For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to lump platform, marketing and social media into one big ball of extrovertedness. For short we can call it Publishing PMS. And believe me when I say there are days when publishing PMS is about as pleasant as a bout of the hormonal blues. *sigh* Putting yourself and your book out there isn’t always easy and it can often make you moody and irritable. Since I first signed my contract for TOUCHING THE SURFACE, I’ve tried out lots of PMS approaches to enhance my foothold in the world of publishing. There are some that I stand behind for their effectiveness. There are some that I have no idea if they benefit me, but I certainly enjoy them. And there are some things that have proven to be an epic waste of time. I don’t have time to go through every little detail but I thought I’d share a few Publishing PMS bits of wisdom with you…
*Have a website and keep it up to date.
*Blog only if you like to do it and you can show up regularly. It isn’t about how often you blog, but more about how reliable you are to your readers.
*Pick your social media outlet of choice (twitter, FB, Instagram etc…) and make genuine relationships on it. If you’re dong it right, you should be giving to that community more than you are taking.
*The swag item I use the most is my bookmarks. Leave room on them to sign your name or add a small message.
*Create eye catching and informative displays for when you have a presentation table for an event such as a book fair.
*Try to find a unique and affordable supplementary piece of swag that helps you to stand out. (I used origami cranes with a sticker of my book and the phrase DARE TO DELVE written on the wings)
*Spend more time writing the next book than marketing the one that’s coming out.
*I think it’s worth the time to send out postcards to Indie Bookstores. Plan ahead and do a few at a time. If you are involved with a group of authors, pool your information and resources on bookstores and libraries.
*Join or create a support group for your debut launch or any launch for that matter. Banning together is great for publishing support, but also for emotional support.
*In retrospect, I would have taken the lions share of the money I spent on marketing, pre-ordered X number of books before my launch and then distributed them as charitable gifts to local or school libraries. While it’s hard to say if a book placed in a library will increase sales, it it likely to at least get your book in front of real readers. This may possibly create positive word of mouth and future fans who just might be looking for your next book. Plus–all those pre-orders don’t hurt either.
Those are just some of my thoughts. What tips would you pass along to deal with Publishing PMS? Do you have any questions about a certain PMS tactic? If time and money weren’t an option, what would you do to make your book a big ball of extrovertedness?
Yesterday I was talking online to a bunch of my writer buddies and someone said…
The more I learn about publishing the more I realize the best promotional tool is to write the next book and the next and the next…
That makes a HUGE amount of sense. It resonates with me on more than just the promotional level. I also connect to it on a deeper, more personal level. I use writing as a way to make sense of the world. The less time I have to write, the less the world makes sense to me.
I love my social media, but ultimately it is the writing.
To me blogging isn’t just a publishing tool. It’s a kind of journaling that works really well for me BECAUSE it’s interactive. So I really do love doing it. A lot. But I’ve been toying with this for awhile and I’ve finally come to realized that it’s time for me to adjust my blogging schedule a little bit. I need to do this partly because I DO NOT want to give up my membership in either YA Outside the Lines or the Bookanistas. I love those groups. And partly it’s because I also like to do guest posts, interviews and judge writing events whenever possible. Between the blogs and the extra posts, too much of my writing time is being eaten up.
For example: July 2013’s Projected Blog Schedule
Post due for my own blog–14
Post for YAOTL–1
Posts for the Bookanistas–1 or 2
Guest posts for Blog Tour–5
Other Interviews for blogger events–2
Interviews I had to turn down because I was at risk for losing my mind–More than one
That’s a grand total of at least 23 posts and or interviews. And on average these take me 60 minutes or more to brainstorm, write and add links/graphics. (There have been days they’ve taken longer.) That’s a lot of time I could and should be using to write.
And on a personal front…I HAVE THREE BOYS!!!! Yeah, that. And I like them enough to want to spend quality time with them as often as I can. And I’m moving in the fall. So I’m staging and showing and pretending I’m organized on a regular basis. Remember me? The one who doesn’t get the laundry done on a good day.
So, I’ve decided that I’m going to take a small two-week blog hiatus while I’m traveling with the family over the end of July. (July 22-Aug. 2) and then I’ll be back on TUESDAY August 6th followed by THURSDAY August 8th. This will kick off my official move to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. By doing this, I will drop down to 8-10 posts a month on average. Much more manageable.
If you think you’re going to have trouble remembering to stop by on the new dates, please sign up to have my blog posts sent right to you. On the right hand side of my blog I have an RSS feed sign up and and email sign up. I’ll also do my best to put up some reminders for the two weeks off and the new schedule. I love you for understanding why I need to make the change.
Do you blog? And if you do, do you have a schedule? I recommend having specific blogging times, so people do know when to show up to connect with you, but flexibility is important too. You never want to get so frustrated you squeeze an innocent hedge hog puppet. Totally not cool.
Any other blog tips you want to share with me? Any questions about blogs? Fire away!
*No hedge hog puppets were harmed in the making of this blog post.
I’m CROSS-POSTING at YA Outside the Lines Today.
Don’t be a turkey. Run on over and check out Kimberly Sabatini’s Guide to Social Media…
There is ALWAYS debate about social media. Is it good? Is it bad? For every point of view you can find 10 articles to support and disparage the use of it. There are days when thinking about it makes me feel like this…
I"ll be honest. I tend to enjoy my social media interactions, but I’ve recently read two blog posts by writers who’ve closed down their Facebook accounts. They do make interesting arguments–Sarah Ockler and Stephanie Ruble.
I don’t plan on jumping the social media ship at the moment, but it is a possibility that I might close down my personal FB page and move to having everything on my author page at some point. But then again…