About Christopher X. Shade

novelist, foodie, digital media executive producer living in NYC east village

Roundup of good advice: digital strategy for authors

This is a regular feature of links to helpful content related to digital strategy for published authors, and other items of interest like author interviews and book industry news.

  • A 2-part article, “Indie authors can succeed“, jointly written by Novel Publicity President Emlyn Chand and author Terri Giuliano Long, offers some smart indie author publicity advice, with a number of creative tactics. Here’s an opening excerpt that demonstrates their promotional success:

Terri published her first novel, In Leah’s Wake, in October 2010. She put in a lot of hard work and hard-earned cash to promote it, and by July 26th, 2011, she had sold her 1,000th copy. … But what’s even more exciting is what happened next. It took nine months to sell those 1,000 copies, and only another twenty-nine days to sell 1,000 more. Now Terri’s sales are above 100 per day and show no signs of sinking.

  • A short meditation of an author’s years of book-signing:  “Does it make your hand hurt?” by John Connolly, an award-winning Irish author, most recently of The Whisperers, in 2010, the ninth novel in his Charlie Parker series.  I came across this on Twitter by way of Erin Mitchell who blogs about books and marketing.
  • Speaking of Erin Mitchell, she recently blogged a plea for fiction authors to do book events, based on her experiences attending book events and trying to connect with authors: “To Event or Not to Event

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Put your writing woes on the big (little) screen with Morgan Spurlock

Per an article on Galleycat, filmmaker and author Morgan Spurlock posted a casting call for failed writers — that is, writers who have failed in their quest to write the Great American Novel.  Also, you can see the casting call on warriorpoetscasting.com.  Spurlock (30 Days, Super Size Me, A Day in the Life) will choose a few lucky failures from the New York area to feature in an upcoming series, Failure Club, a documentary-style program for Yahoo.  From the post:

This brand new series, Failure Club, is about embracing the fear of failure in order to change your life. Meeting each week over the course of a year, 7 different people will come together to form this unique Club where they will help each other achieve the things they’ve only dreamed of.

Found on Twitter via @bookbench

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Best book, author, and reader Twitter feeds

Are you tweeting now, and exploring who to follow?  Here’s a helpful link shared on Twitter by @thebookmaven, Bethanne Patrick, founder of the Friday Reads communities on Facebook and Twitter: “50 Addictive Twitter Feeds for Bookworms“.  It’s a good directory to browse for any author on Twitter.

Categories are Authors, Booksellers & Publishers, Reviewers & Book Lovers, News, and Groups.

In the Groups category are online communities and book clubs, including @fridayreads.

Here is the original tweet by @thebookmaven:

https://twitter.com/#!/thebookmaven/status/118682639992496128

Related Articles and Resources

Roundup of good advice: digital strategy for authors

This is a regular feature of links to helpful content related to digital strategy for published authors, and other items of interest like interviews with other authors and book industry news.

Many authors wonder about the best way to represent themselves online. Should you have a clear distinction between your private self and your public identity? Ideally, you will one day have many more fans than you can maintain a one-to-one relationship with, so I encourage authors to develop a channel of communication that serves and grows their existing audience with a mix of relevant news and just enough personal disclosures to keep it human and enjoyable as a medium for social exchange. You choose where to draw the line. While I often post where I’m having lunch and with whom as a way of giving attention to places and people who are deserving of it, I would rarely offer more than a vague sketch of someone with a role in my personal life. The content that you choose to post via whatever social-media platform you choose should comprise whatever you are comfortable with, and the disclosures that feel natural and pleasurable to you.

Also, on event promotion:

A consistent theme I hear from authors grappling with this new landscape is their fear of overpromoting their work. But very few people, in my opinion, correctly promote themselves enough. Perhaps it’s my profession that colors my perspective, or my having received one too many e-mails on the day of the reading or book launch. The correct timeline for promoting an event, by the way, is to send out details one month in advance, with a reminder two weeks later, then a few days prior to the event. Linking to a Facebook invitation in subsequent status updates does the trick. Consistency is key.

  • Looking for a book blogger to review your book?  Check out the 2011 short list compiled in various categories, from Book Blogger Appreciation Week.  BBAW occurs every September, and was founded in 2008 by Amy Riley of the My Friend Amy blog “to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers”.  Also read “How to find literary fiction book bloggers to review your book” for more listings.
  • On this same topic: Advice on pitching bloggers: “Top Five Things I’ve Learned About Working with Book Bloggers
  • Steve Bennett’s 5 reasons why an author needs a website:  “Yep, You Need a Book Web Site“.  This is not a recent post, but remains a solid argument in favor.  I would just add that there are some compelling free options for a website these days.  WordPress is free.  Having a site named your-name-here.wordpress.com is better than having no site at all, and there are ways you can leverage it as a website platform to save you time (for example, say you’ve got a new book review out — put a link up as a post in your WordPress site, and it can propagate automatically to Facebook, Twitter, your Amazon Author page, your email subscribers, and so on).  Having said all this about WordPress, I should mention there are companies out there like Steve Bennett’s AuthorBytes.com — you can pay them to set up a website for you.

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How to find literary fiction book bloggers to review your book

I’ve compiled here a list of resources to help you find a reviewer.  But first, a few important points to keep in mind when pitching a book blogger:

  • Look for the blogger’s query guidelines, outlining the process you should follow to propose your book for their review. The process might be to send an email. It might be to fill out an online form.
  • Offer only a free copy of your book.
  • When a blogger reviews your book, follow them on social media channels and retweet / share their updates that announce and promote your book’s review.
  • For more on how to craft a book review pitch, there are many articles and blog posts out there — check out Paula Krapf’s “7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed“. Continue reading

Inspiring find: a 1,000 page beer guide by suds expert Garrett Oliver

This fall, you may confuse the bar for the bookstore.

In between tending to brew kettles and fermentation tanks, Brooklyn Brewery brew master Garrett Oliver has been hitting the books: The suds expert spent the past four years editing the massively comprehensive The Oxford Companion to Beer.

The nearly 1,000-page, A-to-Z reference guide digs deep into the minutiae of brewing and beer culture, covering topics that range from cask-conditioned ales to drinking traditions around the globe.

This is an inspiring find from TastingTable.

Author’s guide to Amazon.com’s new @author feature

A new way for authors to engage with their readers is through a new @author feature on Amazon.com. So far it’s in limited beta, with only a handful of participating authors, but hopefully soon will be more widely available for published authors who would enjoy connecting with readers in a Q&A format. This @author feature will allow readers to post a question to you the author, and as the author your set of answered questions will be available to readers from within your Amazon Author Page. Continue reading

10 Reading Revolutions Before E-Books from @TheAtlantic

An inspired article in the Atlantic by Tim Carmody from last year that I wanted to share here with authors: “10 Reading Revolutions Before E-Books“. It’s an entertaining and insightful roundup of reading revolutions. Here’s a pic from the article, a student reading microfilm in the 1970s, an image from the London School of Economics library archives.

Related Articles and Resources

Author’s guide to Facebook’s new Subscribe feature

It was Wednesday, Sept 14, 2011, when Facebook introduced the Subscribe button, and in doing so changed the debate on the value of the Facebook profile vs. Facebook business page for authors, which I discussed in an earlier article, “Author’s guide to Facebook account vs Facebook Pages“.

With this new feature, when you see a Subscribe button on an author’s profile, this means a fan of the author can click the Subscribe button to begin seeing the author’s public updates right in the user’s own News Feed. Continue reading

Roundup of good advice: digital strategy for authors

This is a regular feature of links to helpful content related to digital strategy for published authors, and other items of interest like interviews with other authors and book industry news.

  • Everyone’s an expert at something.  You, the published author, are certainly an expert at something as well, so join HARO (Help A Report Out), a free service, for the opportunity to become a quoted source in a story, effectively promoting yourself and your work.  There are lots of articles out there about how authors and others who are experts at something can leverage HARO.  This blog post, “How To Use HARO To Boost Your Visibility“, though targeted to online PR, is worth a read.
  • Good advice on good manners:  The 10 Commandments of Social Networking for Writers by Jason Pinter (if you’re on Twitter, you can follow him there). Jason Pinter is a literary agent with the Waxman Agency, and the bestselling author of the Henry Parker thriller series, as well as the upcoming Zeke Bartholomew series for Middle Grade readers and the Great Divide trilogy for Young Adults.
  • Although this is an article written for tech-savvy journalists, it has sage advice. It dovetails into discussions around platforms for author websites.  From Allan Hoffman, on Poynter.org: “9 reasons to switch from Drupal to WordPress“.  The intro:

Yes, your content matters, but so does your choice of a content-management system (CMS). This choice can influence everything from how often you and your staff post stories to how much time — and money — you’ll need to spend wrangling bug fixes, compatibility issues and design snafus. Choose a CMS that’s a wrong fit, and you’ll regret it.

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