Agent, Hartline Literary Agency and writer of Suspense Sealed With a Kiss
Thursday, August 21, 2014
A special welcome to Anne Garboczi Evans who tells us her secrets for building platform!
My New York Times Bestseller
you’re an Indie, self-published, or Traditional author, we’ve all heard the
doom-inspiring line. “In this economy, publishers don’t have the budget to
market new authors.”
in this market or sink world, we’re all looking for ways to make our book stand
out. Problem is, if you haven’t made it big yet, chances are you also don’t
have much of a marketing budget. But you do have one tool at your disposal—your
pen. Use it wisely and you can skyrocket your book all the way up to the New
York Times bestseller list. Or at least, that’s my hope, because I want my name
on that list. J
will exponentially increase your book exposure since, it not only provides
links to your blog, but also drives up your Google search
engine results. How do you get guest blog slots? Find blogs that attract
the kind of readers that would like your book and start shooting out guest
Very similar to
guest blogging, writing articles for online publications gets your name out in
Catalog takes articles on almost anything. It appeals to the 20s and 30s
crowd and has a lot of “10 Steps to Dating” or “Why I hate Twilight” type
articles, but is aggressively trying to build its current events reach.
Even if you
normally avoid news like the plague, (yeah, that’s me), other people love it. Writing
about current events is one of the fastest ways I’ve found to expand author
platform. Find something, anything, in the news that interests you and write an
opinion piece. Here’s a list of 100
Conservative Websites, many of which take opinion pieces. I use them
because my target audience tends to be rather conservative. If you write for a
liberal crowd, I’m sure there’s a comparable list of 100 websites.
Tick people off.
Seriously, do it. If everyone completely agrees with you, no one will read your
articles. Many authors try to only write about things that everyone agrees on
so as not to drive away readers. This is the wrong approach.
Write, “the sky
is blue.” Everyone agrees. Nobody cares. Write, “gun control.” Nobody agrees.
There are six
billion people in the world. Your biggest marketing problem is not offending so
many people that there’s no one left to read your books. Your biggest problem
is that no one knows you exist.
(Note: Do not antagonize literary agents or
publishers. There are very few of those and you need them.)
5.Make Your Own
No matter how
many people read your articles, it doesn’t help your author platform unless
they’re directed back to your site. An author blog is a “must” as well as a Facebook
fanpage and Twitter. Once your book is published, you’re going to have to use Goodreads
for book giveaways and the like. If you have spare time, feel free to
experiment with the other social media out there, pinterest, instagram,
This is the most
important step. Many authors get discouraged because the New York Times doesn’t
want their editorial. If you’re a brand-new author you probably shouldn’t be
querying the New York Times in the first place. (Though I did try it.) Query
After you do
guest posts for a hundred tiny blogs, query a small website. Do articles for a
hundred small websites and you’ll get a query accepted at a medium website.
Blow through a hundred articles at those medium websites and you’ll get a query
accepted at a big one. Get a hundred articles published on big websites and
you’ll get attention in huge print and TV media like the Washington Post or
Fox. Get media attention from a hundred huge media outlets . . . and you really
don’t need my advice anymore. Though if you’d like to offer me a promo spot in
gratitude for my excellent advice, I won’t be saying no. J
Anne Garboczi Evans is an author with Hartline Literary Agency. She is currently working on a world religions book entitled, No Fear: My Tale of Hijabs, Witchcraft Circles, and the Cross.