Publishing Insiders Wrap-up: Amp Up Your Book Promotion with Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

by | Aug 26, 2010 | Book Marketing Basics

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We had a lively and informative show this week full of marketing ideas for authors that we hope you’ll find useful!

Dreaming of more civilized times
Image by ilmungo via Flickr

First, Search Engine Marketing expert Susan Gilbert discussed a free new social site: BearHug,

BearHug offers three main features:

* pulse for messages – you can send updates through the web, Twitter, email, RSS, SMS

* answers – your community can ask you questions, which you and other BearHug members can answer

* first rate ratings and reviews allows members to receive and share feedback, opinions and results

There are some great possibilities here, and Susan said she’d have an update once she had more time to see how all the features work. Check it out, it’s free!

For additional resources and tips, check Susan Gilbert’s website,


About our guest: Jo-Anne Vandermeulen hosts a weekly live Blog Talk Radio show, “Authors Articulating,”, where she shares marketing and promotional tips for writers. Learn about the importance of online marketing, as well as tips and insights into top social media networks such as Facebook, Amazon Connect, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads and more! A published author, Jo-Anne’s first book, a women’s fiction (suspense/romance) called Conquer All Obstacles was released in November 2009. Her latest book, a non-fiction resource titled Premium Promotional Tips for Writers, was released in December 2009. She recently created a new online business where she supports and markets her fellow writers: Premium Promotional Services, She offers free marketing tips to authors at

Jo-Anne knew she needed to build an author platform for herself, and was determined to learn how. She began to read and seek information on how to market herself and her book. She discovered a lot of great resources online and began to write about them on her own blog, figuring that she could help others as she was learning. Ultimately, Jo-Anne branched out from blogging about marketing tips to also offering marketing services for authors.

Helpful Shortcuts for Social Media

Image via Wikipedia

All authors have to market themselves, she says, but there are so many options available that it can be overwhelming to develop a strategy. And no one can be online 24/7. Fortunately, there are shortcuts available that can syndicate your content to various social media sites. That way, you only post material to one site, and that content will automatically post to the other sites. TweetDeck, for one, allows you to syndicate material to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn; click once and your content appears on all of those sites.

Jo-Anne notes that you want to make sure there isn’t too much repetition of your message online, because then you seem like a spammer. The goal is to be approachable and interactive with your audience. This applies particularly if you use more than one syndication site, like Ping – you may want to send different messages through this site to set it apart from the messages you post to TweetDeck or another syndication site.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Twaitter,, allows you to schedule tweets to run at given times; SocialOomph is similar. This way you can schedule several day’s worth (or more) Tweets and free up your time for other things.

Getting Started on Platform-building

Jo-Anne recommends to begin. The site is free, and once you register you can upload material. It’s like having a one-page resume for yourself, and everything is conveniently in one spot, no searching through computer files and folders.

Every social media profile should have a link back to your website – be proactive! Many authors forget simple steps like this, but it’s important to make it as easy as possible for people to find you – and contact you – online. Authors should also not be afraid to get online and try the sites, make mistakes and learn from them.

The top three social networking sites online are currently Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Before LinkedIn, YouTube held the #3 spot, it just goes to show that social media is constantly changing and evolving. Authors should have profiles on the major sites and use sites with syndication (such as TweetDeck, Ping and SocialOomph) to keep their material updated on those sites. Authors can’t put all their eggs in one basket – have accounts on various sites, and some help via syndication, to ensure that the sites are updated frequently.

Good Reads
Image by adventurejournalist via Flickr

Another important site for authors is Goodreads,, which features a mix of authors and readers. Goodreads is simple to navigate and has an author program designed to help authors promote their books:

Facebook is a must but tougher to navigate, Jo-Anne notes.

The Importance of Blogging

In addition, authors should create their own blogs. There are a number of free platforms, including WordPress and Blogger A website is mostly stationary, but a blog is a place where there’s interaction, and it’s a place where readers and fans can see you and your books in a more personal setting. Your readers are looking for a more intimate relationship with you, and you can build fans if you have your own site and contact place.

Susan Gilbert notes that WordPress is a platform and can be deployed on its own account with its own domain name to create a website (as Author Marketing Experts did with their revamped site,

WordPress Administration
Image via Wikipedia

Susan adds that WordPress is search engine friendly so you can never go wrong developing a website using a WP platform – and you can import it when you have a custom site done.

Jo-Anne says authors should make sure their book/product is selling high up on their websites (appearing “above the fold,” so to speak) and to make their buy buttons very clear – it’s a call to action.

Authors should also include a photo of themselves on their site. Even if your book is not published, most readers will be interested in you before your book is out, you are important and need an author platform.

For blogging topics, think of an area of expertise, your niche – something that when you write about it you can’t stop because it comes naturally. Make sure you give valuable content to your readers, something they want. When targeting your audience, think about who will be purchasing your books, and figure out how to find them and attract them.


Upcoming Episodes – Please join us Sept. 7 for Pursue Your Publishing Dreams with Marc Allen

Publisher Marc Allen believes in encouraging people to go for their dreams, and daring to do what they love – and then showing them how they can get wonderfully rewarded for it. Publishing for him has always been a vehicle to realize his greatest dreams. Books have completely changed his life, and can change the world. Join us to learn what Marc has to share! About our guest: Marc Allen is an internationally renowned author and president and publisher of New World Library, which he co-founded (with Shakti Gawain) in 1977. He has guided the company from a small start-up with no capital to its current position as one of the leading independent publishers in the country. His latest book is The Greatest Secret of All. It may be Marc’s most important book, because it gives us not only one of the clearest explanations of the “secret” of creating what you want in life, but also the far greater secrets of a life well-lived, a life of happiness, inner peace, ease, and fulfillment, where you contribute to making the world a better place for all. Learn more at and

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