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N E W S L E T T E R

By Laxmi Hariharan, Mar 1 2017 03:26PM

As an author trying to hit a crazy goal of 6+ releases a year, I spend day and night with words. It’s come to a stage where I’ve begun to ration my ‘output’ quota. So I post very little on social media like Facebook. My preference is to save my words for when I actually write my books.


It’s not a surprise that I gravitate to image based social media. Over the past few years, I’ve begun to use, Instagram in particular to reach authors and readers who I wouldn’t normally reach through my newsletter or other platforms. Here are a few ideas on how you too can build your outreach via Instagram.


Why Instagram?

I love it because it’s silo’d. You can’t link out from Instagram to the web and that comes as a great relief. It means you don’t get side-tracked into spending a lot of wasted time surfing the web.


The power of images

To help my writing process the key for me is to get to the bottom of the motivation of my characters. Often that means identifying a certain emotion or feeling that is the theme for the character. And in this images are hugely helpful.


Sharing a different part of yourself

On Instagram I have developed my own language. It started out as daily writing prompts that helped focus the writer in me. I share these as almost daily diary pages. A powerful way of shining the spotlight on my writing without the intrusive ‘buy my book’ messaging. See one of my most popular posts here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ4-5z0FqEG/?taken-by=laxmiwrites


Developing your own ‘image’ via Instagram

This started by accident but quickly became very popular. As a writer I spend a lot of time looking out of my window. I decided to record the view: almost daily pictures of the chestnut tree outside my window, via Instagram. So the same view – yet different every day. A powerful metaphor for staying strong and focussed on my writing even as everything around me changed. I also gave these pictures a distinctive hashtag.


This is so popular that people around the world often message me to ask about the #treeoflaxmi. Find it here: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/treeoflaxmi/


Using hashtags and linking to other social media

Using the right hashtags helped me reach a new segment of readers and fellow authors. #amwriting #authorsofinstagram #readersofinstagram #instagrammer #books #poetsofinstagram - Using these targeted hashtags helps reach new relevant audience on this platform.


My Instagram account is also linked to twitter, FB and tumblr and I share my pictures across these platforms.


All of this is of course just a trigger to help me stay focussed on delivering the word count. There is no substitute to writing and releasing the next book. However once you do that, the right marketing and PR platforms and people can help you increase the discoverability of your books.


Hope this helped. I’d love to hear from you. Do reach me on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/laxmiwrites


Comments or questions? You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity




By Laxmi Hariharan, Feb 23 2017 03:08PM

I hear it all the time: “Marketing is what you have to do after the fun of writing your book” and “I write because I like the creativity. Marketing is not for me”. The stereotype is that writing is the carrot and marketing is the stick. But is it? Is that really the case?


I didn’t set out to be a publicist and never thought that I would be good at it. Like you probably do, I thought of promotion as some sort of ‘black art’ – a nefarious combination of data-crunching (marketing) and blagging (publicity).


However, I was desperate to work in publishing so that I could work with creative people who with an inspired turn of phrase could unearth hidden truths or explain complicated ideas. So, I took the job in publishing that I could get - Marketing Manager. It was only after taking that job, and figuring out what a Marketing Manager does, that I realised that marketing and publicity can be fascinating, fun and creative. It was the job I was looking for, I just didn’t know it.


What book promotion is really all about is making people aware that a book exists and that it is more valuable to them than its price tag. Beyond that, it is pretty much up to you how you do it. You can create intricately targeted online ads and analyse the response in minute detail. You can ring a list of influential journalists and tell them how your book will appeal to their audience.


You can give talks, price promote, sponsor events, cajole your friends and neighbours, post photos of snowy landscapes with meaningful quotes on Instagram, write a blog, capture email addresses for a newsletter – whatever you want. The possibilities are endless and the more creative you are the better the chance that you have of finding the things that work.


Of course, there is also competition. There are a lot of books out there in the world and they are all published on the assumption that they are worth the reader’s time and money. If you don’t do something to make your book stand out you simply will not find your audience. You already know that, but here is how you can really make a difference: Don’t reluctantly ‘do’ marketing like a teenager ‘does’ their chores. Embrace it! Do it with enthusiasm, attention and interest you will not only sell more books but have fun in the process.


Here are some tips to get your head in the right place for marketing and publicity:

• You probably don’t want to think of your book as a ‘product’. So don’t! Your book is an idea and rather than ‘selling a product’ you are giving that idea a chance to thrive. Best of all, it is true!

• Instant feedback is an amazing and rare thing in life. If you create an online ad for your book you can see, in real time, how that ad is doing and tweak it continually to make it better.

• Journalists are not born grumpy. They are only that way because of the demands of their job (I am stereotyping here, but I am comfortable doing it). Once they understand that your book is of interest to them and their audience they can become champions of your work.

• Embrace storytelling in you marketing – brainstorm ways of reaching people and create narratives and anecdotes about your book that will entice readers and touch their emotions.

• Your book blurb and your ‘elevator pitch’ are like concise poetry. Every word matters so edit them again and again (just like when you wrote your book).


It is entirely possible that you ARE rubbish at marketing and publicity. Who am I to say that you’re not? But I really doubt it. It is more likely that you don’t have time or don’t want to devote the time that you have to marketing (after all, that next book is not going to write itself). If that is the case then you need to hire someone to help your book to stand out – but if you do be sure that you are an active part of your campaign.


You still need to be enthusiastic and interested enough to ask a lot of questions and suggest ideas. A good publicist or marketer will be happy to explain why they do what they do, will appreciate your input and will tell you nicely if your suggestions are not going to work.


Comments or questions? You can contact us at infor@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity


By Laxmi Hariharan, Jan 18 2017 12:48PM

Going into the new year, it feels overwhelming. Lot of resolutions, goals, people sharing what they’ve achieved in 2016. All of which can make you feel insecure and overwhelmed. It’s natural. However, this really is the time to step back, take a deep breath and evaluate.


I could be dramatic and say, ask the question if you were to die tomorrow what is the one thing you’d want to get done. What is the one thing you’d regret you haven’t done so far?


Well this is the question I asked myself in 2012 which helped me start the process of reinventing myself as an author. The one thing I wanted in my life.


In 2017 I asked myself this question again, a little differently: what is the one thing I need to do to become a full-time author by December 2017. And the answer is clear. I need to release the next book in my series as quickly as possible. There’s no getting away from it. I’ve done the basics. Built a newsletter, got my credentials by being in a boxed set that made the NY Times List, I’m even more than a quarter of my way through my series. But to get momentum, readers and the sales, I need to release fast to grow the reader base quickly.


I resisted accepting this for a long time.


As many authors who have graduated to full-time writing will tell you, a critical part of the transition is to have a backlist large enough to create more opportunities for readers to buy your books. After releasing 3 prequels and 2 main books in my series, I am finally coming to the conclusion this is true. The one thing, the only thing, that will make the step change for me is to get the next book out. Each book sparks sales of my back list and brings in new readers.


So this is what I am going to do in 2017.


What about you? What’s the one thing you want to achieve in 2017. More about my journey to full time author here: https://www.facebook.com/laxmihariharanauthor/videos/1236774886429440/


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times bestselling author.


Comments or questions? You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity





By Laxmi Hariharan, Dec 15 2016 08:47AM

Author websites are an essential tool for any writer. A great website will help you to be discovered


by readers, the media, publishers and other potential partners in the book world. To really be


effective a website needs to be shiny (appealing both in terms of design and upfront content) and it


needs to be sticky (interesting enough to retain viewers). In other words, attract your audience and


keep them there!



Look at Me!


Just as you would not put your book out into the world with an unattractive cover, your website


needs to look great as well. A professional designer is highly recommended – it is their job to create


something for you that is visually pleasing and unique. You can do it yourself using a template on


one of several popular website creation sites, but you will sacrifice the uniqueness of your site’s look


and invariably end up with something that is more generic than you would otherwise have.



But being shiny isn’t all about colour and images, it is also about having your best content up-front.


Give readers what they want to know about you straight away. For example, have a look at the


Cameron Publicity and Marketing front page here



What I want people to see immediately is:


● What we do (the tag-line near the top and the information on our services)


● That we are respected (the testimonial quotes in the video, organisation membership logos


and book covers showing that we have worked with a lot of authors)


● That you can easily get in touch with us (all kinds of contact details at the top including social


media links)


● That you can find out more (mailing list sign-up box and menu with clear options)



Take a step back from your work and think about your strenghts. What would attact your target reader?


Don't be shy about making it clear that you have what they are looking for!



Stick around!


It is not enough just to get viewers to your site. For it to be as effective as possible you need to keep


them there for long enough for them to really understand what you write, why and what makes you


different from everyone else (your USP – Unique Selling Point).



Most author websites have a pretty standard array of pages that can be accessed from a central


menu - options such as “about the books”, “about the author”, “news and events” and contact


details. The fact that these are standard doesn’t mean that you should avoid them. On the contrary,


they are typical because they are what readers most want to know about and would expect to see.


Give the reader as much information as you can for free to really get them interested in your writing.


Sample chapters of your book(s) can get them hooked and many authors even give away a free


book, an idea that works particularly well if you have a series. If you add a blog you can offer your


readers insight into the location, characters, subject or inspiration behind your book(s). Video


content is particularly powerful so if you have a trailer, a montage or a clip of an author interview be


sure to include them. Even if you don’t have any of those yet you can have them made more easily


and quickly than you think.



Author websites are essential and serve a real-world purpose – to help readers, publishers and the


media to find out about you and you books. With your website you are trying to sell something but


you are also thinking long-term. In other words, you want people to know about your latest book


but, more importantly, you want people to find out who you are as an author and to read all of the


books that you have written so far and will write in the future.



Good luck and do get in touch if you would like to know more about our website design services.



Comments or questions? Leave comments here or you can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk,


Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity

By Laxmi Hariharan, Dec 12 2016 03:41PM

I have divided this post into two parts to address the main concerns of authors during the holidays. Part 1 is about the craft of writing: How to hit those daily word goals when everyone around you is having a massive party. The second part is marketing driven: How to keep your promotional voice and presence going all through the festive season.


Craft focussed: Word goals

In 2015 I released one book (60,000 words). I’m ending 2016 after writing 240,000 words (5 books).


There is one simple secret to this.


The only way to keep the words coming is to never leave ‘the zone’. I make sure I write every day. You hear a lot of authors talk about it and I found that it is true for me. The only way to keep going is to never leave that space where you are constantly producing the words. Yes, writing is a creative pursuit, but I find it works best if you put a clear structure in first and then attempt to be creative within that structure. That structure is ‘the zone’ and once I get into the flow I try my best to keep coming back to it, or better still not leave it at all.


The structure for me was the revelation that all the books I have written since 2014 is the part of one epic series. I’ve spent the last 3 years plotting the setting and now all I do is continuously plan the next book and the next, all in this setting.


But even if you are not writing a series, you can try to plan out the next book you are going to write even as you are complete the one you are working on now. It may sound merciless, but it is very effective. It means you can then seamlessly transition from one book to the next. Never taking your foot off the pedal.


The other reason that I produced so much this year is the realization that to move to writing full time as an author, I need to make money to support myself (yeah! Go figure). And the constant inflow of money only comes from having a deep backlist. So the more books I can get out, consistently without compromising on quality, is the only way to reach my goal.


What about you? What’s your larger goal as a writer? And what’s your daily writing goal?


Marketing focussed: Staying top of mind with readers

I’ve spent most of 2016 building my newsletter list, and this is how I continuously communicate with my readers. Other than that, I also use my Facebook page and Instagram to let people know what I am up to.


Readers are also consumers and they are being hit by a lot of communication all through the Festive season and not just from authors. Hence it’s even more important to stay in touch with them during the festive season so they don’t forget you. At the same time the messaging to readers needs to be something that stands out, is engaging but also is not intrusive.


My most successful idea so far was this one. Where I gave away book 2 in series free for two days. The book went to top 100 free on Amazon and people also downloaded book 1. https://www.facebook.com/laxmihariharanauthor/posts/1198782010228728:0


It was also a great way to driver engagement directly with my readers and get to know them. It’s just one of many ideas you can use to engage with your audience, while not directly selling to them.


What other ideas do you have to engage with your readers during the festive season. Do tweet me @laxmi and Cameron Publicity and Marketing @cameronpmtweets and let us know


Wishing you and yours the best for the Festive Season


-From the Cameron PR team


Comments or questions? Leave comments here or you can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity




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