Queries, Press Releases, MindMaps & Email Marketing for Writers

Queries, Press Releases, MindMaps & Email Marketing for Writers

I am veering slightly from my normal compilation of social media-related posts because the information presented in my selections below are important for writers. Let’s start with email marketing: every author needs to start using MailChimp, ConstantContact, AWeber or some email marketing program and growing a list. Once you have one, you’ll realize how easy it is to maintain it and how wonderful it is in connecting with your readers. I also liked Kristen Lamb’s blog about offline promotion. I can sometimes neglect that part of my marketing plan so her post served as a good reminder. Jane Friedman’s post about query letters is comprehensive and outstanding. These are the types of posts we love to read, right? I’m also intrigued by mind mapping. Thanks to my friend and colleague, Nina Amir, I’m finally getting the hang of a mindmap tool I use and am using it to plan my next book. I hope you enjoy the articles by Roger Parker and David Gaughran.

5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Email Marketing from Social Media Today: Email marketing professionals often battle misconceptions, misunderstandings and misanthropy in explaining what we do and why we do it. From defending our email campaigns, to the CFO who thinks we “send free letters,” to convincing our moms that we aren’t those evil spammers, it seems the email marketer is often maligned from every side.

What Makes a Media Release Effective from Kristen Lamb’s Blog: What makes a media release effective? It gets you the attention you’re looking for. A great media release puts cheeks in the seats, gets coverage, gets the interview. It’s that simple.

15 Ways To Improve KDP – Progress Report from Let’s Get Visible: The London Book Fair is underway again which makes it a perfect time to review the list of suggestions I presented to KDP last year. As regular readers will know, I crowd-sourced a list of feature requests, bug fixes, and common problems via my blog and the most popular self-publisher hangout, Kboards. The KDP reps at the Fair spent a great deal of time going through your list of suggestions. They asked for clarification at various points and I was able to follow up with them by email afterwards. At the same time, a parallel effort led by Marie Force, Laura Florand, and Diana Peterfreund presented a similar list of suggestions at NINC in October last year. There were probably more such efforts too.

MindMapping Shortcuts for Writing a Book from Published & Profitable: Map Parts save time by providing a structure for your book research and planning. Consistency: Map Parts help ensure you include all necessary information when analyzing competing books and creating a table of contents. Ease of use: It takes just seconds to create a map part and add it to the Map Parts task pane, accessible from the lower right of the MindManager screen. Once created, Map Parts can be easily added, by dragging and dropping, into the Content Dashboard map you’re currently working on.

The Complete Guide to Query Letters that Get Manuscript Requests from Jane Friedman: The query is so much of a sales piece that you should be able to write it without having written a single word of the manuscript. For some writers, it represents a completely different way of thinking about your book—it means thinking about your work as a marketable commodity. To think of your book as a product, you need to have some distance to see its salable qualities.


About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, 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 Manager for theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Photo credit: RLHyde via photopin cc

Social Media for Writers: Tips from the Field

Twitter graphic

All of this week’s posts focus on some aspect of social media for writers. The beauty of social media for authors is that it is the one component of an author’s marketing platform that levels the playing field. Whether or not you have an agent or a publisher, how well you communicate and connect with people on social media is completely relative to the effort you put forth. You, in fact, may be more active on social media and sell more books because of the connections you make on social media than some traditionally published authors. So it’s important for us as author entrepreneurs to learn how to use social media effectively and efficiently. These posts should help you to accomplish that goal.

20 Topic Ideas for a Steady Content Flow from Social Media Today: As a serious blogger, you know that every single blog post you churn out breathes life into your content marketing strategy. You take pleasure in turning a website into a watering hole for those who thirst for knowledge on a particular subject. Writing is no doubt the easiest part when it comes to content creation, but the real pickle is coming up with great ideas to keep the reader glued to each crafted sentence. Oh yes, it can be pretty difficult to keep coming up with exceptional content that readers cannot get enough of. Writing good content all the time will require you to be pretty creative.

3 Ways Indie Authors Can Use Social Media to Attract Readers from Huffington Post Books: The good news is that there are a growing number of ways — 44 to be exact — that readers discover new books, which means there are more opportunities to get in front of the ideal book buyer. Those new methods include a combination of word of mouth recommendations (still the most popular) and discovery on mobile and social media.

9 Tips on Pinterest for Writers from sm4writers: We’re in the middle of a Social Media revolution. There is information everywhere about Social Media, and it is now an essential part of the marketing mix for writers building their platform and reputation.

Predators Abound—How Writers Can Be Savvy in Social Media, Marketing and Promotion from Kristen Lamb’s Blog: We’ve been talking a lot about the new publishing paradigm and all the options writers have. Being the WANA Mama, I feel it’s my duty to feed you guys the grow-up stuff. So, if you want a fluffy kitten hug? This is the wrong place. There are plenty of people who offer a magic algorithm or promotion package or SEO package “guaranteed” to launch a writer to fame and fortune. Yet, these can be misleading and take our focus away from activities that have a better chance of translating into long-term success.

10 Extremely Cool Twitter Tricks For Newbies from Search Engine Journal: f you’re one of the 600 million plus registered users on Twitter, you may be searching for some helpful hints on how to make your experience more effective. After all, we can’t spend all day going through our feed and replying to retweets. We’re all busy. And, thankfully, there a ton of useful apps, tools and tricks that can accomplish exactly that. For example, you can use Themeleon to create an awesome new background to make your account stand out a bit.


socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers 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 Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web


photo credit: JefferyTurner via photopin cc


Self-Publishing, Social Media Trends and a Twitter Tip for Writers

12-27-13 380What recently dominated the self-publishing blogosphere was a post Susanne Lakin (aka CS Lakin) wr0te titled Genre versus Author Platform. Which Matters More? In the post, Susanne described her endeavor to write a genre novel under a pen name to test whether genre sold more books than an author platform would. To really appreciate the argument she poses, you need to read the post. That article was wildly popular and went viral among the writing circles. It even triggered a post in response by Jane Friedman, which is included below. The last post is my Kristen Lamb and is an important one for self-published authors to read. As always, this week’s roundup includes some social media tips as well. I hope you enjoy the selection below.

Indie Publishing: The Week’s Best Posts

The Future of Indie Publishing by Russell Blake: Prices have never been lower. Even big name new releases are being deeply discounted for the holidays, creating an environment for many authors where it’s a choice between the new Grisham, or their novel – not a tough one for readers, really.

14 Social Media Trends for 2014 by PR Daily, Adam Vincenzin: The importance of content in the constantly evolving era of social media will be the major social media push of 2014. This presentation captures the 14 of the trends resulting from this bigger movement.

How To Optimize Your Images For Twitter’s In-Stream Photo Preview [INFOGRAPHIC] by MediaBistro: Twitter’s a much more visual place these days, thanks to the new in-stream image preview that expands photos in tweets without users having to click on them.

How Much Does Author Platform Impact Sales? by Jane Friedman: As most authors know by now, there is a continuing debate over the importance and impact of one’s platform on book sales. In one of the more interesting experiments I’ve seen, author C.S. Lakin (@cslakin) decided to publish a genre novel (in a very particular genre, with a very particular formula) and release it under a pen name, to test whether a first-time author—one ostensibly without any platform—could sell a meaningful number of copies. Read her full post about it. Editor’s Note: Authors who choose self-publishing will find this post especially interesting.

To Plan or to Plunge? A New Way of Looking at the Outlining Debate by Writer’s Digest: Few questions inherent to the writing process spark as much passionate back and forth among writers as this: To outline, or not to outline? In my years as editor of Writer’s Digest magazine, I’ve had a front-row seat as equally brilliant writers on opposite sides of the field have gone head to head (perhaps most memorably in the joint WD Interview I conducted with legendary thriller authors David Morrell, who likes to let his stories lead him, and Ken Follett, who writes the most detailed outlines I’ve ever heard of).

Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors by Kristen Lamb: When I began writing I was SO SURE agents would be fighting over my manuscript. Yeah. But after almost thirteen years in the industry, a lot of bloody noses, and even more lessons in humility, I hope that these tips will help you. Self-publishing is AWESOME, and it’s a better fit for certain personalities and even content (um, social media?), but we must be educated before we publish.



Social Media Just for WritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers 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 Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web