Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, Blirt Magazines and Social Media


Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, Blirt and Twitter.

People love magazines, don’t they? Esquire, GQ and Vanity Fair are very, very well established and leaders in the traditional magazine industry. They are glossy, stylish and eclectic, and that’s why people love them. Esquire is currently looking at various high profile celebrity men, it’s called ‘The Heroes Issue’ and it includes David Bowie, Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine and Johnny Depp. These are male icons I’ve grown up with and of course, for me, it makes compelling reading.

Twitter, Blirt, Vanity Faire, GQ and Esquire

I must confess that I don’t regularly buy traditional magazines, I’m more of an online type of reader when it comes to the magazine format, but in the course of promoting my satirical crime thriller Cut Limbo I took a peek into the glamorous world of glossy magazines. Being a social media maven, the first thing I did was follow a number of the more prominent magazines on Twitter and send them links to Cut Limbo on Amazon. I’m keen to get Cut Limbo out there to a bigger audience and I wanted to see if these magazines reviewed self published writers, I wanted to see what I was up against. As I mentioned on last week’s blog post the Amazon, Kindle social media machine isn’t as finely tuned as I’d like it to be.


Twitter, Blirt, Vanity Faire, GQ, Esquire

What’s the relationship between traditional magazines and social media, how is that progressing? I discovered that the magazines I followed on Twitter have embraced social media, but only in a token way, here’s a quick look at what they’re doing: Vanity Fair with 19,000 Tweets sent and over 1,000,000 followers and a Klout score of 92 (that’s high), Esquire with 17,500 Tweets, 176,000 followers and a Klout score of 83, GQ with 14,000 Tweets sent, 374,000 followers and  a Klout score of 85.  Basically, Vanity Fair Tweets the most, but has only sent half as many Tweets as I have, that’s not many for such a big player is it?

So, these high quality, traditional magazines and social media are connected! They’ve each got a  significant following and a great Klout score, but they don’t Tweet much do they? Is this significant? In reality they have pretty much ignored social media, a Twitter button, a Facebook LIKE button and a Pinterest here and there aren’t exactly far reaching are they? Is this a recurring theme? Mere token gestures at social media connectivity? Does this mean that these great magazines are ignoring obvious shifts in media presentation and that they’re likely to go the way of lots of established newspapers and Yellow Pages? Let’s hope not!

Twitter, Blirt, Vanity Fair, GQ and Esquire

These traditional magazines certainly address popular themes much now as they always have, fashion, celebrity, lifestyle, books, movies, the list covers a host of events too, but to me, it all screams of the traditional, not much mention of self publishing or new writers and just a little on social media. GQ seems to be slightly ahead on the subject of social media with a couple of small articles this year, one from GQ’s Michael Wolff talking about social media burnout, saying that ‘Facebook is for your mum’ and announcing that Snapchat pictures disappear and there’s no chance of being caught out. That’s not what I’ve heard recently!

Wow! These guys aren’t very up to date, are they? Maybe that’s why there are only 6 comments of the Facebook? Not one comment agrees with GQ’s Michael Wolff, one suggests that Michael has run out of ideas for a column and another misguided soul witters on about Manchester City?!

Cut Limbo Do we see a little bit of sour grapes from the traditional magazine formats here? Are they saying, or more accurately is Michael Wolff saying, that Facebook isn’t a success or that social media hasn’t changed the way we communicate and share all aspects of media? Small wonder they don’t mention self publishing much, right?

But what of the new magazines, what about Blirt?

Blirt magazine and Cut Limbo

OK, Blirt is new and it doesn’t have interviews with David Bowie, Jack Nicholson or Michael Caine, but maybe that’s not really a problem, it’s early days, right?

To me, it’s all about contemporary themes, not old school stuff and moving forward rather than treading water. I have contributed 2 articles to Blirt so far and I’ve had well over 1,000 people read my articles, that’s pretty good. I’m not suggesting that all these readers will rush out and buy Cut Limbo, visit my blog or even take a look at Cut Limbo on Amazon, but they might.

I haven’t heard back from Esquire, GQ or Vanity Fair as yet, but I’m sure they got my Tweets, maybe they don’t respond via social media much, it doesn’t look like it, does it? Maybe they’re not inspired by the self publishing revolution, or Amazon and Kindle?

The far more progressive Blirt Tweeted me as soon as my article went live and continued our conversation via Twitter. Check them out @BlirtMagazine …

Conclusion: Cut Limbo might not get mentioned on Esquire, GQ or Vanity Fair, the traditional magazines don’t seem keen on self publishing (or social media) but Blirt is more than making up for it!

Thanks Blirt!!

Please share this post on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google+, Tumblr, Facebook, Digg, Pinterest and all those other great social media sites.

Posted in Advertising, Amazon books, BLOGGING, Crime thriller, crime thriller novel, Cut Limbo, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Google +, INTERNET MARKETING,, Klout, Marketing Mix, SOCIAL MEDIA, Social Media Marketing, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Twitter, Twitter tools, Web 2.0 Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amazon and Kindle fail at Social Media!


Amazon and Kindle fail at social media!

First and foremost, I believe that Amazon and Kindle have revolutionized the way the world reads books, they have championed the Print On Demand and the ebook concepts and they are absolute world leaders in their field. I applaud and respect them for this, without Amazon and Kindle very few people would have read my recent satirical crime thriller novel Cut Limbo. Thank you so much guys!

Amazon and Kindle have opened up a world of opportunity for writers and would be writers, at long last the sad vanity press days are over and anyone with something to say, can now stand up and say it with minimal expense or technical knowledge. To me, that is freedom of the press and it’s a wonderful thing. Long live the Internet!! Long live Amazon and Kindle!

This is all thanks to the foresight and leadership of Amazon and Kindle, among others; however, writing, producing and publishing a book is one thing, selling it is entirely another.

Read Cut Limbo on Kindle todayIf it wasn’t for Amazon and Kindle, I would still be sending emails to publishers and literary agents and getting a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ response for 1 in every 100 emails, just like back in the late 90′s. (Prior to that the results with letters were worse and it was far more expensive and time consuming)  Things have certainly improved in many ways! This blog post is constructive criticism and not a whinge or a compliant, thanks to my recent FREE Kindle weekend, 128 new people downloaded my book Cut Limbo. That’s a great result, but Kindle FREE weekends are a limited resource.

However, regardless of the amazing Amazon technology and the Kindle FREE weekends, a writer’s lot is still not easy, despite the fact that getting a book written and published is significantly easier than ever before.

As I have always maintained about blogging, a blog post, however good or bad, without an audience is just words and pictures. Guess what? Books are no different.

Most writers, authors, novelists, call them what you will, are fairly traditional people, they may not be fully up to date with technology and social media marketing, with blogging, Twitter or Google+. OK, unless they live in a cave, they’ve probably heard of Facebook, but maybe they haven’t heard of StumbleUpon, Triberr, Tumblr, Twylah, Pinterest, Flickr, Kred, Empire Avenue, RebelMouse or WordPress.

Amazon Kindle social media

OK, so Amazon and Kindle have revolutionized the printing/publishing business, but what about sales? Plenty of writers are talking about the delights of producing a book, their long thought about masterpieces, but sales are apparently something else and not always easy to achieve regardless of a good product . How can these traditional writers, with their limited (we expect) budgets and their limited social media experience, possibly hope to get to the top of the best sellers list?

Kindle: Cut Limbo

So who gets to the Top Ten and how do they do it?? Lots of readers reviews clearly help a bit! (And I would love some more on Cut Limbo, thank you!)

F Scott Fizgerald and Dan Brown, I know how they got there, nice work by the way F Scott Fitzgerald, but what about the others? (I must confess to not being familiar with all them) Did they do it through publishing house promotion, literary agent connections or are they self published? If they are self published, did they do it on limited budgets or with help from social media, or with a combination of the two?

Sadly, I doubt very much if they did it with the social media connectivity supplied by Amazon and Kindle.

Here’s why…

social media amazon and kindle

Please CLICK to enlarge the Amazon Kindle social media connectivity

Why does Amazon/Kindle only have email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest shares? (see bottom left)

Look how many social media platforms are actually available to use for sharing…

Social Media sharing

Why does Amazon/Kindle only have 3 sharing icons and email? Why are they at the bottom of the right hand side of the page, the very last place people are likely to look?? I don’t even know what social media platforms all these icons represent, but that’s not really the point, is it?

Why is the Twitter link at the very top of the page and SO VERY SMALL that an untrained eye might not even see it? The Twitter link to say that you’ve purchased a book is BRILLIANT and a truly inspired idea, but people should also be offered the opportunity to send a Tweet when they’ve Looked Inside or when they’ve actually read a review or Amazon/Kindle should let readers Tweet sample lines from a chosen novel if they wish to! Why not? Fans would love this! And so would the writers. Social media is all about getting involved and communicating, let’s make this media as social as we can. There should be no barriers and if Twitter can’t handle all the additional traffic, Jeff and the gang can easily build an Amazon/Kindle Twitter type platform, they can afford it, right?

Plus, why oh why? when Cut Limbo has 3 great reviews (so far), does Amazon/Kindle declare that it only has 1? OK, 1 is on Kindle, but the paperback is the same story, isn’t it?

Hey, Jeff Bezos, Amazon and Kindle why not give struggling writers all the help they need?

Maybe they think they have, let’s see what else is available…

How about my Amazon/Createspace profile page, how much does that help?

 Cut Limbo on createspace, Amazon & Kindle

Amazon’s Createspace offers the opportunity to produce an author profile, but it’s not very exciting is it?  OK, I am responsible for the copy, but the layout looks pretty dull and quickly thrown together to me.  Most of it’s white space and a Createspace advert. The only social media connectivity is the ability to LIKE it on Facebook. WOW! Compared to the superb cutting edge technology put together for producing the book, this author profile is amateur night from the 90′s.

Amazon Kindle's best?

Here’s the forum for Kindle authors, Voice of the Author/Publisher, how inspirational do you find this? Not very? Me neither. This is very, very boring. Even just an avatar along with the name of the people posting and a better format would brighten it up a little.

While we consider Amazon’s total assets of around $32,000,000,000 let’s tell Jeff Bezos what we need from social media to really help improve Amazon and Kindle:

1. A fully connected Amazon blog for authors, with genres, author profiles, author interviews, author videos, authors writing tips and announcements.

2. A fully connected Amazon blog for readers (forget Goodreads, that’s just fine as it is) with new releases of all genres, authors profiles, author interviews and book/movie collaborations.

I believe that individual platforms for writers and readers is essential, they have different needs and different motivation to visit literary social media platforms. If they want both they can go to Goodreads, that’s a great place too!

3. A fully connected Amazon YouTube channel with trailers for books, interviews with authors, pundits and all types of Amazon and Kindle discussion groups.

All Amazon and Kindle sites MUST be fully connected to ALL aspects of social media, this will enable writers to really share and maximize their sales potential.

The Amazon Kindle Twitter profiles should offer more help to authors and follow more people, interact more perhaps? The Amazon Kindle team has only sent 2,605 Tweets and they follow 93 people. I’m just @marketingm8, but I’ve sent 37,285 and I follow 2,283 people.

The daily/weekly guest authors on the blogs can share their writing experiences, offer help and anecdotes and encourage the next generation of writers and promote their books. (Check out Elmore Leonard’s YouTube video)

The media can be offered early access to the Amazon blogs for promotional information, i.e. TV programs  magazine interviews, radio shows.

This will help authors, this will create even more interest in Amazon and Kindle, provide an additional advertising medium and boost world reading… how bad can that be??

I hope Jeff Bezos at Amazon reads this and yes Jeff, I will fly out to consult with you on the changes needed and I will manage a team to carry them out successfully, I’ve certainly got the experience, both from self publishing and social media. Bottom line is Jeff, it would not cost Amazon or Kindle a lot of money to set up and it would create a few jobs. Just Tweet me, I’ll fly right over.

And Jeff, PLEASE don’t forget, this is NOT a complaint, as I said at the beginning, Amazon/Kindle are brilliant and revolutionary, but some writers are finding it hard to make sales. It is probably not because there are too many books to chose from, because people will pick out the very best and word does get around, it always has and always will, the cream rises to the top.

But please help us, the writers, help us share our work and earn you and your shareholders (and us) money, just enough money so we can keep writing. It’s a simple equation, right?

Please, PLEASE share this on Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Twylah, Triberr, Facebook and just about anywhere else you can think of.

Posted in Advertising, Amazon books, BLOGGING, Crime thriller, crime thriller novel, Cut Limbo, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Google +, INTERNET MARKETING,, Kindle, SOCIAL MEDIA, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Twitter, Twitter tools, Video, Video design, Video marketing, Web 2.0 Marketing, WordPress developers, YouTube, YouTube marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cut Limbo sample & it’s FREE on Kindle… adults only!


Cut Limbo FREE on Kindle… adults only!

Yes, it’s true, this weekend Cut Limbo is FREE on Kindle…

As I continue to promote my novel Cut Limbo via social media, I wondered if the FREE on Kindle offer would also be a good idea to get this fast moving, satirical crime thriller to a wider audience.

Why is Cut Limbo adults only? Because the action, and there’s lots of it, moves from the salacious streets of Amsterdam’s red light district to the exotic girlie bars of Manila, what more do I need to say? Basically, it’s a sex, drugs and rock and roll story and it is very violent, as crime thrillers often are. However, more importantly to me as the author, it is funny and I hope it’s the humour and not just the plot itself, the bizarre characters and the exotic locations that make it stand out as a very original novel. (I should mention that the YouTube soundtrack makes it pretty original too!)

Crime thriller Cut Limbo: FREE on Kindle

As an erstwhile marketing man I know that FREE products can be good and they can interest people, but they can also devalue a product, Cut Limbo’s not exactly expensive as it is, right? The BIG question is, will Cut Limbo benefit from being FREE on Kindle for a few days or not? I guess we will see.

If I don’t try to reach a wider audience, I’ll never know. I’m not expecting to make massive amounts of money from Cut Limbo as a novel anyway, that was NOT the reason I wrote the book in the first place. The reason I changed Cut Limbo from my original screenplay to a novel over a 10 year period was for fun; I wanted to tell the story of what went on a Schipol Airport, near Amsterdam, back in the 90′s. It was a totally surreal situation and it offers a superb beginning to a great adventure story.

Being just a tad uncertain about the real value of being FREE on Kindle, it seemed a good idea to ask my friends on Goodreads if it really will increase the audience for Cut Limbo. I’m awaiting their response. If you’re not a member of Goodreads and you love books, reading and the world of writers, I suggest you join me there as soon as you can.

Cut limbo the punk crime thriller

Here’s a sample of Cut Limbo, because I’m a responsible blogger it’s one of the less outrageous scenes.

Panky has just arrived in Manila and the two girls he took back to his hotel room from the bar on his first night have totally and completely ripped him off – they even emptied the mini-bar, they didn’t even leave him an ice cube!!

Panky in Manila. Cut Limbo FREE on Kindle

Panky sat dejected, watched the yellow battered Datsun Cherry fight its way back into the traffic. He looked at the door of the cab, shook his head and looked again. He saw the words ‘Ding-Dong’ scrawled in red letters.

He stood up panting as the taxi gained speed and pulled away slowly. It was Ding-Dong for sure! Panky started to run as fast as he could, the hot sun in his face, the scorching pavement tingled his feet as he chased through the traffic, he dodged Juicy Fruit and Marlboro vendors. He kept running.

Pedestrians and drivers stopped and stared. The crazy looking, half naked foreigner sprinted through the hot dusty streets screaming “Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong!”

Panky kept running and screaming, gaining ground, winding his way around cars, ignoring the stares from bewildered old ladies, running hard, gaining ground and doing good. Then bosh! His foot found a deep pothole and he tumbled to the ground. He fell hard on his face, tasted the road, blood streaming from his nostrils. He grabbed onto the nearest car, ignored the exhaust fumes in his face, the heat of the metal on his fingers and pulled himself back onto his feet. He watched the Datsun pull away in the distance. He couldn’t give up now, no way; the battered cab and its weary old driver were his only chance of survival. He wiped the blood from his face with dirty fingers and continued running, shouting “Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong!”

He could still see the car as he sprinted along, as he continued to run, getting closer and closer. He was going to make it!

The Datsun stopped abruptly at traffic lights, Panky ran faster than ever, convinced this was his only chance; dodged more vendors, wiped the streaming blood from his face. He made it to the car and collapsed on the hot tarmac road gasping. His dirty bloodied fingertips curled over the open window, he slowly pulled himself up onto his knees, panting hard and desperate; blood streaked his face, sweat soaked his hair, stuck to his unshaven face. As Panky’s laboured breath filled the cab Ding-Dong turned his head towards the window, studied Panky’s face, saw the blood and the sweat, heard his panting exhaustion.

Their eyes met.

Panky smiled, wiped his face and sniffed at tears of joy.

Ding-Dong smiled too. He said, “Hey British, Mr. Panky! How you doing my fren? You havin’ a good time?”

Manila Cut Limbo: FREE on Kindle

Manila, like Amsterdam, is a great place to visit if you like exciting cities, but like all cities you have to be very, very careful about where you go and what you do!

I hope the Cut Limbo sample encourages you to check out Cut Limbo while it’s FREE on Kindle and if you like it, please review it wherever you can and share it on Google+, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Digg and all those other great social media platforms. Thank you…

Posted in Amazon books, BLOGGING, Crime thriller, crime thriller novel, Cut Limbo, INTERNET MARKETING,, Kindle, Social Media Marketing, YouTube, YouTube marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments