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Posts tagged promotion

Why coolness for writers is utterly beneath contempt
July 15, 2014 | 2:33 pm

ShortList Magazine, a free giveaway glossy from the land of Cool Britannia which "has the biggest circulation of any men's lifestyle magazine in Britain," has shared with us its guide to "The 50 Coolest Authors of All Time."  It begins: "Writing a runaway literary hit is incredibly hard, and doing it with aching volumes of cool (which is how we'd all want to do it, given the chance) is nigh on impossible. These 50 managed it." Well, here's my view on why cool is something that writers - as opposed to readers of freebie giveaway men's glossies - should avoid...

James Patterson buys good karma, wants you to know it
June 25, 2014 | 6:25 pm

James PattersonJames Patterson is in the news again - correction, James Patterson has bought himself a slot in the news again. And he wants you to know he's a giver. He's given more on top of what he gave before. He adores your bookstores. And he wants them to love him too. I know it's been hard. I know it's been cruel. I know you've counted the long dark empty days without a single James Patterson announcement or photo or headline in your favorite media. I know your newspaper ad pages have been dreary wildernesses without his unforgettable features or peerless words....

David Gaughran announces Writer’s Digest split with Author Solutions brand
June 23, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Writer's DigestAs readers may remember, in February David Gaughran reported that UK book trade bible The Bookseller had severed its advertising links with Penguin Random House vanity press powerhouse Author Solutions, and would no longer accept advertising from any of its brands. Gaughran has now followed up with dramatic news that U.S. writer support and services platform Writer's Digest is also cutting its ties with Abbott Press, the joint venture it launched with Author Solutions to considerable criticism in TeleRead and elsewhere. As can be verified on the Abbott Press website, the company no longer carries any logo or other information specifically...

Publishers go directly to jail – and no, not for price fixing
June 22, 2014 | 2:25 pm

This may sound like wish-fulfillment to some of the more militantly anti-Big Media types among us, but six UK publishers and book world figures have gone to jail in London. No, it's not for price fixing, nor for defrauding would-be authors through Author Solutions-style vanity press gouging. Instead, they did it voluntarily - and in a good cause. Pavilion Books' "A Night in the Cells" was staged in support of the campaign by Britain's Howard League for Penal Reform against the British government's widely condemned ban on sending books to prisoners. The cells were actually in a disused London police lockup...

Dark Side of the Sun: A Facebook sale, a social media precedent
June 11, 2014 | 10:25 am

Dark Side For any authors, self-published or otherwise, wondering how to use social media to promote their work, as well as any fans of the dark, weird, and horrible in general, here's an example for you. A group of horror and dark fiction writers has come together to launch "Dark Side of the Sun: A One-Day Sale on Dark Fantasy Horror and Contemporary Fantasy Books" via Facebook, scheduled for June 27th. "Readers rejoice! For one day only, Friday, June 27th, you will be able to buy over a dozen dark fantasy horror and contemporary fantasy novels for just 99 cents each," reads the...

HarperCollins imprint tries to go all Tweety and communal – with someone else’s hashtag?
June 2, 2014 | 11:23 am

Hard on the heels of Penguin Random House front organization myindependentbookshop.co.uk and its attempt to convince readers that it's a brave little independent champion of the little people, comes another bid by a Big Five publisher to dress down and get all folksy and homely and neighborly. This time, as reported in The Bookseller, it's HarperCollins imprint Borough Press, which according to the report, is seeking to run a campaign in June encouraging readers to share on Twitter or Instagram a picture of a book they like - working from a list drawn up by Borough - under the hashtag...

The ideal literary form for the Twitter attention span: The aphorism
June 2, 2014 | 9:26 am

Picking up from my earlier comments on maxims and aphorisms as the ideal literary vehicles for the Twitter generation, here's a more extended discussion of the aphorism, its virtues and value. Because it's worth recalling in these days of hand-wringing over diminished attention spans that brevity used to be the soul of wit (as Polonius said while proving the exact opposite), and that concentration and condensation were hailed as the distinguishing marks of a distinguished mind. "Whatever happened to the aphorism?" asks Aaron Balick in his blog post on aphorisms and Twitter. "I was beginning to think it was a lost...

Sneaking books into bookstores is not a good idea
May 25, 2014 | 10:36 am

Here’s another one from the “probably not a good idea” department. Self-published writer Brendan Leonard had a bright idea: he might see if he could get his book more exposure by planting it in a Barnes & Noble store. All that was necessary for it to ring up was to have an ISBN bar code on it, which it did. He then had the idea to use it as an Instagram promotional gimmick: place books in various stores and post their location to Instagram so people could go buy them. Granted that he was giving money away by giving his...

Some content marketing options – with a bunch of ebook sites you may not have heard of
May 7, 2014 | 10:25 am

content marketingEbooks are consistently bundled under content in marketing circles, through the same skewed categorization that dubs advertisers as "publishers." And of course, this means that any eager self-publisher busy promoting their wares is engaged in content marketing. Hence the infographic below. Courtesy of BlogMost, a tutorials, tips and tricks site, this breakdown of "Smart Ways To Combine Content Marketing With SEO" gives one of the best guides to different venues for various types of content that I know. And there is also a big cluster of venues for "Ebook Submissions" that includes many unknown to me, as well as a few...

Stellar Libraries head calls for more promotion for UK libraries
March 28, 2014 | 6:26 pm

Amid all the bad news about the UK library system, an article has appeared in The Guardian arguing that "The survival of libraries lies in positive promotion." Good sentiments - although in this case they come from the head of a creative agency that apparently exists for the express purpose of promoting libraries. "The way we market and promote our national library service is one of the areas that drastically needs to change if we are to give libraries any sort of long-term future. But it's not the only area that needs improvement," asserts Andy Ryan, director of Stellar Libraries CIC and...

Self-promotion tip of the day: Bitch up Amazon on Salon
March 4, 2014 | 2:38 pm

Yes, why throw money at Author Solutions packages? Even when "I have a major publisher and a buzzed-about debut," I can maybe do with a little extra push, eh? Even if I is Stephan Eirik Clark, whose novel "Sweetness #9" will be published by Little, Brown in August. All I have to do is go to those nice people at Salon and pen a little piece protesting that "Amazon buried my novel: Those search algorithms are for sale," and they'll even pay me for it. I mean, some writers these days get asked to write for free or to pay...

Are you only as good as your last Dementor?
February 25, 2014 | 5:18 pm

dementorElsewhere, I've been a staunch defender of that endangered species, the snark. But there are times when you have to be thankful it's rare. And one of them is Lynn Shepherd's screed in the UK Huffington Post, declaring "If JK Rowling cares about writing, she should stop doing it." Lynn Shepherd is not exactly an unknown writer. As her own website explains, her novel A Fatal Likeness, on the death of Percy Bysshe Shelley, is "One of Kirkus Reviews' 100 Best Fiction Books for 2013, and a BBC History magazine historical novel of the year." But she does seem to begrudge...