People often ask me what the term "digital marketing" means. In my opinion, it's pursuing any online exposure that will help potential readers find you. Digital marketing can be an effective way to spread the word about your book because it doesn't cost much - if anything - more than your time and energy. Here are two examples:
1) List your book(s) on Authorgraph
Signing books is one of the great joys of being an author. There's nothing quite like holding a copy of a book you wrote in your hands, then inscribing it for a real person who is excited to read it. The majority of my book sales come from eBooks, however, which until recently have been impossible to sign. Not anymore! Now there's a site called Authorgraph, where you can list your books, and fans can request a digital autograph that will appear right in their e-reader. It's a little awkward to write your signature, but once you get one you like you can save it in the system, then type a personalized note around it for each reader. Isn't that cool?
Each time a fan requests an authorgraph for one of my books, I get an email from the site with a hyperlink. All I have to do is click the link and login, and I see the requests waiting for me.
It's super easy to use, and it's free.
2) Contact book reviewers on YouTube
I was recently emailing with a fan of my books, and I asked her how she found out about me. She said she'd seen a homegrown video review of one of my novels on YouTube in a subsegment known as BookTube. How fun is that? Here are some examples of channels:
Read Susie Read
Little Book Owl
Perhaps one of the above book lovers would be interested in reviewing your work? Maybe yes, maybe no, but it can't hurt to reach out and ask!
Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor.She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more atwww.mariamurnane.com.
Many moons ago, I did two blogposts outlining strategies for approaching daytime TV talk shows, and I provided links to a few of the shows' websites. Today, I'd like to steer you in a different direction. YouTube has a group of readers that call themselves "Booktubers." They post various videos about books. In old-world terms, it's sort of like a high-tech version of a book club. These Booktubers have their own channels, and they usually subscribe to the channels of other Booktubers. Why not approach a Booktuber about reviewing your book? If you find one or two that want to review your book, by extension, your book pops up on the radar screen of the other Booktubers.
Some of the Booktubers have various ways to contact them on the links I've provided below. For those that don't, leave a comment on the "Feed" section of their channel asking them how you can contact them about reviewing your book. I've included six links to Booktubers in this post, but there are many more. I suggest doing a search on YouTube for Book Review Channels if you want more options. Note: I've tried to approximate their interest by their videos, but if you have a book outside of the genre or category listed, by all means, contact them to see if they're interested or if they know another Booktuber who might be interested. Good luck!
TheBookVlogger - Booklover Lindsay Mead is a veteran of the book vlogging world. She's had her channel up and running since November of 2010, and she currently has 585 subscribers. As of this writing, she has 107 videos uploaded. Appropriate material: a wide variety of fiction.
27Chapters - Gwen is a fan of books, namely The Hunger Games. She currently has 47 subscribers, which isn't bad considering her channel is only six months old. Appropriate material: young adult.
HeathersBookReview - Heather has more than 200 subscribers. Her channel is only six months old, but she's fairly prolific with over 20 videos uploaded. That's just slightly less than a video a week. Appropriate material: young adult.
AurasBookBox - Aura formed her channel a little over a year ago, and she currently has more than 800 subscribers. She has 56 videos uploaded featuring book reviews and book-related topics. Appropriate material: thrillers.
BunnyCates - Bunny has been vlogging since July 2009. She's a lover of all things books, and she has 123 videos under her belt with 409 subscribers. Appropriate material: a wide variety of fiction.
BookishDays - This is a group of book reviewers. Here's their description of the channel that started just a few weeks ago: This is a brand new collab channel, featuring seven booktubers! We will be starting on Monday, May 21! We will be doing weekly topics/discussions. Look on the right-hand sidebar to go to each personal channel of everybody on BookishDays! This is a channel worth tracking because in just a few weeks they've amassed 137 subscribers. Appropriate material: to be determined.
Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.
There was a time in the traditional publishing world when hardcover books came out, and authors did a round of appearances to promote the book. Then, they'd wait a year or more and do the same thing for the paperback version. Oh, how things have changed. The success of the eBook market has accelerated the release date of paperback versions.
"I'm looking to do it more and more," Jane von Mehren, the publisher of trade paperbacks at Random House, said of releasing paperbacks early. "We feel as though there is this trade paperback book buyer that we want to make sure is still getting served. The idea that someone would wait for a year is an assumption that we should no longer make. So we're looking at shortening the window."
YouTube asked its members to submit videos on July 24, 2010 depicting what they had done that day. The reason? They were going to select the best of the entries and put together a documentary called "Life in a Day." Fast forward to a year later, and the project is done with some surprising results.
Sara Pollack, YouTube's entertainment marketing manager, believes the public often overlooks YouTube's breadth. "I think the variety of videos that appear in the film are as great as the variety of films that appear on the site. You have everything from music videos with Lady Gaga to ones with aspiring musicians, funny videos of pets and babies - all of that makes up the fabric of what YouTube is, and much of that is reflected in this film," she said. Still, (Editor, Joe) Walker acknowledged: "I'm sure there are lots of people out there who think they'll just show up and see that 'Double Rainbow' guy."
It's a well-known phenomenon that some fads come, go, and come back again. For whatever reason, going retro never seems to go out of style. Author Simon Reynolds believes this habit of returning to the past may be hurting pop music. His belief is that music is actually stuck in the past and doesn't look like it's going to find its way out anytime soon.
Instead of being the threshold to the future, the first 10 years of the 21st century turned out to be the "Re" Decade. The 2000s were dominated by the "re-" prefix: revivals, reissues, remakes, reenactments. Endless retrospection: Every year brought a fresh spate of anniversaries, with their attendant glut of biographies, memoirs, rockumentaries, biopics and commemorative issues of magazines.
The value of MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs has been a topic of debate for as long as there have been MFA programs. Those who support MFA programs say they help the talented hone their skills and craft. Those who decry MFA programs claim they churn out cookie-cutter writers who lose all sense of originality. Salon.com devoted some virtual space to the question: are MFA programs good for literature or are they ruining literature?
It's true that MFA programs have produced far more competent mediocrities than shining stars, but that's also true of every other literary ecosystem. Shining stars are by definition exceptional. (This is what Batuman means when she describes literature as "elitist.") Yes, MFA grads with nothing to say are now able to say it more skillfully, but authors were pretty good at being boring before university writing programs came along and would surely go on being boring if every MFA program were wiped off the face of the earth. The programs don't make them dull, even if they also can't make them interesting.
Let's say you want to make a movie based on a classic American novel. And then let's say there's already a movie based on the classic novel, and not just a movie, but an iconic movie that won Oscars. What can you do to set your movie apart? Well if that book and movie is To Kill a Mockingbird, you make a movie that features a "modern retelling" of the classic novel.
BBC Films, the Corporation's film-making arm, is to make a movie inspired by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, starring Cillian Murphy. It will transfer the story's setting from the 1930s American Deep South to contemporary England's industrial northeast. The film, Broken, is adapted from Daniel Clay's 2008 novel of the same name, itself a modern retelling of the 1960 classic.
Unless romantic comedies from the 80s were totally wrong, there was a time when a band had to load their equipment into a barely road-legal van and travel from dive to dive playing their hearts out. They do this for years until one night, a label executive shows up at one of the bars by happenstance and offers said band a 10-album contract after a killer show. Nowadays, YouTube seems to have eliminated the need for the van and seedy bars. Just ask the group Karmin.
YouTube sensations don't have much longevity outside of the site (unless you're Justin Bieber), but Karmin, the No. 8 most-viewed artist this month, seems to be overcoming that tendency. With appearances on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and a recent onstage collaboration with the Roots, Karmin appears to be on its way. The group blends hip hop with acoustic balladeering to popular effect. We had a chat with the duo that make up Karmin, Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, on their recent rise in popularity and their plans for the future.
Sleepless Author Gives Advice on How to Find an Agent
Author David K. Randall turned his sleep disorder into a book deal. The key to his success was the research he put into finding an agent. According to Randall:
I found my agent, Larry Weissman through perhaps the most boring way possible. I collected a bunch of books that I liked that had the same sensibility of the book I'm working on, and searched through the acknowledgments section to see who represented and edited them.
Given the crazy weather we've been experiencing this February, it's only appropriate that we examine some of the best snow scenes in cinematic history. At the top of the list of seven films picked by IFC's Independent Eye is a W.C. Fields gem called "The Fatal Glass of Beer."
This is a slow-moving but winningly bizarre meta-parody of the now obscure Yukon melodrama, oft compared to Monty Python for its sheer strangeness. Fields' indomitability in the face of cold weather is inspiring.
This is just cool. Someone has figured out how to use YouTube as a tool to play piano online. You can actually play the keys of the piano on the video clip. Here's the explanation on SynthGear:
This is fun little video from kokokaka is not something that you really watch, but rather use - it allows you to actually play a video piano interactively. The video uses the YouTube annotations feature to jump around in the video based on what piano key is clicked.