author brand, best selling books, Brigid Coady, John Jackson, Katie Fforde, Lancaster, Liz Fenwick, social media, Writing

Notes From The RNA Conference, 2016 —Author Marketing: Brand, Plans And Goals

I had a great time at the RNA Conference 2016 in Lancaster last week. It was four days of networking, industry appointments, and fun. 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some of the notes I made on each of the sessions I attended, so follow this blog using the sign-up on the right of this page to make sure you don’t miss anything!

To kick off, here are a few bullet points from the Author Marketing Session, presented by that great double act, best-selling authors Liz Fenwick and Brigid Coady. All the photographs are by John Jackson. I know my limitations behind a lens…

Brigid Coady
  • Start by writing the best book you can. All your marketing efforts should take second place to that. 
  • A brand is a promise. Every interaction with your readers should add value to your brand, and create an emotional attachment.
  • Katie Fforde and Carole Matthews are fantastic “brands”
  • What are you willing to share online? Does it fit with what you write?
  • R J Ellory, the crime writer who faked his own reviews, was cited as a “damaged brand” which is taking a long time to recover.
Liz Fenwick
  • Avoid politics and religion when you’re interacting online
  • Keep a flow of information and interaction between you and your readers on Facebook, Twitter etc, always promoting the same values
  • Find out everything you can about your target audience. If they’re Australian, make sure you’re on social media at midnight, etc. Be where they are, when they’re there. 
    Lancaster University Campus

  • Use scheduling services  such as Tweetdeck, but take care tragic international events don’t overtake your happy tweets.
  • Support local bookshops and library campaigns to get your name out there. 
  • Engage your reader with everything from the cover, through blurb, bio, photo and your first page.
  • Use Facebook Author page to monitor stats and help understand your audience.
  • Liz and Brigid decided they spent about 3 hours writing and 1 hour on marketing, every day.
Don’t forget to follow my blog by signing up at the top of this page, to make sure you don’t miss the next instalment of my notes from the RNA Conference, 2016.
best selling books, Christina Hollis author, Harlequin Masquerade, historical novels

New Books Online Soon!

A few weeks ago, I posted a couple of blogs here about ebooks and epublishing. At the time I wasn’t sure I liked the way technology was galloping ahead, leaving book-lovers like me worried that the feel, smell and experience of “real” books would soon be lost forever. The debate has had such a lot of interest, both here and through my mailbox at that I felt I had to do a bit more research. There are so many writers hovering on the brink of self-publishing that I thought I’d take the plunge, on the basis that “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.  The catalyst for this was getting back all the rights to some historical novels I wrote for Harlequin Mills and Boon’s Masquerade line a while ago. I’ve chosen one of these to test the epublishing waters, so I can report back to you all on how the system works, and how easy it is to launch a book into the flotilla of writing already available on the net. 
I chose Lady Rascal for my foray into epublishing. It’s a lighthearted romp set at a deadly serious time – the summer of 1789. France is in turmoil, and an English aristocrat puts his life on the line for a beautiful woman. Philip Adamson thinks he’s saving Madeleine from the mob, but she is hiding a guilty secret. Beneath her borrowed clothes, Madeleine isn’t a lady, she’s laundry maid! She was finding herself some nice new clothes in the looted streets when Philip swept her away to safety. Quick-thinking Madeleine sees his innocent mistake as her chance to get the job of her dreams. As a lady’s companion, she looks forward to doing nothing all day – but  soon finds herself joining forces with Philip to fight for his family’s home and fortune.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be tracing Lady Rascal’s route from “real” paperback to brand new ebook let loose on the international stage. I think Madeleine will approve, and I look forward to hearing what you think!