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.

 

 

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 – June 28, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - June 28, 2019

It’s Friday so that means it’s time for a new Indie Author Weekly Update. You’ll find posts on blogging, book marketing, creativity, and author websites. Be sure to take a look at the websites profiled in the post from BookBub Partners. When planning yours, or even updating one you have, you’ll definitely get some ideas from the author websites profiled in the post.

Blogging

We’re all Bozos on this Bus: 10 Lessons from 10 Years of Blogging by Anne R. Allen: “Ooops. I seem to have missed my 10-year blogiversary! I posted my first attempt at blogging on Friday, March 13, 2009. Yes, Friday the 13th. Apparently I have a need to tempt fate.”

Creativity

Creation Is Messy–And That’s Okay from Writer Unboxed and by Julie Duffy: “Late last summer I ran down to the basement to throw on a load of laundry before meeting a friend for coffee…and stepped, ankle-deep, into my own private paddling pool.”

Book Marketing

Book Marketing from a Standing Start as an Indie Author from Alliance of Independent Authors and by Alastair Crombie: “The longer you’re in an industry, the more knowledge and information you build.  It’s hard to remember those early days of no readers and single-sale days. But there’s a huge number of debut authors publishing every day. ALLi experience shows that it can take up to seven years for an indie author to earn a living from their books. Author member Alastair Crombie has just launched his first book and explains what book marketing from a standing start is like in the current market.”

A New Book Blurb Could Revolutionize Your Sales from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by and by Adam Croft: “One of the main advantages of being an indie author is being able to be flexible and adaptable. We can make small, immediate changes and alter entire strategies by turning on a sixpence. But what if I told you the most powerful change you can make is free and will take less than an hour?”

Author Websites

45+ Author Websites with Stellar Designs from BookBub Partners: “Many successful authors have websites that are the hub of their online marketing activity — they provide a central platform for everything from blogging to book sales and email newsletters. But what should you include in an author website?”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author 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 – June 21, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - June 21, 2019

There’s a lot to love in this week’s Indie Author Update. If your Facebook page needs more engagement, be sure to read the post from WordStream. It’s a great one. Also, there are book marketing tips and information on how to dump MailChimp.

Have a great weekend!

Facebook

5 Emotional Writing Tactics to Skyrocket Your Facebook Post Engagement from WordStream: “Here are five emotional writing tactics to try out for improved engagement on Facebook.”

Book Marketing

7 Game-Changing Tips for KDP Authors from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by John Doppler: “One of the highlights of my day is learning something useful from the indie author community, and passing that along to other authors. With that in mind, here are seven of my favorite tips that permanently changed the way I publish on Amazon’s KDP.”

7 Ways You Can Make More Money from Your Book from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Leslie Ann Miller:  “It takes so much time and effort to become an indie author. Now, how about a little ROI? Truth is, now that you’ve crystallized your ideas into book form, there are multiple ways to spin your book into gold …. In this post, Leslie Lam Miller has seven suggestions to help you do just that.”

5 Book Marketing Strategies All Authors Need to Try from BookBub Partners and by Barbara Freethy: “Keeping your books in front of readers is a challenging task, especially over a long writing career. I’ve tried many different strategies, and I continue to experiment as the publishing industry evolves.”

Email Marketing

Switching from MailChimp to MailerLite for Budget-Conscious Indie Authors from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Rachel McCollin: “Mailing lists are the bread and butter of indie author marketing. With the recent changes at Mailchimp, the prospect of paying extra fees may lead you to consider switching providers. ALLi author member Rachel McCollin talks about switching from MailChimp to MailerLite for budget-conscious indie authors.”

Great Article from the New Yorker

The Strange Story of a Secret Literary Fellowship from The New Yorker and by Daniel A. Gross: “One afternoon a little over a year ago, I got a brief and mysterious e-mail from a man named Jackson Taylor. It was sent from a personal Gmail account. ‘I am heading up a new literary fellowship here in New York,’ he wrote. ‘You have been secretly nominated for a spot in the inaugural group—and I was wondering if I might have a moment of your time to speak by phone?'”

Book Reviews

3 Dos for Getting Reviews (and 4 Don’ts) from TheBookDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “One of the most powerful tools for marketing your book is always going to be reader reviews. We all dream of a featured review in The New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, or Library Journal. But other reviews — whether from influential bloggers to readers on social media like Goodreads or Facebook or retailer sites — can be very important for reaching your audience.”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update - quote of the week

 

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.

 

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – June 7, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

Love this edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. There were so many great posts this past week. Wow. It was hard to trim the list. Plus, I’ve got a great tip for you in my last entry. Enjoy writing, writing, and summer!

Publishing

The #1 Mistake New Self-Publishers Make That Leaves Them Vulnerable to Publishing Scams by Anne R. Allen: “I hear about new publishing scams all the time. Sometimes scammers approach me personally, but more often I hear a sad tale of woe from some newbie who has fallen for the latest con. This week I realized that almost all the victims of publishing scams have one thing in common: they don’t understand the most important part of the digital self-publishing revolution that started in 2009.”

Psychology of Success For Authors: Do You Think Self-Publishing is Second Best? by the Alliance of Independent Authors: “Anyone who regularly attends author events tells the same story about how such rooms tend to divide. At the trade-published side of the room, aspirants share their concern, or sometimes despair, about their chances of ever being “published.” They’ll report that the conference’s agent-in-residence liked their work but wasn’t going to make an offer to represent it, for this reason or that. Those who already have a publisher often complain about what they, or their agents, have failed to do for them.”

How I Caught a Publisher Unexpectedly by Nancy Jorgensen and from Jane Friedman’s Blog: My book is published by a company I never heard of and didn’t query. After years of writing, workshopping and revising our book, my co-author (who is also my daughter Elizabeth) and I marketed it to agents and publishers. It was the story of Elizabeth’s sister, Gwen, a CPA turned Olympic triathlete.”

Facebook

Facebook Adds New Page and Group Ranking Factors into News Feed Algorithm by Andrew Hutchinson: “After announcing a News Feed algorithm update earlier this month, which focused on boosting content from the people you care most about, and reducing the reach of clickbait, Facebook has now issued an amendment to that update to also add in new ranking signals for content from the Pages and Groups that people are most interested in.”

Indie Author Book Marketing

Didn’t go to Book Expo1 9? Here’s a recap of top book promotion tips and trends mentioned at the conference: “At last week’s BookExpo 2019, the biggest annual publishing conference in the US, there were several educational panels featuring publishing professionals and book marketers. These industry thought leaders were buzzing about a wide variety of topics this year, from marketing debut authors to working with indie bookstores. We’re excited to share some of the top book promotion trends and tips here for anyone who couldn’t attend BookExpo 2019!”

Tip of the Week

Want to read book reviews from a phenomenal writer? Ransom Stephens is now writing book reviews on Medium. He’s the reason why I’m reading Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, my first YA novel. Go to his reviews. You’ll love them and discover new books. He reads a variety of genres.

Quote of the Week

John Green 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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

 

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 17, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

I think this Indie Author Weekly Update is the longest one I’ve ever compiled. Rachel Thompson’s NaNoProNo is in full swing and I like to bring the best of those posts to my weekly roundup. Anne R. Allen wrote a dynamite piece of the author persona. I start with the most important post: the one on MailChimp by David Gaughran. Read it. Enjoy all the posts in this week’s edition.

MailChimp

Time To Ditch Mailchimp? by David Gaughran: “Mailchimp attracted extreme criticism this week when it became clear how its new marketing services would impact its core email offering — particularly in terms of pricing — leading many long-time users to start explore alternatives (including this one).”

NaNoProNo Bog Posts from Rachel Thompson

Why Writing Your Truth Is an Effective Marketing Strategy by Guest Jackie Cioffa and from the Bad Redhead Media blog from Rachel Thompson: “When Bad Redhead Media’s Rachel Thompson reached out to me to write a post about promoting and marketing my books, my immediate thought was is she kidding? I have been an avid follower and fan of Rachel for nearly a decade, trying to emulate her badass self-publishing skills and as much of her marketing expertise as I could.

How to Make Your Book Marketing Plan a Success by guest Maureen Joyce Connolly and from Rachel Thompson: The very core of my approach was to learn as much about launching a book as quickly as possible, to compile a strategy and to execute it with support if I needed, but for me to be the driver of my plan. I also understood instinctively, that I would need to identify my personal strengths and use them to my advantage since I had no social media presence – nada, zip – as my business had flourished via referrals.

This Is How to Use Harder Working Links to Sell More Books by Guest Jessie Lakes and from Rachel Thompson: “Let me quickly introduce you to what we call “intelligent links,” the hardest working links on the internet. These aren’t the links you copy out of your browser window or a shortened bit.ly links, but rather supercharged links that can help you sell more books and unlock a new stream of revenue. And the best part is that you are already doing the hard and time-consuming work, swapping in the use of “intelligent links” doesn’t take much extra time at all.

How to Best Prepare for Book Marketing by Guest Frances Caballo and from Rachel Thompson: “Book marketing involves so many steps. When people come to me, they erroneously think that all they need is social media marketing. Au contraire. Social media alone won’t cause your books to start flying off the proverbial bookshelf. So, take this quiz and see if you’re ready to tackle book marketing on your own.”

This Is How to Sell Your Book in 20 Seconds by Guest Sharon Goldinger and from Rachel Thompson: “Picture this: You’re in an elevator, your book cupped in your hand, the title clearly visible to the other person in the elevator. While riding from floor 1 to floor 19, she asks, “What is From Fat to Fit about? You respond: “You’ll be inspired by the amazing Community Meltdown, which motivated 1,000 people to have fun while losing 8,000 pounds in 8 weeks, and my personal story as I went from fat to fit and lost 62 pounds.”When the elevator lands at her stop, she says, “Sounds great. I’ve got to get a copy.”

Your Author Persona

What’s Your Author Persona? How to Be Yourself Online—Only Better by Anne R. Allen: “I blog often about an author’s online presence and the importance of keeping your image squeaky clean, especially when you’re starting a writing career. That image is sometimes called your “author persona.”

Book Readings

How to Plan a Book Reading That Delights Your Audience from Jane Friedman and by James Navé: “The audience is on your side. They love writing just as you do; that’s why they’re there. These wonderful people have taken time out of their lives, probably traveled some distance and spent some money, just to hear you read. They’ve come to witness your imagination at work. They’ve come to be moved, entertained, motivated, validated, informed, provoked, stimulated and inspired. In short, they’re receptive.”

 

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update - Toni Morrison quote on writing

 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

4 Dirty Little Secrets About Social Media Marketing for Authors

4 Dirty Little Secrets About Social Media Marketing for Authors

Think social media marketing for authors is hard to learn?

Hardly.

Sure, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of blog posts published every day explaining how to accomplish some aspect of social media.

But guess what?

It’s mostly been said and done previously.

Sure, some things are new, such as Facebook’s new focus on Groups and Facebook Messenger chatbots.

But a lot of what you read about social media marketing for authors has been said before.

Really.

Okay, I just explained the first secret to you. Let’s review secrets two, three, and four now.

Secret Two: You Don’t Have to Be Everywhere

I’ve mentioned this on my blog before, but it bears repeating.

For some reason, when we publish our first book, we seem to believe that we need to be everywhere.

You don’t. Why?  Because your reading demographic isn’t everywhere.

Where do you think Young Adult readers hang out? Mostly Snap, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Where do you think romance readers spend their time online? Mostly Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You can have a bio on LinkedIn, but most authors don’t need to spend a lot of time there – especially not romance and YA readers.

What if three social media platforms are too many for you to handle? Pick one and learn it until you can rock it. Then take on a second. Then, if you want to take on a third on but stop at that point. No one needs to be on more social media platforms than three.

Well, that’s my opinion, and you can probably find people to disagree, but that’s what I think.

It’s simply too much of a hassle to devote a lot of time to more than two or three social media platforms. And if you want to hire someone to handle the platforms for you, fine, but you’ll be paying a lot of money.

So, streamline your social media and put energy into writing and blogging.

Secret Three: Subscribe to One Great Social Media Marketing Blog

If you subscribe to one blog that covers social media marketing for authors (hint: mine!), then you don’t have to read any others.

Why spend hours reading a massive list of social media blogs? It doesn’t make sense.

Instead, you should spend your time writing your next book.

Secret Four: Secret Media Is Actually Simple to Use

Yes, it really is.

Let’s start with Facebook. Signing up is super easy, and Facebook has simplified the creation of Author Pages.

Basically, all you need are the basics.

Instagram may be the easiest of them all. Create quotes, snap pictures of where you write or hike and upload them to Instagram with a caption and hashtags.

On Twitter, set up your username and password, use Canva to create a header image, and you’re on your way. Know that tweets can now be up to 280 characters.

My point is this: learn the basics of the social media networks you need to be on and then over time, add more skills.

All you need to start are the basics.

So, you think that’s easy for me to say? Well, it’s not. In fact, it’s harder for me because I’m expected to be able to master every innovation as it’s introduced.

How do I keep up? I read blog posts, and I take a lot of courses – courses that you can sign up for as well.

So don’t let anyone try to convince you that social media marketing for authors has a dreadful learning curve. If I can do it, so can you.

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 10, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - May 10, 2019

I hope you enjoy today’s Indie Author Weekly Update. The seven (yes seven!) posts I reference below offer you the kind of strategies you need to sell more books.

Note that this month Rachel Thompson, social media expert and founder of NaNoProMo (to help authors market the books they wrote during NaNoWriMo) is featuring a lot of ideas on how to brand yourself and sell more weeks. Be sure to follow her on twitter (@BadRedheadMedia and @RachelintheOC) to keep up on the posts she’s adding to her website this month.

Enjoy the posts below!

Readers

Reader Targeting Influences Everything by David Gaughran: “Reader Targeting is yet another concept we have to juggle. It’s no wonder many writers take to the drink, or otherwise lose the run of themselves. Or can be a little… kooky. We have to wrestle with a number of contradictory notions all the time — it’s enough to make anyone batty.”

How to Bring Value to Your Readers from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Paulette Perhach: “What’s the difference between these two writers: David Sedaris, who people pay fifty dollars to see read out loud for an hour, and the open-mic writer, who is allowed five minutes to read before the timer interrupts him to get off stage? In business speak, the difference is value. Specifically, the power to create value through art.

Branding

Three Reasons Why Branding Shouldn’t Make You Lose Your Mind from Bad Redhead Media and by C. Streetlights: “Imagine you have always had a dream to, I don’t know… let’s just say for argument’s sake you always wanted to become a writer. Unfortunately, Reality can be a real jerk and you couldn’t be a writer or a ballerina so you ended up being a bus driver. However, in our imaginary scenario, you are able to maintain a blog about your adventures and have a large following. When confronted about you do in your spare time, you somehow manage to stammer, “I’m sort of a writer.”

Author Blogs

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 writing and 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.”

Book Marketing

How Recommending Books Can Grow an Author’s Audience
from BookBub Partners and by Catherine McKenzie: “As writers, we’re in a unique position to both spread the word about books we love and to benefit from the subsequent engagement this gives us with readers. Recommending books I’ve loved has brought me new readers and has allowed me to engage in the enthusiastic online book community.”

How to Make Time for Book Promotion by Pauline Wiles and from Rachel Thompson: “As authors today, we’re compelled to juggle more tasks and responsibilities than ever before. Given the colossal effort you’ve invested in writing and publishing your book, you know you’d be crazy not to dedicate some energy to promoting it. But with all that’s going on in your life, how do you make the time for this?”

So, You Want to do Author Events? Tips to Get You Started from Indies Unlimited: “Many authors make public appearances, or outings, in an effort to connect with more people. For those who have never done it and are interested, I thought I’d put together some pro tips for authors who would like to do a public event.”

Quote of the Week
I want to tell the truth. That’s where my storytelling comes from.

 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

 

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 19, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author update is chock-full of wonderful tips and strategies to help you with your book sales. As always, David Gaughran wrote a terrific post. There are also blog posts on Twitter, Instagram, content marketing, search engine optimization, and lastly, BookBub ads. Whew! Enjoy the posts.

Author Platforms

How To Build An Author Platform by David Gaughran: “What is an author platform? Which elements should it contain? And is any of this stuff more important than just writing another book? Perhaps not. But certain aspects of an author platform are important tools for reaching readers and, especially, for holding on to them.”

Twitter

Saying No to Twitter: What Authors Need to Know from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Daniel Berkowitz: “Tell me if this is a situation you’ve been in before: Your agent just sold your book to a publisher, and now you want to do everything you can to ensure your book’s success. The publisher tells you to get a website and to get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You have a Facebook profile, and you’re not opposed to creating a separate author page, and you really enjoy Instagram—but you don’t like Twitter.”

Instagram

10 Instagram Hashtag Hacks Tricks You Definitely Want to Try from Later and by Benjamin Chacon: “If you’re searching for some great Instagram hashtag hacks to get more followers and boost your engagement, you’ve come to the right place!  Whether you want to find out which hashtags are generating the most interactions on your account, hide your hashtags in your Instagram Stories, or add more than 30 hashtags to your post’s caption, we’ve got a hack for you.”

Content Marketing

Sell More Books With Guest Blogging from TheBookDesigner.com and by Sandra Beckwith: “There’s no question in my mind that guest blogging helps sell books. But it’s a powerful book marketing tactic for other reasons, too.”

Search Engine Optimization

SEO for Authors and Other Search Ranking “Secrets” by Jenny Hansen: “SEO for authors … It’s a catchphrase that makes all my writing pals shudder. As one of our gals at WITS said, “I know how to spell it, but that’s about all.” SEO doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, some of the best techniques are the easiest for writers, because they involve writing.”

BookBub Ads

8 Ways to Target Readers Using BookBub Ads: “With BookBub Ads, authors and publishers can promote any book to BookBub’s millions of power readers at any time. While this is a valuable audience of book buyers to begin with, BookBub Ads’ targeting options let advertisers refine their audience even further.”

Quote of the Week

Don't write about what you know -- write about what you're interested in.

 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 12, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update has a whopping six suggestions for you to read. Learn to write a memoir that sells, set up automated emails (it’s easy!), and ponder your purpose. I hope you like all of them!

Memoirs that Sell

How to Write a Memoir: 14 Tips for Writing Memoir That Sells by Anne R. Allen: “It is true that memoirs are problematic. They’re devilishly difficult for a new writer to do well, but they’re what newbies usually write. The urge to put our own life story on paper is the most common reason people start writing. Adult education programs and senior centers everywhere offer courses in “writing your own life.” And there’s the old adage that says everybody has a book in them—their own life story.”

Marketing

5 Ways to Market Your Audiobook Without Ads from Jane Friedman’s Blog: “Some authors and publishers seem to believe that by the simple act of making an audiobook available for purchase, there will be numerous purchases. Yet, as with all types of books, yours is merely one of many thousands published each year. You must make listeners aware that your product exists. Here are 5 different ways to do that without advertising.”

13 Email Marketing Statistics That Are Shaping 2019 and Beyond by Convince & Convert: “Email has been around since the 1970s, but it’s still extremely effective, even with younger audiences. It’s sure to remain an integral part of your marketing strategy this year and into the future.”

How to Set Up Automated Emails for Reader Magnets  from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Rachel McCollin: “It’s nice to give your reader fans the personal touch. However, in this blog post, Rachel McCollin makes the case that a little automation is a good thing. And she takes us through a step-by-step process to set up automated emails delivering your reader magnets, so you never have to lift a finger again.”

Beta Readers

Where to find beta readers for your book by Sandra Beckwith: “Last week, I had a conversation with a client about what he referred to as “peer reviewers” for his next book. That gave me pause, because peer reviewers are usually used with academic or scientific works, and his is neither. I asked if he meant “beta readers.” While peer reviewers read for factual accuracy, beta readers aren’t limited to “peers” and can be from your target audience. “Beta readers” was, in fact, the term he meant to use.”

Find Your Purpose

This is How To Find Our Purpose by Rachel Thompson: “Many survivors (and people in general) tie our jobs with our purpose. One does not have to equal the other, though it can. This is a Western way of thinking – we equate what we do for a living with our purpose in life. However, the two can be entirely different.”

Quote of the Week

The art of writing fiction is to sail as dangerously close to the truth as possible without sinking the ship.

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers