On Thursday, May 11, several WNBA-NYC members were treated to an informative, intimate presentation on marketing in the digital age by Julie Trelstad. Her company, Julie Ink, specializes in coaching professional authors to grow their digital marketing savvy and confidence. We thank Hannah Bennett, our chapter president, for hosting us at her office (RosettaBooks).
Julie introduced us to what’s essential for today’s author platform, noting the constant state of flux in the publishing field. Some of her suggestions: a mobile-responsive website, a home page updated monthly that clearly introduces you to someone who doesn’t have a clue about you, and the page should include email sign up, buy buttons, events, and press kits.
A regular email newsletter hosted by mailchimp.com, for instance, should offer a service or advice, and not just be used to collect names.
As author Elisa Koopmans reported, “Julie provided a comprehensive and valuable look at digital marketing venues that are successful in the current book market. She also showed great interest in the participants and our creative work, which customized her suggestions by tailoring them to each of our specific needs. It was a great event!”
Author Sora Vernikoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) echoed this sentiment. “…Julie’s excellent attention to each author’s story always ended with some great advice and how she could potentially help support them…She also gave out and reviewed an excellent hand-out… it was a great source of author resources. She is definitely a gem!”
Julie emphasized the importance of building a platform presence that is the most effective and far reaching, and that serves you. Start by googling yourself. If you don’t like Twitter, don’t tweet. Maybe Pinterest will spark your interest and build a great network. A Facebook fan page is different than a personal page, and can capture a wide readership and loyal fans.
Pull together all your elements for a uniform brand. Get help from a budding graphic designer, student intern, or Canva.com (a design platform which has free digital assets)—whatever suits your budget and increases your efficiency. Julie offered numerous tips on branding, and it would be well worth it to join one of her groups to dive in, hands-on. Her can-do attitude instilled greater confidence in me, a timid technophobe. Her light demeanor was calming to all of us, from writers of YA urban fantasy, murder mysteries, novels, a diet “how to” book, to poets, memoirists, children’s authors, and non-fiction writers.
Julie’s background is eclectic and impressive, from an editor at architectural magazines, to a director of digital rights at Writer’s House, to a publisher of card decks and products for Borders books, and at her own Plain White Press (having lived in White Plains). To find out more about her coaching packages and workshops, contact Julie@julieink.com, visit JulieInk.com, or call (914) 356-8368.
As Marilyn Berkman summed up, “Julie Trelstad seemed quite plugged in to what’s current and required. There’s certainly a lot to be done beyond writing.”
We left feeling confident that Julie’s advice and sessions can convert a mere “can-do” to a sure “did-do” platform of success in publishing.
Reported by Sheila Lewis, sheilaklewis.wordpress.com
Sheila Lewis is a writer, editor, and recent co-author of My Calm Place: Yoga, Mindfulness & Meditation Strategies for Children (pesipublishing.com), with 50 exercises that match her passion for meditation with effective learning techniques. She teaches classes and workshops at the JCC and citywide. She has been a WNBA member since 2008. Contact her at email@example.com.