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Monday, September 11, 2017

Digital Media Kit For Authors & Book Publishers


Blogging

A blog is a great way to include a lot of in-depth information about both yourself and your book. Readers and potential readers will visit your blog looking for excerpts of your book, or more of your personal writings.


Getting started: First, choose your blog platform. Most writers opt for Wordpress, Blogpress, or Tumblr. Each have their pros and cons, and it generally depends on the user’s preference as to which is right for them.
  • Wordpress is very industry-standard, and widely used. It is user-friendly and offers great stats as to counts on visitors, location of visitors, and when your page has been shared and by whom.
  • Blogpress is more customizable, especially if you’re looking to create more dynamic layouts, and includes the stats.
  • Tumblr is incredibly user-friendly, and very little to no HTML knowledge required. Tumblr offers stats, which only cover followers instead of hits from general visitors. Tumblr also offers “notes,” which show how many times a post has been liked or shared, and posts can be re-blogged by your followers. Visiting each page and taking a virtual tour can give you a better idea of which platform is right for you.

What to post: This is your platform to give your readers descriptive, in-depth information on what to expect with your book. Share excerpts of your book, your own personal writing, short stories, a full book synopsis, written articles, or book reviews, for example. If posting an excerpt or book review, make sure to include a link to where they can purchase it.  Make sure to post anywhere between 2-4 times per week. Your blogs shouldn't be essay-length, people like to read a post that's clear and concise, so consider writing between 300-500 words. Readers and potential readers will visit your blog to stay connected to both your writing and your other social media outlets.
Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other. This makes a blog different than say a “static” homepage with information about you.  Blogs, because they are always being updated, are always “living” and because people can comment on them, they are inherently “social.”
An example: David Gutowski’s blog, (http://blog.largeheartedboy.com), includes frequent posts, an “About” section, the ability to translate into foreign languages as well several recurring features.  


For more on blogs, keep reading!
-6 Tips to Help You Write Blogs People Will Read:  https://born2invest.com/articles/tips-write-blogs-people-will-read/




-How to Write an Excellent Blog Post with 5 Professional Tips... https://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-write-a-blog-post.html

YouTube

Creating your own YouTube account will allow you to maintain your own videos, so when you link or post them on your other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you can ensure that the video will still be active, and you can connect your viewers to your other social media accounts.

Before we go further, here’s a link to the 8 best YouTube channels for authors . This can help make sense of YouTube while allowing you to determine what you do and don’t want on your YouTube channel.

Getting started: Go to YouTube’s homepage, and create an account with either your full name, or name and book title. For example, Anne Rice’s YouTube account is “Anne Rice,” which flags her viewers that this is the main location they can go for all her video clips and media. Choose a photo that you used for one of your other social media platforms (Twitter or Facebook) to keep your accounts consistent. One of the most important sections will be your “About” section, which should reflect the information you used in your bio from your Facebook or blog, limited to no more than 3 sentences. YouTube also provides an area for you to include links to your other social media accounts, such as your blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

What to post: Post any clips of your interviews, events, or appearances. Make sure to keep videos to under 10 minutes. If a video of your interview or appearance is at or above 10 minutes, split it into 5 minute segments. Most YouTube visitors will not watch an entire clip if it is above 10 minutes. Make sure to clearly label your videos (for example, “KYYT FM Radio Interview, Part I).

-A personal writing clip is also a great way to generate hype among viewers.
-Video blogging is another great way to connect to your readers and potential readers. You can either put together a Q&A (from questions you have received from Facebook and Twitter) or simply choose one topic and engage in a discussion. Keep your Video blog to around 5 minutes. Topics can include, but are not limited to: Q&A, FAQ, discussion on your writing process, a verbal synopsis of your book, inspirations that led to your book, and background on the subject matter your book explores.

An example: This is the video database for all Anne Rice’s visual media ranging from interviews to personal videos.

A silly example: The Washington Post’s Ron Charles began a very successful YouTube video book review series almost seven years ago. Check them out: https://www.totallyhipvideobookreview.com/

Social media is a way to directly connect to readers, potential readers, and to keep up with the latest news in your target demographic. Engaging in social media is an interactive way to let your readers get to know you and your book on a deeper level – and allows them to get involved in the conversation. Building a solid exchange with your readers and potential readers creates a loyal and lasting readership that can not only boost sales, but promote long-lasting connections that can foster a long-term readership base.

Creating a Website

Do I Need a Website?
Yes! While you may already have (or will soon have) a presence on social media platforms, we recommend that you invest in creating and maintaining a dedicated website. This will serve as your central destination to host all your social media links in addition to sharing news about you and your book. You can also use your website to gather e-mail addresses of people who might be interested in your book to build a virtual mailing list for promotions, events, and updates.

Registering a URL
The first thing you should do is check to see if your desired URL is available. Your URL should be relatively short in length and easy to remember. If it’s available, a variation of your name is ideal. You can also use your book title, but you want to make sure it’s an evergreen destination that makes sense if you continue to write more books. There are several services that, for a minimal fee, can help you register your URL—GoDaddy (http://www.godaddy.com) is a popular resource to do this.


Website Features
A basic layout for an author website might include a homepage; a page dedicated to your book that would include the book cover, description, testimonials, pre-order and buying information, a schedule of events; a bio page featuring your author photo and biography, links to past articles, stories, or features; and a contact page with your e-mail and links to your social media pages. Makes sure it’s a clean design and easy to navigate.

Website and Blog Design Resources
A more customized website can help present a creative and professional “online calling card” to readers. If you are interested in building a website for yourself or you would like your blog to feature custom graphics or a more intense design beyond the templates these platform offers, we are happy to recommend freelance designers whom we or our clients have worked with in the past. Rates will vary depending on the scope of the project. 

Below are the key elements for an author website. These elements can be included as individual pages or as sections of a single page design.

Website Elements:
  • Book Section: Include an image of the book, a brief synopsis, and order buttons linking to the major online retailers (Amazon, B&N, BAM).
  • Author Bio
  • Testimonials/Endorsements: Highlight advance praise for the book.
  • Media/Press: Includes contact info for press inquiries and links to recent coverage (previous coverage can be categorized by media type as the list grows - TV, radio/podcasts, articles, etc.).
  • Contact: You can use a single contact form or provide separate emails for media inquiries, speaking opportunities and general questions.
  • Social Media Links: LinkedIn, Twitter, FB, etc. Where no personal account exists, we suggest linking to your corporate accounts.
Optional Website Elements:
  • Blog: A blog can help portray an author as a thought leader/influencer.
  • Speaking/Appearances: This section often includes a brief pitch, video examples, endorsements from previous engagements, potential topics, and contact info.
  • Video Intro: Video content can be a powerful way to introduce a book website.
  • Book Excerpts: Excerpts can be implemented in several ways. They can be posted on a blog, included within the book section, or sent via email to incentivize users to subscribe to a mailing list.
  • Email Sign Up Form: MailChimp provides an easy solution for adding a signup form to your website
  • Privacy Policy: This page is required if you're collecting users' personal info (e.g. emails). There are several websites that will help you create a privacy policy from scratch: RocketLawyer, IUbenda, FreePrivacyPolicy
Tracking Tools:
  • Google Analytics
  • Amazon Affiliate Program: When linking users from the website to your Amazon book page we recommend using Amazon Affiliate links to track purchases and earn Amazon advertising fees. 

FACEBOOK
As an author, a Facebook Fan Page can supplement your blog or website, or even act as the primary online destination for you and your book. It’s a great way to access a network of potential readers and interact with them via regular updates that can include short posts, links, videos, or photos.

Personal Page vs. Fan Page: If you don’t already have a personal Facebook account you will need to set one up to create and manage your Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com. You can elect to maximize the privacy settings on your personal accounts and use it only to manage your Fan Page, or you can run both pages in tandem. Once you have a Fan Page, you can make your page a true personal page and only accept Friend requests from people you know and use your Fan Page as your public-facing Facebook presence.

Author Page vs. Book Page: Before you create your Fan Page you’ll need to decide whether it should be named after you, your book, or both. Once you have over 100 fans you cannot change the name of your Fan Page, so it’s important to decide in advance. Generally, we recommend that you name the page after yourself—this way, you won’t need to reinvent your Facebook presence with your next project, or manage multiple pages. If you do want to name your page after the book, we recommend you also use your name, i.e. Author Name – “Title of Book” Having both your name and title will help users find your page whether they search for you or the book.

Creating Your Fan Page: If you’d like to keep your personal page and create a Fan Page, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages and follow the steps. You’ll want the category of your page to be Author or Book depending on the situation. If you’d like to replace your personal page with a Fan Page, Facebook now allows you to transfer your current friends and automatically make them fans. Learn more at http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate, but be sure to review how the changeover will affect your personal page.
Custom URL: Once you have a minimum of 25 followers, you can create a custom URL for your page. i.e. www.facebook.com/authorname. Go to http://www.facebook.com/username to see if the name you’d like is available. Note that you cannot change this once you’ve set it up. Having a custom URL for your page is helpful in easily directing to people to your page via e-mail.
Fan Page Basics: You’ll have various Information fields available to you based on the categorization of your page (Author vs. Book). Fill these out as desired. In addition to Information, the basics of your page will be your Wall, where you will post updates and track comments, and Photos, where you will create albums to catalog photo uploads. One of the key advantages of having a Fan Page is the ability to use iFrames on your page to host customized graphics. There are free apps available on Facebook to help you utilize this feature, including Static HTML: iFrame Tabs (http://apps.facebook.com/static_html_plus/). We often customize Fan Pages to include a tab devoted to your book and include information such as where to pre-order or purchase your book, advance quotes, book description, and more. Mastering iFrames can be a little daunting if you’re not familiar with the application, but we can help you get your page up and running.
Updating Your Fan Page: You should be active on your page at least a few times a week. Updates on your Fan Page should be a balance of book-related news rounded out with as much personal information as your comfortable sharing. Updates can include links to videos, stories, or posts that you find interesting or that are related to you or your books. One of the most popular features of Facebook is the ability to share photos. You can create photo albums to catalog book research trips, pictures of your home library, or even your cat. An important part of the Facebook experience involves interacting with your readers, so we encourage you to respond to readers’ comments or questions.
Promoting Your Page: Now that you have this fantastic new Fan Page, you need to get the word out. You can “share” your new page via Facebook Wall posts on your personal page and using the “Build Audience” button via your new Fan Page to invite friends and contacts to like your page. If you already have a blog or website, you’ll also want to link to your Facebook pages—using the official and easily recognizable icons of each platform is suggested.
Privacy: Who can view your account, how much information you share, how much of your information is shared with others--is a hot topic with Facebook. You can customize your Privacy Settings on your personal account, but if you’re using a Fan Page, you’ll want to make it easy to find and interact with.

TWITTER

Twitter is an informative social network made up of 140-character messages called Tweets. It's an easy way to discover the latest news related to subjects you care about.

Why Should I Join?
With more than 300 million user accounts, Twitter is vital to reaching a wider audience. It is a tool for networking with readers, fans and industry professionals. It’s a powerful outlet for sharing, learning and discovering valuable information--as it’s happening.

What Should I Tweet About?
Anything. Your Tweets are your voice, so use your judgment with your messages, as it does reflect your image.  But don't feel pressured. Tweet what you know and what you want you want to share with your followers and the community. Be an observer of what others are tweeting.

Maximizing Your Twitter Platform

  1. Tweet regularly, openly and accurately.
Your followers want to hear from you! The more involved you are with Twitter, the more valuable it will be.

  1. Follow people
It’s best to begin by finding and following other interesting and relevant Twitter accounts. Look for people you know or news sources you read. One great way to do this is to see who those you know are following. Discover more by following sources and trending topics.

  1. Find your following: Retweet, Reply and React.
Tweeting is a two-way street and interaction is the key to gaining followers. Get involved with Twitter chats and respond to your readers.

  1. Consider mentioning other users by their Twitter username (preceded by the @ sign -- @MEDIACONNECT) in your Tweets. This can help you think of what to write, will draw more eyes to your message, and can even start a new conversation.

  1. Use Hashtags
The # symbol used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It’s a great way to categorize tweets and will show up easily in a Twitter Search so people can follow along. (ex: Love reading over the weekend. #fridayreads #books #stephenking #IT #scarysaturday) Now, Stephen King has 3.76 million twitter followers. If you write @stephenking, it will send your tweet to him directly and can be viewed by all those people.

  1. Tweet photos too!
It’s a simple way to enhance your tweet.

  1. Keep track of Twitter talk.
Find out who’s talking about you and what’s happening — by searching. Use the magnifying glass icon to do so.

  1. Promote!
Add a Twitter button on your sites for your fans to easily follow. https://twitter.com/about/resources/tweetbutton

Twitter Tips:
      Be tactful and don’t self-promote excessively
      Engage & Interact: Retweet and/or Respond to questions, replies and direct messages
      Balance the frequency of posts. Too much is too much.
       Use short URLs for links. bitly.com/ offers an enterprise analytics platform. This can help you gauge how many people on Twitter are engaging with your tweets.
      When Retweeting use copy/paste rather than auto Retweet, so there’s room for your comment

Social Media Tool Recommendations 

1.       Buffer: For scheduling posts and getting deeper analytics. You can probably get away with using the “Individual” version which is free and allows access to most of the functionality you’d need.  TweetDeck does this with Twitter.

2.       Quuu: for finding curated content to post based on your audience’s interests (this is a free add-on to Buffer).

3.       Followerwonk: for tracking the best time of day to post for your audience. Also here is a recent study on post timing and how to run tests with your own audience.

4.       BuzzSumo: for finding Twitter influencers to connect with in any industry (based on keyword searches).

5.       Canva: for creating quick sharable visual content.

6.       Qzzr: for creating customized embeddable quizzes with social sharing functionality.

7.       MailChimp: for creating an email subscriber list and custom email campaigns.
TIPS FOR FOLLOWER GROWTH
  1. Post great content:
    • Be an Informer. Aim for information sharing posts over self-promotion. Informers (users who share useful information) have 2x the followers of users who post updates relating mostly to themselves). On Twitter aim for 60% to 80% of your overall posts to contain links to generate the highest percent of Retweets. 
    • Use images. Tweets using pic.twitter.com are 99% more likely to be retweeted.
    • Give things away. 52% of users follow a brand for special offers or promotions. Create special offers, promotions, freebies, and exclusive content. 
    • Post milestones. Posting words like “congratulations” that signal a milestone event in life or business increases engagement and post ranking.  This includes awards, landmark trips, weddings, etc.

  1. Write a professional bio:
    • Identify as an authority. Users who identify as an authority have above average follower counts. Proven authoritative titles include: Official, Founder, Speaker, Expert, Guru, and Author.

  1. Use hashtags:
    • Cash in on daily trends: Tweets with between 1-2 hashtags have 2x the engagement of those without. Tweets that use more than 2 hashtags show a drop in engagement.

  1. Follow new users everyday

  1. Engage with others on the social platforms:
    • Respond Quickly. 52% of people who Tweet your brand expect a response within one hour. If you don’t respond quickly, users are more likely to employ negative word-of-mouth or unfollow you. If you do respond in a timely manner users are more likely to buy, open your ads, and share your content.

  1. Reach out to influencers:
    • Reach out to other thought leaders and feature 10 people on your blog.  They will be happy to share your content with their readers.

  1. Stay active:
Post more often. Users who have tweeted 10,000 times are followed on average by 1,000-5,000 users

8.      Pace posts and avoid bursts. More than half of unfollows are a result of burst posts (too many updates all at once). As a rule, do no post more than 4 links per hour. Schedule posts and avoid the types of content that result in unfollows: politics, mundane topics, or posts/reposts with no personality.


A Guide to Influencer Marketing

You can use influencer lists a few ways. The first is to shadow the social media activities of the influencers. You are positioning yourself to become a similar resource to followers as these users are in their respective categories. It will help to learn the posting habits and best practices employed by these top users. Posting similar content will help attract a similar audience.

Because these influencers are already engaging with your target audience it’s strategic to begin interacting with the content they are posting. Begin contributing to the conversations these influencers are a part of.

You can also use these lists for influencer marketing initiatives. This basically involves getting prominent users to directly promote your product/service/brand to their followers. There is a lot of documentation on this tactic online, but below is a quick rundown.  

The first step is to connect with your target influencers on social media and begin building relationships with them. Read through their posts and get to know the topics they care about. Then share their content, promote their books, and answer their questions. If they do something impressive, give them a compliment. It goes even further if you buy/try their book/service/product and post about it on your channels. Your goal in interacting with influencers early is to establish authentic relationships so they recognize you when you approach them for something specific. 

The next step is to determine how you want to work with an influencer and send them a clear and concise pitch that clearly benefits you both. There are a lot of ways to partner with influencers. It’s best to align your pitch to fit into the context of what influencers are already doing. Below are a few examples:

·         Offer to feature their expert opinions/soundbites on your blog or LinkedIn in a post relevant to their target audience in exchange for social media promotion.
·         Offer them a free copy of your book and request they recommend it to their audience if they enjoy it. Sweeten the deal by offering to recommend their brand/product.
·         Offer to include a link to the influencer’s social channels or website in your next email blast accompanied by a quote from the influencer about the book. Ask them to post the quote on their channels as well.

Be sure to include relevant numbers related to your own audience – traffic, email subscribers, followers, etc. When you partner with influencers offer to do all the heavy lifting (pulling content, designing collateral, making emails, etc.) and then pass it on to the influencer to promote to their audience. You want to make the partnership as valuable and as easy for them as possible.

Influencer-marketing takes a bit of time since it’s about forming relationships. However, it can pay off and generate a lot of exposure for your book. 

DON’T MISS THESE:
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Where do authors go for book PR help?

What actually works in book publicity?

Do most authors make any real money from their books?

Do you really need a book publicist?

Good book publicity is a marathon, not a sprint

Best Author PR Strategy: Cover The Basics

Can you sell at least 10 copies of your book every day for a year?

What Does It Really Take To Hit A Best-Seller List?

10 Lessons For Authors-Turned-Bloggers

Can you market your book for five minutes a day?

Complete Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit for 2017



Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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