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Posts Tagged ‘author marketing’

It’s Up to You to Get Noticed (Before You Self Publish #5)

If you want to self publish, you will have to work to get noticed. Here we are at last, on the final point of this blog series “Before You Self Publish.” So far we’ve talking about the importance of thinking like a CEO, the danger of releasing a book too soon, the value of print, and the importance of the cover. Now let’s think about how to get that book in readers’ hands. Yep, if we’re going to talk about self publishing, we need to talk about the M word: Marketing. It’s not a bad word. Really. Marketing is the collection of things that you do in order to build positive name recognition for you and your work. It’s not a bad word, but it is one with a bad reputation. Many writers who self publish act as if the hard work will be done once the book is written and […]

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Readers Judge Books By Their Covers (Before You Self Publish, Part 4)

We’re continuing the Before You Self Publish series. Don’t miss Part 1, Think Like a CEO; Part 2, Don’t Publish Too Soon; and Part 3, Publish in Print. Long before I worked in book publishing, a friend introduced me to a twist on the classic cliché: If you can’t judge a book by its cover, then someone’s not doing their job. First impressions matter, especially in books, where readers have so many options. A person browsing in a bookstore (either physical or online) looks at the book cover and decides in less than 8 seconds if it’s appealing to them. If so, and ONLY if so, they’ll pick up the book, turn it over and read the back cover copy (or, if they’re online, read the product description). If THAT’S not interesting to them, the reader moves on without ever opening the book to see the writing itself. Says one popular […]

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Unless You Write Romance, Publish in Print (Before You Self Publish 3)

We’re continuing our series of 5 Things Self Publishers Need to Know with a super-simplified look at production and distribution (and a reminder that you have choices). Once you learn to think like a CEO and recommit to writing a GREAT book, it’s time to get practical about how to get your work out there. Which leads me to this: The benefits of having both print and electronic versions of a book almost always outweigh the additional costs. When I teach classes about the publishing process, I’ve noticed that many attendees start out assuming that if they self publish their work, they can only make it available as an ebook. They think this even if they, personally, are not ebook readers, have never bought an ebook, and don’t have a strategy for how to sell ebooks. Why? Partly, it’s because the new Self-Publishing Era (SPE?) really took off because of ebooks. Electronic files cost […]

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Tweet On! (Or Don’t)

A couple of weeks ago, I taught a class for Book Publishers Northwest called Tweet On: How to Use (And Not Abuse) Twitter to Build Your Platform and Sell Your Books. It was a fun evening, despite (or perhaps because) I don’t currently have a projector that works with my laptop, and so was reduced to drawing the Twitter homepage on a white board: There was one attendee, though, who was not impressed. He announced that he was skeptical of this “social media thing.” He’d tried Twitter already, but didn’t get anything out of it. He used words like shallow, and inane, and silly. Over the next couple of hours, I made my best case for why Twitter is a valuable tool in an author’s marketing tool belt. I talked about how it’s full of book clubs, journalists, editors, and millions (millions!) of readers, plus subject matter experts and influencers who are […]

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5 Ways to Make a Writers’ Conference Work for You

I know I need an agent, but I don’t know where to find one. I don’t know how to start building an author platform…I don’t even know what a platform is! I should join or start a critique group, but I don’t know any other writers! Sound familiar? Aspiring authors and curious writing bystanders say things like this to me a lot, and my answer is always the same: Get Thee to a Writers’ Conference! Although writing a book can be a solitary, introverted activity that you can do without bothering to put on pants, publishing a book is a community activity. Writers’ conferences are the places where we network, visit, and meet the next generation of authors. There are hundreds of multi-day events for writers all over the country and around the world. They’re organized for writers in a particular region, or for a specific genre of writing. Some conferences […]

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Why Isn’t My Social Media Selling More Books?

My week is full of marketing meetings with authors. And, since this is the twenty-first century, at some point every conversation about marketing comes back to social media. We’ve all heard that authors need some kind of social media presence. But all social media is not the same, and it certainly doesn’t all get the same results. If you’re a new writer wondering why your Facebook page or Twitter feed isn’t generating the kind of attention you think it should, ask yourself a few questions: 1.       Am I being social, or am I self promoting? You’ve seen the accounts, with a long string of spammy sales messages with more exclamation points than substance. “Buy my book!” “Look, I have a book!” “Hey, my #book is for #sale—go buy it!!!!” If you are only using social media to promote your book and try to generate immediate sales, you’re missing the point, and you’re turning […]

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Will Facebook’s 2015 Changes Affect Your Author Page?

While I was on vacation last week, a post over at The Write Conversation (and then picked up by The Passive Voice) stirred up quite a buzz among some authors. A savvy client sent it to me yesterday and asked what I thought. Did I recommend that we all give up on Facebook? At first read, the news was dire. Facebook, it says, is on the brink of instituting a monthly fee that small businesses, including authors, will have to pay in order to have their content seen by their followers. No more cover reveals, no more book signing announcements, no more links to giveaways? “These changes are going to cost money—serious money,” says the blog. But wait. Read the article again. Does something seem a little…off? The blogger certainly sounds confident about what will happen to authors, but there are no links anywhere, to any other source, to back up the facts. When pushed in […]

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What to Do With Your First Negative Book Review

It finally happened. I knew it would. Somebody panned The Author’s Guide to Marketing on Goodreads. As an agent, an editor, and a consultant, I’ve walked with a lot of authors through painful reviews and negative feedback. But that’s not the same as seeing someone criticize my own work. Even though I knew better, I still felt the temptation to respond, the natural desire to defend. My fingers itched to hit the Reply button and tell the reader exactly what he was missing, and why he was wrong. But that would be a mistake (one that plenty of writers make these days, by the way). Instead I’m going to take my own advice and celebrate that two-star review. Why? Because a few online negative reviews build a book’s credibility. Wait, what? Think about it. We know that humans are motivated, in part, by social proof. We are more likely to […]

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6 Questions That Will Help You Launch Your Book Like a CEO

Did you watch the launch of the Apple Watch last week? Hundreds of thousands–probably millions–of people did. Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage and, in dramatic fashion, introduced the next Big Thing in technology. In the days that followed, he gave dozens of media interviews, and probably made plenty of calls to key investors. Why? Because it’s his job as the CEO to cast the vision for his new product, and to inspire us to be as excited about it as he is. To do that, he needs to know the facts—the size and key programs and whatnot. But more than that, he needs to be able to articulate, over and over, why this is the right idea for this particular time, and why his team is the best to build it. That’s his job as CEO of Apple—and that’s your job as CEO of your business as an […]

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Am I a Marketing Failure?

I didn’t blog at all last week, even though according to my marketing plan, I’m supposed to blog at least once a week. But it’s not just that. I also haven’t started researching webinar options that I want to try, or reached out to other publishing industry bloggers to see if they want to review my book. Am I a marketing failure? What a terrible thing to think, if I’m putting myself out there as a marketing expert! There are SO MANY marketing ideas that I didn’t take advantage of last week. (Or this week, for that matter.) But no, I’m not a failure. I’m one person, with a full time job, and a family, and friends, and a life. There are only so many hours in a day, and recently they’ve all been full. As authors, we’re faced with an almost limitless pool of opportunities to connect with our […]

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  • It’s Up to You to Get Noticed (Before You Self Publish #5)
    If you want to self publish, you will have to work to get noticed. Here we are at last, on the final point of this blog series “Before You Self Publish.” So far we’ve talking about the importance of thinking like a CEO, the danger of releasing a book too soon, the value of print, and the importance of the...
    Read more