Julie Rowan-Zoch is the winner of January’s Book Giveaway – Little Butterfly
The above illustration was done by Elizabeth Rose Stanton. She was featured on Illustrator Saturday in 2012. Click here to view.
I hope you will read this post or save it to read later. Every once in a while I feel compelled to share my observations with everyone, hoping that it helps someone out there. Below is a list of those things that I feel are mistakes, missed opportunities, and a pet peeve of mine. They are for both writers and illustrators.
- No website or blog – facebook is not enough, you haven’t written a book.
- For Illustrators: Show off your artwork make a page on facebook that people can click to see all your illustrations in one place and not have to scroll through family pictures to see them. Get a blog and make sure you do the same thing. Both a blog and facebook are free, so there is no excuse to not have both of these. In addition, consider a online directory to show off you work. The more places have your work the more chances of your work being seen. Remember Instagram and Pintrest.
- No contact information on blog, website, and facebook. Why have a blog if you don’t let people know who you are? I don’t get it. Isn’t that why you are taking the time to blog? Some of you come to my blog and leave a comment and I love you for that, but sometimes I have a few minutes to go over to your blog to leave a comment and I can’t find anything about you. Who are you I really want to know.Also make sure you go over to your profile page on facebook and put in your contact information including you website(s), blog, etc.
- No signature information set up on your email to let people know about your website, book, or blog. You have no idea how many people email me and they don’t sign the email. I might be really interested in what they sent and may want to check them out on their website or blog, but there isn’t anything for me to click to see more about them. So, unless I have the time to do a Google search, it gets put aside.
- Take the time to get an email that is your name. This would help with number three, but it is very frustrating for someone who receives hundreds of emails everyday to try to remember the person who goes by email@example.com (made up). If you get a website with your name, then make up an website email. example: firstname.lastname@example.org and use it. I know you have used your other email forever, but you need to try to break that habit.
- Always title your work. This is something that both writers and Illustrators do. Before you send anything out always check to make sure you have your information on the document and/or the illustration. Not just in the email. I save the attachments to use later and then when I go to use it, there is nothing in the file name that lets me know who’s work I’m opening. Then I spend a half hour trying to remember when it may have been sent and try to find the email. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes I’m not. When I am successful finding the email, half of those emails do not tell me who the person is and I have to email to find out. I hope you haven’t been doing the same thing with a submission with an editor or agent.
- When another blogger wants to feature you on their blog and use one of your post that they like. Let them. Don’t say, “I want people to come to my site and read my post there. Why would I help you out?” This is very short sighted. That other blogger is opening you up to getting your name in front of a whole new audience. Just make sure you ask them to use your name, bio, and something of your work. You should act friendly and even ask if they would be interested in doing an interview with them down the road (especially if you have a book).
- If you have a presence on Amazon, make sure you create your author or illustrator page and include all the information about you.
- If you have a book consider book pricing. If you are a debut author or you have a new series coming out, you should consider giving a reduced price on your book. Free is good, but I would keep it under $2.00. Most authors hate that idea, because they want to make money, but what that does is open you up to finding new readers. This only works if you have a well-written book. If it is, then the reader will starting buying your other books at full price. In most cases your publisher will decide on the price, but even so it is worth discussing the pricing of your book with them. If you are self-published, you will need to think about this, too. The trick with making money with a self-published book is to self-publish more books, so you can get new readers and feed your older readers with more of your work. Amazon has an excellent pricing program you can use to feature your book at a lower price for a specific amount of time. I have lost rack of how many authors I have discovered by them featuring their book for free or $.99 or $1.99. I became big fans and ended up buying all their books – something that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
- Think out of the box. I also like those ebook samplers with three or four chapter excerpts. Most of the publishers put them together, but why should it be just the publishers. Why not get together with other authors that write YA , MG, New Adult, Fantasy, etc. These books are free, but they can open doors for you. The first one I downloaded ended up causing me to buy every single book from the excerpts. I download all of them now. Great way to find good books. So why not put together something like that and let it work for you?
Hope you think about some of the things listed and consider if you agree with what I have pointed out.