Wednesday 20 March 2013

PR Advice from Allison Meier

I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Allison Meier (on the couch of the internet via twitter, but still) to talk about how to sell yourself online. I mean that in the noblest of causes and that is, of course, selling yourself as a writer on the internet where hundreds or thousands of other people are trying to do the exact same thing.

Allison is a writer and COO of Dvinci (a tech start up company dealing in high end art). In other words, she knows how to sell what needs to be sold.

Take it away Allison...


There are many avenues writers have in today’s publishing world. Writers want to continue to spill out their hearts and souls onto a page rather than figuring out what marketing tool they should use. The best advice is to use your gut. Companies like are a perfect fit for writers. All their needs are neatly condensed into one cohesive website. The writer can search for their specific needs. Writer’s attempt often times to doing most of their own social media work, sometimes this can be tricky and they spill information out that is private.  Keep in that internet is one gigantic marketing device. Readers can search for anything on Google or get alerts for that author and what they are currently working.  All of these platforms have their positive and negatives. Networking helps during the initial marketing phase of a text via social media. Twitter is a perfect example of both networking and marketing.  It is important to share one’s work in the form of snippets on a website or blog to gain readership. This then will help ensure the success of the writer’s novel or anthology.

PR and Website Design

Websites create a plethora of communication avenues between the writer and their audience.  A good public relations specialist ( or publicist) can critic the website during its initial set up phase. The more complex a website becomes, the busier a website may appear, and the reader may get lost in the shuffle. Websites and blogs must also be easy to navigate. Font size and color also play into how long a reader will stay on a given website.  Public Relations ( in this case a good publicist) isn’t just social media, they are there to help the writer through the process of reaching their readers, create press releases and book signings. It is easy at first to enlist friends and followers but once a writer’s book has then been published through e-book it is time to be more cautious than before.  Individuals in Public Relations are there to ensure the writers success not to detract them from controlling their audience.  Allow a public relations specialist (or publicist) to assist in reaching out to reader’s right from the onslaught of writing the first novel is pivotal. They walk a writer through the process. I have seen writer’s first hand at doing their own and sometimes a poor job has been done and this has landed them in hot water; readers will deter and drop to the side unless they are dedicated and willing to stay for the long haul.

Let’s take a look at what writer’s need to make sure they are doing:

1)      Social Media Platforms ( Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr ( or wordpress) )

2)      Make sure the word author is in your title ( for instance SDauthor)

3)      Website is clutter free and easy to navigate, even if it links up to another website or page. Structure is always the best advice!

4)      Find a good free agent Publicist if you are going the e-book route, look at their credentials carefully and follow up and talk to some of the writers they have assisted.

5)      Work on website and social media at least 3 times a day, prior to book launch. Followers will begin to comment on story development and assist more when the book launches.

1)      Anything private put it on a different twitter  handle or facebook page

2)      Do not sell your book on social media platforms. It degrades the writers work. (Do tell a little to get readers energized and wanting to read the text)

3)      Do not follow people on twitter more than one can handle ( watch for the mentions and respond accordingly)

4)      Do not do all the marketing yourself, this will deter the writer from continuing to find time to write the next book. Readers have book cravings; if the book is a success they will want more!

5)      Don’t get overwhelmed. Some publicists or specialist will offer their services for free for a short time. They are valuable and they are there to assure the success of the writer.

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