Annette visits us via the WOW Women on Writing Blog Tour -- and I'm thrilled to have her. She even tells you how to obtain a free copy of her book in eFormat, so read through the post and find out how! My review of the book follows.
The Author Promotion Circus is in Town – Start Juggling Now!
By Annette Fix
Authors had it easy in the days before the internet: launch a new book, attend a cocktail party where the publishing elite toast your sheer genius, then return to your creative bubble and cash the sizable royalty checks when they begin rolling in.
Fast-forward to 2009 and you can see that Web 2.0 has thousands (maybe millions?) of writers juggling their online promotion like manic clowns in a cyber crack parade. And I’m doing everything short of learning to play the tuba, just working to get the word out about my book: The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir.
It’s a noisy world out there. So, like every writer should, I’ve had to make sure my book has its fair share of real estate in cyberspace.
The first thing I did was commission an elaborate static website.
* a video introduction welcoming readers
* an audio of me reading a chapter from the book
* two chapter excerpts
* a fun “How You Know You’re on The Break-Up Diet” quiz
* downloadable companion e-book for Surviving a Break-Up
* a break-up story forum
* reading group questions
* tabs for my bio, about the book, upcoming events, speaking topics, my blog, a shop, and links to previous interviews
Unfortunately, it was impossible to update without a webmaster (neither time nor cost effective) and it never showed up on the first page of Google search results for “The Break-Up Diet.” The results did show blogs that had mentioned my book by name, occupying the top positions.
So, I scrapped the static site and created a blog-based site on Wordpress with a custom CSS template. I’ll eventually transfer more of the fun elements of the old website to the new blogsite, but for now, I’m happy it ranks as the 1st hit in a Google search. Proof that search engine spiders love blogs (because the content is tagged, keyword rich, and frequently updated).
The next step I took was to get connected in social networks: MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Twittermoms. There are also great reading related networks: Shelfari, Library Thing, GoodReads. New niche social networks crop up every day. A couple caught my interest: Book Marketing and Speaking. The options are endless, but I wanted to join networks where my audience gathers, and a network or two where I can meet other writers, bloggers, etc.
Meeting and chatting with readers online is great, but I really enjoy the in-person events. I’ve had reading and signing events at Barnes & Noble stores locally and in my region—and was invited back to one for a pre-Valentine’s Day event this Friday. I’ve promoted my book in booths at The L.A. Times Festival of Books and the West Hollywood Book Fair.
Because my memoir contains themes of love, loss of love, aspirations, and balance of motherhood and self, it has lead to conversations with readers who share their stories with me because the core of my story resonated with them. Many women I’ve met and spoken with at my events email updates about their relationships. And, to me, nothing beats truly connecting with readers.
The number of ways an author can promote her book online is staggering. I’m still working my way through my personal list. Here’s a little peek inside my marketing plan:
* Contact reading groups via sites like Reader’s Circle and MeetUp, offering to visit with them in-person or via Skype. Post reading group questions to sites like Reading Group Guides.
* Register to blog directories like BlogHer, participate in blog carnivals, and take the book on a blog tour (like this one).
* Use the Amazon features like Listmania and So You’d Like To guides, and set up the RSS feed from the book blog to the Amazon sales page.
* Post podcast excerpts or commentary on audio sites like iTunes or Podcast Alley.
* Create vidcasts of commentary and/or interviews, and post a book trailer on video sites like YouTube.
* Do author interviews on Blog Talk Radio.
Enough about me. I’d love to hear what promotions have worked for you. What’s on YOUR online marketing agenda?
About the Author: Annette Fix is a freelance editor, a publishing industry and single parenting speaker, Senior Editor of WOW! Women On Writing, and the author of The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir.
Visit her writing blog at Annette’s Paper Trail. She enjoys hearing from her readers and other writers. You can email her directly at annette[at]annettefix[dot]com.
For the length of her blog tour, Annette will be giving away free digital copies of her memoir. If you’d like a copy, send an email to email@example.com, please put “Stuff That Make Me Crazy” in the subject line.
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