Indie Author Weekly Update – May 4, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update contains a lot of jewels. Don’t miss Cindy Etler’s post on how to become a bestseller and Penny Sansevieri’s post on Goodreads giveaways.

As always, enjoy your weekend!

How to Become a Bestseller with Money, Luck, or Work (Mostly Work)  from JaneFriedman and by Cindy Etler: “If you build it, they will come” is the biggest crock of sh*t ever foisted. The second biggest is my own mental script: “If I write it, The New York Times bestseller list will come.”  *EHNT* Wrong answer.”

New Goodreads Giveaway Checklist for Indie Authors from BookWorks by and Penny Sansevieri: “One of my favorite book promotion tools is a Goodreads giveaway. And, I know that lots of authors weren’t happy when Goodreads changed the program from free to paid. After taking the new program for a test drive, I think it’s still worth the price of admission. So, I’m sharing what I see as the top benefits as well as the checklist you’ll want to use when doing your own Goodreads giveaway.”

5 Powerful Ways to End Your Blog Posts (and Fire Up Your Audience) by Henneke Duistermaat: “For once, Howard Fields feels happy with his writing. The opening of his blog post flows nicely. The tips are solid, and he’s finally got to grips with tightening his own content. Even the rhythm sounds good. Is he finding his voice? Now just a few final lines …  Howard’s mind wanders back to last night’s dinner at Ning. The sweet spiciness of the soft-shell crabs still lingers in his mouth. He licks his lips, remembering the tingling feeling and the aromatic mix of exotic spices. Lemongrass. Ginger. Chillies. And what else?”

Book marketing tips for self-published authors from BookBaby: “In my opinion, publicity partners with marketing, but marketing sets the message and the budget. When the head of marketing meets with the head of publicity, discussing the strategy for the book as colleagues, Publicity will say, “This is a very media-genic author, she has a great following around the country, she is great for radio, TV, etc.” Then the Marketing person might say, “Great, we will set aside money for the plane ticket to New York to be on a morning talk show,” or “We’ll set aside money for maybe a satellite radio tour…”

Book PR: Do’s & Don’ts When Wooing the Media – Part Two from BookWorks and by Chris Well: “The fastest way to draw attention to your book is to be featured in the media. But getting that kind of book PR can be tough if you don’t understand how to do it correctly. These past 30-odd years working in the media, I’ve been pitched by a lot of authors who wanted access to my audience. Unfortunately, most authors don’t get how PR works. As a result, they can make a terrible impression and do themselves more harm than good.”

The Business of Being a Writer: An Interview with Jane Friedman  by Lisa Tener: “Yes, writing is a creative pursuit. Yet, being a successful writer requires learning about the industry, understanding how you can support yourself financially within this field and developing a business plan to succeed. In The Business of Being a Writer, Jane Friedman offers her 20 years of experience within the publishing industry to teach writers basic—and crucial—business principles. Jane covers both general principles and those specific to the field of writing.”

In the News

Books by women priced 45% lower, study finds by The Guardian: “A study of more than 2m books has revealed that titles by female authors are on average sold at just over half the price of those written by men. The research, by sociologist Dana Beth Weinberg and mathematician Adam Kapelner of Queens College-CUNY, looked titles published in North America between 2002 and 2012. The authors analysed the gender of each author by matching names to lists of male and female names, and cross-referenced with information about price, genre and publication.”

Quote of the Week

Albert Einstein quote

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

 

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 27, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. All of the posts this week are great. if you only have time to read a couple, make sure you read Anne R. Allen’s post as well as Rachel Thompson’s.

Enjoy your Friday!

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.”

Authors Beware: Amazon Gets Medieval on Paid and Traded Reviews by Anne R. Allen: “One email notified me that I’d failed to get “enough” reviews on my new Author Blog Book. But I could get 25 Amazon reviews from him for only $900! Dude, here’s the reason many of us “fail” to get tons of Amazon reviews anymore: scammy review-sellers like you. This is because Amazon fights paid review violations with robots, which are wrong more often than not. And they’re scaring off real reviewers.”

How To Solicit And Act On Feedback From Beta Readers from BookBaby: “You’ve finished your first, second, and maybe even the third draft of your book, and you’re ready for feedback from beta readers. Here are the steps you should follow to get and act on the feedback you receive.”

How To Create A Book From Your Blog from Location Rebel and by Dave Chesson: “Bloggers are in the perfect position to write a book. At first, it might seem like a big leap from blog to book. After all, writing a book is a significant project which requires resources.”

13 Dos and 1 Big Don’t For Growing Your Poetry Social Media Following from Writer’s Relief: “After years of languishing, many poets probably thought they’d never see this day come: Poetry is popular again! There’s a new generation of poets — dubbed “Instapoets” due to their success on Instagram — and these social media-savvy bards are commanding audiences in the hundreds of thousands while enjoying drool-worthy book sales!”

10 Ways Authors Can Grow a Facebook Group from TheBookDesigner.com and by Frances Caballo: “More and more romance authors are using groups instead of Facebook author pages or in conjunction with them. Actually, a lot of experts who run courses also offer Facebook groups as a benefit of a buying a course.”

Quote of the Week

James Baldwin quote

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.

 

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 16, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on book marketing strategies. If there’s only two posts you have time to read, be sure to read Gill Andrews’s post on author websites, and then read the post by Joel Friedlander on why your book might not be selling.

Have a great weekend!

15 Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Selling by Joel Friedman: “We’ve all been there: a book we were excited about, one that we worked on earnestly. But when it hit the market, all that came back was a big yawn. No author wants to be in that situation, most of all a self-published author. We gamble our own time, money, and commitment to our books, and we really need a positive response sometimes just to keep going. But there it is: your baby isn’t selling.”

Five Things You Need As You Begin A Career As A Self-Published Author from BookBaby: “The most important part of being a writer is writing, but if you want a career as a self-published author, you have to do a whole lot more than just write: you have to learn the business of writing and market yourself in a way that puts you on the same playing field as mainstream authors with big publishing houses behind them.”

Want More Readers for Your Blog and Books? Fix These 5 Website Mistakes from Anne R. Allen and by by Gill Andrews: “Writing and sharing your ideas with others – sure. But this website thing? You just wanted more people to read your stories. But now you spend hours agonizing over blog post topics, looking for free images, and figuring out why that widget on your website refuses to work.”

Book Marketing 101: Need to Sell More Books? This Is How! by Dave Chesson: “Book marketing is an extremely important part of a self-publisher’s success. But it can also be confusing.  That’s why I’ve broken down the process into 3 phases and given you a guide for each step. Honestly, if I were to write a complete book on Modern Online Book Marketing, this would be EXACTLY IT.  So, enjoy it for free.”

Tips on the Business of Writing and Publishing from Jane Friedman: “For AWP 2018, I hired a team of writers to help me cover business-related sessions, as part of the launch for my newest book (official release date: March 16). Their blog posts are available over at the companion website for the book.”

8 Tips to Get Great Amazon Book Reviews by Lisa Tener: “One strategy that can help catapult your book to page one on Amazon results are your Amazon book reviews. Of course, your book needs to be categorized well on Amazon (with the right keywords and categories). It needs to be well-written, too! But after these “givens” reviews rock.”

Man Booker Prize

Man Booker Prize International Longlist: Books Translated From 10 Languages by Porter Anderson

Quote of the Week

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. Alfred Hitchcock

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. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – January 12, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the Week

Ernest Hemingway quote

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

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – September 22, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to listen to the podcast with Dave Chesson. It’s awesome. I also love the post by Susan Wolfe because it teaches us to never give up as writers.

Well, summer is definitely coming to an end. I hope you enjoyed the season.

[Podcast] Amazon Keywords Learning Lab with Dave Chesson from Chris Syme: “Hear Dave’s story and how he got into self-publishing. What the heck is a keyword anyway and why you need to know. Where you should be using Amazon keywords. And more.”

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update

Indie Author Weekly Updates by Frances Caballo

Here’s another edition of the indie author roundup. This week’s post focuses on marketing, including the importance of keywords and metadata.

The weekend is a few hours away and isn’t that wonderful? I’ll spend time volunteering at a dog and horse rescue today and then spend my weekend hiking and cycling. I love spending time outdoors on weekends. Do you? Let me know what you like to do on weekends, other than reading and writing, of course.


News for the Indie Author

Anatomy of the Bonus: Checklists, Cheatsheets, Worksheets, and More by Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com: “One of the constants in the internet marketing world is the awarding of ‘bonuses’ with almost any kind of product, including books. In its most basic form, a bonus could be considered anything extra that has value. By ‘extra’ we mean that a bonus is something added to something else, perhaps a thing you weren’t expecting. And an extra has to please us, or add real value, to be considered a ‘bonus.'”

Note: Joel is absolutely right. Never hesitate to give your readers a surprise bonus, especially when you sell something to them.

Surprise your readers and buyers with bonusesClick To Tweet [Read more…]

Self-Publishing: 5 things I Will Do Differently Next Time

1-26-15 Self-Publishing Social Media Just for WritersGuest post by Martha Conway on her experience self-publishing her second book.

Last year, after having one novel published by a traditional publisher, I decided to publish my second novel – Thieving Forest – independently.

After six months of research and preparation I launched Thieving Forest in mid-August, and the experience has been enormously empowering.

Also confusing, exhilarating, time-consuming, and an effort that required me to exercise my brain in new and interesting ways.

It was like starting a new job, which it was. And like a hopeless perfectionist, I wanted to do everything right.

What have I learned, and what would I do differently next time? I’ve kept the list short.

[Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

UnsplashBelow you’ll find four of the best posts I read this past week. I hope you find these resources for Indie Authors helpful.


7 Profitable Ways To Upsell From Your Digital Products, by Joan Stewart, from The Future of Ink: Shopping at Old Navy? Choose a cute top, and the saleswoman will suggest an adorable infinity scarf to match. Oh, wait! There’s this fabulous chunky bracelet with earrings to complete the outfit. It’s called upselling, one of the most often overlooked ways to make very easy money.

37 Amazingly Effective List Building Tips You Can Use Today by Adam Connell: You need to build your email list if you want to grow your blog. Don’t be the person that keeps making excuses for why they aren’t focusing on building their list. I learned that lesson the hard way but you don’t have to. The truth is that email is far more effective at reaching your raving fans than any other tool.

Your 10 Point Website Check Up: Tip #23 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book by Penny Sansevieri: So you have a website, congratulations! Now let’s make sure it’s doing what it is supposed to be doing for you. Read: selling your book or product. While websites will differ in color, layout, and target audience, there are a few things that need to remain consistent. Let’s take a look at them.

3 Things Self-Published Authors Should Know about Their Audience, from BookBaby: Only a few lucky authors can try the let’s-throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to book promotion. They’re able to cast a wide net because they have access to a big marketing budget and a pro publicity team. And no matter what the topic, or who the intended audience, when a great book gets exposed to tens of millions of readers, thousands of them are sure to be interested.

AuthorRise Shows Promise for Indie Writers, from The Book Designer: There’s no point in trying to grow a large following if your readers aren’t engaged with you as an author and the books you write. Analytics helps you to understand members of your audience and learn more about them so that you can enhance engagement on your social media profiles.

 

Social Media Time Suck Final 200About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Social Media for Writers: Tips from the Field

Twitter graphic

All of this week’s posts focus on some aspect of social media for writers. The beauty of social media for authors is that it is the one component of an author’s marketing platform that levels the playing field. Whether or not you have an agent or a publisher, how well you communicate and connect with people on social media is completely relative to the effort you put forth. You, in fact, may be more active on social media and sell more books because of the connections you make on social media than some traditionally published authors. So it’s important for us as author entrepreneurs to learn how to use social media effectively and efficiently. These posts should help you to accomplish that goal.

20 Topic Ideas for a Steady Content Flow from Social Media Today: As a serious blogger, you know that every single blog post you churn out breathes life into your content marketing strategy. You take pleasure in turning a website into a watering hole for those who thirst for knowledge on a particular subject. Writing is no doubt the easiest part when it comes to content creation, but the real pickle is coming up with great ideas to keep the reader glued to each crafted sentence. Oh yes, it can be pretty difficult to keep coming up with exceptional content that readers cannot get enough of. Writing good content all the time will require you to be pretty creative.

3 Ways Indie Authors Can Use Social Media to Attract Readers from Huffington Post Books: The good news is that there are a growing number of ways — 44 to be exact — that readers discover new books, which means there are more opportunities to get in front of the ideal book buyer. Those new methods include a combination of word of mouth recommendations (still the most popular) and discovery on mobile and social media.

9 Tips on Pinterest for Writers from sm4writers: We’re in the middle of a Social Media revolution. There is information everywhere about Social Media, and it is now an essential part of the marketing mix for writers building their platform and reputation.

Predators Abound—How Writers Can Be Savvy in Social Media, Marketing and Promotion from Kristen Lamb’s Blog: We’ve been talking a lot about the new publishing paradigm and all the options writers have. Being the WANA Mama, I feel it’s my duty to feed you guys the grow-up stuff. So, if you want a fluffy kitten hug? This is the wrong place. There are plenty of people who offer a magic algorithm or promotion package or SEO package “guaranteed” to launch a writer to fame and fortune. Yet, these can be misleading and take our focus away from activities that have a better chance of translating into long-term success.

10 Extremely Cool Twitter Tricks For Newbies from Search Engine Journal: f you’re one of the 600 million plus registered users on Twitter, you may be searching for some helpful hints on how to make your experience more effective. After all, we can’t spend all day going through our feed and replying to retweets. We’re all busy. And, thankfully, there a ton of useful apps, tools and tricks that can accomplish exactly that. For example, you can use Themeleon to create an awesome new background to make your account stand out a bit.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

photo credit: JefferyTurner via photopin cc

 

Self-Publishing and the Creative Process

Art 550This week’s post center around the creative process. As writers, we’re always imagining new worlds, thinking about our covers and looking for ways to overcome obstacles to the creative process. It’s my hope that the posts below will aid you in your own creative process, whether you write fiction, poetry or nonfiction. 

Publishing And Marketing Tips For The Apple iBookstore With Mark Coker From Smashwords by Joanna Penn: As ebooks move far beyond the mature markets of the US and UK in 2014, I think all authors should be aware of the other platforms that compete, and in some cases, dominate. A few weeks ago, Mark Coker did a presentation for the Alliance of Independent Authors on the opportunities for publishing and marketing in the Apple iBookstore. It’s a long video but well worth watching if you’re not making many sales on iBookstore, because there are things you can do to maximize your chances of sales. I’ll certainly be making some changes myself based on Mark’s talk.

Why Every Author Needs a Google+ Account from BookBaby Blog: A recent article on Hypebot does a good job explaining why content creators (especially authors!) need to be using Google’s social platform. Here’s the quick summary.

10 Ways to Overcome Mental Blocks & Boost Creativity from Fine Art Tips by Lori McNee: The need to create is a shared desire among artists, writers, musicians and even bloggers. But, sometimes we creatives hit a mental block and often find ourselves stressed, overwhelmed and unable to produce original ideas. This happens to me from time to time, so I compiled a list of my proven ways to overcome mental blocks & boost creativity.

How To Make Your Own Free Book Cover In MS Word from The Creative Penn: Derek Murphy of Creativindie Covers is a brilliant designer and has designed a number of my own book covers. But although I personally believe in paying professionals, I’m also aware that some people want to have a go themselves, or need to because of budget restraints. This post is for the avid DIY-ers!

10 Words to Cut from Your Writing from Entrepreneur by Shanna Mallon: As Mark Twain famously wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” His point? Strong writing is lean writing, When you want to make your writing more powerful, cut out words you don’t need–such as the 10 included in this post.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.