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    November 8, 2012

    Thursdays with Amanda: Marketing in Your Home Town

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    Amanda Luedeke Literary AgentAmanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

    Alright. Confession time. Before I could write this post I had to go watch “Jenny From the Block” music video by Jennifer Lopez. Because whenever I think about marketing locally, that song starts playing over and over in my head.

    But I’ll spare you from having to watch it, unless you really want to (WORTH IT), as I try to collect my thoughts and be eloquent and practical without busting into rhyme.

    J-Lo’s song is about keeping it real. Not letting fame and fortune change the fact that she came from humble beginnings. Being the same person now (despite the rocks that she got) that she was then.

    But I think in a backwards way, that theme could also be applied to book marketing. The Internet, though flashy and trendy and popular, shouldn’t give us license to live a double life. In other words, it’s so easy to go online and be a strong marketer, and then turn it all completely off the moment we step away from Facebook. It’s like we go from “Famous Author” to “Car Pool Driver” or “PTA Member” or “The Person Who Always Brings Cookies to Work” or other lackluster personas that follow us in our day-to-day lives. When in fact, being an author pursuing the dream is actually quite extraordinary.

    So let’s pretend that I’m an author with a book.

    I live in a city of 250,000. While I’m online, trying frantically to find people who enjoy reading, there are about a dozen library branches in my city. Not only that, but there are at least a dozen bookstores. Furthermore, my contact with the city goes beyond those typical venues.

    • I
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    November 1, 2012

    Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 6

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    Amanda Luedeke is a zombie literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform and eating brains. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her life as both an agent and a zombie.

    A few weeks ago, I offered free social media critiques to those who replied before the 14th. You see, social media is a specialty of mine. Before becoming an agent, I worked for some years as a social media marketer at a marketing agency outside of Chicago. I worked with clients such as Vera Bradley, Peg Perego, Benjamin Moore and more. A somewhat longer description of what I did can be found in the first critique post.

    1) Memoir of a Mermaid is a site by Adrianna Stepiano

    • Very visually appealing. I’m wondering, though, about how it appears you have two banners/mastheads. I’d get rid of the stuff at the top and just add “A Young Adult Fiction Series by…” to the main one.
    • It doesn’t seem your blog content is connecting with readers. This may be because it’s focused on your writing journey rather than reader interests. Brainstorm ways that you could provide content that interests readers but also keeps the focus on the YA genre, storytelling, myths, folklore, etc.
    • I don’t see a picture of you anywhere or anything that ties this to a real person. If you want that strong connection with readers, you’re going to have to put yourself out there a bit more.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: You do a lot of things right, but I think the main thing lacking is a clear goal. This doesn’t strike me as strictly a sales-oriented site, and yet at the same time, there’s not much of a reason for readers to come  back once they’ve purchased the book. Answer these questions: Why did I build this site? What do I

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    January 12, 2012

    Thursday with Amanda: Growing a Platform Is Like Dominos

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    Amanda 2 CropNOTE: Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

    So now you know what to shoot for in terms of numbers (if you missed it, last Thursday we talked about how big an author platform should be). But as many of you pointed out, those numbers seem impossible. The time and effort required to grow such a following had some of you envisioning yourself with an impressive platform sometime in the year 2030. While others flat out admitted that they didn’t have a single sales bone in their body. You’re artists, after all. And artists don’t always make the most sociable, friendly, outgoing, spin doctoring bunch.

    So what’s the secret? How can these numbers be achieved?

    Let me explain it like this…most authors, when embarking on a quest to tackle the platform demon, treat it like spaghetti. They throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. They start a Facebook group, a Twitter account, a blog, a website, a Goodreads account, a newsletter and on and on and on until they feel they have all of the possible platform-building areas covered.

    And then they’re surprised when nothing happens. When their Facebook group hovers around 50 followers—most of which are personal or family friends. When their Twitter account has more spam followers than real followers and their website stats don’t climb above 30 visits a day. They’re surprised by this, because they’re doing everything they’re supposed to do and nothing is working. And more than anything, they’re exhausted. They’ve spread themselves so thin, they can barely keep track of what was said where. At this point, most give up. They tried their best, and it didn’t work.

    But platform is nothing like spaghetti. It’s more like a game of dominos (as in the game in

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    January 12, 2012

    Thursday with Amanda: Growing a Platform Is Like Dominos

    by

    Amanda 2 CropNOTE: Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

    So now you know what to shoot for in terms of numbers (if you missed it, last Thursday we talked about how big an author platform should be). But as many of you pointed out, those numbers seem impossible. The time and effort required to grow such a following had some of you envisioning yourself with an impressive platform sometime in the year 2030. While others flat out admitted that they didn’t have a single sales bone in their body. You’re artists, after all. And artists don’t always make the most sociable, friendly, outgoing, spin doctoring bunch.

    So what’s the secret? How can these numbers be achieved?

    Let me explain it like this…most authors, when embarking on a quest to tackle the platform demon, treat it like spaghetti. They throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. They start a Facebook group, a Twitter account, a blog, a website, a Goodreads account, a newsletter and on and on and on until they feel they have all of the possible platform-building areas covered.

    And then they’re surprised when nothing happens. When their Facebook group hovers around 50 followers—most of which are personal or family friends. When their Twitter account has more spam followers than real followers and their website stats don’t climb above 30 visits a day. They’re surprised by this, because they’re doing everything they’re supposed to do and nothing is working. And more than anything, they’re exhausted. They’ve spread themselves so thin, they can barely keep track of what was said where. At this point, most give up. They tried their best, and it didn’t work.

    But platform is nothing like spaghetti. It’s more like a game of dominos (as in the game in

    Continue Reading "Thursday with Amanda: Growing a Platform Is Like Dominos"