I'd avoided setting up my own Thunderclap after watching other authors struggle to come up with the 100 supporter minimum. (If you don't know what a Thunderclap is, you can read more about it here.) No matter how big an author's following is, it's shockingly damn hard to get 100 people to sign up for an auto-post. Then I remembered the secret weapon author Cherie Colyer told me about...
There's a Facebook group called Thunderclap Campaigns - it's authors helping authors by supporting each other's Thunderclap campaigns. Everyone posts links to their open campaigns in a post and in comments, and we all clicketty clack to help each other get to 100 and beyond. It was so freeing to not feel like I needed to continually hound my followers for support. (One thing I'm absolutely DONE with is hounding people. The only thing it ever succeeds at is making me miserable.)
Benefits of Thunderclap
Besides the obvious - leveraging your social network reach with a boatload of posts going up around the webosphere at the exact same time - I noted these other benefits of doing a Thunderclap,
- Drumming up support gives you a reason to post about your book without saying, "Hey, buy my book.".
- Supporting other authors in the Thunderclap Campaigns Facebook group is a quick and easy way to keep your Twitter feed active.
- It's fun to watch the number of supporters and social reach go up! It's easy to get discouraged in today's glutted book market, so it's nice to have something positive to focus on during the tense days leading up to a release.
- It was fun interacting with authors in the Facebook group. (Warning: if you participate in the group, your Facebook notifications will be out of control for a while because you'll get notified every time someone leaves their link in the same threads where you left yours.)
- If you're an author, join the Thunderclap Campaigns group on Facebook and actively support other authors and leave your link in the comments.
- Really think about the message you want auto-Tweeted/posted. Don't waste the opportunity. Know what works with your audience. Simply shouting 'buy my book" does not work.
- Take time to design an eye-catching graphic for the Thunderclap - it'll be visible whenever someone Tweets that they've supported your campaign and is another opportunity to get your book cover & tagline in front of people.
- Consider what time you select for your mass post. A lot of people seem to choose noon EST. Supporting lots of authors through the Facebook group means I've had a lot of Tweets piling right on top of each other at exactly noon EST. I'd imagine it's more effective to not be lost in a pile of other auto-Tweets.
Did it do any good?
Meh. I don't know. Release day wasn't horrifying, and I didn't have many other marketing efforts going, so I'd say Thunderclap helped me do at least as well on release day as I've done with other books for which I'd put in a lot more marketing time and effort. Here are my results:
So, does 230 clicks mean that 230 people clicked on the link in my Thunderclapped post? If so, that's not bad for something that's free and easy. Yep, I'll definitely do it again - THANK YOU, fellow IWSGers, for giving me the nudge to try something new!
This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.