Growing Pains…Is My Marketing Annoying You?

As a newbie author, I make many mistakes. I am aware of many, I become aware of others after the fact, and I will eventually find out some months or years from today.

A difficult hill to climb is the confusing marketing systems out there. I have no background in business. I never had a grip on sales. As a kid, I handed my fundraising candy over to my grandfather and he bought it all. That was how I won my prize in third grade for selling the most chocolate bars. He wanted me to win that radio. He was president of the VFW at the time so he took the candy to his club and he told all his friends to buy a bar. I lucked out.

Well, I am no longer in third grade and my grandfather isn’t around to help buy all my books. I can’t ‘luck out’ and become a best seller. I wish.

I watch how-to webinars online about sales and email growth, and I read those similar emails that saturate my mailbox. There are multiple philosophies on a ‘proven system that works.‘ It looks like this is the fad term at the moment. You know, like when we were kids our argument to our parents, ‘but everybody’s doing it,’ would work. Me thinking poor unsuspecting Mom and Dad would fall for that, ha! I laugh now realizing how stupid I sounded.

I read many of these emails and see that reader magnets are a big thing (hey, it’s a proven system). I have my first book, Wendy’s Song, set up as a reader magnet. My philosophy is, it is the first book in my series and I have some good reviews. Even the two star review comments are decent. So I am giving this away to show my work.wendy cover

A reader magnet is what draws your readers to sign up for your email list.

The big thing here is, many gurus have varying ways of growing an email list. Some think it is okay to group multiple authors in the same genre and share email addresses, others disagree (I personally don’t see the benefits in taking someone else’s email addresses).

My email list is considered small in comparison to many that complain about the size of their lists. That frustrates me, but I understand why some are complaining. They are having a hard time communicating with their readers. They share lists with others and they don’t have enough ‘real fans’ on the list.

If I sign up for Joe Smith’s book and I get an email from Jane Doe the author, I’m not going to open her email. I will delete it right away. I don’t care what she has to say. I might even add her to my spam folder.

Photo by on

Then another other problem is, there is so much focus on getting the list, very few tell us newbies how to engage our readers. I am getting better at this but there are still some issues I am having.

I get the feeling I am borderline bothering my readers and friends on social media (well, the ones that are friends on my groups). I am doing giveaways and adding the reader magnets from bookfunnel and prolificworks. 

In my emails, I upload videos and add links. I try Facebook Live to capture a larger audience without having to pay for advertising. I am doing my best to stay away from too much engagement, BUT when the giveaways on bookfunnel or prolific are controlled by others, I am at their mercy.

Sometimes these promotions don’t fit my genre, I don’t have a large enough list, or I have a topic that is inappropriate for their promotion. I could try to create my own promotion but quite honestly, I feel overwhelmed with my tasks now. I may attempt this at a later date.

I complete a video email to my small (but growing) contact list. As always, I add the links to the free reads. The next day, I receive an email stating the link will no longer be in service and they created a new link for the same promotion. Oh, no! Okay, I can deal.

I add this updated link to my Twitter (again), Facebook (again), and reply to the email and ask if the the old link will send my readers to the new one until it runs out. I can’t flood my reader list with mistakes and bother my social media all week. I look foolish enough without giving bad links. Please don’t help me add to the chaos.

The thing is, it is a great promotion. The genre is perfect and the upgrade is fabulous. I just wish the promoter waited a few more days. The promotion was about to run out of time anyway. It’s a pivotal time for growing my list. My Amazon Author rank went up without me doing a thing to it this week. Thanksgiving Eve is a great night to relax with a book. As I am writing this blog, it dropped twice the amount it shot up from yesterday. That is how huge Thanksgiving week is for reading.

So I fixed the issues by adding the new link to my social media and I will recreate a new video tomorrow. I just hope I don’t get too many unsubscribers to my list. Let’s cross our fingers they’ll appreciate it.

woman working girl sitting
Photo by Alexander Dummer on

Once I fixed the issue I went to my email account and saw the OTHER promotion started. Oh jeez! I was so caught up in complaining about the new link, I forgot about this starting today. Okay, I will tweet and post this link too. Please don’t hate me people. I promise I’ll leave you to your turkey leftovers and blackout sales after I figure out what the heck is going on in my upside down reader magnet world.

I promised I would share on ALL SOCIAL MEDIA outlets. Including my website. I will post this to one of my pages somewhere too. I really will, as soon as I figure it out!

A gift for you is the promotion I forgot about. Happy birthday is the promotion that is extended until May 2019. Holiday Feast and Winter Reading are two other promotions I am involved in that I didn’t mention.

I like to spread myself thin and confuse everything. I notice I am the go big or go home typeI am staying in to read and write this morning. It is WAY too cold out there to shop. Cyber Monday was made for a reason.

Stay fabulous and warm people! Say hello to family and friends. If you have avid readers in your circle, please share the links I posted above. There are so many wonderful authors to choose from in all four promotions.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. - Henry Ford

Robyn Branick


Robbie Ellie


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