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

How to Blog Like a Pro

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Would you love to know the secrets of blogging queens, kings, princes and princesses? You know, those who have hundreds of comments on their blogs and receive thousands of retweets?

Well, Denise Wakeman recently interviewed digital marketing expert Rebekah Radice of Imagine Wow whose topic was how to blog like a pro.

First some background.

If you haven’t come across Denise Wakeman online yet, you might want to connect with her on Google+ and subscribe to her weekly Hangout called Adventures in Visibility.

If you prefer podcasts, you’ll find her on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud as well.

Every week, Denise interviews top pros in the field of online marketing. Her program is consistently good, and she has quite a following.

How to Blog Like a Pro

Rebekah started blogging in 2004. As she explained, she’d always been a writer and at first blogged for the fun of it. Then she saw what an opportunity blogging provides for marketers.

Would you like to know this social media whiz’s secret to great blogging? It’s pretty simple, actually.

Develop a habit. Yep, that’s it. Years ago she knew she needed to be consistent in her blogging, and she wanted to cover big-picture topics while also providing the nitty-gritty details. So she committed to posting one, lengthy blog post every week.

She doesn’t miss a week either. Whenever she schedules a vacation or travels to a conference, she knows that she has to write those posts in advance.

After all, consistency is a major key to blogging. Here are other important factors to successful blogging:

  • Grab people’s attention.
  • Don’t be too wordy.
  • Focus your points and provide as many tips as possible. People love bullets with tips.
  • Create an editorial calendar for the next three months but be open to accommodating new topics.

Now let’s turn the question around. What contributes to a blog failing?

  • Lack of Consistency.
  • Lack of Goals.
  • Lost of focus
  • Not knowing what you’re passionate about
  • Not establishing a blog calendar.

10-20-14 2nd image Frances Caballo

How to Get Your Audience to Share Your Content

Rebekah’s number one tool for increasing shares is that she endeavors to build a relationship with her followers.

That’s the beauty of social media. Unlike any other method of marketing, blogging and social media enable authors to get to know their readers.

When we blast our content, and never ask questions, we relinquish occasions to learn about our audience.

Select one typical person in your audience. What does that person need to know? How can you help that individual? What challenges face that person?

Michael Hyatt describes his audience clearly. He writes for men of a certain age and a certain income bracket.

Rebekah says that once you determine who that person is, it becomes easier to write for that person.

Social Buzz Club and Triberr

Rebekah also mentioned Social Buzz Club and Triberr. Triberr is an app that enables Twitter followers to form groups. The purpose of the groups is to share each other’s content communally.

Similarly, Social Buzz is another collaborative network of professionals who blog. Communities form to engage in reciprocal sharing.

Further Your Brand with Images

As you may have noticed, I’ve been creating a lot of my own images for this blog. Listening to Rebekah, I discovered what I’m not doing: being consistent with the colors of my brand and the font.

That needs to change.

 “There’s enormous value in niching down.”

Rebekah Radice

Finally, she encourages people to “niche down.” Not everyone wants what you have to offer and besides, when you don’t define your specific niche you don’t reach anyone because it’s impossible to market to an unruly audience.

Further Reading:

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

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Writers

10-17-14 Resources for Indie Writers

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

Using Backstories as a Way to Connect with Your Audience, from the Content Marketing Institute blog: Who doesn’t love a good backstory? If you’re hearing the story, it feels like you’re getting information that no one else has. Or, if you’re telling the story, you get to make a connection that can’t be achieved in any other way.

Think Call to Reward NOT Call to Action, from the Engaging Brands, from the Engaging Brand blog:   Fans, followers, email lists are the customer giving you permission to talk to them. They are saying “I am aware. I like what I see yet I still need reasons to buy from you and the chance to actually buy from you.’ They are not a sale. They are not money. They don’t pay the bills. That is the bad news. The good news is that like debtors on your balance sheet…. Fans/followers are assets that can be turned into money IF …

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine: Social Media Marketing Cheat Sheet, from the AllTwitter blog: So you want to use social media to market your brand? Sounds like a smart plan. The top sites collectively have billions of people actively using their platforms each and every day, and many of them come armed with credit cards.

How To Choose A #TwitterUsername When Yours Is Taken by Keri Lynn Engle on the Blogging Wizard blog: The new Twitter design now gives you the ability to pin a tweet to the top of your profile. Now any visitor to your Twitter profile page will see the pinned tweet first, and all your other tweets—including newer ones—will be below.

All my eBooks are now priced at $2.99:

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



How to Target Your Readership

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In last week’s post, How to Stop Wasting Time,  I discussed the importance of focusing your energy and time only on those social media networks where you’ll find your audience.

For example, it doesn’t make sense to invest your time in Tumblr if you’re not writing YA or New Adult novels. If you write Romance novels, you need to have a presence on Facebook and Pinterest.

Today I’m going to share with you data from the Pew Research Internet Project that further supports my argument.

Study Audience Metrics to Target Your Readership

As of January of this year, Pew Research determined that 75% of adults who engage in online activities use social media.

Women hold an edge over men in social media and younger generations, especially Millennials, dominate. And it seems as though users with the lowest income and those who make more than $75,000/annually, are more active.

10-13-14 Pew 1Of those adults who use social media, 19% of those adults use Twitter. What’s interesting about this chart is that the income level starts at 79% for those making less than $30,000/year but climbs back to 78% for those earning $75,000/annually or more.

As a client who works with chief technology officers told me, she couldn’t connect with that demographic on LinkedIn but she could find them on Twitter.

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Among those adults engaged in online activities:

  • 71% of online adults use Facebook
  • 21% use Pinterest
  • 22% use LinkedIn
  • 17% use Instagram

While Facebook remains the shopping mall that everyone likes to visit,  Instagram is considered the fastest growing social media network.

In the graph below you can see social media’s tremendous of late. Again, the 18-29-year-old users lead the pack by older adults, including those 50 years old and above, are making great gains.

10-13-14 Pew 3Are You Ready for Mobile Networking?

If you’re buying Facebook ads that appear on the right column of the news feeds, it’s time to change that habit. Increasingly, the social platform is becoming mobile and everything you do – from your website to your blog to your social alertness – needs to accommodate that transition.

This is what the Pew Research Internet Project says in its Social Networking Fact Sheet:

“The growing ubiquity of cell phones, especially the rise of smartphones, has made social networking just a finger tap away. Fully 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28% do so on a typical day.  Young people, blacks, Hispanics, the highly educated and those with a higher annual household income are more likely to use SNS on their phones than other groups.”

Learn how to save time on social media:
Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write - Now Just $2.99 on Kindle

Why Do People Use Social Media?

Our primary use of social media is to keep up with friends and family members. At least that’s what two-thirds of online adults told Pew Research.

About 14%, mostly middle-aged and older adults, said they use it to connect around shared hobbies or interests.

So what are we as authors doing on social media? It has to be more than just hawking our books.

The reason social media use is climbing isn’t because we rush to Facebook or Twitter to see what Mercedes, Coca-Cola or United Airlines is selling. We go to social media to connect with other people.

Those companies who are successful at social media marketing, such as shoe retailer, TOMS, excels at social media because they connect with people.

For every pair of shoes that a customer purchases, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in a Third World country. Their mission is clear, and their fans are fanatical about them.

TOMS, Mercedes and Coca-Cola may be brands, but they humanize their social media outreach and client experience. They don’t simply preach their mantra to audiences everywhere. Instead, they target their audience using metrics and experiment with messaging that encourages more sales.

Authors need to follow their lead.

If you write a nonfiction book, your audience should be easily and clearly defined. But what if you write literary fiction, romance, sci-fi or other types of fiction? Find out who your audience is and then meet them on the social media platforms where you will find them.

Once you’re there, experiment with your messaging. Here’s what Stephanie Chandler has to say on this topic in her book, Own Your Niche. Wherever she says business, substitute the word with author.

“Everything about marketing comes down to the audience—your target audience. And the audience is different for every business. Once you identify your audience, every marketing decision you make becomes easier ….”

Look at who attends your readings, follows you on Twitter or joins your LinkedIn groups. Review studies that track social media affinities by age and other demographics and then focus your time on those networks.

For social media not to be time-consuming, it must be targeted.

Also see:

Marketing Advice from Jane Friedman

Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write

7 Reasons Why Writers Need to Use Social Media

56 Social Media Terms Writers 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: Resources for Indie Authors

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Below you’ll find five of the best posts I recently read. I hope you find these resources for Indie authors helpful.

The Truth About SEO, Content Marketing And How They Fit Into Your Strategy by Adam Connell: “SEO is dead”. I’ve seen those words written so many times that I’ve lost count. Here’s the thing… SEO is not dead, far from it in fact. Then there are the comments flying round about how social media and content marketing are the new SEO. In this post we’ll talk through why forgetting SEO may just be the biggest mistake you ever make, how to make organic search work, how content marketing fits in and where things are headed.

The 8 Key Elements of a Successful Product Launch by Michael Hyatt: Most of us in business have been there at one time or another. As just one of many examples, I tried to launch a book about protecting personal privacy one month before 9/11. Guess what no one cared about after 9/11? The result was that book sold less than 10 percent what my prior book had done. So how can we increase our chances of launch success?

Top 10 WordPress Plugins That You Need To Be Using In 2014 by Jeff Bullas: If you’re running a WordPress-powered website or blog, then you’re always searching for a way to innovate and make your site easier to use –for both you and your visitors.  This is one reason why WordPress plugins are so unbelievably awesome, because they seem like quick little cheats and hacks that take little-to-no time to learn, install, and use.

A Complete Guide To The Best Times To Post On Social Media (And More!),  PostPlanner Blog by Track Maven: Every Facebook page manager is looking for the golden ticket: The BEST time to post on social media! And lots of “experts” claim they’ve figured it out. But just because something worked well on my page doesn’t mean it will work on yours. Every account is unique — with different followers & different types of posts. And what worked last week won’t even necessarily work tomorrow.

23 Tools & Resources to Create Images for Social Media, Buffer Social Blog: Through experimentation and iteration, we’ve found that including images when sharing to social media increases engagement across the board—more clicks, reshares, replies, and favorites. In one experiment, retweets alone more than doubled for updates with images compared to those without.

Related Reading:

Blogging Topics Just for Writers

56 Social Media Terms Writers Need to Know

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


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How to Stop Wasting Time and Focus Your Book Marketing

10-6-14 Frances CaballoFacebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Google+. Instagram. Tumblr. Rebelmouse.

Do we really need to be on all of these social media networks?

I remember when I was about to publish my first book a search engine optimization consultant advised me to build a Facebook page and Twitter account for every book I write. I took his advice and created my Social Media Just for Writers Facebook page.

Thank goodness the title of my book became the name of my business and this website. Can you imagine if I had continued to follow his advice and then created Facebook pages for Avoid Social Media Time Suck, Blogging Just for Writers and Pinterest Just for Writers?

It wouldn’t have made sense because I would have been splitting my target audience.

Besides, who has the time or energy to maintain multiple Facebook pages and Twitter accounts? I don’t.

I admit that I did start two other Twitter accounts with good intentions but after a few months, I then shut the extra accounts down. I could justify having two Twitter accounts if I were marketing to two completely different demographics, but I’m not.

Even when I finally get around to finishing my novel, I’ll still use my present Twitter account and turn my focus to readers who are interested in politics in Spain.

Conserve Your Book Marketing Energy

We’re all aware of needing to curb our carbon footprint. But what about our personal energy? You’re a writer, and that means that what you love to do most is write. However, if you want to sell your books beyond the borders of your city, you also need to become an Indie marketer.

Social media marketing is the equalizing force in Indie marketing. You now have at your disposal all of the online tools that Amanda Hocking and Isabel Allende have.

Remember Sharon Hamilton’s story? I interviewed her on this blog a few weeks ago. She began writing about eight years ago and quickly got into self-publishing. She’s now a powerhouse in the Romance genre, and she accomplished that by staunchly sticking to her writing schedule, blogging, and building and rewarding her Facebook fan base.

She doesn’t create a new Facebook page for each book she writes. That would be ludicrous. She has 13,000 fans so why wouldn’t she want to build her page further? That would do more for her SEO than multiple Facebook pages.

Which Social Media Networks Should You Use?

I always advise clients to start their online marketing by selecting one social media network. Once you feel comfortable with that one, then consider another social platform depending on your genre.

My advice has changed over the years. I used to tell conference attendees to diversify their social media presence. My reasoning was that prospective readers may be on Facebook but not Twitter. Or a devotee of LinkedIn might abhor Facebook.

I don’t agree with that philosophy anymore.

It’s more important to be clear about your demographic. Once you know for whom you’re writing, then I suggest using the social media networks that your demographic prefers.

For example, if you write Romance novels I recommend a presence on Facebook and Pinterest. Women dominate these networks. In fact, 80 percent of Pinterest users are women so it would be worthwhile for Romance writers to delegate some time to this platform.

If you write YA, you need to be on the social media networks that your demographic prefers. Those would include Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

Do you write nonfiction? Then LinkedIn will be a must for you. Create a professional profile and join and participate in some groups. Over time, you may even want to start your own group. Depending on the age range of your demographic, and depending on your energy, you’ll also want to be on Twitter.

How do you manage your time on social media?

Also see:

7 Reasons Why Writers Need to Use Social Media

56 Social Media Terms Writers Need to Know


About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for authors. 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

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Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

UnsplashBelow you’ll find four of the best posts I read this past week. I hope you find these resources for Indie Authors helpful.

7 Profitable Ways To Upsell From Your Digital Products, by Joan Stewart, from The Future of Ink: Shopping at Old Navy? Choose a cute top, and the saleswoman will suggest an adorable infinity scarf to match. Oh, wait! There’s this fabulous chunky bracelet with earrings to complete the outfit. It’s called upselling, one of the most often overlooked ways to make very easy money.

37 Amazingly Effective List Building Tips You Can Use Today by Adam Connell: You need to build your email list if you want to grow your blog. Don’t be the person that keeps making excuses for why they aren’t focusing on building their list. I learned that lesson the hard way but you don’t have to. The truth is that email is far more effective at reaching your raving fans than any other tool.

Your 10 Point Website Check Up: Tip #23 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book by Penny Sansevieri: So you have a website, congratulations! Now let’s make sure it’s doing what it is supposed to be doing for you. Read: selling your book or product. While websites will differ in color, layout, and target audience, there are a few things that need to remain consistent. Let’s take a look at them.

3 Things Self-Published Authors Should Know about Their Audience, from BookBaby: Only a few lucky authors can try the let’s-throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to book promotion. They’re able to cast a wide net because they have access to a big marketing budget and a pro publicity team. And no matter what the topic, or who the intended audience, when a great book gets exposed to tens of millions of readers, thousands of them are sure to be interested.

AuthorRise Shows Promise for Indie Writers, from The Book Designer: There’s no point in trying to grow a large following if your readers aren’t engaged with you as an author and the books you write. Analytics helps you to understand members of your audience and learn more about them so that you can enhance engagement on your social media profiles.


Social Media Time Suck Final 200About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

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Penny Sansevieri’s Tips for Selling Books by the Truckload

9-29-14 Frances Caballo Social Media Just for WritersWhile attending the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers/Colorado Gold Conference where I was teaching a session, I decided to sit in on Penny Sansevieri’s workshop, How to Sell Books by the Truckload. 

I heard her speak on this topic more than a year ago, but as she told me just before the session, all of her information was new due to big changes at Amazon and Goodreads.

She was right. If you’ve seen her before, make sure you attend a new session by her even though the name of her talk doesn’t change her data does.

Publishing & Selling Books by the Truckload

She started with some mind-blowing facts. First, 3500 books are published every day on Amazon. That’s every single day. No wonder rising to the top of the bestseller list is challenging, right?

Secondly, Amazon says it has about 4 million books but Penny believes the number is probably closer to 6 million or even higher.

Finally, Amazon doesn’t discriminate between old and new books. While we tend to like to push our newest books, it’s nice to know that our previous books receive equal billing. Or don’t you agree?

There’s more.

Amazon Is the Indie Author’s Google

Penny encouraged everyone to think about Amazon as a search engine. The website SEOMoz expressed this thought more directly: “If you’re an author, you don’t really care about Google, you want to rank on Amazon.”

Amazon’s algorithm is based on categories, search terms, and book reviews, and if we want to rise on the bestseller list, that’s what we need to pay attention to.

It’s a new way to look at our virtual publishing world, isn’t it?

What SEOMoz says makes a lot of sense. I always advise clients to test their book titles on Amazon. It’s always interesting to see how Amazon will try to complete your keyword string (the words you type in the search bar).

Amazon’s suggested wording for your search will tell you what keywords readers most often use to find books like the one you just wrote.

Keyword Strings Make Books More Discoverable

This brings me to another point that Penny made. Instead of thinking of singular keywords, think about keyword strings.

It turns out that people rarely type in just one word when searching on the Internet or Amazon. They use phrases and those phrases, are your keyword strings.

Not sure what your keyword strings are? Here are three tools to help you find them:

  • Free Keywords – This is Penny’s favorite tool.
  • Uber Suggest – Penny says that Uber scrapes Google daily for searches, and it shows you the top searched words alphabetically.
  • Amazon’s search bar

Don’t bother to use your genre as a keyword. According to Penny, readers rarely type in mystery or romance or memoir into the search bar.

When you upload your book to CreateSpace, you’re allowed seven keyword strings  (not just individual keywords) so focus on keyword phrases.

9-29-14 Penny Sansevieri“The difference between keywords and keyword strings is like night and day,” Penny said.

You can change your keyword strings as often as you’d like, but this isn’t recommended. Test your keyword strings for three to 36 weeks. If you write Romance, leave your keyword strings alone for at least six weeks.

There’s a marketing tab under Author Central with suggested keyword strings for categories. So be sure to check that out.

Here are some places where you should be using your keywords on Amazon: book title, subtitle, book description, and the back-end of Amazon.

Previously, authors could use the names of more famous authors as some of their keywords or even in their book descriptions. Don’t do this. If Amazon realizes you’ve done this, it will remove your book without warning.

Narrow Categories Can Help Sell More Books

Penny noted that the Amazon algorithm is based on categories, search terms and reviews. So you want to be careful which category and subcategories you use to describe your books.
To see Amazon’s complete list of categories, follow this link:

When uploading your book to CreateSpace, you’ll want to find a narrow market within two broad categories. That is the best strategy to use.

If you select a category and later determine you made an error, the only way to change your category is by emailing Amazon through its Author Central department.

Penny had another great suggestion. Let’s say you want to change your subcategories. Go to and to Kindle books where you will highlight the Kindle Store. Don’t add any words to the search bar. You will find here a list of subcategories that you won’t find anywhere else.

Select a subcategory for your book by clicking on it, and then copy the URL. Next, send an email to Author Central, give them the URL, and tell them that’s the subcategory under which you’d like your book listed.

Narrow categories work best for showcasing your book so select two.

To change your categories on CreateSpace, send an email to info@createspace.comto make your request. Note: Last week I discovered that the categories on KDP aren’t identical to the categories on CreateSpace.

To change your categories on KDP, sign into your account at, select your book from your Bookshelf, scroll down to Target Your Book to Customers, and make your adjustments.

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About two months ago, Amazon changed how it creates categories. It uses themes, which can be defined as search keywords. Here is an example that Penny gave: murder stories by murderers.

However you traverse the Amazon landscape, endeavor to position your book on Amazon by targeting your book to your readers. In other words,incorporate into your descriptions, title and subtitles they words that they would most likely use to find a book like yours.

While we tend to think of our books as our personal Field of Dreams, just because we write a book doesn’t mean that it will become a bestseller.

Amazon Book Descriptions

Your book description on Amazon is another place to insert your keyword strings, however, Penny cautions against using more than seven.

However, don’t forget to include your keywords in the headline; don’t bury them in the bullets.

Amazon lets you have 1200 to 1400 words in your book description. Incredible, right? Don’t overdue your keyword inclusion but include some here.

Has your book been reviewed? Add that review to your book description. Although you want to include keywords in your description, don’t change the wording of the review.

Penny shared information that I didn’t know. If you return to change your description, Amazon will lock you in at 400 words. So write your description carefully and thoughtfully.

Enhance Your Book Description with HTML

Have you ever wondered how other authors managed to create bold and orange type in their book descriptions? Here’s the answer: you need to insert HTML code when you write your text in CreateSpace or KDP.

The HTML code is the same that you would use for your WordPress website. Here are some key codes:

  • Bolding: <b>The text you want bolded</b>
  • Italics: <i>The text youk want italicized</i>
  • Headline: <h1>The text of your headline</h>
  • Amazon orange headline: <h2>The text you want to appear bold and orange</h2>

Traversing Amazon’s publishing arms can be tedious but the work is worth it.

To receive a copy of Penny’s Amazon Optimization Checklist, click here.

Related posts:

Finding Alternatives for GoodReads: Riffle, LibraryThing & BookLikes 

How Authors Can Reach 20 Million Readers on Goodreads


Twitter Just for Writers

About 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: Aleksi Tappura via



Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

10-3-14 Frances Caballo Social Media Just for Writers

This week’s Resources for Indie Authors focuses on social media and blogging tools to make your life easier. I also tossed in a post from the Blogging Wizard Blog about growing your email list that I liked. I hope you find these resources helpful.

How To Build Your Email List Through Smart Guest Blogging from Blogging Wizard, by Sue Anne Dunlevie: When it comes to growing your blog, one of the most effective and reliable methods is to utilize your opt-in list. Your list is a valuable source of targeted readers. Growing your list should be a top priority, but how do you go about doing that when you’re squarely focused on guest posting on other people’s blogs? Today I’ll show you how you can carry on guest posting and build your list at the same time.

14 Social Media Marketing Tools Recommended by the Pros from Social Media Examiner: Are you looking for new social media marketing tools? Do you want to know which tools today’s social media professionals recommend? It’s not always easy to know which tools are worth checking out or how to use them. We asked 15 top social media marketers to share the tools they find most useful right now.

How Much Should You Charge for Your E-Book? 7 Questions to Ask  from Make a Living Writing by Carol Tice:  One of the most-asked questions I got from writers who took my recent self-publishing survey was, “How much should I charge for my e-book?” There’s no simple answer to this one. Many factors go into this decision.

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15 Pinterest Tips for Authors

9-22-14 - PinterestWhenever I feel tired after spending hours of reading emails, blog posts, tweets and Facebook updates, I sneak over to Pinterest and feast on the images.

Don’t mistake me Pinterest isn’t just a vacation for the eyes – although I love it for that reason alone. It is also a powerful social media network that, according to research, will send more traffic to your website than Facebook.

Writers often wonder how they can make the most of their Pinterest accounts. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Pinterest Tips for Authors

  1. Open a business account, not a profile. Starting with a business account will enable you to view analytics.
  2. Create a pinboard for your blog and upload the images that you post there. Whenever you pin images from your website, blog or Amazon, the web address will attach to the image. Then when other users repin your image, they will travel to your website when the click the image a second time or click on “Visit Website.”
  3. Do you have trouble getting your writing started in the morning. Create a pinboard of visual writing prompts and share them on Twitter and Facebook.
  4. Repin images that represent the venues where characters in your novels and stories live and travel to.
  5. Find images that represent the clothing your characters wear and the meals they enjoy.
  6. Create a pinboard of your favorite books (and include your own!).
  7. Create a pinboard of your favorite quotes by authors you admire.
  8. Create a pinboard of quotes about the writing process.
  9. Create a pinboard of book covers written by your colleagues.
  10. Do you love bookstores? Create a pinboard of beautiful bookstores from around the world.
  11. Writers love libraries, right? Create a pinboard of libraries from around the world.
  12. Create pinboards that represent the stories you’d like to write.
  13. Create a pinboard of pictures of your favorite authors.
  14. Create a pinboard of images that visualize scenes and moods in your book.
  15. If you wrote nonfiction, create a pinboard of Infographics about your chosen topic.

To see additional examples of pinboards that writers can create, check out the Writer’s Relief account.

Embed Pinterest into Your WordPress Blog

Once you create your pinboards, you can share them on your WordPress Blog as I have done below, and over in the right column. Simply navigate to this link, select the type of widget you’d like to create, and include the URL to your pinboard.

Follow Frances Caballo’s board Writing Prompts on Pinterest.


Social Media Time Suck Final 200About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager and for writers and is the author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write. This book includes schedules, strategies, and applications that will save you time on social media so that you’ll have more time to write.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

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