What Pew Research Center Social Media Stats Mean for Authors

What Pew Research Center Social Media Stats Mean for Authors

The Pew Research Center (PRC) released a new study on social media use at the beginning of March. Its findings weren’t surprising.

PRC researchers found that Facebook and YouTube dominate the social media landscape.

It’s no surprise that Facebook “remains the primary platform for most Americans.” An estimated 68 percent of U.S. adults report they are Facebook users and three-quarters of them access Facebook on a daily basis. PRC stated:

With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.

YouTube is even more popular, as I mentioned in a previous blog post. PRC states:

The video-sharing site YouTube – which contains many social elements, even if it is not a traditional social media platform – is now used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Are you trying to reach the Young and New Adult demographic? Here is what the Pew Research Center says about them:

Americans ages 18 to 24 are substantially more likely to use platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter even when compared with those in their mid- to late-20s. These differences are especially notable when it comes to Snapchat: 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds are Snapchat users, but that share falls to 54% among those ages 25 to 29.

The report also noted that Pinterest remains more popular with women (41 percent) than with men (16 percent).

LinkedIn continues to be popular with college graduates and individuals in high-income households. Nothing has really changed there.

What also became evident in this study is that people use multiple social media sites, not just one.

This overlap is broadly indicative of the fact that many Americans use multiple social platforms. Roughly three-quarters of the public (73%) uses more than one of the eight platforms measured in this survey, and the typical (median) American uses three of these sites. As might be expected, younger adults tend to use a greater variety of social media platforms. The median 18- to 29-year-old uses four of these platforms, but that figure drops to three among 30- to 49-year-olds, to two among 50- to 64-year-olds and to one among those 65 and older.

Facebook May Be Popular But Is It Right for Authors? Maybe Not

FacebookAre you now itching to redouble your efforts on Facebook? Not so fast. While 68 percent of U.S. users are on Facebook, it’s extremely challenging to reach them. Facebook’s latest tweak to its algorithm has made it virtually impossible for your Facebook fans (readers) to see your posts unless you invest in Facebook advertising. Facebook is basically a pay to play system for authors and anyone with a business page.

There’s a lot of buzz about Facebook groups, and more and more people are starting groups either in addition to having pages or instead of pages. Take Sharon Hamilton as an example.

I interviewed Sharon recently and she’s doing a lot to promote her books. She’s a prolific author in a popular genre and is a New York Times and USA Today, bestselling writer. As of this writing, she has 18,332 Likes and 17,878 followers on her Facebook page. But if you look at her Facebook page, you’ll see that there’s little engagement.

I’ve been following Sharon for quite some time, so I know that she used to have tremendous engagement on her Facebook page. What’s changed? Facebook has. Sharon keeps sharing great information and memes, but Facebook has tweaked its algorithm, making it harder for Sharon’s posts to appear in her fans’ news feeds.

That is unless she buys advertising.

If you look at your news feed these days, you’ll find that you see fewer posts from businesses and authors, fewer ads, and a lot more posts from friends and family. That’s because of Facebook’s algorithm and Mark Zuckerberg’s belief that Facebook users come to Facebook wanting to interact with friends and family and that you and I don’t want to see posts from business pages, such as author pages. In fact, even though I’ve liked many author pages, I never see them in my news feed.

Sharon was smart and started a Facebook group, which is doing well. She also has a street team.

But where does that leave you? One option is read a post I wrote about how to grow your Facebook page. Note that I wrote this post before Facebook’s latest change to its algorithm.

Facebook may seem to be the best place for authors to be but it isn’t. Well, it isn’t unless you’re willing to spend money on advertising.

If you have an extensive email list, start a Facebook group and encourage people to interact with you there, as well. Also, send tweets and Instagram messages with information about your Facebook group. Sharon Hamilton has a link on her website that automatically directs people to her Facebook group, called Rockin’ Romance Readers.

If you want information on how to start and run a group, there’s a blog post on Jane Friedman’s blog with some best practices for Facebook groups.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – February 23, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Image Designed by Freepik

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week I had a difficult time trimming the list of best posts from the past week. What you’ll find here are numerous posts on social media and book marketing that are excellent.

I’d especially like to point out the post by Belinda Griffin, which is extraordinary. The post on author collaboration is also important as is the post by Buffer on how to understand the Twitter timeline.

I hope you enjoy these posts today. And,  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

5 ways to collaborate with other authors (besides writing a book together) by Sandra Beckwith: “Collaborate” is my 2018 business theme. I’ve got two significant collaborations in the works already. In one case, I’ve teamed up with a colleague to create a training program for authors. In the other, I’m partnering with another writer on a ghostwriting project.”

Ultimate Book Trailer Guide: How To Produce a Killer Book Promo Video from Writers Digest: “Consider these stats: Video racks up over 22 billion daily views. It increases the organic reach of social media content by over 100%, compared to photos or text. It ranks toward the top of the first page in Google searches, is popular across demographics, and builds an instant emotional connection with your audience.”

How the Twitter Timeline Works (and 6 Simple Tactics to Increase Your Reach) from Buffer: “Understanding the social media algorithms is important to social media marketers, especially since it can heavily impact a brand’s reach on social media. We’ve talked about the Facebook News Feed algorithm and the Instagram Feed algorithm. This time, we would love to dive into the Twitter timeline algorithm.”

Blogging isn’t Dead: 8 Reasons to Start an Author Blog by Anne R. Allen: “If you tell your non-writing friends you’re thinking of starting an author blog, you’ll probably hear some noise about how blogging is “totally over.” People have been pronouncing the demise of blogging for a decade. Google “blogging is dead” and you’ll see thousands of entries. But it turns out the blog is a pretty resilient medium.”

Amazon Categories to Maximize Book Sales + A Little-Known Secret! by Penny Sansevieri: “Everyone wants more exposure on Amazon. And understandably. Exposure drives book sales. But, as we seek more exposure, don’t spend all of your time focusing on great keywords. Why? Because, yes, although keywords are important, critical even, they aren’t everything. I often authors that they should focus on narrow categories to sell more books. This is because categories with fewer books have lower competition for the #1 spot. And, the top ten is a great place to hit, because Amazon’s algorithms kick in as you start to spike within categories.”

Authors: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Facebook Basket from BookWorks: “Everyone is still buzzing about the recent algorithm changes for Facebook. And with good reason—it’s a game-changer for social media marketing in general. Though Facebook and other social media networks are great strategies for book promotion, they should never be your entire marketing plan.”

How To Analyze Your Competition And Create Your Own Author Success  by Belinda Griffin: “Why does everything seem to just work for some authors? There you are slaving away, hustling to get each and every Twitter follower, Facebook like and, well, let’s not even talk about book sales. You know your books are good, just as good as those successful authors’ books.”

Quote of the Week


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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web
















How to Manage a Twitter Account as an Indie Author

How to Manage a Twitter Account as an Indie Author

Twitter tends to confound a lot of writers. I get it.

When I first jumped on social media about nine years ago, I asked a friend, “Did you really join Twitter?” She responded that of course she did and that I had to as well.

So I begrudgingly opened a Twitter account. And like a lot of people I made mistakes. But now listen to what I am about to tell you: Twitter is forgiving.

For example, you can change your username on Twitter as many times as you’d like but you can’t on other social media platforms. It’s just one of the many reasons I love Twitter.

What were my mistakes? I used a logo instead of a picture of myself for my avatar. Instead of using my name, Frances Caballo, I used the official name of my business, ACT Communication. (I try to hide the fact that ACT Communications is really my DBA these days so please don’t spread this secret around. Please!)

Then I created the crime of all crimes. I joined TrueTwit, which makes prospective followers go to its website, watch some ads, then type in a CAPTCHA code. Of course, my Twitter account stagnated.

But I continued to read blog posts about social media as well as books and over time I realized all of my errors. I remade my account changing everything about it. And I dumped TrueTwit.

My intent in telling you my sad story is so that you won’t worry if you make a mistake. And if you have made some of my mistakes, it’s not too late to change things.

How to Set Up Your Twitter Account

So let’s start at the beginning.

  • Use your real name when you open your Twitter account.
  • Make sure your username is no more than 12 characters.
  • Use a picture of yourself as an avatar and not a picture of your dog, bird, favorite coffee drink, or cat.

Keep reading this post I wrote for Joel Friedlander on his blog at TheBookDesigner.com


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










Want More Twitter Followers? Don’t Buy Them!

Want More Twitter Followers? Don't Buy Them!

In this post I explain why you should never purchase Twitter followers or Facebook Likes. 

Did you see the New York Times article on Sunday, January 28th? In case you didn’t, let me explain it to you.

A teenager named Jessica Rychly is a Minnesota girl who uses Facebook and Twitter and often talks online about how bored she is or trades jokes with friends.

There’s another Jessica Rychly on Twitter as well. This one, according to the New York Times, promotes Canadian real estate investments, cryptocurrency, and a radio station in Ghana. The fake Jessica Rychly uses Arabic and Indonesian languages and promotes pornography too.

You see the second Jessica Rychly is the stolen identity of the first Jessica for some nefarious reasons.

As the New York Times reported:

These accounts are counterfeit coins in the booming economy of online influence, reaching into virtually any industry where a mass audience – or the illusion of it – can be monetized. Fake accounts infest social media networks. By some calculations, as many as 48 million of Twitter’s reported active users are automated accounts designed to simulate real people, though the company claims that number is far lower.

Twitter isn’t the only social media platform with this problem. The behemoth of social media, Facebook, has a similar problem.

In November, Facebook disclosed to investors that it had at least twice as many fake users as it previously estimated, indicating that up to 60 million automated accounts may roam the world’s largest social media platform. These fake accounts, known as bots, can help sway advertising audiences and reshape political debates. They can defraud businesses and ruin reputations.

Never Buy Twitter Followers or Facebook Likes

I bring up the New York Times article to make what I think are two important points:

  1. Don’t be impressed by huge audiences or worry if you don’t have a million followers.
  2. Never buy followers on Twitter or Likes on Facebook.

I had a client some years ago who wrote beautiful children’s books. She had a lovely Facebook page, and its audience was growing slowly and steadily. My client decided that she wanted it to gain fans faster because she was interested in getting a multi-book deal with a publisher.

What did she do? She purchased 5,000 Facebook Likes. Guess where most of them were from? Any idea? Let me tell you then; Sri Lanka.

These “fans” of her Facebook page completely threw her Facebook analytics out of whack. And the Sri Lanka fans never liked or commented on any of her posts. You see they are paid to Like her page. They didn’t care about the books she wrote or what she was trying to achieve.

Her newest “fans” from Sri Lanka Liked Facebook page as a job. That’s all.

If you use Twitter, you’ve no doubt noticed that there are user accounts hawking thousands of followers for pennies. There are also accounts hawking pornography and other services. Delete these accounts from your following. In fact, block them.

I use ManageFlitter, which identifies spam, fake accounts, and bots. I also review my clients’ follower lists to get rid of accounts that apparently have no interest in what they write. I encourage you to do the same thing.

Never Worry About the Size of Your Following

Too many people using social media are more concerned about the number of followers they have instead of the quality of relationships they can develop.

Listen, social media isn’t a numbers game. If you think a publisher is trying to force you to have high follower counts, find another publisher or even better, self-publish your book. It’s just not worth it to worry about the number of followers you have.

Worry instead about the quality of information you post.

Several years ago a company interviewed me as a social media manager consultant. I sat in this room with eight people and the marketing director said to me, “Start talking.”

I immediately explained that they didn’t really have 30,000 likes on their Facebook page. I told them that they purchased those likes and those fans were from Sri Lanka and similar places on the globe.

I explained that anyone looking at the page could figure it out. They had 30,000 Likes, but only two people every liked their posts. The marketing director’s jaw dropped as the on-staff social media manager hemmed and hawed.

Are you unhappy with your Facebook page, especially in light of the latest tweak to Facebook’s algorithm? Then just use your Facebook profile or take a course on Facebook advertising.

If you want your Facebook author page to have more engagement, you have to buy advertising. If you don’t want to spend the money, then just use your profile or start a Facebook group.

Never worry about your follower or fan counts. Just focus on engaging your friends, readers, prospective readers, and colleagues, posting useful content and beautiful visuals, and enjoying yourself online.

Want more Twitter followers? Ask and answer questions. Use hashtags to find readers and colleagues. Post intriguing tweets. That’s the real way to attract an engaged audience.


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 will feature Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy. We’ll discuss book marketing and Facebook ads. Sign up now to join the conversation!






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…]

17 Twitter Apps for Writers

17 Twitter Apps for WritersYou don’t have the time to sit in front of the computer all day and post information to your Twitter account. That’s where Twitter apps come in.

After finding or creating information to tweet, spend just a few minutes scheduling your tweets (and other posts) throughout the day by using scheduling applications designed to make your life easier.

Note: My suggestions aren’t exclusively just for Twitter. For example, Facebook has a scheduling feature for your Facebook author page, which I urge you to use instead of an application. You see, Facebook downgrades scheduled information coming from an application.

By using a scheduling application, you can schedule your tweets as well as other updates, and even your Pinterest pins, for the entire day or week or even a month.

A Word About Automation

Some people become carried away and go so far as to automate direct messages on Twitter to new followers. Don’t do this. First, most Twitter users rarely read direct messages because they tend to be promotional.

Secondly, if you want to acknowledge a new follower, personalize your message. Follow a link to their blog or website and comment about that. Or if you’ve read one of their books, tell them how much you liked it. Just stay clear of automating personal messages because as soon as you do, they actually cease to be personal.

Twitter Apps to Fit Every Desire & Budget


Writers new to social media tend to start with the free version of Hootsuite for scheduling their updates. It’s easy to set up, and Hootsuite allows you to post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ page, and Twitter, as well as some LinkedIn groups. However, if you use a free account, Hootsuite will limit you to three social profiles. With a paid account, you’ll have access to even more social media profiles and analytics.


TweetDeck is a free download offered from Twitter. You can check your Twitter account from your desktop and respond to mentions, direct messages, and retweets as they arrive. It’s the easiest tool to set and use, but it only allows scheduling to Twitter.


SproutSocial offers many benefits. You can schedule your posts to ten social profiles, including to your Google+ page, connect your account with the URL shortener Bit.ly to track click-through-rates (hits to your website) and unfollow users on Twitter. It also provides outstanding analytics. Plus, you can monitor keywords and maintain a social content calendar. The monthly fee starts at $99/month.


This application interfaces with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and offers a free plan. The free plan allows up to five Twitter accounts and ten scheduled tweets and will help you to find new friends to grow your following. Paid accounts offer additional features.


MediaFunnel will help you to distribute your content on Twitter and Facebook accounts. In addition, you can use MediaFunnel to manage your brand and engage with your followers. You can monitor mentions of you and your books, engage with your audience, and drive more people to your landing pages. Previously, the monthly fee started at $6. Prices are no longer listed on the website so you’ll have to inquire about pricing if you’re interested in this application.


This versatile dashboard will download onto your PC and mobile devices (tablets, smartphones) to keep you up-to-date while you’re on the go. Use it to keep track of news and trends and to monitor your accounts. The basic account is free, and the VIP account is $2/month.


SocialOomph is a scheduler on steroids. It will allow you to schedule your social media posts for LinkedIn, Twitter, and your blog, set up recurring tweets and LinkedIn posts, track your click-through-rates and keywords, and provide some basic analytics. It will also help you to find new followers. Test this application with a free account.


The free plan will allow you to have two social media accounts and schedule ten posts per social media profile. The social profiles can include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a Google+ page. The Awesome plan costs $10/month and allows up to ten social accounts, 100 updates, and also allows the use of Pinterest and Instagram.


The free account allows 50 scheduled tweets per month. The $5.99/month plan allows unlimited tweets, the ability to upload images, multiple Twitter profiles, and more. Like TweetDeck, the program can run on your desktop.


Once you write and post your blog post, Dlvr.it will automatically send information about it to your social media profiles. The free plan allows you to post to three social media platforms whereas the Pro plan, which costs $9.99/month, allows you to post to ten social profiles. Note that Dlvr.it, once it’s installed on your blog, will post to your designated social media profiles as soon as your blog post is live. Also, note that Facebook downgrades auto-posted blog posts to your Facebook author page. Dlvr.it will save you time, but there will be consequences on Facebook.


This app allows you to schedule updates on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as well as images and videos. You can also archive your messages, view statistics, and manage your campaigns. TwitTimer is free.

More Fun Twitter Apps


Sync your timeline across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Mute tweets by user, hashtag, tweet source, or keywords. The app includes third-party support for image, video, read later, and timeline sync services. Version 4 includes an Apple watch app, iPad support, and more. The IOS app costs $4.99 in iTunes.


Android users might want to try this app. You can use the app to share text, links, and photos to Plume and other applications. Plume also has a suite of widgets to make it quick and easy to send tweets. There’s more to this app as well. You can purchase Plume from Google Play.


UberSocial will keep you up-to-date while you’re on-the-go, offers fast functionality, curated content, customization options, and a richer, more user-friendly Twitter experience. The app is both iPhone and Android friendly.


You can download this app for free. Track your Twitter stats, view your most recent activity, receive notifications, follow new users, and give favorites to tweets from your following base.

Echofon for Twitter

This free app for iPhones and Androids will notify you of mentions and messages. You can avoid duplicate alerts with this app and set a sleep period. There’s also an Echofon for Facebook.

[Read more…]

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











Social Media Tips for Writers (And Reluctant Marketers)

Social Media Tips for Writers (And Reluctant Marketers)

The biggest resistance writers have to jumping into social media is that they fear they will need to spend countless hours in front of their computers posting, tweeting, updating, uploading images, and of course, and leaving comments or replying to someone’s message.

I refer to this as the “time suck factor” because if you let it, social media can suck precious time from your day and your writing.

But, news flash, marketing doesn’t have to be an ugly word. And it doesn’t have to be a task you accept grudgingly.

We’re not conducting robocalls or telemarketing. And we’re not creating direct mail appeals – junk mail – that people toss without even opening the envelopes.

We’re in the era of social media marketing, and the beauty of it is that it’s not interruption-based marketing. Your message is waiting for people when they choose to navigate to Twitter or Facebook or other social media networks.

But you’re still afraid that if you start to use social media, you’ll lose track of time and spend hours in front of the computer when you should be writing or going to the gym. Am I right?

Nonsense. Fitting social media into busy schedules is easy and takes disciple. That’s right, discipline to not turn a quick internet research for your book into a foray into your Facebook newsfeed, which, by the way, I’ve done.

So I speak from experience.

Over the years I’ve learned that you can manage your social media marketing and still have time to write, cycle, relax with a novel, or soak up suds in a tub by following a simple four-point plan.

  1. Curate your posts.
  2. Schedule your social media updates.
  3. Be social because the essence of social media is engagement.
  4. Measure your results so that you’ll know how to improve your engagement.

By spending as little as 30 minutes a day, you can grow your contacts, further your brand, sell more books, and stay in touch with colleagues, readers, and friends.

Here are my social media tips for writers that will help you to better manage your time while marketing.

Curate Stellar Content

There are applications and websites that can help you to find great content in your niche. These are a few of my favorites.


Enter your keywords, and this application will scour the Web for you. You can discard or keep the articles and posts that Scoop.it suggests and even create your own customized “magazine.”


Not an application but a website, this is the top online source for the hottest trending information on the entire blogosphere from A to Z. Find information on a range of topics from writing to social media to romance novels.


Subscribe to the top blogs in your niche. I curate information from the blogs I subscribe to and doing so provides a shortcut to my curation.

Twitter Lists

Create lists of the top thinkers and writers in your industry. Creating Twitter lists helps me to stay on top of my industry, get through Twitter more quickly, and efficiently curate information to retweet.

Schedule Your Posts in the Morning

There are numerous applications to help you plan your day. Here are a few for you to consider and use at the start of your day.


The free version allows you to post four tweets daily while with the paid version – starting at just $10/month – you can post as often as you’d like.


HootSuite offers a great free plan that allows users to tweet and post as often as they’d like. The paid version will allow you to also post to your Google+ pages, a range of social media platforms, and the paid version offers analytics.


This application is a scheduler on steroids. You can schedule recurring tweets, track keywords and hashtags, check your incoming feeds, and analyze your click-through-rates to your website. They offer a 7-day trial plan that’s free. Note: SocialOomph works best for Twitter and LinkedIn only. It is limited in the breadth of social media platforms it serves.


Tweetdeck is a free application that enables you to manage your Twitter feed, schedule tweets, and monitor and manage unlimited accounts.

You Don’t Have to Be a Party Animal to Be Social

It’s important to schedule time in your day to be social. What does this mean?

At the end of your day, right before or after dinner, spend some time on social media.

Like and comment on posts you find in your newsfeed on Facebook. Check your Contact feed on Twitter to see who messaged you or followed you. Reply to tweets by telling users that you liked a quote they sent out. Follow back users who followed you during the day – assuming they are interesting enough – and comment on their blog, website, or Facebook page.

Read a few blogs and leave comments. Check in on one of your groups on LinkedIn and add to the discussion. Check in on your Google+ communities.

In other words, put the social in social media to work but limit your time to about 15 minutes.

Check Your Return on Investment (ROI)

I love this quote:

Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it’s finally done there is surprise it’s not better. Avinash Kaushik, Google Analytics Evangelist

Time is precious, so it’s important to check to see whether your marketing efforts are having any effect. Here are some applications that can help you to make that determination.

Sprout Social

The premium plan comes with a 30-day trial period. Use this application for monitoring profiles and keywords, scheduling posts, and producing reports. The premium level, which is the beginning level, includes ten social media profiles. SproutSocial also measures influence, analyzes your audience, and lets you know whether not you’ve been social enough.

Social Report

With Social Report you can track the performance of everything from your Facebook pages and Twitter profiles, website site performance and blogs. The data from your social channels is downloaded and laid out on a dashboard. And you can track your social media profiles. Pricing starts at $49/month.


Insights is Facebook’s free and incredibly comprehensive analytics. Once you have 35 or more Likes on your Facebook author page, Insights will reveal your demographics, the best time to post your updates and indicate which posts received the most engagement.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – November 10, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

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

Indie Author Updates

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

[Read more…]

3 Basic Rules of Social Media Plus 5 Best Practices

3 Basic Rules of Social Media Plus 5 Best Practices
Dan Zarrella, author of The Science of Marketing, said in his book, “I’ve long been interested in the idea that engaging in conversation is the single most important function of social media marketing.”

He’s right. That is why it’s so important to schedule time in the afternoon or early evening to converse with our readers, friends, and influencers in your sphere. If you don’t allocate time to converse, you are missing the point.

Social media at its essence is social so to engage in social media and not allocate time to socializing, well, it’s antithetical to the very premise of social media.

Social media at its essence is socialClick To Tweet

Take Twitter, for example. It began as a texting platform. Sure, it’s matured, evolved, and changed. You can include images and video now, and you can even advertise. But at its essence, it’s still a medium for conveying messages.

This premise is true with other social media platforms as well.

Which takes me to those 3 basic rules of social media I promised to discuss.

[Read more…]