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!

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.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 20, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to read Jane Friedman’s newest post and the post by Buffer on what Twitter’s new rules mean for you. Enjoy all of them!

What Do the New Twitter Rules Mean for Social Media Managers (and Buffer Customers) from Buffer: “This year, the team at Twitter has taken additional action to keep Twitter free from spam. Specifically, they have introduced new rules around automation and the use of multiple accounts. You might be wondering, “why is this important to me?” In short, Twitter might suspend your account if you fail to comply.”

Why You Need To Grasp Social Media Image Aspect Ratio by Louise Myers: “What the heck is social media image aspect ratio? More importantly, why should you care? Because understanding this concept will make your image creation so much easier! You will no longer have to stress over every pixel in your social media image sizes! And, you’ll be able to communicate clearly if your image size isn’t working. Because it’s not about the pixel size. It’s about the aspect ratio!”

Four Easy Ways to Not Look Like a Dork on Social Media  from Anne R. Allen and by Barb Drozdowich: “The world of social media has a unique language – words we didn’t grow up using. There are ever-changing platforms, ever-changing rules — and don’t forget all that advice. Everyone, it seems, wants to offer advice on how to be quicker, how to take shortcuts, how to make things easy.”

Building Your Business Model as a Writer from Jane Friedman: “In my newest book, The Business of Being a Writer, I devote an entire section to various ways you can earn money as a writer that don’t involve selling books. (If you didn’t know, most of my income is not related to book sales!) Over the last month, I’ve been talking (and writing) about how to build a business model for your career that suits your particular strengths as well as the unique quality of your work. Here are my latest appearances.”

What’s the Best Price for Your Next Ebook Promotion? from BookBub Partners: “Running an ebook price promotion is a great way to drive revenue, maximize unit sales, and connect with new readers. And if you want to run a Featured Deal to reach BookBub’s audience of millions of power readers, you’ll need to run a limited-time discount (between $0.99 and $4.99) or make a book temporarily or permanently free.”

Facebook in the News

The psychological impact of an $11 Facebook subscription from TechCrunch: “Would being asked to pay Facebook to remove ads make you appreciate their value or resent them even more? As Facebook considers offering an ad-free subscription option, there are deeper questions than how much money it could earn. Facebook has the opportunity to let us decide how we compensate it for social networking. But choice doesn’t always make people happy.”

What Marketers Need to Know About the Cambridge Analytica News  from Convince & Convert: “If you work in the world of marketing, the Cambridge Analytica news didn’t exactly shock you. In fact, most of us in the business reacted somewhere between a shoulder shrug and an eye roll. It’s not that marketers’ support the misuse of data—especially for the purposes of spreading false or “less accurate” information to sway an election. But most of us have known that Facebook and Instagram’s business models are all about selling data.”

Facebook Explains Data Collection from Non-Users to Quell Concerns from Social Media Today: “Amidst the various questions put to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his Congressional testimony last week, Zuckerberg’s response to one query, in particular, stood out. Answering a question from Representative Ben Lujan, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook does, in fact, track the data of people who haven’t signed up for Facebook. Zuckerberg said that they do so “for security purposes”.

Quote of the Week

We write out of revenge against reality, to dream and enter into the lives of others.

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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Boost Your Facebook Engagement with These 16 Tips

Boost Your Facebook Engagement with These 16 Tips

Zephoria, a digital marketing company, in April published a post citing 20 valuable Facebook statistics. A few are worth noting here:

  • Worldwide, there are over 2.13 billion monthly active Facebook users, which is a 14 percent increase over the previous year.
  • There are 1.15 billion mobile daily active users

Regarding Facebook’s demographics, the following statistics are relevant in terms of book marketing:

  • 4 billion people on average log onto Facebook.
  • There are 1.74 billion mobile active users.
  • The Like and Share buttons are viewed across nearly 10 million websites – daily.
  • Five new profiles are created every second, pointing to Facebook’s staying power.
  • Facebook users are 76 percent female.
  • 7 percent of its users are between the ages of 25 and 34.
  • The highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 and 3 pm.
  • Every minute, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated,a nd 136,000 photos are uploaded.
  • One in five page views in the U.S. occurs on Facebook.
  • Since May 2013, 16 million local business pages have been created.

And according to the Pew Research Center, 68% of all U.S adults who are online us Facebook. That’s the biggest statistic of all and one that points to the popularity of Facebook, which is second only to YouTube in popularity, followed by Pinterest and then Instagram.

Use Demographics to Plan Your Marketing

What do all these numbers have to do with you as an author? Plenty.

When you’re ready to approach book marketing, and you’re setting up your social media presence, the last thing you want to do is waste any of your time on platforms that your readers don’t use.

For example, if you write crime noir that’s popular among the 40+ demographic, you wouldn’t want to waste your time on Snapchat or Tumblr. But, similar to Mark Dawson, a thriller author, you would want to spend time on Facebook.

The new marketing dictum for selling your books or anything else is this: You don’t need to be everywhere; you need to be where your readers are. Remember that. Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of time. Focusing your energy and time on the social media websites where your readers network is your first rule.

Who needs to be on Facebook? Romance authors, some crime and thriller authors, young adults novelists, and anyone who is writing for any of the demographics noted above.

Knowing that you need to be on Facebook is half the battle in your marketing. The other issue is engaging with your readers.

Facebook Pages Aren’t Easy

FacebookFacebook, as I often tell authors, isn’t easy.

About six years ago, Facebook’s algorithm enabled about 32% of all posts from a Facebook page to appear in your fans’ newsfeeds. Two and a half years ago, Facebook tweaked its algorithm again. At that time, about 6% of posts would appear in a fan’s newsfeed. It’s even more challenging now to generate engagement.

About 1 percent of your status updates will appear in your fans’ news feeds unless you purchase advertising.

There’s another battle, too. Getting Facebook Likes. A combination of contests and Facebook advertising can help to address that issue.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 13, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - April 13, 2018

Welcome to today’s Indie Author Weekly Update. If you’re interested  in starting a Facebook Group, and if you write fiction you should be, be certain to read Blogging Wizard’s post this week. As always, Gil Andrews, Dave Chesson, and Anne R. Allen can always be counted on for some killer material.

And enjoy your weekend!

10 Tips to Protect your Creative Writer Self in the Marketplace: “The biggest obstacle many new writers face in making the leap from beginning writer to professional author is accepting that publishing is a business. Newbie writers have often taken creative writing courses or read books that urge them to “just be yourself”, “be creative: there are no rules”, and “a book should be as long as it takes to tell the story.”

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making Any Changes to Your Website by Gil Andrews: “Have you heard of the Hippocratic oath? It’s an oath that new physicians take when they graduate … Hippocrates made his students swear “by Apollo The Healer” and other cool gods with healing powers that they would uphold ethical standards when they practice medicine.”

16 Promotion Strategies To Grow Your Facebook Group 3x Faster from Blogging Wizard: “You’ve just created your first Facebook group. You expected like-minded people to flock to your group as soon as you put the finishing touches on it. You have a beautiful cover photo, you’ve set your group rules, and it’s looking pretty snazzy. You’ve done everything right. But still, nothing. Absolute crickets. No rush of people eager to join your community. You’re beginning to wonder why you bothered to go to all this effort, to begin with. After all, a Facebook group is useless if it’s not full of engaged members who fit your target market.”

The Surprisingly Simple Solution to Improving Book Exposure by Belinda Griffin: “This is the second in a series of three blog posts I’m writing to break down the top 3 book marketing challenges as revealed by my Book Marketing Frustrations Survey. In the first post, I explained that successful authors focus on readers for better results. This time I’m going to show you how to deal with the problem of not getting enough book exposure.”

9 Ways a Crappy Book Cover Can Sabotage a Marketing Campaign by Joan Stewart from TheBookDesigner.com: “When authors consult with me on any topic related to book marketing and publicity, I ask them a question they usually don’t expect. “May I see the book cover? “I don’t need your help with the cover,” the author says. “I want help identifying the types of stories I can pitch to the media.” Why do I ask to see your book cover?”

Facebook in the News

Facebook rewrites Terms of Service, clarifying device data collection from TechCrunch: “Facebook  is spelling out in plain English how it collects and uses your data in rewritten versions of its Terms of Service and Data Use Policy, though it’s not asking for new rights to collect and use your data or changing any of your old privacy settings.The public has seven days to comment on the changes (though Facebook doesn’t promise to adapt or even respond to the feedback) before Facebook will ask all users to consent to the first set of new rules in three years.”

If You Had One Hour With Mark Zuckerberg, What Would You Ask? Here’s What I Learned About The State And Future Of Facebook, Data, Politics And Bad Actors by Brian Solis: “In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, data misappropriation, #deletefacebook, calls for regulation and pending testimony to U.S. Congress, Facebook announced a series of initiatives to restrict data access and also a renewed selfie awareness to focus efforts on protecting people on the platform. What’s more notable however is that Mark Zuckerberg also hosted a last-minute, rare town hallwith media and analysts to explain these efforts and also take tough questions for the better part of an hour.”

Quote of the Week

Knowledge is power, and power is best shared among readers. by Frances Caballo

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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5 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Published My First Book

5 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Published My First Book

We all make mistakes with our published books, right? And we learn from them – well most of the time.

Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com frequently tells me that when he talks to new authors about what they should do once they publish a book, he usually tells them something to the effect of, “You should have prepared for your first book two years ago.”

Ouch. But he’s right, of course.

When I published my first book in 2013, I’d had a website and two blogs for two years. And I’d been using social media for two years. Sounds good, right?

Not exactly.

5 Things I Completely Blew When I Published My First Book

While it appears that I prepared for my launch, like many authors I was focused on writing my book. Here’s a summary of five things I did wrong.

  1. The domain for my website was ACT Communications. Not a very enticing business name for writers, now was it?
  2. Although I’d been blogging for two years, one blog was for businesses. The second blog started out as a blog catering to nonprofits. I didn’t switch the theme of the second blog to writers until I published my book. So again, I wasn’t doing much to build my platform or prepare my audience, authors.
  3. The username on my Twitter account was ACT Communications. Worse, I was tweeting about social media for nonprofits and small businesses, and I wasn’t following many people, so my account was stagnant. My story gets worse. I was using a verification app that required anyone who followed me to use and be verified by the app, TrueTwit.com. If you’re using this type  app, your Twitter account is basically frozen and will never grow. Therefore, your platform will stagnate.
  4. I followed the advice of a search engine expert and created a Facebook page for my book instead of an author page. His theory was that writers should have a Facebook page for each book they write. Now I know better. If I’d created a new Facebook page for every book I’ve written my audience would be divided, and I doubt that someone who liked my first Facebook page would like subsequent pages. Why would they? Several years ago, when Facebook first allowed pages to change their names, I switched my Facebook page to an author page, and I’m much happier. Now people can find my page by searching for my name instead of the title of my book.
  5. I signed up for the Kindle Select Program on Amazon and made my book available for free several days. But guess what? I failed to add my free book to a myriad of lists that exist to publicize free books. Relying only on my social media, I had 800 downloads but think of the thousands of downloads I could have had if I’d signed up for a variety of services that publicize free books.

What I Do Differently Now

In my case, I did learn from my mistakes. Here are five things I do differently.

  1. I ditched the website ACT Communications and started SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.
  2. I focused my efforts on writers, especially indie authors.
  3. I sought speaking gigs, teaching social media to authors. So far I’ve taught through Stanford’s and UC Berkeley’s Extended Education program, I led a workshop at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference and the Redwood Writers Conference (twice), and I’m a regular presenter at the San Francisco Writers Conference. I’ve also spoken to a variety of other author organizations and at bookstores.
  4. I seek guest blogging opportunities. I’m a contributing writer for TheBookDesigner.com, was until recently a blogger and the social media expert at BookWorks, and I’ve written for a variety of other blogs, including Joanna Penn’s, Jane Friedman’s, Nina Amir’s, and Susanne Lakin’s.
  5. I expanded my brand on social media. I switched my username on Twitter from ACT Communications to Frances Caballo. Plus, I got rid of the TrueTwit application and started following 100 people a day. As I mentioned earlier, I corrected my error on my Facebook page. On LinkedIn, I always mention my newest books in my headline now, and I’ve expanded my brand further by joining Goodreads, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. (Note: I don’t recommend that all authors use this many social media networks.)

8 Book Marketing Steps Worth Repeating

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 6, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - April 6, 2018

Welcome to today’s Indie Author Weekly Update. If you only read one story, read Jane Friedman’s on a smarter author platform. And if you only have time for one Facebook story, read the first one below under Facebook stories. It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks how Facebook handles its personal security and advertising issues.

Have a wonderful weekend.

A Smarter Author Platform for the Digital Era of Publishing from Writer Unboxed and by Jane Friedman: “Author platform, in its simplest form, is an author’s ability to sell books. What that platform looks like, or how it works, varies from author to author: Some are big names who can attract attention with any book they release, others have figured out how to harness a local or regional fan base to spread word of mouth, and still others know how to use digital media for visibility.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – April 2018 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “Man, things are changing fast at Amazon. So, to be helpful, I have compiled a list of things that USED to be true about Amazon that you might want to be aware of and then I’ve given you a suggestion or two about what to do with the new information. Hold on guys. This list is annoying and long.”

What is NaNoProMo and How Can It Help YOU Sell More Books? by Rachel Thompson: “Many of you are familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) held every November) to inspire writers to write books. There’s even NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) every March to help writers edit the book they wrote in November). I researched and realized there was no book marketing specific month, and because ya know, I have nothing else going on *cough*, I created NaNoProMo — National Novel Promotion Month, to take place in May. Ta-da!”

What Twitter’s New Rules Mean for Social Media Scheduling from @MeetEdgar: “If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that sometimes, people use Twitter for not-so-nice reasons. Reasons like spamming hashtags, creating fake profiles, or, you know, trying to destabilize the democratic process in other countries.”

A guide to social media for authors by Nathan Bransford: “Let me tell you a story about how I joined Twitter. I didn’t join it at all. In 2008, someone created a fake profile for me, photo and all, and started tweeting out my blog posts! People were replying to me and everything. Once I got wind of what was happening, I wrested control of the account and I grumpily determined it was time to succumb to that whole social media thing.”

How to promote your audiobook from Sandra Beckwith: “In my view, the biggest obstacle to audiobook promotion is the fact that the majority of people still haven’t actually listened to one!”

This Week’s Facebook Stories

Tim Cook hits Facebook again over privacy concerns Tim Cook took a break from criticizing Facebook on Tuesday to present the next step in Apple’s big education plans. But the CEO is back at it. Sitting down with MSNBC and Recode at a town hall event, Cook was once again asked about consumer privacy in the wake of fallout over Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica quagmire. Cook interviews that while he believed self-regulation is best in the case of these tech giants, “I think we’re beyond that.” Asked what he would do, were he in Zuckerberg’s position, he added, simply, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Facebook Executive In 2016: “Maybe Someone Dies In A Terrorist Attack Coordinated On Our Tools” from BuzzFeed: “Facebook Vice President Andrew “Boz” Bosworth said that “questionable contact importing practices,” “subtle language that helps people stay searchable,” and other growth techniques are justified by the company’s connecting of people.”

Facebook Responds: No More Partner Categories Targeting  by Jon Loomer: “The first shoe drops. In a very brief statement, Facebook announced that they will be shutting down Partner Categories (a way for advertisers to target users based on information provided by third parties) during the next six months. Let’s take a closer look at what Partner Categories are/were, what this means for advertisers, and why this is happening now…”

Quote of the WeekYou don’t always have to go so far as to murder your darlings – those turns of phrase or images of which you felt extra proud when they appeared on the page ... by Diana Athill

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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In These Times, You Need to Tighten Your Facebook Security Settings

Tighten Your Facebook Security Settings

When was the last time you reviewed your Facebook security settings? With Facebook in the limelight over misuse of its user data, this post explains how to review and adjust those settings.

Facebook has certainly been getting plenty of publicity lately. But the reason why couldn’t be worse.

Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis for electoral processes used Facebook’s user data to interfere in the U.S. presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The situation has become so serious that #DeleteFacebook became a trending hashtag on Twitter, there are calls for Mark Zuckerberg’s resignation, and the Fair Trade Commission is investigating Facebook. See Facebook Is Being Investigated By The FTC Over Mishandling People’s Personal Information.

While you’re at it, also read this post: Facebook knows literally everything about you.

Finally, I loved this quote from this post, Facebook Has Had Countless Privacy Scandals But This One Is Different:

The story will endure not because of animosity toward political data use but because it perfectly touches upon a deeper anxiety about our online privacy that’s been building for years. Indeed, the Cambridge Analytica scandal could well be the catalyst for a much bigger targeting revolt — a full-scale personal and public reckoning that looks at the way we’ve used the internet for the last decade. It’s a moment that forces us, collectively, to step back and think about what we sacrificed for a more convenient and connected world. And on an internet that feels increasingly toxic it’s hard to look at the tradeoffs we’ve made and feel like we’re getting a fair deal.

What can you do? Strengthen your security settings. I’m going to show you how right now.

delete-facebook

Tighten Your Security Settings

Go to your profile, click the arrow in the upper blue taskbar, and click settings.

Facebook security settings

Now you’ll be looking at your General Account Settings. Click Privacy, the third row from the top.

Facebook security settings

You’re now at Privacy Settings and Tools.

Facebook security settings

First, decide on who can see what you post on your profile. I used to have this setting at Public but I’ve become more conservative of late, and now only Friends can see what I post. You need to decide how transparent you want to be. Even if you like your current setting, click Edit because you’ll see other settings when you navigate to the next frame.

Facebook security settings

First, decide if you want to keep your current setting or allow your Timeline to be public.

The next setting takes several steps. As you can see, I only allow Friends to see my status updates. I also activated the setting that requires that I see and authorize posts in which a friend tagged me before they can appear on my timeline. To activate this setting:

Click Use Activity Log on the line that states “Limit the audience for posts and things you’re tagged in.”

Facebook security settings

Then click the gear shift next to Notifications.

Facebook security settings

Under Timeline Review, click Enabled and then Close.

Note: You can also adjust this setting by going to Timeline and Tagging. See bottom of this post.

If you previously had your activity setting at Public and changed it to Friends, you’ll need to select Limit Past Posts to prevent people who aren’t Friends from seeing previous posts.

Facebook security settings

Next, review these settings of mine:

 

You need to decide how people can find and contact you. I used to let anyone contact me, but I recently changed my setting to Friends of Friends. Also, the only people who can see my friends list are my friends. However, anyone who used the email address connected to my Facebook account can find me on Facebook, and I still want search engines outside of Facebook to link to my profile.

The last setting I just mentioned is fairly liberal but I’m an author and a social media strategist, and I want people to find me on the internet. If you want to be found on the internet because you’re an author or have a business, then you’ll want the search engines to be able to find you on Facebook as well. Ideally, you’ll want them to connect to your business page but connecting to your profile can have value as well.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – March 30, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update focuses heavily on Facebook for obvious reasons. Be sure to read the post by Charlie Warzel, the first one in the group of Facebook stories below. And of course be sure to read the first post I mention below by Written Word Media because it’s brilliant.

Have a great weekend!

How to Get Amazon to Sell Books for You from Written Word Media: “You may have heard authors and other publishing professionals talk about the Amazon algorithm and how it impacts their books. In this article, we break down what an algorithm is, how the Amazon algorithm works and how it impacts you as an author. Before we begin: Don’t be intimidated by the terms you see. Everyone can understand how this works. And, as an author who is aiming to sell more books on Amazon, it is important that you understand what’s going on behind the scenes.”

Lead Magnet Checklist: 5 Must-Have Features of a Crazy Effective Lead Magnet by Gill Andrews: “The time when people were downloading free ebooks in masses is long over. Lead magnets aren’t hip anymore. These days everyone and their grandma has a ‘Download free ebook’ button on their page. For you as a business owner, it became much more difficult to get those email addresses, get your new subscribers to open your emails and engage with your content. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible.”

How to Get Algorithm-Busting Engagement on Facebook [Podcast] from Chris Syme: “In this episode Chris and Becca interview author Shawn Inmon for tips on how he built his Facebook page from 86 fans to over 3000 by being consistent, persistent, and personable. And, spending less than ten dollars a month.”

Social Media Phobic? Facebook is (Still) Your Friend from Writer Unboxed: “For sure, our collective conscience would be cleaner and we’d all be a lot less distracted without it. Some of us would probably even feel a vengeful twinge of self-righteousness seeing Zuckerberg and his cohorts caught at last with the smoking gun that proves their invention is not only bad for us, but just downright bad.”

Facebook in the News

There were a lot of stories published about Facebook this past week; the ones below are among the best I read.

Facebook Has Had Countless Privacy Scandals. But This One Is Different. by Charlie Warzel: “Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal has everything: peculiar billionaires, a once-adored startup turned monolith, a political mercenary who resembles a Bond villain and his shadowy psychographic profiling firm, an eccentric whistleblower, millions of profiles worth of leaked Facebook data, Steve Bannon, the Mercers, and — crucially — Donald Trump, and the results of the 2016 presidential election.”

Now would be a good time for Mark Zuckerberg to resign from Facebook from TechCrunch: “Facebook  is at the center of a dozen controversies, and outrage is peaking. The social network has failed again and again at expanding beyond a handful of core features. Doubts of its usefulness, and assertions of its uselessness, are multiplying. A crisis of confidence at multiple levels threatens the company’s structure and mission. Now is the time for Mark Zuckerberg to spare himself the infamy and resign — for Facebook’s sake and his own.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Reckoning: ‘This Is a Major Trust Issue’ from The New York Times: “For much of the past week, Facebook has been embroiled in a controversy involving Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm with ties to Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and how the firm improperly obtained and exploited personal data from 50 million Facebook users.”

Can We No Longer Trust Facebook? by David Meerman Scott: “There’s a growing #DeleteFacebook movement as well as congressional scrutiny. No, I’m not going to abandon my Facebook accounts like Elon Musk did with the company pages for Tesla and SpaceX. But I am using Facebook a lot less. I used to go to Facebook every day. Now I’m only there a few times a week. Not because of the news but because I find the platform much less useful than I used to.”

Quote of the Week

You don’t need to focus on getting followers on social media, you can instead forge true connections with people who love the kind of work you create. -Dan Blank

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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Spring Cleaning: 7 Strategies to Clean Up Your Social Media

7 Strategies to Clean Up Your Social Media

When was the last time you thought about giving your social media a sheen? Keep reading to learn about my strategies to clean up your social media and prepare for spring.

A couple of years ago I read the little book that is still revolutionizing how people think about their stuff: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

It’s not that I have clothes and shoes cluttering my bedroom. And I’m definitely not a hoarder. In fact, about twice a year, my husband and I go through our clothes and other household items and find things that we either no longer use or just don’t fit.

But despite my way of tidying up, as I read the book, I realized that I still had stashed in my closet a Guatemalan wall hanging from the 1990s. Can you believe it?

While reading Kondo’s book, and going through one of her recommended marathon discarding sessions, I remembered the wall hanging in the back of my closet.

Even though I’d had it professionally dry-cleaned years ago, I hadn’t hung it on a wall in more than a decade.

Yet there it was in my closet, waiting for the perfect moment or room to hang again. But the truth is that I’ve never even been to Guatemala.

So why had I been carting this item from house to house, careful to keep it hung and protected in a dry cleaner’s plastic bag? I have no idea.

So I gently folded the blanket and dropped it into one of my four bags of items destined for Goodwill.

With that simple act, I instantly realized the value of Kondo’s book and appreciated her permission to let some things go to reduce the clutter in our closets and to make room only for those items that “spark joy” in us.

When Did You Last Clean Up Your Social Media?

As I thought about Kondo’s book recently, I realized that her strategies also apply to social media. For example, how long ago did you set up your social media accounts? Have you revisited them recently?

When I say revisit them, I mean when was the last time you updated your profiles? I’m as guilty as you might be at forgetting to add new books to my LinkedIn profile or updating my banner images. But as they say, there’s no time like the present to get busy and make sure our profiles are current.

Let’s take this one step at a time.

LinkedIn

Open your LinkedIn profile and follow the steps below.

Headline: Start by examining your headline. Does it include the title of your newest book? Are you describing yourself in a way that’s consistent with how you’re branding yourself today?

For example, some authors start out describing themselves as writers or authors but then develop businesses around editing or design as well. Make sure that how you describe yourself best reflects your writing and business interests.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – March 23, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update primarily focuses on an a writer’s audience. So be sure to check out the posts by Fauzia Burke, Mark Coker, and Later, an application for Instagram.

As always, enjoy the posts and have a great weekend!

Know Thy Reader – Identifying and Understanding Your Audience by Fauzia Burke: “There has never been a better time to be an author, because for the first time authors have direct access to their readers. While there is more competition in the marketplace, there is also more opportunity. To thrive in today’s competitive markets, personal branding is more important than ever. Your ability to successfully execute your online marketing plan will help you capture and hold your reader’s attention.”

How Indie Authors Can Cultivate Superfans by Mark Coker: “Most book marketing advice focuses on how to get readers to buy your books, yet ignores how to care for your readers once you’ve got them. With subtle tweaks to your publishing process, you have the opportunity to cultivate more passionate readers. I call these passionate readers superfans.”

[Podcast] Start Your Author Email List ASAP by Dave Chesson: “Where authors put their opt-in within their books is important, too. As we’ve talked about in past episodes, when a reader opens an ebook, they don’t necessarily see the front matter, so putting an opt-in in the front of the book is not the best place. Putting at the end, however, means the reader is so interested in your writing, they are probably looking for more from you. You’ve already engaged them through the whole book, they’re thirsty for more.”

How to Design Instagram Stories: 7 Tips to Wow Your Audience! from Later: “Want to design Instagram Stories that wow your followers? It’s not as easy as it looks! If you want to design Instagram Stories that catch the attention of your followers (and make your brand look great), you’ll need to use all the features at your fingertips. With fun, new features being added regularly and all sorts of Instagram Stories hacks available, it’s now easier than ever to create well-branded stories that are sure to impress your followers!”

4 Ways You Can Make Time to Blog Right Now by Rachel Thompson: “Time, writers say, is the biggest challenge when it comes to blogging. We are writing books. We are marketing books. We are thinking about marketing books. We are parents, spouses or significant others, single parents, workers bees, pet puke cleaner-uppers, grocery-shoppers, housekeepers, laundry-do-ers, mental illness sufferers/survivors, advocates, and the beat goes on. Time is a real issue, right?”

How to Build a Blog Site from Scratch by Jeff Goins: “Over the years, I’ve built over a dozen blogs, many of which were built the wrong way, unfortunately. Which required me to go back and start over. Eventually, I learned that building a blog is a lot like building a house. Minus the fact that building a house is way more difficult and labor intensive and, oh yeah, super expensive.”

Facebook in the News

The real scandal isn’t Cambridge Analytica. It’s Facebook’s whole business model from Slate: “The plot was made for front-page headlines and cable-news chyrons: A scientist-turned-political-operative reportedly hoodwinked Facebook users into giving up personal data on both themselves and all their friends for research purposes, then used it to develop “psychographic” profiles on tens of millions of voters—which in turn may have helped the Trump campaign manipulate its way to a historic victory.”

Changes on Twitter

Twitter has new rules on the posting of duplicate information within any 24-hour period. For information on this new rule by Twitter, read this post: “Twitter is announcing major limits on how users and apps can automate tweets, in order to combat spam and political propaganda bots. Developers are now banned from using any system that simultaneously posts “identical or substantially similar” tweets from multiple accounts at once, or makes actions like liking, retweeting, and following across multiple accounts at once. Twitter will remove these options from its own TweetDeck app, and third-party developers have until March 23rd to comply.”

Quote of the Week

Carl T. Rowan 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 blog: Frances 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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