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« What took so long? | Main | Titles: The Resonance is All »

March 20, 2007


Michelle Moran

Thank you Barry for two very insightful posts. And in case anyone missed it, not only was Barry Eisler's book THE LAST ASSASSIN nominated for the 2006 Gumshoe Awards ("given by Mystery Ink each year to recognize the best achievements in the world of crime fiction") but so was MJ Rose's novel THE VENUS FIX.

The winner will be announced May 1. Congratulations to you both!!!


Congratulations on the nomination Barry and MJ too.

I couldn't agree with you more. A couple of months back I had to pull down my blog which has most of my poems because I had problems with people starting to use it despite the copyright mark. I have already decided not to set it up again but then I started getting messages from people who were subscribed to the blog asking me what happened and saying I should set it up again. So I did and I went back to my doing so, I found your and your books. I got interested because it was done mostly in the heart of Asia which is where I am.

Anyway, I agree with you that my space is a great selling tool. I am not looking to be publish because I write mostly for my pleasure but through my space I get a lot of offers and invite for publications. The only problem is I don't know which is genuine and which is spam. But that's beside the point. The point is, whether we admit it or not, My Space can give you one of the best advertising, for free.


Thanks Michelle.
And Barry for another thought provoking post.

One thing I think we need to deal with in a little greater detail about myspace is the time committment. And the fact that the people on Myspace really don't want to be marketed too.

It's like the frontier days of 1997/1998 online when people discovered listservs and tried to use them as marketing vehicles.

This is social networking first. Then if someone gets to know you, the will be interested in who you are and what you do.

A lot of authors are telling me their pubishers are saying "put up a myspace page" for your book as if it will be a magic bullet.

Its smart to be involved and consider to potential of the medium, but don't get fooled into thinking any of this is fast and furious.


And how nuts am I? I get a few days off while Barry is here and I'm posting in my own comments box. Its a real compliment to how compelling Barry's posts are.

Natasha Mostert

Hi Barry, I joined MySpace only recently as my editor insisted I get spaced out as a way to promote my new book. You were my very first friend (apart from Tom who is a very unsatisfactory friend). Thanks!

I understand your point about being pro-active. My question is how do you handle unsolicited incoming requests? Up till now my only criterion has been "Can you read?" But some requests remind me of what Samuel Beckett said: "We are all born mad. Some of us remain so" :-) So where do you draw the line...or don't you? Is everyone welcome on your page? My instinct is never to deny a request and let's all sail away on the yellow submarine -- it could be a fun ride. But there is that old cliche: by your friends you shall be known. Might other "customer leads" be turned off if your friends have names like "Conan of the Deep" and "I love Razor Blades"?

Judy Larsen

I put together a myspace page in January, and I agree with Barry, it's a great way to reach out to potential readers. I've taken the "personal" approach--searching, as he suggests, for people who are likely customers, and then sending them an e-mail inviting them to check out my page. I also have asked to be friends with bookstores. To answer Natasha's question about welcoming everyone to my page, I usually check out the profile of the person sending the request. I've deleted a few "friends" when it became clear they were just myspace spammers, but other than that, I have to say, I've met readers who never would have picked up my book without myspace.

Don Lafferty

Excellent advice, Barry.

See my article in the May/June issue of Home Business Magazine.


Nat Sobel

Barry, How do you handle requests on my space for info about who your agent is and how do we conatct him?
Also do you get mail in my space from readers abroad? Any particular country? Nat S.

Barry Eisler

Thanks for the comments everyone... Natasha, great question, and there's no one-size-fits all answer. I block bands because too many of them spam and I'm not that interested in discovering new music through MS. I check the profile behind every request to eliminiate spammers and people who like Ann Coulter. Beyond that, I'm generally receptive. But you have to figure out what works for you...

Nat, anytime anyone asks me who my agent is (and especially when their name is "Conan of the Deep"), I say, "Nat Sobel of Sobel Weber, the best agent a writer could ever ask for!" And the best part is, it's true...

Actually, people ask me this all the time, not just on MS, and I always tell them to go to your website and see what they think -- but to remember that having met me will have zero impact on your evaluation of their work. The quality of their work, and their overall professionalism, are the only things that count.

Readers abroad... quite a few, I would say. The most common are other English-speaking countries; beyond that, I seem to have a fair number of friends in France, Italy, Japan, and Spain. And lately several from Sweden, too. I think what happens is, someone puts your picture on their profile page, and then their other friends who visit frequently see the picture and contact you...


David J. Montgomery

You've gotta get the Germans, Barry. They're nuts for crime fic.

Another interesting post. It's so important, I think, that people understand the point about HOW to sell to readers in cyberspace.

If someone on MySpace spams me with a message about their book (or comment spams my page), I'm NOT going to be receptive to that.

(I just deleted some alleged author who posted two generic comments per week, with nonsense to the effect of "Happy Wednesday!")

On the other hand, if someone attempts to cultivate a relationship with me, then I might be open to their book in the future. As Barry says, you've got the seduce them.

Amanda Stevens

I don't like public speaking, book signings, or conferences. But I was made for MySpace! That whole music/pop culture environment is right up my alley. I have found some great new bands on MySpace, and a few have even put me in their top friends. I used a German's band song on my blog, and in turn, they put my book cover in their fan newsletter. Incredible! I've had over fifty books published, but my latest is in a different genre. People who read thrillers have never heard of me, and I've found MySpace to be a great way to get the word out. I now have 'friends' who are posting bulletins about my book to their friends and some have left very nice reviews on Amazon. As has been said before, the key is to develop real relationships with readers. I would never ask anyone to buy my book under any circumstances. On MySpace, all I do is send friend requests to likely readers and hope they'll take a moment to look at my site. And so far, it seems to be working, although you have to be realistic about the results you can expect. As you can probably tell from my post, I'm sold on MySpace.

Jeff Nordstedt

An interesting fact regarding marketing on Myspace. Your best sales leads will have between 100-500 "friends." Any less and they probably are not on frequently enough to be influenced much by Myspace. Any more and your message will probably get lost among all of the chatter that is generated when you have 3000 friends.

Also, it is very tempting (because they are easy to find) to find and add a bunch of writers as friends. Just remember, unless your book is about writing, than writers aren't your target market and you shouldn't spend a bunch of time adding other writers. You'll just end up spending all of your time exchanging banners trying to hawk books to one another.

So, in the world of myspace, it is, as they say, not the size of the wave but the motion of the ocean that counts.


I joined MySpace in 2003, not to sell books, but just to hang out. Because I've been on so long, I now get about 50-60 friend requests a day and about 30-40 emails. It's pretty easy to tell who's writing a personal letter and who's spamming. Some of the spammers I may be interested in -- but it has to be through their pictures. I have never sent out a mass email or comment; my comments are always personal to one friend.

I have met many nice people over the years, had no bad experiences, and as gravy, a few people have bought my books.

Caridad Pineiro

I wasn't sure about what to do about Myspace originally, but then I took the plunge and haven't been disappointed. There's a whole different group of people and interacting with them is both delightful and rewarding. Providing Myspacers with new content and fun things such as video trailers has helped me get the word out about my works.

Kate Douglas

Interesting post--I recently signed up for MySpace and saw an immediate spike in the number of hits on my website. I added a video trailer for my Wolf Tales series and my book ranking at online booksellers noticeably improved. I feel as if I'm reaching an entirely new market through MySpace.

Simon Haynes

I joined Myspace last year and quickly came to the same conclusions above: people aren't there to listen to book pitches or to be contacted by random authors telling them to buy their books. It's social networking first and marketing a distant second. If you're not prepared to network socially (ie. to be friendly and chatty) then don't bother signing up.
I don't promote much on Myspace - my profile says who I am and what I do, which means I'm free to be myself on the groups and in other peoples' comment trails.


I think the most important factor in selling a book and becoming popular on myspace is to ensure that your parents have gifted you with the requisite genetic material for taking a sexy and/or "hunky" pic. You'd be surprised (or not) what a calling card this is even at the high levels of serious publishing companies.

Ujjwal Dey

HAHAHA - great analogy with picking up women in a bar.

Yes, subtlety is the key!

Best of Luck for the nominees

- Ujjwal Dey, Bomb-aye, INDIA

Randy Charles Morin

I just finished creating a widget to post your resume to your MySpace profile.

Zmajruw x

Zmajruw x


Having a online home business is great for retirees who would like to supplement their retirement pay and or social security income. They could also bring a lot of knowledge to their online home based business, that would help them to become truly successful.


Will I see U at the Book Expo in Cali?

This is so nice.

It goes right along with the chambers and tunnels discovered under Charmaine Alexandria Fodder's estate in Hamptons NY. The things they find you guys....OMG!

HO-9 by Teela Winters-Evers

Read this Book Description (formally called Annotation):
Black Espionage in Urban Life-

Who knew a 1-800 paid this well? Teela Winters-Evers' HO-9 is an unusual hood tale involving street gangsters vs. political gangsters going head up in an all out battle for millions, land and lust.

What do a trio of hood chicks from Brooklyn, a tranny and his freaky, elderly mother from Chelsea, two drug dealers facing life on Riker's Island, a wheelchair bound, Chocolatier billionaires, and a gigolo gangster from the south have in common?

The Phone!

From Manhattan to the Hamptons, lines are ringing, dirt is flinging, and golf clubs are swinging as the Ho-9 uncovers the New York truth. Only they know the real you on the other end as ring-tones jingle in this town.

After it's all said and done, who will get the whole nine on the ninth hole?

From the first cuss word down to the very last ho, baby, this is a Classic. Catch a good signal, and don't drop the call, because phone sex never felt so powerful.

Terry Spear

Congratulations on the nominations, both Barry and MJ! One thing too, I didn't even realize you could upload video book trailers on Myspace until recently. It's another nice avenue to promote without pushing promotion. The video trailers are a way for potential fans to get a different glimpse of your books without spamming them. They're just up there for others to look at if they wish. Congrats again on the nominations!


Hello Barry
Useful Advice. We looking at market on myspace and want to generate leads without spamming members, we sell software but this is geared to a very specific market. Will have to find out a little more before we take the plunge.
Regards David


Sounds like myspace could well be worth a punt. We were thinking of using adsence with google, but have heard that facebook are now also offering this type or marketing but at a much lower advertising rate.


Is anyone using MySpace anymore? I don't know. But I guess the 2012 equivalent would be Google+ and Twitter because of the ability to find people who like and talk about certain things.

I'd be interested to know what most people find useful nowadays. I'm a non-fiction author, so it's probably easier for me to target my audience. One of my challenges is that I write about a sensitive topic (addiction), so not that much Social sharing is going to go on!

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