Blogging is one of the biggest push backs I get from authors. They all have reasons why blogging isn't for them, why they are horrible at it, how they don't have time.
Want to know what I tell them?
Blogs keep readers coming back to your website. Blogs give your readers a fresh reason to visit your site, and when they get there, finish reading your amazing blog, they have a better chance of gazing over the rest of your site to see new releases or news that they may have never seen before.
Blogs also help you show up in search results when potential readers google....well just about anything you may write about with the correct SEO.
"But no one reads my blog!"
So push it. Push each post on all social media. Go searching other blog posts about similar subjects and comment thoughtfully, and link back to your own post to allow the author (and other readers) another viewpoint on the topic.
"I don't have time!"
Make time. Seriously, make time.
"I never know what to write!"
That's where I come in. I can help you come up with topics and help you form your thoughts to make sure your blogs are purely you.
Still not convinced? Send me a message and I will talk you through it. I promise it isn't as hard as you think.
There is a lot to be said for a well designed cover. The perfect cover has enough design to intrigue, but not so much to over power. It has enough typography to be interesting and legible, but not enough to make your eyes strain to read it.
A good cover has focus. It isn't overly busy and it will tell you the general feel of the novel beneath it. A cover can cross the line of minimalism into boring easily and it takes a good artist to know where that line is.
Remember that your cover does not have to tell your entire story. It is there to invite readers to open your book, to give them a glimpse of what may be within the pages. Let your words tell the story and your cover simply be a carrot to dangle in front of the very hungry reader (Or cookie, you know, whatever works lol).
"When should I start marketing my book?"
That question is probably one of the most frequently asked question in the history of author marketing.
If you are asking, you should be marketing.
Do you have social media going? A website? A blog? If not, get on it. A platform is a make or break kind of deal. So and So may have made it big without the above, but so and so is the exception to the rule. You need to become a constant factor in readers eyes before you release so when you do, they care. If they don't care, they typically won't buy.
Marketing isn't something that can come and go. It is a constant aspect of your life as a business. And make no mistake, if you are publishing, you are a business.
So get out there, make yourself known, and remember to always be what you want your readers to see.
Font matters. It does. I don't care how much you love a certain font, sometimes it is just the wrong choice for your graphic. All fonts have a feeling. They convey a sense within our minds and you want that sense to match your story.
A dark story with murder and mayhem shouldn't have a frilly flowy font and a romance with hearts and flowers and unicorns (because, hey, it's probably out there) shouldn't have a grunge font.
The typography on a cover, or teaser, or ad, can make or break it. Take a look at this example of the simple word 'Always'.
Each of those fonts would be on completely different covers. Trust your designer to know when to use the fancy fonts and when to keep it clean.
When it comes to what kind of cover you want to put on your novel, there are multiple things to keep in mind. First, is genre, second is content, and third is market trends.
Genre plays a large roll in your cover. Readers should be able to tell what genre your novel is by a glance at your cover. A horror novel wouldn't have a couple embracing and a romance novel won't have a spaceship (unless of course it's sci-fi romance but even then, it needs more). Once you know your genre, the options for covers becomes more clear and less vast.
Content on your cover is as important as content within your novel. Every word on the cover has to pack a punch and every image needs to relay something. Having a picture of a random element from the story that doesn't matter too much to the plot will just clutter the graphic and make it confusing to the potential reader. Take this cover for example:
The couple kissing tells you romance, the castle and horse drawn carriage lets you know its a fantasy/fairy tale sub genre and the clouds and castle give it a darker feel even with lighter colors. The font is very fantasy. There is no doubt that this cover is firmly in the romance genre and even the sub genre shows through.
This cover is quite clearly not a romance. The dark figure with the gun, the big bold font, the scared woman, all point to action/murder/mystery.
Finally we need to discuss market trends. Trends are constantly shifting, but typically one element stays on for a while. Sometimes its a font (Pristina ring a bell?) sometimes it's an image type (half naked couple embracing or muscular man chest for example), but over all, covers go through trends just like popular novels. If you plan on releasing relatively close to purchasing your covers, current trends are great and a good artist can give you a cover to fit the trend while still having yours stand out from the crowd. If you don't plan to release for a few months, trust your designer to be ahead of the pack and be the one to set the trend. Your sales will thank you.
Many authors confuse advertising with marketing. It's a common misconception, but advertising is only a small part of marketing.
Marketing can be described with the four P's. Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. Let's break each category down a bit.
To start with, your business that you are marketing, is yourself. You the author are the business. Your products are your books. So when we talk about marketing, we aren't marketing a single book or series. We are marketing you.
The place is the internet and any signings, books stores, or any place we can get you, the business out in the public eye.
Price is determined by market trends as well as what your business needs to make per unit sold to continue to run.
And finally promotions. Here is your advertising. Here is your public relations and your social media. Promotions get you and your products into the public eye.
A few amazing examples of Author marketing are John Grisham, Nora Roberts, or Steven King. Just hearing their names, even those that rarely read, have an idea of what the books feel will be. The name itself tells a potential customer that their product may be what they are looking for.
They have mastered the marketing game. With time, patience, and perseverance you could too.
Star Bound Books has been the business I have published under and created designs under. In the last few years, my focus has shifted from novel writing to more on the graphics for authors of all genres. It's art and I love it.
But I have a secret. I'm a nerd. A Geek. A Dork. Ok, maybe it's not such a big secret. But my point is, I love research. I love taking classes. I love learning. So over the past few years, I have taken classes and researched all I could on marketing and branding. So what does that mean for you? That means that I can offer my knowledge to help you.
Not only can I make your book shine but I can help you get it out into the universe. So it's time I shoot for the stars myself, and not just tell my authors to.
Star Bound Books is now offering Marketing and Personal Assistance in addition to the graphics, formatting, content editing, and proof reading. We really are almost a full post production service! Give me time and I will have a line editor on board to make Star Bound Books the only service you need once you write that amazing book of yours.
I am super excited for this next step in building my business and my brand. I hope you take this journey with me! If you are interested in any of my services, please contact me here.