Author Blogs

While websites seem like “home-base” for your online portfolio, more writers are moving to blogs.

First, they are free, with no hosting fee, and do not require a web designer.

They’re easier to update, through the blog software, and

Blogs have more fresh content, so they are more visible in search engines.

Interested in seeing more author blogs? Check out mediabistro.com, shewrites.com, and redroom.com for starters.

Here are a few to check out this morning:

http://www.shirleyshowalter.com/blog/

http://meghanward.com/blog/

http://www.smartauthorsites.com/authorsblog/2012/02/4-tips-for-building-a-successful-author-blog/

Keep learning… keep growing.

Recommended: “Sell Your Book Like Wildfire”

Not sure why author Rob Eagar  chose this metaphor, but he refers to fire a lot in this book. The full title. though, tells the real story: Sell Your Book Like Wildfire: The Writer’s Guide to Marketing and Publicity.

It is true that buzz  — word-of-mouth, —  viral exposure is exactly what you need to get your book noticed. And his book will give you the spark to start that fire.  Here are excerpts from a full review I did at BlogCritics Magazine.

Yet, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, is not about sales and not about marketing after your book comes out.

Concepts covered include:

  • working with a publisher,
  • use of social media,
  • turning your book into a brand,
  • exercises to make sure you know where the value is in your product,
  • and how to convey that value.

And that is where the author, Rob Eager, provides the best advise.  The core of his strategy is to help you find the real value in your book. It involves an honest evaluation of how to find your market, know what they want, and deliver.

“You have an author brand whether you know it or not. …
Why be bland when you can have a brand.”

Learn how to turn your blog into cash…

Carol Tice, of Make A Living Writing, had an inspiring blog post recently, on CopyBlogger.com  —

12 Ways to Turn Your Old, Dusty Blog Archive
into Cold, Hard Cash

Carol says: “If your posts have evergreen, highly useful information, they can be turned into paid products. With a little effort you can recombine, reuse, repackage, and repurpose that old material into new forms. And people will pay money for them.”

Read her full post here to learn how to spin blogs into ebook gold, create reports, and charge for content.

Get started now.

If you’re new to Pajama Marketing, where we give you an idea of something to do in your PJs on a Saturday morning, leave a comment and let all our readers know what you’re up to.

You? A Brand?

Excerpted from “How to Discover and Build Your Author Brand,” at The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn.

Branding is important because it enables people to find you, and when they find you, they might just buy your book. So who are you online? Which niche do you fit into? How do people find you?

Creating an author platform is vital for a new author’s success, and creating a brand is the basis for the platform. You need to know what you are creating before you start!

Deciding On Your Brand

To decide on your brand, answer the following questions:

  1. How do you want to be known? What words do you want people to associate with you?
  2. What are your goals for the next 3 years? What words are associated with that?
  3. Will your books be in a particular genre?
  4. Who do you admire and want to emulate in writing and also as a brand? Find their websites and keep screenprints of what you like and don’t like. Use them as a model (but obviously no plagiarism!)
  5. If you have a website already, enter it into Google Keyword tool. Are you happy with the keywords associated with your site? Do you need to change your focus?
  6. What images do you want associated with you and your brand?

Read Joanna’s full post here

Thank you Joanna, of thecreativepenn.com for permission to use your material here on Pajama Marketing for Authors.

Learn from the experts

Spring seems to be the ultimate season for those who love to learn, especially authors. In the last week, I’ve seen over a dozen good online courses, teleseminars, or workshops, all offered for free.

One was today. The National Assn. of Memoir Writers (namw.org) five-hour teleseminar(!).

Then Stephanie Chandler, of Authority Publishing, one of the power author promoters also issued an interesting blog post today: The 5 habits of successful authors. It’s not possible to summarize her post – go read it, but consider these five keyword.

Commit, Invest, Dedicate, Pursue, and Leverage

Now go read the details. The web continues to offer us an abundance of great information. Be sure you allow a little time on your Saturday to explore a few good resources. Being a successful author requires investing time in your books. If you don’t love your books, who will?

Helen

Author Marketing: The last hundred hours

In Release Your Writing, I refer to several concepts that continue to generate feedback year after year.

Last week I wrote here about the need to continue promoting your book, for years, not weeks after it launches. In the book, I suggest you do one thing each week and one larger task each month, to keep the book alive. You can read last week’s post for inspiration if you’re currently marketing your book.

Today, lets talk about my concept: “the last hundred hours.” It refers to all the work left to do on your book once you ‘think’ it is is complete.

The Last 100 Hours

When you finally have the text nailed down, and your chapters flow, it still takes about 100 hours for reader feedback, final review and editing, reading cover-to-cover, chasing down citations, and submitting for publication. Even writers with a traditional publisher need that huge time push at the end.

Don’t get scared though. It’s not 100 hours without sleep, just two to three weeks where you won’t watch TV, open the mail or read the newspaper. You will use all your available time for the final push to publication, because you’re so close to being finished, and it feels so good.

Maybe you’re tired of revising, or up against your deadline. This is not the time to rush. Your book has taken shape from a dream to a reality, but the professional editing, formatting and last minute clean up should not be rushed. Even when you think you’re done, print the manuscript, put it in a binder, and read it cover-to-cover, or read it aloud. If you love it, and you know your target audience, your readers will love the book too.

Pen to Press Symposium

Here’s where I am today: The Pen to Digital Press: DIY Publishing in the Digital Age conference – so expect lots of good information to follow. I’ll be scheduling a series of posts on discussions regarding author rights, the digital tangle with ebook piracy, and much more. This event, sponsored by Lawyers for the Creative Arts presents the most relevant information for authors and publishers today. We’re fortunate to have this group in Chicago.

Areas covered include contracts, protecting your ideas, collaborating, use of third-party content, and a host of social media issues. I’ll also be back with lots of good information to share.

Gain exposure for your book online

You have to work at getting a book noticed, but there are countless resources online where you can list your book. People interested n your title or topic can then click to purchase. Being listed in other places also improves your search-engine ranking, so people can find you easier.

Self-PublishingReview.com has a nice list of such resources here. Visit it today and get started…

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/blog/2009/01/15/places-to-list-your-book-online/#comment-12158

an exhausting list of author marketing tools

40+ Free Tools for Authors

The Self Publishing Review site has produced an exhaustive list of resources for promoting your ebooks.

The richness of the tools are sorted as follows:

Writing and editing – tools, which can help you better write and edit your book
Design – how to easily prepare a cover of a book; it’s actually easier than you think
Formats and conversion – tools to convert and prepare books in desired file formats
Publishing – a list of the most popular self-publishing platforms
Online presence – what you need to effectively promote and sell your books
Reader engagement – tools to engage your readers in your books and writing
Analytics – analyze effectiveness of your online activity

Maybe spend an hour on each category and prioritize your top three tools. Once you focus on those, you can return to the list to teach yourself more about the other items.

Enjoy!

Helen Gallagher

What does a publicist do for a new author?

If your book is not reaching the desired audience, not found among the clutter, you may need a publicist to jump-start your launch.

What does a publicist do?

They have media connections and get exposure for your book. Often they start with a traditional press release sent to thousands of media outlets: internet radio, local television, and print media. They book events for you, keep your name in the news for a month or two, and then you build on that initial buzz.

Media Bistro has compiled a long list of resources to consider. What you can do now, even before your book is published, is work on the pitch. You need a compelling statement that states exactly what your book is about, what it promises for the reader, and why it is unique. Without that critical understanding of your book, [your product] you aren’t ready to begin spending money on publicists. While they can help focus your pitch, it is your job to convey the essence of your book and the target audience.

Publicist services are effective but expensive. If you use one to create initial buzz, make certain you focus on the core message and target the right audience.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono

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