Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to be your own publicist symposium notes by Leanne Dyck

From (approximately) 2008 to 2012 I attended The Writers’ Union of Canada information-rich symposiums. 

Friday, March 2, 2012 

How to be your own publicist

Author Elizabeth Ruth presented traditional but innovative book marketing strategies.

-publishers want authors to have platforms
-publishers want to know that you (the author) are promotable
-embrace some type of self promotion that fits your personality (introvert/extrovert) and style of communication (marketing to booksellers/conducting workshops)
-seek opportunities to talk about your work (volunteer on panels/give interviews)
-to pitch a book you need to write a synopsis, plus a paragraph and one sentence that describes the book
-cold call booksellers to build relationships. You want them to connect your book with a real person. Visit them and leave something physical behind--pamphlet or a business card
-before you start promoting meet with your publisher. You want your efforts to compliment not duplicate so bring the list of tasks that you will be doing. Ask them what they will do.
-window for promotion:  6 to 8 months before publishing and 6 to 8 months after
-make the launch party fun and informative
(only read for about 10 minutes then have a live band or interview someone you researched for the book or have someone interview you)
-get your book on the book circuit
-pitch your book to literary festivals
-seek help from close friends to promote your book
(they can provide accommodations when you're on a book tour or recommend your book to their book club)
-join forces with other authors and cross promote each others' work

Author Ann Douglas presented on new media opportunities for writers

Why engage in social media?
-build relationships
-readers want to get to know authors
-take control of your career

The best time to...
Twitter - evening
Facebook - morning
Blog - morning
Social media - Friday

Sites to check out
Debbie Ohi's blogs
(She gave us a longer list, but these are the sites that were of most interest to me)

What should be on an author's web site?
-media releases
-author photo (hi/low res)
-book covers (hi/low res)

Kelly Duffin, Executive Director of The Writers' Union of Canada, updated participants on the latest evolutions in the publishing landscape.

-authors are required to do more and more marketing
-Reader profile--book/ebook--women/40+/urban
-The Writers' Union of Canada is recommending that authors add a clause to their contract that will allow them to renegotiate in the future for a better rate
-authors are working in partnership (with other authors/readers) to write books
-there is no beginning or ending to marketing
-Ebook pricing is moving up to $8. 99 - $12. 99
-readers want a relationship with writers
-publishers are describing themselves as "service providers to authors"
-children books can have app appeal
-authors should ask publishers how they handle metadata

What is metadata?
It's a list of words that describe a book.
For example, on Amazon, these words are used to describe The Sweater Curse...

Metadata are powerful marketing tools.

This is just a taste of some of the information that was shared. I highly recommend The Writers' Union of Canada symposiums to all writers interested in career development.