Seems like everyone is talking about, listening too or planning a podcast. Why not you? It’s another avenue to share your expertise and reach readers. Visit betternews.org for a primer on getting started in podcasting. Lots of good advice!
Check out some Catholic podcasts:
The August edition of the OSV Author Toolkit newsletter is out! If you didn’t receive it, just click here and you can read it online. Toolkit Team members Rebecca, Alyssa and book editor Darrin contributed to this issue.
If you know a prospective author who might enjoy the monthly enews, let us know! Just email Cathy at email@example.com.
Is there anything you’d like us to cover on the blog or in the newsletter? Email Cathy and let us know.
OSV Author Platform eNewsletter
How many email newsletters (enewsletters) do you get? Maybe you feel as if you get too many and just hit delete on a lot of them — or even unsubcribe.
But what about the ones you really like?
Email is still the #1 way companies — and authors — communicate with their customers and readers. And it can be a very personal way of connecting.
If you don’t have any experience with sending enewsletters, never fear. There are tools to manage the creating and sending part, and we have hints to assist with the content part.
- Decide on an email management system (EMS). We’ve used and recommend Constant Contact, but there are others. Find some here (most have free options).
- Have a prominent “Subscribe here” button on your web site. The EMS you choose will have instructions for this. Your email list will be managed through the system you choose (unsubscribes, bounces etc.)
- Decide on your email template (there will be lots to choose from; simpler is better).
- Decide on your email frequency (once a month is great to start out).
- Create and send your first newsletter!
What should your enewsletter say? Great question. Some suggestions:
- Content from your blog, if you have one. Include an excerpt and link to a full post.
- Update on what you’re working on. Don’t give away the farm, but let your readers and prospective readers know how it’s going. One author I know uses a spreadsheet to keep track of his progress, and includes a screenshot of it.
- Excerpt from an earlier book, if you have one, with a link to purchase from OSV, Amazon, B&N.
- Have you spotted your book on a bookstore shelf? Great place to take a selfie and include in your enewsletter. Invite your readers to send you their “sightings” and “shelfies.”
- Any upcoming events like talks, webcasts, book signings or guest columns or articles.
- What you’re reading, or is on your “to be read” list, or your favorite author’s latest book.
- Links to your social media — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- A short reflection or prayer that you use before writing.
- Reflection on a saint or Bible verse that has helped you on your writing journey.
- Be sure to include an email address.
- Something fun you’ve read/done/want to do, or somewhere you’ve traveled.
Need more help? Read this post from Writer’s Digest … this post from Medium … Jane Friedman has a post here … and Think Writter has ideas here.
The #1 part of your author toolkit is … of course, your book! Next is your author platform. We have plenty of help for you. Here’s a quick-start list to help you get organized, with links to more detailed posts:
1. Write a book
2. Launch your author website (hopefully you’ve claimed your name [johnsmith.com or johnsmithauthor.com]. Here’s how.)
3. Create a Facebook author page and post regularly
4. Start an email newsletter
5. Populate your Amazon author page
6. Get active on Goodreads
We just posted about the importance of your author website. Here’s a free author website checklist from author/marketing guru Tim Grahl to help out! Click here.
(from the May 2018 newsletter)
Are you a member of Goodreads? If you are, you know that it’s THE place for readers to connect with other readers, share the books they’re reading and find great recommendations for new ones.
It’s also an excellent place for authors to connect with readers. Goodreads has an Author Program you can join for free. If you already have an account and a published (or soon-to-be-published) book, you just need to sign in, search for your book and “claim” it by clicking on your author name, then the “Is this you? Let us know!” link (towards the bottom of the page), and follow the instructions. (If you don’t have an account, it’s easy to sign up. Just click here.)
Once you are verified as the author (you’ll get an email from Goodreads), your author profile will include the official Goodreads author badge and readers will be able to “follow” you.
Goodreads has a helpful Authors & Advertisers Blog with author profiles, Goodreads news, book marketing advice and interviews with publishing experts.
Now, you’ll be able to:
- Take questions from readers
- Write reviews of other books
- Update your profile picture
- Connect your web site or blog
- Advertise your books
- Promote your books by running a giveaway
Click here for the how-to instructions. You can follow Goodreads on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, too. Let us know how you’re using Goodreads to grow your audience!
Goodreads is GOOD — for finding new reading material, following friends’ bookshelves, keeping track of your own reading — and for promoting your book(s).
If you don’t have a Goodreads account, it’s easy to join, or you can log in with your Amazon account. You’ll find reading suggestions, you’ll be able to connect with your contacts who are members already, and you can build a community around your own work.
How? This blog post on the Goodreads website will get you started. You’ll find advice on filling your own online bookshelf, engaging with readers, how to mention your own book in comments, how to connect with reviewers, and more.
Let us know how you are using Goodreads to engage with your readers!
And be sure to follow Goodreads on Facebook and other social media.
As always, excellent advice from blogger/writer/teacher/speaker/entrepreneur Jane Friedman on where a writer should invest their time — on a web site, or on social media:
I may be in the tiny minority of people who happen to think social media isn’t 100% critical for an author’s online presence. Yes, it makes things much more difficult if you refuse to use it, and I don’t like it when writers spurn it out of some kind of literary peacocking — believing that it’s “beneath” them to market themselves on social media.
But effective marketing and promotion (and platform building) does exist beyond and separate from social media. These days, I get more noticeable results from my website and blogging efforts, email newsletters, and in-person networking than I do from social media. Not that I want to give up social media—quite the contrary—but I could walk away from Facebook and still earn a living. Not so with my website—it’s absolutely fundamental.
Read the entire post here.
We recently worked with OSV authors Catherine Odell and Margaret Savitskas on creating a Facebook fan page for their book, “Angels of the Lord: 365 Reflections on Our Heavenly Guardians.” This beautiful book was published in 2016 and features a year’s worth of stories and reflections on angels and their role in our world.
Your Author Toolkit team is happy to work with authors in getting your social media platform (aka author platform) set up. In this case, we had a conference call with Cathy and Margaret to focus on what they wanted to accomplish on the page. Our design department was able to craft a page header and profile picture using book cover graphics, so the online page and the printed product sync nicely.
Since neither was super familiar with Facebook, we set the page up for them, then had an hour-long training session with Cathy to go over the basics of managing and posting to the page. She’s already begun with two new postings this week. We’ve also shared the page a couple of our OSV Facebook pages and will continue to do so as more posts are available.
Visit the Angels of the Lord Facebook fan page here, and give it a ‘LIKE’!
You can find our more about the book here (and order).
A note from OSV’s senior trade marketing leader, Jill Adamson, about the importance of linking on your web site or blog:
As part of Our Sunday Visitor’s overall selling strategy, it is important for you to link your website to three key sites to boost sales:
- Our Sunday Visitor’s website, at osv.com, is the quickest way for a buyer to get your book. With the purchase of our new press, we can print your book in-house so we have stock. But the best part for you as the author, your royalty is bigger when a customer purchases from Our Sunday Visitor. The link is https://osv.com/.
- We know that linking your website to Amazon to self-promote your book is a great way to boost sales. What you may not be aware of is that if you participate in Amazon’s affiliate program, a portion of the sale goes back to you. I have provides a link below that includes information on this program. https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/welcome.
- I would also recommend linking your site to Barnes & Noble as well. Their link is http://www.barnesandnoble.com/. Adding this link can help drive more in-store placement of your book. In addition, Barnes & Noble has their own affiliate program. For more information on their program, go to BNAffiliate@bn.com.
If you have questions or comments for Jill, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call 800.348.2440, ext. 2547.