Promo? Branding? What the…

Does the words marketing or branding give you hives? Do you get nervous at the thought? Yeah, me too. :)

I created my blog/website about two years before I got published and one year before I completed my first novel. I’ve always been the type of person to jump in and figure it out as I go. LOL. It’s how I learn.  Of course I read and followed all my favorite authors. Read their blogs. Almost all writers post about their experiences with writing, publishing, marketing, and many post advice for aspiring writers. Some of the best advice, for me, came from best selling indie authors.

But one of the things that I whole hearty believe and stand by in my marketing and networking plan is to sell yourself. We are writers. We create worlds for our readers to escape to and enjoy enough to come back for more. Readers like to connect to the writer. They want to know the person behind the book, the person that created the characters they fell in love with.

Did I hear a grown? Someone is thinking that they can’t go out and meet and talk to strangers. Yep, that was me. I’m a very personal person. I closed my self off to others years ago after my divorce as a security defense against entering another bad relationship.

No, that is not why I write under a pen name. I’m not hiding who I am. Lia is a variation of my middle name, Lee. My first name is way too popular with romance writers.

Back to the topic. :) Promoting yourself! And it’s not all about telling people about your life history. No, it’s getting out there and being who you are now. Be friendly, helpful, funny (in my case a little sarcastic with a snarky attitude). My top devices to spread my quirkiness are Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

The best part about them are you can link them all together! Connect you blog to Network Blogs and sync it to Twitter and FB. Each time you post a blog, Network Blogs send it out. Cool, uh? Add your blog feed to Goodreads. There are apps for FB and Twitter that link them together. Post on one it fed to the other. You are reaching all of your followers at once.

So you set all that up and still not sure what to blog about, or post on FB? I’m still testing out my audience. LOL. I’m starting to just post random life stuff on my author’s blog as well as book news and updates on what I’m learning in the big world as an author. I be sure to share some of my personally to let my readers know I’m a real person.

I open my blog to guest bloggers and recently opened a book blog for romance writers and readers (booksamour.blogspot.com). This new blog will free my author’s blog up for my post and allows me to promote more authors and build a new type of readership, I hope. We’ll see. :)

Another great marketing tool for published authors is a Street Team. That is a group of bloggers, reviewers and readers that love you enough to promote you and your books. In exchange you can offer them special giveaways, all the swag items (readers LOVE swag), and let them be the first to see the new cover, book blurb and so on. Some authors use Yahoo groups to connect with their team. I use a Facebook group and marked it as secret so only members can see the post.

Writers are great people. They love to help a newbie out by pointing him or her in the right direction, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Below are some more ideas to promote yourself.

Book blog tours — these can be setup on your own or you can use one of the many blog tour companies out there to set it up for you.

Blog Hops — Someone is always putting together a blog hop. I love these. There always fun and bring lots of traffic to your blog.

Release parties – Some of the blog tour companies do these for a fee. I like to do them on FB or my blog. I try to encourage commenting to get everyone talking and interested in your books. It’s really fun when you get a could of authors together show are having releases around the same time.

Swag – Get some business cards made up and some postcard or note cards with your cover on it. As I said above readers LOVE getting things from their authors. Even I enjoy getting a bookmark or something from a series or book I loved.

Remember that writing is a business and the readers are our customers. Get to know them. Let them know who the author is. Be yourself and have FUN. Because we have an AWESOME job!

I’m open to ideas and suggestions from authors and readers. What have you seen too much of that you wish would go away? What would you like more of?

Have a wonder day!

Lia

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About Lia Davis

Lia is a paranormal romance author, a wife and mother of two young adults and two kitties, and the co-creator of Fated Desires Publishing and Heartthrob Haven. She loves creating worlds where her readers can escape from everyday stresses. Other loves are family, nature, reading, chocolate, and coffee.
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10 Responses to Promo? Branding? What the…

  1. Thisis really good advice Lia! It made me realise I need to attempt a more personal connection with readers. Even though the thought makes me cringe (I’m an intovert to the core) I realize this is something I need to do.
    Thanks for the eye opener! :)

  2. Daryl Devore says:

    How do I get onto a street team?

    Great post.

    • Lia Davis says:

      Daryl, Street Teams are set up by the author as a way to spread the word about their books. Sorry, I may not have explained that correctly. You start your own street team by putting out a call to all your social networks and forming a group, then give that group weekly tasks to help promote your books. However, you are more than welcome to sign up to another author team to see how it runs and help that author promote his or her work. Most, I believe all, authors have a link on their blog or website and post to FB. Feel free to email or FB message me if you have more questions. Thanks!

  3. Brenda says:

    These are all wonderful ways to get your name out there. The biggest problem I have with promoting is the brag factor. I find it really hard to tell people how “great” my book is–even though secretly I think(know) it is, lol. See? Even writing this made me cringe and want to delete it.
    Also, I know I need more “swag” to hand out, but it all costs money so I have to do it bit by bit.

  4. Lia, wonderful ideas. I’ve got everything going speparately, perhaps my next step is to combine.

  5. mandicasey says:

    I, too, am a private person. Great post on promoting and connecting with our readers!

  6. Yeah, I need some Street Thugs to help promote me. I’m going to start recruiting at once. Might want to change the name before I get too far with this. lol

  7. Great post. I’m one of the shy authors as well. Blogging has helped me open up to others. I’m still reserved, but I’m learing to share.

  8. jannashay says:

    Great post and great advice. Marketing and promoting is a lot of work, but necessary. Your advice of combing them is terrific. Thanks for sharing.

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