Writers: Cheat Your Way to Bigger Sales

As writers, we despise marketing. Show me a writer who enjoys it, and I’ll show you a successful writer. For the rest of us lot we have to do it ourselves. Or do we…?


Here are some cheats you can use to drive more traffic to you story and ring up potential sales.

Pay Someone

The website Fiverr lets you pay people the paltry sum of $5 to do all sorts of things. You could pay to have someone tweet your story. Maybe hire someone to convince others to read your story. You might ask for Facebook likes or retweets of your tweet. Whatever you want, there’s someone out there willing to do it. For five bucks.

Pay Someone Important

What if you want more? Wouldn’t it be great if a celebrity of some status told everyone to read your story. Impossible? No way. This happens all the time in the book industry. Ever pick up a book and see a recommendation from Stephen King or J. K. Rowling? Don’t kid yourself, those authors were paid (whether they liked the book or not). Why not do the same thing yourself?

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 2.40.00 PM

The site BuySellAds has all sorts of services for hire. The most interesting is the sponsored tweets. Here you can hire someone popular to tweet for you. Paris Hilton costs $4,600. Pricey, but I bet a lot of people would see it. However, Makobi Scribe (with 65 thousand followers) will tweet for you for $15. She specializes in product reviews and kids’s fashion. You get the idea.

I’m not saying I’m going to rush out to do this right now. Mostly, I don’t have a product I need to promote. Yet if I did, I would strongly consider this as one possible avenue for spreading the word.

Tim Kane

Don’t Drink That Coffee. It Can Kill You. (Maybe)

Most of us these days can tout the benefits of coffee, from a ward against cancer to a way to make yourself more productive. But we aren’t blind. We know that too much coffee, and caffeine, can make your stomach upset and and keep you up at night. Yet can this drink kill you? Advertisers a century ago would have people believe just that.

I could only find a photo of Instant Postum (from 1911)

I could only find a photo of Instant Postum (from 1911)

In 1895, Postum created Postum Coffee Food (yes, that was the name). It was roasted cereal with a molasses glaze. How the heck did this imitator kick coffee’s butt? Advertising. Mr. Post (yes the fella behind Grapenuts) knew how advertise. He culled together all the negative aspects of coffee and went hyperbole on them.

coffee-and-provocation-postum-food-coffeeThis add touts that coffee slowly destroys your stomach and nerves. Okay, this is reasonable. I don’t know if roasted cereal is any better.

coffee-provocation-postum-brain-fagCheck out the fine print: Coffee causes Heart-Failure, Dyspepsia (a fancy word for Indigestion), Brain-Fag (I think short of Brain Fatigue) and Nervous Prostration (total nervous exhaustion). Most are reasonable, but heart failure? Wow. That’s servere.


Okay, this one wasn’t for Postum, but I thought is was great. If you choose the wrong coffee, you get a spanking. Bad, bad wife.

The Postum Food Coffee diminished after the government truth in advertising pointed out that roasted cereal wasn’t, and never will be, coffee. Finally,  in 1911, Coca Cola went to trial over its product being a “killer brain tonic”. The main focus was caffeine. When Coca Cola won this case, it brought coffee back into focus. It also helped  that coffee folks learned to advertise.

Tim Kane