Dare to Read

February 10, 2011

Marketing for Writers. Interview with Shelli Johannes-Wells – 2

Filed under: Author's Interview,On Marketing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:45 am
Tags: ,


by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



As promised here is the second part of my interview with Shelli Johannes-Wells.

CFE. What kind of blog do you recommend for a published author, one that concentrates on writing and publishing tips, or a personal one that describes her journey as a writer/author?

SJW. I think anyone who does a blog needs to find or give somethign special. My blog gives marketing advice to writers. It was a way for me to give back to the community. But I didnt stumble on this niche until a few months after i started. I think write what you know and love. Dont try to do something you don’t care about or love – it will come across in your posts.

CFE. Do you recommend the author to contact blogs that review your kind of book and offer to send a copy in exchange for a review?

SJW. There are many blogs that give review steps if you want them to consider your blog. I think it’s great to reach out to book bloggers and reviewers as long as you follow their policy in contacting them. Instead of asking them to review a book, offer a blog post on something that helps drive traffic to their site. Do what’s good for them and it may be good for you. Know what I mean? Anyone who goes out there and starts asking for reviews and plugging their book will not get a good response.

CFE. Could you explain the concept of blog tours and guest bloggers to my readers?

SJW. Blog tours – is when an author goes form blog to blog answering questions about themselves or their book

Having a guest bloggers is when you ask someone do a post for your blog.  This tends to be more topic-focused as opposed to interview questions on a blog tour.

CFE. I know you run your own marketing company BILAN. Can you tell us what services do you offer that would help an author increase her sales?

SJW. I do marketing which includes web sites, swag (bookmarks, postcards, business cards etc). I can also provide marketing consulting or even draw up a very specific marketing plan for the author as well. I try to stay away from the hardcore publicity aspect. But if you come by and follow my blog. there is a newsletter that will start coming out that will give you that advice without hiring me 🙂 I also do agent contests as well as marketing contests periodically.

And if you’re serious about your marketing, don’t forget to visit Shelli’s blog at http://www.faeriality.blogspot.com and sign for her newsletter.

February 7, 2011

Marketing for Writers. Interview with Shelli Johannes-Wells

Filed under: Author's Interview,On Marketing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:08 am
Tags: , ,

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, I have invited Shelli Johannes-Wells to join me.

Shelli is a YA/MG writer who runs a wonderful marketing blog for authors “Market my Words” (www.faeriality.blogspot.com) I highly recommend.

Shelli has, kindly, agreed to answer my questions about the best strategies for authors to promote their books. Her answers were so thorough and insightful, I have decided to share them with you, my readers, in two posts, so you can digest them at leisure.

Please read on.

CFE. As an author with no previous experience on sales, I am baffled by the marketing part of the business. So I was somehow relieved when someone as knowledgeable as Alvina Ling, Executive Editor at Little Brown (Young Readers) said in answer to your question “what do you feel is most important in promoting books? What doesn’t seem to work?

“To be honest, the longer I’m in the business, the more clueless I am about what works and what doesn’t. It really seems like a crap shoot to me. I know this isn’t a great answer–but it’s the truth!”


Do you agree with Ms. Ling’s answer?

SJW. I think a lot of people do not know how to organize so they do just throw stuff out there. I think you can organize your marketing so it is relevant, not too expensive and very targeted.  I’ll say this – if you don’t do anything, you can be sure it won’t work. But if you do everything and it’s just random, it’s not worth the time either. It needs to be to the point and specific.

CFE. Even if it’s hard to guess what works or not when promoting your book, what steps would you recommend to an author whose book has already being released?

SJW. First, I think every author needs a web presence. That should be first and can be done way before you get published.

The author needs to organize and write down 3-5 target audiences. Not just teens, schools, bookstores and libraries. But really think about who they are targeting. The niche’s their book touches.

Then I think the author needs to come up with a plan of attack for each target audience and decide what will reach them in the most effective way.

CFE. I have heard an author must have a blog. So my question is, what can the author do, in the way of advertising, to increase the traffic to his/her site?

SJW. Actually I DON’T think a blog is a must for everyone. Web site – I would say yes. But anything after that needs to be what the author feels comfortable with and it needs to be purposeful. If you start a blog and only post once a month, it’s a waste of time if networking is what you want out of it.

Now, if you do have a blog and want to increase traffic – you need to think of it as relationship building and go out and meet people. Kinda like – you wont get a date if you dont talk to guys. Does that make sense. A few easy ways to build traffic are: post regularly, visit others and comment, and have short posts that are timely. Don’t plug yourself all the time. Do it to meet others and they will come 🙂  Of course – you can always read up on SEO optimization and making sure your blogs are listed in places like STUMBLEUPON or technorati.

CFE. What is more productive in your opinion, running contests on your blog or commenting on other authors/possible readers blogs? Other suggestions.

SJW. Any of it. To me, if you are genuine and give back, people come by. Show your voice, run contests, meet your followers and your blog will grow over time. It does take time. Just like Rome, no blog was built overnight (wow am I profound or what today? :L)

To be continued…