"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Balticon 2014: Promoting Your Book(s)

Was late for this panel, so I missed the introductions.

Came in at "post-it notes" are great promotional items.

The talk was focused on buying supplies of novelty items printed with your name, logo, book title and website. Some authors like magnets, buttons,souvenir cups. Others liked ink pens that also functioned as stylus but they were pricey.

All the panel members agreed. If you are self-published author or even a traditionally published author, "You Are A Business." So, you have to think like a business person and learn to make good business decisions. For example, it is important to get out and met your fans or potential fans, so many go to conventions but which one will work for you? Given that time is finite, you have to be selective about how you balance your marketing time with your writing time. Because first and foremost you are a writer.

Some of the panel members liked podcasting. They all recommend a well-designed website and a blog. But, you do not necessarily have to blog everyday; once a month works fine.

Other panel members have created TV commercials, movie-production quality book trailers and video blogs. Again, time and money spent needs to be considered in regards to potential return on investment.

Much of the discussion focused on book trailers. The emphasis was on the complexity of creating a book trailer. While it may take a day to shoot, it could take weeks in post production to perfect the final product.

Others suggested sending your work to professionals to get a book trailer made. Some suggested just making a video blog post and sending it along with your book to reviewers because reviewers like videos.

One panelist held a Facebook Party and it exceeded all his expectations and included lots of surprises like other authors who wanted to be guests at the party. Another panelist suggested a Twitter Party where you use hashtags and track them. But, above all else, interact with your audience or potential audiences.

Some cautions about using social media: If you tweet, don't just tweet about your book, interact with others; and watch what you tweet because you can't take it back once you hit the send button.

A final suggestion was try to get your work included in anthologies either in print, or ebooks or in audiobooks.

What did not work for some panelists were: print ads, google ad words, or printed t-shirts.

Conclusion: "You can not be an introvert", if you have chosen to be an author.

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