Indie Author Weekly Update – February 16, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts that I really like. Yeah, I suppose I shouldn’t use the word really but how else to describe these posts other than to use the word love, which just wouldn’t work in this context.

So please read Jane Friedan’s post on book reviews because this is a question every author asks me. Dave Chesson’s post on Amazon categories is brilliant as usual. And if you want your book to be a BookBub featured deal, you absolutely must read the first post listed below. All the posts below are must-reads.

And have a great weekend, too!

How to Boost Your Chances of Getting a BookBub Featured Deal from BookBub: “In the past, we’ve posted tips and busted myths about getting accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal, and we’ve even listed the top reasons a book is rejected! Since we still get questions on how to bolster one’s chances of getting selected for a Featured Deal, we decided to put together a visual “cheat sheet.” We hope this helps you better understand what our editors are looking for when reviewing submissions, whether you’ve submitted deals before and are looking for a refresher or you’re a new partner in need of a first-time overview.”

Secret Method to Choosing Amazon Book Categories in KDP from Dave Chesson: “The Amazon book categories you choose will have a direct effect on whether or not you become an Amazon Best Seller. Choose the wrong one, and no matter how many books you sell, you won’t become an Amazon bestseller. In truth, there is a lot more to choosing Amazon book categories in KDP, like secret categories that Amazon doesn’t tell you about when publishing, and the simple fact that you can actually be listed for 7 categories legitimately.”

The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed from Buffer: “The Facebook algorithm is constantly evolving in order to provide a better experience for users. But few changes to the algorithm have sparked as much interest and conversation as the recent ‘meaningful interactions’ update, in which Facebook said it would be prioritizing posts that create meaningful conversations, especially those from family and friends.”

Five Marketing Tools for Authors Who Hate Marketing from Writer Unboxed: “Disclaimer: Hating marketing is not required to use these tools. In fact, if you enjoy marketing, you’ll have a blast using them. I’m active in several online writing communities, and one of the most frequent things I read about is how much authors hate marketing. It’s usually accompanied by talk about art and creativity, and once in a while someone tosses this suggestion across the virtual meeting room: all you have to do is write a great story and they will come.”

How to Market a Kindle Book: 10 Easy Marketing Strategies for New Authors from Sabrina Ricci: “Writing your book was hard enough, now you have to market it? Oh man… Never fear, here are 10 easy strategies to sell more copies of your book.”

The Essential First Step for New Authors: Book Reviews, Not Sales from Jane Friedman: “You know how good your work is. You created it. You lived with it through the phases of publication gestation: idea, brainstorming, outline, research, writing, and rewriting. You have improved, enhanced, and polished your work to a degree you didn’t think possible. You believe it’s perfect.”

Quote of the Week

Mary Mackey

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com and has 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

 

Get Your Visuals Seen!

Get your visuals on Pinterest. But first learn how to use Pinterest. Pick up a copy of my book, Pinterest Just for Writers!

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 9, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Update. If you’re starting a website or wanting to upgrade the one your have, be sure to read Brant Forseng’s post. If you’re confused about boosting Facebook posts, read Andrea Vahl’s post. Definitely read the post by Calvin Emerson on book cover trends; it’s wonderful.

Have a lovely weekend!

7 Best Book Cover Trends to Stay Current in 2018 from Joel Friedlander and by Calvin Emerson: “If you publish in a genre or category where readers expect fresh and new book cover designs, it pays to know what the design trends are at any time. Like other forms of fashion, styles in illustration, typography, and visual approach change from time to time, and just by looking at recent covers you can see that the designs tend to replicate across the genre, with many similar covers every season.”

Seven Ways to Market Your Self-Published Novel by Ali Luke: “You’ve published your first novel (or maybe your second or your third) and now you’re ready to market it. This can be a daunting moment. I think all of us secretly hope that our novel will be miraculously discovered and recognised as the masterpiece it truly is … but we know that isn’t going to happen without some sort of marketing.”

Indie Authors: Using Giveaways to Find New Readers and Sell More Books by Sabrina Ricci: “A giveaway is a powerful tool that can help indie authors attract new readers. You can incentivize people to spread the word about your book through social media, sign up for your email list, and garner interest in your other books (which can lead to more sales).”

Facebook Organic Reach: Does Boosting Posts Lower Your Reach? by Andrea Vahl: “There is a myth going around that boosting posts lowers your reach on Facebook.  Maybe you have “felt” that this is true.  Or maybe you have been worried that by boosting a post you are “hurting” your Page in the future. In this post, you will find out if this myth is true and how to tell for yourself if your organic reach is being hurt by boosting your posts.”

27 Author Website Resources by Brant Forseng: “ If you have been an indie writer (or, indeed, any type of writer) for a while you will have stumbled across the concept of an Author Platform.  This is usually a website, independent of social media platforms, where your audience can view your writing, subscribe to a your newsletter, and generally keep up with anything you care to share with them.  The general consensus is that you require one in your indie writing career.  Building one can be daunting, so  I’ve gathered together 27 Author Website Resources to help out.”

Can Instagram Make Poems Sell Again? from Pubishers Weekly: “Is poetry dead? At least once a year—usually around April, which is National Poetry Month—headlines asking this question pop up in print and web publications alike. In fact, hand-wringing over poetry’s waning influence in the public sphere can seem, sometimes, to be almost as popular an activity in the poetry world as reading and writing poetry. For a long time, that hand-wringing seemed well earned; the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, for instance, reported in 2015 that the share of Americans who had read at least one work of poetry in the previous year had dropped from 17% in 1992 to 6.7% in 2012. Then came Rupi Kaur.”

Quote of the Week

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, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. 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 – January 5, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Update. You’ll find book marketing and publishing predictions, help with being Google friendly, and information on Amazon keyword search.

Guest Post: 10 Tips on How to Be Google Friendly in 2018  from Sabrina Ricci and by Chris Hickman: ” Webmasters who want to rank high in Google’s engine need to ensure that their sites conform to Google’s standards. Google wants its highest-ranked sites for any keyword to have a high level of quality. By controlling for quality, users can have a good experience with their searches and retain their good impression of Google.”

2018 Book Publishing Predictions – Are Indie Authors Losing their Independence? by Mark Coker: “Welcome to my annual publishing predictions post where I prognosticate about the future and share my views on the state of the indie nation. Each year around this time I polish off my imaginary crystal ball and ask it what the heck is going to happen next.”

The Fast Book Marketing Start In 2018 from the Book Marketing Buzz Club: “The New Year is upon us.  Enthusiasm is in the air.  Everyone feels a bit of optimism when they think about writing a book or promoting one in 2018.  Everything feels possible, seems hopeful, and looks good.  We are on our annual kick to see the bright potential in our lives, the world, and our writing careers. But that feeling can only be sustained and validated with hard work.”

Optimizing Your Books for Amazon Keyword Search from Jane Friedman by Penny Sansevieri: “Even though many experts talk about Amazon keywords, categories, and pricing, few experts mention this important fact: Amazon is more a search engine than a store. In fact, Amazon is the ‘Google’ of online buying.”

Quote of the Week

Richard Price

 

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, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. 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

 

Join Sharon Hamilton and I on January 11

Sharon HamiltonSharon Hamilton started writing several years ago on a rainy day. It’s wasn’t long before she was publishing, writing more books, blogging, and achieving success as an indie author. We’ll follow the trajectory of her career and the factors that contributed to her success in this webinar. Join us on January 11 at 11 am PST / 2 pm EST.

 

 

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update October 13, 2017

indie authorsThis week’s Indie Author Weekly Update is about content, whether its podcasting, blogging, or publishing, it’s all content.

I chose this week’s photo due to the sky I lived under this week. I live in the Tubbs Fire area, more specifically Sonoma County. It’s been a surreal week for me because the conflagration is near me yet I am spared by it. Please pray for my neighbors.


Indie Author Update

10 Reasons Podcast Guesting is the #1 Killer Content Marketing Tactic of All via Duct Tape Marketing: “This is a bold statement, but hear me out. I have been earning a living from search engine optimization for over 12 years and I’ve tried every tactic at one time or another. Ever since Google started dropping algorithmic bombs around 2011 (think Panda, Penguin, and so on), SEO industry behavior has changed. Most SEO services have moved back onshore and “real” SEO is now an integrated part of holistic marketing.”

[Read more…]

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 Authors: Follow These 40 on Twitter in 2017

Indie Authors: 40 Twitter Users to FollowAs you probably already know, Twitter is where I spend most of my time online. My day starts with Twitter and ends with Facebook, but as a Twitter fan woman, Twitter is my darling amongst the social media I use.

To help you start the year right, I decided to create this list of my top contacts and purveyors of information in 140 characters or fewer. I hope  these individuals, experts, and entities soon become your favorites too.

Note: The list is organized alphabetically, not by ranking.

Authors and Experts to Follow on Twitter in 2017

Alliance of Independent Authors

Founded by author and poet Orna Ross, @IndieAuthor ALLI is a membership organization of indie authors and advisors.

Andrea Vahl

Andrea has been writing about social media for years. Although she caters to the business world, her words are genuine pearls of wisdom and she’s well worth following and keeping track of.

Anne R. Allen

I adore Anne’s blog and enjoy following her on Twitter too. She is one smart lady!

[Read more…]

15 Best Blogs for Indie Authors to Follow

Blogs Just for Indie Authors

Blogging can be so important to an indie author’s brand.

Should you blog? That depends. Many fiction authors do well even though they don’t blog. Instead of blogging, though, they have an active presence on Facebook and perhaps two other sites where they engage with their readers.

But if you write nonfiction, well, you just can’t get around the need to blog regularly. How else would you expose your writing, thoughts, education, and expertise to potential clients as well as readers?

I read a lot of blogs, and from the ones I read regularly, I’ve selected my list of the top 15 blogs for indie authors. If any are new to you, expand your world and check them out.

Here’s the list:

TheBookDesigner.com

TheBookDesigner is Joel Friedlander’s blog. He started this blog out of thin air several years ago and has grown it into a mainstay in the independent publishing arena. If you’re self-published, you have to read this blog.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update December 16, 2016

Indie Author Weekly Updates

Welcome to another edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. There were so many brilliant posts on the internet this week that I hope I’ve captured the finest among them. Or at least I’ve gathered those that will most serve you in your writing career.

I chose the above picture today because lately it seems to either rain or be foggy. I can’t complain though. The drought has been, well, awful and I welcome any form of moisture that comes from the sky. Besides, I grew up in Monterey, which has the same weather patterns as San Francisco, so I rather like the fog. I hope you’re enjoying the weather and the season wherever you are.


Indie Author Updates

Today’s Indie Authors Are Media Owners from Joel Friedlander: “Have you ever thought about the fact that you’re a media owner? It’s a weird thought, isn’t it? Yet, it’s probably true. Yeah, probably. Why the modifier? Well, not every author has a self-hosted blog and website. But if you have both, guess what? You’re definitely a media owner.”

[Read more…]

Author’s Guide for Goodreads

5-23-16 The Author's Guide to Goodreads by Frances CaballoI read a great post last week by Sabrina Ricci on her Digital Pubbing blog that analyzed bestsellers in varying genres.

What made the four books so successful? As Sabrina explained:

  • The books were widely available.
  • They were each of the highest quality.
  • The authors and publishers used giveaways.
  • The authors connected with readers in meaningful ways.
  • Multiple strategies were used.

And in the case of The Girl on the Train, the publisher invested time and money in Goodreads.

Yes, Goodreads!

'Do yourself a favor and get this book,' Jason MatthewsClick To Tweet

[Read more…]

A New Platform Emerges for Writers: Write or Read

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 2.07.04 PM

 

As a follow-up to last Monday’s post when I wrote about Riffle, LibraryThing and BookLikes, today I’m writing about Write or Read, a brand new book-sharing website that is presently in beta, which means that the founder behind this site is still testing it and adding features. Don’t wait to sign up because it isn’t finalized yet. The fact that this site is in beta offers an opportunity for Indie authors to become early adopters of a platform that takes the idea that led to Goodreads to a whole new level.

Let me explain.

Write or Read is a site that will benefit both writers and readers and will work in a manner similar to Netflix. Readers will pay a monthly subscription to read e-books added by authors. Authors will receive compensation based on the number of pages others have read as well as have access to analytics, including the demographics of their readers.

Features that are planned for the site include audio e-books, book reviews, contests and crowdsourcing for editing books. In addition, writers will be able to upload unpublished short stories, articles, novellas, poetry, and other manuscripts.

Sabrina RicciSabrina Ricci is the founder of Write or Read. She’s also a self-published writer and e-book developer who previously worked with Simon & Shuster and NBC Publishing. Her goal for this website is to help writers “navigate their way through the publishing process and succeed.”

Presently, Sabrina is using RocketHub to crowdsource to fund the project. Her goal is to raise $10,000 within the next 30 days. Those who donate will receive a range of goodies depending on the level of their gift. However, there is no fee to join Write or Read now. (I donated $25 because the founder has spunk and I believe this website, if successful, has the potential to become another feature writers can use to have their work discovered and read.)

Write or Read

To sign up, navigate to Write or Read and register. Signing up is free for writers. Readers will have an option to select a plan based on how much they plan to read, similar to Netflix, or select a basic free plan.

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 2.40.43 PMAs soon as you register, you’ll be prompted to start adding your e-books. I attempted to upload my e-book Pinterest Just for Writers (available for free here on my website) but, unfortunately, it did not load. I later learned it was because I was trying to upload a PDF instead of manuscript in e-book format.

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 2.42.45 PM 

You can use the website to read the classics while it’s in beta, but finding them isn’t easy. To look for books, navigate to the library and type an author’s name in the search bar. This is one place where Write or Read needs to work on improvements. When I typed Tolstoy and later Hemingway, the results showed blank rows and columns of empty book covers and manuscripts written by other authors. I also discovered that when I typed Ernest Hemingway, the results showed authors with the same first name, forcing me to wade through all those “Ernests” until I could find Hemingway, which I never did because I became inpatient. When I typed in Hemingway, the first result was “The Martian Cabal” by R.F. Starzl.

I tried again, this time typing Cather and the first result was “Youth and the Bright Medusa” by Willa Cather. Success!

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 3.09.45 PM

But Write or Reads needs to fine-tune its search feature otherwise it will be extremely difficult for readers to find the authors they are searching for or even to discover books by Indie authors they might not yet have heard about.

I also tried using the advance search feature using the terms The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway, Spain, novel. The site doesn’t appear to have it. So I searched for The Metamorphisis by Franz Kafka and manuscripts did appear but they were all in German, which is fine for the international market that Write or Reads hopes to penetrate.

Over all, I like the idea behind this website. In many communities, including my own, the library has been slow to adopt the idea of making e-books widely available online. Write or Reads is similar to having a library of tomes of e-books available anytime we want to read them, assuming they fix their search feature. For writers, Write or Read presents an opportunity for writers to be involved in beta testing a new website created just for them (and bibliophiles) and suggest ideas on how the founder can improve the site and make it easier for self-published writers to upload manuscripts, find new readers, and access their favorite their own favorite writers. Let’s hope that the developers behind this site are able to fix the bugs and add more features. Try it out for yourself and send in your complaints and suggestions so that this can become the site the founder had in mind.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout 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 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