As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 begins, it seems appropriate to reflect on the past year and to plot a course for 2014.
2013 has been a truly remarkable year. I began the year deeply into the writing process for my first book, “Life of a Double Agent”. During February as I was finishing the book, I had several discussions with a representative from my future publisher, entered an agreement with Xlibris, and on March 28th, 2013 received notification that my book was officially published.
After ordering a supply of paperbacks and hardcovers, I began promoting my book to friends and extended family members. I continue to be overwhelmed with the support I have received from so many friends, acquaintances, and extended family members. Those sales have far exceeded my expectations.
Simultaneously I began my marketing efforts using some of the conventional methods; book signings, press releases, and personal contacts with various newspapers and magazines for interviews. Additionally I began the primary focus of my marketing activities targeting the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, a blog, and a website.
The conventional marketing yielded what I consider success above my expectations. However, the social media marketing activities have been less successful than I had hoped. Some people may say at seventy I am too old for social media, but I don’t believe age is the problem.
As an example, in March 2013 I had never used Twitter. Now, after nine months, I have over 2300 followers, send approximately 80 tweets per week, and daily reach tens of thousands of people through tweets and re-tweets. I have gotten to know many other indie authors who make up the largest group of my followers. I believe I have established my brand among a large population of twitter users. However, my current Twitter strategy is not resulting in enough people actually reading my blog or more importantly, buying a copy of my book. There has been some success, but well below my expectations.
Therefore, upon reflection, I realize that my social media marketing efforts need to change and re-focus during 2014.
During several interviews about my book I was asked, “Why did you become an author? Why should someone buy your book? And, What is your target audience?” The answers to these questions will be the redirected focus of my efforts in 2014. I grew up reading espionage and spy thrillers and that genre is still the one I most enjoy. A book that had a huge impact on me was Robert Ludlum’s 1980 spy fiction thriller “The Bourne Identity”. A few years after starting to follow Ludlum, I discovered an author named Tom Clancy and his first novel “Hunt for Red October”, published in 1984. After reading his first book, all I could say was Wow, I was hooked. Finally, I read a book in 1999 “Transfer of Power” by Vince Flynn. Over the next 13 years he published 13 books in the Mitch Rapp series, and I think I read them all.
Tragically in 2013 both Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn died, but they each left behind a legacy of spy novels that will continue to entertain readers for years to come. These three men, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Vince Flynn provided me with over forty novels that captured my imagination and gave me years of reading enjoyment. They were the inspiration for my decision to try to write my first spy thriller, “Life of a Double Agent”.
So, 2014 will find me focusing on all the readers who loved reading books by Ludlum, Clancy, and/or Flynn. I want them to know there is a new kid in town. Well maybe not a kid, how about a seventy-year-old kid who loves reading spy thrillers, and has created one of his own. I don’t want to imply that I am in the same league with Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn. They were in a class by themselves. But if you enjoyed their books, consider giving “Life of a Double Agent” a read. Maybe some of their brilliance rubbed off a little when I was reading all their great books.You can learn more about my book by visiting its website, http://www.lifeofadoubleagent.com, and you can buy a copy on Amazon at http://amzn.to/10IUAfa.