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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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 17, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update is chockfull of helpful tips. From Facebook ads to author websites to cross-promotion, you’ll find information to help you sell more books.

Indie Author Updates

Unpublished Writers and Websites: Should You Have One and What Should It Say? by Jane Friedman: “If you plan to pursue writing as a professional, long-term career, I recommend starting and maintaining an author website even if you’re unpublished. Your website serves as an online home and hub for everything that you do, whether in real life or in the digital realm. You fully own and control it, tell your own story, and connect directly with the media, readers or influencers. It’s hard to overstate its importance over the long term. Consider it the cost of doing business in the digital era, a necessary business card and networking tool.”

Use Your Author Website To Make Readers Care About You As A Writer  from Web Design Relief: “As a writer, your job is to create a narrative that hooks the reader, raises curiosity, elicits empathy, and leaves the reader satisfied. But have you ever considered how these fundamentals of storytelling can be harnessed to improve your author website?”

Email Marketing: The Complete Beginner’s Guide from Blogging Wizard: “If you’re a small business owner doing business online, the thought of not making any conversions can make you lose sleep at night. You work hard at creating your website – or the online version of your brick and mortar business – with a distinct brand and logo. You even heard that blogging can generate up to 67% more leads, so you start your own company blog.”

Pronoun Is Dead: The Ebook Retail Universe Redux from TheBoodDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “I’m bummed. On November 6, Macmillan’s Pronoun, the distributor that I had begun to rely on more and more over the past year, announced that it was shutting down its operations. No new books can be uploaded; Pronoun will remove all existing books from distribution on January 15, 2018.”

The 4 Best Types of Facebook Ads for Authors by Andrea Vahl: “Are you an author who wants to promote your book with Facebook Ads?  It can be overwhelming to know what is going to be most effective.  In this post, I’ll show you the 4 best types of Facebook Ads for Authors and how to approach your marketing strategy on Facebook. The first thing to clear up is that there are different types of authors and different goals for your book.  And once you are clear on the next step a reader should take with you, your marketing strategy becomes clearer.”

14 Ways Authors Can Cross-Promote Each Other’s Books from BookBub: “Many authors cross-promote each other’s books to gain visibility with a relevant new audience of readers. It’s a mutually beneficial way to inexpensively boost book sales and word-of-mouth buzz — and to make new friends and build relationships in the publishing community!”

Awards News

Jesmyn Ward Wins Second National Book Award in Fiction from Publishing Perspectives: “Jesmyn Ward led Wednesday evening’s (November 15) National Book Award honors, for her Sing, Unburied, Sing, becoming a two-time winner of the prize.” Her earlier award came in 2011 for Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury USA).

Fiction Writing Contests

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (Winter 2017 Edition) from Writer Unboxed: “Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.”

Quote of the Week

Ernest Hemingway

New to blogging? Check out Blogging Just for Writers 

Blogging Just for Writers by Frances Caballo

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 October 13, 2017

indie authorsThis week’s Indie Author Weekly Update is about content, whether its podcasting, blogging, or publishing, it’s all content.

I chose this week’s photo due to the sky I lived under this week. I live in the Tubbs Fire area, more specifically Sonoma County. It’s been a surreal week for me because the conflagration is near me yet I am spared by it. Please pray for my neighbors.


Indie Author Update

10 Reasons Podcast Guesting is the #1 Killer Content Marketing Tactic of All via Duct Tape Marketing: “This is a bold statement, but hear me out. I have been earning a living from search engine optimization for over 12 years and I’ve tried every tactic at one time or another. Ever since Google started dropping algorithmic bombs around 2011 (think Panda, Penguin, and so on), SEO industry behavior has changed. Most SEO services have moved back onshore and “real” SEO is now an integrated part of holistic marketing.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – September 15, 2017

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update contains six posts that should kick your book marketing up a few notches. Notable posts are from Dave Chesson, Writer Unboxed, and Jane Friedman.

Well we are seeing summer come to a close. I feel for the people in the wake of hurricane Harvey and Irma. Locally, it can be sunny and hot one day and the next we have lightning, thunder, and rain. Summer is definitely ending on a tumultuous note.


Indie Author Update

Book Advertising – Free Amazon Marketing Services Course by Dave Chesson: “As many of you have heard, advertising your book on Amazon Marketing Services or AMS has become one the best ways for authors to get their book discovered and even thrive in a crowded Amazon market. Through AMS, you can now choose when and where you want your book to show up on Amazon – anywhere in search results or even next to another book on their own sales page.”

What’s More Important: Author Websites or Social Media? by Jane Friedman: “In 2013, I observed a conversation on Twitter where a publisher said they didn’t believe in author websites “for a lot of authors”—that social was a better place for authors to spend time from a marketing perspective. It bothered me, and I ended up writing a blog post about it, exploring why a publisher might think this—rightly or wrongly.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – August 25, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update includes posts from Jane Friedman, David Baer, Hugh Howey, Social Media Examiner, and the Alliance of Independent Authors. Topics range from Facebook to email marketing to tools for writers.

The eclipse is over and summer is nearing its end. What are your goals for the fall? Whatever they might be, I with you the best with your writing.

23 Powerful Ways To Connect With Your Audience on SocialMedia from David Baer: “Perhaps you’ve suffered from thinking “Who cares what I had for breakfast?” – or maybe you’ve just wanted to retain a sense of privacy and not share the small details of your life with the world.”

Writing Insights Part One: Becoming a Writer from Hugh Howey: “I started writing my first novel when I was twelve years old. I was thirty-three when I completed my first rough draft. That’s twenty years of wanting to do something and not knowing how. Twenty years of failure and frustrations and giving up. A big part of the problem is that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know which questions to ask, much less who might have the answers.”

How to Set Up a Creative Facebook Cover Video from Social Media Examiner: “When users visit your page, your Facebook cover photo is one of the first things they’ll notice. For new visitors, your cover photo can help represent your brand and portray your story in just a few seconds. It only makes sense that a short video can accomplish this better than a still photo.”

Best Tools of the Self-Publishing Trade: Running An Author Business from Alliance of Independent Authors: “What tool is indispensable when it comes to running your author business? Jay Artale consulted with ALLi members to find out the writing and self-publishing tools they couldn’t do without. Here’s her roundup of the software, tools, and services they use and recommend.”

MailChimp Alternatives for Authors from Jane Friedman: “When authors ask me for marketing advice, one of my first questions for them is: “Do you have a mailing list?” Too often, the author will say no. So my first piece of advice tends to be: Sign up to MailChimp and set up your mailing list.”

5 Ways to Use Facebook Pinned Posts to Hook Fans from Chris Syme: “Facebook pinned posts are the most underused piece of real estate on your Facebook page. They have the ability to entice people to walk in your door. But let’s start with why. It’s all about the numbers.

Quote of the Week

Yehoshua

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 – August 18, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s installment of the Indie Author Weekly Update includes posts on websites, discoverability, productivity, and SEO. I hope you enjoy the posts and the practical information below.

As the month inches to a close and can feel as though summer is slipping through our fingers. Where I live, at least, warm weather can surprise us in September or October and that’s what I’m hoping for. Let summer last as long as possible!


Indie Author Updates

Discoverability: Go Wide by Joel Friedlander: “We often talk about the absolute necessity of making our books discoverable to readers. I started writing about discoverability as a key to success in online bookstores in 2011. But what does it really mean? This question most often leads to a discussion about book metadata, a field all indie authors come to understand, if only when they go to upload their book files to a retailer and are faced with a long form to fill out.”

Online Author Etiquette: 12 Laws of the Amazon Jungle from Anne R. Allen: “After I wrote my post last month on cyberbullying in the publishing community, a lot of people asked if there’s any way to avoid these online terrorists. I wrote a post on the subject back in 2013, soon after my nightmare encounter with the Goodreads Mean Girls, who attacked me with everything from one-star “review” swarms to death threats that included pictures of my house.”

6 Common Sense Steps to Secure a WordPress Website from Jane Friedman: “I almost was that next victim. In 2012 I was targeted by a botnet that attacked WordPress sites. I never lost control of my site, but I did spend quite a few hours fighting them off. I had to learn the hard way that securing a site before you encounter a problem can prevent a lot of panic, but you don’t have to make my mistake.”

11 Top Tools To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 2017 from Adam Connell at Blogging Wizard: “Been blogging for a while and not making any real impact? Even though you have the best of intentions, you seem to have no eyes on your blog, no subscribers, and very few social media followers. Starting a blog and growing your blog are two different things. When starting a blog you have to find your niche, research hosting plans, figure out WordPress, create content and finally get your theme and website up and running. But, then the next thing is getting people to your blog.”

The definitive guide to SEO for authors by Nathan Bransford: “What if there was a way to virtually guarantee your book hits all the bestseller lists without being a “big name” author or buying your way onto the lists? Sound impossible? People have done it. And here’s the secret… You need to build an AUDIENCE of people ready to pre-order your book. It’s the exact strategy that Tim Ferriss used to become a four-time New York Times best seller. In this article (NB note: written by SEO expert Michael Tesalona) we’ll break down exactly how it’s done. Spoiler alert: you’ll need to get very good at blogging and SEO.”

4 Social Media Productivity Tips for Authors by Frances Caballo from TheBookDesigner.com: “Every writer’s dream is to publish a book that soars in popularity and sells oodles of copies. And perhaps every writer’s nightmare is learning how to market a book and then doing the marketing. What’s a writer to do? It’s like the chicken and the egg quandary – which came first? Well, in the world of publishing, the marketing starts before the book is finished. The idea for the book comes first, followed by the simultaneous acts of marketing and writing, and finally the book appears on virtual shelves, followed by even more marketing.”

Quote of the Week

Allegra Goodman


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 Updates – June 21, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update includes posts from Helen Sedwick, Jane Friedman, Penny Sansevieri, Joel Friedman, and Orna Ross. You’ll find posts about piracy, resources for authors, marketing, and  top blog posts for the first half of 2017.

Why the picture of the Labrador retriever pup above? We’re now in the dog days of summer. How are you spending them? (I’m just trying to stay cool!)


Indie Author Update

Digital Piracy & Illegal Downloads: Author Options by Helen Sedwick from BookWorks: “Sooner or later, every author suffers that dreadful experience of finding websites offering free illegal downloads of her book. For most of us, our first reaction to such digital piracy is to send a nasty email or better yet, hire an attorney to write one for us. After all, someone is stealing our work! Wait! Before you pay hard-earned money to an attorney, let’s look at less expensive options.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – June 23, 2017

Indie Author Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts on book promotion, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter from Lilach Bullock, Digital Book World, The Write Life and others. Enjoy them!

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to survive the the 100+ heat here in Northern California. Is it hot where you’re at? If so, share with me your favorite tips for remaining cool.

Indie Author Update

Authors, Grow Your Fan Base By Leading A Book Club by Digital Book World: “I have always maintained that the author-as-a-brand is the strongest selling link across the publishing chain. Whether self, indie or traditionally published, the emotional connection forged by dedicated readers is never with a publisher or an imprint—it’s with the author him or herself. This relationship is, more than anything else, built on trust.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 31, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Here’s a new edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week, you’ll find posts from Jeff Goins, Mary McLaren, Jane Friedman, Chris Syme, and Buffer. Be sure to check out my post for Joel Friedlander as well.

Are you enjoying spring? We’ve been experiencing our first round of sunny days since the pounding of rain stopped. I’m going to enjoy it while it’s still sunny. I hope you find some sun in your days too.


Indie Author Updates

3 Proven Book Marketing Tactics that You Should Probably Avoid from Jeff Goins: “Congratulations! Your “pub date” is inked on to the calendar and it’s exciting to think of this artifact, crafted in the smithy of your soul, out in the world at last. Until you realized what you’ve always known. Creating the book is easy compared to figuring out how to market and sell the thing.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 17, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Indie Author update. On deck today are posts from Joel Friedlander, Jane Friedman, Digital Pubbing and others. Don’t miss Joel’s interview of Dan Blank; it’s terrific.

Using Improv Techniques for #Creativity plus Facebook Ads  with Andrea Vahl and by Joanna Penn: “Andrea Vahl is a social media speaker and consultant who is passionate about helping businesses understand and leverage the power of social media to actually grow their business. She’s the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, and she’s also been an improv, stand-up comedian for 10 years. You can listen on iTunes or Stitcher or watch the video here, read the notes and links on Joanna’s website. She Joanna’s website for the complete transcript and links.”

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