Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: author platform

#BookPromotion ? ~ Here’s THE Book :-)


Be the Gateway ~ Creative Promotion Forgoing a re-blog today—finding my return from the psychological sabbatical is giving me much more I want to write about…

So, there’s a book I’m working my way through right now—“working through” as in doing what’s recommended…

Yes, it’s about “book promotion” (if you use that term in the widest, most creative way possible); and, yes, my novel is 7 years old now; but, I feel it could use a different approach in how I let folks know about it…

So, I’ll introduce the book I’m working my way through by sharing a few excerpts:

Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work
and Engaging an Audience

Kindle ~~~ or ~~~ Free World-Wide Delivery

“Instead of framing the value of your work by how it performs in the market, you define it by how other people experience the world through your creative work—the stories and experiences you share, and the topics you talk about. This simple idea radically shifts the value of what you create. Instead of selling a product in a marketplace, you become the gateway for how your work can shape the world for others, and inspire them.”

“Bestseller lists can be gamed; too often creative work is purchased, but never noticed (books are purchased and not read, art is purchased, but never hung, etc.). Your work can win an award, and fail to find an audience. You can get an incredible review and have it lead to zero new fans. You can be on national TV and have it lead to only a handful of new sales. Being a gateway is about ensuring your work truly connects with others in the most meaningful way possible, instead of being treated as nothing more than a product swiped across the bar code scanner at the food store.”

“Reframe success so it isn’t about seeking validation from massive audiences, but rather how you reach one person. The people I see who succeed focus on one-on-one engagement with other people, not on going viral. To be a gateway is to find success by focusing on the human side of that which engages people, what it means to have your work truly shape the lives of others, and what it means to feel fulfilled as a creator.”

“Be the gateway…is about understanding the connection between what you create, why you create it, and how it will engage others. This is the ‘secret’ to engaging others, which is not really a secret at all. It is as old as human culture and how we are wired.”

“If you’re serious about building an audience for your creative work, skip the ‘best practices.’”

I’ve certainly read a ton of books and articles about “book promotion” in my years of writing this blog—none of that stuff can cut it now…

Sure, some of the practical ideas in Be the Gateway are part of others’ schemes; but, if you water the Gateway down, you effectively close it off………
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Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
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Getting the Media to Pay Attention to You…


Getting Media Attention I’ve done a lot of writing here about what can be called book promotion or author platform or social media engagement or a few other things you can find categorized in the Top Tags widget (a bit further down in the left side-bar…).

I’ll share just a bit from my past post of June of 2016:

“There are many things an author can do to increase the likelihood that their book will sell.

“None of those actions will guarantee sales…

“Some writers think landing a traditional publishing deal will assure book sales.

“Not so…”

Plus, this:

“I’ve certainly gone out of my way…to figure out what might be called ‘Rational-Book-Promotion’…

“If I’d done every technique that’s been touted to give me millions of paying customers, I’d be dead from overwork—and I may not have any more sales than I do now…”

And, this is a perfect place to link to what’s now the second most important post on this blog—What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

So…

How would you like some info from an article by a man named Chris Well—author, magazine editor, newspaper contributor, reporter, columnist, broadcaster, podcaster, web content manager, and digital content producer?

The article is on BookWorks and is entitled, Media Attention: 9 Ways Any Author Can Get It.

Excerpts:

“In today’s publishing landscape, it’s tougher than ever for authors to be discovered. There are so many books competing for those potential readers. That’s why free media attention can boost your visibility.”

And, lest you think you automatically have to have a publicist:

“Too many authors assume they have no chance of getting attention from media outlets. Speaking as a 30+ year media professional, I can tell you from experience that whether an author represents herself or himself is not a problem. An author with the right mindset can pitch to the media and be taken seriously.”

There’s a lot more Mr. Well says that striving authors could profit from; and, I’ll encourage you to go to the full article by listing Chris’ main bullet points:

Media Attention Is FREE

Media Attention Is Easier Than You Think

You Can Do This Yourself

Interviews Can Be Done By Phone Or Online

You Don’t Have To Be Famous

Every Type Of Author Has A Shot

You Don’t Need A Brand New Book

You Don’t Need A Book At All

The Media Is Always Hungry

What Are You Waiting For?

Are those section titles enough to get you over to the full article?

Are they enough to have you share this post with an author you know?

Were they enough to prompt you to call your local media and wing it? :-)
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FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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Book Deals and Author Platforms


Regular readers of this blog know I favor self-publishing; but, I’ve written quite a bit about the traditional route, too—they both have their challenges… 

And, one person who knows a lot about getting traditional book deals is Jane Friedman. This makes the 43rd time I’ve referenced her here…

And, as far as Author Platform, this is the 23rd post with that as a topic…

By the way, taking either of those last two links will show you this post at the top of a scrollable list of all the posts ( unless you first read this post after I’ve done a different post about Jane or platforms :-)

Regulars may be tired of me saying what I just mentioned in that last paragraph; but, my stats clearly show new readers arriving here nearly every day

Before I share a few excerpts from a recent article from Jane about platforms and deals, I’ll share a few excerpts about author platforms (for folks who know nothing about them) from one of my past articles—Building An Author Platform ~ One Critical Step . . . :

“The universe of Book Promotion gave birth to the term Author Platform and I’ve been amused ever since…

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with the term but there are plenty of folks who use it in funny ways.

“Some writers build a platform to promote themselves according to instructions from ‘experts’…

“Some build a platform for their books and then hide under the platform….

“Obviously, an Author Platform is constructed to Elevate the writer—raise them up above the Crowd—give them a place to deliver a Message…

“But, what many writers forget to do before building a platform is to choose a blueprint that They have drawn up and that makes the Platform serve their Own Purpose.

“That last sentence contains what I consider the most Critical Step in building your Author Platform.”

Now for Jane’s recent article—Building a Platform to Land a Book Deal: Why It Often Fails (Jane begins by saying it’s for nonfiction; but, it’s perfectly adaptable for fiction…):

“Platform, in a nutshell, is your ability to sell books based on your visibility to the intended readership. If you’re a total unknown, then you may be turned down for lack of a platform to support your book’s publication….

“The dream-crushing cynic in me is tempted to say: Don’t force it, because it won’t work. You’re reverse engineering a process that—in the majority of cases—is destined to fail. Here’s why.”

Now, I’ll list Jane’s main bullet-points (explaining why building an author platform specifically to attempt to win a book deal will, almost always, not get you a book deal…) and let you go to the full article to read her sage advice…

1. You focus on superficial indicators of platform.

2. You focus on social media growth.

3. You put everything on a timeline that’s too rushed.

I’ll close with part of Jane’s Parting Advice:

“Platform building doesn’t stop if you do land a book deal. Your journey has just begun. The good news is that authors can build a platform by engaging in activities that are most enjoyable to them—because if they’re not enjoyable, you won’t continue doing them for the time required to see any kind of pay off.”

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#BookPromotion on #Wattpad


Last November, I was finally convinced to try WattpadWattpad

Then, later in the same month, I wrote about Wattpad being a special “social media” platform for writers.

That was early in the game

I had a relatively small number of folks I followed and there were some following me

I have four books there; and, will soon have a fifthone of my booksmy novel, was getting reads and comments and all was productive and fun

Then, last month, my novel jumped from 1,ooo to 2,000 reads and my followers jumped from about 300 to over 1,200.

Today, I have 3,200 reads on the novel and nearly 2,000 followers

What happened was Wattpad decided to Feature my book.

Suddenly, being on Wattpad is “work” yet very welcome and productive work.

Back in November, my novel was being read in around 10 countries.

This map shows the situation now (countries with reads shaded blue, with darker blue being more reads):

Notes from An Alien at 7 months + one Week Featured on Wattpad

Do I recommend Wattpad for writers who don’t yet know how to promote their book; or, are either tired of or frustrated about their promotion efforts to date?

Perhaps

It depends on the writer.

One way to find out if you’re the kind of person who can do promotion on Wattpad is to sign-up for free; then, read How To Get Reads, Votes, and Comments – A Guide by Katherine A. Ganzel.

Here’s my profile on Wattpad.

And, here’s the novel that’s still being Featured :-)

Plus, you can read the interviews I have here with other Wattpad authors
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Grab A Free Novel…
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#AuthorBranding ~ Is It Worth Considering?


Author Branding

Image Courtesy of justus kindermann ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/ackinderma-44705

Since Author Branding is something people talk about when they’re also talking about making money, I’ll share a bit from something I wrote last year about writers making money:

Many of you know I’m a maverick, in my writing and in the promotion I do… 

And, it seems apropos to share the etymology of “maverick” from my Oxford English Dictionary:

“Samuel A. Maverick (1803–70), Texas engineer who owned but did not brand cattle.”

Branding is all the rage now for self-published authors—come on, get on the brandwagon—cereal is branded, cigarettes are branded, underwear is branded—why not books?

Well, I don’t brand myself or my books because I don’t brand my cattle—I’m a Maverick…

But, whenever I use myself as the example to lend credence to a particular opinion about the BookWorld, I like to back it up with another person’s opinion

For today’s post, I chose Kelli Russell Agodon — poet, writer, editor, book designer, and co-founder of Two Sylvias Press.

Here are some excerpts from Kelli’s article, You Are Not a Brand. . . Why Writers & Artists Should Not Be Limited By Those Who Want to Define Us:

“I have heard about this ‘create your brand’ and ‘you must have a platform’ at a few writer’s conferences I’ve been at, but I thought it was something trendy like bedazzling your jeans — I thought it would be seen as ridiculous and then fade away, but it seems not to be the case.”

“It kills my spirit to hear writers and artists being talked about as if we were corporations with logos and mottos and theme-songs.”

“It feels as if it’s another way for people who don’t really write to sell things to writers: ‘Be Your Own Best Brand! How to Create Your Brand for only $295. Build Your Brand BEFORE the Book!'”

Jumping in to register my hearty agreement that Branding is a way to suck money and time from author’s lives

Just a few more excerpts from Kelli:

“When I hear sentences like this one (one that almost makes me weep): ‘Brand-building is constant. It should always be in the back of your mind’, what I want to say in response is: Writing is constant and should always be in the back of your mind.”

” I know I can’t let myself be put in that box. I am not a Twinkie. You are not a Ding-Dong (okay, you could be a ding-dong, but I don’t know that for sure). But you are definitely not a Twinkie, that I know.”

If you’re not a writer and you’ve read this far, you must know a writer (or, actually be one deep down…)—tell them about Kelli’s article and recommend they visit her blog: Book of Kells
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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…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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* Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com