Stephen King once said: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write.” So why does this matter? Well for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that we always need to be learning and growing in our genre – when we don’t, our book promotion suffers, even at times growing stagnant. But also, it’s just good business. As a business owner, I am always getting to know my competition. Sometimes I network with them or support them in some other way.
We can learn so much from one another.
Being an author often means we sit at our desk for hours on end, living in our imaginary worlds, creating conversations, and listening to the voices in our heads. It’s an isolating occupation!
But when we get out into the real world and interact with others, it can be glorious.
I recently had the privilege of talking to a group of authors during a five-day conference in the mountains of North Carolina. I love getting to meet authors face-to-face and spend quality time with them.
One of my favorite things to see at conferences is an author’s “aha moment” – that moment where they discover the answer to a problem or they learn something that will make their life so much easier.
I love to share those “aha moments” because it shows that you aren’t alone. You know there is someone else who has struggled with what you’re dealing with and there is an answer. And most of the time, the answer isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think!
I wanted to highlight the top 10 “aha moments” that will help you be less overwhelmed and see a bigger difference in your book marketing:
5 Big Blogger Complaints That Affect Your Book Promotion by Penny Sansevieri
Bloggers are key influencers in today’s buyer market and should play a pretty consistent role in your book promotion efforts.
That being said, it’s usually a lot of work, takes real finesse, and forces you to develop a thick skin and come to terms with the fact that all authors hear ‘no,’ even the most successful ones.
But you won’t hear ‘yes’ without the same efforts that also produce the ‘no’s’.
So a successful collaboration with a blogger who already has the eyes of hundreds or thousands of individuals in your target buyer market is not an opportunity you want to throw away. (After you finish this article, go here for more ideas on how to find and pitch book bloggers.)
Since we’ve now (hopefully) come to terms with the fact that you need to be researching and pitching bloggers as part of your book promotion plan, I want to give you some tips based on some of the biggest blogger complaints that will definitely affect your chances of getting a ‘yes’ next time.
Being an author nowadays is all about making yourself known, and here are six great pointers as to the most effective ways:
1. Be present – Everywhere! Get on all the social media sites so your readers can find you and interact. They want to see you and relate to you. They’ve already bonded with your writing, and you can help guide them towards your other books so they can love you even more!
Choosing the right categories on Amazon for you book or product can make a huge impact on your sales.
Why Choosing the Right Amazon Categories Matters
There are two reasons why you need to pick the best categories.
Patreon offers creatives a more sustainable model for crowdfunding—ongoing micro-payments from interested benefactors.
Many writers dream of quitting their day jobs and becoming full-time freelancers. And while that is achievable, it’s a difficult prospect for poets, playwrights and midlist fiction writers. Writing organizations such as the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America consider a minimum professional rate for fiction to be six cents a word. Many novels only receive advances of $5,000–$10,000. Think about your basic living costs. A book that took years to write may only cover rent for a few months. Making up the difference as a freelancer is challenging, to say the least!
The good news: Crowdfunding can fill that uncomfortable financial gap. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are great for funding specific projects such as novels, plays, anthologies and poetry collections. But if you’re seeking ongoing, monthly support for your creative endeavors, take a closer look at Patreon (patreon.com).
THE BIG IDEA
Launched in 2013, Patreon is conceptually the modern version of the old system whereby artists and writers sought out wealthy patrons for support—but the key difference is that popular Patreon creators are supported by dozens or hundreds of people rather than a single rich benefactor.
Key Points From This Episode:
Welcome back to The Book Launch Show, helping authors launch and market their books. This week on the podcast we are going to dive into more with Valerie Francis. Valerie is a best-selling indie author, story editor, and creative entrepreneur who is trying to figure out her marketing strategy and how to build her platform as an author. One of the things that is very tough for writers of all backgrounds is figuring out who exactly you’re talking to and being very clear about that. It can be scary, it can feel like you’re alienating people that would be interested in what you’re doing, and you often feel like you don’t want to leave anybody out. However, narrowing down your audience is also a really important practice. So in this episode we walk through that and talk about how to do it, why it’s important, and truly work through our struggles on the topic. This is a really important episode and something that everybody who is trying to build a following really needs to be clear on. So stay tuned to hear it all!
5 TIPS FOR COLLECTING NEW READERS AND CONNECTIONS
by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28
A tiny enchanted forest greets me each morning. My mini winter wonderland doesn’t exist in my backyard, but on my great-grandmother’s antique pine dresser. Three white trees sit, not on snow, but on a sage green doily, and send out silver glints of light that catch my eye. The cheval mirror reflects other treasures on my dresser—ivory dogwoods, red velvet flowers lined with glitter, and a “Cinderella sleigh” as I call it, pulled by two silver-tipped reindeer that anxiously wait to take a princess to a ball.
The charm didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken years to collect a few treasures at a time. I can remember the places where I’ve discovered my treasures, including the Christmas Shoppe in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and the Biltmore mansion in Asheville, North Carolina. Finding just the right Christmas treasures and bringing them home is an investment of time and money. What special decorations have you collected over the years? Our Christmas collections develop with time and care.
Just like our platforms. As authors, we collect readers, and we also collect friendships. It takes time to find readers and build friendships with people we encounter through social media and our blogs. A beautiful “wonderland” of published books, speaking engagements, guest blog posts, and magazine articles doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and care. It takes hard work and God’s blessing. But it’s worth every hour we spend collecting our “treasures.”
So here’s a little advice from someone who enjoys collecting both Christmas treasures and new readers. See if these five tips will help you to invest in your own collection of readers and friendships as you build your platform.