Self-Promotion – Be Shameless

Self-Promotion – Be Shameless

by Erin Thorne

The importance of self-promotion cannot be overestimated, especially for new writers. You’ve spent a great deal of time and energy creating your work. However, if you stop there, you’ve only done half the job. Arranging book events and being proactive in your approach to marketing is crucial to getting your name out there, and to building your audience.

There are several steps you can take that are free, and only minimally time consuming. One is creating Author’s Pages on Facebook and Amazon. These can be customized with pictures of yourself and/or your book(s), a brief bio, videos, and links to your website and Twitter account. Another is looking up and contacting newspapers and libraries in and around the town in which you’ll be doing a signing. This ought to be done a few weeks in advance, to allow enough time for the public to both become aware of your scheduled appearance, and to mark their calendars. Many free templates for crafting press releases are available online, which you can use to promote your event, and even the book itself. Try sending one to your local paper, and in addition to generating publicity for the signing, you may secure an interview.

Of course, you need to book an event before you can promote it. While large chain bookstores can be somewhat hesitant in inviting little-known authors to appear, independent bookstores tend to be more gracious. I’ve looked up ones within a reasonable driving distance and sent them press releases, or simply called them, with very satisfying results. Other hospitable venues include libraries and cafés; you’ll likely have to do your own promotion, such as printing flyers and notifying the press, but it’s worth it.

Once you’ve got a date, you can also create an event on Facebook to inform your friends, family, and co-workers about what you’re doing. From personal experience, I’ve found that personally inviting Facebook friends to signings isn’t as effective as one would think, and can irritate those who’ve been asked to attend an event that occurs at a locale far from their home. You’re better off creating it and posting it as a status update a couple of times a week, starting two to three weeks before the signing takes place. However, if you create a promotion event that takes place entirely online, such as a book giveaway, feel free to invite your friends, and ask them to share the link on their own pages.

The more effort you put forth, the more results you’ll see. I have two children, one of whom is an attention-requiring two-year old, and I’m working on other writing projects as well. My time and money are both limited; while life’s circumstances can make self-marketing a bit more challenging, it is nonetheless essential to one’s writing career, and can serve as a stepping-stone to landing an agent and enjoying some degree of success.

For examples of what I’ve done, and continue to do, please see my Author’s Pages on Facebook, www.facebook.com/authorerinthorne, and Amazon, www.facebook.com/authorerinthorne.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Heads Up!

Heads Up!

by K. Allen Wood

If you’re an author with access to the Internet, you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded recently by other authors peddling their books or stories. We’ve all been exposed to this before, but until the past year or so most self-promotion from authors was done in a classier, more respectful manner.

Some still operate that way (and we’re grateful), but others have taken it to a whole new level.

I won’t sit here and tell anyone they shouldn’t promote their work or the work of their friends or authors they enjoy, but I will explain what typically happens on my end when authors do it incessantly.

What’s that smell?

If you follow me on Twitter, I will likely follow you. If you do nothing but post links to your book or books, I will block you and vow to never read your work.

If I connect with you on LinkedIn and you immediately send me a message or an e-mail telling me to check out your book on Amazon, I will “disconnect” from you and vow to never read your book—especially when, as happened yesterday and thus prompted this post, I sample it and there is a mistake three words in. No, thank you!

If we’re friends on Facebook and I’ve “liked” your author page—which is the page I expect to see writing updates generate from—and you go and post daily the same goddamn updates on your personal page, your author page, and every writing-related group you and I (sadly) belong to, even those that are not meant for such updates, I will block your updates, vow to never read your work, and find you to be a total wackadouche.

If you constantly post 5-star reviews on Amazon and then share those overblown, unhelpful reviews loaded with WHIZBANGPOW! adjectives and vague clichés like “it gripped me from the first word and didn’t let go until the last”—which are obviously meant to A) kiss the (undoubtedly more popular) author’s ass, B) hide the fact that you didn’t actually read what you reviewed, and C) use his or her book as a piggyback to your own shitty book or books—I won’t believe a word you’re saying and more than likely will never read that author’s book because your word can’t be trusted.

(That’s right, an absurd run-on sentence in a post where I criticize bad writing. Got a problem with that?)

The fact is, you’re not helping anyone, especially yourself. Most of us promote our work in some regard, but some of you are OUT OF FUCKING CONTROL! I won’t begrudge you your rights to be that way—that pushy, lying kind of self-promoter. You’ll surely fool a lot of dummies out there. But I won’t support you. And worse, I’ll find it very hard to support those other authors that are unlucky enough to be promoted by you. They’re the innocent bystanders in this whole thing. And some are probably damn fine writers, which is a shame.

In the grand scheme of things, the big picture, this post is just one insignificant opinion from a relatively insignificant dude … but rest assured, I’m not the only one with this opinion.

So do as you will, but remember this: You can’t push or lie your way to the top. You can push and lie your way to a top, sure, but it’s most definitely not the top.

Editor’s Note:

This blog entry originally appeared on K. Allen Wood’s website.

Marketing and E-Publishing Advice from the NEHW Co-Chair

If you don’t know how to publish your story or novel as an e-book on Barnes and Noble, NEHW Co-Chair Tracy L. Carbone has written a blog entry on her website explaining how she did it. You can read it here. At the moment, this is the first entry on her site so it is at the top of the page.

She also has another entry, “How to Waste Money on Marketing,” which you will have to scroll down the page to find. It’s worth the time to search for it. It will save you money.

Four Marketing Benefits of Social Media

This acticle originally appeared on the website, http://www.searchengineoptimizationjournal.com/.

4 Marketing Benefits of Social Media by Nick Stamoulis


Social media marketing is not a fad. If that’s the excuse you’ve been using to avoid developing a social media marketing strategy it’s time to find a new excuse or finally build that Facebook page. Social media marketing can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be (or as you have time for), but you get out what you put in. 90+% of Americans have at least one social profile, meaning your target market is online and engaging in social networking. Marketing 101- fish where the fish are!

What are some of the benefits of social media marketing?

1. Build brand
Social profiles can rank on their own in the search engines, increasing your online presence. Social profiles are also one more place for you to develop your messaging strategy and connect with your target audience. It’s a place to inject some personality into your brand and let your target market engage with you on their terms. Social networks are the perfect place for breeding brand ambassadors and building lasting relationships with repeat customers.

2. Drive targeted visitors to site
You never want to treat your social networking profiles like the final destination of a potential customer. Your social profile is more like a filter, attracting targeted traffic (that identify themselves as you target audience because they are interested in your brand) and them pushing them over to your actual site/blog. The more targeted visitors your site has, the better chance you have of pushing them to act and increasing your conversion rate.

3. Promote content and get more links (social signals)

The more times a piece of content is shared on a social networking or social bookmarking site, the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the search engines. From an SEO standpoint, these social signals can impact how well your piece of content ranks in the SERPs. From a more general marketing perspective, the more people who share your content the greater potential reach it has. The average Facebook user has 130 friends which means that if just five people post your content to Facebook it has the potential to be seen by 650 of their collective connections!

4. PR
Twitter has become many people’s go-to source for breaking news. Twitter even created this clever commercial demonstrating the power of “real time” sharing. Social networking has practically revolutionized the way news information is shared. So what does this mean for brands? Social networks allow companies to connect with their audience as a situation develops, meaning you have the chance to tell your side of the story as it is happening. Social networks are also a great place to interact with members of the press. You can connect with journalists and local news sources directly, giving them instant access to a story.