Monthly Archives: January 2011

Book Launch Party. Book Launch Party. Am I repeating?

by Jessica Barrett, Events Manager

There are two great things about Groundhog’s Day. The movie. And, the prospect of winter ending sooner, rather than later. But what does Groundhog’s Day have to do with a book launch party?

The premise of the movie is that Bill Murray’s character has to repeat Feb 2 over and over until he gets it right.  Marketing of anything, even your book, requires a lot of do-overs, as it’s a learning process.

Events are one segment of the book marketing process, and one you’ll want to repeat to gain awareness for your book. The first event you should hold for your book is a launch party. If your book just went live or is about to go live, plan a launch party. Has your book been live awhile, but you’ve not had a party? Then plan one. Already held one? Then throw a re-launch or a 100-copies-sold party.

Hosting a launch party is far less intensive than the events in Punxsutawney, PA. While they can be fancy, they can also be simple. The key is to get the word out. Send out an evite, post an invite on Facebook and update your author website and blog – and encourage your invitees to forward the invite out to others. Put out some snacks and drinks. You may want to shape your get together around your book’s genre.  If it’s a history on picnicking, serve picnic foods. If it’s a romance novel, plan the party around Valentine’s or Sweetest Day and provide festive treats. Consider holding the party at a locale that relates to the book, or at a restaurant or bar or in multiple locations around town so your guests don’t have to travel so far. Don’t forget to have plenty of copies of your book on hand and to prepare a short reading from your book.

If you really need a reason to self-promote, since it’s Groundhog’s Day, and the furry dude will likely see his shadow, plan a another-six-weeks-of-winter-means-more-time-to-curl-up-with-a-book-party. Either way, start promoting today and plan your book launch party.

Plan your book launch party.

Plan your book launch party…

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What Book Publicity Can (and Can’t) Do

by Sandy Dunwoody, Literary Publicist

You are probably confused as to why an AuthorHive publicist is telling you there’s anything book publicity can’t do. And, at the risk of refuting my entire argument, perhaps I should include a disclaimer by saying that almost anything is possible…but is it likely?

Maybe you’ve tried to market your book yourself, and realized how daunting the task can be.  Or, you’ve done your research and realize that for a new author a promotional campaign is a must. That’s where we, as literary marketing and publicity experts, come in.  We offer a complete line of book publicity options, including online outreach to potential fans and readers through social media.

However, there are things I can accomplish as your publicist and those that even Hercules couldn’t.  Becoming a famous author like J.K. Rowling or James Patterson takes a lot of time and hard work. In my experience, authors who have realistic expectations and understand the limitations of this industry prove to be the most successful.

Can a publicity campaign make your book a bestseller? A book publicity campaign itself will not likely make you a bestseller. But, a campaign can increase interest in your book through the third-party credibility of media placement, which can in turn increase book sales significantly.

Will you be interviewed by The New York Times? Major media outlets reserve space or programming for only the most newsworthy stories, which unfortunately aren’t always book releases. Targeting local news, trade magazines, and national news outlets that are already interested in your topic will usually yield the best results in book campaigns. You’ll be reaching out to your target audience, and might even be filed by journalists as an expert for future news stories.

Avoid the “O” word. We hear it from almost every author at the beginning of campaigns: “Can you get me on Oprah? I think she will really enjoy my book!” It’s true that several authors have gone on to find fame and fortune after receiving the media guru’s seal of approval.  It’s also true that a handful of our books have been considered by her staff for promotion. But, the likelihood that you will be featured on Oprah’s show is slim—even slimmer now, since her last episode is scheduled to air September 9, 2011.

While none of my authors books have become one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things,” I have garnered media hits for my authors from notable outlets such as the Ladies Home Journal and American Fitness, and runs in Food and Beverage magazine, the Colorado Springs Gazette, NBC Connecticut, International Business Times, Houston Press, and Boston Globe. Start small, with your local news for example, and then work your way to the top. Believe me when I say that your book can still find increased visibility to readers through book publicity, even without Oprah’s blessing.

Keep Facebook Public and Private

By Brittani Hensel, Project Coordinator

Everyone remembers someone older and wiser telling them, “When I was younger we didn’t have _____ .”    Lately, I’ve been considering how differently we experience Internet than ever before, and how it’s difficult to keep what seems like everything from always being on the internet.

Social networking has given publicity something that has never before been possible.  A publicist for an author can leverage social media publicity to interact with not only media, but the general public as well.  While there are still limitations, social networking has given publicity a window for independent authors.  Of course, there are still concerns when it comes to privacy.  Even for me, where Facebook is just a tool I use to keep in contact with friends, privacy is very important to me. 

In 2010, Facebook experienced intensive media coverage because of its privacy policies.  Since that time, they have made privacy settings much easier and comforting to those of us who aren’t used to sharing everything online. They’ve even published an easy guide to make updating your settings a cinch. As an author using Facebook to promote your brand, privacy becomes increasingly more important and a necessity to understand and update.  This can be even more concerning if your book is controversial.

Authors can create their own brand via Facebook, by having an author page, and a fan page.  With AuthorHive, your publicist can show you the ins and outs of Facebook and utilizing it most effectively. The difference is that the author page is something that fans and followers can use to ‘befriend’ the author, and the fan page is where fans and followers can ‘Like’ the author and have discussions.  Using Facebook’s privacy settings, authors with personal pages can select the ‘Friends Only’ privacy option in Facebook’s privacy settings. The guide can show how to change those settings step-by-step.  This means the private page is un-searchable and only friends that are approved can see anything associated with that profile.

Here are some tips to remember for Facebook:

  1. Never share anything you wouldn’t tell a stranger. 
  2. Don’t ‘friend’ anyone on your personal page that you don’t know, especially when you’re trying to maintain an author brand identity and keep a private page as well.
  3. Monitoring your author page is important.  If there are negative or non-relevant items posted, delete them.

For more information about Facebook and how to get started, check out the following books:

When Push Comes to Shove, Shove Back

by Shik Love, Senior Writer, AuthorHive

 

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”  – B.C. Forbes

 

 

It’s not easy. And it’s not always fun. Passionately pursuing your dream is tough work. At every turn there is something (a looming mortgage, your eye-rolling friend, that critical voice in your head) telling you that you should be doing something else, something more practical, something more responsible. Don’t let the stories of so-called overnight success fool you, this is hard stuff. To keep going, you will have to dive into reservoirs of faith and determination that you never knew existed.

But here’s the thing—the reservoirs exists. So in the moment when you want to throw in the towel, look back at how much ground you’ve already covered. Go grab your self-published book and hold it in your hands and know that the distance to the finish line is much shorter than the distance to go back to where you started.

Take too this encouragement—you’re not alone.

Here are just a few of the warriors who, like you, took their destiny into their own hands:

Anaïs Nin – After being turned down by traditional publishers, Anaïs decided to publish herself. Starting her own press (Gemor Press), Anaïs published her own writings. She became famous for her published diaries, which spanned more than 60 years. Her writings continue to be celebrated.

William Strunk, Jr. – Professor William Strunk, Jr., self-published The Elements of Style in 1919, distributing the “little book” to his students. The Elements of Style has now become an authority in English writing guidelines. Millions of copies have been sold and there are over six editions in print.

Robert T. Kiyosaki – Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the bestseller that remained on the New York Times bestsellers list for over six years. The book caught the attention of a major publisher and was later republished, along with Robert’s many spin-off titles. He has been featured on Larry King Live, Oprah and CNN.

Can you think of other self-publishing success stories? Comment and share.

Don’t Be a Twit: 5 Tips to Safe Tweeting

by Zac Workman, Marketing Specialist

If you are one of the nearly 200 million people who already use or are thinking of using Twitter, then you probably have heard or been a part of some tweeting debacles.

 

5 tips for you to consider when tweeting:

1)      No redos on Twitter.  Consider what you are posting before you take the dive and send out your 140 character short story about how upset you are by @soandso and remember there is no effective means of recalling public tweets.  Once they are out there, they are part of the public domain and sure to be scrutinized and reflect upon you and your brand.

2)      Your tweets are owned by you.  Once tweeted, your posts are public domain and indexed for searches and linked back to you.  Don’t share anything you don’t want to be public information.  Save this for direct messages if absolutely necessary but remember that even direct messages can be retweeted.

3)      Tweet what is relevant to your brand.  As an individual you represent a brand and that brand can be YOU, your employer, your cause or any other number of things.  Make sure to keep this in mind when tweeting and keep your tweets relevant.  The last thing you want to do is destroy your personal brand because of what you have decided to tweet in the heat of a twitter war or lapse in judgment.

4)      Twitter is not Facebook.  Don’t use Twitter like you use Facebook.  Twitter is used to connect with people and to follow people of interest so you can stay in the conversation.  It is not simply a status update.  To be effective you have to use references and acknowledge individuals on a regular basis.  This may be a retweet, reply, use of hash tags (#) or simply posting relevant content.

5)      Twitter is best utilized via Twitter clients.  I personally use HootSuite which allows me to manage multiple accounts from one system while staying connected and engaged.  These clients also provide analytics and allow you to shorten URLs and easily schedule your tweets. 

Twitter is a highway of information and hopefully this will help you to more effectively consume and contribute to the vast amount of relevant information out there. 

Happy and safe tweeting!

For more information about getting started on Twitter, check out the books below:

Principal Entertainment Aligns with Self-Publisher

Click the images below for more information about this newly announced partnership:

               

 

 

 
 

 

3 Key Benefits to Working with Non-Profit Organizations

by Rebecca Roberts, Customer Support Supervisor

New authors face a common dilemma in building their brand: how to get noticed.  Media and retailers are the obvious targets to try and get an author’s name out to the local and regional community, but the “chicken and egg” scenario of needing a brand name to build a brand can make any author frustrated and weary. Working with non-profits is a mutually beneficial proposition and an often over looked entry into the local consciousness.

Here are a few key benefits from an author / non-profit relationship:

1) Non-profits are looking for volunteers and partners to support their message. As with any sales or marketing plan, the most important step is showing up.  A literacy group will need hours of relevant programming for a fundraiser, and who better than a local author to spend the time and effort to put together a community presentation on the role of creative writing in schools or volunteer to run a writing workshop at a prison? Always keep in mind the types of non-profits that are a good fit for you and your work. Partnering with a non-profit is most effective when the author has something to bring to the table, so being selective in whom you approach by finding causes that match with your skills, background, or subject matter is important if you want your brand to be consistent.

2) An author with a professional networking attitude might just gain access to a non-profit’s often substantial network. Non-profits function by building crucial relationships with the media,  retailers, schools, and other non-profits for space, community postings, and group gatherings.  Helpful authors with a volunteer mindset will often get a chance to meet other partners in a non-profit’s networking base. Being prepared in these situations is key, so make sure to have your press release, business cards, and a one sentence explanation of you and your book ready for those impromptu conversations.

3) Promote your brand by promoting a cause you believe in. Building relationships with non-profits is not just about getting to relationships that would be more difficult to gain on one’s own, but an opportunity to really help with causes near and dear to an author’s heart: literacy, the arts, education, and science, whatever your forte may be.  This isn’t just good marketing, it is also good citizenry, and who – author or book buyer – doesn’t like that?