Book Marketing Blogsby Penny Sansevieri
January 24, 2015
Here’s a look at some useful book marketing and publishing industry tweets to guide you, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include how to get reviews, the importance of a great author headshot, an indie author guide to Twitter, and more. Happy marketing!
* 39 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers
Flummoxed by the idea of getting more followers? These steps will help you as long as you apply them consistently:
* 5 Ways to Sell More Books on Amazon
Did you know getting readers to buy books in the same basket will boost your book? Learn more:
* 11 Hacks for Creating Awesome Social Media Profiles
You don’t want to be the egg on Twitter. Make your profile stand out:
* The Importance of a Great Author Headshot
Your photo gives readers a visual to attach to you and your book. Make sure it counts:
* The Indie Author’s Guide to Twitter
Whether you’re a beginner or ready to learn more, you’ll find some terrific ideas to get more from Twitter:
* 9 Ways to Recycle Your Blog Posts Into Other Content Formats
Think newsletters, SlideShare, videos, and more. You’ll be able to spread your blog content far and wide:
* 50 Amazing Resources That Will Make You a Better Writer
You need to create content, and this post offers a number of ways you can produce fresh content:
* How to Get Book Reviews
There are different types of reviews available; learn what they are and how to get them:
January 22, 2015
It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You write a great article either on your blog or as a guest post, and one day you find it on someone else’s site with no credit to you whatsoever. In the case of what happened that prompted this piece, an article I wrote was lifted and tinkered with *slightly* and then reposted onto someone else’s site. What do you do if that happens? Well, it’s certainly a hassle but it’s one you should consider following up on because stealing someone else’s work – especially stealing it and repurposing it, is not right and certainly a copyright infringement.
When you discover this, the first step is to contact the site as I did after I got an email from someone at Joel Friedlander’s site, The Book Designer, to tell me that they’d discovered that this piece: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/07/amazon-algorithms/ was reposted here: http://publishingpush.com/blog/understanding-amazons-algorithms/#comment-630
After my initial contact, they added me to the bottom of this piece as a “resource.” I emailed them again, reminding them I’d written this and to please cite me as the author. They wrote back, said they had – and they hadn’t. As this point it just became a game of chicken so I decided to take this a step further.
Your first plan of attack is to find out who their domain is registered with which in this case is GoDaddy. I found that information by going here: https://who.is/ and plugging in the URL. That will also pull up owner information, etc. that could be helpful to your case. Once you have that, go to the domain company and file a complaint. Here is a link to the complaint form on GoDaddy, and I suspect that most domain services have a similar form:
Next, you want to file with Google. Their process is a simple, online form that you can find here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dmca-notice?hl=en&pid=0
Once that’s done you wait for them to make their determination and let you know if the website has been contacted and what the outcome will be. What I can tell you from past experience is that both domain companies and Google take a very hard stance on trademark and copyright infringement so they tend to act quickly.
Yes, it’s a bit of work to do this but we must not allow people to steal the work we’ve created. Resolving this for issues related to piracy, etc. isn’t always possible but when it is, you should take action.
I will post a follow up to this (updating this blog post) to let you know what happened.
January 20, 2015
Welcome to Tip #39 of our 52 Ways to Market Your Book! I hope you’re enjoying these tips and they are helping you sell more books. Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!
Getting your book reviewed is not as simple as sending out a pitch; in fact, that pitch is often the first step in the potential reviewer checking you out. So we have to ask: are you and your website ready for scrutiny? We’ve already covered 7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed, blog.marketingtipsforauthors.com/2010/10/7-simple-steps-to-getting-your-book.html. Now, we’ll move on to the next phase.
No matter how compelling your book and pitch, those can only take you so far if you haven’t taken care of the basics. And nothing is more basic than a website. You should have a website, and your site should be clean, quick to read and simple to navigate. You don’t need fancy graphics or inspiring music (in fact, the music or slow to load pages are a huge no-no unless you want people to leave your site immediately). Clean, professional design and easy to find features are all you need. Your home page should include the following:
* your book cover
* book synopsis
* a buy this book now button
* links to interior pages of your site where visitors can learn more
What your website needs – Those interior web pages should include an author’s page with a bio – there should be a short version of around 250 words that can be used with reviews, on press releases and in pitches. If you want to include a longer bio, that’s fine, but having the short version ready to use on your site is important. You should have a nice downloadable photo of you that reviewers or media can use. The shot should be in focus (sure, you say ‘duh,’ but we’ve seen plenty of author websites with that blurry photo), be professional and not have a lot of clutter in the background. You should also have a quality, downloadable book cover image available.
Include your latest news – You’ll want a web page for reviews, blurbs and testimonials, and you should update this page as soon as you have new material. Making this a separate web page on your site makes it really easy and convenient for potential reviewers to check out what others have said.
Excerpts can seal the deal – A book excerpt may not be required, but we highly recommended including an excerpt on your site. Given how competitive the review space is, this is something that can make the difference between a review request and a polite “no thank you.” Include the link to the excerpt in your pitch and PR for the book so it’s easily accessible.
Make book purchase options clear – Links to buy your book should be included on another page – list all applicable sites where your book is for sale and include a way for visitors to click through and make a purchase. Make it simple to make a sale or you may drive customers away.
Provide contact information – Do not forget to have a page with contact information and include what you think is appropriate. If you are an expert on a timely, in the news topic, or want to make it really easy for the media to find you, include a phone number, as well as your email address. If you’re active on social media like Twitter and Facebook include those links, too.
Showcase your stuff – Finally, if you’ve written articles or have a blog, or if you’ve been interviewed on radio, TV, in print or online, make sure those links are featured on your website, too. Make it as easy as possible for prospective interviewers or reviewers to learn all about you, your book and your expertise.
Bells and whistles won’t cover for a weak website – ensuring that the basics are there so visitors can learn all about you and your book (and buy it) are critical. When surfing websites, visitors only spend seconds; if they don’t see what they need or want, they move on. Make your site inviting and informative so they’ll stick around and hopefully follow up with an enthusiastic “yes” to your review request.
* Your 10 Point Website Check Up –
* 15 key elements all top websites should have –
* Writing an effective cover letter – http://www.midwestbookreview.com/bookbiz/advice/cvr-ltr.htm
* Writing an effective publicity release – http://www.midwestbookreview.com/bookbiz/advice/prelease.htm
* How to request review copies –
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January 16, 2015
Get informed and inspired with these book marketing and publishing industry tweets to guide you, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include Twitter tips for better social media content, how to make your book marketing easier, handling missing or rejected Amazon reviews, and more. Happy marketing!
* How to Handle Missing or Rejected Reviews on Amazon
One author found her Amazon reviews when missing, and she contacted the etailer to learn why. She also has advice for other authors should this happen to them:
* Authors: Plan Your Marketing with a Content Calendar
If you want an active presence on social media, but scramble for content, then this post is for you. Learn how to create a content calendar that will allow you to post regularly and still have time to write your books:
* Indie Author Marketing Guide: How to Use Pinterest
Many authors enjoy Pinterest’s visual appeal but aren’t sure how to use the site. Get some ideas for what you can do to get noticed:
* 2 Must-Dos to Make Your Book Marketing Infinitely Easier
You must know yourself, and understand your audience. The steps outlined here will help you on both counts:
* The Top Self-Publishing Podcasts For Indie Authors
If you’re looking for some shows that will help you learn more about self-publishing, marketing, and book sales, these shows are a great start:
* 10 Twitter Tips For Creating Better Social Media Content
Twitter is a great social network for authors, because it provides a simple way to connect with readers – if you use it effectively. Here’s what you should do:
* Write Like a Pro: 5 Techniques Top Bloggers Use to Write Successful Blog Posts
These tips make a lot of sense, but it’s something many of us don’t know… but when you read these tips you’ll see how easy it is to make some tweaks that make your blog content stand out:
* 32 Facebook Groups for Authors
Think Facebook is just an endless stream of selfies and silly observations? Check out these groups for authors, that offer tips, advice, and ideas:
January 16, 2015
Consider promoting it in Eventbrite. It’s a great way to draw more interest to your online event. People gather there to find out about things happening in their area of interest, both online and off.
If the event is free, you can promote it on Craigslist, too. It’s pretty old school these days but it still works!
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January 14, 2015
Welcome to Tip #38 of our 52 Ways to Market Your Book! I hope you’re enjoying these tips and they are helping you sell more books. So, ready? Here we go!
Getting a Head Start on Holiday Sales
You know I used to laugh at the “Christmas in July” ads until I promoted my first Christmas-related book. We actually started the promotion in July and it was the perfect time. Why? Well, maybe no one is buying or thinking about December in July, but the holiday buying season is tough. In order to make any kind of headway you must start early, not just to capture the December sales but also to get in front of any early shoppers. Once those Christmas in July ads start to hit radio and TV, consumers (those who like to shop early) start to gather ideas for their own shopping lists.
When is it too late to start thinking about the holiday market? November is definitely much too late, October is iffy, but if you’re staring September in the face and haven’t done a lick of marketing towards holiday sales, that might be your last chance. Better to start early – mid to late summer is always great. Here are some tips to help you get a head start on the holiday buying season.
Events: start early. If you’d like to do events in December I suggest you start calling stores now. Many stores don’t do in-store events after Thanksgiving, but if you have local connections or some independent stores they might be open to this. Speaking at non-bookstore venues falls under the same category: start early.
Promos: start planning your promos in the fall. I recommend starting the promo roll-out right after Thanksgiving and planning a succession of promotional announcements all the way through late December. If you need to get special pricing on books, or if you’re going to bundle your book with some other items, this will give you plenty of time to plan for that.
Website: now is the time to make sure your website is ready for your holiday marketing. As you begin planning your promos make sure your web designer is ready to go to make any changes your site might need.
Targets: definitely define your target markets as soon as you can, the earlier the better. If you don’t have a good, solid idea of who you’re marketing to yet don’t use your holiday campaign to test this. Test market early. You’ll be glad you did. Don’t waste a holiday promo if you don’t have to. Knowing who you are going after will save you in costly marketing mistakes (and this goes for any time you are marketing).
Ebooks: I suspect with all the e-readers that have hit the market – and with both Target and Best Buy carrying e-book readers – you’re going to see a lot of promotion for this over the holidays. Make sure your book is keyed into this market, what I mean is: if you had planned to get your book converted to an ebook, now is the time. Also, you might want to offer a special promo, if someone buys your e-book have them forward you the receipt for an additional special holiday bonus.
Social media: if you’re not on Facebook or Twitter yet, now is the time to join, and even if you are, this is a great time to maximize your efforts and plan how you’ll use your social media to enhance your holiday promos. Will you offer specials to your social media “tribe” only? Will you have exclusives just for them? Consider early on what your social media strategy will be.
Exposure: if your exposure online is minimal, now is the time to ramp it up. Contacting blogs, websites, doing article syndication, participating in blogs, doing guest blogging… all of these things are great ways to gain exposure online. Remember, it’s not just about the holiday promos, it’s about making sure you are searchable online. That way, if someone searches on what you’re offering, you’ll come up in the search results. This will help you capture holiday shoppers who haven’t been exposed to you or your message yet.
The key to successful holiday promotion is planning and enough advanced marketing so that you’re not spinning your wheels in the Fall wondering why you’re not making any traction. If you’re ready to explode your holiday market, start early; it’s the best way to make sure you have a spot waiting for you when the busiest shopping season of the year comes around again!
January 12, 2015
Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week features posts on social media, book marketing, writing, and getting published. Thank you to all of the contributors.
Frances Caballo submitted The New Facebook Ban Authors Need to Know About posted at Social Media Just For Writers, saying, “Facebook implemented a new policy that will downgrade Facebook posts that are purely promotional. This blog post explains the “ban” and explains why it won’t affect Indie Authors’ book marketing plans.”
Derek Murphy submitted The Anatomy of a Successful Non-Fiction Book Launch posted at Creative Indie, saying, “A summary of my last book launch, working on mostly fiction now…”
Dana Lynn Smith submitted Conquer Author Overwhelm posted at Savvy Book Marketer, saying, “Sometimes authors can feel overwhelmed with all of the things they need to do. Here are some tips for coping with the myriad of tasks authors face.”
Sarah Bolme submitted One Smart Book Promotion Tactic posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “I love hearing about authors who are engaging in smart book promotion tactics. Such stories always get me excited and fuel my creative juices for ways to better promote books. Recently, I was introduced to an author in my hometown who is engaging in some really smart book promotion.”
Erica Verrillo submitted 2 New Agents Actively Building Their Client Lists posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “Here are two new agents actively building their client lists. Leon Husock has a particular interest in science fiction and fantasy, young adult and middle-grade novels. Cynthia Kane is interested in representing young adult, children’s, nonfiction, memoir, and commercial fiction.”
Chrys Fey submitted How to Build a Platform published at Write with Fey, saying, “A writer’s platform is your personal ability to sell books through who you are (your name), the people you know (connections), and media outlets (blogs and social networks).”
That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/submit-ame-blog-carnival/
January 9, 2015
Happy New Year! We’ve rounded up some top book marketing tweets to guide you, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include how authors are using Instagram, building a following on social media, publishing predictions for 2015, and more. Happy marketing!
* Smashwords’ Mark Coker Shares 2015 Publishing Predictions
The publishing landscape is rapidly changing, and Coker has some interesting comments about where things are heading. He believes it’s still early in the ebook self-publishing revolution:
* Tips to Keep Your Blog Readers Coming Back
Learn how to keep your blog content fresh and attract regular visitors to your site:
* 6 Ways for Authors to Build an Engaging Platform Using Social Media
Get some practical advice for how you can build a following on social media and keep those fans engaged:
* 15 Things Successful Writers NEVER Say
For example: I don’t need an editor. Yes, you do. And don’t say these things, either:
* Why the Self-Published Ebook is No Longer the “New Query”
There was a time when a successful self-published title would attract the attention of the Big Five publishers. Things have changed a lot since then. Here’s what you should know:
* 2015: Social Media Marketing Trends You Cannot Miss
Get ready for the new year by getting caught up on the latest developments in social media. For instance, if you use YouTube you should know that video will extend beyond that channel in the coming year:
* Reviving a Stale Book
By refreshing an older book, you can make new sales and get new fans!
* Top 7 Ways Authors Are Using Instagram
You can connect with book review bloggers, promote yourself, and much more:
January 9, 2015
Content curation isn’t always easy and more goes into it than just searching for content and sharing it. You have to research, explore and create. Your goal should always be to provide value to others and in doing so you may expand your reach across social media platforms.
Topsy – Super easy to use and makes it simple to find trending content topics related to what you are focusing on.
Netvibes – Allows you to totally customize your dashboard, and keeps everything that matters organized how you want it in one spot.
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January 7, 2015
Welcome to Tip #37 of our 52 Ways to Market Your Book! Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!
If you’re tired of hearing “no” every time you try and secure a book signing, take heart. Signings have become a lot more challenging since more books than ever are being published each year and stores are cutting back on events. What’s an author to do? If you’re hungry for an event and not willing to wade through the endless submission process of a bookstore, consider doing events in non-bookstore markets.
What’s a non-bookstore event? Well, obviously it’s anything outside of a bookstore but more than that, it’s a unique location, likely in your city or town. We’ve done events at video stores, electronics stores, grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, even Hallmark stores. When you start to dig into this market, the possibilities are really endless. It’s just a matter of finding a place that will make sense to host your event.
Picking the Right Venue
The first piece of this is picking the right venue. The venue can depend on a few things; first, you might look at the topic of your book to help generate some ideas. We once had an author who wrote a book on wine/movie pairings – pairing the right wine with a movie. I placed this author in a Blockbuster Video and the results were tremendous. I had another author with a computer book and I placed him at a computer store on a busy Saturday afternoon. He sold out of some 65 copies of his book in one afternoon. Another great venue is a Hallmark or some other gift shop. Why? Because people are going to a gift shop or Hallmark for one thing: a gift. Autographed books make great gifts.
Selling the Idea to the Venue
This will take a bit of work because it’s likely that the venue has never even entertained the idea of doing an event, let alone an author signing. You’ll need to make sure they are clear on the WIIFM (what’s in it for me): tell them you’ll be promoting the event, marketing it to the media (which we’ll cover further on in this article). Make sure they know that you’ll handle the book orders (meaning getting the books to the store) if need be. Yes, there is a lot more legwork involved for these events, but the payoff is huge. You may have to sell the books to them on consignment; what that means is that they take the books and can return to you whatever they don’t sell. Encourage the venue, however, to keep a stock in their store after the event in case people come by when you’re gone. I’ve done this before, and nine times out of ten the books never get returned to the author and are sold instead. Also, in many cases the store will often reorder and before you know it, you’re part of their inventory.
The other piece to this is to try, whenever you can, not to go through their corporate offices. Much like doing an event at Starbucks (which I’ve also done) and Hallmark, a pitch to corporate could take weeks and even months to approve. Most stores have the ability to approve from 3-5 events per year, meaning that they can have events at their store without having to go through the corporate offices. Most major corporations do this so that the stores can provide community support without getting bogged down in tedious paperwork for event approval. If you can avoid the red-tape of a corporate approval, do that whenever you can.
Selling the Books
As I mentioned, you will likely have to do a consignment. The inventory part for most major stores gets tricky, and if the books have to be approved for inventory, you’ll end up going through corporate again. More red tape. Try to work with the venue as much as you can so you don’t have to create an inventory of your books. The upside, however, is that if the inventory process is easy, you will be on their reorder list for the future!
Marketing the Event
This is the easy part, believe it or not. Local media loves local authors and while that’s a good foot in the door – the unique venue location will virtually seal the deal. Market yourself to media well in advance of the event and then again the event day. Also, if you’re doing an event in a mall, see if you can get the other stores to participate by doing bookmarks or bag stuffers. Bag stuffers, by the way, are a great way to help the store market your event. You could also do a custom bookmark. With printing so cheap these days, it might be easier to have event-specific bookmarks made up that you can give to the store to help them push the event to their patrons. Make sure you get the store OK first, before you hand them bag stuffers and bookmarks. Also ask if you can create a poster that includes your book cover and the event information. See if you can get a placement on the venue website and perhaps a notification sent to their mailing list. Unlike bookstores that crank out author events all the time, a unique venue that doesn’t see author events all that much will be much more receptive to promotional ideas.
More Venue Ideas
Once you take your eye off of the bookstore focus, the opportunities for book events are endless. Consider the following: street fairs, farmers markets, gyms, yoga studios, wineries, art stores, Starbucks, coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, airports. Yes, I said airports. I’ve traveled a great deal and almost every time I go through the San Diego airport, Dallas Fort Worth or San Francisco, I see an author signing their books. Look out for this: if you’re not paying attention you could miss it while rushing to catch your flight.
Other Benefits to Doing Non-Bookstore Events
The benefits of these types of events are pretty significant, especially if speaking and events are part of your marketing tool kit. Book events held in these exclusive markets will not only take you off the track of competing for space in a bookstore, but because they are unique they will draw much more attention both from the media and readers.
Having a traditional book signing is always great. It will help you get into the bookstore market and might even get your book on their shelf. But if bookstores aren’t open to an event, don’t let that discourage you from planning one. Being unique will not only help you gain more attention, but it will help to keep you out of the rejection funnel that often comes from competing in a high-traffic market. Also, venue events outside of bookstores are a fun way to build an audience, get your feet wet doing events and speaking and grow your career as an author!
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