Market Your Book with Curated Song Playlists

Marketing a book is a full-time job, but every now and then there are some things we can that bring a bit of whimsy and fun. One of those things is curating music playlists to share with your readers via your social networks and even in your newsletters. Here are five online resources to begin your playlists.

  • Create a Pandora station that is in the genre you want in either their free plan or premium.
  • Spotify offers an easy way to create playlists with titles in both free and premium. You can create a playlist by your book’s title.
  • iTunes is another easy playlist to create, curate, and share. They also have Apple Radio and you can create your own station for sharing.
  • Youtube playlists of videos are really great for collecting similar artists, themes, and topics for sharing with your followers. Your playlists can be embedded on your website for easy access.
  • You can curate music and podcasts using Soundcloud. You can add contributions of other users to your lists too.

What’s an added value of creating and curating playlists? Well, you can create shareable content that helps tell your book or writing’s story in music, and you can share a bit of your own tastes with followers and learn about their tastes as well.

Idea: If you’re launching a book, a playlist is a nice freebie to giveaway to supporters.

If you have a playlist, post a link in the comments, please.


5 Ways to Share Your Personal and Family History

While May is Personal History Month, a time relegated to sharing oral histories, it is always a good time to decide to share your personal and family history in a few ways that have a lasting impact. Here are 5 resources that are actively seeking everything from personal stories to personal artifacts with stories to contributions.

Do you have a family heirloom or something that has historical value as it relates to your family? The National Museum of African American History and Culture is seeking single items and collections along with the stories that accompany each.

PBS’ American Masters is looking for stories about inspiring women. You can submit someone or share your story.

AARP’s Disrupt Aging is looking for personal stories.

Billed as “The Conversation of a Lifetime,” Story Corps is an interactive way to record personal history through inquiry. You pick someone, choose the topic, and interview them. You can upload your story to their site and share via their mobile application. They have a tour that travels, and you can also apply to participate that way. The recordings are then archived at the Library of Congress.

Share your 100-word story with Reader’s Digest and earn $100 if selected. Reader’s Digest has a number of other opportunities to share personal stories as well.

Do you know of other opportunities to share a personal story? If so, post in the comments.


7 Inspiring Quotes by Celebrities with May Birthdays

In search of social sharing tidbits? Well here are 7 quotes by seven celebrities with May birthdays. You can create your own memes using the quotes or just share the quote on the celebrity’s birthday. It’s entirely up to you. Enjoy the inspiration.

“Success isn’t always about ‘Greatness’, it’s about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come.” Dwayne Johnson | The Rock | May 2

“A spiritual relationship to me is much more about making your own connection to the divinity that you believe in and much less about the person – the shepherd – who’s overseeing it all.” Lynn Whitfield | May 6

“The Lord that I serve says the impossible is unacceptable.” Stevie Wonder | May 13

“I haven’t stopped looking for the good in people. I’ve just accepted the fact that I’m not always going to find it.” Patti LaBelle | May 24

“If you go through life and you don’t find the beauty in an unexpected place, then you really have a sad existence.”  Octavia Spencer | May 25

“We weren’t put here to be miserable. We were put here to do the best we can, and we should take our energy and improve our state of being.” Lenny Kravitz | May 26

“I wish you power that equals your intelligence and your strength. I wish you success that equals your talent and determination. And I wish you faith.” Betty Shabazz | May 28

You can use to create your own quote memes to share on your social networks. Happy May to you, and Happy Birthday to these celebs!

May is ‘Older American’ Month: Writing and Social Sharing Prompts

If you’re a regular social media user, you have probably noticed AARP’s Disrupt Aging posts and hashtag #disruptaging in their timelines. They’ve done a bang up job of leading discussions on age and aging. May is Older American Month and it is a great opportunity to get in on the conversation with some writing prompts and social sharing prompts.

Writing Prompts

  • Are you writing a novel? Is there an older character? If so, consider giving them an unconventional storyline or backstory.
  • Are you writing a novel? Is there a younger character who can be re-written as an older character?
  • Set a timer and write about a personal experience with an elder. Give yourself 30 minutes without self-editing and censoring yourself. Just write to beat the clock.
  • If you’re a blogger, choose an older person to focus on in a post. Is there someone who is related to your topic and subject matter? Showcase them.

Social Sharing

  • Visit AARP’s site and find some personal stories and articles to share on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use the hashtags #disruptaging and #olderamericanmonth to share with your followers.
  • Look up quotes about aging online to share with beautiful  free photos from Pexels or Burst.
  • Share your own story about aging. Did you know you can submit a personal story to AARP?

Do you have specific thoughts about aging you’d like to share with your audience? You should do so and May is a great time.

Do you have a Wikipedia page? No? Well, maybe you should

Wikipedia has progressively become a credible source of information used by researchers, journalists, and even college students. If you don’t have a Wikipedia profile, then maybe it’s time to consider one.

  1. Wikipedia entries are generally at the top of search engine rankings.
  2. Wikipedia entries are a great substitute for websites if you don’t have one. It contains no contact information, but it can serve as a place to read your bio and accomplishments.
  3. Wikipedia can lend credibility to you as a professional.

Anyone (but you) can create a page for you, but in order to keep that page, you must:

  • Meet their ‘notability guidelines
  • Keep the language neutral and all information – good, bad, indifferent – factual as in verifiable
  • Find someone skilled at crafting entries to create one for you

Wikipedia has strict policies and guidelines and their editors determine if an entry stays or goes. All photographs used must have permissions from the photographer or owner of the photograph as well as be credited to them. Well-written and edited entries are always a good thing. Lastly, you cannot write in the first person or use the entry as a promotional thing. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia not showcase.

Check out these examples for inspiration:

Beverly Jenkins

Terry McMillan (note the errors)

Bebe Moore Campbell

Study those guidelines carefully and take the plunge.

Unconventional Hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to Attract New People

It’s springtime and time to refresh our social media strategies. One simple strategy is to explore the use of seemingly unconventional hashtags. These are not your usual hashtags but they can be made relative to your book, project, and marketing goals.

Are your readers primarily African American and young? Try #fortheculture and see who follows and checks you out.  #fortheculture on Instagram & #fortheculture on Twitter

Posting about a work-in-progress or quoting a published literary work? Try #spilledink on Instagram and on Twitter

Writing a memoir or autobiography? Try #memoirchat on Instagram and Twitter

Shamelessly promote your book and/or interests with #bestread on Twitter or Instagram

Share your book with #FridayReads on Twitter  or #mustread on Twitter and Instagram

Do you have an amazing book cover? Use #bookcover on both Twitter and Instagram

#WriteForFood is on both and a great one to see who is freelancing or publishing their work

Are you writing about senior citizens or baby boomers? Try using #disruptaging and #artfulaging and even #creativeaging to promote your work

Hint: Sometimes a hashtag can have millions or thousands of users and as few as a hundred, either is fine for attracting the people you need to sell a book, sell yourself as an author, or build a following. Have fun with them.

Bring a Flare for Drama to Your Next Book Signing with These Suggestions

The book signing is a way of life for authors, and they are pretty much the same format. Did you know you can deviate from the script by using a flare for the dramatic? Sure you can, try these suggestions.

  1. Go to your local university and offer a stipend to some theater students to act out a scene or two in your novel at your signing.
  2. Open your signing with some acapella singing. Invite a friend from church or the community to come in and sing a song to warm up your audience. You don’t have to do anything fancy but it can be a fun way to begin a signing program.
  3. If you sing or play an instrument, open for yourself and shake off nervousness with a performance before addressing your audience. That’s a great way to show off your own diversity as an artist as well as ward off the awkwardness of starting a reading. Just walk out and start singing or playing.
  4. Plant actors in your audience. Read one character and let those actors stand up and respond to your character like it’s written in the book. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can be a great way for audiences to get a feel for your story. It’s also a cool way to surprise your audience.
  5. Invite unsuspecting members of your audience to read with you. Give them a character and you act it out together.

A flare for the dramatic can be fun and engaging. There are so many things you can do. Invite in a spoken word artist to articulate some point of your book. Have your audience sing a popular song with you. The point of bringing drama is to create a memorable event and inspire a few sales at the same time.