Guest Expert: Laurel Marshfield
“Wishin’ and Hopin’” — the hit pop tune that iconic blonde soul singer, Dusty Springfield, made famous in the sixties — offers a familiar resonance, these days, for authors hoping to attract readers. (Need a little memory boost? Here’s Springfield: http://bit.ly/gLyiq5)
Hear it? The connection between authors and Dusty Springfield’s hit song lies in a certain longing-filled “unobtainability.” But, as the song lyrics advise, a proactive approach will dispel those feelings and help you get what you want.
For authors looking for readers (as opposed to teenagers looking for love) a proactive approach means tweeting on Twitter and, among other social networking sites, posting on your blog and others’ blogs; updating your Facebook profile and fan pages; and starting discussions on your LinkedIn groups.
What should you tweet, post, update, and discuss? Like the song says, “do what he wants to do” – write what your readers want to read. And what they want to read is informative content that’s exciting, entertaining, engaging, and, perhaps, startling — but always inspiring.
Book-Driven, or Book Business-Driven?
To structure a framework for tweets & posts that meets those core criteria, most authors adopt one of two online postures. Either they churn out content about their book and its creation. Or, they churn out information helpful to other authors (on writing, platform-building, publishing, promoting, and the like). In other words, their online presence – through their site, blog, and social networking accounts – is either “book-driven” or “book business-driven.”
Who Drives What?
Very well-known authors tend to use a book-driven approach for their reader attraction efforts (as you might expect). But not so well-known authors — perhaps believing that what the famous do is what they should do, too — may decide to frame their content around a book-driven model, as well. Some of those authors, though, realize that interest in their books isn’t yet strong enough to support that posture. And they turn to the book business-driven approach, instead.
It’s an approach that borrows heavily from the info-preneurship model that has exploded online (in the last decade, especially). And it has the added advantage of inspiring authors to become expert in areas they need expertise in, anyway, in order to promote their own books.
A Few Book Business-Driven Authors on Twitter
Here are a representative few of the many authors on Twitter who’ve made (or are just beginning to make) a name for themselves that’s supportive of their authorial career — by offering useful and informative content for aspiring authors:
• Carolyn Howard-Johnson (@FrugalBookPromo)
• Debbie Ridpath Ohi (@inkyelbows)
• Diane Holmes (@pitchuniversity)
• Georgia McBride (@Georgia_McBride)
• Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn)
• Julie Isaac (@WritingSpirit)
• Mark David Gerson (@MarkDavidGerson)
• Roz Morris (@dirtywhitecandy)
• Tony Eldridge (@tonyeldridge)
Are you, or your favorite author-experts, missing from this very short list? If so, please add your and your favorites’ names in the Comments box below, keeping in mind that the focus here is on authors of fiction, exclusively.
Then, click on over to Twitter and peruse the tweets (also visit the sites) of each author listed above. You’ll soon see how each one offers a very individual perspective on book-related subjects — one that will attract, if not mesmerize, fellow authors.
So Where Is That Author Payoff, Again?
If you feel drawn to the book business-driven approach, you’ll find that helping aspiring authors helps you build a following of “content consumers” as well as friends “in the industry.” And when you’re ready to get the word out about your own book, you’ll be able to call upon your friends and contacts in the author-expert world.
In the spirit of mutual support that is social networking at its best, they’ll be eager to help “get you into” potential readers’ minds, if not hearts, by joining you in tweeting & posting, updating & discussing content that’s exciting, entertaining, engaging, and, perhaps, startling — but always inspiring, about your book.
Laurel Marshfield is a professional writer, developmental editor(aka “book doctor”), and ghostwriter who helps authors shape, develop, and refine their book manuscripts for publication. She offers manuscript evaluation, developmental editing, co-writing, collaboration, ghostwriting, book coaching, and consultation for authors.
Her blogsite publishes inspiration and advice for the author’s journey: Blue Horizon Communications And her free eBook, available for newsletter signup (see the upper right-hand corner of her homepage) is titled: I Need to Be a Bestselling Author – Is That True?: The Five-Destination Roadmap to Authorship.
On Twitter, you can find her at: @BookEditorLM