As we juggle writing time, home and social life and book events, it is not just our personal commitment that requires organization but deciding on how effective we can make each aspect. With social media we can blast our books onto the internet but a single post soon disappears into the abyss. Book signings, author readings and book fairs are usually a more effective mode of advertising ourselves and our books. A chance to converse with our readers gives them a real insight into the backstory of the narrative and a sense of the author too. A website is a great way to keep readers informed on upcoming events and publication dates but also gives us an opportunity to reveal how we write, why we write and how the story was created. Character interviews, excerpts and sneak peeks of current projects tempt our readership.
All these options are positive venues for advertising but we also have the opportunity to use selected publications too. I recently decided to spend a nominal fee on an advert in a children’s magazine. It is issued monthly and has a great readership. With download or print options available my advert has the potential to be seen repeatedly and this was a good part of my decision to pay for the advert.I will certainly be repeating this exercise later in the year.
Take a look and see if Five Star Publications can help you. My advert is on page 33 – The Spring Reading Guide.
As Christmas gets ever closer the advertising machine goes into overdrive. There are numerous adverts on the television and other outlets for an abundance of toys and gift ideas for all the family. As I do not watch much television, when I happen to catch a stream of adverts I am amazed at the toy choices given. Why, you may ask? Well it is the lack of toys that encourage a child to use their imagination. Everything is themed or a character figurine or a ‘set’ of some kind or other.
I make the comparison with lego – when I was a child lego consisted of various shaped blocks with which you used your imagination to build a plethora of objects. Today lego blocks are in kits, which make a single themed toy. Where is the imagination element? How can a child conjure up fantastical creatures, futuristic vehicles and unique buildings when the blocks limit their creativity?
To be a ‘whole’ person, we need to explore our physical, spiritual and mental capacities, in essence to find what we love, what we are passionate about. If we are limited in that exploration we, and our future generations, will experience a imperfect life.
Take a simple cardboard box at Christmas it is the focus of young children while their expensive gifts are discarded. Why does a simple box engage so? Well, because it can be ‘anything’ – atunnel, a car, a house, and much more because their imagination makes it that way. It is limitless in its possibilities.
Let’s look at guarding our imagination and that of our children.
We all struggle to promote our work and turn to the numerous social media sites as avenues of interaction. We can spend hours posting book links, reviews, book cover art, links to our blog etc. When it comes to determining the success of all this activity, we can feel despondent. A tweet is lost in a multitude of other tweets within seconds, a face book page post may last slightly longer but its place is taken once the feed renews. Now you may feel such random and spasmodic promotion does little to help you become known but take heart in the fact that these efforts are not in vain. Re-tweets and shares are confirmation that someone has seen your post and it spreads to other media sites in the process.
There are analytic pages for most media sites, where you are able to track the success of a particular promotion. You can focus on specific groups or locations as well, giving your promotion an advantage and ensuring the ‘right’ people view the information you supply. I utilize all the usual social media sites but have to confess I am not an everyday user so ‘miss’ whole days or even weeks of potential promotional opportunities.
That is why I was so thrilled to find a site called Co-Promote last year. At the time most of the users were involved in the music business. Once I read how the site worked I was intrigued but thought there was no room for authors. I wrote an email asking if they would be expanding their reach to other enterprises. The reply was quick and favorable. Anyone was welcome to join no matter what their trade, business or creative genre. I was informed new options would be added for books, magazines and blogs. Encouraged by this willingness to accommodate, I joined up and have found this site to be excellent. You can join for free or register for a sliding scale of options. More here: https://copromote.com/about.php The added bonus is that whenever there is a share you are sent an email advising you of who has shared. Each email also shows you new shares, new engagements and the reach of your promotion has achieved. Each promotion can be run for a few days or a few weeks, whichever is preferable to your requirements. My current promotion began on 12th October – so far it has reached 27.5K people! I could not have done that with any other site in such a short time.
Ineluctable – definition: impossible to avoid or evade : inevitable
As our writing journey begins we are immersed in our words, characters and plots – this is the honeymoon stage of writing. Our creativity runs free, there are no obstacles, anything is possible. Once our story is written there is the inevitable editing, revision and practical aspects to work through and consider. With a polished manuscript before us we need to look at the ‘advertising’ side of this journey.
Many of us have no experience of media or a promotional background so this becomes a daunting prospect. I found this great post by Jamie Sheffield, which lists tips for marketing. Go check it out.
Obviously there are companies that offer to help you with promotion and the internet is full of helpful guides and tips from other authors. You need to find your comfort level and determine how much time you want to commit to this aspect of your journey. Some of us may ‘go all out’ but in practical terms we still have to balance the other facets of our lives.
Research your options and find the ones that you are most comfortable with and focus on them. Trying to promote on multiple sites several times a day is certainly not practical and will only lead to a ‘burn out’ as well as frustration. Focus on genre specific sites and use your connections (although care must be taken here too!) Be realistic in your expectations – slowly build a following and the sales will come.
Interdict – definition: 1) prohibit by law or decree; 2) to destroy, cut off, or damage
Today I am sharing an interesting and insightful article with you by Dave Thomas.
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes.
With that being said, what kind of business owner are you? Do you have trouble sleeping at night when it comes to meeting the needs of your customers, worrying about the people you hire, or what your rivals may be up to?
Those are all legitimate concerns, but what about your reputation? Specifically, what about your online reputation as both a person and an entrepreneur?
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs wait until something negative happens that they then turn their attention to their online reputation. By that point and time, the damage to their business may very well already be done.
So, what are some things as an entrepreneur that you need to do to better protect what is said about you online?
Among the items to zero in on:
First and foremost, make sure you don’t make any major gaffes when it comes to social media. While there are some entrepreneurs who have failed to engage in and reap the rewards of social media, others have dove into it. While participating is great, there is always the chance that a mistake or two will be made, mistakes that can damage your online reputation.
For example, let’s say you get into a beef with an angry customer who has taken to Facebook, Twitter or another social venue. Next thing you know, they have called you and your business out. In order to provide your side of the story, you respond, with the dialogue going back-and-forth, sometimes in a negative tone.
The unfortunate part for you is that current and potential customers see you in a less positive light, meaning their business could very well go elsewhere. If you feel you can’t answer the customer in an efficient and professional manner, by all means do not engage publically with them. Take the conversation to private channels, allowing you and the customer to hash out a solution. You also want to make sure that any comments you or your team make on social media come across as professional. While it is okay to have a little fun with SM, posting inappropriate office party photos or comments should never even be considered;
Know what others are saying
With all you have to do as an entrepreneur, you probably do not have time to do periodic online checks of your name and your business. The problem here is that there are companies out there that post information you may choose not to go public, including personal addresses, income levels, divorce information, court documents and more. By doing a Google search of both your name and your company’s name, you can stay abreast of what others are seeing when they do likewise;
Finally, there are many different ways you and your company can come out looking like stars on the Internet. Make sure you promote things like blog posts that make you out to be an authority in your field, customer testimonials, press releases about the interesting things your business is doing, videos and podcasts that assist customers and much more.
In the event there is some negative information floating around online that puts you and/or your business in a bad light, projecting all the good things you are doing will lower the bad stuff on the search engines.