Free Email Course for Authors

Social media can be confusing for authors. That’s why I created this free email course to show how you to use social media to engage your readers and find new readers. You’ll learn:

  • How to get started the right way on social media
  • My top strategies for succeeding on social media
  • Fabulously free image sources for authors
  • Blogging tips
  • And more!

When you sign up, you automatically get a free ebook, Twitter Just for Writers. So just enter your email below for the free course and book!

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 12, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - October 12, 2018

Welcome to another Indie Author Weekly Update. We’re entering the season of NaNoWriMo and to mark it, there are two blog posts on that topic today. Be sure to read Anne R. Allen’s post on legitimate and seedy publishers as well as David Gaughran’s post on Kindle Unlimited. Finally, Jane Friedman’s blog is always worth a read.

How Can You Tell Legitimate Publishers from the Bad Guys? by Anne R. Allen: “New writers have much to be wary of these days. New publishing scams are landing in writers’ inboxes faster than we can send out warnings. Probably the most dangerous predators for the newbie writer are phony publishers, because they can shatter dreams as well as drain bank accounts.”

To Nano or Not To Nano by Jenny Hansen: “NaNoWriMo, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is National Novel Writing Month, where hundreds of thousands of writers gather to bang out as many words as they can in the month of November. Many writers skip it and many writers treat it as a yearly pilgrimage to Writing Mecca.”

How Do You Create? by Grant Faulkner: “When I begin a story, I sit down with an itch of a story idea stirring in my mind, and I write a sentence, without too much thought, without any maps of logic, and then I write another sentence, and then another, one thing leading to the next, writing in pursuit of faint inklings and distant whispers, writing to discover, writing just to write.”

Kindle Unlimited – A Cheater Magnet by David Gaughran: “I don’t hate Kindle Unlimited. While all my own books are currently wide, I also work on marketing campaigns for others which regularly get 10m reads per month, or more. I’m not saying that to brag — the respective authors are doing the hardest part of the equation by writing books which resonate so widely — I merely state this to show that I understand how to (ethically) work Kindle Unlimited, and that I have nothing against it per se.”

How to Write Better Marketing Copy by Jane Friedman: “Overexposure: every writer has experienced this problem. You work on a manuscript for so long that your perception of it dulls. You become blind to its weaknesses and ignorant of its strengths. Though that’s a well-known phenomenon when it comes to editorial perception, overexposure is less acknowledged by marketers. When you’re marketing what feels like your 100th thriller—as an author or for a publishing house—you might feel like you’ve run out of things to say. You’re bored by your go-to descriptions and want to break out of the box and offer a fresh take. But this can be a dangerous strategy.”

5 Tips for Selling Your Books at Events—on a Budget by ChrysFey: “Being one of many authors at a book festival or signing event can be pricey when you add together the cost of the table, books, swag, travel, meals, and anything else the event requires of you. Sometimes it’s challenging to make back the cost of your books and the price of the table. So, finding cheap but cool things to use at book events is essential.”

How to Understand Your Reader’s Level of Awareness to Grow Your Fanbase from Jane Friedman and by Dave Chesson: “Imagine a reader who thinks they like science fiction books, as compared to one that can specifically tell you they love sci-fi military space marine adventures. The latter is more likely to know what they are looking for and quicker to buy the book when they see it.”

Google+The Death of a Social Media Network

Google+ to Shutter After Reports of Exposed User Data from Social Media Today: “Google announced Monday it would slowly shut down Google+, the search giant’s long-struggling social network, after finding a software bug that divulged the private data of as many as 500,000 users to hundreds of third-party applications, according to a company blog post. The company fixed the flaw in March and didn’t find any evidence that developers misused users’ personal information.”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

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

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, 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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

posting on social media

Note: This is a completely version of a previous post.

Posting on social media can be a quandary for some authors.

Regardless of all the tips posted online, when it comes to a personal decision, many writers don’t know what they should say, especially once they learn that always talking about their books and blog posts is verboten (forbidden).

I get it.

Here’s my confession: I sometimes struggle with what to say on my Facebook profile. My life just isn’t that exciting, you know?

And I’m not into posting selfies. I’m just not that photogenic.

But when it comes to my professional social media accounts — my Facebook page, and Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts, I have no problem.

Why? Because I know that on those accounts I need to balance inspirational and education information. I want to encourage people, post images, and ask questions.

I have those platforms down, so to speak.

I want you to feel the same way. I don’t want you to ever feel insecure about what you’re posting or sit in front of a blinking cursor wondering, “What the heck should I say?”

So let’s get to it.

You Need Great Content on Your Blog & on Social Media

Sometimes content you found on the internet years ago can still apply. I know that I posting on social media use these tips that I found a few years ago from Search Engine Land. I consider their advice the meat and potatoes of everything I write online.

  • Is the content informative?
  • Is it authoritative on the subject matter?
  • Is it interesting?
  • Is it well-written?
  • Is longer content broken up into well-organized sections by headings? You may have long paragraphs in your books, but that style doesn’t work for blogging or for your social media posts.
  • Does the content make good and interesting use of visual elements? Remember, you need to include images with your blog posts. Multiple photos keep people reading your blog posts. On social media, pictures are a must.
  • Is the writing free of embarrassing spelling errors or remedial grammar problems? I use Grammarly to check my writing and punctuation. Are you using an editing application to check yours?
  • Is it written appropriately for its intended audience? How well do you know your audience? Are you writing for women in their 30’s or men 40 and older? You must know your audience if you expect to sell any books. The same is true for your audience on your blog and on social media.
  • Is the content free of industry-insider jargon, focusing instead on terminology your readers would use (and search for)? Get rid of all jargon and cliches before tapping the publish button.
  • When appropriate, does the content show your unique voice or even a sense of humor? Are your snarky or quirky? Don’t be afraid to show your real self. Being authentic will enhance your brand. Embrace who you are and don’t be afraid to show those sides of yourself online.

The above suggestions apply mostly to blog writing, but you can adapt some of them for social media.

You can also use these suggestions to evaluate blog posts written by other people you might want to share. Since 80% of the content, you discuss on social media will be from sources other than your own, ask yourself if that content incorporates the above suggestions.

If it doesn’t, don’t use it.

So what will you post 20% of the time when you can talk about yourself? When you think about it, you’re still going to be posting quite a bit of information that emanates from you.

What should you say?

posting on social media

25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

Here are some examples of great content for your social media profiles:

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 5, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on book marketing. Be sure to read the Forbes article and Debbie Emmitt’s post on SEO for writers.

Well, the weather has definitely changed here in Northern California where I live. The temperature has dropped and rain has visited us several times. But I love autumn so for me these are all welcome changes.

Speaking of changes, if your book marketing strategies aren’t working, I hope you’ll read all the posts below. They are terrific and will help you implement the adjustments that you need to bring your more sales as an indie author.

$400M Fiction Giant Wattpad Wants To Be Your Literary Agent by Hayley Cuccinello of Forbes: “It took a less than an hour in 2013 for Anna Todd to change her life. The Army wife and part-time babysitter had spent a lot of time reading fan fiction, stories by amateur writers about existing fictional universes and real-life celebrities. So her erotic tale about Tessa and Hardin—a wholesome college freshman and a tattooed bad boy who is a thinly veiled stand-in for singer Harry Styles—came together quickly when she sat down to type the first chapter of After on her phone. Todd posted it to Wattpad, one of the world’s largest destinations for online reading and writing.”

How To Find and Fix Your Book Sales Problem With Dave Chesson and from Joanna Penn: “Dave writes books under multiple pen names and is best known in the Indie author community for creating KDP Rocket and also for his useful blog and podcast at And today we’re actually going to talk about a number of things that I’m quite excited about, search engine optimization, and also how to find and fix your book sales problems. So a really exciting show today.”

The Four Bios Every Author Needs by Nate Hoffelder: “If you Google author bios you will find a million different articles, each with their own recommendation. Be short and too the point. Use the third person. Simply say who you are, and give your publishing credit. Be formulaic. A lot of this advice is good, but I also think it is incomplete.”

How to Sign Up for eBook Gift Cards Through Dropcards from Indies Unlimited: “Recently I heard about this new (to me) thing: putting eBooks on a gift card to give away or sell at events. I have often thought that having eBooks to sell for a lower price than paperbacks would be a nice alternative for potential readers who balk at a typical paperback price. Coughing up $2 or $4 is infinitely more appealing to some folks than coughing up $10 or $12. It sounded like a pretty cool idea, so I did a little digging.”

20 Podcasts for Authors on Writing, Publishing, and Book Marketing from BookBub Partners: “Wish you could get a free education in writing and publishing? Publishing-related podcasts can provide just that, and the number available has exploded within the past couple of years. Many aim to provide writers with craft tips, career inspiration, productivity hacks, book marketing advice, the latest publishing news, or inside scoops from industry pros.”

Improve Your Author Website With Search Engine Optimization with Debbie Emmitt and from Joanna Penn: “In the last 10 years, I’ve used the principles of content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) to build my multi-six-figure creative business off the back of this website. In today’s article, Debbie Emmitt delves into some tips for how you can use SEO on your author website.”

Quote of the Week

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” —Albert Camus-


Get your copy of Social Media Just for Writers and learn all of my best tips.

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

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 28, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - September 28, 2018

Thank you for checking out my new Indie Author Weekly Update. There were so many posts this past week that it’s difficult to select one or two that were my favorites. But if I’m pushed, and if you only have time for one post to read, then don’t miss Anne R. Allen’s phenomenal post on how to self-publish successfully. Her advice is priceless.

Well, fall is officially here, which means that we are in my favorite season. Who doesn’t love seeing leaves turn color or feeling the chill in the air first thing in the morning?

Want to Self-Publish Fiction Successfully? Follow These 9 Tips by Anne R. Allen: “Back when the new-fangled Kindle was flying off the cybershelves and Amazon had no imprints of its own, indie authors were Amazon’s darlings. That’s no longer the case, so selling self-published books is more difficult than it was. But “more difficult” doesn’t mean impossible. Plenty of indie novelists are starting out right now who will make the bestseller lists.  Some will make considerably more money than their traditionally-published counterparts.”

Pre-Publication Marketing: A Van Tour to Bookstores by Jane Friedman: “In November, Weather Woman by Cai Emmons will release from Red Hen Press. To spread the word this summer, Cai drove “the Weather Woman van” to independent bookstores in the Western United States, distributing advance reader copies and chatting with booksellers.”

How Authors’ Openness on Social Media Makes Reading Better from Book Riot: “There’s a lot that’s toxic about social media, for authors, fans, and reviewers alike. But one thing that’s really rewarding for readers and aspiring writers is the transparency that many published authors have brought to Twitter and Instagram about the writing and publishing process, in all its good, bad, and in-between.”

How to Market Your Books with a Specialist Blog  from Alliance of Independent Authors: “It’s received wisdom that every indie author should have a website as the central and authoritative source of information about their books and their writing lives – but how does an unknown author attract potential readers to that website? British crime writer B L (Barry) Faulkner shares his lateral thinking solution that has helped him raise the profile of his books a different way: via a specialist blog about a subject that will appeal to potential readers, including those who have never heard of him.”

6 Ways Video Blogging Can Save Your Author Promotion by Penny Sansevieri: “If saving time isn’t a sweet enough payoff, here are a few more benefits to adding video blogging to your author promotion.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – September 2018 from and by Amy Collins: “I recently met with a Chicago-area author for breakfast who was concerned that she was doing something wrong. This author had written a terrific book, designed the cover properly, promoted the book heavily, placed ads on Amazon, got reviews and consistently worked to sell her book to stores, libraries, online and to organizations. So what was the problem?”

How To Put Together An Indie Author Street Team from Writer’s Edit: “There’s a lot for indie authors to do when it comes to book promotion and marketing. In fact, there’s so much to do that it can often get a little overwhelming. But while being an indie author is largely a solo pursuit, you don’t have to tackle everything entirely on your own! Enter: the indie author street team.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

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.

Online Book Marketing Solutions for Writers

5 Tweets to Stop Sending Today

5 Tweets to Stop Sending Today

(Note: I updated this post and decided it was valuable enough to post again. I hope you agree!)

Are all tweets created equal? Well, no. Read this post to find out which tweets you need to nix and which you should send.

Twitter has been around twelve years and in the social media sphere, that’s a long time.

Its founder sent the first tweet on March 21, 2006 and within four years it attracted 106 million users.

As of the second quarter of 2018, Twitter averaged 335 million monthly active users. (Source: Statista)

Maybe it’s my funky mood today but I find it surprising that despite Twitter’s history and wide usage users still send me promotional direct messages. BTW: I don’t read direct messages.

For today’s post, I decided to break my rule and take a look at the list of recent direct messages (DM). Below you’ll see their messages. (Note: I’ve deleted usernames and URLs to protect the privacy of these people.)

“I’d be so grateful if you could check out and rate my eBook.”

“Do you love eBooks? Download mine.”

“Thank you for following. Like me on FB.”

“My campaign is 51% funded. Link is in my bio.”

“I use TrueTwit. To validate click here: URL.”

“Connect with me on FB.”

“Connect with me on Google.”

“Please check out my books.”

“Please buy my books.”

“Please read and review my books.”

“Check out my website.”


Stop Sending These Five Tweets

I’m not saying that you can never tweet about your books, Facebook page, blog, or newsletter. What I suggest is that you space those tweets apart and never send them as a direct message as part of your “thanks-for-following” tweet.

For example, I send tweets about my eBooks. I also send tweets about my new blog posts.

However, the  majority of information I tweet consists of images and blog posts I didn’t write that I hope writers will find interesting.

If I tweeted about my books more often than I do, people like you would get bored with me.

Here are five tweets to stop sending today:

  1. Stop using the TrueTwit validation application. You’ll never grow your tribe if you use this app. If you are worried about spammers, use ManageFlitter to weed them out.
  2. Don’t send direct messages to your new followers. In fact, stop sending direct messages unless you’re trying to contact someone you know to convey your email address or phone number.
  3. Don’t ask new followers to like your Facebook page, read your book, read your blog, or review your website or book.
  4. Think twice before sending someone a thank you for following. In the early days, I did this but I don’t anymore. I think your time could be better spent doing something else, like a writing a blog post or working on your next book.
  5. Don’t send ten tweets in a row. It’s not nice to flood someone’s timeline with a day’s worth of messages in the span of a few minutes.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 21, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

It’s time for another Indie Author Weekly Update. I hope you enjoy this week’s posts on Amazon ads, blog design, self-publishing and more.

The 12 Principles Of Effective Blog Design by Peep Laja: “This is a quote by Dr. Brent Coker, who studied the impact of attractive websites on human behavior. Websites that are more attractive and include more trimmings create a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in consumers.”

Lessons Learned From The Self-Publishing Journey – Guest Post by Melissa Pouliot from Polgarus Studio: “In 2013 I attended a writer’s workshop in my beautiful coastal hometown of Merimbula, Australia, and met an author who was at the forefront of self-publishing technology. She’d been publishing her books on Amazon for a long time and spoke my language. I’d just finished my first crime novel, Write About Me, and a literary agent had returned it to me with a blunt, sharp note attached: Not strong enough for the current fiction market.”

The 4 Most Effective Book Marketing Strategies That Work  by Rachel Thompson: “I’m constantly amazed by the sheer number of writers who are about to release their first book, or have already released their first book, and have zero marketing in place. Nothing, nada, oftentimes less than zero. They remind me of the college kid who walks into a final with a hangover and a broken pencil, hoping to pull the answers out of their you know where.”

10 Top Book Marketing Takeaways from RWA 2018 by Diana Urban: “At last week’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference 2018 — one of the biggest annual writing conferences in the US — many sessions and panels covered book marketing and sales topics. We gathered fantastic tips from authors, agents, and prolific book marketers, and we’re excited to share them with our readers! From branding to backlist promotions, panelists were buzzing about cross-promotion strategies, creating launch plans, and optimizing advertising campaigns.”

The Rising Cost of AMS Ads from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: “If you’ve noticed a sharp decline in the effectiveness of your AMS ads recently, you’re not alone. An Amazon cash grab may be at the bottom of it. The New York Times reports Amazon’s revenue from on-site advertising has surged by 130 percent in the first quarter of 2018, up to a staggering $2.2 billion. Take a moment to truly appreciate all those zeroes: $2,200,000,000.00. It’s no surprise then that Amazon has refocused its gaze on this sector, intent on adding a few more zeroes to that figure.”

Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize Announces 2018 Shortlist: “Anna Burns, Esi Edugyan, Daisy Johnson, Rachel Kushner, Richard Powers and Robin Robertson are today, Thursday 20 September, announced as the six authors shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.”

Quote of the Week

Slowly, slowly, I accumulate sentences. I have no idea what I'm doing until suddenly it reveals itself, almost done.-

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

Chasing the Elusive Shareable Content

Chasing the Elusive Shareable Content

Creating shareable content is the holy Grail of social media.

If our friends, colleagues, and fans do not share what we post, then there is little hope that we will succeed in our social media marketing.

Before posting any content online, place your content through a “re-share test.”

Ask yourself whether your content is valuable, bold, informative, or entertaining. Does it provide a useful analysis or does it assist people in some manner?

If it accomplishes any of these goals, your content should be shareable.

Here are three quick tips that are easy to remember:

•    keep your blog post headline to 50 characters

•    keep your paragraphs short — at most three paragraphs

•    use active verbs

In previous blog posts, I’ve shared some amazing statistics on how much faster our brains can process images versus text.

The actual statistic is that our brains can process images 60,000 times faster than text.

Our eyes gravitate to images and increasingly tend to shun large blocks of black letters. This fact explains why it’s essential to include images or video if we want our content to be shareable.

Also, if we include multiple images within a single blog post, your readers are more likely to read the entire post. Color images boost engagement over black-and-white photos, too.

shareable content

Controversy and Engagement

What I’ve noticed is that when people delve into politics on their Facebook profiles, engagement soars.

But is that the kind of engagement you’re seeking? Will it help you or hurt you in your professional life?

Being sensational always attracts attention. Our current president is sensational in his tweets and he receives a lot of likes and shares on that platform.

But you need to remember that you are your brand.

Everything you post online is available online and remains online. You’re visible to the world.

Personally, I would never tweet about President Trump or state my opinion about him on my Facebook author page. At times, I have delved into politics on my Facebook profile but never on my Facebook page.

Delving into political issues is something I seldom do because I’m looking for shares of my blog posts and book promotions, not my political opinions.

So if we’re not going for the easy, political share, what do we do?

Post images. For example, using Pixabay and Canva you can create quotes on images about reading, the value of reading, and about libraries. You can share the stack of books you want to read or pictures of yourself heading into your local library or indie bookshop.

You can take pictures of your office, the cafe where you like to write, or a spot in your back yard where you like to write.

In terms of subjects for your images, the sky is truly the limit.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 14, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

In today’s Indie Author Weekly Update, hands down the best post to read is David Gaughran’s post on how to sell books. It’s awesome.

Is it too early for a picture of fall? I didn’t think it was. Although the days are still warm in Northern California where I live, the afternoons cool down quickly and the nights are chilly. There’s definitely a change coming.

10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog by Jane Friedman: First things first: an author’s website, whether it gets much traffic or not, is foundational to your career. It offers readers as well as the media the official word on who you are and the work you produce. If you blog, then it can also be a way for the public to engage with you. But mainly author websites help you shape the story surrounding your work—and ought to be found when readers go searching for you. It allows you to focus people’s attention and interest to what’s important to you—as opposed to what other sites might think is important.

Podcast Episode 46: Social Media for Authors – Big Mistakes Many Make from Dave Chesson: Social media seems like an obvious choice when it comes to marketing your book. Now, in this episode, we’re not talking about Facebook ads, but we’re talking more about using social media, specifically Facebook, as a way to connect with your readers and attract new readers.

How to Do an Instagram Giveaway: Ideas and Tips from Social Media Examiner: “Wondering how to run an Instagram contest? Looking for Instagram giveaway ideas you can adapt? In this article, you’ll find tips and inspiration to help you plan a successful Instagram competition that supports your marketing goals.”

Marketing Uncovered: How To Sell Books by David Gaughran: “Marketing is more complicated than ever, but the tools we have for reaching readers are fantastic these days, and the rewards for reaching the summit of Mount Discovery are simply immense. Even worth this long-ass intro I’m about to drop! Sometimes we forget. I hear people complaining that things are down across the board and Amazon is squeezing the margin out of everyone, or that the Golden Era is over.”

How to Reach Forgotten Markets for Self-Published Books  by the Alliance of Independent Authors: “Looking at the indie publishing community these days, it seems authors can be split in two groups: the “going wide” group, and the others who prefer betting on one outlet (the most relevant) for their book. Anne-Catherine de Fombelle, Chief Globalization Officer for self-publishing aggregator StreetLib, a valued ALLI Partner Member, probes the concept of “the forgotten markets”  that can be reached by going wide.”

Quote of the Week

F. Scott Fitzgerald quote


Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now! It includes a chapter on blogging.

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.

Online Book Marketing Solutions for Writers

Blogging Can Be A Lot Like Riding a Bike

Sometimes blogging is just like walking your dog

New to blogging? Read this post, which includes tips on how to write for your audience.

I live in the U.S. and on Labor Day my husband and I went for a bike ride.

Now, I hadn’t ridden my bike in a year so I wondered whether I would topple over as I took off.

I didn’t!

When we ride our bikes, we take the same 17-mile path every time. While the path may be the same, the environment changes, so it’s never boring.

Sometimes we see egrets and during the winter the creek can crest and spill over. Then there’s the pesky squirrel that loves to take a sprint in front of us.

So every time we ride, we notice something new.

Don’t you find blogging to be similar?

You can take a break from it and when you return, the steps are familiar. However, each time you write a new post you cover new territory, have new insights, and share new facts.

And each time you approach a new blog post, you need to explore topics that your audience wants to or needs to learn about.

Are you answering your audience’s questions or helping your audience learn something new or interesting? Or, are you simply writing an article that meets your needs, which can be as simple as “getting something out there” because someone said blogging is good for SEO.

You wouldn’t do that, would you?

In you are still new to blogging I recommend you read this post by HubSpot, which provides an useful formula to follow. Even if you’re not new to blogging, you may find their suggestions helpful.

Now let’s talk about your audience.

Frances Caballo - Blogging Just for WritersHow to Write Blog Posts Your Audience Craves

Unlike HubSpot’s template, there isn’t a formula for knowing how to reach your audience with your blog. It takes work, patience, experimentation, and perseverance. However, I can suggest these tips:

  1. One way to find your audience is to read blogs written by authorities in your niche. But don’t just read them; leave comments as well. As you build a relationship with these experts, pitch a guest post to them. The more often you write guest posts, the quicker your blog email list will grow and the faster you’ll expand your audience.
  2. Use Survey Monkey to ask your readers what they most want to learn from you through your blog.
  3. Then there’s the issue of length. Some say blog posts should be brief; others say they should be at least 1,200 – 1,800 words. Seth Godin, a master blogger and marketer, doesn’t abide by any of these rules. What I’ve learned is that there isn’t a correct answer. Write posts that most appeal to your readers in topic and length. You’ll know that you’re reaching your audience by the comments your readers leave,  the social media shares you receive, and the blog subscriptions that grow.
  4. Use visuals. Our brains can process visuals much faster than text and images provide a break in the blocks of text, which is a welcome relief for our eyes.
  5. Think about expanding into podcasts and videos. People love to listen to podcasts while they travel to work. Then publish the text of your podcast as a blog post. For video interviews, you can embed the html code from YouTube to your blog and provide a summary of the interview’s content.
  6. Each time you write a post ask yourself, “Will this post serve or help my audience?” Think of just one member of your audience and write a post for that person. Imagine what that person tells you that he or she needs to learn and write a post as your response.

Consistent blogging isn’t easy. You need to commit to the task, stick to your posting schedule, and stretch the boundaries of your skills. Read posts on the blogosphere, continually further your education, and strive to learn as much as you can about your audience so you can better meet its needs.

Blogging Topics for Authors

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