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Saturday, March 12, 2011

5 Self-Publishing Tips (Part 2)

Hello all.

My latest post on Five Self-Publishing Tips has been very popular. So I've decided to make it into a series of three (maybe four) posts.

Today's tips are numbers 6 - 10. And here they are:

6. Get an author website. The nicer job you do putting together your website, the more professional the impression on your audience. Unless you’ve got a knack for web development, consider hiring someone to help you out here. Prices vary all over the place. But $500 should get you something pretty decent. My recommendation for help in website development? Duolit. Make sure your book is available for purchase on your site. If you want to have a blog, that’s great – but it’s not the same as a website. Provide sample chapters and maybe a “Things I learned while writing XYZ Book” list. (BTW...I did my own website, so don't blame Duolit.)

7. Get involved in Social Networks. The basics here are Twitter, LinkedIn and FaceBook. Each has advantages and disadvantages for the author. Experiment with all of them. On Twitter, look for the #amwriting hashtag as a place to start. On LinkedIn, look for the Definitive Serious Writers Group. Set up a FaceBook page strictly for your authoring activities and update it regularly – daily if possible. Beyond the big three, consider writer support groups like The Independent Author Network (for marketing and networking) or the Association of Independent Authors (for help in many areas).

8. Don’t forget the home front. Social networking is great . . . but increasing evidence indicates that you shouldn’t ignore author marketing activities closer to home. Offer to speak to book clubs, service clubs (Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.), local “Friends of the Library” associations and study groups of all kinds. If you can find an audience, go for it. I sell lots of paperbacks at these speaking engagements. Don’t forget to provide local libraries with copies of your book.

9. Keep on writing. As my friend @JamieDeBree likes to say: “The best way to sell books? Write more books.” I agree 100%. Readers don’t want to fall in love with a one-hit-wonder. Show them you’re serious about your writing by starting work on that next book even before you’ve released your current masterpiece.

10. Establish solid relationships with other writers. It’s pretty easy to get a few thousand Followers on any social network. And that’s arguably important. But in my experience, it’s the closer relationships – the folks you Message with and exchange emails with – who will anchor your online presence. Yes, it takes time to make a truly great online friend. I’ve been lucky enough to have half-a-dozen or so. When you encounter that “right” person, take your connection to the next level. It’ll benefit both of you.

Those are today's Five Tips. Check back around March 16th for five more.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping in.

Cheers!

John

9 comments:

  1. good tips. for people on a tight budget and can worm their way around templates - try doteasy.com. It's a great starter site. One low fee and they supply everything you need with optional upgrades.

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  2. Dear RL:

    Thanks for the suggestion about doteasy.com. I'll check it out.

    Stop by again soon. Cheers!

    John

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  3. Hey,

    Great post,

    In the past year or so, I've found everything I thought I knew about marketing was wrong. It was only when I stopped trying, that the followers started coming.

    Thx for posting.

    Marcel

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  4. Hi Marcel.

    Kind of like "happiness." If you pursue it too hard, it eludes you. But when you stop seeking, it comes into your life through that window you forgot you'd left open.

    I believe that by next year, we may be revisiting the very principles that seem to apply today. Things are changing THAT fast in publishing.

    Thanks for stopping in.

    Cheers!

    John

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  5. More great tips for authors John!

    Surprising how many authors don't have a website or even a blog. Weebly.com is so easy to build a site even I can use it!

    A Facebook fan page for your books as well as a normal friends page.

    WRP

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  6. Hi William,

    Thanks for mentioning the FaceBook Fan Page idea. And I agree with you that, at least for some, it's not hard to build a basic site. Any author who isn't a technophobe should probably at least take a look at Weebly.com, GoDaddy.com, Doteasy.com and other DIY site-builders.

    WordPress (http://wordpress.org/)and Blogger (http://www.blogger.com/) are common blog hosting sites. You can create your own blog by creating a free account and working with their basic templates - such as the template upon which this blog is built.

    Thanks for stopping in.

    Cheers!

    John

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  7. Great post like part 1, John. Very true - so many great tools for writers to use these days. Make use of them all to build your platform and personality (but not at the expense of actual 'writing')

    All the best

    Adam
    www.iWriteReadRate.com

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  8. Thanks much, Adam.

    You're right that we have so many tools, we could easily be distracted from writing itself. I sometimes fall into that trap.

    Cheers!

    John

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  9. John, thanks for another series of great tips. Until 2 months ago, I never dreamed that social networking could really work for getting word out about my writing, my novels, and myself.

    Now, 8 short weeks after I really started using Twitter deliberately, I'm getting new followers every day and connecting with writers -- and readers! -- all over the world. It's really exciting! : )

    -- @courtcan

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