Archive for June, 2009

5 Tips for Targeting Your Blog

June 24, 2009

Writing stuff people actually care about is what we authors do. Right?

Trouble is, that’s sometimes incredibly difficult. Here are 5 specific steps to blogging that make targeting our messages considerably easier than crafting 50,000- or 100,000-word books.

  1. Test. Blogs let you discover what kind of content your public wants to read. What makes them subscribe to your blog, eagerly searching their email or RSS notifications for the latest wisdom from your keyboard? Write a few blogs and watch the “views per day” statistics. This same blog you’re now (more…)
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3 Tips for Building Your Online Presence

June 19, 2009

As we’ve discussed, it’s essential that authors establish themselves online. Not only are publishers pushing for more author-initiated marketing in the digital world, the Internet is where readers go first to find research new titles. A recent poll showed 35% of all online users are over the age of 40 and some of us should be retired.

There are 3 key building blocks to your online platform (full disclosure – these were first brought to our attention by blogger and social media guru Chris Brogan). Core to successfully using your online presence is listening to what your readers are saying about you and your books. You’ll want to know what they (more…)

Why Inbound Marketing?

June 17, 2009

Used to be when you had a product or service to sell, you figured out how to tell the world. You took your product to the marketplace (farmer’s market) or you bought or begged attention (advertising, public relations) or bugged people into trying your product (sales, direct mail, telemarketing, etc). It was you who went after customers.

For authors and publishers, that meant all the above, plus whirlwind tours of the country appearing on radio and television shows, holding book signings, conducting readings at local libraries, trekking to local bookstores with signed copies in hand, and meeting and greeting as many people as possible. All  that was what one of my favorite social media marketers, Hubspot, calls “interruption marketing.” (more…)

“Use Twitter and Facebook,” Multi-Pubbed Author Says

June 10, 2009

Brandilyn Collins – @brandilyn for those of you on Twitter – is one hard-working author. I admire her marketing expertise and  willingness to share from that expertise. Nearly every week something on her blog, http://forensicsandfaith.blogspot.com, adds to my arsenal of marketing tools. She does this daily, in addition to always writing her daily word count.

Recently (June 4) Brandilyn wrote about the benefits of partnering Facebook and Twitter together as 2 key ingredients of her marketing strategy.  And because both services can be linked, what you write on 1 site automatically shows up on the other.  Brandilyn also notes that messages from fans which are posted on Twitter are public. That means every single @Brandilyn follower sees, reads, benefits from the fan mail of 1 individual. Is that great exposure, or what?

Brandilyn writes, “If you are a published author and are not yet on Twitter, I encourage you to start an account. It takes time at first to build followers. But at this point – I’m around 4400 followers now – my follow/unfollow (more…)

Best-selling or Best-writing?

June 5, 2009

The other day a fellow blogger posed the crucial question, “do you want to be a best-selling author or a best-writing author?” I was surprised at the number of authors/writers who prefer “best-writing” status.

It’s admirable to want to improve one’s craft, to write poetic prose, to so completely relate to one’s readers/tribe/platform/community, et al with powerful words. I’d love to become that level of writer, to win the Nobel Prize for literature. On the other hand, I write with purpose. I write with a message, and it’s more important (to me) that the message gets spread.

Key to spreading the message of my writing – and yours – is building our online platforms. Central to our platforms are our daily or weekly blogs. That’s what one blogger calls “home base.” Another calls this “your (more…)

Breathtaking Photographic Journey of Beloved Christian Hymns

June 3, 2009

New Leaf Press recently announced the release of Abide With Me, written by John H. Parker and photographed by Paul Seawright. This is the first joint venture of Messrs. Parker and Seawright.

Beginning with the history of John Newton’s favorite “Amazing Grace,” the book recounts stories of faith behind this and 24 other hymns from the past 300 years. In addition to Newton, hymn writers include Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, Henry Lyte and others. The book also includes a CD with 24 hymns performed in their traditional manner. (more…)

How To Increase Your Platform

June 2, 2009

So, the last time we chatted we talked about the need, and the opportunity, for authors to build their “platforms” via social media. Whether blogs or Facebook or Tangle or Twitter or YouTube or other online communities, generating a following is easy enough from the technology end.

As authors know, the hardest part of writing is staring at the blank screen. Whatever will you write? Whatever do you have to say that’s interesting and/or useful to anybody, let alone the entire blogosphere?

Wait a minute! You just wrote an entire book. Or you’re in the midst of writing one, right? What’s your subject matter? Can you expound on a specific fact beyond the scope of your book? If you’re a chemist (pay attention, Richard), what new developments are there in the world of beakers and test tubes? If you’re a geologist or (more…)