Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tips and Tricks 2: For Authors

There are a few things that you need to remember, when you're an author. Mostly, it's using what's available to you (see previous post). Sometimes, it's just about being prepared and knowing what you might need in the future.

Here's a few things that, as the author, you should be doing:

Read your own book, at least once, after publication.

Why? Because all the changes have been made. This is your final copy; the one that people will read and review on. As you read, mark off the quotes that really make an impact, without telling too much of the story. You'll need these later.

Stay active.

This is a no-brainer. If yo're not on FB or Twitter, or even Goodreads, that's millions of people you're not reaching with your books. Forget about the groups, for now, I'm talking about your Author page. You NEED a presence there, if you expect to gain an audience.

If a reader wants to contact you, what platform are they going to try first? The two three are: Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Goodreads is simple. Read a book and review it. Merge your blog with your Goodreads page. It's not hard and it will give people easy access to your blog, without having to sign up for a newsletter. A lot of people aren't comfortable with that option, so Goodreads is a no-commitment alternative.

You can schedule your blog, FB and Twitter, so that you only have to be on them maybe once a month. I've done that. I've spent one whole day scheduling posts for my blog, FB or Twitter (through Hootsuite or directly on the page) so that I don't have to be active on it any other day of the next 3 months. I can check in, when there's a comment or a reaction, share a new giveaway or a new release, but I don't have to be on there every minute, to make sure that it's up to date.

Have quotes.

This is what I was talking about earlier. You NEED to have quotes from your book, at hand, at a second's notice. Why?

1) TeaserTuesday. If you forget to schedule your page for one of these or you just forget to add a new one, because you're stressed/sick/on holiday/working, then all you have to do is open up your saved file of quotes, copy and paste and add the tag #TeaserTuesday

2) Goodreads. You should have at least a few quotes from your book up on Goodreads, even if you have to add them yourself. Sometimes readers get so engrossed in a book that they forget to mark off a favourite quote, or they go to click that 'like' button, only to realise that there are no quotes logged for your book. Most people either won't want the hassle, don't know how or can't be bothered going back to find their favourite quote. This can and should be your job. You want to make things as easy on your readers as possible.

3) Posters. Teaser posters are your best shot at Teaser Tuesday, because you don't have to type/copy anything. You just upload a picture and add the tag. This is especially useful for all those book blogs you want to follow on FB (see this post). Many of them have a special Teaser Tuesday or Sharing Sunday post, that you can attach your poster to. And, let's face it, people are more likely to click on a good looking poster, to read a long excerpt, than they are to read a massive 6-paragraph typed teaser. It's more eye-catching.


Sharing is caring.

To make it in the Indie world, we all have to stick together. If you see an author friend has just brought a new book out, spread the word. Share it on your personal/author page. If a friend is having some trouble getting feedback, ask for help. Recommend an author, share a quote, teaser pic, book trailer or send your fans over to another author's page to like it.

Contrary to popular belief, life isn't a competition. If we stand by and support each other, ALL of us will do well. Isn't that better than backstabbing, making snide remarks and asking our own fans to never read or like another author, just because they're in a competing market/genre?

Think about it. If another author recommends us to their readers, that could be one new hardcore fan. if we recommend another author to our fans, and they love them too, then what harm is that doing us? And really, don't you want to hit that #1 spot on Amazon, by being a fair player? Don't you want to beat your favourite author to that top spot fairly and know that it's because you worked your butt off to get there?

It doesn't mean you can't celebrate others when they beat you, either. If you're #2 and your favourite author is #1, then great for both of you!

As Indie authors, we're often looked down on by trad publishers and trad authors. It doesn't have to be that way. If we all help each other, we raise the limits that are imposed on us, removing the stigma that because we're self- or indie-published, it means we aren't good enough for a traditional publisher. That's not true and we need to show the world that we're kicking ass with the best of them. The best way to do that is to support each other.

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