Celebrating the Holidays? Take a Break!

SocialMediaJustforWriters

This week I am taking a break from blogging. It’s time to hunker down, do some writing, and rest a bit. However you are spending this week, I hope it’s revitalizing for you.

 

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 – 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

 


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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…]

Use GIFS to Ignite Your Book Marketing

via GIPHY

GIFS are all the rage. You see them on Twitter, Facebook, email newsletters, and virtually wherever you turn your attention to on the internet.

Experts will tell you that the only way to stop your followers from scanning a Twitter newsfeed is with a GIF.

Actually, GIFs are so eye-catching that wherever you use them, people will stop, smile, and replay the GIF a second or third time – at least.

You can also use GIFs for book marketing. You just need a sense of humor and a dash of ingenuity.

Take a series of pictures while reading from your newest book or have someone take pictures of you while you write or type at your desk. Any of these examples can be used to market yourself and your books and add some levity along the way.

Let’s get down to how to create a GIF. You can snap the pictures – or have someone snap them for you – or search for a GIF and use it instead. Or you can have someone take a series of shots as you read through a book, making it appear that you are quite the speed reader.

Did you know that you can use Canva.com to create a GIF? Just create a series of images, upload them to an app, then grab the URL and use it on social media or in your MailChimp newsletter.

Using my dog as an example, I took a series of pictures of her, uploaded them to the application Giphy, added a tag, and voila, here’s my GIF.

via GIPHY

You can also add GIFs to your MailChimp newsletter. Use the search bar at Giphy to find a GIF and copy the URL.

Then when you’re on MailChimp, click the image icon.

Then paste the URL from Giphy.

Voila, you have a GIF for your newsletter.

via GIPHY

Why Authors Need to Use GIFs

According to HootSuite, here are a few reasons why you should start using GIFs:

  • GIFs show that you’re paying attention to internet trends
  • GIFs show that you and your brand has a fun side
  • GIFs can add more context to a shorter message, post, or Tweet
  • GIFs get your message across in a shorter amount of time
  • GIFs are easily shareable
  • GIFs convey emotions better than text or photos alone

GIF Applications

There are two main applications you can use to find GIFs.

  1. Giphy
  2. Bin

Use these applications to create GIFs.

When using Giphy, you have the options to copy the link to add to MailChimp, download the GIF for uploading to social media, embed the GIF in a blog post (as I did in this post), and to share the GIF directly from Giphy to a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Learn to Make Your Own GIFs

How do you plan to use GIFs in your book marketing?


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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

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!

Indie Author Weekly Update – December 1, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update ranges in topic from social media to book marketing to Facebook. I hope you enjoy the range in topics!

The Writer’s Guide to Social Media Organization from Writer Unboxed: “Today’s writer is busier than ever, and social media can be demanding. Writers have established goals, developed a brand, and know their readers. The best way to stay on top of our career is to incorporate organizational skills into social media. I continue to explore methods to use social media effectively and efficiently. I believe social media can be handled in thirty minutes, leaving us free to do what we do best for the rest of the day—write. Here are 7 ways I’ve learned to categorize social media into a manageable—and enjoyable—process.”

12 Holiday Book Marketing Ideas for Indie Authors by Penny Sansevieri: “On the first day of Christmas ….we all know the song. Most of us are ready to tackle holiday sales, so let’s talk book marketing! In the spirit of the season, I want to share 12 book marketing tips and recommendations indie authors can implement in order to get more holiday sales and definitely more exposure before Christmas.”

67 Top Tools for Writers and Bloggers in 2018 from Write to Done: “It’s often been said, you’re only as good as your tools. And even though a keen mind and an even keener pen (or computer these days) are still the main tools of a writer or blogger in 2018, there are others out there. Which is the problem. ​How do you know which to use? If you tried them all, you’d never write or publish a thing. And if you ignored them all, well, that’s not a smart move either. The serious writer or blogger of today needs to know where the advantages are, what the competition is using.”

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? Just imagine: 1 percent of that amount and you’re looking at more than 20 million users.”

Increase Engagement in Your Marketing with Visuals from Joel Friedlander and Frances Caballo: “You know the saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words? It may be true but what’s proven is that a photo is better than text when it comes to social media engagement. As much as you may think that you prefer text over visuals, perhaps because you’re a writer, your brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text.”

The Complete Guide to Ebook Distribution by Ricardo Fayet and from Reedsy: “At Reedsy, our goal has always been to help authors through every stage of the publishing process, from the actual writing down to the marketing and promotion. However, if there’s one thing our marketplace can’t do, it’s the actual publishing of the book. By that, I mean pressing the button that puts your book up for sale on Amazon — and other retailers.”

News from Goodreads: The Book Giveaway Program Expands in January 2018: “We’ll be introducing our new Goodreads Giveaways program on January 9, 2018, offering even more powerful book marketing benefits that authors have been asking for. Our new Goodreads Giveaways program includes two packages, Standard and Premium—you can learn more about them below. And for the first time, Kindle Direct Publishing authors can run giveaways for Kindle ebooks—a feature previously only available to traditional publishers.”

Quote of the Week

Doris Lessing

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

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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 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…]

Are You a Social Media Cynic?

Social Media CynicSo, are you a social media cynic? You sort of need to figure that out.

This past week, someone in my community hired me for some one-on-one tutoring. She asked the questions and I answered them.

Because people new to social media sometimes don’t know what to ask, I also filled in gaps with what I thought she might need to know.

At one point, I wanted to say to her, as lovingly as possible, that she needed to admit that she was a social media cynic.

Why lovingly? Because the fires that ripped through Northern California devastated my community. One thing I learned from this experience is that we all need to be as kind as possible, especially now.

[Read more…]

Top 10 Tips to Stay Motivated During NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

With National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) fast approaching, now is the time to prepare for the marathon writing season.

You’ve heard of NaNoWriMo of course. It’s that time of year when many authors try to write an entire novel – yes an entire novel – in the space of 30 days. Is it possible? I know people who have written a novel during November so, yes, it is possible.

But you have to be organized, prepared and know how to persevere. NaNoWriMo isn’t an effort for wusses. It’s hard work trying to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. Damn hard work.

Plan for #NaNoWriMo in October Click To Tweet

I once tried but gave up. (Confession: It was really a nonfiction book.) So there, I admit it. But you know what? I didn’t prepare and wasn’t clear on my objective. So from my experience and those whom I know, I offer the following advice.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 20, 2017


Indie Authors Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update touches on blogging, Twitter, Amazon advertising, and book review sites. They are all topics important to you as an indie author if you want to sell books.

Top 10 Ways to Use Twitter Without Losing Your Soul by G.G. Andrew: “Though it may seem old-fashioned, I prefer to think of Twitter as the online equivalent of a giant cocktail party, and act accordingly (by which I mean practicing kindness and maybe also drinking things with umbrellas).”

[Read more…]