Navigating the Network | The Art of Self Promotion (part III)

Three weeks ago, I sketched out a few of the challenges facing self published authors looking to build their brands in the digital marketplace, and I made specific note of how great social networks can be as tools of self promotion.  Last time I blogged, I looked at the second and third of my top five points to keep in mind regarding self promotion, and recommended cultivating your physical network as well as developing physical promotional materials.  This week, I’m going to wrap up my top five points with a few words that count both as caution and encouragement––simultaneously!

To get right to the point:

4. Self promotion of any kind takes time.  And energy.  And constant attention.

Perhaps this is my caveat.  As I mentioned earlier, you’re not just in the business of self-promotion––as someone who’s interested in self-promotion, you’re actually in the business of writing.  So when weighing the pros and cons of starting a Twitter account or creating a blog on Tumblr specifically with the goal of promoting your book, consider the learning curve.  Consider the fact that the time it takes to establish a presence and reach your audience through social networks is directly proportional to how much time you put in, and that there’s a considerable element of pure luck involved.  Most tweets languish in the ether unread, and most Tumblr posts are not reflagged, and most Facebook followers are dormant, or run by bots.  So while all of these networks have potential to launch you into instant and global success, they are often high-maintenance and low-reward.  And they are habit-forming

As with all other forms of promotion, you must be deliberate about your use of social networks, carving out time on a regular basis to devote to building your brand.  Thirty minutes a day, three days a week, or every day during your fifteen-minute break between work shifts––whatever it takes, but not much more.  Because let’s face it: As someone who’s interested in self-publishing, you have other things to do.  You need to not just leave time for the other facets of your life––writing, working a job, working three jobs, family, and so on––but be able to throw yourself into them with passion and energy.

5. Everything changes.

If the rise of self-publishing and the ebook has demonstrated anything about the publishing industry, it’s that nothing can stand still for long.  This may be a disquieting fact for traditional publishing and the markets that rely on it, but opening up one’s options to change can also be a diversifying, enriching, and rewarding experience.  The digital and self-publishing revolutions are beginning to reach maturity, but on the whole they’re keeping a weather eye out for new changes, and new opportunities.  Perhaps the most key feature for success in self-publishing (and self-promotion) is a willingness to take advantage of them.  Keep asking questions.  Figure out what options work for you, and what feels comfortable for you, and what is too frustrating or too complicated or taking too much time––and adjust your daily practices as necessary.  Keep interrogating your options.  If a new technology becomes available, or a new acquaintance walks into your life, or a new story drops into your mind, don’t hold back.  After all, this is a business built on dreams.

This was just a primer!  You can find the first and second posts of this series here and here.  Check back every Wednesday to read more about the art of self promotion.  Over the coming weeks, I’ll be diving deeper into the how-to details of managing both social and physical networks.  If you have a question about any of these tools for self promotion, would like to hear from me about something specific, or have other big news to share, please comment below!

KellyABOUT 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, kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 3/11/14

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.

8 Lessons I’ve Learned By Self-Publishing 3 Kindle E-books

This self-publishing author shares her publishing experience. In hopes of helping other writers avoid costly mistakes, she discusses the mistakes she made early in her career. The article covers many aspects of the self-publishing process, including cover design, price, and more. This is an excellent read for anyone considering self-publishing.

10 Reasons Self Published Authors Will Capture 50 Percent of the Ebook Market by 2020

Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, estimates self-publishing authors will capture 50 percent of the market by 2020. In this article, he offers 10 great reasons why. This is an encouraging read for anyone considering self-publishing.

The Key to Self-Publishing Your Memoir: Be Confident with Your Story!

Memoirist Dorit Sasson talks about the importance of being a confident author when self-publishing a memoir. She also discusses the importance of building an online presence and offers tips on gaining an audience. This is a must read for memoir writers.

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

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 3/04/14

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.

Outskirts Press capitalizes on the self-publishing trend with iPad edition eBooks

Outskirts Press has announced a new eBook publishing solution for self-publishing authors who want to offer books through the Apple iBooks Store. Called the Standard Apple iPad Edition, the solution is one of many the company offers self-publishing authors of both print and digital books.

People-Powered Publishing Is Changing All the Rules

This piece is part of Mashable Spotlight, which presents in-depth looks at the people, concepts and issues shaping our digital world. It talks about how self-publishing has changed as well as other factors that are influencing the publishing market.

Twitter Tips for Writers

Social media is a great way for self-publishing authors to promote their books. These three videos will teach you how to use Twitter to sell more books.

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

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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.

5 Ways to Promote Your Book in June

Summer has begun, but don’t forget to do something every day to promote your book!  Here are five ideas for promoting a book in June:

  1. Flag Day is June14th.  From now until July 4th it’s a perfect time to promote books about America, patriotism, US government or similar topics.
  2. Set up a Twitter account and start networking.  Learn about which hashtags to use and watch in this post: 10 Twitter Hashtags for Self-Publishing Book Marketing.
  3. The Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA) is taking place June 23-28 in New Orleans.  To learn more about the ALA, visit www.ala.org.
  4. Father’s Day is June 19th.  If your book is about parenting, fatherhood, family or a related topic, now is a good time to promote your book as a Father’s Day gift idea.
  5. Write a pitch letter to a radio or television producer following these tips: 1) Keep your letter short.  2) Include a “hook” to grab their attention. 3) Use bullet points. 4) Tell the producer what’s in it for them. 5) Be available to respond to his/her interest immediately.  Find contact information for your local radio stations here: http://www.radio-locator.com/

DISCUSSION: How are you planning to promote YOUR book in June?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT:
Kelly Schuknecht works as the Director of Author Support for 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.

Alternative Marketing Methods at BEA

Yesterday, one of the events at BEA was “Surprising Marketing Practices from Around the World and What We Can Learn from Them“. We have been discussing these for the past two weeks with our Alternative Marketing Methods Series. Learning about each of these methods will help you and your book stand out from the crowd.

Though I didn’t attend BEA this year, I do want to share some interesting marketing methods that we will be discussing over the coming weeks:

  • Post an ad on Craigslist. Craigslist is a fairly under-utilized marketing tool available to authors. Posting an ad is relatively simple, free, and gives you quality exposure to potential readers.
  • “Host” a YouTube reading/signing. You can read your book in a brief video and post it to YouTube. You can then put up a PayPal link so that readers can purchase the book for a discounted price. You can send them a signed copy of the book when they order.
  • Host a Webinar. Everyone is an expert at something. Why not share your expertise with the world and gently guide them to purchasing your book? These can be planned for and hosted at any time. There are many free webinar services available that can be found using a Google search.
  • Have a Twitter party for your book. If you are active on Twitter, this is a fun and creative way to promote yourself and your book. Pick a #hashtag, plan the time/date, and tweet away!

Do you know of any other creative book marketing strategies? Did you attend the BEA and get information about new strategies that you are focusing on implementing? Please feel free to share them in the comments.

Social Media Marketing for Self-publishing Authors

As of June 2010, about 65 million “tweets” are posted each day, equaling about 750 unique 140 character “micro-blogs” sent each second, according to Twitter. This massive communication stream has elevated Twitter into the Big 3 social networking sites according to ebizmba.com.

If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd most populated in the world right now with over 400,000,000 users.

Many will contend that LinkedIn is the most valuable social networking sites for gaining business connections, and Evernote just hit 5 million users in record time. And there are countless others – Myspace, Foursquare, your personal blog, Meetups – that you can and should be utilizing to network with others and active promote your self-published book.

Sure, if you’re not a current social media wizard, there will be some upfront work involved – gaining the learning curve and building connections. But here’s the kicker: social media is exploding, its completely FREE, and there are increasing ways to measure its ROI. With self-publishing POD services your book will also be available virtually everywhere books are sold, an additional digital advantage since you’ll never need to stock an inventory or personally ship pre-printed copies. It’s all connected for you.

Over the coming weeks, Self-publishing Advice will be sharing social media news, information, tips, and resources to help you gain the most oomph for using these dynamic and powerful venues for generating buzz for your books.

We’ll also be actively implementing them here on our blog and other social media sites. So stay tuned, and in meantime, check out these new icons below and visit us on Facebook and Twitter, or send a Digg. We are eager to connect.

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Twitter Contest Winner: Instock – The Conference for Self Publishers

Last week we asked you to sum up the future of self-publishing in 140 characters or less for a chance to win a free registration with the INSTOCK self-publishing conference in San Francisco.

@bernie_malonson was our Twitter winner!  Congratulations @bernie_malonson!

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SPAdvice

About INSTOCK

In its first year, the one day INSTOCK Conference is scheduled to include workshops and panel discussions among successful self publishers, marketing pros, executives from the traditional publishing industry and others who will get you thinking strategically about your books. Panels will address marketing your book, finding your audience, publicity tactics, pricing your product and more.

INSTOCK – The Conference for Self Publishers
July 18, 2009
Hotel Monaco, San Francisco

Website: http://www.instockconference.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/InstockConf

Conference Sponsors: