Posted in Ramblings

Social Media…Secrets?

I’ve spent the past few years writing books and trying to figure out this “social media” thing. This blog is part of the social media experiment, as was my involvement with a couple other author blogs. Mine is equal parts “here is information about my next book” and “I don’t know what the hell to write.” In the past couple of years, I’ve experimented with content. I’ve run tours, posted reviews, featured excerpts of my own work and that of close friends. I’ve posted original content (like this). One factor remains constant: Nobody is reading this blog. Few who buy books see my posts on FB or Twitter, and I see no point to Instagram. I’m not one of those people who takes pictures of things.

The fact that nobody reads my blog doesn’t upset me. I mostly wanted it so that I could link my website to excerpts from my books. However, I’ve forgotten to do that in 99% of cases. It might be on my mind now, but it’ll be gone in 5…4….3…2…1…

In an effort to get more personal, I posted my workout diary. Note to self: Look up synonyms for “boring.” At the very end of one, I confessed to being disheartened with the 80% drop in sales I experienced in 2017, and that I’m contemplating throwing in the towel.

In this one, I’ll confess that I can’t stop writing, so I’m currently throwing books onto Amazon KU under another name as fast as I can write them. I’ve put up two this month already, and I’m halfway finished with another. These 30K stories are simple love stories, so they’re quick to write. They’re selling as well as, or better than, my MZ titles, so I may just keep going that route. Who knows what the future will bring?

This has led me, so far, to conclude that social media is a lie. Posting on FB and Twitter haven’t netted me any sales or increased my exposure. How do I know? Because I did zero marketing and promo for my new pen name and series, and it has sold more copies this month than Re/Captured, which came out last month. The first book garnered 8 reviews, none of which came from a review team or marketing efforts. These were people who read the book and felt compelled to post reviews. The 2nd book came out yesterday and already has a good review and is gathering steam as far as sales go. Again, NO MARKETING, no social media plan. The FB page I threw up for this new pen name has zero likes. Nobody is seeing that content. Nobody. And it doesn’t seem to matter.

So what is the secret? Apparently, going on Amazon and seeing what’s selling, then popping off a simple/cute love story in 3 days sells. No additional marketing necessary. So, I guess that’s where I am right now. And I’m kind of happy to be writing something that people are reading.

Posted in Ramblings

My Experience with Triberr

Last fall, I began an experiment with Triberr. I’d heard great things about it from other authors–and a friend even hooked me up with “how-to” literature explaining the most effective ways to use Triberr. With my usual “why not?” shrug, I decided to give it a try.

Now, just because I make rash and casual decisions about things like this doesn’t mean I’m not dedicated. I’m a little OCD and a bit of a perfectionist, so I memorized the literature, did more research on effective use, and I opened an account. It didn’t take long for me to join some erotic romance groups as a member instead of a follower. I was dedicated to Tweeting pretty much everybody who wrote about romance or writing. I made it a part of my daily routine–fifteen minutes to go into three groups and Tweet my fellow authors. In return, they Tweeted my stuff.

Here are things that happened:

  1. I met Olga Miret Nunez, who I hired to translate Re/Bound into Spanish. She’s super nice and very talented.
  2. I felt like part of an author community, each of us supporting the other.
  3. Notifications on Twitter skyrocketed.
  4. My number of followers did not. This was the most disheartening. I had expected it to increase, but mostly my new followers were authors in my Triberr group or bots. They were gone as quickly as they appeared.
  5. There was no impact on my sales or exposure.

Here’s the biggest problem with Triberr: It floods your Twitter stream with notices that, truthfully, mean nothing to you or to your followers. In turn, Twitter tends to put you on their spam list and lock you out of your account. I think they actually suppress your Tweets because they’re the junk mail of the internet. Having my Twitter tied to my FB, I noticed this influx drowning out my own posts, and I disconnected my Twitter and FB accounts. And I found that the increase in notifications is just people Tweeting my blog posts, not that anyone was looking at the posts or engaging with them. Traffic to my blog did not increase.

After six months of, frankly, declining sales and exposure, I quit Triberr. It has taken a couple of months, but Twitter likes me again. They let my posts into the streams of my followers–who actually engage with me now. My Twitter following is growing–slowly, but still increasing steadily–with people who are real (readers, bloggers, etc.) I use the 15 minutes/day I spent on Triberr doing more productive things, like writing this blog post.

Do I think Triberr is worthwhile? No, I do not. I think a better use of my social media is to interact with my readers and friends, and a better use of my time is to write heartfelt romances.


Posted in Book News, Ramblings

Michele Zurlo’s News: June 18, 2016 #amwriting

Hey there readers!

I thought I’d start a regular feature where I let you know how I’m doing and what’s going on with me.

released 500First, I’m going great. School is out for the summer, and I’m on schedule with my writing goals. All revisions for Re/Leased (DFBI 5) are finished, and I got it up for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. This is significant because I finally learned how to get books on pre-order at BN and iTunes. I feel so accomplished, like I’m actually doing well navigating the indie publishing world. It comes out on my birthday, June 26. I’m NOT telling you how old I’ll be, but rest assured that I’m still hot. (At least, that’s what Wife says.)

I finished the first draft of Re/Viewed (DFBI 6), which unexpectedly turned into a menage. I did not see that coming until my heroine refused to choose between Jed and Liam. She’s all, “Can’t I have them both?” and I couldn’t see why not. Draft #1 is 114K words, and I have notes about things to add, so it’ll probably end up a little longer. This’ll be the longest DFBI book in the series.

My goal of getting content on this blog is also going well. I’m hosting other authors as well as shooting my mouth off about various topics, like my opinion about legislators not having educational requirements.

I’ve also decided to cut back on social media, particularly Facebook. My posts don’t get seen by readers. It doesn’t actually matter how many followers I have if nobody sees the posts. I’m using Twitter more, and I’ve joined Triberr to network with other authors. You can follow me there: or just keep up with my blog. With these regular updates, you’ll be able to find out everything you need to know here.

That’s my Ta-Da! list. Here’s my To-Do list:

  1. Cowboy gearWrite cowboy novella for RB4U anthology. (Challenge: I’ve never liked any western but Cat Ballou, and that was mostly due to Nat King Cole.)
  2. Do initial revision of Re/Viewed before sending it off to beta readers. (Hoping to have a November 2016 release date.)
  3. Brainstorm/outline SAFE Security #1 (title forthcoming, I hope) so that I can write it next.
  4. Plan swag for Midwestern Book Lovers Unite conference in October.