Meet the Author: July 2018 – Build yourself a brand, part one

Is this where your book ends up? Original photo courtesy of alltooeasy

Is this where your book ends up?
Original photo courtesy of alltooeasy

Unless you want to see your title relegated to the virtual, dusty stacks of some forgotten neural-net byway, you need to devise ways of keeping interest in it and in you alive. Your goal now is to become more discoverable. Some of the things I suggest here you will already have done; others may seem like household chores, but they serve a purpose. They build your brand.

Use social media

A blog or a website is a good start, and there are many options available—including setting up your own (paid), or at Blogger (free), or with Wordpress (free or paid). Just be sure to post regularly. It shows readers that you’re serious. Even 200 words a month, every month, is far better than a sporadic post or two, the last of which was made some six months ago or more. Set up author pages/accounts on social media, Facebook and Twitter being obvious choices (but there are others), preferably to engage people (rather than to flood their feeds with adverts for your book). Learn how to write links for your sites (such as the ones you can click on here) and include them wherever appropriate, especially in sign-offs (see the bottom of this post) and, more to the point, in your book itself.

Set up author pages

If you meet certain criteria, you may be entitled to set up author pages at Amazon Author Central, Smashwords, Goodreads, and LibraryThing. You may also wish to consider Authors Den, a free or paid service targeted at aspiring authors (as opposed to readers)—though you do get to list your books with links to where they can be purchased. Create a short, snappy bio and find the best photo of yourself that’s available. Goodreads allows their authors to have a blog page (which you can rss-feed to your Author Central page by clicking on the rss icon on your blog, copying the URL, and pasting it into your Amazon page template, where it will update automatically every time you post), so make use of it. Read Goodreads’ guidelines for authors and abide by them always. They are indispensable.

Make the most of reviews you’ve commissioned

If you gave away your book at LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review, monitor these as they come in and contact reviewers by email to thank them and to politely ask if you may use what they’ve written for future publicity. At the same time, inquire if they would be willing to post their reviews wherever they feel comfortable. Provide links to the relevant book pages (e.g. at Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads) to make this easy for them. Update your book to include snippets of the best reviews in the front matter (and on the back cover for print-on-demand)—and, of course, put them on your website. Reviews that arrive late are a godsend; they indicate to anyone perusing them that interest in your book is still alive.

Do not spam!

Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s on spamming reviewers, book bloggers, reading groups—and yes—even fellow authors with offers of free copies, especially in exchange for reviews. That ship has long since sailed. At best you’ll be ignored; at worst you will create a bad impression of yourself (and of the book you are trying to publicize). Instead why not consider employing your time on some of the strategies I’ll be suggesting next month. Join me then.

Gooseberry

This month’s giveaway is a free download of Gooseberry: Octavius Guy & The Case of the Thieving Maharajah (#1). Join Gooseberry, the fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective, as he and his ragtag bunch of friends descend into London’s Victorian demi-monde and underworld to ferret out the truth, while spending as much of his employer’s money as they can along the way! Based on characters from Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone. Use coupon code PK92J. Offer ends on July 31st 2018.
“When you read a book by Michael Gallagher be prepared for a total immersion—every bit of scene setting, speech, character and historical detail is perfect. I highly recommend this book for fans of The Moonstone who wonder what happened next.”—Chris Keen LibraryThing Early Reviewer (5 stars)

Happy reading!
Michael

Find me on Facebook,
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check out my author page at Goodreads to see what I’ve been reading lately,
and visit Murder Most Cozy for a round up of the coziest Crimes & Thrillers reviews

Michael Gallagher is the author of two series of novels set in Victorian times. Send for Octavius Guy chronicles the attempts of fourteen-year-old Gooseberry—reformed master pickpocket—to become a detective, aided and abetted by his ragtag bunch of friends. The Involuntary Medium follows the fortunes of young Lizzie Blaylock, a girl who can materialize the spirits of the dead, as she strives to come to terms with her unique gift. For twenty-five years Michael taught adults with learning disabilities at Bede, a London-based charity that works with the local community. He now writes full time.

You can always message me using the Contact Me form or send me an email. Both Malane, who designs this website for me, and I really look forward to hearing from you, and I will always try to respond personally if I can. Why not include a photo we can use if we publish?