Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
Confessions of a Book Blogger
January 15, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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Confessions of a Book Blogger!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I was speaking with one of our book-blogger friends about some of the things that really irk her about getting pitched, what she likes, what she really dislikes and I asked her to put this together in a post for us. We haven’t shared her real name because she asked us not to but seriously authors, if you want to get noticed, pay attention to what she’s telling you in this post. Very, very helpful stuff and who knows, you may get more reviews out of this, too! Enjoy!

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By Samantha Henry

Many thanks to Author Marketing Experts, who asked me to do a guest blog for her here, confessing a few things about us poor book bloggers and hopefully clearing up a few misconceptions that authors and publicists alike seem to hold. I’ve been reviewing and blogging about books for many years, although it’s not a job for me, it’s just for fun—much like the reason I agreed to write this article.

First, book bloggers are not actually sitting around just WAITING for your “life changing” book. The vast majority us don’t do it for profit, have day jobs and get an average of ten to twenty book requests per week. Add in those other books we want to read for ourselves and your real chances of us reading your book is probably less than five percent. Emailing us every two weeks to find out how much we loved your story-of-the-year is NOT going to help you. It will merely get you off of the list all together if you were on it at all. We don’t like to be bullied.

Second, big giant blinking red text in your email request is not going to help you. In fact, it’s really just going to tick us off. The request will be deleted or tossed in the “this author is scary or, at the very least, obviously not getting it” pile. While we’re talking about emails—don’t send it “to” everyone in the entire blog-universe. It’s annoying and kind of rude to include everyone in one email. Use BCC or, even better, take a few minutes to tailor your request.

Third, follow instructions. This is the single biggest offense and will get you ignored and probably not even into a pile. Most bloggers have a way they want you to submit and a format your request should be in. Emailing a lengthy press release with your book attached usually won’t get you anywhere. Look at the website, find the “how to request a review” section and follow their instructions. They are there for a reason—we get flooded with requests and it makes us crazy that you’re not doing your part.

Fourth, I’m not going to share your precious book on a file sharing site. Stop telling me not to or asking how you can “trust me.” Dude, I have entirely too many things to do than to share your unedited book with everyone else. I kind of like some of the people in the world. And why is it only the really bad authors ask this? Would you WANT me to pass it around to others to try to get them to read it? I don’t because of copyright or whatever, but seriously—a lot of you folks are BEGGING people to read your stuff when you first start out.

Fifth, be nice and stand out. Sell me on reading your book—whether it’s funny or endearing or a bad joke. Something. Anything. Don’t just type “hey, can you read my book, please?” and email it. Ummm… why should I? What’s it about? Does it match other stuff I’ve read? If I’ve never blogged about a bodice ripper, what makes you think I want to read yours?

Sixth, keep it real and don’t take it personally. Don’t write several paragraphs telling me why you are so wonderful or how many five star reviews you have. Tell me about the book, the story, why you wrote it—something to pique my interest. But… don’t take it personally if you don’t see your book reviewed. Sometimes they show up a couple of years after they come in. Sometimes they never do. And if it’s a bad review, well, just remember that it was ONE blogger’s opinion. And hey… there’s no such thing as bad press, right? Just ask your publicist ;)

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors January 14, 2013
January 14, 2013by: Paula
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We have a great mix of blog posts for this week’s carnival, covering book publicity, writing, social media and self-publishing. We hope these help you on your writing, publishing and marketing journey! Thanks to all of the contributors.

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Book Marketing

Sarah Bolme presents Trends for 2013 posted at Marketing Christian Books.

Jo Linsdell presents Hit the Airwaves: How to get interviewed on Radio Shows posted at Writers and Authors, saying, “Being interviewed on Radio is a great way to help spread the word about your books and build your reputation as an expert in your field. So how do you get interviewed on a Radio Show? This article breaks it down.”

Book Publicity

Dana Sitar presents Get Behind the Scenes of My Next eBook Launch! posted at DIY Writing, saying, “Following in the footsteps of my publishing mentors, I’m putting together a Launch Team for my next book of about 50 innovative readers to help brainstorm and implement all of the incredible steps we can take to sell an eBook. This comes with two distinct motives: One, I want to offer anyone who’s interested in learning about publishing an eBook a chance to be involved in the process firsthand. Two, I want to make this book a success and simply can’t do it all alone.”

Nick Daws presents Freelance Writers – Have You Joined the Video Revolution Yet? Posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “In this post I discuss the importance to writers of getting to grips with video, and recommend some useful free resources.”

Self-Publishing

Sue Collier presents Webtips for authors & self-publishers posted at Self-Publishing Resources.

Writing

Chris Gonzales presents Work Ethic and Inspiration posted at Unretrofied.

Chrys Fey presents Ending A Chapter posted at Write With Fey, saying, “Not sure how to end the chapter you’re writing? Here are a couple of tips you can use.”

Vicki M. Taylor presents The Least You Should Know – Possessives posted at Your Writing Coach, saying, “Helpful writing tips for writers and authors from Your Writing Coach.”

John Schmoll presents Even More Blogging Tips From a Beginner posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “One of the keys to managing a successful blog is working smarter and not harder. By following certain basic standards and making them your own you’ll be able to keep your posts fresh and your readers coming back for more.”

Sydney Bell presents 35 Blogs for Those that Aspire to Become Writers posted at Longhorn Leads, LLC, saying, “So, you want to become a writer, but you don’t know where to start. First and foremost, you need to write something, even if it’s just a journal or a blog, that way you can get the creative juices flowing.”

Karen M. Rider presents Setting the Literary Stage for Emerging Genres posted at Visionary Fiction Alliance, saying, “Rapid-fire change is ongoing in the publishing industry — and it’s not just in the way books are produced, marketed and distributed. Perhaps like no other period in literary history, writers are experimenting with voice, style and format. Such literary exploration arises from both a writer’s creative urge and in response to market trends. This has led to the emergence of new genres and a shift in the way books are marketed and categorized.”

Social Media

Janet Boyer presents Two Things You Need BEFORE a Book Launch posted at Fizz of Ideas, saying, “Sounds easy peasy, right?

Well, from the looks of wannabe (and already-be) authors yammering at me on social media to BUY MY BOOK or SUPPORT MY KICKSTARTER or GET MY EBOOK FREE ON KINDLE or PURCHASE MY DECK…apparently not.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Guy Kawasaki Goes APE Over Self-Publishing – Part 4
January 11, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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APE, the book

This was such a fun interview and Guy was so easy to work with. I hope you are enjoying this series!

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Welcome to Part Four of my interview with Guy Kawasaki who has written 12 books, 10 of which were traditionally published. His newest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book, which helps people understand how and why to self-publish. Guy shares his thoughts on publishing and why he decided to forgo the traditional model and go indie. In this interview Guy talks about his views on what it means to be self-published.

Penny – What do you make of Penguin buying Author Services? To some extent I understand the thought process behind the Author House purchase: there is a lot of money in self-publishing. When I have spoken with the execs from the publishing houses, they say that on average the author buys 100 copies of their own book. Then they may spend $3,000-4,000 on marketing services.

GUY – I want to puke! There are two possible rationales. First, they have Amazon Encore envy. Amazon Encore acquires the self-published titles and throws Amazon’s marketing might behind them. Great idea. I love it. Score one for Jeff Bezos. So the concept may be, “Let’s buy Author Services, so we can cherry pick the books that are succeeding too.” The problem is that I don’t see why you had to buy Author Services to cherry-pick winners.
Second, maybe, as you mention, it’s just the money. The desire to write and publish a book is so strong and so pervasive that according to reports, Author Services did $120 million in sales. These authors may buy 100 copies of their book, but they’ll spending thousands of dollars to get there.

 

Read more here!

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Guy Kawasaki Goes APE Over Self-Publishing – Part 3
January 11, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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Guy Kawasaki

Welcome to part three of my interview with Guy Kawasaki who has written 12 books, 10 of which were traditionally published. His newest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book, which helps people understand how and why to self-publish. Guy shares his thoughts on publishing and why he decided to forgo the traditional model and go indie. In this interview Guy talks about where he feels publishing is headed!

Penny: Now that you have experienced self-publishing, and you have talked to a number of people and you have done an enormous amount of research for this book, where do you see the independent publishing industry this time next year?

Guy: That is a good question. Independent publishing is a huge step on the path of the democratization of information. We have gone from the Pope having monks and scribes to people who were lucky enough or rich enough to buy something printed by Gutenberg. This was already a big jump. Then there was desktop publishing i.e. a Macintosh, Pagemaker and a laser printer. Next all you needed was a website or blog and a host. Now if you have a computer, a word processor and Internet access, you can sell your book on Amazon. This is a beautiful thing. I am not saying that all that stuff is going to be good, but at least you have a shot.

See more here!

 

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of January 7, 2013
January 11, 2013by: Paula
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Let’s take a look at some popular book marketing Tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include author blogging 101 tips, how to grow and manage your online community, why authors should embrace self-publishing, and much more. We wish you writing, publishing, and marketing success!

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* 6 Ways to Kick-Start Your Twitter Efforts In 2013

Whether you want more followers, more retweets or to tweet more regularly, you’ll find great inspiration here:

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/kick-start-twitter-efforts_b33622

* Why Author and Entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki Thinks Authors Should Embrace Self-Publishing

Despite having books published traditionally, Guy Kawasaki is a big fan of self-publishing. He explains why in part one of this interview:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri/guy-kawasaki-goes-ape-ove_b_2415590.html

* 8 Ways to Make LinkedIn Endorsements Work for You and Your Network

This new LinkedIn feature offers some great benefits; learn how you can leverage it:

http://windmillnetworking.com/2013/01/03/make-linkedin-endorsements-work-for-you-and-your-network/

* 3 Tips for Effectively Growing & Managing Your Online Community

Taking the time to build a faithful following is worth every minute. What you can do:

http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/01/3-tips-online-community/

* Authors Share Strategies for What Will Help You Sell Books (and what won’t)

There may be no hard and fast rule to what constitutes success but you can learn from the successes and failures of other authors:

http://anniejenningspr.com/jenningswire/marketing/round-up-book-selling-strategies-for-2013-what-works-what-does-not/

* Author Blogging 101: Video Interview Tools & Tips

Videos are popular blog features and a great way to share information. This overview will help you get started:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/01/author-blogging-101-video-interview-tools/

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Guy Kawasaki Goes APE Over Self-Publishing – Part 2
January 9, 2013by: Amy
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Welcome to Part Two of my interview with Guy Kawasaki who has written 12 books, 10 of which were traditionally published. His newest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book, helps people understand how and why to self-publish. Guy shares his thoughts on publishing and why he decided to forgo the traditional model and go indie. In this interview Guy talks about the process of self-publishing and what makes it a better option.

An excerpt:

Penny: So let’s talk about APE, which stands for Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. You did the Google Plus book, and it inspired you to write this. Where did you see the need for this book that you thought was not being met?

Guy: This is the pain I felt firsthand. When I published What the Plus!, I asked people how do to go from a Word document to the Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble ebook stores. Some people said I just had to open up a Kindle account, click on upload, and you’re done. I said, “I don’t think so, because my non-fiction book has pictures, tables, captions, and bullets.” Everything I had read said that tables, bullets, and captions weren’t going to work.

So that is Kindle, but what happens when I want to go to iBookstore and Nook? So what do I do? I literally asked around five experts and they gave me eight different answers. This is not exactly consensus…

I was thinking, “Guy, you are Guy. You know how to use a Macintosh. You know how to use Word style sheets. You have friends in high places, and you are encountering these problems.” Imagine the next novice writers and novice computer users: How can they possibly figure this out…

 

Get more of Guy’s insight here: http://huff.to/XNXqi6



Guy Kawasaki Goes APE Over Self-Publishing – Part 1
January 9, 2013by: Amy
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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Guy Kawasaki who has written 12 books, 10 of which were traditionally published. His newest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book, which helps people understand how and why to self-publish. Guy shares his thoughts on publishing and why he decided to forgo the traditional model and go indie. In this first of a five-part interview, Guy talks about his decision to self-publish and how his book APE came to be.

An excerpt:

Penny: What do you think is wrong with publishing? I know that opens the floodgates and we could debate this for an hour!

Guy: It is endemic to any industry that there are certain habits and ways of doing things, and norms that people cannot break out of. Such as, “we will not sell direct” … I could just go down the list. My interpretation of the issue is this: back in 1930 or whenever, it was a world of limited resources. There was limited printing press access time, limited paper, limited bookshelf space. Somebody had to act as the arbiter of taste. Who was going to judge which book was worth printing? Random House, Putnam, Penguin, Simon & Schuster had people with good taste to look through all the crap and select the diamonds, polish the diamonds, and put it out for the hoi polloi [the many].

I understand the past, but the world is now different…

 

Get more of Guy’s insight here: http://huff.to/VHy5kz



AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors January 7, 2013
January 7, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the January 7, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. Our first Blog Carnival of 2013 offers some great guest posts on book marketing, social media, writing and self-publishing. Thank you to all the contributors!

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Book Marketing

Sarah Bolme presents An Avalanche of Services posted at Marketing Christian Books.

Self-Publishing

Linda Jay Geldens presents 6 Ways Copyeditors Make Your Book Better by Linda Jay Geldens posted at The Book Designer, saying, “This guest post appeared on May 25, 2012, on Joel Friedlander’s popular blog, The Book Designer. The article generated quite a lively discussion online!”

Writing

Dana Sitar presents My New Awesome Productivity Routine and How it Can Work for You posted at DIY Writing, saying, “Follow this simple productivity routine to get your best writing done and focus on doing the work you love.”

Jon Rhodes presents Ten Tips on Writing and Selling a Script posted at Film Script Writing, saying, “Here are some great tips to help you write and sell a film script.”

Phyllis Zimbler Miller presents What Elements Define a Cozy Mystery? posted at Phyllis Zimbler Miller, saying, “I love reading and writing cozy mysteries. But what elements make up a cozy mystery?”

Adelaida Saucedo presents The Narrator posted at Artificial Minds, saying, “A more technical article about Narrator, and its different categories.”

Nick Daws presents Why You Should Prepare to Fail in 2013 posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “In this post I reveal why writers who want to succeed in 2013 need to be prepared to fail more!”

Karen M. Rider presents Every Writer’s Secret Hope posted at Karen M. Rider, saying, “Whenever a writer puts her or his work out into the world, there is a secret hope that the story or book might be next on the hot list. Along the journey to such acclaim, writers wrote hard, marketed harder and formed alliances that helped to get their book or story ‘out there.’ The Next Big Thing Blog Hop bands together writers from across the globe in an effort to help readers discover new authors and their published books or a work-in-progress.

Hop on board! You might even discover a book that ends up being The Next Big Thing.”

Social Media

Joel Friedlander presents How to Embed a Twitter Tweet into Your Blog Post posted at The Book Designer, saying, “Using tweets can spice up your blog posts. This article explains how to add them.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of December 31, 2012
January 4, 2013by: Paula
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Happy New Year! We’ve got a collection of some of the most informative book marketing Tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include making Twitter work for you, increasing Pinterest traffic, avoiding Facebook mistakes, writing successful query letters, and much more. We wish you writing, publishing, and marketing success in 2013!

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* How to Write Successful Query Letters for Literary Agents

Take a look at these 23 pitch letters that worked, and get some inspiration:

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/successful-query-letters-for-literary-agents_b62590

* 5 Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

You want to attract fans and keep them. Here’s what you shouldn’t do:

http://allfacebook.com/kevin-mullett-facebook-mistakes_b107524

* Do Agents and Editors Expect Novelists to Blog?

The short answer: not necessarily. Two publishing pros explain:

http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/2012/10/do-agents-and-editors-expect-novelists.html

* How to Increase Pinterest Traffic and Direct it to Your Site

Start with improving the content you post, and then learn how to get more people to your website:

http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2012/12/29/how-to-increase-pinterest-traffic-direct-it-to-your-site/

* Make Twitter Work for You – 10 Ways to Stand Out with Tweets that Rock

Get your tweets noticed, make new connections, and gain more followers:

http://sociallysorted.com.au/make-twitter-work-for-you-10-ways-to-rock-your-tweets/

* 8 Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More Shareable

Learn how you can make your blog posts go viral and reach a wider audience:

http://writetodone.com/2012/11/20/make-blog-post-shareable/

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Facebook: How to Create More Engagement
January 3, 2013by: Penny Sansevieri
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When it comes to creating more engagement on Facebook, there are a lot of ideas out there about what to post, when to post and what types of content gets the most shares. But what about caring for your page and your fans? Remember, that while numbers are important, giving your customers what they want supersedes everything else you are doing. I find that we often get so lost in the numbers, we sometimes forget that these folks are real people, real fans, and (hopefully) real customers.

What happens after you get the like? So, you’ve gotten a whole bunch of likes, what now? Now you need to take care of the fans who’ve liked your page. Send a quick “thank you” to folks who have signed up, granted if you’re getting a ton of likes (lucky you) this won’t always be possible, but pick a few new fans and give them a warm welcome.

Give, give, give: Give without expecting anything in return. I know, it sounds like a quote you might post to your Facebook page but it’s true. You should give information that’s helpful to your fans and followers.  Focus on providing value first and foremost, you’ll get the engagement if the content you are providing is helpful to your fan base.

Build trust: It’s one thing to get a fan to like your page, it’s quite another to build their trust and get them to trust you as a ‘source’ for the informationMore Engagement! they need. This takes time. The more trust you build, the more engagement you will get and, in turn, the more they will share your page with their friends and other potential future customers.

What about your existing fan base? It’s great to welcome new fans and to promote new ideas and offer content, but don’t forget about the folks who have been with you from the start. If it’s appropriate to your topic, offer to highlight them on your page, thank them for their loyalty and let them showcase their work. Remembering the folks who have been with you the longest will bring lots of goodwill, not just to them but for your new followers as well. Consider this: how would you feel if you saw someone on Facebook thanking a fan who’s been with them for years? You’d probably think “Wow, people really love these folks, look how long they stick around,” or you might think how nice it is that the person acknowledged a fan on their site. Either way, lots and lots of goodwill.

Remember that Facebook is a numbers game, you want more likes, more engagement, etc. but you won’t get any of these if you don’t take care of your fans. That, alone, should be your number one priority. Imagine for a moment that you’re a brick and mortar store and someone enters your shop, you greet them, see if you can help them and then, when they leave, you thank them for coming. Treating customers like customers instead of numbers will not only help you reach your goals, it’s also a great way to build a solid following.

Finally, consider the following:

According to Mindjumpers, 95% of Facebook wall posts are not answered by brands. What does this mean? It means that consumers post to these branded pages and no one responds. Consider the store analogy – how would you feel if you wanted into a store and no one acknowledged you were there, or you asked a question and no one answered? This continues to baffle me. Why hop on Facebook and ignore your customers?

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