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by Penny Sansevieri
How to Increase Your Exposure on Twitter
November 6, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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POSTED Increase exposure on Twitter 11052014 - blog_pin

– Tweets with media receive 3 to 4 times more engagement

– Include media in your tweets, this can be video, photos or video taken using Vine

– Use more @mentions to increase your follower growth faster

– Hashtags can increase engagement by almost 100%

– Retweeting gets your more followers!

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The New Keywords on Amazon
November 4, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Keywords on Amazon are changing again. Amazon has recently rolled out Amazon “themes” – which will replace some of your keywords. Why do themes matter? Because readers search this verbiage to find the books they want. Using this tool will help you gain more exposure and visibility on Amazon!

Book Signing Checklist: Tip #29 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
November 4, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to Tip #29 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!

The Book Signing Checklist!

Stuff To Do Before Your Book Signing

Tip 29- See if you can get a copy of the store’s media list. More than likely the bookstore will send out press releases but it’s important for you to do the same. Not only will you be able to target the same people twice, but the store manager will also know that you are actively involved in promoting your event.
– Send a confirmation of your signing to the bookstore. It will make you look professional and show the store manager that you are a professional and that you take your book signings very seriously.
– Start tapping into that media list you’ve been creating and begin contacting local media to promote your event.
– Post your book signing information on the Author Appearances section of your Web site. Get invitations made up or make them yourself and send everyone on your contact list an invitation to your signing.
– If you haven’t already done so, get those bookmarks and postcards printed up. Don’t forget to include the ISBN of your book, include a few review blurbs if you have them. Get the cover of your book enlarged to poster size. Then, get it laminated and mounted. I had three of them printed up. I will usually drop one or two off at the store prior to the event so they can set them out and I’ll bring the third one with me that day. Prop a sign up on an easel by the front door where you will be standing and greeting people. If you have the time and the budget, get a set of colorful pens made up with the title of the book and author’s name imprinted on it then when you sign the book, give the reader the pen. It’s another great way to spread the word about your book!
– Get signs made that say: “Book Signing Today” or “Author Appearance;” both of these will help to draw crowds to your table.

Things To Bring To Your Book Signing

– Bookmarks – I try to hand these out like crazy. Sometimes I’ll even hand them out with the flyer when people enter the store. I’ve even autographed one or two when people hesitate to buy a book. More often than not, they return at a later time to buy a copy just because I gave them a bookmark.
– Postcards – Bring postcards with your book cover on them. I always say you can never have too many marketing materials.
– Chocolate – I like to fill an attractive jar with Hershey’s kisses or some other small chocolate. Food attracts people and may even keep them lingering a bit longer.
– Guest book – I always have people sign in at the event. If they give you their e-mail address, inquire as to whether you can add them to your mailing list. This is a great way to build a “fan club” and continue spreading the word about your book as well as future novels. If you don’t feel comfortable with a guest book, try putting together a free drawing. Tell them they don’t have to be present to win. People hate that; I know I do. I mean who wants to stick around a book signing for four hours? Well, okay, except for the author. You should do what you can to keep a log of people that purchased your book. It’s a great way to build your mailing list and customer base.
– Make up a small flyer to hand to people who enter the store. They may not even know about your signing but you’ll be sure to tell them. Keep in mind that heavy promotion of your book signing does not just benefit you, it also benefits the store and sends a strong message that you know how to move your books.
– Your favorite pen.

During Your Signing

– Don’t sit down unless you have to.
– Smile, talk and most of all have fun! This is no time to be shy.
– If no one shows up, remember, that’s okay. It has happened to all of us at one time or another.
– Get people to enter your contest or sign your guest book.
– Tell the store manager that you’d like to sign the remaining books before you leave the store and see if they have “Autographed by Author” stickers for them. If they don’t, you might want to think about ordering some from the American Booksellers Association ( You can get these and a variety of other book stickers for about $5 a roll. These stickers will really help to move your book.
– Don’t feel confined to stay just a few hours. Stay as long as there is an interest in the book. Once, I booked a signing for two hours; I ended up staying for five.

What To Do After Your Book Signing

Send a thank you note to the person in charge of coordinating your signing. Don’t send an e-mail. Send a handwritten note. It will go a lot further!

A Few Final Notes on Book Signings

Be cautious of pay periods when scheduling a date for your signing. For example, I will always try to schedule mine around the 15th or 30th of the month. I live in a Navy town and since they never fail to get paid on those dates, it really helps to boost my sales. Also, check to see if the store has a newsletter. If it does, offer to write a short article on your book or discussion topic that will draw more attention to your signing. Keep the article interesting and helpful without giving away everything you plan to share with your guests. Or, if your book is fiction, share an interesting excerpt from it. Sometimes bookstore newsletters are printed by their corporate offices but generally they print them in-house and are always in need of “filler” items.

Also, contact your local TV stations and speak to the producer. Call the day before (if your signing is on Sunday call them on Friday) and let him know you’ve sent a press release regarding your signing (you have, haven’t you?). If they need a 60-second filler, you can offer their viewers some helpful tips on XYZ. Or, if your book is fiction, play up the “local author makes big” angle. Local stations love that. Speaking of media, if you can get yourself booked on a radio show the day before or preferably the morning of your signing, you’ll really help to boost interest. If you get some on-air time, consider giving away a few of your books during the show. And remember to tie your book and event into something topical and relevant!

Check the book section of your local newspaper. Many times they will announce author events. If they do, you want to make sure yours is included! Be sure to send them a notice of your event at least a month out.

And finally, send a quick confirmation letter when you do get a book signing. It shows your professionalism and lets the store know you’re serious about this. Feel free to vary these depending on your book and the store.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of October 27, 2014
October 31, 2014by: Paula
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We’ve got some great tips from these book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include getting your book into Costco, creating audiobooks, generating increased blog traffic, and more. Happy marketing!


* Is It Done Yet? How to Know if Your Book is Ready to Market

This helpful post will give you some pointers so you can determine whether you need to revise or move onto the next stage of your book publishing journey:

Going Audio 2 - blog_pin-2

* Audiobooks: The Next Big Thing

Audio books are big business, and growing. Here’s what you need to know to create an audio book:

* Alternatives for GoodReads: Riffle, LibraryThing & BookLikes

Goodreads offers a lot of value, but from time to time it’s also got controversy. If you want some worthwhile alternatives, here are some options:

* 10 Ideas That You Can Use to Generate Blog Traffic and Interest

Does your blog content seem dry, and have user visits declined? Learn how to revitalize your blog:

* How to Make Your Book Cover Stand Out

So many more books are published these days, making it more important than ever that you have a compelling book cover. Find out what it takes to make a book cover appeal to potential buyers:

* 8 Ways to be a Rockstar Author

Discover how you can set yourself apart from the competition:

* Top 5 Ways Authors Sabotage Their Own Book

Here’s a hint: it involves editing (or lack thereof). What you should know:

* How to Get Your Book Into Costco (and other specialty stores)

Have you thought about having your book stocked at a store like Costco? Learn how the process works:

Unique Holiday Book Promotion
October 30, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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POSTED Unique Holiday 10302014 - blog_pinHolidays are great for positioning your book but with most people targeting the major ones, it can often be tough to compete.

What’s an eager promoter to do?

Consider off-beat or lesser-known holidays like Peanut Butter and Jelly Day or National Step-Family day (is your book about divorce or parenting? This is a perfect fit!).

How do you find these holidays? Check out:


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14 Ways to Make Your Facebook Page Fun and Lively: Tip #28 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
October 28, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to Tip #28 of our 52 Ways to Market Your Book!

14 Ways to Make Your Facebook Page Fun and Lively

Tip 28Congratulations! Now you have a Facebook Page, but that’s just the beginning.

Unlike a profile, which can and should be personal, a Page can be used to promote you and your book since it has fewer restrictions (such as number of followers). You can connect with your audience, conduct promotions and participate in real-time conversations. Pages offer a lot of great options, including the means to post photos and videos from events, the ability to create groups and a means to publicize events and allow attendees to RSVP.

The first question is usually the same, however: what should I do now?

Let the world know you have a Facebook Page!

  • Make sure you have a Facebook widget on your website and blog so it’s clear that you have a fanpage and people can click on the widget and get to your fanpage. There is also a “share” button on the bottom left of your fanpage that allows you to send the page to your Facebook friends and/or post the fanpage to your own Facebook profile.
  • If you have a personal Facebook page, be sure to “like” your fanpage.
  • If you have an e-newsletter or mailing list, be sure to alert them to your fanpage so they can click the link and join! The same goes for your personal Facebook page; invite anyone you like to “like” your fanpage and to follow you over there for the latest news and updates.
  • Add your Facebook fanpage link to your email signature.
  • Fan other authors and/or books in your topic; authors can and should support each other and this also increases your exposure and allows people interested in your topic to find you through these other Facebook pages.
  • Join groups on Facebook with topics related to your book – another way to network and make contacts.

Update your content regularly

  • Your Wall is the most important piece of real estate on your fanpage. The truth is, busy people may not spend much time visiting the other tabs on your fanpage, so making the wall lively and interesting is key.
  • When you update your wall regularly and frequently, the updates will appear in your fan’s newsfeeds – don’t just post messages but photos from events, video – anything visual is a big draw!
  • Think about making it a two-way conversation: you can hold contests, have a question of the day, host polls, post your reviews and interviews, ask your fans to post some content – ask them to suggest their own strategies for getting outside, green living, healthy tips, etc.
  • Run your blog feed through your Facebook fanpage so you automatically have new content available on your Facebook page whenever you update your blog. Your Twitter feed is now set to automatically send out a Tweet when your Facebook page is updated.
  • You can also post book excerpts, and if you have a topic that’s in the news, or find something newsworthy that’s writing/book/publishing related, you can post the link to the news item, add your own comments and invite others to join in the conversation.
  • The page is quite easy to update – when you’re signed in you’ll see, on the top left side under the photo, “edit this page.” When you click on each tab, you’ll see the “edit information” logo on the top right. Facebook is pretty streamlined in its setup, so using the fanpage is relatively easy to learn, especially if you are already on Facebook.

Other ways to connect

You want to get out there and connect on Facebook with potential fans, who can then “like” your page. Use the Facebook search function to find people or search by keyword terms to find them and invite them to your page.

Don’t forget to interact with your friends and fans – that’s what social media is all about.

Is it working? The stats tell the story

Don’t forget to check your stats; the Insights tool on your page will let you know how many visitors you page gets, what they liked and so forth. This will give you a good sense of what your fans are interested in, what causes them to like something on your page or comment. It will look like this:

+41 Fans this week (3,284 total Fans)

31 Wall Posts, Comments, and Likes this week (68 last week)

1,477 visits to your page this week (1,869 visits last week)

And finally… have fun!

Additional resources

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – October 20, 2014
October 27, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week features some insights on self-publishing, and writing. Thank you to all of the contributors!


Dale Napier submitted Stay-at-Home Retreats posted at Dale Napier, saying, “It’s about creating a stay-at-home writing retreat, versus the vacation-style writing retreat.”

Erica Verrillo submitted 10 November Writing Contests – No Entry Fee posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “I am a fan of free writing contests: 1) Having a deadline forces you to finish your manuscript, 2) If you win, you can call yourself an “award-winning author” which is great for your pub cred. (That’s like street cred – without the tattoos.) 3) And if the contest is free, what have you got to lose?”

two hands typing


Hazel Longuet submitted Writer’s Toolkit: PodCasts for Writers posted at Novel Experience, saying, “I’m a very, late developer when it comes to watching podcasts but now I’m an addict – here are the best podcasts for writers that I’ve found. Check them out.”

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 October 20, 2014
October 24, 2014by: Paula
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ChecklistGet some publishing and marketing insights from these book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include top 5 marketing tips for indie authors, how to choose an effective book title, Amazon payments, and more. Happy marketing!


* Short Stories as a Path to Literary Success

Short fiction can get your name in front of editors, agents, and fans, and builds your resume:

* How Much Will I Get Paid From Amazon?

Some terrific tips and tricks to help you understand what Amazon will pay you (and when):

* 5 BS Indicators for Writers Conferences

Not all conferences are created equal. Here are issues to monitor:

* How to Cultivate Customers in an Age of Content Fatigue and Cluttered Markets

There’s a lot of noise in the online world, but there are still ways you can reach your audience:

* How to Choose a Book Title That’s Perfect for Your Story AND Good Marketing!

Sure, you want a catchy title but you also want one that helps your book be more marketable:

* The Latest Trends in the Indie Author Market

It’s quite interesting: longer ebooks are in; pre-orders offer a sales advantage, and more:

* A Self-Publishing Checklist for First-Time Authors

There’s a lot of work involved in self-publishing your book, and this checklist will keep you on track:

* Top 5 Marketing Tips for Indie Authors

Some useful recommendations for ways you can increase book sales:

* Write Your Passion But Keep an Eye on the Market

While writing what you love is important, you want to make sure the genre you select is also selling:

The Best Social Media and Email Management Tools
October 23, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Did you know there are some awesome tools out there to keep you organized and help manage your email and social media accounts? Couldn’t we all use a little help with that in this 24/7 online world?

These are some of my most favorite tools: management tools - blog_pin

Sanebox – This is a great tool for email management. Anyone who is dealing with email overload will appreciate this program. It works with any email platform and will take care of the prioritizing for you.

Tweetdeck – A must for serious Twitter users. Not only can you schedule future tweets but you can also manage multiple accounts, build custom timelines and use their helpful tracking tools.

Hootsuite – Hootsuite makes it simple to manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the dashboard. Talk about smart social media management!

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The Power of Social Networks: Tip #27 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
October 21, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to Tip #27 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!

The Power of Social Networks

Tip 27These days, you can’t go into a coffee shop, bookstore, or turn on your television without hearing about social networks like Facebook, and LinkedIn. These sites have exploded in recent years with members and an influx of money that’s kept them growing.

The idea behind social networks isn’t a new thing, but the concept of socializing online developed and morphed as more and more people spent time in front of their computers. The idea being that you could socialize, network, gather, communicate and meet friends in an online venue, rather than, let’s say a coffee shop. Years ago, before social networks, we met people in clubs, organizations, bowling leagues. We may not have had “profiles” like we do on these social networking sites but the concept was still the same: like attracts like and similar interest-based people gathered in places that supported these common interests.

As we continue to delve into this Web 2.0 world, you’ll start to see more niche social networking sites like those built for wine lovers, car lovers, and book lovers. The more focused a site can get, the more the network expands. And how many sites should you be on? As many as are appropriate to your message and you have time to manage. If you’ve got a book about cars then by all means, join the car lover’s network. Got a book about travel? There’s a travel lovers social network as well.

Social networks, also referred to as social media, are places where people can join and become members of an online community. And why does this matter? Well, for a few reasons. First off, consider the Internet one big networking party. As such, you really want to participate, right? So you show up at the networking party (in this case Facebook or LinkedIn) and you network. Meaning you connect with others who are interested in what you are doing. And much like a real-time networking event, you give first and ask for the sale later. In fact, in most cases you don’t even ask for it. If you give enough, eventually you’ll make the sale.

People join social networks for a variety of reasons: to socialize, share and/or self-promote. The one caveat to this is that social networks are not receptive to marketing messages or sales hype, but those sitting on these sites are looking for answers and advice. In fact your presence on a social networking site should be 80 percent education and 20 percent sales. Users on social networking sites want friends, mentors, experts and guidance. If you can offer this to a social networking site or sites, you can certainly grow your list.

The Right Way to Approach a Social Networking Site

There’s an old saying that goes: fake it till you make it. This is not true of social networking. You can’t fake anything. The best sites are those with an authentic voice. Social network members can sense an individual who is pretending to be just an “average joe,” but is really just looking for a quick sale. The worst thing you can do is constantly promote your book.

Users join social media sites to socialize, learn and get to know what you’re offering. Be helpful or be gone. That’s the motto of the social networks. Remember that social media (much like anything on the Internet) is a trust-based model. You gain trust by helping, advising, educating, or enlightening your readers. Offer helpful advice, tips and insights; Be helpful first and a sales person second. The point is, gain someone’s trust and you’ll probably gain a sale, too.

Tips for Social Networking Sites

The first piece of this is to figure out what your message will be online. If you’re going to expose details of your brand, book, business, or life, figure out what you want to expose or, I should say, what’s necessary to expose in order to get your message across. This is important because once you start branding yourself on the ‘Net via social networks, you want to be consistent.

Next, remember that the first word in social networks is “social,” that being said, these networks only work if you interact with them. Whenever appropriate (and this will vary from network to network), join groups, be sociable, be interactive. Participate. You can’t just show up at a party and sit in the corner. Well, you can, but you probably won’t get asked back.

If you can spend a half an hour to an hour or so a day on your networks, that’s great. Don’t overdo the time you spend on them or you’ll burn yourself out. If you can use the social network feeds to have them syndicate your blog to the site, the updating of your social networking page will be done for you, to a greater degree, anyway. You’ll still want to get in there and tinker, update content, add friends, etc.

Fan Pages and Facebook

Since Facebook is a dominating force out there, let’s talk for a moment about Fan Pages. Why would you want one? Well first off, you’re in the business of marketing and as such, Fan Pages are business pages, so you’ll really want to consider pulling your book followers off of your profile and sending them to your Fan Page. Also, Fan Pages are indexed and searched by Google so you’ll get great ranking with a Fan Page, more so than you would with a Profile.

Fan Pages, once you know your focus and message, are easy to create and update. You just want to stay on message and know what your followers want.

Tips for Effective Social Networking

Leverage other social media: If you have a strong presence on another social networking site like Twitter or YouTube, then I recommend that you use that to promote your Facebook Fan Page. Let folks know where to find you and never, ever forget to add “Follow Me” buttons to your website pages and your blog.

Tagging: You can drive more interest to your page by tagging an author or a popular Facebook page to a status update, photo, or video. It’s easy to do this in Facebook; you can also tag an article that a high profile member ran on their page.

Step outside of your social circle: Try getting away from your inner circle and migrating out to other people who might be good networking opportunities. While it’s fun to stay connected to all your college buddies, that’s not the main focus of your Facebook page.

Selling on Facebook: Facebook now has an application that can add a store page to your Facebook Fan Page. What this means is that you can start selling your books and products from your Fan Page.

Slow and steady wins the social media race: The best Facebook pages (and this is true for any social networking site) are built over time. Slow growth is best when it comes to social networking sites, so don’t force a sudden surge of growth. This will also keep you from getting booted off if you add friends too quickly. Facebook watches for people who are adding hundreds of friends at a time and will lock your page if they think you’re over-promoting yourself.

Don’t be shy: The purpose of Facebook is to connect and interact with other members, so don’t be shy! Interact with people on your friend list by commenting on their news, and pictures, and/or wishing them a happy birthday. Doing all these things will help others to get to know who you actually are instead of just knowing your name.

Content, content, content: Remember that it’s important to add content. You can do this by uploading a video, adding the RSS feed from your blog, and a variety of other things.

Keep updating your Page or Profile: Don’t let your profile get stale. Update your status, add photos, and answer wall messages and emails.

Add your Facebook page to your blog: Make sure and add your Facebook page to your blog. You can have your web person take care of this for you; it’s a simple widget that gets added to let people know you have a Facebook profile.

Social media is a great way to market yourself and your book. When Facebook is integrated with other social networking platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, it can be an enormous boom to your inbound marketing campaign. Just remember, your website needs to convert the folks you’re sending there.

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