Skip navigation
1 ... 16 17 18 19 20 ... 63 Previous Next

Resources

937 Posts tagged with the writing tag
3

The best way to make a signing successful is to make it an event. Here are five tips to make your next appearance eventful:

 

  1. Use a wrangler. Bring a friend or family member along who can wrangle in passersby and get them excited about meeting an author. Find someone who is outgoing and energetic. Compensate them in some way, and show them gratitude at the end of the event. Make sure they know the one-sentence pitch for your book.
  2. Bring a bowl of hard candy to place on your table. It's an icebreaker and a cheap gesture of goodwill to all these strangers you're meeting. It's also a way to get them to smile, which will be needed for the next item on our list.
  3. Hire a photographer. Whether it's a friend with a smartphone or a professional photographer with a DSLR camera, have someone there snapping photos. Let everyone know you'll be posting the photos to your social media sites, and invite them to follow and/or friend you.
  4. Come bearing gifts. Reward those who visited your table with an opportunity to win a free gift in a drawing later in the day. It can be a gift card, an e-reader or a free copy of your next book. They don't have to be present to win, but they do have to provide their contact information to receive the free gift.
  5. Bring signage. Don't just set up a table. Place professional grade signs throughout the venue to let everyone know there's an author on the premises. Work out the particulars with the management to make sure you're not violating any rules.

 

One last piece of advice - after an event/signing, make sure you leave the employees and management happy. Write them thank you notes. Maybe even bring them donuts the next morning to make them feel appreciated. You may want to come back some day, or you may want a reference from the venue for your next event.

 

-Richard

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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


 

You may also be interested in…

 

Preparing for a Personal Appearance

Book Launch Sponsors

7,227 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, selling, distribution, author, promotion, writing, book_signing, branding, book_tour, book_launch, personal_appearance, author_appearance, appearnace, tradeshows
0

By now many of you know that I began my career as a self-published author, and that one of the reasons (if not the reason) my first novel (Perfect on Paper) got picked up by a publisher was because of all the grass-roots marketing I did to get it noticed. (Click here to check out my webinar explaining exactly what I did.)

 

One key component of my marketing campaign was to apply for awards. I knew that with awards comes credibility, and I was right! Perfect on Paper won almost all the awards for which I applied. That helped open doors to organizations such as book clubs, which led to more positive reviews, which led to speaking engagements, which helped open more doors, etc. That's the thing about marketing - it's all about getting one thing to lead to another. You never know what's going to work, so you have to keep trying a lot of things.

 

While some of the awards Perfect on Paper won are no longer around, here are some still available to indie authors:

 

National Indie Excellence Book Awards

 

Independent Publisher Book Awards

 

USA Best Book Awards

 

eLit Book Awards

 

Global eBook Awards

 

This article lists some more.

 

Applying for awards takes time (and sometimes money, depending on whether or not there's an entry fee), but I can say from personal experience that if you win, it's worth it! And even if you don't win, going through the process of applying for an award is a good experience because it shows you the importance of presenting your work in the best light, from the description and cover design to the manuscript itself.

 

You can also use the materials you prepare for an award application for other marketing purposes, such as reaching out to book clubs, newsletters, alumni magazines, etc. Now get applying!

 

-Maria

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

 

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Using Book Awards to Market

Book Marketing Is a Numbers Game

3,497 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, book_awards, promotions
0

Tick. Tock. That is the sound of suspense. In real life, deadlines are points on the calendar that are, more often than not, sources of anxiety. As an example, April 15 is a "taxing" day for a lot of Americans. It's a race against the clock that many don't look forward to running. In the suspense novel, a time-sensitive plot device is almost imperative. The reader is drawn deeper into the story as each tick of the imaginary clock sounds out on the page.

 

Here are four tips to writing a "race against the clock" thriller:

  1. The deadline should be clear. Don't be ambiguous. Readers have to feel time running out. That can only happen if they know the time frame that your characters are dealing with.

  2. Give the readers a sense of where the story is in relation to the deadline from chapter to chapter. Be careful that you're not too on-the-nose with your references to how much time is left. It can feel like you're spoon-feeding your readers. Find a way to let them feel the pressure of another hour or day passing without resolution.

  3. Make the consequences for not meeting the deadline clear. If readers know the price of failure, they will feel more invested in the story.

  4. Your characters should have to suffer personally for their pursuit to meet the deadline. They should be so desperate that they will step outside of their normal behavior to beat the clock. It has to mean that much to them.

 

Writing a story with a time-sensitive plot device is a blast. If you do your job right, it can be a blast for your readers as well.

 

-Richard

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Elements of a Page-turner

Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense?

2,234 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, triller
0

I know this is a blog in which we usually talk about writing novels, but allow me to use a movie as an example to illustrate my point that stories don't always need a twist to be entertaining. Imagine if you will, there are three astronauts on a mission to the moon, but their spacecraft is damaged en route, and not only does the mission have to be scrubbed, but the chances of getting the astronauts home safely are slim to none. Now stop imagining it because you don't have to. It actually happened, and Hollywood made a movie about it.

 

Think about it. While what happened on the Apollo 13 mission to the moon was enthralling, it was a well-known story that had been recounted in great detail in books and the media. How did they make something so well documented seem like a story that had never been told?

 

They focused on character. We got to know the folks at mission control. We got to know the families of the astronauts, and they even humanized the larger-than-life characters of the astronauts themselves to make them more relatable. They took the known events of the failed mission and built the tension around the actions and reactions of the folks involved. As an audience, we weren't wondering what would happen. We were wondering how it would happen. It is a tale without a twist, but it is a tale full of suspense. That is a neat trick.

 

-Richard

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

You may also be interested in…

 

Defining Characters through Action, Not Description

Character Development Lessons from Breaking Bad

2,679 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, self-publishing, writers, writing, characters, character_development, author_tips, author_advice, authro
1

A few weeks ago I received a nice email from a reader of my blog named Tanja. She had recently self-published a book and had a brief, specific question for me about contacting reviewers. (I appreciated that because I get a lot of emails that simply ask "How should I market my book?")

 

She and I chatted a bit, and she asked if I would have a look at the first few pages of her book on Amazon's "Look Inside" feature. In our conversation she had mentioned that she planned to buy some of my books, so I figured I would check out hers in return. However, I immediately noticed some big grammatical errors, so I stopped reading. I was hesitant to tell her, but I decided to be honest.

 

Her response? She was extremely gracious and appreciative. She explained that she'd had the entire manuscript professionally edited except for the initial pages I'd read, which she had tweaked slightly and forgotten to send back to the editor. She said she would correct the mistakes immediately.

 

My response? I told her I wanted to write a blog post about her response.

 

The last time I encountered a similar situation, the (many) errors I encountered were in the author's bio on Amazon. However, when I pointed them out and explained that they made me wary of reading his book, his less-than-gracious reply was along the lines of "no one reads author bios anyway." Thus my joy at this recent experience.

 

I hope you will check out Tanja's book, Heroes and Heroines, Stories of Love. I think she deserves a little love herself for allowing me to use her errors as the basis for this post. That takes courage!

 

-Maria

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

 

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

You may also be interested in…

 

Why Grammar Matters

When YOU'RE Writing Marketing Materials, Be Careful with YOUR Grammar

2,836 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, editing, author, writing
3

Welcome to the wonderful world of the author pitch, that tool in your brand-building arsenal where you get to talk about yourself in a glowing and weighty manner. I know, yuck, right? There are enough megalomaniacs out there tooting their own horns on social media. We don't need to add one more braggart to the mix, right? No, we certainly don't, but when you're a brand, you have to present your credentials. So, obviously the answer is to present your indie publishing achievements humbly and with palpable reluctance, right?

 

As it turns out, that's not the correct approach either. According to a Harvard study, the humblebrag - an attempt to tout one's own achievements using self-deprecation as a way to hide the fact that you are trying to draw attention to your accomplishments - is an ineffective tool to build a brand. The social media citizenry has caught on to the tactic, they see it for what it is and they are not amused. In fact, it could do more harm to your brand than good.

 

The study suggests that outright bragging is more acceptable than the humble, awe-shucks, announcement. Personally, I'm not comfortable with boasting about my achievements even though it is the preferable approach. Fortunately, there is a middle ground. There is the gracious method where you present your accomplishments to enhance your brand and make your author pitch pitch-worthy. Be straightforward with a touch of just how thankful you are for the acknowledgment.

 

As an example, which sounds better?

 

  • I don't know how, but I've managed to win a lot of awards here and there.

  • I've won a lot of awards.

  • I'm grateful to have received numerous awards over the years.

 

I think most people are drawn to gracious winners, so in my mind the third option, the one that features gratitude, is a way to work achievements into your author pitch without alienating friends, fans and followers.

 

-Richard

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Zen and the Author Brand

Be Authentic to Build Your Brand

6,073 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, promotions, author_pitch
1

In last week's post, Book Marketing Is a Numbers Game, I discussed how important it is to cast a wide net when reaching out to people and organizations about your book. Today I'd like to address the difference a personal touch can make once you've established contact with an individual who has agreed to help you in some way.

 

Several weeks ago I received a donation request from a woman I consider a casual friend. She was entering a bike race for charity, so I chipped in some money. A day or so later I received an e-mail from her and was excited to catch up a bit because I hadn't seen her in over a year. However, when I opened the message I was disappointed to realize it was a short, generic thank-you for my support. There was nothing personal in the message. And you know what? It made me feel a little used. Maybe that's childish on my part, but it's how I felt, and most likely I won't donate to her event next year.

 

Whenever I receive a message from someone about my books, whether it's to let me know one will be featured in a newsletter, book club, review, etc., or just to tell me they've enjoyed reading them, I make a point of replying with a personal note. (If you've ever contacted me through my website, you will know this is true.) It's important to me that my fans know how much I value their support, and that's hard to do with a generic auto-reply.

 

Keep this in mind as you approach your book marketing. It's completely fine to use stock copy about your book, but personalizing the messages even a little bit will make a big difference to the recipient. If you respect and appreciate people, people will respect and appreciate you back!

 

-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

 

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

You may also be interested in:

The Power of a Personal Connection

Remember to Say Thank You

2,610 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, marketing, author, writing
0

Twist

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 15, 2015

We all want to sneak up on a reader, to give them an unexpected turn in a tale that leaves them floored, emotionally spent and elated all at once. It's what's known as a twist in the publishing biz, and it's a target that is hard to hit.

 

There's no magic formula for setting up a plot to end in a twist. The most obvious piece of advice I've received over the years is to avoid just that, the obvious. But, as I have learned writing and rewriting book after book, it's not that simple. Writing a twist takes a great deal of finesse. Here are some general rules of thumb to observe as you construct your grand twist.

 

  1. It can't come out of the blue: You can't expect your readers to accept the unexpected unless there's a logical path that has been secretly leading them to that conclusion. Revealing Bill as the killer only works if he has had some role in the story other than the killer. If Bill only shows up in the last chapter to claim the mantel of murderer, that's not much of a twist. If Bill plays a minor role and makes frequent innocuous appearances throughout the story, casting him as the killer could be a welcomed surprise.

  2. Temper the foreshadowing: Making it obvious that the perpetrator possesses special knowledge that only a skilled outdoorsman would know is fine, but referring to someone's role as an Eagle Scout as nonessential information to their role in the story is a dead giveaway that he will, in the end, be the guilty party. Some foreshadowing is necessary, but too much dilutes your twist.

  3. Avoid the obvious: I know I just said it's not that simple, and it's not, but avoiding the obvious is still a piece of the "twist" puzzle. As you develop your plot, come up with the most obvious ending to your story. Write it down. Keep it near your computer. Read it every day as a reminder of the route you don't want to take.

  4. Some people won't see it coming, others will: You aren't going to surprise everyone, and you'll most likely hear from either extreme of the twist spectrum. People who were totally surprised will be eager to seek you out and let you know. Unfortunately, people who weren't surprised at all will do the same thing. People love to be surprised almost as much as they love to be right.

 

Twists are lovely little story devices. The best way to master the art of the unexpected is to read as much as you can and write even more.

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

You may also be interested in...

 

A Satisfactory Ending

When Writing, Don't Outsmart Yourself

2,875 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, unexpected_turn, foreshadowing
1

The Author Press Kit

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 10, 2015

The media - that entity that exists to bring the public news and information has grown in scope and membership over the years. It's no surprise that technology has drastically changed what we consider to be media. The term used to be reserved for an elite few that dominated the airwaves and print domain. Now, anyone with a computer and access to the internet has a chance to be a major voice in the media.

 

As much as things have changed, things have remained relatively unchanged in one aspect. When you're an author looking for media coverage, you need to eliminate the leg work for members of the media, and direct them to a ready-made press kit that gives them all the information they need. Here is a list of five plus one items for your online press kit. I call it a five plus one because five of the items are essential, while the plus one is a bonus item that is bound to capture the media's attention, if done right.

 

 

  1. Press release for the book: There are a number of tutorials online that show you how to write a press release, but if it's something you don't want to take on yourself, you can always find a press release writing service.
  2. Sample chapter: It doesn't have to be your first chapter. It should be your strongest bit of writing.
  3. One-sentence pitch: If you can sum up your book in one concise sentence, I think you'll find that it will be your strongest selling tool.
  4. Author bio: Make it relevant to your role as a writer. If you don't have a lot of writing experience, demonstrate your writing talent by coming up with a unique and clever bio that will put a smile on the reader's face. My first bio simply said, "R.W. Ridley lives in Charleston, SC with his beautiful wife, a hyperactive dog, three arrogant cats, and one ugly mortgage." I got a lot of great responses to that particular bio.
  5. Author Photo & Book Cover Image: Make sure that both your author photo and your book cover are professional-grade in quality. The media will judge you by the appearance of both.

 

 

Plus One - Video Pitch: Today's online media craves video content. If you are comfortable in front of the camera, clean yourself up and record a media pitch. Talk about the book and yourself, and show them that you've got personality. If you're not comfortable in front of the camera, practice, practice, practice until you are. It will make your life that much easier in an online world increasingly driven by video content.

 

 

-Richard

 

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in?

Build Your Brand with Video Readings

Lights, Camera, Smile!

8,843 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, self-publishing, promotion, video, writers, publishing, writing, pitch, press_release, promotions, social_media, marketing_ideas, marketing_strategy
3

I often say that it's important to make it easy for people to help you promote your book. One great way to do that is to offer to send them a free copy! I know that sounds obvious, but given how many emails I receive from indie authors asking me to review their books without offering to send me one, I think it is worth repeating. (I've also said many times here that I don't review books, so now I'm wondering if anyone is actually reading my blog. Hmm....)

 

Anyhow, when reaching out to people/organizations with news about your book, offering to send a copy isn't required, but I highly recommend it. You never know what might happen if the right person reads your book - and loves it!

 

Some examples:

 

  • Alumni magazine of your alma mater
  • Regional alumni clubs of your alma mater (and their newsletters and book clubs)
  • Fraternity/sorority national magazine
  • Fraternity/sorority regional alumni clubs (and their newsletters and book clubs)
  • Local newspapers
  • Other book club organizers (www.meetup.com is a great way to find them)

 

While "gifting" a book to an e-reader is possible, I much prefer sending a signed physical copy along with an old-fashioned note. This way the recipient's experience is much more personal. And who doesn't love receiving a package in the mail? Note: when sending books from the post office, be sure to request the book postage rate. It's much cheaper that way.

 

In my personal experience, it's much easier to ignore a book on my e-reader than one on my desk or nightstand. Plus, a signed book is special, period. So there's another reason to go the old-fashioned route if I hadn't already convinced you.

 

Now get signing - and sending!

 

-Maria

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

 

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

You may also be interested in?

 

Watch for Errors in Marketing Materials

How to Help the Author in Your Life

10,261 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, promotions
0

The results from your beta readers are in, and now you're faced with what to do with all the constructive feedback you've received. Keep in mind: just because it's constructive doesn't mean it should be implemented. It simply means it's a thoughtful opinion. Ultimately, you have to decide whether it's a valid opinion.

 

 

If you followed my suggestion of creating a questionnaire where beta readers could provide anonymous feedback, a lot of the guess work can be eliminated from which path to take. I created a rating system for various aspects of the story that I specifically wanted addressed. That rating system was your basic 1-5 scoring, with one being the lowest score. In addition, the beta readers were given the opportunity to leave a specific comment for each aspect of the story they were asked to evaluate. If any portion collectively scored a three or lower, I went to the comments and looked for a consensus opinion. If it was there, the fix was easy. If it wasn't, the fix wasn't as easy, but I still knew I had a rewrite ahead of me. If readers weren't getting what I was trying to say, they weren't getting it. The problem was mine, not theirs.

 

 

Now, there were points of contention for some readers that were countered with points of praise from others. That's when your gut becomes your guide. You have to decide, as the artist, if you hit the mark. For me, some of the criticism I received had less to do with the story and more to do with the reader's personal feelings about a topic. In that case, I didn't make changes. My job isn't to make everyone happy. Sometimes my job is to make people uncomfortable.

 

 

In those close races where your gut is telling you one thing, but your beta readers are telling you another, go with your gut. In the end, it's your story, and your author name is going to be attached to it. Do what the artist in you tells you to do.

 

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

You may also be interested in...

2,541 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, author, blogging, writing, promotions, writing_tips, author_advice
1

You've given away proofs. Now it's time to pick a release date. This is the target where you'll concentrate all your initial marketing hoopla. It will feature an explosion of fanfare and excitement.

 

Here are five items to keep in mind when planning your release date:

 

  1. "Release date" does not mean the day it is available for sale ? Much like a brick-and-mortar store does a soft-opening before a grand opening, I recommend doing a soft-release before your official release date. Make the official release date the focus of your marketing (advertising, interviews, press release, etc.), but keep the soft-release as inside information for your online community. When the book is available for sale, send out a breaking news announcement alerting them to buy, buy, buy before the official release date.

  2. Avoid the temptation to just get the book out there. Look for a date on your calendar that is relevant to you, to the book, or to the season. I know you're anxious to get reader feedback, but there may be an invaluable marketing hook that you're squandering in your desire to make the book available ASAP. Think as a marketer, not as an author.

  3. When the release date arrives, take to social media like an author possessed. Pin, tweet, update, blog, and vlog your heart out. Be excited. Be humble. Be grateful.

  4. Use your volunteer sales force (readers) to help get the word out. Find some way to reward them within your means. If that's simply a heartfelt public thank you, share it with the world. If you have deeper pockets, go as deep as you can. It is a gesture they are not likely to forget or let go unnoticed.

  5. Track your sales for the day for no other reason than to evaluate your marketing strategy for the release. If sales are good to great, you have a formula you can repeat for the next book. If sales didn't reach expectations, a new direction is in order. Pick your strategy apart and pinpoint what caused you to fall short.

 

We will get into more detail on item five next week when we examine your final marketing stage, the postmortem.

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

 

 

You may also be interested in...

Stage Two of Marketing a Book: Outreach

Stage Three of Marketing - Proof Giveaway

3,352 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, selling, book, author, self-publishing, writers, writing, book_marketing, promotions
2

In our last post about word count we discussed the importance of setting a goal early on in the process. For this blog, let's focus on how you're going to reach that goal. Theories abound on the best approach to amassing the words necessary to complete a book-length manuscript, and over the years, I've probably tried them all. Each philosophy has its merits, and there is no right way to reach a word count goal. Here are the three things to keep in mind as you move towards your goal:

 

  1. You don't have to take a daily word count approach. Let's face it: writing isn't just the act of typing. A lot of times it's the act of ruminating over an idea, scene, piece of dialogue, etc. You shouldn't beat yourself up if you let a day or two or three slip by without adding actual words to your story. They're building up in that gray matter of yours. If you're the type that likes to wait until a scene or chapter is fully realized in your mind, that's a legitimate approach. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
  2. The Stephen King approach is admirable but not for the faint of heart. The master of horror has stated that he commits to a daily word count of 2,000 words. That's a hearty pace, and it's not for everybody. During NaNoWriMo, I approached that kind of output, and I have to say I found it invigorating. In a way, it felt like I was in training for a marathon
  3. Commit to a single word a day. I'm not kidding. I love this approach, especially for beginning writers. It removes the pressure of being productive and takes away the anxiety of sitting down to write. The secret here is that once you convince yourself you only have to write a single word a day, you relax and far exceed your. The writer's mind is full of fun ideas, but it';s also easy to trick it into doing some actual work.

 

When mapping out how to reach a word count goal and deciding which strategy works best for you, there are two things you want to keep in mind: your personality type and your timeline. If you work best under pressure and you've set an ambitious release date for your book, obviously high volume output is for you. If the pressure to create makes you less productive and creative, and you're not in a hurry to get your book to market, take your time with a low volume approach.

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

 

 

 

You may also be interested in...

Setting Goals for Your Brand

Got Writer's Block? Step Away from the Keyboard

3,456 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, indie, publishing, writing, craft, word_count, writing_tips, writing_advice
3

Yesterday I received a bulk email from an acquaintance about a book his son had recently self-published. The well-crafted, perfectly appropriate message explained that the son had asked his father to forward a note, written by the son, about the book. The father, conscious of spamming his friends, threw in a line about how any parent would do the same for his kid. He also said that his son was a lot funnier than he was.

 

Who could blame the man for helping out his son? I certainly couldn't. He also used blind copy in the email, a nice touch in my opinion.

 

The forwarded note from the son, however, raised the hair on the back of my neck. In it he explicitly asks people to post a review of his book on Amazon, regardless of whether or not they had or planned to read it.

 

I cringed when I read this. How would you feel if you bought a book because of its positive reviews, only to find out they had been written by friends of the author who hadn't even read it? If you liked the book, you might not care—but what if you didn't like the book? What then?

 

Here's my stance on Amazon reviews: If someone you know reads your book and proactively tells you that he/she loved it, then by all means, ask him/her to write a review. Otherwise, don't go there. It's not illegal to request reviews from friends and family, but to me it borders on unethical. Plus good or bad, you'll feel like a real author knowing your reviews are from legitimate readers. For what it's worth, I joke with my friends that when I got my first hate email, in a strange way I felt like I'd arrived.

 

-Maria

 

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

 

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

You may also be interested in:

 

Marketing Tip: Follow the 80/20 Rule in Social Media

 

Life Outside of Writing

3,800 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, promotions
3

You've documented your book-writing journey, and you've done outreach to other bloggers and reviewers to raise author brand awareness. By now you're reaching that pivotal moment when you upload your files and order a proof so you can get a look at your masterpiece in print before you make it available for sale.

 

When I get to the proof stage, I order the maximum amount and then announce a pre-release giveaway on my blog and Facebook page. Proofs are the perfect marketing tool. They are sneak peeks for lucky winners of your giveaway. They are the catalyst for you to take to your piece of internet real estate and talk about your book with vigor and verve, not just once, but daily during the giveaway period, a period that should last no more than six weeks and no fewer than two. If you have five proofs to give away, my suggestion would be to do one giveaway per week for five weeks.

 

This is a buzz-building exercise. It has to mean something to you in order for it to mean anything to your readers. Don't just talk about it. Talk it up. We authors tend to be introverted, and we can come off as reserved. There's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't garner a lot of enthusiasm for a marketing event like a proof giveaway. Use as much fanfare as you can muster. Do everything short of throwing a parade when you announce the winners. Actually, if you can afford a parade, go for it. Think of the news coverage you'll get.

 

Next week, we'll enter stage four of marketing with a look at planning for a release date.

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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

You may also be interested in...

Stage One of Marketing a Book: Journaling Your journey

Writing Tip: Use Contractions in Dialogue

3,582 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, promotions
1 ... 16 17 18 19 20 ... 63 Previous Next

Actions