The truth about fakes by CL Swinney

Chris SwinneyC.L. Swinney is a narcotics investigator currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He has investigated hundreds of narcotics, homicide, gang, and Mexico cartel cases along the west coast of the United States, Mexico, and Canada.  C. L. Swinney has been invited to speak at law enforcement conferences throughout the United States and is recognized as an expert in narcotics, homicides, and cell phone forensics.  C. L. Swinney developed the concept for the first book in his Bill Dix series, Gray Ghost, while fly fishing in the Bahamas.   His passion for the outdoors and law enforcement is intertwined throughout his writing.  The world of narcotics is dark and mysterious.  C. L. Swinney pulls the reader immediately into this fascinating world from the first word in his debut novel and doesn’t let you out until you finish the book.  Finding time to be with his wife, two children, friends, and family has been his greatest obstacle.  Yet somehow some way he manages to make it happen. Chris’ first novel, Gray Ghost, will be released  July 2013. Make sure you get a copy! 

Promotion comes in all shapes and styles, but one thing holds true to be successful, the more you sell yourself through positive interaction, the more people will buy your product.

In my case, I chose to figure out social media because I was already immersed in it as a 30-something trying to be hip with my I-phone.  I pushed myself to figure out one platform, but three more popped up that were “cooler” or more popular than the one I was currently trying to figure out.

For the purpose of this piece, I’ll focus on Twitter.  This is my story of what not to do.  I noticed right away that I needed more than 140 characters to communicate.  And, if you wanted to be heard, you needed to have tons of followers.  I tried some of the pointers on Twitter and on-line to build followers, but the results were VERY slow.  So, I took a walk on the dark side…The world of BUYING followers.  Ok I said it, and I don’t feel much better about it.

So, I paid money to have a person add “fake” followers to my account.  Before I knew it, I had 45,000 followers, none of which I knew.  The problem was, if I tweeted something about my blog, book, or website, I didn’t get many hits or responses because my message was going to one person who had millions of accounts.  Strangely, however, I began getting requests for followers ONLY BECAUSE I had a large number of “Followers.”  So it was true, perception was reality.  Nevertheless, I decided it was CC5GrayGhost(2)time to be real to myself.  I needed to become a better promoter instead of faking my way through it.

I learned to be me and sell myself.  I began talking about my interests, groups I supported, and tried to help friends promote their business and authors promote their work.  It was a good thing I did, because about a month ago, Twitter analytics software “cleaned” Twitter up of fake accounts.  Facebook did the same thing.  They were not happy people were making money off of their software and not getting a piece of the profits.  Tens of thousands of people lost their “popularity” over night.  I still watch the people following my account, but if they are fake, I report them as spam.  Now real people follow me because they like what I have to say.  This human bond translates to sales. The lesson I learned?  Be true to yourself, promote yourself legitimately, and your products will begin to sell.  Buyers like real people, flawed or not, because it’s human nature.  If I sell a few books while being comfortable in my own skin, it’s a bonus.

Make sure you all pick up a copy of Gray Ghost by CL Swinney!