Indie Author Weekly Update – June 8, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Wow! There was a plethora of book marketing blog posts on the internet this past week. I’d like to point out David Gaughran’s post on how to sell books. As usual, he offers some real gems.

As always, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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

Hate Book Marketing? 4 Tips To Help You Change Your Mindset and Sell More Books  from Joanna Penn and Belinda Griffin: “It’s ridiculous, you’ve written an entire series of novels, you have a great flair for writing, but this tweet, this tiny message to the world… it’s impossible! You’re not alone. I’ve suffered from this myself and spoken to plenty of other writers who feel the same. You’re not crazy, or stupid, or anything else you may have called yourself. There is, in fact, a very reasonable explanation for your struggle.”

SEO for Authors – Part 1 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Dave Chesson: “Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the art and science of convincing a search engine, like Google, to send people to your website, content, or product. As an author, why should you care?”

How to Network Better by Saying Less by Jane Friedman: “When I was growing up, my mother often repeated the adage “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” It’s rare that you hear that advice today (we live in very different times), but, for better or worse, I took it to heart and soon uncovered the strange power of silence. Far from preventing people from passing judgment on me, it did the opposite. By remaining quiet in a room full of people talking, and then offering a sharp observation, it increased my presence and influence. Sometimes people listen more carefully when you do finally speak, or they attribute meaning that isn’t there to acts of silence.”

Publishing on Medium…Can It Work for You? – BookWorks from BookWorks: “We wrote about publishing on Medium here in April 2016, when it was still finding its legs. Check out that post if you’re not familiar with Medium to understand its genesis. Since then it has grown and evolved, now offering monetization that was only in the works back then. In the interest of keeping tabs on developments, we set up a free account and receive a daily list of curated content based on the categories we selected. We watched Medium become a robust network of smart writers and experts on every imaginable subject.”

How To Strategically Build A Brand Experience By Guest by Charli Mills and from Rachel Thompson: “Before I rode off into the sunset to pursue literary art in 2012, I used to ride for an outfit, herding their brand. As the person in charge of the marketing communications department for a growing natural food enterprise, I multi-tasked in key areas. My team’s most important responsibility was to manage the organization’s brand experience. Like authors with multiple books, we owned multiple brands. We depended upon a customer base to interact with those brands to give them full expression.”

Quote of the Week

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

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

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

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Indie Author Weekly Update – June 1, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

There are a lot of great posts in this week’s Indie Author Update. Enjoy them all. There are a lot of gems in these posts.

The above photo might not make any sense to you, but it does to me. You see, in the summer my husband and I spend several evenings a week attending outdoor concerts, listening to live music, and of course, dancing. How we love to dance together. However you spend your summer, I hope you have a blast.

3 Innovative New Tools to Discover Promising Blog Topics by @mike_allton   by Mike Alton: “What will your next blog post be about? Do you know what your audience is actually interested in? Addressing these questions is what sets the successful blogger apart. She’s done her homework and understands who her audience is and what they want to learn about. She’s researched the niche and identified the specific topics and questions that need to be covered in blog articles, and she has mapped out a publishing calendar for herself.”

Facebook Launches New Tools for Groups, Improving Functionality and Potential from Social Media Today: “Facebook has been putting increased emphasis on groups of late, with The Social Network seeing them as a way to keep users more engaged, while also enabling a level of user moderation, lessening the load for Facebook’s internal moderation team.”

11 Marketing Tips to Get More Eyes on Your Blog or Author Website by Novel Publicity: “Hopefully, it is to craft amazing posts that people want to come and read and share with others. And you may indeed be crafting those great reads – articles, self-improvement, inspiring topics, and letting readers get to know you. But, unlike the famous statement in the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” this is not true for blogs. You have to market your blog just as much as your market your book/services. While this post is directed at bloggers, there’s a ton of good advice for writer websites too!”

This is Why Your Author Branding Matters More Than You Think by Rachel Thompson: “It’s even become a running joke at this point with my chat community as if they’re waiting for me to throw that line in there. Yet, it’s not just a line. It’s what makes the difference between a successful author and a not-so-successful one. I’ve written about branding before in great detail, so in this post, I want to go more into detail about the importance of author branding and its impact on your success.”

How To Get Your Book Into Schools And Double Your Income With Volume Sales by Joanna Penn: “Making a full-time living as a writer is all about multiple streams of income, and bulk sales are a great way of making revenue by doing direct. In today’s show, Dave Hendrickson talks about the joy of selling books to schools – and takes us behind the scenes of the financial side of bulk sales.”

Are Free Book Promotions Still Worth It? by Frances Caballo for TheBookDesigner.com: “The controversy over whether it’s worthwhile to give books away for free continues. You work hard when you write a book. There are the costs associated with writing workshops, writers’ conferences, book coaches, editors, and book designers. When you’re ready to publish, it’s difficult to think that despite all of your investments of time and money that you need to give your book – your baby – away for free.”

Contests for Writers

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time This Summer from Writer Unboxed: ” … 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 WeekLearn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. PABLO PICASSO

 

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

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 25, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to the newest edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. Don’t miss Sandra Beckwith’s post 3 book launch mistakes and Mario Schulzke’s most on setting up international storefronts on Amazon.

Actually, they are all great posts so if you have a chance, read all of them. But don’t miss the two I mentioned above.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Writers, Don’t Wear a “Black Hat.” 10 Ways to Tank Your Author Brand by Anne R. Allen: “Recently there’s been a bizarre drama going on in the book world. It’s been given the name #cockygate, because it involves a cocky author who managed to trademark the word “cocky” in a deluded attempt to eliminate the “competition” and “protect” her author brand.”

How To Create A Compelling Book Cover from Joanna Penn and by Tim Hawken: “Readers do judge a book by its cover. Whether they are wandering through a physical bookstore or scrolling through an online shop or Instagram channel, a well-targeted, genre-specific cover will catch their eye.”

How to Use Smart Links To Increase Your Amazon Sales from Rachel Thompson and by Mario Schulzke: “As an author, you now have the opportunity for people from all over the world to buy and read your work. Depending on your audience, it’s totally feasible that 20-25% of all your Amazon sales can come from outside of the US. And that’s without even publishing your work in another language.”

How to Decide on a Scheduling Tool and Why They’re Helpful by guest from Rachel Thompson and by Emiie R.: “There are many great ways an author can save time in their day to day lives, but one of the best things they can do is use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to manage their social media. There are several options out there for scheduling tools and even more ways to utilize them. Deciding which to use can be difficult, but no matter which platform an author decides to use for their social media scheduling, it is guaranteed to be helpful for the author in many ways.”

Don’t make these 3 book launch mistakes on social media by Sandra Beckwith: “I’m seeing a lot of authors killing it with their book launch on social media. They understand how social media works and they use it effectively. For example, they know that each social media site has its own personality, so they don’t share the same content across all networks. Each post is tweaked according to the social media platform’s unique needs I’m also seeing a lot of book launch mistakes on social media.”

Selling Out: Going Wide or Going Exclusive to Amazon from TheBookDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “Amazon has created a program — KDP Select — that rewards publishers for offering their titles exclusively through the Kindle Store. A lot of publishers — and not just new ones — decide to put all of their eggs in the Amazon basket. They make some compelling arguments for why they do so.”

Quote of the Week

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control. The best ideas are grown in the dark and mystery.

 

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

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. Henry Ward Beecher

There is wasted space on the internet. Have you noticed it?

I’m specifically talking about Twitter header images. How often have you visited an author’s Twitter profile only to discover that the header image is solid blue, or green, or a picture of an author’s dog?

Twitter gives you ample space, 1500 pixels in width X 500 pixels in height, to extend your brand, publicize your books, or upload an image that matches the mood of your newest book.

What so many authors do instead is they leave the space blank, or fill it with pictures of puppies, kittens, or flowers. Or their images leave you questioning the purpose or reason for the chosen header picture.

Like I said, there’s a lot of wasted space on the internet that authors could be using to promote their brand, their books, their successes, and their careers.

Let’s look at how some authors neglected this valuable online real estate.

This historical fiction author could have, instead of the floral image, created a lovely header image that promoted her books. With a free tool, such as Canva.com, or a paid tool, such as PicMonkey.com, you can lift a scene from your book, include your book cover, or create another image that reflects your genre.

The picture below doesn’t do much for this author’s brand, does it?

Twitter header

 

Believe it or not, the author with the scary header writes romance novels. There’s a definite mismatch between her brand and the header image.

Twitter header

Here are a header image and avatar from another historical fiction author. Let’s look at the avatar. Your avatar needs to be a picture of you. Not your canary, dog, Frappuccino, or cat. You.

It shouldn’t even be a drawing of a character in your novel. Readers want to connect with you, see you, and engage with you. When you use a depiction of a character, as in this example, readers wonder who you are.

Now, for the header, it’s difficult to know if this castle is part of a story. As it stands, the image is boring.

Twitter header

Don’t ever follow this example. Use that blue space to promote your books and don’t be an egghead. Ask someone – a professional photographer, friend, or family member – to take a picture of you and upload it to all of your social media profiles.

Twitter header

 

There are a couple of things wrong with this header image. First, no one cares (except you) about the name of your publishing company. Secondly, your image needs to be properly centered.

Twitter header image

 

In this example, I can see that this author tried to get it right. He probably uploaded the cover of his book, without resizing it first, and was only able to capture part of the title. Unfortunately, his avatar blocks part of the title.

Twitter header image

 

Now let’s transition to some header images that work.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – March 9, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to today’s edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. Do you have trouble getting book reviews? Hey, everyone does. That’s why I included Written Word Media’s post on how to get more reviews.

As always, I hope you have a great weekend!

Five Marketing Tools for Authors Who Hate Marketing from Writer Unboxed: ” If you’re a writer and you’re on social media, have a website, blog, or even just talk about your work with friends, you’re already marketing. So here are five inexpensive and relatively easy-to-use tools to help optimize the marketing you’re already doing.”

3 Inspirational Design Ideas from Bestselling Book Covers from TheBookDesigner.com and by Dave Chesson: “Have you ever come across a book cover design so striking that you not only stop and admire it, but also analyze and learn from it? The best book covers are more than just attractive adornments to the books we love. They also offer ideas and inspiration we can use to guide our own work. There’s no limit to the vast array of inspirational covers out there. Books of all genres and types have covers that not only please the eye but also inspire the mind.”

4 Ways to Create Your Author Persona by Donna Galanti: “Everyone’s persona (or brand) is unique (just like you) and it’s your own personal story that you choose to convey that will draw your readers to you. As Dr. Seuss said, “There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” After all, it’s so much easier to be you than someone else!”

How to Use Scheduling To Automate Your Social Media by Joanna Penn: “Some people think I’m on social media all the time because my presence is there 24/7, but my secret weapon is automation and scheduling, as well as tools that enable me to use social media without spending all my time on it.”

How to Get Book Reviews on Amazon from Written Word Media: “One of the first challenges you’ll face when publishing your book is getting book reviews. Book reviews are important because 1) Books with reviews sell more copies, 2) Many book promotion sites require a minimum number of reviews to use their service and 3) Verified reviews are an additional metric Amazon can use to promote your book.”

Quote of the Week

All I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.E. B. WHITE

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

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 29, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts from Adam Connell, Joanna Penn,  Ali Luke, Buffer, and Writers in the Storm. I hope you enjoy the selections.

Well, we are firmly into fall, my favorite season. How does your writing change with the seasons? I’d love to know!


Indie Author Updates

How To Launch Your Own Facebook Group And Get Loyal Fans  from Adam Connell: “Facebook groups are powerful. They’re a perfect place to start real conversations about things that matter to you. And because your audience members are already on Facebook (Facebook addiction is a real thing, people), they are far more likely to engage with you and your brand in Facebook groups than they are on your blog. With Facebook Live, you can now do live training right inside of your group.”

[Read more…]

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.”

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – May 12, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Enjoy this week’s Indie Author Weekly Update with posts from Brooke Warner, Joanna Penn, BookWorks, Rebekah Radice, and Adam Connell. You’ll find information on Amazon’s new strategy, a new app for authors, image editing tools, and more!

Summer is almost here and after the rain we’ve experienced in Northern California, I can hardly wait for the warm, dry days ahead. What about you?


Indie Author Update

BuzzTrace: New Social Media Software Review from BookWorks: “BuzzTrace is a new software program to help authors and independent publishers manage and grow their platform. BuzzTrace accomplishes this by giving suggestions about what to post online and sending alerts when someone is talking about your book online.”

How Amazon, once again, is driving down the value of books and undermining authors by Brooke Warner: “On March 1, while the only people paying real attention were hypervigilant third-party sellers and book geeks on Reddit, Amazon enacted a policy change that allows third-party sellers to compete for the Buy Box for books in ‘new condition.'”

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 28, 2017

ndie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts on blogging, social media, the importance of author bios, Amazon Central Author pages, and more. I hope you enjoy the list of books Joanna Penn recommends and the blogging post by Jeff Bullas, one of my favorite social media bloggers.


Indie Author Updates

How to Create a WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes by Jeff Bullas: “I started my blog using the WordPress platform and I have found it a great technology to publish your content online. A WordPress theme provides flexibility and customisation features that Facebook could never provide.”

[Read more…]