Be Your Own Publicist: Strategies for the Part-Time Writer
Part-time writers, use these strategies to become your own publicist and get the word out about your book.
If you haven't yet made the leap to full-time writing, you may be finding it difficult to figure out how to promote your work. If you've written a book you need to get the word out, but can't spend a fortune - in time or money - to do it. Here are a few strategies to help you make the most of your time and money, all while getting maximum returns on your effort.
Make the Most of Social Networks
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram all work around the clock so you don't have to. You can utilize programs such as Hootsuite and Buffer to help you schedule posts in advance, so you can focus on writing first. These programs will help you share your writing across all the social networks you've selected. Just take an hour or two once a week to write and schedule the posts, and your work will be mostly done. Just don't forget to respond to comments and replies you receive - social media is, after all, about conversation.
Create Your Own Blog
Build a strong following on a blog based on your book's content. Does the thought of starting a blog sound daunting? Don't worry: There's no need to blog daily. Two or three times a week (with posts of 300 to 500 words each) is sufficient. Write these posts in the evenings or on the weekends and then schedule them in advance to post on specific days and at times when your blog's traffic is highest. Don't forget to schedule tweets or posts linking to your blog. All of this works in the background and keeps you active on Google, even when you're not online.
Develop your own marketing team with other writers, friends, or even family members. Share what you want to accomplish and then ask their help in promoting you and your work. Cross-promoting with other authors seems to be easier than promoting yourself, so if you can develop your own team, it will help everyone involved.
Maintain a Newsletter
Build a mailing list by offering a newsletter on a quarterly or biannual basis. Keep a sign-up link on your blog and website, and when you make personal appearances, always bring a sign-up sheet (manual or digital). Keep your newsletters short but newsy, with information about recent releases, appearances, and what readers can expect next from you.
Occasional contests keep your writing brand fun and personal. Host a Facebook party one evening in which you ask trivia questions about your book, your characters, your setting, and your themes, and reward participants with e-books or small gift cards for widely enjoyed treats like coffee or chocolates.
If your marketing team is made up of authors, host a party together and let everyone contribute what they can for prizes. Be sure to advertise the event ahead of time and then post an announcement on Facebook and Twitter just before the party starts so people can jump in at the last minute. One piece of advice: Keep it short (no more than two hours, but preferably less). The time will fly, but readers will appreciate it.
Promotion doesn't have to be costly or time intensive. Just think outside the box and be creative -- your budget and your schedule will thank you.
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