Friday, November 13, 2015

Experiments in Another New Thing- Thunderclap

Apparently, I'm much braver on the internet than in person. I'm trying yet another new thing. Instead of being related to contests, this one is the new fad in promotion. 

I've heard Thunderclap mentioned by just a very few people so far. It seems it's not really well-known yet. I'm not sure whether this method of promotion by sending out a giant spurt of tweets, tumblr posts, or facebook posts at a scheduled time will become a staple of more people are not. It's sort of unknown at this point whether it will become popular. 

I do know that using Thunderclap is a challenge. Not in signing up. That was easy enough and took just a few minutes. The challenge comes in needing 100 supporters. Without reaching that goal, your campaign won't run. No tweets or posts go out.

With Grudging's release in less than a week, I decided to try it as an experiment about promoting. It's something I could experience and report back about.

My Thunderclap is set to go at 1:00 pm on November 17th  and it would say: 

Happy Book Birthday to GRUDGING. A world of chivalry and witchcraft, and the invaders who would destroy everything (link to Amazon.)

Despite have thousands of twitter followers and many Facebook friends, I'm not sure I can reach the goal of 100. Most people are reluctant to sign up for something unknown. Something they've never used before and haven't heard of anyone using. I can't blame them. I would be hesitant too.

Especially when there are scary permission questions involved. The Facebook and Twitter permissions say something about allowing the app to change your profile and look at your friends or follow people for you, but Thunderclap promises they send one scheduled tweet and nothing else. If they messed with anyone's profile it would be defeating their purpose and giving themselves a bad name. I believe that is just language used by Facebook and Twitter.

Still, I have no proof Thunderclap won't use other permissions.

So if you're a mind to also experiment--Maybe you've heard of others trying this--sign up and we'll try it together. You can use the widget below. 

I'll report back on whether I reached the goal and how it worked. If anyone else has experience or knows something about Thunderclap, please share in the comments. I aim to education more than promote. A large part of me is just curious to see if this works. 

I hope to find out.

Edit: I worked on getting people to sign up for two days before this post went live. I tweeted about it. I posted about it in three or four facebook groups. I mentioned it in several writing forums. From that I made it to 30 sign ups or 30% of the goal.

I feel like the scary terms in the permissions are keeping people away. Several people have declined based on that. Nor do I like having to do a hard sell to get people to sign up. Plus, these are already people who know me. I'm not sure there will be much benefit for them spreading the word. They already know about Grudging.

Seems like ThunderClap expects people to give up and use their advanced options that cost money.

I doubt 100 posts/tweets will be enough to cause a "Thunderclap" of promo for anything. But I'm going to keep on this and report more about what I find.

Edit #2: My Pitchwars mentees have jumped into campaigning for me and taken the link to their mentee group. My numbers are going up again. They are just the best. Hugs to Kat and Alivya! Now at 53%.

Edit #3: In the interest of being thorough, I applied to a Facebook group another writer pointed out. This group specializes in trading support for Thunderclap campaigns. The Facebook group has not replied, making any help from them look unlikely. A strange way to do business, but did I really want my twitter feed filled with other's book promo? It's full enough of my own book promo. :-) 

Edit #4: I posted in my agency Facebook group and the lead agent picked up on my post and shared it. Giving me another boast to 67%. I also posted on my private Facebook. After signing up for a friend's Thunderclap, I realized the permissions ask for access to your friends and followers in order to calculate the reach or number of potential views. I feel a lot better about this campaign knowing there's a reason for looking at friend lists.

Giving myself only five days to reach my goal was probably a bad idea. :-)

Edit 5: I did get accepted into that Facebook group for Thunderclap, at the price of reciprocating. My numbers shot up by 26. Seven more supporters to find and one day left. 

Edit 6: It's the afternoon of the last day and the campaign is at 102. I did manage to find enough supporters but only because of the Facebook group. (For anyone who wants to know the group information for their own promotions, contact me.) I got 70+ supporters on my own. Lesson learned to give yourself much more time than five days.

Not sure if I use this type of promotion again. I'll report on how it goes tomorrow when the Thunderclap actually happens. 

Edit Last: The Thunderclap went out as planned. I saw many of them in my friend's timeline. It was still being RT'ed the next afternoon on my feed. I think it added to all the other things--giveaways, interviews, spotlight posts-- I had going that afternoon and helped with the buzz. Grudging made it into Amazon's top 100 for historical fantasy.  

Thanks to everyone who tried this with me!  


  1. I admit, it's the permissions that put me off. I trust you, and I probably even trust the app, but I've had my twitter hacked before by/through errant app permissions, so my policy is to allow as little as possible. Sorry! :-/

    1. Thanks for letting me know. It all adds to the research.

  2. Another potential turnoff for would-be participants is the concern that Thunderclap might lose them followers, since a bunch of identical posts of the same message could look like spam. On the bright side, it does give people who are outside of the writing community (but willing to participate) the nice feeling that they're part of your book release.

  3. So I've just read this above: "...The Facebook and Twitter permissions say something about allowing the app to change your profile and look at your friends or follow people for you, but Thunderclap promises they send one scheduled tweet and nothing else..." Now, I don;t know if it's 'cos I'm from Australia or not, but I signed up for the promo through Thunderclap using FB and there was nothing for me to do other than agree that their would be a post on my timeline for your novel. Not permissions, no app's nothing O_O - so, from my viewpoint there was/is no issue with the system (hence why I shared the post on FB). Let us know if you get to 100 and how it all goes, I know we are all interested :)