Friday, June 24, 2011

Tips for Online Marketing and Building Your Author Platform

My best advice is to get a quick medical check-up before you publish that book.  Exercise, eat healthy and take your vitamins.  WHY? Because you will need every ounce of strength and energy to put you book in reader’s hands.  Let me tell you, writing that darned book is the easy part.  I’ll take rewrites over bookstore research any day. 

Bottom line: you have to get out there and blow your own trumpet, or find others to blow it for you.  Even if relatives think your writing career is a big yawn, the reading public LOVES to meet authors.  If you come to them they WILL buy – think Field of Dreams!  This is why you have to gird your loins (don’t wear tight pants) and march into the panting hordes, waving your book in the air, pen ready to offer autographed copies.

Shy writers take note.  You and your book are a package deal.  You need to sell yourself and your book.  Make your name synonymous with writing books for kids. This is called branding.

The secret of promotion is finding free ways to KEEP your name + the title of your book, in the reading public’s eye.  Regular Blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, etc is a huge help.  Just mention something about your book at least once a day, along with your other comments. Promote other authors and they will return the favor. Try for posts that HOOK reader interest. Add book covers whenever possible, along with other pics you fancy.  And ALWAYS end with a signature that sells YOU and your book

The easiest and cheapest thing to do is design a short and sweet signature.

Current Book title
Link to your blog
Put this under everything you write – e-mails, letters, documents, bills you send out – whatever!  When people see it enough times they begin to take notice. 

Going online and finding where home-schooling moms, teachers, and librarians hang out is a profitable plan.  Get to know the teachers and librarians in your school district.  Offer to do a writing class ( a chance to sneak in your latest book), and you never know – they might pay you.  Even if you don’t get paid, you will have fun, and have a chnce to meet all those future readers of YOUR books.  This applies to libraries as well.  Ask your local library if they would like in-person visits by you – readings, writing chats, or impromptu writing sessions.  These are all great ways to BRAND yourself as an author of books for kids.

Some writers are going all techno crazy, and where possible, they visit far-away places, schools particularly, using Skype and its onboard camera.  Technology now allows us to promote our books, writing talents or whatever else we do, via our computer – YEA!!  No long car trips to get there, or strip searches at airports.  Double YEA!  Authors who live in more isolated locations should snap up this technology and run with it.  I am one of the many small county authors, and I am working on the Skype way of widening my field of promotional opportunities right now.

Things you MUST become proficient at:

* Asking established writers for promo advice.  Let it be known far-and-wide that you are
   looking for book reviewers, and are willing to help those who help you.
* Writing an interesting blog with frequent updates.  Fun, catchy headers work best.
* The art of writing a catchy and simple Press Release.
* Compiling lists of reviewers, newspapers, radio stations, bookstores, school districts, and any
   other organizations that might be interested in a book signing, talk, interview or promotion.
* Embracing Facebook and Twitter.  Get with the apps they offer and use them to promote you
   and your book.  Linkedin and JacketFlap are two other sites that might prove helpful.
   However, be selective.  Join groups and lists that relate to your writing goals and your books.
* Promoting and helping out other writers. They will return the favor.
* Joining online Lists and Blogs that might have an interest in the topic your book covers.   
   Finding a good niche market is not to be sneezed at.
* Designing an appealing Logo and offeing it to everyone.

There are lots more ways to promote your book, but I think this will do to get you started..


Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant who writes midgrade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. Margot didn't begin serious writing until the day their youngest left for college. This late start drives her writing, and pushes her to work at it every day. Margot said, "I really envy those who began young, and managed to slip into writing mode between kid fights, diaper changes, household disasters, and outside jobs. You are my heroes!"

Her first books, a 7x book rhyming series, "Wild and Wonderful," offers fun facts about animals from the US and Australia. Educational and fun, eBooks can be read on a computer, laptop, or various color e-Readers. They are great for classroom or home schooling moms.


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Janet Ann Collins said...

Thank you, Margot. This is good advice, and some of it I haven't seen before. said...


I loved reading this blog entry. It applies to adult work, as well. Thank you.

Linda Della Donna
"A Gift of Love, A Widow's Memoir"
...And sometime when I wasn't looking, I got a new life.

Karen Cioffi said...

Great advice, Margot. And, I love that you mentioned to get fit to market - it really is draining!

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing said...

Margot, you give lots of helpful advice. Wishing you continued success in your writing and promoting!

Magic Carpet of 16x Books said...

Thank you Writers on the Move for hosting my thoughts on book promotion and "branding." It really is an important topic, and one that many writers are uncomfortable embracing fully.

Thanks also to those who commented. I really appreciate you taking the time to visit and read.

Yet no one left an e-mail so I could send them a copy of my FREE kid's time-travel e-book adventure. I felt sure that with summer vacation here, everyone would be eager for a FREE fun book that would HOOK their kids on reading more - and you can't beat this price!!

Margot’s Magic Carpet
Books With a WOW Factor

Unknown said...

I'm finding out first hand how true your advice is Margot. I sold a book today at a garage sale. My husband calls me chatty Kathy-it pays off. I talk about my book to anyone who will listen.

kathy stemke
"Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep"

Donna McDine said...


You always give the best advice. What a hook for your opening! You also make me laugh. I'm thrilled your vbt was such a success!

Warm regards,
Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
The Golden Pathway Story book Blog

Virginia S Grenier said...

Sorry just getting over here, but great advice. Margot you truly are great at making learning fun...not only for kids, but us adults as well. Lots of great stuff here to apply to marketing books.

Anonymous said...


Great tips. Some I am doing and many others I will start working on. Such easy steps. With your help, when I start marketing books I will be way ahead of others. I wish you continued success in your career. I would love a copy of your book. I will add my email:

Magic Carpet of 16x Books said...

Thank you so much to those who left very encouraging comments after my last reply. You are all wonderfully kind and supportive.

And magower, I am sending off your fun adventure e-book as soon as I quit thanking all you folks.

Margot’s Magic Carpet
Books With a WOW Factor

Admin said...

Really nice post, after so many years of writing I still found a few nice tips to help with the marketing. Thanks Margot.

I would love to get a copy of your book. My e-mail address is: i_magan

Heidiwriter said...

Excellent, Margot. It does indeed take a lot of energy, time and stick-to-itiveness to market!

Magic Carpet of 16x Books said...

Heidiwriter and Admin, thank you so much for your comments. Many helped me when I began writing for kids, so now that I am published, I like to return the favor whenever I can.

Admin, I am sending off your copy of my FREE time-travel e-book adventure right now - enjoy!

Margot’s Magic Carpet
Books With a WOW Factor

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