Posts tagged ‘blog’

A Few Tips on Becoming a Real Author


Congratulations!

Maybe you just signed your first book contract. Maybe you self-published a book. Or maybe you’ve even had a book out there for a little while and not much is happening with it. Whatever the case, there are some basic steps you can take to up your chances of getting your book into readers’ hands.

Do you have an author‘s page on GoodReads? Do you have a video trailer? APEX does great work. You can check mine out as an example. And don’t stop with GoodReads. You can get an amazon author’s page, too. Linked-in is great. Try and get yourself on others’ blogs. Do interviews. Offer your book for free maybe for a week with a coupon code on smashwords. Comment on authors’ blogs who have books similar to your own. Mainly just get your name out there as much as you can.

I know I had no idea of the amount of energy I needed to expend on marketing my books AND myself. I started a blog and put up a website where people could buy my books free of shipping. I’ve done radio shows and now feel fairly comfortable with that, especially if the interviewer knows what they’re doing.

You could also look up some good author blogs and newsletters and subscribe. I continually take in new information on how best to get well-known. I have a lot of author friends all over the world through social networking.

That’s about all I can think of for now, but feel free to ask me anything that I can help you with. I love helping new authors.

Happy Writing!

Be My Guest- Guest Blog Participation


 

Hello! Thanks for your interest in guest blogging at www.earthwalker.tk. I love hosting other authors who have something to share.

Here is some information you’ll need:

At the bottom, there is a form for you to fill out so I know who you are and why you want to be here.

Please fill it out, then rename the MS Word file your name (example: JULIEACHTERHOFF.doc).  That will help me keep things organized.

Please return all of this ASAP, and at least two weeks ahead of the date you’d like to appear on my blog.

PLEASE

1.   Follow the directions.  I am not going to go looking around the www for your information.  With writing deadlines and the insanity that is my life, I just don’t have the time.

2.   Give me the URL for any photos you’d like included.  I don’t have the space on my server to host large images. Instructions can be found below on how to find an image URL.

3.   Offer swag if you can.  Just a free copy or download of one of your books is great.  (Unpublished authors are not expected to offer swag.)

4.   Copy, fill out this form completely and return it to me as an MS Word attachment to erthwkr@gmail.com at least two weeks ahead of the date you would like to appear.

Date you would like to appear (if no date is specified, I will assign one to you):

Name/Pen Name:

Contact Email (not to be given out, just for me):

Website:

Blog:

Twitter:

Facebook:

Book You are Promoting:

Buy Link (either to your author site or online places like Amazon):

URL for cover: (right click on the pic, then go to properties. It will have a URL, copy and paste that here)

You have the choice of writing an article, a character interview, or excerpt.

Articles and Interviews MUST be new.  I will not repost something that has already been posted on another author’s website.  For the article, gear it toward readers, not other authors.

The interview can be yours or a character of yours.  For your interview questions, scroll down.  You are responsible for interviewing your own characters.  See an example done by Melissa Schroeder here: http://www.melissaschroeder.net/2010/03/12/character-interview-wade-and-marc/

What do you plan to do (article, interview, excerpt)-

Cut and paste it here (Be sure to proofread it.  I am a writer, not an editor):

What are you offering for swag (giveaway):

Would you rather have people comment or answer a certain question to get their name in the hat for the prize?:

When you are done filling this out, send it to me at erthwkr@gmail.com.

I’ll confirm receipt when I get it, so if you don’t hear from me within 72 hours, please contact me.

You are more than welcome and encouraged to show up on your guest blog/interview day to chat with readers.

I will give them until 8 a.m. Pacific on the following day to post for a chance to win.

I will draw a name, announce it on the blog, then send the contact info to you.

It is your responsibility to contact the reader and get the prize to them.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask,

–  Julie

Special thanks to the lovely and talented Melissa Schroeder

for showing me just how to do guest blogs properly.

Author Interviews

If you’re an author and would like to be interviewed by me on this blog, please fill out the questions below and return them to me via email at:

erthwkr@gmail.com
Author interviews and/or guest blogs will be posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays at http://earthwalker.tk but I will work with you to schedule another day if you need it.

Please send your answers or guest blog to me no later than two weeks prior to the date you require so I have time to post it.  I will not post interviews/guest blogs on the same day you send them.  In case you’re wondering why, read this: http://lisapietsch.com/2010/05/26/dont-be-a-guest-blogging-diva/

If you’re promoting a specific book, please include the blurb, short excerpt, cover, and purchase link for the book in your interview (all in one document, please).

Author interview questions:

1) What genre do you write and why?

2) If  romance, what subgenres do you write in? Why?

3) Are you aware of any themes that run through your stories? If so, what are they?

4) What would you like readers to take away from your stories?

5) What inspires your stories?

6) Will you be attending any book or writing conferences this year? If yes, which

ones? Where and when?

7) Do you have any book signings or author appearances coming soon? If yes, where and when?

8)What is your writing schedule like?

9) Do you have any other passions besides writing? If yes, what are they? Why?

10) What is your best memory?

11) What is your favorite comfort food?

12) What relaxes you?

13) What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

14) What decade has been your favorite? Why?

15) What is your favorite way to promote your work?

16) Where is your favorite place to write? Why?

17) What is your favorite fairy tale? Why?

18) What was your favorite vacation?

19) If you had another career, what was it?

20) If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?

21) If you could have one wish, what would it be?

22) If you could describe yourself in only one word, what would it be?

23) Are you a cat or dog person? Do you have any pets and if so, please tell us about them.

24) What is the one thing you most want to do that you haven’t yet?

25) When the zombies take over, what will you do?

26) Vampire or werewolf?  Why?

27) Please tell us about your most recent release and where we can purchase it.

28) Please give us your urls and your publisher’s url.

29) Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers? Please do so here.

Thank you.
If there are any questions you don’t wish to answer, please ignore them.

I look forward to working with you.

-Julie

Platform Resolutions for Writers 2010


Platform Resolutions for Writers 2010

Before writers establish an author platform, they typically establish a writer platform. Over the past decade, thousands of writers have parlayed established influence into traditional book deals. Landing a traditional book deal is still an effective way to exponentially increase your credibility and visibility.

Your “platform” refers to what you do in the world with your professional expertise that makes you visible and influential in the world. Having friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter is not your platform, unless the majority of those people know who you are, what you do, and are enthusiastic about your work.

I thought I would offer some advice about how to slowly and steadily establish a lasting platform. You may note the lack of fanaticism in this advice and the emphasis on enduring success instead. I’m a mother and a wife, a freelancer, a speaker, a teacher, and a blogger, so aiming for balance is the only way I can afford to work if I plan on sticking around for the long haul.

This advice has worked consistently for my students over the past several years. I think you will find that a grounded, step-by-step approach works just as well for you if you choose to follow it:

  1. Develop a platform topic that you love and can work on tirelessly for the next few years. Your passion of the moment should come in second to the topic you could delve into deeply for a good, long time. Prior professional education and a depth of personal experience are going to be a boon to your platform if you have an eye on a future book deal.
  2. Hang back from establishing a blog on your topic until you have cultivated a wealth of content and experience working with others on specialty-related activities that lend credibility and trust to your name. Others will tell you to start blogging immediately, but don’t, if you want to be efficient with your time and money.
  3. Instead, gain authority by seeking publication in established, highly visible publications both in print and online that serve your target audience. Avoid the kind of publishing that anyone can accomplish, like posting on article sites, and work on your professional communication skills instead. By all means, avoid the content mills offering writers slave wages with the promise of future earnings.
  4. Don’t begin any kind of marketing campaign for any product or service offerings until you have established yourself as a go-to person on your topic, again saving you time and money. Before you look at ways to serve others directly, channel your expertise into the best service methods possible based on your strengths and weaknesses. This is a meaty topic that is covered in-depth in my book, Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (Writer’s Digest Books 2008).
  5. Then, develop a product or service that can become one of several multiple income streams over time that will support your goal of becoming a published author. For example, teaching classes over the years has allowed me to re-invest more of the money I earn from writing books back into book marketing. Make sure any offerings you produce are released conscientiously and are integrated into the professional writing you already do. Otherwise, you will seem like you are all over the place and just trying to score a buck.
  6. Don’t expect your platform to support you financially for at least one or two years, as you micro-invest in it, re-invest in it as it grows, and expand your visibility.
  7. Once you have a professional publication track record in your niche topic, then it’s time to hang your online shingle. I’ve seen this accomplished in as little as six months by exceptionally focused students. Take a portion of the money you’ve earned writing and invest it in a professional quality online presence.
  8. A low-cost way to do this is to purchase your name as a URL and use a hosting site like GoDaddy.com to host a WordPress.org blog. I use the Thesis Theme, which you can see in action at my blog. In this way, a blog can also serve as your website where you post your published clips, offerings and bio. If you don’t have a ton of money to invest in the look of your site, you can always pay a designer later.
  9. Delay partnering with others on joint ventures until you have a clear idea of your own strengths and weaknesses in and around your topic. And when you do partner with others be extremely discriminating. Make sure the partnership is going to be win-win-win for everyone involved.
  10. Start an e-mail newsletter or e-zine with those who are most interested in your topic. Build your list by invitation and then grow it into a permission-based following over time. Create an expected, ongoing dialogue that is mutually beneficial to everyone involved and your list will grow.
  11. Now you are ready to start blogging. And yes, I mean while you continue to do all the things we’ve already discussed. Be sure to zoom-focus your blog on what you have to add to the conversation that is already going on about your topic. Don’t just share information; make an impact. Make your blog a go-to, up-to-date resource for your audience.
  12. Partner selectively with others who serve the same general audience that you do with integrity and humility. Spend time getting to know folks before you decide to partner with them. You can’t afford to taint the reputation you have worked so hard to establish by partnering with just anyone.
  13. Now that you have an established niche and audience, definitely participate in social networking. I like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn because they all offer something unique. The best way to learn is to jump in, spend an hour online each week until you are up and running. Follow the instructions for getting started provided by social media expert Meryl K. Evans.

This start-up plan for a writer platform will eventually blossom into an author platform. From start to finish, implementing a solid platform following this advice should take you about a year. By the end of that year, you will have established yourself as a serious contender in both professional and online circles, without killing yourself for some huckster’s promise of overnight success.

Have a plan. Leave a legacy in words, connections and professional influence. If you are consistent, by the time the year is done, you will have made effective use of your time and money in 2010. I wish you the best of luck in your platform-building efforts!

Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids for Writer’s Digest Books. She has written hundreds of articles for national, regional, and online publications, presents at literary and publishing events around the country, and is a monthly columnist for the Willamette Writer. Katz publishes a weekly e-zine, The Prosperous Writer, and hosts The Northwest Author Series. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia College Chicago and a BA from Dartmouth College. A “gentle taskmaster” to her hundred or so students each year, Katz channels over a decade of professional writing experience into success strategies that help writers get on track and get published. Learn more at ChristinaKatz.com.

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