Thursday, July 23, 2009

On the way to becoming famous...

Recently my attention was caught by a video article on an international forum I belong to about the changes that some publishers are doing to their websites.

One of the websites highlighted was Penguin USA. The discussion in this article was around the new features in the section Publishers office and what that could mean for writers...especially the great ideas you can borrow to ramp up your own websites.

At Penguin USA, publishers office, there are three main sections The Screening Room, The Radio room and The Reading Room.

The screening room has video casts of Q & A with the author of the featured book.

The Radio Room has podcasts interviews or audio excerpts of a different featured book.

The Reading Room has- you guessed it- an online teaser chapter of a featured book.

This technology can be used out there in the Author websites....Post a video of you being kids....or read out a chapter of your book...or...put a teaser on your page for visitors to read...
It all generates interest and excitement and makes your website look up to date etc.
Tania Roxborough is making great use of the teaser excerpt on her blog for her forthcoming book Banquo's Son.

I have been following Fifi’s efforts to produce a cool book trailer for Glory with interest.
And when it is finally will be knocked out...all with free technology...something else to go on her already spiffing website.

There has been lots of comment in the blogosphere over the 1000 true fans...see previous post about it here.

Guy Le Charles Gonzales (loudpoet) offers a different perspective building onto the 1000 true fans.
There is a little snippit below I recommend taking time to read the whole post...(it’s not long)

It does, however, offer a reference point for the next step in building an author’s platform.
Platform 101 was about laying the foundation, physically and virtually. Once you have your foundation in place, you will slowly begin to attract an audience, some of whom might one day become enthusiastic fans who will not only buy your books (and short stories, and CDs, and t-shirts, etc.) but, perhaps more importantly, will also mobilize and spread the word far and wide on your behalf, sometimes without your even having to ask.
Platform 201 is about attracting, engaging and energizing that community, and these are three fundamental points to keep in mind while doing so:
Platform 201: Engaging the Community

Along with the three points to go to the next step, Guy also has a video on his site that features Malcolm Gladwell of Outliers fame. Malcolm has excited comment with his book stating that to master a craft or become successful you need to put in 10,000 hours effort or about ten years...

Many people are busily totting up their hours to see if they come close but Seth Godin has a different take on it. Seth says that

You win when you become the best in the world, however 'best' and 'world' are defined by your market. In many mature markets, it takes 10,000 hours of preparation to win because most people give up after 5,000 hours. That's the only magic thing about 10k... it's a hard number to reach, so most people bail.

To read the rest of Seths post go here.

So this writing game we are in...Stick with might just become famous...

Which leads me into silly thought for the day...I took the crazy writer quiz...I had to join twitter to find out which crazy writer I resembled...(not that I will be active on twitter...) but am I really like Stephen King?


pic is an image of a massive collapsing star


Fifi Colston said...

Lordy...I'm Oscar Wilde!
Surely not. Or maybe...

Yep- we all know that publishers do the publishing bit then you get busy with the next book and the one just out gets forgotten, so increasingly its up to the author to market it.

I think marketing is pretty simple- let people know it's coming, have people eagerly anticipate its arrival, let people know it's there and where to get it, then keep up the publicity and alert people to any good reviews. Create a buzz. It then keeps a place on the best sellers list for a wee bit, people see it's there and think its obviously worth buying- the more people who read it, the better the buzz and the bigger the chances of it getting noticed for any awards =
get shorlisted = sell more books = earn a living. It's a numbers game and something you have to bear in mind. A shy and retiring author is a broke author unless someone, somewhere takes them on as the next best thing. One thing that gets forgotten in this business is that its a business whatever your motivations are for writing.

And when all is said and done, the writing has to be good in order for the above to succeed. But then...look at Dan Brown...

Maureen said...

And there are now so many ways to engage with an audience now...
blogs, websites, twitter, facebook tours...virtual author tours are becoming popular in the states. That's where the author stays home but guest blogs on other people websites or skype interviews which are posted on websites...a different one each day for a week...
Hey do you think the education department would let us do a skype author tour using their technology?
something to raise at the think?

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