All About the Authors

Helping edit, publish, and market your book.

Category: Marketing (page 2 of 2)

Serving authors both together and within our own businesses

All About the Authors’ founders and partners know the book business. Not only have we joined to launch an explosive new site for authors that offers tips and guidance on editing, publishing, and marketing their books, but we are all business owners within our own book niche.

IMG_2417

Betsy and Carin

Carin Siegfried, owner of CS Editorial, offers a wide variety of services including developmental and line editing, academic editing, and query letter and synopsis writing. She began her business five years ago after leaving Charlotte-based book wholesaler Baker & Taylor.   Carin’s extensive credentials include working at St. Martin’s Press in New York City and Ingram Book Group in Nashville before moving to Charlotte. She is the author of The Insider’s Guide to a Career in Book Publishing and National President of the Women’s National Book Association.

Betsy Thorpe is the owner of Betsy Thorpe Literary Services. Betsy’s impressive credentials include working as an editor at many of the big publishing houses in New York City as an acquisitions and developmental editor. Betsy specializes in developmental (big-picture) editing, book consulting, and ghostwriting.  She has co-written many books, including the best-selling book 365 Nights, and her first novel just attained an agent. She is the former Vice-President of the Women’s National Book Association-Charlotte.

IMG_2583

Priscilla

Priscilla Goudreau-Santos owns Priscilla Goudreau Public Relations & Marketing. She began specializing in book and author publicity two years ago after an amazing, highly successful, twenty-plus-year career as a marketing and public relations consultant, publicist, writer and ed
itor. PGPR&M offers campaign, content and digital strategy, event coordination, writing, editing, and press relations. Priscilla is the current Publicity Chair for the Women’s National Book Association-Charlotte.

AyersNicole Ayers, owner of Ayers Edits, shares her editing expertise with writers interested in self-publishing or traditional publishing. She offers developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading. She is available on a consultative basis for others services, such as assistance writing query letters. She opened her freelance editing business two years ago after more than a decade of experience teaching writers and working with a National Writing Project affiliate.  She is currently Events Chair for the Women’s National Book Association-Charlotte. Nicole is also an assistant editor for The Bookwoman, the WNBA national newsletter, and is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association.

IMG_2600

Karen

Karen Alley owns Karen Alley Writing Services.  She began work as freelance writer and editor 10 years ago, after a publishing career that included work as an assistant editor in book production for Digital Text Construction, and serving as editor of two separate magazines, the IGA Grocergram and Carolina Gardener. Karen spends a lot of time writing for various clienets, as well as keeping her blog, Blending it Up, updated. Her editing work focuses on developmental and line editing, and she loves working on fiction, especially romance novels, as well as non-fiction projects.

Working within our own businesses and joining forces as a partnership is all about achieving the All About the Authors’ mission: to better serve authors. And between us, we have a tremendous depth of knowledge. Combined, we’ve worked with authors whose successful books have included a New York Times bestseller, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a Kirkus Books Best Indie Book, an iBook Pick of the Year, a Red City Review Book Award Finalist and a New York Public Library Best Books for Teens.

Find out more about each book pro at Meet the Team. And, join the All About the Authors’ author community to learn how you can achieve your goals and dreams.

Ghostwriters – Not Just for the Infamous

You might know about ghostwriters from when a famous reality star has her fifteen minutes of fame, and is asked to write a book about her life. Remember Snookie? The naked guy from 51eHkxgZWNL._SX413_BO1,204,203,200_Survivor? A Real Housewife? Most of these people are not writers.57cadcd00ab945ecb4d1722a3518c132.1500

 

How about the football star who is the winning quarterback in the Superbowl? Everyone wants to know his story, how he went from scrawny eight year old to multi-talented (and super-model-esque) to seemingly invincible hero.

Or, you may have heard that when a politician is running for office, he signs a deal to write a feel good story about his all-American upbringing hi51DV+gcn-6L._AA160_s rags to riches tale, his manifesto of how he wants to make America right again. Most politicians are not writers, or they simply don’t have the time to sit down and write it.

What these scenarios have in common is that the “author” needs to hire a ghostwriter. But ghostwriters aren’t just for the famous (or infamous). A lot of my clients are doctors, psychologists, retired professional athletes, nutritionists, people who have overcome adversity and have a tale to tell, or people who have a great idea that they want to share. Many are speakers and businessmen and women who want to share their ideas in book form, and leave the listeners at conferences where they speak a lasting reminder of their day with them.51HvjG7mukL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Many people on the speakers’ circuit actually need a book in order to get bookings. Businesses and charities who book speakers like to have books as a give-away (ensuring sales) and it gives the speaker cache that they are published authors.

So many dream of writing a book, but do not have the time or ability. Enter the ghost-writer. We come from various backgrounds, but many of us come from either journalism, or have always been authors, or are former book publishing editors, like me. We work in a variety of ways, but generally we spend time interviewing the author, read their papers, listen to their speeches. We try to capture the voice and the vision of the author and turn it into the best it can be.

To find out more about the costs of a ghost-writer, the time you need to spend with the ghost-writers, and tricky topics like who gets credit and where, become a subscribing member, and watch my video, which will post this week.

The Worst Advice We’ve Heard About Book Publicity

megaphone-kid-cropped1You must do a book tour

Ask a handful of published authors or better yet, go to a local book signing and discover why book tours aren’t a must for most authors. Unless you have an established following or are part of a larger group such as a YA panel, a book signing may be a bust. Bookstores depend on authors to bring in a crowd and often underestimate attendance.  I represented a Nashville author who wanted help arranging his book launch. The large-chain bookstore underestimated attendance and had to ask him to bring an extra box of books for the signing. If not for his personal following and our combined publicity efforts, he might be like the majority of authors who show up to only a handful of dedicated fans.

Why bother with a social media campaign?

Today’s industry standard includes a social media campaign. I know, I know, you’re a writer not a Facebook positor of trivialities or a “Tweeter” of the banal. But, believe me when I say that publishing contracts are sometimes awarded to those who have built a large fan base proving that people are interested in them and what they have to say. Start with social media that you like and that makes sense for you. Make sure you’re targeting your audience – Facebook is known to be popular with women, Google+ with men. Today’s book publicity is fueled by social media. Try it – you might like it.

Media outreach isn’t important

Let’s face it – it’s hard to sell yourself. Everyone (or almost everyone) has trouble with self-promotion. But if you’re self-published or even if you aren’t, media outreach is a crucial part of standing out in your community and in the larger book world. Not only should you seek stories about yourself and your book or books but also the crucial reviews that can help launch you onto a larger platform.

You have to be on Oprah to achieve success

This is a famous battle cry for wanna be top-selling authors. The gold stamp of approval is being endorsed by Oprah and it is, of course. It’s just really, really hard to achieve and an unrealistic goal for a beginning or modestly successful author. Yes, it’s important to reach for the stars but keep your feet on the ground, too. Look for media opportunities in your local community or groups. Branch out from there with targeted outreach to media in ever widening circles and don’t give up. It’s usually just when you want to quit that you get that exciting phone call from a journalist or radio show host who is interested in interviewing you.

Garner book reviews by badgering reviewers

Reviewers are people, too, and usually very busy people. Treat these contacts with respect similarly to journalists who have limited time to find out about you unless you and your book are interesting to them. Find out if the reviewer covers your genre and work to develop a relationship with him or her. Send a personalized email asking if he would like a copy of your book (and in what format) and then follow-up. It’s a waste of a good book if you send it to a reviewer who isn’t interested or just doesn’t have time.

Book publicity isn’t selling

As an author, especially a self-published author, you are an entrepreneur with a product to sell. What you need to do is become comfortable with the process. Whether you’re promoting your book through social media, media outreach, with a book tour or signing, or by giving talks in your community and at conferences, you’re selling. And, the best part is that it’s something that you’re passionate about. Get out there and have fun!

 

What’s Happening in the Author Resource Center?

Do you want to know what’s happening in the Members Only Author Resource Center? We’re providing expert content about writing, editing, marketing, and publishing books.

Right now we’re building our video library content with topics that include writing for magazines, how to get your book facebook_imagenoticed, and when to look for an agent. We also have plans to host live chats to answer your questions, plan webinars, and record podcasts.

Now’s your chance to tell us what you’d like to see. What book industry topics do you want to know more about? What questions keep you awake at night? What type of content do you like best? Let us know in the comments. And if you have a question, send us an email.

Join this exclusive group now to take advantage of our introductory rates!

Building your fan base means more readers!

writing-with-pen-3Where are you in your author journey? Did you know that marketing your book begins about the same time as writing your book or at least one year to six months before launch? Many authors are faced with this conundrum: if no one knows who you are, how will they buy your book? Traditional publishers also look to their authors to develop a following on their own. And, having an established following may be part of why an author is chosen for publication.

My name is Priscila Goudreau-Santos and I’m a Publicist and Marketing Specialist now living in Charlotte, NC.  I also specialize in book and author publicity. My background includes working as a journalist, public relations specialist and communications expert for a number of clients. I started my own business in 1996 and since then have been approached by many authors — both published and yet-to-be published writers who are asking for help in getting the word out about themselves and their books. How do you begin crafting your message and marketing strategy? It’s all about building your fan base…including social media networking, websites, blogs, and traditional press releases and media contacts.

First of all, how do you brand yourself? How do people find you or see you as different from others.  Set yourself apart from other authors by asking these questions:

  • How am I unique?
  • Why did I write my book?
  • Who is my market (including age group, gender and preferences)?

These are just some of the questions you should ask to find out who is your target and how do you reach them.

Next, formulate a marketing plan targeted to your audience. It sounds overwhelming task but it’s a lot easier to do it in steps. This centers around your Author Platform or (brand or position) where you chose your key message: religion, conservation, healthcare, intrigue, Sci-Fi, etc. What are you trying to say?

Then, make sure that you do what marketers of products do best by branding your image or message with colors or photos. If you use the same color, picture and message in all of your marketing and publicity, your fans will begin to recognize you. In the Carolinas, when you see a black panther with bright blue trim, do you think of the Carolina Panthers? And, the catch phrase says it all: Two States. One Team.

Next, choose the way that you’d like people to connect with you by choosing to create a website or blog. There are different websites that allow you to create your own website free of charge such as Wix.com or WordPress.com or you can hire a professional to help with the technical and creative aspects. You’ll want your vision to portray you and your book in a unique way that you like. If you like it, chances are your followers will like it, too.

Then, use this platform to launch social media that will further connect with your followers. It’s all about connections. Again, choose ones that you like and use and that your followers use. Using all the tools in the toolbox, start to think ahead to using traditional media like press releases, social media and other elements and how they all work together. For example, if you send out a press release announcing your book launch, make sure that you make this announcement on your social media as well. There’s so much competition for everyone’s attention that you have to repeat your message often and on as many channels as possible.

Be creative and have fun. Use videos to set your campaign apart that you can post on your website, in your blog or send via link to your fans. If pictures are part of your message, then set up a Pinterest site and ask your followers to join and pin pictures to your boards. Make your campaign as interactive as possible. There are so many creative ways to set yourself apart and get noticed.

5 Keys to a Successful Blog

keyboard_computer_hardwareAs a writer, whether you are published or aspiring to be a published author, it is important to have a blog of your own. It’s a great way to build credibility within the publishing world, practice marketing yourself, and also practice your writing!

Thanks to many great tools on the Internet, creating a professional looking blog is relatively easy. Both Blogspot  and WordPress have nice looking templates available for use, and the website pretty much walk you through signing up and setting up.

Once you have created a place to blog, there are a few things to keep in mind to help it be successful.

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it. Your followers will appreciate knowing when to be on the lookout for fresh content, and it also shows editors that you are able to stick to a deadline.
  2. Publish good content. This isn’t a journal, where you write stream of conscious on whatever pops into your head. Try to make posts interesting and about something people will enjoy reading. It might be helpful to have a theme for your blog, to tie things together. Just don’t make your theme too narrow, or you’ll run out of things to write about in a few months.
  3. Keep it short and sweet. People reading on their computers or tablets don’t like to have to scroll down a lot to read a blog. Entries of 400-800 words are optimal. Some successful blogs even have entries that are only a few sentences!
  4. Add pictures to your entries. Not only does this break up the content, it helps with marketing your blog on social media. Research shows people are more likely to click through to a shared link on Facebook if there was a picture with the link.
  5. Network! Once you have your blog up and running, you want people to read it. Get out there and share it. Use the tools on your blog host to have automatic updates on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also setup automatic updates on Facebook, but I prefer to post those manually, which gives me more control over what is said. That way you can ask questions or write statements that provoke a conversation or shares, and get people involved in your blog in an interactive way. And of course, use email and word of mouth to let people know you’ve entered the blogging world!

 

For more tips and information on starting a blog, check out my video “Blogging 101 for Writers” in our Author Resource Center.

All About the Authors – A Force of Five

group photoIt all began several years ago with the founding of the Charlotte Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association and a lot of serendipity. That’s where Carin Siegfried (the first president) and Betsy Thorpe (the first vice-president), met. A few years later, Betsy reached out to Carin to encourage her to start freelance editing after Carin left the Charlotte-based book wholesaler Baker & Taylor. Both had worked in New York City at Random House (Betsy) and St. Martin’s Press (Carin) before moving to Charlotte. Next, also through WNBA, Carin and Betsy connected with Nicole Ayers, another freelance editor, and they would discuss their work and best practices. Nicole had over a decade of experience teaching writers and working with a National Writing Project affiliate before she turned to freelance editing. Carin also discovered that a college friend, Karen Alley, had begun freelance editing after a career that included work as an assistant editor in book production for Digital Text Construction, and time as editor of two separate magazines, the IGA Grocergram and Carolina Gardener. Carin encouraged Karen to join WNBA. And, in 2013, Priscilla Goudreau-Santos, a freelance publicist, writer and editor with over 20 years of public relations, journalism, and marketing experience including book publicity, also joined WNBA and a dynamic alliance was born.

These five book professionals met often at WNBA events, and also at social get togethers. This year, they decided to launch All About the Authors, a platform for writers to learn more about the publishing process and meet editors and publicists who are experts in the business. These savvy book pros knew from their clients and from workshop attendees how much confusion there is about the process of getting a book from one’s head into printed form. And between them, they have a great deal of knowledge that can help. Combined, we’ve worked with authors whose successful books have included a New York Times bestseller, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a Kirkus Books Best Indie Book, an iBook Pick of the Year, and a Red City Review Book Award Finalist. So they decided to make their knowledge available, for authors to learn about publishing from the comfort of their own homes.

All About the Authors will take authors through every step of the process, both big and small. We encourage you to send us questions if you have them. We know writing a book and getting it published is a confusing and daunting task, and we strive to make it more understandable. We want to break it down so you will know that it is possible. With our guidance, you can determine which path is right for you to achieve the results you want, and we want to help you get there. That’s our vision and our mission.

Newer posts