Okay, so I have to catch a plane to Tuscon this morning, so I’m taking this opportunity to rerun my all-time favorite post. Any of you who regularly follow my blog know that I am
totally out of my mind a bit eccentric. Last time I was in Tuscon (speaking to their RWA group), after lunch, I had to dash to the Ladies’ Room. As I closed the door to the stall, I noticed all the advertising on the back of the bathroom door. This cluttered wall of ads made me think about all the authors spamming non-stop about their books on Facebook and Twitter.
Writers were becoming worse than an Amway rep crossed with a Jehovah’s Witness. I mean, could the author book promotion get any more invasive?
Maybe it could.
I’ve blogged so many times about the dangers of automation and how spamming people is counterproductive. I’ve talked until I am blue about how advertising our books has a terrible ROI (return on investment) and how most people don’t pay attention to it. Ah, but then it hit me. The main reason spam doesn’t work is because people ignore it and no longer “see” it, but what would they see?
Panty Prose—Not Advertising, Padvertising (TM)
We all know that roughly 85% of readers are women, and what do women need? Panty liners. YES, but what do they need more than springtime fresh girl parts? More FREE! books. Indie authors shouldn’t spam about their latest book release or free title on KDP select.
Because it’s rude? No! Because it is obnoxious? Not quite. Because it smacks of desperation? Not at all. The reason authors shouldn’t spam about their books is because spam is for amateurs.
The real writer of the Digital Age doesn’t settle on blasting out non-stop self-promotional tweets. That is SO 2011. The REAL writer of the Digital Age realizes a captive audience is a a buying audience.
Catch readers with their pants down with Panty Prose.
Panty Prose is perfect for the indie author. Most readers are female and even females need something to read in the bathroom. We at Panty Prose (a new imaginary division of WANA International) have teamed up with Always
against their will to offer your readers the best deals right in their pants.
Panty Prose not only offers you Padvertising to a guaranteed clientele, but we have all kinds of layouts to suit your Padvertising needs. Technology is your friend with Panty Prose. Put your book where it counts…
At Panty Prose, we even make it affordable for you to place your face in your reader’s pants…
As you can see, Panty Prose is inserting your ads into a virgin market begging to be tapped.
Why are all the romance authors giggling?
Anyway, while others might see a protective strip that gets tossed in the bin, we see an unused space to Padvertise your latest novel AND save trees! Instead of throwing away that paper strip, we can print of lines from your book so fans can collect them ALL…
Make Your Readers Your Fan for ALWAYS….
My brilliant WANA International Operations Manager, Chad, was happy to step in and help me launch the Panty Prose Motivational Series:
Panty Prompts for Writers:
Panty Prose is dedicated to keeping women fresh while selling your books. Attending a writing conference? Well, there is a bathroom and everyone knows that even agents have to go potty sometime. Why not help them out? Keep them springtime fresh and give them your query. Elevator pitches are for losers, when you can use the Panty Pitch. The Panty Pitch comes in three fragrances, Sonnet’s Eve, New Office Supplies, and Cinnabon.
Panty Prose for the Published Professional is a smart, savvy way to stand out from all the competition that still is relying on scheduled tweets and auto-DMs. Make an impression that will last for Always.
Yeah, I am a wee bit tired. I’ve been three weeks with no day off and, when I’m tired, my humor gets warped, even for me. But you know I am on to something! WANA is dedicated to giving you the evil genius you need for success. Aside from Panty Prose, what other “free spaces” could we exploit for book advertising? You know, to catch those who missed our 23 tweeted links, 6 auto DMs and five form letters.
So what do you think? Has the book spam gotten completely out of control? Are there other ways you can think of that are
utterly invasive creative ways to market our books (Keep it PG, Please :D)?
I love hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of March, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.
At the end of March I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!
LOL!!! Thank you so much for this Kristen, it really made me laugh!!! 😀
Oh. My. Freaking. Gawd! You just totally made my day, Kristen. THANK YOU, and have a great time! :*
Thinking outside the box? Yes, indeed. An idea of astonishing initiative.
You misspelled “insanity,” LOL
So I did! Whatever next? The cultural condom, perhaps? Let the modern marketer leave no creative crevice unexplored!
Would the message on the condom be available before or after use?
If the medium is the message, then to really reach the target market this item would be ecologically correct and bio-degradable. Therefore message would have limited exposure.
Colin, I’ve seen plenty of condoms handed out at cons with erotic rom writer’s biz card size book promos, so sorry, sir, your idea’s already been done, lol!
LOL CREATIVE CREVICE! I just spewed coffeeeeeee
Thank you for making my morning much brighter! I hope you copyright this idea, because as funny as it is, I could actally envision advertisers jumping on this.
Now *this* is my kind of insanity – er, I meant marketing plan. LOL!
Thank you so much for the much-needed laugh this morning, Kristen. This post is awesome. 😀
I’m re-posting this on my FaceBook page. The title is just as hilarious as the blog content.
lol Love it!
In all seriousness, I know my first book is not my best stuff. So why would I spam people to try to read it when I know I’ve got better stuff coming. I’d rather be remembered for my better work in the future than an annoying writer pushing my so-so first book. 😀 If people like it, it will catch on. I wish these spammers would think along the same lines. It kind of puts a black mark on the rest of us.
Traffic lights. Yeah, you’re stuck at a red light, but wait–you don’t need to start fuming! Read the blurb for my new novel that’s written in nice, large print around that big red bulb. Oops–light turned green just as you were getting to the good part? Don’t worry, just drive the speed limit and you can catch the next installment in one block.
I just don’t think my wife would approve of me trying to get into every woman’s pants.
Still a good idea.
Huummmmm, maybe a pen name might do it.
Oh my freaking YES! It’s brilliant. You can put little teasers in bathrooms all over the country. This could be your eleventy-bazillion dollar idea, Kristen. Or not. 🙂 But so much fun to read and, I suspect, to write.
That was hilarious! (And if some Jr. ad exec isn’t sitting in a cubicle somewhere trying to actually make this happen, I’ll eat my keyboard.)
As an avid recycler, I’ve always looked at that little paper strip and said ‘hmmm … what could I reuse this little piece of paper for?’ If you GIVE them away for free, people won’t mind the advertising, I think.
OMG ! LMAO. Yes, the book self-promotion is way out of control. I have unfollowed people on Twitter because if it. We shouldn’t discount our male readers though, they Always nees something to rwad while in the bathroom. Chad, thoughts?
Kristin, thanks for getting my Friday off to an amazing start!
Kristen, you’re absolutely right. It’s like diving in a sea full of algae. 🙂 A professional way of marketing your work is to give/ to share something of value. If you have something to say, people will be interested in you and your work.
Mwahaha! You don’t know what you’ve started! I’ve just been asked to join a new panty-liner group. And what’s this, no gift baskets? No keychains or scented candles or T-Shirts or mugs or pens or the nail clippings of your first child?
Hilarious post! I never knew there was a scent called, “New Office Supplies”.
Print your ad on toilet paper squares. Reach out and touch someone! (in their privates).
Kristen, if you’re here in Tucson, you should stick around for the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend!
That’s where I will be :D.
I wish the twitter spammers would read this and see the error of their ways, but they’re too busy sending spam to read.
Outstanding marketing plan! How about placing ads in mirror image on the bottom of beer cans. After men crush the cans on their foreheads, the image will be imprinted so the ad is visible for all to see. Just a thought.
I remember this blog from before and continue to be amazed at the mind that would come up with panty liner advertising! Especially after that great diatribe against the advertising phrase “have a nice period.”
No matter how fabulous someone’s book might be I’m less likely to even think about reading it after the fourth or fifth screaming tweat
This was absolutely hilarious! It’s very frustrating trying to scroll through all the spam links that come in. The same links several times a day? How is this effective?
A very interesting read but I am unsure of how to make it work for me to be honest, a little confused or maybe I haven’t woke up enough IDK lol. but thank you it was interesting for sure 🙂
You are my hero! That was amazing!
As a male reader/writer …I sit here wondering how many people will actually contact you to put their faces on the product. lol. Maybe a nice article on whats effective for twitter? I don’t always know. I try not to spam, but it’s hard sometimes if you are excited about something. Just please don’t suggest advertizing on condoms.
Well, I use tampons, so that won’t work with me. Besides, I’m also in menopause, so I ‘m using next to nothing now! hehehehehe
Poise Prose, for the more mature demographic :D.
Kristen, I am falling off my chair laughing. This is brilliant — maybe not the idea but the blog about it is beyond hilarious. Oh that Chad … ! I expect to see this on the Colbert Report soon.
p.s. Susan C I think the tampon market would be a harder sell. 😉
Finally! An innovative marketing plan for indie authors that just might work.
This is just as hilarious the second time around. XD
…Although in the defense of this idea, I probably WOULD read ads on that extra little slip of space. *shifty eyes*
Comic Genius, Kristen. This is so close to being true.
If I could figure out how, I would totally have these made, LOL :D.
Too funny, but yes, there is too much spam in the world. I’m pretty good at tuning it out too. I’m one of those people that doesn’t even want to be asked if I need help in a store. I’d rather be left alone on my own to select something than feel I’m being forcefully directed to it. I like the gentle approach I’ve seen many authors take…just having a link on their site to their book via a photo of the cover and maybe a short description. If it looks interesting, I’ll click and might decide to get it. I also like the approach of offering a sample chapter or just a section of a chapter. Sometimes I’ll read and if I like it enough, go get the book. I’ve decided to buy several kindle books that way, after checking out samples.
Ha ha ha ha ha. You have outdone yourself this time, Kristen. Hi-lar-i-ous. Thanks for making my day. One of the reasons I find this post soooo funny is I have seen some spamming as outrageous as this–not as funny, but outrageous.
It’s a good thing I learned long ago never to have a hot cup of coffee in my hand when I read your posts, Kristen. I’ve been laughing so hard my fingers couldn’t stick to my keyboard. BEST POST EVER! And hopefully this will actually reach the DM spammer population. Enjoy the book festival. Wish I could toast you in person.
I am speechless. The one with Chad saying you look yummy conjures up more than I can possibly deal with. Such a scream!
This made me laugh so hard! Wonderfully witty post! I’m sharing this! 🙂
Bwhahahaha This is the best e-ver!!
My God, this cracked me up! 🙂 Don’t know if I could wear a pad with Chad saying I look yummy! Too much pressure! 🙂
haha but look at his suave photo. That’s just encouragement and motivation.
I am trying to figure out if you are serious with the “panty prose”. But I did learn something. You can start “The Cup” for men for that after shave smell down under. I have seen a product similar to the hand sanitizer gel but a spray, but you still have the leaky faucet problem. Success, or when one has money, tends to get us to indulge more than our kidneys can handle.
I am beyond embarrassment.
Some are putting their current published works below their name at the end of a sent personal E-mail. Joining social media websites on the internet is cheaper and easier than buying a mailing list and sending out bulk mail with fliers of your book.
You could go door-to-door of businesses handing out fliers of your new published work. It would work better at the metropolises than at rural America.
I am not there, yet. I do not have a product to peddle. But I know how on the Internet. Too costly to send fliers VIA the post office even if I would look up addresses from a phonebook directory to get my mailing list and I would go business-to-business and street corners during warmer climates, if I lived at Manhattan, to hand out fliers of my published novel available at the best bookstores.
A few nights ago I had a dream, that I got up and wrote down. “I can do (pun intended) a half squat, double brown raspberry at least once a day. My potty trainer has told me not to try this in a full squat position, as it a sure backfire.”
LOL, great stuff. Though it does make me feel that I shouldn’t tell anyone about my work for fear of spamming. Why have free KDP days if you don’t tell people about it? I usually send out a bunch of tweets on the first day or so, then leave it, but I suspect that all my free downloads come via twitter (I pick up most of mine from there). I reach more people there than anywhere else. My blog and FB followers probably all have my freebies by now.
OMG, I was rolling on the floor while reading this. Had to read it out loud to my family and my daughter, of course had to over-analyze it. “How do we know she’s a virgin?” I said, “it’s innuendo, sweetheart.” “Well, I don’t like the insinuation of the innuendo.” Thanks for triggering a thought-provoking discussion in our house 😉
But what if you use tampons?
lmbo. thank you girl. i can go to bed laughing. this was funny AND informative bc even though i’m still in the beginning stages of writing, this is something I need to be thinking about as well. i’ve always thought those spammy msgs on fb or twitter were annoying but didn’t think about thinking outside of the box. rather, i thought “well if you can’t beat them, but i don’t want to join them,” so i haven’t even been thinking of advertising really. but this definitely has the brain juices flowing now, so thank you, Kristen. you are hilarious!
I absolutely love reading your blog.
Thank you Karen. I love writing them, so that totally ROCKS. So great you took time to comment. I super appreciate it.
I love satire, recycling, and pantyliners so this was a big hit for me!
You made such a great point about spam. Even when it is not automated, the constant barrage of “Look at my book! Look at my book! Buy my book for God’s sake!” gets to be such a turn off. Isn’t the idea when rolling one out, to announce it not clobber people over the head with it? Many authors forget that we are followers of their blog, Twitter and Facebook, so some of us have gotten the message three times before we are deluged with repetition.
I have seen it rolled the opposite way too; with little or no fanfare and that doesn’t work either. There has got to be some kind of balance…
I will be careful when rolling out mine.
…runs to hold the press on the pantyliners…
Reblogged this on Shaping Destiny and commented:
This made me laugh so hard I was crying. Had to reblog. Enjoy!
I think this has been my favorite post so far!!! 🙂 Although reading it while at work made a few coworkers turn their heads a couple times to see what exactly I was reading. ….. hazards of reading while at work?! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!!! Now I just need to put what I’m learning into practice. I’m finding that writing my first book was SIMPLE compared to the aftermath of writing it. I had no idea I was going to have to turn businesswoman on top of author….. I’m still getting the hang of Wife and Mother…..
Reblogged this on iaiindependentpublishingblog.
PANTY PRAISE! bahahahaa that was awesommmmm ~wheeeze~
What a hoot!
I’m thinking children….T-shirts, backpacks…..slather those kids with advertising. Front yards….spell it out in flowers if you’ve got a green thumb, or in spraypaint, if not. Extra ad clout if Google Earth drives by…
Pay your local Chinese bakery to load their fortune cookies with your ad.
Hilarious. And though this should be disturbing, I find it amusingly clever.
LOL Great advertising pitch! You always give the best advice!
ha ha – that made me smile. Maybe print a billion fortune cookie fortunes…. guaranteed good, I mean tasty advertising.