Free Email Course for Authors

Social media can be confusing for authors. That’s why I created this free email course to show how you to use social media to engage your readers and find new readers. You’ll learn:

  • How to get started the right way on social media
  • My top strategies for succeeding on social media
  • Fabulously free image sources for authors
  • Blogging tips
  • And more!

When you sign up, you automatically get a free ebook, Twitter Just for Writers. So just enter your email below for the free course and book!

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 25, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to the newest edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. Don’t miss Sandra Beckwith’s post 3 book launch mistakes and Mario Schulzke’s most on setting up international storefronts on Amazon.

Actually, they are all great posts so if you have a chance, read all of them. But don’t miss the two I mentioned above.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Writers, Don’t Wear a “Black Hat.” 10 Ways to Tank Your Author Brand by Anne R. Allen: “Recently there’s been a bizarre drama going on in the book world. It’s been given the name #cockygate, because it involves a cocky author who managed to trademark the word “cocky” in a deluded attempt to eliminate the “competition” and “protect” her author brand.”

How To Create A Compelling Book Cover from Joanna Penn and by Tim Hawken: “Readers do judge a book by its cover. Whether they are wandering through a physical bookstore or scrolling through an online shop or Instagram channel, a well-targeted, genre-specific cover will catch their eye.”

How to Use Smart Links To Increase Your Amazon Sales from Rachel Thompson and by Mario Schulzke: “As an author, you now have the opportunity for people from all over the world to buy and read your work. Depending on your audience, it’s totally feasible that 20-25% of all your Amazon sales can come from outside of the US. And that’s without even publishing your work in another language.”

How to Decide on a Scheduling Tool and Why They’re Helpful by guest from Rachel Thompson and by Emiie R.: “There are many great ways an author can save time in their day to day lives, but one of the best things they can do is use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to manage their social media. There are several options out there for scheduling tools and even more ways to utilize them. Deciding which to use can be difficult, but no matter which platform an author decides to use for their social media scheduling, it is guaranteed to be helpful for the author in many ways.”

Don’t make these 3 book launch mistakes on social media by Sandra Beckwith: “I’m seeing a lot of authors killing it with their book launch on social media. They understand how social media works and they use it effectively. For example, they know that each social media site has its own personality, so they don’t share the same content across all networks. Each post is tweaked according to the social media platform’s unique needs I’m also seeing a lot of book launch mistakes on social media.”

Selling Out: Going Wide or Going Exclusive to Amazon from TheBookDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “Amazon has created a program — KDP Select — that rewards publishers for offering their titles exclusively through the Kindle Store. A lot of publishers — and not just new ones — decide to put all of their eggs in the Amazon basket. They make some compelling arguments for why they do so.”

Quote of the Week

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. The best ideas are grown in the dark and mystery.

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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10 Social Media Tips for Indie Authors

10 Social Media Tips for Indie Authors

You self-published your book (whew!), offered your book for presale, celebrated your launch with champagne, and sold books to everyone you know.

Perhaps you’re even blogging regularly.

Reaching out to the press, contacting book clubs, and reading at bookstores are great ways to promote your book offline. But to reach potential readers across the U.S. and around the world, you need to use social media.

Are you silently screaming, “Argh!” You’re not alone.

Like other writers, you want to get going on your next book and spending time in front of the computer posting on social media, pinning images to Pinterest, or snapping photos for Instagram may seem, well, like a bit of a waste of time.

The thought of creating a social media presence can seem overwhelming to indie authors, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are 30 minutes a day (really!) and these tips.

10 Social Media Tips Every Author Needs to Know

  • Decide who your intended audience is and use the social media networks that your readers are most likely to use. For example, if you write young adult fiction, you’ll want to have a presence on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. If your readers are primarily women, create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. When you wrote your book, you had your readers in mind, right? Now think about that reader and where he or she is most likely to hang out online. Knowing where your audience likes to hang out online will save you time. Long gone are the days when social media experts touted the wisdom of being everywhere. It’s impossible to be on every social media network, too time-consuming, and quite frankly, a waste of your precious time. For more information on where to find your reader demographics online, turn to Pew Research Center.
  • With more than 2 billion people now using Facebook, it’s hard to ignore this social media behemoth. Creating a profile (profiles are for people, and pages are for products, books, authors, businesses, and services) on Facebook is your first step. I always used to recommend that authors have a Facebook page as well. In the old days – say about six years ago – 36% of your fans would see what you posted on your Facebook author page. These days, that percentage is down to 1%. What’s an author to do? You can still have a Facebook author page, but you need to understand that you’ll need to learn and spending money on Facebook advertising. The other option for you is to create a Facebook Group. To learn about how to start and grow a Facebook Group, read this post I wrote for TheBookDesigner.com.
  • Allocate 30 minutes a day to your social media marketing. In the mornings, spend 15 minutes curating information for your social media posts by scanning your friends and followers’ posts and using one or more of these websites and resources:

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 18, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to read Sandra Beckwith’s post on Goodreads and how to create pre-launch buzz for your book by Rachel Thompson. And as always, enjoy your Friday and the weekend!

How to interact with readers on Goodreads by Sandra Beckwith: ““I can’t figure out Goodreads!” It’s a common author lament. While Goodreads is a social network of sorts, the site for book lovers doesn’t look, feel, or operate like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms you might use. It’s so different, in fact, that many authors simply ignore it because doing that is easier than spending the time required to understand the site and how to use it.”

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing: Eldonna Edwards Weighs the Pros and Cons by Anne R. Allen: “I’d been writing a novel off-and-on for over a decade when life threw me one of those cosmic curveballs that sent me careening in a totally different direction. Actually, it was more like me running onto the field and catching a curveball between the eyes, or in this case, in the kidney.

25 Creative Ways Authors Use Images for Social Media Marketing from BookBub: “Some social platforms revolve around sharing visual content, including Instagram, where photos still generate 36% more engagement than videos. And on platforms where images are optional, including them dramatically increases engagement. For example, Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images.”

Helping Senior Citizens Self-Publish by Joel Friedlander: “Although the indie publishing world sometimes seems to be populated by young entrepreneurial authors, in fact a lot of writers publishing books today are at the other end of the spectrum—senior citizens. It may be hard to pin down what exactly we mean by “older authors,” but I generally take it to mean people 50 years of age and over who haven’t published their own books before.”

How To Build 1,000 Superfans When You’re Starting From Zero from by Joanna Penn: “Former Wired editor Kevin Kelly famously argued that 1,000 superfans is all you need for success as a creator (authors, musicians, artists… anyone who sells things they create). A superfan is someone who will buy anything you produce and sing your praises to anyone who will listen, winning you potential new fans for your books. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful for selling books, and that’s why authors strive to get superfans.”

How to Create Pre-Launch Buzz for Your Book Right Now Rachel Thompson: “Build relationships with readers on social media. This means interact, ask questions, strategically follow readers (not only other writers). Time: Realistically, plan to spend 30-60 minutes daily.”

Quote of the Week

The most important things to remember about back #story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.STEPHEN KING

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Many people are confused about what they should say on social media.

Feeling like you’re in the same situation? No worries. Just keep reading.

You may remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time, you promote your colleagues, other writers, and great posts, and 10 percent of the time, you can promote your books, blog posts, readings, and awards.

If you’re still feeling confused about how to best present the information you’ve curated, don’t worry. Keep reading and you’ll learn how to write the best social media updates.

Tweets Can Now Have 280 Characters

For about the past year, the character limit on Twitter has been 280, up for 140. However, it’s still best to keep your tweets to 100 characters if possible. Doing so, will increase your retweets according to SproutSocial.

Here are a variety of sample tweets from the indie author/publishing world:

Got nothing to post

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

You’re probably wondering what you as an author could say. Here are some additional examples that cover an array of genres. All you need to add to these tweets is a URL. If you are promoting a colleague, then add a URL and a Twitter username.

  1. Love #Spain? Read this novel based in #Sevilla + link + name of the book
  2. Are you a #hiker? 7 Tips on How to Find the Best Hiking Boots + link
  3. Great story by +colleague’s username about overcoming #cancer
  4. San Francisco #Writer’s #Conference is this February +link
  5. Do you love reading Indie Authors? Visit http://www.indieauthornetwork.com#bibliophiles

The first tweet is a sample tweet from an author about his or her book. The second tweet would theoretically be for a writer who wrote a book about hiking or local hiking trails.

The third tweet is an example of how writers can help each other. The fourth tweet is presumably by a writer encouraging other authors to attend a conference. The fifth tweet introduces readers to other Indie authors. The hashtags in this example help readers and self-described bibliophiles to find great books to read.

You can also tweet images, quotes from your books, videos, book trailers, Amazon reviews, and information about your colleagues’ books. GIFs are super popular as well because then tend to stop people as they peruse their newsfeeds.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 11, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. There are some wonderful posts here, including the post by Reedsy on publicity mistakes and Craig Tuch’s post on beta readers and ARCs. Don’t miss them!

Indie Author Update

Using Amazon Categories to Sell More Books by Penny Sansevieri: ” By now most authors know the importance of choosing great keywords on Amazon, but Amazon’s categories are equally important. Choosing the right categories can boost your exposure. And exposure drives book sales.”

Beta Readers vs Editors vs ARCs from TheBookDesigner.com and by Craig Tuch: “For most of the writing process, telling your story was likely a very solitary process – leaving you alone with your characters and world for long stretches as you worked to get everything just right. And now, with the last paragraph written, it’s finally time to let other people read it.”

Publicity Mistakes that Ruin Book Launches from Reedsy: ” If you’re an author you know writing the book is only part of your job these days. Promotion is a huge chunk of what you have to do. Here’s some excellent tips from people in the know.”

2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Mike Stelzner: ” Do you wonder how fellow marketers are using social media? Wondering if you should focus more on ads or bots? In our tenth-annual social media study, more than 5,700 marketers reveal where they’ll focus their social media efforts. This industry report also shows you how marketers’ organic activities have changed and what their future plans are with organic and paid social media.

How To Become A Bestselling Author Using LinkedIn by Tony J. Hughes: “The number one obstacle to success as a writer in is obscurity. If a bear tweets in the woods in a flash of brilliance, will a publisher give him an advance making him an overnight sensation? There are 3 million blogs put out every day – you do the math – how on Earth will your content stick out?”

Everything writers need to know about pitching their book by Nathan Bransford: “If you’re trying to find a literary agent, you’ll need to write a query letter. If you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to write good jacket copy (or at least know what good jacket copy looks like). When you’re telling acquaintances what your book is about, you’ll need to avoid making them fall asleep. You get the idea.”

Quote of the Week

Tim O'Brian Quote

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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How Writers Can Get Started on Goodreads

How Writers Can Get Started on Goodreads

Goodreads has become the most important networking site on the Internet  . . . Forbes

Perhaps you’re wondering, “Is Goodreads really a social media network?” It definitely is.

The primary reason the founders of Goodreads started this website was to create an online venue where friends could chat about and recommend books, the same way they might if they were dining together or meeting at a café.

Its secondary goal was to serve as a social media network. Here, you can share a number of items, including:

  • Your book reviews.
  • Information about books you’ve recently read and those on your to-read list through virtual bookshelves.
  • Blog posts.
  • Favorite quotes.

At its core, Goodreads is all about the reader, not about using this platform to hawk your books. If you intend to start a Goodreads account for the purpose of merely acquiring readers and selling more books, you’re doomed.

How to Get Started on Goodreads

You are about to enter a world of avid book readers. Share your love for the written word by following the steps below.

Open An Account

If you are new to Goodreads, get started by navigating to www.goodreads.com. You can sign up either by signing in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Amazon accounts. Or, you can enter your name, email address, and a password. That’s the best way to sign up.

Goodreads periodically adjusts the steps you’ll need to take to sign up. Some of the initial questions about books you prefer to read are to determine which reading suggestions Goodreads should send you through its Goodreads Deals program. Just bear with the surveys. You’re getting closer to being a full-fledged Goodreads member.

It’s Time to Add Books to Your Bookshelves

Before initiating your author profile, you’ll first need to indicate that you are indeed a reader.

In the search bar, type the names of the books you want to read, have read, or are currently reading. If you can’t find the book by its title, use the ISBN or author’s name. You can find ISBNs on Amazon or any book retail venue.

Let’s say that you want to read The Nightingale.After typing the book title, click the green bar that says Want to Read.

Goodreads

Notice all the information that appears. You find out that it was a 2015 Goodreads Choice Winner in 2015, can buy it directly from Amazon (which owns Goodreads), and you can see which books readers of The Nightingalealso enjoyed reading.

When you click on the white arrow directly beneath the novel, you can see several options. You can separate your books by category, create a shelf, and note a reading status such as Want to Read, Currently Reading, or Read.

Want to read - Goodreads

 

Repeat this process until you’ve created several bookshelves.

Once you’ve finished reading a book you previously identified as Want to Read, simply click My Books in the top taskbar, navigate to the book you just finished, and click edit. You’ll now be able to add the book to your shelf of books you’ve read.Choose shelves Goodreads

How can you update the status of a book you’ve been reading? Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Home, which serves as a news feed. Here you’ll see what all of your friends are reading or have read, and find links to their reviews.
  2. Look at the left column and you’ll see a widget noting the book you’re currently reading. In this widget, you can add a new book you want to read or have read, view all books you’ve read, or add a general update for your friends.

When you click General Update, for example, the following pop-up appears for you to write a post that will appear from you in your friends’ newsfeeds.

Share your book thoughts

 

Further down on the left column, you’ll see a listing of all of your bookshelves. And above the list of your shelves will be a pictorial view of the covers of the books you previously listed as Want to Read. You can change the status of those books.

Above the list of Want to Read books, you have an opportunity enter the 2017 Reading Challenge. Just select the number of books you plan to read and click Start Challenge.

Goodreads

A Review of Goodreads’ Tabs

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 4, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update contains a lot of jewels. Don’t miss Cindy Etler’s post on how to become a bestseller and Penny Sansevieri’s post on Goodreads giveaways.

As always, enjoy your weekend!

How to Become a Bestseller with Money, Luck, or Work (Mostly Work)  from JaneFriedman and by Cindy Etler: “If you build it, they will come” is the biggest crock of sh*t ever foisted. The second biggest is my own mental script: “If I write it, The New York Times bestseller list will come.”  *EHNT* Wrong answer.”

New Goodreads Giveaway Checklist for Indie Authors from BookWorks by and Penny Sansevieri: “One of my favorite book promotion tools is a Goodreads giveaway. And, I know that lots of authors weren’t happy when Goodreads changed the program from free to paid. After taking the new program for a test drive, I think it’s still worth the price of admission. So, I’m sharing what I see as the top benefits as well as the checklist you’ll want to use when doing your own Goodreads giveaway.”

5 Powerful Ways to End Your Blog Posts (and Fire Up Your Audience) by Henneke Duistermaat: “For once, Howard Fields feels happy with his writing. The opening of his blog post flows nicely. The tips are solid, and he’s finally got to grips with tightening his own content. Even the rhythm sounds good. Is he finding his voice? Now just a few final lines …  Howard’s mind wanders back to last night’s dinner at Ning. The sweet spiciness of the soft-shell crabs still lingers in his mouth. He licks his lips, remembering the tingling feeling and the aromatic mix of exotic spices. Lemongrass. Ginger. Chillies. And what else?”

Book marketing tips for self-published authors from BookBaby: “In my opinion, publicity partners with marketing, but marketing sets the message and the budget. When the head of marketing meets with the head of publicity, discussing the strategy for the book as colleagues, Publicity will say, “This is a very media-genic author, she has a great following around the country, she is great for radio, TV, etc.” Then the Marketing person might say, “Great, we will set aside money for the plane ticket to New York to be on a morning talk show,” or “We’ll set aside money for maybe a satellite radio tour…”

Book PR: Do’s & Don’ts When Wooing the Media – Part Two from BookWorks and by Chris Well: “The fastest way to draw attention to your book is to be featured in the media. But getting that kind of book PR can be tough if you don’t understand how to do it correctly. These past 30-odd years working in the media, I’ve been pitched by a lot of authors who wanted access to my audience. Unfortunately, most authors don’t get how PR works. As a result, they can make a terrible impression and do themselves more harm than good.”

The Business of Being a Writer: An Interview with Jane Friedman  by Lisa Tener: “Yes, writing is a creative pursuit. Yet, being a successful writer requires learning about the industry, understanding how you can support yourself financially within this field and developing a business plan to succeed. In The Business of Being a Writer, Jane Friedman offers her 20 years of experience within the publishing industry to teach writers basic—and crucial—business principles. Jane covers both general principles and those specific to the field of writing.”

In the News

Books by women priced 45% lower, study finds by The Guardian: “A study of more than 2m books has revealed that titles by female authors are on average sold at just over half the price of those written by men. The research, by sociologist Dana Beth Weinberg and mathematician Adam Kapelner of Queens College-CUNY, looked titles published in North America between 2002 and 2012. The authors analysed the gender of each author by matching names to lists of male and female names, and cross-referenced with information about price, genre and publication.”

Quote of the Week

Albert Einstein quote

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Not Using Email Marketing? Just Follow These Steps

Not Using Email Marketing? Just Follow These Steps

If you aren’t using email marketing, you may want to rethink your book marketing strategy.

We know that social media is all the rage – and rightly so – but email marketing, according to Kissmetrics“crushes” social media.

Here are their findings:

  1. There are nearly three times as many user accounts for email as there are on Facebook and Twitter combined.
  2. Email is more personal. You can reach people right in their email inboxes and craft messages just for your readers.
  3. Email gets more attention, and the messages are more targeted.
  4. You can use your email marketing messages to sell books, services, and other products.

If you’re considering going the traditional publishing route, your publisher will ask you about your email list numbers. If you’re happy as an indie author, you need an email marketing program to keep in touch with your readers, announce new books, and solicit advance reviews.

There are several email marketing programs available, but the two most popular ones are MailChimp and AWeber. The pricing plans are similar, however, with MailChimp, you can start with a free program.

Early on in my career, I selected MailChimp, so that’s the program I’m going to show you how to use today.

email marketing

How to Get Going with MailChimp

The user interface on MailChimp is clear and easy to use. Start by signing up at MailChimp.com. Decide if you want a paid account, which comes with email-based support, or if you want to figure things out on your own and save some money for now.

Your first step will be to create and name a list so that you can send letters to your readers. Start with one list. The name for the list will only be available to you so you can call it Newsletter for My Awesome Readers or Newsletter List #1. You decide.

Before you work on the sign-up process, you should decide on and create a giveaway. It could be the first two chapters of your newest book or the first book in a series you’ve written. If you write nonfiction, it can be an ebook or a tips sheet. Again, you get to decide on what you think would most entice your readers to turn over their email addresses.

Once you know what your giveaway will be, turn it into a PDF and either create a landing page on your website for it or use a program such as DropBox or BookFunnel as your free file-sharing service.

Next, you’re ready to tackle the sign-up forms on MailChimp.

How to Set Up Your MailChimp Sign-up Forms

 To work on the sign-up forms, go to your list and on the far right, click the arrow, and click on Sign-up Forms in the drop-down menu.

email marketing

You’ll arrive at a page with various options. For this purpose, select General Forms and navigate to the page where you can edit the sign-up process for your list. These are some of the forms that we’ll focus on:

email marketing

To customize the sign-up form, click Edit. Below you can see my sign-up form.

email marketing

Next, you’ll want to customize a sign-up thank you email. See the language that I include in mine. Notice my message to readers who use Gmail.

email marketing

Next, you need to send an opt-in confirmation email. I also choose to customize this email with my logo.

email marketing

Next, I send a subscription confirmation email with the link to my freebie ebook in PDF format, Twitter Just for Writers.

email marketing

As a follow-up to the above email, I also send a confirmation email notice.

Now you’ll want to take the URL for signing up to your newsletter and give it to your webmaster so that she or he can create a widget on your website enticing your readers to sign up there.

This is what my widget looks like:

email marketing

Notice that instead of the word subscribe I use “I Want In!!” Also, I only ask for the email address. The less information you request, the more likely a reader will sign up for your list.

Send Your First Email Letter

Now that you have your list and your email sign-up sequence set up, it’s time to send your first email-marketing letter.

Go to campaigns and select Create Campaign. You’ll need to name your campaign and select your campaign type. Uaually, you’ll select Regular as your campaign type.

email marketing

You will automatically navigate to a page where you’ll select your list. The campaign name is for internal use only. The email subject line, which you’ll select next, is what your readers will see when they go to their inboxes.

You’ll have the option to auto-tweet the campaign or auto-post to Facebook. I discourage you from doing this. Auto-tweeting and auto-posting on Facebook will make those posts appear like spam, and it’s unlikely that your readers will engage with them.

Make sure the subject line entices your readers to open your email. Be sure to reach this post by HubSpotfor tips on how to write catchy email subject lines.

Once you decide on the email subject line, your next step will be to select a template. I use a simple text template because I want the newsletter to be readable in all formats. You can select a fancier template if you’d like.

The first time you create an email-marketing letter, you will arrive at your template, and it will have instructions from MailChimp. Erase the instructions and start your letter. Click on the headline or the email text so that you can click the pencil icon that will allow you to make edits and write your letter.

email marketing

Below you can see some similarities between MailChimp and your WordPress blog.

When you are ready to schedule or send the email, click confirm in the lower right, send a test email to yourself for editing, and then schedule the email for the date and time you prefer.  It’s best to send them at 6 am Eastern Time so that when people turn on their computers in the morning, your message will be there. Tuesdays through Thursdays are known as the best days to send your newsletter.

email marketing

If you’ve followed all of these steps, you’ve just successfully created and sent your very first email-marketing letter.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 27, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. All of the posts this week are great. if you only have time to read a couple, make sure you read Anne R. Allen’s post as well as Rachel Thompson’s.

Enjoy your Friday!

The 4 Most Effective Book Marketing Strategies That Work by Rachel Thompson: “I’m constantly amazed by the sheer number of writers who are about to release their first book, or have already released their first book, and have zero marketing in place. Nothing, nada, oftentimes less than zero. They remind me of the college kid who walks into a final with a hangover and a broken pencil, hoping to pull the answers out of their you know where.”

Authors Beware: Amazon Gets Medieval on Paid and Traded Reviews by Anne R. Allen: “One email notified me that I’d failed to get “enough” reviews on my new Author Blog Book. But I could get 25 Amazon reviews from him for only $900! Dude, here’s the reason many of us “fail” to get tons of Amazon reviews anymore: scammy review-sellers like you. This is because Amazon fights paid review violations with robots, which are wrong more often than not. And they’re scaring off real reviewers.”

How To Solicit And Act On Feedback From Beta Readers from BookBaby: “You’ve finished your first, second, and maybe even the third draft of your book, and you’re ready for feedback from beta readers. Here are the steps you should follow to get and act on the feedback you receive.”

How To Create A Book From Your Blog from Location Rebel and by Dave Chesson: “Bloggers are in the perfect position to write a book. At first, it might seem like a big leap from blog to book. After all, writing a book is a significant project which requires resources.”

13 Dos and 1 Big Don’t For Growing Your Poetry Social Media Following from Writer’s Relief: “After years of languishing, many poets probably thought they’d never see this day come: Poetry is popular again! There’s a new generation of poets — dubbed “Instapoets” due to their success on Instagram — and these social media-savvy bards are commanding audiences in the hundreds of thousands while enjoying drool-worthy book sales!”

10 Ways Authors Can Grow a Facebook Group from TheBookDesigner.com and by Frances Caballo: “More and more romance authors are using groups instead of Facebook author pages or in conjunction with them. Actually, a lot of experts who run courses also offer Facebook groups as a benefit of a buying a course.”

Quote of the Week

James Baldwin quote

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. Henry Ward Beecher

There is wasted space on the internet. Have you noticed it?

I’m specifically talking about Twitter header images. How often have you visited an author’s Twitter profile only to discover that the header image is solid blue, or green, or a picture of an author’s dog?

Twitter gives you ample space, 1500 pixels in width X 500 pixels in height, to extend your brand, publicize your books, or upload an image that matches the mood of your newest book.

What so many authors do instead is they leave the space blank, or fill it with pictures of puppies, kittens, or flowers. Or their images leave you questioning the purpose or reason for the chosen header picture.

Like I said, there’s a lot of wasted space on the internet that authors could be using to promote their brand, their books, their successes, and their careers.

Let’s look at how some authors neglected this valuable online real estate.

This historical fiction author could have, instead of the floral image, created a lovely header image that promoted her books. With a free tool, such as Canva.com, or a paid tool, such as PicMonkey.com, you can lift a scene from your book, include your book cover, or create another image that reflects your genre.

The picture below doesn’t do much for this author’s brand, does it?

Twitter header

 

Believe it or not, the author with the scary header writes romance novels. There’s a definite mismatch between her brand and the header image.

Twitter header

Here are a header image and avatar from another historical fiction author. Let’s look at the avatar. Your avatar needs to be a picture of you. Not your canary, dog, Frappuccino, or cat. You.

It shouldn’t even be a drawing of a character in your novel. Readers want to connect with you, see you, and engage with you. When you use a depiction of a character, as in this example, readers wonder who you are.

Now, for the header, it’s difficult to know if this castle is part of a story. As it stands, the image is boring.

Twitter header

Don’t ever follow this example. Use that blue space to promote your books and don’t be an egghead. Ask someone – a professional photographer, friend, or family member – to take a picture of you and upload it to all of your social media profiles.

Twitter header

 

There are a couple of things wrong with this header image. First, no one cares (except you) about the name of your publishing company. Secondly, your image needs to be properly centered.

Twitter header image

 

In this example, I can see that this author tried to get it right. He probably uploaded the cover of his book, without resizing it first, and was only able to capture part of the title. Unfortunately, his avatar blocks part of the title.

Twitter header image

 

Now let’s transition to some header images that work.

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