9 things to consider if you’re going to be published…

If you’re getting ready to submit your first book to a publisher OR have been offered a publishing contract, I have two comments:

A. Congratulations.

B. Why are you sitting there? Get to work.

You have no time to waste if you want your book to be a success. You need to become socially connected and establish your marketing infrastructure before your book comes out. If you’re not yet on the verge of being published, great! That means you have more time at your disposal. Many excellent books exist to to tell you step-by-step how to market yourself and your books, but I’d like to offer are nine quick tips to get you started:

  1. Decide on your author name and begin branding yourself under that name — not your book. That means all your accounts (and we’ll talk about those) should be under your author name, not your book name or some other name like Wild Writer Woman.
  2. If you decide to use a pen name, check it out before you begin using it. Google it and see what comes up. Check to see if it’s available as domain name or if that name has already been taken. Is it available on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads? You don’t want to use a name that is shared by too many other people.
  3. Register your domain name to lock it up. You don’t have to start a Web site now, but lock up “yourname.com” so that in the future if you decide to start your own Web site, you won’t have to resort to authoryourname.com. You can register a domain name for $15 or less on GoDaddy.com.
  4. Start a blog. ASAP. Use your name as the heading. You want your name to be the first thing people see when they land on your home page. Free blogs ones are available through Google Blogger and WordPress that are fairly easy to figure out. You can do it! (Click here to see my first blog). If I can figure it out, anybody can. A blog will be one of your main marketing tools. So what do you blog about if you haven’t been published? Topics related to your genre. Books reviews. Interview other authors. Have guest blogs.
  5. Join Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. Begin to build followers by following other people who are interested in your genre. Start conversing with people. Let them get to know you.
  6. Get connected with other authors in your genre. Visit their blogs. Post comments.
  7. Develop a tagline that describes your work.
  8. Start reading reviews, making note of which bloggers review books in your genre. Make list of where you plan to submit your book.
  9. Start writing your next book.

The point  is to make your name known and have your resources established before your book is published. If you can do that, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Those things are what I would consider to be the basics. Beyond that, there’s Google+. Yahoo groups, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Goodreads groups, blog hops — enough venues to make your head spin.

I recommend to everyone, newbies and published authors, that they read, We Are Not Alone, The Writer’s Guide to Social Media by Kristen Lamb. It discusses branding, how to write a bio, what social media to use and how to use them. It’s available in print and ebook format.

Related posts:

What it’s like to be published

How to: Making a Book Trailer 101

Pinterest: the latest and greatest social media craze

Twitter tips: Following and being followed

The nature of Twitter, friendship and book promo

How to select a pen name

 

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10 Responses to 9 things to consider if you’re going to be published…

  1. Tara Finnegan says:

    Really good advice Cara, there certainly seems to be a lot more than writing than being able to tell a good story.

  2. Barb Bettis says:

    Good advice, Cara. I was going through my mind, trying to check things off as I read, and I got to No. 8. I do need to check out more review sites. Thanks.

  3. Angela Drake says:

    Great tips, Cara! As soon as I began reading I saw Kristen’s shadow lurking in your tips. LOL I loved her book and think ‘We Are Not Alone…’ should be in every author’s arsenal.
    Some things you’ve recommended, I do. A couple I still need to work on and am getting there.

    Blessings! ~Angela

  4. Paloma Beck says:

    Great advice. I’d add that other authors are always willing to help so if you are new, just ask another author with more experience. The world of romance authors is a nice one.

  5. Thanks for the book suggestion – unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available for purchase any more.

  6. Fantastic advice! I’ve been making the transition this year to using my pen name, and just updated my Twitter and Goodreads profiles with the new name. I’m in pretty good shape up to step 6, but after that I need to get to work!

  7. Kayla Lords says:

    The hardest part about writing is what you do after you’ve finished writing…in my opinion…thanks for this post!

  8. Thanks Cara! You always have such good info to share. Since I haven’t released a new book (on my own, at least) for several months, I’ve been pretty slack. Time to get it into gear.

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