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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

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


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5 Tips for Promoting Your Facebook Page

Setting Goals for Your Brand

1,489 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, self-publishing, blogging, youtube
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


Kickstarter for Novelists by Rick Chesler -Marketing Tips

Author Rick Chesler describes his experience using crowdsourcing to raise money for his upcoming novel.


Please Do Not Pay Money for an Online Ad Until You Read This -Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman discusses the tricky landscape of online advertising for authors.


Film


How to Approach Corporate Sponsors -FilmmakerIQ.com

Need funding for your next film? Why not approach the corporate world?


Finding Filming Locations - Projector Films

Scouting a location may be the spark of creativity you've been looking for.


Music


Personal Branding...It Continues With Good Looks - brandshank

I'm in big trouble if this is true.


Songwriting: 3 Myths Busted - Judy Rodman

Judy gives you some great tips on how to protect yourself as a songwriter in the music industry.


-Richard

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


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Weekly News Roundup - May 25, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - May 18, 2012

790 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, marketing, marketing, music, music, film, film, self-publishing, self-publishing, movies, movies, branding, branding
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I've mentioned a few times in this blog that public speaking is a great way to promote your work. Book clubs, libraries, alumni organizations, writing groups, conferences - the possibilities are numerous. However, I realize that for most people, getting up in front of an audience of any size is scary. Does the thought of public speaking make you nervous? I asked my friend Jezra Kaye, who has been helping people develop their speaking skills for nearly 20 years, for some advice for beginners. Here's what she had to say:


  1. We all worry about being judged. But remember that the audience you're speaking to wants you to succeed. They want to discover a wonderful new book or idea through your words. They're on your side.


  1. Speaking to a group is no different than speaking to one friend. As they listen to you, everyone in your audience is connecting with you as an individual, on a personal level, as if they're the only person in the room. If you speak to them the same way you would speak to one trusted and valuable friend, you'll be doing this exactly right.


  1. Good speakers make it look "natural." But the truth is, they've prepared and practiced - a lot. If you prepare your thoughts and practice out loud, this will come more and more easily every time you do it. And pretty soon, you'll be looking like a "natural" too.


There you have it, candid thoughts from an expert whose diverse client list includes CEOs, scientists, artists, authors, and entrepreneurs. If you'd like to learn more about Jezra, visit her website.


-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper and It's a Waverly Life. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Want to Be a Speaker? Plan Ahead!

Small Marketing Steps: Radio

1,669 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, promoting, public_speaking
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They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. I know many of you are reluctant to jump into the Twitter-sphere, but this social network is a tool that can add great value to your brand. So, let's concentrate on getting in the habit of posting on Twitter once a day for 21 days. I'll even make it easy for you by giving you an idea on what to post every day. That's 21 prompts for 21 days. Feel free to use these as-is, or you can develop your own after you get those creative juices flowing and start participating in Twitter conversations.


  1. Post your favorite line from your favorite book.
  2. Link to a story about publishing.
  3. Make a quick commentary on the top news item of the day.
  4. Post a link to a cause or charity you feel strongly about.
  5. What do you love about writing?
  6. What's your number one strategy for getting over writer's block?
  7. Finish this sentence: "When I'm not writing, I'm..."
  8. Post a lyric from your favorite song.
  9. Link to a story about the craft of writing.
  10. The greatest writer of all time is...
  11. If I wasn't a writer, I'd be a...
  12. I have to write _____ words in a day to make me feel like I've accomplished something.
  13. When aliens land, I would recommend they read ____ to know what we humans are really like.
  14. When I die, I want to be remembered for...
  15. Post your favorite line from a movie.
  16. The one book I wish I had written is...
  17. I prefer (eBooks or print) because...
  18. The first book I ever read was...
  19. The most important thing for me to accomplish as a writer is...
  20. The three people, living or dead, I'd like to have dinner with are...
  21. Post a quote from your favorite author.

 

Now, I'll assume that after you post for 21 days, you will be powerless to resist the lure of tweeting. During this time, you'll probably have started following others, accumulated your own followers, and participated in discussions about your topics. You'll notice the tweet suggestions I've given you won't change the world. But they will give people a little insight into your brand, and that's all we're trying to accomplish in this habit-forming period.

 

Let us know how it goes in the comments. Happy tweeting!

 

-Richard

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


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Better Than Twitter and Facebook

5 Tips for Promoting Your Facebook Page

1,662 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, promotion, writers, blogging, twitter
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Recently a man I've never met, and who hadn't read or even bought my novels, emailed me asking for (free) advice on how to promote his self-published book. Overlooking his faux pas, I told him I have several consulting options available on my website and sent him a link for his review.

 

However, I wasn't super busy that morning, so just to be nice I took a quick look at his author bio online. Unfortunately, it was filled with typos and basic grammatical errors. This of course made me wonder what his book must be like, and it certainly didn't make me want to read it.

 

I decided to help him out. I copied the bio into a Word document, then pointed out the errors in tracked changes. I emailed it back to him with a nice note explaining that if potential readers can't get past his bio, they are probably not going to purchase his book. The email was professional, respectful, sincere, and free.

 

I normally charge a fair amount for this type of work, so I would have thought he would appreciate the gesture. However, he wrote back that he didn't think "a couple typos" are important and that no one reads author bios anyway.

 

He clearly missed the point, which was that I was a potential reader, and that I had read his bio first thing. It made a negative first impression. But he was completely closed to hearing any constructive criticism, and as a result I would be willing to bet he hasn't sold very many books. I know I didn't buy one.

 

Just remember, all feedback, positive or negative, is helpful!

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper and It's a Waverly Life. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Give and Take

How Not to Pitch Your Book

1,347 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, marketing, author, writers, typos, criticism
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In today's marketing environment, the key to building an author brand is giving readers access to...well, you, the brand. Authors today rely heavily on social media to build their fan bases. That means in addition to promoting your books, you are now in the business of promoting your social media presence.


To keep it simple, I'll focus on promoting the Facebook page dedicated to your author brand. However, you'll find most of these strategies can be applied to promote your presence on other social networks as well. Here are five quick tips for promoting your Facebook page:


  1. Link your Facebook page's URL in your email signature. Email is arguably not as popular for marketing as it used to be, but you can still take advantage of its promotional possibilities. The email signature is the perfect place to link to your Facebook page because it gives people a chance to connect with you outside of the inbox.
  2. Link to your Facebook page on your blog. A separate page on my blog lists all the different ways people can contact me. I've received a number of Facebook friend requests and fans by making this information accessible on my blog. If people are already hanging around your website, chances are they're interested in seeing you on social networks as well.
  3. Include link information in your YouTube videos. You're doing videos, right? Of course you are, because we've talked a lot about how it can build your author brand! Your videos present golden opportunities to promote your Facebook page. Just include a graphic at the end of each video telling viewers where to go.
  4. Personalize your Facebook page's URL. Facebook gives you the option of creating a customized URL that can tout your brand and make it more attractive to search engines. The customized web address will look something like this: http://www.facebook.com/yourauthorname. A personalized URL is easier for fans to remember and pass along to their friends.
  5. Include your Facebook page URL in your author bio. If someone is interested enough to read your bio, you want to give them a place where they can learn more. What better place than a Facebook page to give readers direct, personal access to their new favorite author?


Building a brand sometimes feels like an around-the-clock task, but in this case, the hard part is putting the pieces in place. For instance, once you've included your Facebook page URL on your email, bio, and blog, you won't have to do it again. If you want your brand to grow, give your readers the access they expect from authors today and invite them to join your conversations in social channels. Just remember, when fans contact you, engage with them. The more you engage, the more they'll spread the word about your work.


-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

Setting Goals for Your Brand

5,842 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, facebook, facebook, facebook, facebook, brand, brand, brand, brand, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media
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Like everything else in the book market, winning a book award can be competitive. In some awards competitions, your book can be up against hundreds or even thousands of other titles, so it's important that it stands out from the crowd. While certain aspects of the contest - like the books you're competing against - are out of your control, you can focus on entering your best possible work. Here are five quick tips to boost your chance of becoming a winner.

 

1. Appearance

Yes, books ARE judged by their covers! Just like a book lover shopping at a bookstore, many book awards judges pick up a book and rate all of its aspects, inside and out. They look at the whole product, judging both the appearance of the book and the quality of the writing. Your book should have an eye-catching cover, a well-structured interior design, and above all it should look professional. This goes for print and eBooks, so be sure to put the time and effort into creating a nice-looking product.

 

2. Quality of Writing

First, an award-winning book must present a well-crafted plot, message, or source of information. Your book must be relevant to others and provide a unique viewpoint and/or voice. You'll have a greater chance of awards success if your book is something the judges haven't seen millions of times before.

 

Then, and perhaps most importantly, your book must be properly edited. Errors distract judges and readers alike and are the sign of an amateur book.

 

Remember that the first page is vital; start with a sentence that intrigues the reader and promises a worthwhile read. Also, make sure there are no mistakes or awkward sentences on the first page, or judges will be unlikely to continue reading.

 

3. Choose the Right Category

Most book awards have categories for entry, usually based on genre. If your book doesn't seem custom-made for a particular category, do some research. Look at past winners in multiple categories to see if your book shares similarities, and pick up to three potential categories that suit your book. If you just can't decide, call or email the awards director. Many awards directors and judges are able to offer advice and will help you choose the category (or categories!) that work best for you.

 

4. Scout the Competition

You may not know who is entering the competition this year, but you can look at past winners to ensure your book is the same caliber of (or better than!) former competitors. Check out winners' design, topics, and even the authors' careers to see how you and your book will measure up. If you have time before the entry deadline, you can even make some tweaks to your book to help it stand out in the crowd.


5. Be Prepared

Before you send in your submission, be well aware of the rules of the award, which you can usually find on the award website. Look into entry deadlines, publication requirements, the details of the judging process, and so forth. The better you understand the award and its workings, the better chance you have of being selected a winner. Make sure your book, entry information, and participation is up to par and you'll be miles ahead of the less familiar entrants and those who don't follow all of the instructions.

 

Mastering these five areas before submitting your book can give you an advantage over the competition and get you one step closer to a winning entry. Remember, even if you don't win an award it doesn't mean you have a bad book. Look to the winners to see how you might be able to improve your book for next time.

 

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  Jillian Bergsma, for Independent Publisher

 

This post was written for CreateSpace by Independent Publisher. Visit www.IndependentPublisher.com for more information and articles about book awards and the independent publishing movement. IndependentPublisher.com is owned and operated by Jenkins Group Inc. of Traverse City, Michigan, a publishing and marketing services firm founded in 1988.

 

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Why Enter Book Awards?

Everyone Needs an Editor!

1,698 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, self-publishing, self-publishing, writing, writing, awards, awards
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Weekly News Roundup - May 4, 2012


Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


Henry David Thoreau Video Game Gets $40,000 NEA Grant -GalleyCat

Turns out the video game world is pretty versatile as far as source material goes.


Make Your Mark at a Book Industry Trade Show By Steve Piacente -Marketing Tips

Self-published author Steve Piacente gives his secrets to having a successful trade show experience.


Film


Professional Film Actor - Importance of Understanding Filmmaking -Yahoo! Voices

If your desire is to be in front of the camera, it may help your career to you know the responsibilities of everyone on a set.


6 Filmmaking Tips from David Fincher - Film School Rejects

You may want to bone up on your ballet if you want to be a successful filmmaker.


Music


Bluegrass to English Translations -Bluegrass Today

Chris Jones helps newcomers to bluegrass music speak the language of his favorite genre in this fun piece.


Creative Music Marketing: Jonathan Coulton, Animal Collective, BecomingAPoet - Hypebot.com

It certainly helps when a fan creates a viral video for you.



-Richard

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


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Weekly News Roundup - April 27, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - April 20, 2012

1,092 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, marketing, marketing, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, film, film, self-publishing, self-publishing
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Sometimes smart authors do inexplicable things to harm their brands. A brand is so hard to build and so easy to damage. There's nothing that says you can't overcome brand setbacks, but in my mind, it's just easier to avoid those little pitfalls that can lead to big setbacks.


What are those pitfalls? A number of examples come to mind, but rather than calling out specific authors, let's look at some general behaviors that have potential to ding your author brand.


  1. Reviewing your own book. It's a practice done for various reasons that, to me, are all bad. Some authors give themselves a positive review under a different name in order to counteract negative reviews. Other authors review their own books multiple times under many different names in order to give their title greater credibility. Whatever the reason, the truth has a way of surfacing, and misleading readers by posting illegitimate reviews could do irreparable damage to your brand.
  2. Bashing a reviewer. Bad reviews happen. I've gotten them. Great authors have gotten them. Books that have changed my life have gotten them. It's an undeniable truth: not everyone is going to like the same thing. Authors shouldn't attack a reviewer for giving a bad review, no matter how cleverly worded the response or how justified he or she feels. Getting into a public tiff with a reviewer never looks good on the author, so it's best just to let it pass.\
  3. Encouraging others to do your bidding. If you acquire a fan base, don't misuse them. Believe it or not, some very successful authors have been caught encouraging their fans to publicly disparage a reviewer who gives them an unfavorable review. When word got out, the result was a dip in sales and a mountain of bad press for the author that is forever archived online.
  4. Publicly resenting another's success. Some books that have skyrocketed to the tops of bestseller lists have left me scratching my head, but it would do me no good as an author to unload my scathing opinions to my online friends and followers. In fact, it could come off as petty and risk alienating my audience. Remember the undeniable truth from above: not everyone is going to like the same thing. Also, there's room at the top for everybody, so avoid making the case for your success by criticizing someone else's.


As independent authors, we have the power to control our brands and avoid these setbacks. Over the years, I've learned that publishing success comes with patience. Avoid the temptation to take shortcuts or react to negativity. Your day will come, and your brand will be stronger for it.


-Richard

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


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Setting Goals for Your Brand

Be Authentic to Build Your Brand

2,257 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, marketing, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, indie, indie, promotions, promotions, branding, branding
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

3 Dos and 3 Do Nots of Requesting Book Reviews -Duolit

 

Advice on how to get your foot in the door with some reviewers without turning them off.

 

The Secret to Overnight Book Marketing Success -Marketing Tips

 

SPOILER ALERT: Kukral doesn't think you should rely on being an overnight success.

 

Film

 

Indie Filmmakers to Greenlight Themselves -Moviefone

 

How does the JOBS act impact your fundraising efforts?

 

Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film. But the Consequences of Going Digital Are Vast, and Troubling - LA Weekly

 

Some filmmakers are trying to stem the tide of digital filmmaking.

 

Music

 

Branding Yourself in a Niche Market -MusicianCoaching.com

 

Shikhee, founder of the eclectic band, Android Lust, discusses the nuances of the niche music scene.

Classical Musicians as 21st Century Entrepreneurs - Hypebot.com

 

Classically trained musicians are learning to think outside of the orchestra room and expand their business knowledge.

-Richard

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

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Weekly News Roundup - April 20, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - April 13, 2012

1,053 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, marketing, marketing, reviews, reviews, music, music, film, film, self-publishing, self-publishing, movies, movies, branding, branding
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Today it may seem like I'm dipping my toe into the waters of the metaphysical because I'm going to discuss a form of visualization that I think will help you achieve your goals. While on the surface it appears somewhat ethereal in nature, I do believe there is a practical interpretation as to why it works. This method can be used for anything in your life, but for our purposes, we're going to focus on branding.

 

This form of visualization is custom-built for writers because it involves the practice of journaling. Traditionally, we use a journal to document events in our lives. But we are not going to use our journal in that way. We are going to document what we want to happen as if it has happened. Picture yourself 40 years into the future. Every dream you've had for your writing career has come true. From this place of achievement, write down how you got there. Since we are focusing on branding, you're going to reveal how you built your successful author brand. How many social media followers and interactions did you accumulate over the years? How many total views did your personal videos collect? How popular was your blog? On which TV shows did you appear? Describe in as much detail as you can how your brand became so widely known.

 

Now, do I believe that because you've written it down in a journal that your brand will take off on its own? No, but I do believe that using this method will help you see what it truly takes to build an author brand and help you come up with a strategy that works for you. There may be something to the axiom, "If you believe it, you can achieve it." But I'm more inclined to believe it's easier to get somewhere if you know how to get there. Consider giving this form of reverse journaling for your brand a try, and see if it can show you how to achieve your goals.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Branding 101: Brand Sabotage

Be Authentic to Build Your Brand

1,997 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, author, author, author, journaling, journaling, journaling, brand, brand, brand, branding, branding, branding, visualization, visualization, visualization
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Because your brand is created by you being you, it doesn't usually require much problem-solving. However, one cannot count on luck to build a successful brand. By and large, brands are built through one simple element: consistency. Rather than just popping up, brands are built over time after accumulating a history of a consistent style and approach.


No one can dictate to you as an author what your personal style is, but I can offer a recommendation on how to acquire that consistent history that will eventually define your brand: set branding activity goals. In short, schedule when you're going to blog, Tweet, vlog, etc. If you're new to the branding game, you'll want to start off slowly and increase your activity over time. Ideally, you should be contributing to the history of your brand every day. Here's an example of goal-setting for beginning brands:


  • Daily Goal - Social Media: Use social networks to cultivate your closest virtual relationships. Contribute to sites like Twitter and/or Facebook every day. Set your goal in the beginning to tweet a favorite quote, quick writing update, book-related news, or commentary on current events at least once a day. One short, but sweet tweet may seem like a drop in the bucket, but if you stick to daily tweeting, at the end of the year you'll have accumulated 365 pieces of content that add to the record of your brand. Chances are you'll fall into a pattern and end up exceeding one Tweet a day. For me, Facebook is the social network of choice. It's fun to connect with my community, and it's helping me establish my brand.


  • Weekly Goal - Blog: Pick a number of times you want to post to your blog every week. I used to recommend doing daily blog posts, and I still don't think that's a bad strategy. But if you are active in the social networking community, blogging once a day isn't as crucial as it once was. I now recommend blogging at least three times a week. If in a year you have begun posting meaningfully to your blog daily, bravo on accelerating your brand-building history!


  • Monthly Goal - Vlog: Do a short personal video once a month for the first six months. Get used to the format and concept, and then increase the number of videos you create. You could set your goal to schedule one vlog each week, which helps personalize your brand, build your history, and make your brand more dynamic.


Track your progress on a calendar. If you miss a scheduled branding activity, find a way to make it up. The bottom line is you can't have a brand without a branding history. Setting and keeping small goals like the ones above will help you create that history and help you build a successful brand.


-Richard

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


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You Know More Than You Think You Do!

Keep Track of Your Successes

2,028 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, blogging, blogging, blogging, blogging, blogging, branding, branding, branding, branding, branding, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media
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You are more than an author. You are a brand. It's a little hard to grasp at times even for me, but it's true. As crass as it sounds, I am a product. Why? Because - right or wrong, good or bad - we live in a personality-driven marketplace. Your personality is your brand.

 

Some authors aren't comfortable with that concept. They think it somehow taints the sanctity of what it means to be a writer. They want to remain free of commercial aspirations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that line of thinking, but it's my opinion that we live in an age where avoiding your brand is becoming increasingly difficult. That's why it's so important to develop a brand consciousness - that is, control the brand you're presenting to the world and be aware of how it is perceived.

 

In today's Web 2.0 society, we are consistently and closely monitored. Thanks to social media, there are hundreds of millions of people on the internet reporting on the world around them. Information webs form and word travels fast as a small community surrounding one person overlaps with another person's community that intersects with another person's community. In short, the old "it's a small world" adage has never been truer than it is today. Your online persona can grow without you even having much of an online presence. If you don't get out in front of it, you can lose control of it. If you don't have a previous branding history and others build your brand through rumor and supposition, they have more influence over it than you do.

 

Take part in your own brand by building a brand consciousness. Accept the responsibility of being an author in today's online world. Even if you don't do it to sell books, you should do it to protect what is yours: your identity as an author. As we've discussed on this blog before, branding isn't really difficult. It's just you being you. Your behavior equals your brand. That's it. The only thing you may have to learn is to express yourself publicly via social media, blogs, and/or vlogs, but that comes with practice. The point is you have a choice: control your brand or risk others controlling it for you.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Be Authentic to Build Your Brand

Is Your Brand Built for Controversy?

1,850 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, author, self-publishing, promotion, writers, branding
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According to R.R. Bowker publishing statistics, about a million new books are hitting the market each year. And short of being J.K. Rowling or John Grisham, it can be hard to get your book the notice it deserves.


One way to try to earn your book additional notice is to enter book award contests. Book awards are an easy and affordable marketing option, and if you win or place in the competition, the returns can be substantial. Not all awards will earn you celebrity status, but reputable awards do have the potential to attract attention. Here are some of the benefits of winning a book award:


1. Gain notice from readers. Putting a book award seal on the front cover of your book or listing it in your book description or author bio makes it stand out and signals that it is a book to pay attention to. Your award seal says, "I'm a book that's been honored. Look at me first. You can be assured that I'm a quality book worthy of your attention." Award-winning status can get your book reconsidered or noticed by readers for the first time and help it stand out from other similar books on the market.


2. Get credibility and prestige in a challenging marketplace. Winning a book award or even being a finalist demonstrates your book's quality and value. The credibility gained with a distinguished book award has the potential to gain attention for your book from journalists, reviewers, distributors, and buyers. And we all know readers gravitate toward award-winning books; think of an award seal like a stamp of approval akin to an Oscar, Emmy, or trophy in other fields.


3. Increase your PR possibilities. Being an "award-winning author" can lead to newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television appearances, book reviews, and newsletter and blog mentions. Obtaining media interest often takes a good bit of time and effort, but being an award winner could help your chances of press coverage. For more information about communicating with the media, see Preparing Your Online Media Kit or watch the webinar How to Land and Perform on More TV and Radio Shows.


4. Increase your sales and get your book in new markets. As a winner, you can actively spread the word about your success. Chances are your award can help create positive perceptions among your audiences. That can translate into increased book sales and expanded market opportunities.


There are dozens of book awards in the U.S., not to mention those offered in other countries. Some awards are wide open, some are only open to members of literary groups, and others have detailed eligibility requirements for entry. There's always a chance you could come across a phony award, so be sure to look into the credibility of the program by talking with the award director and other writers. Your first step is to look for awards that suit your book, your budget, and your promotional goals, which begins with a simple Internet search. To get you started, see 2012 Competitions for Independently Published Books for ideas.


Still have questions? Stay tuned. In future posts, we'll explore more details about entering book awards with confidence and what it takes to win.


 

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  Jillian Bergsma, for Independent Publisher


This post was written for CreateSpace by Independent Publisher. Visit www.IndependentPublisher.com for more information and articles about book awards and the independent publishing movement. IndependentPublisher.com is owned and operated by Jenkins Group Inc. of Traverse City, Michigan, a publishing and marketing services firm founded in 1988.

 

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We've discussed reaching out to local radio and television about your mini-tour. Now, let's look at local print opportunities. Despite what you may have heard about the newspaper industry shrinking, there are plenty of papers doing very well. In particular, readership for alternative papers seem to be going strong. In large part, that's because of their content and the fact that they don't rely on subscriptions.

 

Alternative newspapers are those publications you usually find on racks in restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores in most cities. They are typically available for free and cover topics a lot of mainstream newspapers either avoid or give very little space to, such as entertainment. My favorite part about alternative papers is their schedule of local happenings. That's where your mini-tour comes in. With your tour, you have a local event that these publications will probably be more than happy to add to their calendars. In addition, they are most likely looking for special interest stories with a local angle to cover.


To find alternative newspapers in your area, check out this listing. After you find the paper's website, your first contact about your tour should be the editor of the events calendar. Save him or her some time by sending a professionally written press release presenting the facts (who, what, when, where, and why local readers will care about your event and book). If it is well written, you have a greater chance of receiving coverage for it in the paper's weekly print and/or online editions. If you've never written a press release before, this Problogger article should help you get started: How to Write a Press Release that Gets Attention.


By steering you toward the "alternative" route, I don't mean to suggest that you shouldn't bother approaching mainstream newspapers. I think you should. I'm simply saying that my experience has been that I get a much better response from alternative weeklies.


That concludes our "Small Steps" series for now. I hope you've found some of these tips useful to get started organizing and promoting a mini-tour with other indie authors. Remember, there is strength in numbers. If each of you takes a small step in the process, you may find you have more success than going it alone.


-Richard

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

 

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