Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
Why a Newsletter is a Marketing Must
September 5, 2014by: Penny
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Electronic newsletters have been around for as long as I’ve been in business; prior to that, I can remember getting them in the mail. Newsletters seem very 1990’s don’t they?

They don’t have the flash of “new media” or the shimmer of a shiny new social media site just waiting to be discovered, but what they do have is visibility. In some cases, more visibility than you’re getting on all of your social media sites combined.

At the Romance Writers of America conference this year, there was a lot of buzz around newsletters and why you need one.

Why? Well, we all know that Facebook has declined in reach, in some cases only 1% of your posts reach your fans.Newsletter marketing must 2

If you’re not paying for placement on Facebook, it’s very likely your stuff isn’t being seen. And with everyone on sites like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter (which also will start monetizing posts) it’s really hard to get your audiences’ attention.

If you decide to publish a newsletter, it doesn’t have to be long. I know some authors that just use their newsletter to “touch” their audience with a brief (500 word) update.

Your newsletter doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be consistent. And it has to be professional and on point.

I’m amazed by how many people still have no idea how to manage their own newsletter. I see sloppy copy or newsletters that haven’t been edited (am I really going to buy from someone who doesn’t have the time to edit their newsletter or make it look nice?).

I also see newsletters that veer off topic so much that I instantly unsubscribe. And, my absolute favorite: how on earth did I ever end up with this newsletter in the first place?

If used correctly, newsletters can be a great way to get your message out there, offer helpful advice, keep people in your marketing funnel, or simply remind them of who you are. We’ve had our newsletter for fourteen years and it’s been a solid way to stay in front of our audience and educate them about their market and what we do as a company.

Candidly, I would consider getting rid of a lot of things, but never our newsletter. It’s often the single biggest business driver to our company. It’s not easy, it requires work, but the rewards are tremendous.

Quick Starts

Convinced you need a newsletter? Here are some quick ways to start it:

Newsletter visibility tip #11)    Make sure the sign-up is on the home page and every page of your website. Typically the right hand side is preferred since it’s considered the “power side” of your website:

2)    Give a great offer to get folks to sign up. By great offer I mean something they’ll want. If you’re a fiction author you can give exclusive content from your book, a gift card (hold a monthly drawing for one gift card) or some other valuable content your readers will want.

3)    Make sure you have a mail system to manage it like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact and create an auto-responder:

An auto-responder is a great way to stay in touch with your reader/consumer and remind them of who you are. An auto-responder might go out weekly, or monthly, or it might just be a one-time “gift” you send readers for signing up.

Our auto-responder is our 52 Ways to Sell More Books which is separated into 52 segments and delivered twice monthly into our readers’ inboxes.

Be on the look out for next post in this series, Part 2: Newsletter Publishing Best Practices.


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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of September 1, 2014
September 5, 2014by: Paula
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Here are some hot topics in book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others, that will provide some valuable tips and resources. The issues covered include top 30 websites for indie authors, tools to help indie authors find readers, an update on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, and more. Happy marketing!


* Top 30 Websites for Indie Authors

There’s a lot of great advice out there for authors, and this is a list of blogs and bloggers that offer some really useful information on a regular basis. Be sure to check these sites out:

30 Top Indie Websites 3 - blog_pin

* Put Calls to Action in the Back Of Your Books to Sell More Books 

This form of marketing is a great way to connect with your readers and ask them to take action. Learn what you can include in the back of your book:

* 8 Important Questions to Ask Before You Publish Your Book

When you ask (and answer) the right questions, you’ll know if it’s a good time to publish. And, you’ll be able to focus your marketing efforts:

* The Top 10 Publishing Mistakes Every Author Should Avoid

All authors should be aware of these issues before publishing a book:

* 6 Ways the Pros Solve Writers Block 

Has your writing muse gone on vacation? It can happen, but learn what the pros do when the words aren’t flowing:

* 110+ Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers/Reviewers

This list is a great resource (and it’s updated too!):

* 10 Social Media Rules Every Author Needs to Know

Get a rundown of basic social media etiquette for authors:

* Taking a Closer Look at Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited

This is a nice overview of how the program works, along with pros and cons of joining Kindle Unlimited:

The Importance of Consistency: Tip #20 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
September 2, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #20 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 Importance of Consistency

Tip 20Despite what we may think about the power and flood of information coming at us from a multitude of different places there is still something we all crave: consistency. We want it, need it, and value it. That’s why no matter what your platform, no matter how you disseminate the information whether it’s through your blog, Twitter, or Facebook, the importance of consistency can’t be overstated. Here’s the point: OK, so we have tons of stuff coming at us all day long but let’s pretend for a minute that at 6pm on the dot, you always turn on the evening news. Then, one day at 6pm you turn on the TV to find that the programming has changed. They’re showing an old episode of Frasier. The next day, it’s changed again. Confusing, isn’t it?

It’s really no different when you change your messaging and/or focus in your campaign. Here’s a tip: despite how busy we all are we still want consistency. We want to know exactly what we’re getting otherwise why waste our time?

Give your readers what they want then give it to them in a consistent fashion. Stay on message, on focus and keep to your topic. In other words if they’re expecting the evening news, don’t give ‘em Frasier. Don’t surprise your reader or your reader might surprise you by leaving.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of August 25, 2014
August 29, 2014by: Paula
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We’re highlighting some top book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others, to help you with your book promotion efforts. The topics include becoming media friendly to sell more books, reaching readers via your local library, creating the perfect book title, and more. Happy marketing!


* 8 Important Questions to Ask Before You Publish Your Book

When you ask the right questions, you’ll be able to focus your marketing on the right target audience:

library book sign

* How to Reach Readers via Your Library

Several authors explain how they found success with their local libraries:

* 8 Essential Tips for a Successful Book Reading by a Self-Published Author

What should an author expect from his or her first reading?

* 12 Twitter Marketing Tips From the Pros

Learn about the latest Twitter marketing strategies so you can get the most out of the network:

* 5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Book Title

There are several factors to consider when it’s time to give your book a title:

* What Do You Do With Those Fab Book Blurbs After You Get Them?

Think visual – you want everyone to see what others say about your book:

* Do Authors Really Need a Blog?

This question still crops up, and the general consensus is yes. Here’s why:

* Why Self-Published Books Look Self-Published

There are some common errors that occur in self-published books. Learn what to avoid:

* How to be Media Friendly to Sell More Books

Make it easy for the media to help you promote your books:

Top 30 Websites for Indie Authors
August 29, 2014by: Penny
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Trying to build your writing and publishing career is a challenge. There’s a lot of information out there, and trying to discern a solid piece of advice from fluff or inaccurate data isn’t always easy. We are lucky to know a lot of really outstanding industry people who offer great insights, super tips, and valued feedback on a variety of marketing topics and publishing options. Here’s our list of the top 30 blogs and bloggers we really respect. We hope you’ll follow them, too!

1 - One of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers, Ann updates on Sundays and her blog includes regular contributions from former Big Six editor, Ruth Harris.

2 - Books and Such is a Literary Management Agency. They sell books to a wide range of publishers in such categories as women’s fiction, general fiction, nonfiction, gift books, easy readers, and chapter books. - Jeff Goins started his blog in 2010, with a few burning questions in mind: How do successful writers make a living? What does it really take to get published? And, how do you pursue a passion? He shares tips on writing, creativity and making a difference.

4 - Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor, believes your writing practice needs to be directed in a positive way. Write to Done helps you learn new skills, practice them and become a better writer.

5 Jody posts on her blog every Tuesday. She offers advice, encouragement, and inspiration based on all that she’s learned about writing, publication, and marketing in today’s tough publishing industry.

6 - Jane Friedman, former publisher of Writer’s Digest, specializes in educating writers about the publishing industry—from all perspectives, without hype or bias—to help them make the best long-term decisions for their careers. The Alliance of Independent Authors has awarded her a “Top Website for Self-Publishers” 30 Top Indie Websites 3 - blog_pin

7 - K.M. Weiland mentors authors through her blog. Her blog is one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers.

8 - Shelley and Heather of Training Authors have a goal to help authors achieve book marketing success. Their site is full of resources and free downloads.

9 - David Gaughran focuses on how to get visible and sell more books. He has written several books on these topics and shares tons of info about self-publishing.

10 - Rachelle is a Literary Agent for Books and Such. She started her blog as a way to create a community of writers both published and seeking publication.

11 - Sandra Beckwith has more than 25 years of experience as a publicist. She shares tips and writes on currently relevant topics for authors. Build Book Buzz was awarded a “Top Website for Self-Publishers” by The Alliance of Independent Authors.

12 - Cathy Stucker shares useful tips and techniques for writing, publishing and selling books. She has free downloads available to help authors build their platform.

13 - Offers review and editing services. You can become a member for additional perks and discounts.

14 - Toni and Shannon, the self-publishing team are passionate about helping indie authors publish their work and build dedicated fan bases.

15 - Catherine writes from Ireland and talks a lot about self-publishing. Her posts are fun and informative.

16 Julie Isaac, the founder of has provided tools, solutions, and support to thousands of writers since 2003.

17 - If you’ve written a Christian book, Sarah Bolme offers guidance on marketing within that market.

18 - Frances Caballo shares tips and suggestions for using social media to your advantage to market your work.

19 Louise Myers talks all about the power of social media graphics, and offers tips on how you can make your presence more visually appealing.

20 - Writer Unboxed has articles from a ton of contributors that all offer advice and food for thought on the craft and business of writing fiction.

21 - An author himself, Hugh doesn’t just use his site to promote his own work, he uses it to help other authors as well.

22 - The Creative Penn is packed with information and resources. The best way to navigate through it all is to click on the “Start here!” link.

23 - Joel Friedlander aka The Book Designer has countless articles (organized into easy to navigate topics) on his site that help self-published authors with every thing you need to know, and do.

24 - Publishers Weekly’s new site dedicated to indie authors, is in Beta mode. They have how-to stories and author profiles, and you can take one of their publishing self-evaluations.

25 -CJ Lyons is a pediatric ER doctor turned NY Times bestselling author. He uses experiences and offers wonderful resources for the self-published author.

26 JA Konrath is an author who blogs a lot about current events in publishing and on topics that authors should familiarize themselves with.

27 – Johnny, Sean and Dave will speak to you. Literally. Interactive and helpful advice.

28 – A Fantasy author herself, Lindsay doesn’t just promote her own work on her website. She also promotes other authors AND writes blog posts with helpful advice on self-publishing.

29 – The Future of Ink has a lot of content directed at helping authors navigate their marketing choices. Denise Wakeman and Ellen Britt have pulled together a huge list of experts and great articles. Don’t miss this one!

30 – Everything about indie authors, books and the independent book scene all in one spot.

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Host a Video Contest: Tip #19 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
August 26, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #19 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!

Host a Video Contest!

Tip 19

We all know video is super popular but is there a way you use video to engage your readers? You bet. Besides having one professionally created, you could host a contest that encourages readers to create a short video about your book. You’ll need to award some great prizes for this, that goes without saying, but think of the fun you could have with a video contest like this? Especially if your book slants to a younger crowd, a video contest could be a great way to promote your book and get your readers engaged in your message. Check out If you run a contest, you should look to YouTube to be your primary host.

Other video sites that can also be considered:

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – August 25, 2014
August 25, 2014by: Paula
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Welcome to this week’s Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We have advice on getting published, and writing, in this week’s edition. Thank you to all of the contributors!

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted When Not to Contact an Agent: What Writers Should Do During the Dead Month posted at Publishing … And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “Aspiring authors, don’t submit your manuscript to publishers, and don’t send your queries to agents during the ‘dead month.’ Here are 6 things you should be doing instead.”


William Gordon submitted Rejection Blues posted at No Rules Just Write, saying, “C J Lyons published ‘Tales of Editorial Idiocy.’ It cites what many famous bestselling authors were told when they were initially rejected.”


Chrys Fey submitted Writing About: A Wedding posted at Write With Fey, saying, “This post provides tips on how to write the wedding ceremony and reception for a story.”

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 August 18, 2014
August 22, 2014by: Paula
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Get some tips and advice from these book marketing tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include questions to ask your editor, one minute book marketing, when to create video content, and more. Happy marketing!


* 10 Sites Where You Can Get Fabulous Free Photos

These sites offer free resources you can use for your blog, book, articles, and more:

* When Not to Contact an Agent: What Writers Should Do During the Dead Month

August is not the time to submit your manuscript to publishers, or send queries to agents. Here’s what you can do:

* Too Busy to Promote? Try One Minute Book Marketing

Everyone is pressed for time, but there are still ways you can market your book. Try doing these three things daily:

* How to Turn Your Written Content Into Video Content

Video is incredibly popular, and it’s also a great way to re-use your content. Consider these five methods:

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* 15 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Editor Before Hiring Them

Editing is critical to your book’s success. Make sure you’re getting the best editor for your book:

* 8 Essential Tips for a Successful Book Reading by a Self-Published Author

A live event can be a great way to market your book. One author shares her tips for getting the most out of the event:

* 4 Ways to Create Sticky Content

You spend time creating and finding good content to share, but does it have staying power? Learn how to stand out from the crowd:

* Creating a Relationship with Potential Readers

Help your book find readers by building relationships. There are so many opportunities to grow a fanbase. Discover your options:

Who Owns a Hashtag?
August 21, 2014by: Penny
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When you use a hashtag who owns it, really?

Did you know that you can (and maybe should) register your hashtag?

Here’s where to do it:

Hashtags.orgPOSTED Who owns a hashtag 08212014 - blog_pin


When should you register a hashtag?

When it’s part of your branding, ideally, or even part of a larger campaign and you want to be sure and claim ownership of it.



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One Minute Marketing: Tip #18 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
August 19, 2014by: Penny
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Welcome to Tip #18 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!

One Minute Marketing

Tip 18So, you say you’re too busy to market your book? Well, welcome to the club. Most of the authors I work with or coach work day jobs and try to cram in as much marketing as they can after they come home from an exhausting day at the office. Working this way can be completely overwhelming. It’s no wonder most authors only market their books for ninety days. Who could stand to keep up this pace any longer than that? There are so many things authors need to do, most simply don’t know where to start.

Enter the one minute marketer. As tempting as it is, we can’t do everything. It’s just not realistic. Instead, try doing just three things a day. I found that authors are not only more focused this way but tend to be a hundred times more effective. If you’re marketing your own book and you’re becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of the work ahead of you, try doing just three things a day. Some of these will only take you a minute and in one week alone you’ll have promoted your book in fifteen new ways. And remember, your three things don’t have to be earth shattering, they can be as simple as sending a thank you note.

Here are a few ideas you can implement today:

Call your local library and sign up to do a talk. You won’t get paid for this, but they will let you sell your book (for a 10% commission back to the library).

Want to drive more attention to your book? How about creating a contest! Contests are great promotional tools. Design one around the topic of your book. For example, I’ll be holding a contest soon asking people for the top ten things NOT to do when you’re marketing your book. Get the idea?

Pitch your story to a local radio and/or tv station.

How’s your web site these days? Remember, it’s your 24/7 marketing tool so make sure it’s up to date.

And while you’re updating your web site, why not list it on search engines like Google, Alta Vista. Or go over to and let them do it for you…for free!

Have you thought about submitting an article to a topic-related ezine? Ezine publishers are always looking for content! If you currently subscribe to an email newsletter that you’d like to contribute to, email the editor and ask them what their guidelines are.

Have you started calling bookstores for signings? Why not start that today.

Send your thank you notes! Whether it’s to a news person who did a feature on you or to the book store manager who recently hosted your book signing, saying “thank you” is a great marketing tool!

Magazine articles are a great way to get exposure. Why not submit an article (or book excerpt) to a topic-related magazine today?

Are you a member of all the pertinent organizations in your field of writing? If not, you should be. For example, if you wrote a mystery novel you should think about joining a mystery writing group in your area. Not only will you be able to promote your book at meetings but most groups are always looking for speakers.

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