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23 Posts tagged with the author_marketing tag
3

In my old life, I sold broadcast video equipment. One of the products we sold was a character generator for live broadcasts. I was tabbed as the trainer for the equipment and sent to Waterloo in Toronto, Canada, to spend a week at company headquarters to learn as much as I could about the product. With the exception of the airline losing my luggage, it was well worth the trip. My company liaison gave me a tour of the facility and our first stop was research and development. I was shocked to see their primary competitor's product sitting in pieces on one of the work tables. My tour guide chuckled at my confused look and said, "That's what you call reverse engineering. Don't worry. We paid for the machine."

 

Turns out this is a common practice in the corporate world. What better way to know how to beat your competition than to know how they construct their product? You can do the same, even though you really don't have competition as an author. Remember, my philosophy about books is that a well-written book by a fellow author only helps you sell more books because readers always want more. It's a healthy addiction.

 

But, that doesn't mean you can't look at successful authors in your genre and deconstruct their brand to help you understand how to build yours. How often do they post to social media? Do they use email newsletters? Do they do a lot of personal appearances? Do they utilize personal videos?

 

Knowledge is power. You can learn a lot just by reverse engineering another author's brand.

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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Reverse Journaling for Your Brand

Evaluating Your Author Brand

1,010 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand, brand_identity
13

The emotional brand

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 20, 2017

You may be diligent about keeping your social media accounts active. You may be tweeting umpteen times a day. It's possible that you are updating your status consistently and frequently. Your fingers may even hurt from all the friend and follower engagement you're conducting from your laptop and/or smartphone. You may be putting in more than enough time to expect steady growth in your social media connections which will lead to the expansion of your brand, and ultimately, more book sales. But it's quite possible your activity isn't paying off either.


The question is why do some authors succeed at growing their brand through a rigorous social media strategy and others don't. The answer is usually those who succeed have discovered what truly sets an author brand apart from other brands. That one simple ingredient that so few authors use out of a fear of sharing too much or being too provocative. That one simple ingredient is emotion. An author brand is an emotional brand. It conveys a heart and soul that corporate brands normally steer clear of. You are an artist first and a commodity second.


If you are angry about something in the news or in your neighborhood, convey that anger. If you are embarrassed or happy or sad, share those emotions. You will connect with your community on a deeper level and that will lead to a growth of your brand. In short, give yourself the same kind of emotional depth that you give your characters in your book, and you will find that brand success if you've been looking for.


-Richard


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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Evaluating your author brand

The one thing



1,573 Views 13 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, social, brand, branding, social_media, author_marketing, author_brand
2

 

It's 2017, and it turns out social media wasn't a fad. It's going to be around for a while.  That being the case, we probably should have a refresher course on social media best practices. It's a short list, and it's easy to follow.


1. Be prolific: To paraphrase David Mamet, always be posting. It's all about staying active and generating a lot of content. The more your friends and followers see your name pop up in their feed the more they will be reminded that you're their author-friend. 


2. Engage: Don't miss an opportunity to engage with a friend and follower. When they take the time to comment on one of your posts, "like" their comment or respond to their comment. Let them know you appreciate their contribution. I will give one word of caution. Don't "like" inappropriate comments. You don't want to be seen as someone who supports offensive material. I've even deleted inappropriate comments posted by fans, and I sent them a private message explaining why I did it, and to be frank, in one case the commenter did not take it well, but it was the right decision.

 

3. Be light: Yes, there is a time to make serious comments on social media, but don't let that be your sole persona online. Don't be that person. Be the type of person who entertains and enlightens. Be opinionated. Be bold. Be kind. Be funny. People should look forward to seeing your posts every day.


That's it. It doesn't get more complicated than that. Now, go forth and post, engage, and entertain.


-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Social Media Best Practices

 

Social Networking Sells Your Brand

 

 

 

 

4,642 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, social_media, author_marketing, social_media_marketing
2

Local and online

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 14, 2017

The Internet is an amazing thing. It can connect individuals who live a world apart. It can put fans in touch with their favorite celebrities. And, yes, it can put readers face-to-virtual-face with their favorite authors, but it can do far more than breakdown barriers of distance. It can bring local individuals and entities together, too.

 

Most local businesses in communities of all sizes have a social media presence, and more than anything they want to connect with the locals in their area and alert them of specials, sales, events, etc. So, joining their social media circle won't be terribly difficult, but as an author, you want to take it a step further. You want to be an influencer for their brand. Why? Because you will be rewarded handsomely as your relationship builds, and they are going to be more amenable to a cooperative affiliation. Have a book release coming up? Contact the local business you've been touting to all your friends and followers and see if they'll let their customers know about your new book. Maybe they'll even post a congratulations on their page.


You are going to want to choose your local businesses carefully. Make sure you don't connect with an organization that may tarnish your brand. Do your homework. If you have a personal relationship with an employee or owner, all the better. You have an in, and you'll have the inside scoop on the company. 


Reach out and connect with a local business online and start building a relationship that could be an invaluable tool to help you spread the word about your books.


-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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The Launch Party

 

Chamber of commerce

 

 

 

 

871 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, promotion, social_media, launch_party, influence, author_marketing
3

 

Platform is a word that you hear thrown around a lot today. One might even call it an overused word. New indie authors entering the publishing world are likely to be bewildered and maybe even intimidated by the proliferation of talk about platforms. They may be asked, "What is your author platform?" Or, they may hear, "You need a multi-platform approach in order to reach as many readers as possible." They could even be told that, "A cross-platform strategy is the most optimal solution to create buzz about your book."


That's a whole lot of "platforming" going on. Allow me to try and add some sense to the flood of platform talk in publishing:


1. "What is your author platform?" This is in reference to your mode of brand building apparatus. Do you use social media to establish your brand? Are you a blogger? Do you produce online videos to build your brand? Each segment of your online presence is a part of your platform. When someone asks you what your author platform is, they are asking you how you're getting the word out on a regular basis.


2. "You need a multi-platform approach in order to reach as many readers as possible." This statement is simply saying that the more versions of your book that are available for sale, the more readers you will reach. In today's word that means a print version, a digital version, and an audio version. If you do the math that means the same book can be available in three different "platforms."


3. "A cross-platform strategy is the most optimal solution to create buzz about your book." This statement is in reference to what marketing vehicles you are utilizing to market your books, which include your platform and the platforms of other brands. Are you contributing posts to another author's blog? Are you appearing on another online video personality's channel? Are you a part of another author's or artist's social media community? In addition, you will provide the same marketing opportunities to these same individuals that have given you a piece of their virtual space. You are sharing brand communities.


To complicate things a little bit more, the word platform is used in other contexts in other industries, so there's always going to be some confusion surrounding the word, but I hope for now, the publishing industries platform conundrum is less challenging to understand.

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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The Three Planks of Your Author Platform

 

Consistency: how to develop a living platform

 

 

 

 

1,541 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, branding, social_media, author_marketing, author_platform, author_identity, authro_brand
1

 

I found out recently that I know someone who works for a think tank, and I am so envious. I've always wanted to work for a think tank. As a writer of fiction, I'm pretty sure I'd love just mulling over the issues that do and will affect society. To top it off, they pay you to think.


But, sadly, I don't see a job at a think tank in my future, but that doesn't mean I can't do what I do best and create my own fictional think tank. I have problems that need to be solved. Namely, how am I going to sell more books?


While I'm having a little fun here, I actually don't see why you and a few of your writer friends couldn't form your own little think tank that spends a couple of hours each month discussing marketing and branding strategies for authors. I'm talking about meeting in person or over video chat and hammering out ideas and building a solid plan that could benefit all of you.

 

Call it a collective or open-based branding. You are all working together to help each other traverse the rugged terrain of marketing. As a group, putting you heads together and constructing a plan, you are more likely to see the pitfalls and potential successes before you implement them. Be open to all suggestions and be respectfully honest with your feedback. Every member of your think tank has a vested interested in the success of the strategies you develop.


Now, get out there and start your own think tank.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Brand Buddies

 

Form an Author Co-op

 

 

 

 

1,338 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, author_marketing, author_brand, author_collaboration, author_tips, author_advice
1

Here is a rule of branding that isn't discussed enough. Don't turn on a dime.

 

Simple enough? Okay, see you next blog post...

 

What? You need more context? That's fair.

 

You can change your author brand, as long as you don't change it too quickly. A brand, after all, is built on consistency. You present the same style, the same tone, the same voice over and over again, creating a trust between yourself and your community. You become a source of stability in their lives, something they can rely on and take comfort in.

 

The problem is that an author brand is a personal brand in a commercial setting. Your brand is tied to...well, you. You are going to go through changes in life. Trust me, I am not the same person I was in my 20s. I see things very differently. Had I had access to social media back then (meaning, if it existed), I would have a hard time reconciling what I believe now with what I believed then.

 

To change a brand--personal or corporate--you must allow it to go through a transition period. A gradual change brings your community along with you. A sudden change leaves you, in most cases, having to start anew. Don't resist change. Embrace it, and let it come slowly. Except in the case of unexpected tragedies, that's usually how change works anyway.

 

The takeaway here is to not change for the sake of change. Don't hop on a trend that is in opposition to your current brand profile because you think it will help grow your community. Just keep consistently being you, even if being you means you change along the way.

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Should Authors Ever Reinvent Their Brands?

Author Brand Success: Consistency without Stagnation

1,795 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, book_marketing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand, author_platform
0

I've scoured the internet for a clear explanation of the difference between marketing and branding. I've heard people use the terms interchangeably, and frankly, that's just wrong. They serve the same purpose, but they are two different tools serving that purpose. After reading, rejecting those explanations that made no sense, and accepting those that seemed logical, here is an explanation of branding:

 

  • ·        Branding is an image and message tied to a product. In the case of an author, this would include the genre identity, category (fiction or nonfiction), age group of readers, style of writing, personal causes, and frequent topics an author devotes his/her online time to. These and other image definers contribute to how the author is seen by the reader. Personal appearance can play a part if the author makes appearance integral to his/her brand identity.

 

Marketing is a tad more complicated. Here is a culmination of the explanations I found:

 

  • ·      Marketing is a multifaceted tool the author will use to draw people to his/her brand. It can be by utilizing social media to build relationships with readers. It can be via advertising to make the public aware of a book signing or launch date. It can be done via interviews online and offline. Essentially, it is how you make the public aware of your image and message.

 

Going by these two definitions, you can see how they serve the same utility but in very different ways. The two go together, but they are not the same thing.

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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You're not just an author, you're a brand

Raising your marketing game

2,121 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, book_marketing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand
1

 

I often wonder what some of our legendary authors would do in today's publishing world when it comes to branding. I think we all have this notion that they would look down their noses at such pedestrian tactics--that they'd never stoop to marketing themselves, and I have to say, I disagree. I think they'd be branding machines.


Particularly Hemingway. I imagine that he just couldn't resist taking to Twitter or Facebook and firing off a comment about the day's events. He was a journalist, after all. He loved to comment on the news, especially war-related stories. I imagine he wouldn't be shy about using one of the most important branding tools used today in the world of social media. That is to say, I think he would be particularly adept at author engagement. If someone commented on one of his status updates or tweets, I like to think he'd respond and engage the reader. Granted, he would perhaps get into a verbal tussle or two with those who had dissenting opinions, but I also think he'd happily respond to those who were in agreement with him.


If you aren't engaging with your readers on social media, you are missing the opportunity to create dedicated fans--those who will see you as more than just some random author, but as someone they've made a connection with. They also become devoted members of your volunteer sales force. They will be more likely to spread the word about your book.


So, in conclusion, be like Hemingway (as I imagine him), and engage with your readers.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


 

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Word of mouth is still king

 

Community engagement prompts

 

 

 

 

992 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, social_media, author_marketing, author_brand, author_tips, author_platform
0

Over the next several weeks we're going to discuss the different elements of successful branding for authors. Author brands are a mix between corporate branding and personal branding. You're trying to sell a product, yes, but more accurately, you're trying to sell you, the author.


Branding isn't just how you look or how you present yourself. Those things can come into play, even in the world of publishing. That's not to say you have to be a runway model or Brad Pitt to sell books. I'm referring more to style when I say "look." If you're the cowboy mystery writer, give your readers the cowboy mystery writer look.


Toda's lesson in branding is simple. In order to be associated with a brand, you have to demonstrate consistency: in your messaging, your appearance, your attitude. Consistency will help cement your brand and make you easily definable. And, yes, that's important because when your readers tell their friends about you, they'll know how to describe you. In essence, you will have given them a portable brand to share with their friends.


In addition to consistency in how you present yourself and message, consistency in where you "practice" your branding is important too. If Twitter is your thing, make that your primary branding pad. If you are more at home on Facebook or Instagram, that's where you're going to spend a bulk of your branding time. You can use other sites to support your brand building, but you're going to want to have a go-to site where people will expect to find you.


Consistently keep on message on your social media turf and make yourself easily definable.


-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Author Brand Success: Consistency without Stagnation

Can You Choose an Author Brand?



2,113 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, author_marketing, author_brand, author_platform
0

Workshops

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Mar 22, 2017

I have been approached a few times about putting together a workshop based on the theme of a series of young adult novels I've written. I've resisted because I don't feel qualified. The topic is bullying, and while I wrote about it, I am certainly no expert. I wrote a fictional tale that incorporated the issue of bullying to advance a story.


It has occurred to me lately that I don't necessarily have to be an expert on bullying to organize a workshop or seminar on the topic. I could approach local experts on the topic and invite them to present important information about bullying. I would act simply as the facilitator. I would, of course, do my due diligence to make sure that the people I approached were credible and possessed the necessary credentials.


Why would I want to undertake such a task? Simple. It's a way to associate my brand with a topic that is crucial to the theme of my books. If that sounds crassly commercial, I suppose it is. But that's not necessarily bad in this case. I would be providing a valuable service to the community. That would be the primary focus of the workshop. The secondary benefit is the association with my brand and book.


Do you have a topical theme that drives the plot of your story? If you're not a qualified expert on the topic, you can still organize a workshop that addresses it. Do your homework and find the folks in your community that are experts, and you have the working parts to create a valuable workshop that can also help build your brand.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Invest in your writing

 

Sell yourself as an enthusiast

1,172 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: workshops, author_marketing, writing_tips, author_tips, writing_practice
0

That one thing

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Mar 1, 2017

 

Why you? It's a question you need to ask. You are trying to build a brand--not just a brand, but an author brand. That means there are books tied to your name. The ultimate goal is to sell those books, and your sales will stem from how you answer this question: Why you?


There are millions of books to choose from on the market. More are added every day. Every hour of every day. Readers are flooded with choices. Why should they choose your book over the others? The answer--in most cases--is you. Your writing style, your public persona, your celebrity endorsements, whatever the reason, you are the one factor that sets your book apart. Yes, quality of writing, publishing track record, and scores of other reasons are factors too, but in today's brand-driven economy, who you are is a major factor in your success.


You need to sit down and do a close examination of your brand, determine what the unique component of your brand is, and build on that. Expand your community. Call it your special ingredient. Maybe it's your sense of humor or maybe it's your spiritual perspective on life. Perhaps you're not just a science fiction author, but an actual scientist who writes science fiction.


Once you find that one thing that makes you different from other author brands, you'll have a better understanding of where to find readers, and how to keep them invested in your brand. You'll increase your readership just by being you. Now, why you?

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Evaluating Your Author Brand

 

An Active Author Brand

 

 

 

 

1,420 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: author, branding, social_media, author_marketing, author_brand, brand_identity
1

 

    As an author seeking publicity, you are more than likely going to be asked to do an interview via email, podcast, social media, etc. There are almost countless opportunities to be interviewed as an author of a book. It's better to prepare yourself for those interviews now so you're ready when you're actually asked. Here are the top three questions you will likely be asked:

 

  1. What is your book about? Stick to the main plot. Don't include subplots or what you think are interesting side notes. Ironically, providing too many details can make it seem as if you don't know what your book is really about. If your main plot is an allegory for broader social issues, feel free to provide that information, as well.
  2. Who are your influences? Don't just name authors. List the reasons why. Charles Portis is one of my influences. Why? Because I love the way he subtly incorporates humor to make a story compelling, and he's also a master at writing realistic interactions between characters.
  3. What best-selling book is closest to yours in style and tone? We all want to be original, and it may be tempting to bypass this question or even tout how original your book is. That would be a mistake. This is a great opportunity for you to reach the fans of a best-selling book. Name a book that truly is similar to yours, and send a signal to readers that they should read your book.


In addition to these three questions, come up with two or three more of your own--questions you would want to be asked that are specific to your book and genre.

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Don't sweat your first radio interview!

 

The author pitch

 

 

 

 

1,356 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self-publishing, promotion, writers, interview, author_marketing, author_appearance, author_interview
0

We've talked a lot on this blog about building an author brand. We've literally filled this virtual space with strategies and opinions for over six years now, and I've always assumed that every author understands the importance of establishing their own brand, but that may have been an erroneous assumption.


I remember reading a comment that floored me somewhere on the Internet years ago from a very bright and insightful author. He, a veteran in the publishing game, admonished young authors for getting involved in marketing. He was from the old school that thought the marketing should be left to others while the author stays above it all. After all, Hemingway never would have stooped to something so beneath the status of an artist.


It was a fairly harsh assessment of the concept of self-promotion, and in my view, it was totally off base. We live in a multifaceted media world where the communication of an idea can be spread in practically the blink of an eye. Not taking advantage of that kind of potential outreach seems particularly outrageous to me. You have the opportunity to reach the entire globe every time you sit down at your laptop to engage your readers. Why wouldn't you take advantage of that?


Beyond the power to grow your brand, perhaps more importantly, you have the power to control your brand. By being an active participant in your branding, you decide how you are presented. You control the message. That is what a brand is, an image you build and share. Don't let someone else make those decisions for you. Be perceived how you want to be perceived.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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The Three Planks of Your Author Platform

Better Than Twitter and Facebook



1,491 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: social, branding, social_media, author_marketing, author_brand, author_platform
2

 

Previously, I talked about the importance of setting your author brand apart from others. What makes you different from the author brands out there--particularly those who share your genre? Today, I'd like to talk about the opposite strategy. What makes you similar to other author brands, or what makes your book like the best seller that was at number one for ten weeks?


Back in the "long time ago land," I wrote screenplays. In fact, I wrote twelve of them. I only talked to various production companies and studios about two of them, and neither were ever produced, but enough of the sad part of the story. The relevant part of the journey is that what I was asked most consistently by these companies was, "What current film does your script resemble?" This was important for a number of reasons. Primarily, they wanted to gauge what kind of box office they could expect. But they also wanted to know what kind of interest they could expect from financiers and A-list actors. I always tried to stress the originality of the screenplays, and that turned them off. The word "originality" connotes risk. Risk is not something Hollywood is really known for.

 

In the indie publishing world, originality is expected. It's cherished. It's rewarded. But, I maintain that it's also OK to compare yourself to other authors and your material to other books. Don't emphasize it, but make it a part of your pitch to give readers a taste of what they can expect.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

 

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Brand modeling

 

Building an author brand: the author brands you promote

 

 

 

 

2,139 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, author_marketing, author_brand, author_tips, author_platform
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