Category Archives: Marketing

It’s here, now the real work begins #nextbook

I got home this afternoon to find two boxes on my doorstep. Inside…

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Which means I get to sign my new books and start to get them out there. It’s so exciting, but also brings a load more work. I need to market my books and I haven’t had time to do anything. Will be a few long nights, but I am now working on a press release, poster and other marketing ideas. This is one of my least favourite parts of writing, mainly because I have no idea what I am doing. Still there is no point in writing if I don’t get people to read my books. Does anyone have any tips for me???

Would love to hear, for now though I need to get back to work. More soon – have fun!

Wrapping up May #amwriting

So I am pretty much done with the Marketing blogs. We’ve looked at quite a bit and I hope people have found it useful. I thought I’d finish this month’s blogs with one final and effective marketing tip. Social media is great if you know how to use it. However you can waste a lot of time, so do what you are really able to do:

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All that is great, but the single most effective way to actually market a book is to release another. Yep my second book sold more copies of my first and the third did that for both. So now I need to get number four out. Which means less marketing and more editing for now!
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Yep back to it and I will work on creating my own secret bookshelf full of my own books and anthologies. World domination here I come… well okay just book number four for now and a handful more anthologies. Which does mean that by the end of 2014 my stories will be in over ten different books. Yay pretty excited about that.

Looking forward June is the start of winter and closing in on the middle of the year. So I thought I’d look at some writing inspirations. Chewie will be book blasting with his news throughout the month too and Stitch has a few interview or review spots free. Remember to contact me to be involved in Stitch Says or Chewie’s News. I am also happy to take a guest blogger or two with what inspires them to write. As always have fun!

Web Pages #wheredoIstart

Enhanced Author Webpage… is another phrase I never thought I’d use in a sentence. It is a web page that links to all your links, has videos, press releases and basically everything you need to promote your work. My webpage is a working process. I have a husband who is good at doing these things. This is great because I have no idea. Although having now set up this blog I think I am starting to understand how they are set up. However I don’t have the time to fiddle around with stuff. Unfortunately my Husband is also busy so changes don’t happen quickly. However he is working on it so I will be launching my new enhanced author web page very soon.

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Some of the things it will include are:
Links – to all my social media (which are also attached to this page)
Links – to my books and where to buy my books
A bit about me and my books – what inspired me to write them?
Photos of events, videos of my books and hopefully some activities for teachers and children. I’m not sure how to put these on there yet. Still ironing out some kinks. Still it will be great and lots of fun. I will also link to all the groups and challenges I take part in, including the Anthologies I have had stories written in. This will be really cool once it’s up and running.
What do you like to see on an author web page???
Would love to see some links in the comments. Also thinking of doing some webpage reviews on my Stitch Says blog. What do you think? Have Fun!

Digital Footprint #getyourbookoutthere

I recently had an assessment of my digital footprint. What is that??? Well a few months ago it was a term that sounded more like some strange dinosaur tracking device… actually that gives me a story idea. Any way back to the digital footprint. Apparently it’s how well your name and book are spread across the internet.
So you can have an independent assessment – this one was free. Which basically means someone sits on Google and looks up your name, book and all your links. They do a bit more than that they analyse what works and how well things are connected.
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I did pretty well. Here is some of the feedback for my book and author name.

Google Ashley Howland and any of my books – this time I focussed on Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist.
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My feedback was:
Web page – good, it comes up when you Google my name and the domain name (ahowland.org) is clear and easy to get to. It also links to all my social media, book trailers and other sites.
Pinterest – works well, boards have good presence, need to gain more followers.
Face book – my author page has over 1800 likes (yippee and thanks you to everyone) which is very cool. They also like the fact that I have pages for each of my books. Of course I only use the Obi the Super Puppy Page regularly. I actually set these up after the previous digital footprint assessment.
I also did well with the Author profile on Amazon, my Good reads Profile, Twitter and have a good start in collecting reviews.
They liked my blog – although I think they were looking at the old blog, not this one which I need to link to my webpage. My web manager (husband) is getting on to that and hopefully I will have the new page up by the end of the month. More about Web pages later.
Okay so that was a pretty good assessment. The things I need to improve on. I need more reviews, not just on Amazon, but Goodreads, Barnes and noble etc. So if any of you readers out there would like to review my work please let me know!!!! I also need to begin building my presence on Google+. I do actually have a profile, but haven’t waster much time here. I guess that will me a goal for this year as I delve further into the world of social media and marketing. There were a few other things, but overall I am happy. This is the second time I have done this and it’s good to see the changes I have made have improved my digital footprint. Still and possibly always a working process. So does this sell books???
We’ll let you know – in the mean time have fun!

Blogging about blogging #itsablog #getwriting

I have to say the single best way to market your books is to write. Write more books, write interviews, write reviews, write, write and write. Which to me means blogging. I never thought I would say that. Three years ago I didn’t even know what a blog was. Now I blog every week, crazy… still it’s great for so many reasons. You can just write, not worry about editing, participate in challenges and make new connections. It is an awesome avenue to learn and develop your craft. However it is also about building your connections. My blogs have been great for all those reasons. However there is another interesting side line to this. The Stitch Says blog that I started (now complete with Chewie’s News) has increased my profile dramatically.
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Through participating with other authors and interviewing, reviewing and promoting their work I have directed many more people to my other social media accounts.
This is cool, so I say to all authors out there lets help each other. We can interview, have guest posts on blogs, review people’s work. Basically if we promote each other and in turn promote ourselves then the job can be more efficient and lots of fun.

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So having said that remember Stitch Says is always open for more interviews, reviews and guest posts. I also would love to connect with more authors who do the same. We need to have a blog party… working on that idea. Think we could have a lot of fun.
Any way if you want to join me in promoting your own work, the work of others or support me in marketing my work email me at Ashley@ahowland.org

Looking forward to meeting more people soon! Have Fun!

You Twit Face #socialmedia

Yes I am a You Twit Face although I don’t actually spend a lot of time on you tube. Any way here are my three favourite social media locations for book marketing:
1. Amazon Author Profile – it’s where I get to be a real author. My blog, twitter and face book are all linked. I have some listmania lists and a few So You Think You Can posts – I need to do more of these. I also do reviews of other books. Why is this important? Well to tell you the truth the best way I have found to get more followers is to help other people. Reading and reviewing is also a great way to improve your own writing. I love the Amazon profile – all my books are right there with links to purchase. This is something all authors should look at. I need to do more with it and this is definitely an aim for the rest of the year.
http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO

Author Ashley Howland
Author Ashley Howland

2. Pinterest – This is a great way to visually market your work. You can put up inspirational photos, interests, research photos, event photos and so much more. I think it is something people can use in a lot of different ways, plus it’s quick and easy to look at. I like this better than Instagram simply because you can set up your boards in themes. For example I have a board for each of my books, one for my blog – Stitch Says, cool things I like, things that inspire me and of course my author board. All posts can be linked to twitter and face book.

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3. Face Book – Alright it is a favourite although it can also waste a lot of time. However there are some great things about Face Book. It’s easy to set up a page (author page or a book page). Of course the best pages are the ones you are posting on regularly so having one for each book is a bit time-consuming. Not saying it isn’t worth it, but maybe it’s better to keep to an author page or a series page…
Okay but the best bit about face book is not necessarily about marketing. It’s actually about learning, connecting and being part of a community. Join groups and be active in those groups. From here you can get reviews, interviews, participate in challenges, meet other authors, find out about courses, freebees, enter competitions, share information and have people share your work. So that’s the best bit of Face book. I am lucky and am a member of some really great groups. Which challenge me to keep writing, editing and marketing. You can learn so much from other people.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshleyHowland
Chapter Book Challenge 2014

I guess I should add a fourth for favourite which is obviously blogging!!!! I love my blogs, never thought I would say that. Anyway I will blog more on blogging soon – have fun!

Social Media – Where do I start? #marketingbooks

There are so many different ways to market you book without leaving your study. Di any of them work? Well we’ll explore that a bit later. However let’s just have a look at social media in general. You can have Twitter, Face Book, Blogs, Amazon profiles, good reads profiles, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn profiles, Google + and oh so many more things. Can you manage them all? Actually it’s not too hard once you know how. Simply because they can all be linked. So one simple tweet can actually spread across all forms of social media. That’s great once they are all set up. It also means you need to be aware of what you are posting and who potentially can read your information. You don’t want to have a rant and rave about something and lose all your followers.

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Here’s some dos and don’ts for social media:
Do:
1. Take the time to set everything up so it is all linked
2. Have a consistent brand where possible (colours, photos, names etc – still a working process for me)
3. Post regularly – keep it interesting
4. Share other people’s posts – great way to gain new followers
5. Participate in discussions

Don’t
1. Have things linked to a personal page – keep that separate
2. Just market your work continuously
3. Make negative comments on other people’s links
4. Spend more time marketing than writing

That’s a quick guide from what I have discovered. Over the next few blogs I will look at a couple of my favourite social media places – although not all of them are effective for marketing. You need to have a broader scope than just selling your books any way. In the mean time you can follow some of my links to see different sides of me as a writer and of course more pictures of the dogs! Have Fun.

Getting out and about #marketingyourbook

One way to sell your book is to get out and spread the word. This can be difficult. It means finding ways and places that will let you sell hard copies of your book. It also means you need to publically do the selling. Some ideas are school visits, book launches and going to markets. Now I haven’t done all of these. However I have had a book launch.

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I did this at a local community library and donated my books to them for helping me. It was lots of fun. I did a reading, had my writing buddy – Stitch along too. We also celebrated Stitch’s third birthday. This was scheduled in the school holidays right after a free craft event. This meant there were lots of kids around. I sold quite a few books that day – yay!!!!
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Actually I am looking forward to getting my next book out there so I can do it again.
There are some things you need before doing any hands on marketing. You have to give out stuff to promote your work. Flyers, business cards, post cards, information are all cool, but if you are a children’s author you need cool things. Stickers are great. Magnets work well. I really want to do book marks next. Of course this all costs money. You don’t need to spend a lot; there are ways to get things done cheaply. However make sure they look good. There is no point handing out 500 things if the email address has a line through it or the website is wrong. Get it right.
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I would love to hear some experiences from other authors about marketing their work in person… Feel free to comment here, let’s get some chatter going and help each other out. Have fun!

Marketing Madness #sellingbooks

I know there are lots of people out there that assume an author simply writes a book. Not that there is anything simple about that, but the whole process is harder than any one expects. Once the book is published the real hard work starts!
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So how do you market your work? What are the options?
First up there is in person marketing:
• Book launches
• Flyers
• Merchandise
• Letter box dropping
• Market stalls
• Events

Then there is the world of social media:
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There are almost endless ways to utilised social media. Some I am going to explore include:
• Blogging
• Face book
• Twitter
• Pinterest / Instragram
• You tube
• Google+
• LinkedIn
• Amazon

There are other ways to market your work including:
• Interviews
• Reviews
• Radio
• Ads
• Television?

Have I missed anything? Would love some conversation about this – have fun!

Marketing Mysteries #marketing #partofawriterslife

Here we go the biggest learning curve for any author. MARKETING! So much to learn and not something that comes naturally. I find a lot of authors are like me, we have great inspirational thoughts, but don’t tend to be too good at selling our selves. That’s mainly because we would rather be writing. I know I would any way. Then of course it’s all the marketing mysteries. How is it possible that in a few short years there became such a plethora of social media tools??? All of which could be beneficial to selling your book. If only you knew how to use them all and had the time to get them all up and running. Life used to be so much simpler!

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I guess this was not part of becoming an author I had really thought about. I’ve thought about it now that’s for sure. So this month I am going to share some of the things I do, things I have learnt and things I need to learn. Along the way I am also going to plug my own social media and books. No shame attached to that it is after all why I write!!!!

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So join me for the month of may and as always have fun!!!