Email Marketing or Social Media? Writers Need Both

Email Marketing or Social Media? Authors Need Both
Social media workshops are all the rage at writers’ conferences but what about sessions on email marketing?

When was the last time you attended a writer’s conference that focused on email marketing: how to set it up, the benefits, what your giveaway should be, and how to use this tool to make the most of your book marketing efforts?

It seems like conference planners are more interesting in workshops on understanding Amazon, Facebook advertising, and social media marketing in general.

Don’t get me wrong. Those are all vital subjects for authors to master.

Yet, email marketing is also an important component of any indie author’s marketing strategy. In some ways, it’s more important than using social media.

Email marketing is a vehicle for book launches and a way to recruit street teams and mail advance review copies.

ARC readers can review your pre-published books to give you insights on editing, inconsistencies in your story, or input into technical aspects of your book.

According to thriller author Mark Dawson, if he’d had ARC readers when he started out he wouldn’t have made a mistake about a gun that a character used in one of his earlier books.

Whenever I do a social media audit I always include a review of an author’s website and one of the items I discuss is email marketing and whether there’s a lead magnet (also known as a giveaway) to entice website visitors to sign up for an author’s email list.

Consider These Email Marketing Statistics

Email MarketingCampaign Monitor offers this support of email marketing:

  • Email marketing generates $44 for every $1 spent. Think of Joel Friedlander. If you are on his email list, you receive his blog updates via email as well as his marketing emails, which pitch the many products he sells as part of his toolkits and templates. He’s an excellent example of what can be achieved with email marketing. Mark Dawson and Joanna Penn are excellent role models for fiction writers.
  • Email ties all of your marketing techniques together. You can use email marketing to send blog updates, encourage people to Like your Facebook page, and let your readers know about new releases. Email marketing is nimble.
  • Email connects with more consumers than social media. More people use email than social media.

OptinMonster also has data on email marketing. If we compare email marketing to social media and for that comparison specifically use Facebook in our examples, you’ll discover some interesting facts.

  • 58% of adults check email first thing in the morning vs. 11% for Facebook
  • 91% of adults use email daily vs. 57% for Facebook
  • 66% of adults make a purchase as a result of email marketing vs. 20% for Facebook

Collect Addresses for Your Email Marketing Program

What does this mean for you? I have a few tips for you.

  1. Sign up for an email marketing application such as MailChimp (that’s what I use), Constant Contact (I don’t like it, but plenty of people do), or AWeber (many people love this application).
  2. Establish a newsletter schedule and stick to it. If you don’t want to send newsletters – and I don’t blame you for deciding this – then collect email addresses through your email subscription application. You can do this with MailChimp, AWeber or a number of other apps. The idea is to collect email addresses. Don’t use an RSS feed subscription program that doesn’t allow you to identify who’s subscribing to your blog because that would be pointless, and a huge waste of an opportunity.
  3. Use your email list to send quality content to your readers on a regular basis, as well as calls to action for books and contests. The content you select will depend on your genre and niche.
  4. Offer the best giveaway you can create. You’ll notice that on this website, anyone who signs up for my email-based social media course receives a 65-page ebook on Twitter.
  5. Don’t ask people for more than their first name and email address. The more information you request, the less likely they will leave an email address for you.
  6. Never use the word subscribe. You’ll notice that for my free email course my opt-in language is I Want In!!

Are you wondering now whether you should even bother to use social media?

Yes, use both.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 7, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

It’s Friday, which means that it’s time for a new Indie Authors Weekly Update. Be sure to read Mark Dawson’s post on building a successful author career. Anne R. Allen and David Kudler’s posts are also great.

5 Steps to Building a Successful Author Career by Mark Dawson: “I’ll probably say it again before I have finished, but I’d argue that this is the best time in the history of the world to be a writer. I know – pretty grandiose. Let me explain.  When I started writing at the end of the 1990s, if I wanted to get my writing out to readers I only really had one path that was open to me. Once I had finished my manuscript, I would send the first three chapters and a covering letter to one of the dozens of literary agencies that accepted unsolicited submissions.”

9 Pieces of Bad Publishing Advice New Writers Should Ignore by Anne R. Allen: “Social Media is both a boon and a curse to new writers. Online writing groups and forums are an excellent source of insider information on the publishing industry—stuff we once could only find at expensive classes and writers’ conferences. But social media is also a major source of misinformation and dangerously bad advice.”

Retweeting Your Own Tweets Can Boost Your Reach and Engagement from Buffer: “In February 2018, Twitter updated its rules to prohibit sharing tweets that are identical or substantially similar to one another. Before this rule change, re-sharing top tweets (sparingly) was one of our favorite strategies for increasing our Twitter reach and engagement here at Buffer. And while it was a shame to forgo this strategy, we understand the rationale behind the new rules and are fully supportive of them. So, rather than dwelling on what used to work, we started searching for other strategies to try. Here’s one experiment we’ve been working on (and our results in full).”

Amazon Top Reviewer Secrets: The Must-Read Tell-All by Penny Sansevieri: “When you’re pitching Amazon Top Reviewers, have you ever wondered about the things they love, and the things that will absolutely get you shoved to the bottom of their book review consideration pile? We thought so, too, which is why we took some time to interview several of these top book reviewers. Each of them is anonymous in this piece (with the exception of one).”

10 Instagram Tips for Writers from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Annie Sullivan: “So how can writers use Instagram to their benefit? Here are some easy things to keep in mind to find and engage your target readership on Instagram.”

How to Grow Your Email List With Pinterest by Emily Syring: “Do you have an engaged audience on Pinterest? Wondering how to get your Pinterest followers onto your email list? In this article, you’ll discover how to promote your email opt-in via your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins.”

Words Gone Wild: KDP Keywords Revisited from TheBookDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “I’ve talked about keywords before; they’re an essential piece of metadata that determines how easy it is for the right reader to find your book. They are in many ways the key to discoverability. It is best to think of them, not as single words, but as search phrases — that is to say, groups of words that your ideal reader is likely to search for. Put a different way, what question is your ideal reader likely to ask to which your book is the answer?”

Quote of the Week

Patton Oswalt quote

 

 

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now!

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 24, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

There are some great posts in this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to read the post by Derek Murphy and Write to Done on how to entice email newsletter signups.

Summer is drawing to a close and fall will soon be upon us. I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer writing and reading.

10 Mistakes I Made as a New Indie Author from Anne R. Allen’s blog and by Derek Murphy: “Book sales are not a complete mystery: if your book isn’t selling, there’s almost always a reason. Often it’s because new authors continue to repeat the same mistakes. Sometimes they’re following bad advice. Or they made choices stemming from their ideologies about doing creative work and the assumed value of their writing. I’ve been self-publishing for almost a decade. Even though I’ve learned a lot about how to sell books, it took me a long time and some very public failures.”

Branding For Authors with Kristine Rusch and by Joanna Penn: “Branding helps readers find your books and enables you to build a long-term career as a writer – but many authors get branding all wrong. In today’s show, Kristine Kathryn Rusch explains what branding really is and how to build your author brand in the most sustainable way.”

10 Ways to Survive Your Debut Author Year from Women Writers: “Find a supportive community of published authors. Make friends with other debut authors. Make friends with other authors who have recently published a book. You need someone to cry to about all the frustrations of the publication process. You need someone to vent to about all the stress and excitement of the book launch.”

Walmart’s eBookstore is Launching Today by Nate Hoffelder: “Walmart is in the process of setting up new ebook sections in the book departments of its stores, Kobo has let slip a promo video for “Walmart eBooks”, and multiple references have been found in Walmart’s help pages.”

How to Get Hordes of Subscribers With an Easy Opt-In Gift from Write to Done: “If you want to ramp up your subscriber numbers, you need to offer an attractive gift for your visitors in return for subscribing. This is called an opt-in gift or lead magnet. But what to offer? Many writers don’t know how to create an opt-in gift. It can be daunting.”

What’s Going On With CreateSpace and KDP Print?  from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “Are you curious about all of the changes going on at CreateSpace and seeing new offerings being announced at Kindle Direct Publishing? I have been, too. I will admit that I have not paid as much attention to KDP Print as I should have. I have been happy with CreateSpace for my Amazon printing and distribution and just did not have the bandwidth to turn my attention to yet ANOTHER platform for my paperbacks. Knowing that CreateSpace could get my paperback on Amazon while IngramSpark/Lightning Source was handling the wholesalers/bookstores/libraries, I thought I had all my bases covered.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

The second edition of Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99!

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 10, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

In today’s Indie Author Weekly Update you can learn how to prevent your reviews from disappearing from Amazon (after working so hard to get them) and learn how to add a video to your Amazon sales page. Instagram is all the rage, especially IGTV, so be sure to check out the post by Neda Dallal.

Audiobook sales soar as some authors forsake print from the Passive Voice: “When Sarah Hall wrote her most recent short story, Sudden Traveller, she read each sentence aloud. It’s not the usual writing practice of the twice-Booker-nominated writer, who finds performing her work “intensely awkward”. This time she felt she should, because instead of being published in print, this story of a bereaved mother was heading to the recording studios of Audible, the audiobook publisher and retailer owned by Amazon. Niggling at the back of Hall’s thoughts was the awareness that she was writing for the voice, not the page.”

Media Publicity for Novelists Using Nonfiction Topics by Chris Well: “This month, I’m speaking directly to you authors who write fiction. Because YES, you too are eligible to harness the amazing power of PR to promote your novel. The key, which is true for ANY author, is that you almost never focus on your book. You need to focus on your expertise. And I don’t mean “writing.” Any author can talk about that. Why should I pick you as my guest when literally any author will do? I’m referring to your expertise that is unique. The inspiration for your novel may be the result of all kinds of real-world stuff.”

How to Prevent Amazon From Deleting Your Reviews by guest from Rachel Thompson’s blog by Iola Goulton: ” Readers also want reviews. Reviews provide social proof, a perceived indication of quality. At least, that’s what reviews are supposed to provide. Amazon is fighting a neverending battle against the rising tide of fake reviews, and are forever refining their algorithms to identify and weed out fake reviews and dishonest reviewers. Their regular review purges are usually followed by some change to their Reviewing Guidelines to prevent that loophole from being exploited in future.”

Adding a Video to Your Book’s Amazon Sales Page from Indies Unlimited: “While perusing Facebook, I noticed a post in the Indies Unlimited Fans Group that piqued my interest — the new “add your video” option for your book’s Amazon sales page. I state upfront that technology and I do not always have an easy relationship, but this looked so promising that I thought se note that not everyone is seeing this option on their books’ pages yet. If you have the capability, this is what it will look like.”

Top 5 Mistakes Indie Authors Make from Joanna Penn and with Ricardo Fayet: “Learn from the most common mistakes that indie authors make and save yourself time, money and heartache in today’s show with Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy.”

News for Authors: Making Videos Social with IGTV by Neda Dallal: “Instagram has debuted many features recently that are great social tools for authors. This article dives into one specific new feature, IGTV, and how authors can use it to broaden their social media voices and followings.”

How to Get Your Email Subscribers to Leave Quality Reviews—Legitimately by Dave Chesson: “One of the most difficult parts of book marketing (if not the most difficult) is getting reviews for your book, particularly quality reviews that exceed one sentence. Why is this?Because each potential reviewer is a busy person with a lot on their plate, so their time is valuable.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

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’s written 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

Indie Author Weekly Update – July 20, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - July 20, 2018

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Check out the link to Reedsy’s new book title generator below as well as SoftPress Pubishing’s post on how to building a following on the powerful Pinterest platform.

Don’t forget that I offer a social media audit for authors that analyzes what you’re doing well on social media and what can improve. You can find out more about the service here.

Author’s Guide to Building a Following on Pinterest from SoftPress Publishing: “If you’ve ever used Pinterest, you know it is a very eclectic collection of images on virtually every topic under the sun. But, at its core, Pinterest is much more than that. It’s a very powerful search engine (think Google) where users can find information on whatever they desire to learn about. With over 175 million monthly users and over 50 billion pins, Pinterest is a driving force in the social media world. And, you can use the power of Pinterest to build your author brand. But how?

Blogging Can Jumpstart Your Writing Career…Even Before You Publish from Anne R. Allen and by Jane Friedman: “So how can you show “vision” and an aptitude for “marketing work”...before you query. One way is blogging. And if you decide to go indie and skip those risk-averse publishers, you’ll need even more vision and marketing skills.  In order to sell in any significant numbers, you’ll want to establish your brand before you send your baby out into the marketplace. So how can you do that? By blogging.”

When To Start Book Marketing And How To Balance Your Time by Joanna Penn: “These are my thoughts based on my experience and observing other authors at all stages of the author journey. If you have a book or more out already, then what are you waiting for?”

Check out Reedsy’s new book title generator: 10,000+ good book titles to inspire you: “Generate a random story title that’s relevant to your genre. You can pick between fantasy, crime, mystery, romance, or sci-fi. Simply click the button below to get started.”

12 Simple Tricks To Increase Your Email Open Rates from the Blogging Wizard: “Have your email open rates suddenly plummeted without warning? Maybe your email list is new, and you haven’t had a chance to grow your list or improve your open rates? You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect email. Tailored specifically for your audience. With the right amount of eye-catching visuals and captivating copy. Your email even solved a massive problem for your readers.”

How to Price Your Book for Better Book Discovery by Penny Sansevieri: “If you’re unsure how to price your book you’re not alone, but it makes a big difference for your book discovery so it’s not a aspect of your book marketing strategy to take lightly.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – July 2018 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “A slightly different take on DTNT this month… Please, authors, if you are on social media or TRYING to get on social media, read this month’s edition of DO THIS NOT THAT.”

Quote of the Week

Imitate other writers while you’re learning, deconstruct their books and learn from them. Then break out and be you…”

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.

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’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 – June 29, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

I really had to work hard at weeding down the posts for this week’s Indie Author update. There were so many great ones! The post on growing your email list from The Digital Reader is a must read. Don’t miss it!

3 Tools to Target Media Topics for Your Pitch by Chris Well: “If you want the world to take you seriously as an author, stop talking about your book and start showing that you know your stuff. When you focus on your expertise—instead of your book—people stop rolling their eyes and start paying attention.”

Grow Your Author Mailing List with These 7 Essential Tools from The Digital Reader: “You’ve heard over and over that the best way to promote your author career is a robust mailing list. This is true no matter the product, the business model, or the industry. A mailing list is important, but have you ever considered whether you are using all the available tools to grow your mailing list?”

62 ways to improve your press releases from Articulate Marketing: “There are many voices calling for the death of the press release (e.g. Die Press Release Die or Amy Gahran who wants to put them out of their misery). What is needed is not execution but reform. Here are my tips and suggestions for doing it.”

How to Sell More on Book Markets other than Amazon from Dave Chesson: “One subject that has come up a lot in this podcast is the advice of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Amazon may be at the top when it comes to the book market, but newer platforms for people to sell their books on are emerging and making your book available on those platforms can increase your sales.”

Book Marketing: 7 Avoidable Rookie Errors for Indie Authors from Alliance of Independent Authors: “Any indie author who has ever self-published a book has been there: regretting the wisdom of hindsight highlighting an error of judgment that has hampered the marketing potential of their new book.”

Ways to Reach Your Niche Audience from BookWorks: “Writing for a narrow niche audience can feel daunting, overwhelming, and discouraging. However, through both of my book launches, I have found it quite exciting, empowering, and satisfying. There are people out there who want to read your book. As I pound pavement, knock on doors, reach out, and fling my book out in to the world, I trust that I will connect with who I am supposed to connect with as long as I do my part. What’s that? Leave no stone unturned and have patience with the process. Relationship and adding value to others are, in my humble opinion, the key to lasting and worthwhile success.”

Quote of the Week

Natalie Goldberg 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.


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

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Not Using Email Marketing? Just Follow These Steps

Not Using Email Marketing? Just Follow These Steps

If you aren’t using email marketing, you may want to rethink your book marketing strategy.

We know that social media is all the rage – and rightly so – but email marketing, according to Kissmetrics“crushes” social media.

Here are their findings:

  1. There are nearly three times as many user accounts for email as there are on Facebook and Twitter combined.
  2. Email is more personal. You can reach people right in their email inboxes and craft messages just for your readers.
  3. Email gets more attention, and the messages are more targeted.
  4. You can use your email marketing messages to sell books, services, and other products.

If you’re considering going the traditional publishing route, your publisher will ask you about your email list numbers. If you’re happy as an indie author, you need an email marketing program to keep in touch with your readers, announce new books, and solicit advance reviews.

There are several email marketing programs available, but the two most popular ones are MailChimp and AWeber. The pricing plans are similar, however, with MailChimp, you can start with a free program.

Early on in my career, I selected MailChimp, so that’s the program I’m going to show you how to use today.

email marketing

How to Get Going with MailChimp

The user interface on MailChimp is clear and easy to use. Start by signing up at MailChimp.com. Decide if you want a paid account, which comes with email-based support, or if you want to figure things out on your own and save some money for now.

Your first step will be to create and name a list so that you can send letters to your readers. Start with one list. The name for the list will only be available to you so you can call it Newsletter for My Awesome Readers or Newsletter List #1. You decide.

Before you work on the sign-up process, you should decide on and create a giveaway. It could be the first two chapters of your newest book or the first book in a series you’ve written. If you write nonfiction, it can be an ebook or a tips sheet. Again, you get to decide on what you think would most entice your readers to turn over their email addresses.

Once you know what your giveaway will be, turn it into a PDF and either create a landing page on your website for it or use a program such as DropBox or BookFunnel as your free file-sharing service.

Next, you’re ready to tackle the sign-up forms on MailChimp.

How to Set Up Your MailChimp Sign-up Forms

 To work on the sign-up forms, go to your list and on the far right, click the arrow, and click on Sign-up Forms in the drop-down menu.

email marketing

You’ll arrive at a page with various options. For this purpose, select General Forms and navigate to the page where you can edit the sign-up process for your list. These are some of the forms that we’ll focus on:

email marketing

To customize the sign-up form, click Edit. Below you can see my sign-up form.

email marketing

Next, you’ll want to customize a sign-up thank you email. See the language that I include in mine. Notice my message to readers who use Gmail.

email marketing

Next, you need to send an opt-in confirmation email. I also choose to customize this email with my logo.

email marketing

Next, I send a subscription confirmation email with the link to my freebie ebook in PDF format, Twitter Just for Writers.

email marketing

As a follow-up to the above email, I also send a confirmation email notice.

Now you’ll want to take the URL for signing up to your newsletter and give it to your webmaster so that she or he can create a widget on your website enticing your readers to sign up there.

This is what my widget looks like:

email marketing

Notice that instead of the word subscribe I use “I Want In!!” Also, I only ask for the email address. The less information you request, the more likely a reader will sign up for your list.

Send Your First Email Letter

Now that you have your list and your email sign-up sequence set up, it’s time to send your first email-marketing letter.

Go to campaigns and select Create Campaign. You’ll need to name your campaign and select your campaign type. Uaually, you’ll select Regular as your campaign type.

email marketing

You will automatically navigate to a page where you’ll select your list. The campaign name is for internal use only. The email subject line, which you’ll select next, is what your readers will see when they go to their inboxes.

You’ll have the option to auto-tweet the campaign or auto-post to Facebook. I discourage you from doing this. Auto-tweeting and auto-posting on Facebook will make those posts appear like spam, and it’s unlikely that your readers will engage with them.

Make sure the subject line entices your readers to open your email. Be sure to reach this post by HubSpotfor tips on how to write catchy email subject lines.

Once you decide on the email subject line, your next step will be to select a template. I use a simple text template because I want the newsletter to be readable in all formats. You can select a fancier template if you’d like.

The first time you create an email-marketing letter, you will arrive at your template, and it will have instructions from MailChimp. Erase the instructions and start your letter. Click on the headline or the email text so that you can click the pencil icon that will allow you to make edits and write your letter.

email marketing

Below you can see some similarities between MailChimp and your WordPress blog.

When you are ready to schedule or send the email, click confirm in the lower right, send a test email to yourself for editing, and then schedule the email for the date and time you prefer.  It’s best to send them at 6 am Eastern Time so that when people turn on their computers in the morning, your message will be there. Tuesdays through Thursdays are known as the best days to send your newsletter.

email marketing

If you’ve followed all of these steps, you’ve just successfully created and sent your very first email-marketing letter.

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 2, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Indie Author Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiction Contests

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

Quote of the Week

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

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – January 26, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

In this week’s Indie Author Update the focus is primarily on book marketing. But also read the post on building your email list by Blogging Wizard because an email list is so important to an author’s success.

Agent Laurie McLean’s Crystal Ball: Publishing Predictions for 2018 by Anne R. Allen and Laurie McLean: “My crystal ball is telling me that not a lot in the publishing industry is going to change from 2017 to 2018. I think publishing was mesmerized by Washington politics in 2017 and were slow to make any forward progress of any sort. Not a lot of new ideas. No new imprints that take advantage of the power of digital publishing and promotion. No exploration of sales innovations that come along with a cheap digital distribution system. Nada.”

5 Easy List Building Techniques To Get You More Email Subscribers from the Blogging Wizard: “Growing your email list is important when starting your online business. Without a list of leads, acquiring business will be difficult. That’s why you often hear from markets that the money is in the list. But how do you go about gaining more subscribers if you already have the basics covered? You’ve invested in a strong lead magnet, made it easy for visitors to sign up to your list, and you even have content upgrades placed in your blog posts for higher conversions. If you are still finding you have little to no sign-ups on a consistent basis, it might mean you need to strategically market your lead magnet or landing page.

How to Increase the ROI of Your BookBub Ads (+ a BookBub Fast Pass) from Writer Unboxed: “Many authors are familiar with BookBub’s Featured Deals, the editorially-selected price promotions included in each daily email. BookBub Ads also appear in these emails, but there are several important differences between the two promotional tools. Most notably, you can run BookBub Ads for any book at any time — full-priced books, new releases, novellas, etc. — without needing to go through any editorial review process. The platform is totally self-serve, allowing you to determine your own budget and timeline.”

How Indie Presses Are Elevating the Publishing World by Jennifer Baker from Electric Literature: “Independent presses are a lifeline in the publishing world. At a time when large publishing houses are merging into even larger conglomerates, writers may feel like finding a home for their work requires a very specific, and at times corporate, mindset. But indies show that there’s another way. Via contests, open calls for submissions (for agented and unagented writers), and targeted requests, independent presses provide an alternate arena, making publishing more of a reality for marginalized artists and those with unique voices and writing styles. Plus, they’re getting more and more recognition. This year Graywolf Press had several titles as finalists or longlisted for the National Book Award. Paul Harding’s Pulitzer winning book Tinkers was published by a university aligned press (Bellevue Literary).”

What Kinds of Social Media Go Viral? from Writers in the Storm: “In last month’s post, I shared social media strategies that support your brand and let you have a life. I don’t know about you, but I like having social media be something I fit into MY life, rather than the other way around. The big question everyone wants to know is: How do I get my post to go viral?” First, we need to understand what kinds of posts get shared extensively and why. There are many many schools of thought on what gets others to share your content, but I decided to go with science because we want results that can be duplicated.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – January 2018 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “A publisher client of mine priced his new ebook at $9.99 because he believed that a higher-priced ebook would have more cache. He was concerned that a lower-priced ebook would lower the perceived quality of the novel. So he priced his book at the same level that established authors price theirs (even though he was not as well known).”

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

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

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Indie Author Weekly Update – December 22, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update contains a potpourri of topics and bloggers. Publicity, Twitter threads, and book marketing strategies are just some of the topics covered. Enjoy them all!

Don’t Get Rolled by Bad Publicity from Writer Unboxed and by Porter Anderson: “If the answer from your potential or existing publicist/PR person/press agent is no (“office secret,” “tricks of the trade,” “private information”), run away. They can withhold those journalist’s contact info from you. In fact, I’d prefer they did, for the sake of my inbox. But they need to tell you who’s getting the paper goods and why.”

On email optins: They are the lifeblood of your business as an author. From Shawn Manaher and Book Marketing Tools: “Welcome to the 142nd episode of The Author HangoutIn this episode, Shawn Manager explores what it takes to make the perfect optin, to get people onto your mailing list. Nearly every guest on The Author Hangout has mentioned the importance of mailing lists, and the optin is the make or break moment for your mailing list.”

Twitter officially launches ‘threads,’ a new feature for easily posting tweetstorms from Tech Crunch: “Twitter today is announcing the launch of a new feature that will allow people to more easily post tweetstorms – that is, those series of connected tweets that have grown to become a popular workaround for getting past Twitter’s character count limitation in order to share longer thoughts. The company confirmed last month it was testing the feature – which it’s now calling “threads” – across its iOS and Android apps.”

18 Rock Solid Book Marketing Strategies for 2018 from Penny Sansevieri: “We all want to be better at book marketing and we all want to sell more books. The problem is, it often feels like book marketing strategies are changing all the time and how is an eager author supposed to keep up with that? The reason for this article is to not only share some insight into marketing in the new year, but give you tips for long-term success, not just will work in January. The book marketing ideas I’m sharing in this article, are geared to success the whole year through, and I hope you’ll use all (or as many of these) as you can!”

How to Use Facebook’s New Snooze Feature from Lifehacker: “This week Facebook rolled out a new Snooze feature that allows you to essentially temporarily mute people or pages in your feed.”

A Look Back at 2017 Publishing Headlines: 5 Issues Raised for Authors by Jane Friedman: “At the end of November 2017, Barnes & Noble released their latest earnings report. The news was entirely predictable: the store’s losses grew, driven by a 6.3 percent decline in comparable store sales against last year. (Absence of a new Harry Potter book makes up half of that decline.) The declines have been going on for six or seven quarters now, with more declines expected. Still, B&N has been meeting its profit goals as a result of cost cutting.”

Bonus Items

Award and Content Ratings by the Alliance of Independent Authors: “ALLi is willing to work with any service that wants to improve its offerings and bring them in line with current best practice for authors services. Contact the Watchdog Desk at any time if you would like to inform us about a contest or award, or discuss a rating. Please use the form on this page.”

Writer Emergency Pack: “Writer Emergency Pack is your portable tool for story resuscitation (or simply creativity rejuvenation). Each pack contains 26 illustrated idea cards, 25 detail cards with helpful suggestions and specific tips, and instructions for individuals and class use, plus a bonus story game.”

Quote of the Week

Burnays quote

 


Want to save time with social media? Get Avoid Social Media Time Suck for 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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