Monday, January 25, 2016

All About You

After a very snowy weekend, I'm back to work and finishing up my last round of strategy session calls this week!  A big thing that I've been talking to my authors about is promotion for their books.  I created an awesome online forum for all my clients to use to talk about things they've done, experiences with their publisher, and questions they have relating to publicity/marketing, and I'm very excited about it!

Since it's been such a hot topic, I figured I would go over some of the heavy hitters that I've been reiterating to everyone:

1. Make an author page!  This is one of the most basic parts of promoting yourself, but an additional thing to think about is creating a website that reflects your author brand, whether that is a paranormal thriller writer or a goofy MG writer.  For unpublished authors, I don't suggest talking about books that haven't found a publisher yet, so instead, having a blog and writing about things related to the kind of writing you do and posting book reviews in your genre might be a better option.

2. Join communities related to your genre!  This means if you're a romance writer, join your local chapter of RWA and get involved commenting and participating on romance websites, etc.  Creating meaningful relationships in your community is important, because it helps build your platform and gives you a network to get the word out when its time to promote your book.  In the same vein, be active on social media.

3. Make your dream list!  Think about all the publicity/marketing ideas you want to have done for your book, from pie-in-the-sky ideas like having a book review in O Magazine to hosting a giveaway on Netgalley.  Look at authors you like or authors who are successful and see the kind of promotion they do to get interesting ideas.  Share the list with your publisher or agent when its time and see what they can help you do, and where you need to take over.  Because of the state of the industry today, a lot of promotion can fall on the author's shoulders, so be ready to do some things yourself.

4. Play to your strengths!  One of my authors is an amazing blogger and is able to create content that gets her 60+ comments a post.  Another one of my authors does awesome school/library visits.  Another is great at interviews.  If you have things you're better at than others, focus on those things!  Don't force yourself to be on Twitter if you hate it, because it will show.  I, for instance, should never depend on Instagram to reach people, because I am a stock-photo whore who never takes her own pictures.  Also think about where you're going to find your audience: if you write picture books, is tweeting the best idea or should you focus on booking school/library visits and trying to land a piece in Highlights?

It's never too soon to start thinking about how you want to promote yourself and your book, since what you end up doing will determine your visibility and how effectively you can build your audience.

Also, thanks, Diane, for using #IHAVEAQUESTION!  She wanted to know, "Is it okay to re-query agents about the same book if it has been a year and you have revised your story?"  

Despicable Me Minion - You have a question? I have an answer!

It is definitely okay to re-query an agent if you have made substantive changes to your story.  I'm always happy to look at something again, and most other agents are, too.  I would mention in the query that you talked to them about the project before, but have ended up making revisions based on feedback, etc.  I hope that helps!

If you have a question that you'd like me to answer in my next post, just post the question with the hashtag #IHAVEAQUESTION in the comments section here, and I'll pick one to answer next week!