Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose Your Existing Content
September 18, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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By now we’ve all heard the endless chatter about Google’s issues with duplicate content. In the past, we could easily re-run pieces in a variety of places. Some experts I know reused articles as many as twenty times, but if you do that now you may find your site in a lot of trouble and severely penalized by the Google-Gods.

So what’s a marketer to do? I was considering this the other day when I was trying to figure out what to blog about because the other issue is that Google does not want “thin” content, which is content that isn’t compelling, thin in data or light in information. Basically they don’t want people just throwing stuff on their blog to get traffic.

We’re all in a creative industry but that does not necessarily mean that we are an endless font of creative ideas. Then I thought: instead of coming up with new ideas, I wonder how many times I can reuse old ones in a way that won’t get us into trouble.

So here are my five favorites, a variety of different things you can do with the same piece of content.

For my complete list of 20 ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose content check out my article in HuffPo here.

Now I’m not suggesting that you do this with each and every blog post, but if you have ideas or posts that seem to have legs (and we all know that not all of them will) then maybe it’s time to see how far you can stretch them.

20 Ways To Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose Content – TOP FIVE 4 - 20 Recycle Ways

-  Update Past Posts with Industry Updates – At some point, even the best and most creative posts need to be updated. Now’s the time to go through your old posts and see what can be updated and reused. Pull in new content and add a fresh take, your readers will love it.

-  Pull Blog Content into an Infographic - Combine several of your text-based posts into more visual content – such as an aggregated infographic or chart.

-  Tips - Create a tips list from a blog post you did and then create images from it to use on Pinterest, in Twitter, on Instagram, etc. We did this for our 52 Ways to Sell More Books.

-  Quizzes - People love quizzes, when we did ours on “Which Social Media Site is Right for You” people just ate it up. Most of the time it’s just grabbing existing content you’ve done, but it’s a fantastic way to repurpose your stuff.

–  Turn content into trading cards or other swag: I had trading cards made for my book, How to Sell Your Books By The Truckload on Amazon. I pulled different tips I had already written, and put one tip per card. I took these around to speaking events and mail them with everything. People love them.

It’s important that you get as much mileage out of what you write as you possibly can, and with all of the new places to post (Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, etc.) it’s become easier than ever to create virtual “breadcrumbs” that lead readers back to your website which, in the end, is the ultimate goal.

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – September 15, 2014
September 15, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to this week’s Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We have some great tips on book marketing, getting published, and writing this week. Thank you to all of the contributors!


Clare Lydon submitted Ten Truths for Writers posted at Clare Lydon, saying, “Ten universal truths you must acknowledge and live by if you want to be a successful writer.”

Terry Whalin submitted 5 Ways to Get Your Writing Unstuck posted at Terry Whalin, saying, “I give five ways to get unstuck with your writing and move forward.”

writer typewriter keys

Book Marketing

Mayowa Ajisafe submitted Is My Book Good Enough to Sell posted at Authors Crib, saying, “A post I wrote as a result of an email I got from a subscriber to my blog asking me if he should stop marketing his book because he doesn’t think his book is good enough. The post is written to tell authors out there to believe in what they do and never allow the impostor syndrome to sabotage their writing career.”

Sarah Bolme submitted Are You Making a List posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Humans love lists. For years David Letterman employed his ‘Top 10′ list nightly on his show. Lists are important. Learn how to use them in promoting your book.”

Kimberley Grabas submitted Email List Building Series (Part 5): Strategies to Grow Your List, Your Reach and Your Sales posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “We’ve come to the final chapter in our list building series, with this 5th and final post challenging you to step up your game (and your book sales) by trying some pro level strategies to skyrocket your subscriber numbers. But before we get into it, let me ask you this question: Are you serious about building a career as a writer? If so, building an email list of targeted and engaged readers is one of THE MOST important things that you can do right now – even as a complete novice without a book in hand – to significantly increase your chances of “making it” as a writer. Don’t brush it off as something that can get done later – it’s much, much too important to get buried at the bottom of your to-do list.”

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted How to Research an Agent posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “Whether you meet an agent in person, or look one up online, you have to do your research. Does the agent represent your genre? Is he/she they willing to take on new clients? Does she/he have a good track record for sales? Which publishers has the agent worked with? How does he/she treat clients? All of these questions are important, and all can be answered by researching agents online. These are the steps to take for researching an agent.”

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:

Newsletter Publishing Best Practices
September 12, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to part 2 in this series! Last week you read Why a Newsletter is a Marketing Must. This week we’re covering, newsletter publishing best practices. So, now that you have your newsletter in place, here are a few things that can really help grow your list:

Know your audience: While this might sound trite and a bit “duh,” it’s actually more important than you might think and, ironically, quite overlooked. Many authors and business owners who put out newsletters write more for themselves than for their audience.

This is a huge mistake as you can imagine because most of the time, your consumer won’t care about things the way you do.

Speak to their pain, their needs and their hot buttons and most important, know exactly who they are before you start cranking out newsletter copy.

Write to one person: I don’t know about you but writing “hello everyone” seems very impersonal and, kind of spammy. The other piece of this is if you create your newsletter with that one reader/fan/customer in mind, you’ll create a better newsletter.

Oh, and when it comes to the “from” line in your email, make sure it has your name, not your company name or book title.

Personalize your email, you’ll be glad you did.Newsletter Publishing Best Practices

Other newsletters: It’s important to know what other folks are doing with their newsletters. This will help you learn what you like, what you don’t like, and what might work for your market.

Also, you want to really understand your space and other experts who share your arena.

Give them someone to write to: Make sure that your readers know who to contact, and invite them to share their opinions, feedback or ideas for future newsletters.

Subject lines: This is probably the most important part of any newsletter. They need to grab the reader’s attention, and if you know what your audience wants, the subject lines shouldn’t be hard. But they must speak to the needs of your reader.

Of all the things going on in their lives, as it relates to whatever you are selling, what’s their biggest need right now? Answer that and you’ve got a perfect subject line.

Who cares? Whether it’s a newsletter, a blog post, or a tweet, ask yourself: “Who cares?” If you can identify the person as your reader and the content as important enough to get them to care, then you have a good topic.

Remember, it’s not about you – in fact when it comes to creating great content and newsletters that rock, you don’t matter at all. Keep that in mind, and understand that this is about putting together a message that 100% benefits the people you are writing to.

Personal notes: What prompted this article was an email note I got this morning. The subject line said “A personal request,” which prompted me to open it. When I did the email started out with Dear….., and a bunch of spaces after the word “dear” because I had not entered my name into their system. Be really careful of this.

Not everyone enters their name into your email list when they sign up; if they don’t, you want to try and avoid these types of emails because they look a bit odd to the recipient. A subject line that said “A personal request” along with an email that was anything but personal caused me to unsubscribe right away.

Length: A lot of people say that they prefer shorter emails to longer ones. I say it really depends on your market. Our newsletter is pretty long but it’s packed with content, and I hear from authors all the time that they keep these issues, often printing them off.

Your market will dictate how long or short your newsletter should be and if you are following others in your market, this will tell you a lot.

Colors vs. text: I’m still a big fan of text-based newsletters. I know that folks will say that color works best but I still think that color newsletters can be harder to read on your phones and often wind up in spam filters.

A lot of people will be reading your newsletter on their iPad or phones so keep it simple.

Frequency & Consistency: How often you deliver your newsletter will generally depend on your consumer, but a good rule of thumb is once a month at a minimum and once a week at a maximum.

I would not recommend sending your end-user too many announcements and newsletters. Also, it’s a lot of content to create, so keep that in mind.

If you build a loyal following you can often create special blasts with more frequency and not lose readers, but remember that we’re all inundated with emails, so many times, less is more.

Also, be consistent. Pick a day and time that works for you and deliver on that promise.

Editing: Please make sure your newsletter is edited, this is so important. Remember that everything is your resume. I used to know a guy in publishing who put out a newsletter that said “this is not edited.”

I felt like it detracted from his message, especially when he backed up that statement with typos. Not good. If you don’t have time to send out an edited newsletter, you should consider whether or not you have the time for it at all.

Appeal to the “skimmers:” Most people skim email these days, so appeal to that. Use short paragraphs, bullet points and strong headlines. That way your reader can glance through the newsletter without having to sift through endless copy and get to the heart of what they are looking for.

Promote or not? I’m not a fan of a newsletter that’s all heavy promotion. You know the ones I mean, they scream “Look how fabulous I am” and then contain a lot of sales copy and special offers. I unsubscribe from those pretty quickly.

Ideally you want to strike a balance. Clearly you are doing this to promote yourself and you want your readers to know what you do, what your message, book, or product is about, and how they can get it.

You can and should talk about this in every issue but a healthy balance is 95% information and 5% sales. You’ll build customer loyalty much faster this way.

Having a solid base and a consistent way to communicate with your audience can really help to optimize and increase your bottom line.

A newsletter might seem like a lot of work, but in the end if it’s done right it will pay off in some pretty amazing ways.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of September 8, 2014
September 12, 2014by: Paula
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Get some marketing ideas and insights from these popular book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include why newsletters are a marketing must, 5 don’ts of social media marketing, how to publish a book, and more. Happy marketing!


* How Can Authors Stand Out on Social Media?

Take time to build relationships with your followers, for starters. Here are additional ideas:


* How to Publish a Book: 7 Tips From the Pros

It starts with writing the best book you can (don’t scrimp on editing!). Six more things you should know:

* Should Writers Have a Website?

Opinions vary on this topic; some experts say authors are better off using social media. Get a different perspective:

* 3 Secret Functions of Your Book’s Chapter Titles

You can use chapter titles to attract your audience, and much more:

* The Biggest Mistake New Writers Make and 5 Ways to Avoid It

Sure, you’re eager to be published and get your book to readers. Here’s why rushing is bad for your career:

* Study: Email STILL More Effective Than Social Media, SEO, Content Marketing

It’s an oldie but goodie as far as marketing goes: email. It’s the best way to make direct connections. Learn why:

* Top 5 DON’Ts of Social Media Marketing

Claim your name on social media (before anyone else!). Learn what else you can do so you spend your time wisely:

* Why a Newsletter is a Marketing Must

There’s no more direct or effective method for keeping in touch with your fans:

Craft an Exceptional Elevator Pitch: Tip #21 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
September 9, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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We’ve heard from a lot of you telling us how much you love these tips. We’re so glad you do! Well, here are a few more you can expect over the following weeks.

Tip 22: Getting on LinkedIn

Tip 23: Your 10 Point Website Checkup

Tip 24: Eight Strategies to Use Breaking News to Buzz Your Book

Tip 25: 12 Secrets to Selling More Books at Events

You ready to sell more books? Here we go! Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

Craft an exceptional elevator pitch

So what is an elevator pitch and why do you need one? An elevator pitch is a short 1 to 2 sentence description about the book. It’s the briefest of the briefest descriptions you can come up with. The reason elevator pitches are important is that we have an ever shrinking attention span, and so you need to capture someone’s attention in a very short pitch.

So how do you begin crafting an elevator pitch? Well, the first thing is to look at the core of your book. So what is your book about, really? Looking at the core of your book will help you determine the primary message. The next piece of this is to look at the real benefits to the reader. Not what you think the reader wants to know- what they actually need. So, what’s in it for the reader?

When I worked with people on elevator pitches before I find that they often keep the best sentence for last. This comes from being an author and saving the crescendo of the story till the final chapter. You don’t want to do that in an elevator pitch. You want to lead with the tease that will pull the reader in.

When would you use an elevator pitch? You might use it to get yourself to the media, or a book or speaking event, or to a blogger. Elevator pitches can be used for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. Once you have a great elevator pitch you may find yourself using it over and over again. That’s a good thing!

Components of a great elevator pitchTip 21

All elevator pitches have particular relevance to them, but for the most part every elevator pitch has at least one or more of the following bullets:

  • Emotion
  • Helpful
  • Insightful
  • Timely
  • It must matter to your reader!

Essential Elements of a Powerful Elevator Pitch

  1. Concise: Your page needs to be short, sweet, to the point.
  2. Clear: Save your five dollar words for another time. For your elevator pitch to be effective, you must use simple, language any layperson could understand. If you make someone think about a word, you’ll lose them and the effectiveness of your elevator pitch will go right out the window as well.
  3. Passion: If you’re not passionate about your topic, how do you expect anyone else to be?
  4. Visual: Use words that bring visual elements to your readers mind. It will help to make your message more memorable, as well as bring the reader into your story.
  5. Stories: And speaking of stories, people love stories. So the one, and perhaps the biggest element of the elevator pitches: tell the story. I also find that when the pitch is woven into the story it often helps to create a smoother presentation.

How to Craft Your Killer Elevator Pitch

  • Write it down: First you want to write it down. Start by writing a very short story. See if you can tell the story of your book in two paragraphs. This will get the juices flowing. As you start to wiggle your story down from let’s say 200,000 words to 2 paragraphs you’ll start to see why it’s important to pull only the most essential elements from your story to craft your elevator pitch.
  • Make a list: Make a list of 10 to 20 things that your book does for the reader. So this can be action statements, benefits, or book objectives.
  • Record yourself: Next, you’re going to want to get a recorder to record yourself. See how you sound, I can almost guarantee you that you will not like the first few drafts of this that you do. That’s actually a really good thing. If you like the first thing that you write, it probably won’t be that effective. Recording yourself will really help you to listen what you’re saying and figure out how to tighten up various areas of it.
  • Rest: I highly recommend that you give yourself enough time to do your elevator pitch. Ideally you want to let it rest overnight, if not longer. Remember the elevator pitch is perhaps the most important thing that you created in your marketing package. Don’t you want to make sure it’s right?

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – September 8, 2014
September 8, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to this week’s Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We’ve got some advice on book marketing, writing, and getting published for this week’s carnival. Thank you to all of the contributors!

Book Marketing

Sarah Bolme submitted Being Heard Above the Noise posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “The number of books published each year is staggering. How do you get your book noticed above all that noise?”

tips 5

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 22 Cookbook and Nonfiction Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts posted at Publishing … And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “I’ve compiled a list of 22 publishers that accept cookbook proposals from writers. Even if you haven’t written a cookbook, this list will be of interest to you. Most of these publishers accept nonfiction proposals in a number of categories, and some accept fiction.”


Chrys Fey submitted Two Character Perspectives posted at Write With Fey, saying, “There are many stories written in one character’s perspective, but a lot of books are composed of two or more perspectives. And I am finding that more and more readers are enjoying getting into the heads of both the hero and heroine in romance books.”

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:

Why a Newsletter is a Marketing Must
September 5, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Electronic newsletters have been around for as long as I’ve been in business; prior to that, I can remember getting them in the mail. Newsletters seem very 1990’s don’t they?

They don’t have the flash of “new media” or the shimmer of a shiny new social media site just waiting to be discovered, but what they do have is visibility. In some cases, more visibility than you’re getting on all of your social media sites combined.

At the Romance Writers of America conference this year, there was a lot of buzz around newsletters and why you need one.

Why? Well, we all know that Facebook has declined in reach, in some cases only 1% of your posts reach your fans.Newsletter marketing must 2

If you’re not paying for placement on Facebook, it’s very likely your stuff isn’t being seen. And with everyone on sites like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter (which also will start monetizing posts) it’s really hard to get your audiences’ attention.

If you decide to publish a newsletter, it doesn’t have to be long. I know some authors that just use their newsletter to “touch” their audience with a brief (500 word) update.

Your newsletter doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be consistent. And it has to be professional and on point.

I’m amazed by how many people still have no idea how to manage their own newsletter. I see sloppy copy or newsletters that haven’t been edited (am I really going to buy from someone who doesn’t have the time to edit their newsletter or make it look nice?).

I also see newsletters that veer off topic so much that I instantly unsubscribe. And, my absolute favorite: how on earth did I ever end up with this newsletter in the first place?

If used correctly, newsletters can be a great way to get your message out there, offer helpful advice, keep people in your marketing funnel, or simply remind them of who you are. We’ve had our newsletter for fourteen years and it’s been a solid way to stay in front of our audience and educate them about their market and what we do as a company.

Candidly, I would consider getting rid of a lot of things, but never our newsletter. It’s often the single biggest business driver to our company. It’s not easy, it requires work, but the rewards are tremendous.

Quick Starts

Convinced you need a newsletter? Here are some quick ways to start it:

Newsletter visibility tip #11)    Make sure the sign-up is on the home page and every page of your website. Typically the right hand side is preferred since it’s considered the “power side” of your website:

2)    Give a great offer to get folks to sign up. By great offer I mean something they’ll want. If you’re a fiction author you can give exclusive content from your book, a gift card (hold a monthly drawing for one gift card) or some other valuable content your readers will want.

3)    Make sure you have a mail system to manage it like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact and create an auto-responder:

An auto-responder is a great way to stay in touch with your reader/consumer and remind them of who you are. An auto-responder might go out weekly, or monthly, or it might just be a one-time “gift” you send readers for signing up.

Our auto-responder is our 52 Ways to Sell More Books which is separated into 52 segments and delivered twice monthly into our readers’ inboxes.

Be on the look out for next post in this series, Part 2: Newsletter Publishing Best Practices.


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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of September 1, 2014
September 5, 2014by: Paula
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Here are some hot topics in book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others, that will provide some valuable tips and resources. The issues covered include top 30 websites for indie authors, tools to help indie authors find readers, an update on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, and more. Happy marketing!


* Top 30 Websites for Indie Authors

There’s a lot of great advice out there for authors, and this is a list of blogs and bloggers that offer some really useful information on a regular basis. Be sure to check these sites out:

30 Top Indie Websites 3 - blog_pin

* Put Calls to Action in the Back Of Your Books to Sell More Books 

This form of marketing is a great way to connect with your readers and ask them to take action. Learn what you can include in the back of your book:

* 8 Important Questions to Ask Before You Publish Your Book

When you ask (and answer) the right questions, you’ll know if it’s a good time to publish. And, you’ll be able to focus your marketing efforts:

* The Top 10 Publishing Mistakes Every Author Should Avoid

All authors should be aware of these issues before publishing a book:

* 6 Ways the Pros Solve Writers Block 

Has your writing muse gone on vacation? It can happen, but learn what the pros do when the words aren’t flowing:

* 110+ Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers/Reviewers

This list is a great resource (and it’s updated too!):

* 10 Social Media Rules Every Author Needs to Know

Get a rundown of basic social media etiquette for authors:

* Taking a Closer Look at Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited

This is a nice overview of how the program works, along with pros and cons of joining Kindle Unlimited:

The Importance of Consistency: Tip #20 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
September 2, 2014by: Penny Sansevieri
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Welcome to Tip #20 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!

The Importance of Consistency

Tip 20Despite what we may think about the power and flood of information coming at us from a multitude of different places there is still something we all crave: consistency. We want it, need it, and value it. That’s why no matter what your platform, no matter how you disseminate the information whether it’s through your blog, Twitter, or Facebook, the importance of consistency can’t be overstated. Here’s the point: OK, so we have tons of stuff coming at us all day long but let’s pretend for a minute that at 6pm on the dot, you always turn on the evening news. Then, one day at 6pm you turn on the TV to find that the programming has changed. They’re showing an old episode of Frasier. The next day, it’s changed again. Confusing, isn’t it?

It’s really no different when you change your messaging and/or focus in your campaign. Here’s a tip: despite how busy we all are we still want consistency. We want to know exactly what we’re getting otherwise why waste our time?

Give your readers what they want then give it to them in a consistent fashion. Stay on message, on focus and keep to your topic. In other words if they’re expecting the evening news, don’t give ‘em Frasier. Don’t surprise your reader or your reader might surprise you by leaving.

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – September 1, 2014
September 1, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to this week’s Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week’s edition features some great tips on book marketing, social media, writing, and getting published. Thank you to all of the contributors!


Chrys Fey submitted Writing About: A Wedding posted at Write With Fey, saying, “This post is going to provide tips on how to write the ceremony and reception, but if you want to, you can certainly write about the months and moments leading up to the wedding if you want.”

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted Agents Seeking Paranormal Romance Writers posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity saying, “There are many reputable agents looking to represent paranormal romance. All of these agents are accepting queries as of this writing. (Links are included.)”

A. Jarrell submitted 3 Quick Tips for Submitting to Lit Mags posted at Hidden Clearing Books, saying, “Three quick reminders for authors submitting to literary magazines and publishers to help increase their chances of getting published.”

Book Marketing

Clare Lydon submitted Public Speaking for Authors: Top Ten Tips posted at Clare Lydon, saying, “Top ten tips for authors doing a book reading – conquer your stage fright and impress your audience!”

media man at microphone

Social Media

Dee Ann Waite submitted Stop Stalking and Start Communicating posted at Dee Ann Waite, saying, “The post is a short, concise chunk of advice on how to help your social media network work 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:

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