Book Update

A guide for writers with or without published work. A comprehensive resource that every writer should have in their library in order to learn how to publish, promote, and market themselves on the Internet.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

[Build Book Buzz] Pinterest for Authors: How to Promote Your Writing on the Fastest Growing Website Ever via @sandrabeckwith

Tips, tactics and tools for generating media awareness and other buzz about your books.

June 13, 2012

In This Issue:

Buzzing Around

Hi sylvia,

Digital Publishing Virtual SummitThere's a lot to learn about book marketing, and not nearly enough time to both learn and implement what we discover. That's why I'm always looking for ways to take advantage of professional development opportunities while doing something else - my version of a two-fer. 

I've been driving to my Mom's house two hours away quite a bit lately doing some of that "trying to keep her in her house because that's what she wants" caregiving that so many of us here are familiar with. When I'm on the road, I listen to educational audio recordings that I get through iTunes or professional organizations I'm a member of, including the Association of Ghostwriters founded by my pal and goal buddy Marcia Turner. 

I'm particularly excited about an upcoming opportunity to learn, and not just because I participated in the event earlier this week as a speaker about virtual book tours in the book marketing track. The Digital Publishing Virtual Summit that started June 12 is a two-week, no-charge way to learn more about how to create, publish, and sell your book (or another digital product). I'm planning on listening in live to the presentations or downloading them for my next road trip or evening walk. With speakers like Joel Friedlander and Roger Parker, I know I'll learn a lot! I hope you can join me - you can't beat the price, right? 

I hope your week is happy, productive, and rewarding!



Expert View:
Pinterest for Authors: How to Promote Your Writing on the Fastest Growing Website Ever
By Chris Robley

Pinterest - isn't that a website for travel planners, lovers of delectables, and vintage-clothing aficionados? Well, yes; but many authors are finding creative ways to promote their books using the social scrapbooking site, too. 

10.4 million people currently use Pinterest, and that figure is climbing fast; some data shows that Pinterest is the fastest growing standalone website ever. 

So what, exactly, is Pinterest? 

Pinterest is a combination of a digital pin-up board and a scrapbook. It's a bit like Twitter, only for pictures and videos instead of 140-character tweets. From your Pinterest page you can create different boards for different interests - one for book covers, one for photos of characters in your book, one for pictures of you and your readers, one for photos of your writing desk, etc. Plus, other people can pin things to your page (if you allow them to become "contributors" to a particular board), which encourages more sharing and interaction. 

How can authors use Pinterest as a promotional tool? 

Well, if you've spent much time on social networks, you know that shouting "Buy my book!" every couple days is a sure way to annoy your followers. You have to be more subtle, more sideways, more creative. Pinterest is a great way to enhance your author "brand," build your platform, and create compelling content that supports your book promotion efforts. And since Pinterest users can create unlimited "boards" for each new interest or topic, you've got options. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a Pinterest board for the main characters or settings in your book. Ask your fans to add photos they think help make those people and places feel real. What does the mysterious hero look like? What about pictures of that icy field where the murder took place? (Note: You'll have to add these fans individually as "contributors" to that particular board before they can pin their own content to it).
  • Give us a behind the scenes glimpse into your process. Show fans your desk, your typewriter or computer, your waste basket of discarded poems, the view outside your window, etc.
  • Get aspirational. Where do you want to travel on your book tour? Where would you love to spend a week writing? Show us the photos! One great example of this is author Priscilla Warner's Pinterest page. She has a board called "My Dream Writing Studios." Amazing photos.
  • Ask for inspiration. You can create boards to bring your previously created characters into 2D. But the process can flow the opposite direction, too. What about asking your readers for help when you're just developing a new story? Are you searching for the right details about pistols to put into your western? Ask for some photos of old guns.
  • Promote your friends and heroes. Social media followers are turned off by constant self-promotion, but pimping books by other folks can go a long way. You're giving solid recommendations to your fans, and the writers you promote will be thankful. 

Here are some basic rules for using Pinterest. If you've been using Facebook or Twitter for a while, the same general guidelines apply.

  1. Stay engaged in the conversation. Don't just post your own content and call it good. You need to re-pin, like, and comment on other people's Pinterest content. Follow the Pinterest boards of writers you admire.
  2. Put the "P" symbol on your site or blog so your readers will know they can also follow you on Pinterest.
  3. Make sure the names of your boards have catchy titles.
  4. Large photos are best. Pinterest is all about the visual. Pick great pics. 

I hope this intro is helpful for anyone just getting started on Pinterest.

Chris Robley is the marketing coordinator for e-book distributor BookBaby. He is also a songwriter and band leader.

Subscribers Will Receive Hefty Discount on My New E-book

I'm very close to introducing my newest book marketing educational product, but I wanted to let you know in advance that when it's done, I'm giving subscribers only a substantial discount on the already low and super affordable price. 

Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book is an e-book available in PDF format. It has that same step-by-step, "here's what you need to know" approach that has made this newsletter and my other educational materials so popular. 

Because it's so important to me that as many authors as possible get this important information (writing a good, coherent press release announcing your book is crucial to your book's success), I'm pricing this book so that everyone can afford it. 

And even though the full price is ridiculously low for the valuable information this book contains, I will be giving you - and only you - a nice discount on the book when it's available. If you know other authors who might be interested in this discount, encourage them to subscribe to this newsletter at http://buildbookbuzz.com this week. It's the only way they will be able to benefit from that discount, too. 

I'll provide more specific information soon!

Register for October 2012 "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" E-course

The June "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" e-course sold out, so it's probably not too early to start thinking about registering for the October 1 - 26, 2012 course! 

There are two sections - one for traditionally published authors and the other for those who have self published. Both emphasize the planning, strategy, tools and tactics needed to get - and keep - your book in the news so that you sell more books. (The course for self-published authors includes a section on how to announce a book's publication and generate reviews.) You'll leave the class with your own book publicity blueprint, tools you can use immediately to get media exposure, and a solid understanding of how to get attention in both traditional and social media worlds. (One of this session's students said that the course has already paid for itself in the first week!) 

The class is taught online in a forum format. There are no scheduled meetings or sessions - you work at your own pace according to your own schedule. I provide very personalized guidance and feedback as you move through the course. 

For details on the original course, "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz," go to http://buildbookbuzz.com/how-to-build-book-buzz-workshop/

For specifics on the self-published authors course, "Book Publicity 101 for Self-Published Authors: How to Build Book Buzz," go to http://buildbookbuzz.com/self-published-how-to-build-book-buzz-workshop/.

About Sandra

Sandra Beckwith is a former publicist who has won several national and regional publicity awards and teaches authors how to generate long-term media buzz for their books. She is the author of three books on publicity, conducts publicity workshops, and writes frequently on small business marketing and management topics. Please visit her book publicity site and publicity blog to learn more.

Build Book Buzz is a free e-newsletter published twice monthly by Beckwith Communications. Please forward this newsletter to anyone. To subscribe, visit www.buildbookbuzz.com. We do not share our mailing list with any individual or organization for any reason.

Need a writer's conference speaker or workshop presenter? Sandra's workshops at the American Society of Journalists and Authors annual conference, the University of Wisconsin Writers Institute, and at other industry conferences share priceless how-to information you won't get elsewhere. Contact her at sb@buildbookbuzz.com for more information.

Build Book Buzz
Sandra Beckwith, Editor & Publisher
Phone: 585-377-2768
Email: sb@buildbookbuzz.com

Beckwith Communications

25 Erie Crescent
Fairport, NY

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