Friday, June 10, 2011
CRIME ON MY MIND
Social Media & Marketing
That was the title of the Sunday morning workshop at Bloody Words. Three 50-min. long, back-to-back sessions. The first was Creating an Effective Web Presence. The second, Blogs, Podcasts, YouTube. Followed by Other Marketing Tools. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend all of them but the topics overlapped, so I got a good taste of what today's author needs to consider when it comes to promotion and publicity.
It's a tough market out there, as we all know. Traditional publishers are cutting back, not only on the new authors they're taking on board, but as importantly, the amount of time and money they put into promoting them. If you're on the A-list, in other words the established authors who really don't need the publicity, then you're sure to receive it. If you're just starting out your career, or even a few books in and selling enough to continue that contract, then you're mostly on your own. Writing the book is only the beginning of the job.
These days a web presence is a necessity, starting with a website. Tech savvy readers, and that's a large number, go to the web for their information and you've gotta be there baby. Basic content is a necessity -- your name, bio, book info, events, contact info and the cover of your latest would be great as visuals hype it up.
Taking it a step further, you could consider putting an author reading on your site or even posting it on YouTube. No, you don't have to sing to be on the Tube! Trailers are also popular but here you'd be wise to invest some bucks and have it notched up from an amateur attempt.
Blogs can be a great forum, especially if you keep them updated and of interest. A good way to do that is by inviting guest bloggers, I've found.
To Facebook or not to Facebook, that is the question. And many authors are finding it a good idea, even though it can be time consuming. Same with Twitter. It's name recognition, after all and that's the name of the game. Once you've set up your accounts, be sure to link to them from your website. Also, you can instruct your website to move information to Twitter or Goodreads. Don't ask me how. I haven't gotten that far in my own explorations yet but it's possible.
Too much information? Or maybe not enough?
It's just the start, if you're serious about marketing your product. But that's up to you. There are a lot of resources out there and a lot of people to ask...on Facebook and Twitter for starters.
But don't forget the tried and true, age-old method of just getting out there and meeting people. That contact with readers is what's important. Readers want to know the authors, to put a personality to the name on the cover. So book those signings, do those readings, attend conferences. And don't worry about numbers. This is step one in word-of-mouth promotion. But it's really a giant one. And, you'll have fun!
Anyone have any tips to add?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime