Dude, so this week of BLLuRT-ing has been super fun, yeah? I've enjoyed seeing your posts and reading what you love about books. It's been fun for me to see the enthusiasm we readers have. On Wednesday we talked a little bit about publicity, and what the average reader can do for authors.
Today, I'm going to touch on a few things authors can do to promote themselves in just a few minutes each day. (And we're talking authors like me, not say, authors like Scott Westerfeld, or someone equally as huge.)
1. Respond. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it's not. I know that you're busy. So am I. So is everyone. IF POSSIBLE, respond to the emails you get, the blog comments, the tweets, the Facebook messages.
Everyone drops the ball sometimes, but no one wants to feel like they're talking into a vacuum. I can usually respond to every blog comment I get via email in about 30 minutes/night. (Whether I do it or not is entirely another matter...)
2. Blog regularly. That way, when you do have something to say about your book (or an event, a cover reveal, a deal, etc.) it won't be THE ONLY thing you say. I'm not saying you have to blog everyday. You'll have to analyze your schedule and see what works for you.
I typically write all my blog posts for a week on the weekend. It takes me about an hour. (Short posts, FTW!) Then all I have to do is respond to comments, try to get to as many blogs as I can, etc.
3. Repay the favor. If someone comments on your blog, comment on theirs. Remember that every time you do something like this, you're leaving your name and link behind.
Something else that goes here is: celebrate the success of others. Retweet their amazing news. RT-ing takes virtually no time.
Those are the big genralities. Let's zone in a little bit:
Twitter is designed to be fast and easy (140 characters or less! You don't have time to talk forever!). Make it so. Organize your lists if that's what it takes. Respond to those who tweet to you. Seek out other people in your genre.
All of this can be done in 15 minutes/day. (Of course, I spend a lot more time than that on twitter, mostly as a procrastination technique. Ha!) How?
1. Tweet during "dead time" from your phone.
2. Take one day per week, and use those 15 minutes to find people to follow.
3. Target one of your lists, tweet to those people for your allotted time.
4. Tweet something interesting, and then field replies for 15 minutes.
5. Join one of the many hashtag chats. Participate for the hour. Follow those in the chat.
Facebook is a plethora of different things. Photos. Videos. Links. Blog posts. Status Updates. For me, I choose to participate only in the status update realm. This helps me get through many hours of updates in only 15 minutes.
1. Like stuff. This is a one-click wonder that lets the person know you came, read, liked.
2. Type a quick comment. It's way easier than blogging, because there's no word verification. And everyone likes comments.
3. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Comment/like status updates until it goes off. Move on with your life.
Social networking doesn't have to be all-consuming. Publicity doesn't have to always be about shoving your book down someone's throat. Simply interacting--genuinely--online with people is publicity.
Because, remember, everything you do, you're leaving your name behind. The trick is to make it abundantly clear who you are and what you wrote when someone clicks on your name. That's where the real publicity happens--and you won't even know it.
What do you think? Is this the kind of publicity you can do?