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Posts Tagged ‘authors social media’

Want more readers/buyers for YOUR book this holiday season?

Event Listing banner

It’s what every author wants, isn’t it? More eyeballs on his/her blog. More likes, shares, and comments on his/her social media pages. More visits to their websites. What if there were an EASY way to do all of the above for a very affordable price point?

Enter the VIRTUAL Holiday Author Event.

This 10-day virtual event, running from December 1st through December 10th, is designed to do just that. Give reader participants an incentive to visit your blog, website, social media profiles and purchase your books. It starts Day 1 with a Welcome Party, where each author is introduced via their headshots and images of their book covers. The authors themselves are welcome to stop by this webinar and say hello in person!

On Day 2, we’ll host a One-Day Blog Hop, where we list each author’s featured blog post for this event, and encourage participants to visit and comment for the chance to be entered to win prizes.

Day 3 we’ll encourage participants to check out our authors’ websites through a Virtual Treasure Hunt. Each author will provide a question about his/her website that the participants must answer in order to be entered in that day’s drawings.

We’ll head into a 3-hour Facebook Party on Day 4, during which time participants can ask our authors questions about their books and writing process. Every comment or share on the event page will get the participant an entry into that day’s drawings.

Day 5 is all about video – the fastest growing segment of the Internet – with Videos R US. We’ll post links to our authors’ videos (whether on YouTube, Vine, another video platform, or their own websites) and encourage our participants to make comments on the videos in order to be entered into that day’s drawings.

On Day 6, we’ll offer the option for our authors and participants to join any of three Author Tweet Chats (9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. PST). This is fun of the fast and feverish variety, as participating authors field questions they can answer in 140 characters.

The Day 7 event will require a little creativity on the part of the authors as we feature Infographic Mania. We’ll encourage our participants to comment on and rePin our authors’ infographics on their various Pinterest pages.

For Day 8, we’ll jump into Periscoping, via the new and SUPER-easy Twitter video app. Each author’s cover will be featured and participants will share the love by sending hearts and/or commenting while the video is streaming live.

On Day 9, we’ll focus on the Instagram Word Jumble, where the participants will put on their puzzle-solving hats to answer a word scramble presented through the titles on the authors’ book covers.

Beyond the daily event fun, we’ll also have a Cover Contest and a First Chapter Contest – which the reading public will judge. For voting in the contests, they’ll be entered to win copies of the winning books and T-shirts featuring the winning books’ covers.

Day 10 will then offer a Wrap-Up Party where we announce the Cover Contest and First Chapter Contest winners, give away great prizes, and conclude our amazing 10-day event.

Sound like fun? Whether you participate in just one event or join us for all 10 days, the Virtual Holiday Author Event promises to give you great exposure for yourself and your book(s), starting at just $35 for the first title. It’s just $10 per each additional title and $10 to enter either contest. There is no place on the web where you can beat this exposure right before the holidays! And if you know other authors who might like to join us, be sure to register as a Holiday Author Event affiliate, so you can make a little extra holiday spending cash for every author you refer who signs up.

Come share in the fun. You’ll be glad you did!

Marcie in winter

 

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Id have to go back in time to cast “Stan” as a film

Day 30 of the 5-Week Author Blog Challenge grants me the fantasy of making my book into a film. All 35 posts for this Challenge will be focused on writing, publishing, and book marketing. I hope you’ll stick around through all 35 posts. And if you want to take part, come on in – the water is great! You can register here.

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Day 29 writing prompt:

If a Hollywood agent were to come knocking on your door with an offer to turn your book into a movie and told you that you could call all the shots, who would you have direct and star in it? Write the first paragraph of a glowing Rotten Tomatoes review of your film.

OK – this feels a little like putting the cart before the horse, but since I’m all in for this Challenge (who came up with these prompts anyway?!), I’ll play along. Casting for the three main characters – Stan, Paula, and Gretchen – is easy. Again, since this is my fantasy, my rules. So I would just lift the cast of Definitely, Maybe, as they were when it was released in 2008, and insert them here for the film version of Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World (sans the Rachel Weisz and the precocious child character). Ryan Reynolds would be Stan, Isla Fisher his best friend/love interest, and Elizabeth Banks would play the vain, egocentric Gretchen. Throw in Justin Long as Jack – the friend from grad school days and Frances McDormand as Stan’s mom, and we have a pretty good cast. I’m really not sure who I’d want to cast as Stan’s younger, developmentally disabled sister, Kerrie. It’s a small but important role that would have to go to someone willing to be unglamorous for a role, so maybe Emma Watson?

Cast of characters

Because this isn’t a chick flick, I’d want a tight writer who could invigorate the plot with a bit of drama. I’m not sure it’s her style, but Shonda Rhimes definitely comes to mind. And since I’ve limitless budget and a time machine, I’d also consider the ghost of John Hughes as cowriter.

The director role is a bit tougher. People I’d consider: Gus Van Sant, of Good Will Hunting and Milk fame; Stephen Frears, who directed High Fidelity and The Queen; and Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend It Like Beckham. But my number one choice would be Ben Affleck, who – say what you will about his acting and his personal life – has done a remarkable job with the two major films he’s directed thus far (Argo and The Town).

What does this exercise accomplish? I think that in order to see your book acted out as a film, it has to be succinct, action oriented, and plot driven. If nothing happens in your book, not much is going to happen in the film version, right? The good news is that I can see Stan making his way around the world. Sure, the movie version would highlight a half-dozen countries, as opposed to the 23 he visits in the book. But the more important backflashes would be there – as well as the ancillary characters who offer Stan some of the many lessons he learns as he finds himself.

Yep – it’s a book I would read and a movie I would watch!

Please make sure to check in again tomorrow, when I will discuss the best advice I’ve ever received to advance my writing career.

And for the record, I’d love your feedback on my Author Blog Challenge posts! And, of course, would really love to have you support all of the bloggers in the Challenge. Find their links here.

Here’s to seeing YOUR book become a film!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________SM for authors COVER

If you’re new to social media, my book Social Media for Authors goes into much greater detail about when, how, and where to post for the greatest chances at succeeding with your specific goals. Get your copy today! It’s never too early to begin planning!

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Travel partners abound for “Stan”

Day 29 of the 5-Week Author Blog Challenge asks who the perfect partner would be to help me market my novel. All 35 posts for this Challenge will be focused on writing, publishing, and book marketing. I hope you’ll stick around through all 35 posts. And if you want to take part, come on in – the water is great! You can register here.

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Day 29 writing prompt:

Who would be the perfect person/company to partner with to sell your book? It might be another author, a performer, a shop owner, a seminar facilitator, a teacher, etc. Pretty much, the answer to this question is limited only by your imagination. How will you reach out to that person/company? What’s the hook for your pitch?

Such an interesting question – and so very many ideas that come up, as a result! I think the number one partner for me would be a travel website like TripAdvisor.com – especially because I mention the site by name in the text. If movies can do product placement, why can’t a novel? Right now, the site is only mentioned once, but I think I’d be willing to have Stan stumble his fingers across the site more often in exchange for some good quid pro quo!

tripadvisor

Travel agents would also be potentially great partners, as would the aforementioned travel clubs and Meetups.

travel shop

Kitschy shops that sell maps, globes, and travel accessories would be a perfect fit. Alas, one of the coolest, the ADC Map and Travel Center in Washington, D.C., has shuttered its doors permanently. Specialty shops from each of the countries – or ones like Yucatecan Imports in Tempe, Ariz., that sell goods from all corners of the globe – might also be worth a phone call or a visit.

Yucatecan Imports

While I suppose not every traveler is a reader, travel does provide ample opportunity for reading … so a novel about travel is a great fit and certainly one of my hooks.

It’s time to hit the LinkedIn and see who in my circle knows someone who might hook me up with the perfect connections…

What about you? Who are your perfect partners? Chances are plenty of them, if you just put on your SBM* hat and let the ideas percolate awhile…

Please make sure to check in again tomorrow, when I’ll be casting the Hollywood version of #StanTravels!

And for the record, I’d love your feedback on my Author Blog Challenge posts! And, of course, would really love to have you support all of the bloggers in the Challenge. Find their links here.

Here’s to meeting all kinds of wonderful characters in your waking life!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________SM for authors COVER

If you’re new to social media, my book Social Media for Authors goes into much greater detail about when, how, and where to post for the greatest chances at succeeding with your specific goals. Get your copy today! It’s never too early to begin planning!

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Social media is one TOOL in an author’s marketing toolbox

Day 28 of the 5-Week Author Blog Challenge asks participants to talk social media. All 35 posts for this Challenge will be focused on writing, publishing, and book marketing. I hope you’ll stick around through all 35 posts. And if you want to take part, come on in – the water is great! You can register here.

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Day 28 writing prompt:

How are you using social media to promote your book? What aspect of social media would you like to learn more about? What are your next steps?

Social media is a tricky beast. Authors get all kinds of bogged down in mastering the perfect post to help them sell more books. In reality, however, social media is about connection. This is not to say that sales can’t and won’t come as a result of an author’s social media efforts. But increased sales, specifically, is probably the wrong goal.

SM crossword color

Better goals would be:

  • Increased visibility – so that people have heard of you before
  • New relationships which can lead to unexpected doors opening
  • Partnerships with other authors, near and far
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Ideas sparked by watching what other authors (or non-authors) are doing

tigers-book-cover-e1396893475651I’ve written before about the success of Robert Scanlan, author of Tigers Under My Bed: Life Lessons Tamed During Three Organ Transplants. Initially quite skeptical about the value of social media, Robert did his research and rightly determined that LinkedIn was the best platform for him. Through his LinkedIn connections, he was able to get his book in front of several renowned transplant surgeons shortly after its release in May 2014. Now, it is being used as an ancillary textbook in both the USC and UCLA medical schools. Sure, his sales have increased. But more importantly, this positions Robert as an expert on his subject matter, which will lead to more exposure and paid speaking gigs. These sure offer a better payday than selling a single book to one new follower on Twitter.

My novel is about a guy who travels around the world. Not quite the gravitas of organ pacific coast tourtransplantation, but I do manage to touch on some important issues along the way. For example, the story ends just after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Atlantic Coast in the fall of 2012. Social issues are always relevant and good conversation starters for social media.

Another thing to keep in mind is that social media is not a marketing strategy. It’s a tool you apply to your specific marketing efforts – like a media release or email signature.

Personal social media goals

  • Facebook author page for Laura Orsini
  • Tweetchats about travel to the countries Stan visits
  • A video book trailer, using the cartoon version of Stan I created on com
  • Get started on Instagram – the one platform I’ve been hemming and hawing about
  • Jump into Periscope with both feet
  • Connecting with English-speaking readers from other parts of the world

All of this will be in support of a Pacific Coast train tour I am planning for summer of 2016! It’s still in the early idea phase, but it will happen. And I’m looking to take 5 to 7 other authors with me. So if you can afford to take a couple weeks off and want to invest in the trip of a lifetime with some other amazing authors, please be sure to contact me!

Please also make sure to check in again tomorrow, when I’ll be discussing my ideal business and marketing partners … some of whom may actually exist!

And for the record, I’d love your feedback on my Author Blog Challenge posts! And, of course, would really love to have you support all of the bloggers in the Challenge. Find their links here.

Here’s to using social media as a tool to enhance all your other marketing efforts!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________SM for authors COVER

If you’re new to social media, my book Social Media for Authors goes into much greater detail about when, how, and where to post for the greatest chances at succeeding with your specific goals. Get your copy today! It’s never too early to begin planning!

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january tip of day

January 23 Book Marketing Tip: Pick the social networking vehicle your reader is driving!

If your social marketing is to be useful, it needs to be two things. Who wants to guess what the first one is? OK – I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but you seriously should not need this reminder. Social marketing needs to be SOCIAL. But all the social marketing in the world could be a waste of time (and money if you’re hiring out any aspect of it) if it’s not aimed at your target readers.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, every author needs to answer 1 question before they begin their marketing: Who is my reader?  However, if your social marketing is to do you any good, you need to take that question a step further and answer the next question: Which social network does my reader use most?

There was a funny meme that made the rounds on the social networks 12 to 18 months ago. It involved bodily fluids and how each network would report on release of said fluid. We posted a version in a blog titled How are you incorporating social media into your book marketing strategy?

Last night at the Phoenix Social Media Marketing Meetup, I heard a more useful analogy, which I want to share with you here. Thanks to Giselle Aguilar, the Meetup coordinator, for this analogy. Definitely track her down if you need help with your social media strategy.

Social Network Users Are Like Drivers

 

  car sport Twitter users are quick. They like the fast-paced nature of a busy Twitter feed, and prefer easy-to-digest short bursts of info, links, quotes, and images. They are very social themselves, the most adept sharing the tweets they like.For me, Twitter is a huge information resource. My Twitter feed keeps me up to date on marketing, publishing, and social media trends in a way no other social network can.

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 car luxury Due to its nature as a site for businesspeople, LinkedIn draws the highest net worth users of any of the social networks. Like luxury vehicle drivers, these people prefer clean, elegant, useful information. Frills are OK, as long as they have a purpose. You won’t catch LinkedIn users sharing pictures of cats or zombies or kids.

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 car mini Attracting the second-highest net worth users, Pinterest users are like minivan drivers. Pinterest is the place for women – specifically moms.Interestingly, though, photos with people are repined much less frequently than those without. Images that are longer than they are wide are more often shared.

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 car convertible Convertible drivers want to be seen – and YouTube is the social network for users who appreciate the visual. With more than a billion unique visitors each month, YouTube is the #2 search engine on the web. As much as 80 percent of YouTube’s traffic comes from outside the US, so if you’re looking for international readers, this may be the place for you. According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more American adults ages between 18 and 34 than any cable network, which is worth noting if your readers are younger. (This one is mine – not from Giselle.)

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 car suv I love this comparison: Facebook is multipurpose, like an SUV. Facebook users are inherently social, posting everything from pictures of cats, zombies, and their kids to quotes, links, political messages, music, videos, and event listings.Facebook’s reach is vast, to be sure, but don’t assume it’s your reader’s number one online hangout. Do your research and find out for sure before you pour endless hours into it that don’t do much to boost your visibility as an author.

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 car pickup Here’s another great comparison. Like pickup drivers, Google+ users just want to get it done. Google+ has circles and hangouts and authorship. It’s got the versatility of an SUV, but its more workmanlike in its approach.With more than 540 million users in less than three years, Google+ is catching on in a huge way, because it’s so versatile – and proper integration can be an enormous boost to your blog/website traffic.

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Does this mean that you should use only one social network? Of course not! Many people/families have more than one car – or dream of having a second vehicle. Their taste is diverse. Likewise, your reader probably uses more than one social network. But if you want to see a return on your social marketing ROI, you must dedicate your time/energy/money to the networks where your reader is hanging out. If they have a Twitter account but send one tweet a year, and you’re doing lots of Tweet Chats and employing a big Click to Tweet campaign, you are probably missing each other – like two cars passing on the highway.
Have a presence on all the social networks, but focus on the one or two that will connect you with the most readers.
Here’s to identifying your readers’ favorite social networks!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Want a professional book cover that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg? Visit our website to Template 5peruse our selection of 25 book cover templates, and download our complimentary special report, “Book Elements:

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january tip of day

January 17 Book Marketing Tip: Be consistent with your social media!

 

Woo-hoo! I’m delighted to share the news that the Write | Market | Design Facebook page has reached 500 Likes! Sure, there are pages with Likes in the thousands, but every one of them started somewhere. Thanks to all who’ve liked our page and shared the link. If you haven’t checked us out yet, come on down!

 

Here’s a bit of chronology:

 

Thanks to the best social media teacher in the world (Scott White, of PersonalPowerTraining.net), I was a very early adopter and jumped 500fblikeson Facebook back in late 2006. Back then, there were no Pages. The only option you had was to use your personal profile for business marketing, too. I did that, and have steadily built my “friends” to 2,565, with 109 subscribers to my personal page. The challenge has been bringing those friends over to my business page.

 

We were hanging out at 474 Likes for the l-o-n-g-e-s-t time. Then I started doing a few things differently.

 

ONE. I used to duplicate a lot of content between the my personal page and business page — but I do that less frequently lately. I’m very selective about what I post in both places, and I always post it on my business page first, and “share” it to my personal page. There’s a strategic reason for this: people on my personal page can see where the post originated, perhaps clicking over to my business page to see what other goodies I’m posting there.

 

TWO. I invited/reinvited a bunch of friends to like my page. They may have been people I never invited in the first place, or people who just never accepted an original invitation. At any rate, I had 7 additional likes from my own personal page once I sent these invites.

 

THREE. I changed the kinds of things I post. As you can tell from the title and content of this blog, I’m all about book marketing. My Facebook page is more representative of all aspects of self-publishing — although my posts did, for a long time, lean more to marketing tips. Lately, I’ve been posting a combination of humorous literary posts (see below), self-publishing/book marketing tips, and the occasional promo piece for my business. In short, I made the page more interesting.

 

film -book

 

FOUR. I started posting much more consistently — not just more often, but more consistently.

 

FIVE. In order to post more consistently, I started using Facebook’s scheduling feature to time my posts to go out at regular intervals throughout the day. To do so, go to your page and find the status box.

 

fb sched 1

Type your text or upload your image, as you normally would.
Then click on the clock icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the status box.

fb sched 2
Doing so will bring up a calendar. Choose the date on which you wish to publish your post.

fb sched 3
If you plan to stagger your posts, add the time you wish to publish your post.
Be sure to check that you have the a.m./p.m. correct.

fb sched 4
Click the SCHEDULE button.

fb sched 5

That’s it! Your screen will gray out and you’ll see a confirmation window
telling you that your post has been scheduled.

Of course, this is an inexact science. But I know I added nearly 30 people in little more than a week once I started changing the way I post and doing it more consistently. If Facebook isn’t your thing, I believe these strategies will work for you on many different social platforms. Next up, more interactivity!

Here’s to more consistency in your social networking!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Want a professional book cover that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg? Visit our website to Template 5peruse our selection of 25 book cover templates, and download our complimentary special report, “Book Elements:

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january tip of day

January 4 Book Marketing Tip: Your book marketing is stalled until you have a cover

As you might imagine, the first question almost every new author asks about marketing their forthcoming book is “What should I do first?” The answer is simple: Determine your title and get your book cover designed.

Why is the cover so important  especially in today’s ebook world? Because you use it EVERYWHERE!where to begin

We’ve written before on the 8 mistakes to avoid when designing your book cover. That post is probably worth a glance, whether you’re creating your own cover (not recommended unless you have some pretty mean graphic design skills) or  hiring a pro (prices can range considerably, but so can the quality!).

Places you might use your cover:

  • your author website
  • your blog
  • collateral materials like postcards, bookmarks, your author one sheet
  • your book trailer
  • on your personal Facebook page and your book/author fan page
  • your book’s Twitter account
  • your book’s Pinterest board
  • your media releases
  • email announcements to your list

This list is by no means comprehensive. Yet each one of these is a marketing step you’ll want to get moving on BEFORE YOU FINISH the book. If you wait until your book is done to design your cover, you’ll leave an unnecessary and gaping hole in your marketing strategy.

Happy cover designing!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Want a professional book cover that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg? Visit our website to Template 5peruse our selection of 25 book cover templates, and download our complimentary special report, “Book Elements: Organizing the Parts of Your Book” TODAY!

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december tip of day

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven. We were quiet for a great deal of this year – and still we managed to snag a few visitors. Woo-hoo!

For example:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. Marcie’s blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If we were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see us!

Click here to read the complete report about how Marcie fared in 2013.

What does this mean for our Tip of the Day? It’s simple.

Everyone is bound to hit a slow point, a time when your time, enthusiasm, and/or know-how just seem to wane – but that doesn’t mean you have pack it in and give up on your dream of creating a book people like so much they tell everyone they know. Pick up where you left off and … keep on keeping on. Keep blogging. Keep writing media releases. Keep updating your Facebook page. Keep tweeting. Keep building relationships with book bloggers in your genre. Keep pursuing speaking engagements. Keep thanking the people who’ve helped you come this far. Keep setting goals!

So what if you fail? At least you’re moving in the right direction – the key word being MOVING.

There’s an old Will Rogers quote that says: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

What are your marketing plans for 2014? Share your best ideas in the comments section and we’ll put together a post with all of them!

Happy New Year to all!

Laura & Marcie

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Want a professional book cover that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg? Visit our website Template 5to peruse our selection of 25 book cover templates, and download our complimentary special report, “Book Elements: Organizing the Parts of Your Book” TODAY! 

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Winter Author Blog Challenge #11: Tips for bringing your Squidoo author lens ALIVE

Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!

Uh-oh. I missed another one. Ah, well, I guess I’ll be backtracking to get GoodReads in there sometime soon! However, I’m plunging ahead. Here we go with the ELEVENTH prompt of the Winter Author Blog Challenge:

Do you have a Squidoo lens? Founded by Seth Godin, Squidoo is a popular free site that enables users to create single webpages (known as lenses) about their interests and recommendations. Users can even earn money for charity or themselves. The credibility-building potential rivals Quora, but unlike question-answering sites, Squidoo users are free to create content of their choosing. The SEO rankings are quite high – but it remains incumbent upon the site’s users to double-check the veracity of information provided. Challenge questions: What are the benefits to using sites like Quora and Squidoo for building credibility? What can they offer that your website or blog doesn’t already do? How could this help you sell more books?

Squidoo is a site that allows YOU to become THE expert in your field. It’s a great place to easily demonstrate your expert knowledge and potentially get paid for it! Founded by Seth Godin, this popular free site enables users to create single webpages (known as lenses) about their interests and recommendations. Users can even earn money for charity or themselves. Squidoo users write articles, share videos, add photos, add RSSs feed from their blogs, add their Twitter feeds, favorite links, and more. Squidoo also makes it easy to earn money from eBay, Amazon, Google AdSense, and by referring other users to Squidoo.

You may wonder what the point is of recreating all the same material you may already have on your blog or website. Here’s the thing: Squidoo has a Google page rank of 8/10, which is incredibly high, meaning that publishing on Squidoo will increase the likelihood of great search engine rankings, as well as providing strong backlinks to your website or blog. Additionally, this site allows you to go deeper on a single area of expertise than you might in a single blog post or even a page of your website.

Squidoo for Authors

Start by creating an account, including fully developing your profile with a short bio and head shot. You may want to have a number of lenses:

  • A lens for your specific area of expertise
  • An author lens for yourself, especially if you’re starting to gain some traction and notoriety around your book(s)Squidoo
  • A lens for each of your titles. Include the following items on each individual book’s lens:
  1. Author bio
  2. Book summary
  3. Cover image
  4. Excerpt (or link to a download)
  5. Reviews
  6. Links to the place(s) where your book is available for sale.
  7. Link to your author website.
  8. Link to your book trailer.
  9. Links to your blog, website, and all your other social media platforms.
  10. A calendar that includes dates for your signings and events.
  11. Images from the same signings and events.

Still not sure what to use for content? If you have a special report that you’re already giving away, can you rework it (so the copy is not exactly the same) and release it on Squidoo for added exposure? Here’s an example I wrote.

Tips for Improving Your Squidoo Results

  • Even if it’s a topic you’ve written about at length before, write original content and use updated graphics for the best SEO results.
  • Begin generating traffic to your lens by visiting other Squidoo lenses related to your subject and posting comments that encourage those individuals to visit your lens. As with commenting on blogs on similar topics to yours, this will help you gain ranking and recognition on Squidoo and should be a regular part of your Squidoo success plan. You not only will enhance your traffic – but this is one of the social aspects of this social media site – and you can create lasting and valuable connections with others who may take an interest in helping you promote your book.
  • Once you create a lens, update it periodically and then hang onto it. Each lens helps your overall Squidoo status, so you don’t ever want to delete your lens as a means of updating your overall profile. Be sure to republish your lens after every update.
  • Squidoo has a built-in backup system that allows you to “export” your lens to your hard drive. Do this with some regularity, too, in case you ever accidentally delete your lens or have other problems with it.
  • Join Squidoo groups in your area of interest to further your contacts and promote your lens. Besides on-the-nose matches for your topic, search for ancillary subjects that are allied. For instance, if you’re writing about residential plumbing, it might pay to check out lenses on lighting, electricians, roofing, construction, landscaping, etc.
  • You can link your Squidoo lens to Twitter for increased exposure.
  • Create a lensroll (akin to a blogroll) with your favorite lenses, whether they’re yours or created by others.
  • Add a link to your lens to your email signature, or places you put your other social media links.

Making a splash on Squidoo requires regular maintenance. I’ll admit I haven’t given it the attention it deserves, but that will be changing! Remember that a complete lens has far more than just text content. You also want to include graphics and images, write a full bio, add your Amazon and/or eBay links, create polls, and make it all extra useful by creating a table of contents.

One of the biggest advantages of social media is the interconnectivity of all the platforms. I mentioned Tweeting your Squidoo updates earlier. Or you can create an infographic specifically for Squidoo that you repin on Pinterest and also link to your Facebook Fan Page. Here’s one person that had the right idea, but the wrong application. This is a Pinterest board titled “Why Authors Should Be on Squidoo.” Oops, though – just one measly little pin of a book that has nothing to do with this subject.

squidoo on pinterst

Pinterest/Squidoo fail…

One website contains a list of lenses about books and authors. Sign up here to have your lens listed.

If you’ve done lots of work on your Squidoo lens(es) and are still seeing little results, you can check the health of your Squidoo lens here. Just plug in the link to your lens and you’ll receive an instant analysis about what’s working and where you can improve it.

Yep, Squidoo is another potential tool in your book marketing arsenal. Nope – you won’t have time to do everything. But explore each social media option you come across to determine whether even a small presence might help enhance your reach, grow your platform, create a bigger following, and ultimately sell more books.

In the meantime, come Squidoo with me!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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Winter Author Blog Challenge #10: The GoodReads Author Program means good book promoting!

by Laura Orsini

Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!

Alrighty then … catching up on my GoodReads post! This was the TENTH prompt of the Winter Author Blog Challenge:

Are you on GoodReads? It seems a pretty obvious place for authors to hang out, yet I’m not sure authors are using it to quite the maximal benefit. If you are on GoodReads, how often do you visit/use the site? How often do you update your reading list? What other kinds of things do you post? Are you finding yourself using it the way social media was intended: to create a community? If you are NOT on GoodReads, have you made a deliberate choice to skip it? What other mechanisms do you utilize for meeting other readers/writers/authors? How else could you begin to create your very own community?

When invited to join GoodReads a few years ago by a real-life friend, I did so somewhat half-heartedly. I didn’t even create a profile till a year or so ago! Then every once in a while, I’d get email notices that someone else I knew had joined. What’s this joining stuff? I thought, still doing nothing about it.

goodreads

A lifelong reader, I badgered my dad into teaching me to read at 4 because I wanted to be able to read the Sunday comics to myself. I zipped through towers of library books every summer, earning badges and ribbons and prizes in their annual summer reading programs. Then I grew up and was able to start buying books, and my library has never stopped growing. Its growth has slowed somewhat in the last couple years since I’ve become a Kindle owner, but if my husband and I didn’t periodically purge our books, we’d be sleeping standing up between the stacks. While I will occasionally recommend a book (see my newsletter for last month’s recommendation), even with my bibliophilic ways, I’ve never felt any pressing need to share the titles in my library with large masses of people – which seemed to be the entire purpose of GoodReads.

Until I learned about the GoodReads Author Program.

If you’re an author whose response to the question “Are you using GoodReads to promote your books?” is “Not really,” you’re missing a HUGE opportunity. More than any other site, this is THE pace you should be promoting your books! Did you realize that GoodReads has a built-in mechanism for you to do just that via their Author Program? Better still, it’s F-R-E-E! About 50,000 authors are currently listed on the GoodReads Author Program.

STEP ONE: Sign Up

The GoodReads Author Program is designed for authors of published books or those in the process of publishing a book. The system works best if your work is already listed on a bookseller’s website, like Amazon.com or BN.com, but GoodReads will accept any author who has published a book, including foreign (non-U.S.) and self-published authors.

  1. Sign in if you are already a GoodReads member. If not, sign up for an account.
  2. It’s a good idea to join under your published name so your author profile name will match your book(s).
  3. In the search window, search for your published author name. The author name is listed below the title of your book in the search results. If your book is self-published and is not yet in the Goodreads database, you can add it manually.
  4. Clicking on your name takes you to your basic author profile page. This page has your name at the top and Author Profile to the right of your name. This page is part of the GoodReads author and books database, completely separate from your member profile page (the one that lists your bookshelves and friends).
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Is this you? to initiate a request to join the GoodReads Author Program. Then prepare to wait, as it generally takes a few daysyou’re your request to be processed. You will receive email confirmation your member account is successfully upgraded to an author account. Joining the program merges your author page with your member page.
  • Enter your full published name, email address, and a password.
  • Click Create an Account.
  • Check your email and verify your address by clicking the link in message they send you.

STEP TWO: Take Control of Your Profile

So you can look at this as just another thing you’ve got to do, one of an endless array of online profiles, or the opportunity to distinguish your profile as a scintillating destination for your target readers. Certainly, some of these aspects overlap the profile features on other social media platforms, but some are unique to GoodReads. Here are some of the things you can include in your profile:

  • Add a picture and bio.
  • Share your list of favorite books and recent reads with your fans.
  • Use GoodReads as your blog platform and generate a band of followers.
  • Publicize upcoming events like such book signings and speaking engagements.
  • Share book excerpts and other pieces of your writing.
  • Post a quiz about your book or a related topic.
  • Add your video book trailer or other promotional or book-related videos.
  • Join one of the thousands of groups – but avoid too much self-promotion.
  • Add the Goodreads Author widget to your blog or website to highlight reviews of your books.

STEP THREE: Promote Your Books

The GoodReads Author Program also makes it easy to spread the word about your books. Here are some of the promotional tools you can use:

  • Advertise your book to the Goodreads community of 14 million readers.
  • Generate pre-launch buzz with a book giveaway.
  • Lead a Q&A discussion for readers on your profile or participate in groups and discussion forums for your books.
  • Link your blog feed to your GoodReads Author profile. To syndicate your blog on Goodreads, you will need to find the RSS or Atom URL for your blog. This is usually your blog’s URL with a “/feed” on the end. Example: https://marciebrockbookmarketingmaven.wordpress.com/feed
  • Go to GoodReads.
  • Click your name in the upper right corner to go to your author profile.
  • Click Edit Profile.
  • Under your picture, click Add/Edit Blog.
  • On the right side, find External Blog Feed URL.
  • Click Change if the URL field isn’t showing.
  • Right-click in the field space.
  • Left-click Paste from the dropdown menu.
  • Your URL should now show up and look something like this: https://marciebrockbookmarketingmaven.wordpress.com/feeds/posts/default
  • Decide whether you want to Show Full Post and check or uncheck the box.
  • Click the Add Feed button.

A Few Last Tips

Be sure your profile is complete and accurate. Make sure that your book(s) has the correct ISBN/ASIN, publication date, and cover image. book-loverBe sure to include page count. Some of the more die-hard Goodreads members enjoy announcing their progress as they read with comments like, “I’m on page 289 of 624.” You want this kind of commentary, as it can be something this small that translates to commentary and discussion about your book.

As Rachelle Gardner suggests on the Books & Such blog, when it comes to book reviews: “List the books you’ve read and want to read. Write brief reviews saying why you like your favorite books. Be genuine. Treat it like a discussion forum, not a promotional tool. Since you’re an author, think carefully about whether you’ll post any reviews that aren’t positive; at the same time, you don’t want to post only gushing, over-the-top positive reviews. Be honest but circumspect.”

Another suggestion comes from Patrick Brown, Goodreads Community Manager, via a Writer’s Digest article: “If you’re not comfortable writing reviews, make an inspirations shelf and add the books that have meant the most to you as a writer. Not only will these books show up in your update feed for your fans to see, they will also make your profile a more engaging place for readers.”

GoodRead suggests offering multiple giveaways, each open for about a month, as a means of pre-release promotion. Ideally, you’ll start about three months before your launch date. Then run a second giveaway a few weeks before your book hits the shelves and web. GoodReads places no limits on the number of giveaways you can run.

Encourage your fans and followers on other social media sites to review your book on GoodReads. Also encourage participants with a GoodReads badge on your blog and website. Because GoodReads reviews are often exported to other sites like Powells.com, USAToday.com, etc., a GoodReads review can have much further reach than a review on other sites.

Looks like I’ve got some work ahead of me to catch up on this whole GoodReads opportunity!

In the meantime, find me on GoodReads.

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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Winter Author Blog Challenge #9: Paranoia or practicality? A host of opinions about saying NO to FourSquare

Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!

Here we go with the NINTH prompt of the Winter Author Blog Challenge:

What are your thoughts about FourSquare? For those unaware, FourSquare is a location tracking platform. Its users foursquare“check in” at various locations with a mobile device and are able to find out (track?) where their friends are. Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or a network location provided by the app itself. Many members use foursquare and its competitors for the discounts. Or perhaps you want people to know which bookstore you’re in for your signing or event. Are you using FourSquare? Is there a way to use it to encourage better attendance at your signings and events? What are the pluses and drawbacks? Be sure to give us the link to your profile!

For lack of a better term, I think of FourSquare as a location revelation platform. People who use FourSquare and sites like it “check in” at various locations with a mobile device and are able to find out (track?) where their friends are. The location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or a network location provided by the app itself. Many members use foursquare and its competitors for the discounts. Or perhaps you want people to know which bookstore you’re in for your signing or event – but use your common sense. If you live alone, don’t announce you’re leaving the bar to go home at 2 a.m.

I'm WATCHING you!

I’m WATCHING you!

I recall meeting a guy nearly a half-dozen years ago who had an idea for an application like FourSquare. His thought was that you could simply send out a message that said, “Hey, I’m heading to the Community Art Cinema. Anyone want to catch a matinee of A Clockwork Orange?” Then those online at the time and interested could find you and hook up. I didn’t quite get it then (although Facebook and Twitter were in their infancy, no one was using them via their phones of for messaging like this), and I don’t really get it now.

I’ve never been what you’d call a privacy freak. If you want to know about me, just Google my name and quite a bit is revealed. I also know the risks of putting anything anywhere on the Internet. If you don’t want people to find you – or steal your content – don’t be online. Ever. For any reason. Not condoning plagiarism, fraud, or similar malfeasance – just aware that it happens, and exposure to such risk is the cost of participating in the World Wide Web.

All that said, I have no desire for anyone except my husband to know where I am 24/7 – and even he doesn’t know every detail of my days because our relationship is built on trust so we don’t require each other to wear ankle bracelets. Common sense also tells me that it’s probably best not to announce to the world where you are at every given moment of the day. The only benefit I see from doing so is to earn points or savings on certain items, but when it comes down to it, is any savings really worth exposing yourself so thoroughly?

I was concerned I stood alone on this issue, but the app has a tiny user base (compared to other social networks) that seems to be declining. Maybe everyone is starting to reconsider the desirability of location revelation on a mass scale. According to an August 18 New York Post article, “The mobile network counts 25 million members, even though … data shows far fewer active ones.”

Additionally, most Winter Author Blog Challenge participants stacked up with an unfavorable outlook on FourSquare. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:

ASHLEY HOWLAND. Today’s prompt was about foursquare. I think I have an account, but never use it. I don’t like the idea of people knowing where I am all the time. So I’m not convinced this is of any use to me as an author or just in general. Will be interested to read other people’s takes. READ MORE HERE.

MERLENE FAWDRY. When I do want to publicise an event I tend to use other methods, print invitations, flyers, email, Facebook and other media On the plus side, it does have great maps and this could be useful in the absence of a GPS – or a print copy street directory. This works for me. READ MORE HERE.

RUNDY PURDY. Call me paranoid but I really wonder if people are thinking about these possibilities and implications enough. Yes, it is fun to share where you have been, what you are doing, but are you confident who is seeing that information? Would you be comfortable if the entire world could see that information? The more you become a public figure the more pointed these questions become. Authors want to use social media to get their name out in the world, but there is a negative side to that greater visibility. Sometimes you attract the attention of less savoury characters. Do you share on social media with that possibility in mind? READ MORE HERE.

MELISSA KHALINKSY. One of the drawbacks is remembering to check in, also, I don’t want everyone to know where I am when I’m out with my kids. Also, when I’m on my mobile, I’m conscious of not going over my data limit. It’s different when I’m somewhere I can connect with WiFi. I’ve also only just started adding friends to my list. I haven’t used discounts or special offers yet, mostly because the places I’ve been visiting haven’t had offers listed. READ MORE HERE.

SANDI TUTTLE. There is a saying: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.” I don’t think I am paranoid, but I really dislike the thought that some unknown someone somewhere in Cyberspace can figure out that I’m getting a manicure. Perhaps this is just my age showing. I see all the ads on TV about how cool it is to ‘connect’ and how easy it is to use your smart phone to find the perfect fusion restaurant on a Thursday night. Except that I think my husband would rather starve than eat fusion, we haven’t eaten out on a Thursday night in 20 years, and I can’t imagine anyone being so interested in our location that they need to use some Eye in the Sky to find us.

I remember some early applications of cable TV that didn’t pan out because they were ahead of their time. Eventually, the practical application for the technology caught up with what they had, and a new fun thing was packaged and sold to the masses. It is possible that FourSquare is in this position. READ MORE HERE.

JO MICHALES. I find FourSquare to look a lot like my Google maps app. While I can see the usefulness of it if appearing in public, I’m a bit of a private person. I’m not really keen on everyone being able to find me anywhere I’m hanging out. Same reason I use a pen name. Not awesome to have folks you don’t know loitering on your lawn or sending you angry letters because you had the audacity to write something they didn’t agree with.

Now, if I wanted to know where to find something and didn’t have a different maps app on my device, I’d consider using FourSquare for that function. But to have a whole plethora of people knowing where I am at any given moment of the day? No, thank you. I’ll pass. READ MORE HERE.

Would love to hear your take on FourSquare in the comments section below. Do you see a practical use for authors – or is it just better left alone?

Sorry – you won’t be finding me on FourSquare. But look just about everywhere else!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

Read Full Post »

Winter Author Blog Challenge #8: Quora can help you establish your credibility, something every author can use

Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!

Drum roll, please … here is EIGHTH prompt of the Winter Author Blog Challenge:

Are you using Quora? If you aren’t familiar with it, Quora enables users to ask questions and receive answers from those quora 2who allegedly know something about the topic. This is a phenomenal way to demonstrate your expertise – and even if you’re a novelist, you have an area of expertise – perhaps it’s simply “publishing your novel.” Unfortunately, it seems you’re required to have an account before you can dig around – UNLESS you know a person’s profile link. Here are two you can check out:

http://www.quora.com/Seth-Godin

http://www.quora.com/Laura-Orsini

Yes – I just put myself on par with Seth Godin! Here’s your challenge: What’s the one question you would like to find an expert to answer? And conversely, what’s the one question you would feel most comfortable/confident answering? If you’re on Quora, please be sure to give us your link!

Credibility means the quality of being logically or apparently valid. It is the thing that makes people respect you as an expert, the thing that gives you an edge because people seek you out for your knowledge. And with credibility comes reputation, as well as authenticity, believability, sincerity, legitimacy, plausibility, visibility, trust, and word of mouth. There’s almost no better way to create credibility than by authoring a book.

However, of all the social media platforms, Quora is one that can quickly help you stand apart as an expert in your subject matter or industry because it enables users to ask questions and receive answers from those who allegedly know something about the topic. According to techie-buzz.com, “Quora is a simple site where you can ask a question and expect an answer from other community members. It is similar to Yahoo Answers … in that sense. However, Quora goes much further than this. Quora basically documents knowledge through questions and answers and provides users with an easy way to find it.”

Answer sites like Quora are a wonderful place to demonstrate expertise in the subject matter of your book, creating followers, and perhaps eventually readers. Even as a novelist, you have an area of expertise. Perhaps it’s simply “publishing your novel” – or perhaps you did an enormous amount of research on British clothing and customs of the 1940s for your World War II romance. Guess what – you can use that expert knowledge to make a name for yourself on a platform like Quora! And is it impossible to think you might parlay that into guest lecturing for a university level history class? The only limits on your marketing and platform-building are your abilities to generate great ideas, leverage your contacts, and take action.

Speaking of taking action, here are 7 good reasons to build credibility:

#1 — Generate a perception of trust.build-trust

#2 — Create a showcase for your knowledge.

#3 — With credibility comes implied quality.

#4 — Increase your exposure.

#5 — Improve your audience’s recall and recognition.

#6 — Create heightened demand.

#7 — Inspire brighter visibility.

Active involvement on Quora can help you achieve all of these. That said, I don’t use it nearly enough. But this Challenge is motivating me to add to my Marketing To-Do List, too! As with Google+, I’ll offer an update on this in 6 weeks.

In the meantime, let’s Quora!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

Read Full Post »

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