Marketing Missive #3: Social Media

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What Is Social Media?

According to whatis.techtarget.com, “social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration,” but what does that mean for you and your message?

Social media is a compilation of platforms where people engage in conversation. This means that there is some sort of two-way interaction. Social media works best when you become a part of this conversation and not someone trying to merely steal the stage. Austin Kleon talks about his friend talking about this on his blog here.

People don’t like ads and if you are just telling people to buy your book, they will skip over you, unfollow you, mute you or whatever it is that people do to stop listening to people on their social media. Give them something more. Jonah Berger in this interview says that your marketing should be like a Trojan Horse. You should create something remarkable that can act as a front for your message. You need to create something remarkable that gives people social currency or practical value. Give them something to “remark” about and share, retweet, reblog, etc. that will make it so you don’t look like an ad yourself. Be a member of the community. Engage, communicate, remark and be remarked about.

Resources

Going back to the last missive, there was an article about writing op-eds to get press for your book.

Huffington Post allows you to submit a pitch for blog posts here.

You can set up an account to post on BuzzFeed/submit those posts for Community Posts that are promoted by editors of BuzzFeed here

Many other websites also have places where you can submit content so just do it. Having your name linked to simple articles can get you followers who learn to like things you have to say and would be willing to buy your book.

Marketing Minute

Remember how you are talking to your close friends and having them post about your book or helping you share your message, have them keep doing that. Keep making good, remarkable content for them to share.

This week, take a few minutes here and there to got to websites for your local TV stations to look up how to submit a news tip. Send them a message about a remarkable event or thing about your book. Don’t make the news tip too long, but make it interesting. Try to send a daily news tip each day for a week and then the next week, follow up!

CF Marketing Missive Top 5

“People don’t want to share things that look like an ad.” 

Social Media Marketing for the Holidays

Social Media mistakes you need to quit making

10 Ways to Sell your Book on Facebook

How to use Twitter by Forbes

***There are so many things that can be said about social media and self promotion. Send me your questions at millennium@cedarfort.com and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Arizona author seeks to create author community to promote books

Pima Boutique Show
Authors Randy Lindsay & Laura L. Walker at the Pima Boutique Show

Author Randy Lindsay (check out his website/blog here and here) wrote me a letter to let me know that he wanted to help foster a wider community of authors especially authors in Arizona. He attends lots of events and participates in other activities to promote books and would like to help others to promote their books. 

When I sat down to write my first novel it didn’t occur to me that I would eventually have to spend time convincing people to buy it. I thought the writer’s job was to write stories and once they finished with a novel they moved on to the next one. But that isn’t how it works. Getting a novel published only means you’re ready for the next stage in an author’s career—marketing.

A good portion of the creative process is done alone and in the comfort of our chosen writing spot. Marketing requires authors to put themselves in plain view of the public. The good news is you don’t have to do this alone.

Over the last year, I’ve been working with my fellow Cedar Fort authors in Arizona. We share information on events where authors can market their books. Having a presence at these events can help you sell books.

I am offering my assistance to the Cedar Fort authors in Arizona. There are three ways in which I believe I can help:

  1. Sharing my experience. What I’ve noticed is that all of us have some information we can share with others that will be beneficial to them. I’m willing to share what I’ve discovered about marketing. Feel free to e-mail me at Randsay@msn.com with questions or suggestions.
  2. Event sharing. Working together we can discover more marketing opportunities than we can alone. If you know of an event you can tell me about it and I will pass it along to the rest of the Arizona authors. If I have an event that needs authors I will send out a notice to let you know about it. I am often asked to schedule local events and need authors from specific genres to speak on panels or even to teach workshops. Occasionally, I have room at my event table for another author and would love the company.
  3. Handing out marketing materials. I attend a large number of events and am working to attend even more. If you are interested in having me display your marketing materials (bookmarks, pamphlets, etc) at the events I attend, then we can make arrangements for you to send me the materials you would like distributed. They can be part of the clean fiction campaign I plan to promote in Arizona.

Do you have an idea or suggestion that I didn’t mention? Send me an e-mail and we can see about including it as part of my multi-author marketing effort.

If you have any general marketing questions, you can also email me at millennium@cedarfort.com

Cedar Fort Marketing Missive #2

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We often look at tasks and goals and can be intimidated by the vastness of what we want to accomplish. I hope that with a few tips (like the Resources and Marketing Minute below) you can start to see how to achieve what you are reaching for.

Recently, I wrote a blog post about doing a little every day to get where you want to be using the classic Tootsie Pop advertisement “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” You can check that out here.

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http://instagram.com/jedidiahjenkins

Another principle that I’ve heard a lot about recently is living intentionally. This means that you don’t let bad habits carry you, but you make a conscious decision with everything you do with your time to help you achieve your goals. This could be using the Resources and Marketing Minute below or any number of other tasks that you find that help you reach your potential. Living intentionally means that you don’t let life just happen, but you work with the time you have to accomplish the things that you desire. One great example of this is Jedidiah Jenkins. He decided he wanted to do something different and write a book about it. After 3 years of planning and saving, he took off on his bike to traverse the Americas from Oregon to Patagonia. You can hear about how he has lived intentionally and reached his goals in this podcast. He also runs a great Instagram (@jedidiahjenkins) where he continues to post quick thoughts about the world around him.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

Marketing is hard. It just is. It’s my job and everyone who publishes a book takes it on as their job. It takes time, effort and money, but when it’s done it can be incredibly rewarding.

Marketing and promoting isn’t something that comes instantly. Your first news article won’t get you very far. A single signing with friends and family is nice, but it’s not everything. If you want to achieve more, you have to do more that is why I hope to provide Resources and a Marketing Minute in each of these newsletters to help you know what you can achieve.

Don’t do it all at once. Do a little everyday so that you can reach what you want to be. Get rid of the voices in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough or that it’s too hard. You are good enough and you can work harder than anything that stands in your way to get where you want to be.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Let’s find out together!

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RESOURCES

Sign up for Amazon Author Central You can run book giveaways, follow book sales, add videos/event information, and other information to make you more appealing as an author.

EMSI Public Relations and Marsha Freedman send out a PR Insider newsletter for authors with tips on how to get their message out there. You can sign up here. Just go to the page, scroll down until you see “Sign Up for The PR Insider” and give them your email and name. They only send out about two email a week and both have wonderful tips to help you in your marketing.

MARKETING MINUTE

A quick tip to promote your book

Take a minute to reach out to a few close friends and get them to help you by sharing something about your book each week on social media. By inviting your friends to help you promote your book, they become more excited about your story and can help you reach a larger audience. If you can try to get them on board to share something once a week about your book. Create good content that they can share or let them know about the press that you are getting for your book and yourself.  

CF TOP 5

The following is a list of links to pages that can give you ideas and teach you important principles for your marketing efforts.

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http://kleemass.deviantart.com_art_The-Ladder-71932444

If you have any questions about book marketing, you can contact me, Brantz Woolsey, at millennium@cedarfort.com

Bonus:

Cedar Fort Marketing Missive #1

Marketing Missive

Are you passionate about your book? If you aren’t, why not? It’s your story. You spent so much time writing it, editing it, and promoting it.
It is our hope that through these newsletters we can help you know how to better share your message with the world. Through articles, videos, podcasts and other materials, we hope to help you see what you can do to make your message heard. If anyone knows what makes your message unique, it’s you. Now share it!
As you start to receive these newsletters, please let me know if there is anything you have questions about. It is likely that other authors have the same questions. Let me know and I’ll find some materials to help answer your questions.
Thanks for being amazing authors! Keep up the great work.unnamed (1)
What can you do?
There are so many places to focus. Taking small baby-steps daily will help more than anything! Everyday there are so many voices speaking to the world. You need to be creative in the way you approach those who need your story. Every effort is better than no effort. The best way to get your message heard  is to not do nothing (look at that double negative there).

This article from Cedar Fort author Jennifer Rizzo will help you know where to start if you have no idea what you are doing or need some ideas of what will help you get your message out. As Jen says, “Dream big! This is just the beginning! You did it, and you should be so proud. Now go market and sell those books!”

Resources
HARO is a service that you can sign up to use for free. Every day they will send you three emails full of queries that reporters have for people. They need sources for their articles and who better to offer expertise than you as authors. You can sign up here. Look at the reports each day and find things that you can offer an opinion or professional voice on. This will help you be able to get word out about who you are and have articles mention your book.

One resource that is really handy is PicMonkey. You can use PicMonkey to make marketing materials.
It has pre-made templates that are super easy to use. The hipster picture to the right is a quick image that I threw together in 5 minutes to show how easy PicMonkey is to use. They also have poster templates and other ideas you can use.
Cedar Fort Top 5
If you have any general author marketing questions, contact Brantz Woolsey at millennium@cedarfort.com

PR Tool Box

Today I would like to talk about putting together a media package. This should be the tool box from which you can pull things when media professionals come calling. I will be listing and explaining each item in this toolbox to you. If you need any help with any of these items, feel free to contact me. Building-your-PR-Toolbox

Tools:

Press Release:

The press release can be used multiple times. It is a living document that can and should be changed with current events. If there is a news story for which you could be considered an expert, it is time to change your release to reflect the change. The release has a short life cycle on the news-desks. If you don’t resubmit it multiple times you will be passing up a possible interview and opportunity. See the marketing guide on how to write one.

Here is an article on how to write an effective press release.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-cutler/press-release-tips_b_2120630.html

Pitch-letter:

The pitch letter is used to gain the attention of show producers. The intent is to engage and show the producer that you are both informative and engaging. The pitch should be no longer than two paragraphs. This is also a living document you will want to modify for each show.

Here is a article on writing a effective pitch letter.

http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/how-to-write-a-great-pr-pitch-and-get-the-medias-attention/

Q&A:

Having a list of 25 questions you can answer is a big bonus for producers. This helps make their job easier. It will also allow you to guide the interview where you would like it to go. You could also use it to make sure there is no awkward silence during the interviewing process.

Here is a article on a Q&A sheet.

http://www.prleads.com/tips-for-writing-fact-sheets/

Book:

You should always take two copies of your book to each interview. You should also have a picture of the cover in your toolbox as well.

Social Media:

These are the channels you need to be on for Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon. You should also be familiar with the unique characteristics of each of these channels. Remember you should have an author bio on both Amazon and Goodreads.

http://www.ragan.com/SocialMedia/Articles/47044.aspx

Blog:

In addition to your website, you should have a blog. It is recommended that you have a well-written and engaging post. It is advisable to learn about SEO and to use it when posting on your blog.

Here is an article on how to write an effective blog.

http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/47085.aspx

Finally, here is an article that lists 89 things you should be doing to market your book. http://www.authormedia.com/89-book-marketing-ideas-that-will-change-your-life/