On your way to work today, you probably received lots of brand messages without realising. Maybe you picked up a coffee from a café with an Italian name and branding, maybe you grabbed a healthy snack in green packaging to go with it, or maybe you bought a bottle of water with a crisp, clean Alpine mountain on the side. Even if we take billboards and magazine adverts out of the equation, companies have a subtle way of telling you what they want to be known for in their marketing. Big brands spend millions on these clever ways of making you associate their name or product with certain values. Indie authors should be branding themselves in their marketing also.
If you want to write for a living then you need to—and I mean doggedly—set yourself up to write. Sounds easy, right? It isn’t, at least not for most of us. There’s carving out time. There’s finding a physical space, someplace quiet without distractions. There’s finding inspiration, and there’s also learning and perfecting the craft. Not to mention that beyond this, there’s finding someone to read what you’ve written and, hopefully, monetizing your efforts. Here are a few writing tips for becoming an author.
Becoming an award-winning independently published author took a lot more work than I had ever imagined. I'm no marketing mastermind . . . or at least I wasn't when I started this whole self-publishing adventure. Some of it was pure luck in the beginning, but now I know the ropes. And I hope my advice helps you on your journey to doing the same!
I’ve been speaking at writing conferences since 2002, and over the last 15 years, the one topic of conversation that has changed the most dramatically is self-publishing. Not only has the substance of the conversation changed, but everyone’s attitudes have completely transformed. The trouble is that while this change has been largely welcome (at least from my point of view!), it hasn’t always been for the best.
by Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman), The Hot Sheet
Whether you’re an unpublished or published writer, one area where everyone should exercise caution is when entering book contests and competitions. The rewards of winning them can be very low, and the cost to enter very high. Still, contests can play an important role in helping emerging writers get noticed and achieve recognition for work that might otherwise go unnoticed.
by Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson), The Hot Sheet
While editing a story for Publishing Perspectives on the long-running popularity of dystopian fiction, I came across one of the best examples I’ve seen of an author’s press kit. It’s something every author should consider having ready and available.
by Carla King (@CarlaKing), founder of Author Friendly
In this wired-in era, you practically don’t exist if you don’t have a website. Your author website is the center of all activity for promoting your writing. Done right, it provides the foundation for success in marketing and promoting your books. For authors, your best brand is your name, so make your author name your domain name.
Building a strong author platform can start with free content. Every word you write is a tool for promoting your brand and driving book sales. While it may sound counterintuitive, giving away your writing benefits you in the end. The main principle of marketing with free content is that all publicity is good publicity. The more you get your name and writing out there, the easier it is to create brand recognition and gain a following.
For some writers, building a strong author platform comes naturally, but for others, this extroverted activity of networking takes a lot of work. Whether it feels comfortable or not, the reality is that an author’s work needs to reach the right community of readers to be successful. This means that one of the most important aspects of book marketing is building relationships with people who will promote your book.