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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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.

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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

 

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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.”

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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 – 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.'”

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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.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 14, 2017

Social Media Weekly Update

This week’s Social Media Update covers everything from ebook production to making more money with your books to book why the news feed may be outdated.

Are you enjoying spring yet? We got a taste of it one weekend, followed by days of rain again. I hear that hiking the local trails — one of my passions — will be less fun due to the abundance of ticks and poison  oak. However you spend your time on weekends, I hope you stay safe and have fun.


Indie Author Updates

4 eBook Platforms Offering Cool Data, Distribution & Marketing Tools from BookWorks and by Carla King: “There are a lot of eBook platforms out there—how many do you know? I bet you haven’t heard of Kbuuk, PublishDrive, Scribl, or StreetLib but I’ll also bet you’ll want to try at least one of them by the end of this post. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your existing service (IngramSpark, Smashwords, Amazon KDP), but add one or more of these to the mix.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 24, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update is jam-packed with seven posts across nearly the entire spectrum of information that indie authors need to know.

Don’t miss Joanna Penn’s podcast interview of Mark Dawson or Self-Publishing Relief’s tips on how to make your book stand out on Amazon. There are great tips in these posts.


Indie Author Updates

Everything you need to know about hashtags from Lilach Bullock: “Ever since the first hashtag was used back in 2007 on Twitter, the popularity of hashtags has continuously grown and they have become a huge part of some of the biggest social networks. So in this blog post, I will be covering everything there is to know about hashtags: the do’s and don’t’s, how, where and when to use them, and the top hashtag tools on the market.”

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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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