Archive for the ‘Book Promotion’ Category

How to Avoid Promotional Black Holes

August 1, 2017

Photo Courtesy Pixabay.

There are so many potential pitfalls that writers must navigate, even seasoned authors can make mistakes marketing a book today.

With hundreds of errors to choose from, here are my choices for seven of the worst ones …

Don’t Have a Web Site
This is a biggie. Authors absolutely need a web site. Traditional publishers expect their clients to have one, and it’s just as necessary … maybe more so … for an independent.

Aesthetics matter, too … and whatever you do, don’t let it get outdated. Updating your site regularly will help with search engine optimization (SEO), which is important to establishing your brand and getting your work out there.

Don’t Play Nice With Others
Another biggie. Other writers are not competitors or enemies. You should be reaching out to collaborate with them. As a community, you’re stronger when you share ideas and support one another (I’ve interviewed other authors on this blog, to help them promote their work … and I’ll do it again, because it all helps).

Don’t Have an Elevator Speech
I’ve said this often, and I’m always surprised when I discover the number of author wannabes who don’t have one ready. You never know when you will be chatting with someone and have an opportunity to mention your book(s). Have a 15-20-second soundbite ready, and share it as often as possible.

Ignore the Power of Reviews
Secure reviews with Kirkus Reviews, Foreword Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Readers’ Favorite, Blue Ink, TopBookReviewers, and others. Some you will have to pay for … but if your work is strong you will find they are like gold. You can never have enough.

Ignore Resources at Your Disposal
Writers fall short when they don’t join useful groups. For instance, I’m a member of the National Writers Association, the Association of Independent Authors, Michigan Writers and the American Academy of Poets. Other fabulous group resources are Independent Book Publishers, the Writers Guild (East and West), and PEN America. Get an author listing on Goodreads, too.

Your Head Isn’t in the Game
Lazy authors are not successful ones. Neither are authors whose ego is so huge they simply fail to hustle. Don’t get blinded by an inflated sense of self-worth. Tone it down, get off your high horse, and be ready to do whatever it takes to get your book out there.

You Don’t Go All In
Don’t say you already have a Facebook presence, when all you did is put up a profile. You need to engage and interact. Think about relevant visuals, personal stories, provocative statements. Be flexible, but don’t scream BUY MY BOOK! Be a friend, not a salesman.

I’ve found the book industry to more social than others in many ways. So, do the socially expected things following a book signing, classroom visit, or speaking engagement. Give the organizers a thank you card … maybe even a shareable goodie of some sort.

It not only makes your host feel good, it gives you a personal energy boost you can tap for weeks. Think of book marketing as doing honor to your work, and the work of others.

Try it. It works.

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews, and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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Visit my web site to hear the remarkable radio interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.

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Check out my DEAD END STREET review

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I plan to attend the next Rochester Writers’ Fall Conference at Oakland University on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Why Do You Pick Up a Book in the First Place?

May 30, 2017


If you’re like most people, you pick up a book because the cover or title looks interesting. The next thing you do is read the back blurb, or if you’re online, the excerpt.

What is it? Or, better yet, what should it be?

Basically, the back blurb is a sales pitch. There are a lot of tools in the publishing tool belt, and each has its own unique purpose and strength. Few, though, have more sway over a would-be reader than the book description.

It should be the summation of your story, enticing the reader to buy.

How do you write good back blurb?
The principles hold true for any genre, although the details may change a bit for each. This is a list of things featured most often from a number of bestsellers …

A hint of the plot.

Use of words that evoke images and resonate with readers.

Main characters are named and characterized.

Idea of setting.

A question to be answered, or a hint of mystery to be solved that draws the reader in.

Quotes about the book or previous books by the author.

TAKE THE READER ON A JOURNEY
Most good book descriptions have less to do with the story of the book, and more to do with the story of the reader. Tell the reader about the journey they’re going to take, rather than try to create a shorthand or synopsis of your book.

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Take the back cover blurb for my newest novel, DEAD END STREET, coming out on Amazon this week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TIME TO BE MOST AFRAID
IS WHEN THINGS START GOING WELL.

Paul Barrett is a successful author. So are Randy and Donnie Camron. Along with the rest of the gang from Reichold Street, they all think their lives have finally settled down. In this provocative thriller, however, they learn there are new disasters waiting, determined to find them, wherever they go.

REICHOLD STREET, the lead novel in the series, was selected a 2012 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner.
“Skillfully written and emotionally charged.”
~ Kirkus Reviews for “Reichold Street”

ONE WAY STREET and STREET LIGHT, the second and third books in the series, were also reviewed as intense, 5-Star thrillers…

“A mesmerizing thriller that can haunt you long after you put the book down…”
~ Maria Beltran, of Readers’ Favorite, for “One Way Street”

“R.L. Herron is a master craftsman…grabbing the reader and transporting them into the story…”
~ Brian MacLearn, award-winning author, for “Street Light”

In DEAD END STREET, the characters already know very well that life is not perfect, but discover the past is not always as far behind them as they think.

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DON’T IGNORE IT
You may call it a ‘blurb’ or ‘back cover copy’ or lament it simply as ‘all that text I have to paste into my book page.’

Whatever your name for it, you can’t afford to ignore it. After your cover, the product description of your book is the first experience the reader has with you as an author.

The book blurb is one of your most important communication aids when promoting your book, so invest plenty of time and dedication to ensure you get it right.

Getting it right is the proverbial ‘big deal.’

Do you think I succeeded?

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

**********

Visit my web site to hear the remarkable radio interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.

**********

I plan to attend the next Rochester Writers’ Fall Conference at Oakland University on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Your Platform Provides Vital Support

May 4, 2017

Indie fiction authors sometimes say this platform-building stuff doesn’t work. But the truth is, after your network of family and friends has been tapped out, if you aren’t continuously putting your book in front of new readers, nobody is going to see it.

A writer’s life isn’t a cakewalk at the best of times. But no platform-building means no significant web presence, no engaged audience of fans (or at least no direct access to them) and wasted opportunities for book marketing, promotion and visibility.

Okay, you say you’ve tinkered with a blog, only to have it succumb to a quiet, anonymous death. You’ve dipped your toe into the social media whirlpool and found yourself repeatedly dragged under.

Branding, guest posting, speaking engagements, blogging, media kits, email marketing, blog tours, networking, interviews, conferences, webinars … you’ve tried everything.

Or maybe you haven’t tried at all.

The web is full of stories of the fruitless efforts of writer wannabes who’ve already attempted the “platform thing” … and failed miserably.

If so many others have tried and failed, the concept clearly doesn’t hold water, right?

Why bother?

Still, if you decide building your writer platform is a colossal waste of time, what’s your Plan B? How will you connect with your target readers, promote your work and build your influence as an author?

Inaction Leads Nowhere
Avoidance may be a good strategy for some threats, but not this one.
The opportunity for interconnectivity that social media provides will only increase over time.

Don’t fear innovation and change, embrace it.

Choose growth and strive for continual learning and self-improvement. Be a problem-solver. Stop avoiding challenges and, instead, accept risk as part of the game.

Remember your skills and abilities aren’t fixed. They can be honed and improved. Being a writer doesn’t preclude you from being a savvy business owner, or a clever marketing strategist.

Successful writers are constantly seeking, asking questions, and applying what they’ve learned.

So, beat inertia by taking the first step.

Mindset Changes Everything
As writers, I think we can be especially creative with the mental barriers and invisible scripts we allow to run on a loop in our brains.

But in order to move forward, it’s vital you throw out any negativity. If you want people to recognize the quality of your work, your talent and your voice, take responsibility for your own actions. If something doesn’t work out the way you hoped or anticipated, learn from the situation and move on.

Prioritize What’s Important
Use your time wisely. Focus on tasks that can really move your career forward and be prepared to make some sacrifices to attain your goals. If you find yourself unfocused or procrastinating without taking the next step, stop. Most of the time, “busy” doesn’t equal productive.

Write down your goals and develop a simple strategy to get from one point to another. Recognize mistakes so you don’t repeat them, and look for what you can improve.

Building a writer platform takes time and hard work, so don’t expect instant gratification. Learn to control your time, rather than allowing others to control it for you.

Knowing the ‘Why’ and ‘Who’ Makes it Easier
What’s your purpose? What excites you? What exactly is it that you’re striving for and why have you chosen this particular path?

Knowing your “why” and being able to communicate it effectively to the “right” people (i.e., your ideal readers) makes marketing your work infinitely easier.

How do you find this elusive group of people?

You look for them.

Everywhere.

Don’t expect them to find you. Follow the breadcrumbs they leave as they seek to satisfy their interests. They’ll leave clues in the form of comments on blogs within your genre or niche. They’ll pose questions and state opinions on forums and Facebook groups. They’ll follow similar people on Twitter, and likely be influenced by the same sources and speakers.

Find the intersection between their interests and your purpose.

It’s all right to start small. The size of your readership won’t matter nearly as much as the quality of your connection to them, so take great care to form this relationship early. Don’t just “collect” readers or followers. Invite them to join your community, believe in your message and take part in your journey.

It’s this small … but loyal … group that will help you build a writing career that matters.

Oh, and don’t forget that you also have to write a book worth reading. Even the sturdiest of platforms won’t support a book that’s garbage.

So, what’s stopping you?

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

**********

Visit my web site to hear the remarkable interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show. By the way, “Blood Lake” was recently selected as a 2016 Forward INDIES Book of the Year Finalist!

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I plan to attend the next Freelance Marketplace Writers’ Group Meeting at Barnes & Noble on May 16, 2017. I also plan to attend the 10th Rochester Writers’ Fall Conference at Oakland University on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.


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