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

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

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

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

Ouch. But he’s right, of course.

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

Not exactly.

5 Things I Completely Blew When I Published My First Book

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

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

What I Do Differently Now

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

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

8 Book Marketing Steps Worth Repeating

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – 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 23, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook in the News

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

Changes on Twitter

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

Quote of the Week

Carl T. Rowan Quote

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

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

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

 

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 23, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Image Designed by Freepik

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 2, 2018


Indie Author Weekly Update

I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Update. You’ll find information on book marketing, staying productive, and Pinterest. As an added bonus, I suggest a great little book on the market now by Grant Faulkner. Enjoy!

4 Affordable Ways to Master Book Marketing from JaneFriedman and by Dave Chesson: “Learning the art of book marketing is a pursuit which can often feel like an unending demand on your limited resources. But it’s a craft we must improve over time, as well as keep up-to-date with using newest book tactics. Our book marketing landscape changes, and so we must too.”

The Ultimate Guide to Being Productive as a Writer from Grammarly: “Whether your job title happens to be writer or not, you probably can’t avoid writing. There’s also a good chance that before you sit down to write, you dread it. That’s understandable—even titans of the written word struggle and procrastinate. Still, I want you to love writing as much as I do.”

Author-Bloggers: Five Quick-to-Learn Content Creation Tools by Brant Forseng: “Like other author-bloggers I create content. There are a lot of applications out there that I can use do that, and I admit to being distracted by bright, shiny, new tools that come along. Video, audio, graphic, text, you name it, when they appear I just have to take a peek at them.”

Your Website is Always a Work in Progress by Ali Luke: “Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of authors, bloggers and freelancers launch their websites. They rarely start out with a massively, gorgeous site. They normally begin with something simple but workable: perhaps it’s a free blog on WordPress.com, for instance, or a single page on About.me. The wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) thing about websites is that they’re always a work in progress. You never truly “finish” a website. Even if you don’t have a blog or “news” section that needs new material on a regular basis, you’ll still want to make updates.”

17 Easy Ways To Boost Your Pinterest Following from Blogging Wizard: “So you want to gain traction on Pinterest and amplify the number of followers you have. Don’t we all? Pinterest is a game-changer for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and even large corporations. It’s mind-blowing how many businesses and bloggers are having massive success with this marketing gold-mine.”

4 Tips for Engaging International Readers by Shana Gray: “My book Working Girl has been translated into five languages, with a sixth to come. First published in English, it’s now available in Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, with Dutch coming this April. It’s difficult to know how well the book has done in the different countries, but even a year later, my book is in the top 30 for the publishing house in Brazil!”

Quote of the Week

Book Suggestion

There’s a great new book on the market and it’s from Grant Faulkner called Pep Talks for Writers. I had the pleasure of hearing him interviewed by Ellen Sussman at a local indie bookstore in my community in Northern California recently. What a great guy and he’s oh-so talented. I bought the book — of course — and I suggest you get it too.

 

 

 

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

 

Meet Ricardo Fayet on February 6th!

Ricardo Fayet
The next webinar will be on February 6 at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST and will feature Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy. We’ll discuss book marketing and Facebook ads. Sign up now to join the conversation!

 

 

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Meet Romantic Suspense Author Sharon Hamilton


Sharon Hamilton is absolutely awesome in this video. There’s no other way to describe it. We talk about how she got into writing about Navy Seals, how she learned to write, why she writes romance, how she developed a street team, how she launches her books, and so much more.

Although Sharon shyly says that she “could be doing more” I can’t imagine an author more hardworking than Sharon. She manages her social media and a Facebook group, sells numerous items on her website, and even writes serials in teams with other romantic suspense authors.

She sells ebooks, paperbacks, serials, audiobooks, and boxed sets.

Don’t let Sharon’s humility fool you; although she is humble – I know Sharon so I can attest to that – she’s a powerhouse romantic suspense writer. In fact, she’s a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written 32 books.

Here are some of my notes from our recent discussion:

Sharon’s Early Career as a Writer

  • Sharon began to write after her house burned down in 2008. She was living in an apartment mostly by herself while her husband stayed on their property to oversee the rebuilding of their home. She had always wanted to write a book, but as a Realtor, she felt she didn’t have the time.
  • After reading several books in that apartment, on December 15, 2008, she started to write her first novel. By the end of 30 days, she’d written a 90,000-word novel. After finishing the book, she realized she never wanted to work as a Realtor again.
  • She then joined numerous writing classes online – 70 in all. She learned how to write by editing that initial manuscript 57 times. She spent a lot of time and money on that first book. Then she began to understand what was necessary to write a compelling novel and after realizing she liked to write romance novels, she joined the Romance Writers of America association.
  • She then joined two or three different blogging groups. One was a group of authors who wrote romance, and another team wrote in various genres. Everyone in the groups would share each others’ blog posts online, and her following grew.

Why Sharon Hamilton Writes about Navy Seals

  • Sharon just completed Sleeper Seals. A group of authors who all write military romantic suspense novels decided to coordinate a central theme and release a serial together. Her novel was book five in the series.
  • There is one commander in the series, and each author writes about a different character. She said it’s an excellent way to cross-market books. Several of the books hit the USA Today list. She thinks it’s a solid concept in selling books.
  • Central to Sharon’s books are characters who are Navy Seals. She does that because when her son graduated high school, he decided to become a Navy Seal. Once he passed the training, Sharon learned a lot about the Seals and being a Seal family. In her stories, she uses a lot of the information she has acquired about the Navy Seal community.

Street Teams and Facebook Groups

She developed a street team when a reader came up to her and created a Facebook author page for Sharon. Then the same reader helped Sharon build a street team. The street team became so large that Sharon encouraged many of them to join a Facebook group she calls the Rockin’ Readers.

Sharon eventually streamlined her street team to just eight to ten people who share information about her books. Her Facebook group will occasionally help her post information about her books. She’s had the Facebook group for about six years, and it has more than 500 members. The only rule of the group is that the only books promoted are Sharon’s.

She thinks that the street team and Facebook group are the best way to get the word out about her books. Having a connection with the fans is integral to her success, and she believes any author’s success. Her fans find Sharon.

Sharon also sponsors contests from time to time. To the winners, she sends a variety of t-shirts, books, patches, dog tags, and red wristbands.

Sharon uses eClincher and MeetEdgar to schedule her social media posts. She has 35,000 Likes on her page.

Newsletters, Contests and BookBub Ads

  • She also has a newsletter that goes out once a month. Her readers receive information about new books and excerpts that couldn’t get otherwise. She used to do Facebook parties once a month but believes they are a passing thing.
  • She sponsors a contest on WriterSpace once a month. She also does BookBub ads for pre-orders and new book launches but hasn’t don’t a BookBub promotion yet.
  • She spends more on BookBub ads than anything else. She recently sold 10,000 of her boxed sets with her latest BookBub ad versus the 50 boxed sets a day she would typically sell without the advertisement.
  • She also does Facebook ads using her book trailers. Those generate a lot of interest.
  • She encourages people to follow her on BookBub and Amazon, so even if they lose touch with her on Facebook, her readers will get notices about her books from other venues.
  • Sharon has discovered that her readers like to have boxed sets at a discounted price. She finds that the boxed sets don’t rob from sales of the individual books.
  • The first book in her series Accidental Seal has been free for three years. Once readers read the free book, they become interested in the rest of the series and hopefully those readers will read her other books as well. A series really works, she says. She also bundles her audio books.

The next webinar will be on February 6 at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST and feature Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy. We’ll be discussing book marketing and Facebook ads. Stay tuned for more information about that webinar.

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 – December 8, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts on blogging, book promotion, Facebook, and a new Kindle feature. I hope you enjoy the selection.

Easy Blogging for Authors: 10 Tips for a Successful Author Blog by Anne R. Allen: “I’ve made some spectacular blunders in my blogging career. But since we learn from our mistakes, I’ve got a boatload of information now. As Ruth and I say: “We made the mistakes so you don’t have to.” The worst decision I made was trying to turn this blog into a monetized business blog. That lasted about six months— until my doctor said I was going to have to choose between blogging and living to see my next birthday. This is the second anniversary of the beginning of that failed experiment, and I’ve been thinking over what I’ve learned.”

3 Shameless Book Promotion Tips For Your Next Release from The Write Life: “Nothing makes a reader feel like an A-class insider like being treated to A-class gifts. Many authors create incredible extras inspired by their writing, drawn from their characters or worlds. This can be anything from a map of an alternate world to lovely character cards, or a peek behind the curtain at your creative process.”

How To Get More Facebook Likes: The Beginner’s Guide from Blogging Wizard: “2 billion. Yes, billion, with a B. In June of 2017, that is how many active users Facebook exceeded according to Statista. That amount is staggering, and the awe tends to compound when you hear that over 65% percent of that amount use Facebook daily. Wouldn’t you like a slice of over 2 billion users?”

Indie Author Content Ideas for Your December Book Marketing from Penny Sansevieri: “Yes, many of us just want to tuck away in our jammies with a mug of eggnog and rum but book marketing never ends! And remember, it’s crucial you stay in front of your fans and potential buyers, and I know that can be exhausting, so I’m trying to help you out by giving you monthly content ideas based around fun, unofficial and official holidays.”

Kindle Create App Out of Beta by Nate Hoffelder: “Amazon’s app for making Kindle ebooks, Kindle Create, is out of beta. Originally launched in April, Kindle Create is Amazon’s 4th Kindle ebook making app (the other three are  Kindle Kids Book Creator, Kindle Textbook Creator, and Kindle Comics Creator).”

11 Creative Ways to Boost Reader Engagement from BookBub: “Having loyal readers can make it easier for an author to sell subsequent books. While reader loyalty is primarily fostered from love of a book, it can also be cultivated through online engagement. Getting readers to engage online takes time and effort, which may not yield immediate revenue, and the ROI of these efforts can be difficult to measure. However, there can be significant long-term gains from having loyal fans who are willing to preorder, review, and enthusiastically tell their friends about a book.”

Quote of the Week

Graham Greene

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

Penny is Coming!

Join the next Conversations with Frances when Penny Sansevieri, aka @Bookgal, comes on the show to talk about how to sell more books. Every indie author will want to attend this free webinar. Register now!

 Penny Sansevieri

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – December 1, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update ranges in topic from social media to book marketing to Facebook. I hope you enjoy the range in topics!

The Writer’s Guide to Social Media Organization from Writer Unboxed: “Today’s writer is busier than ever, and social media can be demanding. Writers have established goals, developed a brand, and know their readers. The best way to stay on top of our career is to incorporate organizational skills into social media. I continue to explore methods to use social media effectively and efficiently. I believe social media can be handled in thirty minutes, leaving us free to do what we do best for the rest of the day—write. Here are 7 ways I’ve learned to categorize social media into a manageable—and enjoyable—process.”

12 Holiday Book Marketing Ideas for Indie Authors by Penny Sansevieri: “On the first day of Christmas ….we all know the song. Most of us are ready to tackle holiday sales, so let’s talk book marketing! In the spirit of the season, I want to share 12 book marketing tips and recommendations indie authors can implement in order to get more holiday sales and definitely more exposure before Christmas.”

67 Top Tools for Writers and Bloggers in 2018 from Write to Done: “It’s often been said, you’re only as good as your tools. And even though a keen mind and an even keener pen (or computer these days) are still the main tools of a writer or blogger in 2018, there are others out there. Which is the problem. ​How do you know which to use? If you tried them all, you’d never write or publish a thing. And if you ignored them all, well, that’s not a smart move either. The serious writer or blogger of today needs to know where the advantages are, what the competition is using.”

How To Get More Facebook Likes: The Beginner’s Guide from Blogging Wizard: “2 billion. Yes, billion, with a B. In June of 2017, that is how many active users Facebook exceeded according to Statista. That amount is staggering, and the awe tends to compound when you hear that over 65% percent of that amount use Facebook daily. Wouldn’t you like a slice of over 2 billion users? Just imagine: 1 percent of that amount and you’re looking at more than 20 million users.”

Increase Engagement in Your Marketing with Visuals from Joel Friedlander and Frances Caballo: “You know the saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words? It may be true but what’s proven is that a photo is better than text when it comes to social media engagement. As much as you may think that you prefer text over visuals, perhaps because you’re a writer, your brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text.”

The Complete Guide to Ebook Distribution by Ricardo Fayet and from Reedsy: “At Reedsy, our goal has always been to help authors through every stage of the publishing process, from the actual writing down to the marketing and promotion. However, if there’s one thing our marketplace can’t do, it’s the actual publishing of the book. By that, I mean pressing the button that puts your book up for sale on Amazon — and other retailers.”

News from Goodreads: The Book Giveaway Program Expands in January 2018: “We’ll be introducing our new Goodreads Giveaways program on January 9, 2018, offering even more powerful book marketing benefits that authors have been asking for. Our new Goodreads Giveaways program includes two packages, Standard and Premium—you can learn more about them below. And for the first time, Kindle Direct Publishing authors can run giveaways for Kindle ebooks—a feature previously only available to traditional publishers.”

Quote of the Week

Doris Lessing

Want to save time with social media? Get Avoid Social Media Time Suckfor FREE.

Social Media Time Suck

 

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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50 Blogging Topics for Authors

Blogging Topics

Do you struggle with coming up with blogging topics?

Hey, I wouldn’t be honest if I said that blogging is such a breeze, I could do it in my sleep. Or when I’m sleep-deprived.

There are times when blogging topics come to me in bunches. I could be sitting at my desk, and one thought triggers another, and before I know it, I have six or seven or even ten new blogging topics.

I love those times.

But then there are also the other times. You know, when my fountain of creativity has run dry.

There have been times when I’ve followed my advice and set up a blogging calendar. I’ve used Excel to track my topics, an online app, a scrap of paper floating around my desk, or just a Word doc to keep all of my blog topics organized.

But lately, I seem to be a seat-of-my-pants type of blogger. During these times, I tend to write about whatever is up with me whether there’s something new in social media I’m trying to learn or certain issues that keep cropping up.

I know that other authors have this problem too because they’ve asked me for advice on what to blog about.

When we publish our first book, especially if it’s a nonfiction book, we think we’ve said everything we can on the topic. Then we find out that we need an author website and blog. So we wonder, should I write about my cancer, my trip to the Bahamas, or my garden?

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – November 10, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update covers everything from social media marketing to growing an email list to guest blogging. I’m sure that in the posts below, you’ll find some that speak to you right now.

You’ll want to sign up for the Amy Collins webinar this month. The sign-up link is at the bottom of this post. Amy is awesome and a wealth of knowledge.

Indie Author Updates

How to Tame the Social Media Beast by Chris Syme: “When it comes to book marketing, there is no bigger potential time waster than social media. There are approximately 210 social media sites listed on Wikipedia (global numbers). Of those 210, there are about ten that you can probably name and of those ten there are three to five that authors feel they have to be active on.”

[Read more…]