Posted in Writing tips

Get ready for your New Year’s resolution to write

There are only 16 days left before you’ll be making another New Year’s resolution. I don’t mean the kind where you say you’ll give up cigarettes (again) and only last until the Easter break, or give up chocolate and then notice there’s still Ferrero Rocher  left over after Christmas and you can’t waste it. I mean a serious resolution as a writer.

Here are a few examples:

  • Finish my book-length manuscript.
  • Complete at least four articles a month.
  • Start an ideas book and use those ideas.
  • Research a non-fiction book and set a deadline for completion.
  • Establish a filing system that really works.
  • Buy a new computer.
  • Join a writers’ network.
  • Edit and re-write your manuscript and flesh out the characters.
  • Blog at least once a fortnight.
  • Redesign my website and market my writing better.
  • Find a new slant on an old idea more regularly.
  • Call myself a Writer.

While your defining your resolution there are other things you need to consider as you take on another year as a writer:

  • Give yourself limitations by setting realistic goals that will work in with the rest of your life.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself if you came to writing late. If you’re over 50 there’s still plenty of time to establish yourself. Don’t rush your writing.
  • Give yourself time to read. Writers need to be avid readers.
  • Don’t give up on publication. Just because you can’t get an agent or you’ve submitted to enough publishers to wallpaper your hall with rejection slips, doesn’t mean you should give up. Other alternatives are smaller publishers who can provide subsidy publishing and print on demand, or go it alone and self publish. Otherwise just keep sending the manuscript out until an acceptance slip arrives instead of a rejection slip.
  • Remember that not everyone will support you. Some may be more into Rugby League and Cricket, others may be jealous that you are doing something as creative as writing. Most will just not GET IT! If your family and friends support your quest – lucky you! If they don’t just become your own greatest fan and believe in yourself. You can also join a writers’ network and have like-minded people support you, such as Linked In.
  • Study writing, creativity, journalism, blogging, networking, marketing and anything else that will help you succeed as a writer.

Good luck and may your New Year‘s resolution actually be resolved.

My resolution is to revise my manuscript until I laugh, cry, empathise with and applaud my characters.

Posted in Marketing books

Publicity and marketing differences in books

Marketing requires directly approaching your potential customers and needs a budget. It includes the cost of printing things such as business cards, posters, bookmarks, press releases etc. plus the cost of hours of labour (your marketer’s time). Writing book releases, posting on websites, blogs and other networking, corresponding with customers, dealing with bookstores, setting up signings, etc. are all part of marketing.

Paid advertising would also come under the marketing banner as would book cover design and the blurb. The cover is often the first point of sale. Secondly, a potential customer will turn over the cover and read the blurb.

Publicity is a different. Publicity is media focussed and usually unpaid. It’s gaining media coverage at little or no expense. This can be via newspapers, magazines, radio, websites and sometimes even television. It can be in the form of interviews and reviews or even news reports if your book topic is relevant.

An example of publicity: an author has written about a hero dog in a children’s book and a when a fire destroys the author’s house, the dog alerts the sleeping man and makes him get out of the inferno. This is news and a slant to publicise the book, the author (victim) and the subject (dog hero).

An example of marketing: a children’s author creates colouring-in pages of characters in her book and hands them out at a primary school she is doing a reading at. Because she has the name of the book and where it can be purchased at the bottom of each sheet this is good marketing. She’s also hit her target audience. Once the children’s pictures are coloured in they’ll probably take them home and mum or dad will pin them up. If they look at it and like the characters they’ll read the information and hopefully buy the book for the child.

Publicists help build a name for the author and the book and marketers endeavour to sell the book. Sometimes the two overlap but both are needed for the success of any book. Authors can take on these roles themselves but most publishing houses should provide a little of both and at least guide authors in how they can market and publicise their books.

This is why I started the Zeus Publications newsletter and blogs, so I can give authors helpful information to use in all aspects of being an author.

Any suggestions let me know.