Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – October 13, 2014
October 13, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We’ve got some great posts on book marketing, self-publishing, and getting published this week. Thank you to all of the contributors!

Book Marketing

Sarah Bolme submitted Sampling: An Effective Marketing Tool posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “One of the things I really enjoy about my monthly trip to Costco is all the samples I get to munch on while I peruse the aisles and shop. A few of these samples have even convinced me to buy the products being hawked.”

Kimberly Grabas submitted How to Get Traffic to Your Author Website: 30+ Tips for Discouraged Writers posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “It’s time to address one of the biggest complaints I get from writers about their author websites: ‘My blog is a ghost town! How do I get more traffic to my site?’ Obviously, no visitors means no visibility, no way for people to discover and share your content, and no real benefit to slugging away, post after post, crafting brilliance that nobody reads. But your author website can be a foundational element to building a powerful platform, if you know how to attract the “right” people to your site AND retain as many of them as possible. Interested in learning how? I’ve got you covered. ;-)

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Frances Caballo submitted How to Stop Wasting Time and Focus Your Book Marketing posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “I used to tell my audiences that they needed to diversify their social media to reach their audience wherever they might be. I no longer give that advice. Instead, it’s important to determine which social platforms your audience uses and invest your energies strategically. By doing this, authors will be more focused in their marketing and have more time to write.”

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted Beggars Can Be Choosers – How to Pick an Agent posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “When an agent offers to represent a writer, there is tendency to say “Yes, a thousand times yes!” before giving the long-term consequences of the union the cold, hard reflection it deserves. Here are a few tips to help you evaluate an agent before you get hitched.”


Hazel Longuet submitted Why are you reading this blog? Go read ‘Write. Publish. Repeat.’ – a must read for all Indie Authors posted at A Novel Experience, saying, “Sometimes you stumble on something akin to the Holy Grail by sheer accident. Something so big, so powerful that it forever changes the way you think and act. I have to believe that the universe only puts things in front of you when you are ready for them, I just wish I’d been ready earlier for Write. Publish. Repeat. It’s simply a must read.”

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 October 6, 2014
October 10, 2014by: Paula
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We’ve collected some of the most informative and popular book marketing tweets to provide some tips, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include memoir writing tips, how to use SlideShare for social sharing, ways to make your media pitch irresistible, and more. Happy marketing!


* How to Stop Wasting Time and Focus Your Book Marketing

You do not have to be active on every social media site. Instead, choose wisely so you focus on the sites that work for you:

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* The Secrets Behind Book Categories on Amazon

What you should know when selecting your book’s categories:

* 7 Ways to Add Sizzle to Your Next Book Event

There’s so much more than bookstore events. Here’s how you can have a great book launch party:

* Make Your Media Pitches Irresistible Using These Insider Secrets

Get the scoop from a former CBS news executive so you can make your pitches count:

* 40+ Resources & Tools to Take Your Blogging & Social Media Marketing to the Next Level

If you haven’t started a blog, this guide will walk you through the process. It’s easy!

* 6 Tips for Avoiding Writer’s Block

These tricks of the trade can help you get writing again.

* The Power of SlideShare for Social Sharing

Do you use SlideShare? The site can be a great way to build buzz. Learn how:

* Six Lessons about Memoir Writing

Author Abigail Carter shares tips from a recent retreat:

Two Fun Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Blog Post
October 9, 2014by: Penny
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POSTED More traffic blog 10092014 - blog_pinWe all know that images drive more engagement, but what if you used your blog post image on your Instagram page, using it to drive traffic to your blog? Don’t forget to adapt it with text that tells what your post is about, you can do this on


Sharing on Instagram is a great way to boost additional engagement and pull in more traffic.


Vine is another great way to pull in traffic. By creating a quick video about your blog post, you could pull in additional traffic to your site, too. You can do videos on Instagram as well.


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12 Secrets to Selling More Books at Events: Tip #25 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
October 8, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #25 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!

12 Secrets to Selling More Books at Events

So you got a book event, great! Now you want to maximize it, right? You’ve heard your writing buddies (or perhaps read online) about the lack of attendance at signings so figuring out how to maximize the event, regardless of the numbers might be tricky. While I spend a lot of time addressing online marketing, the offline component is one you shouldn’t overlook and if book events are where you want to focus, then bringing in some ideas to help you sell more books is something you should consider.

Some years back when I was promoting The Cliffhanger I ended up at a book signing in the driving rain, I mean it was pouring and the store was all but empty. It was amazing I sold even one book, let alone seven. While not a big number, the copies were all sold to people who were seeking refuge in the store from the rain and not there for my event. This signing taught me a lot about events and connecting with consumers in stores. If you have an event coming up, consider these ideas before you head out:

Tip 251. Marketing: First and foremost is the marketing of your event. But I’m not talking about the marketing you do in the media (though that is great too) I’m speaking of in-store marketing, this is what most folks seem to overlook. This is where you supply things to the store to help them market your event. Because the first phase of a successful event is driving people to it, here are a few thoughts.

  • Do bag stuffers. You can easily do this in your favorite computer program, do two up on a page, meaning that you use one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper to do two fliers. You’ll want to ask the store first if they mind that you provide this, most stores or event venues don’t.
  • Bookmarks: While most in the industry see these as passé, people still love them. You can do bookmarks and bag stuffers (or staple them to the flier) or you can do custom bookmarks with the date and time of your event. Nowadays it’s pretty easy to get these done cheaply. Keep in mind that if you are having the event in a mall or other type of shopping area, you might be able to drop the bookmarks (or bag stuffers) off at the nearby stores to see if they’ll help promote the event.

2. Book signings are boring: Regardless of where you do the event, plan to do a talk instead of a signing. People are drawn into a discussion and are often turned off by an author just sitting at a table. Marketing is about message and movement so stand up and speak. If speaking in public is intimidating to you, go to Toastmasters or some other local networking/speaking group and see what you can learn.

3. Unique places: If you want to get more attention for your event, consider doing events in unique places. We’ve done them in video stores, electronics stores, gyms, even restaurants (on slow nights), doing outside-the-bookstore events is a great way to gain more interest for your talk. Why? Because you aren’t competing with everyone else at the bookstore for your crowd. When you do an event at a locale that doesn’t normally do events, you’ll gather more people just because it’s considered “unique.”

4. Show up early and talk it up: OK so let’s say you’re in the store and there are a ton of people in there shopping (a book event dream, yes?) I suggest that you take your extra bag stuffers or custom bookmarks and just hand them to the people in the store. Let them know you are doing an event at such and such time and you’d love it if they can sit in. You’ll be surprised how many new people you might pull in this way.

5.  Customize: Regardless of what your talk is about, poll the audience first to see a) what brought them there, or b) what they hope to learn if your talk is educational. I suggest this because the more you can customize your discussion, the more likely you are to sell a book. If you can solve problems (and this is often done during the Q&A) all the better. You’ll look like the answer machine you are and readers love that. If you have the answers they’ll want to buy from you. I promise.

6. Make friends: Get to know the bookstore people, but not just on the day of the event. Go in prior and make friends, tell them who you are and maybe even hand them your flier or bookmark (or a stack if you can). Often stores have Information Centers; see if you can leave some fliers there instead of just at the register. Getting to know the people who are selling the book is a great way to help gather more people into your event. If your event isn’t in a bookstore but attached to a shopping area or mall, go around to the stores (and perhaps you did this when you passed out the fliers) and let them know you have an event and what can you do to help them promote it. If you can rally the troops to help you market your talk, you could triple the numbers of people at your event. No kidding.

7.  Take names: I always, always recommend that you get names and (email) addresses from the folks who attended. Sign them up for your mailing list is a great way to stay in touch with them and stay on your reader’s radar screen. If you have a giveaway or drawing, great! This will help you to collect names. If you don’t, offer them a freebie or ebook after the event. Often if I’m doing a PowerPoint presentation I will put together a set of them (delivered in PDF) after the event. Attendees need to sign up to get them and then once they do, I include them in our newsletter list which helps me to stay on their radar screen.

8. Pricing: Make sure your book is easy to buy. If you are doing this outside of a bookstore this is easy to do and will help your sales. I find that a rounded number like $10 or $20 makes for a quick and easy sale. If you can round up or down without adding or losing too much to the price, by all means do it.

9. Book pairing: One way you might be able to round up is by pairing your book with a freebie. When I paired Red Hot Internet Publicity with a second, but smaller, marketing book I took the awkward pricing of $18.95, bumped it up to $20 (so 2 books for $20) and quadrupled my sales after an event. Now the pairing doesn’t have to be a book, it can be a special report or even an ebook that you send to them after the event.

10.  Product and placement: As you’re doing your talk (especially if it’s in a non-bookstore venue) make sure that you have a copy of the book propped up in front of you so event visitors see it the entire time you are speaking. Hold up the book when appropriate and use it as an example when you can. This will help to direct the consumer’s eye to the book – and making eye contact with the product is a good way to make sure it stays on their radar screen throughout your talk. When I do a speaking gig at an event that allows me to sell books in the room, I will sell four times more than I would if the attendees have to go somewhere else to buy it so make the buy easy. If you can, make sure your books are for sale in the room.

11. Ease of purchase: Aside from pricing, if you’re doing your own checkout make sure that you have many ways consumers can buy your book. I take credit cards at the event, checks and cash. Don’t limit yourself as to what you can take or you will limit your sales.

12. . Post event wrap up: So the event is over, what now? Well, if you got attendees to sign up for your newsletter (you did do that, right?) and now it’s time to send a thank you note for attending and remind them (if they missed the chance at the event) to buy a copy of your book at the “special event price.”

Speaking and book events are great ways to build your platform, but if you aren’t selling books there’s little point in doing them. For many of us, our book is our business card and thus, if we can sell our “business card” we can keep consumers in our funnel. If your book isn’t your business card you still want readers, right? So the marketing both post and during an event is crucial to building your readership. While it’s easy to say that events sell books, they often don’t. I find that if you don’t “work it” you often will find your time wasted. Seek the opportunities when they are made available to you and then maximize them when they are, you’ll be glad you did!

Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – October 6, 2014
October 6, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We have some great tips on writing, and getting published this week. Thank you to all of the contributors!


Hazel Longuet submitted Writing Tips: 10 Most Pinned Articles on Writing from my Pinterest Feed posted at Novel Experience, saying, “For the last year I’ve been squirreling away high quality content on writing and publishing, and storing my little nuggets of gold in Pinterest. I’d wondered which of all these gems were most popular, as identified by repins, but until recently there were few ways to find out. Then those lovely bods at Pinterest launched their Analytics a program that delves into statistics of Pins. So now I know which of the pins my followers like best and can share them with you.”

Susan Pohlman submitted Feeling Stuck in Your Writing? The Answer is Travel posted at The Review Review, saying, “Finding your writer’s voice through travel.”

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Chrys Fey submitted Naming Fictional Towns and Cities posted at Write With Fey, saying, “When you’re writing a book, you get to name your characters, so why can’t you name the town your story is set in? You can!”

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 2 Literary Agents Actively Seeking Writers posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “Here are two agents actively building their client lists. Brent is a new agent at TriadaUS. Lana is an established agent with a list of clients that she is seeking to expand. In terms of genre, they are looking for just about everything.”

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 September 29, 2014
October 3, 2014by: Paula
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Let these book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others, provide some inspiration. The topics include launching your book virtually, breaking through writers’ block, finding the right freelance editor, and more. Happy marketing!


* Don’t Wait For Permission: Why Authors Should Be Entrepreneurs

Your book can be the basis for other opportunities such as audio, direct sales, graphic novels, and much more:

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* How to Create a Street Team for Your Book

Discover ways to get your community of followers to help spread the word about your book:

* 5 Networking Tips for Authors

Learn which networking events are worth your time, or not, and why you should have business cards:

* Book Launch Checklist – Before, During, and After Publication

This handy guide covers book inception through your first month of publication (and there’s a downloadable version):

* 5 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Book Editor

Learn what qualities to look for, and more importantly, where you can find qualified editors:

* An Author’s Best Friends: Booksellers and Librarians

People who buy and sell books for a living are valuable contacts. Here’s how you can maximize the relationship:

* Breaking Through Writer’s Block 

There are different reasons you hit a wall; get some suggestions for how to get writing again:

* 5 Guidelines for Approaching Book Review Bloggers

If you’d like to get book reviews, these tips will help you identify the best bloggers for your book:

* 10 Steps to Launch Your Book Virtually

Ready to publish your book? These ideas will give you some ways to let readers know your book is available:

* 14 Never-Fail Tricks Every Writer Needs to Know

Great ideas for getting your book back on track:

The Secrets Behind Book Categories on Amazon
October 2, 2014by: Penny
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Amazon Categories - blog_pinDid you know that Amazon is actually two websites? Well, it’s probably more than that, but for books, it’s two sites: one for the eBook and one for print. The thing is, it’s not evident that this is the case. Why does it matter? When you’re picking a category on Amazon it’s important to know that you have more than a few options.

First, let me take you through the whole idea behind the Amazon category selection.

Amazon allows you up to two categories per book, so two broad categories. But you don’t want broad, you want narrow.  For example, for my book: How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon, I picked a narrow niche within the “business/marketing” category. I picked “direct marketing,” which was a subset of that broader genre and  (at the time) it only had 41 other books in it which meant that it was an easy category to dominate. If you can dominate a category (meaning be number one) you can start to trigger the Amazon internal algorithm to get more book exposure.

In my classes on this topic, I’ve shared this link:


Which takes you to this page:

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The blue links take you to a dropdown menu which will help you delve into that category even deeper. Traditionally this has been the best way to find your narrow, niche, category. But now there’s another way, and in a minute I’ll show you why this really matters.

So, head on over to and on the search bar, highlight “Kindle Store” and click GO. Don’t put anything in the search bar. What this does is it drops you to the eBook side of Amazon, so the other half of the Amazon book site. You’ll see a page that pops up that looks similar to this:

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Though, obviously the books will change depending on what’s on their internal bestseller list.

From here, click Kindle eBooks on the left hand side. Now you can start doing searches based on your market/genre. But here’s the surprising thing. Most authors don’t use this method. How do I know this? Well, have a look. Let’s say you’re a business author and you have a book on business leadership. Here is the page you’ll wind up on. Note the categories off to the left.

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Now let’s dig deeper. Let’s say you have a book on business life. So anything related to health and business, business organization, even work-life-balance. Here is the page you’ll see:

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Now, take a closer look at the category “work life balance” … it only has 132 books in it. Is that possible? Yes, it is. The reason is that many publishers don’t know to do a second category search this way so they’re putting their books in overly crammed categories that seem to fit. Here’s another thing. The categories you’ll get doing this search look different than the ones you’ll get using that other URL I shared so it’s a good idea to do both searches.

Remember, you are allowed broad categories but you want a narrow subset of those categories. Like the Work/Life/Balance one that has few competing titles.

Also, remember if your book is fiction that themes are very active on Amazon now. We did a post on that a while back. See:

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – September 29, 2014
September 29, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week we have posts offering insights on social media, writing, getting published, and book marketing. Thank you to all of the contributors!

Social Media

Hazel Longuet submitted Pinterest Growth: The Best Kept Secret For Growing your Pinterest Following & Gaining Repins posted at A Novel Experience, saying, “Pinterest is fast becoming one of the largest and most influential Social Media sites. Grow your Pinterest followers and gain more exposure for your pins in a simple 10 minute a day routine in-conjunction with, the web’s best kept Pinterest secret, Viralwoot. I’ll show you the steps to take – it’s free & I’m giving you a gift at the end. What could be better?”

pinterest graphic

Book Marketing

Sarah Bolme submitted Are You Using This Book Selling Technique? posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Pinterest is a social media site that is growing and one that should not be ignored when marketing a book. Learn one quick technique to effectively promote your book on Pinterest.”


Janet Ursel submitted Haiku Cows and Twitter posted at Janet Ursel, saying, “What’s your daily warm-up exercise?”

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted Agents Looking for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers posted at Publishing … And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “Science fiction and fantasy never go out of style, so if you write in either of these genres, you are in luck. Here is a list of reputable agents who represent fantasy and/or science fiction novels. All of them are accepting queries as of this writing.”

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 September 22, 2014
September 26, 2014by: Paula
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book with cashWe’ve collected some of the top book marketing tweets to help guide your promotion, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include why your book sales suck, how to create compelling book covers, what readers want from authors on social media, and more. Happy marketing!


* Why Authors Must Be Marketers

Whether you self-publish or have a traditional publishing deal you need to know how to market your books:

* What Readers Want from Authors on Social Media

There are five things readers respond to, starting with inspiration. Learn what you can do:

* 4 Steps to Take Charge of Your Book Launch

You want to start off on the right foot so your book has a fighting chance:

* 10 Book Marketing Mistakes Self-Published Authors Make

Don’t just publish your book and expect the sales to take off. Here’s what you need to do first:

* How to Create Compelling Book Covers in 15 Minutes

Book covers are a vital part of your book’s success. Get some tips from Guy Kawasaki:

* Advice to Writers Seeking Literary Agents

Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest books pulled together some of the best advice from agents. Here are their tips:

* Tips for Vetting a Book Blogger’s Platform

So, you want to do a blog tour? Or you’re looking for book reviewers? Here’s how you can determine which bloggers have enough of an audience:

* 8 Reasons Why Your Book Sales Suck

Use this list to figure out what you need to do to improve your marketing and sell more books:

Have You Been Forgetting Social Bookmarking?
September 25, 2014by: Penny
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Social Bookmarking - blog_pin



With all the buzz around marketing on Facebook, Pinterest and Google Plus, many of us have forgotten the power behind social bookmarking. What is social bookmarking? Well, it’s not that dissimilar from bookmarking a site you want to return to because you like it, only you’re doing this socially. So, you’re telling the world about your latest blog post or you can also social bookmark pages on your website. Ready to get started? Here are a few places you can try:



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