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

 

5 Best Pre-Holiday Posts for Writers

As the holiday season ramps up with its sales, parties, gifts, and pastries, we writers just keep plugging along, don’t we? We do our best to publish great content and get our books some notice above the cacophony of “Buy my book!” “On sale today!” and “Free today” messages. The posts for writers I’ve selected this week should help you to do just that and learn something new about social media that perhaps you didn’t know last week. I also tossed in a great post from the BBC on self-publishing that was especially good. I hope you enjoy them!

Want More Retweets? Use Hashtags, Photos, Exclamation Marks (And Tweet In CAPS) [STUDY] from MediaBistro by Shea Bennett: Want more retweets? Sure, who doesn’t, right? Well, here’s what you need to do. Use hashtags – in fact, the more the merrier. Always include a photo with your tweet, as it helps you stand out. Exclamation marks at the end of a sentence can pay dividends, as can actually asking for your followers to retweet your message.

Social Media Lessons From History’s Great Writers from Hootsuite blog by Alyssa Kritsch: Writing has never been considered a simple or easy process. Even famous authors like Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Douglas Adams and William Faulkner have admitted to the fact. When it comes to social media, not much has changed. The invention of social networking has created millions of writers, usually tweeting, posting or sharing stories on a daily basis. Therefore, finding success on social media has a lot to do with how you write and more importantly, your strategy and process. Luckily, we can still learn a few things from a few of history’s greatest writers.

Blogging Tips for People Who Hate Blogging: 5 Easy Keys to Success from Social Media Today: Do you hate blogging? Let’s look at some blogging tips which will help you to turn your blog into a powerhouse marketing tool. It’s easier than you think. Start by considering how your blog appears to you. Perhaps it seems like a time sink; alternatively, you may look on it as a way to take your business to the next level. Use these five keys to unlock the power of your business blog.

8 Ways to Optimize Your Pinterest Presence from Social Media Today by Stephanie Clegg: Pinterest is all the rage right now and for good reason. Pinterest is a powerhouse network. Use it strategically, and it can really boost your traffic and sales. While there is no doubt that Pinterest and retail go hand in hand, it shouldn’t be ignored if you aren’t an online retailer.

Author Nick Spalding’s top 10 self-publishing tips from BBC News Entertainment & Arts: With Amazon saying 15% of Kindle sales come from authors with no book deal, here are his top 10 tips to succeeding in a crowded field.

 

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+