I promised you secret London meetings at the end of my last post (and yes, I know this is a day late and I've kept you all in horrible suspense. Sorry. I was busy doing Noble Things. I might even tell you about those too later in the month). Anyway, back to those meetings....
First, there was Tea. And Cake. Oh, all right. And Wine.
After that there was an extension to the SCBWI conference in the form of a very convivial authory dinner in London. We'd all had such fun in Winchester, we couldn't bear to let it go--and besides there were a couple of people who'd missed out. Never say we SCBWI-ites don't share. Here we all are:
Now, that's quite enough socialising. Put your serious hats back on and let's talk about your next authory booksale generating tool, which is:
An Author Blog
You're here already, so you know what this particular author blog looks like--but the million dollar question is: why should you have one? and more importantly for the purposes of this post, how does it 'sell' books?
• An author blog reinforces your ‘Author ID’, which you've already started establishing on your website.
• You can design it to complement your books—I did a very successful series of ‘Mythic Friday Interviews’ earlier this year to promote my ‘Greek Beasts and Heroes’ books. I also run a slightly eccentric but useful writing tips series called 'Writing 101 Productions' in which I talk about how I cope with various aspects of the writer's craft. I can also comment on current events like the ‘Speak Loudly’ campaign against book-banning and other items of book news, as well as sharing exciting things that happen in my writing life. Short blog posts are just fine, by the way!
• You can run competitions and book giveaways which will all generate interest in you and your books. Often your publisher will be happy to provide free books with which to do this.
• You can publish ‘teasers’ from new work, put up poetry (I have a 'Scribble City Central Poetry Page'), use your blog as a campaigning platform—whatever floats your boat.
How will it sell actual books? Again, you can ‘monetize’ (that really is a HORRIBLE word) your blog by linking to Amazon Associates and having your titles up on a widget (look at the top of this page if you don't know what that is) and available to buy at the click of a button. The more places your books are visible on the internet, the better. Other than that, it’s about people getting to know you—keeping yourself present and current in the media stream.
Part 4 (coming soon) will involve the first of the social networking bits of the 'selling-your-books-and-your- author-self' platform. I know this will be terrifying for a lot of people—and I should warn you now, it will eat your soul if you let it! Mwahahaha!