#FREE help For #Authors

It’s come to my attention that some of you lovely authors out there need a little help with reaching your audience.

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Now I’m no professional in the matter, just a mad blogger who loves books, but this is what I’m seeing more and more of and it alarms me greatly.

When someone offers to help an author with some FREE publicity, some of you run for the hills in the opposite direction. “FREE that can’t possible be right! What’s the catch? What do I have to do? I haven’t got the time for that? It’s sounds scary, better not bother” Hands up if a bit of FREE publicity frightens you.

How many of you have a one page draft ready which can be used as a base for any publicity piece? All you need is a bit about yourself, where you’re from, when you started writing, what genres you write in, your books, buying links and where readers can find out more about you. Have a picture of yourself and your book covers in j-peg format and this document can be tweaked for use in all sorts of promos.

With the basics at hand next you should try to make it a bit reader friendly and personal depending on where it will be used, but readers usually want to know you’re a human being, why not mention your own reading habits, or something quirky about where you live or why you live there. Perhaps mention a habit you have when writing, do you wear a lucky pair of socks, or write with music playing in the background? Anything you can mention will give the reader a mental picture of you that they will connect to your name when they see it again.

Here is a link to a piece Cecily Gates wrote for the Romancing September tour as a good example of making yourself reader friendly http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Fw

It’s all about selling yourself firstly, not your books. There are millions of faceless authors out there who have written a book, but you have a chance to make them remember you and when you publish another book you’re reader impression needs to travel to that one too.

November Mystery Tour

Here’s an example; I ask all my guest  authors “Where is your home town”

Answer 1: Fleet, Hampshire

Answer 2: You’ll find me currently living in Fleet in North Hampshire in the UK,  a thriving town, close to Aldershot, home of the British Army and not far from London. I’ve lived here for 20 years and before that I was brought up on a dairy farm on the Hampshire/ Berkshire border.

The difference here makes you an individual with a bit of character, now as you are all writers a bit of promotional material should just be an extension of your creative ability and nothing to fear. Plus if someone is offering you FREE promotion, a bit of effort on your part is a must.

So what next? You’ve got a date for some publicity, you’re busy and your editor is on you back for the next book, what are you going to do?

STAY CONNECTED. It doesn’t take a minute to sign up to the blog that is promoting your work, or follow someone on Twitter, but don’t lose sight of your promotional opportunity.

Get interacting on a blog where your post will be coming, this will help you get a feel for the bloggers style and earns you HUGE brownie points. It may well also get you more readers who find out you’re an author, they’ll then eagerly read you blog promotional post and help promote it.

On the day of your piece, share the post on all your social networks, make tweets through-out the day, be available to reply to reader comments if possible, and also keep checking back over the next couple of days, many readers pick up posts around their own busy lives. Asking “What should I do? Or What do you want me to do?” Doesn’t show you at your best.

Part of a tour? If you are getting promotion for your book as part of any tour paid or unpaid it “pays” to get involved in the whole tour and not just your own day. Unless you are off planet, not helping promote the tour SUCKS! Bloggers feel used, fellow authors get disgruntled and generally you won’t do yourselves any favours.

I recently finished a shared Romance tour with author Stephanie Hurt, we promoted for FREE 30 authors in 2 locations each day for 30 days. Here is the feed back from a couple of authors who made the time each day to comment and share the posts.

June Kearns wrote:

“I just wanted to echo Lizzie’s thanks for wonderful support and promotion from you both throughout the month.
Personally, I did see an increase in sales. I was lucky enough to be on Rosie’s blog just before Romancing September – that may have helped. Twitter followers increased too – people taking part in the blog found me and I sought out others who had commented.”
Nicky Wells said:
A great big thank you from me to you both! Romancing September has been an absolute blast, and it’s been beneficial for me personally too in terms of followers and sales. I really cannot tell you how much your support means!
You don’t always have to pay to get results, but you do need to put a bit of effort in like all things in life; “You get out what you put in.”
Writter For Writers by Rayne Hall

Twitter For Writers by Rayne Hall

If Twitter makes you quake, then please spend a few $/£ reading this excellent book, which I am not paid commission for in case you wondered.

On Twitter make a list to include the blogger and some people you know who will help tweet about your piece, put them all into one list which you can easily go to so that you filter out all the other tweets that you ignore in your twitter feed. Use notifications and find all the tweets which mention you and re-tweet. Write an interesting tweet to help promote the promotional piece, add Hashtags and find out how to get a twitter picture the right size to add to a tweet. (hint – 1024 x 512 pixels)

Author pictures:

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Get a really good picture of yourself and NAME the file with YOUR NAME not 978456123iphonepic or ME, or anything else because the picture gets filed by the recipient and they want to be able to go to it straight away when they search your name to write your blog piece.  Same applies to any book cover j-pegs and Mobi files of your book. If nothing else it makes you look professional if everything is named appropriately.

Make sure you have a pages with your picture and all your author links to websites, Twitter, facebook etc and the all important piece about you and your writing on Goodreads and Amazon (add separately to each Amazon site ie US, Uk, Ca) This is so important when readers/ bloggers want to find out more about you, a faceless author with no links and no social media pages will miss so many promotional opportunities.

Finally if you have the chance for a bit of FREE promotion, don’t think “Oh I’m not paying I’ll get to it sometime” and stick it in a lost file or forget about it. REACT quickly, rustle up a reply quickly in a couple of days if you are really busy, but much longer and it disappears off your e-mail page, sinks to the bottom of an in-tray and gets forgotten. DOESN’T IT? I’ve lost count of the authors I have to chase for replies and YES that can mean you. A bee in my bonnet I know.

So still confused as to why you are reading this? Well unless you sell so many of your books that you don’t need to bother with a bit of FREE help, then think on and seek out new ways and make changes to how you approach a bit of FREE help.

You can always read another of Rayne’s books that is full of great advice. Thanks for reading, Rosie