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.”

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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.”

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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!

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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 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.

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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.”

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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

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A New Platform Emerges for Writers: Write or Read

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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.

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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!

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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+. 

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