Twitter: 140 character updates. Facebook: your grandmother’s 80th birthday. Tumblr: anything and everything! Tumblr is a microblogging website where users post things like GIFs of their favorite TV scenes and thousand-word essays comparing the 15th century Medici family with the Kardashians. On average, users spend 14 minutes on Tumblr, which is longer than the average Facebook or Twitter visit. Tumblr is a great avenue to showcase your writing and engage with an eager audience. To get a better sense of what Tumblr is about, here are ten awesome authors to follow: Continue reading
Book Country member Andrea Dunlop is the Social Media and Marketing Director of Girl Friday Productions. Her debut novel, THE SOJOURN, is scheduled to be released by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in March 2016. Andrea shares her “to-do” list for getting the word out about her book. Book Marketing: The Long Game was originally published on Andrea’s Tumblr blog on February 9, 2015.
I signed my book deal with Atria last fall. The manuscript is done, but the book doesn’t come out until March 2016, giving me a little over a year to wait patiently for book to meet world. Except I’m not a very good waiter. I’m like a five-year-old or a German Shepherd, I need a job to do if you don’t want the furniture destroyed.
I was reminded last week in talking to a friend, a memoirist whose just-released book was on a much tighter schedule than mine, that having this kind of time is actually a huge blessing. I’m always telling clients and students that they should start as early as possible when it comes to their social media and marketing efforts. Ideally marketing should be a gradual, organic process, and that takes time.
As the social media and marketing director of GFP, this is where I put my money where my mouth is. As an author with a year-long countdown ahead of her, here’s what’s on my to-do list now: Continue reading
Are you an old-fashioned storyteller with a newfangled Twitter habit? If so, you won’t want to miss this awesome new writing opportunity: #TwitterFiction Festival 2015!
A project of Penguin Random House, the Association of American Publishers, and Twitter, #TwitterFiction Festival will take place from May 11-15, 2015. The idea is that during this time, writers from all over the world will live-stream unique and original stories to the “Twitterverse.” An incredible lineup of 22 authors–from Margaret Atwood to Jackie Collins to Eric Jerome Dickey–have been tapped to tweet new writing during the festival. Writers like you are encouraged to join the fun and tweet your own stories, too, using the hashtag #TwitterFiction.
But that’s not all! The organizers of #TwitterFiction Festival are looking for a crop of talented emerging writers to submit original story ideas in advance of the festival. Select submissions will receive featured placement during the festival. This is a great way for writers to experiment with storytelling devices, widen their author platform, and connect with writers and readers from all over the world. The deadline for submitting ideas is March 30, 2015. Submit here! Continue reading
Social media is an important tool to engage with your audience and promote your book. Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick are leaders in social media marketing. Their book THE ART OF SOCIAL MEDIA, published by Portfolio, shares great strategies and tips for creating a successful social media platform.
Success favors the bold as well as the interesting on social media, so don’t hesitate to express your feelings and agenda.
Brevity beats verbosity on social media. You’re competing with millions of posts every day. People make snap judgments and move right along if you don’t capture their interest quickly.
Every post—literally every single post—should contain “eye candy” in the form of a picture, graphic, or video. According to a study by Skyword, “On average, total views [of its clients’ content] increased by 94% if a published article contained a relevant photograph or infographic when compared to articles without an image in the same category.” Continue reading
Today’s blog guest is one of my absolute favorite writers: Ayelet Waldman. Ayelet and I have crossed paths many times over the years. An author of acclaimed fiction, memoir, and cozy mysteries, I’ve been following her exciting body of work for the last decade, always eager to see what she’ll do next. Her new book is LOVE & TREASURE, a heady mix of Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, and Historical Fiction set partially in Hungary, a place I love to read about. Read on for Ayelet’s singular take on the writer’s life.
LS: LOVE & TREASURE is a novel in 3 parts, each functioning almost like a novella. Why did you structure the story the way you did?
AW: You said the dreaded word, “Novella!” No! No! No!
The truth was that I had the structure before I had the novel. I fell in love with three-story structure first when reading The Hours by Michael Cunningham, then in Three Junes by Julia Glass. I read them when I first started taking the project of writing seriously, when I had emerged from my apprenticeship writing light-hearted mysteries, and had started to imagine trying something more ambitious. Those two books gave me a deep appreciation both of structure, and of the importance of theme in creating the world of a novel. They taught me that what is true and real about a story can transcend even characters. That’s a terrifying thing to contemplate, in a way. That what we care about in a novel can be something deeper even than the people in it, that our commitment to the story can survive the disappearance of characters we are invested in and care about. Continue reading
What It Is
Twitter is a micro-blogging social network through which millions of people communicate with each other, and with the world at large, via 140-character “tweets.” Twitter can be accessed via their website, mobile apps, text messages, or a number of third-party applications, such as HootSuite.
Twitter is a vital tool for driving site traffic and also for participating in online conversations and communities.
How It Works
When you sign up for Twitter, you select an available handle, or username, then you choose who you want to “follow.” When you follow someone, each tweet that person sends shows up in your Twitter feed. People can also follow you, of course, and the more active you are, the more people will follow you and subsequently receive your tweets. You can converse with people directly by using the @ symbol followed by the person’s handle, or you can participate in larger group chats using hashtags, which are defined by the # symbol.
You’ve created a new Facebook page and are now scratching your head: what to do next?
To grow your fan base and become a Facebook super star, you need a plan! Strategic Partner Manager for Authors and Publishers at Facebook Susan B. Katz says that the key to success for debut authors on Facebook is to post frequently and authentically.
To establish a presence, post once or twice a day every day in the first person. Fans are on your Facebook page to get to know the person behind the book. The biggest thing to keep in mind for writers on Facebook:
A good content strategy always balances content creation with content curation. So, share links to your books and blog posts, and mix it up with relevant links and images that you think your followers might enjoy. This way you won’t feel like you’re flooding their feeds with self-serving posts.
Here are 5 ways to increase engagement with your Facebook fans:
1. Share your success stories.
Everyone loves a success story–so don’t be shy when you have good news to share. Your fans are there to rally you along the way, so breaking good news is a great way share your excitement about a book acquisition, a writing award, a great review, etc.
Perhaps Entertainment Weekly didn’t feature your book like bestselling author Khaled Hosseini’s, but you can still share snapshots of yourself or your readers holding a copy of your book for the first time, reader reactions, or quotes from complimentary reviews on Book Country!
We’re happy to have rising star Christina Lee on the blog today. She writes sexy New Adult Contemporary Romance stories with college-aged protagonists for Penguin/InterMix. We really heart her post about the new adult genre, where she defines its theme as that of “new found INDEPENDENCE.” So if you write NA, swing by her site and check the post out!
The second installment of Christina’s Between Breaths series, BEFORE YOU BREAK, comes out in February, and here she is talking to us about the new book and her excitement to share it with her readers.
NG: BEFORE YOU BREAK tells the story of gorgeous psych student Ella and star catcher of the baseball team, Quinn. Quinn is the type of brooding, sexy guy that girls go gaga over! Tell us, what’s your recipe for writing an irresistible NA male hero?
CL: Great question! Many romance readers love their dominant and bossy alpha males and I tend to write nice and respectable good guys. Having said that, I’ve been told by my readers that my virgin hero from ALL OF YOU was one of the sexiest guys they’ve ever read. So the recipe I aspire to is off-the-charts sexual tension balanced by meaningful actions. Because let’s face it, good guys can be sexy, too. So I aim for plenty of angst and build-up, along with good pacing and an engaging plot. The kisses, sexy language, sensual touches or looks—I love writing all of that. And that’s the kind of confidence I like my male leads to exude.
71 percent of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook, which means there is a pretty good chance your readers are, too. That’s why Facebook is a great place to get started if you’re an aspiring writer or published author who wants to build a following for your writing. A dedicated Facebook page helps you connect with your readers and promote your work. You can share information that your fans will appreciate: updates about your writing inspiration and progress, author events and news, and also fun book-related stuff–like pictures of reading cats!
“Why can’t I just use my regular Facebook account to do all that?” you ask. While you can let others follow your personal profile without friending them, a Facebook Page is better suited to your promotional efforts as an author. A fan page is a searchable, public page that all Facebook users can “like”. (When a Facebook user likes a page, your updates appear in that user’s newsfeed.) With a fan page, your personal account is separate — your fans will see your writing-related news without seeing the selfies you share with your friends. You can assign administrators to your Facebook Page so they can help you manage it. We know, having a staff to manage your social media may not be relevant to you at this juncture, but you’ll thank me when you become a superstar author and have your arms full with writing and author events.
You’re new to the site. Perhaps you’ve already checked out our post about how to get started on Book Country, browsed through our FAQs, and you’ve checked out our video tutorials. You’ve given writing feedback to one project on Book Country and have uploaded your own. Now the waiting game begins. “How do I get people to read and review my book?” you wonder. There are several ways. Read on.