My copy of The Author, the Society of Authors magazine, arrived yesterday. And then the phone rang about the Historical Novels Society 2008 UK conference (watch this space) which is all shaping up to be exciting. But surely not enough excitment for one evening. I settled down back with The Author and, a mere two articles in, it occured to me that this magazine really is worth the subscription to the Society of Authors in itself*. Consider the fact you get free membership of the ACLS and free contract advice, oh and all the training and parties, merely as a bonus.
UK Authors – if you are not a member of the Society of Authors, you are missing out.
And while I am at it, make sure that you are signed up with the ALCS and PLR. There is no excuse – these organisations cannot pay you unless they have your details.
* And the latest issue of The Author contained some web 2.0 with an article by Kate Williams on her experience as an author on MySpace.
Saturday’s talk to the RNA in London seemed to go well. (Or it might just be that I used lots of amusing cartoons in my presentation.)
Certainly, it was beneficial to me to pull together online book marketing into an hour’s talk, bearing in mind the constraints – finanical, technical and time-wise – which an author has. I suffer from lack of all three.
Thank you to Brian Kavanagh for allowing me to show his excellent book trailer for his novel The Embroidered Corpse, to Jenny Haddon for arranging the event, and to my co-speaker Alison Baverstock author of Marketing Your Book, An Author’s Guide, who gave an excellent talk, which included how authors should work with their publishers’ publicity department. Answer: be pleasant at all times, build up a relationship, inform them of anything helpful well in advance (about the time you hand your final manuscript in) and be prepared to go beyond what they are already doing for you (for example, in terms of local newspapers, or personal connections you might have who might help you). I’d also like to thank the audience for laughing in all the right places.
Have you noticed that hi-points seem to be followed by lows? Not long after I’d enjoyed a lovely lunch with some writer friends following the book marketing morning, I was robbed on the London Underground and had my purse stolen!
… I shall be giving my talk all about online marketing and PR for authors, as part of the Romantic Novelists’ Association Book Marketing Day.
So what are the most effective online methods for promoting books? Any comments?
Banners – online adverts – can offer a cost-effective way of marketing yourself and your books online.
The process of getting yourself a banner is relatively simple. Either:
- Ask a designer to make one for you. Check out any websites you intend to advertise with, as they may offer a competitively priced design service. Don;t forget you can use the banners once they are made elsewhere.
- Or create your own. Addesigner.com offers free online banners. You just decide the template you want to use and then customise the text/colours. If you’re on a budget they look ok to me.
Banners come in a number of shapes and sizes so its better to decide first where you intend to use them, and then design what you need according. Banners tend to be described as either static or dynamic, the latter meaning that they move.
Banners are typically placed on websites, but can also be used in email marketing. The banner advertising space is sold in a variety of ways, usually one of the following:
- Cost per 1,000 impressions (i.e. page impressions). This is effectively a cost per view.
- Cost per click (CPC). i.e. You pay per user who clicks through your banner (to your website or wherever the banner links to).
- Cost per month. Some websites offer fixed prices for a fixed time period.
Cost per click will generally be more expensive than cost per thousand as a click is regarded as valuable action “proving” that someone has seen and acted on your banner. When considering cost per month, consider the cost versus website’s traffic. Ask to see traffic stats if they are not already supplied.
In the UK cost per click starts from around 0.5p per click upwards, although there are usually volume discounts. However, I’d always recommend testing any banner campaign first so you can evaluate the quality of the response before commiting a large sum of money to it.
If you’ve a banner you’d like to try out on a general UK mass market audience, I’ve been working with a general consumer shopping website where I can get you 5,000 click throughs for £20! I’ve not seen any authors on there but it would be an innovative way to raise your profile. Email me if you’d like to give it a try.
So, it seems that no one uses Bebo!
I lunched today with a lovely author. At the end as we were leaving I gave her my business card. She didn’t have one. When you meet people – booksellers, othor authors, journalists – you want something concrete to give them with your details. If you’ve not got author business cards yet – get some.
Business cards should include your name, the fact you’re an author, your phone and email, website/blog URL and you can also mention if you’ve room your latest titles. With digital printing business cards are very inexpensive.
Anyone on Bebo? Is it working? Email me.