Social Media

24 08, 2016

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one blog post

By | August 24, 2016|Social Media, Writing|Comments Off on The journey of a thousand miles begins with one blog post

I have a friend who is deeply passionate about a certain subject. My friend’s spent years reading every book and article written on, and watching every documentary made about, the subject. He’s studied and thought about it deeply. He feels that he now has something to contribute to the global conversation. But, my friend doesn’t have any academic credentials in the subject. He’s not a member of any online (or offline) interest groups. And, he hasn’t yet written any books or articles on the subject. His study has been done mostly in isolation.

He recently asked me if I thought anyone would read books or articles by him on the subject. I had to answer, “I don’t know.” The question was impossible to answer with a definitive yes or no without some knowledge of his potential readers and without having read his yet unwritten writing.

I did have a recommendation, however, as […]

26 01, 2015

Tips for Successful Blogging

By | January 26, 2015|Marketing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on Tips for Successful Blogging

As the marketing specialist for Wheatmark, I have the privilege to work alongside many authors as they take their first steps into the unfamiliar world of blogging and social media. For those individuals with little to no experience in this area, this step toward marketing themselves can feel rather daunting and unattainable. This feeling, however, is not unordinary. Maintaining a blog and staying committed to promoting your brand takes a great deal of effort, but having a persistent attitude and an openness to learning will allow you to be more successful in the long run.

I recently stumbled across an article with a list of valuable tips to help you become a successful blogger. Out of the 19 tips provided, here are five that I believe are the most useful:

1. Make sure you have an About page that represents who you are and what you do.
Who you are is entirely unique, […]

3 01, 2015

5 Things Your Author Website Should Do

By | January 3, 2015|Authors Academy, Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on 5 Things Your Author Website Should Do

I could have titled this article “Five Things Your Author Website Should Have” instead of “Five Things Your Author Website Should Do.”

And it would have been a very different article.

When we market our message or services, it is a very common error for us to think in terms of features instead of benefits. It does not matter how many bells and whistles your website has if they aren’t doing anything in terms of accomplishing your website’s goals.

Does your website have goals? A reason to exist? If you’re asking the question, What should my website do? you’ll be closer to thinking in terms of goals than if you’re asking, What should my website have?”

Only you can come up with a goal for your website, but I’m listing five below that you should consider.

1. Establish or solidify your credibility as an author or expert in your niche.

What would communicate this goal to […]

10 11, 2014

What has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

By | November 10, 2014|Authors Academy, Marketing, Publishing, Social Media|Comments Off on What has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

I came across this article this weekend.

It’s about how Tom Hanks got his first piece of short fiction published… in The New Yorker.

Now, in case you aren’t already aware of this, getting a short story published in The New Yorker is pretty much the ultimate accomplishment for a writer.

Many authors submit stories for months, or years, or even decades… and never get their work published.

But not Tom Hanks. Did I mention that this was his first published short story?

What exactly has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

“Duh, Grael,” you’re probably saying to yourself. “He’s Tom Hanks!”

My point exactly.

Tom Hanks is a famous actor, so he’s able to get his fiction published by The New Yorker his first time out.

What this phenomenon refers to is the idea of “platform,” which Tom Hanks most certainly has.

The New Yorker knows that publishing Tom Hanks’ fiction will help sell magazines.

They know people will […]

12 10, 2014

A social media site that costs nine thousand dollars to join?

By | October 12, 2014|Authors Academy, Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on A social media site that costs nine thousand dollars to join?

A social media site for the 1%? No, this isn’t a joke. It’s real!

You can check out the article about it here.

I didn’t link to this article just to shock you, or to piss you off.

(Though if you’re signing up for the site as others are reading this, I tip my hat to you, Richie Rich!)

I linked to this article to remind you of the incredible power of targeted marketing.

This is marketing that is targeted at a particular audience—not just “everybody.”

“My book is for everybody,” authors say to me.

No, it’s not.

Every book has an ideal target audience, an “avatar reader.”

This is the kind of person who would buy your book based on the title alone.

For example: The Rich Person’s Guide to Social Media—How to Keep the 99% from Cluttering Up Your Online Feeds

Or: The Thrifty Buyer’s Guide to Coupon Clipping—Save an Average of $20 Every Time You Visit the […]

25 09, 2014

Can a book change your life for the worse?

By | September 25, 2014|Marketing, Publishing, Social Media|Comments Off on Can a book change your life for the worse?

Last week we discussed life-changing books.

For most people, that means “life-changing for the better.”

But is it possible for a book to change your life for the worse?

This article from the Sunday Book Review in The New York Times considers the question.

For my part, I love the idea that a book can be a bad influence—just like it can be a good influence.

I also happen to believe that it’s true!

But that’s not what this article got me thinking about, which is the subject of influence itself.

Books are perhaps the most influential media out there.

They can convince people to dress up like characters on Halloween (and on other days, too.)

They can convince people to make major lifestyle changes, like changing their diets or beginning an exercise program.

They can convince people to drop everything and go on a spiritual quest.

They can even start wars.

There’s just one problem: most of the time, you […]

25 07, 2014

6 simple steps for authors to find Twitter followers

By | July 25, 2014|Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on 6 simple steps for authors to find Twitter followers

One of the easiest ways for you to build your digital author platform is with Twitter. Using simple search techniques you can find people who are actively engaged in your niche. Since they are already using Twitter, once you make a connection, you can be assured that some of them will help you spread your reach even further across the Internet.

As you set out to establish your online identity as an author or future author, it’s important to start building your Twitter followers as soon as possible. Maybe all you have come up with is the title for a book. As long as you have a basic idea of your niche, you can start making important connections on Twitter.

To get started, here are six ways to add followers:

1. Start by simply letting Twitter search your email address book and show you people on Twitter you already know. You may have […]

14 07, 2014

Canva: A powerful social media tool for authors

By | July 14, 2014|Design, Social Media|Comments Off on Canva: A powerful social media tool for authors

Canva is an amazing online program that allows you to create professional social media images for free with just a few clicks.

You can create invitations, advertising and promotional projects that include printed materials (up to 2,000 prints), product packaging, presentations, film and video presentations, commercials, catalogs, brochures, and probably anything else you can think of. There are some restrictions (do check out its “One-Time Use License Agreement”) but for the most part almost anything is free to use and free to share.

Melanie Perkins, cofounder of Canva, announced recently that “100,000 new designs were created every week by more than 330,000 users.” So far avid users have created more than 1.5 million designs using Canva.

With over a million free images, tons of professional templates and 100+ poster-ready fonts, there’s absolutely nothing to stop you from producing memes, photo collages, Facebook photos with call outs and social media banners and buttons. If […]

19 06, 2014

Help! Today I Have Nothing to Write About

By | June 19, 2014|Social Media, Writing|Comments Off on Help! Today I Have Nothing to Write About

I don’t think for a second that you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your next book or what to write about on your author blog and website. If you weren’t a writer, that would be one thing, but since you are, coming up with content for your audience comes more easily to you than to others. Quite the contrary: many writers suffer from writing too much.

There are, however, days when you feel like you have nothing of value to say, nothing to contribute to the Great Conversation that’s taking place in cyberspace.

In the Authors Academy, we drill into members the importance of regularly publishing quality content on your blog, so that your target audience (with ample help from search engines and social media shares) could find your message more easily.

As you build your digital author platform this way, by writing on your blog about your passion and […]

16 06, 2014

How to create a strong social media profile as an author

By | June 16, 2014|Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on How to create a strong social media profile as an author

Part of a successful digital author platform is a consistent brand image and active participation in several relevant social media networks such as Facebook or Goodreads.

Your personal brand should be consistent across every platform. This means you use the same name, colors, images, and biography for each account. For example, you don’t want to use your name on Facebook and the title of your book as your Instagram account.

If you plan to write more than one book, it is especially a good idea to go with your personal brand and get your name out there instead of just your book’s title. This personal brand will carry you through different book titles, speaking engagements, book tours, and other projects that will happen during your entire writing career.

For your author website, choose a domain name that has your name in it., and not one that is your book title. Then make sure […]