5 Strategies for Writers to Market Their Work and Expand Their Audience

As an indie author, there are so many tools and strategies you can employ to grow your audience and even monetize your work. Below are 5: videos, podcasting, merchandising, crowdfunding, and social media. Continue reading

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Guest Post: How to Build Your Brand Name Through Social Media (Infographic)

By Belle Balace

Looking to build your platform online? Belle Balace from Visme shares tips on growing your brand through social media.

Whether you’re just starting to build your online presence or you just launched your startup and want to share it to the whole world, there’s no better way to achieve this than through social media.

If you have no idea on how to do this or where to start, here’s a great primer Matei Gavril of PRMediaOnline provided – visualized in this handy infographic made with Visme. All the basic and essential things you need to know about growing your brand on social media are right here.

Belle Balace is a Growth Specialist at Visme, an online visual tool where anyone can create engaging presentations, infographics and other visual content in less time.

Growing Your Presence on Social Media

By Brian Solis and JESS3 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Brian Solis and JESS3 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Social media is great. You can connect with people easily, you can learn new things, and you can share awesome content. It’s also a lot of hard work, because you want to make sure you are posting high quality content that resonates with people, and it takes some effort to measure and tweak your strategy.

A lot of people advocate for figuring out who your audience is, finding the platform where they engage the most, and then focusing on that platform. Melyssa Griffin shares her thoughts on social media on her blog, which includes using video, humanizing your brand, and create quality content.

If you’re looking to create posts that will be widely shared, Moz breaks down what it takes for something to go viral. In a nutshell, you want content that is clickable, shareable, and playable, that taps into people’s sharing impulses, and that you can build a story around.

You should also make tweaks to your profiles on your social media accounts. Bluchic shares a few tips, including having keywords in your bio, using the right hashtags, and listing your business.

Here are some resources to help you grow your presence on social media. Continue reading

BuzzTrace: A New Platform To Help Writers Find Their Readers

Launching today is BuzzTrace, a new platform that helps authors find their audience and increase their book sales. BuzzTrace connects with social media platforms and provides authors with insightful analytics on how to help sell their books. The site also gives authors tips on how to grow their audience. Scott La Counte, a best selling author, said he co-founded BuzzTrace to help authors save time on marketing, so they can focus on their writing. Authors can sign up for a one-month free trial at BuzzTrace.

Read on for an interview with Scott La Counte to learn more about the platform. Continue reading

Book Marketing Tips for the Holidays and Year Round

By Ralph Daily from Birmingham, United States (Roasted American Turkey) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ralph Daily from Birmingham, United States (Roasted American Turkey) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a while since I’ve down a roundup of articles. Since the holiday season is coming up fast, here’s a list of helpful marketing-related articles (there’s even a few specific for the holidays)!

Holiday Specific

Growing Traffic and Followers

BookBub Tips and Tricks

Working with People

Trends and New Stuff

Helpful Tools

Self Publishing

Indie Author Marketing Guide: Twitter

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 10.31.31 AM

Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms, and when used correctly, can really help boost an indie author’s platform.

According to Social Media for Writers, “23 percent of online adults living in the United States are active on Twitter.” The post also breaks down the demographic of Twitter users, down to age, gender, education level, and more.

When you sign up for an account, you choose a Twitter handle. All handles begin with @, so for example, my Twitter handle is @sabsky.

Twitter has really expanded its functionality over the years. Of course, the main way to use Twitter is to communicate in short 140-character messages (and also photos and videos if you choose). After you sign up for an account, also known as a Twitter handle, and upload your cover photo, profile photo, and fill out your bio, you are ready to go. Twitter is often used to sign in to other apps or websites, and you can now even purchase items directly from Twitter (see more in your Settings tab, which pops up when you click on your profile image). Continue reading

Indie Author Marketing Guide: A Primer to Social Media

By geralt [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By geralt [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Social media is a big part of indie author marketing strategies these days. But for those just starting out, it may seem daunting. When I first began using social media for platform building, I felt slightly overwhelmed. But now, after lots of practice and just incorporating social media into my daily routine, I’ve come to embrace it. And instead of seeing it like a chore, I see it as another way to connect and interact with people, and I’ve been able to build real relationships through it.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. (And if you want guidance on how to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed, read Your Writer Platform’s “Are You Building Your Writer Platform at Gunpoint?“)

Don’t use social media just to sell books

Kristen Lamb’s “Social Media, Book Signings & Why Neither Directly Impact Overall Sales” goes into depth on why this is not a good strategy, but basically you don’t want to spam people/just make noise, and you will not develop any real relationships this way (meaning, you won’t attract real fans).

Rachel Thompson suggests spending more time online finding people who may be willing to review your books, and she gives a list of suggestions in her article “Why ‘Read My Book!’ Doesn’t Work…And What To Do Instead

Focus on one or two platforms first, then build from there

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Google. Youtube. Goodreads. LinkedIn. Tumblr. The list goes on and on. You can be active on all these channels, but it’s probably best to pick one or two and work on growing an audience there first. Every social media channel works a little differently, caters to a different audience, and has savvy users who expect others to use the network a certain way. The Book Designer’s “Do You Make These Online Marketing Mistakes?” offers tips, such as establishing one audience per channel and using landing pages.

Social Media Just for Writers also recommends researching your target market and then choosing your social media platform based on that in “How to Stop Wasting Time and Focus Your Book Marketing.” For advice on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube, read DBW’s “The Book Marketing Social Media Hierarchy: Which Sites to Use for Which Purposes.”

Business Insider broke down the demographics of some of the social media platforms. According to them, the 45- to 54-year-old demographic is growing, “27% of 18 to 29-year-olds in the U.S. use Twitter,” LinkedIn and Google+ are mostly male, Pinterest is mostly women on tablets, and Tumblr is mostly teens and young adults.

Eventually you can expand into other platforms. For a case study on why, read Kate Tilton’s “Why I Use Different Social Media Networks (And You Should Too) by @K8Tilton.”

For help determining which platform is best for you, read these articles:

Strategize how you will build your platform

Erindor Press’s “Platform Building Primer” is a good start, and advocates setting expectations and figuring out the best way to share content, either via blogging, email newsletters, or something else (and you can use social media to promote that content).

The Loneliest Planet shared a post, called “One Writer’s Platform (Part 2) Events and PR,” which goes over techniques of marketing offline (such as doing public readings and lectures) but also adds that it’s worth taping these performances and uploading them to Youtube to share.

Use lots of images/visuals

People tend to engage more with posts, tweets, etc. that are visual. According to Rebekah Radice’s “5 Steps to Get Massive Engagement With Your Visual Content,” “43% of social media users share pictures.” She recommends having consistent colors, using templates, appropriate fonts, and to create infographics, images, and videos.

Build Book Buzz recommends creating different types of images, including picture quotes, tipographics, and infographics. For tips on how to actually create these images, read Social Media Just For Writer’s “Writers: Use Visuals to Market Your Books.”

Make use of social media tools

Here’s a list of resources, along with helpful tips and links to additional tools:

Keep up to date on new platforms and tools

Lastly, the social media landscape is constantly changing, so it’s good to stay up to date. One example of a relatively new tool/platform is Aerbook, which according to PW turns social media into a virtual bookstore. Earlier this year, Social Media Just for Writers wrote about how indie authors can use Aerbook, which allows you to share previews and even sell ebooks on social media networks, as well as see analytics on your shares.

According to the article, there are three product plans to choose from:

Aerbook Retail is free, no credit card required. It gives you the social look inside the book, email capture popups within the sample, stats on how the book is used, and the ability to share the link and also get web page widgets that launch the Aerbook. This plan lets you sell the book directly through Aerbook, and our service earns 15% of the purchase price after credit card fees are deducted.

Aerbook Plus gives you everything Aerbook Retail delivers, plus lets you add links to other retailers, like Amazon, iBooks, or even your own purchase page. Aerbook Plus is $49 per year.

Aerbook Flyer includes everything above, but there’s no direct sale through Aerbook’s commerce service. You’ll add links to other retailers. Flyer also lets you do book giveaways, and includes 500 directly delivered, complete books annually. Flyer is $99 per year.

Got any social media tips? Please share in the comments!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published September 2015, as part of the Indie Author Marketing Guide series.

Guest Post: Mobile Traffic Statistics Inspire To Create New Businesses

By Calvina Singh

realtime-couponmachineDay after day, the same boring tasks look like they’ve been duplicated into your life by some kind of cruel tyrant. Get up early, go to the office, work hard in that tiny cubicle, return home late and exhausted. That’s hardly a life one can dream of. The problem is that it’s not just boring: it literally kills your creative potential.

The alternative is simple. Start working for yourself, be your own boss, and regulate your working time yourself—as well as your goals, strategy and salary (depending on revenues, of course). Not everybody believes that starting a business nowadays is easy and failure-proof. But it’s surely worth a try, especially in the modern mobile-oriented paradigm.

By this I mean that with so much people using their mobile phones, it’s a lot easier for an entrepreneur to reach his or her target audience, spending minimum money, time, and effort. According to the real-time mobile data statistics from Coupon Machine: Continue reading

Indie Authors: Social Media Marketing Tips

By Airman 1st Class Devin N. Boyer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Airman 1st Class Devin N. Boyer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jane Friedman recommends joining all social media platforms, even if you don’t intend on using it right away (hint: you want to have a good username for if you do decide to use that platform).

It’s one thing to join a social media network, and it’s another thing to maintain and grow your presence on it. Here are some news updates and ideas for how to use different platforms and increase your followers and fans.

General Social Media

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

Other Platforms