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January 24th, 2010

Several months ago I got an idea for an online marketing experiment from something Rachel Caine (marvy urban fantasy and YA author) was doing using Twitter.

For her bit, she was linking a partial quote from the about to be released Morganville Vampires Book 7 called Fade Out and including a link to her LJ so readers could see the rest of the selected quote. (MV7 totally rocked, by the way!)

I decided I would try something similar, but with a Twitter twist. I would actually try to make the quotes fit into Twitter's 140 character limit as well as include a purchase url for Amazon or just the name of the book the quote came from depending on space. (Sometimes nothing as a couple of the buggers were too long!)

For each book, I went and hunted for 20 plus quotes from the beginning chapters. The plan was to Tweet quotes 3 times a day. Reason for doing it 3 times was because people aren't always on Twitter/Facebook at the same time the quote would be posted. The two different Twitter Utilities I use seem to only buffer about 100 Tweets, so assuming most others were about the same, I wanted to send enough of them out there to hopefully get included, but not so many I would seem to be spamming the netwaves.

I use two different utilities to check Tweets. At work I use TechHit's TwInbox. (TwInbox basically lets you create a folder for Tweets in Outlook and feeds Twitter into it. It also means I don't have to have any suspicious software on at work or an internet page up. :P) (I love that I can forward Tweets with interesting links via email automatically too to peeps I know who don't use Twitter. Somethings just have to be shared!) At home, I use TweetDeck. Tweetdeck lets me see feeds from Twitter, My Space, and Facebook, plus I can upload comments to all 3 at once.

So, armed with a week's worth of quotes for each of my four books - In the Service of Samurai, Vassal of El, Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles, and Willing Sacrifice - I set off on this mad marketing experiment!

Today is the last day of the fourth week. Since I included urls leading anyone who was interested to Amazon, I figured using my ranking #'s there for each book would let me know if anything happened at all.

I'm afraid to have to report that the impact of this experiment very well seems to be Zero~! But at least now I know. Of course there's always the possibility that the full impact, if any, is not yet visible. It's the biggest problem with trying any type of marketing for books as there are time when the effects are felt long after you've stopped pursuing that particular strategy.

In some ways too, I was probably preaching to the choir - most of those following me have probably already read some of my work. To get others on Twitter to see it I needed to use hashmarks like #ya #fantasy, but I don't think I thought of using those until well into week two at least. Doh. (hindsight is 20/20)

Now to think of something else to try!
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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