The Book Marketing Blogby Penny Sansevieri
April 7, 2015
Welcome to Tip #50 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!
The Power and SEO Behind Blog Commenting
For the past five or so years, we’ve organized teams to support an author’s efforts to increase the SEO of his or her website. We’ve done this a number of ways, but the biggest and most powerful was – and is – blog commenting.
When we first launched teams to offer blog commenting, most people didn’t have a clue how powerful this type of marketing was. Most Internet people did and have been doing it ever since. Now it’s become more mainstream, and everyone seems to want to jump on the blog commenting bandwagon. But let me caution you, because there’s a right way and a very wrong way to do this. I’ll explain both.
Creating a Blog Commenting Plan
The first step in blog commenting is creating a plan and, of course, knowing who you’ll be engaging with. Here are a few ways you can get started:
Deciding who to follow: Who will become part of your online networking tribe? These are the people influential to your industry. They might be competitors to you, or spokespeople. They might also be authorities in one way or another. Whoever they are and whatever they offer, it should somehow dial into what you are promoting. I recommend that you make a list of the top 5-10 names. Don’t go overboard for now. I’m sure there are more people you could engage with but to start, I want you to focus just on a few. You can grow the rest of your list from there.
Once you have your list, you’ll want to start following their blogs and also find out where they are appearing. This might mean commenting off of their website, I’ll explain in a minute why that’s important. First, let’s look at how you can organize this information:
RSS feeds: This is the quickest and simplest way to get started. Subscribe to their RSS feeds and keep all of these in your online reader. That way you can spend a few minutes in the morning going through your blog posts to see which ones you want to comment on.
Twitter: This is another great way to find content to blog on. Follow your favorites on Twitter and follow the links to their blogs. This will often give you great insights into the biggest and most popular posts on their website. Don’t forget to comment on their Twitter posts too!
Google Alerts: Another great system for finding good content to comment on. Plug in the names of the folks you’re following. Also, enter their blog URLs too! Often bloggers will reference a blog post and not the name of the person blogging. Having this link as one of your Alerts will allow you to follow each and every mention of this blogger. So, why do you want to blog off their site? Anytime a blogger is featured on a website, it’s likely that site is one you’ll want to follow too. Or, at some point you may also want to blog comment on that site as well. It’s a great way to network with folks who might one day interview you or feature your book!
Tips for a Great SEO Plan
Frequency: I generally recommend you try to comment on 3-5 blogs a week. I also recommend you spend no more than 30 minutes a day ferreting through blogs and posting, anything more becomes a time-drain that will prevent you from keeping up this work.
Engagement: Remember that each comment is no different than a post you would write for your own blog. You’d never consider writing “great post!” on your site and leave it at that, right? You should consider writing short but thoughtful posts for your blog comments. Offer additional insight, another perspective, or a link to where the reader can get more information. Don’t be salesy, that’s the first way you’ll get blasted.
Quality over Quantity: As per the above note: make it count. Don’t worry about the amount of posts you do, but spend the time considering the quality of the comment itself. You’ll find much better engagement and response when you do.
Where’s the Juice: The SEO juice from this strategy will be apparent in the incoming links that now direct to your site. Each time you post a comment it will ask you for your URL (if you’re already registered on a particular site, the login will remember your URL and post it in each comment). While not all blogs allow follow links, there’s a lot of debate on no-follow blogs and whether they are still good for SEO. What is “no follow”? No follow is a term used in the SEO world to describe sites that can block your outbound link (the link to your site), using a No Follow Tag. See here for more on no follow: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=96569
The No Follow essentially tells Google not to consider your link when ranking for algorithm. Even though you may get referral traffic, Google will act as if you aren’t even on the site. Meaning, you may get traffic from the link, but no “link juice” per se. This deters a lot of SEO people, but my take is this: If a link from a high-traffic site will get you traffic, why not post there? We still see a significant amount of traffic from links posted on No Follow sites. Also, keep in mind that search engines pay a lot of attention to social sites like Twitter and Facebook which are both No Follows.
The point being, a strong SEO plan should include blog commenting. Not just for the SEO benefits, but for the engagement and connections blog commenting brings with it. Consistent, high quality posts will not only bring you great traffic, but also fantastic connections as well.
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April 2, 2015
Welcome to our April “Social Media Series.” This month, we’ll focus on why it’s critical to use social media to publicize your book, and how to increase your book promotion with social media tips.
Facebook Frenzy – are you using Facebook to market your book? If not, you certainly should be. Check out these important Facebook stats and tips on the best time to post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!
Facebook Stats Did You Know?
- 30 million businesses now have a Facebook Fan Page.
- 19 million businesses have optimized their Fan Page for Mobile. Have you?
- 5 million businesses now spend money on Facebook ads.
- Businesses are paying 122% more per ad unit on Facebook than they did a year ago.
- 399 million Facebook users only use Facebook on mobile each month
- 928 million people use Facebook on a daily basis, this number increased from 802 million last quarter.
- 63% of Facebook users engage on a daily basis
- If you wonder where your time is going, check this out: The average Facebook user spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook, this number used to be 20 minutes.
- Not quite sure about Instagram? This image-driven platform is used by 200 million people each month.
- Not using video on Facebook? Maybe you should: Twice as many people now watch videos on Facebook in their feed compared to just six months ago.
When is a Good Time to Post on Social Media?
While the exact right time and date for optimal posting does vary by industry (and you should keep an eye on your stats), there are some great guidelines to follow:
According to Social Media Today, Facebook engagement is higher (by 18%) on Thursdays and Fridays meaning that the best time to schedule your most important posts is towards the end of the week. BufferSocial reported that 1pm is the best time to get shares while 3pm gets the most clicks (all times EST).
According to MediaBistro, Twitter engagement increased by 30% on the weekend. During the week engagement on this site peaks between 1 and 3PM EST – which correlates with lunch breaks!
SocialNewsDaily says that the best time to post on G+ is 9am and 11am and the worst times are 6pm and 7amEST. Mid-week posts tend to get higher visibility on G+ and 9am Weds is a great time to post as well!
Because LinkedIn is so B2B driven, it would make sense that their optimal times are between 7am and 8:30AM and 5 to 6PM. Also (according to IT World) Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to post on LinkedIn.
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March 31, 2015
Welcome to Tip #49 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!
Twitter is a great way to meet people, develop relationships, and promote yourself and your book or business. But it’s important to avoid being seen as someone who just self promotes.
Most of your tweets should be about helping others, but you also need to inject some personality, to put the “social” into social networking and help people get to know you. Here are 50 ideas for tweeting or promoting:
1. Teach stuff – teach a little mini-lesson on Twitter. Delve into your area of expertise or just talk about book publishing and how to get published.
2. Share sites or blogs that your followers would be interested in. Be their “filter” to new and exciting information.
3. Use Socialoomph.com to post tweets to your account for later posting so you don’t have to be sitting on top of Twitter every minute of the day.
4. Use Twitter as a news source: you can easily announce news both from your world (as long as it relates to your topic) and from the world of your expertise. For example, I’ve done tweets on book industry stuff, breaking news, etc.
5. Widen your network – follow other Twitter folk, this will not only give you some ideas for your own “tweets” but it’s a great way to network with other writers or professionals.
6. Offer advice: use Tweetdeck.com or Twitter Search (search.twitter.com) to see who’s asking for info on your area of expertise and then offer them some help/insight. This is a great way to build relationships.
7. It’s ok to market yourself but be careful about pimping your stuff too much.
8. Be original, useful and helpful.
9. If you’re on tour with your book or doing an event, tweet on that and invite your local followers to attend.
10. Tweet any good reviews your book gets, it’s always fun to share the good stuff!
11. Every Tweet counts (don’t tell people you’re washing your cat); don’t just tweet on useless stuff or you’ll lose followers.
12. It’s not all about you (again, back to the cat) people want to know useful stuff, I know, it’s getting repetitive but there’s a reason: it’s important.
13. Promote your Twitter account in your email signature line and on your blog
14. Network: don’t expect your followers to grow if you’re not following other people. Network; search for others in your area and follow them.
15. Personal is ok. Even though I said not to post useless information it’s still not a bad idea to (from time to time) post a personal Tweet or two. Provide value and twitter-followers will beat a path to your door.
16. Follow everyone who follows you. You can use sites like Socialoomph.com to autofollow everyone who follows you. These services can also send a nice welcome message to your new followers.
17. There is a lot of noise on Twitter, and the sooner you get comfortable with that the better. It’s like being at one massive cocktail party; you have to find ways to filter out the noise. Sites like SocialOomph can help you do that.
18. Embed a link or some other sign-up in your welcome message; this is another great way to capture emails for your newsletter (assuming you have one).
19. Use sites like SocialOomph or Twitter Search to see who’s talking about you and then follow them, too, or comment on their tweet.
20. It’s ok to repeat your tweets. With the volume of messages people get your followers will often miss some of your posts.
21. Feed your blog through Twitter using Twitterfeed.com.
22. Join Help a Reporter out: @petershankman for tweets on media leads (it’s a great service!).
23. Don’t feel like you have to respond to every tweet, but I generally try to respond to all tweets that are replies to mine (you can find these under @replies on your Twitter home page).
24. Want to stay on top of your market and find stuff to Tweet about? Then go to Alltop.com and search for your category. There are thousands of them up there. Here are a few to consider: alltop.com, twitter.alltop.com and publishing.alltop.com.
25. Review a product or book on Twitter.
26. Follow big names in your market on Twitter: this will often bring in their followers too, and you want to see what the “big guys” are up to.
27. Get a good picture: don’t leave your avatar blank. Personalize your page if you can, but a good Twitter picture is a must.
28. Tweetbeep.com is a lot like Google alerts. You can plug in your keywords and you’re pinged each time they are used.
29. Are you ready to add pictures to your Tweets? Then head on over to Twitpic.com, this site will let you upload pictures and tweet to them.
30. Use YouTube to share helpful videos you think your followers will love.
31. Music on Twitter is also possible thanks to TwittyTunes (http://twittytunes.en.softonic.com). This site is great for sharing music and it has a simple Firefox add-on that lets you Twitter on music you’re currently listening to!
32. Invite people to subscribe to your ezine and offer an incentive.
33. Introduce other authors or experts to each other or to your Twitter followers (they should also be on Twitter)
34. Participate in Follow Fridays #FF and Writer Wednesdays #WW. Recommend your favorite tweeters by using the #followfriday or #FF hashtag along with their user names.
35. Link to your own articles and blog posts. Shorten the URL using bit.ly so you can track the number of clicks you get.
36. Link to great videos.
37. Ask for advice or ask questions that encourage responses.
38. Comment on someone’s interesting Twitter background or clever bio.
39. Offer a free downloadable ebook or sample chapter, with no strings attached.
40. Thank others for mentioning you on Twitter.
41. Link to an interesting Wikipedia entry on your topic or specialty.
42. Link to a transcript from an interesting Twitter chat.
43. Post an inspirational quote or message.
44. Link to other blogs, helpful articles.
45. Reply to someone else’s Twitter post.
46. Run a contest.
47. Promote a special offer exclusively to your Twitter tribe.
48. Retweet (RT) someone else’s posts, it’s a great way to network!
49. Thank someone for RTing your post; it’s always great to acknowledge someone for doing that!
50.Talk about the latest trends in your industry.
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March 27, 2015
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March 25, 2015
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I adore the X-Files. I’m a huge fan of this series so when they announced that the show was coming back to Fox for six episodes, I was over the moon (no, really, you have no idea). Then I read this piece in Forbes and realized that this was less about what the fans wanted and more about the fact that the show a) makes a sweet amount of money for Fox via Netflix and b) this is the season of the series and serialization. This show does well, even 13 years after it aired which is pretty amazing.
Still not seeing how this relates to book marketing? Let me break this down in a different way. For a long time Amazon has had their own version of Netflix in Amazon Prime but it wasn’t until they launched Kindle Unlimited that things really started to kick up another notch. Now, for $9.99 a month you can “rent” books via their subscription service and while a lot of folks (authors) have been complaining about this service I think that if used correctly, it’s a great way to bring fans to your book.
When I teach classes and speak with authors, I often talk about “short is the new long” and what I mean by that is shorter books are gaining immense popularity. This does not mean that long books are going away, far from it. But shorter books are a great way to bring more exposure to your main title. Let me give you an example:
Let’s say you have a book out or two books in a series. They’re average length books that are doing ok on Amazon, maybe not great. You’d like to do more with them. How about creating spin off books with various characters, all of them tied to the original series? Now you’re pushing out more books and more content that are leading readers to your main books and you can use Kindle Unlimited to do this. The key here is that your core focus stays on the series or the main theme of the single book, if you just have one.
If you don’t know how Kindle Unlimited works, let me take you through it. So you have to have your book or books in KDP Select in order get your books enrolled in the program, once you’re in there you are now added to a growing list of titles that are free to paid KU subscribers. So let’s say you wrote three shorter spin off books that are 50 or 75 pages and they’re in KDP Select so they are in Kindle Unlimited. Guess what? With the added exposure that Kindle Unlimited gives you, your shorter spin off books are getting picked up and leading readers to your main titles!
The other element (with a nod to the TV industry) is serialization on WattPad. So WattPad is a site where authors can share their work and in so doing, build readership. They are often sharing a chapter at a time, so releasing a book in episodic format and by doing this, you are now bringing readers back to your original book.
The thing to remember is that consumers are discovering content in different ways now and Netflix is a large part of this change. Back when the first season of House of Cards ended The West Wing (a show that ended in 2006) started trending. Why? Well the guess was that House of Cards was feeding the interest in politically based shows.
Consumers are looking for content and it’s a rare occurrence that new readers just stumble on a single book, they are often led there in other ways. Sure, you can lead them there with social media but even that reach is getting competitive in its own right, you can lead them there with video and blog posts but you still have to get them to your website, so perhaps an even more powerful way is to lead them to your book using other, shorter books.
This technique, by the way, works regardless of the age of your book. So let’s say you have a title that’s older but still relevant. Why not create spin off books that push more attention to the original title.
This also feeds into another trend I’m seeing about striving to own the virtual bookshelf, populating your category with more of your books, to increase the odds that a fan of your genre will stumble across one of your titles, which will also help drive more interest to your older books. Creating shorter books is the easiest, most effective way to do that.
The overarching message here is that subscription services and serialization are changing the face of marketing, perhaps faster than any of us expected it would. Readers are devouring content quicker and no longer sticking to “one author”, if they’re interested in science fiction for example, they want to experiment and explore new titles and new voices. Gaining more attention using the subscription model with a goal of owning the shelf in mind, will help spread your message much farther than on social media or through your blog alone.
This is the future of book publishing.
I do believe.
And by the way, here’s the Forbes article I mentioned at the beginning of this post:
March 24, 2015
Welcome to Tip #48 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!
Twenty Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Website and Blog
Increasing traffic to our website and/or blog can be a full-time job. But it doesn’t have to be. If you understand a few simple principles before implementing Search Engine Marketing (SEM), you’ll save time and build a strong and steady stream of traffic to your website.
First, it’s important to know how search engines like Google rank you and measure traffic online.
Page Rank: Google Page Rank, or GPR, is a number (between 1-10) that Google assigns to a website to indicate importance. The higher the page rank, the more important the site is. Sites like MSNBC have a high page rank, often nine or ten. Niche sites are lower. Our site is between a 4 and 5. If you’re targeting sites for incoming links, make sure their GPR is high enough to matter. Not sure what it should be? Google your keyword and identify sites in your market. The top five to ten sites will tell you what page rank you should seek.
Google’s System: Google ranks websites using two methods: Relevance and authority. Relevance means relevance to the search. Authority is different and critical if you want more traffic for your website.
Authority is how important Google determines your site is and depends not just on the content of your site, but the types of sites that link to you. If your site has 1,000 incoming links from sites with low GPR, you won’t get much authority from Google. Conversely, if you want incoming links you should pursue higher targeted sites and get fewer of them. When I started blogging for Huffington Post, which has a GPR of 8, I found that our GPR 4/5 site benefited from the inbound link the column provided.
Since the majority of us search through Google, understanding the intricacies of this massive search engine is vital to getting better results. Let’s look at some smart SEO tactics for getting website traffic:
- Social content: Have something “social” on your site, whether it’s a blog, forum or even social networking. The easiest and best of these is a blog.
- Update often: Always provide fresh content. This helps your rank. What’s the best way to add fresh content to your site? A blog is often the quickest means.
- Social media tools: Learn how to effectively use sites like Facebook and Twitter. To expert SEO people, they are considered “feeder sites,” meaning they can feed a lot of traffic to your website. My recommendation: use your Fan Page to promote your work and leave the profile for your personal life.
- Keywords: The term “keywords” often conjures up the idea that hours of research are involved to find the perfect keywords for your site. Even if you can only invest an hour, it’s well worth it. The quickest way to determine the right keywords for your site is via Google’s keyword tool: http://www.googlekeywordtool.com/ . You’ll want to plug in your topic and see how people search on it. The keywords they use are valuable to you.
- Ranking for a particular keyword: Many of us want to rank higher for a particular keyword or phrase. Here’s a little-known SEO secret for better ranking: after you determine what keywords you want to rank for, use them in your URL, YouTube channel if you have one, as your Facebook Page name and even for your Twitter account. It’s likely the search term you want to rank for won’t be available in any of these properties so you’ll have to be creative. Here’s what we did: Back in August 2010 I had our website redesigned. I wanted to rank for Book Marketing. The results for our site were OK, but often we would show up on Page two of Google. I bought the URL bookmarketingAME.com because bookmarketing.com wasn’t available. Why bookmarketingame.com? Whatever you tack onto the end of your keyword URL doesn’t matter and AME are the initials of my company. Using your name or some other branding at the end of the URL is fine, what matters is the first word or words. When I did that (and I renamed our Facebook Page and YouTube channel too, but not my Twitter account because so many people associate me with @bookgal) I found that within three months, our site went from Page two to Page one of Google, often sitting in the #3 position. Did it help with traffic? You bet it did.
- Words on your website: Once you’ve identified keywords, use them on your site. Make sure they are on your home page specifically because that’s the page Google sees and shows in searches.
- Video: If you’re not shy, are a great speaker and have an interesting story to tell or great tips for your audience, consider getting a YouTube channel. It’s a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site.
- Page titles: Page titles are the words that show up in the top frame of your browser, above the search bar. Most of us forget to give our page titles a name and when Google reads them, it sees things like “home page,” which is the least descriptive phrase you can use. Use your keywords in your page titles and be sure to title each page of your site.
- Blog commenting: This is a powerful tool that we’ve been using for years. Few realize the benefits blog commenting can bring to a site. Identify the top five to ten blogs in your market and follow them. When there’s a post you like or something you want to say, post a comment. When you sign into the blog you should include your URL, this is an incoming link from that blog to your site, which will help you with your ranking, authority, and traffic.
- Identify your competition: If you want incoming links, see who’s linking to your competition. How do you search for incoming links? Pop the following into your Google search box: linkdomain:www.website.com.
- Own your blog: Whether you have just a blog, or the blog is part of your website, you need to own it. That means your blog is hosted where your site is hosted. Instead of a domain name that reads: wordpress.nameofblog.com it says: www.yoursite.com/blog. You should do this because the benefits to your site from an active blog are enormous. If your blog is sitting on a WordPress site, only WordPress benefits from your hard work. You want the ranking and incoming links that a blog can provide.
- Blog frequently: I recommend a minimum of twice weekly. Your blogs don’t have to be long; in fact, some of my blogs are no more than fifty words.
- Share and share alike: If you don’t have sharing widgets on your site (Upload to Facebook, Tweet This!, etc.) then have your designer add it to the site asap. Most blogging software includes these widgets.
- Get social: To generate a lot of traffic we syndicate our blog to sites like Facebook and Twitter. Running feeds is easy. I ran my Twitter feed through SocialOomph.com and then linked it to Facebook. When I blog, it automatically feeds the post through Twitter and then Twitter feeds it to Facebook. Am I worried about too much duplicate content? Not really. I think people enter your message through different doors. The people who find you on Twitter may not be the same people who Like your page on Facebook.
- Use Anchor Text: This is the hyperlinked text that you click on to follow a link. Most people use words like “click here” or other nebulous terms. If used correctly, anchor text can really increase your site traffic. First, anchor text should be descriptive as opposed to “page link” or something general. I recommend that you use your keywords. Where should you use anchor text? Anywhere. You can use it on your blog linking to other content on your site or someone else’s. You can use it on other blogs linking to your site (this is preferred).
- Write good headlines: People judge a blog post by its headline, and when you’re subscribed to a lot of blog feeds (as I am) you know that readers will pick and choose the blogs they read based on the titles. Don’t make readers guess your topic, be specific and be benefit-driven.
- Time tip: I try to post by 7am EST (8am at the latest). Studies have shown that people have more time to read blogs and emails before 9am EST so complete all your posts by then.
- Bookmark your posts: Tag each of your blog posts with your keywords on social networking sites. You must create accounts for each of these first. Consider: digg.com, del.icio.us, yahoo.com, blinklist.com, and reddit.com.
- Analyze traffic: Google Analytics is the easiest to learn, manage and install. Monitor this data a few times a month to see where your traffic is coming from and whether your work to attract people to your site results in unique visitors.
- Picture this: Bring traffic to your blog with photos and images; people searching online for those images may be directed to your site.
- One thing to remember: Nothing happens overnight, especially online. Some of the best and most solid traffic is built slowly over time. This doesn’t mean that you won’t see a spike, and in some cases even double or triple your current numbers, but solid ranking and searchability take time. How soon should you begin? Got a book idea? Start now. You’ll be glad you did.
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March 19, 2015
It’s hard to believe our blog has been live and active for TEN YEARS now. Wow! Over the past decade, we have shared a ton of content and hopefully you have found it helpful and maybe you’ve even learned a thing or two.
Do you ever go back and browse old blog content? Old doesn’t always mean outdated. If you haven’t already, check out my post over at Future of Ink titled Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose: 20 Ways To Maximize Existing Content And Cut Your Blogging Time in Half. Revisiting previous blog posts that you’ve written is a great way to maximize content, build on ideas, serve as inspiration and even save blogging time. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
In that spirit, I invite you to check out one of my favorite previously written blog posts. It’s a blast from the past, titled Would You Like Fries With That? and the suggestions given still hold true today. It’s all about the power of the up sell, or bundling products which is super hot right now. I hope you find these posts helpful!
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March 17, 2015
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
I 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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March 14, 2015
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:
* 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:
March 12, 2015
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!
1) 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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