Last weekend I went to my first Writers' Retreat in a place called Dunford House in W Sussex, in the heart of the country surrouded by woodlands. For those who don't know a retreat is a combination of talks and time to write, and boy I wrote lots.
The first talk was on the Friday evening about marketing headed by Nick Cross. He talked about what marketing is, what marketing you can do and what works. There are two different sorts of marketing: above the line, which is usually tv and radio etc and more generalised and broadcast, and below the line, which is targeted like Twitter, FB, websites. It was said that these two are fast becoming one now.
Next question was how much publicity does a publisher do? Tommy Donbavand said that in his experience if your publisher sees you do most of the legwork to get publicised then they will chip in.
Then it came to media. Youtube is more for teens and your book and video have to be very good to get up to the top ranks, esp if you have a common name. Candy Gourlay said that she feels that websites are better than trailers esp for middle-grade as that age look at websites more.
Then it went onto public appearances. It was mentioned that the school library services are crying out for authors, which you approach through authorities (I might have a look into that although my authority had told me before that I have to approach schools myself). As to visits to other places, people do think that authors are in contest with each other, so like to have authors in panels.
It went back to media again and blogs. It was said that group blogs are the thing now and the way forward, which I like as I belong to a group blog which I submit to. I made a note of a name of one which is all about fantasy. Candy said that her prepublished blog helped her get a publisher, and this was raised later that people out there do look at what you are writing on the web with blogs and websites, so keep it professional (Julie do check spelling here, and sort out your website). You need a creative edge to have voice and be a good author. Make yourself look approachable and interesting. (I made a note here to add a page to my site).
Amazon - review of this, and put that you are 'Author of....'. When your book is out Tweet and FB. Timing is of the essence ast they say.
Platform is the audiene you build before you are published. Your message is echoed, not your sales.
By the end it was 10pm and I was tired out and so ready for my bed.
I shall blog tomorrow about the rest of the retreat.