Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of June 3, 2013
June 7, 2013by: Paula
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Here are some insights and ideas for authors and writers found in tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include top websites for writers, how to write better tweets, why Google Authorship is so important, and more. Happy marketing!


* What are 10 Addictive Types of Content?

Discover what kind of content makes your followers retweet or share your stuff:


take action Sell More Books on Goodreads!

June 6, 2013by: Penny
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I was at Book Expo last week and lucky enough to sit in a session by Patrick Brown of Goodreads. Here are some fun tips from his session and a link to the slides! Not on Goodreads? You may want to consider it. Check out the stats below!



First up, some stats: goodreads-logo

18 million members on Goodreads and 24 million reviews

Their reviews tend to get shared across a variety of platforms, too – and a lot of them get shared on Facebook. Reviews are a big book activity driver on Facebook.

Blog posts are a fantastic way to gain more attention to your profile. Blogs show up in the feeds of the folks who follow you or in their daily email digest. Also, blogs show up on your friends’ lists (those who follow you) so the folks following them will see the posts, making the exposure tremendous. Lesson #1, blog more on Goodreads!

Wondering how to break down the list of tasks for your Goodreads profile? Let’s start with the daily to-do’s:

  • Shelve books – and write blurbs, you don’t always have to write a review or give a star rating. Just keep your shelf populated.
  • Make sure your account is synched to Twitter so you get the feed to your profile
  • On your Homepage, down on the right hand side you’ll see this:

  • Be sure to post an update daily if you can or weekly!


Is Goodreads on your website? Be sure and add their widgets to your site. It will help your exposure there!


On Book Giveaways:

Giveaways help kick start book discovery and you can do multiple giveaways for a book. Patrick’s suggestions were as follows:

  • Do a pre-pub giveaway
  • Start early 3-5 months pre-pub for giveaway
  • Then after book is out, do another giveaway to raise awareness
  • How long do you want the promo to run, how many books? That choice is up to you, but Patrick suggested running it for a month and giving a minimum of 10 books, even better, give 50. He said the more books, the better the exposure!
  • Facebook offers ads, he suggested to do a small ad around your giveaway, Enter to Win which is a great idea.
  • Here’s his Goodreads presentation!

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AME Blog Carnival: tips and tricks for writers and authors – June 3, 2013
June 3, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the June 3, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We have some great tips on self-publishing, writing, and publishing for this week’s issue. Thank you to the contributors!

Getting Published

Lauren Sapala presents Do You Know the One Thing to Do Before Finding an Agent? | Lauren Sapala posted at Lauren Sapala, saying, “I can be contacted at”

manuscript for query


Nick Daws presents Using Amazon KDP’s New Cover Creator posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “Kindle authors can now use a free Cover Creator tool in Kindle Direct Publishing. In this post I talk about my experiences testing the new tool and reveal a cover I designed with it!”

Brian Cormack Carr presents How To Build Your Author Platform – Brian Cormack Carr posted at Brian Cormack Carr, saying, “Platform-building for self-published authors. This is a beginner’s perspective – my first book comes out on June 8th!”


Angela Greenfield presents Show, Don’t Tell posted at, saying, “This post has helped writers consider the benefits of showing versus telling when writing fiction.”

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.

* Share this Blog Carnival: Click to Tweet

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of May 27, 2013
May 31, 2013by: Paula
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We’ve got a roundup of some of the most popular tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include promoting your book on Twitter, connecting readers to your writing, using Pinterest, and more. Best of luck with your marketing and promotion!


* How to Promote Your Book on Twitter

While Twitter can’t sell your book for you, it’s a great tool for marketing when you know how to use it:

book money and computer

* Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Email – How Social Sharing Drives Sales

This handy infographic breaks down the sales potential of email and social networks:

* 5 Things Indie Authors Do Very Well

Self-published authors are bringing a lot of energy and ideas to the industry. Here’s what they do best:

* Five Tips to Emotionally Connect Readers to Your Writing

Here’s what you need to know to make your posts stand out and keep readers coming back:

* 6 Ways You Can Use Pinterest to Promote Your Brand

Pinterest is the fourth largest network in the world, so learn how to take advantage of it:

* Share Best of the Web tips – click to tweet

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Why Does Social Media Work?
May 30, 2013by: Paula
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Remember being in high school and wanting to hang with the cool kids? Well, maybe you were one of them. If you were, lucky you. But if you are like most of us, you weren’t in the popular clique. These days marketing is sort of like being back in high school, but it’s a popularity contest that’s skewed a bit differently. Marketing, to a large degree, is about social proof. What is social proof? It’s a sort of social influence where you assume the behavior of others is appropriate given a certain situation. Long waiting lines are a great example.

Have you ever observed a long line that spilled out the front door, even winding around the building? You probably wondered what was going on, didn’t you? You may even have stood in line with them for a time to find out what all the excitement was about. Social proof is partially driven by numbers. Let’s say you’re looking at a particular group of organizations, all catering to the same area of expertise. You look at their Facebook Pages and discover that one organization has 50,000 likes, while the others have less than 200. Which page are you most likely to join?

social media word stack

Social proof is also driven by consumer endorsements. People like what other people like, and word can spread about a new car, soft drink or TV show in almost the blink of an eye. Clever marketers can use this to their advantage with tricks such as the velvet rope in front of a club. Put one up and people stop to find out what’s so important that a rope is needed to hold patrons back. Soon a crowd forms. The crowd draws more passersby as everyone wants to know what’s going on and if they can get in. If they can, they may not even question the huge cover fee, assuming that it will all be worth it.

Another example of social proof is Chuck, a guy I knew in high school. Chuck was smart and spent a lot of time researching home stereo systems. He read all the Consumer Reports, reviews and shopped around for the best price. When Chuck pulled the trigger and bought a system many others followed suit, assuming he knew what he was doing. Chuck became an influencer.

These techniques are how social media works. When Chuck posts a product he likes on Facebook, his friends purchase it because they trust Chuck. Ashley is the restaurant expert and her reviews influence many of her friends to select or avoid a particular restaurant. Influencers can drive a large amount of business towards you, or away from you. And the velvet rope trick? Google launched Gmail as an invite-only service, making many of us wonder how we could score an invite. Nice!

Another reason social media works is because people like to share information.

People share online:

  • To bring value
  • To entertain
  • To define themselves
  • For self-expression and self-fulfillment
  • To market their causes or brands

I know you have received a humorous email and passed it on because you just knew others would love it, too. In that case you shared to entertain your friends. It’s also interesting to note that humor is one of the biggest factors in sharing.

How Can You Find an Influencer or Expert?

I’ve had folks in the media tell me that they prefer to have people on their show or in their publication who have a lot of fans, friends or followers on one or more of the major social media sites. In other words, you could have a fantastic message, a great product or fantastic business, but you still might face an uphill climb if your social media numbers are low. It’s a sad but true statement in our society, and everyone’s marketing plan should include increasing your social proof. One of the best ways to gain access to influencers is to network with them on Facebook.

Here’s a quick tip to start building that synergy with big names: friend them or “Like” their Page and then send them a quick note, thanking them for their information or whatever it is they are contributing. Additionally, I always recommend doing an outreach to two Facebook friends or fans at least once a month—you can do more if you have the time. Send them a private message or post something appropriate on their Page. Yes, it’s a lot of work but it’s worth its weight in networking gold.

How Can You Use the Velvet Rope Trick to Create Exclusivity?

Make your Facebook Page invite only, or require approved access to a Group. I only recommend this if you have a big following or a super popular topic— in my view, you need momentum to start something like this. Yes, exclusivity rocks but you need the numbers to drive the interest and intrigue. Pinterest, for example, did this in order to get invited. They gave you a “wait time,” but if you knew someone, you could get in right away. Because the site was getting a lot of buzz, this trick worked.

How Can You Get More Shares for Your Message?

We’re going to dig into each of the social media platforms separately, but overall the goal is to be relevant, interesting and insightful. Don’t just copy what everyone else is doing. Be unique. That’s easy to say and hard to do, I know. But let’s face it, the numbers never lie. When you put an article or blog post out there that gets a lot of buzz, you know you’ve hit your mark. In order to define how to make your content more relevant, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • What does my audience really need?
  • What’s the biggest challenge my market faces right now?
  • What’s the biggest hot button my audience has?
  • What’s next in my market?

The above questions may or may not work for you, but it should give you some general guidance on where your content needs to be focused. It should be extremely audience-driven. In other words, it doesn’t matter what you think, it only matters what your consumer wants. That’s the key.

What Is a Social Network?

Social networks, also referred to as social media, are places where people can join and become members of an online community. These networks provide tools that enable members to configure a customized version of a user page; create profiles and bios; manage invites and contact lists; upload photos, video and music files; and interact with each other via multiple channels.

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 users on these sites are looking for answers and advice. So your presence on a social networking site should be about 80% education and 20% sales. Users on social networking sites are seeking friends, mentors, experts and guidance. If you can offer one or all of these things, you can certainly grow your list.

RHIPExcerpt from Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Marketing Online by Penny Sansevieri, available now on


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AME Blog Carnival: tips and tricks for writers and authors – May 27, 2013
May 27, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the May 27, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We’ve got some great tips on self-publishing, book sales and writing. Thank you to the contributors!


Joel Friedlander presents Do You Write Memoir or Self Help? Life at the Inflection Point, posted at The Book Designer, saying, “Have you expanded your thinking beyond the writing process to think about who your readers are and how they will respond to the book once they know about it?”

publishing contract

Chrys Fey presents Chrys’ Writing Rules: Bad Things Must Happen posted at Writing With Fey, saying, “If nothing bad happens to your characters then you don’t have much of a story!”

Phyllis Edgerly Ring presents Writing the way whole posted at Leaf of the Tree, saying, “Many may have missed Steve Almond’s great post in the NYT Magazine back in January. This post aims to encourage further reflection and revisiting of it.”

Book Sales

Sarah Bolme presents The Internet is Winning posted at Marketing Christian Books.


RJ Crayton presents Legal issues for authors: from copyright to contracts posted at RJ Crayton, saying, “Self-published authors are on their own when it comes to figuring out if something they’re doing might get them sued. This brief blog post, will give them some pointers on which issues ought to raise their legal hackles.”

Nick Daws presents Kindle Worlds Lets Authors Make Money From Fan Fiction – But Only If They’re American! posed at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “Kindle Worlds is a new initiative from Amazon to let authors make money from publishing fan fiction on Kindle. In this post I offer my thoughts on the new program and express one major reservation about it.”

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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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of May 20, 2013
May 24, 2013by: Paula
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Take some time to catch up on marketing and social media news in this roundup of tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include why you should be using Google+, ways to bond with your blog readers, how to analyze your website’s traffic, and more. Happy marketing!


* 5 Key Book Publishing Paths
This valuable infographic breaks down the major publishing options, along with the pros and cons of each approach:


* How to Analyze Your Website Traffic
It’s not as difficult as it might seem to understand your website traffic stats. Learn what you should do so your site is effective:

* The 4 Social Media Marketing Secrets Of A New York Times Best Seller
Have a clear message, do a lot of outreach, and be willing to give away content, for starters:

* 5 Ways to Bond with Your Blog’s Audience
If your blog seems quiet lately, these ideas should give you and your readers a boost:

* Why You Must Get on Google+ Now
Did you know that Google+ has the second highest membership of any social media platform (behind Facebook)? See why G+ is so important:

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How to Analyze Your Website Traffic
May 22, 2013by: Paula
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For many of us, traffic and website analytics are very foreign ideas. But understanding traffic and reading website analytics reports doesn’t have to be a complicated endeavor. First up, let’s break down the terminology:

Page views: Each time someone lands on your site (when they load one of your pages) it generates a page view. Keep in mind that this tallies regardless of who visits or how many times they’ve been to the site. To some degree it is a bad measurement of traffic. We all love returning visitors, but most of us really care about those valuable first time folks.

Visits: This measure shares how many users have spent time on your website, regardless of the number of pages each user views.


Unique visitors: This is an important stat and as the name implies, this metric counts only the unique users who visit the site. If a particular visitor comes to the site every day, it still only counts as one visit.

Pages/visit: This metric shows you how many pages a visitor perused during each session. The higher this number, the better.

Average visit duration: How much time do users spend on the site during each visit? While you want someone to spend a long time on a site, the average time spent is generally 3-5 min and sometimes less. Obviously longer is better, but currently the only site that gets massive visit duration is Facebook, with an average of twenty minutes per visit.

Bounce rate: This number indicates people who “bounce” off of the page. So, someone visits and then decide they are either in the wrong place or you’ve sent them into “surf shock” and they leave. Generally the lower the number the better, but the average bounce rate is around 50-59%.

% new visits: This measure is the percentage of your traffic from first-time users who have never been to the site before. If you’re eager to get repeat people to your site (and this will often depend on the nature of your business) you’ll want this number lower than your repeating visitor number.

Understanding Google Analytics

These days, most websites use Google Analytics to measure traffic. It’s considered by most web designers to be the gold standard of measurement, and best of all, it’s free.

Getting Google Analytics is easy. You simply register on the site and it will give you a snippet of code that will go on each page of your website. Your web person can add this if it wasn’t installed when your site was built. Most hosting companies come with a C-panel backend that measures traffic. Even so, I highly recommend getting Google Analytics for accuracy and some other reasons you’ll see in a minute.

Once you set up Google Analytics, give it a few days to gather data. Once you do, you’ll start to see numbers appear on your dashboard. Google Analytics continues to update their system and recently launched a beta version of real time traffic, available. I tend to watch these real-time traffic numbers pretty closely. It’s a great tool if you’re on top of a promotion, letting you see what kind of traffic you’re driving to your website in real time.

Getting to Know Your Data

When you first start looking through the numbers, you’ll want to get a sense of the things we described above: Page Views, Bounce Rate, etc. If you’re worried that your bounce rate is too high, consult your web person to see if there’s anything you can do to lower it. One of the areas I spend a lot of time on is the Traffic from All Sources page, so I can gauge what hits are coming from where. Not only will this help me create referring traffic from various channels, but it also helps me know what’s working and what isn’t.

Measuring Social Media

One of the most exciting additions to Google Analytics has been their tracking of social media. This is a fantastic tool that lets you see how much of your traffic is coming from social media. So, what’s a good mix? I think half of your traffic should come from social media; the rest should come organically from Google.

Measuring AdWords

Google Analytics can also connect to your AdWords campaign, allowing you to measure how your online ads are performing. If you run ads on your site, click Content > AdSense > Overview to see which pages are earning the most revenue (and how much). You’ll need to link them together in the AdSense tool first.

How much traffic you get and how well it’s converting will depend on your reach and your website, but knowing these numbers is important. Remember that the significance of each category will depend largely on the industry you’re in. If you want lots of returning visitors, then the percent of new visits number will need to be lower. If you’re looking for lots of new traffic then unique visitors is what you need to pay attention to.

Getting to know your traffic is not only important, but mandatory if you’re going to know how effective your online marketing is. Also, knowing your Google Analytics numbers will show you if there’s a problem on your site, like low conversion, which could be because of a broken page or broken link.

RHIPExcerpt from Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Marketing Online by Penny Sansevieri, available now on

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AME Blog Carnival: tips and tricks for writers and authors – May 20, 2013
May 20, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the May 20, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We’ve got some great tips on writing and book marketing in this edition. Thank you to the contributors!

Book Marketing

Jo Linsdell presents PROMO DAY: The Benefits of Attending Promo Day posted at PROMO DAY, saying, “Promo Day is a free online event for people in the writing industry dedicated to promoting, networking, and learning. This year’s event takes place on Saturday 25th May at”

holiday beads


Chrys Fey presents Writing About: Holidays posted at Write With Fey, saying, “In our lives, we treat Thanksgiving (the day for giving thanks) and Christmas (a time for love and peace) with special importance. Then why can’t we give these holidays equal importance in the stories we write? We can!”

Bryan Chau presents Keeping Poetry In Motion – The Breakdown posted at Success Pen Pal, saying, “poetry, writing, success, breakdown analysis, etc.”

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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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of May 13, 2013
May 17, 2013by: Paula
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Get some marketing ideas with these top tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include using Pinterest analytics, supporting your favorite author, optimizing your website, and more. Happy marketing!


* Myth-busting: Self-Publishing to Pick up a Publisher. What You Should Know

Should you self-publish with the idea that you’ll be able to use that book as leverage for a traditional publishing contract? One author weighs in:

* Check Your Website: What’s Located in One of the Most Important Sections?

Your website might as well be a billboard people glance at while speeding down the interstate. You have only a snippet of time to prove your site is worthy of a visit:


think of your website as a billboard

* Readers: How You Can Help Your Favorite Authors

Here are a few things you can do to help support your favorite author – and for authors, don’t hesitate to post this list somewhere on your website. If you need help (and who doesn’t) you need to ask for it:

* Managing Your Personal Brand with Facebook Lists – A Great Tool!

Lists allow Facebook users the ability to either grant or deny profile access to Facebook friends depending on the relationship you have with them:

* How to Use Pinterest Analytics: 6 Metrics Worth Measuring

It’s important to know if your social media efforts are working:

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