Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging & Marketing for Writers

7-25-2014 social mediaDeciding which social media network will best help you reach your demographic can feel like walking into a cupcake bakery and trying to decide which of the 150 varieties of calorie-packed treats you’d like to try. They all sound good and look great, but which one is right for you? If you find yourself in this quandary, I have good news for you. One, you’re not alone; we can all feel this way at times. Secondly, below is a list of posts that can assist you with your social media marketing. As for the cupcakes, I suggest buying as many as your diet allows – and always purchase the ones with chocolate in the ingredients.

15 Twitter Tips That Get More Retweets, Favourites And Clicks [INFOGRAPHIC] from All Twitter: Did you know that tweets with images generate 150 percent more retweets, 89 percent more favourites and 18 percent more clicks than those without? What if I told you that tweets with hashtags are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted, that links placed 25 percent of the way through a tweet receive the most clicks and that an average tweet will receive half of its total retweets in the first 24 minutes? This visual from Social Marketing Writing features 15 different Twitter statistics you probably don’t know, but should.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch from 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.

How To Target an Audience (And Avoid Book Launch Flop) from Writer Platform: One of the biggest mistakes writers make as fledgling authorpreneurs is believing that the larger the potential market, the greater the chances that their book (or freelance services) will get noticed.

20 Expert LinkedIn Guides from Business 2 Community: LinkedIn has made dramatic changes to its platform over the past 18 months, making what was a rather plain but effective business networking tool into a content-rich, visually dynamic, more interactive professionally-focused social network.

Poet Robert Lee Brewer On SEO For Writers from Original Content: I have made several attempts to understand search engine optimization (SEO), and I’ve gotten as far as understanding that I need search engines to find this blog and my website. It’s the keyword research that I found so confusing. I tried going to those on-line tools that are supposed to help you find the best keywords for the text you’re using, but then I would get bogged down on whether or not I should use the most obvious keywords because everyone uses the obvious keywords, and it appeared that I shouldn’t be doing that because that would mean I was competing with lots of other people using the same keywords.

Are You Screwing Up Your Twitter Images? 7 Do’s and Don’ts to Live By from HubSpot: Images are crucial to making your marketing stand out, especially on Twitter. Ever since Twitter made photos automatically display in-stream, they’ve been helping marketers get even more results out of the 140-character social network — in fact, an A/B test we ran found that tweets with images get 55% more leads.

You may also like:

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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

Photo credit: Cakehead Loves via photopin cc

Lisa Tener on Publishing, Platform and Book Marketing

Lisa Tener bring-your-book-to-lifeI met Lisa Tener at the San Francisco Writers Conference in February and was immediately impressed by her presence. She’s a sought-after book coach who has helped authors such as Deb Scott, Carrie Barron, MD, Anne Burnett and others secure big publishing contracts. Despite Lisa’s accomplishments, she’s one of the most humble – and talented – book coaching and publishing experts I’ve met. Here’s Lisa in her own words on coaching, nonfiction publishing, platform building, and the benefits of devoting time to book marketing.

I’ve read your bio but I want to hear from you how you rose in your career to become such a talented and coveted book coach?

Wow, thank you for saying that. It was a circuitous path. I knew I’d grow up to be a writer since first grade—just didn’t know what kind. And coming from a family of educators, teaching is in my blood. I majored in management and minored in writing at MIT—and I got to study with some amazing writing teachers, including Frank Conroy who went on to become the Director of the famed Iowa Writers Workshop.

I started out in technical jobs (programming related), but even in that first job, we developed courses and manuals for internal clients, so I’ve always been teaching and writing. I did lots of writing as a nonprofit executive.

Who do you work with and what do you help them accomplish?

I work mostly with people who have expertise in a certain field—coaching, medicine, therapy, business, consulting, healing arts, educators, and others—but who are not usually professional writers. The majority of my clients are writing how-to or self-help books or other types of nonfiction.

Some want to traditionally publish and I am guide them through that entire process—from fine tuning their book idea, to generating the platform to developing a first class book proposal, which includes polished, compelling sample chapters.

Others self-publish and then it’s more about writing the book—again, I help them with their book concept, I edit and I guide them to resources to help them with other aspects of their plan.

How can you tell when a book is right for a major publisher?

Major publishers are looking for 3 main things:

1. A large potential audience: they want to be able to sell a lot of books!

2. A new angle or fresh voice or new perspective on a topic that is already selling: So new, but not so new that it’s an unproven market

3. An author with a platform: It’s crucial to publishers nowadays to know that the author already has a pent up demand for the book—that there are people the author currently reaches who will buy this book when it comes out. And that the author can build on that reach to sell books to even more people. Publishers are risk averse in this current environment. The author can’t look like a risk.

Yes, they’re looking for compelling writing, but if the concept and platform are attractive and there’s a big audience, they might recommend a ghostwriter or co-writer.

Lisa TenerWhat role does marketing – especially social media marketing – play in helping a self-published author rise from obscurity?

Marketing is crucial for both traditionally- and self-published authors. You need a plan to sell books. And social media is taking a bigger and bigger role in helping authors get known. Through social media, people get to know authors, so there’s this attractive piece about connecting with your audience. In addition, people use social media to recommend books to others—so social media helps books take off.

How important is it today for authors to have large followings on social media? Do publishers really make it a numbers game?

No question that social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in publishing and book sales. So publishers are much more compelled to want to see a significant audience. But they also want to see engagement. So what if you somehow got 30,000 followers who are not engaged with you?

While numbers are an important factor, I would not say it’s a numbers game per se—so many factors go into a book deal. To give you an example, I have a client who blogs for Psychology Today and also gets picked up by the Huffington Post. He’s excellent with Twitter. He’d good about retweeting other relevant information, supporting his colleagues—he’s a team player.  He has a bit over 14,000 followers. So a nice number but nothing blockbuster on Twitter. However, his posts for PT and HP often get a lot of play. Two different major publishers approached him about writing books and he got a six-figure book deal. So, certainly his engaged presence on digital media played a major role in getting his book deal. But it’s not like there is a magic number that made it happen. Just that the engagement and reach were high.

What are the traits of a bestseller, whether it is a work of fiction or nonfiction?

Well, I specialize in nonfiction, so I’ll focus there. And I specialize in self-help and how-to. There’s some part strategy and some part magic, so I can’t give you a formula but here are some of the usual ingredients: Something fresh about it, even if it’s a popular topic; relevant to a large audience; a compelling and fresh-sounding title definitely helps—it should give a sense of benefits or potential results of reading the book; well written; entertaining—often it’s fun to read—there’s a strong voice and maybe the voice is even playful or sassy or smart or very humorous; well-organized—easy to read. But a book can have all these things and not be a bestseller. Much has to do with what the author does to get the word out. I think one of the biggest keys to success is persistence and believing in your book—being willing to do whatever it takes to get the word out. You will hit challenges and the bestselling authors see those challenges as opportunities.

What advice on marketing do you give the authors who work with you?

Take marketing seriously! And have a marketing plan that generates money from things other than book sales. If it’s all about book sales, you can invest a great deal of time and money to generate a small amount of money, but if you have something else to sell—online courses, consulting, coaching, seminars, speaking gigs, etc.—then one book sale can generate a great deal of income and you can, in turn, continue to invest some of that money back into marketing and promoting the book.

I also advise authors to blog. A blog gives you a home base where people can find you and connect and, hopefully, sign up to hear more from you so they stay in touch. A blog also helps with Google and other search engines. And it helps you engage in your communities with something to offer. Then, other social media is important for connecting with new people and expanding the reach of that blog.

Lisa Tener quickstartWhat is your favorite part of coaching?

I love the variety, so it’s a bit hard to pick one. I do love starting with an author who is at the beginning stages and still shaping the book, because we can be very creative and at the same time responsive to the marketing aspects from the get-go. I personally enjoy finding the synergy between marketing/business/publishing and the creative inner voice and inner knowing of what I refer to as the muse. I like to work with the left brain aspects of a book and then see what the muse has to say. I have an exercise I take people through, I call it “Meet Your Muse” that facilitates access to that inner muse for clarity in making creative decisions—and any decisions—about the book. Readers can access it here: Meet Your Muse Visualization.

What is the most difficult element to being a book coach?

When someone is uncoachable it can be incredibly frustrating. They want to get an agent but they’re not willing to grow their platform. Or maybe they don’t even want to build a website—that’s a nonstarter! I’ve been in the business long enough to know when it’s not a good fit for me. I’m pretty lucky. I get to work with amazing people.

I’d say once in a while I hear from someone who has a full first draft complete or a large section complete and I know it needs reorganization, yet for some reason it’s a complex book or it’s just not clear to me how to structure the material, and I feel overwhelmed, I know it’s time to bring in a colleague who specializes in that. So, it’s helpful to know your limits and when something is not playing to your strengths or it’s just not a good match (maybe not for the whole project but certainly for that aspect). Again, I’m lucky to have amazing colleagues I can call on if I get stumped on a particular book, which happens maybe once a year, if that.

Can you highlight the benefits and differences in your different coaching programs?

I tend to customize work with clients but the main things I do are:

 1. Book proposal coaching: this is for someone who wants a traditional publisher. It includes guidance on developing the book concept and structure, making the proposal highly marketable, and often on platform building as well. I will contact agents I know who seem a good match for the book. If we don’t get an agent (or if the author is not interested in much platform building, or the topic doesn’t lend itself to a publisher big enough to interest an agent), then I either help guide the author to query individual publishers or in some cases I contact smaller publishers whom I know and think are a good fit.

2. Book writing coaching: we can do this on an individual, customized basis or authors can join my annual Award-winning Bring Your Book to Life® Program to write a first draft in 8-12 weeks. We can then work on editing to complete the book for self-publishing or switch to working on the proposal.

3. Individual Consultations: These can focus on the publishing decision, platform building, next steps, or a book concept consultation. For the latter, I might recommend someone work through my “Quick Start to Kick Start Your Book” program which is $97 or $116, depending on whether digital or hard copy. It guides writers through developing the book concept and structure before diving into the writing.

4. Editing: Generally, I only have time to edit for someone who has gone through one of my programs above, but for the right project I have been known to take on someone new. I also have some skilled colleagues I recommend for editing, as part of the services I offer.

There are a lot of book coaches. What distinguishes your coaching from other professionals?

Probably the most important feature to someone looking for a coach is the results my clients get. Many have been published by—or recently signed deals with—major publishing houses including Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Beyond Words, Hay House, Yale University Press, New World Library, New Harbinger and more. And others choose to self-publish, many of who have won multiple book awards.

I have both a marketing background (and won a Gold Stevie Award for Marketer of the Year-media) and strong writing training. I am a traditionally published author myself. I have two business degrees from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. I serve on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s publishing course. So I bring to the table all the pieces that help make an author successful—the writing, the business and marketing aspects and an understanding of the industry coupled with strong contacts in the industry, including the agents and publishers who serve with me as faculty for the Harvard Medical School Course.

I’ve won multiple awards for my work, and the fact that I teach at various writers conferences, plus on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s publishing course all speak to a certain quality.

Clients tell me they value my ability to help them access their creative and intuitive abilities which are critical to writing a great—and successful—book that helps them actualize their potential.

Probably more than half of the people who contact me already know I’m the book coach for them and they want to hire me. I think some of that is word of mouth, but the majority is from the testimonials they read on my website. I think those testimonials give people a sense of what I bring to the table so it automatically attracts the people who need what I have to offer. I’m not going to be the perfect book coach for everyone—but I seem to be ideal for those people whom I work with and who value the items I just mentioned.

Lisa Tener inspiration-to-authorYour 8-week signature Bring Your Book to Life® Teleclass has helped a number of authors write their books, navigate the publishing world, and enjoy tremendous success in terms of publishing deals and awards. What are the keys to their eventual success and how does your program help them?

Wow, I could say a lot about that. I guess one key is that the program focuses on having them have a very strong start so they likely have clarity on the book concept and structure before our teleseminars begin (there’s pre-work they complete beforehand, including one-on-one work with me). In that pre-work we work together to capture what that author has to offer that makes the book special and marketable and resonate deeply for their audience. It’s fun work. It’s creative, and I so enjoy that one-on-one which is often crucial for writing the best book you can.

Then, the program has quite a bit of built-in accountability so its structured to keep you on track—and most people complete a remarkable amount of work in the 8 weeks of teleseminars—often completing a first draft or first draft with a few holes (of a book or book proposal), in that relatively short time. And yet, because of the pre-work and the material we cover, as well as the feedback from me, the books are also high quality.

Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout 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

Blogging, Twitter and Viral Book Promotion

7-18-14 2jpgEveryone wants to host a popular, well-read blog, right? If you’d like to learn additional learn tips from a pro – namely ADAM CONNELL – you should consider subscribing to his Blogging Wizzard. Adam’s posts are comprehensive and informative and to get you started I’ve included a recent post by him in this roundup. Another great post I found was on book promotion. Who wouldn’t love to get their books in front of 37,000 industry professionals, right? Well, this post purports to explain how to achieve that incredible goal. There are other great tips below as well from Penny Sansevieri, the Buffer Blog and Lindsay Buroker. I hope you enjoy them.

Book Promotion When Time Is Limited — What’s Most Worth Doing? from Lindsay Buroker: A blog reader sent me a note asking what I would do to promote a series like my Emperor’s Edge if I was starting from scratch and had an hour a day to work on the marketing side of things. I rambled a bit and tried to give a helpful answer, but I wasn’t sure I articulated myself well, because the truth is… enh, there’s not an easy answer or one specific thing you can do to find certain success. Oh, I know what I would do if I were starting from scratch (I recently laid out my plan for launching a pen name in a different genre and getting — I hope — reviews and sales as a new author), but what should you do if you only have a few minutes a day for book promotion?

The 7 Key Ingredients of a Powerful Twitter Bio from Buffer Blog: Your online reputation is your reputation. And it better be good. The way you describe yourself on Twitter has everything to do with how people perceive you online. So how the heck do you do it right? In this post, we’ll go over the 7 key ingredients of a powerful Twitter bio–whether you’re a novice or a social media pro.

Where to find ideas and inspiration for a blog post from The Next Web: One of the most common questions I get asked as a writer/blogger/content marketer is where I get my ideas from. Publishing as often as I do (multiple times per week, up to every weekday sometimes), ideas are certainly something I need a lot of.

How To Create Viral Content (Really) from Author Marketing Experts: Want your next blog post to go viral. Here’s a tip: Start with a headline. People open blog posts based on the headline, that’s really key so you have to start there. Headlines cause blog posts to go viral, the blog content, while important is not as key as the headline.

Get your book in front of 37,000 book industry professionals from Indie Reader: Seeing your book on a friend’s Kindle is great, but every author longs to see their title on a book store shelf. Not just another listing, IndieReader In-Store (IRIS) reviews and catalogs your book as part of a branded collection on Edelweiss, an online catalog service used by a majority of independent bookstores (plus B&N!), a social network platform for industry professionals and an interactive research tool for librarians, bloggers and reviewers.

 

About 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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Literary Agent Jody Rein on Publishing, Marketing and Finding Your Readers

Jody Rein - Frances Caballo - Social Media Just for WritersJody Rein describes herself as a reluctant entrepreneur. She was in corporate publishing—where she was an executive editor in New York (with Morrow/Avon at the time)—then moved to Colorado. She stayed on as editor-at-large for about a year, but missed interacting directly with book people as well as acquiring books.

She realized eventually that the only way she could continue to do the work she most enjoyed was to pick it up from the other side of the negotiating table. It wasn’t a quick decision—she ghostwrote a book and did consulting (and had a baby or two) in the interim. But writers kept finding her, and book ideas kept popping into her head. So she established her own literary agency. Jody says that the urge was less entrepreneurial than driven by the work itself.

These days, Jody is busy developing interactive software for writers. Her goals are to apply marketing, promotion, editorial and sales knowledge to the world of ideas more directly.

To learn more about Jody and her thoughts on publishing, marketing and finding your readers, keep reading her entertaining account of how she arrived to where she is today.

 

Why do you focus on nonfiction books?

My focus in college was literary criticism—all fiction. I wrote a thesis on Oscar Wilde and John Irving, go figure! But my first publishing job was at the only major publisher in Chicago (at the time), and they only published nonfiction. So I learned a ton about acquiring, editing and selling nonfiction, and I loved it, probably because there’s so much room for creativity. Creativity?! Yes—since I didn’t know any better, I often came up with ideas myself for books, or acquired books that began as magazine articles or self-published books.

When I moved to New York, I was hired to acquire nonfiction at Dell (now part of Random House). When you’re young in publishing, it helps to become known for certain types of books. But I continued to read fiction, and participate in fiction acquisition (I was an early reader of THE FIRM, for example. Not that my reading helped—I said it was a “page-turner but not great.” Oh well.) I moved to Avon as executive editor because the Avon list I ran included both fiction and nonfiction.

Nonfiction remains my publishing lifeblood if not my personal reading preference. I know what works and I know how to sell it. When it came time to start up my agency, I found it much easier to find great nonfiction than the next great literary or commercial novel.

What happens when an author sends you a fabulous novel? Is there someone in particular who you hand it off to?

I’ve represented a few novelists, and much of the nonfiction I represent is pretty literary (memoir and narrative), so it’s not a given that I’ll hand it off. But lately I’ve been working closely with an old friend whose career path mirrors mine (editor to agent), and who spent much of her publishing life in the fiction world. We’re looking for projects to co-agent, so I would probably go to her. I still miss working hand-in-hand with New York publishing pals, even after all these years, so I’m very excited about this possibility.

How can you tell when a self-published book is right for a major publisher?

I could say—and it’s true—that each book is different. But at the same time, the answer can be pretty simple! Sales trump everything else. If the book is selling well, and the numbers are growing impressively each week, a traditional house can capitalize on that success and help it explode (look at 50 Shades).

If the book isn’t selling well, or if the sales aren’t growing, publishers will be much harder to land. Publishers don’t look at a book with modest sales on Amazon and say: “Hey, we could do so much better with that book!” They assume the book has found its market, and that its market is small.

Another way to look at it: In our culture, what is “new” has a value just for being new. That’s especially true in publishing—publishers want to “launch” books, media wants to break news. If a book has been self-published, that “new” factor is gone—and the only way to replace it is with the “coup” factor (Just made that up!). The publisher needs the “coup” of grabbing a hot self-pub book.

To what do you credit your success with self-published books and how do you define success?

I understand how publishers think about acquiring books, because I was in that role for so many years. I know what questions to ask of self-published writers. Your readers can ask themselves the same questions: How many books have I sold? In what period of time?  Are my sales increasing? How widely are my books distributed? How many books have I self-published and what do my sales tell me?

How I define success: Did I sell the book?

I’ve sold every self-published book I’ve represented but one, but it’s harder now—when I started acquiring self-published books, things were more black and white.

Years ago, self-published fiction, by and large, was never of interest to publishers, because most “publishable” novelists did find homes (many more publishers and many more mass market opportunities to build skills and audience).

Self-published nonfiction books, though, often represented niches that traditional publishers had yet to discover. Self-publishing was a great way to document a new market.

Also, it was possible to launch a self-published book locally, drive up sales in a small market, and sell the book to a traditional publisher without any chance of cannibalizing sales. It’s tougher now with fewer bookstores and pushbutton national distribution for eBooks.

The Role of Book Marketing

What role does marketing – especially social media marketing – play in helping a self-published author rise from obscurity?

Without marketing, all books disappear. One of the big ironies today is how little things have changed (Bear with me on this one!). Yes, everything is different—millions of books are published today, with ease we never would have imagined a short time ago. So it’s harder than ever to get attention. YET even way back when, all book marketing was niche and social. Even before “social media,” the smart writers were the ones who found their communities—the people most likely to read their work—and marketed to those people. We used to call it grass roots marketing—now MBAs call it finding verticals, but it’s the same thing. We advised writers to find special interest groups through magazines and local meetings.

Now, smart writers can—and must–find and connect with their communities online. Through social media. But they have to do it authentically. 

Social Media’s Role in Marketing & Selling Your Book

How important is it today for authors to have large followings on social media? Do publishers really make it a numbers game?

Writers often look for formulas, but publishers don’t. Publishers need the information that will give them assurance that the book in question will sell enough copies to make money. They look at all the factors involved (platform, content, competition, quality, skills, concept, etc) to try to get a sense of how the social media evidence might translate into book sales. Followers and web page views are important, but numbers don’t tell the whole story—publishers know you can build up a twitter following that looks huge until you notice how many followers live in Tasmania.

The importance of followings also varies with the type of book. Romance readers live online, so publishers expect writers to be engaged with that community. And it’s hard to believe a proposal whose author claims to be an “expert” in any field if the author is unknown online.

Suggestions for Your Next Query Letter

What does an author of a self-published book need to accomplish before sending you a query?

When you send your query, in addition to the typical query letter content (who are you? what is your book? How will your help your book reach its market?), answer the questions I mentioned above (I’ll repeat here in more detail):

  • When did you publish your book?
  • In what formats?
  • Where is your book distributed?
  • How many copies have each format sold, total?
  • How many copies in the last 6 months? The last month?
  • What is the price of your book? Do your sales numbers include free books?
  • What other books have you self-published? What other books do you plan to self-publish?
  • Why are you seeking a traditional publisher?

What advice on marketing do you give newly published authors?

That’s a trick question, right? The marketing should start, for both traditional and self-published authors, months before the publication date. And it doesn’t stop. Some bits of specific advice:

 1.) If you’re traditionally published, run any marketing/promotion plans by your publisher to make sure you’re not duplicating efforts or stepping on toes. Use your agent to run interference & advise you re timing. 

2.) If you’re traditionally published, don’t forget that you have a publisher! Include the publisher in your tweets & posts, RT the publisher, share good news. Be a team player (not a nag) and the humans out there in New York will be grateful.

3.) Think communities; think readers! Use your own personal experience as a guide—you don’t buy every book you hear about; you buy books from writers you trust on subjects in which you have a keen interest. If you get an email from some stranger about something that has no appeal to you, you feel offended and annoyed. It’s a time-waster. If a friend tells you about a wonderful novel, you feel appreciative. As a book marketer, don’t think that the world out there is somehow different than your own experiences. Target your efforts so you’re always that welcome friend.

7-14-14 Frances Caballo Social Media Just for WritersIs it true that even if an author finds a publisher, the author is still responsible for the marketing? Explain your answer, please.

Yes and no. Publishers work hard to sell the books they publish; it’s in their interest to do so. They have marketing, sales and publicity staff; they run inter-departmental meetings prior to a book’s publication to strategize the launch; they send out press releases and create promotional copy and sometimes create author websites; they coordinate with other media if it makes sense, they follow up with phone calls and send out tweets and set up tours and sometimes do much more. So the author isn’t “responsible” for all the marketing—the publisher is the responsible party.

But nobody loves a book like its author, and nobody is able to engage with a book’s audience like the author. The publisher publishes many books at once; the author is invested in just one at a time. The publisher focuses on any given book only for a very very short period of time, maybe a couple of weeks. Thus it has always been. The best publishing experiences are partnerships, where, usually with the help of the agent, the author coordinates his own marketing efforts with those of the publisher, and continues those efforts long after the publisher has moved on to the next list. The author focuses on what the author does best; those marketing efforts that require a personal touch such as expanding his own platform through engaging social media. The publisher (we hope) does what a publisher can do best—get the attention of movers and shakers in national media online and off (who listen to publishers but not so much to authors) engage with readers on a larger scale, promote to bookstores & other large outlets, etc.

Jody’s New Tool: Writers’ Blog Finder

Tell me about your new book.

I think you mean my software, although I am writing a book! I’ve created a free book marketing tool—I hope everyone reading this will check it out! I would LOVE your readers’ feedback (write me at jodyrein@jodyreinbooks.com).

Jody Rein book coverThe product is:  www.writersblogfinder.com

In this interview I’ve talked about the importance of finding and marketing to your target audience—this product helps writers do that by recommending reputable blogs in a variety of general content areas.

So, for example, if you have written a business book, you would search for “nonfiction: commercial,” and the subcategory “business.” If the site is working (fingers crossed) ten or fifteen trustworthy business book sites will pop up. Some of the sites review self-published books; most are great first stops for building your own community through interacting with the bloggers, finding more blogs, or just learning about the subject.

I do a lot of consulting these days—I have a consulting company called www.authorplanet.org. I advised one of my consulting clients to get more engaged in his community, and I used my own blog finder to make recommendations. It worked! I was so psyched.

I’m planning to add one more category to the blog finder—book promo sites (like Bookbub or Kindle Nation Daily). It’s in the works.

And the book?

It’s titled TO SELF (PUBLISH) OR NOT TO SELF? How to Decide!

(I’m still messing around with the subtitle.) Most writers today face that question, and I feel their pain! Writers usually want to write, not be publishers, at least not right off the bat. But in today’s world, you can’t be a writer without also becoming somewhat expert in publishing options–it’s crazy stressful.

So I’ve created a system I call “The Ten Tells,” (“Tells” as in Poker.) Authors are guided to examine, at a personal level, how they feel about money, time, credibility, goals, desires—and more. I provide clear checklists, tons of case studies and, of course, the voice of experience. By the end of the process, I hope readers will feel great about their decision and free to focus on the writing and not the stress!  

Anyone interested in being notified with the book comes out (please, please) can sign up for my newsletter here: http://authorplanet.org/contact-us/

Note: Jody will be on vacation for two weeks starting today and promises to reply to your comments when she returns!

Frances Caballo - Social Media Just for Writers About 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, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Blog Promotion, SEO and Twitter for Writers

Blog Promotion, SEO and Twitter for WritersThis week’s Roundup encompasses the Holy Grail of book promotion: blog promotion, search engine optimization, Twitter for writers, and social media in general. These articles will help you to better understand SEO, improve traffic to your blog, keep you updated on changes with Twitter, and educate you about the science behind hashtags. I hope you enjoy them!

The Definitive Checklist For Effective Blog Post Promotion from Blogging Wizzard: We all want more eyeballs on our content right? But, the challenge that we all face at some point is that it’s just not as quick and easy as we would like. Sometimes, in the pursuit of promoting blog posts better, it’s easy for us to feel like we’re just spinning our wheels, not really getting anywhere fast. I’ve been there, we all have. The truth is that without a solid checklist to work through – we’re just throwing our time away.

3 Twitter Basics You Probably Don’t Know About from BookPromotion.com: Twitter is hands down my favorite platform for authors. Again, and as always, not for tweeting BUY MY BOOK links repeatedly (which is not only annoying but also against The Twitter Rules we all agreed to), but for connecting with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers, as well as other authors. There are few tools I find particularly helpful when it comes to sharing my work and the work of my clients on Twitter.

Content Creators Ranking Checklist: How Quality Scores Influence from Search Engine Watch: Scoring influence has never been so important, as brands, consumers, search engines, and social networks figure out ways to rise above the content clutter. It all started when everyone voted content king. It goes like this: Content creators need to pay attention to emergent authorship, as Google, LinkedIn, and other media companies continue to focus on actual content creators versus an entity (business or website). Great content creators (that includes public relations professionals) and marketers recognize that original, engaging, and informative content by real authors may be the future of SERPs.

7 Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to Get More Blog Traffic from The Write Life: So you’ve been blogging for a while, you post on a regular schedule for a budding readership, and you’re sharing valuable content. Now what? Once you have an established blog with consistent posts, it’s time to examine how to get maximum impact from your site. Make the most of the eyeballs that land on your blog to draw attention to your work. After all, the goal of blogging is to showcase your writing abilities and other services, right? Here are seven easy ways to make sure each of your posts gets as much exposure as possible.

A Scientific Guide to Hashtags: How Many, Which Ones, and Where to Use Them from Social Media Today: Internet language has evolved considerably over the past few years as social media has taken off. Hashtags are a huge part of this evolution. What once was a telephone button is now a social media phenomenon. No wonder people are curious.

 

About 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 theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo credit: itsmeritesh via photopin cc

Isabel Allende: Tales of Passion

 ”Heart is what drives us and determines our fate.”

Isabel Allende

 

Frances Caballo - Social Media Just for WritersThe other day I discovered a link to an impassioned TED Talk by author Isabel Allende. In it, she talks about writing, feminism, and passion. This video has been viewed nearly 3 million times and once you hear it, you’ll understand why it’s so popular.

I hope you enjoy her talk as much as I did!

6 Cool New Apps for Writers

He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life.

—Victor Hugo, French poet, novelist, dramatist

7-7-14Getting lost in the vortex of time while navigate the Internet is easy, and it’s the greatest fear among writers who are new to social media.

However, you can avoid the temptations of the Internet if you have a plan and stick to its execution. The first step is to curate your potential tweets and other social media updates with care. But first you need to develop a system.

I don’t spend hours curating information every day. Instead, I use my favorite curation methods: I check my Twitter lists, I navigate to Alltop.com to review the day’s best blog posts, and I turn to the experts in my niche to see what they are saying or tweeting.

Throughout the day, I occasionally check some of my curation applications, such as Swayy or Scoop.it. If I find a story or two that I like, I send a quick tweet.

If you haven’t yet curated a list of Tweeps to closely follow or if you’re overwhelmed by the lists of bloggers on Alltop, you might want to consider using one of the applications I mention in my new book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck. Or, you might want to check out the new content curation apps I discuss below.

New Content Curation Apps for Writers

I am always on the lookout for new applications so you can imagine my excitement when I found the following content curation apps.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo acts much like a social web search engine. Just type in a term, and it will produce articles on the topic you designate. As an example, I typed in “self-publishing” and the app produced articles as well as the number of times they’ve already been shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. You can even filter the results by date and type (Infographics, interviews, videos, etc.), and export the results to an Excel spreadsheet.

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Feedly

Feedly is a news aggregator application that compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources, such as your favorite blogs. On Feedly, you can organize your favorite blogs as well as your news sites, podcasts, and YouTube channels. It can also act as a search engine. When I typed in “self-publishing” I received the following results:

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Daily by Buffer

I was especially excited to hear about this new application, which you’ll find in iTunes. Made for iOS, this application provides content in five categories, including inspiration. It will automatically connect to your Buffer account, which is a scheduling app. All you have to do is scan through the content on your iPhone or iPad and decide whether you want to post the article or delete it. The app will automatically add your save posts to your Buffer schedule and tweet the posts for you. This is the only application I’ve seen that combines content duration with scheduling and unites the two functions into one, seamless action.

Applications that Writers Will Love

BookTrack 

While reading Jane Friedman’s blog recently, I learned about this really cool app. You can use this it to read and hear books for free. Let me add a clarification. You won’t be hearing the words you will be hearing music set to the words. This innovation is adds a whole new dimension to e-reading.

Biosgraphy 

Biosgraphy claims to be a social network for “deeper and meaningful human connection that touches hearts, opens minds and inspires the world through storytelling.” The developers say that this application is about the how and why – how did your life unfold and why do you care about the things you care about. You can use this network to share your poetry, feature articles, display your photo essays, and share your blog posts. The network’s tagline is “Set your story free.” You can submit your email address for early access to this network.

Medium 

Medium is a place where you can literally share your stories. You can use this application to share your words, graphics and images.

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Which application will you be trying out today?

 

About 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, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

The Week’s Best Posts on Social Media for Writers

7-4-14 Frances Caballo Social Media Just for WritersI grew up in Monterey, California, where we typically could hear the fireworks but due to the fog, we sometimes couldn’t see them. Despite the cold – San Francisco and Monterey are both cold and foggy in July (or at least they were back then) – we’d grab our blankets and hike up the hill in the nearby Presidio several blocks away. After the big show, we’d settle into our neighborhood and light the sparklers and fireworks our parents purchased. However you spend your holiday this weekend, I hope you’ll be safe while having fun. When you have a moment, you might want to read the posts in this Friday’s Roundup.

6 Essential Twitter Tools to Find and Connect With Influencers from ProBlogger: Influence marketing is all about identifying who has influence within your industry or niche and market directly to them.

A Complete Guide to Visual Content: The Science, Tools and Strategy of Creating Killer Images from Social Media Today: Here are some telling stats on just how big visual content has become and how it’s changing the way we all approach marketing.

How can a writer create a career plan? from MacGregor Literary – Chip’s Blog: I have a background in organizational development — my graduate degree focused on how an organization grows and changes over time. In my job as a literary agent, I’ve found it’s proven helpful when talking to writers about their careers. You see, my contention is that some agents pay lip service to “helping authors with career planning,” but many don’t really have a method for doing that. (Actually, from the look of it, some don’t even know what it means. I think “career planning” to some people is defined as “having a book contract.”) During my doctoral program at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!), I served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Career Planning and Placement Office. The focus was on helping people graduating in the arts figure out how to create a career plan, and that experience allowed me the opportunity to apply the principles of organizational theory to the real-world setting of those trying to make a living with words. In other words, I figured out how to walk an author through a real-world career map. So here are a few things I like to consider when talking with a writer…

Social Media Lessons From History’s Great Writers from Hootsuite: Writing has never been considered a simple or easy process. Even famous authors like Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Douglas Adams and William Faulkner have admitted to the fact. When it comes to social media, not much has changed. The invention of social networking has created millions of writers, usually tweeting, posting or sharing stories on a daily basis. Therefore, finding success on social media has a lot to do with how you write and more importantly, your strategy and process.

Authors Who Say “I Don’t Have Enough Time for Promotion” Are Doomed to Fail from duolit: I know I’m not alone on this. By far, the biggest complaint we receive from our author friends is that they simply don’t have enough time to build their fanbase and promote their work.

 

About 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 theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo credit: xuuxuu via Pixabay.com

How Blogging Can Be A Lot Like Walking the Dog

Frances Caballo - Blogging Just for WritersI was out with my dog Dixie the other morning, and I thought about the similarities between my walks and blogging.

Stay with me for a minute.

Sometimes when I walk my Labrador retriever, I let her stop and sniff as often as she likes. Other times, I’ll let her stop and sniff during the first 15 to 20 minutes of the walk but then set a faster pace, during which I don’t like to stop.

Obviously, sometimes a walk is all about my desire to get in some aerobic exercise. It’s not a fact I’m proud of, but I rationalize it by telling myself that the dog isn’t supposed to be in charge of the walk (or so a dog trainer once told me) and I do need to get my blood pumping.

Then again, it’s my dog’s only chance to get out of the house and the yard.

Let’s get back to blogging.

When you write a blog post, are you writing something that your audience wants or needs to hear? Are you answering your audience’s questions or helping your audience learn something new or interesting? Or, are you simply writing an article that meets your needs, which can be as simple as “getting something out there” because someone said blogging is good for SEO.

In you are still new to blogging I recommend you read this post by HubSpot, which provides an easy formula or template to follow. Even if you’re not new to blogging, you may find their suggestions helpful.

Now let’s talk about your audience.

Frances Caballo - Blogging Just for WritersHow to Write Blog Posts Your Audience Craves

Unlike HubSpot’s template, there isn’t a formula for knowing how to reach your audience with your blog. It takes work, patience, experimentation, and perseverance. However, I can suggest these tips:

  1. One way to find your audience is to read blogs written by authorities in your niche. But don’t just read them; leave comments as well. As you build a relationship with these experts, pitch a guest post to them. The more often you write guest posts, the quicker your subscriptions will grow and the faster you’ll expand your audience.
  2. Use Survey Monkey to ask your readers what they most want to learn from you through your blog.
  3. Then there’s the issue of length. Some say blog posts should be brief; others say they should be at least 1,200 – 1,800 words. Seth Godin, a master blogger, doesn’t abide by any of these rules. What I’ve learned is that there isn’t a correct answer. Write posts that most appeal to your readers in topic and length. You’ll know that you’re reaching your audience by the comments your readers leave and the retweets you receive.
  4. Use visuals. Our brains can process visuals much faster than text and images provide a break in the blocks of text, which is a welcome relief for our eyes.
  5. Think about expanding into podcasts and videos. People love to listen to podcasts while they travel to work.
  6. Each time you write a post ask yourself, “Will this post serve or help my audience?” Think of just one member of your audience and write a post for that person. Imagine what that person tells you he or she needs to learn and write a post as your response.

Consistent blogging isn’t easy. You need to commit to the task, stick to your posting schedule, and stretch the boundaries of your skills. Read posts on the blogosphere, continually further your education, and strive to learn as much as you can about your audience so you can better meet its needs.

New to blogging? Check out my eBook, Blogging Just for Writers.

Further Resources:

3 Essential Tools for Writers: Marketing, Twitter and Blogging

Blogging and Social Media Tips for Writers

About 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, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 Photo Credit: Geralt via Pixabay

Self-Promotion Guidelines, Branding Hacks, and Marketing Tips for Writers

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How much promotion is too much? That’s a question that authors need to ask themselves. “Experts” tell us to follow the 80/20 rule. (80% of the time we promote information pertinent to our niche while 20% of the time we can promote our books and blogs.) Guy Kawasaki says we should follow the 90/10 rule. Well, there’s a somewhat new standard explained in a post below by the folks at Buffer. This week’s roundup also features a post on how to create shareable content, an article on Joel Friedlander’s soar to blogging success, and articles on branding hacks and marketing tips for writers. I hope you enjoy them.

How to Create Highly Shareable Blog Content Using Facebook from Social Media Examiner: Do you want to create blog posts people can’t help but share? Have you used Facebook to find content that’s most appealing to your readers? You can write shareable blog posts by taking the time to understand what your audience really wants from you. In this article you’ll discover four ways to find the ideas your fans want to discuss and share.

The Art of Self-Promotion on Social Media from Buffer Blog: Introduced by TA McCann from Gist.com, the 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing aims for a blend of your content, others’s content, and personal updates. Note that the 5-3-2 is not a daily quota but rather a ratio for any group of 10 updates you post over any timeframe (same goes for the rest of these ratios, too).

Joel Friedlander: At 62 Launches Book Publishing Blog And Today Earns $46,000 Pay Days from Yaro Starak: In 2010, at 62 years old, Joel Friedlander decided to get back into the industry he left many years prior – independent book publishing. He started a blog, TheBookDesigner.com, which focuses on elements of book design like spacing, margin, typography and layout. In the same year he enrolled in my Blog Mastermind program. As you will hear Joel explain during our interview, he’s done launch campaigns that have made from $33,000 to $46,000 in just five days, he has raised his consulting fee from $75 to $350 an hour, created a successful e-commerce site that sells book design templates and so much more.

8 personal branding hacks to help increase your online visibility from The Next Web: How do you become someone worth talking to, or even better, worth talking about? You tell stories through native content.

Sell More Books by Giving Away Your Content- By Cathy Stucker from Marketing Tips for Authors: Many businesses have learned that content marketing is an inexpensive and effective way to attract new customers. Content marketing simply means distributing useful information to attract your perfect customers. Who better to do that than authors and publishers?

 

About 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 theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo credit: Geralt via Pixabay.com