Self-promotion for writers from a masterclass at Spread the Word by Tom Chivers, director of Penned in the Margins
Online Promotion XKCD: Online communities www.xkcd.com/256
Start a blog or a website Give readers a taste of your writing Keep supporters up to date with what you’re up to Online Pr...
Online Promotion Website Website tips <ul><li>Keep it simple: don’t overdo the graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Link to other wr...
Getting the content right Online Promotion Website reviews examples of your work a biography photographs press pack What w...
Online Promotion Website Places to start a blog Wordpress www.wordpress.com Blogger www.blogger.com
Online Promotion Social networking Social networking   Start conversations with readers and other writers
Online Promotion Social networking <ul><li>Avoid common pitfalls:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t overdo it: sending messages...
Social networking sites Online Promotion Social networking
Online Promotion Email Email   Use your list to tell interested people about  forthcoming events, projects and publication...
Online Promotion Email Using email effectively <ul><li>Use an informal tone, but keep things to the point </li></ul><ul><l...
Online Promotion Rich media Using rich media <ul><li>Why not film your work for a YouTube video? </li></ul><ul><li>Short s...
Online Promotion Good examples Salt Publishing <ul><li>A small publisher driven by   social media </li></ul><ul><li>Their ...
Online Promotion Good examples Baroque in Hackney <ul><li>Blog of Kate Evans Bush, poet, reviewer and freelance writer </l...
Online Promotion Good examples Ross Sutherland’s Things To Do Before  You Leave Town video <ul><li>One of  The Times’  Top...
www.flickr.com/photos/adactio Creative Commons BY 2.0 Offline Promotion
Offline Promotion Live Literature Live literature events An ideal way to meet other writers as well as readers Being part ...
4 Steps to Getting Involved Offline Promotion Live Literature 1. Identify the types of events you are interested in 2. Go ...
Offline Promotion Live Literature <ul><li>Invite your friends to show their support.  Promoters will remember if    you’ve...
<ul><li>Plum . </li></ul>Live literature events and venues Offline Promotion Live Literature
Offline Promotion Working with the media Working with the media Getting in touch with the local (and maybe even national) ...
Advice for working with the media <ul><li>Spend some time building a decent press database </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afra...
Writing a great press release <ul><li>Press releases should tell a story    and be easy to understand. </li></ul><ul><li>T...
Self-promotion for writers Put together by Based on notes kindly provided by Tom Chivers,  director of Penned in the Margi...
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Self-promotion for writers

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Advice for self-published writers on promoting their work online and offline, from Tom Chivers, director of Penned in the Margins (www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk) and CompletelyNovel (www.completelynovel.com), the readers' and writers' community site.

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Self-promotion for writers

  1. 1. Self-promotion for writers from a masterclass at Spread the Word by Tom Chivers, director of Penned in the Margins
  2. 2. Online Promotion XKCD: Online communities www.xkcd.com/256
  3. 3. Start a blog or a website Give readers a taste of your writing Keep supporters up to date with what you’re up to Online Promotion Website
  4. 4. Online Promotion Website Website tips <ul><li>Keep it simple: don’t overdo the graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Link to other writers’ sites and websites you like </li></ul><ul><li>Update regularly: people are more likely to visit a site with regular updates </li></ul><ul><li>Consider hiring a designer if you can afford it </li></ul>
  5. 5. Getting the content right Online Promotion Website reviews examples of your work a biography photographs press pack What will be interesting? What will be useful? www.flickr.com/photos/davidden Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0
  6. 6. Online Promotion Website Places to start a blog Wordpress www.wordpress.com Blogger www.blogger.com
  7. 7. Online Promotion Social networking Social networking Start conversations with readers and other writers
  8. 8. Online Promotion Social networking <ul><li>Avoid common pitfalls: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t overdo it: sending messages and updates every minute will irritate people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it relevant: don’t use every conversation to talk about your work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think of how people might respond to your output and act accordingly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Take time to get to grips with the different ways of using social networks: Facebook groups, fan pages, events, notes, status updates and Twitter retweets, @ replies and direct messages </li></ul><ul><li>Interact with other people: comment and start conversations </li></ul>Use and abuse
  9. 9. Social networking sites Online Promotion Social networking
  10. 10. Online Promotion Email Email Use your list to tell interested people about forthcoming events, projects and publications Start building a list now! It may seem useless now, but will be indispensible when your book comes out
  11. 11. Online Promotion Email Using email effectively <ul><li>Use an informal tone, but keep things to the point </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t spam your subscribers: one email a month is enough </li></ul><ul><li>If you have over 100 subscribers, you might find Your Mailing List Provider useful </li></ul>
  12. 12. Online Promotion Rich media Using rich media <ul><li>Why not film your work for a YouTube video? </li></ul><ul><li>Short stories and poetry make ideal podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Embed rich media in your blog or website… </li></ul><ul><li>… or submit to sites like Beat The Dust TV: “a space for writers to add an audio-visual dimension to their work” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Online Promotion Good examples Salt Publishing <ul><li>A small publisher driven by social media </li></ul><ul><li>Their ‘Just One Book’ campaign led to over 400 sales in 24hrs and is very much worth checking out </li></ul>
  14. 14. Online Promotion Good examples Baroque in Hackney <ul><li>Blog of Kate Evans Bush, poet, reviewer and freelance writer </li></ul><ul><li>“ sharp, wry … wears its considerable erudition lightly” Time Out </li></ul><ul><li>“ stylish, vivacious and darkly hilarious The Poetry Book Society </li></ul>
  15. 15. Online Promotion Good examples Ross Sutherland’s Things To Do Before You Leave Town video <ul><li>One of The Times’ Top Ten Literary Stars of 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Part of Aisle 16, a poetry collective called “highlights of the spoken word scene” by The Sunday Times </li></ul>
  16. 16. www.flickr.com/photos/adactio Creative Commons BY 2.0 Offline Promotion
  17. 17. Offline Promotion Live Literature Live literature events An ideal way to meet other writers as well as readers Being part of a social literary scene can be a great way to promote your work
  18. 18. 4 Steps to Getting Involved Offline Promotion Live Literature 1. Identify the types of events you are interested in 2. Go along to these events as a punter 3. Introduce yourself to the organiser 4. When you feel ready, send your details to the organiser and offer to do a reading http://www.flickr.com/photos/randomecho Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 – Don’t be pushy: this irritates promoters and can do more harm than good – Don’t be disappointed if you aren’t invited to perform: there are only limited slots
  19. 19. Offline Promotion Live Literature <ul><li>Invite your friends to show their support. Promoters will remember if you’ve managed to get a crowd </li></ul><ul><li>Use your website, blog or social networking sites to advertise your event </li></ul><ul><li>Try to think from the audience’s perspective: </li></ul><ul><li>How should you introduce your event? </li></ul><ul><li>What poems should you select? </li></ul><ul><li>Humour goes a long way </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the promoter how to use the microphone and stand if you feel uncomfortable </li></ul>Tips for performing:
  20. 20. <ul><li>Plum . </li></ul>Live literature events and venues Offline Promotion Live Literature
  21. 21. Offline Promotion Working with the media Working with the media Getting in touch with the local (and maybe even national) media can really raise your profile and spread the word about your work
  22. 22. Advice for working with the media <ul><li>Spend some time building a decent press database </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to local journalists and build relationships with them </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce yourself to your local radio station </li></ul><ul><li>Always ensure you have good quality, high definition photographs of yourself: we live in a visual culture </li></ul>Offline Promotion Working with the media
  23. 23. Writing a great press release <ul><li>Press releases should tell a story and be easy to understand. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about why your story is interesting to the press. </li></ul><ul><li>What is your “USP” (unique selling point)? </li></ul><ul><li>Include plenty of information in your press release, or link to places with more info. </li></ul>Offline Promotion Working with the media
  24. 24. Self-promotion for writers Put together by Based on notes kindly provided by Tom Chivers, director of Penned in the Margins www.completelynovel.com/publish

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