Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
Ten Secrets for Savvy Search Engine Optimization: Tip #10 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
June 24, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #10 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!

Ten Secrets for Savvy Search Engine Optimization

If you want to get a solid/high ranking in search engines  (and who doesn’t?), there are a few key things you need to do to make sure your site is helping, and not hurting your ranking. Google tends to dominate searches online (gaining a whopping 63% of all searches) so a lot of what I’m recommending here is based on this search engine preferences.

Tip 101. Do: Have great content and keep the word count on your home page to somewhere in the 250 word range.

2. Do: Get high quality, high traffic incoming links from relevant sites.

3. Do: Make sure your web site pages have titles, if you’re not sure ask your web designer about this.

4. Do: Use good keywords for your home page text. Don’t talk about yourself; remember it’s about the person landing on your site, not about you.

5. Do: Check out your competition: if you’re trying to get incoming links, see who’s linking to your competition. How do you search for incoming links? Pop the following into your Google search box: linkdomain:www.website.com

6. Do: Have a focused goal on your home page. While your site can do a good many things (and many sites do), your home page should have one goal. Once you get someone to your web site you don’t want to confuse them. A confused mind doesn’t make a choice and will likely click off to your competition.

7. Do: Get a good URL, something that relates to your topic and is easy to remember. If you have a few different web site addresses (such as your name, maybe an old domain, etc.) make sure they aren’t all forwarding to the same page on your site. Have them forward to different pages; this will also help with your search rank.

8. Don’t: And speaking of keywords…try to avoid using slogans, catch phrases or industry jargon. Here’s why: first off your reader might be a layperson and doesn’t understand what you’ve written, if you confuse the reader you will lose them. Second, when you search for your site in Google, you’ll see that some text comes up with your site URL, this text is pulled from your home page so use that space wisely.

9. Don’t: Use flash, it’s pretty and also pretty annoying. People don’t have time to wait through flash and also search engines can’t spider flash. If you have a flash page as an entrance to your site it’s like putting up a brick wall no one can see through. Your site is behind there somewhere, but no one will ever find it. Not good.

10. Don’t: Use link farms to get a lot of incoming links. What are link farms? They are services sold with the specific objective of getting incoming links to your site. The problem with these services is they don’t care *what* kind of links they get you as long as it’s a link. What this means to you is that you might get a thousand new links to your book on diet and health but they might all be links coming from plumbing sites (I’m not kidding, I’ve seen this happen).

Search Engine Optimization doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult, the thing to remember is that a static site, boring site, doesn’t help your ranking. As a final tip you should also consider getting a blog. If you think blogs are passé think again. A blog, if updated frequently (a minimum of twice weekly) will help your site spider through the search engines and, along with the other tips mentioned above, help you gain ranking and customers.

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – June 23, 2014
June 23, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to the Author Marketing Experts Blog Carnival. This week we’ve got some great posts on writing, and book marketing, to share. Thank you to this week’s contributors!

Writing

Katie McCoach submitted The Allure of the Cliffhanger posted at Katie McCoach, saying, “How do you write a cliffhanger without ticking off your reader? These tips will help!”

Evelyn Brooks submitted How to Overcome Writer’s Block posted at Evelyn Roberts Brooks, saying, “Tips to overcome writer’s block, plus a special gift of affirmations (MP3) and affirmation cards for writers.”

woman exclaiming at computer screen

Book Marketing

Frances Caballo submitted Writers: Use Visuals to Market Your Books posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “This post explains why visual are important for creating shareable content and then explains how to use Canva to create compelling visuals for blogs and social media.”

Kimberley Grabas submitted 39 Things to Remember While Struggling to Build Your Writing Career posted at Your Writer Platform saying, “When you’re knee-deep in the tangle of learning something new, it’s easy to get lost in trivialities. What’s important and what’s not? What deserves your attention, and what can you let go of? Overwhelm stalls your forward progress, frustration rises (maybe even a little panic?) and the wave of ‘I’ll never figure this out,’ washes over. And since the rules are rapidly changing, there is a constant struggle to pull yourself from the quagmire of the ‘unimportant,’ and focus on what’s truly relevant to crafting a long and successful writing career. Take a deep breath. Building your career as a writer is no small task. But it’s too important not to figure out. To ease the tension and guide you along your path, the following is a list of gentle reminders of what really matters. Things you probably already know, but have forgotten or abandoned while striving to build your author empire.”

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 June 16, 2014
June 20, 2014by: Paula
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Get some great tips from these top marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include how to find enough time for promotion, changes to Amazon categories, ways to build your writing career, and more. Happy marketing!

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* 39 Things to Remember While Building Your Writing Career

Get some guidance on the things that matter, and the things you can cast aside:

http://bit.ly/1ucZzhZ

a writer is a person with courage

* Four Debut Novelists on Elevator Pitches, Getting an Agent, and Writing Your First Book

See what they say about pitching books, non-literary writing influences, and how to navigate the literary world:

http://bzfd.it/1pFCeYI

* Innovative Ways to Market Your eBook

If you want your eBook to stand out, Guy Kawasaki has some ideas worth considering:

http://youtu.be/8uTrnCX-eZ4

* Tips to Help Keep Your Email Out of the Spam Folder

Email can be a great marketing tool, but you do need to know how to avoid having your email labeled as spam:

http://bit.ly/1nhTHAd

* Must Read: Big Changes for Amazon Categories

In the ever-changing world of Amazon, categories have been replaced by themes. Learn how they work:

http://bit.ly/UhnxOs

* What’s at the End of Your Book? Use This Opportunity to Engage with Readers!

The end of your book is the perfect place to market to your readers. Some great ideas from Otis Chandler of Goodreads:

http://youtu.be/KimUUOSfCgY

* Authors Who Say “I Don’t Have Enough Time for Promotion” Are Doomed to Fail

You have to make the time, but the good news is you can build a fan base in 30 minutes a day. Here’s how:

http://bit.ly/17tzS5z



Big Changes for Amazon Categories
June 19, 2014by: Penny
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Category Amazon 2Sometimes Amazon is a bit of a moving target, which does keep a person trying to track their changes very much on their toes.

In prior blog posts, and in my book How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Sell-Your-Books-Truckload-Amazon-com-ebook/dp/B00CJ0USL0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403119784&sr=1-2&keywords=how+to+sell+books+by+the+truckload+on+amazon), I’ve talked about niche categories on Amazon. Meaning that you can and should keep your title in a niche category within a broad market. Let me explain this first so the rest of this piece makes sense.

When you load a book onto Amazon, they give you the option to put it into two major categories. Most of us want to hit the top of our main category but this isn’t a great business model for Amazon because most of the bigger categories are too cluttered with titles. Hitting top of category, regardless of the size of the category, will give some extra juice to your Amazon book and make it easier for readers to discover your book.

I encourage authors to dig deep within their book categories to find something really niche. When I first published How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon I put it into Direct Marketing which, at the time, had only 82 other competing titles. It was a sub-category of Business and Marketing which was perfect for this title. Now, however, things are changing. Amazon has eliminated a lot of these categories.

For example, if you have a fiction book, and you have access to your Amazon back end, you should look at your settings and see where you have placed your book because in all likelihood, that’s changed, and/or the category you picked no longer exists. Amazon still has some subcategories within fiction and genre fiction, but not nearly as many as they used to offer. A good example of this would be the uber-cluttered market, “Contemporary Romance.” This segment used to have a lot of niche categories, including “Dramas,” which has just a small number of titles in it.

 

Niche Romance category

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re competing in a category with, let’s say, under fifty titles, it’s pretty likely that you’ll hit top of category easily and get that extra “juice” from Amazon. Now, however, this segment looks very different.

For Westerns, you used to be able to click on this category and find links to other sub-sub genres within this market, but now Amazon has implemented something called Themes, see the left hand side of this screenshot:

 

Amazon themes screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does that mean for you? Well, it’s really important because now readers can identify books they want to read by either romantic themes or romantic heroes, and if your book includes one or both of those elements and doesn’t utilize these theme keywords, you won’t get found. How do you make this happen?

First, start with searching your category. I have been sharing this link: http://www.amazon.com/-/b/?node=1000 and while this link does still work, it won’t give you the detail on the themes the way this will:

Go to www.amazon.com and by “Search,” where it says ”All:”

Aamzon all

 

 

Change that to Kindle Store and then click “Go” – this will now take you to everything in the Kindle store and you can then find the themes that accompany your book’s genre.

Amazon Kindle Store

 

When you get to the Kindle store, click on Kindle eBooks (left hand side). From there, you’ll get this screen (your “Recently viewed” will look different, but the left side is still the same)

ebook listing on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on your genre and start digging through the drop-down menu.

Adding Themes to Your Book

Adding themes is not hard, but you should be clear on what your book is about and, again, niche themes are good as long as they relate to your book. You insert themes by adding the single keyword to your Amazon back end, like this:

Love triangle Amazon

 

 

Within the seven allowed keywords, you’ll include your theme word or words. When I did this for a title we’re working on, the book started to show up within that search track in less than 24 hours, so it works pretty fast.

I might also suggest including your theme words in your book description, as long as it flows naturally with what you have already written.

Finally, here is a screenshot of the back end of Amazon (if you have an account there you’ll have access to this as well via this link: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A200PDGPEIQX41

This section of your Amazon account is designed to guide you to the appropriate keywords to use to capture traffic within the individual themes. Here is what that page might look like if you clicked Romance:

Romance Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don’t have access to this back end, but you can change the keywords on your Amazon book, I would suggest that you just pick the appropriate theme word, as listed on the left hand side of the Amazon search page, and insert that as a keyword.

For some of the books, including non-fiction titles, the new themes have not yet appeared. According to someone I contacted at Amazon/KDP, they are rolling themes out incrementally so you should keep an eye out for the changes.

Additionally, while currently you can only update these themes on the back end of your Amazon account, someone from Amazon Author Central told me that they will incorporate this into your Author Central page so you can add themes from there.

 

 

 

 



The Importance of Blogs and How to Find Big Bloggers
June 19, 2014by: Penny
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According to the Technorati report, blogs are now the third most influential digital resource for consumers making a purchase. Consumers said that blogs ranks higher than Facebook for motivating a purchase decision.

 

What does this mean? Blogs are a valuable marketing tool. Blog Importance - blog_pin

 

So, are you looking for influential bloggers to contact for your campaign? You should be. Try MOZ.com which helps you tap into insights and search engine rankings of bloggers. This site will let you know how the blogger you’re considering ranks and how influential they really are!

 

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52 Ways to Market Your Book: Tip #9 – Making the Sale
June 17, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #9 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!

Making the Sale

Now more than ever, if you want to make the sale you’ve got to be persuasive. But not so persuasive that it seems you’re begging for the sale or (God forbid) sucking up. Frankly consumers hate both.

9

1. Name dropping: While most of us find name dropping obnoxious, this is one time when it’s not only permitted, it’s encouraged. If you have an impressive list of testimonials, blurbs, or clients be sure and list them. If you’re not sure which ones to list and which to drop (lucky you if you have too many to chose from) then collaborate with someone who can be objective and offer decisive feedback. This first step is very critical and often overlooked. In fact I’ve been guilty of it. Some months back a friend of mine pointed to all the bestsellers we’ve worked on. “Why aren’t these listed on your site?” Well, they were but we had yet to highlight their success. Why? Because we were too close to our own message. An objective eye is often crucial to help you determine what to highlight and emphasize that will bring you sales.

2. Testimonials: Let’s face it, people like what other people like so if you have folks who say good things about your book, business or whatever it is you’re selling you should emphasize that.

3. Stories: People love stories. If you have a great success story be sure and share it on your web site. If you don’t have a good story (yet) you can always start gathering them. There’s no time like the present to get started.

 

The Growth Of Sales

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – June 16, 2014
June 16, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to the Author Marketing Experts Blog Carnival. This week we’ve got insights on writing, and social media. Thank you to this week’s contributors!

Writing

Chrys Fey submitted How to Create a Heroine of Steel posted at Write with Fey, saying, “In your story, make the heroine’s role important. Give her big things to do. Don’t just have her fall in love with the hero, or rely on him to save her. Make her as physically strong and as smart as the hero.”

social-media-demographics

Social media

Erica Verrillo submitted Platform, Shmatform: Social Media – How Numbers Lie posted at Publishing … And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “We live in an age where online popularity has the ridiculous ability to control major business decisions or determine someone’s career. Yet, there’s never been a time when big numbers can be inflated so easily and deceptively.”

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 June 9, 2014
June 13, 2014by: Paula
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Learn from these social media and publishing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include social media tricks, Pinterest ideas, a book launch checklist, and more. Happy marketing!

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* How to Choose Keywords for Your Book on Amazon

Did you know your keywords show up in Google as well as on Amazon? Learn how to select the right keywords for your book:

http://bit.ly/1oUTq8U

* Book Launch Checklist

There are so many components to publishing a book. This handy checklist will walk you through pre-publication to the final product – your book:

http://bit.ly/1oOFxe7

book typewriter key

* Pinterest Ideas for the Indie Author

Authors are turning to Pinterest for promotion because the site offers so many opportunities. This terrific list is great to use, either for the examples or for brainstorming your own ideas:

http://ow.ly/xLOZt

* 7 Social Media Tricks You Haven’t Heard Before

Do you know how to feature positive fan comments on your timeline? Learn how – along with several other cool ideas:

http://bit.ly/1l1Lh4g

* 5 Mistakes You’ll Make on the Way to Publishing Success

There’s a lot to learn when you decide to publish a book. The first is rushing to publish. Learn from each of these examples:

http://bit.ly/1u8fbDz

* 10 Ways to Test Market Your Nonfiction Book Idea Before You Publish

These tips will prevent you from getting too far along in the publishing process; learn how to get feedback that will guide you. Think of it as nonfiction R&D:

http://bit.ly/1q4DXGZ



Get More Followers on Pinterest
June 12, 2014by: Penny
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Pinterest is such a fun site, often referred to as “eye candy” it’s a great way to drive traffic to your website. Here are a few quick ways to build more followers on Pinterest.

Share, share, share

Sharing is the best way to grab new followers and the more you share, the more people will see your pints. Since 80% of content on Pinterest are repins, you get some significant value in fresh, original content.

POSTED More Pinterest Followers - blog_pin 06112014

Hang with the Cool Kids

The popular pins on Pinterest are another way to grab lots of exposure. To find the most popular pins, click on the little box next to the search

bar. There you’ll see the various categories on Pinterest as well as your Home Feed (the people you follow) and “Popular” if you click on that you’ll see the best stuff trending on Pinterest. Repin and comment on these. It’s a great way to engage there.

And speaking of popular pins, when you’re commenting on these make sure that you write something other than “this is great” – be creative if you comment. The more creative you are, the more you’ll get noticed by the pinner and their followers.

Promote Your Boards

Most people don’t follow entire profiles but instead, will follow boards. So find your most popular boards and then rearrange your page and make sure they’re at the top of your Pinterest profile. Be sure to also share your pins on your social media. For example you can use the image from Pinterest on your Facebook page to drive more people to your board.

Follow the Leader

Following high ranking people in your industry is another good way to get engagement and perhaps even more followers. Many will follow you back and once you’re connected to them, you’ll get their updates into your stream so you can comment, and repin their posts!

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52 Ways to Market Your Book: Tip #8 – Five Quick Ways to Rev up Your Sites Searchability
June 10, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #8 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!

Five Quick Ways to Rev up Your Site’s Searchability

Tip 8 Final1) Content is king, so are keywords. Find the keywords that people are searching on for your market and then create content around those words.

2) Don’t abuse keywords. Have you ever seen those sites that seem to use keywords over and over again (i.e. keyword stuffing)? That’s an abuse of keywords and while it might temporarily inflate your search engine ranking, it won’t last. Once Google figures out what you’re doing (and trust me they will) your site ranking will drop drastically. It’s not pretty.

3) Google runs the world. Well, not really but they certainly do run the Internet. If you’re going to optimize your site for ranking make sure that it shows up high on Google, in the end it’s the main search engine we default to and the one that matters to your consumer. Studies show that an average web site gets 61% of its traffic from search engines, 41% of that from Google alone.

4) This stuff takes time. Nothing happens overnight, especially online (unless you’re a dancing pancake video that gets sent out to a billion people in a 4 hour time span). Ranking and searchability takes times. If you have a book launching in the next 3-6 months start this work now. You’ll be glad you did.

5) Update your site. While updating your site in principle might seem like an easy thing, it can be one of the biggest obstacles for a site owner. Why? Because often our web site people are overseas and once that 12 year old from Lithuania goes back to school it’s anyone’s guess how to find him. So here’s a tip: get a blog. A blog (if updated frequently) will ping the search engines and let them know you have fresh content on your site. Oh and seriously, fire the 12 year old and hire someone locally. You’ll be glad you did.

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