Marketing questions... now what?

Haven’t been round of late, working on finishing the first draft of my non-fiction book and getting my marketing materials in shape.

This is my first attempt at non-fiction, shaped by the fact that heavy weight is given to one’s expertise in the area one is writing about. My book is a cat care book, which springs from my 25 years of experience in cat rescue.

We acquired a new kitten a month ago (I’m planning to write him off as a business expense!:)) and a blog I started to show farflung friends his baby pictures turned into an online forum for my ideas.

If the blog takes off, is this something I can mention in my marketing efforts? How big does it have to be? And how best can I use this internet resource to get noticed by agents and publishers?

Any ideas about copyright issues or getting my blog noticed is greatly appreciated!

wayofcats.blogspot.com

And, of course, if you like cats, I very much want to know what you think.

From what I understand from my publisher, blogs are becoming a significantly more
important marketing enhancement. I’ve also been told that whereas the conventional
wisdom used to be that you didn’t market a book before the book actually existed, a
number of authors have had success using blogs to foreshadow upcoming books.
It’s important to remember, though, that blogs are still only part of the mix.

I’ve been documenting my own experiences marketing my new book Think Better in
another thread of this forum I’m a Writer > Think Better. You may find something
of interest there.

All the best,

Tim

I launched the Hot Topic blog in April - the book followed in August. The blog supports the book by making references (see Notes & Sources) clickable , and forces me to keep up to date with the subject. Also good as a way of building a profile (for punditry), and as research for the next book… Gives me some idea of my readership, and builds contacts with key players.

A pdf version of the book will also be sold through the blog (soon), giving me revenue to set against my time. This enables us to reach an international market, even though the paper book is NZ-only (or effectively so).

A spin-off web site is also planned, but I can’t say much about that at the moment - it’s in early development. And there’s talk of an education version of both book and site.

So… blogs can work, but be warned that a good blog takes a lot of time, especially if you’re reacting to news.

Pip pip!

Thanks, and congratulations.

From my research and experimentation so far, there seems to be some consensus on these points when using blogs to circulate one’s writing:

Circulation is dependent on the level of effort put into it, of course, but this applies not only to the writing, but also the fun things you can do to make the blog attractive. For instance, I made a SmartSelector quiz and linked the explanations of the answers to my blog. I have handy links in different categories. I am doing a tutorial type of blog, so being a resource is part of its function.

Longer writing means fewer postings. Once a day is a good pace to keep people coming back. Split longer pieces to keep the level of effort even. This way the readers will know what to expect when they tune in. If they usually get a nice long read, and tune in to get a short one, they will be disappointed, and vice versa.

Good to have an RSS feed. If you post once a month, they will get it. If you let it go too long, depending on audience, they will unsubscribe, and, I gather, never darken your door again.

Get a site meter and set it properly. I use this site, which is free for a very functional level of information.

sitemeter.com

Then get to bed before you play with the graphs in your sitemeter all night.

For what it’s worth, I recommend Statcounter.

And all of your points are good ones. RSS feeds are incredibly important, both for bringing people to your site and as a means of keeping in touch with your subject.

Pip pip!

Thanks for the tip about statcounter. I have added that, too :slight_smile:

Graphs! More graphs!</Igor voice>

And today:blush:

Ours is called Tigger.

Nice writing.

Pip pip!

I don’t have any useful comments, but you’re definitely doing something right. I added The Way of Cats to my RSS reader this morning.

Katherine

Thank you both for the compliments.

I had a great moment this weekend. Carole Wilbourn, a major cat therapist and, through her books, a Cat Mentor of mine, likes the blog! She put my link on HER site!

I had already put her link on my site, and was just being polite and complimentary to tell her so.

Not only is this happy-making, this opens the door for her to possibly blurb my book, which is going to be the end result of this particular obsessive venture.

Ah, the wonders of the internet.