This past Sunday, I was fortunate to be part of an amazing three-and-a-half hour teleconference on ways to reach readers during a time that is perceived to be an industry crisis. It was hosted by the phenomenal Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations Media, which is a marketing, branding, and promotions firm. I'd like to pass along just some of the things that were covered during the phone call:
1) Keep your website updated - do not continue to have the same outdated information year after year. Your website is your control center. Have direct links where readers can buy your books easily, have a place for them to sign-up for your newsletter/mailing list, try to include excerpts and high res book cover images. Make sure you have a link for an electronic press kit.
2) When you attend events, stand up and greet people, be available and professional, make sure you have a sign-in sheet and if you can, pick up business cards - build your email list. Get organized and form your database of readers. Send regular e-blasts that cover more than just the book release.
3) Have a FaceBook page w/photos of events and of yourself, a blog that focuses on a message you're familiar with (blogging is imperative but stay with it - don't abandon it), write articles that relate to the subject matter of your books and what you're passionate about, and allow other authors to be featured on your pages and in your articles as well. Try to focus on your message, not your books.
4) In your writings, challenge readers with unusual settings, stories, current event storylines, etc. Be original.
5) Continue to do signings and events whenever you can and network - pass out bookmarks and talk to people whether they buy your book or not. Also, continue with online book tours and Blogtalk radio.
6) Try to have a real-life video of you talking about yourself (maybe a day in the life or you at home), an informative topic that is your passion, as well as your books. Make sure you're on Goodreads, Shelfari, RedRoom, YouTube, Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, etc. Be willing to be a guest blogger whenever possible. Be visible.
7) Update your Amazon author pages. If you don't have one, make one. Make sure your Amazon book page has a synopsis and bio. Do not include your education on your bio unless it is key to your message/theme or validates your credentials relating to your books.
There's so much more information that I didn't cover. If you'd like the replay link to the conference call, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how to accomplish the above and more, you can check out Ella Curry's website at http://www.edc-creations.com/. She is a phenomenal talent and beautiful person. Tell her Marissa Monteilh sent ya! =)
If you have any more suggestions, please add. We're all in this together. Let's continue to share information and cheer each other on. Good luck!