Creating An Author Brand – YOU! (The Economical Way!): Indie Guest Post

Creating An Author Brand – YOU! (The Economical Way!): Indie Guest Post

I have not met any indie author who thinks marketing their books easy, yet. I know marketing the book can daunting and tiring. And any number of articles you read about it is not enough at all. And let us not even talk about the cost constraints. 

That is why we are here with yet another article on marketing for indie authors. And we have Eden talking about branding for an author and creating the brand YOU!

Say hello to Eden!

I’m an indie author, (with a marketing background) and keep finding posts on writer’s forums like ‘so I published my book, but only sold two copies in the last year, I don’t know why I bothered….’

author Brand you

Contrary to some people’s opinion that “when the book is written the work is done”, self-publishing isn’t just about writing, finding a good editor, choosing a publisher, getting an ISBN, formatting the book, designing the cover and choosing your price.  It also needs to about becoming your own agent, marketing department and cheerleeader.  You can throw lots of money at marketing, but that might not help – what are you spending your money on?

This is a step by step guide to getting started, using things that anyone can do, that cost nothing.  Marketing means publicising your name and work, it is everything you do that gets people’s interest.  Which can lead to them buying your work – it’s not selling, which is a different skill, and doesn’t relate to books.

You will need: a calendar, notebook, two pens one colourful, and off we go…

First

Imagine your ideal reader, now make a note of their gender, age, occupation, relationship status, pets, where they live; When you have a detailed picture then we can work out where to find them.   

Second

Set up a Facebook page with privacy set to friends, people must be your friend to see your content.  Invite people you know, and ask these people to invite their friends – don’t randomly add people you have no connection with, they are unlikely to be your ideal reader.

Don’t randomly add people on Facebook page you have no connection with, they are unlikely to be your ideal reader. Read more tips on Branding you as #indieauthor from @edengrugerwrit1 Click To Tweet

Use this page to talk positively about your book, your writing process, your inspiration, good books you have read – absolutely no negativity allowed on this page.  If someone is unkind or abusive, block them, don’t get into arguments that make you look unprofessional. 

Remember this isn’t the page to share private photos or air dirty laundry, keep your private life just that.

Thirdly

Join every writer and reader group that you can find on Facebook, this is where you connect, and let likeminded people know that you exist (no bombarding anyone with links or information on the book).

Fourth

Back to your ideal reader, we know who they are, now we need to think about where will they hang out online, parent groups? Ones about pets, gardening, music, interior design, travel, local history, or issue groups?

Apply to join the groups where your readers are.  If you get accepted introduce yourself with a question to engage interest, ‘Hi, thanks for welcoming me into the group, I am writer what do you do?’ ‘Hi, I love history/travel/music it inspires me to write, what does it inspire you to do?

You get the picture – do not add your book information unless someone asks for it. You are marketing yourself and your work; NOT COLD CALLING (remember those annoying people who used to telephone while you were eating?).

You are marketing yourself and your work; NOT COLD CALLING! Read more tips on Branding you as #indieauthor from @edengrugerwrit1 Click To Tweet

Fifth

Set up a Twitter account in the same name as your Facebook page follow authors who are in your genre, or people who would be your target readers and make pleasant comments on their posts – don’t mention your book unless asked, just be an interesting person.

On all of the above use the same profile picture, you need to be instantly recognisable.  Make sure you look smiley and approachable – if you write horror or sci-fi you can afford to look serious, but still approachable.  Ladies, no cleavage or poute-y poses please – we know sex sells but we are marketing your book, not your personal wares.

Congratulations you now have a brand – BRAND YOU!

To begin to build on this, you need to be like healthy bowels (nice and regular); mark on your calendar exactly when each week to update your social media.  Give yourself an hour to post and respond to messages.  When complete give yourself a tick with your colourful pen; it is important to notice and record when you are working on your writing career. 

Now you have a cohesive image and a social media following which will be organically growing while you go to the next phase. 

Sixth belief, in yourself and your book.

Have you told everyone you ever met that you wrote a book? Think of this information as a pebble dropped into water making bigger and bigger ripples.  I’m not talking about becoming a bore, but if anyone asks what you’ve been doing lately, tell them you wrote a book.  Your family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours, sports team, hairdresser, dentist, librarian, mechanic, the person on the bus next to you… everyone should know.

People you know are more likely to buy from you just because they know you, they might want to hear what you have to say, or they might not.  It doesn’t matter why they use their money to buy your book, it just matters that they do.

Seventh

Never forget to ask people who buy your book to leave you a review (give the exact addresses of your FB and Twitter to post their review online).  Suggest they invite other readers they think might like the book to try it – consider how many of the last 10 books you bought came from personal recommendation?

This is one for the calendar, once a month ‘put a message on Facebook tagging anyone who has bought your book’; then do it, and tick with your colourful pen.   

Eighth

If you have an ISBN and are on Ingram’s then email bookshops, (start in your town, then county and work outwards) introduce yourself and the book.  There are templates online of what you need to include.  If you have physical copies offer a three book discount to buy direct from you.  Any deals or prices must be agreed in writing – so get emailing.

Don’t just drop into shops, it looks unprofessional and is generally a waste of your time and theirs, the person responsible for buying will need to check your book out before they can make a decision.

Ninth

If a shop wants to stock your book ask to be featured on their social media, and ask to add their links to yours.  When they agree (in writing) post on Facebook and Twitter “Head to BOOKSHOP (link) to get your copy of TITLE” or “Thanks to BOOKSHOP (link) for stocking TITLE”.

Make friends with your booksellers, they can recommend your book, or give you a reading / signing event.  Independents are better than chains, as they have autonomy.

Tenth

Do all this, and then keep doing it every single month, and then do it all again, and again.  Your name will be out there as a cool writer who behaves with professionalism rather than a nightmare spammer.  Potential customers can look you up, see what you have written….and buy your book.

Finally

Please remember why you started writing, if you were thinking you’d written an indie bestseller, and you’d make your millions, I admire your spirit, but you might want to adjust your reality.  Enjoy the process, including the marketing, or why do it?

Thank you, Eden!

And I am back to thank Eden for taking time off her busy schedule to write us a guest post. You can follow and contact Eden through these links.

Twitter | 

If you have something to add to Eden’s story, drop a comment here or send him a word of thanks on the social media. Both of us would love that.Also, if you are interested in writing a guest post for the independent publishing community, write to me right away. I am still accepting guest post submissions.

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Do you have an author website? How do you fare on your branding as an author? As a reader, do you like author brands? Do you follow their social media as much? Who is your favorite brand? Let us talk.

Creating An Author Brand – YOU! (The Economical Way!): Indie Guest Post

Indie Guest Post: Book Blog Tours – What are your options?

If you have been on the book blogging scene for a while, you might already be aware of all the book blog tours that are so successful. You might be or have been part of those tours as well. I do. 

But as an indie author what are the choices you have and how far are they effective as a tool for your book promotion? We have an insider talking about it. 

As an indie author what are the choices you have when it comes to #blogtours and how far are they effective as a tool for your #bookpromotion? We have an insider Nicole @faerywhimsy talking about it.  Click To Tweet

Say hi to Nicole

blog tours

Nicole writes across the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity. She lives in Melbourne with one of her partners, two cats, a whole lot of books and a bottomless cup of tea.

Co-creator of Queer Writers Chat. Also likes tea, crochet and Gilmore Girls.
Her books are available on: 

Amazon | Smashwords | Netgalley

Let’s get on with it shall we?

So, you’re an author who is just about to release a book and you want to get the word out. If this sounds like you, and you’re unsure about what to do, this post may be for you as blog tours are a very good way of doing this.

I’ve typically been bad about this myself, but talking someone else through it recently made me realise that, even if I haven’t bee motivated to get up and do this myself many times, I know the theory of it, and it’s information that I’m easily able to pass along that might be of help to others.

blog tours

So what is in a blog tour?

Typically a book tour is a handful of tours, somewhere between 7 and maybe a dozen, within a week or fortnight period. The idea is to get your book seen on various different blogs, of course which you also promote.

Your side of things (as an author) would be putting up different information, excerpts, interviews, guest blogs on different topics, in each area so that people have an interest in following the different blog posts which also gets the bloggers exposure. 

blog tours

In that way, it manages to be a good thing for people on both sides of the blog tour. Some people also do promotional images. I’ve included a couple of those in this post as an additional assistance to help with visualising the whole set up.

What do you, as an author, have to provide?

But here’s a question you might be asking yourself: How the heck are you, as the author, supposed to cough up original content for upwards of 7 different blogs from one upcoming book?!

How the heck are you, as the author, supposed to cough up original content for upwards of 7 different blogs from one upcoming book? Well Nicole Fields @faerywhimsy says how! Click To Tweet

First of all, you probably want to pick a place that offers an exclusive cover reveal. Exclusive, as in, this is the place where people go to get their first glimpse of the front cover of your upcoming book. As in, don’t post it up on Twitter like I know you are wanting to (if you are anything like me), no matter how awesome that artwork is, and how cool that cover artist was to work with. Save it for the start of your blog tour. 

Trust me, all that energy is going to come in handy when it comes to you promoting these blogs and YOUR BOOK. LGBTQReads and Gay YA are both great resources that offer this.

What about book excerpts?

Excerpts from the book are another wonderful thing you can offer to bloggers potentially hosting you. One of these is probably enough, two if you’re going for an extended blog tour. Think of the kind of excerpt you might see as a preview/hook at the end of Book 1 in your favourite series, something that’s going to make readers want to see more.

And author interviews?

Many bloggers will offer to do author interviews. They’ll either ask you a set number of questions or give you a list of questions to choose from. Your job is to find different questions with each blog (if possible) or to bring fresh content to your answers each time. Their job is to find questions that are going to stimulate those kinds of responses. A great example of this kind of interview is Corey’s Book Corner interviewing Cole McCade.

Also character interviews!

Some bloggers will want to do character interviews. This can be an incredibly good alternate option if you feel as though your author interviews are getting a bit repetitive! You choose the character/s from the book from whom you want to answer questions and go from there. I offered one of these interviews with Dahlia and Bianca, out of my novel Changing Loyalties.

Write a few guest posts

Finally, the other very common post featured in a blog tour is the guest post. I do a lot of those on this blog, such as Lynn O’Connacht’s guest post on Demisexuality in Fantasy Worlds, and J. Emery’s guest post on the Connections Between Characters and How They Develop. These give you a lot of scope to write mini essays on any area of your writing process, the reason you wrote the book you’re about to release.

You likely already know some people who would be very happy to host you. Authors, readers and bloggers have a way of moving in very similar circles. A way of getting people to self opt in is putting a post on Twitter, or whatever networking platform you use, asking for people who would be willing to host you. Reach out to people who might have offered before you had a book that you wanted to do a blog tour for.

Thanks Nicole!

And I am back to thank her for taking time off her busy schedule to write us a guest post. You can follow and contact her through these links. 

Twitter | Blog | 

If you have something to add to Nicole’s story, drop a comment here or send her a word of thanks on the social media. Both of us would love that.

Also, if you are interested in writing a guest post for the independent publishing community, write to me right away. I am still accepting guest post submissions.

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Let us chat!

Are you an author who has or is going to promote your book through blog tours? Tell us how are they working for you. If you are blogger who takes part in such blog tours, which option do you prefer? Also share your favorite blog tour providers. Let us talk.

Creating An Author Brand – YOU! (The Economical Way!): Indie Guest Post

Indie Guest Post: From Author to Marketer – Four SIMPLE Ways to Promote Your Book By Susan Barton

Here I am, a bit late than I promised, with yet another useful post on my series of guest articles from indie authors.

And this week I have someone whom I met years ago on Google+ (remember that thing that was supposed to beat down Facebook?) book group and someone who knows what she talking about when it comes to book marketing. 

So let me introduce you all to Susan Barton!

Say hi to Susan, people!

Author to Marketer Susan

Susan is an avid reader, book reviewer and author with seven published non-fiction, children’s and YA books. She is also a marketer, copywriter and editor/proofreader with over three decades of professional experience.

From Author to Marketer

So you’ve published your first book. Congratulations! Sitting in front of your computer for several months or more, plugging away, planning, strategizing, editing and rewriting is A LOT of work. That’s a wonderful accomplishment and something to be proud of.

But guess what? Your work is just beginning. I can hear your groans already. I’m sorry… I really am, but I’m here to tell you that this is no time to relax. Instead, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and turn your attention to marketing your book.

Even if you are an introvert!

Many, MANY authors struggle with book marketing. After all, writing is often a solitary, isolating business. Writers enjoy an introverted life of quiet introspection. We’re often not comfortable tooting our own horns. Yet that’s exactly what book marketing is. It’s about letting potential readers know how much they need to read our books.

Like it or not, if you want to sell your book, you’re going to have to put yourself out there for all to see. Fear not, however, there are still some effective ways to quietly, subtly promote your book. The great thing is that these techniques are perfect for all of us introverts!

Here are four SUPER simple ways to do just that:

1. Schedule a Freebie

Promoting your eBook with a free download for one or two days is probably one of the best ways to get people to have a look at your book, and then download and review it.

Many authors are worried about giving away their books, but I’ve personally seen freebie downloads result in dozens of book reviews. This is a valuable book marketing technique that’s definitely worth doing.

Many authors are worried about giving away their books, but I’ve seen freebie downloads result in dozens of book reviews. – Susan (@ebookreviewgal) talks more on her guest post Click To Tweet

2. Create a Newsletter

Add a newsletter signup form on your author website and send out a monthly (or quarterly, or whatever works best for you) newsletter to let readers know what you’ve been up to.

Add other book-related news and discounts for added value to your readers. Just remember, you can only add newsletter subscribers to your list if they’ve specifically signed up to receive your newsletter. Otherwise, it’s considered spam.

3. Create a Giveaway

Giveaways are excellent ways to generate book buzz. You can give away copies of your book, along with a curated book swag package. Most giveaway participants are excited to enter for a chance to receive these goodies.

Bookmarks, original book illustrations, novelty items and more can be included in your swag. Be original and creative! Add your giveaway to your website and share, share, share via social media.

Be original and creative (..with your swag)! Add your giveaway to your website and share, share, share via social media. Click To Tweet

4. Update Your Email Signature

I told you these four tips would be super simple and I left the simplest technique of all for last. Your email signature should always include information about you and your book. That means adding the links to your book purchase page, your author website and your social media platforms at the end of your email signature.

Every time you email someone they’ll see your info and have the opportunity to click, click and click. Simple!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these four simple book marketing tips and use them soon. If you do, please let me know how they work for you.

If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of marketing your book contact me and I’ll be happy to help!

Thanks Susan!

I am back! I am just here to thank her for taking time off her busy schedule to write us a guest post. You can follow and contact her through these links.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | LinkedIn | Amazon Reviewer Profile | Goodreads

If you have something to add to Susan’s story, drop a comment here or send her a word of thanks on the social media. Both of us would love that.

Also, if you are interested in writing a guest post for the independent publishing community, write to me right away. I am still accepting guest post submissions.

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Author to Marketer Susan

Let us chat!

Do you ever find book marketing overwhelming as an independent author? What is your constant challenge? Is there something that we as book bloggers can do to help you? Let us chat.