Indie Author Weekly Update – May 18, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to read Sandra Beckwith’s post on Goodreads and how to create pre-launch buzz for your book by Rachel Thompson. And as always, enjoy your Friday and the weekend!

How to interact with readers on Goodreads by Sandra Beckwith: ““I can’t figure out Goodreads!” It’s a common author lament. While Goodreads is a social network of sorts, the site for book lovers doesn’t look, feel, or operate like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms you might use. It’s so different, in fact, that many authors simply ignore it because doing that is easier than spending the time required to understand the site and how to use it.”

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing: Eldonna Edwards Weighs the Pros and Cons by Anne R. Allen: “I’d been writing a novel off-and-on for over a decade when life threw me one of those cosmic curveballs that sent me careening in a totally different direction. Actually, it was more like me running onto the field and catching a curveball between the eyes, or in this case, in the kidney.

25 Creative Ways Authors Use Images for Social Media Marketing from BookBub: “Some social platforms revolve around sharing visual content, including Instagram, where photos still generate 36% more engagement than videos. And on platforms where images are optional, including them dramatically increases engagement. For example, Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images.”

Helping Senior Citizens Self-Publish by Joel Friedlander: “Although the indie publishing world sometimes seems to be populated by young entrepreneurial authors, in fact a lot of writers publishing books today are at the other end of the spectrum—senior citizens. It may be hard to pin down what exactly we mean by “older authors,” but I generally take it to mean people 50 years of age and over who haven’t published their own books before.”

How To Build 1,000 Superfans When You’re Starting From Zero from by Joanna Penn: “Former Wired editor Kevin Kelly famously argued that 1,000 superfans is all you need for success as a creator (authors, musicians, artists… anyone who sells things they create). A superfan is someone who will buy anything you produce and sing your praises to anyone who will listen, winning you potential new fans for your books. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful for selling books, and that’s why authors strive to get superfans.”

How to Create Pre-Launch Buzz for Your Book Right Now Rachel Thompson: “Build relationships with readers on social media. This means interact, ask questions, strategically follow readers (not only other writers). Time: Realistically, plan to spend 30-60 minutes daily.”

Quote of the Week

The most important things to remember about back #story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.STEPHEN KING

 

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.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

 

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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How Writers Can Get Started on Goodreads

How Writers Can Get Started on Goodreads

Goodreads has become the most important networking site on the Internet  . . . Forbes

Perhaps you’re wondering, “Is Goodreads really a social media network?” It definitely is.

The primary reason the founders of Goodreads started this website was to create an online venue where friends could chat about and recommend books, the same way they might if they were dining together or meeting at a café.

Its secondary goal was to serve as a social media network. Here, you can share a number of items, including:

  • Your book reviews.
  • Information about books you’ve recently read and those on your to-read list through virtual bookshelves.
  • Blog posts.
  • Favorite quotes.

At its core, Goodreads is all about the reader, not about using this platform to hawk your books. If you intend to start a Goodreads account for the purpose of merely acquiring readers and selling more books, you’re doomed.

How to Get Started on Goodreads

You are about to enter a world of avid book readers. Share your love for the written word by following the steps below.

Open An Account

If you are new to Goodreads, get started by navigating to www.goodreads.com. You can sign up either by signing in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Amazon accounts. Or, you can enter your name, email address, and a password. That’s the best way to sign up.

Goodreads periodically adjusts the steps you’ll need to take to sign up. Some of the initial questions about books you prefer to read are to determine which reading suggestions Goodreads should send you through its Goodreads Deals program. Just bear with the surveys. You’re getting closer to being a full-fledged Goodreads member.

It’s Time to Add Books to Your Bookshelves

Before initiating your author profile, you’ll first need to indicate that you are indeed a reader.

In the search bar, type the names of the books you want to read, have read, or are currently reading. If you can’t find the book by its title, use the ISBN or author’s name. You can find ISBNs on Amazon or any book retail venue.

Let’s say that you want to read The Nightingale.After typing the book title, click the green bar that says Want to Read.

Goodreads

Notice all the information that appears. You find out that it was a 2015 Goodreads Choice Winner in 2015, can buy it directly from Amazon (which owns Goodreads), and you can see which books readers of The Nightingalealso enjoyed reading.

When you click on the white arrow directly beneath the novel, you can see several options. You can separate your books by category, create a shelf, and note a reading status such as Want to Read, Currently Reading, or Read.

Want to read - Goodreads

 

Repeat this process until you’ve created several bookshelves.

Once you’ve finished reading a book you previously identified as Want to Read, simply click My Books in the top taskbar, navigate to the book you just finished, and click edit. You’ll now be able to add the book to your shelf of books you’ve read.Choose shelves Goodreads

How can you update the status of a book you’ve been reading? Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Home, which serves as a news feed. Here you’ll see what all of your friends are reading or have read, and find links to their reviews.
  2. Look at the left column and you’ll see a widget noting the book you’re currently reading. In this widget, you can add a new book you want to read or have read, view all books you’ve read, or add a general update for your friends.

When you click General Update, for example, the following pop-up appears for you to write a post that will appear from you in your friends’ newsfeeds.

Share your book thoughts

 

Further down on the left column, you’ll see a listing of all of your bookshelves. And above the list of your shelves will be a pictorial view of the covers of the books you previously listed as Want to Read. You can change the status of those books.

Above the list of Want to Read books, you have an opportunity enter the 2017 Reading Challenge. Just select the number of books you plan to read and click Start Challenge.

Goodreads

A Review of Goodreads’ Tabs

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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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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.

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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.

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Update: How to Host a Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway Update

Goodreads giveaways are always free to list, that is if you don’t count the cost of your paperbacks and the postage you use to send your books to the winners.

Why even engage in a Goodreads giveaway? I’ve found that I always reap a bump in sales. Besides, giveaways increase awareness of your titles and you as an author, and let’s admit it; giveaways are popular.

Host Giveaways of Your Books

 Contests are easy to create and run on Goodreads because Goodreads is a partner in the endeavor. Follow these steps:

Navigate to the arrow next to Browse, click it, and select Giveaways. On the right column, you’ll find a green link that says List a Giveaway.

Goodreads

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Indie Author Weekly Update – May 26, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update - May 26, 2017

In this edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update enjoy posts from Anne R. Allen, Amy Collins, Joanna Penn, Gary McLaren, and Publishing Perspectives. Topics range from blogging to Goodreads to  Amazon Charts. Enjoy!


Practice Novels: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Publish that 1st Novel…Yet  by Anne R. Allen: “We often hear stories about authors who have phenomenal success with a “first novel.” I’m sure most writers fantasize about being one of those success stories as we begin our careers. I sure did. But here’s what I didn’t know when I was having those fantasies: a novel that is published first is rarely the actual first novel an author wrote.”

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup September 30, 2016

Indie Author News This WeekAs an indie author, what steps are you taking to sell more books? How to sell more books is the continual question for authors and so I hope this week’s indie author weekly roundup will provide some answers for you.

And …

Don’t forget to sign up for next Tuesday’s Conversations with Frances when I’ll be interviewing blogging and self-publishing expert Joel Friedlander. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask him anything you’d like as well. So join us October 4 at 11 am.


Indie Author Updates

10 Things Authors Need to Stop Doing on Social Media Immediately from Digital Book World: “Almost every author has been told at some point, “You gotta get online and promote.” But only a small percentage of authors have actually been coached on social media best practices, resulting in hundreds of authors using social media completely wrong and turning readers off rather than attracting them. If you are guilty of any of the following social media practices, for the sake of your readership, please stop immediately.”

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup – July 8, 2016

 

 Indie Author Weekly Roundup by Frances CaballoIt seems that every week it gets harder to narrow the selection of posts I pick for the Indie Author Weekly Roundup. This week was especially difficult. I hope you enjoy the mix of social media and book marketing posts that I ultimately chose.


Indie Author Weekly Roundup

 

Did You Miss These Posts I Recently Wrote for Other Blogs? 

How Goodreads Can Help Writers Grow Their Readership from Susanne Lakin’s Live Write Thrive blog: “What I find interesting is that many Goodreads users attended college, and even more of them attended graduate school. Goodreads members are educated, love to read, and love to talk about books. Women read more and review more books than men and dominate this online venue. While men aren’t as active on this site as women, they still participate and are a growing force here.”

Learn how to improve your website's SEO with Pinterest Click To Tweet

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Social Media Weekly Roundup for Authors

5-27-16 WeeklyRoundup-2I was talking with a friend recently, and she asked me what I’d be publishing this year. I told her I’m writing three books: the Goodreads book I just released, a time management book, and a comprehensive book on social media. She asked me how much they would cost. I haven’t decided on a price for the paperback of the last book I’ll release this year, but the ebook will be about $4.99. She said, “That’s expensive for an ebook.” Really? I tried to explain to her the costs indie authors incur: their time, editing, book covers, and book formatting. When you consider the costs, I don’t think a comprehensive book priced at $4.99 is too much. So my message this week is don’t fall into the trap that all of your books need to be priced at $.99. You’re worth more than that. Now tell me what you think about book pricing. Note: I do lower the price of my ebooks after they’ve been on the market for a couple of years and when I’m preparing a massive update.


Here’s the Social Media Weekly Roundup

Using The #Audiobook Service ACX via Self-Published Authors Helping Authors: “I think I speak for many of us when I say we’d like to have our books in audiobook form. Besides being a possible way to connect to new readers who don’t necessarily like to sit down with a paperback or e-book and another possible source of revenue, audiobooks have a prestige to them. It’s sort of magical hearing your characters come to life in your car or in your earbuds through sound and description. It’s pretty powerful.”

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