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by Penny Sansevieri
The Quickest Way to Kill Your Online Success: Tip #47 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
March 17, 2015by: ameeditor
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Welcome to Tip #47 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 Quickest Way to Kill Your Online Success

Tip 47I have a friend who lives in San Diego. She and her boyfriend rented this lovely home outside of the city. They have tons of land, a great house. It was really a fantastic deal. Since they were in such a good place, the rent was cheap and they had no intention of moving anytime soon, they decided to do some minor renovations to the house.  This became their “weekend warrior” project. They’d paint, tinker, plant and in the end, they had a great and slightly improved property. Then one day the owner stopped by for a visit. “Bad news,” he said, “I need to sell this property and I have a buyer who wants to offer top dollar, in a market like this I’m sure you understand why I need to take it.” They had 30 days to move out.

Now, you might think this is a very sad and unfair situation, but it happens all the time. And it doesn’t just happen to real estate, it happens online too. It’s a great thing, this social networking, but what a lot of people forget is that you don’t own the sites you are populating. While Facebook owns the world (pretty much) right now, things could change. But more than that, sometimes a slight “uh-oh” from you and a slight violation of the site’s terms of service can cause you a world of grief. We had a client several years ago who built up 5,000 friends on his personal profile. I kept cautioning him about doing promotion on that page as Facebook has rules against doing promotion on a personal profile. He continued to do promotion (though not heavy) and lost his page. He never got it back. His entire tribe of 5,000 people were lost in the minute it took Facebook to pull down that page.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to utilize these tools and promote yourself, but just remember: as much as you might feel “at home” on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter, you don’t own these properties. They do. Be smart and make sure you aren’t making these sites the center of your success. Here are a few tips to help you own your real estate.

Website: You should always, always, always have a website. I know some authors who use Facebook as their websites. Big mistake. I know other authors who get a website that doesn’t belong to them, meaning they are part of a community of free sites they don’t own. If the community decides to stop doing websites and goes away, guess what happens? So does your content.

Smart Social Media: One of the things I really recommend is that you center all of your content around your website. That’s partially why I suggest linking your blog to Facebook and Twitter. The content starts on your site and gets funneled from there, rather than in reverse.

Other ways to promote: Consider other ways to promote your stuff that isn’t social media centric. Interviews on (other) blogs, and websites. Yes, you are still putting stuff out there on other sites, I’m not saying not to. I’m saying that you need to make sure that whatever content you put out there is reflected on your site as well.

Duplicate content: There’s a problem with posting huge amounts of duplicate content online, but unless you are pushing hundreds of pieces out a month, I doubt you have anything to worry about. However, the flip side is that you want to make sure you have copies of all the content you put out there. If you’re uploading a video on YouTube, don’t delete it off of your computer because you think it’s “safe” on this site. It may very well be, but if you lose your page or YouTube gets bought (again) and morphs into something else, you’re in trouble.

Website more: When I talked about having a website, I’m not just talking about having a one or two-pager. I mean have a robust site packed with content. Make sure that you have a blog, and you might consider adding a resource section, etc. All information about your books should be on the site (don’t rely on Amazon to house this for you) and be sure that any ordering information is on your site as well. Wait! You might ask, is Amazon in danger of going away? Not likely. But as they’ve shown in the past by pulling down books and buy buttons without warning: they are Amazon and can do whatever they want.

Traffic: So, the nitty gritty of promotion is what? Sales, right? Sure, and exposure too (though I think you should target exposure first, then sales, but that’s another article). If you’re sending all of your traffic to social media sites, guess what? Your website traffic is probably pretty low or non-existent. If you send traffic to social media sites guess who benefits? Well, certainly you do in the way of exposure, but long-term this isn’t a good plan. Let me explain why. If you aren’t promoting your site as the center of the universe, and instead pushing people to social media sites, then your website isn’t getting those super valuable incoming links from blogs, websites, etc. that you are promoting yourself to. As a result, your site will sink in Google rankings. That means if you lost one or more of your social media sites, you could certainly pick up the pieces and start sending people to your site, but that will be a long, hard haul. Better to focus on that now and gather that traffic, along with the buzz you create in social media, so you aren’t caught with a zero starting point if anything happens.

You might think that the moral of this story is a slightly paranoid “trust no one” mantra but it’s not. It’s about protecting your stuff and being a smart and savvy author. You would never open up a store in a mall without a lease that locked you in for a certain amount of time, right? While there are no guarantees in anything, you need to be smart about all of these wonderful, free, not-owned-by-you social media sites. You might do a fantastic job of driving traffic, fans, and likes to various pages, but the reality is that you should focus on what you own; your website. I love my social media sites and yes, it’s a widely known fact that I’m addicted to Twitter. Yet they aren’t the center of my online universe, my website is. Yours should be, too.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of March 9, 2015
March 14, 2015by: Penny
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Ramp up your book promotion with these book marketing and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include blogging and social media mistakes to avoid, how to repurpose content, tips to run your own virtual book tour, and more. Happy marketing!


* 10 Ways to Get Your Book “Review Ready”

Always start with a professional editor. And get a really good book cover:

* Major Blogging and Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

It’s better not to have your blog autopost your latest piece to social media. Control the way your social media updates go out:

Education concept: Head With Finance Symbol and Helpful Tips on

* Quiz: Do You Have What it Takes to Self-Publish?

Ready to find out? Wise Ink Blog has the questions you should ask – before you take the plunge:

* A Book Marketing Truth Few Experts Will Admit

Sometimes your book marketing won’t turn out the way you hoped, even if you do everything the experts recommend:

* 7 Ways to Repurpose Content for Your Personal Brand

Think about creating Infographics, developing a SlideShare presentation, and using cross-promotion to get more from your content:

* Tips for Creating Your Own Virtual Book Tour

One author explains how he developed a tour for his book and shares his best tips:

* 11 Essential Elements of an Author Website

A good author bio, your blog, a contact page, and other important items you should include:

* How to Promote Your Books Around The Holidays

There’s more than Christmas – there are public holidays throughout the year that you might be able to tie to your book:

Five Things You Should Never Say When Pitching Your Book to a Publisher or Agent (aka stuff publishers and agents hate)
March 12, 2015by: ameeditor
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If you’re trying to get an agent or publisher for your book, there are a lot of things you need to do but also several you shouldn’t. Here are a few things that will turn off a publisher or agent when you’re pitching them!

POSTED 5 things not to say 03122015 - blog_pin1) Everyone loves my book: don’t lead your pitch with this. In fact my recommendation is to leave this out of your pitch altogether. The definition of “everyone” is generally friends and family and while we love them for being a supportive bunch, when it comes to mainstream publishing they don’t really count.

2) No one else has written a book like this, it’s never been done before. This is a big red flag to almost anyone in the book world; if it’s never been done there might be a reason. They say there are no new ideas, certainly there are but publishing tends to fall into categories and if it’s never been done, there might be a reason. If it really is a new idea, great! But do your research first before you toss out the “first book on this topic ever!”

3) My book should be a movie or – my book is going to be the next bestseller. No one can predict a bestseller or, for that matter, what will become a blockbuster movie. I know if Hollywood and the New York publishing community could predict this, they’d be in a much better financial state than they are now. The fact is, you might wish or hope that your book becomes the next classic but even you, the uber talented author can’t predict this so don’t pretend you can. It’s a big eye-rolling turn off. Trust me.

4) Don’t stalk your agent/publisher: Ok, now I don’t mean stalking in the sense that Lifetime is considering making a movie out of you but I mean hounding, badgering, emailing daily, calling. You know, the super annoying stuff that will get you blacklisted off of every agent and publisher’s list. Trust me, word will spread like wildfire if you’re a pain in the you-know-what. It’s also the quickest way to a rejection. Follow-up is ok, burning up the phone lines or hitting your send button obsessively isn’t. Keep in mind that patience will often win this race. If you have found an agent that you trust, then trust them to do their job.

5) Not wanting to take feedback or reject professional advice: a good agent and/or publisher will offer you feedback on your book. Perhaps ways to enhance/correct it. Things you might want to consider adding to make it more commercially viable. Listen to these comments and learn from them, then, swallow your own opinions and consider incorporating them into your book. If you really have an objection that’s another thing, but if pride is getting in your way then back off of the ego and see some of the points they’re making as helpful and constructive. The writer sure to fail is the one who won’t listen.

It’s a competitive market out there and these are the things that will not only hurt your career, but delay the publication of your book as well.

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A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Video in your Promotion: Tip #46 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
March 10, 2015by: ameeditor
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Welcome to Tip #46 of our 52 Ways to Market Your Book! I hope you’re enjoying these tips and they are helping you sell more books.  Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

Tip 46A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Video in your Promotion!

You hear it all the time: video sells. But often we find ourselves with a nice little YouTube channel and one video, at a loss for how to create additional content or what might be compelling. If this describes you, or if you haven’t even started doing video for the same reason, then let’s look at some creative ways to get yourself and your message on video!

Creating professional content:

First off, don’t make creating video too complicated. Just about every phone or device has a video camera on it, and while I don’t recommend using phones as a long-term video recording device, it’s handy to have with you when you’re doing videos on the fly. To get started though, get yourself a small video camera. I used to love the Flip cameras until they discontinued making them, but Kodak has some great devices, and if you have an iPad and haven’t experimented with the video on it yet, you might want to try it, it’s really fantastic.

  • Setting: Experiment with some different settings and lighting. I used to do a lot of videos in my kitchen because the natural lighting was so good there. You can see a few of them here. It’s a pretty basic system, but it worked really well. You can, of course, film videos outside too. This works well for most settings. As I said, experiment with different settings until you find one you like.
  • Editing: You’ll need to edit your videos, but trust me on this one, it’s not hard at all. I got the Roxio software which includes an editing suite, it’s fantastic and I love it. Very easy to edit, add titles, etc. to the video.
  • Length: I generally recommend no more than 2 minutes for any video unless it’s educational. Studies show that interest really starts to drop off once you hit the minute and a half mark, so keep it short and sweet!
  • YouTube Channel: I highly encourage you to get one channel that’s branded to you. Don’t just upload your videos to various sites.

Now, let’s look at some fun and creative things you can do with video!

Case Studies: This is a fun way to talk your consumer through some of the fantastic stuff you’ve done. You can do this with the person involved (if the case study is about the individual), or you can just talk through the case study and show examples as warranted.

Behind the scenes: People love behind the scenes. For our upcoming AME retreat we’re planning to film portions of our meetings so we can share the “nuts and bolts” of PR with our viewers. If you’re doing a lot of research for your book, or going to special places to do research, this is a great opportunity to do behind the scenes video. Or maybe you’re working with your cover person on a cover design; try to get this on film too. The “insider” process is often intriguing to consumers.

Training: Training videos are great and often very helpful; in fact, I do a lot of these. It’s the majority of videos we film. Training videos can be about anything at all.

Client/Reader responses: Can you get a reader to talk about your book on camera? I always take a camera to an event; it’s a great opportunity to capture input and feedback from readers and clients.

Interviews: It’s great when you can get an interview with someone in your field, even better if you can capture it on video. If you’re going to an event, always take a video camera with you. Often times you can get an interview right there on the spot which will make it easy.

Video doesn’t have to be challenging or a burden to create. It can be a quick and simple way to get the word out there about you, your book or product and, it’s a great way to drive traffic to your website. We love our YouTube channel, and we know you’ll love yours too!

Want to see our channel? Click here!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – March 9, 2015
March 9, 2015by: Penny
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week we have guest posts on self-publishing, and writing. Thank you to all of our contributors.


Sarah Bolme submitted Important Information for Christian Authors posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Do you finish every book you start to read? Many people don’t. I once saw a statistic that said that most people only read about half of a nonfiction book.”

Hazel Longuet submitted How I improved my writing productivity by 100% posted at A Novel Experience, saying, “I was struggling to hit my daily word count targets – these are the simple steps I took to improve my writing productivity by 100% – they can help you too.”

writing old fashioned typewriter


Colin Dunbar submitted Format a Book with Word: Formatting for Smashwords posted at Format Books in Word, saying, “This is the first of six posts covering the formatting of your book for Smashwords.”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of March 2, 2015
March 7, 2015by: Penny
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There’s so much to learn and do for book promotion. Educate yourself with these book marketing and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include a simple way to sell more books, social media tips for authors, the top 10 things authors must know about Amazon, and more. Happy marketing!


* The Top 10 Things All Authors Should Know About Amazon

Amazon’s algorithms work in interesting ways. Here’s a breakdown on how scarcity, sales, reviews and more impact your sales:

* Discoverability Isn’t Nearly Enough to Help Readers Find Your Book

Learn what inbound marketing is, and how it can direct readers to your book:

* 5 Reasons They Won’t Tweet About Your Book

Not feeling the love on Twitter? Learn why your tweets may need some tweaks:

twitter bird with laptop

* Social Media for Authors: Improve Your Marketing Results

Let this podcast help you find ways to use social media for successful marketing;

* A Simple Way to Sell More Books

This is a tactic many authors overlook, but it makes a big difference:

* 35 Alternatives to BookBub

Although BookBub has a huge following, it’s not an option for many authors due to its high rejection rate. Consider these 35 sites as good alternatives:

* The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All

It’s hard not to take rejection personally, but typically it’s your manuscript that gets rejected. Learn why:

* Tips to Evolve as Author and to Find More Readers

The publishing landscape changes rapidly. Keep up with the evolution so readers can find your book:

Understanding Book Awards and Contests
March 6, 2015by: ameeditor
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Have you ever considered entering your book into a contest? Perhaps you’ve wondered what a book award could do for you? Book awards are often a great way to gain recognition for your book, and also it’s a great way to get feedback.

Check out our helpful infographic and guide to understanding book awards and contests.

Book Awards Infographic

Wishing you success!

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Creating Powerful Content That Will Help You Sell Books: Tip #45 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
March 3, 2015by: ameeditor
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Welcome to Tip #45 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!

Creating Powerful Content that will help you sell books

Tip 45These days it’s a must that every marketer create fresh, enticing content. While not everyone uses the term “content,” it still comes down to creating words, tweets, blog post, and whatever content you create, it means extra work for you. How can you keep up with your marketing, social media, and your content creation? More importantly, how can you create compelling content that readers will not only want to read, but that will also encourage them to buy your book?

For years, I’ve been creating all sorts of content. Whether it’s blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, white papers, or HuffPo posts, it’s all about crafting helpful information people can use and messages that will drive users back to our website. The idea isn’t just to push something out there, but to push it out consistently. The best way to generate content is to stay in close touch with your industry. Keep apprised of your marketplace, industry news, and changes to your field because all of this can help to spark ideas. If you’re scratching your head wondering how to do this, here are some quick tips to help turn you into a content machine.

  1. Networking: you should be networking with other experts in your market. Getting to know other voices is very important not just for networking, but also for idea generation. Ideas and inspiration come from everywhere; sometimes they come from tweets you’ve seen, other times they might come from blog posts you subscribe to, or Facebook accounts you are a fan of.
  2. RSS Feeds: once you identify your network of experts, subscribe to their blogs. I find that staying immersed in your industry will help to percolate ideas.
  3. Tweets: as I mentioned above, following experts in your market will really help not only for networking, but also as you’re building your knowledge base.
  4. Newsletters: many experts have newsletters. You should be subscribing to all of them. Newsletters are also a great way to gather fresh, new content ideas.
  5. Guest blog posts: inviting other experts as guest bloggers on your website is a great way to generate content. Not only that, but it’s a fantastic way to connect to new people in your industry. Guest blog posts also help to bring in fresh readers, especially when the guest blogger helps promote the blog to his or her community of readers.
  6. Your book: if you’ve written non-fiction (and even to some degree with fiction) you should be able to excerpt pieces or portions of it and syndicate it online. In some form or fashion, Red Hot Internet Publicity has been pushed online. Whether it’s in blog form, a tweet, syndicated article, or a Facebook update, I have broken this book into a million little pieces all being used as content.

Once you have a good content strategy, then it’s time to plan for your content. I recommend that you take time once a week to do this. Sometimes I’ll skip a week, but I always make it up. If you’re new to this, treat your content strategy like your new workout routine. At first it won’t be easy, but you have to keep up a regular pace until it becomes part of your marketing regime.

Keep your content organized by collecting this valuable content in a folder, either electronically or in a paper file. If you’re gathering information electronically, I would suggest using something like Evernote (which I love!) or OneNote. Evernote has a great app for both iPhones and Android so if you see something or get content inspiration while you’re away from your computer, you can add it to Evernote and it will sync up to your main file. Tres cool… That way you can get to it quickly and easily. Once you have identified various ways to gather content and you’ve started building this content, you’ll start to see your platform really growing. The more you push out there in the way of information, the more will come back to you in the way of readers and buyers.

How does content help you sell books? The more of an authority you are, the more eyes you will get to your message – and the more eyes you get, generally the more buyers you get. Also, I believe that information builds trust and these days, whether you’re buying a book or something else, consumers want to buy from people they trust. Building trust is a big piece of what we do, and content creation is a part of this strategy.

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – March 2, 2015
March 2, 2015by: Penny
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week we have guest posts on getting published, writing, and book publicity. Thank you to all of our contributors.


Hazel Longuet submitted This Week’s 20 Most Popular Articles On Writing posted at Novel Experience, saying, “Here are top 20 articles that got most traction from my social media followers last week. They cover the whole gamut (writing, self-publishing, book promotion, author platforms, social media). A collection of great articles from great authors.”

writer at work

Book Publicity

Sarah Bolme submitted Are You Paying Attention? posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “The average person’s attention span is 8 seconds while a gold fish’s attention span is 9 seconds. Find out what this means.”

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 12 Writing Contests in March – No Entry Fees posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “There are lots of writing contests with deadlines in March (some even fall on the Ides), and they cover the spectrum from poetry to Hoosier lit. Short story contests abound. So, don’t be shy. Take a chance and enter a contest. Who knows, you may win!”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 23, 2015
February 28, 2015by: Penny
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Let’s take a look at some top book promotion and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include the real reason your book was rejected, how to get good reviews for your books, social media tips for authors, and more. Happy marketing!


* 6 Reasons Why Some Books Will Never Be Bestsellers

“Why am I not selling books?” is something many authors ask when they don’t see results. If your book isn’t selling, this is why it might be happening:

book review word cloud

* How to Get Good Reviews for Your Books

All authors want to get book reviews. These steps will help you find the right reviewers:

* Get to Know Your Amazon Central Account

This feature is something many authors overlook. Here’s what you should know to take advantage of it:

* The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All

A rejection hurts, but it’s not about you. There are many reasons a manuscript doesn’t get selected:

* The #1 Marketing Strategy for Writers with a Day Job, Kids, Etc.

This is the reality for many authors: they have jobs, families, lives – on top of their writing. Here’s how they can steadily promote their books, too:

* Discoverability Isn’t Nearly Enough to Help Readers Find Your Book

There are a lot of books out there and if you passively wait for readers to find you, you could wait a long time. Try this instead:

* Social Media for Authors Podcast: Improve Your Marketing Results

Using social media is less of a chore if you learn about the shortcuts and tools that can help you:

* How to Self-Edit Your Book Before Turning it Over to a Professional

You should hire a professional to edit your book, but here’s how you can get your book into good shape before handing it over:

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