Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marketing for Writers - Confused yet?

Where are you on your writing journey? Aspiring novelist? New author? Either way, when it comes to marketing, you might be a little confused.

Turn back the calendar three years - you'd find me carefree in fuzzy slippers typing away, throwing thoughts and life lessons painfully learned onto my blog or into articles.

Fast forward to present day, with a contract in hand, a coveted literary agent a phone call away, and only eight weeks before my book launch, I'm trudging through the marketing jungle and swatting at Twitter mosquitoes and Facebook flies.

A blogger recently emailed to ask if I'd post about the marketing side of publication. So, from one jungle dweller to another, I'll share what I've learned trudging through so far.

  • Learn from the best. With the Internet at your fingertips, there's lots of great stuff out there. Some of my favorite sites for marketing tips: Rachelle Gardner, Michael Hyatt, Nathan Bransford, Jody Hedlund.
  • Blog. Do you have one yet? Don't wait for a book contract before you start your own website. Now is the time. There are free and easy choices for new bloggers. Don't overthink it. Your blog will evolve alongside your writing career. Don't get stuck in analysis paralysis. Like Nike says, Just Do It!
  • Facebook. Do you have a profile page yet? What are you waiting for? If you already have a book in the works, create a page instead. I wish I'd begun that way. Don't be afraid of high school friends. If you don't want to reconnect with them, don't. Connect with other writers, and your future readership.
  • Twitter. Have I lost you here? I am a new believer in The Twitter. This form of social media has grown my blog traffic by leaps and bounds. Whenever I post to my blog, I post to my Twitter and Facebook pages.
Still uncomfortable promoting yourself? I have to agree with you there. Most writers would rather hide behind their words and stay far, far away from the spotlight. So, when we're told to shine that spotlight on ourselves it can be quite disturbing.

I am in the process of creating an author site with my name as the title. Very uncomfortable for me to do. I like my Blessed... header with a scripture verse below. When I shared my hesitation to make this change, a writer friend told me, "When your readers try to find you on the web, they won't be googling Blessed..., they will look for you by name. So, if you really want to share your love for God with others, you'd better be accessible." This means using your name. Ouch.

There is lots more to share about marketing your book, but for now, start with one of the three social media giants; Blogging, Facebook or Twitter. Pick your favorite and go with it.

Remember, how do you eat a gargantuan marketing-elephant but one small bite at a time.


Sheri said...

Don't worry!!! We all know Joanne Kraft actually means..."blessed."

Shannon Dittemore said...

Great advice! That darn elephant tastes awful, but he must be devoured. I check Rachelle's, Nathan's, and Michael's blogs all the time. I'll have to check out Jodi's. Thanks for the recommendation.

Angie Knight said...

Let me just SAY for the record...YOU have the most informative mix of words that HELP and tickle the funny bone (I've been reading some old blogs of yours)...and I for one..cannot WAIT for your book to come out! YIPEE!!! That will be ME running around like crazy telling everyone that ANOTHER friend of MINE has published a BOOK!!!!

I love you to pieces.

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

Joanne I love that you are blazing a trail and leaving crumbs for us to follow. Thanks for your transparency.

Sue Tornai said...

Joanne, I'm amazed with you! In a few months you'll be famous and I can say, "I knew you when. . ." I am so proud of you, my friend.

Kathy S. said...

I told you before I am no aspiring author,


Great advice, and I will follow for my aspiring friends! :)

Rebecca said...

cool thanks for the info. I totally think many bloggers are our modern day writers. I don't write very well and don't think it a big deal. I blog to express and share. But I do enjoy reading many blogs such as yours. Folks who can write well. :-)

Erin MacPherson said...

Hi Joanne- These are great tips! I'm also trying to navigate this jungle and I agree... it's a bit overwhelming. I totally agree that the best tip is to learn from the best... I learn SO much from the blogs of other authors, including yours!

Terri Tiffany said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I love hearing about your journey:)


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