Monday, March 9, 2015

5 Tips to Promotion

These days so many authors get bogged down with how to prmote themselves.  Promotion has become the name of the game.  I don’t know about you, but I have never been overly excited about promotion, especially having to promote myself.  I can promote campaigns or even news stories since I did that job for many years as a TV producer and public relations writer.  But having to say great thing about me as an author, well, sometimes I fear it comes off as bragging.

Still it must be done. So how can you do it without sounding too phony?

1.    Try using a blog. These have been around for a while and a good many writers are now blogging, either personally or with other writers. Blogs are great because you can be very folksy with them and write about your life, or one of your interests or interesting things you learn as you work on your story. Use historical or useful information you learned while researching a story as a basis for a blog. I see some of the most successful blogs for getting comments is when someone lists their top movies, songs or books of all time and then they start a discussion of what others think or what their lists might be. But if you’re going to have a blog, try to make it as consistent as possible. Decide if you are going to blog once or twice a month  or set up a schedule and stick to it as closely as possible.

2.      Answer or comment on other people’s blogs. As I just mentioned, some writers will do those  blogs where they mention their favorite books and movies. What about your own? Why not list those for the group. The more people commenting the better and you might just get noticed. I’ve heard agents and publishers suggest getting your name out by commenting on other blogs as a good way of letting possible readers know you are ut there.

3.      Create your own website. Like blogging websites have been around for a long time and you are advised to have one as an author so that readers can learn about you and about your other books. The best thing about having your own website that you build is that you can do it as a third person, or someone else talking about you, so you can promote yourself without sounding like you’re bragging. Unlike a blog, websites can be static so that you don’t need to update them often.

4.      Be on Social media. That means getting a Facebook account or on Twitter and then making certain you at least join in a few conversations so that it doesn’t look like every time you post it is about your book. It’s also a good way to let readers get to know you better.  I like using Pinterest too because it lets me show off some of my pictures while looking around for other pictures f things that interest me. Again, it can help readers to get to know you.

5.      Check with other writers  on their promotion. See what others are doing and what works for them and why.  It can save you a lot of time. Some authors are betting at various forms of promotion and if you ask enough people, you can come up with a variety of ideas so that you can decide which one works best for you.

Finally, though, I would say remember your main goal is to write. If you spend too much time on promotion, you will find you don’t have time to write. Don’t let promotion overwhelm you. Be a writer first!

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