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By Ben Cameron, 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 Ben Cameron, 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




By Ben Cameron, Nov 9 2016 01:22PM

It’s a great time to be an Indie Author with tons of resources out there - perhaps too many! From all of the advice that I have read on book marketing, here are a few that stood out for me.


1. 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter: Write Faster, Write Smarter By Chris Fox


Book Blurb: The fastest way to succeed as an author is to write more books. How do you do that with a day job, family, school or all your other time commitments? The secret is efficiency. 5K WPH will help you maximize your writing time by building effective habits that both measure and increase your writing speed.


- Create an effective writing habit

- Track and improve your Words Per Hour

- Stop the endless editing and tinkering so you can finish your draft

- Use voice dictation software to dramatically increase words per hour


It’s time to shift your writing into high gear. Write Faster, Write Smarter!

My take: Part of becoming a novelist is realizing that more you write the better you get at it. And the biggest issue is how to write well and write fast. You realize also as you try to ramp up your output that what it comes down to is working with everyday life that doesn’t stop. But then how do you carve out the time and space to write. And to do it every day. Day after day. This book has helpful techniques on how to do that. It’s inspiring too, and makes you push yourself just a little more each day to drive up that wordcount.


Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2eo53Mb


2. 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love Kindle Edition by Rachel Aaron


Book Blurb: "Have you ever wanted to double your daily word counts? Do you feel like you're crawling through your story, struggling for each paragraph? Would you like to get more words every day without increasing the time you spend writing or sacrificing quality? It's not impossible, it's not even that hard. This is the story of how, with a few simple changes, I boosted my daily writing from 2000 words to over 10k a day, and how you can, too."


My take: This book along with the earlier one from Chris Fox is a great first step to putting you into that mindset of being focussed to drive up that word count. So much of it, you realize, is your mindset and that can be improved. Rachel Aaron’s book is practical and gives you the necessary tools to put your plan into action.


Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2eKZ3sz


3. Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books (Let's Get Publishing Book 2) by David Gaughran


Book blurb: Take your sales to the next level! The author of the award-winning, bestselling Let's Get Digital is back with an advanced guide for more experienced self-publishers.


There are over 4 million books in the Kindle Store, with thousands more added every day. How do you get yours noticed? Visibility isn't a challenge that can be bested once - it requires continual work. But there are tools and strategies to do much of the heavy lifting for you.


In Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books, you'll discover how to:


* Leverage Amazon's famous recommendation engine to take advantage of the various opportunities it provides for exposure

* Position your books for discoverability on other sales venues

* Minimize the time you spend promoting so you have more time to spend writing

* Promote in a cost-effective way that actually works


By using these tips, you will get your book noticed. And getting noticed is the key to growing your sales.

My take: A must read for all authors starting out. Literally the handbook that gets you started with the basics. Helps you begin to get to grips with Amazon Algorithms, the philosophy behind why making your books visible is as important as improving craft. How to incorporate best practices of surfacing your books in the Amazon Discovery engine so you get the algorithms to work in your favour. Including getting you started with KDP select, mailing list building, etc. Must read.


Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2fxS995


4. Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) (The Smarter Artist Book 1) by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, David Wright


Book Blurb: Writing a novel? Learning indie publishing? This is the self-publishing guide you've been waiting for.


Write. Publish. Repeat is publishing for beginners and experienced writers alike.


In 2013, Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt published 1.5 million words and made their full-time livings as indie authors. In Write. Publish. Repeat., they tell you exactly how they did it: how they created over 15 independent franchises across six publishing imprints and 100+ published works, how they turned their art into a logical, sustainable business, and how any author interested in indie publishing can do the same to build a sustainable, profitable career with their writing.

Write. Publish. Repeat. details the psychology-driven marketing plan that Sean and Johnny built to shape their stories into "products" that readers couldn't help but be drawn into -- thus almost automatically generating sales -- and explores ways that smart, business-minded writers can do the same to future-proof their careers.

This book is not a formula with an easy path to follow. It is a guidebook that will help you build a successful indie publishing career, no matter what type of writer you are ... so long as you're the type who's willing to do the work.


I say: Well don’t ever say there is no blue print to help you transition from being an author to an author publisher. Written in the same smart, witty and tongue in cheek style that makes the Smarter Artist podcasts such a pleasure to listen to. Yet packed with solid advice to help you make that shift from hobbyist to career author, from artist to a smarter savvier artist who can make build a career from your passion.


Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2fxUD7h


5. Sell Your Books!: A Book Promotion Handbook for the Self-Published or Indie Authors by Debbie Young


Author blurb: Authors, are you wondering how to boost your book sales?


With this valuable addition to your writers’ reference library, you’ll soon learn to be confident, capable and eager to...


SELL YOUR BOOKS!

•Discover how to market, promote and sell your books

•Gain new insight into retailers’ and readers’ habits

•Pick up easy, practical, affordable tips

•Be inspired by other authors’ success stories

•Be encouraged by its friendly, supportive style

•Enjoy the selling process (yes, really, you will!)

I say: Inspirational feel good book to give you the encouragement you need to promote your own book even if it’s not something that comes naturally to you.


Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2eBZNB5


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times Bestselling author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Join her newsletter to get a starter library of her books here: http://smarturl.it/Laxmi


We hope this was helpful. Read an amazing craft or book marketing focussed book? Do write in and tell us about it. You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity




By Ben Cameron, Oct 27 2016 01:55PM

One of the more challenging and yet interesting things about becoming a novelist is that you are constantly trying to hone your craft. There is a lot of information out there on this, and over the years I have read as many of these as I can.


There are a few books though that stood out and helped steer me in the right direction. Here are five of them:


1. The Writer & The Hero's Journey (The Easy Way to Write) Kindle Edition by Rob Parnel

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2eIelOZ


Book Blurb: This book is designed primarily for writers - or new writers - who desire a better understanding of ideal story structure. “The Writer and the Hero’s Journey” is a complete manual for fiction writing mastery. This book will change your writing life forever - for the better. An unique book that examines the hero’s journey and its importance to you, the writer, and all your fiction writing, no matter which genre is your speciality.


I say: I loved this book and still refer to it. Many of us are familiar with the hero’s journey, the cornerstone of the story telling process. And it made complete sense to compare the hero’s journey to the writer’s journey. For isn’t that what the journey of completing the book is all about? You are challenged, you face the demons, you retreat, are challenged even more, and just when you think all is lost, you have a breakthrough.


2. Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling Kindle Edition by Donald Maass.

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2f9bAce


Book blurb: Capture the minds, hearts, and imaginations of 21st century readers!

Whether you're a commercial storyteller or a literary novelist, whether your goal is to write a best-selling novel or captivate readers with a satisfying, beautifully written story, the key to success is the same: high-impact fiction. Writing 21st Century Fiction will help you write a novel for today's readers and market, filled with rich characters, compelling plots, and resonant themes. Author and literary agent Donald Maass shows you how to:

• Create fiction that transcends genre, conjures characters who look and feel more "real" than real people, and shows readers the work around them in new ways.

• Infuse every page with an electric current of emotional appeal and micro-tension.

• Harness the power of parallels, symbols, metaphors, and more to illuminate your novel in a lasting way.

• Develop a personalized method of writing that works for you.


I say: This book changed my writing life. It helped me dig deeper, get under the skin of the characters and really develop my own method to understand character motivation. Ie. How to break a character and build it back.


3. The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master Kindle Edition by Martha Alders.

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2egNTML


Book blurb: When it comes to writing bestsellers, it's all about the plot. Trouble is, plot is where most writers fall down--but you don't have to be one of them. With this book, you'll learn how to create stories that build suspense, reveal character, and engage readers--one scene at a time.

Celebrated writing teacher and author Martha Alderson has devised a plotting system that's as innovative as it is easy to implement. With her foolproof blueprint, you'll learn to devise a successful storyline for any genre. She shows how to:

• Use the power of the Universal Story

• Create plot lines and subplots that work together

• Effectively use a scene tracker for maximum impact

• Insert energetic markers at the right points in your story

• Show character transformation at the book's climax


I say: I read this early in my career and it had a profound impact on me. The more intuitive approach to writing your novel that Martha Alderson uses, had a profound impact on me. It was the first step towards beginning to fuse intuition with science to come up with a system that worked for me. It also made me realize that every author must come up with their own technique and toolkit to writing and completing novels.


4. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting Hardcover by Robert McKee (Author).

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2eruI46


Book Blurb: Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development executives and agents all flock to his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience.


In Story, McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. No one better understands how all the elements of a screenplay fit together, and no one is better qualified to explain the "magic" of story construction and the relationship between structure and character than Robert McKee.


I say: I was fortunate to see the master in action and it’s incredible the wisdom that poured out of him during his four-day screenwriting workshop. The intricacies of craft boiled down into a science, by dissecting the biggest movie hits of all time and what made them such hits in the first place – that’s what you get from Rob McKee. If you want a ring side seat to understanding how it all comes together, without paying the $450 price tag then this book is for you.


5. Write to Market: Deliver a Book that Sells (Write Faster, Write Smarter 3) by Chris Fox

Get it here http://amzn.to/2dW02Hu


Book blurb: Many authors write, then market. Successful authors write TO market

Have you written a book that just isn’t selling? Would you like to write a book that readers eagerly devour? Many authors write, then market. Successful authors write TO market. They start by figuring out how to give readers what they want, and that process begins before writing word one of your novel.


This book will teach you to analyze your favorite genre to discover what readers are buying, to mine reviews for reader expectations, and to nail the tropes your readers subconsciously crave.


Don’t leave the success of your novel up to chance. Deliver the kind of book that will have your fans hounding you for the next one.


I say: I am extremely craft focussed, but once you are able to tell the story you want in a way that appeals to readers, the next step is to understand how to write a book that sells. I recommend reading this along with books on craft. It helps you understand how to fine tune your writing; so not only are you writing the story you want but you also write it such that it sells.


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times Bestselling author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Join her newsletter to get a starter library of her books here: http://smarturl.it/Laxmi


We hope this was helpful. Read an amazing craft focussed book? Do write in and tell us about it. You can contact us at infor@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity

By Ben Cameron, Oct 7 2016 11:06AM

All authors are, just by publishing a book, effectively running a business. However, there is a particular kind of author whose book is an extension of their own business life. This particularly tends to be the case for consultants, coaches, trainers and people in service and information companies. Their book is about what they do every working day.


A book based on a business is a particularly powerful concept because:


• Book sales provide your business with an additional revenue stream


• A well-written book gives you credibility as an expert in your field


• Your book allows you to reach people worldwide whom you would not otherwise have access to, either because of geography or personal profile


• Your book can act as a marketing tool to introduce readers to your other activities – effectively an inexpensive sample of what you do


• Your business clients can buy your book (or be given it for free as an extra incentive)


Publicity for your book is also publicity for your personal brand and your business


I want to talk more about that last point, because it is the most easily overlooked and yet it can be the most powerful.


Publishing a book give you a something to discuss with the media that can easily turn into talking about your business. It is a natural progression of conversation: What is the book about? What do you have so say that is interesting and unique? How long have you been an expert in the subject? How can people find out more about what you do?


Several of the business-based book publicity campaigns that we have promoted recently have resulted not only in book sales but also additional clients and profile boosts to the company behind the book. For example:


• The author of a book about parenting, who runs a business aimed at parents, was recently featured in a radio interview. The interview resulted in both book sales and the possibility of her becoming an expert commentator for the radio station.


• The author of a children’s book about money will be featured on a well-known national UK radio programme, raising his profile as a financial expert and that of his company.


• An interview with the owners of a small specialist publisher about one of their books resulted in the mention of several other books on their list, all of which sold well afterward.


In other words, as I posted before here, publicity is about opportunity. A book related to your business gives you opportunity – to get media attention, to meet new clients, to be seen as an expert, to reach new markets, to introduce yourself to possible collaborators and to make money.


So write that book and then promote the heck out of it! If you need help writing and publishing it there are some great publishing consultants out there who specialise in business-based books. If you want a recommendation or have any questions about business book marketing, get in touch - we’d love to hear from you!


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



Blog Archive

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