Third Thursday Outtakes

The WLT had another great Third Thursday “Build Your Buzz” panel on Aug. 19. Publicists/marketing mavens Marilyn Carter and Lisa Lawrence joined author Chris Barton for “Your PR Team.” Here are some quick outtakes (note the list of resources at the bottom of this post!):

  • Tips for developing your marketing plan:
    • Who’s your audience?
    • What’s your product (book)?
    • What’s your objective/purpose?
    • What’s your elevator pitch describing you and your book?
    • What media and information channels can help you reach your desired audiences?
    • What’s your brand (i.e., who are you as a writer)?
  • The elevator pitch: Lisa recommends making it so concise that other people can pass it on.
  • Audience: Think of this in terms of primary audience and then secondary ones. Marilyn recommended keeping a running list and jotting down any possible audiences whenever you think of them. This list should be fairly long.
  • Brand: The panel agreed that your brand as an author should be you rather than your individual books; the books should be aspects of your brand. Chris put it this way: “Your book is a secondary medium that supports your primary medium, you the author.”
  • Building a web site: It’s important that every writer have one; you can hire someone to create it for you or do it yourself with tools from sites like GoDaddy and HostGator.
  • Frequency of updating your blog/web site: Chris updates his blog once a week; he keeps what he calls his “Sunday morning marketing time,” and writes his updates on Sunday mornings.
  • Marketing materials: It’s a great idea to have business cards, bookmarks, postcards, that you can hand out.
  • Key online tools for authors:
    • Web site
    • Blog
    • A FaceBook page (and make sure it’s about you the author rather than just your book; otherwise, you’ll have to rebuild your audience for your next book).
    • Twitter
  • Resources for authors:
    • BlogTalkRadio — for starting your own online radio show
    • Google News Alerts — a tool for monitoring news about other authors, books, your area of expertise,  and yourself
    • Animoto — a great site for posting free video online
    • Help a Report Out — a site for pitching yourself as a possible expert to journalists looking for sources
    • ProfNet — a paid site where you can be listed as an expert for journalists and writers
    • HootSuite — a social media dashboard that allows you to update Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. from one place; you can also schedule tweets in advance and monitor your results.
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