Got Books to Sell? Try These 22 Book Marketing Tips

22 book marketing tips

How many book marketing tips have you tried?

Probably every single one that you’ve read about, right?

What makes book marketing so tough isn’t that you run out of ideas to market your books. It’s that you have so many different plans.

Well, if you want to make it as a writer, get ready for the marathon of writing and marketing. You’ll always be doing both from now on.

To make life easier for you (or harder?), I’ve assembled a checklist of my top book marketing tips for you.

A 22-Point Checklist of Book Marketing Tips

Book marketing requires a multi-prong strategy that consists of the following:

  1. Purchase your ISBNs. Please don’t buy them from Amazon or BookBaby. If you use the cheap ISBNs that publishing companies sell, they will be the publisher of your books. When you buy the numbers from Bowker, you are a publishing company and your company’s name will appear in the book.
  2. Hire a website designerto build an author website using a quality theme. I like the Genesis themes by SudioPress.
  3. Self-host your blog on your website. Don’t use Blogger or WordPress.com. (Note: WordPress.com is separate from WordPress.org, which I do recommend.) Commit to blogging at least once a week if you write nonfiction. If you write fiction, I recommend blogging at least twice a month.
  4. Include on your website the options to sign up for your email list. To make it easy on yourself, use your blog as your regular form of communication you’re your readers. When you need to send marketing letters out, use this list. Make sure that you offer something for free to entice signups. A great enticement would be the first book in your series. If you only have one book written, provide the first two chapters for free.
  5. Define your audience. Before you can even begin to market your book, you need to clarify exactly who your readers are. If you say everyone, you’re marketing to no one because your audience is too widely defined. Let’s look at some examples. Michael Hyatt knows the age, sex and income level of his ideal audience. If you write romance novels, you’ll want to use Facebook and Pinterest or Instagram. If you write young adult novels, I would suggest that you use Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. My point is what you write will determine your reader demographics. It’s best if you have your reader in mind as you write your book and before you sign up for any social media networks.
  6. Once you know where you’ll be spending your time online, regularly start posting. On Twitter, post a minimum of three to five tweets and retweets daily. Post twice daily on your Facebook page, once a day on Instagram, and several times a week on Pinterest.
  7. Make a commitment to your readers by allocating time every day to be social: Like, share and comment on their posts too. Always endeavor to share valuable content that your readers enjoy.
  8. Ask your designer to create a cover for you before you finish your book. I usually nail down a cover six months or longer before I release my books. Also, I let my Facebook fans and friends select the best cover from a sampling of three. By doing this, you will build momentum for your book.
  9. Talk about your book in your social media posts. You could write, “I just finished my first draft of ________!” or “I’m sending my manuscript to the editor today!” This messaging will also help to build momentum. You can even ask your friends and fans for ideas on what to name certain characters.
  10. Join Goodreads, review books, add your blog posts, join a group, and organize several giveaways.
  11. Some authors sign up for the exclusive Kindle SelectProgram so they can offer their books for free as a promotion from time to time. Offering your book for free doesn’t always get the result you want (a high number of downloads with the anticipation of an equal number of reviews). Know that you have options. What you can do instead is forego the Kindle Select Program and schedule several days on a quarterly basis when you lower the price of your ebook to $.99 or $1.99. Then promote the sale price on social media, websites devoted to publicizing $.99-cent books, on your website, and in your newsletter. This way, you can publish your book widely (iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.) and still be able to promote it with a reduced price.
  12. Communicate with your newsletter subscribers Let them know what you’re doing, what you’re planning on writing, what you’re working on, and what promotions you’re planning for them.
  13. Make your books available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks. Over time, create box sets.
  14. Hold contests and announce your awards.
  15. If you are going to have a Facebook page, purchase advertising. Actually, Facebook advertising is a great way to promote your books.
  16. Write another book. Yes, second books improve the sales of first books. So get ready to produce a boxed set by writing every day.
  17. Hire an experienced book blogging company. The one I’ve used contacted high-trafficked blogs in the U.S., Canada, and France. The bloggers wrote honest reviews, sponsored contests for free copies of my book, and some of the bloggers also wrote five-star reviews on Amazon. The company I used is called TLC Book Tours.
  18. Mail books to influencers in your field or genre. I did this and they, in turn, raved about my book on Facebook and invited me to speak to their writers’ groups.
  19. Apply for a BookBub promotion. Authors have crazy success with BookBub. Get ready to discount your book to at least $.99.
  20. Experiment with Amazon ads. However, if you plan to do this, use 1,000 keywords or don’t try this option at all.
  21. Start a VIP list. Send prepublication ebooks to them using BookFunnel and encourage them to write book reviews.
  22. Put your books on preorder for one month. That way you can build sales, and when the books come off of preorder status, you’ll have people ready to write reviews.

Most of all, be patient. Book marketing isn’t easy, but it’s always worth the effort. During those periods of burnout, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to carry the load for a while. Just don’t give up!

What is your favorite strategy for boosting book sales?

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – December 7, 2018

indie author

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. If you want to learn more about book marketing, you came to the right place. You’ll find posts from Dave Chesson, Penny Sansevieri, Anne R. Allen, and others. Plus, there’s a link to this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards winners.

You’ve Finished Your First Novel! What to Do Now: 7 Do’s and Don’ts by Anne R. Allen: “Did you win NaNo? Is it a first novel? Congratulations!!! Only about 3% of people who start novels actually finish, so you’re a major winner right there. You’ve done something spectacular. So break out the bubbly and savor the moment! After that…what comes next?”

How to Define and Describe Your Readership: A Confusing Issue for Nonfiction Book Proposals by Jane Friedman: “If you’re pitching a nonfiction book, at some point, an editor or agent will expect you to describe the readership that your book is intended for. Or, if you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to define this for yourself to market the book properly.”

Self-publishing Success Story: Indie Audiobook is Finalist for Voice Arts Award from the Alliance of Independent Authors and by Brad Borkan: “Recently my audiobook narrator Dennis Kleinman and I had the incredible honor of having the audiobook for When Your Life Depends on It nominated as a finalist in the “Best Audiobook – History” category of the Voice Arts Awards. Here’s how our audiobook came to life, and how it came to be competing for a major prize in Hollywood.”

Boost Your Amazon Book Promotion with Pre-Order Strategies by Penny Sansevieri: “The Amazon pre-order option for KDP authors (Kindle Direct Publishing has really helped level the playing field between traditionally published authors and those who have self-published through KDP. Let’s look at how this can benefit your Amazon book promotion!”

How to Use Top Book Blogs to Build Your Author Brand from BookWorks and by Dave Chesson: “In today’s article on author branding, we’re going to look at how to make use of top book blogs to gain additional momentum for your book at launch, greater exposure to a qualified readership, and an evergreen source of external traffic for your book’s sales page. The importance of seeking as many channels as possible to gain exposure for your book cannot be overstated.”

2018 Goodreads Choice Awards: More than 5 million votes were cast and counted in the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards honoring the year’s best books. See who the winners were.

Quote of the week

indie author

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making on Social Media

7 Horrible Mistakes You're Making on Social Media

We all make mistakes on social media. It’s just a fact.

When we publish our first book, we tentatively reach for social media because everyone tells us that we need it if we expect to sell books.

What happens next? We go from dreading social media to acting a tad overzealous.

Some people get so excited when they learn about scheduling applications that they start sending automated direct messages.

They are the bane of social media.

Whether you’re just starting or have been using social media for a while, here are seven mistakes you should never make.

7 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on Social Media

This list could be longer but let’s stick with my top seven pet peeves that people commit on social media.

  1. Don’t use a picture of your dog as your avatar. Look at your avatar. Is it a picture of you? If not, remove the picture of your cat or dog or book cover and upload a picture of yourself.
  2. Don’t forget to update your social media banners. Are your most recent books on your banners? Are your banners consistent across all the social media platforms that you use?
  3. Stop sending automated direct messages on Twitter. No one likes to receive them. If you’re interesting on social media, people will check out your book or short stories or your blog. However, if you send mean automatic direct message, they may block you.
  4. Stop sharing retweets of information about your blog or books. Guy Kawasaki likens this to laughing at your own jokes.
  5. Stop expecting to get high engagement levels on Facebook without buying advertising. The algorithm on Facebook sucks. It’s super hard now to have organic engagement. If you want to sell books using social media, sign up for a Facebook advertising course (Mark Dawson’s is excellent) and learn how to craft your ads.
  6. Don’t talk about yourself too much on social media. Do we like the guy who only talks about himself at parties? Of course, we don’t. Find interesting posts, fun memes, and beautiful images to share.
  7. Don’t blindly decide which social media networks you should use. Determine who your readership is and then figure out where that audience hangs out online. Don’t rush to Instagram just because it’s hot and 1 billion people are using it. Would it make sense for you to use it considering what you write? Figure that out before learning how to use any social media. Once you figure out who your readership is, read this post I wrote.
  8. Bonus tip: Don’t post social media updates without including an image. Ditto for your blog posts.

7 Social Media Suggestions

Now that you know what not to do, here are some tips on what you need to do.

  1. Listen to what others say.
  2. Reply to your readers’ social media posts—and those of influence in your niche —and share their content. Like and leave comments as well.
  3. Win hearts by being authentic, gracious, and thankful.
  4. Be cool. In other words, never write a nasty comment, use profanity, ridicule someone, or denigrate another author or follower. If someone wrote something nasty about you online, turn the other cheek and move on.
  5. Minimize self-promotion. It’s okay to mention that your book is for sale or to share a great review. However, don’t overdo this.
  6. Find the influencers in your genre and learn from them.
  7. Develop relationships with writers in your genre. Get to know them, share their blog posts, and help them sell their books.

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – November 30, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to the newest edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week’s edition covers book reviews and author websites. Plus there’s a post on how to take charge of your creative life. There is plenty to like in the posts below.

User Experience: 6 Author Website Mistakes to Avoid from BookWorks and by Tyler Doornbos: “In more than a decade of making websites, first as a freelance designer/developer for small businesses and individuals, and later as a principal of a design firm, I’ve reviewed a lot of sites. The truth is, that even when they come from professional designers and cutting-edge developers, many sites share the same basic user experience issues. This post will teach you how to avoid the most common mistakes on your author website so that you can outperform the competition.”

Take Charge of Your Creative Life: The SWOT Analysis from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Dave Chesson: “Do you ever feel like you’re swimming against the tide in your creative life? As authors, we have a vast array of ways to spend our time. Time is our only non-renewable resource. Given how precious it is, are you truly making the most of yours? Without a properly calibrated creative compass, it’s easy to spend time on urgent, rather than important, activities. One way to regain control and peace of mind as an author is the SWOT framework.”

How Improving Your Author Website Can Help Sell More Books from TheBookDesigner.com and by Lee Foster: “All of us following Joel’s The Book Designer website have at least one common goal: We want to sell more books, either existing books or books we are now developing.”

21 Signs Your Self-Published Book Could Turn A Profit  from Self-Publishing Relief: “Most self-published authors hope to publish a book (or books!) that will make some money. But while some indie books become popular with book-buying readers, other books struggle to break out beyond an audience of friends and family. How do you know if your self-published book could turn a profit? The experts at Self-Publishing Relief share which factors may play a part in your indie book’s sales forecast.”

Book Marketing: 15 Practical Ways to Get More Book Reviews from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: “Book reviews. All authors want them (the positive ones, at least!). Fielding a great one can make our day. But many writers are finding that reeling in reviews is getting harder. If you share that view, are you sure you’re doing all you can to attract them?”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Are You Ready for 2019? How to Update Your Social Media

Update your social media

Let’s talk about how important it is to update your social media.

When was the last time you changed your password on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest?

When was the last time you updated your profile on Instagram or checked the about section on your Facebook page?

Once we set up our social media profiles and pages, we tend to neglect them.

We instead turn our focus to finding content to post and schedule every day.

Before the New Year rolls in, take time to spiff up your profiles and change your passwords. Yes, you should periodically change your passwords to ward off hackers.

How to Create Hacker-Proof Passwords

I was listening to NPR one day and heard a program about how to create hacker-proof passwords.

Here’s the formula. Think of your two favorite authors or leaders. Let’s use Hemingway and Faulkner in this example.

Use the first few (or last) letters of their names, stick a numeral sequence in the middle, and add one or more characters.

For example, you could create the following passwords:

  • Hem357Fau*&
  • Way731Ner*^
  • Ing259Ulk%@

Or, you can use a program called 1Password https://1password.com. The application devises a hacker-proof password for each of your social media networks. Then when it’s time to open Facebook, 1Password applies the appropriate password.

This program costs just $3.99 a month. What a deal.

Basic Rules About Passwords

Here are some of my most basic rules for passwords.

  1. Do you use the same password for multiple social media accounts? Don’t. Create separate passwords for every social media network you use and every application you try. I know this can be a hassle but if you use the same password across the web think about how easy it will for a hacker to get into all of your accounts.
  2. Keep your passwords in a safe place. Do not keep them on sheets of paper and do not keep them on e-files labeled passwords. Consider keeping them on an online program such as 1Password.com. https://1password.com
  3. Share your passwords with as few people as possible and only if you have to, such as a virtual assistant.
  4. Use a complicated password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  5. Never use the word “password” or the numbers 123 for your online programs or ATM cards.

How to Update Your Social Media

Update Your Facebook Page 

Go to the About section on your Facebook page and make sure that everything is current.

If you have 35 or more likes on your page, review your analytics. What are the circumstances that trigger engagement on your page? Does it occur with certain types of posts, images or specific times of the day?

Do you know whether more men or women like your page? Do you know their ages? Check out this section and start planning an editorial calendar for the first three months of 2019.

Review Your Twitter Account

First, look at your following and follower numbers and use a program such as ManageFlitter to fine-tune the balance. I use ManageFlitter to unfollow some users who don’t follow back, to whitelist users I never want to unfollow and to block users who have fake accounts as well as spam and bot accounts. I also unfollow inactive accounts.

There are two Twitter follow limits. If you have fewer than 5,000 followers, the maximum people you can follow are 5,000. (The old limit was 2,000 followers.)

So, if 5,000 follow you, the maximum number of people you can follow is 5,500. So be sure to use Tweepi or ManageFlitter to start unfollowing users who don’t follow you back.

While you’re here, click Edit Profile and determine whether you want to update your avatar (your picture), the banner, or your bio.

Also, if you haven’t pinned a tweet to the top of your timeline, consider pinning a tweet about your most recent book or if you’re an editor, a service you provide.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – November 16, 2018

indie author

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. The focus this week is on book marketing. Be sure to read Melodie Campbell’s post as well as Writers Relief’s post on blogging.

New Book Marketing: The Bad Girl’s List for Book Launch Success from Anne R. Allen and by Melodie Campbell: “New Book!!  Gak – I have a new book coming out January 29. The Goddaughter Does Vegasis number 6 in an award-winning series (Derringer and Arthur Ellis – yay!)  Because of that, I do have some expectation of sales from previous readers of the series (bless your totally wacky hearts.)  But still, I have to get the message to them and to potential new readers, that there is a new book coming out, in this very noisy marketplace that scares the pants off me.”

5 Tips For Successful Publishing And Book Marketing from Joanna Penn: “I’m just back from the Independent Author Conference in Philadelphia. Here are some of my thoughts from the trip in this solo show: People don’t buy books, publishing wide is more than just retail, tips for being a better publisher, strategy is what you DON’T do, plus, learn what you need for your stage of the author journey.

10 Secret Tips For Creative Writers Who Blog from Writers Relief: “Creative writers who blog tend to drive more visitors to their author websites than those who don’t. But what are the secrets behind a successful blog? Here are ten insider tips for writers who blog!”

Book Marketing: Make the Most of Your Great Book Reviews  from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: “Great book reviews make an indie author’s day – and until you’ve learned to thicken your skin against the less flattering comments, a low star rating can have the opposite effect. So how do you make the most of the best ones, once that initial flutter of joy has subsided? Debbie Young, ALLi’s Author Advice Center Manager, offers a few top tips to help you sustain that good feeling and use readers’ appreciation to fuel your progress as a writer and as an authorpreneur.”

Tips for Adding Radio to Your Book Marketing by Brian Jud: “Performances on radio talk or news shows can be a great way to supplement your book promotion activities. With radio as part of your communication plan, you can reach hundreds, thousands, or millions of people at little or no cost. You can even sell some books, if you do it right.”

How To Reach Readers Better by Diversifying by guest from Rachel Thompson’s blog and by Shannon McGuire: “We all have our preferences, both in real life and with reading. I refuse to order toilet paper from Amazon. And, while I want to be a Kindle gal, I like the feel of real (paper) books. Further, my husband is married to his Audible account and plows through audio books while his paperbacks sit and collect dust.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – November 9, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - November 9, 2018

Welcome back to the Indie Author Weekly Update. You’re going to enjoy today’s roundup. The focus is on book marketing and all the ways you can sell your book from book catalogs to swag to keywords. Enjoy the best posts of the week.

Book Marketing: How to Create a Book Catalog of Your Self-published Books & Why   from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center and by Rachel Amphlett: “When thriller writer Rachel Amphlett discovered that someone had created and published a reading guide and book catalog for her work and was charging readers to download it, she decided to take the matter into her own hands and create her own Readers’ Guide. Here she shares her process and the benefits, to help you do the same for your own back-catalog of books.”

How to Use Swag to Support Your Book Marketing from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Dawn Reno Langley: “More than a million books are published every year, and whether you go traditional or indie, you have a lot of competition. Marketing your book falls squarely on your shoulders no matter where on the publishing spectrum you fall—so you need to how to get the most for your buck. “Book swag” is a proven tool for gathering readers and devoted followers.”

Update Your Keywords to Sell More Books over the Holidays by Penny Sansevieri: “Especially around the holidays, take a moment and tweak your keywords/keyword strings in Amazon. Maybe you can’t incorporate any holiday – or Christmas-specific keywords, but tweak the keywords during the holidays and find the strongest ones for your market. Oftentimes searches that include “gifts for…” ramp up in popularity around this time.”

Have You Pre-Sold Your Book? by Joel Friedlander: “One of the biggest lessons you can learn when you start to really look at marketing your books is about creating anticipation. Think of the last big movie you were looking forward to.”

Amazon and the Also Bought Apocalypse by David Gaughran: “A real horror story has been slowly building for the last year or so and I’m getting a lot of emails on the topic so it’s time to deal with this head-on: what the hell is going on with Also Boughts?”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates
Getting frustrated with your social media updates?

Not seeing as much engagement as you’d like?

Everyone has that complaint from time to time. Even I do. (Yes, me!)

Tips to Improve Your Social Media Updates

There are many ways you can boost engagement and feel better about your social media updates.

Shall we get into the meat of this discussion? Let’s!

Here’s my list of tips to increase engagement on all of your social media posts.

  1. Always post images. Always. It’s easy to do on Instagram and Pinterest because, obviously, if you don’t have a picture to post, you don’t have anything to post. So I’m talking about all of the other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.  We can reverse the order of this tip and put it this way: never post anything on social media without including an image or a video. According to CoSchedule, images increase retweets by 150%, and according to KISSMetrics, Facebook photos attract 53% more Likes and 84% more click-through rates than text posts. Besides, Facebook makes it easy to turn a text post into an image post with its array of color backgrounds for your status updates.
  2. Share quick tips with your followers and fans. Remember that Facebook posts limited to 80 or fewer characters receive 65% more engagement. Yeah, this is another example of when less is more.
  3. Ask questions. If you go to a party and ask questions, people will love you, right? The same dynamic works on social media.
  4. Comment on current events such as Warriors basketball season starting 8-), updates from the World Series, or any issue that is fun and not too controversial. They can even be personalized. Did you take a hike last weekend or win a race? Post images.
  5. Post humorous memes. People love these.
  6. Give away a free eBook for the best photo caption to a funny or ambiguous image.
  7. Share a thought or image that moves you.
  8. Get personal. I tend to like to not be too personal online. It has to do with my comfort level. But the few times that I am less private, engagement soars. So, self-reflect before your self-reveal and then decide if you’re comfortable being more personal and opening up more often. People want to get to know the author behind the books they read.
  9. Share a photo from your past and post in on Thursday with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. Author Mark Dawson does this all the time on Facebook.
  10. Buffer reported that to make a tweet more popular, focus on length, nouns and verbs. Don’t focus on mentions or hashtags. Also, use positive words and use an indefinite article such as A or An.
  11. Use emoticons. People love these, and they aren’t going away. I use them sparingly in my business-related emails, but I do use them.
  12. Don’t over-promote yourself. Let’s return to the party analogy I mentioned earlier. Nobody — and I mean not a single person — likes the guy who only talks about himself. It’s a turnoff, right? What you need to realize is that marketing isn’t about your or your books or your blog posts, or your courses. It’s about the benefit. What benefit do readers derive from your books? Even when you focus on the benefit, you still have to do your marketing sparingly. Promote other authors. Promote your readers. Share or retweet what they post. Leave comments on their updates. Marketing is never about you. Sure, you want to sell books, but you won’t get sales by over-promoting yourself. You’ll get sales if you promote other authors, do things for your readers, learn about your readers, answer their questions, and ask them questions. Got it?
  13. Develop content aligned with your marketing objectives. Otherwise, you’ll just be guessing in your marketing and never know for certain what to post.
  14. Run polls and surveys. That’s right, ask your fans and followers what they want to read by your on your blog and in your books, and what they prefer to see on your social media profiles.
  15. Engage in conversations. You can ask questions, and you need to answer questions when readers ask questions. Look at your news feeds and take time to share, retweet, and leave comments.
  16. Sharing images is the first step, making sure that they are correctly sized is the next. Don’t use an image designed for a  Twitter post on Facebook and vice versa. Resize images according to the platform’s preferred image dimensions.
  17. As best as you can, make sure that all of your images are the best they can be. Never settle for boring.
  18. Everyone loves a smile, right? Well, it turns out that on Pinterest smiling faces get more saves.
  19. Leverage popular phrases or slogans. During the World Cup a few years ago, “because of fútbol” was a favorite phrase. On Twitter, Monday Motivation and Wednesday Wisdom are hashtags that are always used on those days. These sayings can surface suddenly and be time-limited in their popularity. Use them while they’re hot.
  20. Be consistent in your blog images. Always use the same size for the image at the top of your blog post and use the same fonts.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 12, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - October 12, 2018

Welcome to another Indie Author Weekly Update. We’re entering the season of NaNoWriMo and to mark it, there are two blog posts on that topic today. Be sure to read Anne R. Allen’s post on legitimate and seedy publishers as well as David Gaughran’s post on Kindle Unlimited. Finally, Jane Friedman’s blog is always worth a read.

How Can You Tell Legitimate Publishers from the Bad Guys? by Anne R. Allen: “New writers have much to be wary of these days. New publishing scams are landing in writers’ inboxes faster than we can send out warnings. Probably the most dangerous predators for the newbie writer are phony publishers, because they can shatter dreams as well as drain bank accounts.”

To Nano or Not To Nano by Jenny Hansen: “NaNoWriMo, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is National Novel Writing Month, where hundreds of thousands of writers gather to bang out as many words as they can in the month of November. Many writers skip it and many writers treat it as a yearly pilgrimage to Writing Mecca.”

How Do You Create? by Grant Faulkner: “When I begin a story, I sit down with an itch of a story idea stirring in my mind, and I write a sentence, without too much thought, without any maps of logic, and then I write another sentence, and then another, one thing leading to the next, writing in pursuit of faint inklings and distant whispers, writing to discover, writing just to write.”

Kindle Unlimited – A Cheater Magnet by David Gaughran: “I don’t hate Kindle Unlimited. While all my own books are currently wide, I also work on marketing campaigns for others which regularly get 10m reads per month, or more. I’m not saying that to brag — the respective authors are doing the hardest part of the equation by writing books which resonate so widely — I merely state this to show that I understand how to (ethically) work Kindle Unlimited, and that I have nothing against it per se.”

How to Write Better Marketing Copy by Jane Friedman: “Overexposure: every writer has experienced this problem. You work on a manuscript for so long that your perception of it dulls. You become blind to its weaknesses and ignorant of its strengths. Though that’s a well-known phenomenon when it comes to editorial perception, overexposure is less acknowledged by marketers. When you’re marketing what feels like your 100th thriller—as an author or for a publishing house—you might feel like you’ve run out of things to say. You’re bored by your go-to descriptions and want to break out of the box and offer a fresh take. But this can be a dangerous strategy.”

5 Tips for Selling Your Books at Events—on a Budget by ChrysFey: “Being one of many authors at a book festival or signing event can be pricey when you add together the cost of the table, books, swag, travel, meals, and anything else the event requires of you. Sometimes it’s challenging to make back the cost of your books and the price of the table. So, finding cheap but cool things to use at book events is essential.”

How to Understand Your Reader’s Level of Awareness to Grow Your Fanbase from Jane Friedman and by Dave Chesson: “Imagine a reader who thinks they like science fiction books, as compared to one that can specifically tell you they love sci-fi military space marine adventures. The latter is more likely to know what they are looking for and quicker to buy the book when they see it.”

Google+The Death of a Social Media Network

Google+ to Shutter After Reports of Exposed User Data from Social Media Today: “Google announced Monday it would slowly shut down Google+, the search giant’s long-struggling social network, after finding a software bug that divulged the private data of as many as 500,000 users to hundreds of third-party applications, according to a company blog post. The company fixed the flaw in March and didn’t find any evidence that developers misused users’ personal information.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update

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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.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

posting on social media

Note: This is a completely version of a previous post.


Posting on social media can be a quandary for some authors.

Regardless of all the tips posted online, when it comes to a personal decision, many writers don’t know what they should say, especially once they learn that always talking about their books and blog posts is verboten (forbidden).

I get it.

Here’s my confession: I sometimes struggle with what to say on my Facebook profile. My life just isn’t that exciting, you know?

And I’m not into posting selfies. I’m just not that photogenic.

But when it comes to my professional social media accounts — my Facebook page, and Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts, I have no problem.

Why? Because I know that on those accounts I need to balance inspirational and education information. I want to encourage people, post images, and ask questions.

I have those platforms down, so to speak.

I want you to feel the same way. I don’t want you to ever feel insecure about what you’re posting or sit in front of a blinking cursor wondering, “What the heck should I say?”

So let’s get to it.

You Need Great Content on Your Blog & on Social Media

Sometimes content you found on the internet years ago can still apply. I know that I posting on social media use these tips that I found a few years ago from Search Engine Land. I consider their advice the meat and potatoes of everything I write online.

  • Is the content informative?
  • Is it authoritative on the subject matter?
  • Is it interesting?
  • Is it well-written?
  • Is longer content broken up into well-organized sections by headings? You may have long paragraphs in your books, but that style doesn’t work for blogging or for your social media posts.
  • Does the content make good and interesting use of visual elements? Remember, you need to include images with your blog posts. Multiple photos keep people reading your blog posts. On social media, pictures are a must.
  • Is the writing free of embarrassing spelling errors or remedial grammar problems? I use Grammarly to check my writing and punctuation. Are you using an editing application to check yours?
  • Is it written appropriately for its intended audience? How well do you know your audience? Are you writing for women in their 30’s or men 40 and older? You must know your audience if you expect to sell any books. The same is true for your audience on your blog and on social media.
  • Is the content free of industry-insider jargon, focusing instead on terminology your readers would use (and search for)? Get rid of all jargon and cliches before tapping the publish button.
  • When appropriate, does the content show your unique voice or even a sense of humor? Are your snarky or quirky? Don’t be afraid to show your real self. Being authentic will enhance your brand. Embrace who you are and don’t be afraid to show those sides of yourself online.

The above suggestions apply mostly to blog writing, but you can adapt some of them for social media.

You can also use these suggestions to evaluate blog posts written by other people you might want to share. Since 80% of the content, you discuss on social media will be from sources other than your own, ask yourself if that content incorporates the above suggestions.

If it doesn’t, don’t use it.

So what will you post 20% of the time when you can talk about yourself? When you think about it, you’re still going to be posting quite a bit of information that emanates from you.

What should you say?

posting on social media

25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

Here are some examples of great content for your social media profiles:

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