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

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 25, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the Week

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

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

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


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

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – May 11, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

Indie Author Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the Week

Tim O'Brian Quote

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

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

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

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 27, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

Enjoy your Friday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the Week

James Baldwin quote

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

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

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

 

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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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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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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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 16, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on book marketing strategies. If there’s only two posts you have time to read, be sure to read Gill Andrews’s post on author websites, and then read the post by Joel Friedlander on why your book might not be selling.

Have a great weekend!

15 Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Selling by Joel Friedman: “We’ve all been there: a book we were excited about, one that we worked on earnestly. But when it hit the market, all that came back was a big yawn. No author wants to be in that situation, most of all a self-published author. We gamble our own time, money, and commitment to our books, and we really need a positive response sometimes just to keep going. But there it is: your baby isn’t selling.”

Five Things You Need As You Begin A Career As A Self-Published Author from BookBaby: “The most important part of being a writer is writing, but if you want a career as a self-published author, you have to do a whole lot more than just write: you have to learn the business of writing and market yourself in a way that puts you on the same playing field as mainstream authors with big publishing houses behind them.”

Want More Readers for Your Blog and Books? Fix These 5 Website Mistakes from Anne R. Allen and by by Gill Andrews: “Writing and sharing your ideas with others – sure. But this website thing? You just wanted more people to read your stories. But now you spend hours agonizing over blog post topics, looking for free images, and figuring out why that widget on your website refuses to work.”

Book Marketing 101: Need to Sell More Books? This Is How! by Dave Chesson: “Book marketing is an extremely important part of a self-publisher’s success. But it can also be confusing.  That’s why I’ve broken down the process into 3 phases and given you a guide for each step. Honestly, if I were to write a complete book on Modern Online Book Marketing, this would be EXACTLY IT.  So, enjoy it for free.”

Tips on the Business of Writing and Publishing from Jane Friedman: “For AWP 2018, I hired a team of writers to help me cover business-related sessions, as part of the launch for my newest book (official release date: March 16). Their blog posts are available over at the companion website for the book.”

8 Tips to Get Great Amazon Book Reviews by Lisa Tener: “One strategy that can help catapult your book to page one on Amazon results are your Amazon book reviews. Of course, your book needs to be categorized well on Amazon (with the right keywords and categories). It needs to be well-written, too! But after these “givens” reviews rock.”

Man Booker Prize

Man Booker Prize International Longlist: Books Translated From 10 Languages by Porter Anderson

Quote of the Week

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. Alfred Hitchcock

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. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of 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, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 2, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

In this week’s Indie Author Update, be certain to read Amy Collin’s post about Amazon and Chris Well’s post on how to have a media-savvy website.

I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Indie Author Updates

36 Smart Ways To Grow Your Email List 2x Faster from Blogging Wizard: “You need to build your email list if you want to grow your blog. Don’t be the person that keeps making excuses for why they aren’t focusing on building their list. I learned that lesson the hard way but you don’t have to. The truth is that email is far more effective at reaching your raving fans than any other tool. That includes social media.”

5 Creative Blog Post Ideas for Savvy Author Marketing from Penny Sansevieri: “You may be a savvy blogger, or maybe you’re still digging in your heels about starting your blog, but no matter where you fall on that spectrum I have to tell you that blogging is a critical piece to your author marketing. If you want to sell more books, I urge you to get on the blog train.”

Three Different Ways to Approach Blogging as a Novelist [With Examples]  from Aliventures: “If you’re a novelist, should you have a blog? Opinions differ! You might have been told that you should blog, because you need to build a platform, or because it’s a good way to get people onto your site and then onto your mailing list, or because publishers / readers / the media will want it … or for almost any number of reasons.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – February 2018 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “Amazon is no longer listing books supplied from IngramSpark as “in stock.” In the past, Amazon would list IngramSpark sourced books as “in stock” because they knew that they could order the book and get them in a day. In the last few months, Amazon has changed this practice. They will only order enough POD IngramSpark sourced books to fill existing orders. Occasionally, they will order a few more when demand shows that they will sell them. Books that previously were listed as “in stock” are no longer and it is dramatically affecting sales.”

Media-Friendly Author Website Content – Part Three from BookWorks and by Chris Well: “This is the last of three posts outlining the essentials that you need if you want a media-friendly author website if you want to get media attention. Still with me? Great! If you recall, in Part One we discussed how to present basic information about yourself and your book(s). Then in Part Two, we went over the different ways you can make it easier for website visitors to contact you to set up an interview, ask questions, invite you to speak, etc.”

How to Put the Joy (and the Impact) Back into Twitter from Alliance of Independent Authors and by Helen Baggott: “Do you have a Twitter account but don’t know why? Do you send out an occasional tweet hoping someone will buy your book? Establishing a presence does take time but it doesn’t have to be hard work – and you might even enjoy it.”

Fiction Contests

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (Spring 2018)  from Writer Unboxed: “This submissions season covers fiction contests with deadlines between March 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018. March is absolutely stacked with deadlines; so no excuses about not submitting! Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, Submittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.”

Quote of the Week

Without imagination we can go nowhere. And imagination is not restricted to the arts. Every scientist I have met who has been a success has had to imagine. RITA DOVE

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. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of 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, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 23, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

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Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week I had a difficult time trimming the list of best posts from the past week. What you’ll find here are numerous posts on social media and book marketing that are excellent.

I’d especially like to point out the post by Belinda Griffin, which is extraordinary. The post on author collaboration is also important as is the post by Buffer on how to understand the Twitter timeline.

I hope you enjoy these posts today. And,  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

5 ways to collaborate with other authors (besides writing a book together) by Sandra Beckwith: “Collaborate” is my 2018 business theme. I’ve got two significant collaborations in the works already. In one case, I’ve teamed up with a colleague to create a training program for authors. In the other, I’m partnering with another writer on a ghostwriting project.”

Ultimate Book Trailer Guide: How To Produce a Killer Book Promo Video from Writers Digest: “Consider these stats: Video racks up over 22 billion daily views. It increases the organic reach of social media content by over 100%, compared to photos or text. It ranks toward the top of the first page in Google searches, is popular across demographics, and builds an instant emotional connection with your audience.”

How the Twitter Timeline Works (and 6 Simple Tactics to Increase Your Reach) from Buffer: “Understanding the social media algorithms is important to social media marketers, especially since it can heavily impact a brand’s reach on social media. We’ve talked about the Facebook News Feed algorithm and the Instagram Feed algorithm. This time, we would love to dive into the Twitter timeline algorithm.”

Blogging isn’t Dead: 8 Reasons to Start an Author Blog by Anne R. Allen: “If you tell your non-writing friends you’re thinking of starting an author blog, you’ll probably hear some noise about how blogging is “totally over.” People have been pronouncing the demise of blogging for a decade. Google “blogging is dead” and you’ll see thousands of entries. But it turns out the blog is a pretty resilient medium.”

Amazon Categories to Maximize Book Sales + A Little-Known Secret! by Penny Sansevieri: “Everyone wants more exposure on Amazon. And understandably. Exposure drives book sales. But, as we seek more exposure, don’t spend all of your time focusing on great keywords. Why? Because, yes, although keywords are important, critical even, they aren’t everything. I often authors that they should focus on narrow categories to sell more books. This is because categories with fewer books have lower competition for the #1 spot. And, the top ten is a great place to hit, because Amazon’s algorithms kick in as you start to spike within categories.”

Authors: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Facebook Basket from BookWorks: “Everyone is still buzzing about the recent algorithm changes for Facebook. And with good reason—it’s a game-changer for social media marketing in general. Though Facebook and other social media networks are great strategies for book promotion, they should never be your entire marketing plan.”

How To Analyze Your Competition And Create Your Own Author Success  by Belinda Griffin: “Why does everything seem to just work for some authors? There you are slaving away, hustling to get each and every Twitter follower, Facebook like and, well, let’s not even talk about book sales. You know your books are good, just as good as those successful authors’ books.”

Quote of the Week

 

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. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of 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, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 16, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts that I really like. Yeah, I suppose I shouldn’t use the word really but how else to describe these posts other than to use the word love, which just wouldn’t work in this context.

So please read Jane Friedan’s post on book reviews because this is a question every author asks me. Dave Chesson’s post on Amazon categories is brilliant as usual. And if you want your book to be a BookBub featured deal, you absolutely must read the first post listed below. All the posts below are must-reads.

And have a great weekend, too!

How to Boost Your Chances of Getting a BookBub Featured Deal from BookBub: “In the past, we’ve posted tips and busted myths about getting accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal, and we’ve even listed the top reasons a book is rejected! Since we still get questions on how to bolster one’s chances of getting selected for a Featured Deal, we decided to put together a visual “cheat sheet.” We hope this helps you better understand what our editors are looking for when reviewing submissions, whether you’ve submitted deals before and are looking for a refresher or you’re a new partner in need of a first-time overview.”

Secret Method to Choosing Amazon Book Categories in KDP from Dave Chesson: “The Amazon book categories you choose will have a direct effect on whether or not you become an Amazon Best Seller. Choose the wrong one, and no matter how many books you sell, you won’t become an Amazon bestseller. In truth, there is a lot more to choosing Amazon book categories in KDP, like secret categories that Amazon doesn’t tell you about when publishing, and the simple fact that you can actually be listed for 7 categories legitimately.”

The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed from Buffer: “The Facebook algorithm is constantly evolving in order to provide a better experience for users. But few changes to the algorithm have sparked as much interest and conversation as the recent ‘meaningful interactions’ update, in which Facebook said it would be prioritizing posts that create meaningful conversations, especially those from family and friends.”

Five Marketing Tools for Authors Who Hate Marketing from Writer Unboxed: “Disclaimer: Hating marketing is not required to use these tools. In fact, if you enjoy marketing, you’ll have a blast using them. I’m active in several online writing communities, and one of the most frequent things I read about is how much authors hate marketing. It’s usually accompanied by talk about art and creativity, and once in a while someone tosses this suggestion across the virtual meeting room: all you have to do is write a great story and they will come.”

How to Market a Kindle Book: 10 Easy Marketing Strategies for New Authors from Sabrina Ricci: “Writing your book was hard enough, now you have to market it? Oh man… Never fear, here are 10 easy strategies to sell more copies of your book.”

The Essential First Step for New Authors: Book Reviews, Not Sales from Jane Friedman: “You know how good your work is. You created it. You lived with it through the phases of publication gestation: idea, brainstorming, outline, research, writing, and rewriting. You have improved, enhanced, and polished your work to a degree you didn’t think possible. You believe it’s perfect.”

Quote of the Week

Mary Mackey

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com and has written several social media books including the 2nd edition of 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, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

Get Your Visuals Seen!

Get your visuals on Pinterest. But first learn how to use Pinterest. Pick up a copy of my book, Pinterest Just for Writers!

 

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