Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
Great Headline Ideas
July 31, 2014by: Penny
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Great Headline Ideas

We all know the importance of a headline, and whether it’s a blog post or a social media update, headlines are crucial. If you’re like me, you probably get your blogs via an RSS feed of some kind. Which means that you’re only getting the headline and from there, need to decide if you’re going to read the post. Fact is 8 out of 10 people never make it past the headline. I know this because more often than not, I’ve punted a blog post because the headline wasn’t intriguing.

Part of the reason that headlines aren’t driving the kind of engagement you want is because they are vague or not benefit driven and more often than not, they are written for you and not your audience.

Great headline ideas - blog_pinHere are some great headline starter ideas”

Warning signs that ______ – People love warning signs and they love to know what not to do. Think about using a combination of numbers with this post, which works really well:

5 Warning signs that you’re

10 Warning signs that

Challenging trust is another big one, so a post like: Can we really trust publishing advice? Or, Can you really trust book marketing advice?

This title sparks interest because readers want to know the truth and we all hate being deceived. You could also use something like:

The Shocking Truth About X

You could also use something related to exposing lies. I mean we love an exposé, right? Check out: Lies Publishers Like to Tell or Lies the Government Tells. You could add some extra bounce to this by including a number, so:

7 Lies Doctors Tell Us.

Hacks are big, too. People love hacks.

100 Great Travel Hacks

7 Book Promotion Hacks

Secrets are another great way to pique your readers’ interest. For example, Secrets Every Publicist Wants you to Know – and again, you can add a number to help drive more engagement to the headline.

Or you could consider doing: Secrets Publishers Don’t Want you to Know


Next up is speaking to people’s desires. So:

How to Be – a Bestselling Author (this is the desire)

Other ideas for how-to might be:

How to (desire or goal) even if you (obstacle or while you’re doing something else)


How to Become a Bestselling Author While You’re Working a Full-Time Job. 

I also love the term “The Ultimate Guide” which you can pair with a how-to. So:

How to Learn Instagram – The Ultimate Guide

People also love lists. I think of all of these the hacks and lists tend to be our most popular. So:

12 Ways to Become a Social Media Guru

7 Secrets Every (your audience) Should Know

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How to Look Good Online: Tip #15 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
July 29, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #15 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!

How to Look Good Online

There are those that say it’s all about appearances, this is very true online. Why? Because everything you do online not only leaves a footprint but it’s also your 24/7 resume. If the footprint you’re leaving looks unprofessional and half-finished, it might not bode well for your online reputation and sales. Here are some quick tips on how to look good online:

15Social Networks: with social networks it’s not about quantity but quality. I often have authors tell me they are on numerous social networking sites (some are on as many as 50). That’s great if you can keep them all current. If you can’t, find the ones you can participate in and stick with those. Remember that the first word on social networking is “social” so if you’re not able to participate actively (at least once a week) then get out.

Sign up for Google alerts: who’s saying what about you? If you don’t know, you should. This is (usually) a good thing. You want to know where reviews appear so you can a) link to them and b) thank the person who reviewed you or mentioned you on their blog or web site.

Get a blog: in order to get on blogs, you must have a blog but it’s more than just having one, it’s about keeping it updated. (see Participate)

Participate: in order to reap the benefits of the online world you must participate. This goes back to the social networking site and your blog. Participate, communicate and listen. Three rules online that will never steer you wrong.

Don’t get greedy: lead with the benefits, not the dollar signs. What I mean by this is that if you’re going online to make a quick buck, get out. You might make a few dollars but success will be short lived.

Network: it goes without saying that networking (especially online) is important. Network, lend a helping hand, show people how you can help them.

Web site: don’t just get one, get a good one. You’d never think to show up for a car race with a scooter. Don’t even try to go online with anything less than a professional web site. While I know it’s tempting to do it yourself, most authors always end up regretting it. “My web site is fine.” They’ll say till you ask them how well it’s selling for them. If the answer is: “it’s not” then you need a new site. Much like bringing a scooter to a Nascar race and hoping to win, show up online with a site that reflects your expertise, creativity, and message. This is one race you can’t afford to lose.

Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – July 28, 2014
July 28, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to this week’s Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We’ve got some great posts on book marketing, getting published, and self-publishing in this edition. Thank you to this week’s contributors!

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 2 Agents Looking for New Writers posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “These two agents are looking for clients. Both have had experience working in prestigious literary agencies. As always, go to the agency’s website before sending your query. See which publishing houses they have worked with, what type of books they have represented. It’s always a good idea to do a Google search on the agency (and agent) to check for other authors’ experiences.”

advice puzzle piece


Colin Dunbar submitted Format a Book in Word: Tables & Columns posted at Format A Book in Word, saying, “In a non-fiction book, tables are an aid to making information and data easier to read. Columns can also be used to help with readability, although it’s not common to have columns in a book.”

Book Marketing

Frances Caballo submitted Lisa Tener on Publishing, Platform and Book Marketing posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “In this post, I interview book coach Lisa Tener who offers book marketing advice for writers.”

Sarah Bolme submitted There is No Magic Pill posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “There is no magic pill. Whether in dieting or in book marketing, no one opportunity will create magic results for you.”

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:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of July 21, 2014
July 25, 2014by: Paula
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We’ve got a roundup of some of the top book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others that offer plenty of ideas and inspiration. The topics include secrets to getting into bookstores, increasing G+ engagement, getting more shares for your blog posts, and more. Happy marketing!


* 10 Things I’ve Learned As A Self-Published Writer

One author shares her observations, including: be realistic, define success, and you will improve:

secrets of getting into bookstores

* Secrets of Getting Into Bookstores

Shelf space is tight, but there are ways you can work with bookstores and get your book on their shelves:

* Crowdsource Your Self-Publishing Project without Asking for Money

This author found an enterprising way to obtain valuable services for her book. Here’s what she did:

* Things to Consider When Considering Self-Publishing

Before making the commitment to self-publishing, ask yourself these important questions:

* How to Increase Google+ Engagement

Google+ is getting a lot of attention these days. But many people aren’t sure how to get the most out of the site. Here’s what you can do:

* How to Get Your Blog Post Shared 1000 Times

If you blog, you should share your posts widely. This infographic walks you through the process:

* Nine Things Writers Need to Know Before the Book Deal

Some terrific advice so you don’t rush to self-publish a mediocre book:

Simple Ways to Get More Exposure on Google
July 24, 2014by: Penny
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The first thing to know about G+ is that it’s really a mini-blog post. What does this mean? Well, longer content really rules on G+, as opposed to Facebook or Twitter – where shorter updates are a must. If you follow this line of thinking, you know that G+ should mirror whatever you’re doing on your blog which means, first and foremost, your headlines:

G+ Exposure 1

Headlines: headlines are really important on this site although this is significant with anything you do. Headlines can make or break your post. We cover more on creating great headlines here:

Images: always, always, always add an image. I never pull in the image from the post I’m sharing, I’ll always add one. You can find great, cheap and even free images at places like BigStock, etc. and you can edit them at, or

Hashtags: Repeat after me, never, ever, ever post anything without a hashtag. I use them on Facebook, Twitter and, of course, G+.

Format: though I encourage you to create longer, blog post-type updates, I would suggest that you remember the importance of formatting. G+ lets you format your updates with bold, italics, strikethrough and bullet points. Here are some formats you may want to keep for later use:

Bold: add * before and after the word or sentence. *So your update will look like this*

Italic: add _ before and after the word or sentence. _So your headline will look like this_

Strikethrough: add – before and after the word or sentence. –This is what you’ll strikethrough-

To create a numbered list, you’ll want to do this:



And so on – this will create this:

  1. Create strong headlines
  2. Long posts rocks on G+
  3. Make sure and format your text

Next up are bullets, to create those you’ll do:

  • Create strong headlines
  • Long posts rocks on G+
  • Make sure and format your text

You can also mix and match these, making italics bold and so on. Go ahead, experiment. Remember you can always edit the post later!

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Secrets of Getting Into Bookstores: Tip #14 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
July 22, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #14 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!

Secrets for Getting into Bookstores

Let’s face it, regardless of the odds we authors still want to get into bookstores. But if you’ve been having a hard time with this, take heart. It’s getting harder and harder to get into stores, but not impossible. We’re going to look at some of the possibilities here.

First, it’s important to understand the pressure stores are under right now. With the increased focus on publishers to get their authors out there, bookstores are being given most of their marching orders by their corporate office. Bookstore shelf space is bought and paid for by the New York publishers, making getting on the shelves or display racks a bit tricky – if not impossible. So here’s a game plan for those of you trying to survive outside of the traditional market.

141. Get to know your local store: I know this might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many authors don’t really know the people in their local store. The thing is, if you know them, they know you. Then, when you’re ready to promote your book they might be more open to having you in their store if you have taken the time to get to know them.

2. Events: One way to get into a bookstore is by doing an event. Sometimes when you do an event the store may stock the book before and after you’ve done your program. Start to follow the types of events they do at the store. Get an events calendar or get on their email list. You’ll start to see trends emerge. For example, they might have an independent author night you could participate in. Also be cautious for big releases, like the recent Stephanie Meyer events many stores had planned. If you are trying to capture the attention of a store when they’re in the middle of a major book launch, you’re likely to be ignored.

a) Book signings are boring; offer to do an event instead. Events are a draw; book signings aren’t unless you’re a celebrity. Plan to do a talk, educate, entertain, or enlighten. This will be a more attractive pitch to the bookstore and will draw more people to your talk.

b) Get to know the local authors in your area and then offer to plan events for them. Here’s how this works: Bookstores are inundated with local authors asking for a time slot, but what if you went to the bookstore manager and said that you’d be willing to coordinate a once a month event featuring all the local authors? The bookstore could just refer all local independently published authors to you, you could coordinate this – and guess what? Not only are you helping the store, but guess who’s getting a monthly showcase in their store? You. You can do this with more than one store if you have the time, but keep in mind that with cutbacks often one store manager will oversee a few locations so you might only have to go through one person.

c) If they won’t let you coordinate a monthly event, suggest that they have an Independent author night if they haven’t already started this. If they have an Independent author night you should definitely participate, it’s a great way to gain exposure, not to mention network with some local people.

3. Local marketing: Don’t forget any marketing you do locally, whether it’s speaking in venues outside of the bookstores, television, radio, or print. All of this can drive traffic into the bookstores. Market locally and when you do, let the stores know you’re going to have a feature or appearance so they can stock the book, if they want to. It’s always a great idea to get to know the managers or buyers for your local stores so you can alert them to media or an event you’re doing. This not only keeps you and your book on their radar screen, but it’s a nice courtesy to offer them. Most managers are stretched pretty thin and appreciate the buying tip, whenever they can get it. Even if they choose not to stock your book the first or second time, keep alerting them to your promotion. Eventually they just might.

4. Funnel your buyers: Try as best you can to funnel everyone to one store to purchase your book. If you’re having a tough time getting shelf space (and aren’t we all?), funneling folks to one store might prompt that store to keep a few copies of your book on hand. Whenever you do local speaking or media, let them know by name and address where they can get your book. Stores have been known to take in books that they’re getting lots of requests for, regardless of how they are published.  If you’re sending people to one store – instead of fragmenting them to a bunch of different ones – you could start building an ongoing interest in reorders, and sometimes all it takes is one store to stock it before the neighboring stores will follow suit.

Getting into bookstores isn’t impossible, but it does require a dash of creativity. Keep in mind that if bookstores still aren’t receptive after you’ve tried the tips in this article then maybe you’re sitting in a tight market. Areas like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago might be tough areas to get noticed, because these are often the first stops traditional publishers seek when planning author tours and getting stocked on the shelves. If you’re near those areas, try looking outside of the city for alternatives that are often overlooked by New York. If that doesn’t work for you, then consider non-bookstore shelf space and events. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out my other article on events outside of the normal bookstore market,

Over the years we’ve planned events for our authors in all sorts of non-bookstore venues such as: video stores, electronics stores, gyms and even grocery stores. If events are your focus, keep an open mind and remember: often the biggest piece of getting your book into a bookstore is the relationship you build with them.

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – July 21, 2014
July 21, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to this week’s Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We have some great insights into book marketing, writing, and getting published in this edition. Thank you to this week’s contributors!


Chrys Fey submitted Writing About: Your Toughest Moment posted at Write With Fey, saying, “When you have to write about your toughest moment in life it can be overwhelming and scary. How do you capture the most difficult experience (or day) you’ve ever had to go through, and write about it? Where do you begin?”


Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 5 Horror and Dark Fiction Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity saying, “Horror is an immensely popular genre. (Zombies! Vampires! Werewolves!) Perhaps, for that reason there are relatively few publishers accepting unagented manuscripts. (Many horror publishers say they are “swamped.”) The publishers I have listed here accept a variety of formats: short stories, poems, and novels. Please read their guidelines carefully.”

Book Sales/Marketing

Lisa Romeo submitted Guest Blogger Kim Ablon Whitney on Writing Niche Novels, Writing What You Know posted at Lisa Romeo Writes, saying, “Guest blogger Kim Ablon Whitney writes about her decision to write more novels about what she knows and had already begun building an audience for.”

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:

Kindle Unlimited is Here!
July 18, 2014by: Penny
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Kindle Unlimited Front PageKindle Unlimited is here! If you aren’t familiar with this this is a new subscription service Amazon is offering.

If you want to check to see if your book is included log out of your Amazon account, or access Amazon from a browser you rarely use and search the book. Why am I suggesting you do it this way? Because if you’ve bought the book or browsed it a lot from your account (as the author) it won’t show up.


Here is what it should look like, note red arrow:

Kindle Limited for The Publicist








Want to see other titles included? Head on over to Kindle Unlimited:

Per Amazon, if you want your title selected, here’s what they said:

To enroll your other books in Kindle Unlimited, you’ll need to meet the KDP Select eligibility requirements:

So if your book is included will you get paid and if so, how?

From Amazon’s site:

The (KDP Select Global) fund amount is variable and announced on a monthly basis. We constantly monitor all factors that impact the KDP Select fund in order to set the fund amount for our KDP Select authors. You can earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers chose and read more than 10% of your book from Kindle Unlimited, or borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

So this means that readers must read 10% of your book in order to get paid from this fund. Also, the amount you get paid from this Fund varies from month to month.

 Does this affect sales rank on Amazon? According to Amazon yes, it does.

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of July 14, 2014
July 18, 2014by: Paula
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We’ve rounded up some savvy book marketing tweets – courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others – that offer plenty of ideas and inspiration. The topics include building a street team for your book, using Google+ for social media contests, unlocking your Facebook fans, and more. Happy marketing!


* How to Create a Street Team for Your Book

What’s a street team? They are people in your online community you gather together to help you launch your book. Learn how they can be effective:

word block saying authors

* 6 Things That Will Happen a Few Days Before Your Book Comes Out

You have conflicting feelings when your book is about to launch, but remember – it’s normal:

* How Authors Can Build Their Audience on Instagram

If you haven’t tried Instagram for promotion, there are several ways you can use the site to grow a following:

* Unlock Your Facebook Fans: Grow the Audience You Didn’t Even Know You Had

Learn how Facebook ads can help you reach visitors to your site and turn them into loyal fans:

* A Hook vs an Elevator Pitch: What’s the Difference?

For starters, one is written and the other is spoken. Learn how to distinguish the two and make them effective:

* How to Use Google+ for Social Media Contests

Did you know that you can promote your contests on G+? Learn how you can be successful:

* 12 Most Basic Ways for Beginners to Rock Twitter

Twitter gets 135,000 new users each day. If you’re just getting started, or need a refresher, learn how you can get the most out of Twitter:

Pinterest Tools To Help You Build Followers
July 17, 2014by: Penny
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Pinterest Tools to Help You Build Followers

POSTED Pinterest tools 07172014PinAlerts: As the name suggests, they will alert you to when someone pins something from your website which is super helpful to know. You can then connect with the pinners if you want, or thank them for posting!

Postris: This site helps you find influential pinners, boards, and pins. Browsing this site will let you find new accounts to follow and new pinners to engage with.

Pinvolve:  A great app that syncs your Facebook business page with Pinterest. You can post  pins to Pinterest and they’ll automatically get pulled into Facebook. There are several plans, the basic is free, other plans run $9 to $25 a month.

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