Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
Creating Powerful Content That Will Help You Sell Books: Tip #45 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
March 3, 2015by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to Tip #45 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!

Creating Powerful Content that will help you sell books

Tip 45These days it’s a must that every marketer create fresh, enticing content. While not everyone uses the term “content,” it still comes down to creating words, tweets, blog post, and whatever content you create, it means extra work for you. How can you keep up with your marketing, social media, and your content creation? More importantly, how can you create compelling content that readers will not only want to read, but that will also encourage them to buy your book?

For years, I’ve been creating all sorts of content. Whether it’s blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, white papers, or HuffPo posts, it’s all about crafting helpful information people can use and messages that will drive users back to our website. The idea isn’t just to push something out there, but to push it out consistently. The best way to generate content is to stay in close touch with your industry. Keep apprised of your marketplace, industry news, and changes to your field because all of this can help to spark ideas. If you’re scratching your head wondering how to do this, here are some quick tips to help turn you into a content machine.

  1. Networking: you should be networking with other experts in your market. Getting to know other voices is very important not just for networking, but also for idea generation. Ideas and inspiration come from everywhere; sometimes they come from tweets you’ve seen, other times they might come from blog posts you subscribe to, or Facebook accounts you are a fan of.
  2. RSS Feeds: once you identify your network of experts, subscribe to their blogs. I find that staying immersed in your industry will help to percolate ideas.
  3. Tweets: as I mentioned above, following experts in your market will really help not only for networking, but also as you’re building your knowledge base.
  4. Newsletters: many experts have newsletters. You should be subscribing to all of them. Newsletters are also a great way to gather fresh, new content ideas.
  5. Guest blog posts: inviting other experts as guest bloggers on your website is a great way to generate content. Not only that, but it’s a fantastic way to connect to new people in your industry. Guest blog posts also help to bring in fresh readers, especially when the guest blogger helps promote the blog to his or her community of readers.
  6. Your book: if you’ve written non-fiction (and even to some degree with fiction) you should be able to excerpt pieces or portions of it and syndicate it online. In some form or fashion, Red Hot Internet Publicity has been pushed online. Whether it’s in blog form, a tweet, syndicated article, or a Facebook update, I have broken this book into a million little pieces all being used as content.

Once you have a good content strategy, then it’s time to plan for your content. I recommend that you take time once a week to do this. Sometimes I’ll skip a week, but I always make it up. If you’re new to this, treat your content strategy like your new workout routine. At first it won’t be easy, but you have to keep up a regular pace until it becomes part of your marketing regime.

Keep your content organized by collecting this valuable content in a folder, either electronically or in a paper file. If you’re gathering information electronically, I would suggest using something like Evernote (which I love!) or OneNote. Evernote has a great app for both iPhones and Android so if you see something or get content inspiration while you’re away from your computer, you can add it to Evernote and it will sync up to your main file. Tres cool… That way you can get to it quickly and easily. Once you have identified various ways to gather content and you’ve started building this content, you’ll start to see your platform really growing. The more you push out there in the way of information, the more will come back to you in the way of readers and buyers.

How does content help you sell books? The more of an authority you are, the more eyes you will get to your message – and the more eyes you get, generally the more buyers you get. Also, I believe that information builds trust and these days, whether you’re buying a book or something else, consumers want to buy from people they trust. Building trust is a big piece of what we do, and content creation is a part of this strategy.

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – March 2, 2015
March 2, 2015by: Paula
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week we have guest posts on getting published, writing, and book publicity. Thank you to all of our contributors.

Writing

Hazel Longuet submitted This Week’s 20 Most Popular Articles On Writing posted at Novel Experience, saying, “Here are top 20 articles that got most traction from my social media followers last week. They cover the whole gamut (writing, self-publishing, book promotion, author platforms, social media). A collection of great articles from great authors.”

writer at work

Book Publicity

Sarah Bolme submitted Are You Paying Attention? posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “The average person’s attention span is 8 seconds while a gold fish’s attention span is 9 seconds. Find out what this means.”

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 12 Writing Contests in March – No Entry Fees posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “There are lots of writing contests with deadlines in March (some even fall on the Ides), and they cover the spectrum from poetry to Hoosier lit. Short story contests abound. So, don’t be shy. Take a chance and enter a contest. Who knows, you may win!”

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/



Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 23, 2015
February 28, 2015by: Paula
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Let’s take a look at some top book promotion and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include the real reason your book was rejected, how to get good reviews for your books, social media tips for authors, and more. Happy marketing!

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* 6 Reasons Why Some Books Will Never Be Bestsellers

“Why am I not selling books?” is something many authors ask when they don’t see results. If your book isn’t selling, this is why it might be happening:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/02/six-reasons-why-some-books-will-never-be-bestsellers/

book review word cloud

* How to Get Good Reviews for Your Books

All authors want to get book reviews. These steps will help you find the right reviewers:

http://korymshrum.blogspot.com/2015/01/tbt-how-to-get-good-reviews-for-your.html

* Get to Know Your Amazon Central Account

This feature is something many authors overlook. Here’s what you should know to take advantage of it:

http://www.sandyappleyard.com/2015/02/20/get-know-amazon-central-account-heres/

* The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All

A rejection hurts, but it’s not about you. There are many reasons a manuscript doesn’t get selected:

http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-10-real-reasons-your-book-was.html

* The #1 Marketing Strategy for Writers with a Day Job, Kids, Etc.

This is the reality for many authors: they have jobs, families, lives – on top of their writing. Here’s how they can steadily promote their books, too:

http://yeseniavargas.com/the-1-marketing-strategy/

* Discoverability Isn’t Nearly Enough to Help Readers Find Your Book

There are a lot of books out there and if you passively wait for readers to find you, you could wait a long time. Try this instead:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/the-how-and-why-of-inbound-book-marketing/

* Social Media for Authors Podcast: Improve Your Marketing Results

Using social media is less of a chore if you learn about the shortcuts and tools that can help you:

http://socialmediajustforwriters.com/social-media-for-authors-podcast-improve-your-marketing-results/

* How to Self-Edit Your Book Before Turning it Over to a Professional

You should hire a professional to edit your book, but here’s how you can get your book into good shape before handing it over:

http://edenbaylee.com/2015/02/24/on-the-subject-of-self-editing/



Your eBook Deal How-To Guide: Twitter and Hashtags
February 26, 2015by: Penny Sansevieri
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Even if everyone loves free, you can’t just put the book up on Amazon, mark it free, and call it a day. You have to promote it.

There are a lot of sites that let you list your book for free (see our post about them here: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/ebook-deal-guide/ ), but during your promotion you should be on sites like Twitter, sending messages using hashtags and pinging other accounts. Below I’ve included both the hashtag suggestions as well as some of the Twitter accounts that would love to hear about your freebie. Make sure you plan your freebie at least two weeks in advance because sometimes listings on sites require that much notice.

POSTED eBook Deal How-To Hashtags 02262015Twitter accounts to notify

@DigitalBkToday

@kindleebooks

@Kindlestuff

@KindlebookKing

@KindleFreeBook

@Freebookdude

@free

@free_kindle

@FreeReadFeed

@4FreeKindleBook

@FreeKindleStuff

@KindleUpdates

@Kindleebooks

@Kindlestuff

@Kindlemysbook

@Kindle_Freebies

@100freebooks

@kindletop100

@kindleowners

@IndAuthorSucess

@FreeEbooksDaily

@AwesometasticBk

@Bookyrnextread

@Kindle_promo

@KindleDaily

@Bookbub

Hashtags to use

#free

#freekindle

#freebook

#kindlepromo

#freeebook

Best of luck with your next promotion!

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What the Shopping Channels Can Teach Us About Selling: Tip #44 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
February 24, 2015by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to Tip #44 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!

What the Shopping Channels Can Teach Us About Selling

Tip 44Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all watched a home shopping channel, even if we just stopped by for a minute or two while channel surfing. Home shopping channels are big and the two of the biggest are HSN and QVC; together they generate a combined total of $10 billion in sales every year. They are geared to selling 24/7. What can we learn from this mode of sales? Well, actually a lot. When you break down their method of selling you’ll see quite a bit of brilliance behind the shopping channels’ strategy that can be applied to your own marketing and sales efforts.

Details, details: The first thing the host will do is give you an overview and then zero in on the details, pieces, parts and bonuses. When you’re showcasing your book or product, it’s important to not just focus on the 30,000 foot overview, but the minutiae as well. The caveat is: it has to be exciting to your consumer. The idea is to push the product, then entice them with the details. How will you do this? Start with one, big, overarching question or pitch. Let’s say you wrote a book on dieting, you might say: “If you’re ready to finally lose those extra 30 pounds for good, this is the last diet book you’ll ever need to read.” Now, that’s a pretty big statement, and you’ll need to follow it up with some details that help build your case. See what I mean? If the book has recipes, highlight several and talk about them. If the book has some never-before-revealed secrets, highlight those too and make sure your consumer knows the whole package they’re getting, not just the idea.

Repetition: If you’ve ever watched HSN or QVC you know that their specials are repeated over and over and over again. Telling your consumer once won’t cut it, but telling them twice generally won’t either. You have to tell people again and again and again. Think about it: How many times are you telling folks about your book? How can you adapt this to book marketing? Think about the different ways you reach out to your consumer. How many times are you mentioning your book? If the answer to that is “I don’t know,” then you might want to rethink your marketing strategy. Now, I’m not saying that every Tweet and Facebook update needs to have your book title it in, but what I am saying is that if you are doing any kind of target marketing, email, or mailing, you need to make sure that you continue to push the message of your book for as long as you are marketing it.

Results: What will this book do for your reader? If it was featured on the Home Shopping Network you can be sure you would know, and it would be explained to you in Technicolor detail. Often, they will demo the product on the air. Why do they do this? Because the before and after is wildly popular with consumers. Now, if you’re not on HSN, how will you demo this? For starters, you can get testimonials for your website. Remember: what someone else says about your book, message, or product is 1,000 times more effective than anything you can say. You can also consider a YouTube channel (think of it as your very own HSN) and get video testimonials, or demo the ideas in your book. If you’re marketing a product, demo the product on video. Remember we love to know it’ll do XYZ for us, but seeing it is 1,000 times more powerful than just hearing it.

How’s it selling? It never fails: during the broadcast, the host will always tell you how well the product is selling. In fact, often they will tell you that it’s nearly selling out, thereby heightening the urgency to buy. As part of your book marketing have you pushed your updates to your audience? Have you told them how well it’s selling? Share stats with them, social proof, and popularity. Remember, people like what other people like. If a lot of other people like your book or product, tell your new consumers. It will help heighten their excitement.

Packaging, bonuses and oh, wait, there’s more! The beauty of this last line (as hokey as it might sound) is that it keeps the consumer on edge and ready to dial, but there’s more… so the additional bonuses entice them further. When we offered my book, Red Hot Internet Publicity, packaged for a limited time with another title (the offer was “Get 2 books for the price of 1”) we tripled our sales. Packages and special offers work, though it’s generally a good idea to offer them for a limited time. As you’ll see from one of the points below, urgency sells.

Pricing: Consumers love a bargain and the Home Shopping Network knows this all too well, so the discounts are crucial if they are trying to sell out a product. If you are trying to push your book, don’t get greedy. As I mentioned in the point above, the deeper the discount, the better the response. Be clear on your price point, i.e. what you need to make a profit, then play with the numbers and see what your consumer responds to. Now, you don’t have to offer shippable product as a special offer or price enhancement; it can also be electronic which makes it easier and raises your profit margin.

Urgency: Let’s face it, while it might seem cheesy, urgency sells. “Only 10 minutes left to buy!” and suddenly the phones light up. During the process of the sale, sale updates, bonuses, discounts, etc. all help to heighten the urgency of the buy including the limited time offer. When you’re running a special promotion, the best way to get people to beat a path to your door is to give them a deadline.

Remember the upsell: When you’ve got someone’s attention, why not try and sell them more? If you have bundled product, or special additions to your product, be sure and mention it. In fact, one of the most effective ways to generate sales is to entice your consumer by offering bonuses. Keep in mind that the bonuses need to have value to the consumer: they must enhance your product, not detract from it. You likely wouldn’t offer a copy of a colleague’s fiction book if you are selling a book on building your business. You might want to sell something a bit more compatible like a handbook, white paper, or webinar (either pre-recorded or live). Upsells are great when the product pairing is complimentary.

If you’re not convinced by these tips, try watching a shopping channel and see if you don’t agree. Their methods of selling are so finely tuned, you’ll see a real pattern in how they present each and every product. What that says is: if it works, stick with it. Try one or all of the above insights and see if it doesn’t tip the selling scale in your favor.

Good luck!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 23, 2015
February 23, 2015by: Paula
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week we have guest posts on writing, self-publishing, and book marketing. Thank you to all of our contributors.

Book Marketing

Mayowa Ajisafe submitted Case Study: From Launching Her First Book To Becoming An Amazon Best Seller posted at Authors Crib, saying, “In this episode of the Authors Crib Podcast, we discussed about what happened from A to Z with her book launched and how she walked her way to becoming an Amazon best-selling author in the first week of her book launch and the lessons she picked from that as well as some tips and strategies that can help you achieve the same result with your book launch.”

amzon box

Self-Publishing

Colin Dunbar submitted Format a Book in Word: Kindle Formatting posted at Format a Book in Word, saying, “Formatting for the Kindle is really plain formatting (just like typing on a typewriter, if you’re old enough to remember those days). In this post I explain formatting your Word file for the Kindle.”

Writing

David Leonhardt submitted Not All Words are Created Equal posted at THG Writing Services, saying, “Not all words are created equal. Some are more powerful than others. Some are more precise. Some will elicit the right reaction.”

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/



Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 16, 2015
February 21, 2015by: Paula
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Get some marketing mojo from these book promotion and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include choosing Kindle keywords, finding revenue streams, using Amazon reviews to sell more books, and more. Happy marketing!

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* Authorpreneurship: To Succeed, Authors Must Be More Businesslike Than Ever

What does this entail? Authors need to think strategically about their brand and how to market themselves and their books:

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21643124-succeed-these-days-authors-must-be-more-businesslike-ever-authorpreneurship

Online Shopping Concept. Shopping Cart With Boxes Over Laptop

* 33 Revenue Streams For Authors – Even If You Write Non-Fiction

This fabulous list from Joan Stewart offers an amazing range of ideas, from special reports, tips booklets, cruise ship workshops, board games and more:

http://thefutureofink.com/33-revenue-streams-for-authors/

* Top 5 Ways Authors Can Promote and Sell More Books

Spread your message through your local market, for instance:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dorit-sasson/top-five-ways-authors-can_b_6665110.html

* How to Choose Kindle Keywords

When you select the right words for your book you increase the chances for your book to be discovered:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/02/how-to-choose-kindle-keywords/

* Are Novellas the Future of Publishing?

Publisher Tor.com believes so, and they’re focused on creating short reads that people can fit into their hectic daily lives:

http://io9.com/tor-com-explains-why-novellas-are-the-future-of-publish-1685440234

* 6 Trend-Savvy Book Publishing Strategies

With all the competition out there, you want your book to stand out from the crowd. These tips will help:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-tener/6-trendsavvy-book-publish_b_6658134.html

* 53+ Free Image Sources for Your Blog and Social Media Posts

Stumped for good images you can use? This list will give you plenty of options:

https://blog.bufferapp.com/free-image-sources-list

* Amazon Reviews: How Readers Look at Them, and How to Sell Using Them

Learn how you can use your book reviews to generate more sales:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/02/how-readers-look-at-amazon-book-pages/



Your Book Signing Checklist!
February 19, 2015by: Penny Sansevieri
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So you’ve landed a book signing, congrats! Book signings are a great opportunity to take your exposure to the next level and help build lasting relationships with your readers. These days it isn’t always easy to secure a book signing event, so you want to be sure to make the most of it. The last thing you want to do is show up unprepared. Check out our Book Signing Checklist for everything you need to rock your next event! Best of luck!

Book Signing Checklist Infographic page 1

 

Book Signing Checklist Infographic page 2

 

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Ten Reasons Why You Should be Blogging: Tip #43 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
February 18, 2015by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to Tip #43 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!

Tip 43Ten Reasons Why You Should be Blogging

With all the Tweeting, Facebook Liking, and LinkedIn connecting going on, it’s easy to forget about blogging and finding the time to do so. Blogging, however, can be extremely useful for more reasons than just populating your website with content (although that’s important too). Let’s look at some reasons why you must blog and why it should matter to you!

Blogging gives “voice” to a website: In an age where there are millions of websites and millions more coming online each month, how can you stand apart from the crowd? One way is to get a great-looking site, but as we all know, sometimes budgets allow just the basics. A blog can then step in and (through your voice) give content and character to any website, regardless of how fancy or plain it might be. In fact, some of the best blogs have carried the success of many a less-than-spectacular website.

Content marketing: We all know that we need to create content and lots of it, but who has the time? Well, now you can use your blog as a content creating machine. You can develop original content there and push it out to different areas. For example, I will sometimes use my blog posts for Twitter updates, Facebook updates, and article syndication.

Search engine candy: Blogs are great optimization tools. Search engines (especially Google) love sites that are updated frequently. One easy and quick way to do that is via a blog. Each time you update your blog it pings the search engines and tells them the content on your site has been updated.

Social media must: If you’re going to tweet, or want to be liked on Facebook, there’s no two ways about it, you must have a blog. That’s the site you send them to for your complete content, where they can comment, become a follower and help you grow your tribe.

Blogger friendly: If you’re going to pitch bloggers, you must first have a blog. Love bloggers? Be a blogger first. Similar to the step above, you can become active on other blogs, commenting and sharing ideas, and attract them back to yours where they can return the favor. By the time you pitch them, you’re not just another email in an inbox, you’re someone they know and like.

Be an industry leader: It’s hard to be a leader in the industry if you don’t have a voice. A blog can give you a voice. Also, by blogging on your market, you can stay in touch with your market and hot topics much easier. Stay dialed in, stay current: a blog can help you do that.

Media, speaking: I’ve gotten media interviews and speaking gigs from my blog. If you blog enough and on interesting, relevant issues, you can gain some serious momentum for not only your website, but your career as well.

The competitive edge: No matter what category you publish under, there is always a lot of competition. Yes, you can compete with a better cover, a better book, but on your website a blog will help define you as the author in a unique way that a book category can’t. When you’re in a cluttered market, like dating, dieting, or finance, a blog can really help to define and refine your message.

Credibility: Blogs are great credibility builders. Getting on topic and giving your opinion (and yes, being different) can really help to build your footing and credibility in the marketplace.

Site traffic/SEO: Aside from what a blog can do for your site as it relates to Google, an active blog can also help to increase site traffic and help further optimize the site. It’s a fantastic tool for getting your site better links, traffic, and a higher ranking in search engines.

So now that I’ve convinced you to blog, I want to refer you to another piece I’ve written on blogging called “How to Become a Powerhouse Blogger in 15 Minutes”  I hope that this piece, along with the tips provided above, will help you launch or reinvigorate your blogging campaign.

Good luck and Happy Blogging!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 16, 2015
February 16, 2015by: Paula
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This edition features posts on book marketing, getting published, writing, and book sales. Thank you to all of our contributors.

Writing

Hazel Longuet submitted 20 Writing Tips: This Week’s Most Popular Articles On Writing posted at A Novel Experience, saying, “Here are top 20 articles that got most traction from my social media followers last week. They cover the whole gamut (writing, self-publishing, book promotion, author platforms, social media). A collection of great articles from great authors.”

writing working on laptop keyboard

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 23 Poetry Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “This list consists of publishers that do not charge a fee or require an agent, and which offer royalties, however modest. All of them publish book-length collections and/or chapbooks.”

Book Marketing

Iola Goulton submitted Introducing NetGalley posted at Australasian Christian Writers, saying, “What is NetGalley, and how does it work (for writers and reviewers)?”

Book Sales

Sarah Bolme submitted The State of Fiction Reading posted at Marketing Christian Books saying, “Is fiction reading on the decline? If so, what does this mean for book sales?”

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/





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