. You have put enough blood, sweat, and tears into your book; now it’s time to let the world know about it. The social media world changes constantly and the more input we have the more it helps us all get to where we want to be.


You can connect to your target audience all across the globe if we all work together and support one another. Maybe next time we’ll discuss some other marketing tools and their pros and cons. Until then, keep reading and writing and best success to you all. Don’t forget to leave a comment, if you have any input, anything you agree with or disagree with. Thank you for your time (and hopefully your input) and remember to give marketing your all.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Amen to ‘the big 3’!
    Interesting post. šŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for stopping by Melissa! Ah, yes the Big 3, Amen indeed! I really like that phrase that Jeff used and couldn’t agree more. Thanks so much for the feedback! Have a great night:)

    Paul R. Hewlett

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