The Author’s Marketing Handbook by Claire Ryan

TAMH

Claire Ryan markets books for a living, so she seems the ideal person to write a how-to guide on the topic. I’ve read dozens of books about marketing for writers. THE AUTHOR’S MARKETING HANDBOOK is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s full of straightforward advice without a bit of fluff or self-praise. Too many authors of these kinds of books want to trumpet their own success as if it can be perfectly duplicated by another writer. Ryan never falls into this trap. She never gives “case studies.” She never uses her own clients as examples. She simply tells what works, and why.

Ryan’s focus is on new-media marketing. She knows that old-school methods like book signings or press releases are irrelevant today. THE AUTHOR’S MARKETING HANDBOOK is focused on what’s effective right now.

The best chapters teach authors how to set up a website or blog and how to use social media. Ryan gives practical, step-by-step instruction. She does not go into the nuts and bolts of creating a website because that information is available everywhere and it’s different for each platform. Instead, she explains the things a website should include and why. What are readers looking for when they visit your site? Are you giving it to them?

I really liked Ryan’s take on social media. Too many writers treat social media like a promotional bullhorn. Ryan’s approach is low-key all the way. Rather than spamming your friends, you should barely mention your book unless you have a special promotion going on. In other words, only mention it when there is something in it for the reader, not the author. The same thing goes for blogging and commenting on other people’s blogs. The key is to become a good citizen of the online writing community. Readers want to buy books from writers they like, not from writers who treat them as nothing more than an open wallet.

A person will need a good amount of tech smarts to implement all of Ryan’s suggestions. I’m tech-savvy and I still needed to re-read several sections. Still, with a little patience and some smart googling, a writer shouldn’t have too much trouble.

If all this seems like it takes a lot of time and effort, that’s because it does. There are no shortcuts. It’s always been difficult to market books effectively, and it’s getting harder every day. But with the help of THE AUTHOR’S MARKETING HANDBOOK, a writer can be assured that all the effort is worth it.

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rating: 5 stars

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pie slices: 8 slices business

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This book is best for: advanced writers

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I recommend this book

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