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Playing the Bulls**t Social Media, Blogging, and Amazon eBook Marketing Game

Do a quick Google search on how to sell your eBook and the same “secrets” will pop up on the first several pages of search results. Things like how to only spend 10 minutes on social media to market your ebook; top hashtags to use in your tweets; how to maintain a current blog for social media; making your eBook free for the first 30 days, or however long, and getting the 50+ reviews needed for the golden Amazon promotion everyone is chasing; how not to use social media one bit, and by simply making your eBook free for a period of time will deliver guaranteed sales; how to use keywords to get your eBook ahead in search results; and it goes on and on.
It’s all the same stuff. From the free “online classes” to the free ‘unlocking the secrets’ downloadable PDFs – It’s all the same stuff reiterated over and over again.
What’s clear is that like most things – love, getting ahead at work, the relentless competition between you and your brother over who is the better son/daughter- it’s a game. It’s a big game, and, let’s be real, it’s all a bunch of bulls**t.
Regardless, here I am, joining in. I’m completely new to the game and have no idea what I’m doing. However, I would bet that those who break the rules are the ones who actually make the money everyone else is jonsing for.
I truly believe all of this marketing crap worked for the eBook pioneers out there. Of course it did – they are the model everyone else is imitating to get to that pot o’ gold at the end of the Amazon rainbow.
However, the game has changed since then. There was a time when Amazon didn’t vet the reviews, but now they do. And along with the vetting came companies that will charge $500 and upwards for guaranteed paid reviews for those who are willing to invest in hopes of making their next million. Is the ROI really worth it? Or are these “services” the equivalent to those ads touting the “one simple trick to get rid of belly fat” or those old Craigslist job offers where you send money to someone for employment? (Something I always giggled at. Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of a job if I send my money to someone else so I can do the work? But I digress…)
There was a time that self-publishing was a shiny new toy. Now it feels more like the knock-off version of Hello Kitty: Introducing Hello Ketty. (No lie! I’ve seen Hello Ketty cookies, branded with a white cat with a large head. No lie.)

image via Cosmetic Candy

It’s not the books that are the knock-offs. Those have been around forever. From how to’s to trashy romance novels (that’s not an insult, I consider Tainted to be part of the trashy genre). When I was a kid you could find them in the checkout aisle of the grocery store, now they are plastered everywhere online. It’s the marketing that feels like the equivalent to a Louie Vitten handbag or a Rollecks watch.
Most sincerely, I’m talking out of my a** right now. I don’t know what works and what doesn’t. I’m new to this game. This is all my gut reaction to my first dive into the wacky world of eBooks.
Of course, of course, I plan on doing some of these traditional methods to get the word out: tweeting, offering a free version of my eBook for a while, posting the promotion to different book promotion sites, and blogging. And, most certainly, I’m going to rack my brain, think outside of the box, blah blah blah, to come up with the next big “thing” to promote my eBook. Of course I am! I’m human and I’ve joined this insane, ridiculous game to make a little money. Of course, I’m going to try everything.
I think, like with most games, the key is to play it smart, keep the bulls**t detector up and running 24/7, and try not to get sucked into the crazy marketing rabbit hole. Let’s see what happens….