Indie Author Weekly Update – February 16, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts that I really like. Yeah, I suppose I shouldn’t use the word really but how else to describe these posts other than to use the word love, which just wouldn’t work in this context.

So please read Jane Friedan’s post on book reviews because this is a question every author asks me. Dave Chesson’s post on Amazon categories is brilliant as usual. And if you want your book to be a BookBub featured deal, you absolutely must read the first post listed below. All the posts below are must-reads.

And have a great weekend, too!

How to Boost Your Chances of Getting a BookBub Featured Deal from BookBub: “In the past, we’ve posted tips and busted myths about getting accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal, and we’ve even listed the top reasons a book is rejected! Since we still get questions on how to bolster one’s chances of getting selected for a Featured Deal, we decided to put together a visual “cheat sheet.” We hope this helps you better understand what our editors are looking for when reviewing submissions, whether you’ve submitted deals before and are looking for a refresher or you’re a new partner in need of a first-time overview.”

Secret Method to Choosing Amazon Book Categories in KDP from Dave Chesson: “The Amazon book categories you choose will have a direct effect on whether or not you become an Amazon Best Seller. Choose the wrong one, and no matter how many books you sell, you won’t become an Amazon bestseller. In truth, there is a lot more to choosing Amazon book categories in KDP, like secret categories that Amazon doesn’t tell you about when publishing, and the simple fact that you can actually be listed for 7 categories legitimately.”

The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed from Buffer: “The Facebook algorithm is constantly evolving in order to provide a better experience for users. But few changes to the algorithm have sparked as much interest and conversation as the recent ‘meaningful interactions’ update, in which Facebook said it would be prioritizing posts that create meaningful conversations, especially those from family and friends.”

Five Marketing Tools for Authors Who Hate Marketing from Writer Unboxed: “Disclaimer: Hating marketing is not required to use these tools. In fact, if you enjoy marketing, you’ll have a blast using them. I’m active in several online writing communities, and one of the most frequent things I read about is how much authors hate marketing. It’s usually accompanied by talk about art and creativity, and once in a while someone tosses this suggestion across the virtual meeting room: all you have to do is write a great story and they will come.”

How to Market a Kindle Book: 10 Easy Marketing Strategies for New Authors from Sabrina Ricci: “Writing your book was hard enough, now you have to market it? Oh man… Never fear, here are 10 easy strategies to sell more copies of your book.”

The Essential First Step for New Authors: Book Reviews, Not Sales from Jane Friedman: “You know how good your work is. You created it. You lived with it through the phases of publication gestation: idea, brainstorming, outline, research, writing, and rewriting. You have improved, enhanced, and polished your work to a degree you didn’t think possible. You believe it’s perfect.”

Quote of the Week

Mary Mackey

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com and has 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

 

Get Your Visuals Seen!

Get your visuals on Pinterest. But first learn how to use Pinterest. Pick up a copy of my book, Pinterest Just for Writers!

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 9, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Update. If you’re starting a website or wanting to upgrade the one your have, be sure to read Brant Forseng’s post. If you’re confused about boosting Facebook posts, read Andrea Vahl’s post. Definitely read the post by Calvin Emerson on book cover trends; it’s wonderful.

Have a lovely weekend!

7 Best Book Cover Trends to Stay Current in 2018 from Joel Friedlander and by Calvin Emerson: “If you publish in a genre or category where readers expect fresh and new book cover designs, it pays to know what the design trends are at any time. Like other forms of fashion, styles in illustration, typography, and visual approach change from time to time, and just by looking at recent covers you can see that the designs tend to replicate across the genre, with many similar covers every season.”

Seven Ways to Market Your Self-Published Novel by Ali Luke: “You’ve published your first novel (or maybe your second or your third) and now you’re ready to market it. This can be a daunting moment. I think all of us secretly hope that our novel will be miraculously discovered and recognised as the masterpiece it truly is … but we know that isn’t going to happen without some sort of marketing.”

Indie Authors: Using Giveaways to Find New Readers and Sell More Books by Sabrina Ricci: “A giveaway is a powerful tool that can help indie authors attract new readers. You can incentivize people to spread the word about your book through social media, sign up for your email list, and garner interest in your other books (which can lead to more sales).”

Facebook Organic Reach: Does Boosting Posts Lower Your Reach? by Andrea Vahl: “There is a myth going around that boosting posts lowers your reach on Facebook.  Maybe you have “felt” that this is true.  Or maybe you have been worried that by boosting a post you are “hurting” your Page in the future. In this post, you will find out if this myth is true and how to tell for yourself if your organic reach is being hurt by boosting your posts.”

27 Author Website Resources by Brant Forseng: “ If you have been an indie writer (or, indeed, any type of writer) for a while you will have stumbled across the concept of an Author Platform.  This is usually a website, independent of social media platforms, where your audience can view your writing, subscribe to a your newsletter, and generally keep up with anything you care to share with them.  The general consensus is that you require one in your indie writing career.  Building one can be daunting, so  I’ve gathered together 27 Author Website Resources to help out.”

Can Instagram Make Poems Sell Again? from Pubishers Weekly: “Is poetry dead? At least once a year—usually around April, which is National Poetry Month—headlines asking this question pop up in print and web publications alike. In fact, hand-wringing over poetry’s waning influence in the public sphere can seem, sometimes, to be almost as popular an activity in the poetry world as reading and writing poetry. For a long time, that hand-wringing seemed well earned; the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, for instance, reported in 2015 that the share of Americans who had read at least one work of poetry in the previous year had dropped from 17% in 1992 to 6.7% in 2012. Then came Rupi Kaur.”

Quote of the Week

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – 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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Meet Romantic Suspense Author Sharon Hamilton


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

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

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

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

Here are some of my notes from our recent discussion:

Sharon’s Early Career as a Writer

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

Why Sharon Hamilton Writes about Navy Seals

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

Street Teams and Facebook Groups

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

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

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

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

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

Newsletters, Contests and BookBub Ads

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

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

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Feeling Introverted? No Problem. Read These 10 Tips

Feeling Introverted? No Problem.

I’ve been introverted all my life, although friends who know me well don’t believe it. But it’s true. I don’t like going to parties where I don’t recognize people, although once I’m there, I do tend to have fun.

But the thought of being in a room of people I don’t know can, at times, inhibit me from going out. Even being in a room of people where I’ll know a few people can be intimidating.

Do you ever feel the same way?

If you’re a writer, you probably understand how I feel since most writers tend to be introverts. How else can we bear to spend hours by ourselves writing? We enjoy our own company, or at least the company of our fictional characters.

Many years ago I held a job that forced me to become less introverted. As the development director of a large nonprofit, I had to talk with all the donors and their guests for an evening of fundraising. After a few sips of champagne, I was usually able to step into a crowd of people and greet them and make sure they enjoyed their evening.

Even though I appeared outgoing for the night, the next day I would stay at home and read a book. Introverts get energized by being alone whereas extroverts get energized by being with people.

But I digress.

As a child, my introverted nature served me well.

  1. I always won spelling bees (because I read a lot).
  2. My writing (and reading) skills surpassed those of my sister, who was three years older.
  3. I excelled at school.

But as I grew up, being introverted made life more difficult for me.

  1. I had difficulty making new friends.
  2. In college, I would rather read and study than face a room filled with people I didn’t know at a party.

There have been other benefits and disadvantages to being introverted as well but, I share these to make a point: Being introverted may cause you to feel uncomfortable at times but, it’s also an asset. How else would you finish your books?

As a writer, you need to break out of your introverted nature enough so that you can market the books you spend so much time in solitude writing and perfecting.

In my case, I stuttered as a child, which probably pushed me further up the introverted spectrum. But by the time I reached high school and entered the workforce, my stuttering was behind me.

My career as a journalist forced me to talk with new people all the time, and that in turn made social situations more comfortable. By the time I published my first book, I wasn’t an extrovert, but I was more comfortable pretending to be an extrovert when needed.

This is exactly what you need to do. When appropriate, such as at book readings and signings and when appearing as a guest at book club gatherings, relax and don’t worry about what you’ll say. Let your words flow as you pretend that your closest friends surround you.

There have been studies that indicate that social media is good for introverts because it enables people who love to stay at home get out into the world – even if it’s a virtual experience – and meet and interact with new people every day.

There is a caveat to this. Pretending to be an extrovert should not be interpreted as an excuse for constantly promoting your books on social media. Instead, it’s an invitation to form relationships with writers and readers worldwide and support each other in promoting what you write.

11 Exercises for Introverted Writers

These exercises are for writers working on their marketing platform.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – January 12, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update focuses primarily on book marketing. Be sure to read the posts by Dave Chesson on Kindle keywords and Joel Friedlander’s take on the release of Fire and Fury.

5 Reasons Goodreads is a Book Marketing Staple by Penny Sansevieri: “Goodreads has mixed reviews at best when I chat book marketing strategies with authors at conferences, but I really want 2018 to be about maximizing on YOU, on using what makes you unique to sell more books, and Goodreads is a great platform for achieving that goal.”

Trapped in the Fire and Fury of the World’s Greatest Book Launch by Joel Friedlander: “Like you, I’ve been trapped in what seems like a book marketing fantasy gone mad. Look, I’ve been publishing and marketing books for a long time, and enjoy watching the really big book launches that still dot the cultural calendar. Politicians launching much-awaited books like Bill Clinton’s 1000 +page My Life was a pretty big deal. Every book launch by Tim Ferris uses tactics no one else has seen. Guy Kawasaki has conducted numerous launches for his best selling books.”

How To Choose the Right Kindle Keywords by Dave Chesson: “Whether you’re a famous author or this is your first book, Kindle Keywords are an important part of any book marketing strategy. Kindle keywords allow your book to be discovered by hungry shoppers on the world’s largest book market, Amazon, even while you sleep. They help make it so that you get sales and get discovered without having to do major marketing. Plain and simple, they are important.”

Authors’ New Year’s Resolutions for Marketing Their Books from BookBub: “It’s a brand new year, which is a great time to get a fresh start on goals. You may already have personal New Year’s resolutions (exercise more, write more, etc.), but you might want to consider setting specific book sales and marketing goals.”

Six Social Media Marketing Tips For First-Time Authors from BookBaby: “If you’re looking for readership and engagement, finishing your book is the first step. These social media marketing tips can help you frame your approach to the process of promoting yourself and your work online.”

Bring Social Media to Your Blog with Embedded Posts  from TheBookDesigner.com by Frances Caballo: “Embedding your social media posts on your blog or elsewhere on your website can benefit your website in several ways. First, you can demonstrate your social proof to your blog visitors. In other words, they can see your number of shares, retweets, and Likes you’ve accumulated.”

Quote of the Week

Ernest Hemingway quote

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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12 Gifts of Christmas for Writers

12 Gifts of Christmas for Writers

Not sure what to purchase that writer in your life? Keep reading. This 12 gifts of Christmas for Writers list will certainly have some suggestions worth buying.

  1. Is the writer in your life a Harry Potter fan? What about a Maurauder’s Map woven throw? This tapestry will be sure to keep your favorite poet or novelist warm throughout the winter cold season.

Marauder's Map

2. What about a beautiful embossed leather retro notebook? Available in Navy blue, gray, green, black, and purple.

3. What do all writers need? Pens, of course! Gel pens are the best so buy your favorite writer a new pack of Uni-Ball gel pens.

Uniball gel pens

4. What do writers do when they aren’t writing, revising, and editing? A creative endeavor is to color. Try this elegant adult coloring book.

5. How special to your life is this writer? For the writer on the go in your life, buy a MacBook Air. They start at $900 at Best Buy.

macbook air

6. Is the writer in your life self-published or thinking about taking the dive? Then this book is a must: The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide by Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent. The paperback is just $10.84.

self-publishers resource guide

7. Now this is a fun gift:Postcards from Penguin, One 100 Book Covers in One Box.

Postcards

 

8. Writers like to improve their craft. Here’s one of the best books on that topic by Anna Lamott, Bird by Bird. I loved it!

 

9. If you live in Northern California’s Bay Area, buy a subscription to the City Arts & Lecture series. Upcoming interviews include Daniel Alarcon, Dave Eggers, and George Saunders. If the writer in your life doesn’t live in Northern California, take that person to a series of readings.

City arts and lectures

 

10. Get your favorite author a t-shirt that says When in Doubt, go to the Library.

 

When in doubt, go to the library [Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – December 8, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the Week

Graham Greene

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Penny is Coming!

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

 Penny Sansevieri

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – November 24, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update ranges in topics from Facebook ads to self-publishing to how to build a media kit. I hope you enjoy all of these posts.

Make Your Own Self-Publisher’s Survival Kit by Joel Friedlander: “Raging wildfires. 500-year hurricanes. Earthquakes triggering mudslides. Sea-level rise. It’s enough to make you want to bury your head under the covers. Both the occurrence of these disasters and the detailed and extensive reporting on them have fueled a growing interest in preparing for the worst. Ads for survival kits, water purification systems, underground vaults, and home protection schemes pop up regularly.”

Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads – When to Use Each Type – Andrea Vahl by Andrea Vahl: “Are you using Boosted posts on Facebook?  Wondering when you should boost a post and when you should create a Facebook ad using the Facebook Ads manager? In this post, I’ll talk about some of the pros and cons for Boosting Facebook posts and how to know you are boosting the RIGHT posts as well as when you should use the Facebook Ads manager to create your ad.”

Currently reading: How to Build a Rocking Author Media Kit: a 7-Step Template from Reedsy: “Picture this: you’ve just self-published a book and are gaining some traction in your publicity rounds. Then, out of the blue, a journalist asks you for a headshot, bio, and sell sheet. Don’t panic. By the time you’re done with this post, you’ll be ready to compile an all-purpose key to book publicity: your author media kit. A good media kit is one of the most straightforward ways to win over the press and everyone else who matters during your publicity rounds: book reviewers, bloggers, and indie bookstores.”

The Angsty Relationship Between Writing and Sales from Jane Friedman: “I have an uneasy relationship with sales, partially because I really do wish I could just do this work for free—or barter. I’m always up for a barter especially if it involves angora rabbits. But I also have an uneasy relationship with sales because I came to writing through academic means, and academics still live, oddly, with an idea of meritocracy as the way people get recognition for what they do.”

Using Book Promotions Sites to Launch Your Book from Dave Chesson: “In today’s episode, we learn about book promotion sites, how they actually work, and how authors can use them in order to get their books to a large number of readers.  They can be a powerful tool for book launches, as well as a steady drip of sales over time.”

Top 10 Ways Your Website Leaves Readers, and Leads, in the Dust by Joan Stewart: “Regardless of how long you’ve been writing or publishing books, I’ll bet you’re making at least three of the Top 10 mistakes I see often at author websites. These missteps are so prevalent that I now do a quick review of every website when authors hire me for consulting – even if they don’t ask for my opinion. What good are my book marketing recommendations if the website falls short of the minimum standards a journalist or visitor will expect?”

Quote of the Week

Tolstoy

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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Indie Author Weekly Update – November 17, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update is chockfull of helpful tips. From Facebook ads to author websites to cross-promotion, you’ll find information to help you sell more books.

Indie Author Updates

Unpublished Writers and Websites: Should You Have One and What Should It Say? by Jane Friedman: “If you plan to pursue writing as a professional, long-term career, I recommend starting and maintaining an author website even if you’re unpublished. Your website serves as an online home and hub for everything that you do, whether in real life or in the digital realm. You fully own and control it, tell your own story, and connect directly with the media, readers or influencers. It’s hard to overstate its importance over the long term. Consider it the cost of doing business in the digital era, a necessary business card and networking tool.”

Use Your Author Website To Make Readers Care About You As A Writer  from Web Design Relief: “As a writer, your job is to create a narrative that hooks the reader, raises curiosity, elicits empathy, and leaves the reader satisfied. But have you ever considered how these fundamentals of storytelling can be harnessed to improve your author website?”

Email Marketing: The Complete Beginner’s Guide from Blogging Wizard: “If you’re a small business owner doing business online, the thought of not making any conversions can make you lose sleep at night. You work hard at creating your website – or the online version of your brick and mortar business – with a distinct brand and logo. You even heard that blogging can generate up to 67% more leads, so you start your own company blog.”

Pronoun Is Dead: The Ebook Retail Universe Redux from TheBoodDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “I’m bummed. On November 6, Macmillan’s Pronoun, the distributor that I had begun to rely on more and more over the past year, announced that it was shutting down its operations. No new books can be uploaded; Pronoun will remove all existing books from distribution on January 15, 2018.”

The 4 Best Types of Facebook Ads for Authors by Andrea Vahl: “Are you an author who wants to promote your book with Facebook Ads?  It can be overwhelming to know what is going to be most effective.  In this post, I’ll show you the 4 best types of Facebook Ads for Authors and how to approach your marketing strategy on Facebook. The first thing to clear up is that there are different types of authors and different goals for your book.  And once you are clear on the next step a reader should take with you, your marketing strategy becomes clearer.”

14 Ways Authors Can Cross-Promote Each Other’s Books from BookBub: “Many authors cross-promote each other’s books to gain visibility with a relevant new audience of readers. It’s a mutually beneficial way to inexpensively boost book sales and word-of-mouth buzz — and to make new friends and build relationships in the publishing community!”

Awards News

Jesmyn Ward Wins Second National Book Award in Fiction from Publishing Perspectives: “Jesmyn Ward led Wednesday evening’s (November 15) National Book Award honors, for her Sing, Unburied, Sing, becoming a two-time winner of the prize.” Her earlier award came in 2011 for Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury USA).

Fiction Writing Contests

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (Winter 2017 Edition) from Writer Unboxed: “Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.”

Quote of the Week

Ernest Hemingway

New to blogging? Check out Blogging Just for Writers 

Blogging Just for Writers by Frances Caballo

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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