I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Guest Post: Author, Michael Diack on Marketing Tips for Writers

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Please enjoy this guest post by new author, Michael Diack.  His novel "The Super Spud Trilogy" is about potato chips.  No really!  Here's the synopsis:

Genetic engineering has accomplished many things, one of which has been to create the Super Spud! The humble potato elevated to new heights, creating the most flavoursome crisps ever known to humankind! But that's not all - A magical transformation occurs to all Super Spud crisps not eaten before their use-by date. They take on a life of their own. And so long as they remain undetected by humans, they enjoy life in their own Super Spud cities, take part in major Super Spud sporting events and even start the odd Super Spud war or two. Join Colin, Cougar, Hannibal Vector, Generals Rock, Jock and Strap and all the others in their rollicking adventures. You'll never look at a packet of crisps in the same way again! Fun, quirky and totally original.

And now on to the guest post:

Hi everyone and thanks to Charlene for allowing me to guest post on her blog.  My name is Michael Diack and I recently published The Super Spud Trilogy in paperback and on Kindle.  I thought I’d write a post helping to give advice to all budding writers out there based on the feedback from my editor and my own marketing experiences.

The most important thing when writing your book is to know your audience.  Investigate writers’ websites and blogs, as well as looking on Amazon at the kinds of reviews similar books receive. What seems to appeal the most? What kinds of things provoke strong negative criticism etc? Look at the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook website too.  The best research of all is to look at other published authors – the successful ones who most closely match your own style/approach and type of book – and work out what it is that makes their books winners. Look at the how they have structured their work, how they’ve used plot devices, how they have thought through their characterisation.  Any reader – adult, teen or child – likes to feel certain that the book they are about to read is geared to them, or is likely to be a book that appeals.    There are crossover exceptions, of course, such as the Harry Potter and His Dark Materials books, which while ostensibly are older children’s books, they appealed to both adults and children equally – but they are in the minority and really only did so because the plots are incredibly multi-layered and are extremely well developed.

 Regarding marketing, I found Goodreads and a website called BookBlogs to be two excellent website for networking and building up a fan base.  Goodreads is very good for connecting with readers, advertising and posting giveaways.  Book Blogs is good for building up a following on Facebook, Twitter and to read advice from fellow writers and readers – there are tonnes of new forums and discussions every day.  Other than that, a lot of hard work and patience is required to market your book.  I send out dozens of emails every week and contact hundreds of bloggers, but it’s important to check their review policy first.  Many bloggers, depending on their workload, are very busy to review books but I found that as long as you are polite and respectful to their policy they will still be very helpful and strive to promote your book some way through interview or guest post.  I try to update Twitter every day, a mix of quotes from my book but also funny, non-book related tweets so not to bombard my followers too much.

Finally, here are some tips concerning the use of numerals in your novel (mine were all over the place initially until my editor told me the house rules).  Generally, the style is to spell all numbers from 1-10 (inclusive), after which the numerals apply.   Also sums of money - £10 note (not ten pound note) and £10,000 (not ten thousand pounds) – except for very large amounts e.g.  a million dollars or £1 million. Measurements and distances are always numerals e.g. 40 miles, 1,000 feet.   O’clock times of day are written e.g. eight o’clock, as are centuries – so twentieth century (not 20th century). Other times e.g. 8 a.m., 10 p.m. are numerals and ages only need to be hyphenated when preceding a noun e.g. ‘40-year-old man’. If you are saying ‘he was 40 years old’, it should be unhyphenated. Hope this helped a little bit, I think the most important thing to do is to truly believe in your work and never give up on your dream.  You can find me on Goodreads or my blog, will be more than happy to interact and help where I can.

Author Links:

Links for The Super Spud Trilogy:

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  1. Have to agree with Goodreads and Bookblogs. I use both. And I get a lot of recommendations off of goodreads. I follow Julie Kagawa already, and am looking for more authors. Good new stuff to read!

    1. I find Goodreads and Bookblogs to be really helpful too! And thank you for commenting!

  2. Haven't read either but both are lovely indeed.

    New GFC Follower
    Talk Supe F&F

  3. Nice covers.