Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Squidoo Portals : SquidLit

This series is looking at the various portals, or front doors, of Squidoo that are ideal for authors to use to promote themselves and their books.

SquidLit is a portal specifically for lenses about books. It's designed to work by allowing you to plug in your ISBN and author name and your comments and the site will build the bare bones of a page from any information contained in Amazon, Google, and Wikipedia. I think this is the easiest and quickest way to get started with Squidoo because you don't even have to work out how to use the site and what "modules" are before you can have a page set up about your new book.

Once this is built it is important to customise and personalise this page. Generic pages are rife and easily ignored since, sadly but unsurprisingly, online hucksters love this tool. It is easy to delete any modules that are not relevant or edit the content. Ensure you change the default titles of every module; leaving "New Amazon Spotlight", for example, as a sub-heading comes across poorly.

This is your book you're talking about, so include as much personal detail as you can. Why did you write the book? What was your inspiration? Is the final book very different to the book you started out writing? Who edited your book? Did your editor offer you any valuable insights that you can share with your readers? What do you hope your readers get out of your book? What are you writing next?

You can also include details of book signings and appearances and links to your website/blog and any sites that have posted favourable reviews of your book. Don't forget that sites such as Squidoo invite reader interaction too, so be prepared to have a conversation with your readers. Be friendly, sincere, and professional and you can't go wrong.

Here is an example of a SquidLit lens I built about the book Shalimar the Clown.

Elsa Neal Elsa Neal was one of the early adopters of Squidoo after it came out of Beta and has been actively involved in the community as a Squid Angel and a Top 100 Giant Squid. She has more recently been experimenting with HubPages. She can also be found on her own website or sharing her writing insights at her Fictional Life Blog.

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  1. Thanks for the link to another great resource. It pays to be Internet savvy to promote our books, and this has been a most helpful series.

  2. I'm sure you'll find it surprisingly easy to use. Give it a try.

  3. I've been ignoring Squidoo since most people seem to be on Facebook and Twitter lately. I should update my information there and be a bit more active. It wouldn't hurt.

    Morgan Mandel

  4. I haven't heard about Squido so this has been a great series for me. Another tool. Thanks.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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