How Not to Market Your Book – 12 Rookie Mistakes

market your book

Did you just publish your first book? It’s an exciting time, isn’t it? You’re probably thinking that now it’s time to market your book.

To learn about how to market your book, you’re probably reading blog posts like mine and absorbing as much information as you can.

Writers put so much energy into writing their books that they have little time to think about marketing them until the final edit is done.

That’s when your head tends to come up and when you stop typing. You think to yourself, “It’s time to publish!”

Mistakes You Make When You Market Your Book 

 No. 1 – You Start Too Late 

market your bookThe first mistake writers make is that they focus solely on their writing and not on their marketing while they write a book.

Sure, your writing needs to be top-notch, but if you don’t start to market your book early enough, it won’t matter how well you wrote your book.

As soon as you have an idea for your book and start to write it, start your marketing.

Solution: Find a reputable website developer and build a website. Here’s a post I wrote on author websites. Read it. If you need referrals to website developers, ask me.

No. 2 – You Don’t Blog 

Start a blog. At this stage, you can blog about your writing process, characters you kill off, places where you write, and reasons why you write.

No. 3 – You Think You Don’t Have Time for Social Media 

think about your readers. Who are they? Why would they want to read your book?
Look at Pew Research Centersocial media studies to determine which social media networks your readers use. Start to use at least one social media network that your readers use.

Six months later, learn how to use another social media network that your readers use.

No. 4 – You Exclude Your Publishing to Paperback Books

This is a real problem that I’ve encountered with some clients.

Publishing today, if you want to be successful, needs to include paperbacks, ebooks, audiobooks, and box sets.

The more options you give your readers, the more ways they’ll have to buy what you write.

No. 5 – You Go Wide Right Away

amazonWhen you start out in publishing, it’s preferable not to go wide. In other words, with your first and second books, limit your publishing to Amazon. Doing this will make your books eligible for KDP Select, which will enable you to discount your book to $.0 for five days each quarter.

Also, when you are in the KDP Select Program, Amazon automatically enrolls your book in Kindle Unlimited as well as the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle can choose one book each month with no due dates.

The KDP Select Program offers opportunities that new authors can benefit from.

Once you write your third book, then go wide. In other words, use a service, such as Draft2Digitalto publish your books on iTunes, Kobo, and elsewhere.

No. 6 – You Think Giving Books Away for Free is Dumb

I used to think that. I figured that after all my research, writing, three editors, designers, etc., that it would be ludicrous to give my book away for free.

Man was I wrong.

As a new writer, you don’t have readers yet. One way to acquire readers is to give your book away for free.

Sign up for KDP Select and use your free promotional days. Send free copies of your books to leaders in your niche and industry. Send copies of your books to bloggers and give away ten copies of your book on Goodreads.

No. 7 – You Don’t Learn About Amazon’s Categories

Before uploading your book to Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing, learn about keyword phrases and categories.

Here is a list of the BISAC codesyou need to know so you can find your categories.

Also, learn about keyword phrases. This is an excellent postfrom Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur about how to conduct your keyword research.

No. 8 – You Ignore Goodreads

GoodreadsPlease don’t ignore Goodreads. It’s a social media network for readers.

When you join, don’t use this channel purely for marketing. Goodreads, above everything else, is a network designed for readers. A good number of its users have graduate degrees.

So when you join Goodreads, build your library of books you’ve read and write reviews regularly. Also, join a group and give some of your books away for free.

No. 9 – You Don’t Help to Market Your Colleagues’ Books

As you write your book, get to know writers in your genre. After you publish, continue to meet other writers in your genre. Retweet them, share their blog posts, and help them to be a success.

In other words, build a cooperative gathering of similarly minded writers who help each other find success.

No. 10 – You Talk About Your books and Yourself too Much on Social Media

Too often, writers view social media as advertising channels. They aren’t.

The essence of social media is that it’s social. Ask and answer questions. Find information that your readers would love that you didn’t produce.

Social media isn’t about you and your books and blog posts. It’s about the community you build.

No. 11 – You Don’t Include a Letter to the Reader in Your Book Requesting a Review

Every book needs a letter to the reader. Some people put it in the front of the book, but most people include it after the last page.

Thank your readers for buying your book and tell them how much it would mean to you if they would leave a review, especially on Amazon.

 No. 12 – You Don’t Develop a Street Team

social mediaA writer needs help selling her books. You can hire assistants or people like myself or publicists. Even if you hired those three categories of experts, you would still need a street team t.

Members of a street team receive advance reader copies of your books, they tweet about your books, post on Facebook about your books, and take a picture of your cover and put it on Instagram.

In other words, these readers love your books so much that they talk about them and recommend them. They may even help you get speaking gigs locally.

Do whatever you can to develop a dedicated street team. And treat them well. Give the members of your street team chachkies, free books, a kindle, or an Amazon gift certificate. These are your most dedicated readers, and they deserve your loyalty and special treatment.

How Not to Market Your Book - 12 Rookie Mistakes

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She 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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – January 18, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - January 18, 2019

Welcome back to the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week’s roundup has an excellent array of posts from marketers and bloggers on book marketing. Plus, there’s a short video clip from Dave Chesson on Amazon ads. I’m certain you’ll find all of the information below helpful to your book marketing endeavors. Enjoy the posts!

Social Media Throwdown: Facebook Groups by Julie Glover: “So where I have landed in the scheme of social media? Once I passed about a thousand followers on Twitter and followed as many, that platform became overwhelming. I really only use it to share articles, check in on current events, and track certain hashtags. The rest of the time, I default to Facebook.”

A Guide to Getting More Reader Reviews by BookBub Partners: “This guide shares some tried and tested strategies to generate more reader reviews on retailer sites. It will also help you learn what practices to avoid so retailer sites don’t remove them. If you’ve struggled to get reviews or simply need more, check these out!”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – January 2019 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “Another year, another set of chances for you and your book! While I usually focus on authors and publishers in this column, this month, I am the one guilty of committing the errors in DO THIS NOT THAT.”

Amazon has recently updated their Amazon books ads system. Check out this video from Dave Chesson: “And unlike most of their updates, this Amazon book ads update actually has some pretty awesome changes. So, in this video, I will explain all of the changes that have been made to the new Amazon book ads system.”

100 Best Writing Websites: 2019 Edition: from The Write Life and by Dana Sitar: “Whether you’re a novelist, journalist, Ph.D. candidate, entrepreneurial blogger, self-help guru writing a book or some combination of creativity at the intersection of multiple ambitions, you call yourself “a writer.” Whatever kind of writer you are, a blog or online community probably exists to help you succeed. Each year, The Write Life celebrates these vast resources available by releasing a list of the 100 Best Websites for Writers, and we’re excited to do it for the sixth year in a row.”

WITS Throwdown: Putting the “Social” in Social Media by Jenny Hansen: “The real title of this post is How To Put the Social in Social Media Without Losing Your Mind or All Your Free Time. That’s a heavy promise, right? Social media does like to suck up valuable family time, writing time, down time. If you think about it as a big vaccuum that gives nothing back, you WILL be resistant to this whole ‘online social thing.'”

Quote of the Week

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Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She 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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – December 7, 2018

indie author

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. If you want to learn more about book marketing, you came to the right place. You’ll find posts from Dave Chesson, Penny Sansevieri, Anne R. Allen, and others. Plus, there’s a link to this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards winners.

You’ve Finished Your First Novel! What to Do Now: 7 Do’s and Don’ts by Anne R. Allen: “Did you win NaNo? Is it a first novel? Congratulations!!! Only about 3% of people who start novels actually finish, so you’re a major winner right there. You’ve done something spectacular. So break out the bubbly and savor the moment! After that…what comes next?”

How to Define and Describe Your Readership: A Confusing Issue for Nonfiction Book Proposals by Jane Friedman: “If you’re pitching a nonfiction book, at some point, an editor or agent will expect you to describe the readership that your book is intended for. Or, if you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to define this for yourself to market the book properly.”

Self-publishing Success Story: Indie Audiobook is Finalist for Voice Arts Award from the Alliance of Independent Authors and by Brad Borkan: “Recently my audiobook narrator Dennis Kleinman and I had the incredible honor of having the audiobook for When Your Life Depends on It nominated as a finalist in the “Best Audiobook – History” category of the Voice Arts Awards. Here’s how our audiobook came to life, and how it came to be competing for a major prize in Hollywood.”

Boost Your Amazon Book Promotion with Pre-Order Strategies by Penny Sansevieri: “The Amazon pre-order option for KDP authors (Kindle Direct Publishing has really helped level the playing field between traditionally published authors and those who have self-published through KDP. Let’s look at how this can benefit your Amazon book promotion!”

How to Use Top Book Blogs to Build Your Author Brand from BookWorks and by Dave Chesson: “In today’s article on author branding, we’re going to look at how to make use of top book blogs to gain additional momentum for your book at launch, greater exposure to a qualified readership, and an evergreen source of external traffic for your book’s sales page. The importance of seeking as many channels as possible to gain exposure for your book cannot be overstated.”

2018 Goodreads Choice Awards: More than 5 million votes were cast and counted in the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards honoring the year’s best books. See who the winners were.

Quote of the week

indie author

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She 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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 19, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - October 19, 2018

I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Update. You’ll find informative posts from Diana Urban from BookBub, Rachel Thompson, Sandra Beckwith, and Amy Collins. Plus, there’s a podcast episode from Dave Chesson. Enjoy!

How Successful Authors Use Social Media: 23 Content Ideas by Diana Urban: “Social media can be a useful part of an author’s platform, helping them connect with readers, fellow writers, and the publishing community. But deciding what content to post next can be a struggle. So how do successful authors use social media to engage with their fans? And what can authors post on social media besides links to their own books?”

What You’re Doing Wrong on Twitter and How to Make It Right from Anne R. Allen and by Rachel Thompson: “Twitter is a wonderful way to connect with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers if you are connecting with them strategically. Many writers are completely flummoxed how to do that.

Episode 51: The Cold Hard Truth About Book Marketing Services by Dave Chesson: “If you’re worried about marketing your book and are looking into getting a book marketing service, I advise you to proceed with caution. There are some that will work fine with your book, however many will take any book and put it through a conveyor-belt like process for marketing your book.”

3 ways to pitch your book to the press as the perfect holiday gift by Sandra Beckwith: “Every year at this time, newspapers, online news sites, and bloggers start thinking about their holiday gift guides. You’ll start seeing them in late November and all through December.”

Must read post for all writers

Understanding the Current “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Amazon Book Reviews by Amy Collins and from TheBookDesigner.com: “We would like to bring you up to date on the current rules and share some guidelines we have found most helpful when trying to get reviews for your book on Amazon. Here you will find the most frequently asked questions around the Amazon review process and Amazon’s answers. I have gone right to the source and given you the Amazon rules right from the horse’s mouth.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She 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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

 

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 12, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - October 12, 2018

Welcome to another Indie Author Weekly Update. We’re entering the season of NaNoWriMo and to mark it, there are two blog posts on that topic today. Be sure to read Anne R. Allen’s post on legitimate and seedy publishers as well as David Gaughran’s post on Kindle Unlimited. Finally, Jane Friedman’s blog is always worth a read.

How Can You Tell Legitimate Publishers from the Bad Guys? by Anne R. Allen: “New writers have much to be wary of these days. New publishing scams are landing in writers’ inboxes faster than we can send out warnings. Probably the most dangerous predators for the newbie writer are phony publishers, because they can shatter dreams as well as drain bank accounts.”

To Nano or Not To Nano by Jenny Hansen: “NaNoWriMo, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is National Novel Writing Month, where hundreds of thousands of writers gather to bang out as many words as they can in the month of November. Many writers skip it and many writers treat it as a yearly pilgrimage to Writing Mecca.”

How Do You Create? by Grant Faulkner: “When I begin a story, I sit down with an itch of a story idea stirring in my mind, and I write a sentence, without too much thought, without any maps of logic, and then I write another sentence, and then another, one thing leading to the next, writing in pursuit of faint inklings and distant whispers, writing to discover, writing just to write.”

Kindle Unlimited – A Cheater Magnet by David Gaughran: “I don’t hate Kindle Unlimited. While all my own books are currently wide, I also work on marketing campaigns for others which regularly get 10m reads per month, or more. I’m not saying that to brag — the respective authors are doing the hardest part of the equation by writing books which resonate so widely — I merely state this to show that I understand how to (ethically) work Kindle Unlimited, and that I have nothing against it per se.”

How to Write Better Marketing Copy by Jane Friedman: “Overexposure: every writer has experienced this problem. You work on a manuscript for so long that your perception of it dulls. You become blind to its weaknesses and ignorant of its strengths. Though that’s a well-known phenomenon when it comes to editorial perception, overexposure is less acknowledged by marketers. When you’re marketing what feels like your 100th thriller—as an author or for a publishing house—you might feel like you’ve run out of things to say. You’re bored by your go-to descriptions and want to break out of the box and offer a fresh take. But this can be a dangerous strategy.”

5 Tips for Selling Your Books at Events—on a Budget by ChrysFey: “Being one of many authors at a book festival or signing event can be pricey when you add together the cost of the table, books, swag, travel, meals, and anything else the event requires of you. Sometimes it’s challenging to make back the cost of your books and the price of the table. So, finding cheap but cool things to use at book events is essential.”

How to Understand Your Reader’s Level of Awareness to Grow Your Fanbase from Jane Friedman and by Dave Chesson: “Imagine a reader who thinks they like science fiction books, as compared to one that can specifically tell you they love sci-fi military space marine adventures. The latter is more likely to know what they are looking for and quicker to buy the book when they see it.”

Google+The Death of a Social Media Network

Google+ to Shutter After Reports of Exposed User Data from Social Media Today: “Google announced Monday it would slowly shut down Google+, the search giant’s long-struggling social network, after finding a software bug that divulged the private data of as many as 500,000 users to hundreds of third-party applications, according to a company blog post. The company fixed the flaw in March and didn’t find any evidence that developers misused users’ personal information.”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She 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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 10, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

In today’s Indie Author Weekly Update you can learn how to prevent your reviews from disappearing from Amazon (after working so hard to get them) and learn how to add a video to your Amazon sales page. Instagram is all the rage, especially IGTV, so be sure to check out the post by Neda Dallal.

Audiobook sales soar as some authors forsake print from the Passive Voice: “When Sarah Hall wrote her most recent short story, Sudden Traveller, she read each sentence aloud. It’s not the usual writing practice of the twice-Booker-nominated writer, who finds performing her work “intensely awkward”. This time she felt she should, because instead of being published in print, this story of a bereaved mother was heading to the recording studios of Audible, the audiobook publisher and retailer owned by Amazon. Niggling at the back of Hall’s thoughts was the awareness that she was writing for the voice, not the page.”

Media Publicity for Novelists Using Nonfiction Topics by Chris Well: “This month, I’m speaking directly to you authors who write fiction. Because YES, you too are eligible to harness the amazing power of PR to promote your novel. The key, which is true for ANY author, is that you almost never focus on your book. You need to focus on your expertise. And I don’t mean “writing.” Any author can talk about that. Why should I pick you as my guest when literally any author will do? I’m referring to your expertise that is unique. The inspiration for your novel may be the result of all kinds of real-world stuff.”

How to Prevent Amazon From Deleting Your Reviews by guest from Rachel Thompson’s blog by Iola Goulton: ” Readers also want reviews. Reviews provide social proof, a perceived indication of quality. At least, that’s what reviews are supposed to provide. Amazon is fighting a neverending battle against the rising tide of fake reviews, and are forever refining their algorithms to identify and weed out fake reviews and dishonest reviewers. Their regular review purges are usually followed by some change to their Reviewing Guidelines to prevent that loophole from being exploited in future.”

Adding a Video to Your Book’s Amazon Sales Page from Indies Unlimited: “While perusing Facebook, I noticed a post in the Indies Unlimited Fans Group that piqued my interest — the new “add your video” option for your book’s Amazon sales page. I state upfront that technology and I do not always have an easy relationship, but this looked so promising that I thought se note that not everyone is seeing this option on their books’ pages yet. If you have the capability, this is what it will look like.”

Top 5 Mistakes Indie Authors Make from Joanna Penn and with Ricardo Fayet: “Learn from the most common mistakes that indie authors make and save yourself time, money and heartache in today’s show with Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy.”

News for Authors: Making Videos Social with IGTV by Neda Dallal: “Instagram has debuted many features recently that are great social tools for authors. This article dives into one specific new feature, IGTV, and how authors can use it to broaden their social media voices and followings.”

How to Get Your Email Subscribers to Leave Quality Reviews—Legitimately by Dave Chesson: “One of the most difficult parts of book marketing (if not the most difficult) is getting reviews for your book, particularly quality reviews that exceed one sentence. Why is this?Because each potential reviewer is a busy person with a lot on their plate, so their time is valuable.”

Quote of the Week

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Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s written 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

Get New Readers and Reviews with Free Book Promotions

Free book promotions

Some self-published authors continue to question whether the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program’s free book promotions option is worthwhile.

The second question is: Is it worth it to be exclusive? Because if you want to be a part of the KDP Select program, you have to commit to exclusivity on Amazon.

There seem to be almost as many opinions on these questions as there are, well, books. So what’s my take?

free book promotions

 

My Take on Free Book Promotions

I listed The Author’s Guide to Goodreads) in the KDP Select program.

While I am an advocate of going wide, meaning publishing on iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords and other online book retailers, exclusivity to Amazon tends to be a wise choice for new authors. It’s also a good choice when launching a new book to choose KDP Select for three months only, introduce your book to new readers when you mark it down to free, and once the three months are up, go as wide as possible.

Now there’s that other question to consider. Are giving away ebooks worth it?

I’ve never been a huge fan of KDP Select promotions but not because I don’t give books away – I give paperbacks away all the time. And I’m a big believer in giving away books to aid awareness and garner more book reviews.

My issue with free book promotions is that they never seem to work as well for me as they do for bestselling authors. Maybe it’s because I write nonfiction. And maybe it’s because authors who serialize their books sell a heck of a lot more books than I do.

Despite my reservations, I gave it a go and joined KDP Select. And I scheduled a free promotion.

In addition to using social media and my email list to alert my readers and followers about the sale, I also paid for some lists. But first I had to research them.

Book Promotion Services to Check Out

This is what I discovered:

free books promotion

Books Butterfly

If you’re launching a new book, select the New Release Max program which reaches 750,000 readers and 147,000 email subscribers. But you can’t have a free promotion; you must charge $0.99 per book. Book Butterfly guarantees 50 sales.

If you’re willing to spend more money, Pure Real is another option. They guarantee 5,000 free book downloads, will notify 1 million readers of your book, and they include a Twitter promotion.

Check out their other promotions as well. They have eight packages.

Check out these book promotion lists to rent Click To Tweet

My thoughts: Considering the size of the email list, the pricing seems fair. What you don’t know is how many of those readers prefer romance or historical fiction or science fiction let alone nonfiction. But the guarantee of downloads is enticing.

EReader News Today

To qualify for EReader News Today, review these restrictions:

  • Your books need to be available on Amazon.com. They also promote book deals that are available at Barnes & Noble/Nook, Google Play, Apple iTunes and Kobo.
  • Your books must be priced at $0.99 or be on sale.
  • Your books are required to be a full-length book, in other words, at least 125 pages. There are exceptions for children’s, nonfiction, and cookbooks.
  • You can’t run two promotions within 90 days.

Also, EReader has further considerations:

  • The covermust appear professional.
  • EReader will look at your reviews to see how well readers have liked it.
  • Your book must be professionally edited.
  • The larger the discount, the better chance you’ll have at your book being accepted.
  • EReader won’t post erotica, pornography, books that contain controversial subject matter, or books that may be considered offensive to any race, gender, or religion.
  • EReader does reserve the right to deny a book.

My thoughts: A Goodreads group that I belong to gave his service a high rating, and I plan to use it in the future.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – July 13, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to the newest edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. Let me point out David Gaughran’s post; he always writes awesome blog posts but this one in particular is revealing. With Instagram’s meteoric rise in popularity, be sure to check out the post with 22 Instagram hacks by Later.

We are definitely into the hot days of summer. I can feel the perspiration traveling down my neck as I write this. Do what you can to stay cool!

A Simple Method to Market Your Book by Penny Sansevieri: “Have you ever wanted to engage with popular blogs and people in the book biz? Following publishing experts and influencers on social media is not enough—you need to be proactive by standing out. Book promotion and marketing utilizes many tools, but there is one simple and efficient thing you can do that will help you connect.”

22 Instagram Hacks You Wish You Knew Sooner by Later: “If you’ve ever needed some Instagram hacks but didn’t know where to look, well, you’ve come to the right place! Maybe you’re wondering how to add line breaks to your Instagram bio? Or how to zoom in and out while recording an Instagram story? Or even how to respond to Instagram comments faster? Whatever your need, in the following post, we reveal 22 Instagram hacks and tips to help you get more from your Instagram marketing.”

The Amazon Algorithm Myth by David Gaughran: “A problematic feature of the world in 2018 is that the social networks we have built seem to spread misinformation faster and wider than its more accurate counterpart, and this can lead authors to make decisions counter to their interests. One of the enduring myths surrounds ‘The Amazon Algorithm.'”

3 Amazon Secrets Every Author Needs to Know from Writers Digest: “Amazon has always been a secretive organization. For example, Jeff Bezos never divulges how many Kindle devices the company actually sells. Instead, he makes cryptic remarks such as, “It’s the bestselling product in our store.” Also, Amazon doesn’t reveal how much money they make selling books. Those financial numbers are rolled into their “Media” division that includes movies and other products. In addition, Amazon keeps a lot of book marketing secrets hidden from the world. If you write and sell books on Amazon, here are 3 secrets every author needs to know.”

How to Get Holiday Book Sales: Steps 1-3 from BookBaby: “Whatever your flavor of celebration, the holiday season is a great time to sell your published eBook or printed book. After all, it’s a $3 billion business for booksellers at the end of the year, and according to Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks, 25 percent of trade books are bought as gifts. How do you get your share of these holiday sales? In the spirit of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” I have a dozen tried-and-true selling ideas for the holiday season.”

10 Tips for Authors on Using Social Media from a Literary Agent by Eric Smith: “As a literary agent, I’m lucky enough to go to a lot of writing workshops, where I usually dish advice about one of two things: query letters or social media. When it comes to social media and publishing, digital platforms have a special place in my heart.”

Quote of the Week

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.

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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 – July 6, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Every post in this week’s Indie Author Update is worth reading and following up on the tips included. The BookBub article isn’t new but oh so worth reading again!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

13 Ways to Promote Before Publication from Writer Unboxed: “For a self-published author, a swell of preorders can trigger algorithms that wake retail sites like Amazon to your book’s presence. This makes it more likely that a book will appear in “hot new release” lists, which can increase not only preorders, but post-publication sales and even name recognition.”

How to Teach Yourself Copywriting (on a Shoestring Budget) by Henneke Duistermaat: “Have you tried to learn copywriting by reading blog posts? And does it seem hard to apply the tips? As if your knowledge is a little disjointed? Teaching yourself copywriting can feel like a difficult task. But it doesn’t need to be so hard, if you apply a solid system.”

Not new but worth reading again: 119 Book Marketing Ideas That Can Help Authors Increase Sales from BookBub: “Whether you’re an author, a marketer at a publishing house, a publicist, or anyone else looking to sell books, there’s a wide array of book marketing tactics you can use to amplify a book’s exposure and reach more readers. To spark inspiration and get those creative juices flowing, we put together 119 book marketing ideas.”

How to Use the Amazon Algorithm to Sell More Books from TheBookDesigner.com and by Alinka Rutkowska: “Before we get started it’s important to realize that Amazon is not a traditional bookstore, rather it’s a search engine, in many ways similar to Google.”

What’s an author platform? Part 2 by Sandra Beckwith: “The more you’ve done, the stronger your platform. A strong platform will make you more attractive to a publisher, but even if self-publishing is your best option, you still need that platform. You want an audience waiting for your book. No audience = no sales.”

Quote of the Week

“Imagination is the voice of daring.”

 

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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So You Think Social Media Won’t Sell Your Books?

sell your books

Every indie author hears the message, “You have to use social media to sell your books.”

But is it true?

In any language, social media is the queen of discoverability. But – and this is a huge but – does social media marketing sell your books?

Hmm. Let’s consider this question.

If we look at great literature, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and even Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the first novel, we already know that they succeeded in publishing.

They didn’t have to worry about Tweeting regularly or posting status updates on a Facebook author page twice a day.

It’s a silly issue to consider, isn’t it, since social media wasn’t around in 1610 (in Cervantes’ case)? All of the above authors rose to fame without the benefit of what’s considered – in today’s world – as marketing requirements.

If we were to look at Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train andInto the Water, I can’t tell at this point whether Goodreads or other social media fueled her success, or whether it was just the book that caused her book to skyrocket toward financial success with social media helping along the way.

However, she was the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards winner, which readers vote for, so on Goodreads, she had a considerable presence, and that must have played a role.

There are several commercially successful authors today that according to a HootSuite article, use social media to further their engagement with readers. They are Margaret Atwood, Paulo Coelho, Stephen Fry, and Neil Gaiman. I would add Hugh Howie to that list and Isabel Allende, who has an excellent Facebook page that she updates herself.

Okay, this is what I think: Neil Gaiman, Hugh Howie, and Isabel Allende, all bestselling authors, use social media to further their success. Hugh Howie is, I believe, the only author on this list who self-publishes.

Then we can look at another group of authors – Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, and Nick Stephenson – who are also popular and sell hundreds of thousands of books as self-publishers. They not only make money off of their book sales, but they also sell courses to help other indie authors find similar levels of success. Hasn’t social media played a huge role in their success?

If your listen to Joanna Penn’s podcast, you know that she credits a lot of her early success to social media, and especially Twitter.

So, let’s end this diatribe of mine and look at our original question: Does social media marketing sell your books?

Five Tips to Help You Sell More Books

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