All About the Authors

Helping edit, publish, and market your book.

Tag: marketing

Checking it twice… Marketing checklist for 2018  

It’s that time of year when we check our (book) marketing list and then check it again. What have we done right? What have we done wrong? And, what should we add or delete from our list for next year?

I’ve been reading many articles on marketing trends for 2018 and to put it in the words of a global marketing industry leader, they are filled with “predictable predictions”.

Of course, the latest and greatest technology is always on the list as is focusing on the customer, making better use of data, and the role of the marketer. All of these are about getting down to basics and doing them well. Serving your customers or readers is always the most fundamental and essential ingredient of successful marketing as is staying in touch with them.

But, you ask, how do I get the basics right?

Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. First, plan ahead to take a strategic approach, stay focused and efficient, and meet your objectives.
  2. Consider your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Make a list and plan ahead for unforeseen changes! This is a time to be realistic and take a look at competitors/authors in similar genres. What are they doing that seems to work. Can you use this strategy or tool to your own advantage?
  3. Content is still king and the more organic and fresh the better. That means investing the time and money to make it interesting and informative. Sharing good, relevant information is always important. Ask yourself what and why this is good information for your followers and customers.
  4. Use tools like Google Analytics and social media native analytics to determine what is and isn’t working and how your audience is responding to your digital marketing. You’ll know what platform and type of post are working best, and the optimum time to post on social media.
  5. Think before you post to protect your reputation and brand! Develop a personal social media policy. Getting too political, for example, may offend current or future customers.
  6. Don’t neglect face-to-face or phone conversation. The art of the relationship is always best in person.
  7. Schedule your posts to save time. There are many useful tools such as Hootsuite or Facebook’s built-in scheduler that are free or low-cost.
  8. Always target your audience no matter where you’re promoting your product or book.

Choose a plan that focuses on strategy and sustainable growth. Build your program on a solid foundation and get help where needed. The best advocate for you and your product is you (and your publicist!).

 

(Reprinted from a blog post published on Priscilla Goudreau Public Relations & Marketing)

Get social in just 30 minutes a day!

Tina Siadak - Wedding Shower 5-3-16 010All of us are working on so many things every day that it’s hard to carve out time to connect with our friends and followers through social media. Let’s face it, some people enjoy social media more than others, and some are just better at it. But, for those of us hard pressed for extra time, what if it’s possible to build our online conversations in just 30 minutes a day?

That’s right, begin each weekday (or whatever time works best for you) with a 30-minute social media program. You’ll find that your social network will build quickly over time and hopefully, using it will be more fun.

Use the channels that are most familiar to you and your fans. And, those that fit your demographic e.g. women ages 25-55.  For example, if Facebook is a good tool in reaching your fans – one that you use frequently — this is a good place to start. I use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and email marketing. If there are others that work well with your book topic such as Pinterest, use those in lieu of these or in addition to your preferred social media.

Here’s a look at a five-day social media plan using just 30 minutes a day:

Monday

  • Brainstorm ideas for Facebook and Twitter posts that your fans and readers will find interesting and that relate to you and your book. Remember that you want to start conversations that others will respond to. Next, draft a few. (10 minutes)
  • Begin writing a brief blog post (300-500 words) about one of the ideas you came up with (10 minutes)
  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections. Also, build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they reach larger networks. (10 minutes)

Tuesday

  • Finish your blog post and post it if you haven’t already. Definitely use a picture if you have one or can find one without copyright issues. Make sure that you include a link to the post on your social media posts to gain greater readership. (10 minutes)
  • Respond to comments from readers (5 minutes)
  • Draft an email newsletter in Constant Contact or Mail Chimp with good information about your book topic that augments the information you’ve posted on your blog and that’s meaningful to your reader community. For example, if your book is about hiking in North Carolina, include a meeting of a hiking group or a newly discovered trail. (15 minutes)

Wednesday

  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections; build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they are reach larger networks. (10 minutes)
  • Respond to any comments on your blog (5 minutes)
  • Go through your Facebook and Twitter feed to respond to those in your network – be interested in them and they’ll be interested in you! Add new posts of your own. (15 minutes)

Thursday

  • Finish and send your email newsletter and then send out social media posts with a link to the sign-up page on your blog or website. (10 minutes)
  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections; build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they are reach larger networks. (10 minutes)
  • Go through your Facebook and Twitter feed to respond to those in your network. (10 minutes)

Friday

  • Respond to anyone who’s commented on your blog post or Enewsletter. If they express interest in your book, let them know the publish date or if already published, where they can get your book. Pre-orders prior to publication rock! (10 minutes)
  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections; build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they are reach larger networks (10 minutes)
  • Add new fans to your mailing list or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database so that you can send them announcements about exciting upcoming events or happenings. (10 minutes)

Are you ready to give it a try at least for two weeks? If you get in the social media habit, I think you’ll be amazed at the results. Just remember to check your messages, especially on FaceBook. Your connections and conversations will grow exponentially but you have to keep them going. Bon chance!

 

It’s your party! 5 Tips for a Great Book Event

Burkhalter 1Here’s the awesome part! It’s time to tell everyone about your book. Hopefully, you’ve already launched your website or blog and built relationships via social media. So, the buzz has begun. Now, you can begin planning your book signing event or events. Your first step is securing your location/s. Then, begin planning for each event.

Follow these five tips for a great book event:

  1. Once you secure your location, work with the bookstore or other retailer. Speak to the person handling the event for the store and find out what she or he will do to promote the event. Most bookstores look to their authors to bring in traffic for the event so coordinate your own efforts with those of the bookstore.
  1. Then, create buzz for your book(s) with press releases that dovetail with social media including Facebook, Twitter posts and LinkedIn as well as email marketing via a newsletter or Call-to-Action marketing piece letting the media and your fans know about the event. You might offer a sample chapter and author information to your local newspaper, magazine and radio station and ask for an interview before your book signing. Your community papers and local radio stations are the best media sources for getting the word out.Burkhalter 5
  1. Develop collateral materials and giveaways including postcards, posters and bookmarks. Send postcards to friends and family with a handwritten note before the event and keep them handy on your table. Several posters displayed in the store as well as one at your table are great point-of-display items that will create interest. Also, ask nearby retailers if they’ll display your information, too. Contact special interest groups like the local Chamber, arts society, your book community, or any other group relating to your book’s topic.
  1. Practice your presentation and/or reading. This helps you be more comfortable in front of a crowd especially when you’re not following a structured speech. Many authors are more relaxed when they speak less formally but it’s always a good idea to have at least an outline of what you’d like to talk about. And, if you’re doing a reading, make sure that you practice reading the excerpt aloud on your own. Most authors talk for about 20 to 30 minutes and then open up for questions from the audience. Have a few of your own handy to get the conversation started.Burkhalter 4
  2. Have a friend on hand to help. When your table gets mobbed by readers as you hope it will, a friend can hand out bookmarks and giveaways, replenish your books, ask customers to join the email list, make announcements, and take pictures of the event. You’ll want to post these on social media as soon as the event is over with a short write-up about the event. Also, send it out to the same media contacts who may run a photo or two with a caption.

There are so many great ways to promote yourself and make the most of the event.  Have fun and do as much as you can to make it successful.  You can always add special touches like food, wine and a designer cake to make the event a celebration.  After all, it’s your party!

Writers, Know Your Readers

In this week’s All About the Authors video installment, I talk about three ways fiction writers can improve their story. In order to follow my suggestions, writers must trust their readers. But to trust readers, you must know who they are. Do you?

The Audiencepeople-apple-iphone-writing

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice that you can’t worry about what others will think when you write. Allen Ginsberg said, “To gain your voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” That is true to some degree. If you’re worried about what people will think of your writing, it can be very limiting. But there is a point when you need to think about readers.

Defining your audience gives you a focus when writing. If you imagine that your story is a written exchange between you and your reader, you must know who’s sitting across the table from you. It’s quite common when you begin writing to write for yourself. Self is a perfectly acceptable audience. Other concrete writing audiences include family, friends, your blog followers, your agent.

But maybe you don’t have an agent or blog followers, and you’d be embarrassed to let your mother read what you’ve written. Who do you write for then?

hand-vintage-old-bookWrite for your future readers. Maybe you envision these creatures as nebulous and benign, someone who will one day read your work and like it. Eventually though, you want to create a more concrete idea of your audience. It may help to post stock photos of readers around your writing space to remind yourself that real people will read your book one day. And if you have a fan base, envision them moving through your story.

 

The Hard Sell

Why do you need to know who these readers are? Because once your book is published, you need to entice these readers to buy it. In order to create a viable marketing strategy, you need to know your readers’ likes and dislikes. You need to know their reading habits. This information will inform your cover design, back cover copy, and the story itself. Romance writers know their readers expect a happily-ever-after ending. Self-help writers know that readers expect a step-by-step guide to improve an aspect of their lives. You can only break the rules if you break them on purpose and not out of ignorance. (Trust me when I tell you that the difference is obvious.)

Build a Relationship

Once you’ve figured out who your (future/current) readership is, get to know them. Read books popular in the genre you’re writing to see what these readers like. Read the reviews they leave. Participate in bountitled (8)ok discussions with other readers. Be active on the social media platform they use most frequently. For example, YA readers gravitate to Instagram.

Finally, get to know them for the sake of spending time with people you care about. Successful writers often talk about how much their readers mean to them. They recount experiences they’ve had at events that motivate them when the going gets tough.

Let your readers take the journey with you. Your writing will be better for the companionship.

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.