Indie Author Weekly Update – February 8, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - February 8, 2019

Once again, this week’s Indie Author Update is packed with informative blog posts from the week that I consider must-read. Anne R. Allen, as usual, wrote a killer post on authors’ online presence. Then Christina McDonald and Indies Unlimited wrote stellar posts on email marketing. There’s so much to love in the posts below and so much information to help you sell more bools.

Blogging

How to Start a Blog by Amy Lynn Andrews: “Are you wondering how to start a blog? I’m glad you’re here! In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to create your own blog, no technical experience required. (It’s easier and faster than you think.) Plus, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions and share some of my pro tips along the way.”

Online Marketing

Your Online Presence: 10 Mistakes for Authors to Avoid by Anne R. Allen: “These days, an author’s online presence is of vital importance to a career, whether we’re published or planning to publish. Whether we’re indie, hybrid, or trad-pubbed, it’s not only essential to be easy to find online, but we need to keep a professional presence and guard our author brand and reputation.”

Email Marketing

How to Grow an Email Newsletter Starting from Zero from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Christina McDonald: “An email list is your secret weapon for selling books—it is a direct connection to your reader. But when I got my first book deal, I had no audience, no author Facebook page, and no email list. I knew I needed to build awareness to give my book the best chance to succeed. Here is my step-by-step guide to how I built my email list to 6,000 subscribers in one year.”

How Can I Gain More Subscribers for My Author Mailing List? From Indies Unlimited: “Ah yes, the question that so many of us toss and turn at night trying to answer: How do I get more subscribers for my newsletter? We’ve figured out how to use Mailerlite or Mailchimp of some other mail delivery service, now how do we find readers who want to hear from us? Here are a few ways the IU staff builds their subscriber lists.”

Instagram

Top Instagram Updates You Need to Know in 2019 – January Edition by Ana Gotter and from AdExpresso: “As you’re taking a look at your social media marketing strategies for 2019, it would be a helpful start to see all of the new changes happening with the platform, and we’re here to help with our first Instagram update post of the year.”

Of Note

This post is awesome and I’m so jealous I didn’t write it. If you want more reviews, read this post.

How to Get Book Reviews: The Ultimate Manifesto by Jordan Ring and the team at Archangel Ink: “This is without a doubt the most comprehensive guide you’ll find on how to get your book out there, and into the hands of people that are willing and able to give it a read and share helpful feedback with you.”

Quote of the Week

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.

 

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

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 25, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - January 25, 2019

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. There are so many posts here for you to enjoy. Anne R. Allen wrote a killer post on guest blogging and Joan Stewart will show you how to make money aside from book sales. If you hold contests using Facebook, reading ShortStack’s post is a must.

Enjoy the selection this week.

Guest Blogging is the Best FREE Publicity for Writers: 12 Tips for Landing Effective Guest Blog Spots by Anne R. Allen: ” Most author marketing gurus will tell you that guest blogging is one of the best ways to promote your book. Beth Hayden wrote on Jane Friedman’s blog about the many ways guest blogging builds platform and sells books. She points out that it increases your authority as well as getting your name out there and increasing sales. And it’s right up your alley. You don’t have to be a great photographer or a telegenic public speaker. All you have to do is write. You got this.”

Building a Platform for Your Work When You’re Unpublished from Jane Friedman and by Michael Warner: “After spending thirty years in other fields, I’ve recently embarked on a career as a writer. And what I’ve found is that great how-to advice—from sources like Jane Friedman, Writer’s Digest, and kboards—actually seems to work.”

9 Inexpensive Revenue Streams for Broke or Struggling Authors by Joan Stewart by from TheBookDesigner.com: “I’ve always counseled my author clients to create revenue streams beyond their books. Print books, in particular, suck up money like a vacuum cleaner, with most of it spent on editing, printing, cover and interior design, marketing and publicity.”

Cover design is a huge factor in your book’s success, so here are 12 questions to ask when hiring a designer from BookBub Partners and by Diana Urban: “Your book’s cover provides a reader with a first impression of your work, and despite all advice to the contrary, people will judge your book by its cover. Reedsy found that professionally designed covers increased display ad clicks between 12.5% to 53%, and early BookBub testing found that a good cover can account for 30% more clicks on a Featured Deal.”

8 Facebook Competition Rules You Should Never Ignore from ShortStack: “To keep your Facebook Page compliant, you need to make sure that you adhere to all of Facebook’s competition rules. Go over this list before you launch your next contest to ensure that you get the exposure you want without risking your account.”

What authors need to know about Snapchat by Sandra Beckwith: “According to a Pew Research Center study, Facebook is the fourth social network of choice for teens ages 13 to 17, after YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Only 10 percent of the teens surveyed say they use Facebook most often.” Note: Learn more about Snapchat by buying my book Social Media Just for Writers.

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

12 Book Marketing Blogs to Read in 2019

12 Book Marketing Blogs to Read in 2019

When it comes to book marketing, there are some experts I rely on.

You see, we’re all too busy to suffer through a bloated email account with notices of blog posts and products for sale mixed in with missives from friends.

So probably like you, I limit incoming email as much as possible.

What you’ll find below is a list of blogs you’ll want to subscribe to. There are more blogs that are worthy as well but I thought I’d cut my list off at an easy dozen.

Here’s my list of experts I follow.

Jane Friedman

Jane FriedmanJane Friedman is perhaps one of the smartest people in publishing today. She’s been featured on The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, PBS, CBS, the National Press Club and Publishers Weekly. She previously worked with Writer’s Digest. She teaches, is often a keynote speaker at writer’s conferences, and writes books. Her blog is among the most read in the industry.

Joel Friedlander’s The BookDesigner.com

Joel Friedlander has a wealth of information about self-publishing, and for years he frequently shares all that he knew on his blog. These days, he usually blogs once a week and has an expert in author publishing write a post on that publishes on Thursdays. His blog eventually launched another business, Joel’s book design templates. https://www.bookdesigntemplates.com

Joanna Penn

Thriller author Joanna Penn readily shares her vast amount of writing, publishing, and marketing experience with her readers and listeners. Joanna has been blogging for quite some time, and she started podcasting back when it was known as audio. Her podcast, well worth subscribing too as well, features every great expert in the industry. If you read and listen to Joanna often enough, you’ll soon be a bestselling author as well.

Alliance of Independent Authors 

Started by traditionally published Orna Ross, Alli is a global, professional association for authors who self-publish. The organization brings together authors, services, and trusted industry professionals and offers educational opportunities for its members. Be sure to subscribe to its blog.

David Gaughran

book marketing Author and book marketing expert David Gaughran always seems to know what’s hot in author marketing. He’s written excellent posts on BookBub ads, Facebook ads, and Amazon ads. If you want to learn how to become an expert book marketer, pay close attention to this guy. His books include Strangers to Superfans and Let’s Get Digital.

Anne R. Allen

Yes, Anne can have a snarky tone to her writing, but that won’t dissuade you from reading her blog, which she publishes with Ruth Harris. So far, she’s written 21 books and so has sage advice on writing, which she shares on her blog. Guests fill in on the other weeks with marketing advice. This is a must-read blog.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – January 11, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome again to the Indie Author Weekly Update. Today, you’ll enjoy a lengthy post on LinkedIn, blogging and book promotion. I hope you enjoy them.

Enjoy your weekend!

9 Painful Blog Formatting Mistakes That Will Ruin the Best Content by Gill Andrews: “Some people still write on their blogs as if it’s a book – long paragraphs stretching over miles of pixels challenging the concentration abilities of their readers. I mean, how funny, interesting and engaging should your blog post be for your readers to hang in there even after they feel like they need to use their index finger to follow the lines? And no, sprinkling some highlights here and there doesn’t make it better. This paragraph is too long. Does your brain hurt a bit? Shall I stop? Ok, I guess you get the point.”

19 Kickass Book Promotion Resources for Authors in 2019 by Penny Sansevieri: “There’s a lot of book marketing “stuff” out there for authors, and while much of it is fantastic – it’s a bit like drinking from a firehose if you’re trying to consume all of that information. This list is geared with a very specific eye to what is helpful, educational, and a time-saver for your book promotion. And if there’s a resource you use religiously that we’ve left off, please, please share it in the comments below and give them some love – that’s what this is all about.”

20 LinkedIn Tips to Help Boost Engagement by Brad Smith: “Whether you’re looking to grow your business profile or expand your personal network, LinkedIn is a great platform to use. When used well, LinkedIn can help you raise brand awareness and boost traffic to your business.”

Ways to Push Ourselves as Writers in 2019 by Elizabeth Craig: “I realized at some point last year that I wanted to write a new series.  For one thing, it’s nice to have an additional revenue stream, especially if a series may appeal to a different pool of readers.  For another, I wanted to make sure that I was still growing.  I wanted to try something different to keep myself sharp.”

 

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 – December 14, 2018

indie author

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. The theme this week is marketing. There’s information on book launches, PhotoFunia, and Seth Godin’s marketing in five steps. Enjoy all the posts.

Seth Godin’s Marketing in 5 Steps (for Authors) by Joel Friedlander: “Seth Godin has been a “companion” for the last 10 years, and his short, pithy, and often surprising blog posts have taught me plenty about marketing and, even more important, how to think about the connection between marketers and their audience.”

19 Simple Book Marketing Strategies to Launch You out of Naughty-List Status Before 2019 by Penny Sansevieri: “There’s a lot going on this time of year and if you’re like me it’s easy to already be distracted by all things holiday, and the last thing I want to do is flesh out new book marketing strategies. But I also don’t want to enter 2019 with a book that hasn’t seen a boost in exposure for a few months. Now is not the time to bury your head in the snow.”

Create Fast, Free, Festive Images in Seconds with PhotoFunia by Joan Stewart: “Welcome to PhotoFunia.com, my favorite, number one, five-star, go-to website for creating offbeat effects from a digital photo you already have, even if it’s just your head shot or book cover. It’s drop-dead simple to use. Most images, also known as an effect, can be created in less than 60 seconds with no technical skills. And you don’t need to create an account or remember a username and password.”

11 Creative Ways Authors Announced Their Book Launch from BookBub Partners: “Grabbing readers’ attention for a new book can be particularly challenging, especially in such a crowded marketplace. Launch day is a great opportunity for authors to announce their new book, generate visibility to new readers, and build excitement for existing fans to dive in.”

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 – 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 – November 16, 2018

indie author

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. The focus this week is on book marketing. Be sure to read Melodie Campbell’s post as well as Writers Relief’s post on blogging.

New Book Marketing: The Bad Girl’s List for Book Launch Success from Anne R. Allen and by Melodie Campbell: “New Book!!  Gak – I have a new book coming out January 29. The Goddaughter Does Vegasis number 6 in an award-winning series (Derringer and Arthur Ellis – yay!)  Because of that, I do have some expectation of sales from previous readers of the series (bless your totally wacky hearts.)  But still, I have to get the message to them and to potential new readers, that there is a new book coming out, in this very noisy marketplace that scares the pants off me.”

5 Tips For Successful Publishing And Book Marketing from Joanna Penn: “I’m just back from the Independent Author Conference in Philadelphia. Here are some of my thoughts from the trip in this solo show: People don’t buy books, publishing wide is more than just retail, tips for being a better publisher, strategy is what you DON’T do, plus, learn what you need for your stage of the author journey.

10 Secret Tips For Creative Writers Who Blog from Writers Relief: “Creative writers who blog tend to drive more visitors to their author websites than those who don’t. But what are the secrets behind a successful blog? Here are ten insider tips for writers who blog!”

Book Marketing: Make the Most of Your Great Book Reviews  from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: “Great book reviews make an indie author’s day – and until you’ve learned to thicken your skin against the less flattering comments, a low star rating can have the opposite effect. So how do you make the most of the best ones, once that initial flutter of joy has subsided? Debbie Young, ALLi’s Author Advice Center Manager, offers a few top tips to help you sustain that good feeling and use readers’ appreciation to fuel your progress as a writer and as an authorpreneur.”

Tips for Adding Radio to Your Book Marketing by Brian Jud: “Performances on radio talk or news shows can be a great way to supplement your book promotion activities. With radio as part of your communication plan, you can reach hundreds, thousands, or millions of people at little or no cost. You can even sell some books, if you do it right.”

How To Reach Readers Better by Diversifying by guest from Rachel Thompson’s blog and by Shannon McGuire: “We all have our preferences, both in real life and with reading. I refuse to order toilet paper from Amazon. And, while I want to be a Kindle gal, I like the feel of real (paper) books. Further, my husband is married to his Audible account and plows through audio books while his paperbacks sit and collect dust.”

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 – November 9, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - November 9, 2018

Welcome back to the Indie Author Weekly Update. You’re going to enjoy today’s roundup. The focus is on book marketing and all the ways you can sell your book from book catalogs to swag to keywords. Enjoy the best posts of the week.

Book Marketing: How to Create a Book Catalog of Your Self-published Books & Why   from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Rachel Amphlett: “When thriller writer Rachel Amphlett discovered that someone had created and published a reading guide and book catalog for her work and was charging readers to download it, she decided to take the matter into her own hands and create her own Readers’ Guide. Here she shares her process and the benefits, to help you do the same for your own back-catalog of books.”

How to Use Swag to Support Your Book Marketing from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Dawn Reno Langley: “More than a million books are published every year, and whether you go traditional or indie, you have a lot of competition. Marketing your book falls squarely on your shoulders no matter where on the publishing spectrum you fall—so you need to how to get the most for your buck. “Book swag” is a proven tool for gathering readers and devoted followers.”

Update Your Keywords to Sell More Books over the Holidays by Penny Sansevieri: “Especially around the holidays, take a moment and tweak your keywords/keyword strings in Amazon. Maybe you can’t incorporate any holiday – or Christmas-specific keywords, but tweak the keywords during the holidays and find the strongest ones for your market. Oftentimes searches that include “gifts for…” ramp up in popularity around this time.”

Have You Pre-Sold Your Book? by Joel Friedlander: “One of the biggest lessons you can learn when you start to really look at marketing your books is about creating anticipation. Think of the last big movie you were looking forward to.”

Amazon and the Also Bought Apocalypse by David Gaughran: “A real horror story has been slowly building for the last year or so and I’m getting a lot of emails on the topic so it’s time to deal with this head-on: what the hell is going on with Also Boughts?”

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

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates
Getting frustrated with your social media updates?

Not seeing as much engagement as you’d like?

Everyone has that complaint from time to time. Even I do. (Yes, me!)

Tips to Improve Your Social Media Updates

There are many ways you can boost engagement and feel better about your social media updates.

Shall we get into the meat of this discussion? Let’s!

Here’s my list of tips to increase engagement on all of your social media posts.

  1. Always post images. Always. It’s easy to do on Instagram and Pinterest because, obviously, if you don’t have a picture to post, you don’t have anything to post. So I’m talking about all of the other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.  We can reverse the order of this tip and put it this way: never post anything on social media without including an image or a video. According to CoSchedule, images increase retweets by 150%, and according to KISSMetrics, Facebook photos attract 53% more Likes and 84% more click-through rates than text posts. Besides, Facebook makes it easy to turn a text post into an image post with its array of color backgrounds for your status updates.
  2. Share quick tips with your followers and fans. Remember that Facebook posts limited to 80 or fewer characters receive 65% more engagement. Yeah, this is another example of when less is more.
  3. Ask questions. If you go to a party and ask questions, people will love you, right? The same dynamic works on social media.
  4. Comment on current events such as Warriors basketball season starting 8-), updates from the World Series, or any issue that is fun and not too controversial. They can even be personalized. Did you take a hike last weekend or win a race? Post images.
  5. Post humorous memes. People love these.
  6. Give away a free eBook for the best photo caption to a funny or ambiguous image.
  7. Share a thought or image that moves you.
  8. Get personal. I tend to like to not be too personal online. It has to do with my comfort level. But the few times that I am less private, engagement soars. So, self-reflect before your self-reveal and then decide if you’re comfortable being more personal and opening up more often. People want to get to know the author behind the books they read.
  9. Share a photo from your past and post in on Thursday with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. Author Mark Dawson does this all the time on Facebook.
  10. Buffer reported that to make a tweet more popular, focus on length, nouns and verbs. Don’t focus on mentions or hashtags. Also, use positive words and use an indefinite article such as A or An.
  11. Use emoticons. People love these, and they aren’t going away. I use them sparingly in my business-related emails, but I do use them.
  12. Don’t over-promote yourself. Let’s return to the party analogy I mentioned earlier. Nobody — and I mean not a single person — likes the guy who only talks about himself. It’s a turnoff, right? What you need to realize is that marketing isn’t about your or your books or your blog posts, or your courses. It’s about the benefit. What benefit do readers derive from your books? Even when you focus on the benefit, you still have to do your marketing sparingly. Promote other authors. Promote your readers. Share or retweet what they post. Leave comments on their updates. Marketing is never about you. Sure, you want to sell books, but you won’t get sales by over-promoting yourself. You’ll get sales if you promote other authors, do things for your readers, learn about your readers, answer their questions, and ask them questions. Got it?
  13. Develop content aligned with your marketing objectives. Otherwise, you’ll just be guessing in your marketing and never know for certain what to post.
  14. Run polls and surveys. That’s right, ask your fans and followers what they want to read by your on your blog and in your books, and what they prefer to see on your social media profiles.
  15. Engage in conversations. You can ask questions, and you need to answer questions when readers ask questions. Look at your news feeds and take time to share, retweet, and leave comments.
  16. Sharing images is the first step, making sure that they are correctly sized is the next. Don’t use an image designed for a  Twitter post on Facebook and vice versa. Resize images according to the platform’s preferred image dimensions.
  17. As best as you can, make sure that all of your images are the best they can be. Never settle for boring.
  18. Everyone loves a smile, right? Well, it turns out that on Pinterest smiling faces get more saves.
  19. Leverage popular phrases or slogans. During the World Cup a few years ago, “because of fútbol” was a favorite phrase. On Twitter, Monday Motivation and Wednesday Wisdom are hashtags that are always used on those days. These sayings can surface suddenly and be time-limited in their popularity. Use them while they’re hot.
  20. Be consistent in your blog images. Always use the same size for the image at the top of your blog post and use the same fonts.

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