5 Tweets to Stop Sending Today

11-24-14 10 Twitter StrategiesTwitter has been around nine years and in the social media sphere, that’s a long time.

Its founder sent the first tweet on March 21, 2006 and within four years it attracted 106 million users.

As of July of this year, Twitter had 284 million monthly active users who send 500 million tweets ever day.  (Source: Twitter)

Of those users, 80 percent use their phones to tweet, which points to the growing need to be mobile-ready.

Maybe it’s my funky mood today but I find it surprising that despite Twitter’s history and wide usage users still send me promotional direct messages. BTW: I don’t read direct messages.

For today’s post, I decided to break my rule and take a look at the list of recent direct messages (DM). Below you’ll see their messages. (Note: I’ve deleted usernames and URLs to protect the privacy of these people.)

“I’d be so grateful if you could check out and rate my eBook.”

“Do you love eBooks? Download mine.”

“Thank you for following. Like me on FB.”

“My campaign is 51% funded. Link is in my bio.”

“I use TrueTwit. To validate click here: URL.”

“Connect with me on FB.”

“Connect with me on Google.”

“Please check out my books.”

“Please buy my books.”

“Please read and review my books.”

“Check out my website.”

11-24-14 5 Tweets You Never Want to Send

Stop Sending These Five Tweets

I’m not saying that you can never tweet about your books, Facebook page, blog or newsletter. What I suggest is that you space those tweets apart and never send them as a direct message as part of your “thanks-for-following” tweet.

For example, I send tweets about my eBooks once every six weeks. I send other tweets about my books once every three weeks.

I also tweet about my new blog posts. However, the  majority of information I tweet consists of images and blog posts I didn’t write that I hope writers will find interesting.

If I tweeted about my books more often than that, people like you would get bored with me.

Here are five tweets to stop sending today:

  1. Stop using the TrueTwit validation application. You’ll never grow your tribe if you use this app. If you are worried about spammers, use ManageFlitter to weed them out.
  2. Don’t send direct messages to your new followers. In fact, stop sending direct messages unless you’re trying to contact someone you know to convey your email address or phone number.
  3. Don’t ask new followers to like your Facebook page, read your book, read your blog, or review your website or book.
  4. Think twice before sending someone a thank you for following. In the early days, I did this but I don’t anymore. I think your time could be better spent doing something else, like a writing a blog post or working on your next book.
  5. Don’t send ten tweets in a row. It’s not nice to flood someone’s timeline with a day’s worth of messages in the span of a few minutes.

Five Great Tweets to Send

Now that I’ve got that off my chest let me share with you the types of tweets that are great to send.

  1. Tweet about your new blog posts. I create rotating tweets using SocialOomph and space them apart at 30 hours. Each tweet that I send is different, and the tweets stop after a few days. This way information about my new blog posts is appearing on different days and at different times of the day.
  2. Promote your colleague’s new blog posts. I’m always on the hunt for information that Indie authors can use to promote their books. I rely on a number of bloggers and some of them are Joel Friedlander, Penny Sansevieri, Jeff Bullas and Adam Connell.
  3. Let followers know if they have a fantastic Facebook page, blog or website. True praise is awesome to receive.
  4. Tell your followers about a book you read and loved.
  5. Send images. My retweets have skyrocketed since I began to consciously tweet images at least once daily. Select a theme that is appropriate for your niche and send one at least once daily.

What would you suggest tweeting?

Related reading:

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

9 Twitter Apps You Need to Know

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Friday Roundup: Twitter Tips for Indie Authors

12-12-14 Twitter Tips for Indie Authors

Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of the Friday Roundup focuses on Twitter Tips for Indie Authors.


Let’s talk about hashtags. They can be confusing to users new to Twitter, but they’re actually quite simple.

A hashtag is a word preceded by what some of us still know as the pound sign, #. When the word and the pound sign join they form a hashtag, and that becomes hyperlinked and thus searchable on Twitter.

Hashtags can help you to expand your online readership by attracting users who are searching for the genre or topic you write about. Likewise, they can help you find people who love to read.

They are also useful for tracking mentions of your books when you create unique hashtags.

But hashtags can be tricky, too. You don’t want to overuse them, yet when used appropriately (two per tweet), they hold the potential to improve the chance of someone discovering your tweets—and your latest book—through Twitter’s search function.

For example, if you want to find a new thriller to read, you would type #thriller in Twitter’s search bar. If you were looking for a romance novel, you would type #romance in the search bar.

There are numerous hashtags that writers can use including #bestseller, #eBook, #Free, #Giveaway, #Kindle, #ShortStory, #amwriting, and #amediting.

To see a longer list of hashtags for authors, check out my post Grow Your Twitter Tribe – and Find New Readers – with Hashtags.

Now Here’s My Friday Roundup

I scoured the Internet and found three fab posts on using Twitter. I think you’ll like them too.

First up is 20 Fundamental Don’ts of Twitter For Business by YFS Magazine.

Don’t let the word business in the title dissuade you from considering these recommendations. You’re an author who wants to make money from your books and therefore – guess what? – you’re a business.

This post does what it says: It lists twenty fundamental Twitter tips. Here are my favorites:

  1. Don’t keep your tweets private or be hard to fine. If you’re using the TrueTwit validation tool, discontinue your account. You’ll never grow a tribe while using that tool.
  2. Don’t direct message everyone. Never direct message anyone unless you’re trying to send someone your phone number privately or email address.
  3. Don’t spam people relentlessly about your books.
  4. Never write your tweets in all caps. This is considered shouting.
  5. Try to keep your tweets to 110 characters. This will improve your chances of being retweeted.

Next up is The Great Twitter Debate: Should You Follow Back? by Writer Unboxed.

This is a huge topic among Twitter users. Should you follow people who don’t follow you back?

The answer, I think, is it depends. Are you interested in what this person tweets about? Do you enjoy her or his images, blog posts, and other tweets?

The author of this post suggests that you follow people who offer you value plus some of the people who follow you. The goal of this policy is to “be welcoming but not just another follower. Balance inclusiveness with a presence that signifies quality and importance.”

Check this post for other points the author made as well as the 42 comments left on this blog.

Next is a post by Cynthia Boris for the Marketing Pilgrim blog titled Call, Configure, Commerce: The Twitter cards of the Future.

As Cynthia explains, Twitter cards are ad units with some kind of media or functionality attached to the tweet. Images and video are the most popular options. But there’s a learning curve to using them because you need to add metatags to your website in order to be able to create the cards.

This might be a job for your webmaster to help you with the HTML coding. My opinion is that they are worth the trouble. For more information about the cards, read Social Media Examiner’s blog post 8 Types of Twitter Cards Businesses Are Using.

Twitter plans to roll out a feature called Quick Promote. This is being designed for smaller marketers, like authors, and will work similar to Facebook’s promoted posts. Twitter promises that Quick Promote will turn any tweet into a paid promotion.

Finally, here’s a post I wrote: My Fave New Twitter Apps. Actually, I have more than just two favorite Twitter apps but when I wrote this post I had just begun to use Swayy and ManageFlitter.

The founders of Swayy describe their product as “a personalized content discovery platform” that helps you to discover the perfect content to share on your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first. I was Scoop.it at the time and Twylah’s BrandBuilder but after trying Swayy, I was a convert.

The morning after setting up my account, I received an email with links to killer content. By the second day, there were 25 pieces of content on my dashboard. I was stoked.

Even with the free account I’m able to access analytics. The three stories I shared in two days generated 32 links clicked. Oh, Swayy not only finds great content it will schedule the content for you too.

The other app that I still love is ManageFlitter. You can use the free version of this tool to unfollow Twitter users and to use some features to grow your account.

If you’re willing to pay $12/month, you have access to additional features. You can:

  1. Unfollow users who aren’t following you back.
  2. Unfollow people who don’t use an image for their avatar.
  3. Unfollow fake accounts you are following.
  4. Block accounts that are fake.
  5. Whitelist followers you never want to unfollow. (I love this feature.)

This app saves me a ton of time. Of course, other apps I like are SocialOomph and Hootsuite, which are scheduling applications that also provide great analytics, and TwitterCounter, which keeps track of my follower count and lets me know who my new followers are each day.

If you’d like to master Twitter, sign up to receive a free copy of my eBook Twitter Just for Writers.

Related reading

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

18-Point Checklist for Selling Books

11-17-14 18-Point Checklist for Selling More

Do you want to sell more books, right? Every author does.

Indie writers regularly contact me wanting to know how they can maximize sales of their books.

Some think that a social media campaign will do it. Others think reading gigs or blogging opportunities will do it.

The hard truth is that there isn’t an easy answer.

So You Want to Be an Indie Author?

Being an Indie Author is a tough job. After you write a book, you have to coordinate editors, graphic design professionals and book cover designers. Then you have to convert the book to an eBook or pay someone to do it.

Next, you have to upload it to Smashwords, Amazon and/or IngramSpark. Or you have to deal with BookBaby.

But wait, it’s still not time to uncork a bottle of bubbly because next you need to craft a marketing strategy.

Whew! It’s a lot of work, eh?

The Definitive Checklist for Selling Books

Book marketing requires a multi-prong strategy that consists of the following:

  1. Define your audience. Before you can even begin to market your book, you need to clarify exactly who your readers are. If you say everyone, you’re marketing to no one because your audience is too widely defined. Let’s look at some examples. Michael Hyatt knows the age, sex and income level of his ideal audience. Romance writers tend to know the exact demographics of their audiences. You need to know this information too.
  2. Purchase your ISBN numbers. Don’t buy them from Amazon or BookBaby. If you use the cheap ISBN numbers that publishing companies sell, they will be the publisher of your books. When you buy the numbers from Bowker, you are a publishing company and your company’s name will appear in the book.
  3. Determine which social media networks your ideal audience uses. If you write romance, you’ll want to be on Facebook and Twitter and if you have time, Pinterest. If you write nonfiction, you need to be on LinkedIn. Study the age demographics of each social network and the gender differences to help you decide which social media networks you need to use.
  4. Once you know where you’ll be spending your time online, regularly start posting. On Twitter, post a minimum of three to four tweets and retweets daily. Post at least once daily on your Facebook page, Google+ profile, and LinkedIn account. Pin images several times a day. If you need help managing your social media, check out my book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck. You’ll find great tips on what to post and when to post as well as strategies for saving time. Make a commitment to your readers by allocating time every day to be social: Like, share and comment on their posts too. Always endeavor to share valuable content that your readers enjoy.
  5. Ask your designer to create a cover for you before you finish your book. I usually nail down a cover six months or longer before I release my books. And I let my readers and Facebook fans and friends select the best cover from a sampling of five. By doing this, you will build momentum for your book.
  6. Talk about your book in your social media posts. You could write, “I just finished my first draft of ________!” or “I’m sending my manuscript to the editor today!” This type of messaging will also help to build momentum.
  7. Hire a web designer to build an author website using a quality theme.
  8. Self-host your blog on your website. Don’t use Blogger or WordPress.com. (Note: WordPress.com is separate from WordPress.org, which I do recommend.) Commit to blogging at least once a week.
  9. Include on your website the options to sign up for your newsletter and your blog. Make sure that you capture the email addresses from both of these sign-up forms. Your best fans will subscribe to your blog and newsletter, and once you have their email addresses, you can communicate directly with them. Make sure that you offer something for free to entice signups.
  10. Join Goodreads, review books, add your blog posts, join a group, and organize several giveaways.
  11. Some authors sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing Select in order to offer their books for free. There are many stories on the Internet about how doing this can boost sales. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t always work. What you can do instead is forego KDP Select and schedule several days on a quarterly basis when you lower the price of your eBook to $.99 or $1.99. Then promote the sale price on social media, on your website and in your newsletter. In addition, use a company such as BookBub.
  12. Communicate with your newsletter subscribers on a monthly basis, always providing them with information they need and want to know.
  13. Join a blogging community.
  14. Make some promotional videos.
  15. Enter contests and announce your awards.
  16. Sign up for AuthorRise, a free application that tracks your social media with your book sales. AuthorRise also enables writers to create promotion flyers. Be sure to check it out.
  17. Write another book. Second books improve the sales of first books.
  18. Be patient. Book marketing isn’t easy, but it’s always worth the effort. During those periods of burnout, you may want to hire someone to carry the load for a while, and that’s okay. Just don’t give up!

What is your favorite strategy for boosting book sales?

Related Reading

Avoid Social Media Time Suck 

Blogging Just for Writers

Twitter Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

 

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

11-14-14 Indie Author ResourcesWelcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of Resources for Indie Authors tackles the topic of blogging.


Blogging takes work, don’t you agree? You need to plan your topics, set up an editorial calendar and follow it.

Thank goodness there are tools to make blogging easier. No, there isn’t an application that will do the writing for you, but there are apps that will help you decide on your topics and research them for you. That’s huge.

Do you ever have trouble coming up with blog topics? It’s a common complaint.

Well, there are two great tools that can help you overcome that initial blog to writing blogs. First up is BuzzSumo. Once you sign up, type a word into the BuzzSumo search bar and the app will tell you how popular that keyword is and how often people are talking about it.This is good information because it can help you decide what you want to write about. If no one is talking about a certain a topic, then there’s no sense in blogging about it because people won’t care. But if you find a topic within your genre or niche that is lighting up the Internet, that’s what you should write about as long as it makes sense for your brand.

You can use the free plan and get all the information you need.

HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator is another cool, free tool. Type in three nouns and the generator will create five blog titles for you.For example, I typed the words Facebook, Twitter and writers.

Three of the suggested topics were:

  • 20 Myths About Twitter
  • The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Hard About Facebook
  • What Will Writers Be Like in 100 Years?

The topics will also become your blog titles.

For me, Grammarly is a must-have tool. Once you sign up, you can either cut and paste your post onto Grammarly’s web page or upload a copy from your hard drive.

Grammarly will immediately get to work checking it for grammar errors, redundant words and plagiarism. The cost is $139.95 annually, and I think that price is a steal.

Now Here’s My Friday Roundup

I scoured the Internet and found some great posts related to content marketing.

First up, is a post from the blogging all-star team at Copyblogger titled Want to Hook Your Readers? Apply These 10 Principles to Create Captivating News Stories.

This is an information-packed post on how to blog with authority. Here are a few of the tips Copyblogger suggests:

  • Always use the present tense.
  • Make sure your text is thorough and succinct.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Use quotes.
  • Keep it real.
  • Have someone else proofread your work.
  • Lead into the story with 25 intriguing words.
  • Quote a source to establish author and support claims.

The folks at Copyblogger have more tips in this blog post so you’ll want to check it out.

Next up are two posts by Adam Connell, aka Blogging Wizard.The first one is The Essential Guide To Must Have WordPress Plugins

In this post, he reviews all the posts that every WordPress blogger should consider installing.

First, he suggests a couple of security plug-ins, Wordfence and iThemese security. They both look great, and you’ll need to talk to your webmaster to determine which one would be best for you.

Next up is BackupBuddy. Adam says it’s his go-to backup plugin and one of the first ones he installs on every WordPress website he builds.

Another great one that I love is WordPress SEO by Yoast. If SEO confounds you, get this plug-in. It will make the process easy for you, I guarantee it.

In his second post, How To Get Better Results From Your Content Marketing Efforts http://blogwzrd.me/1s2iCJU, Adam answers six questions to help people like us understand how we can get more eyeballs on the content we produce. I encourage you to look at this post because it’s comprehensive.

7 Traps Waiting for Successful Bloggers, (Part 2) - is by Joel Friedlander from The Book Designer: In this post, Joel shares tips 4 – 7.

  • Technology – As Joel says, being a blogger meanings spending time online and interacting with technology. It’s always changing and can be challenging but here’s the thing, you’ve got to keep up.
  • Pitches – Once you hit it big, you’ll need to deal with pitches from other bloggers.
  • Burnout – It happens to the best of us. To be successful you need to be true to your commitment.
  • Life itself – Sometimes life can sideline our blogging, right? Well, Joel proposes strategies for dealing with the challenges.

It’s a great post so be sure to check it out!

Related reading

Blogging Just for Writers

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Social Media Just for Writers

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

What, Why and How of Marketing Nonfiction Books

Why and How of Marketing Nonfiction BooksThis is a guest post about marketing nonfiction books by attorney and author Helen Sedwick 

I made all the usual marketing mistakes when I released by novel, COYOTE WINDS. I had not decided whether my audience was young adults or general historical fiction readers. I had no blog, no twitter account, and no author platform. Worst of all, I had picked a topic of limited interest, the Dust Bowl era. While the book received glowing reviews, sales were disappointing. No Hollywood contract was heading my way.

I was determined to do better with my second book, Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing. Since I was now familiar with the process of self-publishing, I spent more time developing and implementing a marketing plan. I kept asking myself the following questions:

What book was I meant to write?

As a member of my local writing community and a lawyer, I found myself answering many questions from fellow writers, especially those venturing into self-publishing. They asked about protecting their copyrights, hiring freelancers, and managing taxes. They worried about using real people in their writing. They found the alphabet soup of DRM, DMCA, EIN, and COPPA daunting.

I also heard about mistakes, costly mistakes; writers who had signed on with predatory self-publishing companies and couldn’t get their rights back, and bloggers who had received letters demanding hefty payments for photos used without permission.

Indie authors needed an easy-to-follow resource. After thirty years of representing small businesses, I knew I could write this book. But was there a market?

According to Bowker, there were at least 391,000 self-published books released in 2012, a 59% increase from 2011. This was a groundswell of potential readers. I was intrigued.

Why would my book be different from what was already available?

Before I started writing, I researched similar books on Amazon and other sources. I found legal guides that analyzed agency and publishing contracts for the traditionally published writer, but not the indie author. I skimmed dozens of how-to-self-publish books, most of which avoided legal questions entirely. Clearly, there was a gaping hole in the market, a guide to business set-up, intellectual property rights, taxes, contracts and other legal issues of self-publishing.

What did potential readers want?

As soon as I decided to write the Handbook, I started a blog and began to use Twitter and Google+. I watched what information generated shares and retweets and what information just sat there. Better still, I heard directly from writers. They sent me questions and feedback. I learned what confused and frustrated them. I saw that they didn’t want any more warnings about what NOT to do; they wanted advice on how to accomplish their goals.

So I focused my writing on the HOW-TOs: how to choose a self-publishing company, how to protect rights, how to use images, how to avoid scams, how to save on taxes, even how to read key contract provisions.

Many people are intimidated by legal matters, but I am convinced writers are able to understand more than they realize. If they can master plot, characterization and structure, then they can learn to spot and avoid many legal missteps. I wanted to give them the tools for doing so.

How would I reach readers?

Like most writers, I don’t like the idea of selling. I prefer to think of marketing as providing information. I knew I had a helpful guidebook for indie authors; the challenge was finding a way to reach them. Where did they go for information about self-publishing?

Since I am an indie author, I started with the gurus I trusted, particularly Jane Friedman, Joel Friedlander, Joanna Penn, Nina Amir and Frances Caballo. I contacted them and asked for their advice on marketing the Handbook, which they provided. And I offered to write guest posts.

Anyone who blogs understands the pressure of generating new content week after week. I figured I could contribute something new to these bloggers, something their readers wanted to know. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. I have as many requests for guest posts as I can handle. In return I benefit from the exposure.

I continue to blog on my own site and to tweet. I have also done the typical steps of boosting Facebook posts, running a Goodreads Giveaway, publicizing a Kindle Count-Down deal, and pitching conferences for speaking spots. All of those have helped.

By far my best marketing move was reaching out the self-publishing gurus who already had sizable followings. Writing for their sites has given me reach and credibility that would have taken years to build on my own.

Guest posting is not a fast and easy marketing technique. Identifying appropriate blog sites, researching topics, writing about them in a useful way, all this take times. But in return the Handbook sells well, and I have been able to help more writers achieve their goals and avoid legal mistakes.

Bottom Line

We all get the same emails promising marketing tricks that will sell our books by the boatload. In reality, there are no shortcuts. You may have to sow a lot of seeds before one of them grows into a tree. For the best chance of success, take the time to:

  • choose a topic where you have something unique to contribute,
  • research the competition to identify an empty niche,
  • write a book that is useful and informative,
  • introduce yourself to the leaders in your category, and
  • participate in the ongoing conversation and education in your field.

The more you plan and focus your efforts, the more time you’ll have to move on to writing your next book.

Related reading

Blogging Just for Writers

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Social Media Just for Writers

 

8-11-14 HelenSedwick_300Disclaimer: Helen Sedwick is an attorney licensed to practice in California only. This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an attorney authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Be sure to connect with her on her blogwebsite, Google+ and Twitter.

 

 

About theFrances Candid Shot 12-5-13 Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

 

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

11-7-14 Social Media Tips for WritersWelcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of Resources for Indie Authors includes new posts on social media marketing. Keep reading to learn more.


6 Social Media Marketing Tools to Make Your Management Quick and Easy from Jeff Bullas:

Keeping up with the multiple social channels; posting original content and coming up with a social media plan that generates leads, engagement, revenue or some other tangible goal can make you feel like pulling out your hair.However, studies show that social media marketing works. In 2014, investment in social media is a necessity, and no longer a luxury.

An Up-to-Date List of the Algorithm Factors and Changes from Buffer Social: Does this sound familiar: People have liked your Facebook page or followed your profile, and when you post a new update, less than 10 percent of your fans and followers ever see it. It’s a challenge that many Facebook marketers face. How do you get your content seen on Facebook? The secret is in understanding the Facebook News Feed and its mighty algorithm.

How to Use Pinterest to Boost Blog Traffic Dramatically from Rebekah Radice: Building a successful blog takes more than writing great content. While content is a fundamental necessity, promotion is the key to spreading your message. Pinterest has become an integral part of my blog promotional strategy. In fact, Pinterest is now my number one social media traffic referral source. Over the last two years, I’ve watched as my Pinterest traffic has skyrocketed.

And because it’s November …

How To Write A Book In A Month by Nina Amir for The Future of Ink blog: In just two months, you will ring in the New Year. When the clock strikes midnight, will you have achieved your writing goals? In 2014, will you have written and published a book that helped you achieve expert status or boost your business?

Related Reading:

Save time on social media with Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Learn about blogging with Blogging Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

 

 

Social Media Changes You Need to Know

Frances Caballo - Social Media Just for Writers

Some facet of social media is always changing.

You can depend on that.

Recent Social Media Changes

So imagine my surprise when I tried to schedule a post to my Facebook page and I initially couldn’t find the calendar within the status update box.

Alas! It’s now located on the Post button. In addition, you can also backdate posts now.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.17.52 AM

More New Features to Facebook

New App Called Rooms

The-Rooms-LogoRooms is a new Facebook App for the iPhone. It’s designed to provide private, online venues to share images, videos and conversations.

Room creators control the room, from who gets to enter the room to whether you can post links to your website content.

Once you download the Rooms app, Recommended Rooms will appear on your home screen. Users can share Rooms invites as they would images.

According to the Rooms instructions, there are two ways to enter the room once you receive an invitation:

  • Take a screenshot of the room invite on your phone and open the Rooms app. The room will be automatically added to your home screen.
  • Open the Rooms app and tap Use Invite at the bottom-right corner of the home screen. Take a photo of an invite or chose one from your Camera Roll.

Think of a room as a chat room, those online venues where people could anonymously discuss any topic they chose. The benefit of Rooms is that unlike Facebook, you don’t have to use your real name.

As an author, you may want to start a room for your critique group or your book group.

Facebook Stickers

You can now add a variety of expressions to your Facebook comments.

When a mere happy face, grouchy face or laughing face won’t do, click the happy face icon to the far right of the comment box and three categories of stickers will appear – even animated ones.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.27.05 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.29.56 AM


Changes to Twitter

Have you noticed that the Me tab is gone? Until recently, you could click on Me and quickly navigate to a page where you would see your tweets and the option to see your lists, followers, and users who you were following.

That phase of Twitter is over.

Now you need to click on your avatar and then click on View Profile.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.37.20 AM

Once you’re there, you can access tweets, followers, a list of people you follow, and your lists. In addition, you can click on Edit Profile to change your avatar and header images, edit your bio or change your theme color.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.40.59 AM


Changes to Pinterest

When Pinterest came first appeared, the options to upload an image from your computer or add a new board were at the top of the page. Now they are practically hidden in the lower-right section of your news feed.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.43.13 AM

Previously, to access your news feed you need to click on the word Pinterest, formerly located on the center of your profile. Now you need to click on the red P.

In addition, the search bar is larger and to the right of the search bar are categories you can use for your search for images.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.45.17 AM


Canva Now Available on iPads

Canva is perhaps one of the coolest apps out there. I use it extensively – along with PicMonkey – to create images for my blog and social media posts.

Well, Canva now has an app for the iPad. Read about it here.

Canva-Logo

 

What changes have you noticed on the social media networks you use?

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Blogging Just for Writers

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.com

 

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

10-31-14 Frances CaballoEvery Friday I compile a list of online resources for Indie authors to help newly published writers market their books on the social web. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.


Smart Ways to Manage Time on Social Media by Rebekah Radice: Do you struggle to find enough time in your day to manage social media? Does the thought of juggling your social media tasks make you break out in a cold sweat? Let’s face it, business professionals are busier than ever. Between email, phone calls, projects and team meetings, adding social media to the mix is a recipe for overwhelm.

The 3 Most Important Factors For Growing Your Social Media Community by Robert Caruso: It seems that almost daily we come across social media marketers, enthusiasts and brands that still seem to have limited understanding of social media best practices. Often the social media “consultant” is even missing key factors in their own social presence that hinders their community, reach and growth. You’d think we would be beyond this in 2014, but sadly that is not the case.

The 2014 Social Media Glossary: 154 Essential Definitions by Hootsuite: Welcome to the 2014 edition of the Hootsuite Social Media Glossary. This is a living document that will continue to grow as we add more terms and expand our definitions. If there’s a term you would like to see added, let us know in the comments!

How To Get Your Book Into Costco (and other specialty stores) by Penny Sansevieri for The Future of Ink: In order to be considered for national in-store distribution, you need to pass several (many) checks and your book needs to go to their book buyer who is super particular about what she buys for the stores. Understandably. Product needs to move fast in Costco which is why you may see something one week but not the next.

Related Reading:

Save time on social media with Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Learn about blogging with Blogging Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo Credit: Lee Scot via Unsplash.com

Indie Authors’ FAQ on Publishing and Marketing

10-27-14 Indie Authors FAQ by Frances CaballoI’ve accumulated a list of questions that Indie authors ask me at conferences, workshops and even on the bus to the San Francisco Airport. I finally decided that it would be a good idea to answer these frequently asked questions about book publishing and marketing.

How Should I Price My eBook?

Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, has probably conducted the most exhaustive studies on how to price eBooks.

He discovered that the price that sells the most books is $0. Free is hot when it comes to generating eBook sales and building your platform.

The only problem is that after working so hard on our books and paying for the layout and cover, it can be difficult just to give away our work for free, right?

A recent post on The eBook Author’s Corner had some interesting thoughts about giving away books for free.

In that post, James Moushon interviewed authors about how they felt about free books. R.S. Guthrie said that selling his book for free a few days and purchasing a BookBub ad resulted in tens of thousands of downloads of his book.

If you’re looking to boost your rank on Amazon and become better known, free is a good option.

Can I Exchange My Books for Reviews?

Some authors give books away in exchange for reviews. It bears mentioning that you can’t stipulate what type of review you expect and you shouldn’t worry if you receive a few bad reviews. There’s nothing wrong with controversy or stirring people up.

Rachelle Ayala noted that exchanging books for reviews was the most successful strategy she used for generating up book reviews.

But providing books for free doesn’t always work. For example, Alan Orloff said that he gave away First Time Killer for five days and generated 47,000 downloads. What did he receive in return? A modest jump in sales and “a ton of reviews.”

If you’re trying to become known as a writer, occasionally offering your book for free is a tactic to use.

Will Pricing My Book at $2.99 Boost Sales?

Coker also discovered that the $2.99 to $5.99 price range is the sweet spot for eBook sales, so consider pricing your eBook within this range.

But that’s not all.

According to Coker, an author will earn as much from a $2.99 price point as $9.99. He insists that you’ll reach more readers at the $2.99 price, and if you’re trying to expand your audience, it’s better to select the lower price.

The price range you want to avoid is the $.99 to $1.99, unless you write Romance. Coker says that this price range won’t improve sales. In addition, Coker believes that this price point is a disservice to writers, and I tend to agree.

I was selling my eBooks Social Media Just for Writers and Avoid Social Media Time Suck for about $7.99. Then I lowered it to $5.99.

When I complained to Penny Sansevieri that the eBooks had dropped in sales, she recommended that I lower the price to $2.99. What happened?

I immediately saw a bump in sales, especially for Social Media Just for Writers.

What Should I Blog About?

I think this is the most common question I hear. I understand why it can be hard to determine how to structure your blog because you just wrote a book, and you probably feel that you’ve said everything you wanted to say, right?

No. Readers want to hear from you. They want to get to know you. They want to know what you care about.

And you want to provide them with the information they crave.

You’ll want to refer to an earlier post I wrote, 34 Blogging Topics Just for Writers for a list of topics categorized by genre or my book, Blogging Just for Writers.

10-27-14 Frances CaballoHow Can I Encourage Sales?

Here are a few truths I know. Nonfiction, especially how-to, books sell well. So do romance books.

Of course, if you’re Stephen King or Barbara Kingsolver, everything you write sells well.

But how can Indie authors who write memoir, fiction and poetry encourage sales?

It takes time, practice, and work. Here are some suggestions:

  • Think hard about the audience you’re trying to reach and then find out which social media networks they use. You’ll want to refer to my post How to Target Your Readership.
  • Start a blog. I wrote a post on how to blog like a pro that you’ll find interesting.

I also wrote a book on this topic.

  • Be consistent in your social media posting. On Twitter, tweet at least four times daily. On Facebook, post one to two times daily on your Page (different than your Profile.) Share information at least once daily on Google+ and LinkedIn. Spend time on Pinterest. On Tumblr, post several times a week.
  • Be social; don’t broadcast. Don’t use social media as an advertising medium. Endeavor to build relationships, share your colleague’s information, and make time to engage with your followers and fans.
  • Rethink how you price your books.
  • Sign up for Goodreads and initiate giveaways.
  • On Wattpad, Scribd and Goodreads, provide a chapter of your book for free.
  • Ask local bookstores to carry your book.
  • Organize a launch party.
  • Schedule a blog tour.

What strategies do you use to boost your book sales?

Related Reading

Blogging Just for Writers

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

10-24-14 Resources for Indie Authors

Every Friday I compile a list of online resources for Indie authors to help newly published writers market their books on the social web. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.


Better Shares, More Engagement: The 4:1 Sharing System for ‪Social Media Content, Buffer Blog: When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there. I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way.

The Only Way to Build a Brand on Social Media is Through Trust by Ted Rubin: Whether you’re building your personal brand, your business brand or both, one thing remains true: You need content to help you build trust and followers.

Finding Your Purpose and Voice on Pinterest by Kim Vij:Why are you on Pinterest?  Can your readers and/or customers easily identify the purpose of your pinterest boards? Your Pinterest Boards should feel like a store front window for your brand. Does yours?  With over 1.5 Million on Pinterest followers at The Educators’ Spin On It we’re continually trying to ensure that we’re bringing to our amazing followers the content that encouraged them to click FOLLOW.  Here are a few steps to get you started.

3 Fatal Social-Media Traps (And How To Avoid Them) from Forbes: Social media is a sink hole. Sound familiar? A company can pour all its available manpower and time, yet still barely make a dent in its brand recognition, brand value and sales. There is a natural tendency here to make three critical mistakes. Almost every business makes them at one time or another. By examining them, we’ll also see what you can do better and how to avoid the traps…

The Complete A to Z Guide To Personal Branding [Infographic] from Lifehack: If you’re creating a personal brand it can be an exciting process with many benefits if you know what you’re doing. But as with most things, if done incorrectly, you may not only see no result at all, but also negative consequences. Lack of attention or traction to your personal brand can be fixed, but be careful not to gain a bad reputation. Remember, word-of-mouth travels fast, especially online.

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 
photo credit: mezone via photopin cc