By Judith Briles
Considering the year that you’ve come through, my how to, practical, and have a little fun side is colliding and wanting to come out all at once. In a recent survey of my author community, heading the “wants” list was marketing and social media tips. I decided that I could do a combo of all and share some of the tools on an ongoing basis.
And, nope, I not putting Zoom on my list. Truth be told, I’m Zoomed out. Using Zoom and Skype for years, I’m in streaming overwhelm in so many ways. Routinely working with clients on the platforms, I crave being able to play and present “in person” … and sometimes just curl up and catch up with a friend on the phone—and be grubby if that’s what my mood is or just sit on the back step of my deck and absorb the rays from the sun with a glass of ice tea and phone to my ear.
One of my favorite LIVE events I do throughout the year comes under my Unplugged banner. In the Book Marketing Unplugged experience, it’s all about tools to use to enhance an author’s skills, presence, book launch … you name it. Over two days, it’s a “tell” what a tool is; a “demo” of how to use it; and a “do-absorb it”. Participants hear, see, learn, and implement. The ahas and laughter weave through the room over two intensive days with just me.
Below are several of my personal favorites. I get zero affiliate fees or commissions from them for mentions. It’s just a good thing to do. For you.
Discover and Use Book Brush and Canva
I know, I know … Canva.com is always the go to site to create posters, banners … you name it. It’s time to discover BookBrush.com. Both sites have free and fee participation. Book Brush is just for authors which I love. If you get the fee side of Book Brush, use Judith/15 as a code—you will get a 15% discount—again, I get zip, but you save money—a good thing. Make sure that you embed what you create with your © and name.
Discover and Use PhotoFunia
For the quirkiness if all of us, PhotoFunia.com adds a smile to my face and space and can easily goose up your images you use on social media, not to mention enhance your visual book marketing. Upload your book covers, and other images and in seconds, you’ve got something that you can use for marketing forward. The site has a variety of categories and themes that you can “play” with and it’s free.
Discover and Use Quotes of Yourself and Make Posters
And why wouldn’t you quote yourself? You are a writer and author. Use words, phrases, sentences from your own books.
In one Book Marketing Unplugged intensive, I asked my participants to think of a word or two that could be used as a theme. One of the participants said, “fat cats.” He shared he was thinking of greedy people. When he said it out loud, I immediately thought of true fat cats. During the “do-absorb it” session, I’m now scouting for images of fat cats and cats/kittens in general. Gathering them, I immediately went to my Snappy Sassy Salty book that has 250 of my personal quotes in them. Woot … we’ve made over 50 Fat Cat posters to circulate forward.
Discover, Collect and Hoard Images
Use free sites like Pixabay.com, Unsplash.com, and the MorgueFile.com. Don’t forget your own photos you’ve taken. In your Book folder and/or Picture folder, start collecting images that could be used on blogs, social media pushes—you name it. Anything that grabs your attention. It’s wise to note what site it came from. I used the word “success” for a search and pulled down images as an example for one of my Unplugged experiences.
Discover and Create Comparison Posters
Who are comparable authors in your genre and expertise? Create a poster that you can use for social media pushes in pre-launches. You are coattailing to known names—promoting them as well.
Discover and Use a Quick Search Tool
Discover Knowem.com … is your name available for a domain? How about blogs and other sources … even a quick look if the trademark is in play? I like Knowem for fast searches without alerting the domain gods that you might be interested in buying it. Some will secure a domain name and hold it hostage and resell at a higher price. Not nice. This is a quick way to do an “incognito” probe before you get your credit card out.
Discover and Nail Your Emotional Pull
There are a variety of tools that you can tap into for rating titles. I like AMInstitute.com’s Headline Analyzer for a quick intellectual, emotional, or spiritual rating using the lead line I’m using for the main title. Developed by the Advanced Marketing Institute, it’s fast to use. Anything over a score of 30 gets my attention. With adds of adjectives and alternate words, it can climb quickly. Remember—buyers buy on emotional pull.
When you build up an inventory of promotional and polished by products of many of the above tools, your influence factor will build. I promise.