I first wrote about AuthorRise on Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer. Since then, AuthorRise has revamped its website and offerings. Here’s the new version of the online app for writers.
Let’s first take a look at this app’s features:
- Analytics – AuthorRise provides analytics that will reveal which tweets trigger engagement among your readers and other followers. You can send your tweets from any Platform, even Twitter, and AuthorRise will still track their performance. Caveat: The only problem with this feature is that you will still need to check your Twitter Timeline to determine exactly which tweet did this. You could also simply refer to your Twitter analytics at analytics.twitter.com.
- Book Tracker – This feature tracks book rank right on the AuthorRise website, and the app sends you an email whenever your books are trending in sales. You’ll no longer need to log into CreateSpace or Kindle Direct Publishing to find this information.
- Book Marketing 101 – Author Rise offers suggestions on how to use its tools to grow your audience. Caveat: You don’t need AuthorRise for this. There’s plenty of author marketing materials on the Internet.
- Schedule content – Presently, you can only send one tweet at a time with its scheduling feature. Caveat: Unlike Hootsuite or Buffer, AuthorRise doesn’t yet offer the opportunity to schedule content that will publish throughout the day. However, they plan to add a scheduling feature for Twitter and other networks in the future. Until then, this AuthorRise feature really isn’t that practical.
My Take on AuthorRise
Here’s what I like best about AuthorRise. It compares your books’ Amazon Rank to your Twitter reach.
In other words, you’ll find a graph that shows your Twitter activity and your books’ ranking to determine if there are any correlations. As I said earlier, you’ll still need to check your Timeline to determine which tweets caused that spike in sales.
All of its tools are available in three payment plans. The only difference between the $3.99/month Basic Plan and the $19.99/month Prolific Plan is the number of books you publish and track.
If you publish frequently, you’ll have to pay more the extra tracking indicators.
Promote Your Books and Blog Posts with Flyers
I think the most exciting feature this app has to offer is the flyer option. You can create flyers about your books or blog posts, tweet them, and track engagement.
Each flyer has its unique URL so you can post your flyers to other social media networks and AuthorRise will still track click-through rates.
This is how the tool looks when you first begin to create your flyer.
This is how it will appear in your followers’ news feed.
And this is how it appears on Twitter once someone clicks “View summary.”
And this is what it looks like in your browser.
If you’ve added the “Pin It” icon to your browser, you can also pin the image to one of your Pinterest boards.
There’s a team at AuthorRise that also creates Flyers for authors.
Interview with AuthorRise CEO Chris Weber
Please explain further what AR offers under Marketing 101.
We have a section of the site called “Learn” that has quite a few tips, tricks, and methods that offer both practical and philosophical guidance on using social media for marketing.
We’ve written instructions on how to use every one of our tools and features, but we also try to use the Learn Section as a place to explore what it means to use social media and how to do it in a way that doesn’t lump you in with the thousands of other people screaming online, “Buy my book!”
Our goal in the Learn Section is to instill a long-term mindset in our members. We want them to focus on building a sustainable, engaged audience through high-quality content and lots of small everyday interactions rather than big media blitzes.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Focus on building an engaged audience w/ high-quality content & interactions ” quote=”Focus on building an engaged audience w/ high-quality content & interactions “]
Our instructional material has two keystone ideas. First is to foster constantly an experimental mindset when it comes to marketing. There is no single right way to engage with readers online, and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.
The second idea is about what we call “parallel content.” This is writing that you do for your readers separate from your book. So many authors create blogs and just write about being an author, so what they end up with is an audience of authors rather than readers. Authors that succeed on social media understand that their readers are hungry for the topics that interest them. Whether it’s new historical anecdotes from a historical fiction author or the most romantic news stories of the week from a romance author, readers love an actively engaged author who can enrich their lives as well on social media as with a new book.
How does AR track engagement on Twitter?
Engagement looks at the number of times someone posts during the day and how many of those posts are favorited or re-shared. Then it’s a simple piece of division. If an author posts five times and one of those posts gets re-shared, then the author has a 20% engagement rate.
When will you add other social media networks to the mix?
Facebook is next on the list, followed by Pinterest. Facebook is fairly similar to Twitter in terms of the general rules and best practices, and it’s also easily the biggest gathering of authors and readers. Pinterest is surprisingly effective for authors who use it well, but it’s also a completely different way of interacting, so we’ll be tackling that once Facebook is all set up.
How does AuthorRise show that an author’s social media marketing is having any effect on book sales?
We measure the impact of social media on sales in two places. First, we track “Book Rank” which is a good indication of when a sale occurs based on when the Rank suddenly jumps up. This happens because Rank is an indicator of time-since-last-sale, so when the Book Rank suddenly spikes, that means the time-since-sale was just reset.
We also provide a notification to our members for when these spikes happen so that they can go back and see if they did anything recently that could have driven more people to the book.
Secondly, we track Flyers, and one of the things we can show is how many people clicked to your book or clicked the “buy now” button at the bottom of the Flyer. So while Amazon doesn’t tell us real-time sales information, Flyers give a really good indication of what readers are looking at, whether it’s the book itself or the content that the author is sharing.
Finally, we also encourage authors not to watch too closely for a correlation between social media and sales. Too many authors are expecting to send a tweet and then get a sale, and that’s just not the best way to engage with social media.
Most people on Twitter or Facebook will have no idea who an author is, so the most important role social media plays is increasing name recognition. Almost no one will buy a book straight away from a tweet if they don’t know the author. This means the first thing any author has to do is create other posts and tweets that are interesting enough that a potential reader wants to see more.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Create interesting social media posts so readers can get to know you via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Create interesting social media posts so readers can get to know you via @CaballoFrances”]
It may not be until the 4th, 5th, or even 10th tweet that a new reader visits the author’s book page. That’s why so much of what we message when we’re coaching authors is to focus on building an engaged audience rather than just trying to drive sales.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Be sure to check out my Social Media for Authors Podcast.