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374 Posts tagged with the marketing tag
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If you think about it, an author brand can be broken down into three basic elements: visual, vocal and social. Knowing what these elements are can help you build a brand that is effective and consistent.

 

  1. Visual - This is where I use the clichéd but highly appropriate phrase, "people do judge a book by its cover." In this case, your author brand has many different covers to be judged. Whether it's your website design, blog layout, author photo, and even your actual book cover(s), readers will judge your level of professionalism based on how every element of your brand looks. Take the time to craft an image that not only represents you, but represents you as an author of the highest standards.
  2. Vocal - What you say and how you say it are crucial to your author brand. It's important that the content that populates your online platform is crafted as carefully as your books are crafted. Also keep in mind that the topics you decide to discuss become part of your brand identity. By all means, if you feel passionately about something, take to your platform and voice your opinion. But if the topic is controversial, be aware that you are opening yourself up to criticism. Criticism in and of itself isn't bad, but it can go badly if you handle it poorly.
  3. Social - How you interact with people is another pivotal element of your brand. Connecting with a reader is an excellent opportunity. You can develop a deeper relationship that will convert the reader into a fan who could be an enthusiastic member of your word-of-mouth army. When you take the time to socialize with your readers, you provide a big boost to your author brand.

 

You should make it a regular part of your routine to evaluate the visual, vocal and social building blocks of your author brand.

 

-Richard

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

 

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The Elements of Crowdfunding

Testify!

3,632 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, branding, social_media, author_brand, target_audience, author_tips, author_advice, social_maketing
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

Five Moral Dilemmas That Make Characters (& Stories) Better - Writer's Digest

Without moral dilemmas, your character won't experience growth. 

                           

Six Tips for Writing Minor Characters - The Passive Voice

Minor characters do have a major impact on your story.       

 

Film

                                                        

How Movies Trick Your Brain into Empathizing with Characters - WIRED

Feeling a little schizophrenic? You might be watching a movie.    

                                          

The Minimalist Guide to Making a Movie - Filmmaking Stuff

You don't need to wait for the perfect moment to make a film. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Four Reasons You Should Sell Your Music by the Single - musicgoat.com

The release of singles may be back in a big way.

 

Niche Music Markets: How to Dominate Genres and Themes - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

Sometimes the narrower the market, the better.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- October 3, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- September 26, 2014

1,458 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, marketing, music, filmmaking, film, author, self-publishing, indie, movies, writing, films, musicians, craft, filmmakers, social_media
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

The Self-Publishing Revolution Is Only Just Beginning. Reflections on My Stockholm Trip - The Creative Penn

The rules are changing and indie authors are calling the shots. 

                           

Why Publishing Shouldn't Be a One Person Show - The Future of Ink

Success in publishing depends on the people you surround yourself with.       

 

Film

                                                        

Lights, Camera, Action! How to Professionally Light Your Scene - Hollywood Oracle

Do you know how to get definition out of your shots?    

                                          

When Camera Choice Can Be the Most Important Factor in Achieving a Beautiful Image - Noam Kroll

You have to have the right camera to capture the right image. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

How to Sing - 10 Habits of Successful Professional Singers - From the front of the Choir

The key is to be diligent and to be yourself.

 

Should We Sing like We Speak? - How to Sing Better

The vocal chords are engaged in two different ways when it comes to talking versus singing.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - September 26, 2014

Weekly News Roundup - September 19, 2014

1,538 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, promotion, movies, writers, publishing, writing, promotions, musicians, filmmakers
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

Lessons Learned from 3 Years as an Author-Entrepreneur - The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn describes her journey since leaving her career as an IT business consultant and becoming a full-time author. 

                           

What Does Editing Look Like? Behind The (Crime) Scene at The Editor's Screen - The Book Designer

A detailed look at what an editor actually does to your manuscript.       

 

Film

                                                        

How to Get Noticed as a Filmmaker - Filmmaking Stuff

Make your own breaks.    

                                          

Podcast Episode 41: Writing and Making a Feature - Projector Films

Two writers talk about the challenges, disasters, and triumphs they experienced directing their first film. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Alternative Music Venues: Where Else Can You Play? - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

Bars and weddings aren't the only places to play..

 

Music-making Advice from Musicians That Non-musicians Might Find Useful - Music Thing

A fun tool to help musicians and non-musicians find inspiration.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- September 19, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- September 12, 2014

1,459 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, music, filmmaking, editing, promotion, indie, movies, writing, advice, inspiration, musicians, filmmakers, author_tips, editing_process, music_venues
0

I recently received an email from a self-proclaimed "branding specialist" with the following subject line: Your invited: 7 Steps to More Dream Clients (workshop)

 

Needless to say, I did not open the email.

 

The workshop in question might in fact be excellent, but because of the grammatical error in the email invitation, my inclination is to think that it probably isn't. This is just another example of why it's so important to make sure your promotional materials are error-free. People are busy, so if you don't make a good impression immediately, they quickly move on to the next thing.

 

As an author, it's even more important to get your grammar right in your promotional materials because you're positioning yourself as a professional writer. If a potential reader (or reviewer, or book club moderator) sees errors on your website, author bio on Amazon, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, etc., what are they going to think about the book itself? If they see you've mixed up your and you're in the description of your book, will they want to read it? I probably wouldn't. And unfortunately I'm not alone in that way of thinking. Most readers care about grammar.

 

If you're confused about the difference between your and you're, here's a quick refresher:

 

YOUR means BELONGING TO YOU:

This is your book

Your writing is really powerful

I plan to be at your house by noon

 

YOU'RE means YOU ARE:

You're invited to my house

You're welcome to come by anytime

You're probably sick of the way I drone on and on about grammar (but I won't stop - ha)

 

You want to give your book the best chance possible of succeeding, right? So take a few extra moments to make sure your grammar is correct. It's well worth it!

 

-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, 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 at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Grammar Gaffes of Olympic Proportions

Just Say No to Random Capitalization!

1,651 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, grammar_tip
0

I've become obsessed with crowdfunding projects as of late. It's something I've always wanted to attempt one day. It's a prospect that scares and intrigues me all at once. It's scary because if you fail, you fail in a very public arena. It's intriguing because if you succeed, it gives you a platform to draw more attention to your book.

 

Here are three elements of crowdfunding that I've observed over these several months of obsessively following projects here and there:

 

1. You aren't the focus - If you ask for people to financially support your project because it's something you've always dreamed of doing, no one beyond family and close friends will donate. The more you make the project about you, the more people will skip getting involved. The project, in this case, is related to your book. Keep the focus on your book.

 

2. Always be thankful - Be grateful every step of the way. When you appreciate the individuals who are supporting your crowdfunding project, they'll get enthusiastic. They'll be more inclined to spread the word and help you find more supporters for your project.

 

3. Simple and quirky wins - The quirkier the creative project the better. People like to talk about quirky projects. The more people talk about your project, the more people want to be involved. It's just the nature of the unusual. The trick is to keep it simple at the same time. If people don't understand what you're trying to accomplish, they're more than likely going to reject any involvement in your project.

 

If anyone out there has gone the crowdfunding route for a book launch or film based on your book, I'd love to know what your experience was like.

 

-Richard

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

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Social Networking Sells Your Brand

Take Control with Marketing Central

1,836 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, promotions, crowdfunding
0

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

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Use Visual Marketing to Sell Books  - The Future of Ink

Have you been paying attention to your color palette?  

                           

How to Write a Novel with the Snowflake Method - The Creative Penn

Writing styles and methods are as unique as snowflakes.       

 

Film

                                                        

3 Ways to Rent Great Cameras & Cinema Gear with No Insurance - Noam Kroll

Noam Kroll has a workaround on how to rent high-end equipment without insurance.

                                          

Who Else Wants a Film Production Checklist? - Filmmaking Stuff

The plan that will help you get your film underway without all that chaos. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

3 Singing Exercises to Improve Your Vocal Pitching - Easy Ear Training

You've got to exercise those vocal chords to find the perfect pitch.

 

10 Music Bloggers Who Write about New Artists - Entertainment Divaz

Got a new release coming out? Here are some bloggers who may want to know.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- September 5, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- August 29, 2014

1,495 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, promotion, movies, publishing, writing, book_marketing, films, musicians, social_media, vocal, film_production, visual_marketing, film_camera, new_artist, sell_books
0

A couple posts back I provided an example of smart book promotion, in which an indie author successfully landed a glowing review in a popular online publication just perfect for her target audience. Today, I'd like to dig deeper into the subject of book reviews by offering a couple dos and don'ts:

 

DO research reviewers that are appropriate for your genre.

 

A great way to find potential reviewers is to do a Google search for book bloggers. Book bloggers love to read, and they love to write about what they read, regardless of the publisher.

 

Another way to find potential reviewers is to look up successful titles in your genre on Amazon, then scroll through their reviews. Some reviewers on Amazon have quite a following, and some also list their email addresses in their profiles. It takes digging, but you can find them!

 

DO personalize the messages you send.

 

Taking a moment to personalize each message is not only respectful and professional, but it will also be appreciated by the recipient. It's easy to spot generic copy/paste emails, and they are less likely to get a response.

 

DON'T ask your friends and family members to post positive reviews of your book.

 

I read a lot about book marketing, and I'm surprised (and disappointed) to see how many blogs/articles suggest that authors ask their friends and family to write positive reviews of their books. I completely disagree with this approach. If you bought a book based on the positive reviews and later found out the reviews had essentially been planted, wouldn't you feel deceived? I certainly would.

 

Securing book reviews takes work, but it can be done. So what are you waiting for?

 

-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, 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 at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Why You Should Give Away (Some) Books for Free

Use a Blogroll to Promote Your Work

 

2,986 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writers, book_reviews
1

A few years ago, I conducted a writing workshop at my local library. The actual workshop had very little to do with author branding, but the topic came up during the question and answer period. I shared my belief that branding in an online environment ruled by social media is essentially community building. You (the author), as the administrator of this community, use blogs, videos and social networking to engage readers and link them to both you and each other using your book(s) as the connective tissue. In other words, in order to build a successful brand today, authors need to market dynamically. In this age of the internet, there's very little downtime when it comes to author marketing and brand building.

 

After the workshop, a gentleman approached me. He had published a book via a small publisher, and he was frustrated that it wasn't selling and even more frustrated with his publisher because he didn't think they were doing enough to sell the book. I reiterated my points about author branding in today's Internet world, and he responded by declaring that he would never do the things I suggested. He just wasn't interested. I assured him that I understood that it wasn't for everybody and recommended he hire a publicist to try and help him. He had looked into it, and it wasn't financially feasible. He went to his publisher, and, as it turns out, they directed him to take the community brand-building route we had discussed at length. He then handed me a copy of his book and urged me to read it. He was convinced once I read it I would drop everything and do all that I could to make sure it became a bestseller. I refused at first. When he asked why, I was blunt. If he wasn't passionate enough to do what it takes to market it and build a brand, I didn't feel inspired to read it. If he truly felt the book was a must-read, he needed to get behind it. To his credit, he didn't take no for an answer. He insisted I take it, and I finally relented but only because I had another appointment. I took the book home, and to this day, I've never cracked it open.

 

This author essentially published his book and viewed it as a "Field of Dreams" project. If he published it, the readers would come. If the stars are aligned just right, that could indeed be the case. In other words, it's possible but not plausible. If you want to sell books, you have to be passionate about building your community and get behind the theory of dynamic brand building.

 

-Richard

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

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The Generous Brand

 

The Three C's of Brand-Building

 

 

1,748 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, promotions, branding
4

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?

 

Here's what my books look like on Authorgraph.

 

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:

 

  • Abookaffair
  • booksandquills
  • abooktopia
  • Ariel Bissett
  • Ermahgwrd Berks
  • Read Susie Read
  • Bookables
  • Katytastic
  • 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

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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 at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Online Reviews: Just Say...Nothing

Get Reviews for Your Indie Book

8,002 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writers, youtube, promotions, digital_marketing, authorgraph
0

The Generous Brand

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 25, 2014

I've taken to producing short project update videos for my Facebook friends that I post once a week. For whatever reason, I've discovered that most of my interaction with readers takes place on the social networking site. After posting a video not long ago, a young writer contacted me and wanted to know if I would be willing to give him advice on writing and publishing. I was more than thrilled to do it. His inquiry prompted me to produce a new video where I announced I would be happy to field anyone's questions on the same topics.

 

Within a few minutes of posting that video, I got a private message from a friend letting me know that I had lost my mind. This friend feared I had opened the floodgates, and worse yet, I had volunteered this knowledge for free. Surely there was money to be had, and I was throwing away an opportunity to make some extra cash.

 

I explained that just because I was giving knowledge away for free doesn't mean I wouldn't benefit from it. An author brand doesn't represent a corporate structure, not in the traditional sense. An author brand represents a community. In my community there are readers and other writers, all of whom discuss and recommend each other, and to their own branch of friends and followers, the books that I have written. I owe them a debt of gratitude. I offered to help them by addressing their questions as best I know how because it's the right thing to do. At the same time, I'd be less than honest if I didn't acknowledge that I am aware that I am deepening their loyalty to my author brand and our community by being generous with my time.

 

Free does not mean without profit. Don't be afraid to give of your time and talents to strengthen and build your community.

 

-Richard

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

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Building an Author Brand is Easy

Branding 101: The Keys to Successful Branding

1,504 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, writing, branding
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We've all heard the saying "you need to spend money to make money." The same applies to book marketing. Giving away books now can help you sell books later.

 

Offering a free copy of your book can crack open some doors that otherwise might remained closed. For example, you might send a copy to:

 

  • A prolific reviewer on Amazon (one who reviews a lot of books in your genre)
  • A book blogger (similar to the above criteria)
  • The manager of a book club
  • An author you admire

 

The above people are in a position to help you, but if all you do is ask them to read your book, you will probably (albeit inadvertently) rub them the wrong way. However, if you reach out to them with a friendly note and offer to send them a copy of your book, how could they possibly be offended? Of course, they might decline, but they might accept. Book marketing is a numbers game. You have to contact a lot of people, because the majority of them are going to shoot you down. But not everyone will. The key is not to give up. Knock on enough doors, and eventually someone will give you a chance.

 

You also can send out a digital eBook. You can buy just one digital version and lend it out, which is what author Nikos Vlachos recently did for me. The important thing is to make it as easy as possible for people to say yes to you. You never know what might happen when you do. I bet Nikos didn't think he'd end up in one of my blog posts, but here he is!

 

-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, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, and Cassidy Lane. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Giving Books Away: A Strategy that Still Works

Remember to Say Thank You

2,341 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writers, branding
1

My friend and fellow author Karen McQuestion recently invited me to participate in a blogroll. My first reaction was "What is a blogroll?" But once I learned the answer, I quickly agreed to participate, because I knew it was a good opportunity to get potential readers to come to my website and Amazon author detail page.

 

In a blogroll, the proprietor of a blog answers a few questions (in this case the subject was "my writing process") and then "rolls" the blog out to a couple other authors with a little introduction and links to their websites. The new authors then follow the same process: answer the same questions and pass it along.

 

A blogroll can drive traffic to your site (and your Amazon author detail page) in the following ways:

 

  • Via the content itself (If you'd like to read about my writing process, click here)
  • Via the person who comes before you (in my case Karen McQuestion, who includes a nice introduction to me in her post)
  • Via the post that comes after you (in my case my friends Jessica Massa and Rebecca Coale, who also include a thank-you to me in their post)
  • By attracting people who begin reading the blogroll in either direction and keep going until they land on your post

 

As I mentioned above, the blogroll Karen invited me to join is about the process of writing a book; however, I can think of many other equally interesting topics that could potentially generate a lot of interest. One that immediately jumps to mind is "What's the most successful thing you've done to spread the word about your book?" If anyone reading this post decides to start that one, please let me know! I'd love to join. Hmm...maybe I'll start it myself.

 

-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, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, and Cassidy Lane. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Blog About What You Know ? Books!

Tips for Engaging Your Readers Online

6,238 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, promotions, blogroll
1

Say Yes!

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jul 21, 2014

Recently, I've come to understand that saying yes is difficult for some authors when it comes to book marketing. Shyness or a lack of confidence prevents them from taking opportunities to gain exposure for their brands. They're asked to partake in an interview, a book signing, or any public marketing event, but instead of jumping at the chance, they find a reason not to do it.

 

Don't be your biggest obstacle to gaining notoriety. It isn't always easy to put yourself out there in a public forum and take the spotlight when it's offered to you. It feels like a risk, like someone is giving you a chance to fail. I'm here to tell you saying no to such an opportunity is the only way you can fail.

 

I find myself struggling to say yes at times. My most recent example was when I was asked to speak at a local TED talk. When I was approached about taking part in this event that had the potential of raising my profile, the first thing I did was ask, "Who, me?" The second thing I did was assure the organizers of the talk that they could probably find somebody who was more interesting and worthy. The third thing I did was say yes. And I am happy I did. I wasn't the best speaker. I didn't receive a feverish round of applause. It didn't change my life. I even had a few technical glitches I had to work through. But, in the end, I had a blast, because I got the opportunity to speak about what I love: writing and indie publishing.

 

Pick your motivational phrase of choice here. "Grab the brass ring." "Take the leap." Whatever it takes to get you motivated to say the most important word of all that can help you establish your brand: YES.

 

-Richard

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

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Expand Your Reach by Teaching

Small Marketing Steps: Venues for Personal Appearances

1,634 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writers, promotions
3

Some time ago, an author I know started a special project involving one of his books. It was a fairly ambitious project that required substantial funds...funds he didn't have. He started an online campaign to raise the money. I jumped onboard because I was excited by his entrepreneurial spirit. I alerted my social networking circles about the project, blogged about it, and I even donated a small amount of money.

 

The first communication I got from the author after my efforts to spread the word was a plea for more help. It wasn't even a plea directed to me personally, but a mass email that included many recipients. I was a little disappointed that a personalized thank you hadn't been sent to me. It's not that I think I'm special and merit acknowledgment for my contribution to his fundraising campaign. On the contrary, I assumed everyone would get a one-on-one thank you. I'm guessing since I didn't receive one nobody did.

 

I shrugged the first slight off and gave the author the benefit of the doubt. A thank you was coming. I would just have to wait a few more days. I was wrong. The next communication was another plea for help. The one after that was another plea for help.

 

The long and short of the story is I lost my enthusiasm for his project. I stopped checking in on his fundraising campaign. His emails even now are skimmed and deleted. I have no idea if the project succeeded. I'm not invested in it for one very small reason: I wasn't thanked for doing my part.

 

There's a useful lesson in this example. If you're going to start a fundraising project of any kind, be appreciative for the help you receive, and don't do it in a mass email. Take the time to contact all your contributors personally and thank them for helping you. It can go a long way in keeping them excited and engaged.

 

-Richard

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

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Include Calls to Action

Manage Your Beta Readers

1,738 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, promotion, writers
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