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How to Manage Author Platform-Building Opportunities

July 1, 2010

As an author, you’re constantly chasing down opportunities to share your book, speak to a crowd, serve as a resource, and perform other platform-building activities. People will often say no to your first request—but don’t let that discourage you or stop you from pursuing a lead after the first contact!

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Recap of the 2010 Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference

June 29, 2010

This past weekend, three staff members from Greenleaf Book Group participated in panels and discussions at the 2010 Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference. Many lively conversations took place at the conference, providing aspiring authors, publishers, and other industry professionals with tips and insights into writing, book marketing, and the world of publishing.

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Role of the Publisher in Social Media

June 25, 2010

The Huffington Post had an interesting article yesterday analyzing publishers and their use of social media. Publishers Weekly posted a similar article back in May ranking publishers based on content, engagement, number of followers, and other criteria.

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How to Pitch a Speaking Engagement

June 24, 2010

You’ve been blogging and interacting to build your author platform, and now it’s time to get out there and connect with your audience live and in person—but how do you get those speaking engagements? It takes a combination of three things: relevant speaking topics that can be honed to a specific audience, a speaker’s press kit, and a customized pitch.

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The Author Power Team

June 22, 2010

As an author, you are always on the lookout for new ways to improve your marketing strategy and grow your platform. One of the best ways to do this is by developing your power team.

What’s a power team? A familiar term among business networking professionals, a power team is comprised of individuals and/or businesses with whom you share common goals or a common client base.

How can it help you as an author? The members of your power team can help you improve your strategy, connect with more readers, identify more opportunities, hone your message, and expand your reach.

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How To Handle a Bad Review

June 17, 2010

Face it. Bad reviews happen. Even the most acclaimed writers get bad reviews. Evaluating a book is a subjective process, and personal preferences won’t always match the book. Unfortunately, too many writers take bad reviews personally and even go to the extremes, engaging in negative banter, slander, and threats. Here are a few tips to help you take those bad reviews with grace.

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Public Speaking Basics For Authors

June 15, 2010

Not all authors are natural speakers, but it is becoming more and more necessary for authors to develop their speaking skills. Presentations, appearances, interviews, and other speaking engagements are an increasing part of how authors build and connect with their platforms. To make the most of those opportunities, you—the author—need to develop your speaking skills.

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How to Build a Tribe of Followers

June 10, 2010

You may have heard your book publicist or another marketing guru talk about the importance of building a “tribe.” This doesn’t mean traveling to a secluded island and recruiting a selection of indigenous craftsman to start a new culture. A tribe is a devoted group of followers, people who believe in your idea, values, and message and who participate in a community with other followers and evangelize your efforts as an author.

Why do you want a tribe? Because they are your consumers, advertisers, research and development team, and marketers all rolled into one. They help you grow your brand, hone your message, and create an ongoing relationship of service and value—not to mention that it is direct purchases from this group and their referrals that drive the majority of your sales, both of your book and of any other services you offer.

So, now you know what a tribe is and why you need one. But how do you get one? Start by doing the following:

  1. Provide value: People don’t follow self-serving rhetoric or empty ideas. They follow trusted advisors, information sources, and value-based ideas they can believe in. Build on the ideas in your book and your message as an author, and grow your value by continually providing your readers with tools and information they need.
  2. Provide community: Tribes thrive on community. So, establish forums, blogs, and other ways in which followers can interact with you and each other. Start conversations based on topics in your book, and even gather new ideas for follow-up books and seminars.
  3. Provide content: People are always looking for what’s in it for them. Provide free information, resources, and tips to help them improve their lives, and people will follow you. This content could be a repackaging of material from your book, but it should also at times go beyond what you’ve already written. With every post, interaction, and article, give your readers something they can really sink their teeth into.
  4. Tell people about it: It doesn’t do any good to lay the groundwork for your tribe and then never promote it. Get involved in social media, networking groups related to your industry, nonprofits, and communities both online and off. Mention your efforts, share free resources, and entice people to connect with you and your tribe.

Building a tribe takes time, so be patient. Above all, building a tribe means sticking to a clear and consistent message and continually providing value, without asking for anything in return. It will pay off in the end, not only in terms of followers, but also in terms of book sales.

Here are also some additional resources to help you with your tribe-building efforts:

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan

Tribes by Seth Godin

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How to Come Up With an Author Tagline

June 8, 2010

I know what you’re thinking. What’s an author tagline?

It’s that catchy phrase, that clever one-liner that helps readers identify you and that your publicist can use to help you develop your platform. Why do you need it? So you can have a focal point, a clear and concise foundation from which to build all of your marketing efforts.

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iPhone Book Application for Children

June 7, 2010

The digital world of books is changing fast, and the tools available are growing by the minute. One cool tool we recently came across is a concept from Japan that turns an iPhone into an interactive reading experience for children. The video below demonstrates this new concept of an interactive device inside a physical book.


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