How to Use MailerLite (So You Can Dump MailChimp)

How to Use MailerLite (So You Can Dump MailChimp)

Yep, I gave the boot to MailChimp and am a happy MailerLite customer.

In the past I raved about MailChimp. I wrote blog posts about it. I even recommended it to clients.

 But over the years, I liked it less and less. Their customer services degraded as their prices climbed. 

 A terrible combination.

 Then, after reading David Gaughran’s newsletter (be sure to subscribe to it) about how he didn’t like MailChimp either, I decided to leap too. (He did it first.)

 MailerLite’s customer service is superb. Whereas before, I would wait four days for an email response from MailChimp’s tech support, with MailerLite, it’s just a few hours.

 Learning MailerLite’s system took a bit of time, but their tech support made it a smooth transition.

 And it’s cheaper than MailChimp while offering the same services.

 I’m paying $30/month for MailerLite (MailChimp was $75/month) because I want extra features. You can use it for free if you’d like to.

 Why Email Marketing?

Let’s get this topic over with, shall we?

 I like to give new clients this spiel:

Book marketing involves so many aspects:

  • great books
  • proper editing
  • great covers
  • perfect Amazon categories and keywords
  • doing a pre-order for a month
  • website and blog
  • social media presence
  • having ebooks and even audiobooks
  • blog tours
  • email marketing
  • encouraging bookreviews

 Let’s face it; email marketing is more effective than social media marketing. 

 And consider this fact: if Instagram or Facebook disappeared or changed into a format you couldn’t make sense of, what would you do?

 All those people you were connecting with would be gone. 

 Consider email marketing as an insurance policy and an excellent way to connect with your readers.

 Consider these facts from Convince & Convert:

 

Every year you hear this absurd statement, “Email marketing is dead.” But the reality is email is very much alive and intends to stands the test of time for the foreseeable future. The data doesn’t lie:

 

  • In 2018, global email users amounted to 3.8 billion users.

  • 93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content.

  • 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.

  • For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $32.

 

 Convinced? Okay, let’s get into how to use MailerLite.

Email Marketing Isn’t for Sales

Social media and email marketing — and every aspect of marketing you can think of — is for building relationships with your readers and prospective readers.

Don’t send a newsletter with a heavy sales spiel every week or however often you send your newsletter.

Share tidbits about your life, your cat, your dog, your writing life, and anything that you feel comfortable revealing.

Also, ask questions. Be informative. Deliver the content your readers want or need to hear.

Be friendly, conversational, and don’t use email marketing just to elicit book sales. 

Let your readers know that you care about them.

In short, be authentic. 

 Open a MailerLite Account

 This one’s easy. Just go to https://app.mailerlite.com and do the usual.

 First, you need to verify your domain email address. Your email should use the domain of your website and not be a Gmail account email. For example, [email protected]

 Next, upload your subscribers. If you were using MailChimp, export them into a CSV, and then upload them to MailerLite.

 Create a MailerLite Embedded Form for Sign-Ups 

With MailerLite, you can set up four forms:

MailerLite Forms 

 You’re going to need a form to encourage sign-ups. So, start with this one. (It should go without saying that you need to offer a giveaway to encourage signups.)

 First, go to Embedded Forms. Then click the orange button that says Create Embedded Form.

Name your form. I’ll call this one Blog Post Example.

 Next, you will have to determine which of your email groups you want to link to this form.

MailerLite 

You will automatically arrive at this page:

MailerLite subscribe form

 You can personalize the embedded form. For example, mine looks like this:

Personalize your sign-up form

 These are your design options:

MailerLite design options

 

To change the form color or subscribe button, click the options as noted in the above image.

 You can also change the look of the form.

MailerLite design options

 For a client, I used the Card option and added an image. 

 To customize the colors in the form, click each round button in the design section.

 

All you need to do is go to Canva to select the color you want or do a web search, such as “what is the code for teal?” I use those two methods to find all my colors.

 Create Your MailerLite Success Page

 If you don’t use a double opt-in, which I encourage you to do, you can provide your giveaway on your Success Page.

 This is the default success message. Ugly, isn’t it?

 My client’s success page looks like this:

 

Once you’ve created both pages, MailerLite will provide you with a link you can use on social media and the code to add to your website. I suggest that you give your website developer the login to MailerLite so that she can grab the code she needs.

 You will also want to customize the double opt-in thank-page. On the same page where the code is, you’ll find the Double Opt-in Email form and the Double Opt-in Thank You page. They aren’t easy to customize. (I didn’t think they were.)

 This is what the default double opt-in email looks like:

 I customized to look like this:

 

I even changed the tiny heading in the upper top-left corner.

 Now you need to customize the Double Opt-In Thank You page. This is what the default looks like:

 

And this is what my personalized email looks like:

To customize it, I simply clicked on the Content and Design settings to change the wording and colors.

 I need to stop here. However, you can also use MailerLite to build landing pages, popups, promotions, and automated emails. I use automation for my email-based social media course.

Once you get going, it’s so much fun to create landing pages and popups. Really.

 If you have questions, write them in the comments below. Remember, MailerLite has excellent customer service, so don’t hesitate to send them your questions too.

 

Instagram Marketing by Frances CaballoBrand new Instagram ebook for authors. Learn how to set up your account, and create hashtags and Instagram stories. 

 

 


Frances Caballo is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences.  

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – October 11, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

This edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update is jam-packed with information to help you sell more books. David Kudler and Penny Sansevieri make the case for writing compelling book descriptions. Amy Collins delves into the importance of live streaming to reach more readers. Also, be sure to read Lee Foster’s article. His suggestions are always golden. I hope you enjoy them.

Indie Author Book Marketing

5 Ways To Use Voice Search To Sell More Books from Joanna Penn: This is, to me, a revolutionary post on book marketing. It delves into using voice search to enhance your book marketing results.

How to Leverage Book Signings from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: Book signings enhance visibility in your community. In this post, author Alexa Nazzaro suggests how to make the signing successful.

Book Descriptions

Have I Got a Book for You! Compelling Book Descriptions – Part 2 from TheBookDesigner.com and by David Kudler: How you describe your book at online retailers is critical. In this post, David Kudler reviews great book descriptions and delves into keywords. It’s a great post!

How to Improve Your #Amazon Book Descriptions from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Penny Sansevieri: Penny also delves into the importance of compelling book descriptions. Be sure to read it. A few tips: use headlines, paragraphs, bolding, and bullets or numbers.

Live-Streaming Video

How to Effectively Use Live Video (Even If You Fear the Camera) to Reach Readers  from Jane Friedman and by Amy Collins: Amy Collins reviews the reasons why authors should consider live-streaming to reach more readers. The post includes a template of subjects authors can use.

Indie Author Publishing

7 ways book publishing will change over the next few years from The Idea Logical Company:  The author makes some interesting predictions about the future of publishing.

Publishing Your Book Is Changing on IngramSpark from TheBookDesigner.com and by Lee Foster: Lee Foster, an incredibly successful author, discusses what’s changing at IngramSpark for indie authors. This guy know a lot about publishing.

Quote of the Week

It is the creative potential in human beings that is the image of God.

 

Instagram Marketing by Frances CaballoBrand new Instagram ebook for authors. Learn how to set up your account, and create hashtags and Instagram stories. 

 

 


Frances Caballo is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences.  Follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 4, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

Hey, here’s my newest Indie Author Weekly Update where you see the week’s best posts. If you only read one post, be sure to check out 10 Best Literary Instagram Accounts. Some of the examples in this post are beautiful. If you use Pinterest, learn how to use hashtags on that platform by reading Blogging Wizard’s post. And, of course, Rachel Thompson always writes killer blog posts.

Enjoy all of them.

Instagram

10 Best Literary Instagram Accounts for Book-Lovers from Read It Forward: Not sure how to have an attractive Instagram feed as an author? Check out these 10 Instagram accounts and be inspired. Some of this accounts are incredible!

Indie Author Book Marketing

This is How You Find Your Readers by Rachel Thompson: You can always trust advice from Rachel Thompson. She covers reader demographics, connecting with readers, and networking. 

How Indie Authors Can Sell More Nonfiction Books from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: The author of this post says you can sell more nonfiction books by: blogging, writing op-ed pieces, writing lists posts, and writing guest posts for others. There are other details in this post. Check it out.

Pinterest

The Definitive Guide To Pinterest Hashtags: You didn’t know that you could use hashtags on Pinterest? Well you can and should use them. This post explains how to make them work for you.

Indie Author Email Marketing

How to Convert Book Readers into Email Subscribers: It’s critical that indie authors today grow their email lists. Why? Email marketing is more effective than social media marketing. That’s just one reason. Dave Chesson explains how to use reader magnets to grow your list.

Of Note

Case Study: How Celadon Books Got Everyone Talking About ‘The Silent Patient’ from GoodReads: This is an older post but it’s rich in how a first-time author attained phenomenal success. Read it.

Quote of the Week

The right book read at the right time can change a life.

 

 

Instagram Marketing by Frances CaballoBrand new Instagram ebook for authors. Learn how to set up your account, and create hashtags and Instagram stories. 

 

 


Frances Caballo is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences.  Follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

 
 
 

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 27, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

Love this week’s posts in this edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. There’s a fabulous post by Penny Sansieveri (who never seems to disappoint). In addition, I like the inspirational post by Ryan Lenz. Hey, they are all great so enjoy!

Spotlight Post

10 Things You Need Right Now to Plan for Holiday Book Sales by Penny Sansevieri: This is a superb blog post on how to get ready for mega sales of your books during the holiday season. First step, start planning right now. Also, present your book as a gift or novelty. Third step, make sure you have the best cover possible.

Endorsements

3 Ways to Get Your Dream Endorsement by Sandra Beckwith and from TheBookDesigner.com: Sandra Beckwith explains how to obtain testimonials for your book.

Indie Author Book Marketing

SEO for Authors from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Rachel McCollin: Rachel McCollin describes a few easy ways for authors to improve the search optimization of their websites.

Book Marketing: A Blueprint For Your Indie Author Book Launch from Joanna Penn and with J.D. Lasica: Joanna Penn’s posts are always worth reading. I’ve learned so much from her and her guests over the years. This is another great post that you should not miss.

On Writing

Writers are Courageous from Ryan Lanz: It takes courage to follow a dream and if you’re like me, you’ve always wanted to be a writer. It takes work, too, and perseverance. So give yourself a huge break. You’re a writer!

Of Note

Here Are The Nominees For The 2019 National Book Awards 

Quote of the Week

Ernest Hemingway quote: No one you love is every truly lost.

 

Instagram Marketing by Frances CaballoBrand new Instagram ebook for authors. Learn how to set up your account, and create hashtags and Instagram stories. 

 

 


Frances Caballo is an author and social media consultant. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences.  Follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 20, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - September 20, 2019

In this edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update you’ll find posts on book marketing, email marketing, and Twitter. I especially liked the email marketing blog post as well as the design post from BookBub. Enjoy all of them!

Indie Author Book Marketing

Book Marketing: 10 Best Book Trailer Types from Joanna Penn and Adam Cushman: This is a phenomenal post about book trailers. There are plenty of examples from DIY to cinematic to author profiles. Don’t miss reading this post. It’s awesome.

Authors, here are some great tools you can use to design your book ads from BookBub Partners: This post reviews several design tools, including Canva, Book Brush, RelayThat, and others. Indie authors: be sure to read this post.

What the Ideal Author Website Looks Like from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: Some of the points in this post include: have an attractive website design and make sure that your bio resonates with readers. Read the post for more tips.

Email Marketing

Why Aren’t People Signing Up For Your Author Mailing List? from Writer’s Relief: If you want to succeed as an author, you need to grow your email marketing list. But what if people don’t sign up? The first tip in this post is this: build your list with a free book.

Twitter

The Complete Guide To Twitter Hashtags from Blogging Wizard: Hashtags, whether on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram enable people to find your content. This post focuses on Twitter and has some great tips.

Quote of the Week

“People should be interested in books, Agatha Christie

 

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 

Author 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 and building their platform. 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. And follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 13, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

There are some great blog posts here for you in the newest edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. I found three posts on book marketing and two on blogging. I also like the post from Joanna Penn on book covers. Enjoy all of them.

Indie Author Blogging

Thoughts on Blogging by Elizabeth Spann Craig: If you’re an author, make sure you blog, especially if you write nonfiction. You’ll be amazed at how blogging can improve your website’s SEO.

Getting Blog Traffic: How I Started to Consistently Get 20,000+ Pageviews per Month: This post explains how to boost your blog traffic. I agree with some of the methods but not all of them. Read and see what you think.

Book Covers

What Authors Need To Know About Book Cover Design from Joanna Penn: It’s best to hire a professional to design your book cover. But if you can’t afford one, Joanna Penn has some DIY tips.

Indie Author Book Marketing

Metadata Optimization For Your Book: My Self-Publishing Experience, Part 5 from the BookBaby blog: This new post focuses on how best to prepare your new book for optimal sales. It goes into everything from trim sizes to KDP Select to metadata.

10 Publishing Terms Every New Author Should Know from Indies Unlimited: This is a good list of terms that all  indie authors should familiarize themselves with.

How to Get Editorial Reviews for Your Self-Published Book from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: Reviews from influential authors can help sell indie author books. Create a spreadsheet look for reviewers of similar books in your genre and create an email template. Put everything you need in a spreadsheet and you’ll be on your way.

Quote of the Week

Ann Patchett quote

 

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 and building their platform. 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. And follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 6, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - September 6, 2019

The focus in this week’s Indie Author Update is social media. Learn how to cross-promote and cut through the hype when hiring a publicity firm. Reedsy also wrote a fabulous post on Amazon royalties. Enjoy all of them!

Indie Author Social Media

Engineer Success with a Good Marketing Strategy from TheBookDesigner.com and by Boni Wagner-Stafford: Bonni is the author of One Million Readers. In this new post, she explains the importance of book marketing and how to approach it.

8 Cross-Promotion Marketing Ideas For Self-Published Authors from Self-Publishing Relief: This post describes all the ways you can cross-promote information about your books.

Social Media Marketing: Cutting through the Hype from Alliance of Independent Authors: This post provides excellent advice on what to look for (and avoid) when hiring a firm to handle your social media marketing.

Amazon

Amazon Self-Publishing Royalties and Costs: Here’s What You Need to Know by Reedsy: Did you know that Amazon starts paying your royalties 60 days after your first sale? Learn more about how Amazon handles your royalties in this super post from Reedsy.

Quote of the Week

My advice to writers_ Be careful what you write…what you write can break your heart.

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 and building their platform. 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. And follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 9, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

I hope you enjoy the newest installment of the Indie Author Weekly Update. If you only read one post, be sure to read Anne R. Allen’s on why genre fiction is so important in today’s world. I love Joanna Penn’s podcast and in her newest one her guest makes a good case for content marketing. I hope you enjoy all the posts this week.

I will take a break from blogging and return August 30th with a new Indie Author Weekly Update. I hope you’re enjoying the summer and your summer reading.

Content Marketing

10 Quick And Easy Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block (when trying to write a blog post)  by Blogging Wizard: ”

Writer’s block is the complete lack of ability to put your thoughts on paper in any coherent way. When I started this article, I was grinding my teeth in annoyance because I couldn’t get going. And the more my annoyance grew, the harder it was to actually write. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle where the only way to beat it is to get out of the situation entirely.

Sell more books for the long term: Content Marketing Strategy from Joanna Penn and with Pamela Wilson: “Paid advertising may spike your book sales for the short term, but if you stop paying, you stop selling. With content marketing, you can create value for the long term, attract your target market and sell sustainably for years.”

Indie Author Book Marketing

The Decline of Mainstream Fiction: Why Authors Need a Genre in Today’s Fragmented Publishing World. by Anne R. Allen: “Choosing a genre for your novel is one of the toughest challenges for many new writers. This week both former agent Nathan Bransford and current agent Jessica Faust wrote posts telling authors their books must have a genre. But new writers may not know why this has become such a hard-and-fast rule, or why the publishing world has become so fragmented.”

Book Marketing Ideas: 14 Habits of Highly Successful Authors by Penny Sansevieri: “One thing that remains consistent among highly successful authors across all genres is they’re not short on smart book marketing ideas. And I want to be clear that book marketing ideas come in many forms and at many stages. I know we’re all primed to immediately think about discounts and creating blog content, but the execution of those kinds of strategies is actually just one piece of the book marketing pie.”

Twitter

Encore Month: How to Run a Twitter Chat from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Timothy Lewis: “A Twitter chat is where a group of people come together on Twitter during a particular time and all tweet using the same hashtag (e.g #IndieAuthorChat).  They then monitor the hashtag (usually using a tool like Twitter’s Tweetdeck) and then reply to questions and comments from other users who are also using the same hashtag.”

Of Note:

Author, professor, and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison died on August 5. She was a brilliant writer who taught me so much in her novel “Song of Solomon.” Be sure to read one of her novels.

Toni Morrison Quote - “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

 

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 and building their platform. 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. And follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Book Launch Case Study with Mike Sahno

Book Launch Tips with Mike Sahno

I met Mike Sahno on Twitter and was impressed by his book launch success. So I asked him to share his experience so that you could learn his tips. Here is our interview.

When did you start writing? And what was the experience?

I wrote a lot of poems and songs in high school and college. Everyone knew me as Class Poet or Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine. I was a real literature fanatic. I tried my hand at a few short stories in college, but I didn’t really know what I was doing. It wasn’t until I finished graduate school that I started writing my first novel, Brothers’ Hand.

I’ve always been in love with the experience of having written. The actual writing time is often torturous.

How long have you been using social media to reach your readers?

I didn’t even know how to enroll readers at all until 2016 when I started my own publishing company to publish my first three novels. I’d been on Twitter for a year by then, but again, didn’t know what I was doing.

Which platforms do you use regularly?

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I also have a LinkedIn profile for my publishing company, but I don’t expect to get many fiction readers on that platform. You never know, though.

Soon after you launched your book, Whizzers, your Amazon ranking in your categories was phenomenal. (Mike’s rankings for his categories were in the low one hundreds.) Please detail every step you took in terms of prelaunch, presales, and formal launch. What did you do and what was your approach? Did you release any advanced reader copies?

Mike Sahno Amazon Rankings

I certainly didn’t do it alone! One challenge I’ve faced all along has been my unwillingness to join the KDP world on Amazon. I’m sure I’ve paid the price by going wide, but I’m not comfortable with Amazon “giving” me an ISBN or having any control over when I can publish my books on other platforms. I’ve read some negative feedback on their POD service, too, and that was a deal-breaker. I’m a stickler for high-quality print for the paperback versions of my books, and IngramSpark has been solid in my experience.

Whizzers by Mike SahnoFor Whizzers, I put more time, effort, and money into the entire launch process than I had with the other novels. I’d learned lessons about how hard it is getting book bloggers or reviewers, so I reached out to well over a hundred to set up a blog tour to run from 7/19-7/31, with the actual publication coming towards the beginning of the tour, on 7/21. I also invited a zillion people to an in-person launch event on 7/20. Lastly, as a follow-up to the initial launch, I’m running a marketing campaign to get Whizzers into as many libraries as I can.

At writer’s conferences, experts encourage writers to form a VIP list or street team and dedicated readers who will spread the word online about our new books. Do you have a street team?

I do, and here’s where I answer the rest of the previous question! I went through my contacts list, including some fellow authors I’ve connected with on social media, and invited many people to join my launch group. That group is a separate segment of my email newsletter list, so they’re getting my regular emails and special messages just for them, with unique content. I also created a private Whizzers VIP Launch Group on Facebook.

 I made ARC’s available to the entire launch group, and I put the novel up for pre-order a good month before the publication date.

 There were a few glitches: for one, I tried to roll out a cover reveal in stages on social media to build interest in the book. By the time that got underway, IngramSpark had already sent the book data to Amazon, so Amazon was already listing it. If someone wanted to see more than, say, 2/3 of the cover, or whatever I was revealing, all they had to do was find it on Amazon!

I hear some authors complain that readers are unable to leave reviews on Amazon. Has that been a problem with any of your readers?

So far, so good, but the jury is still out. A couple of people have messaged me that they submitted reviews, but they’re not up yet. However, Amazon hasn’t sent them an email indicating it rejected their reviews.  I find Amazon’s review process to be wildly inconsistent. Sometimes a submitted review goes up within hours; other times, it takes days.

Do you think that your master’s degree in English helped you to become a better writer?

Absolutely. I know it’s common now for folks to become very successful with little to no formal post-secondary education. But I familiarized myself with much of “the canon,” plus a good deal of lesser-known European literature, around 30 years ago. Balzac, Proust, those kinds of writers. People can read all this stuff on their own, but I benefited from those lively discussions with professors and other students. Also, I’ve worked full-time as a writer since 2001. I think that, for me, there’s a real benefit to that combination of education and practical experience.

We hear that it’s essential to publish a lot of books as quickly as possible. How do you feel about that advice?

I think it depends on your goals. For me, I would say the opposite is true: take the time required to create the best possible lasting work of art. It might be two years. It might be seven. Each of my first three novels took around seven years since I was working full-time when I wrote them. If someone wants to churn out a product quickly to make a buck, that’s their prerogative. But if I want to create novels that will outlive me, I can’t write them that fast. 

Have you considered writing a series? It seems as though your books are quite disparate.

It’s a great business model for a writer, especially when you can hook a reader with a freebie to introduce them, and they’ll want to buy all the others. But I don’t have it in me to write that way. I could crank out some genre fiction, and I’d probably make more money, but I’d hate every minute of it. My models are more like John Gardner, who wrote Grendel, John Fowles, of The French Lieutenant’s Woman fame. William Styron. I’m not saying I’m in the same league as those guys, but I aspire to that kind of greatness.

Do you already have an idea for your next book?

I have two works in progress, and they’re about as disparate as you can get. Once the dust settles on this Whizzers launch, I’m going to play around with them and figure out which one it will be. Whatever it is, it’s going to be different!

Mike Sahno: I’ve always been in love with the experience of having written. The actual writing time is often torturous.

 

 

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 

 

Born in Bristol, CT, Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. He obtained a Master of Arts in English from Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY at the age of 24, going on to become a full-time professional writer in 2001.

Since founding Sahno Publishing in 2015, he has gone on to achieve national and international recognition, gaining over 20,000 followers on Twitter and publishing and selling four novels both in the U.S. and abroad.

Sahno has ghostwritten books for entrepreneurs in the U.S., and continues to electrify audiences with his story and his natural gift for entertaining while informing. He is available for professional speaking engagements upon request.

Frances Caballo

Author 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 and building their platform. 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. And follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 2, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update 8-2-19

This week’s Indie Author Update has so much super information to help you succeed as an indie author. Be sure to check out master blogger Anne R. Allen’s advice on author blogs. She has a stellar blog herself. David Penny also has some advice that makes so much sense for the indie author. Well, just read all of them if you can.

Elevator Pitches

Razzle-Dazzle: The Art and Craft of the Elevator Pitch by Ruth Harris: “What works on Broadway in the hit musical, Chicago, also works for selling a book because you do want a reaction that will be passionate.”

Indie Author Book Promotion

Put Readers First – an Essential Ingredient of Successful Book Marketing – from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by David Penny: “When I started self-publishing historical novels in 2014, I connected on social media with a frenzy as I attempted to persuade people to buy my books. Oh, I was a good social member and didn’t spam my titles, but I had made a big mistake with who I was connecting to.”

5 Best Book Promotion Strategies for Romance Authors by Penny Sansevieri: “Romance writing is such a unique market. We know it’s busy and popular, but your readers are also veracious. They read a lot, and they love discovering new authors. Romance authors have been given a wonderful opportunity to really speak to readers on a very personal level, and every element of their book promotion must reflect this. Every time they purchase one of your titles, they’re inviting you into their lives and admitting their (sometimes very secret) fantasies and desires!”

Amazon Advertising

Amazon Advertising Insights with Black Books – Podcast by Joanna Penn and with Russell Blake: “Surf the changes and get to grips with Amazon Ads — or outsource them if you’re ready to. Some hard talking — and encouragement — with Russell Blake today, as well as tips from Michael Beverly.”

Author Blogs

Blogging Is a Potent Tool for Author Platform Building – from BookWorks and by Anne R. Allen: “If you tell your non-writing friends you’re thinking of starting a blog, somebody is sure to tell you that blogging is “totally over.” Just give them an indulgent smile. People have been declaring blogging dead pretty much since it started. Google “blogging is dead” and you’ll see thousands of entries. But it turns out the blog is a pretty resilient medium.”

Quote of the WeekQuote: the best writing advice is also the best life advice_ remember that nobody else has any idea what they’re doing, either.

 

 

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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 and building their platform. 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. And follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers