6 Tips for Author Self Promotion You Can Start Today

Quote3Self promotion has a sense of over-confidence about it. Only people who think super highly of themselves can promote themselves unabashedly, right?

Wrong. Self promotion has two sides to it: you and people who receive it. If you build a community online (whether it’s social media, a blog, or a website) self promotion is how to reach that audience. And if that audience is following you, they want to know what’s going on with you and celebrate with you.

6 Tips for Author Self Promotion You Can Start Today

1. Comment on blogs/websites, @-reply or ‘like’ equal to twice as much as you post original content. Shouting into the void doesn’t bring more people to your cause. If you engage with others in a way that doesn’t directly benefit you, other than that personal connection, you’ll find people will do the same for you.

2. Get visual. Have any graphic design skills? (If not, there’s an app for that.) Try putting text over images to create visual interest. Have a popular or new recipe or quote? Put it on an image. This is great for Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. See Taylor Jenkins Reid’s graphic for her novel AFTER I DO in this post. We’re a culture with short attention span. Capitalize on that.

3. Combine forces. You don’t have to do it alone! Do a Twitter chat with another author. Start a hashtag conversation. Guest post on another person’s blog. Have them guest post on yours. Bring new readership.

4. We are creatures of habit. Start a schedule. A posting or tweeting schedule is important to your sanity and creates reader expectation and anticipation.

5. Internalize a brand or message. Who do you want to be online? The informational resource people can come to? The funny, jokey person that loves to banter? The person that brings insight to causes? The person that shares their personal journey? You can be a mix, certainly, but think about the persona you are and the message you want to share. Start living that message today.

6. Collect email addresses. On your website or blog make sure there’s a place that people can subscribe. Don’t ignore this simple way to collect information for future use like an e-newsletter.

Ready to reach your audience?

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The Writer’s 8 Tools of Pitching

Picture 6Getting ready to go on submission to agents?

Don’t know what to have prepared?

Wish you had a checklist?

Here’s your tool kit:

1. Log Line: You have to be able to describe your book in one sentence.

2. Query: Use a three paragraph structure 1) why you’re querying this agent, log line, genre and word count 2) short ‘back cover copy-style’ paragraph 3) author bio (hint: it’s okay to call yourself a debut)–and make sure you have a finished manuscript!

3. 1 Page Synopsis: Make sure you have a short synopsis handy for when the requests start to roll in.

4. 3 Page Synopsis: Make sure you have a long synopsis handy. Some agents like short & some long. Make sure you have both handy so you don’t have to delay sending your manuscript when an agent requests it.

5. Critique Partner: I hope you have one before this point, but it’s always good to have someone you can talk to about the process other than your agent. Continue reading The Writer’s 8 Tools of Pitching

Q: What Do Agents Like to See When They Google Writers?

20120130-093459.jpgYes, if we’re interested in your work we’ll Google you. And yes, there are things we like to see:

  • Some sort of Website. You need a landing page. (WordPress and About.me help you do this for free. You don’t have to break the bank.)
  • A certain level of Social Media proficiency. (It doesn’t have to be everything, just showing interaction.)
  • Blog posts that aren’t discussing the submission process in too much detail. Many writers lay it all out there to share the (often lonely) experience with others, but it’s really best if you can keep this to yourself.
  • Positive demeanour and Professional approach in your online interactions. It’s a small world! (And editors can Google you too.) Agents choose who they work with carefully, and we like to work with nice people.
  • A Personality. You don’t have to talk about books or writing online, if you’re passionate about dogs with paper hats then let your freak flag fly. Don’t be afraid to be memorable.

Continue reading Q: What Do Agents Like to See When They Google Writers?

Author websites and blogs: what are the must have’s?

So you’ve started an author blog or website. What should it look like? What material should you have on it? I’ve outlined some must have’s for author websites.

7 Things Your Author Website Needs:
1) List of your books & Where to buy your books

If visitors stumble upon or search for you, either way you want them to head to buy your books. A reverse chronological layout of your published books is best (depending on your website design). Clear links to Amazon.com and indie sellers is an easy way to display a call to action on your site. Don’t bury the links on subsequent pages, make sure they are easily accessible on the home page. And offer print as well as digital versions of the book.

2) Author bio

An author bio and picture must be available on your site. Many writers struggle with this. Too modest, too confident, too bland. Give it a punch with something fun about you, something that readers will remember, and something that makes you stand above the pack. You author image should be professional (but it doesn’t have to be professionally taken) and reflect the tone of your writing. Here is a great blog post from Rachelle Gardner about ‘How To Write A Terrific Author Bio.’

3) Clear links to social media accounts like Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and more.

Part of being available to your readers online is creating a community around your writing and writerly persona. If you are in book promotion mode, and pre-sales buzz mode you need to be providing seamless links between these social media and online community websites. Encourage visitors to follow you on Twitter or like your author page on Facebook, give them a call to action and a reason for visiting. Continue reading Author websites and blogs: what are the must have’s?