Friday, September 13, 2019

"Authors, Don't Confuse Us!" Basic Marketing Tips for Your Brand

by Annie @JustReadTours


Hello! Annie here. As an avid reader, I also love to check out author websites, social media and book sites like Goodreads and BookBub for the latest reads from my favorite authors or publishers.  Though at times, I come away more confused than satisfied. Ever felt that way?

"If you're not confused, you're not paying attention."  - Tom Peters

Well, in that case, I'm paying attention. 😁 With JustRead Tours, we come across more specific areas that I'd like to share with authors here, particularly with an author's online presence.


Website
Authors themselves are their own brand. Therefore their website should reflect who they are, and what they want to present.

  • Websites should be easy to navigate. Navigational menu short, sweet and to the point.
  • Invest in getting your own domain. Preferably as your name such as http://authorname.com or .org or whatever works.  Another option is a tagline that associates with your brand. 
  • Home page should be simple and to the point. If your home page directs to your blog, make sure it doesn't create more confusion with your content. 
  • Don't over crowd your sidebar (if you're using a blog format). Create distinct segments.
  • Make sure all your links work and direct to the correct web page you want to direct to.
  • Include all your social media links using icons, and make them easy to find (top, side or footer of your website). 
    • Be sure to only include the platforms you use for your brand (not personal accounts, especially if you have an author one).

Social Media
Social media platform is a crucial marketing tool for authors and publishers. However, done wrong, it can more often than not, confuse or turn readers off.

  • Depending on the platform, separate personal and author accounts. 
  • Create accounts on platforms you will be active in.  If possible, use the same username for each one. For example, @justreadtours is our username on all our social media platforms we have.
  • Be active! 
  • Make sure your author accounts are linked correctly on your website, newsletter, and even in the profile of other social media platform.
  • Even if you do not have an account on one particular social media platform, the use of hashtag such as #authorname is sufficient if you or your readers are sharing something.


Goodreads, BookBub and Amazon
These three sites are important and essential for authors and publishers alike for different reasons, but definitely relative.

  • Create an author profile if you don't already have one for each of these sites.
  • Make sure you only have one author profile for each of these sites.
  • Include your website link.
  • Add the same short author bio for all three sites. 
  • As to books, make sure there are no duplicate listings for the same book. (This concerns Goodreads particularly. One time, I found 4 listings for the same book!)
  • Consistency is key. If you update or change something, specifically in the book blurb, make sure to update on all relevant sites, including these three, plus others like the publisher's book listing on their website, and your own website. 

"That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well." - Abraham Lincoln


That's it for now. I might make this into a series if you're interested, since I actually could've added more! 🤣  Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and if you're interested in entering the giveaway. 



Giveaway
JustRead Publicity Tours will be launching our Author Services this Fall, and to start it off, we're giving away an Author Media Review to one interested author! An Author Media Review is to review your current social media and website platforms to relation to your current book, and provide a written assessment for you to consider working on. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. 





Annie is an avid reader and former book blogger at Just Commonly. She is the co-owner of JustRead Publicity Tours, a full-service publicity tour company for published works in the inspirational and clean genres. She is also the co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. 

49 comments:

  1. Thank you, Annie. Wow, this gives me a lot to think about. And to work on. I'm fairly comfortable chatting on line, but the technical aspects give me pause. Lots of pause. (HELLO, young adult daughter, are you coming over soon?) I'm 68 and pre-tech, although I can do it if someone shows me how. Figure it out myself? No way. Study a manual? Probably not. Guiding my hand on what keys to press? YESSS!
    Coming up against a wall with a lot of this stuff, debut out next week, so am chipping away at that wall. And constantly reminding myself that I Wanted This.
    Brought cider doughnuts, percolated coffee and a selection of teas. It's cold here. Hello fall.
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. Congratulations Kaybee! (And thanks for the breakfast goodies!)
      You can do it and don't be afraid to ask for help, especially from your lovely daughter. 😉

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    2. Thanks Annie. As Shakespeare said, "O brave new world that has such people in it." And as Yeats said, "What rough beast, its hour comes round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?" My English Literature past rearing its useless head.
      Had lunch with my crit partner, which always makes me feel better. We have different issues but can encourage each other.
      KB

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    3. That's great. I'm a big quote lover (if only I can remember them)! Thanks for sharing. I love this community because we can encourage one another. Thank you.

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  2. BTW and FYI, I will be on Carrie Booth Schmidt's blog next Friday, my debut day. Stop by and say hi. It is part of my effort to become Kaybee to the World.

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    1. Congrats, Kathy! So proud of you. Your hard work has paid off!

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    2. It's been a while since we've had one of your regulars go Off Island, isn't it? Last one I remember was (is) Cindy Regnier which was earlier this year. I'm thinking of all kinds of metaphors from "Gilligan's Island" to "Lost," but nothing really applies.
      It is a perfect September day so guess I'll go out and work on closing down the garden, may be back later.
      This blog has been my lifeline. I'll probably see some of you in person in San Antonio. Remember the Alamo! I can't even remember where I parked my car, but whatever.

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  3. I love this! Thanks Annie.

    I'm always confused when I see multiple listings of my books on Goodreads. Where do they come from? Can just anybody list a book?

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    1. Thanks Pam. Multiple listings can be from the publisher, author, author's assistant and just about anyone. I should be clear in the post. You will need to first search to make sure there are no duplicates in the system. If there are, you can 1. Edit or 2 request it's removal.

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    2. Or you can merge duplicates into 1 listing!

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    3. I've seen multiple listings when I've voted on books for Listopia. Usually just 2, but it confuses me a bit.

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    4. YES!! Merge!! I tried doing that as a reader once, and it didn't go so well, because I had to verify too many things. However, coming from the author or publisher will sure have all the answers!

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  4. Annie, thanks for a great blog. I need to review all my online info and ensure I'm not confusing my readers!

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  5. Annie, this post couldn't have hit me at a better time! I spent most of yesterday compiling and reading all the marketing info I could get my hands on. These tips are great. I would definitely be interested in reading a series about this! Thank you!

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    1. yay!! There's so much to absorb, isn't there?

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    2. You got that right, haha! So good to see you, Carrie!

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    3. Hi Natalie! I'm so glad it's useful. I kept going on and on, and then realize may need to stop and streamline it a bit (or work on another post down the line). Thank you!!

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  6. I'm not ready for the giveaway (unpublished) but DEFINITELY interested in a series! Thanks for the info, Annie. I'm bookmarking this!

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    1. Thanks Crystal. Even unpublished, we can easily help you with what we think would be a good start. =) Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. Thanks Annie for this great post. I agree - sometimes it's super confusing going from one media site to another for a particular author or celebrity. I've seen some fantastic author websites - easily to navigate and engaging. Others do a great job with newsletters or blog content. I understand this is a challenge and it would be amazing to have a personal assistant to take care of all of that while the author focuses on what they are good at...writing. :) I'm just starting to create my platform, not published yet, and it's tough, especially if you are doing all your own content and hosting your own site. YOWSERS! Would love to enter the draw and get my feet planted in the right direction. :) Lee-Ann B

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    1. You got that so right, Lee Ann! There's so much out there now that it can confuse even the authors themselves. Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. Thanks for the refresher on keeping platforms consistent. I hope I'm already doing this, but I'll have to do another check! And the drawing sounds awesome! I wouldn't mind some feedback on my marketing!

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    1. Hi Anne. Thanks for stopping by. I had a mentor once that always said, "consistency is the key to success."

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  9. The Author Media Review sounds great! I think I have all these boxes ticked. Thanks again!

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    1. Thanks Lila! I'm happy that you do. It'll be great for your readers.

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  10. Hi Annie-
    I would LOVE to see a series. This can be such a bewildering topic!

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  11. Annie, this is great! Thank you for putting so many tips in one place.

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  12. Oh this is awesome stuff and I would love a series about it. I try to be consistent but I know I have a lot to improve. Work in progress. Just slow progress. :)

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    1. Yes, this really is a work-in-progress, especially with all these great technology these days. Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. Marketing is definitely not my forte--a series would be most welcome!

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  14. These are such helpful points to hear from a reader's point of view! Now I'm wondering if I should be using my author Facebook page more...

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    1. Hi Eleanor! Thank you. Yes - please do use your author Facebook more. It's a great way to interact and keep personal page separate. However, there are some that create just one account, and keep it "public" and allow for readers to follow. That will work too. Just with that, I'd be cautious with personal info. (I'm more of the cautious type when it comes to online identity sharing.) A good balance between personal and bookish will be sufficient when it's one Facebook account.

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  15. Love this and how y'all keep branching out in new ways to help authors!

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  16. Annie, this is such great info!! This is especially good for me as I'm about to have my website redesigned later this fall. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us today!

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    1. Also meant to say I'll be updating my bios to make them the same on all social media platforms asap! :)

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    2. Glad it's useful. I'm looking forward to your new website!

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  17. I would LOVE to see this as a series! We really can't have TOO MANY tips, now can we? Thanks so much, and I'd LOVE to win the Author Media Review!

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    1. Lol. So true. Tips are good, as long they're relevant. 😉 thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Hi Annie! Wonderful tips especially as our "brand" can evolve over time. I'd love to see a series! Thanks for sharing with us today.

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  19. Great tips! As a book blogger, I 100% agree - I want to connect to author's websites and social profiles in my reviews, but it can be hard to find the information.

    As someone who has blogged on this topic - there's more than enough information for a series! I ended up turning my posts into a 40-day marketing challenge for pre-published authors.

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