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Archive for the ‘Marketing Tips’ Category

QUERY LETTERS
Pocatello Writers Meeting
Marshall Public Library
April 15, 2017, 3:30pm-5:30pm

At our writers’ meeting this coming Saturday, Charity Samora will give us a refresher course on how to write a good query letter to an agent or publisher.

The query letter is meant to elicit an invitation to send sample chapters or even your whole manuscript. The goal is to get them to read your book.

So, join us to make sure that you are using the format and content expected by professionals.

In the meantime, keep in touch via our online open forum at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pocatellowriters/.

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At our April meeting, Charity Samora will lead the group in a discussion about the how-to’s and benefits of running a blog.  More details to come.

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We had a great meeting Saturday, with three new guests and a couple old faces we’ve been missing of late.  We talked about book fairs and writer conventions, literary contests, collecting blurbs, website hosts, Amazon and Goodreads critiques, Vista Print products, giving Q&A interviews, using diaries in writing nonfiction, and more.

We had such a good visit we ran out of time and didn’t get a chance for readings or to talk about future plans.  We’ll discuss what we want to get out of 2014 meetings in the February get-together.

In the meantime, we’re in need of suggestions, requests or volunteers for topics for our February 15th and future third-Saturday meetings.  If you want to volunteer to lead the group in a session, let me know for the schedule.  If you’ve been struggling with something or you have something you’d like to see covered, we can all pitch in and share our expertise.  You can volunteer or post your ideas in the comments section of our website’s Agenda page.   Click on the Meeting Agenda tab at the top of this page.
Happy Writing,
Sherrie (admin/sec)

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Marshall Public Library
Saturday,  January 18, 2014,  4pm-6pm
New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome back for a brand new year of writing, fellow authors.  Hope you had a great holiday season with family and friends.  Special thanks to Janice Anderson who has booked the Minnie Howard Room for all of our 2014 third-Saturday meetings.

To refresh your memory: In our meetings before Christmas, Juergen Roscher led us in exploring how to build a writers platform.  We covered all of the aspects of What is a writer’s platform?  Why does a writer need a platform? and the several Building blocks of a platform.

We planned to return in January to talk about what we had done over the holidays to build our own platforms, and to share with one another our experiences and tips.  So, next week’s meeting will be an open discussion, and we will have time later for critiques if you want to read some of your work.

Come share your experiences, hints and advice on marketing your brand as an author.  We’ll talk about what our New Years Resolutions are in the way of writing, and what we hope to get from our group meetings in 2014.

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Marshall Public Library
4-6pm
At last month’s meeting, Juergen (John) Roscher covered the first half of an excellent presentation on building a writer’s platform. The subject is rather vast, and we had time to cover only: What is a writer’s platform? Why does a writer need a platform?  And the several building blocks of a platform. We ran out of time and put the remainder of the presentation on October’s agenda.

So tomorrow’s meeting will be a continuation of John’s talk.  Part 2 will be a how-to on Getting Started, focusing on what you will need to create your brand and organize a plan of action tailored to you. We’ll cover the content of your website and blog, your bio and your own unique goals and target audience.  Hope to see you there.

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How to Build a Writer’s Platform  (Part 1)
presentation by Juergen Roscher

What is a Writer’s Platform

♦  Conventional Definition of a Platform
– The thing you stand on to get noticed or heard
– Stage
♦ Writer’s Platform
– How to get noticed or heard as an author
– Connection with your existing and potential fans
– Personal ability to sell books
– Who you are
– Who you know / your personal and professional connections
– Media outlets, blogs, and social networks that you can
utilize to sell books- Visibility as an author
– Activities engaged in that get your name and work noticed
by the public
– Marketing, not of a specific work, but of you as the author
– Everything you do to build your brand

Why Does a Writer Need a Platform?
♦ More books are being published now than ever before.
♦ Over 5 million books available on Amazon.
♦ Major publishing companies have laid off an alarming number of
editors and publicists in the last five years; those left are overloaded.
♦ Small publishing houses will rely mostly on the marketing of the author.
♦ Self Published authors have no marketing support except their
own efforts.
♦ Except for the top-tier authors, platform is of the utmost importance.
♦ In the near future almost every book ever published will be available.   ………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Book vs. Platform
♦ Question to Michael Hyatt by an author:
“Two respected agents have told me they loved my book and proposal and are willing to represent it, but not until I have a social media following numbering in the thousands. I find this bewildering.: Doesn’t a good book stand on its own anymore? Are Writers now doomed to spend the bulk of our workdays trawling for blog subscriptions?”
♦ Hyatt’s response to the author:
“A good product does not stand on its own anymore. It is foundational, but not enough. In order to be successful in today’s business environment, you need two things: a compelling product and a significant platform.”
♦ Michael Hyatt’s success equation:›
Compelling Product (Book) + Significant Platform = Success

Building Blocks of a Platform
♦ New-school platform building blocks
– Website/blog with large readership
– An impressive social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, and the like)
– E-newsletter and/or mailing list with a large number of subscribers
or recipients
– Guest contributions to successful websites, blogs, and periodicals
♦ Old-school platform building blocks
– Public speaking appearances
– Article/column writing for the media
– A record of strong past book sales
♦ Both new-school and old-school platform building blocks
– Individuals of influence that you know / personal contacts
or organizations
– Membership in organizations that support the successes of their own
– Recurring media appearances and interviews – print, radio,
TV, or online

Website
♦ Everyone needs a website
♦ Website should be the foundation of your platform
♦ Purpose of a Website
– Basic, important information about you and what you write
– Means to contact you
♦ Key elements of a good website
– Landing page
– About me Page
– Biography comparable to your accomplishments
– Professional head shot
– My books or My writing page
– Information about your books and writing
– Contact me page
– Email address
– Do not put your telephone
– Other contact information such as social media contact information
♦ Blog or news page that is constantly in flux and has new content on a consistent basis
♦ Resources page
– Great Websites you recommend
– Blogroll – blogs you follow
– Build Community (Tribe)
– Build goodwill
♦ Events and Speaking
– Information about anytime you are appearing in public
– Builds Credibility
♦Find me online page
– Social media contacts
♦ Reviews, testimonials or interview page
– Reviews of your books
– Endorsements from celebrities of organization
– Builds credibility

Blog
♦ Purpose of a blog
– Provide free content (blog articles) on a regular basis in an
effort to build steady and significant readership
– Build a relationship with readership through blog articles
and comment section
♦ Blog Requirements
– Needs a theme (topic) – Your Brand
– High quality content (articles 500-800 words)
– Blog regularly – add new content at least weekly
– Be Informative – What is of value to your targeted audience?
– Be Entertaining – blog readers are looking to learn and be entertained
– Be Engaging – encourage comments and respond to some of the
comments – build a tribe
– Categorize or tag your blog article – keywords that describe
the article.

Social Media Presence
♦ Connecting with other individuals through online websites where people
virtually gather.
♦ Social media allows you to easily do the following:
– Connect, network, and make friends
– Receive information/news and learn
– Share information that you created or found interesting
– Promote your work and works of friends
♦ “In today’s marketplace, the biggest emphasis in terms of author platform would be their online digital platform. How many followers do they have on Facebook and Twitter? What is their website traffic? We really dig into these stats when deciding to take on a project.” Beth Gissinger (Adams Media)
♦ Social media is important, but your efforts in the arena needs to point people to great content – Websites, blogs, and articles.
♦ Twitter (www.twitter.com)
– Establish relationships – connection with potential fans
– Follow interesting people – people of influence, publishers,
agents, editors, other writers, …
– Join groups where your potential readers virtually hang out at
– Share information that you find interesting or beneficial
– Help others
– Direct traffic to your website and blog
– Notify followers of your book(s)
♦ Facebook (WWW.facebook.com)
– Less formal and more personal than a website and blog
– Direct communication with those who become friends
– Post status updates, photos
– Comment on friends post, photos, and updates
– Authors can create a fan page
♦ Goodreads (WWW.Goodreads.com)
– Community of readers
– Readers provide reviews on books, list of books they have
read, are currently reading, and want to read
– Follow favorite authors and reviewers
– Establish and participate in groups around common interests
– Authors can establish an author’s page
– Link to their website, blog and social media
– Post blog articles
♦ Google +
♦ Linkedin
♦ Youtube
♦ Pinterest
♦ Forums – Find out what forums your target audience congregate
at and become involved

E-newsletter/email list
♦ An E-newsletter is just an email you send to webpage and blog
readers who have signed up for it.
♦ It can be new content or content from your blog or a combination of both.
♦ E-newsletters have a set frequency – daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly
♦ Same requirements as a blog – be informative, entertaining and engaging
♦ Invite website/blog readers to sign up for e-newsletter
♦ Offer an incentive for signing up for your e-newsletter
– Free gift such as an eBook you have created
– Contest with a great prize with the stipulation they sign up for
your e-newsletter
♦ Lower priority than some other platform developing possibilities, but can be an effective marketing tool.

Guest contributions to successful websites, blogs, and periodicals
♦ Collaborate with other successful and up and coming bloggers
♦ Write blog articles for other websites
– Always include your website and/or blog information as
a byline in the blog article
– Readers of the blog might become your readers
♦ Ask others to write guest articles for your blog
– Always make sure your guest blogger’s website and/or
blog is referenced in a byline.
– You don’t have to create all of your blogs material . Many
successful blogs have 30-40% of their material provided
by others.
♦ Same requirements as a blog – be informative, entertaining, and engaging

Public speaking appearances
♦ Few avenues give you more instant credibility than having some
impressive public speaking gigs under your belt
♦ Face-to-face with your potential audience
♦ Writers’ conferences
♦ Be well prepared to speak
♦ Attend Toastmasters if you need public speaking coaching

Articles or Columns for Media
♦ Similar to blogging – guest blogging
♦ Write articles within your desired field of expertise (niche)
♦ Established immediate credibility
♦ Benefits of article writing:
– You get paid
– Established publications and websites have a built-in
audience – potential fans
– Building editor contacts in the media

A track record of strong past book sales
♦ Finding a writer with a history of books that have strong sales
is one of the main goals for a publishers
♦ Vast majority of books fall to earn back their advances
♦ Low initial sales can affect the rest of an author’s career
♦ Sales of previous self-published books
Notable: 2000+ for fiction, 4000+ for non-fiction
Very Notable: 6000+ for fiction, 10,000+ for non-fiction
Impressive: 15,000+ for fiction, 30,000+ for non-fiction

Individuals of influence that you know
♦ Personal contacts that can help you get noticed
Organizational
Media
Celebrity
Family
Friends
♦ Marketing opportunities at no cost to you
♦ Request individuals of influence for blurbs, promotions, endorsements, …

Membership in organizations that support the successes of their own
♦ Find organizations that are patronized by your target audience
♦ Be active in the organizations
♦ Serve in the organizations
♦ Build relationships with organization members
♦ Attend organization’s conference
♦ Support others in the organizations – reciprocate when others help you

Recurring media appearances and interviews
♦ Look for opportunities to appear on any media outlet as
a regular contributor or frequent guest
♦ Print – regular column in a newspaper or magazine
♦ Radio and TV- regular guest on a radio show or an expert in a
certain field of interest
♦ Online – regular contributor to a website or e-newsletter,
host a weekly podcast, or
♦ Market yourself as an expert in a field
A friend in Dallas owns a rifle range – media interviews him
anytime there is a story on firearms.    ……………………………………………………………………………………………..
End of Material covered on 21-Sep-2013
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beginn
ing of Material covered on 19-Oct-2013  ………………………………………………………………………………..

How to Build a Writer’s Platform  (Part 2)
presentation by Juergen Roscher

Getting Started
♦ Create a Brand
– Your author name
– Email Address – firstname.lastname@gmail.com or better
yet firstname@firstname.lastname.com
– Email Signature: Michael Hyatt
– My Blog: http://michaelhyatt.com
– Speaking: http://michaelhyatt.com/speaking
– Twitter: http://twitter.com/michaelhyatt
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michaelhyatt
– Google+: http://gplus.to/michaelhyatt
♦ Business Cards
– Name
– Contact information
– Tagline
– Social Media contact information
♦ Website
– Same look and feel as Business Cards and Social Media Profiles
Social Media Profiles
– Same look and feel as Business Cards and Webpage
♦ Profile Picture
– Headshot
– Professionally done
– Use on your website, twitter account, Goodreads, book covers, etc.
♦ Articles – Magazines, Newspapers, Blogs, …
– Articles about you or your books
– Articles you have authored
♦ Photos
– Writer’s Conferences
– With other author’s or famous people
Videos
♦ Reviews of your book(s)
♦ Reviews you have authored on other books
♦ Lists of Awards – include photos, press release or other information about the awards
♦ Write your Biographies
100 Word Biography
300 Word Biography
500 Word Biography

Twitter Biography (140 characters)
Merry Christmas! My name is Juergen Roscher. I write
Christmas stories. Check out my Christmas blog –
http://www.juergenroscher.blogspot.com.

♦ List of computer searchable TAGS that describe you as a writer
Your Name
Writer
Author
Genre – Romance, Non-fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Blogger
Blogs
Name of published books
Speaker
Writer’s Conference Presenter
Novel
Anything that describes you as author, what you write about,
other items that relate to your writing

♦ Generate a List of blog article ideas
Example – Potential Christmas writer blog articles:
Christmas Book Reviews
Christmas Movie Reviews
Christmas Traditions
Christmas Checklist – list of items that need to be done each Christmas
Favorite Christmas
Christmas Quotes
Favorite Christmas Books
Favorite Christmas Movies
Christmas Challenge such as reading the five Dickens
Christmas stories
Christmas Crafts
Favorite Christmas Hymns
Favorite Christmas Songs (non-sacred)
Christmas Around the World (Christmas Traditions from
different areas of the World)
Christmas Plays
Christmas Decorations
Christmas Origins (How Christmas began)
Christmas Lights
Christmas Treats
Christmas Recipes
Interviews of Christmas Authors
♦ Starting inventory of 10-15 blog articles on topic
Non-fiction writer’s topic is area of expertise
Fiction Writer topic could be genre, writing experience, or general blog
♦ Profile your readers and consumer demographics
Who are your potential readers?
Where do they hang out?
What do they expect in a book?
Fish where the fish are
♦ Become familiar with Social Media terms
Google social media terms
Start with one or two social media tools and learn how to
speak the language
♦ Elevator pitch
Be prepared to pitch your book any time, any where
30 second pitch
2 minute pitch
5 minute pitch
♦ Secure endorsements
♦ Online Media Kit

So many options …
♦ You should not dive into every platform building option
♦ Your goals and target audience will dictate which platform
building tools to use
♦ Pick a few avenues and develop them to your fullest
♦ You can (and probably should) use new school and old school methods.

Book Bibliography
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
Sub-Title: A step-by-step guide for anyone with something to say or sell
Author: Michael Hyatt
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published Date: May 22nd 2012 (first published May 1st 2012)
Pages: 261
Brief Synopsis of Book: To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling “product” and a meaningful “platform.” In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success. (Goodreads description).

We Are Not Alone
Author: Kristen Lamb
Publisher: Who Dares Wins Publishing
Published Date: 2010 Pages: 197
Brief Synopsys of Book: The author’s method is simple, effective, and helps authors find ways to harness the imagination used for writing and employ this creativity to build a solid platform designed to connect with readers. The best part is you don’t even have to be a computer expert or know anything about sales. This system is designed to change the writer’s approach, not the writer’s personality (Back Cover of Book)

Create Your Writer Platform
Author: Chuck Sambuchino
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
Published: November 23rd 2012 (First Published October 26th 2012)
Pages: 224
Brief Synopsis of Book: In “Create Your Writer Platform,” you’ll learn: The definition of a platform–and why you should start building one “now.”How to harness the 12 Fundamental Principles of Platform.”Old School” and “New School” approaches to platform, from article writing and conference speaking to website development, blog posts, and social media avenues. How to develop a platform for nonfiction, fiction, and memoir. In addition to Chuck’s invaluable insights, you’ll also find 12 case studies from authors with effective platforms, as well as professional advice from literary agents.
(Goodreads description of book)

Internet Article Bibliography
What is a Writer’s Platform?
Author: Cliff Daigle
http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/thebusinessofwriting/a/What-Is-A-Writers-Platform.htm Good general description of Writer’s Platform

Why Having a Platform May be the Only Way to Sell Books
Author: Penny Sansevieri – Author and CEO, Marketing Experts, Inc.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri/why-having-a-platform-may_b_3639378.html Overview of why a writer’s platform is needed today more than ever

71 Ways to Promote and Market your Book
Author: Kimberley Grabas
http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/promote-and-market-your-book/
Some ideas are good, others?

Quotes

“…All the methods the author has of reaching the buyer.” – Gina Panetteri (Talcott Notch Literary Services)

“I think it is extremely difficult to sell a nonfiction book by an author without a platform. – Shawna Morey (Folio Literary Management)

“Great marketing (platform) only makes a bad product (book) fail faster.”
– David Ogilvy

“When considering the best URL for your website, the commonsense option is your full name – in my case, chucksambuchino.com.” – Chuck Sambuchino

“Non-fiction authors are there to inform, educate and serve the readership in some way. If you want to publish a diet book, blog about healthy eating and logically related topics like exercise and beauty.” – Kristen Lamb

“An e-newsletter … allows us to directly reach a base of our most dedicated supporters.” – Kathleen Boyle and Therese Walsh, founders of WriterUnboxed.com

“If a writer can convey that she or he has media connections, has the writing chops to be accepted by the big boys, and is interesting, editors feel more confident to buy his or her book.” – Laurie Abkemeier literary agent – DeFiore and Company

“It’s not always who you are or what you can do, but who you know that matters.”

“Whenever we start building our author platform, we need to honestly look at our strengths and acknowledge what we are and aren’t willing to do.” – Lisa Hall-Wilson

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At the Sept meeting, Juergen (John) Roscher covered Part 1 of an excellent presentation on building a writer’s platform. The subject is rather vast, and we had time to cover only: What is a writer’s platform? Why does a writer need a platform?  And the several building blocks of a platform. We ran out of time and put the remainder of the presentation on October’s agenda.

So next month, in a continuation of John’s talk, Part 2 will be a how-to on Getting Started, focusing on what you will need to create your brand and organize a plan of action tailored to you. We’ll cover the content of your website and blog, your bio and your own unique goals and target audience.

I’ll try to post John’s handout here on our website soon so that anyone who missed the first half can catch-up and get more benefit out of the October meeting.  Thanks, John.  Good job!   – Sherrie

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