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369 Posts tagged with the marketing tag
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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

1,807 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, promotions, crowdfunding
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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

1,476 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
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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

 

2,921 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writers, book_reviews
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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

 

 

1,736 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, promotions, branding
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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

7,900 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writers, youtube, promotions, digital_marketing, authorgraph
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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

1,491 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

2,308 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writers, branding
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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

6,203 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, promotions, blogroll
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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

1,623 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

1,714 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, promotion, writers
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Making the first chapter of your book (or books) available on your website is a smart idea for two reasons:

 

1)    It gives potential readers who visit your website the opportunity to check out your work at no cost

2)    It gives you a tool for driving potential readers to your website

 

My sixth novel is coming out soon, and I have the first chapters to all of them available on my website. One way I use those links is via social media. Four of my books make up a series starring the same protagonist, so I created a Facebook profile for her. Every day I log in to her account to see if any of her "friends" have a birthday. For those who do, I post the link to the first chapter of her latest book on their walls as a little "birthday gift." It's fun for me, and my fans really enjoy it too! (The personal interaction with my readers is another benefit of this approach.)

 

I also include a link to the first chapter in my monthly newsletter anytime I announce that I have a new book coming out. This allows my loyal readers to get an early glimpse. The same goes for Twitter. If you read my post on using Twitter you'll know I don't recommend tweeting too much about your book (or only about your book), but an occasional link to a first chapter is perfectly acceptable. And smart.

 

Remember that you're competing with literally millions of other books, so anything you can do to get potential readers to look at your book is worth trying. Why not put your first chapter out there? It's free, and people like free.

 

-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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Marketing Tip: Make Sure Your Outreach Has a Purpose

Marketing Tip: Reach Out to Book Clubs

 

5,830 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, promotions
2

In the early stages of my indie publishing career, I would hand off a manuscript to willing friends and family and ask for their feedback before I published. There was no word for it back then, but now we call them beta readers. For my first and second books, it was only two or three readers. Over the years the pool of people willing to read early draft versions of my books has grown. In fact, my latest group had 23 people, most of whom I only knew through social media.

 

Because the group included more than my immediate circle of family and friends, I wanted to make the process of being a beta reader as friendly as I possibly could. So, I did something that is not typical of my personality. I got organized, and it was simpler than I even thought. Here's how I managed my beta readers.

 

  • A communications hub - I used the private Facebook messaging tool as a gathering place for all the readers, and it became our communications hub. Over the weeks they spent reading the book, I prompted them with information and updates pertaining to the story and characters. This caused discussion and also served as a gentle reminder that it was a fairly time-sensitive task that they had entered into.

  • Two versions of the manuscript - I created two versions of the manuscript to accommodate everyone's eBook reader needs. I uploaded both a PDF version and Word document to my blog and provided the links to everyone via Facebook, so readers could download the version that fit their eBook devices.

  • A survey - Rather than force them to email me their feedback, I created a survey where they could rank various aspects of the book (14 in all). In addition, they were all welcome (but not required) to comment on each specific area and leave a general comment at the end of the survey. Perhaps the most important element of the survey is that all participants' responses were anonymous, and I made this known to all participants. I wanted honest feedback, and letting them remain anonymous was key.

  • Patience and understanding - I was asking a lot of these volunteers, so it was important for me to not make them feel rushed. Beyond my updates I never sent out direct requests to hurry up and fill out the survey. I could have tacked on a deadline at the beginning, but I decided not to. I had plenty on my plate, so I didn't mind waiting. After three weeks I had enough completed surveys to announce some early results. In all, 16 of the 23 readers completed surveys. I would have been happy with a 25% response rate. Getting almost 70% was more than I hoped for.

  • Appreciation - I frequently let them all know I appreciated the time they were devoting to my book.


Would I ever do a large beta reader group again? Absolutely! I got incredibly helpful feedback for rewrites, and thanks to social media, I was able to keep in constant touch with the group and be even more engaged with readers. I would highly recommend it to any author wanting to make a story better and create a closer bond with fans at the same time.

 

-Richard

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

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Go Big

Another Reason to Celebrate

2,629 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, beta_readers
2

No matter who publishes your book, it's important to do what you can to promote it. That means reaching out to many different organizations, which takes time, energy, and a lot of following up.

 

To keep track of your efforts (and your progress), I suggest creating a master spreadsheet with a separate page for each type of organization you contact (e.g., alumni groups, book clubs, bloggers, press, etc.). The fields can be very basic, including details such as name, organization, email address, website, and status.

 

Once you begin your outreach, color coding can help you keep track of your progress. For example, let's say you contact local alumni clubs of your alma mater to see if they'll include a mention of your book in their newsletter. I suggest putting clubs who have said yes in green, those who need some follow-up in yellow, and those who have said "thanks but no thanks" in red. With color coding, every so often, you can skim through your spreadsheet and know which areas need some attention.

 

When you first begin your outreach, you may think you'll be able to remember necessary details about each group, but trust me, you won't. Sending out a bunch of emails today is one thing, but what happens a month down the road? Which leads were promising? Who asked for more information? Whose email bounced back with an "I'm on vacation" autoreply? If you don't keep track of these things, despite the best of intentions you may end up spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast.

 

I know it's a lot of work to do what I'm suggesting, but I promise it's worth it! In addition to keeping you organized, a spreadsheet also will help you track your successes, which is a powerful motivator. Book marketing is hard, and the more green sections you have, the more inspired you'll be to keep going.

 

-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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Build a Plus & Minus Brand Map

The Marketing Maze

1,819 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writers, writing, promotions
0

Part of my job as an author and disseminator of information to authors is to know a lot about marketing, and I do, but I don't know everything about marketing. I am constantly scouring the Internet to devour as much information as I can from people who identify themselves as experts.

 

Some have more expertise than others of course. I've found some individuals who provide streams and streams of useful marketing advice while others don't really offer much at all. I would like to share with you three websites I have found in my virtual travels that offer the most useful advice more consistently than others.

  • The Creative Penn– Joanna Penn is a bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She uses her website/blog to churn out all things book- and author-related. In a very literal sense, she wrote the book on marketing, public speaking and even career advice. She's done blog posts, videos and podcasts, often bringing in other authors to share their experiences in writing and publishing.

  • Book Market– John Kremer is the guru's guru of book marketing. He's been in the game for more than 20 years. His book 1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers is in itssixth edition and serves as an essential tool for a lot of authors. There are tons of marketing gems on his website.

  • The Future of Ink– The brainchild of Denise Wakeman and Ellen Britt, The Future of Ink probably offers the most innovative ideas for marketing books. While it is geared toward digital publishing, a lot of the advice can be applied to print books as well. Both Wakeman and Britt have backgrounds in brand-building via new technologies, and they assemble a cast of marketing strategists who never fail to deliver top-notch advice.

 

These are the three sites I find myself visiting most often. My advice to you is to bookmark them and make it a habit to see what they have to say whenever you need a little marketing pick-me-up.

-Richard

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


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Build a Plus & Minus Brand Map

Branding vs. Marketing for Authors

2,047 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, selling, book_marketing, social_media, marketing_books, marketing_ideas
3

Mingle Marketing

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 9, 2014

I'm a huge advocate of social media. I know it works in making connections and helping authors with limited financial resources get the word out about their books. Establishing your brand via social networking sites, blogs and personal videos has the potential of raising your profile to global proportions.

 

But, I have to say the most solid connections I've made with readers have been during face-to-face meetings in actual real life environments. I'm not talking about meeting fans at book events. Those are great too, and I've made a lot of wonderful connections there as well. I'm referring to parties and gatherings that have nothing to do with books, where I've been invited simply because I know someone or my wife knows someone. Allow me to explain.

 

I'm not a "mingler" by nature. I'm a wallflower to the nth degree. Fortunately my wife could literally write a book on the topic of meeting strangers and engaging them in meaningful conversations. And, like a good publicist would do, she has a way of turning every conversation to my books. That leads to questions that land squarely in my wheelhouse: writing and publishing. Before the conversation is done, I always offer to give them a copy of one of my books. They are happy to accept. It's a free book after all. Most of the time, I don't have books with me, so arrangements are made to get a book to them at a later time.

 

To date, every instance of this happening over the years has paid off in various ways. I've gained beta readers out of the exchange. I've received friend requests on Facebook from others connected to these strangers because they become wonderful advocates for my books. In addition, I've received speaking engagements and even an invitation to a book launch party for another author. All of these are invaluable steps to building my own brand.

 

The lesson here is to mingle in real life whenever the opportunity presents itself. If you're a wallflower like me, attach yourself to "minglers." There really isn't a substitute for face-to-face connections.

 

-Richard

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

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