But first, the stories worth reading this week:
How to Be More Successful with the Right Content Marketing Tools (Ben Sailer for CoSchedule): This article is especially helpful for writers who already have an author platform in the works, but they’re not quite sure how to drive traffic or followers to those outlets. And be sure to read more below about how to get clarity on who your readers are before you try to market content to them!
4 Lessons for Authors on the Current State of Book Publishing (Jane Friedman): “Industry marketing expert Peter McCarthy and Rand Fishkin both discussed how to find your readers online and reach them directly. McCarthy described it as picking up ‘the lingua franca of the customer’ with a variety of tools and techniques. He demonstrated how he rapidly tests out phrases to learn and access ‘adjacencies’—the key concepts, active people, and communities whose interests are aligned with themes, topics, or points from your work.”
How and When to Catch the Elusive Publicity Department (Lizzy Mason on Pub Crawl): Lizzy Mason is the Director of Publicity at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, and this is a great inside look at the typical timeline in-house publicists stick to when pitching a new release. This is a must-read for any author working with a publicist, or planning on ever working with a publicist.
The Custodian of Forgotten Books (Daniel A. Gross for The New Yorker): “A little over a decade ago, a forgotten book was suddenly remembered. Its second life began when a fiction writer referenced it in a book of her own. A blogger read the new book, then tracked down a copy of the old one, and wrote about all this on his Web site. An archivist read the blog post and e-mailed it to a small publisher. By 2009, Jetta Carleton’s ‘The Moonflower Vine,’ first published in 1962, was back in print.”
Literary-Themed Goodies for Your Kitchen (Kristina Pino on BookRiot): “Rows of bookshelves in your living room and piles of novels on your bedside and coffee tables not enough to properly express your love of books? Time to move into new territory and bookify your kitchen.” WELL, OKAY.
How to Build a Platform as a Fiction Writer (with a free workbook!)
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m back this week with the workbook I promised you, which I think will be a great tool for fiction writers to gain clarity on platform-building.
As Kristen and I discussed recently, it’s not easy building a platform as a fiction writer. And it’s not easy learning how to market your novels. But it is essential, and it is incredibly rewarding when done right.
And don’t worry: No one starts out knowing how to do all this stuff. No one starts their career knowing how to tweet, how to blog, how to build a list, how to speak in front of crowds, how to pitch a magazine editor. Just like no one starts out knowing how to write a book.
We all understand that writing is a craft, and that is must be honed with time and experience. But marketing is also a craft, and it takes just as much time and experience to learn how to do it well–that is, authentically, and without sounding like a late-night infomercial.
You’ll find plenty of pleasures and perils in both writing and marketing, but with a bit of clarity and a strong sense of purpose, you can learn to love marketing just as much as you love writing. I promise ya!
With that goal in mind, we’ve created this free workbook to help you get crystal clear on your author platform game plan.
This workbook will help you:
- Understand what you want out of your own writing, and why you do it to begin with
- Create a character sketch of your ideal reader, so you can understand what they want from you
- Find the sweet spot between what you love to write about and what your ideal audience wants to read
- Hone in on the topics that will help you stand out from the crowd
- Pare down to just 2 content and social media platforms so you don’t lose all your writing time
- Create a mission statement so you don’t lose sight of your purpose
I always have fun creating these resources for all of you, so never hesitate to give me a shout if there’s something else you’re looking for!