Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Marketing Can be Fun by Diana Flegal

One of the challenges I face as an agent is getting my clients to promote themselves.

We live in an age of social media. The day when a writer could write in obscurity and be a successful well read author is gone.

Reality TV takes us into the private intimate daily lives of previously unknown people. Paparazzi get paid a lot of money for exclusive photos of celebrities on vacation. Face Book, Twitter, and blogging connect fans with their idols and readers want to connect with their favorite authors. But most of all, publishers want to know you have a following or fan base of which a decent percentage are going to buy your book.

"I just want to write", you say.

But blogging, tweeting and posting on Face Book is writing. It's just tighter writing.

If you are a nonfiction author, you will share your expertise and offer general helpful advice. Be careful never to offer personal counsel. If asked, direct them to an outside resource.

You historical fiction authors might share things about your research process or real events that took place in various geographical locations you have woven into your stories. Or share what you felt emotionally when walking in your character's shoes.

Remember- social media is social. Get to know others with similar likes and friend them on FB and follow them on twitter. Read their blogs and comment if you liked what you have read.

Transparency will endear you to your readers and 'friends'. What interests you will interest others. My post about my grandmother's iron skillet reaped 75 comments and prompted a delightful discussion.

Be honest but keep it lighthearted. Express your opinion but don't put anyone else down to do it (it will end up making you look bad).. Unless your life's mission is to change another's political persuasion, stay away from posting anything related to politics. Don't restrict your readership!

BTW statistics tell us a few pictures raise the blog's likability for a more pleasurable read. Which in turn might lead to faithful blog followers.


Anne Love said...

Great reminders. Learning new marketing skills sometimes feels like learning a foreign language or Algebra for the first time. But I'm hoping that with practice it will become more second nature!

Rick Barry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick Barry said...

I'm a bit surprised that any of your authors hesitate to promote. Could it be that they are confusing the Bible's admonitions against drawing attention to oneself to win public praise with the totally acceptable need to market a product? If so, I disagree that talking about and promoting one's book is bragging or showing off. (Although it could be!) An author can be godly and humble and glorify the Lord and still discuss his/her books.

My latest purchase is Tim's Grahl's book, Your First 1000 Copies. It's a step-by-step guide to book marketing that your authors might want to check out.

Diana said...

I know you will get to that place Anne. :-)
Yes Rick, I have run into that. When I first thought about this blog subject, I was going to title it pride verses promotion and address that subject but decided to take a different tack. (TACK: a sailboat term for changing course)
Thank you for the book suggestion. I will def. check it out.

Nan Jones said...

Slowly, but surely, I'm learning to conquer the technology monster. I enjoy social interactions and have learned that if I keep things relational (even on Twitter) I'm more inclined to participate. The relational aspect also helps me overcome my reluctance to self-promote because I believe in my message. I want those I connect with to be strengthened and encouraged - I don't just see them as a dollar sign :) Bless you Diana. You're a gift in this crazy industry.

Erin Unger said...

I'm new to social media, but I can already see the benefits of working hard to use it for building my platform. I've found that when I speak to my readers on a more personal level I get more feedback. Thanks for this great post.

Andrea Cox said...

Thanks for the tips, Diana! I enjoy reading the wisdom you ladies and men share here at From the Heart. Always informative with creative flair. How can you go wrong with that combination?


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