This post is part of a weekly series on YWP, aptly titled “The Writer’s Weekly Wrap-Up”.
Each Sunday, I will endeavour to provide you with a curated list of the best articles I have seen throughout the week that relate to building your platform.
The featured articles cover topics on book marketing and promotion, blogging, social media and self-publishing. (I may even throw in a few inspirational and fun posts, just so that it’s not all work and no play!)
Marketing May Have to Change Its Name
Marketing is simply the process and activities involved in creating awareness for a product or service, typically aimed at a specific group.
And, although there can be many definitions and variations on the theme (based on the intentions and the values of the one actually doing the marketing), the core concept itself isn’t especially unfavourable.
Intuitively it makes sense that there be a mechanism for connecting what you have to offer, to the group you’d like to offer it to.
The issue that arises for many authors is the suspicion and negativity associated with marketing that has evolved over time: smarmy undertones, cheesy or self-serving tactics, and the in-your-face aggressiveness of mediocre marketing strategies gone bad.
But, I think ‘marketing’ has gotten a bad rap.
The theory is sound, it’s the application that is–in many cases–somewhat less than stellar.
But, marketing your work as an author is a must, so if it still makes you feel dirty, just think of it this way:
You have created something that is (ideally) very important to a certain group of people.
It may solve a problem, it may entertain; in some way it will resonate with your (future) readers and provide a benefit.
Part of your job as a writer is to have created this important piece of work. But another part of your job is to ensure that this group is made aware of its existence. (Tweet this idea)
There are all sorts of tools to help you start this conversation (a blog, social media, speaking engagements, etc.), but the ultimate goal is getting your book into the hands of the people who can appreciate it the most.
If you build your platform properly (and market with your readers in mind), you aren’t pushing your book, or trying to convince people to buy it. You’re creating the awareness and the opportunity for the people who want it, to get it.
Do you see the difference?
Whether you call marketing by a different name, or determine your own definition that fits with your style and the audience you’re trying to reach, a shift in perception and approach is required.
Now on to the fabulous featured articles of the week!
On Living Out Loud from Dani Shapiro at DaniShapiro.com
Love this post by Dani, where she eloquently shares the need for writers or creatives to protect themselves from the scrutiny of the outside world so that they can create the truest version of their work.
11 Author Website Must Have Elements from Kimberley Grabas at Your Writer Platform
From the archives, this post provides a list of the essentials to help you design a well thought out author website.
49 Creative Geniuses Who Use Blogging to Promote Their Art from Leanne Regalla at Boost Blog Traffic
A fantastic article from Leanne, giving us the go ahead to shamelessly mine these artists’ sites for ideas on ways to make our own blogs better at promoting our “art”.
50+ Better Questions To Ask Than How To Be More Productive from Charlie Gilkey at Productive Flourishing
Want to jostle yourself out of the rut and get yourself headed in the right direction? Ask yourself a few (or all) of these questions to determine what really needs to get done.
Lizard Brain Much? How to Blog When Everything You Write Sucks, Nobody Reads or Comments, and You Feel Like a Failure from Tea Silvestre at Story Bistro
In her post, Tea takes a close look at how resistance and our “Lizard Brain” prevents us from accomplishing or completing our blogging (or creative) goals.
What “Author Brand” is Really About and How to Discover Yours from Pavarti K. Tyler at Novel Publicity
From genre-benders to literary fiction writers, find out how to begin the process of building your brand and what it is about you and your books that appeals to readers.
How to Blog Your Way Out of the Slush Pile and Onto the Bestseller List from Anne. R. Allen at Anne R. Allen’s Blog
A super informative article by Anne, relating her experiences with blogging, visibility and the benefits of an online presence.
8 Cover Design Secrets Publishers Use to Manipulate Readers into Buying Books from Derek Murphy at CreativeIndie
Derek gives us a behind the curtain peek at the proven tactics and techniques that publishers (and their cover design experts) use to entice readers to buy. If you think that you can just whip something up yourself, you better check out this post…
The Number One Self Development Mistake, and the Fake Growth Addict from Jonathan Mead at Paid to Exist
This one makes you think. There is a difference between real growth, and the need to “fix” yourself. Find out what real growth is all about in Jonathan’s post.
Visual Storytelling: Instagram from Lauren Donovan at Random Notes, Random House
Interested in how you can use Instagram to connect with your readers? Check out this article, which lists some authors knocking it out of the park on this platform.
On Doing the Work from Seth Godin at Seth Godin’s Blog
Participation, taking action, doing–all things that enable you to learn. Watching doesn’t cut it.
How to Find the Right International Markets for Your Book from Sharmeen Akbani Gangat at The Creative Penn
Sharmeen discusses what foreign rights sales are and how to find the right foreign market for your book.
How to Build a (Profitable) Side Business in 11 Simple Steps from Steph Gordon at The Side Hustle Coach
Still don’t think of your writing career as a “business”? You should. Here’s an article to help you get the right mindset.
Is the “Publishers’ Monopoly” Broken? Writing on the Ether from Porter Anderson at JaneFriedman.com
A helpful article summarizing the latest happenings in the industry.
The Path of the Entrepreneur from Laura Simms at Create As Folk
Expecting a straight path on your journey to a successful writing career? It may not be that simple.
Just For Fun
Looking for a way to get your ideas to spread? Watch Bernadette Jiwa, #1 business bestselling author and blogger, as she shares the secret to getting your message heard.
(If you can’t see the video, try here: The secret to spreading ideas: Bernadette Jiwa at TEDxPerth)
And in case you missed it on Twitter, here’s a (remarkably accurate) picture that I shared which describes how Canadians evaluate the weather:
Thanks for reading! And if you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for email updates below so you don’t miss any of the good stuff!