Archive for the ‘Author Information’ Category

An Opportunity for Authors

December 28, 2009

Social media guru Chris Brogan blogs today about a book he read during the Christmas holiday and how well the author, Scott Westerfeld, communicates with his readers via the Internet.

Brogan makes the statement, “Fans are no longer silent onlookers in the experience of books. They are participants.” He continues by saying books are “…a user-driven media where readers and sometimes authors congregate.” He points out that books don’t have to be limited to a rectangle of paper. Today there are printed books, audio books, ebooks, Kindle books, etc. The form of books, Brogan writes, or “the media” is just one facet of their essence.

“If a book is a media where readers and sometimes authors congregate – CONGREGATE – it means that authors get the opportunity to build relationships in a whole new way with readers. It means that the stories don’t have to stay linear, that the ideas don’t have to stay on one side of the page, that the experiences don’t have to end at the edge of the page.”

That’s a powerful statement for authors. Brogan continues, “…the opportunity to empower your audience to actually be a community is a huge one, and shouldn’t be shrugged off without consideration. Not only could authors create differently…they have the chance to build relationships of value, that will work in their favor for future projects.”

Stated another way, the opportunity for all authors who write to make a difference in the world no longer ends when the manuscript is complete or the book is printed. Now authors can engage their readers long after they’ve read and absorbed the message between the covers. Now authors – and readers – can dialog about those messages, can expand on messages for even greater change in our world.

Would You Give Away Your Books Free?

July 22, 2009

There’s a lot of discussion these days about the value of “free” via the Internet. Certainly, social networking succeeds because people help people by writing blogs that give away useful information or posting links to timely articles. All free. All in the name of building community and sharing with others as those who have gone before shared with you.

But would you, as an author, give away your books for free?

“Free” is the new medium of exchange, one social networking guru posits. Of course, what he and others (more…)

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…)

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…)

How Online Visibility Helps Authors Get Published

May 22, 2009

More and more often, publishers are requiring authors have “platforms” before considering their books for publication. Many authors, however, especially those who are unpublished, wonder how they’ll generate a “platform” if no one will publish their book.

Call it a platform, a community, a following, or a tribe, it’s much easier increasing one’s visibility to readers these days, thanks to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Authors who are passionate about the subject of their book can easily blog about said subject or speak to local groups or write columns for appropriate periodicals, thus creating the “platform.” When readers discover useful and valuable information in those blogs or columns or speeches, they’ll gladly tell their friends and associates. Many will recommend authors or books in their own blogs.

Today’s tip: Make your blog useful to readers. David Meerman Scott tells about an author who wrote about (more…)