Hi everyone. The last few weeks have been a bit hectic for me with trying to update my first three novels with new covers etc and also trying out new marketing techniques. I’m also making three of my novels into paperbacks, which has been a steep learning curve as my lovely publisher designed and formatted my most recent books for me. Now I know how much hard work it is for them! I’m trying to get all of my books on brand, so that readers can see they are my books at a glance.
I’ve also been playing around with some book graphics and am really pleased with the results. Sites like Canva, Book Brush and Visme all have free options to make graphics and have simple tutorials if you need them. It’s also made it easier for me to be able to update my website and make that more reader friendly too. I’ve simplified all of the tabs, taken away ones I don’t use and begun making sure all of my pages are relevant to my current work.
On top of all that I’m now writing my 7th book. I have one book which is ready for publication and one almost complete, which is quite exciting. To keep myself motivated and up to date with blog posts, social media and making time for everyday tasks, I’m trying to be kinder to myself and giving myself a breather to have a cup of tea or sit by a view, to replenish my energy. I also find meeting up with other writers, either in person or in online groups, fills up my creative energy tanks for quite a while. I always come away feeling inspired by what they have all achieved and ready to get back to writing.
Have a fun filled and creative week everyone.
Happy new week everyone. I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Today’s marketing tips are from the author of The Curse of Time, Marjorie Mallon.
1. I’d recommend joining professional writing groups such as SCBWI: https://www.scbwi.org/.The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators is a fabulous group of authors and illustrators. There are many activities and opportunities to get involved with: from socials, to writing seminars, agents parties, critique groups, the scrawl crawl (for illustrators and arty writers!) as well as book club discussion SCBWI has introduced me to a wider community of self-published and traditionally published authors. This has culminated in a very special book/marketing event which is to be held at the Cambridge Central Library on 9th February.
2. Network and spend some money! It is vitally important to build a tribe of friends who will support and encourage you. Writing can be a lonely business! These connections bring opportunities to share your work via author interviews, blog posts, and don’t forgetto reciprocatein whatever way you can by reviewing, offering author interviews and spotlights. These blog tours can encourage ‘new readers,’ who might read and review your book. I’d recommend spending a little money to widen your reach by trying a reputable blog tour company. I would highly recommend bloggers such as Jenny Marston who organised my blog tour with the added bonus of reviews too.
3. Entering competitions. This can be a fantastic way to build your confidence and to encourage readers to pick up your book. If you have some success howeversmall, shout out about it. It’s not bragging- it’s just a writer’s way of saying I love writing, I’ve achieved a little success and that makes me happy.
My recent successes include: winning first prize at the Bloggers Bash Blog Competition with my cheeky flash- The Queen’s Dress Down Day https://mjmallon.com/2018/05/24/winners-of-the-2018-bloggers-bash-blog-post-competition/
And first prize with a murderous piece of flash for Charli Mills Flash Fiction with another humorous one entitled Mr Blamey. https://carrotranch.com/2017/12/19/winner-of-flash-fiction-contest-7
Even if you don’t win you might receive a surprise email like I did recently from Wasifiri: https://www.wasafiri.org/offering a free critique of writing from the literary consultancy Cornerstones:https://cornerstones.co.uk/
I was very excited about this and I think it’s a great scheme. But, I was unable to accept this wonderful opportunity for women writers as the small print called for me to belong to one of the following unrepresented groups: low income, a BAME writer, memberof the LGBQT community, disabled, a student, or over 60.
Contact Marjorie Mallon:
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook:
Happy new week everyone. I’ve been working hard on my latest manuscript and it’s coming along nicely. I’m about to write about my main male character in the story, but suddenly another minor male character has stepped up and appeared far sooner that I’d originally imagined. He obviously wants to be a bigger part in the story! I love it when this happens and it makes writing the new book so much fun.
I often support other authors on my blog, but it’s now booked up until the middle of the year, so I thought I’d open up some marketing posts to top tips from authors who can share their experience with you and possibly give you some insight into their own writing journey. The first tips are from Awen Thornber, who is a mystery and romance author.
Awen’s top marketing tips:
1. If your book is much more than just a romance, don’t have ‘A Romance’ under the title on the cover. It gives the impression that it’s just a romance. Sometimes the publisher might add this – but being a novice you might find it difficult to object. Try and raise objections early if you are unhappy with something and be willing to listen to your publishers reasoning.
2. Give the back blurb a lot of thought. Don’t rush this stage. Don’t have something on the back that isn’t relevant to your readers or the story as this might cause confusion, even if you think it will put your book in better categories. Research what will work for your genre and see what other authors are doing to be more visible with keywords. My book has the words ‘let’s dance’ on the back as this fits with the story, but on reflection, this may deter readers who aren’t interested in dance and narrows my marketplace.
3. The ‘Foxtrot’ in my book’s title is a nod towards the police/crime/intrigue part of the novel but I think it was too subtle taking the top two points into consideration. So my top tip would be to seriously think and look at the cover and title and how it appears to would be readers. Get several opinions before settling for the final wording. You only have a matter of seconds to attract a reader to your book out of a page of similar books for sale on Amazon. The cover is the all important sales and marketing tool. It’s the make or break for your book being chosen out of a larger selection.
Some reviewers have commented that despite not liking dance they were surprised to find they enjoyed the book because it was much more than dance. Other reviewers who don’t usually read romance enjoyed the suspense with the crime aspect. Your title, cover and blurb needs to reel in a wider and diverse readership. The wrong choice of words narrows it right down to a few. I realised very quickly when it was too late that my cover obviously targeted a reader who solely liked dance and romance.
This has made it harder to market.
I hope this helps you all! From Awen.
Book buy links for Awen’s books:
Foxtrot in Freshby
Threads of Awen
Today is very exciting as I’m featured in the beautifully glossy and very informative Writers’ Forum Magazine! Author and regular contributor to the magazine Paula Williams interviewed me for her blog and column and I was thrilled to have been asked.
If you haven’t come across this magazine before, it’s packed full of advice for writers and has news, competitions and workshops to get involved in.
Happy 2019 everyone. Here are my marketing tips for today. This post is about setting new goals for yourself. Promotion and marketing can seem so daunting, but putting pressure on yourself to write and find new readers can cause extra stress, so these tips might prevent that from happening.
- Set yourself small and achievable goals to help make marketing seem less of an uphill struggle. Give yourself tasks like: Add 50 Twitter followers in a week. Build and promote your Facebook fanbase by getting 20 more likes in a week. Obviously scale this to how active your accounts already are. You might think adding 1,000 followers is achievable, so give yourself realistic targets.
- Set up tweets about your book/writing twice a day. Make them different and interesting.
- Submit your book to at least three blogs, magazines, review sites per week.
Challenging ourselves with small goals helps us to stay focussed and when we meet those targets, we feel good about it and want to try harder. If we have too many things to do on our lists, we can feel overwhelmed and then nothing gets done at all. Stick with what works and discard anything that doesn’t’t bring the results you are aiming for. Just add a different topic to the top of the list. Have a great week. From Lizzie.
For tips about repetition in marketing click here.
Happy New Year’s Eve everyone.
I was lucky enough to receive six marketing books that I’d wished for, for Christmas this year. I’ve begun reading them and will share any insights on my regular Marketing blogs in 2019. I can’t wait to get back to working on my latest romance book, as I have written about 20,000 words and would like to complete it in the near future.
I hope that you all have exciting plans for the New Year and that 2019 brings lots of happiness and success to you all. I can’t wait to discover some new reads and to share them here too. I’ve tried lots of different genres in 2018, but am still drawn to the ones I write in, which are romance and humour.
Wishing you all an amazing and fulfilling New Year.
The saying goes, If you love what you have, you have everything you need.
I hope you’ve all had a relaxing weekend? Today’s tips are about generating marketing for yourself without having to pay out to a marketing budget. I’ve been running networking hours for years and have taught myself quite a few ways to market my work, but when I started out, I literally had no clue where to start. Today, there are many ways for you to simply promote your product, book or social media page, with images and text.
- Check out the Canva app. You can get this for free on your computer or phone. It is a graphics editing site. It has pre-made templates for all of the social media sites, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. Simply select the template you want to use, then upload your own photos from the tab on the left hand side and drag the photo you want to use into the template. You can then click and highlight the text and change it’s colour, font, size and the actual text. It takes a while to play around with and familiarise yourself with it’s function, but it’s a great app to use for free marketing. You can purchase photos for around $1 if you want different picture, but sites like Pixabay have free photos that you can download to your computer and then upload onto Canva for free.
- IMGFlip.com is another meme or image and text generator. Simply type in the theme you are looking for, for example, travel, and then choose a picture from the selection shown. Change the text in the two text boxes on the right hand side and then save your image.
- The third way, which is more time consuming and will only work if you have the correct programmes on your computer, is to Google the correct image sizes for the social media site you want to use and then set up an image on Photoshop. You can then easily add text and swap the images around once you have set up your own template. Once you have your own template, the possibilities are endless.
This is a Canva design template I added my book cover and text to.
This is an IMGFlip template with my words on it.
This is a Photoshop template that I made myself.
Hello everyone. Happy new week. I have my first author talk in a library this week and have been researching the best way to schedule the talk. They have booked me in for two hours, but my chat needs to be about 20 minutes and then an author Q&A and tea and coffee. I’ll let you know how I get on as I’m extremely nervous and two hours seems a very long time!
Tips for planning an author talk:
- Have seven points of interest and explain them to your audience, so that they understand the structure of the talk. For example: Point 1. My working life before I became and author. Point 2. Fun facts about my career. Point 3. Why I changed career path. Point 4. Self-publishing. Do I think it’s a good idea? Point 5. Publishing contracts. What it’s like being offered one. Point 6. How some books become bestsellers. Point 7. Life after you’ve published a novel.
- Plan questions you might be asked and write your answers, so that you aren’t caught off guard.
- Hold a Q&A session, so that visitors can ask any questions you haven’t already answered.
Good luck if you have your own author talks planned. If you have any top tips to share, feel welcome to leave them in the comments section below. Much appreciated! From Lizzie:)
Happy new week everyone. Today’s Monday marketing and 3 Quick Tips is about sprinkling kindness around like confetti. I recently read a magazine article where it said that having a positive mental attitude, treating others fairly and reaching out to assist people, also helps to boost your mood, triggers good endorphins and raises productivity during your own day. It’s not hard to share a social media post for someone else, add their product links to your emails, or to use word of mouth to recommend someone else’s products or services. It could take you a moment, but have positive effects on someone else’s day or business for days or weeks to come.
- Take a moment to share a post on social media that you think will help someone else’s products or business.
- When you are talking to friends, recommend someone. Word of mouth is a very powerful form of advertising that can be overlooked when everyone is so busy and doesn’t have a lot of time to catch up with friends or colleagues. Share a business card from someone you know, or spread the word about their websites or blogs.
- If you meet someone who might help a friend or colleague’s business, take a business card or jot down the details and then introduce them via social media or in person. Email them the details and spread the word about both businesses. They in turn will remember you for being kind and connecting them.