A to Z Blog Challenge - P - Thursday Thirteen - 275 - 13 Things About Promo Options

by Julia Phillips Smith

1 – The A to Z Blog Challenge continues!

On Day 16


is for

2 – The moment a writer is no longer a writer, but has become an author, he or she begins a journey down an entirely new road of marketing and promotion. Since many--not all, but many--authors are introverts by nature, even the thought of marketing can actually shut down a writer from crossing that line into publication.

Isn't it nicer just to write stories and hang out with your characters?

3 – If you listen carefully, you'll notice those muffled protests your characters are making. It's time to take those restraints off of your remarkable creations and let them loose into the world.

You may not even be aware you're gagging your characters. Perhaps you're published but shy away from all of the social media. Perhaps you're willing to promote your work but can't make up your mind which route to travel.

4 – The first and easiest step towards promoting yourself as a writer is to start a blog. If you're still in the beginning stages of your writing career, and find it somewhat presumptive to even think of yourself having a career, a blog is the perfect way to step onto the social media stage.

Blogs are free. Blogs give instant feedback through the comments section. Blogs help you to connect with other writers in exactly the same stage of their journeys as you.

5 – If you're a little farther along, in the submitting-to-agents-and-editors stage, you should set up your own web site and secure your own domain name.

Writers become freelance artists as soon as they publish, and this means you need to treat yourself like a business. Businesses generally have a physical place in which to operate. For authors these days, your online web site becomes your office lobby or storefront, a place where readers can drop by and find you.

6 - If paying for a web site isn't possible at first, and if a do-it-yourself free web design is beyond your techie skills, consider setting up a Facebook Author Page as your online storefront.

You can treat your Facebook page like a web site until you're ready for the real thing. Be sure to separate your personal Facebook page from your professional one. The sorts of posts you'd share among friends and family may sometimes be a great addition to your author page, but keep your readers in mind.

For example, if you're a dark fantasy author like me, sharing posts about favorite shows like Spartacus and Vikings is a great way to reach out to readers who likely share my taste in program viewing. Posting photos from a YA paranormal book launch of one of my author friends would also appeal to people who follow my author page.

7 – Setting up a Twitter page is another smart option. You can create a brand between social media outlets by ensuring the graphics at all of your author sites match one another.

If you have a cell phone and have a moment standing in the line-up at the bank machine, you can whip out your mobile device and post a few tweets. Voila! You've connected to readers.

Weekly features like #WriterWednesdays (#WW) or #FollowFridays (#FF) are a great way to meet other like minded Twitterers.

The search feature is a great way to break out of the I'm-only-following-other-writers ghetto. Find book readers in your genre through the search field. There's a vast world of new-to-you readers out there, and many, many of them are on Twitter. Many of them have book blogs where they review books.

8 – Pinterest? Find someone to invite you aboard to start pinning glorious graphics of your fictional world, your book covers and shared interests. Pinterest is a great place to become inspired yourself. 

 Many authors set up boards for stories they're working on, to give readers a sense of what their story is like through visual collage. Often breathtaking and dramatic.

9 – Goodreads is a site where readers share favorite titles and recommend books to others. You can also have a professional Goodreads Author page, but here you do need to be published first, as you need to link to your own titles.

If you're still in the learning-curve-writer stage, or you're a veteran writer not yet in print, a personal Goodreads page would still be an important part of your online writing identity. You can interact with readers from your genre in the many groups and forums within Goodreads.

10 – When you're all set up in Social Media Land, consider holding a Facebook party or Twitter party to coincide with an author event or book launch.

Pick a date, send out invitations to Facebook friends and at the magic hour, all guests can find each other via the invitation link. The Facebook party takes place in the comments section of the Facebook event page. Giveaways can be a great part of the party.

The same holds true for Twitter parties. Decide on a hashtag for the event so all followers can find the conversation.    
11 – Don't forget about in-person promotional events. For me, taking part in Toronto's Fan Expo and Halifax's Hal-Con events were fabulous ways to connect with dark fantasy readers. These types of conventions or conferences have been important for me in terms of networking above everything else. I met up with people at these events that made the entire experience worthwhile for a ten-minute encounter.
12 – For traditionally published authors, in-store book signings are a cherished way to connect with readers. They may be awkward and crickets-chirping ordeals at first, yet as you gain experience with them, you'll become adept at hand-selling your titles to complete strangers who are really future fans.

For self-published authors, there are other venues you can secure in order to have your own book signing. Use your imagination and come up with a place that is connected in some way with your story. You can combine efforts with other self-pubbed authors, rent a hall, advertise and have your own book fair. It's up to you.
13 –  Don't forget about the humble business card and bookmark. You never know who you may be chatting with. Have a supply on hand at all times and be ready to pass one to a potential reader, agent or editor.


What are your promo tips?

Photo by Helen Tansey

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  1. Thank you for sharing this very informative article. I'm still at #4, but I am getting close to moving on up. :)
    A to Z April Blogging Challenge

  2. Good solid advice, there. Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing. Some of that stuff is already on my mind but there were a few things I'd never thought of.


  4. This is a great list. I think you've covered all the bases. Thanks. Happy T13!


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