Archive for May, 2012
I belong to several author groups on LinkedIn. I love offering tips and advice to authors who are just starting out (usually, advising them to build a website and/or start blogging). However, I also get a lot of great ideas from those groups, too. After all, there’s nothing like authors helping other authors.
With that in mind, I stumbled upon a conversation today titled, “Any ideas on how to get the buzz going about my book?” There were tons of answers, many of which I found to be very insightful and creative. Here are the highlights…
- You may want to add a mailing list feature to your website so you can keep in touch with your readers. Also, having a media kit readily available on your web site makes it easier for an interviewer to research you/your book. Perhaps some pre-done interview questions for them, A virtual book tour could also stir things up for you. – Judy Robertson
- One ‘word of mouth’ strategy I tell my clients is place your book at the airport where people are checking in ( or a bus depot, coffee shop) . Write in the 1st page this book that it is is “from the author and please leave behind for someone to read when done. ” Sign your name and provide you email and website. You’ll be surprised by emails and where your book has traveled. One clients book went around Europe in a months time. — John Weaver
- I’ve donated a book to a library and placed a small article in local media. –Kent Whitaker
- Have you thought about Pinterest at all? Remember, the key is exposure. Also, get profiles up on Good Reads and Library Thing, too – big sites getting lots of traffic. –Penny Sansevieri
- One of the most efficient methods we’ve found is to create and send a press release with a good “hook” to journalists and media outlets for whom the book would be of particular interest. –Ron Kaye
- Check out some of the book bloggers/ book reveiwers out there. Many of them will post reviews to Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads, as well as on their own blogs. It’s a great way gain exposure. –Thomas Hill
- Check out some of the indie book contests (such as Readers Favorite). Books that win awards get noticed and can greatly enhance your marketing efforts. –Thomas Hill
- I haven’t launched my book yet either but one of my ideas is to have flyers made from the book cover. I plan to hang them anywhere and everywhere. –Lawrence Weiner
- Viral marketing is the equivalent of hitting a home run. Whether it’s a blog post, a comment on someone else’s blog, a video trailer, media interview or a very clever ad, such efforts can go viral and have a life of their own. –Charles Weinblatt
- Drive people WHEREVER you have OUTSTANDING book reviews, a solid blurb and where people can see a sample of your book, as well as seeing that other people HAVE bought it and enjoyed it. Every time you get a great review, tweet it. Make good use of hashtags, like “amreading,” etc. –Kimberly Hitchens
Do you have any other marketing ideas that have worked for you? If so, share them below!
Did you know that Facebook “shares” is the most popular way to drive traffic to your author website or blog? Yup … according to the most recent statistics, people visit a website more often because a link was shared by a friend than as the result of a Google search.
But there are certain types of articles. blog entries or Facebook posts that are shared far more than others. With that in mind, here are five different techniques that you can use (ideas courtesy of Internet & Marketing Report) to make sure that your post gets spread around the world of social networking.
1. Be an advocate. Write Facebook posts that are helpful and informative, or advocate for a cause. People love to share something when they feel like they’re doing it for the greater good. A great example is sending around a link about an injustice related to the subject matter of your book, or information about how a percentage of your sales this week will go to charity.
2. Connect people. Some people love to share links because it helps them strengthen relationships with others. So give them something that tugs on their heartstrings and they will enjoy sharing it.
3. Be provocative. There’s nothing that gets people talking — or sharing — like a provocative post. Talk about a hot-button issue related to your book’s subject matter, or ride the coattails of a controversy in the news that’s somehow similar to the book.
4. Offer information. Provide lots of helpful information and people will want to share it with friends and co-workers. Offer a “how to” list or Q&As related to being an author, getting published, etc… It’s almost guaranteed to go viral.
5. Start trends. Everyone loves to be the “first to know.” So stay on top of the news related to your book’s subject matter, and post immediately about it. People will want to share it with their friends …. whomever knows before everyone else is automatically the “cool” person.
When I’m working with an author to create an effective homepage, one of the things that I always ask a writer to do is create a book teaser … something that really whets the appetite of a visitor in the few seconds that you have their attention. Then you give them links to read more about the book, read an excerpt, or … of course … buy the book.
But it’s funny: professional writers who’ve written entire books aren’t always capable of writing an effective book teaser. It’s really, in many ways, a completely different skill: writing a book vs. writing marketing copy. And more often than not, I look at the copy an author gives me for the homepage and just shake my head.
With that in mind, here’s a list of author websites we built with what I found to be some of the best, most effective book teasers out there. These are organized from shortest to longest. Read them and take some lessons!
Palm Beach Confidential
Author: Robert Mykle
Teaser: Palm Beach is like Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. You think you know what’s going on, but, I guarantee, you don’t.
Lost in Plain Sight
Author: David Gerard
Teaser: A single phone call changes Anthony’s life forever. Something about Diane’s voice is different-distant. Instinctively, he realizes that his wife is in trouble. Something has gone horribly wrong, but what?
Between Yesterday and Tomorrow
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Teaser: On a seductively beautiful seventeenth-century chateau in southern France, the elegant rooms conceal a host of secrets. When Marlien Marais arrives in picturesque Castries to claim her family estate, she slowly uncovers this web of deception that lifts the veil on her past, and changes her future forever. Shimmering with romance, intrigue, and the elegance that only the French can fashion, Charmaine Pauls’ dazzling Between Yesterday and Tomorrow creates a tale of resplendent love—with a thoroughly French twist.
Author: Mary Hanlon Stone
Teaser: When poor Boston girl Stephanie is abandoned by her abusive mother and taken in by Annie’s wealthy Los Angeles family, she feels anything but at home. Her dark complexion and shabby clothes stick out in the golden-hued world of blondes and extravagance. These are girls who live life in fast-forward, while Stephanie is stuck on pause. Yet when a new rival moves to town, threatening Annie’s queen-bee status, Stephanie finds herself taking sides in a battle she never even knew existed, and that feeling invisible is a wound that can only be healed by standing up for who she is.
The O Street Boys
Author: Shaun Anthony Ross
Teaser: The O Street Boys is a story of drugs, money and murder and what one young man would do to reach the top of the drug game. Rico Patterson is not your average young man growing up in the inner city of Washington, D.C. He is a financial prodigy and budding entrepreneur who wants to put the dope game in a choke hold. As long as there are drugs, there will be drug addicts. Supply and demand, it’s the American Way. Every drug dealer knows there’s money to be made out there and Rico wants to be the one making it. As long as there are drug addicts creating a demand, there will be drug dealers out there supplying the need. It’s about the money. It’s always about the money.
Blood and Silk
Author: Carol Alderhoven McKay
Teaser: The Hidden Love Story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus of Nazareth is author Carol McKay’s gift to everyone fascinated by the life of Mary of Magdala-Mary Magdalene-and her often misunderstood relationship to Jesus of Nazareth. In this beautifully crafted historical novel, the reader is guided through a time rich with art and architecture, and fraught with change and controversy. Mary’s narration introduces us to first-century Judea, when the atmosphere crackled with fear, and determination of friend or foe was often difficult, if not impossible. As much as theologians paint the story about Mary and Jesus as straightforward and even simple in nature, the author reminds us that theirs was a love weighed down and complicated by the politics of the day. The story of Mary, and then Mary and Jesus, is intricate and often as perilous as the times in which they lived. Founded on historical accuracy and an eye for a well-told story, this is a novel that will fascinate and delight.
Do you have other book teasers that you love? Share them with us!
Aren’t we all secretly authors? Some of us have already published books, others are working on books. But the majority of us are just thinking about the book that we dream of writing, be it a novel or an autobiography.
Regardless of your status, there are tons of things you can do to get your author career off the ground. Not surprisingly, I’m going to recommend that you start with an author website.
Before you even ask: yes, it’s okay to have an author website even if you haven’t published anything yet.
But what should be on that author website? And how can you use it to catapult your writing career? Here are a few ways…
1. Offer writing snippets. At some point, you will be reaching out to agents and publishers in the hopes that they will be interested in your works. Well, how will they know how good a writer you are unless they can actually read your writing? Make sure to offer articles, short stories, book excerpts, etc… on your author website so that they can get a taste of your work even before it’s published.
2. Show your personality. The publishing field is much like the music industry: it used to be all about talent, but now it’s as much about “sellability” as anything else. All of this means that it almost doesn’t matter how great a writer you are. You also have to be personable, outgoing, funny, etc… in order to make it in today’s publishing world. Make sure to include photos of yourself on the website, any audio/video of yourself, and a blog that really lets your personality shine through.
3. Build a fanbase. This is probably the most important of the three items listed here. Why? Because a publisher is far more likely to work with a writer who already has 100,000 followers than one who doesn’t have a platform. Here are some creative ways to start building that platform and watching your number of followers climb:
- Blog, blog, blog. This is the best way to drive traffic to your website and keep people coming back from more. Pick a subject to blog about and stick to it. Make your blog informative, humorous, and a must-see destination. You’ll be surprised how many people keep coming back …. and even better, “sharing” your content.
- Interact. People visiting your blog will start commenting on it. You need to comment in response. Join the conversation with your readers. They will appreciate it.
- Offer email sign-ups. Give readers a good reason to enter their email address. Maybe it’s a little trinket or something. Regardless, collect as many email addresses as you can. That will be invaluable when you talk to a publisher.
- Use social networking. It doesn’t matter if your preferred network is Facebook, Twitter, etc… Ideally, it’s all of them. But make sure you build fans/followers and keep them informed on what you’re doing. Pose questions, offer tips, etc… Whatever is working, just keep doing it. And watch those numbers continue to rise.
No one said becoming a professional author is easy. But it is doable. And hopefully these ideas will help you get started.
Ready to talk with us about building you an author website? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Authors invest a great deal of time and money in marketing their book. And they should. But what they often don’t do is track all of their marketing efforts to really figure out which ones are working and which ones are duds.
Some authors prefer to turn to traditional marketing techniques, like:
- Press releases
- Book signings
- Media appearances
Others are soooo 21st century and will focus all their time and efforts on:
But how do you know which of these techniques will work best for you? Or which combination of the two will hit the sweet spot?
Here’s how to make sure that you’re investing in what’s working. A hat-tip to Judy Cullins of BookCoaching.com on some of these ideas.
- Keep close tabs on your investments. Start a spreadsheet and make a list of all your marketing initiatives, how much they cost, and how much time you invested in each one. Make special notes next to the ones that you’ve enjoyed doing and/or ones that led to sales. After about six months, review the list and determine which items have been worth the time and which have been worth the money. The ones that don’t qualify as either? Cross them off forever!
- Keep an open mind. Scour the web (especially message boards and groups of writers) and see what other people are doing. Don’t be afraid to steal other people’s ideas. From author websites to social networking and reaching out to bloggers, there are a million ideas out there, so don’t shy away from any of them.
- Think like your audience. Put yourself in the position of a potential reader. What kind of websites would you be perusing? Where would you be looking for your next good read? Whose opinions would you respect when it comes to books? By starting at the end game and working backwards, you’ll have a distinct advantage over other authors.
How do you determine which of your marketing efforts are working? Share your ideas with us!