Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Author Blogs

Starting up a New Conversation . . .


So, last Wednesday, the progressing conversation on this blog fizzled… Book Promotion

Since the idea of using Mondays and Wednesdays for conversations with my readers is a very recent shift in focus here, I don’t expect it to be instantly self-sustaining—it may never be self-sustaining; but, I’m fairly good at having conversations with myself :-)

Way back in January of 2011, I began this blog in anticipation of launching my first novel, which happened in May of that year.

The book started out costing money—I tried most of the methods of book promotion I found that made any sense to me—I eventually decided to make it perma-free…

I should mention, for those who haven’t been regulars here, that I’m a strong supporter of self-publishing…

It was only recently that I found an approach to book promotion that I felt captured everything I could get behind—7 years after I wished I’d found it… (but, I’ll still be offering my writing for free…)

Changing one of the aims of this blog, from reporting on what other blogs had to say to having conversations with my readers, was firmly decided after I discovered that book promotion approach—Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience.

So, my attempt to re-ignite the Conversation here is to bring up and shoot down a few ideas about book promotion:

Spend Money

Do you buy your friends? Is the only way to make friends to buy ads and hope a future friend reads it? Even if you don’t think of future readers as friends, should you buy your readers? If you’re not like me, you may actually want your readers to buy your book…

Spread the Word on Social Media

I fought against social media early on, experimented a bit along the way, and now use two channels to share others’ posts and one to share my own ideas. I first saw authors using social media as a bunch of drunk folks standing on the bar’s tables shouting at each other… Now, I know they’re still out there; but, I’ve found there are a growing group of writers who share interesting ideas that lead folks to their blogs where they share more interesting ideas and where they have information on their books… There are some who do the right thing on social media; but, then, when you get to their blog, they’re up on their own table shouting at you about their books…

Put a Bunch of Books in Your Car and Travel to Hell and Back Bothering Folks at Bookstores

This actually still happens… A variation is sending a copy of the book to a bunch of book stores then calling them all up and letting them know how lucky they are ’cause they will soon have a copy of your book…

Make Friends, through Social Media and/or a Blog, Then Share Your Ideas with Them, the Things That Make You Write, Your Truths; And, Let Them Spread the Word about You…

Not gonna shoot that one down…

Do you have some book promotion ideas or methods that I haven’t mentioned?

Do you totally hate the necessity of book promotion?

Are you afraid of it?

Does it seem like Promotion is Anti-Creative?

Want to help me with this Conversation? Care to Comment?
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Visit The Story Bazaar
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Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
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~ My Bio
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Authorial Decisions ~ WebSite, Social Media, Blogging…?


I haven’t featured Jane Friedman (author, digital media strategist, editor, publisher, professor, speaker) for quite some time… Authors, Websites, Social Media

I’ll be sharing excerpts from two of her articles…

The first one leans toward author websites, the second toward social media…

Jane tends to conflate blogs with websites, which is perfectly understandable; yet, be aware, a blog can be considered “social media”…

And, I must emphasize that no matter how much help any of the excerpts may be, not reading her full articles will be a great loss (especially if you’re a writer…).

So…

The first article is, What’s More Important: Author Websites or Social Media?

Excerpts:

“These days, I get more noticeable results from my website and blogging efforts, email newsletters, and in-person networking than I do from social media. Not that I want to give up social media—quite the contrary—but I could walk away from Facebook and still earn a living. Not so with my website—it’s absolutely fundamental.”

Then, there are these bullet topics, as reasons a website is important (each Ripe with juicy info.…):

* Being more discoverable through search
* Offering the media (and influencers) the official story on you and your work
* Securing high-quality email newsletter subscribers
* Understanding what social media use is effective
* Monetizing the audience you have

Then (especially for those folks who won’t read her full article):

“Thankfully, you don’t (or shouldn’t) have to choose between having an author website or participating on social media. Nurture both. Choose to make your website a proud and strong showcase for your work and what you want to be known for, and don’t expect social media to always be the hub for all your branding or reader discovery. You’ll be stronger if you have a multi-faceted approach, especially if and when social media fails you.”

Article twoSocial Media for Authors: The Toughest Topic to Advise On

Excerpts (again, stressing that there’s much more meat to chew at the full article):

“Of all the topics I teach, social media is the most vexed. Even in a small class of writers, I find varying skill levels and experience, and a mix of attitudes—and these two factors play a strong role in what people need to hear or learn. I believe a successful social media strategy is driven by one’s personality and strengths, as well as the qualities of the work produced—leading to a unique approach for each writer.”

Then, she throws a critical bombshell of Truth:

“Because social media is widely considered essential to book marketing and promotion, yet it’s constantly changing, it’s become a burden and source of anxiety for beginners and advanced authors alike.”

And, the following bullet points (again, each Ripe with juicy info….):

* Your social media following grows mostly when you produce more work.
* Use social media to micro-publish or to share your work.
* People break social media “rules” all the time and succeed.

So, I’ll leave you with Jane’s summation on social media; and, one last time, urge you to read her full articles:

“So what can I possibly say to writers to help them become better at it [social media]? Well, first, don’t take it all so seriously. Look for what you enjoy. Have a spirit of questioning and discovery. Follow a daily routine that works for you. Sustainable and meaningful social media practice isn’t so different from getting your ‘real’ writing done.”

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Visit The Story Bazaar
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Blogs by Writers ~ Who Really Knows How To Do One?


I’ve spent many hours writing posts here about all the “advice” for writers the Internet is spewing out.

Part of me feels I’ve wasted a huge amount of time discovering the rotten underbelly of “Authorial Experts”.

Still, reading all the “advice” has let me, at least, warn others about where not to go

Just the other day, in a post called, Happy Birthday to Brain Pickings !, I introduced a video with these words:

“Since many writers attempt to subsidize their fiction writing by monetizing their blogs, I chose a video of Maria talking about alternatives to the ad-supported model.”

That’s Maria Popova and she really does know how to blog.

Then, there’s a man I’ve featured here many times, Joel Friedlander. { click his name in the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar }

Joel does something on his blog that inspires confidence—a seven-part Publishing Timeline—his personal journey through the Book World.

I feel it’s important to reveal a bit of Joel’s history here—give you a sense that this man has been around the block, many times, and knows what he’s talking about. So, here are some excerpts from that journey:

“My father, Royal Friedlander, had apprenticed as a compositor—when printing forms were made from metal objects—in the 1930s. I grew up around printing, and can remember my father sitting at the dinner table in our little kitchen, the creases of his hands still black at the bottom from black ink. He had big tubs of pumice-based soap in the bathroom, but no matter how hard he scrubbed, he said, he had ‘printer’s ink in his veins.’”

“As I learned more about the history of printing and the fine presses of the past, I also researched the modern rebirth of the book arts, starting in the late nineteenth century with William Morris’ Kelmscott Press and later, the Doves press. Along with a friend I started trying to render a modern version of Nicholas Jenson’s fifteenth-century original, considered by many to be the most beautiful roman face in the history of printing.”

“I had quit my day job to concentrate on publishing, which drained our reserves far faster than they ought to have been. And I had published what my heart told me were books that needed to be published—not what the market told me it wanted. Rather than increase our profitability, each book put us farther in the hole. Without a real sense of what the market wanted, or how to reach the people who would buy our books, our company was pretty much doomed from the start.”

“I decided I needed a new company structure, and started Marin Bookworks….Gradually I put a team of professionals together as my contacts expanded….There was rarely a month that went by at Marin Bookworks where there wasn’t at least one self-published book in the mix….Publishing continues to go through a somewhat chaotic revolution of technology and distribution. New technologies are emerging on a weekly basis that have the potential to radically change a business that hasn’t changed that much in 500 years.”

Joel recently published the blog post, 5 Steps to Author Blogging Success,

And, for those of you who don’t normally take all the links I put in my posts, I’ll list those steps here ( each with a link to more information on Joel’s blog :-)

Find your readers

Author Blogging 101: Where Are the Readers?

Create compelling content

7 Formats for Winning Blog Posts

Foster engagement

Writers’ Blogs: 5 Essentials for Engaging Your Readers

Network with other bloggers

Author Blogging 101: 11 Sources of Organic Traffic

Profit from your blog

Direct Marketing, Scottsdale Arizona, and Why a $10 Ebook Can Change Your Life

If you visit any of those links, I’d love it if you left a Comment about your thoughts and feelings

Also, if you know about a writer’s blog that gets it right, let us know about it in the Comments.
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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