2019: Time for a Fresh Start on Marketing

Oh, no, it’s time to review that dreaded list of New Year’s resolutions!  It’s not uncommon for these lists to be either too long or too ambitious for their makers to actually accomplish within twelve months, but that doesn’t seem to stop any of us from feeling the compulsive tug toward writing them–or from feeling miserable when we find ourselves running into a brick wall of complications.

writing goals

For those of us who are authors, many of us will end up making at least one of our resolutions that of writing and publishing a book in 2019.  But how might an author go from creating the goal of writing a book to actually getting it on paper and, finally, to publishing it?  If you’ve resolved upon a similar goal, here area couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Join a writer’s group.  

While there are certainly plenty of online options available to you, through internet forums and listservs and Facebook groups and the like, the best kind of feedback a writer can receive is the kind that is delivered in face-to-face conversation with people who have held your manuscript in their hands and feel some sort of personal stake in delivering detailed high-quality responses to the questions that you pose.  This is why, above all other things, I recommend you look to join a writer’s group in 2019.

But where to look?  I recommend stealing a page of or Lorena Knapp’s playbook over at the Write Life blog.  She recommends researching a variety of options before committing to any one writer’s group; you might start with local writing centers and then move on to conferences, bulletin boards, writing associations, your personal network, online networking sites like Meetup.com, and then as a last resort turn to social media and so on.  In my personal experience, conferences can be overwhelming (a case study in over-stimulation), bulletin boards are rarely up-to-date, and online networking sites lead to as many “misses” as “hits.”  I found out about my local writing association after attending an event at my local library, which often plays host to local authors–many of whom are self-published.  You can’t go wrong by asking a librarian!

  • Join a book club.

The library also happens to be a great place to begin your hunt for a local book club, since most libraries directly or indirectly sponsor these sorts of events, and can point you to the right people or resources to set up your own book club if there isn’t one already geared toward your interests.  You can also check online at the Reader’s Circle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting readers with each other, to see if there are otherwise off-the-grid book clubs meeting in your area.

But why should a writer join a book club?  The answer isn’t as simple or the dots as easy to connect as with writing circles and writer’s groups, where writing is the common theme.  But as Evan Maloney wrote for The Guardian back in 2010, reading and reading well is actually the most fundamental of skills for a writer to practice:

As well as a large vocabulary, novels give writers a sense of how it is done. They offer templates that can be borrowed and adapted; they teach a writer how to create narrative structures and characters, how to develop tension, write dialogue, and maintain a consistent tone and pitch. Novels also trigger memories from a reader’s personal experience, and these give writers ideas for their own stories.

Best of all, writes Maloney, “whenever writing gets too painful, when each word and idea seems to be dragged from the mind like the limb of an aborted camel, reading offers a writer a lovely escape into a fantasy world where stories are revealed with simple ease and order on the page.”  Sometimes, that’s exactly what we need.

  • Work with a ghostwriter, or if that’s not quite your speed, with an editor.

With a book club feeding you inspiration and a writer’s group providing you support and feedback as you write, the next best step is to find your voice.  If you’re struggling to find the time or cultivate the skills you think necessary to capturing your story, it may be time to look for a ghostwriter–someone who can sit down with you, hash out all of the relevant details, and then serve as architect and project manager for your book–all rolled into one.  We often associate ghostwriters with the traditional publishing model, since most of the ghostwritten books we see hit shelves are celebrity autobiographies–but you can be a self-publishing author and develop a healthy rapport with a ghostwriter, too!  Hybrid self-publishing companies like mine–Outskirts Press–often offer ghostwriting and editorial services as several of many tools to put in your toolbox.  The differences between ghostwriting and editing is significant–the former will take on a large part of the “generative” process, while the latter will help shape or reshape material you have already created–but the general impulse is the same: these services exist to help you get stuff done.  Don’t underestimate the power of a good edit!

  • Cultivate new and sustainable writing habits.

Here’s where things get a bit hazy.  Every author has individual writing habits developed over years of hard work and necessity, so what a “good writing day” looks like to you will most likely differ from everyone else you meet.  We can look to our heroes for inspiration, sure, but ultimately I find comparison a toxic, toxic beast.  The best way to succeed at adopting new and useful writing habits is to do so slowly and sustainably–by making incremental changes and sticking with them over the long term.

There’s a reason NaNoWriMo proves so difficult for authors to just “pick up” and do: it’s such an intense process that it requires writers to make enormous changes to their daily schedules just to fit it in.  A much better course might be to adopt more manageable alterations–boosting the time you spend writing every morning by five minutes a day for a week, perhaps, or by restricting your self-editing to only five minutes a day–and to evaluate their efficacy regularly, discarding the useless ones and keeping the useful ones.  As my grandmother used to say, “trim the fat!”  Keep the things that help you, and shed the weight of those which don’t.

You are not alone. ♣︎

Do you have ideas to share? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to feature your thoughts and respond to them in my next post!

Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

 

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 03/24/15

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

High School Teachers Guide Students Into Self-Publishing

In some high school classes, teens are becoming published authors through self-publishing projects. Students are producing poems, short stories and nonfiction works in class with self-publishing tools. This is an interesting read for writers, teachers, and parents.

Facebook Ads: A Guide for Indie Authors

By targeting ads to specific users on Facebook, indie authors can market their books and build their readerships. This article is a must read for authors considering Facebook ads.

Smart Indie Authors Connect at Writers’ Conferences

There is little question that writers’ conferences can provide a big boost for an indie author’s career. This article discusses the benefits of writers’ conferences and how to find them.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

The Do’s of Pitching Your Self-Published Book to Producers

Here are 5 things to do when composing a letter to a radio producer to promote your self-published book:

1 – Do keep your letter short. No more than one page.
2 – Do include your hook. This is a 5-10 word sentence or phrase that should attract everyone’s attention about you or your book.
3 – Do format your letter so it’s easy to skim. Use bullet points.
4 – Do write your letter with the producer’s point of view. Re-read it as if you were the producer. Is it clear what you want and what value you offer to the radio listeners?
5 – Do be available to respond to interest immediately. These people are often on deadline and if you are the easiest solution to their problem, you’ll get the call.

Karl Schroeder



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Have fun and keep writing…

Viral Marketing for Self Published Authors – Tip #3

Viral Marketing Tip #3 – Flow

Assuming you now have a profile on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and/or some other social networking sites, the next step is to ensure that your message can easily flow from one person to the next. Last week I wrote about setting up profiles on social networking sites. Viral marketing does not have to take place on the internet. However, the speed and convenience of the internet advances the effectiveness of viral (or word of mouth) marketing efforts.

Twitter is the perfect example of how people pass on information from one person to the next. Since you have to convey your message in 140 characters or less, this can be challenging, but it allows you to get creative with your audience in order to catch their attention. If you tweet something that people find interesting, they may retweet (RT) that message to their followers, and so on.

As a self-published author and expert in your field, your messages should convey who you are and what you know. Ultimately, this will generate interest and help people understand why they should listen to you (and buy your book).

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht
selfpublishingadvice.wordpress.com


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Self-Published Books for CEOs

Do you have a self-published book that is ideal for executives, CEOs, or corporations? There is a company that specializes in reaching that market. You will find information about them at http://800ceoread.com – and that also happens to be their telephone number, where you can find out about submitting your self-published book for consideration if you feel it is appropriate for their market: 1-800-CEO-READ.

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht
selfpublishingadvice.wordpress.com

Niche Magazine Promotion for Self-Published Books

As you probably already know, contacting niche magazines for book reviews, editorials, or articles related to your subject matter (wherein YOU are the expert) is a fantastic way to promote your self-published book.

What is advantageous about niche magazines is that they are more receptive to submissions and inquiries, particularly if it is within their niche.

What is disadvantageous about them is that you need to make sure your inquiry matches their niche in some way, and refer to that connection in your pitch.

There are SO many niche magazines out there that you should conduct your own search for them on the Internet, but here are two that you may work for your book:

DIVORCE Magazine is a bi-annual publication geared to people who have had, or are contemplating divorce. Segue Esprit is the publisher of both the print version and the Online publication at http://www.DivorceMagazine.com. Their editorial offices are at:
2255B Queen St., East, Ste. 1179
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4E1G3
(416) 368-8853

Gulf & Main Magazine is a bi-monthly lifestyle magazine. Patricia George is the editor-in-chief.
Gulf & Main Magazine
1422 Hendry St., Ste. 304
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 791-7900

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht
selfpublishingadvice.wordpress.com

Promoting Your Self-Published Book with a Kindle Edition

Amazon recently introduced the Kindle 2. 

If you are a self-published author and you have not heard of Kindle, click here for more information.

Why should you offer a Kindle edition of your book?

An ebook edition of your self-published book can help with the promotion of your hard copy format.  Keep in mind that distribution of an ebook is quicker and more affordable.  By giving people a choice between your ebook and your paperback, you offer them two different price points.

If you have an ebook edition of your book, perhaps you are already using it to promote your hard copy format on sites like Amazon’s Kindle Store.  If so, don’t worry, the Kindle 2 is compatible with all of the Kindle books already in the Kindle store, so you do not need to submit another format.

If you don’t have an ebook edition, you should consider getting one and submitting it to Amazon’s Kindle store.  Now is a great time to do that since Amazon is currently promoting the new Kindle 2.  Here’s where you can submit your ebook format for Amazon’s Kindle store: dtp.amazon.com

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht
selfpublishingadvice.wordpress.com