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

Advertisements

Indie Author Marketing Guide: Twitter

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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

Guest Post: 8 Secrets to Increase Your Twitter Followers

By Andy Thompson – Freelancer

Twitter is one of the biggest social networks, and for indie authors, it can be helpful to grow a following on Twitter. Andy Thompson details 8 strategies on how to increase your following.

Twitter is certainly one of the social media foundations of the cyber world we are in. It is one of the most instrumental arenas to promote social media page and establish your brand or identity. You have lots of reasons to pay adequate attention in finding strategic ways to promote your social media page. Twitter page management can be best done if the most suitable Twitter strategies are integrated.

The most basic way to measure Twitter success is by merely looking at the number of people following you. Unless you are a celebrity, it won’t be easy for you to build a huge volume of natural follower base overnight. Thus, you have to be more tactical in planning how to promote your social media page fully. Here are some Twitter strategies you can apply to start reaching your Twitter page management journey:

  1. Use the LinkedIn and Email Connections You Have

You will be most likely followed by people whom you are already connected with. Try to find your LinkedIn connections right on Twitter and start following them. Twitter doesn’t have a way to automatically do this yet, but you can do something to make this step way easier.

First, go to your LinkedIn Contacts page and choose “settings”. You can then see the option of exporting contacts through a .CSV file. This file can just simply be uploaded to the email contacts you have. From Twitter, you can already import your email contacts more conveniently. This now includes your LinkedIn connections. The last step would be to choose which among them you want to follow.

  1. Maximize the Tools Available to Schedule your Tweets Easily

If you want to raise the chances of multiplying your followers the natural way, you have to make it a point to load your page with lots of fresh content. However, posting each of them manually could be an ultra taxing job, so to make the job done instantly, simply schedule your posts to your desired time intervals.

Some tools are totally free and some have a very minimal fee. You can use Hootsuite in scheduling you tweets ahead. This sustains a continuous flow of content updates and this saves a great deal of time in your part. Users who post regularly are more likely to receive engagement from their fans.

  1. Join Twitter Chat

Each week, groups that come from varieties of industries gather on Twitter to converse about a certain theme. Joining these chat sessions and interacting with other users can help you meet new acquaintances that can be potential followers. You can also obtain a more substantial benefit by actually learning from the experiences of these diverse people, and you can get to share your industry insider perspective as well. Some of the most popular chats include #blogchat, #CustServ, #tchat, #mediachat, and #HBRchat.

  1. Multitask

Most of us have some spare time that can turn productive. For example, you can actually tweet while commuting on your way to work. Tweet while you’re on queue or while you’re in the gym. Tweet during commercial breaks while watching TV. You have 24 hours a day and you can surely use your idle time to boost your Twitter page management.

  1. Answer People Who Show Interest in the Same Content

When you receive comments from other users, or a retweet and a favorite, you must engage with these people that took time to notice your content update. The more you interact with them, the more likely they are to follow your page. This is one of the Twitter strategies you should consider.

  1. Tweet Inspiring Quotes

Quotes prove to entice a large volume of engagements. Choose the most striking quotes that your target audience will be likely to relate to. There’s also another app you can use for this. You can maximize Forismatic to have a large collection of inspirational quotes that you can post in a snap. This saves you time and boosts your Twitter presence.

  1. Follow Users Who Follow Your Followers

You can use another tool for this called Tweepi. This scans the list of accounts which follow your followers on Twitter. These people most likely have similar interest with you and have higher chances of sticking to your page.

  1. Follow Accounts Twitter Recommends

Go to the #Discover section on your dashboard. Twitter actually has a list of people they recommend you to follow. This can help you in the long run as well.

image7Andy Thompson has been a freelance writer for a long while. Her passion in writing is her main drive in crafting articles that are engaging, informative, and meaningful. Her partnership with TroopSocial has given her a whole new opportunity to take writing to a whole new level.

Guest Post: What Everybody Ought To Know About Facebook Account Management

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 9.51.16 AM

By Andy Thompson – Freelancer

Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms, and indie authors can use it to help build an audience and promote their books. Guest author Andy Thompson goes over the basics of Facebook pages, as well as strategies on how to implement them.

For any successful business these days, the concept of social media marketing is undeniable. On one hand, we have business giants like Starbucks using their Facebook page to announce their new plans and products. On the other hand, we have rookies (think of your local pizza place) trying to promote social media page, allowing more people to be familiar with their products via the Internet. Proper Facebook page management and using the right Facebook strategies have created success stories for a large number of businesses. Hence, if you can properly manage your social media account, your business might be added to this successful list.

Before you begin your social media exploration spree, here are some Facebook page management basics:

1. Multiple admins

As a page owner, you probably know that you can assign a number of people as administrators as well. There is no limit to this number as long as the ones you include in the circle have liked the page. However, Facebook also provides the option of assigning different positions and privileges to your fellow admins – Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, or Advertiser and Insight Analyst – each with different degrees of allowances. By default, all admins are managers and have page privileges. Hence, when choosing admins, be particular about the post you assign them.

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2. Page Insights

An important tool for all page owners, Facebook insights lets you know the reach of your page and how successful the posts are. It is extremely helpful to understand what works and to use this data in promoting the social media page.

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3. Public posting preferences

So you’re trying to get a good name for yourself online, but sneaky little punks keep ruining your timeline with negative comments? Apart from trying to improve your product, you can manage your social media reputation by checking who can post to your timeline. By disabling posts by other people on your timeline, you can put a check on negative comments, at least on your Facebook page.

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4. Page restrictions

If you’ve got a page about a local nightclub, liquor, or basically anything, you wouldn’t want children to know about. You can now prevent them from finding out about you on Facebook. Two of the most important Facebook page management tools are the age and country restriction tools. These tools let you choose the age group and region of the people whom you would not want to know about the page. Facebook provides you tools for post visibility to different audiences and screening out the profane words so you won’t get into trouble with the conservatives.

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Now that you are aware of the basics, here are some tips and Facebook strategies to up your social media account:

1. Use insights

Use the Facebook insights to determine what works most for your page. Is it pictures? Promotional posts? Humor? Increase the number of such posts in the future to gain a greater number of likes and a wider audience. Also, figure out the region and the time you get most of your likes and post accordingly.

2. Pamper your audience

Any successful page makes its audience feel important and involved and that’s exactly what you should do. Replying to the audience’s comments and queries shows that you care. Also, remember to thank your followers whenever you reach a milestone.

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3. Get involved

Many companies like Starbucks, Coke, Red Bull and others started out with online campaigns and competitions to get their users involved. You could have, say, an online selfie competition or a hashtag campaign. This tactic is undoubtedly one of the most successful ways in promoting social media pages.

4. Utilize Strategic ads

Facebook ads definitely work and it doesn’t need an explanation. Use insights to find out who and where most of your audience are and publish your sponsored posts with that in mind to get the most of your ad money.

Link other social media accounts such as Twitter and Instagram – this shows you have a larger reach and helps people across social media platforms find you easily.

Kiev, Ukraine - October 17, 2012 - A logotype collection of well-known social media brand's printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Kiev, Ukraine – October 17, 2012 – A logotype collection of well-known social media brand’s printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

5. Link to other social media

Whether you own a business page or community page, the proper Facebook strategies and page management will help you reach your target audience. Work hard and smart and you’ll undoubtedly see desired results.

image7Andy Thompson has been a freelance writer for a long while. Her passion in writing is her main drive in crafting articles that are engaging, informative, and meaningful. Her partnership with TroopSocial has given her a whole new opportunity to take writing to a whole new level.

Guest Post: The UK Self Publishing Conference

Emily Benet

Emily Benet

By Derek Cross – Cross Publishing Services

The third annual Self-Publishing Conference covered a multitude of useful topics for aspiring and established authors alike. One topic in particular held resonance: using social media to promote books.

On May 9, the third Self-Publishing Conference was held in UK’s Leicester University. Over 150 budding and published authors congregated to hear key figures and publishing industry experts offer advice on topics covering every aspect of book writing, publishing and marketing, from the first draft to publication. Topics covered included: landing an agent; for authors; getting reviews; selling to libraries and retailers, using NetGalley; rights and licensing; choosing print or ebooks. Continue reading

Indie Authors: Making the Most of Twitter Profiles

Twitter_profile

Twitter recently changed the layout of profiles, which creates a lot of opportunities for authors. Lynda.com has a very helpful database of articles, including a recent one called “Make the Most of the Twitter Profile Page.” It goes over in detail the changes in Twitter headers.

Below is an excerpt: Continue reading