It’s never been an easier time than right now to get published, says Shari Stauch, CEO and creator of Where Writers Win.

But getting noticed, that critical thing once you are published is another story.

You can’t just slap a blog on a site anymore and expect folks to come running to buy your book, she says. You have to invest time and energy into a longer process – blogging on the website, distributing that content, growing the audience while distributing that content and finding other content to share while you grow to develop trust.

“But the caveat remains that authors are singularly positioned to take the best advantage of this virtual world,” Shari adds. “They already know words and how to put them together to influence an audience; they already have something to say. With a well-planned strategy they can easily set themselves apart from the millions just throwing up an ebook and hoping for rain.”

We recently checked in with the publishing, marketing and PR pro who shared more insight on how authors can promote their work more effectively.

Hi, Shari! So, tell us about Where Writers Win. When and why did you start your site?

We launched WWW in May 2012 when we saw a real need to empower writers with a DIY approach to their marketing. We added the Winner Circle in May 2013. This May will see even more empowering tools for our tribe, including access to traditional media lists (i.e. newspaper book editors, radio shows, etc.) that will provide even greater reach.

Why should writers be using your services?

First, marketing your work should be professional, but it should also be FUN! We offer custom author websites, training in how to use them once they’re up, social media training, and our Winner Circle of vetted resources.

The Winner Circle, available by subscription, includes access to vetted book reviewers by genre, interactive maps of indie bookstores and LIVE book clubs, interactive calendars of upcoming conferences, retreats, festivals and contests, and more. In a nutshell, we aim to “shrink the web” for authors, giving them a place from which they can reach all the resources that will help them be successful.

And our mission is always to push a writer out of the marketing nest and so we’re respected for not continuing to try to collect fees from authors – they have the ability to self-market without giving away their profits!

Several of our authors post testimonials and folks can learn more about ourservices (including pricing – all on the site and quite transparent).

What’s your background in publishing? Why are you so passionate about helping writers?

I come from a background in both book and magazine publishing, working with both athletes and authors. The issues are similar – how to continue to develop and cultivate fans; I just enjoy working more with authors – They each have a unique perspective and passion that is so invigorating.

When writers come to you seeking help, what are the most common questions they ask?

Will I be able to do this on my own? (The answer is yes.)

What do you wish they would ask?

How SOON will I be able to do this on my own? 🙂

That answer varies, but the more enthusiastic the author, the quicker the learning curve and the faster their tribes will grow.

What are the most common mistakes you see writers making when setting out to promote their work?

Shouting a virtual version of “look at me, look at me!” Authors need to understand that it’s about sharing info and developing a “tribe” who will also share info (and want to share yours!)

What are the most important skills you think writers need to develop after finishing their books?

Communication skills, both written (as in pitching yourself to a reviewer or book store) or live (as in doing a reading or book signing). These are critical to making sure that book sells.

Name the most important/efficient/effective ways you think a writer can reach their potential audience?

It begins with the author website, the “hub” of an author’s marketing, the space he/she controls. Then we widen the influence with social media. Then we help an author reach “influencers” – those aforementioned reviewers and book clubs that can help an author reach a wider reading audience.

How do you advise writers on using social media? What are some best practices you coach clients on?

The use of Hootsuite is big – once all the basic sites are joined, we hook ’em all up via Hootsuite so they can post there and have it update their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ profiles all at the same time. We show them (using the best of other authors) how to properly communicate via social media, to share info that’s of value to their readers while defining the author’s brand.

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