Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
You Can Be an Expert (even if you’ve written fiction!)
February 22, 2013by: Penny
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You hear it all the time, “You need to be an expert!” For Non-fiction authors that’s pretty easy, but what about fiction? Eve offers some cool ideas. Check out this great video with Eve Bridburg of Grub Street Reads from Tools of Change for Publishing



Stuck in Social Media Overwhelm?
February 21, 2013by: Penny
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If you feel like you’re stuck in social media overwhelm here are some ideas about what you can do. Do you need to do it all? Will it hurt book sales if you aren’t? Check out this great video with Eve Bridburg of Grub Street Reads from Tools of Change for Publishing.



A Recap from Tools of Change for Publishing!
February 19, 2013by: Penny
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Big ideas in publishing!

Last week I was at Tools of Change for Publishing in New York which was a jam-packed conference full of some great insights. Just like we did for our Digital Book World post (http://www.amarketingexpert.com/the-evolving-world-of-publishing-what-authors-must-know-to-succeed/), I’ve compiled a list of some of the best and most insightful tweets.

 

72 hours of YouTube video uploaded per minute to YouTube

What a number, right? YouTube is where it’s at. If you haven’t explored having your own YouTube channel I really think you should. It’s a great way to share information with your readers and engage with them on a whole different level.

@eve_grubstreet says book sales are a terrible goal to shoot for in book marketing success. YAH! Excellent statement.

Instead Eve suggested that authors look at other, measurable goals such as speaking gigs, followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other goals that aren’t social media related such as a number of reviews. When was the last time you said, “I want to get X number of reviews for my book.” Focusing on something like getting reviews is akin to getting exposure and building fans. You build your platform one fan at a time, you build sales the same way.

Free works for book sales, give the consumer something to show there’s value. You must show value.

If you want your consumer to value you and to buy your book, you must first show them that there is value. These days this is especially true given how many books are published each day, and with the surge of eBooks everyone is vying for readers’ attention. One way to get it is to show value, you can do that through free content.

Free content for fiction authors works as well, think novellas, short stories, etc.

What a great idea for free content! Fiction authors are always telling me that if they have to give something away, they aren’t sure how to do it or what to offer. These are some great tips! Also, check out the video on this topic here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_oTn0m6cdI&feature=share&list=UUkB2oHqfvggcrpRPi2ps_Gg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5J5vgwKhTY&feature=share&list=UUkB2oHqfvggcrpRPi2ps_Gg

@robeagar says that he has seen that “free doesn’t cannibalize sales, it amplifies sales.”

This is a very true statement though sometimes it’s hard to get authors on board with this. The numbers, however, always prove this is true. Time and time again the free promotions you do for your book (on KDP or elsewhere) help to ramp up sales numbers. Additionally, giving away free content in the form of reports, excerpts, novellas, etc. helps boost sales considerably.

Keep your fans engaged between book releases with free content fans can share via socmed

Another great idea and very true. In fact, in a later program led by Good Reads they did a survey of readers who said they’d rather read serialized novels from an author they love rather than wait months for the entire book. Another good way to keep free content going is on your blog, so blogging in character if you’ve written fiction, or perhaps doing short vignettes of their adventures outside of the book is a good way to keep readers engaged. I know this is much tougher for fiction, which is why I give some fiction examples here. Remember that you want your reader to respond to your book, you can do that by giving them stories that involve them in your character’s lives on an ongoing basis.

@RobEagar YOU may not be the best person to answer the reader’s question, “What’s in it for me?”

This is so true, that’s another reason why free works so well. By giving free you let the reader determine what’s in it for them. You may not always find that every piece of free content leads to a sale, but you’ll have many more sales because of it. Here are two examples for non-fiction authors:

Success stories let readers explain WIIFM – success stories speak for themselves

This is a fun project that you non-fiction authors should tackle. So, your book is out there and it’s (hopefully) changing lives and helping your readers, right? Great, then get their testimonials about this. People love success stories.

Some great insight on the new role of the agent: “If every indie #author is not to go it alone” he/she needs radical advocate in digital age @jasonashlock

1)     Assisted self-publishing (with the oversight of someone who knows the industry)

2)     Marketing help

Jason Ashlock gave a fantastic presentation about what it means to be an agent in this new world. You can see the videos posted here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5HTPME5yJg&list=UUkB2oHqfvggcrpRPi2ps_Gg&index=2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-Dn8Bo5fSY&list=UUkB2oHqfvggcrpRPi2ps_Gg&index=1

Essentially he talked about the shifting sands of publishing and how agents can not just survive, but thrive in this new world. He gave the example of Hugh Howey’s agent here:

@JasonAshlock Forms of “radical mediation” include “assisted self-publishing.” EG: Kristin Nelson / @HughHowey

You haven’t really put your book out there unless you’ve gotten a negative review. AMEN. @scottandjames 

Totally true. Often authors become obsessed with the bad reviews, it’s all part of the game. Not everyone will love you book, that’s just how it is.

“We don’t want someone hiding inside @RandomHouse or @Penguin deciding what author is good.”

And more to Jason’s point about what agents can do to bring great content into the world: do you really want to leave future books in the hands of the big six? There are a ton of great writers out there who should be published and would likely get overlooked by the major houses. Agents can not only help facilitate their success, but also help them get their books to market twice as quickly as they would if they waited for a traditional deal.

Questions that should no longer be asked: “Are these relationships on social media, like, REAL relationships?”

This was another big statement that came out of the day, there should be no distinction because your social media peeps and your non-social media peeps are all real relationships. You should be engaging and dialoging with them. Treat your social media tribe this way and you’ll be surprised at how significantly your base grows.

Classic author mistake: overestimate own editing skills. More than just spell checking! Truth courtesy of @sanderssays.

Totally true. Get a good editor. End of story.

@amandahavard Really brilliant. Her characters connect with people. People like people. Are you listening fiction folks?

This was some great advice for fiction authors. If you’re wondering how to connect with your readers, don’t. Let your fiction characters connect with them instead. I mentioned this in a post above, too. Let your readers connect with your fictional characters, it’s a terrific way to build loyalty. It’s amazing to me how many writers don’t do this. Look at ten fiction authors’ sites and I challenge you to find more than one who gives their characters voice there.

@Bookgal: #toccon Talking about the importance of personal engagement with readers. @amandahavard. brilliant.

Amanda Havard told a story of a friend of hers who engages with every single reader who writes her. For example, this author posts to Wattpad and every time there is a comment posted, she logs on and writes them back. Each person receives a response. Personal engagement is key and yes, she sold a ton of books.

@dslessing: @amandahavard has character to reader relationship, not just author to reader. Love it.

I’m addressing this a couple of times in this post because I feel it’s important and it’s also pretty key to our fiction readers because they often struggle for ways to promote their books. Connecting reader to character is a great way to not just engage your readers outside of the book, but also keep them interested and coming back for more.

@Porter_Anderson: #ARDay #TOCcon Marketing Panel: @MarkLeslie: “The authors who aren’t willing to invest in themselves are the ones who are going to fail.”

Such a true statement. So often we see authors who don’t want to invest or want to take shortcuts. It just doesn’t work. Do the work. End of story.

@mef “By 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile app downloads from app stores annually.”

Pretty astounding number, no? It’s amazing how fast this market segment is growing. If you’ve been thinking about doing something for mobile, maybe now is the time…

@mef To make sure your consumers find you, be sure you’re easy to find and easy to buy. Convenience is key.

Whatever you do, make it easy. Part of why Amazon got so big so fast (and you’ll see this happens with pretty much anything they launch) is they know how to make it easy. Simple, seamless, if your reader has to work for it I can almost guarantee you they won’t.

Love @goodreads survey on where readers find books – #1 is personal or friend recommendation. Readers have the power to push a book.

Yes! This was great insight and something that I am a big fan of pushing: readers have the power. Your readers can make or break a book, your book – so make sure you are connecting with them, responding to their posts and really engaging with them. So important.

What’s at the end of your book? Don’t just end the book, give them engagement. What’s on your final page? Excellent point!

This was a really incredible piece of insight. Think about it. With eBooks more interactive, why not add a final page that lets the reader interact with you. Even print books should have this. Readers want engagement and if they loved your book, they’ll want more. Give it to them!

Would readers be interested in reading a book in serial format instead of waiting six months for a complete book, 49% say yes!

This was a fantastic piece of advice. Clearly, readers want content and it’s up to us (ah-hem, writers) to keep producing good, solid content!

@Porter_Anderson: @Immersedition: “Wherever people are talking about books…is a really great place for them to be talking about you.”

What does this mean? It means that you need to reach readers where they hang out, places like Goodreads, Library Thing, Wattpad, etc. are all fantastic resources. Wait, you haven’t heard of Wattpad? Check it out, it’s another fantastic place to share your stories: www.wattpad.com

@Porter_Anderson: Oren Teicher of @ABABook is wrapping now. “Yes, bookstores are closing…but new stores are opening…sales better than before.”

There was a session with the head of ABA (American Booksellers Association) and he talked about bookstores and the rumors that they’re going away (hey, I heard this, too). He said that new stores are opening all the time (mostly indie stores) and that independent stores are working hard to come up with super innovative ways to stay relevant. YAH! Go indies!

Great insight. #1 tool for building influencers on social media: connect w/people you genuinely like. Bingo. Queue head-slapping.

This was sort of a “duh” moment but such a great statement. So often we connect with people because we think we should. So we follow them but we don’t really like them. Yes, many of us do this all the time. Follow people you like and really want to engage with. Not only will it be easier to promote but more fun, too.

Before you reach out to people, make sure your own house is in order. Ah-hem, your website.

So often authors jump on social media and start promoting without realizing that they need to make sure their house in order first. Would you invite people over to your home if it was in disarray? Likely not. Nor should you invite people to your website if it’s not in order, and by in order I mean it has a blog (and you’re using it), and you know the site is converting visitors into something (a sale, a sign up, etc.). Don’t invite your readers to a messy house.

#toccon Interesting discussion around passion we feel for books. Passion isn’t a good biz model and can get in the way of success.  Agree?

This was sort of an interesting statement – I mean passion is great but passion isn’t a good business model and we all need to keep our business hats on while we are promoting our books. So, while passion drives us (and it should) there’s nothing like good, solid business sense to keep us moving forward.



AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors February 18, 2013
February 18, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the February 18, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We have a great mix of self-publishing, book marketing, social media and marketing tips this issue. Thank you to all of the contributors!

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Book Publicity

Sarah Bolme presents Publicity Stunts posted at Marketing Christian Books.

Social Media

Jon Rhodes presents What Can Jenna Marbles Can Teach Us About Affiliate Marketing? posted at Affiliate Help!, saying, “You Tube sensation Jenna Marbles can teach us a thing or two about creating a stir and being popular online.”

Book Marketing

Nick Daws presents Why I Changed My Mailing List Service From YMLP to AWeber posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “Anyone who ever does business online needs to have a mailing list, and that includes writers. In this post I explain why I switched from my old mailing list service to AWeber, and why I have no intention of changing back!”

Writing

Chrys Fey presents Creating Mood posted at Write With Fey, saying, “For this post, I included a short teaser from my own book to illustrate mood in a story. What exactly is mood? Well, I explain it here and give tips to help you create it.”

Isabel Anders presents Blogging From A to Z posted at Blogging Authors, saying, “One advantage of following a ‘set course’ in your blogging is knowing exactly what will come next: in this case a word beginning with the next alphabetical letter.

Subjects for my blogs have included: Balance; Create; Dialogue; Eye—Journey; Kything; Lit-major and Meme. Not to mention Peace and Quest …

I’ve enjoyed choosing a word to define and reflect aloud about, with very personal applications popping up, sometimes unexpectedly…”

Self Publishing

Liz Long presents Building Relationships: Why “Networking” is a Dirty Author Word posted at Liz Long, saying, “I explain why ‘networking’ is a dirty author word and why ‘relationships’ is actually the keyword all authors need to remember. ‘Networking’ might be your dirty keyword, but ‘Relationships’ is the goal. Friendship is the cherry on top.”

Joel Friedlander presents Book Design Quick Tips for Self Publishers posted at The Book Designer, saying, “One thing you probably don’t want to happen is have your book ‘look’ self-published. This article explains typical newbie mistakes to avoid and offers tips for self-publishing your book.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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How Free Can Help you Sell More Books!
February 18, 2013by: Penny
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Yah! Another great session from Tools of Change. Check out Rob Eagan as he talks about the power of free!



Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 11, 2013
February 15, 2013by: Paula
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What’s happening in book marketing and publishing? Check out these top Tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include a free webinar on how to sell more books on Ashutterstock_44482999mazon, how to get started with Twitter marketing, tips to rank high in Google’s search engine, and much more. We wish you marketing and publishing success in all that you do!

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* 6 Simple Tips to Rank High in Google’s Search Engine

Learn the value of unique content, back links and more, so Google will love your site:

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/09/28/6-simple-tips-to-rank-high-in-googles-search-engine/

* The Writer’s Guide to Twitter

Newbie tips, follow and promotion etiquette, RTs, chat how-to, more. This is a comprehensive guide to everything a writer should know to use Twitter successfully:

http://inkygirl.com/a-writers-guide-to-twitter/

* Self-Published Authors Share 5 Things They Learned in 2012

Some great advice from self-published authors to help other authors navigate the self-publishing world:

http://www.livewritethrive.com/2013/02/11/self-published-authors-share-5-things-they-learned-in-2012-part-5/

*  Free webinar Feb. 21: How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon.com

Learn how to take advantage of Amazon’s algorithm to market and sell your books in this free webinar:

http://socialbuzzu.com/1633/penny-sansevieri-how-to-sell-books-by-the-truckload-amazon-com

* 5 Ways to Use YouTube to Promote Your Book

Here are strategies authors can use to take advantage of YouTube:

http://writerswin.com/2013/02/11/five-ways-to-use-youtube-to-promote-your-book/

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 11, 2013
February 11, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the February 11, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We have some great posts on writing and self-publishing to inform and inspire. Thank you to all of the contributors!

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Writing

Karen M. Rider presents What is Magical Realism? posted at Karen M. Rider, saying, “What is Magical Realism? Who writes it?

Magical Realism appeals to readers (and writers) because it offers a worldview in which the natural, physical laws of the universe are not the only plausible explanation for events in the story (or in real life, for that matter). While the reader realizes that the rational and irrational are conflicting polarities, they are not disconcerted because the author has established the fantastical (mystical, metaphysical or supernatural) within the context of the natural or ordinary world.”

Chrys Fey presents How To Write Romance posted at Write With Fey.

Samir Bharadwaj presents Clear-headed Writing posted at Samir Bharadwaj dot Com.

Lisa Romeo presents Writing Steps and Lists posted at Lisa Romeo Writes, saying, “I talk about how a writer can create to-do lists that go beyond listing deadlines and/or hopeful goals, and instead break the actual writing process down into specific, measurable steps.”

Nick Daws presents Don’t Be Scared of Writerly Rejection! posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “In this guest post freelance writer and writing teacher Daley James Francis offers some encouraging advice about dealing with rejection, something every writer has to face at some time in their career.”

Self-Publishing

Joel D. Canfield presents Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box posted at Someday Box, saying, “It’s a series of 16 short (3-minute) videos with accompanying text which describe the process of publishing your own book: all the steps needed, and some advice on where you’re likely to need help.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Here’s How to Get Twice as Many Book Reviews for Your Book!
February 8, 2013by: Penny
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If you’re ready to rock out your book reviews, you’ll love this short session on how to get more reviews for your book. Seriously, it’s not magic. Ready to go?

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 4, 2013
February 8, 2013by: Paula
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Here’s a roundup of some of the best book marketing Tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include 25 hard truths about writing and publishing, self-publishing advice from author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, how to get more Amazon reviews, and much more. Best of luck in your writing, publishing, and marketing endeavors!

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* 25 Hard Truths About Writing And Publishing

Chuck Wendig, a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer, looks at the tough realities of the publishing industry:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/01/22/25-hard-truths-about-writing-and-publishing/

* 7 Great Features for Authors on Goodreads

This social media site for book lovers has more than 12 million members. Learn about the great features Goodreads offers authors:

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/7-great-features-for-authors-on-goodreads/

* Easy Tips for Getting More Amazon Reviews

Learn the secrets to identifying and contacting Amazon’s top book reviewers so they can consider your book:

http://www.amarketingexpert.com/easy-tips-for-getting-more-amazon-reviews-now/

* Creating Links to Your Author Central Page on Amazon

Your Amazon Author Central Page is a great hub where readers can learn about you and your books:

http://www.sellingbooks.com/link-to-your-author-central-page/

* The Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make When Self-Publishing a Book

Author and Entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki discusses what authors should know about self-publishing:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/the-top-ten-mistakes-writers-make-when-self-publishing-a-book/

* 6 Social Media Digital Trends You Should Not Ignore

Keep up with the ever-evolving world of social media promotion – here are six emerging trends:

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2010/08/02/6-social-media-digital-trends-you-should-not-ignore/

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Easy Tips for Getting More Amazon Reviews – Now!
February 4, 2013by: Penny
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If you’re scratched your head trying to figure out how to get more reviews on Amazon, you’ll love this short but helpful how-to clip. Ready to rock Amazon? This video will help!

 





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