Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Self-Promotion, The Author's Nightmare - Conf 681

It's a writing day today so have been procrastinating like mad. But at least in a fruitful way. The fridge is defrosted and I've been catching up on some splendid bloggery and suchlike.

Merry Farmer's blogpost BUY MY BOOK!!! IS SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION GOOD OR BAD? got me thinking (and even commenting) and back onto Twitter to stir up my character's page a bit. There I found a link to Liz Fenwick's Marketing - A Learning Curve. Liz is in exciting times, counting down to publication day of her first novel, and she's pulling in all sorts of advice.

I was working with a publicist recently who drummed into me over and over that shame simply HAD go RIGHT out of the window when it came to promotion. It's all right for you, I said, you're a publicist. Along with the other necessary, public speaking, it's really not at all easy for author types. I'm getting better, and learning to stay out of my 'real' friends' faces as much as possible. Mostly. Fell into awful hole recently when setting up a new Facebook Fan Page for blackbirdebooks' hard-won group (groups are gone). I obeyed the FB command to 'invite your friends!' - nooooh!  Not that! I didn't think! Of my 70 or so closest nearest and dearest 11 clicked. Leaving me with that awful overstepping the mark feeling.

It's DIFFICULT. But has to be done.

I've just set up a new author one now but am too scared to ask anybody I know at all. So at the moment I have a fan of 1. Me. Which I suppose goes along with the spirit of this blog. It's, um, here..... if you so feel you can spare a click......

And if you think it's a bit presumptuous, setting up a fan page for oneself and serves me right, well, it just.......:  Marketspeak gurus all say Facebook 'Likes' pages, along with a Twitter account, are the core ingredients of the new media platformery... John Locke, who wrote 'How I Sold a Million Ebooks In 5 Months' (and he did) (not that I have any delusions, with my fan of 1, but it's an engaging, inspiring read) did it mainly via the Twitter hashkey/blog combination. And they were short blogs. And not very many of them. Which is even more genius-like.

Twitter is easier. I don't have 900 friends so most are strangers. I've been on it forever anyway and, living, as I do, with Black Dog sufferer who barely speaks now, love it. I try and keep my personal feed clear 90% of the time, sneaking in the occasional irresistible brag or RT, well, maybe 80% of the time. So many other authors hate it. But you HA.......! A bit. To avoid that I have separate Twitter accounts for different books.

I've been beefing up my character's twitter feed a bit today. 10 Good Reasons' heroine Sally Lightfoot  (@SallyLightfoot2) feeds in to her main interests:  ageing (aging for the Americans) (always reads like like agging to Brits as we don't think, read or speak with that lovely soft aaaayyye) Leonard Cohen, men, baby boomers, Hydra, Strawberry Hill, metal music etc.... Anyway, there's this daily newspaper thing now you can get as well, so I've titled that with the name of the novel. I don't feel so bad about retweeting that as 'me' as it has that once removed newspaper feel about it:

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Conf 680 - Stepping Back

Why haven't we seen this before? And what's that big BIG lake?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Romance Novels for the Baby Boomer Over 40s 'An Emerging Genre'

The news is finally getting out. 

As Lulu (62), Nancy Dell'Olio (50), Edwina Currie (64) and Anita Dobson (62) dust off their dancing shoes for  Strictly Come Dancing, The Sunday Times' Eleanor Mills says that this summer has been awash with tales of bionic, sexually out there baby

"Last week we had a British 65-year-old getting a boob job to perk herself up, hot on the heels of the 83-year-old American great-granny who had done the same thing. The bedroom antics of 78-year-old Joan Collins and the workout videos and (more) saucy memoirs of 73-year-old Jane Fonda received plenty of column inches...."

But, she says, this is not removing age-discrimination against women on TV by a long shot. We all love Strictly, but where are the programmes where intelligent, articulate women like Pamela Stephenson and Anne Widdicombe show off their brainpower rather than their legs?

The way TV presenters Arlene Phillips, Anna Ford, Moira Stuart, Miriam O'Reilley have all been pushed sideways when they get to a certain age is an on-going topic. More interestingly, Eleanor flags up a new "emerging literary genre" that celebrates the romantic adventures of baby boomers.



One of her favourite summer reads was Thursdays In The Park (Quercus) by Hilary Boyd, currently sitting at 720 in the Kindle charts. Ulrika Jonsson's The Importance of Being Myrtle (Penguin Sept 11) is at no 800, and I've heard gossip that Anna Wintour has a novel (not sure if it's written yet) about a group of 50something women that they're all getting excited about. Hurrah for these well-connected authors (weather reporters, magazine editors whatever) who have got their ideas through the mire of publishing prejudice against over 40s romance novels.  Long-time readers of this blog might remember what happened to Ten Good Reasons when it jumped the agent/editor hoops only to be ditched by a Big 6 sales & marketing team all those years ago. Hopefully these new novels might kick the genre into gear for the rest of us.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon. 

Friday, September 09, 2011

Selling Ebooks: Some Advice From The Experts - Confession 679

I've now moved from creating ebooks and am in (apologies in advance) full-on marketing and sales mode. A full-time job if ever there was one.

I've been correcting a few things I missed, like:

Updating the front pages of my Kindle books to accommodate the new 'Look Inside' feature. I found this article 'Look Inside' For Kindle Books - 3 Tips For Authors' (scroll to 26th August 2011) on the very handy ebook blog Password Incorrect.

Having a blog on my main site. A crucial element of any website apparently.  It drives readers and the constant updates keep Google happy. This is my How To Publish An Ebook - An Author's Guide Update Blog. Because everything moves so fast in the world of ebooks I am constantly updating the master text. Now I keep a note of anything I find really useful, and anything readers have emailed me about, and put them together on the blog before I update the ebook. This way anybody who buys my ebook (now in paperback as well!) (sorry) can go online to see future updates. There's also a new review I couldn't help but feature, from a happy reader who's just published his novel on Kindle and Smashwords by following my guide. It starts, "I'm 83 years old.... " !

Blog headings I now put my 'Confession' number at the end of the blog heading rather than at the beginning. This is because there are going to be tens of thousands of Google searches looking for "selling ebooks" but none at all for Confession No. 632.... SEO you have to know...

http://www.buttonshut.comHaving a Facebook 'Like' page. Across all industries now, not just ebooks, Facebook Like pages are a major cog in the social media marketing wheel.  This annoyingly makes my FB "Group" useless. I have to start gathering friends and followers all over again. Tarting myself on my 'home' personal page and now here as well. But there IS a completely free ebook offer there, via the Federation of Children's Book Groups. If you'd like details of the free ebook book offer or should have a moment to click the black 'F' there and 'Like' I'd be hugely grateful. The offer is valid until Dec 1st.

There's more, but I think that's enough on ebooks. For future ebook news please see the tip page link in the sidebar. 

My aim now is to split my days 50/50 between touting & tarting and writing.

Back to roots time for the writing blog.

There's an interesting series of writing events happening in Notting Hill, starting on Monday night 12th September - 5 X 15 STORIES - CROWD BOOK PUBLISHING!

No one has ever attempted this before - it's like a cross between Dragons' Den and election hustings. Here's the idea: you will be treated to an evening of riotous literary entertainment as 10 authors go head-to-head pitching ideas for books they would really like to write. Authors include the international bestselling novelist Kate Mosse, Booker shortlisted comic novelist Tibor Fischer and creator of cult 90s TV show This Life, Amy Jenkins. Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge, Carpool) will be presenting his utopian fantasy, News from Gardenia. Graham Smith will offer up We Can Be Heroes - a lavishly illustrated insider's account of London's club scene in the early 80s. Vitali Vitaliev, the Russian Bill Bryson, presents Cattivo Recordo, a journey through italy in search of a bad meal. Read on here......

I can't make it unfortunately but hope to get to one of the later gigs.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon. 


Friday, September 02, 2011

How to Advertise Ebooks - Conf 678

I'm still getting the hang of forums. Am shy to comment and threads I start nearly always peter out into nothing.  Have just struck gold however.  My question on Kindleboards' Writer's Cafe forum:

Ebook Advertising: does it work? Any success stories?

Brought about a fascinating tutorial by total advertising whizz Jonny. 

Read about ins & outs of ebook advertising here.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.