Monday, February 6, 2012

Marketing & Publicity for Authors, Part 2

A caveat I should have mentioned in Part 1 of this series: I hope that having a familiarity with marketing and publicity will help you get your books into the hands of your audience; but nothing can replace the time and energy you should put into writing the best book you can write in the first place.

Before I continue with a few more online marketing tools, I want to address a couple of relevant questions that emerged this week.

1. You can cross-post from Facebook to Twitter and vice versa. Check the settings menu for each site, and you'll find instructions for setting up this link. With one post you can now double your coverage (if you exceed Twitter's length limit with a Facebook post Twitter will turn the "leftovers" into a link.)
Clever shorthand guide to social media by Douglas Wray, who posted via Instagram

2. A reader mentioned the press room on my website. This is a wonderful idea I borrowed from other writers. It's set up so that someone wanting my head shot, cover jpeg, and/or book information can access these easily, with jpegs at different resolutions for different purposes. Newbies: don't forget your ISBN. My first 1000 bookmarks were missing this vital information.

3. Katie Davis has recently published this guide to marketing - "How To Promote Your Children's Book" - that I found useful and that goes into much greater depth than I can here.

4. In case you have doubts about the need for activity in the spheres of blogging and social networking, check out this excellent post by Joanna Penn on the subject.

Okay, on to some slightly more out-of-the-box internet tools.

1. Google+ : Yes, I have joined this social networking site. No, I have not become immersed. What I like is the ability to create different groups (circles) so that I can target my information. What I don't like is that it's just one more social site I have no time to visit. On the other hand, here's a unique way to use Google+ - as a work motivator, with members of a social circle all writing "together" as if they were in a coffee shop or at a writing retreat.

2. Tumblr : I also have a Tumblr account, but for the same reason my Google+ is underused, my Tumblr is quiet. However, there are advantages to Tumblr. It's basically a cross between a blog and Facebook, in my view, where you can repost a blog, but also link directly to Twitter, video, photo, or articles. If you are just starting out and feeling underwhelmed, this is one site to explore.

3. Klout : Well, okay, everyone wants clout. And this site offers a way for you to track your social media metrics - which basically means your industry "clout". Is it useful? Yes, mainly because you will have a more realistic view of how your marketing is impacting the world at large. It is not a social networking site, so don't expect to connect with readers. But it will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing by tracking the number of times you are tweeted, retweeted, mentioned, etc.

4. Glogster : Here's one I haven't really explored but after only a few minutes' peeking I am salivating. As I'm a visual person, this is my kind of site. You can create a "poster" of anything - your work, your life - and connect with teens who are obviously drawn to this site. As are teachers, who have begun to use it as an extension for self-expression in the classroom. Will it help with marketing? Hmmm. Remains to be seen.

Next time - some really out-of-the-box ways to market your books and generate publicity.

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