~ Interview by Kimberly Farris
Today we’re very lucky to have Lindsay and Madeline from Beyond Novel visiting the blog to share their thoughts on the publishing industry.
1. What is your opinion on some of the publishing houses telling their clients not to worry about going outside of their comfort zone by utilizing Facebook and Twitter?
While we completely understand authors not go wanting to go out of their comfort zones, the reality is that the industry is constantly changing and you have to change with the times or be left behind! The industry isn’t what is was ten years ago, or even five years ago. What we recommend, if you’re introverted, or just not completely at ease with social media, is to create a persona that you’re comfortable sharing with your readers. You don’t have share too much if you don’t want to, perhaps stick to five to ten topics you feel interested in discussing and run with those. While being online is essential, when you do commit to social media, it is important to maintain consistency. Stay active; it’s part of the role of being an author in this day and age.
2.What are some mistakes or missteps you’ve seen authors make while promoting their books or networking?
A misstep we see consistently, is authors filling their post with relatively empty content. It is easy to fall into this trap, specifically on Twitter where it is so easy to just re-tweet. Taking the extra time to add thoughts of your own is crucial. Make sure to add original content that people will want to see. Don’t bother with blank statements such as, “Check out my blog post.” Aim for your posts to be 80% content and 20% push, asking your readers to do something, go read something, go vote on something. Stay active and maintain engagement by being active and offering a glimpse of the person behind the screen.
3. How soon should an author start promoting an upcoming release? For example, if the release date is more than three months away?
Major planning should be started around around 5 months before the release date. By three months before you should have a plan in place, a thorough strategy, and a true understanding of what’s going on. Something to keep in mind, even if you don’t have a release, you always have to maintain your presence. Never disappear!
4. What social media tools do you recommend writers use? Avoid?
If you are going to choose three social media sites to be on absolutely, without a doubt, go with Facebook, GoodReads, and Twitter. That’s where people are and in our experience, those are three most comprehensive and easy to use. Just be careful about linking everything together. Your message on Facebook should be different from what you are saying in 140 characters on Twitter. Also, the biggest advice we can give to you about social media, is when someone writes to you, respond. It is really important, though, to know your reading community and know where they spend their time online. If your readers are hanging out on Shelfari, then by all means, you should be there too!
5. Are newsletters effective at all or are they just a waste of time?
We are personal fans of newsletters and believe they can absolutely be effective. However, the content has to be worthwhile, and the subject line has to be catchy, or else no one will ever open them!
6. Blog tours– yay or nay?
Without a doubt, yay! Participating in a blog tour gets your name out there, lets your engage with your readers in a unique way, can allow you to tap into new audiences, and maintains engagement. When planning a blog tour, do your research, or hire an expert, who knows the community, knows which blogs to tap into, and can offer some sound advice on where your time will be best spent. It’s important that the author feels as though they have had a strong ROI (return on investment). Meaning the time that they have spent to create the original content is then actually read by a decent amount of people, and that some of those said people respond back with thoughtful comments or questions.
7. Are there any promotional items writers should not waste their time or money on?
Book trailers, hands down. So not worth the time, energy, or money. With that being said, remember you know your audience/readers best. If this is something that you have had success with in the past, go ahead use what works.
Thank you Lindsey and Madeline.
When working with clients, Beyond Novel takes into account who you are, your brand, and where you are in your career. We specifically and meticulously tailor every campaign to be a completely unique and personalized package. The answers provided here are based on our general industry prospective, rather than from an individual client basis.
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