Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Marketing for Authors blog has moved

Marketing for Authors blog has a new home at Word Press. Please update your links and bookmarks: I'll be moving over archives in due course.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tuesday tips: 7

Practical up-to-date advice for book marketers. Got a tip to share? Email me. Media: Do you Squidoo? Margaret Muir does. And Susan Higginbotham. Information from Seth Godin about what Squidoo can do for authors here. Some useful opinion from on what every author’s website should contain. “The web is one of the best medium to market/ promote to a niche audience,” according to In My Books blog, who knows what she’s talking about – she does online marketing for a living. She says, “the modern day author without an online presence… risks alienating themselves from new and younger readers.” Inspiration: In the vicinity of Santa Rosa, CA, U.S.? Literary attorney Robert G. Pimm is speaking on various aspects of publishing including book marketing on Sunday, 12th November. Not in the vicinity of Santa Rosa? You can still read the summary of the talk on book marketing I gave at this year’s RNA Conference here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday debate: Ebooks – are they worth it?

The ebook market in 2005 was worth $11 million U.S. dollars* and if growth trends continue should break $15 million in 2006. A multi-million dollar industry then, but still small fry. A small UK publisher with 11 staff and producing 100 titles a year has approximately this turnover.** The ebook market in 2005 published 5,000+ new titles. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that there’s less in the total pot per title. My ebook has brought in a few pennies. Kate Johnson, aka Cat Marsters, tells me her etitles earn significantly better. So what’s in it for the epublished author? Riches, if you promote? Or is the cost of promotion too high for the possible returns? * Source: International Digital Publishing Forum ** John Blake Publishing

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday interview: Margaret Muir

Promotion is a lonely and often unrewarded road, says Margaret Muir, in today's Sunday interview. But you can get results if you set your sights at an attainable level.

Margaret Muir grew up in Yorkshire but now lives in Western Australia Her second novel, The Twisting Vine, was published in August.

1. What kinds of marketing have you done as an author? Mainly Internet marketing via website, blog and Squidoo, plus networking on Yahoo groups. Through a press release package, I have announced my publications to the writing organisations in Western Australia, local papers and specific magazines. I have also given a number of talks.

2. What marketing did your publisher do? Hale circulated their brochure to UK libraries and their distributor in Australia. They notified the major online stores – Amazon, Smith and Borders, sent out review copies as requested and supplied bookmarks and flyers for promotional purposes. Finally, they participated in a book competition by supplying free copies.

3. What essential things about marketing did you learn that you wish you'd known from the start? A book’s life is short – only 2 to 4 months. Marketing a UK-published book when you live in Australia isn’t easy. Postage costs are high and the British media are not particularly interested in overseas authors. Even at home, marketing is expensive – postage, printing etc. It’s a lonely and often unrewarded road.

4. What did you learn during your experiences of trying to market your books? I learned that you are a very small fish in a very large ocean. Rather than focusing on the major media outlets it's better to set your sights at an attainable level. I also discovered the need for a unique selling point.

5. What's the most successful piece of marketing you've done?

Firstly, achieving feature articles in two glossy doll magazines - due out shortly. Secondly, seeing a major travel article I wrote published in the national Australian broadsheet with a link to my first book, Sea Dust.

6. What advice would give for authors starting out with marketing their books?

Find an angle for marketing your book. When you discover the unique selling point, promote accordingly. Make use of the full range of media outlets and make best use of the internet – websites, blogs etc, and networking groups. I firmly believe, time spent on marketing is more effective than money.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rule 9: Does what it says on the tin

Does what it says on the tin is an expression used in the UK when we describe a product that functions exactly as the labelling promised. It originated as an advertising slogan for Ronseal, a manufacturer of varnishes. Now, I’ve just had a novella published entitled The Restless Heart. You’re guessing it’s a romance aren’t you? Or possibly an emotionally harrowing biography or autobiography. It’s a romance, but that word Restless also promises a bit of suspense doesn’t it? Good. Because The Restless Heart is a romance with a bit of suspense. The book delivers what it says on the tin. Here are my other book titles to date: The Lady Soldier -> this one’s about a lady soldier and has quite a lot of military adventure Fateful Deception -> another suspenseful romance involving fate and a big deception Perfidy and Perfection -> a rom com with a nod towards Jane Austen The rule is this – choose your book titles wisely, or keep your fingers crossed that your publisher chooses wisely for you. Your title is a primary marketing vehicle for your book.