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 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 — you can pay them to set up a website for you.

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