Articles tagged "do it yourself marketing"

Blogging Your Way to Success

Earlier this month we posted a blog with some advice about Facebook’s potential as a marketing tool. And make no mistake, Facebook will be your best friend when it comes to marketing your book. But Facebook only works if you have a continual stream of content to offer. Yes you can (and should) share coupons and the store links to your book from Lulu. And yes you can share a variety of industry news relevant to you and other authors like you.

That’s not enough though. Your readers and potential readers need to have an investment in you as a person. They need to get to know you and your work before they will open their wallets and buy your book.

A Blog is the perfect means to do this (and much more in the long term). An Author Blog is a direct link to you, a way to advertise, advocate for, and create a connection to your work. The people who follow your social media presence need a reason to come back to you. This is how you build a following, and how that following then goes to work for you by drawing in their friends to your network.

Best of all, blogs are easy to do. You can find a wealth of free blogging sites across the web, such as WordPress, Weebly, or Blogger. These platforms allow you to quickly and easily create and maintain a blog.

Now all you need to do is start adding content. Here’s some ideas for posting:

  1. Look at what’s trending on Twitter (by hashtag), Instagram, or Facebook and write an opinion piece about the topic at hand. Remember to use your researching skills to back up your argument. Anything that ties back to the topics your book(s) focus on are a plus.
  2. Come up with a weekly feature. For example, maybe every Wednesday you interview an author about writing or his/her process. Or on Tuesdays you post a photo of your work area and write about your progress. Whatever it is, be consistent.
  3. What have you read recently that you loved or hated? What is your favorite book of all time? Why do you prefer one specific genre over another? Or do you no longer read at all, and why?
  4. What challenges or fears have you faced in life and overcome? Inspirational writing is always popular.
  5. Make a top 10 list. From nail colors to the best advice on book cover concepts; do your research and show off what you’ve found. Again, if you can tie this back to the content of your book(s), all the better.
  6. As writers, we love words, but appreciate the other fine arts, too. Don’t shy away from putting up a video you found on YouTube or a photo of your favorite coffee shop, carnival ride, or pet. These small glimpses into your life will be appreciated by your readers.
  7. What do you want to accomplish over the next year and how will you get there? Tell your readers so they can root for you. And remember to talk about your progress now and again.
  8. Still not inspired? Check out these interactive prompts that will get your mind churning.

Providing a consistent stream of content, even small pieces, gives you fodder for social media sharing, allowing you to continually grow your presence.

Every blog follow, every Facebook like, is a potential reader. And each reader can then tell their friends and family, expanding your network and making your book more and more successful!

PR Part I: Ready, Set, Press Release!

Featured_Article_Narrow

RALEIGH, NC – September 13, 2016 – Lulu, the pioneer and world leader in independent publishing, announced today that all authors should launch their new books with a well-crafted press release. “It’s your story and you should be the person telling it,” said Glenn@Lulu, Content Marketing Manager at Lulu Press.

 

press-release

That’s the most interesting thing I’ve heard all day!

That’s a pretty standard (and frankly boring) opening for a press release: Announce something, follow it by an authoritative, quotable quote, then tell the story. It’s really like writing a one-page essay. All you need to do is write a release that answers who, what, when, where, why and how. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

You may be surprised to learn there are people out there who make hundreds of dollars per press release. That’s right, all that money for writing five paragraphs announcing something someone thinks is newsworthy. In reality, this is something you can do yourself. All you need is a bit of practice and an ear for what will attract the attention of local, national, and global news outlets.

Let’s get started.

One second to fame

Books are published everyday. Another one being published is not news. Therefore, your headline has to jump off the screen and make a reporter want to read more of your story. Since your headline is the first impression you will make, avoid clichés, puns, and gimmicky subject lines. Otherwise your headline may be the last impression you make before a journalist hits the delete key.

Sell the hook, not the book

sell-the-hook

Sell the hook first. Then sell the book.

What makes your book relevant? Does it solve a problem? How does it relate to other books in the genre? Does your book explain or fit neatly into a current news story? Does the action in your book revolve around an upcoming holiday? Are you a coroner writing a crime novel? A mother writing a conspiracy thriller? A life-long city dweller celebrating life off the grid? Your press release is the means to tell your story. The book is almost an afterthought, “If you want to know more, you can find <insert title here> on Lulu and all major online bookstores.”

 

Don’t promote, inform

An effective press release is based on facts, not opinion. Of course you, your mom and your best friend think your book is the best book ever published, but that is only an opinion. A journalist needs facts and when possible quotes. If your book solves a problem, state the problem and the solution it provides. If your characters or plot happen to coincide with something happening in the news, explain why your book will help people better understand the situation. When possible, provide quotes from experts in your field or snippets from reputable reviewers.

The best book in the world – Really?

hyperboleYou want your headline and body text to be original, snappy, and attention grabbing; however, avoid using clichés and hyperbole. Unless you have proof your book will transform lives, leave readers breathless or on their knees begging for more, don’t include these overused tropes in your press release. They show a lack of thought and imagination (see above – facts not opinions).

 

Do your research

Your best bet for getting early publicity for your book will be from local newspapers, libraries, radio programs, and independent bookstores. With that said, make sure you do your homework and address your press release email to a person (name spelled correctly).   No one wants to receive a generic email blast sent to every Sir, Madame, or Whom it May Concern in the business. Make it personal. I spell my name Glenn with two Ns – you should too!

Everybody is busy (and lazy)

busy-lazy-journalists

Content, I need good content!

All journalists are on tight deadlines, so the easier you make it for them to write the story, the more likely it is your story will get their attention. When you send your press release email, include links to your author press kit (About the Author), your book’s retail page, and book excerpts. It is not recommended you send a free copy of your book with the initial contact. Instead, explain that free electronic copies will be provided upon request.

 

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to getting the publicity your book deserves. Remember, start local, be personal, and try different angles until you have perfected your press release. Then go national.

 

Up nextPR Part II: Write the Best Press Release – EVER!

Tips for composing the best book launch press release in the history of the written word in the format of a standard press release.

Additional Resources

Author Press Kit: How You Market You

Crafting an Elevator Pitch for Your Book

Five Hours to Success: Sell More Books

How to Publish a Paperback Book on Lulu.com

 

 

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)