Sunday, December 26, 2010
Authors Sharing with Authors: Basic Marketing Tips for Newbies
December is a great time to host guest bloggers. I encourage other bloggers to host guests often. Everyone benefits. The guest gets exposure. The blogger gets a bit of a rest. The two of them get to network and possibly to work on future promotions or to collaborate in other ways. This one comes to you from nonfiction writer and poet (with my thanks!) Joyce White.
By Joyce White
Congratulations, you’ve published your book.
You will soon realize the buck stops with you when it comes to promoting it unless you have plenty of bucks to pour out to publicists and/or your publisher. To make a difference, money must be spent. We are living in wicked hard times that require wicked smart solutions. Whatever we do, we must learn to have a sense of humor and not take ourselves too seriously.
I’m not one who travels around with jokes in my head, but I think you will appreciate the following, “How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.” Yes, we authors can be a little stubborn and strong willed. To be successful, we must have relentless persistence in our belief of ourselves and our work, to convince others to spend their hard-earned cash on our books.
Most believe authors run on instinct not marketing figures like publishers. John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market your Books says, “The best single advertisement for a book, other than giving away lots of review copies, is the author. An author is a walking-talking advertisement for his book…"The author is his best sales person even though the best solutions emerge through trial and error for all of us. Like Carolyn Howard-Johnson, our Frugal Editor and Promoter says, “Sometimes we have to do what the publisher won’t.” We must remember whatever we do to market our books; nothing significant can be accomplished by acting alone.
Most of us believe the first and foremost marketing advantage is maintaining our own Web site. This is a must in today’s high-tech world. I personally think Albert Einstein had the right idea many years ago when he said, “Strive not to be a success but rather be of value.” You might have a great website but do enough people know about it and is it of value to others?
Another first is sending out an attractive and informative media (or press) release. This gives you more online visibility, better positions in search engine rankings, and more traffic to your website. If you haven’t done this yet, I suggest you check out Promotion a la Carte at http://promotionalacarte.com/ where where Aggie Villanueva and Nanci Arvizu spend their time promoting authors. Besides creating this great Calendar of Events for me at http://www.promotionalacarte.com/clients-pages/joyce-white-schedule-of-appearances/ , they sent out two releases and created a wonderful book trailer with my poetry book for Christmas marketing. With Promotion a la Carte, you only pay for the services you need or can afford in the moment. They also set up for me book reviews with reviewers that love their work, as well as interviews with Blog Talk Radio hosts. They scheduled had podcasts for me that brought over 300 visitors to my Web site http://www.sculptingtheheart.com/.
American Author is a site that focuses on publishers and authors. They help us create our own places and they are my favorite at http://www.americanauthor.com/index.php?page_id=258 Most web services have only five to eight pages whereas they allow over 100 pages. Mine is not just a selling web. It is all about Art Therapy, healing, recovery, entertainment, and other information. They charge no more than others but give so many more opportunities to engage our readers’ interest and promote ourselves and our work.
We need to keep in mind, the more traffic we can pull in to our web, the more opportunities we will get for sales and affiliate revenue! Nevertheless, it is still important we write our promotional articles and blogs for our reader’s pleasure not the search engines. Another sure way of getting ranked higher in the search engines is to attain additional domain names for your Web site. My domain names are below:
I’ve also been working a few affiliate programs; and after about six months, I started receiving small commissions. I am an affiliate for Cricut Expressions craft cutter. The Cricut Expression is a great working partner creative people interested in crafts or art. I have also had some success bringing in small affiliate commissions with Amazon. When choosing affiliates it is best they are compatible with our Web site theme. It is also important to remember no matter what we’re selling, we have to effectively include relevant keywords and tags for search engine optimization purposes. We can also blog, write articles, or book reviews; that also brings in traffic. Some of us co-author by setting up links to other compatible sites, with permission, and that helps both authors get more traffic.
My two favorite sites for blogging are Joyce White Blog http://www.wingedforarttherapy.com/joycewhiteblog_682.html. This blog site is free from Google. I also blog at Authorsden.com http://www.Authorsden.com/joycewhiteMySpace, FaceBook and Twitter. Check out Carolyn’s Authorsden article on 16 Ways to Get Free Publicity at http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=10316 . There are so many opportunities out in the cybersphere for independent authors right now. Most of us network with each other. It doesn’t take much time to comment on another’s work or thank those that comment on ours.
Thanks to Authorsden.com, I’ve been able to link my poetry, my articles and my interest in art therapy all in another central location besides my website. Since 2008 I’ve managed to publish 17 stories, 92 articles, and 83 poems. All these were instantaneously published to the Web and have brought in more interest than anyone can imagine. They also have a Marketing Program where those of us with services can advertise and get paid for our services. I write book reviews. What is your talent, editing, book reviewing, formatting or promotion? Where else can you can you fulfill your own creative urges and still get paid to help others achieve their dreams?
The famed artist Vincent Van Gogh says, “I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.” Like him we need to dream our writing and then write our dream.
Martin Luther King says, “Faith is taking the first step even when there is no staircase.” Keep the faith and step lightly but loudly.
Confucius says, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I agree. Writing is a job but it is no chore.
If you need to make docs into pdf’s, check out these three very awesome and invaluable file conversion sites:
Zamzar file conversion at http://www.zamzar.com/manage/
Book Buzzer Marketing Home for eBook sales & formatting http://www.freado.com/users/settings/getWidget.php?contentid=4991&id=2673
Smashwords for e-book sales and formatting http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1966
I imagine if you can maintain a sense of fairness for who is responsible for what; you can check out co-publishing material like the chapbooks published by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Maggie Ball. For the last few years they have co-partnered seasonal poetry books, the last one being Blooming Red, Christmas Poetry for the Rational.
Another way to frugally educate ourselves is by signing for interesting e-mail newsletters. We can all be sure our emails go straight to the recipient unlike letters or faxes of the past. Of course, we should all know we have to be careful when it comes to e-mail marketing. It has so many irritants and pitfalls. This kind of marketing can be very distasteful without honesty and respect by both the writer and the reader. Finally, to find out if you’re making any headway out on the net, just Google your name or your Web site's name!
Don’t forget radio and talk shows to promote yourself and your work. Become a joiner.
Successful writers write for our reader’s pleasure not the search engines or our ego. I write about all that interests me not just Art Therapy; however, I am Winged for Art Therapy. This is the pen name I use. No matter who we are, the more traffic we can pull in, the more opportunities we will get for sales and affiliate revenue! We can’t afford to be shy when it comes to getting the word out that we are messengers and we have something to offer others. Don’t believe everything you hear. Despite the fact that writers and authors are notorious for being alone a lot, thanks to Internet and our computers, we don’t have to be lonely.
Networking is fun, socially acceptable and profitable. There are many ways of networking, and one especially informative and enjoyable way, is by sending and receiving News Letters. My favorite is Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Sharing with Writers newsletter. You can subscribe to it at http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com/ or right on this blog. It was named Writers Digest 101 Best Websites.
Networking moves us all deeply when we discover kindred and compatible spirits. Despite its many advantages there can be some that are repetitious and their sales tactics are questionable or downright dishonest. Of course, honesty and respect are some of the attributes we’d like to see more often in all the phases of networking and marketing. These values promote friendship and success. I’m sure most authors appreciate the words of Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Nothing changes us more than books and friendship.
Joyce White, author of Sculpting the Heart and Sculpting the Heart’s Poetry
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog: