Experts Talk Marketing Strategies at Virginia Book Festival

virginia festival of the book At the Virginia Festival of the Book, this past March 23rd, several authors and experts talked about the best ways to build platform, as well as some specific marketing strategies. Last time we looked at platform building. Now, let’s look at marketing.

First and foremost, when it comes to marketing, think about trying to reach your reader. This is something that indie authors can do particularly well. Jane Friedman, former Writers Digest publisher who now teaches digital publishing at the University of Virginia, noted that traditional publishers have failed in gathering information about readers. “They’re selling to bookstores, so they don’t have these great email lists or insights into the market,” Friedman said. Authors can look more broadly at readers and try to reach them. Email is an especially effective way. Continue reading “Experts Talk Marketing Strategies at Virginia Book Festival”

Book Festival Experts Offer Advice on Building Author Platform

virginia festival of the bookSo, once you’ve published a book, platform building and marketing strategies are the next things to tackle on the to-do list. At the Virginia Festival of the Book, this past March 23rd, several authors and experts discussed the best ways to build platform and market books.

First up, we’ll discuss platform building. Platform is more or less all the things that make up your author persona. It includes everything from social media to your work to your general reputation in the author world. Platform building is one of the strongest parts of your marketing strategy, but it’s also the most difficult, the experts said.

“Your platform is part of your job as a writer,” said Bethanne Patrick, author of An Uncommon History of Common Things who built a large following (186k) tweeting as @thebookmaven. “Many of us would rather be writing and researching. But it is not optional. It is something that has to be done.” Continue reading “Book Festival Experts Offer Advice on Building Author Platform”

Tips on Creating a Story Bible

story bible book mistakeSo, you’re editing the last part of your novel and mention a character’s sister named Annie. Or was it Annabeth? Or did you give in to that wild idea of changing the sister’s name to Rasheeda? You can’t remember, because you only mentioned the sister once–in chapter three. So, what do you do now? You could do a search for all three names. Or you could turn to your story bible.

What’s a story bible? Like the persistent bestseller it’s named after, the story bible is a guide book of sorts. It’s a compilation of all the crucial facts about your book. It lays out character backgrounds, story setting details, pertinent acronyms and everything else you need to know in one easy to find place. This is very useful when editing. And it’s downright essential if you’re writing a sequel, either a series or serial, as Stephen Hise discussed not long ago. Continue reading “Tips on Creating a Story Bible”

RJ Crayton: Excited to Join IU

rj crayton libraryHello. I’m so glad to be joining the IU team.

I first stumbled upon IU early last year when I decided to self publish my novel. I came from a career as a journalist, so the idea of publishing words–or even seeing my name in print– was not foreign. However, publishing a novel is different from writing for a daily, and not necessarily intuitive. In my quest for some practical answers, I found Indies Unlimited.

There were wonderful posts about simple things that I had no idea were important, like creating an Author Central page and linking all your books to it. I especially loved finding out about different sites like LibraryThing, and learning how to make a video trailer. There’s always a wealth of information. Continue reading “RJ Crayton: Excited to Join IU”