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Ava Pennington

Author, Ava Pennington

Hi from Ava Pennington, CAN Secretary…

When was the last time you played on a seesaw? Maybe you called it a teeter-totter. The fun lasted only as long as the person on the other end weighed about the same as you. Enough of an imbalance and you either spent most of the time camped on the ground or hanging in the air.

A seesaw is not the only place balance is important.

It would be nice to think being an author meant spending all our time weaving words to enthrall readers. It would be nice…but not realistic. The reality of the publishing industry is that we must continuously build our platform, balancing writing and marketing. And balance is the key word…


Balancing our time

If we don’t write, we’ll have nothing to market. But if we don’t market, publishers will quickly stop publishing what we’ve written. Dividing our time between writing and marketing requires a delicate and flexible balance.

Experts have lots of advice as to how much time we should spend on marketing. But if we want to succeed, the advice of experts is merely a starting point. You might spend a half hour each day or a half day each week. A new book release may temporarily change your allotments. Marketing is a priority, but only you know how much time you have to spend on this task.

Balancing our methods

Speaking engagements, interviews, blog tours, websites, social media…our options keep multiplying, don’t they? And every option has both supporters and detractors.

You have a website, blog, and Facebook page. Then there’s Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and ShoutLife. But what about YouTube, Pinterest, and Digg? Of course, there’s also Foursquare, Flickr, and Tumblr.

Each time a new method comes along, it’s easy to think we need to jump in with all we’ve got. But if we’re not careful, participation in marketing tools – especially social media – can take on a life of its own.

Decide what works for you, but don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Explore social media management tools to maximize your efforts. Dashboard programs such as Hootesuite or Tweetdeck enable you to schedule posts in advance and simultaneously post to multiple sites.

Balancing our content

Social media is, well…social! This means the content of our posts should not be limited to sales pitches. Give your readers something of value – whether it’s insight into your personal activities, trivia about your book’s topic, writing tips, or anything other than “buy my book!” Then occasionally sprinkle information about purchasing your books in your posts. Think of these posts as seasoning: not too much and not too little.

Navigating the world of platform-building and social media can be confusing.  If you’re a CAN member, you have the opportunity to register for this month’s member webinar, “Building Platform Through Social Media,” led by best-selling author and CAN member Tricia Goyer. Don’t miss it!

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About Ava Pennington

Ava Pennington is an author and speaker. She also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship class. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries. For more information, visit Ava’s website: www.AvaPennington.com

3 Thoughts on “The Marketing Seesaw

  1. Mary Allen on March 16, 2012 at 8:12 PM said:

    Thanks for this post. It had some information that I wasn’t aware of, such as multi-posting. I’ll be watching for that.

  2. Mary, it’s difficult to keep up with all the features available. I’m constantly learning about new processes that will simplify my social media activities!

  3. Thank you for your words of wisdom Ava! I feel very blessed to be a marketing writer and am greatly empowered to give back to my readers what they truly need: fresh, timely, and relevant content. There are some days when you just can’t seem to extract creative juices anymore but you just have to go back to your main purpose and just go ahead and do it. Doing marketing work and helping others can really go hand in hand. Content writers just need to be dedicated and passionate enough. What tips can you give to young writers who are starting to make a name for themselves in relation to marketing content? Thanks a lot Ava!

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