Indie Author Weekly Update – September 7, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

It’s Friday, which means that it’s time for a new Indie Authors Weekly Update. Be sure to read Mark Dawson’s post on building a successful author career. Anne R. Allen and David Kudler’s posts are also great.

5 Steps to Building a Successful Author Career by Mark Dawson: “I’ll probably say it again before I have finished, but I’d argue that this is the best time in the history of the world to be a writer. I know – pretty grandiose. Let me explain.  When I started writing at the end of the 1990s, if I wanted to get my writing out to readers I only really had one path that was open to me. Once I had finished my manuscript, I would send the first three chapters and a covering letter to one of the dozens of literary agencies that accepted unsolicited submissions.”

9 Pieces of Bad Publishing Advice New Writers Should Ignore by Anne R. Allen: “Social Media is both a boon and a curse to new writers. Online writing groups and forums are an excellent source of insider information on the publishing industry—stuff we once could only find at expensive classes and writers’ conferences. But social media is also a major source of misinformation and dangerously bad advice.”

Retweeting Your Own Tweets Can Boost Your Reach and Engagement from Buffer: “In February 2018, Twitter updated its rules to prohibit sharing tweets that are identical or substantially similar to one another. Before this rule change, re-sharing top tweets (sparingly) was one of our favorite strategies for increasing our Twitter reach and engagement here at Buffer. And while it was a shame to forgo this strategy, we understand the rationale behind the new rules and are fully supportive of them. So, rather than dwelling on what used to work, we started searching for other strategies to try. Here’s one experiment we’ve been working on (and our results in full).”

Amazon Top Reviewer Secrets: The Must-Read Tell-All by Penny Sansevieri: “When you’re pitching Amazon Top Reviewers, have you ever wondered about the things they love, and the things that will absolutely get you shoved to the bottom of their book review consideration pile? We thought so, too, which is why we took some time to interview several of these top book reviewers. Each of them is anonymous in this piece (with the exception of one).”

10 Instagram Tips for Writers from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Annie Sullivan: “So how can writers use Instagram to their benefit? Here are some easy things to keep in mind to find and engage your target readership on Instagram.”

How to Grow Your Email List With Pinterest by Emily Syring: “Do you have an engaged audience on Pinterest? Wondering how to get your Pinterest followers onto your email list? In this article, you’ll discover how to promote your email opt-in via your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins.”

Words Gone Wild: KDP Keywords Revisited from and by David Kudler: “I’ve talked about keywords before; they’re an essential piece of metadata that determines how easy it is for the right reader to find your book. They are in many ways the key to discoverability. It is best to think of them, not as single words, but as search phrases — that is to say, groups of words that your ideal reader is likely to search for. Put a different way, what question is your ideal reader likely to ask to which your book is the answer?”

Quote of the Week

Patton Oswalt quote



Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now!

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Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She 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

Indie Author Weekly Update February 3, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Updates

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update encompasses every topic, from increasing ebook sales to book promotion and from Facebook to building a website. I hope you enjoy these blog posts from across the internet from experts in publishing and social media.

On a personal front, I’m busy getting ready for the San Francisco Writers Conference, where I’ll be teaching two sessions and participating in two panels. If you’ve never been to this conference, you should check into it. Even if you can’t attend the entire conference, there are pre- and post-sessions that are available separately. Besides, you can’t beat the setting: the conference is at the Mark Hopkin Hotel. I hope to see some of you there.

Indie Author Updates

A Powerful Shortcut for Discovering Keywords to Increase Ebook Sales  Digital Book World: “Indie authors and ebook publishers have a powerful tool for increasing book sales that costs nothing and already exists in their online book selling setup: keywords. The keywords associated with an ebook in an online store can help drive readers to your sales page. When you attract more people to your book’s sales page, the more opportunities you have to make sales.”

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update

Indie Author Weekly Updates by Frances Caballo

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

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

News for the Indie Author

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

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

[clickToTweet tweet=”Surprise your readers and buyers with bonuses via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Surprise your readers and buyers with bonuses”] [Read more…]

Goodreads, Keywords, Facebook Marketing Tips and Writing Google+ Posts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery week I’m amazed by the brilliant articles on the blogosphere. There are days when I think, “How can anyone write a post that is original? Hasn’t every topic been covered already?” Yet this past week I found blog posts that were simply astounding. So my quench for great content was satisfied, the sun has shining again in Northern California (summer is finally here!), and I couldn’t feel better.

This week’s roundup will provide you with Facebook marketing tips and information to enhance your skills on Goodreads, Google+ and other platforms.

5 Facebook Marketing Tips To Drive Engagement by Jeff Bullas – “It started as a trickle and has turned into a torrent as people and companies target you with multiple media such as Twitter and emails with requests for you to ‘like’ their company Fan page on Facebook. The Facebook  ’like’ scramble is this centuries version of the frantic email subscriber acquisition tactics of the 1990′s. Business started to seriously take to Facebook marketing in early 2010 as the number of Facebook pages more than doubled with the 1.5 million ‘page’s in December 2009  increasing to over 3 million by February 2010, according to So how do you encourage your brand’s Facebook fans to become more engaged with you rather than just plain ‘begging’ to be ‘liked’?”

A Key Book Marketing Principle That Authors Must Learn (or Not Forget) by Jane Friedman – Most new authors, upon securing a book contract or planning a book launch, are advised they need to establish a Twitter account, a Facebook page, or [list social media channel here]. Why? To market their book, of course. This presents an immediate dilemma: If the author is not already active on these channels, of her own interest and volition, she now has the mindset of using these tools to “market”—and the new author may have no idea what that means beyond telling people to like their page or follow them. No one I know enjoys being a marketer on social media, not any more than people want to be marketed to. It poisons the experience, for everyone. You might respond: Yeah, tell us something we don’t know, right? Yet authors continue to use social media—and their online networks—as blunt instruments, posting things that beg people to pay attention and become a buyer or follower. Unfortunately, asking for such attention on a social media network is likely to ensure you won’t be getting any, except for those who already adore you or feel obligated to support you.”

The Art of Writing Great Google+ Posts by DEMIAN FARNWORTH – “There’s no denying it: we love Google+. Sure, we’ve made hay over other social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. That’s because it’s smart to be where your audience is … to engage them there, and then direct them back to your own digital property. But Google+ is something different. It’s why we’ve gone out of our way to teach you how content creators can build authority and an audience on Google+ … the critical role Google+ plays in authorship and online visibility … and why it’s the best social site for content marketers. High-level stuff. Now let’s get down to the quick and dirty and teach you how to create Google+ posts that get attention, shared, and comments. Lots of attention, shares, and comments. But first … My Google+ hall of fame posts.”

23 Literary Agent Query Letters That Worked from the Galley Cat Blog by Jason Boog – “Once you find an agent you would like to represent your book, the pitch letter is the next step in the traditional publishing process. Below, we’ve collected 23 different agent pitch letters that actually worked in a variety of genres. We’ve gathered these samples from agency websites, agent blogs and the Agent Query forums. No matter what kind of novel you have written, they can help you craft a better query letter. Welcome to our Top Stories of Summer 2013 series. For all our readers returning from trips and vacation reading, we’ve created a short list of the stories you may have missed during this long, strange summer for the publishing industry.”

Making Goodreads Work for You by Alicia Lawrence – “Goodreads is like Facebook for people who love to read books. They have more than 16,000,000 users and are growing every day. If you are a new author who hasn’t yet established a fan base, you can use the site to begin growing an audience. So, as an interested author, how do you join Goodreads? To become more widely known as an author, your books need to have reviews. As more people review your book, your visibility increases. The reviews also help readers take a chance on your book. They’re more comfortable purchasing a book by an unknown author when there are at least a handful of reviews to attest to the author’s work. After all, you wouldn’t attend an online course that you’ve never heard of before, right? Reviews can take you from being an unknown author to a recognized author.”

Easy Guide to Using Keywords to Get your Blog Noticed by Laurence O’Bryan – “Key words is one of those dark arts that most people don’t bother with in their blogs. We know there may be something in it, but have we got the time to get it right for every post? Here are some simple things you can do to make keywords work for you as part of your strategy to get your blog or site noticed. (1) Think about a set of keywords that define what you provide. This can be tricky or easy depending on how straightforward what you do is. One way to think about this is what problem or problems you help people solve. If you can think of a few of these the keywords and phrases should flow more easily.” Keep reading this post!

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