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Frankie's Wining Room

Drinking wine while writing, reading, crafting, and whining

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Platform

Promotion and Platform – Twitter

So, I’ve been taking a couple of classes on promotion and they’ve all touched on Twitter. It’s a very powerful platform that can really be boost for you. For me, it’s a bit overwhelming because there’s just so much that goes on there.

However, Facebook, for all that’s it’s more my speed and I can type more in a post, doesn’t get me any buy-clicks.

Twitter, for whatever reason, does.

Verbing on twitter is the next big thing. It’s not really the “next big thing.” It’s been around for a while. It’s that magickal thing that some people just inherently know how to do and others–like me–don’t.

So, what is verbing?

It makes your statement an action.

Dream Killers sweeps you away to a magickal world you won’t want to leave, but will fear to stay.

It’s like writing in active vs passive voice. It’s instantly engaging. Then you leave a shortened url. 

Don’t know how to shorten a URL? Go to Google, type “shorten URL”, and you’re set.

The next thing to remember about Twitter is hashtags. Hashtags are important. 

For instance, Dream Killers is a fairytale adventure. So, what’s hot right now in fairytale retellings? Once Upon a Time, the TV show here in the U.S. So, I’ll add the hashtag #OnceUponATime to my tweet, and when people are searching for the latest news on the TV show, my tweets will pop up. They’ll see there’s something else out there that’s kind of similar and might click the link to read more.

That happens more on Twitter than it does on Facebook. I don’t know why. But it does. So, here’s my Tweet, and already it’s been retweeted a couple of times. I haven’t even hit print on the post yet. *shrug* Twitter

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Building Your Author Platform by Book Blogging…Yes? or No?

Last year was about me building my platform. I will say that it’s grown a GREAT deal!

However, some of my brainy ideas got “followers” who were merely numbers on Facebook, while other ideas drew actual people interested in my work!

My biggest brainy idea, I think, was opening a full-time review site. When I say full-time, I mean it. That thing required so much time and hard work, and it was a constant battle to get enough hits on the blog or even a comment. So much of the time I could have been investing in my own writing, I was working on other people’s posts.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I met a lot of really fantastic authors this way, and you’d think that was platform building, at least. However, most of the authors didn’t talk to me again after I hosted them on my site, and when I asked for help promoting my books, they ignored me.

If you’re main goal/focus is to build your platform, being a book blog is not the way to go, IMHO. Here’s a few reasons why.

 

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In order to be on a tour (where the real hits and followers come from), a lot of the tour sites want to see a real review blog, not an author blog. The reason for this is because they want the touring author to be the main focus for that day. They realize all authors are trying to get some notice. It’s tough, but when you’re offering to sponsor an author on your blog, they need to be the center of your blog’s attention. So now, you’ve got TWO blogs to maintain, not just one.

If you thought you had emails before, now you have more! Signing up with blog tour companies does a couple of things. It keeps you in the current information stream as far as industry trends, cover trends, and what authors are out there. However, you still have to read all the emails!

Reading books you don’t like. This was the downside I didn’t appreciate. When a book goes on tour, the one thing you don’t want is a negative review. So, when you offer to review a book and you don’t like it, you have one of three choices. Write a review that isn’t awesome but borders on lying, write a scathing review (which several tour companies are telling you NOT to), or tell your tour company that you didn’t like that book. Just know that you turn down enough books, you will be taken off the blogger list. Or they won’t schedule you for books you sign up for. If you think being a book blogger’s hard, you should try coordinating a tour. Good grief! That’s a juggling act in an of itself. Those people work REALLY hard!

Staying on top of your calendar. In order to get the big hits on your blog, you’ve got to post regularly, and you have to post what’s popular. However, there are tour groups that don’t send you the materials until the day before, or those that send you three emails for one post, or, worse, those that forget about you entirely.

Stripping the joy from reading. I’ve got to be honest. I’ve lost the joy in reading. I pick up a book and I know in the first chapter how the structure, the plot, the character arcs, the voice, the everything is going to come together. I’ve always had that ability, but at least I wanted to enjoy the ride. Anymore, I’ve read so many books I didn’t enjoy due to weak structural elements, that I’m on high alert. Reading has become a job. The books you signed up to review (whether they’re good or not) take priority over the books you want to read.

Yes. I know. I should be able to read them all, but no. I have enough free time to read one or two books a week. No more.

Don’t be fooled by the copious amounts of whining. Being a book blogger has been a lot of fun! I deeply enjoyed being a part of all the tours I participated in. I had a lot of fun working with the authors who direct queried me as well.

However, a book blog takes a LOT of time, attention, and hard work. If you’re looking to build your author platform, there are other, better ways. I’ll discuss those in other posts.

Platform Discussions: Sharing Resources

Last week, I shared with you one of the biggest DON’T’s to do for author platform building. Today, I’m going to share with you the greatest thing you CAN and SHOULD do!

Team up with other authors with similar books!

You’ve all got different followers and your readers want to read works that are similar to what you write while they’re impatiently waiting for you to fill the void your book left behind. You know that feeling as a fellow reader. The Good Book Hangover.

I’ve tried this a couple different times. Previously, it didn’t pan out so much. All the authors got together in a Facebook group and we talked AT one another, trying to promote our book while ignoring everyone else. Guys! Promoting takes a lot of hard work! The thought of promoting OTHER people’s books ON TOP of promoting your own?! The only thing going through your head is, “I need more hours in the day! When am I going to WRITE?!”

SteampunkwithHeart

I finally discovered a group that was successful and it was successful because we all took a fairly genuine interest in each other’s books. Now, I won’t say we all had time to read each other’s books, but we enjoyed spreading the news about them and helping each other out. If you want to see what we did, go to Steampunk with Heart on Facebook.

There are a few key things to hit the Success Key.

  1. Don’t be an attention whore.
  2. If you post something about your books, post something about someone else’s as well.
  3. Post more about others, really, and the readers will be DRAWN to you. That really does work, guys. It really does. Be selfless and kind. It’s karma. It really is.
  4. Don’t keep looking at your sales stats. That will drag you back up to Don’t #1.
  5. Be genuine and for one week concentrate on helping the authors on either side of you instead of yourself, and in return, they’ll pay the favor back.
  6. WHEN, not if, the attention whore in your group raises his/her head, support him, but don’t invest too much time in it. He/she won’t return the favor.

Keep your events to one week! Its a long week, but with so many people helping out, it shouldn’t be too exhaustive. You can host Facebook parties, Twitter parties, giveaways, a blog tour, all kinds of stuff, but keep it to one week.

So, with all that said, this is a GREAT approach! It gained excellent results and here are a few authors you should check out! They’re fabulous ladies and gentlemen who teamed together to promote our steampunk themed books!

Creating A Platform

Originally published 26-June-2009

On several of the agent blogs that I regularly read, they’ve been talking about authors having a platform. Wow! What a daunting process. The internet is HUGE. It’s worse than being in the city where there are millions of people. On the web there are BILLIONS of people and infinitately more websites and webpages. Where do you even start?

I’m on Twitter. Not really getting it so much.

I have the blog which I’m having tons of fun with.

I have the website–which seriously needs to be re-formatted. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but with my limited knowledge of web-building, it’s just not working.

So how do I get more people? And how do I sell a product that…just isn’t there yet?

*whimper, moan* People–all five of you!!–please tell others about these great books that they won’t be seeing for a few years yet. *biting lip* Somehow I don’t think that’s going to work out so much.

I do have one link that will hopefully help me and you out. The platform link. I’m going to pour over this while revising DA and see what I can come up with as far as ideas to get more traffic in here.

I also read this blog post that was incredibly helpful and made me realize — after I’d posted this in a mad fit of oh-my-freakin’-Pete-I’m-SCREWED-ness — that I’m fine. I can’t sell something that isn’t sold and available to the public yet. So I’m fiiiiiiiiiine!

*wiping sweat off brow* How many years have I been doing this and researching and…holy crap! I nearly went into hysterics here going, “You’re not ready. Everyone says to wait until you’re ready and you’re not ready!” I’m a dork. I know.

But, you know what? Since I’m not going to be published for awhile and I AM having a ton of fun with this darned thing (the blog, not Twitter and not the site) I’d like to see how I could open this to a whole bunch of others. My fellow writers. And not just in comments that are hidden. No, no. I have to find another way, to get everyone in here and talking about their current projects and some of the hurdles they’re facing. I think that would be GREAT fun!

So if you’re a writer/author that I don’t know yet, please introduce yourself and let me know if you’d like to swap some ideas, post something on here…whatever.

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