The Book Marketing Blog

by Penny Sansevieri
Video: Keyword Strategies with Joe Pulizzi
May 20, 2015by: ameeditor
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Keyword Strategies Joe Pulizzi AME YouTube Video

If the idea of finding keywords sends your head spinning, check out this short clip of Joe’s talk at Digital Book World on keywords – why they are important and how you can use them for your own work. Done right, keywords can not only help you expand your reach but also help you come up with a variety of topics you may want to write about OR creating really popular book titles. I did this when I was looking to create a title for my book: Selling Books by the Truckload on Amazon. It really works. Keywords rock.

This was shot at Digital Book World. Sorry if it’s slightly fuzzy, but the content is great. Thanks for watching!

We’re so excited about BEA coming up on May 27-29 at the Javits Center in New York City!

Weekly Wrap-Up – Book Marketing Fun Finds!
May 17, 2015by: ameeditor
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Here’s a weekly wrap-up of some of Penny’s book marketing events, news, and fun finds!

  • Looking for a sizzling romance book to enjoy as the weather warms up? Don’t miss this sizzler: Texas Summer by Leslie Hachtel is only $0.99 on Amazon from 5/14-5/28 ONLY!
  • Don’t miss this free ebook! Welcome Reluctant Stranger is a tale of love and loss and is on sale 5/15-5/17 ONLY.
  • Are you ready for BEA 2015’s  conference? Register here and I look forward to seeing you all there!

We’re so excited about BEA coming up on May 27-29 at the Javits Center in New York City!

Slideshare and Podcasting are the Next Big Thing – with Joe Pulizzi
May 13, 2015by: ameeditor
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Slideshare and Podcasting Joe Pulizzi AME YouTube Video

Joe Pulizzi, king of content marketing, shares some tips around Slideshare and Podcasting, which are great ways to produce additional content using pieces you already have access to – like articles you’ve written and your book.

This was shot at Digital Book World. Sorry if it’s slightly fuzzy, but the content is great.

We’re so excited about BEA coming up on May 27-29 at the Javits Center in New York City!


Weekly Wrap-Up – Book Marketing Fun Finds!
May 10, 2015by: ameeditor
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Happy Mother’s Day!

Here’s a weekly wrap-up of some of Penny’s book marketing events, news, and fun finds!

  • Check out the May 2015 author earnings report of Amazon’s ebook sales stats here.
  • Want more views for your videos? Of course you do! Find out how here!
  • Download Two Hearts ebook for only $0.99 on Amazon from May 8-26. Christian Romance lovers will enjoy this one!
  • Here’s another positive review for Penny’s ‘How to sell books by the truckload on Amazon!’
  • Check out Walk in Faith & Eat When You’re Hungry for only $0.99 until June 1st 6/1 on Amazon! Download it for kindle now!
  • Authors – what’s important when it comes to describing settings? How can they bring a story to life? Find out more here from  Jody Hedlund.
  • Penny’s on tour! Find out how and when you can join her book tour here.

Why Social Media Matters
May 8, 2015by: ameeditor
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Why Social Media Matters AME Blog Post

Welcome to the final installment of our “Social Media Series.” To wrap up the series, we’ll focus on why social media matters!

We get a lot of authors that come to us with books already published, they’re ready to invest money on marketing, but they have no social media presence. Worst case scenario? They have the icons on their website that go nowhere, or they go somewhere, and it just isn’t pretty. The good news? It’s never too late, it really isn’t! But if you’ve lost steam or never garnered the steam you should have had in the first place, remove those icons from your website for the time being. It’s unprofessional and makes it look like you can’t see things through, which isn’t a quality you’d put on a business card, no matter you’re your genre.

As an author, as a business person (and they are the same thing!) social media is an all or nothing strategy. This doesn’t mean you need accounts on every social media platform, far from it! Just figure out which one makes sense for your interests, commitment level, and most importantly, your market. You can even take this great quiz we created to help you narrow this down.

But if you’re just ho-hum about social media, maybe you tried to start an account but then got frustrated and abandoned it, or you figured you start one “someday,” that’s fine – that’s your reality right now – but don’t shine a spotlight on it by advertising it on your website or blog.

We’re big fans of social media because it’s a fantastic way to show your fans and potential readers that you care about more than just selling them books. You want to engage them, entertain them, get to know them – and that personal connection has taken brands and products from “just okay” to “I’m telling all my friends!” faster than you can imagine.

Best Calls to Action on Facebook
May 7, 2015by: ameeditor
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Best Calls To Action on Facebook AME Blog Post

Welcome to the 6th installment of our “Social Media Series.” This week, we’ll focus on the best ways to get attention on Facebook!

Best Calls to Action on Facebook

According to a report by TrackMaven, there are some interesting ways to grab more attention on Facebook. Using words like “Share” and “Please” can double the amount of engagement you get. Also, posts with seven exclamation points get high engagement as well !!!!!!!. And we hear a lot about hashtags so does using them help at all? It sure does, but don’t use too many. Using two hashtags helps to boost engagement whereas three or four doesn’t really bounce your engagement any higher. Oh and what about the question mark. Using nine of them creates extremely high engagement. Odd, no?????????

How to Get 100+ Reviews on Amazon: More Ideas for Getting Reviews. Part 2
May 5, 2015by: ameeditor
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Get Reviews on Amazon AME Blog Post Part 2

Last week we talked about different types of Amazon reviews. This week, let’s discuss more ideas for getting reviews on Amazon!

Get Reviews on Amazon Additional Ideas AME Blog Post

Use Free: Giving away your book can be a great way to drive both sales and reviews. The caveat, though, is that you need to have a letter (like the one I just shared with you) in the back of your book. You need a call to action (CTA) in order to get people to do something – like drop a review on Amazon. And yes this does work.

Goodreads: Another great place to network and get more reviews is Goodreads. And while a lot of authors like to complicate this process, Goodreads does not take a ton of effort. In fact, if you’re just on there a couple of times a week, that’s enough. Do book giveaways pre-publication, post-publication, and then any time after it’s on Amazon.

Blogger Prize Packs: Often the best way to drive interest to a book is to get a big blogger review. As I mentioned earlier, bloggers are busy, but a way to stand out is to offer a nice prize pack for them to give to their readers. By prize pack I don’t mean your book, though that’s great, too, but instead, think about gift cards, a Kindle device, or some other really cool item. For one giveaway, we did a spa gift basket which got a ton of buzz. Bloggers love to share great stuff with their readers and prize packs could go a long way to getting their attention.

Start a Club: When the first round of reviews started to appear for The Publicist (the book I mentioned before) we created an “Exclusive Reader Club,” which essentially meant that to thank them for the review, they’d get an early copy of the next book for free. Yes, I said free. Then we let them invite their friends into the “club” – and again, the price to gain entry was a review – good or bad. It didn’t matter (well it does, but it’s unethical to say that the entry price is a 5-star review). Not all reviews were great, that’s what happens when you put this out to the masses, but we did get a lot of reviews for the author.

Incentivize: After we created the Exclusive Reader Club, we then offered a free tote bag to anyone who reviewed the new book. The first fifty reviewers (again, good or bad) got a tote as a “thank you” for taking the time to review.

Reviews, and the process of getting them, has gotten more challenging and time intensive as new books continue to flood the market. Reviewers have a lot of choices. But if you’re smart about your efforts, and if you leverage Amazon’s features wisely, you can really boost your book’s exposure, and your sales. One final note on Amazon reviews: Sometimes, in order to get reviews, you need to become a reviewer. I’m not suggesting you compete for their top review spot, but instead help other writers in your market by reviewing their books. It’s not only a great way to pay it forward, but they may offer you a review, too.

Don’t miss How to Get 100+ Reviews on Amazon: Different Types of Reviewers – Do They All Matter? Part 1 !!

Weekly Wrap-Up – Book Marketing Fun Finds!
May 3, 2015by: ameeditor
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Here’s a weekly wrap-up of some of Penny’s book marketing events, news, and fun finds! Happy Sunday!

  • Ten great Ebook production tools from Digital Book World
  • What if I told you that you could easily revive an old book and start making sales on it again? Here are four ways to revive a stale book.
  • Want a free contemporary romance ebook? Letter from Money, available Apr 30-May 4 only on Amazon! Get it here today!
  • Penny’s on tour! Find out how and when you can join her book tour here.
  • Have you signed up for the NEW Book Marketing Expert Newsletter yet? If not do it now!
  • There’s a load of tips and advice here! How to take charge of your author blog from Frances Caballo.
  • Three pitfalls to avoid while writing a book from Self-Publishing Review.
  • How self-publishing can establish you as an expert from Entrepreneur.
  • More positive reviews for Penny’s book! Check out the latest review here.
  • Love mystery thrillers? Get the Ominous: Borders: Coffee ebook for just $2.99 on Amazon from May 1-May 30.
  • Have you got a good idea for a book? Check it out in these four places first from Books & Such Literary Management.

Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day, by Guest Blogger Frances Caballo
May 1, 2015by: ameeditor
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Today, we’re lucky to have a guest blogger – our friend Frances Caballo, an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. Read on for her valuable pointers on how to manage your social media in about 15 minutes a day. Thanks to Frances for joining us!

Manage Social Media Frances Caballo Tips AME Guest Blog Post

Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day

You know that to sell your new book you need to be involved in marketing it and in today’s world that means social media has to be in the mix.

If you’ve already been using Facebook and LinkedIn for some time, great! You’re ahead of the learning curve.

But if social media is completely new to you – aside from a Facebook profile you somewhat neglect – then it’s likely that you’ve spent time reading blog posts or attending webinars and social media workshops at writers’ conferences.

What you probably haven’t learned is that you can manage your social media in about 15 minutes a day.

Isn’t that a lovely idea? You’re probably wondering, “It that realistic?”

Keep reading because I’m going to show you how to manage your social media in a way that it won’t dominate your marketing efforts or send you into the vortex of social media time suck.

Four Steps to Managing Your Social Media Marketing

Regardless of the social media platforms you use there are four steps to managing your social media.

  1. Start with curation. Find content and create content to share. The content can be in the form of text as in links to blog posts by colleagues and experts in your genre or posts you write. Your content can also be in the form of images. Share as many images as you can – at least once daily on Twitter and in every post elsewhere.
  2. Schedule your social media posts. Once you know what you want to say and share, use a social media dashboard to schedule your posts.
  3. Find time to socialize. The very nature of social media is that it is social. In the book Twitter Power 3.0 the authors Joel Comm and Dave Taylor write, “Someone who uses social media successfully doesn’t just create content; he or she also creates conversations, and those conversations create communities.” So keep the social in social media and create communities with your readers on the social media platforms that best serve you.
  4. Review your analytics. Determine which posts receive the highest level of engagement and try to replicate that content every week. You can use the free analytics tools on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (if you have a Pinterest business account). There are also tools (such as SocialReport, mentioned below) available that provide analytics on other social media networks.

Tools to Help You Save Time

There are numerous applications available to help you save time on social media. Here are just a few the tools and tricks I use.

Curation Tools

  • AllTop – This is a wonderful directory of the top blogs in every category imaginable. You will always find the information here to curate and share.
  • Swayy – Once you tell Swayy what your interests are, the app will send you an email each day with the five top blogs in your niche or genre, and you can schedule your post within the same application. This tool will save you a lot of time.
  • ContentGems – This application works identically to Swayy except it will send you a longer list of blog posts.
  • News feeds and lists: On Twitter, you can create lists of people who post great content and then use that list to curate content you want to share. You can also do the same thing reading through your news feeds on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and other social media networks that you use.

Scheduling Applications

Scheduling your content is your next step. You will need to find an application that has the features you want.

  • Buffer – This is a great tool for scheduling your posts. Buffer integrates well with other applications such as SocialBro, which determines your best tweeting times throughout the day. If you upgrade to the Awesome Plan you can also use it to share your posts on Google+.
  • SocialOomph – This is my favorite social media dashboard. However, I only use it for LinkedIn and Twitter. You can schedule your Facebook page posts for the week using Facebook’s scheduling tool within the status update box. In addition, you can use a free chrome extension to schedule your Google+ posts. If you’d rather have one application take care of all of your scheduling needs, you can upgrade to a paid version of Buffer (about $10/month). If you’d like a more powerful dashboard, use SocialReport, which posts on every major social media network and provides killer analytics But SocialReport is about $40/month.
  • Applications just for Twitter: TweetDeck and Pluggio (Pluggio has great analytics!)

Tools to Help You Socialize (As If You Need Help with That!)

There are some cool apps that will keep you in the know.

  • NutshellMail –You can choose to receive an email once or twice a day. Each message will tell you who your new followers on Twitter are, who unfollowed you on Twitter, what’s trending on your Facebook news feed, which friends have birthdays, and what information is trending on LinkedIn.
  • Newsle – This application is just for LinkedIn. You will receive an email every day that lets you know when your friends and colleagues are making the news.
  • Twitter Notifications Tab – You can also log into Twitter and click on the Notifications tab (or check your social media dashboard) to find out who is following you and sharing your tweets.
  • Join Groups & Communities – By joining groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and communities on Google+ you can easily join in conversations, share expertise, and make new friends and contacts.

Can I Really Do All This in 15 Minutes?

Yes. But – you knew there would be a but, didn’t you? – if you can allocate one day each week to spending at least 30 minutes for planning your social media posts.

The rest of the week you will only need at most 15 minutes a day.

And those 15 minutes can be spent while waiting for a friend at a café, sitting in your doctor’s waiting room, or sitting in front of the TV and taking time during commercial breaks to check in and be social.

We all know that social media can be time-consuming. It’s easy to open Facebook, check our news feed and get lost in our friends, fans and followers’ posts. We can click links that take us to another website and spend too much time watching silly videos.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

If you are willing to spend at least 30 minutes once a week planning your social media posts for the week than all you need is 15 minutes a day to spend some fun time socializing with your friends, followers, and contacts, who are mostly the people who read your books and stories.

These 15 minutes a day are the most crucial part of your social media marketing. During those 15 minutes, you are creating relationships with your readers. You are answering their questions. You are allowing them to get to know the author behind the book.

Don’t ever forget how special it feels to know the author of a book you adore. Why wouldn’t you want to spend 15 minutes a day talking to readers who most appreciate your writing?

So as long as you’re willing to spend 30 minutes once a week, all you need is 15 minutes a day to incorporate social media into your book marketing strategy.

I would love to hear about any strategies you use to economize your time and make social media less time-consuming.

Frances Candid Shot 2.jpg


About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers on her website or check out her newest book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.


Check out the NEW Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
April 23, 2015by: ameeditor
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Don’t miss the chance to sign up for the new-and-improved Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!

Over at Author Marketing Experts, we’ve been working hard on revamping the newsletter, and we think you’ll love it. We’ve shortened it up while adding more quick tips, more opportunities for authors, and color!

If you haven’t opened an edition in a while, now’s the time to give us another shot! And if you’re not yet subscribed, be sure to sign up here!

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