The Almighty Press Release

 

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You need to write a press release. Why? Because that’s how you get your name out to the media. Don’t wait for them to come looking for you. They won’t. They don’t have time, especially since all of your competition is already getting their attention because they have written a press release.

It is possible to hire someone to write your press release. Just make sure they know how to write a press release for a book. For one thing, they need to actually read your book.

There is plenty of information out there about how to write a press release. If you look hard enough, you might even find a guide to writing an effective press release. So, I’m going to let you find that information on your own.

What I am going to talk about is who where to send your press release. Like many things, it is common sense. Send your press release to news outlets that are of interest to your potential readers.

If you write a book about business, you want business news outlets to pay attention, and so on. But, there are other outlets you need to explore.

Any publication related to your topic is a good source. Post to blogs. Post to Facebook.

hackLook for publication sites like Thunderclap. Look at the success stories, like the book launch for Leave Your Mark. The social numbers are astounding. My first Thunderclap established more than 49,000 contacts.

Ready for help? Contact me at contact@thinkfastwritefast.com.

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Get social

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In addition to the many things you should be writing, you need to write and respond via social media. Instead of devoting all your time to posting photos of your kitten, you need to connect with your audience. Sharing kitten posts may be a part of that, but you need to have an actual conversation.

Too often we forget that social media is…social. It is a conversation. Lecturing is not social. Having a two-way discussion is.

So how do you jump in and do that? It’s easy.

You can certainly share other people’s posts. But, you need to add a note explaining why you are sharing. If you share a photo of a crocodile, is it because you love crocodiles, or fear them, or breed them, or study them, or think they are funny?

Do keep in mind that search engines crawl social media. Pasting a link into a post accomplishes nothing. You are simply reposting exactly what has appeared elsewhere. Not adding some of your own contact can actually drive readers away from you. If you post a link to something else, with no further information, your reader is going to click on that link and leave your post, possibly never to return. So, why did you post it? Were you involved in some way? Were you hoping to drive your reader away?

It’s fine to post something out of the goodness of your heart, for absolutely no reason. We do it all the time.

But, you do need to focus most of your social media presence on conversations that relate to your business and, let’s make no mistake, writing is a business. Treat your posts like an advertisement for your business.

The social media side of the business can be time-consuming. And, yes, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are several.

hackUse a social media management application to schedule posts. Write content ahead of time and then intersperse it with other content, as it appears. At 108 pages, The Definitive Guide to Social Media is twice as long as a lot of things that pass for books these days, yet it is one of the best guides I have seen—and it is FREE.

There is never an excuse for your social media to appear to be out of date. There is even less excuse for it to actually be out of date. Use whatever tool you need to in order to keep posts fresh and current.

hackI have just started using Airtable’s Blog Editorial Calendar. I can plan out my writing schedule ahead of time and fill in content when I get a chance. I can schedule when I anticipate posting something. I added columns for the various streams I use so I can track where I will or have posted. Airtable understands attachments so I can attach images or text and not have to remember where I stored them and on which server. But, a spreadsheet would do just as well for something simple, basic and already on your computer. Basically, you just need a process.

Some sites use a gimmick [I am not using that word derogatorily]. I used to manage social media for a zoo and we had a “guess what animal this is” day once a week. We knew that we could draw people on that day. Even if they had not looked at our website since the previous week, they would come on that day for the fun.

There was no prize. Just interaction. And, parents often involved their children who would, of course, want to come to the zoo to see the animal in person!

Writing has the unique misfortune of not usually having a location. It does not lend itself well to Yelp! or TripAdvisor, unless you are writing about a location. But, you don’t need a location. You need a conversation.

A common hashtag currently in use is #writerwednesday. Should you participate? You can ride on the coattails of the likes of Huffington Post—but can your content compete with the Huf, or will it swallow you? Maybe you’re better off creating your own hashtag. You decide.

Writers are often shy. We would rather curl up with a book than be the life of the party. Usually. Most of us, anyway. But, SEO and social media should be second nature for us. It’s all just words and do we ever love words?

Ready for help? Contact me at contact@thinkfastwritefast.com.

 

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You wrote a book. Now what?

Completing the writing of your book feels like a big accomplishment. But, not only is the work not done.The end of writing a book is just the beginning.

Writing doesn’t put money in your checking account. Selling your writing does. But, it doesn’t have to be a chore.

Let me show you how to make it an effort that you, as a writer, will enjoy. You get to write!
Getting noticed requires writing. First of all, you need to format your book, regardless of whether you decide to publish a print version or an eBook. For most people, it is probably worth the money to hire someone to format for you. Your time is better spent on what you do best: writing.

Beyond that, you need to write a description of your book. You need to write metadata so that your book is found by the customers most likely to want to read and buy your book. You need to pen your autobiography. You need to write and respond to social media posts. You need to write a press release or two. You should at least consider creating a giveaway, giving away a free copy of your book. The writing never ends, even after you write “The End.”

Every book needs a description. Who better to write it than you? If you are self-publishing, there may not be anyone but you. You can hire someone but—you’re a writer! Write it yourself.

If you are self-publishing through Amazon, you are not required to write any description. But, why wouldn’t you? You can write as much as  4000 characters to convince an Amazon reader that your book is one they should own. Lulu requires a minimum of 50 characters and a maximum of 1,000 characters.

Smashwords eBook publishing does not require any description and, like Amazon, they allow you to write a 4,000 character description for distribution of your book to Apple’s iBook store, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, Yuzu, Blio and Inktera plus it includes library distribution via OverDrive, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, Gardners (Askews & Holts and Browns Books for Students), and Odilo.

hack

In an earlier post, I discussed writer’s block. One thing to do rather than giving in to the malady is to work on your book description. It may evolve as you write, but sooner or later you are going to need to write it. That little bit of a break can help you achieve a little progress even if your story is on hiatus.

If your head is swimming already, then you should hire help. We are just getting started. Next time, I will talk about the next thing you need to write. Oh, yes, there is much more to come.

Ready for help? Contact me at contact@thinkfastwritefast.com.

#thinkfastwritefast

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