Tag Archive for: author branding

Clicking Our Heels – Promotional Tools – What’s Best?

Promotional Tools – What’s Best?

What is the best promotional tool for
branding? Selling books? Getting readers? Here are some of the opinions of
different Stiletto Gang members.

Shari Randall – This is the eternal question! I think that
when these three aspects work together – writing a great book that gets proper
branding and support and connects with readers – that’s the magic. But how to
do that? I’m still working on it. As a writer, the only thing I can do is try
to write the best book I can.

Dru Ann Love
– I remember authors better once I’ve met them face to face. So branding
yourself whether on social media or with tangible items is key for exposure.
But you have to be consistent. Don’t show me a *fake* you on social
media and when a face-to-face encounters happen, you’re not real.

Judy Penz

– Despite all the recent negativity, I still find Facebook to be a good tool.
And you have to have matching bookmarks for your books. I also love going to
book club meetings, either in person or by an online meeting.

Kay Kendall
– Authors can communicate easily with potential readers by using the
online tools available today. I believe a writer should pick the one (or two)
that she understands and enjoys and then develop a presence on it. Even if
someone is published by one of the big book companies, one still has to do
one’s own publicity. Speaking at nearby bookstores and libraries is useful too,
although few today can afford to do the old-fashioned book tours of old. Social
media covers for that. Using it is a must.

J.M. Phillippe – I think I am still trying to figure this
one out 😛 Sadly, it’s not just “write a book!”


– I think one of the most powerful tools are reader reviews help because they add legitimacy as
well as exposing the book/author to a wider audience. Book bloggers can also be useful for reviews and audience. In terms of branding myself as an author… Of course, since my day job is graphic design, I care about this. My graphics and promo materials all have a consistent graphic look and quality, which I think is important.  But I would say that the author in me who likes to write ALL THE GENRES (ok, maybe not all) rebels against being type cast and overly branded. 

Lynn McPherson – This is a tough question! I’ll be looking
to see what my fellow Stiletto Gang members have to say about this because it’s
something I could use some help with 🙂

– I’m not really concerned with branding. That may be because I
write in several different genres. As far as the best tool for selling books
goes, tell me what it is and I’ll grab it. Word-of-mouth will do it, and we all
do all kinds of things to try to build that word-of-mouth, but I’m not sure
anyone knows how to actually do it. I think I will settle on simply writing the
very best books I know how to write and then trying to get the word out in any
way I can that I have these books out there.

Thorne –
 am all over the genre map in what I write, so
I love brave readers who are willing to try wherever I go

– I like my monthly newsletter to get and maintain connection
with readers.

Mary Lee
Ashford (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey)
– Wow, I
hope someone knows the answer to this question, because I sure don’t! I’m never
sure what works and what doesn’t. However, I can say that the promotional tool
I like the best is meeting readers. Whether in person at a book signing or
conference, or online through a chat or other social media, the opportunity to
meet readers and talk about books is always simply the best!

Debra H. Goldstein
– My social media choice depends on the work I’m trying to promote and the age
of the audience I’m trying to reach, but my best promotional tool if word of
mouth after meeting readers.

Art and the Political

There is some pretty good advice that floats around the Internet that says that fiction writers should refrain from engaging in political debates, and certainly refrain from posting blogs about their own political beliefs. The idea is that writers should strive to remain neutral so as not to take away from the fictional worlds they create (and also not to deter readers who might not agree with them from buying their books). And yet, there is an equal idea that art is inherently political, that our own politics and beliefs are not only reflected in the art we create, but should be, because we owe it to readers to speak our own truths.

In the United States, it is an election year. Politics are everywhere these days — in the news, on social media, at holiday dinners with family members you are not actually convinced you are related to, and in random conversations between eclectically dressed strangers at the store. Everyone has an opinion. Actually, they have lots of opinions, and links, and memes, and sound bites, and graphs, and polls, and when will this election be over already?

The thing is, as a writer, I also have opinions. Lots of opinions, actually. Tons and tons of opinions I would like to share with people in lovely (and hopefully well written) paragraphs and blogs.
I am trying to resist the urge. For one thing, engaging in political conversations on the Internet has never actually led anyone I have argued with to actually agree with me. Humans are hard wired to actually actively ignore information that doesn’t match what they already think thanks to confirmation bias:
And while there is also a valid argument in the fact that not only is arguing on the Internet a waste of time but is also yet another way of avoiding the kind of writing I should be doing, I do think there is some value in engaging in online discussions to some degree. But online discussions have a way of devolving into drawn out battles where each side is more determined to win than to actually consider another opinion. 
Over the past few days, I have been finding myself posting more and more political things and engaging more and more with other people about the things they have been posting. All it ever really gets me is a rise in my blood pressure and an uneasy feeling that Somebody is wrong  (and the even more unsettling feeling that that Somebody could very well be me). There is also this feeling that maybe I am putting too much of my political self out there, that this goes against what I should be doing to brand myself as a mostly-likeable-and-non-controversial author. Is that a standard I should even be striving for? How much politics is too much? 
And in the end, if art really is political, should I be saving my political views for my fiction (however subtly or overtly they come across)?
What do other’s think? How do you handle art and politics?