All About the Authors

Helping edit, publish, and market your book.

Category: publishing (page 2 of 3)

Happy New Year! What Will You Do In 2016?

On Being Productive in the New Year

2016 new yearDo you want to get your book written? Finished? Rewritten? Submitted? Are you having trouble putting pen to paper and getting it done? Are you a master procrastinator? Here are some tips for finally buckling down and getting your work done:

  • Kill the procrastination tools.

We know how you procrastinate. The same way we do. Facebook. Twitter. Goodreads. Blogs. Find a program such as Simple Blocker which blocks access to certain domains for a given period of time. You can set it up to work all throughout the business day or just for a two-hour window, whatever works for you.

Find someone you know and trust in your network, ideally someone who at least somewhat understands your work and/or someone in a similar situation who could also use the accountability. Tell them your goals, big and small. Check in regularly.

I believe in this tool so much, I do it myself, along with fellow AAAer Karen. We email each other every Friday with A) what goals we accomplished this week (and what we didn’t), B) what we accomplished this week that we hadn’t planned on and, C) what we plan to do next week. We comment on each others’ weeks and goals, and we meet up quarterly to discuss more in-depth.

  • Tell people your goals, publicly.

This is when Facebook can help instead of hurt. Announce your goal. Give occasional (maybe monthly) updates. You’ll get some cheering from your friends and family, and the pressure of not living up to your public promise can help you get to work and make sure you don’t disappoint.

  • Set manageable goals.

Your goal shouldn’t be: “Write my book.” It should be: “Write 1000 words per day.” Or “Send one submission every week.” Make your goals manageable. Break them down into small chunks so you can get a little accomplished every day, and so you can feel that sense of accomplishment even when progress feels slow.

  • Make it a routine.

That doesn’t mean you’ll do something 2 or 3 days a week. Do it every single day. Something that is routine is brushing your teeth. You never think about whether or not you have time, whether you want to do it. A routine is something you truly don’t think about if you’ll do it. You just do it.

  • Try carrots… and sticks.

I had one client who just couldn’t do her rewrite. She’d put it off for a full year after I’d done her edit. She knew she needed motivation but she just couldn’t convince herself to do it. We devised a carrot and stick plan for her. We picked a reasonable deadline goal. We enlisted her best friend. Then she made a promise that if she completed her rewriting by that date, she got to buy herself two new pairs of shoes. If she did not, she had to buy her best friend THREE new pairs of shoes. You’d better believe her best friend was excited about this plan and would hold her to it! We respond better to punishments than rewards, so be sure you utilize both sides of this equation.

Good luck! And if you need assistance with hitting your goals, we can help.

If you want to know more about what editors do, check out my video this week. It’s about editors at publishing houses, not independent editors, but it can be confusing for authors to know just what editors do and why they’re always busy and why it make take some time for them to call back.

Work for Hire: Not as All-Encompassing as You Think

contract-clipart-1552-0909-2116-0233When I first started working in the publishing industry I was young, fresh out of college, and a lot of the terms I heard being bandied about were as foreign to me as if my boss were speaking a different language. In reality he was speaking a different language, he was speaking publishing-ese. One of the terms he mentioned quite often was work for hire. At the time, I was working for a company that did production for college level English textbooks, so most of our writers were signed on as “work for hire.” I never asked what that meant, and I just assumed it meant their names weren’t on the final product. Because a lot of times that was the case, a person would work on pulling together an anthology, maybe of short stories by American women writers, or poems of 19th century Britain, but they wouldn’t be acknowledged on the cover, it was just an anthology. Not all were like that, we did work with one editor whose name had enough recognition that he was mentioned on the cover and the title page.

It turns out I’m not alone in having the wrong idea about what work for hire truly means. Some people might think it means doing a job where you get paid a flat rate. Others might think it means you’ve been hired for a specific job and that’s it.

It turns out work for hire is a clause that can be used to make an exemption to copyright laws. Under U.S. copyright laws, any time you write something, once your pen hits the paper or your fingers hit the keyboard, it is yours, forever and always. But sometimes a publisher might want to have control over that writing in perpetuity. Anthologies are a great example of this. Publishers might want to publish a second edition, or a revision, without having to go back to the original writer or editor for permission, or even to pay them a second time for work. If you sign a contract with a work for hire clause, that means your writing is owned by the publisher, not you.

If you are an employee doing writing, the work you do for that employer is considered “work for hire.” If you are an independent freelancer, your work only qualifies as work for hire if it falls into one of these categories:

  1. a contribution to a collective work (like a piece for a magazine, anthology, or encyclopedia)
  2. a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
  3. a translation
  4. a supplementary work (like a foreword, afterword, bibliography, appendix, index, or editorial notes)
  5. a compilation (like an anthology, database, or anything that qualifies as a “collective work” from category 1 above)
  6. an instructional text (generally, any text that could go in a textbook)
  7. a test
  8. answer material for a test
  9. an atlas

Of course, even if a publisher can’t qualify your work as work for hire, there are other ways for them to write into contracts ways to retain rights to your work. But that’s not always a bad thing. For example, if you’re writing copy for a PR firm to help sell dog food, you probably won’t use that writing anywhere else anyway.

Overall, it’s important to remember work for hire isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when you want to publish your poem, short story, essay or novel, make sure you read the contract carefully, all the way through.

For more information about contracts and what to look for, check out my video on All About Publishing.

Eight Tips for How to Take Criticism

If you’re lucky and if you look for it, during the writing, rewriting, and submitting process, you’ll get some feedback and advice. In my video this week, I talk about why agents don’t often give any feedback (or even a rejection) these days. So if you get some, it’s valuable. It can be hard to take criticism, even when it’s constructive, so here are some tips:

1. If you can’t take criticism early and in private, you’ll get it later and in public.
If you have a hard time hearing where your book might be flawed from your friends, beta readers, and your editor, pause, take a deep breath, and vow to dive in and deal with it anyway. Because if you don’t fix those flaws, they won’t magically disappear. It’s much better to hear this feedback now, when you can still address the problems, then to read about them in a review, after your book has been published, when you can’t fix it, and everyone can see the criticism.

2. Take it with the intention it is meant
Editors only want your work to be the best it can be. We have no skin in the game if you don’t take our advice and don’t address your manuscript’s issues, so there is no incentive for an editor to make bad or erroneous suggestions. Your friends and family don’t want to see you be embarrassed. Your writing group just wants to help you improve and to give equivalent feedback to what they’ve been receiving from you. No one is trying to demoralize you or put you down. This isn’t about you; it’s about the story (even if it’s memoir). If someone does make personal pot-shots, cut them out of the loop permanently.

3. Get multiple opinions—do they all agree?
One of us had a client who had a big flaw in his book. He didn’t take her advice. But he mentioned that another reader had pointed out the same problem. So he ignored two readers’ suggestions to fix it. He was later taken to task for this error in a review. Moral of the story: if multiple readers are pointing out the same problem, then it really is a problem and you need to look at it more closely. If more than one person isn’t getting something in your story, you haven’t made it clear regardless of how you meant it to read. Feel free to get a second opinion. Multiple readers are a great idea. What more than one of them points out is something you need to pay particular attention to.

4. Do not respond in the heat of the moment. Do not.
Sleep on it. Sit with it for a few days. The immediacy of hurt will fade and you’ll be able to see the issue more plainly and without the clouds of emotions. This is especially true if the criticism is something in public such as a review or an online comment. Don’t address those at all. They never end well. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

Letters From People5. Do not awfulize.
Criticism does not equal “I hate it.” The longest editorial letters I write are for the books I really love. There’s a thin line between love and hate. The opposite of love is indifference. That’s where the real danger lies. But if I have a hundred issues I pointed out, that doesn’t mean you’re awful or the book’s awful or you’re never going to get published. It just means you have a hundred issues to look at and think over.

6. Listen to this podcast about dealing with criticism

7. Read this book about hate mail: Letters From People Who Hate Me by Steve Almond 

8. Rone_star_amazon_reviewsead these scathing reviews of books that are now classics.

Appreciate that there are people who want to help your writing improve. And it will. Writing is a skill and it gets better with practice, and with coaching. No one is born writing like Shakespeare, not even Shakespeare himself.

Radio Rockstar: 10 tips to Rock Your Radio Interview

By Dr. Patty Fitzhugh

dr patty cares webThink you’re ready for your first radio interview? It might look easy but taking the time to prepare will make all the difference in your comfort level and success. I host two radio shows, Managing Mid-Life and Morning Coffee, and have done hundreds of interviews. Whether you’re the interviewer or interviewee, you’ll want to follow these easy steps to rock your interview.

  1. Prepare

Most authors I speak to during my Emerging Authors segment have assembled a media kit. If you have, you’ve probably created a sample question-and-answer sheet to add to your media kit. These Qs and As will give you a great starting point for your media interview. Here are some highpoints that will help offer a guideline for both you and your host:

  • Your background, and other interests, ideas, or expertise
  • How you came up with the idea for your book
  • Some of the more interesting ways you researched or learned of the information you used when writing the book
  • How your book connects with local issues and events
  • Authors or books that have inspired or influenced you and your work
  1. Research

Research is a critical. I suggest that you read, watch, and listen to interviews with the media outlet or outlets you are most interested in or which are on target for your book. Become familiar with the interview format, the types of questions usually asked, and the length of time for responses. For example, during my Morning Coffee show on Wednesdays, I have only 20 minutes for the interview. The setting is very relaxed. But, during my Sunday night show for Emerging Authors, I have 45 minutes. Your responses need to be succinct and on-point. Find out whether the interview is live or pre-recorded. That gives you more flexibility in the length of your answers.

It’s also a good idea to learn what issues associated with your book are most likely to appeal to the station’s audience. Practice answering those questions. Interview yourself in front of a mirror or webcam or have a friend help you practice. Remember to relax and pause for a deep breath if you need more time to respond with a clear message.

  1. Help your host

Sometimes, short answers are better because they allow the host to ask another question, take another phone call, or go to a commercial – so keep your answers to 30 seconds or less. But, other times, the host will ask an open-ended question that allows you the flexibility to expound on your answer. You’ll judge the pacing when you research the show you’re being interviewed on, and by asking the host in advance.

  1. Express yourself

Listeners will “hear it” if you stand, use well-timed gestures, and smile – even on the radio. Try to match the host’s energy. If it’s an early morning call like my Morning Coffee show, get up early and have your coffee or whatever helps you wake up and be energized for the interview. Your passion – or lack of it — will really come across to the audience.

  1. Find a quiet spot for your interview

Most interviews will be arranged in advance. That’s what I do. If it’s handled over the phone, be sure that you arrange to take the call in a quiet place where you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Also, practice your interviews in this space, too. You’re the expert and the radio host will usually attempt to make you comfortable and at ease.

Take your time and have your talking points in front of you. Make sure to answer questions in a way that presents you and your book in the most positive and interesting way.

  1. Practice makes perfect

With practice, you’ll relax during interviews and put yourself and your book in the best light. Think carefully before responding to questions and answer with your practiced responses but avoid sounding canned.  The audience will pick up on rote answers so just be natural.

If you feel yourself becoming shaken and nervous, take a deep breath. It’s perfectly alright to tell the host or reporter that you don’t know the answer to the question if you don’t. Just respond that you’ll be happy to find out and get back with them. This gives you another reason to be on the show again!

  1. Be honest and avoid hyperbole

It’s easy to get nervous and misstate information about your book. Be cautious about this because your audience will know if you’re exaggerating or hyping your book. The host and audience appreciates real, in-depth information about you and your book. That’s why you’re on the show. And, if you make a mistake, don’t sweat. Everyone makes mistakes and you’ll improve with experience.

  1. Don’t depend on the host to make the plug

Make sure to mention your book title and where listeners can get a copy of your book such as your website, local bookstores, etc. and ask them to follow you on social media. Also make sure to talk about an upcoming book signing or author talk.

  1. Repeat your message during the show

People tend to drop in and out of the interview so do what CNN does best – repeat your message throughout the interview.  Your host will probably help with this throughout by saying, “I’m talking with ___________, author of _____________.

  1. Follow up after the interview

Everyone appreciates a thank-you as a follow-up to the interview via phone or e-mail. This is also a great opportunity to assure that the reporter, editor, or producer who interviewed you has all the information they need to complete their segment. If you have a publicist, this is usually SOP – standard operating practice.

 

Dr. Patty is a White Plains, NY native who has recently settled in Chatham County with her daughter, Anjela. She also has two sons, James Jr. and Joshua. Dr. Patty holds a Bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University, Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix and, most recently, she achieved a Doctorate in Ministry from Family Bible University.

Dr. Patty believes in thinking big, and in 2005, she took the challenge to enter a new sphere of influence with the Pastor Pat Radio Show. The show offered a platform for relevant issues affecting the individual as a whole and proved to be a powerful and effective medium for her years of training and life experience.

She next established The Mid-Life Resource Center in 2012 that offers a comprehensive array of resources for people experiencing tremendous challenges and transitions associated with mid-life. She hosts two radio shows, Managing Mid-Life and Morning Coffee with Dr. Patty.

Dr. Patty hosts an Emerging Authors segment where she interviews new authors in her Sunday night programs. For more information about Dr. Patty and to arrange an interview, contact her at info@managemidlife.com.

 

All About the Authors welcomes guest posts from authors and those who are experts in the book industry. If you’re interested in submitting a guest post to All About the Authors, please send your information and topic idea to allabouttheauthors@gmail.com with the subject line “Guest Post”.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Is a Small Publisher Right for You?

Most writers, when they think of publishing through traditional channels, think of the big guys: DalkeyHarperCollins, Random House, and the like. And to get in those doors, you do need a literary agent. But what happens when you start hearing a lot of “No” from agents? Or hearing nothing at all? Is your reaction, “Well, then I guess I need to self-publish!” Hold off, because there is a vast area in between. In my video this week, I talk about three reasons you should very seriously consider going with a small press before turning to self-publishing.

There are an estimated two thousand publishers in the United States. Many of them belong to the Independent Book Publishers Association (which is why it has been confusing for self-publishing to John F Blairstart calling itself “indie publishing.” There already have been independent publishers around for decades.) Many if not most small publishers do accept unagented submissions. Many have very targeted publishing focuses, which can make it easy to find the right publisher for you. They can take more risks, and you can be a big fish in a small pond instead of the reverse. Small presses might haveMilkweed a regional bent, might be not-for-profit, might be affiliated with a university, or might be on the verge of growing into a major player.

When looking for a small publisher that might be right for you, keep these three questions in mind:

  1. Who does their selling and distribution? There are a number of distributors for small presses, and those distributors are very important in allowing the small presses to get appointments with and sell into the bookstore chains, major independent bookstores, and libraries. Their warehousing and shipping consolidation makes your publisher seem more like one of the big guys. You want to be sure your publisher’s relationship with their distributor is strong and firm—and not likely to change right after your book has released.
  2. What other books do they sell? Who will be the other books in the catalog next to yours? What books will your book be next to? Is their publishing philosophy one your agree with acrCoffee Houseoss the board? This isn’t the time to get desperate and go with the first offer that comes your way—check out their other books and see if you think the editorial and production values are what you want, that the website is up to snuff, and that they give the professional feel you are looking for.
  3. Is this a stepping-stone or are you looking for a lifelong relationship? Plenty of authors stay with the small publisher that believed in them and gave them a chance, while others move on to greener pastures when they have the clout to do so. Which future you prefer should affect the contract you sign with the publisher. If you will be unagented, read carefully the options clause and see if you’d like it to be more narrowly defined. Or you can try to get a two-book deal. When you don’t have an agent you need to read up on the aspects of a publishing contract and fully understand the various clauses and what they will mean for your career.Forest Ave

So before you give up on your dream of being traditionally published, you need to fully understand everything that falls under the umbrella of traditiGraywolfonal publishing. This is not a business for the impatient; keep submitting, keep researching, keep trying, as there are hundreds more options than just The Big Five. Small press publishing just might be right for you.

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!

When Do You Know You Need an Editor?

You’ve spent IMG_2233months, perhaps years, writing your manuscript. You’re revised, rewritten, edited, heard criticism from your writers’ group and beta readers. Isn’t your book done? Can’t you send it off to publishers now? How can you tell if you need to hire a professional editor?

One sign of needing an editor is if you feel that the manuscript is “the best I can do.” That’s not the same as knowing it’s great and really a wonderful novel. If you think, “It’s okay, but I don’t know how else to improve it,” that’s a big sign that a professional editor can be of help.

Another sign is if you think it is wonderful but… there’s that one little thing. Maybe it’s a plot hole you’re hoping readers will ignore, or a character you know just isn’t gelling or a climactic scene that falls flat. All of these are issues an editor can help with.

Is the book too long? If you’re considering trying to get a contract with one of the big traditional publishers, your manuscript must be a certain length. If it’s falling short, an editor can suggest more content that she thinks is missing from the plot. But we find the opposite problem to be true for most novelists: the book is running thousands of words long, and the author has tried but can’t find any more cuts to make from the book. A professional editor is not wedded to your each and every word: we are wedded to making the best, most compelling story, and if there is extraneous material, we can find it and excise it.

And of course if you’re planning to self-publish, you definitely need an outside editor. After all, you’ll be missing out on the advice from both a literary agent and a publishing house editor that you would have gotten in the traditional route. But there’s no reason that means you have to put out a book that’s flawed. Independent editors are here to fill that gap. You might not know what it is you need help with—after all everyone has their blind spots—but editors can help with so many concerns, big and small. A fresh pair of eyes can notice things you overlooked or had always planned in your head to include but forgot to actually type in.

After all this book will be out in the world with your name on it. Do you want it to be anything less than perfect?

 

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.

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