Posts Tagged ‘self-promotion’

My Message

June 22, 2020

Jill Lublin spoke at the latest virtual Tri-Valley Writers program with a discussion of publicity – how to use it, how to get it, how to create it. She emphasized that we need to focus on our message a little more than our book(s), because the message will generate interest in people most likely to become our readers.

Like most wonderful advice, there is a huge catch. You first have to identify your message. Sad to say, “My invisible friends yakked at me until I wrote their stories” is not sufficient for your message. Nor is “I had this idea for a cool title and wrote a story to fit it.” Ditto for “Why can’t we have a world where prairie dogs tap dance wearing top hats?”

I guess I’ll spend this summer thinking about who I am and how that can become a message. Perhaps that will encourage me to get back to editing, in hopes I can find something useful in the pages of my novel.

Luck and wisdom!

Volunteer Your Way To Better Jacket Copy

July 29, 2019

Nathan Bransford wrote a helpful blog about writing good jacket copy. The first step – knowing your selling points – seems obvious, but getting to that understanding is painful. Trying to sell my own work is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Even after I’ve finished paring down all the wonderful things I want to share with readers to a few bullet points, I’m still never certain my promotional material is appealing.

Bransford suggests using social media ads to test your jacket material. This is great if you’re made of money, but I am not. I am, however, one who volunteers. My work for the quilt guild this year includes writing the newsletter articles for our speakers and their workshops. “Self,” I said, “you’ve just created your own personal, private training program for self-promotion.” I’ve got ten speakers who – like me – have varying degrees of skill in advertising themselves and their work. I have a limited word count for newsletter articles, so I often have to edit the biography, lecture topic, and workshop description to fit the space. Since the guild members are also the target audience for The Chenille series, the feedback I get on my articles will be ideally suited to help me craft my own ad copy.

Consider volunteering to work with Program or Publicity for the guild, club, or non-profit that matches your target audience. As you see what entices the members to come to the lecture or sign up for the workshop, consider how you can use your new skills to promote yourself.

Luck and wisdom!

Marketing Advice I Can Use

May 20, 2019

Like all independently published authors, I am entirely responsible for marketing my novels. While I am more than willing to talk your ear off about my books should I corner you at a party, I’m not so great at finding bigger venues. I’ve organized a couple of book launches, but they turned out to be more tea party, less launch. I read as much about marketing as I can, but most of the advice I’ve found applies to younger, wealthier people living smack dab in the middle of New York, the kind who don’t have to factor in grocery shopping and the laundry between sessions on social media and schmoozing with influencers and trend-setters.

Still, the universe does provide if you wait long enough. My quilt guild is planning a holiday boutique. Since the key to all marketing advice is always ask if you can join in, I asked if I could participate. As far as I could tell, the only requirement for vendors was that all the items for sale must be handmade.

“Could I sell my books?” I asked. “Ann Anastasio and I wrote them ourselves, so that’s kinda sorta maybe handmade.”

The committee agreed that my books qualify as a handmade item, and I slapped the table fee down before they changed their minds. This boutique might not appear on the international book festival calendar, but I’m grateful for any chance to meet potential readers.

Luck and wisdom!