Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: author platform

There Should Be Only One Way to Promote Your Writing ~ Your Way!


I’ve written a lot on this blog about book promotion, author platforms, and social media. Alliance of Independent Authors

And, you can scroll down in the left side-bar to find all of it (in the Top Tags area)

But there are two posts in particular I’ll point out:

Breaking The “Rules” of Book Promotion ~ 6 Different Views

Authentic Book Promotion ~ Does It Sell?

I mention those because I’m going to excerpt from an article at the ALLi Author Advice Centre —> Opinion: Promote Your Self-Published Books Your Way, by Debbie Young.

You’d think that any self-respecting writer would consider their own abilities and proclivities before they tried some promotion program from some “expert”, even if that “expert” has sold gazillions of books.

There’s nothing wrong with reading what the “experts’ say—we just must pay attention to our own unique needs and abilities

From the ALLi article:

“Just because we can tweet/Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram etc around the clock, it doesn’t mean we should.”

Followed by:

“Too many of us believe that if we don’t put in a significant amount of time, effort and budget into doing so, we’re failing.”

Thankfully, followed by:

“Drop that thought right now.”

I started promoting my novel nearly 5 years ago (before I published it) by beginning this blog.

I’ve tried the other popular social networks and found all of them wanting (though other folks do find them useful…)

Recently, I started using Wattpad and I’m still wondering what took me so long to find out it fits in with my abilities and needs

So, back to Debbie’s article, with some teasers that can be satisfied by reading the whole thing :-)

“So, if the idea of staging online conversations in fewer than 140 characters makes you cringe, avoid Twitter….

“If you’re going to be irked by people posting cat videos and games requests in front of you every day, forget Facebook….

“…I found that the pressure to add affiliate bookstore links every time I mentioned a title put me off posting at all. So I’ve ditched the links.”

And, with another strong encouragement for you to read Debbie’s full article, I share this last excerpt:

“…I will try not to feel the need to justify my actions every time I turn my back on a marketing trick. Instead, I’ll take inspiration from the eponymous character from Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener, who, as I remember from high school, quietly declines opportunities with the refrain:I would prefer not to”. My English teacher, Mr Campbell, (who I think quite often fancied using Bartleby’s line in staff meetings), would be proud of me. Even if, in the story, Bartleby does eventually die of starvation.”

And, after you read Debbie’s whole article, look around on that page, ’cause you’ll be in the How-to for Authors section of the Self Publishing Advice site of The Alliance of Independent Authors
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#BookMarketing ~ Making Sense of #AuthorPromotion


I’ve written here before about Book Marketing… 

I’ve discussed my disdain for the term “marketing” and my grudging acceptance of “Book Promotion“.

I’ve explained that snagging a traditional book deal doesn’t guarantee a writer can forget about promoting their book (unless that “writer” happens to be wildly famous…).

I’ve discussed the buzz-term, Author Platform (and, its cousin “Personal Branding”).

In fact, there’s an excellent article, by journalist Ann Friedman, that traces the history of Personal Branding and leaves you wondering whether current advice for writers is, in any way, rational. The title is very revealing—Me Inc. ~ The paradoxical, pressure-filled quest to build a “personal brand”.

Just one quote from the article:

“I’ve noticed a paradox: The more time I spend defining my personal brand, the more contrived it feels when I talk about myself.”

Even though the article casts a rather lurid light on branding, I recommend eager authors read it as part of their making sense of what to do to promote themselves.

One thing is certain.

If you publish a book and tell no one about it, no one will buy it—even if you want to give it away, no one will take it if you don’t tell them about it

So

Writers have a need to consider various promotional strategies and choose or create one that won’t drive them crazy

So

When I decided what to write about today, it actually wasn’t, at first, about what Ann Friedman had to say about Personal Branding.

It was about what Fauzia Burke, Founder & President of FSB Associates, has to say about Book Marketing.

She started her company in 1995 and there should be no surprise that she can say it was “one of the first firms to specialize in Internet publicity and marketing for publishers and authors”.

So, here’s me, not liking the term “Book Marketing”, in fact not liking most of what most anyone has to say about the topic; and, here’s the title of an article by the Founder of one of the first companies to specialize in the field—10 Things I Know for Sure About Book Marketing.

I’m going to list those ten things and urge you to go read the full article—also, I must ask you to be aware that some of her points sure don’t sound like a person who runs a marketing firm

1. You can’t just do social media.

2. Don’t try and do everything.

3. Don’t try to promote your book to everyone.

4. The tortoise can beat the hare.

5. The age of generalists is over.

6. Think long-term.

7. Talking to people is a great privilege.

8. Go for engagement.

9. Start now.

10. Give value to your customer.

If you happen to read Fauzia’s article (and/or Ann’s), I’d love it if you could share your thoughts and feelings in the Comments
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

So Ya Think Your Book Will Be a Bestseller?


This post is for those who are brave enough to self-publish; though, it could apply to those going the traditional route, too; and, if you’re not an author, do, please, share it with any writer-friends you may have… 

I decided to write this post after I read Kate Evans‘ article, The Measure of Success in Indie Publishing.

Just a few of Kate’s thoughts:

“…I continue to attempt to market my first novel…

“…I shrivel at the kindly meant enquiry, ‘How are sales?’

“…my lovely novel, my first-born, has not sold as many copies as I thought it would.

“I am lucky to live in an era where I have access to the free marketing potential of social media. I realise that. Yet I have still to work out how social media sells or, indeed, whether it does at all.”

And, she sums up with:

“…the meaning of success comes from within, from the joy of writing, of telling stories, of the imagination.”

If you scan the ‘Net for articles on Book Promotion, something like 90% of them will talk about social media.

And, I agree with Kate that working out social media’s worth is tricky

I said this post might also apply to those treading the traditional path because, due to radical changes in the book market, the big, trad-publishers are expecting authors to have a social media platform of their own (before being considered for publication).

Time was an author could count on the publisher to promote for them; yet, even then most books never sold like most authors wished

So, should all authors just calm down and get used to only selling the statistically-expected 500 books or less?

Well, one thing that changes the equation is that e-books (displayed on digital shelves) will be available for discovery much longer than most print books in brick-and-mortar stores.

So, assuming an author has many years left on earth, they might see better than average sales.

Obviously, if a writer sticks to pumping out popular-genre-books and pulls a few well-organized attention-grabbing stunts, they might sell a few more books.

But, it’s more than likely better to buckle down and take the time to build a strong, secure, honest Author Platform while continuing to write and finding a way to make a living that won’t drive you crazy

Naturally, all the old methods of book promotion are still there—book signings, radio/TV interviews, newspapers, etc.—but, for most of us, they’ll all be rather local, without the Reach of well-planned, persistent on-line activities.

As a start—to begin a quest for creative ways to reach readers—try my past post, Breaking The “Rules” of Book Promotion ~ 6 Different Views.

And, if you’re sincere about taking charge of your own promotion, do read Jane Friedman’s article, The Online Presence That’s a Natural Extension of Who You Are and What You Do. (Is It Just Fantasy?).

Here’s an excerpt from that important article:

“To begin to inspect this problem—and a beginning is all that’s possible for this blog post—I’ll discuss a few writers who exhibit the following qualities:

  • Their writing work is clearly central to everything they do. Or think of it as: writing as guiding star (as it should be).
  • Their voice, online or off, is authentic.
  • Their online presence and engagement is unique to them and, at least from my POV, sustainable and meaningful.”

She shares the efforts of five extremely different authors, then says:

“All of the authors I mentioned—who are quite different in terms of their success, genre, and personalities—are able to focus on their writing and maintain an online presence, while appearing to remain whole. Each has found the right approach based on their strengths and goals, and you can do the same.”

And, I’ll close this post with an exercise

What follows is from another past post about Author Platform. See if you can come up with a few fresh ideas for your own platform from all the different definitions

“What’s a platform for?

“Here are a few definitions from my Oxford dictionary.

All the meanings have been used in various articles I’ve read about Author Platform:

*architectural plan
*draughtsman’s drawing
*chart, a map
*plan of action, government, administration, etc
*scheme, a design, a description
*thing intended or taken as a pattern, a model
*raised level surface or area
*natural or man-made terrace, a flat elevated piece of ground, a tableland, a plateau
*level place constructed for mounting guns in a fort or battery”

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Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Authors Love Interviews


I got interviewed again

Author Interviews

Image courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/mzacha

Apart from the value it adds to my Author Platform, it was just plain fun.

It happens to be the most personal interview I’ve ever given

But, before I tell you a bit about it, let me remind you there’s a menu-tab at the top of this blog that says “* Our Author Interviews<— or, you can just take that link :-) (there are over 50 interviews of authors in a wide age-range and of various levels of experience…)

So

What about that interview of me?

It’s on Philippa Rees’ blog — Involution — Science and God ~ Reality Redefined — and, she just happened to ask me to be the first in a series of posts that will help her redefine her blog.

In her words:

“This year I intend to write posts on the gulf between Perception and Reality, and how this shapes books, and how we read them, and how we seek to find readers in the melee of false perceptions, pre-conceived, limited, both pre- and proscribed.”

And, be sure to check out the menu-tabs at the top of her blog—she’s an extremely unique woman and writer.

For instance, if you click the menu-tab, “The Book”, you’ll find this endorsement of Philippa’s writing:

“A brilliant and profoundly erudite epic charting the evolution of Western thinking processes, probing the frontiers of rationality and naturalism and opening up a deeper understanding of the nature of reality based on the reality of mystical experience. The author’s grasp of the principal elements of Western culture is masterly and her poetic narrative woven together with extraordinary subtlety.”

I feel everyone can find something of great value on Philippa’s blog

[Edit—after I posted this]
Philippa confirmed she will soon give us an interview of herself :-)
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Check Out Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Authentic Book Promotion ~ Does It Sell?


Let me first address the issue of book sales.

Promotion for Writers

Image Courtesy of Adam Page ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/atom_balm

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

However, none of those actions will guarantee sales…

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

Not so…

Perhaps, if you’re an extremely famous person, your book will sell—perhaps…

I wrote a post last year that led to six different ways to think about the task of promoting a self-published book—Breaking The “Rules” of Book Promotion—showing that originality and authenticity could help boost sales and certainly will let you sleep more soundly…

There’s also a recent post over at Writer Unboxed, by Jane Friedman—The Online Presence That’s a Natural Extension of Who You Are and What You Do. (Is It Just Fantasy?)

Here’s a brief excerpt:

“To begin to inspect this problem—and a beginning is all that’s possible for this blog post—I’ll discuss a few writers who exhibit the following qualities:
*Their writing work is clearly central to everything they do. Or think of it as: writing as guiding star (as it should be).
*Their voice, online or off, is authentic.
*Their online presence and engagement is unique to them and, at least from my POV, sustainable and meaningful.”

She shares the efforts of five extremely different authors, then says:

“All of the authors I mentioned—who are quite different in terms of their success, genre, and personalities—are able to focus on their writing and maintain an online presence, while appearing to remain whole. Each has found the right approach based on their strengths and goals, and you can do the same.”

If you’re a writer floundering in the Sea of Promotion, head on over and check out the whole article.

If you have all that stuff taken care of or don’t care a fig about it, share the link with a writer-friend :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Check Out Our Latest Poll…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com