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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Tips for Authors

Using Tech for Book Marketing

Kate Gingold from Sprocket WebsitesKate has been building websites with her husband Don since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Kate is an author herself. She writes books on local history, including the award-winning "Ruth by Lake and Prairie," a fictionalized account of the true story of Great Lake pioneering to the shores of Chicago and beyond to found Naperville, Illinois. 

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Ruth By Lake and Prairie

Author Tips and Tales

Is an Olympic Gold Medal Worth All the Broken Bones?
Kate Gingold Host
/ Categories: Author Tips

Is an Olympic Gold Medal Worth All the Broken Bones?

Did you watch the Winter Olympics? I haven’t skated or skied in decades – and I was never much good at either – but I find it fascinating to watch these incredible athletes do amazing things on ice and snow. 

During one downhill skiing event, the commentators discussed how many surgeries one competitor had undergone due to crashes at previous events. They concluded with an offhand remark about how broken bones are just part of competing. 

“That’s ridiculous!” was my first thought. Did each of these skiers really weigh their options and then decide that broken bones, multiple surgeries, long rehabs, and continued health issues for the rest of their lives were worth being recognized as the best in the world? I guess they did. 

The more I mulled over this, however, the better I understood. I don't think I can accept it, but I think I understand the decision-making process. Similar choices are being faced in the publishing world, too. 

No writers’ bones are being broken, as far as I know, but we face other injuries as we ponder the risks and rewards that come with trying to “win the gold” as an author. A well-written book with an intriguing plot is not enough for success. Authors are also asked to be “personalities” that generate a strong following of book-buyers, and building that “personality” can be extremely hazardous. 

You have to be witty. You have to be relevant. You have to be prolific. You have to stand out from the crowd. And that makes it super easy to crash by saying or doing something stupid. We see it happen to celebrities all the time. 

Of course, there are some authors who are willing to risk the pain of social backlash to “win gold” for their writing. Maybe they embrace the old saying “there's no such thing as bad publicity” and are prepared to face the consequences. But I suspect there are also quite a few writers who just can’t grow skin thick enough to withstand the falls. 

This has always been a tough call for me. Heck, my day job is in marketing, so I know how this works. But I’m personally not very thick-skinned. While I want very much to share my work with a wider readership, I have to work out whether pursuing that goal is worth risking a metaphorical broken bone. I wonder how are other writers handling it.

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels




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Full disclosure:  Writing for Sprocket Websites is my day job, so if you have questions about digital marketing, I'm happy to help!


Marketing Author Interview

Following a presentation for In Print Professional Writers Group, Kate's husband (and publisher!) Don was interviewed by author Louise Brass for WBOM Radio. During the conversation, Don shared many of the marketing tips from his presentation. You can listen to it online here.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.



Get a Book Siging Checklist and our Sprocket Report

Kate will be happy to send you her brief Book Signing Checklist. Treat your book promotion like a business - because it is!

AND, since much of your efforts will be online, she'll also enroll you in her Sprocket Report, an email newsletter sent every other Tuesday, that includes 2 Internet Marketing tips and a post from a guest blogger on related business.

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Any questions of Kate? Leave them in the message field and she'll get back to you ASAP.

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