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

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.

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

Indie Author Marketing: Analyzing Facebook and Twitter

I’m a big fan of data. I love reading about all the ways people are gathering analytics on books, how data helps drive decisions, and being able to know how effective people are at reaching out to others.

And that’s why for the past month or two, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Facebook and Twitter. I’ve known these platforms for a while—Facebook was only one year old when I joined in college (back when only people with college email addresses were allowed to use it) and according to my Twitter profile I joined in April 2009.

And though I’ve been using both platforms for my author platform, it wasn’t until this year that I decided to take my platform building more seriously. So, I’ve installed Google page analytics on all my blogs and websites, though it’s still too early for me to figure out how that best works for me, and I’ve been paying close attention to engagement metrics on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I have two official Facebook pages and two Twitter accounts. Here’s how it breaks down: Continue reading

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: 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

Making the Most of Twitter Chats

storify I’ll admit, I’m not as active on Twitter as I probably should be. It’s all very immediate, and I’m much more comfortable with blogging and emailing, and things where I can take my time.

But I recently heard about a creative way that makes conversations on Twitter last longer, and I think makes Twitter chats a lot more valuable.

My friend Miral, the founder and CEO of BiblioCrunch, does an amazing job of promoting her company. Every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. eastern time, she hosts a Twitter chat using the hashtag #indiechat. Each week features a different guest and is a conversation about an aspect of indie publishing.

What’s great is that afterwards Bibliocrunch posts a transcript of the conversation on their blog and archives it on Storify, so that anyone who misses out one week can catch up. Storify is a site that allows users to create new stories out of media found on the web. Bibliocrunch’s page on Storify shows a story from each week, listing all the tweets using the #indiechat hashtag so anyone can follow along on the conversation.

As someone who often feels overwhelmed by the number of tweets popping up on my page every time I log in and like I’m missing out on something, I really like this idea of archiving. I have also heard of tools you can use to make it easier to follow along with Twitter chats in real time.

Hootsuite, for example, lets you set up streams to help filter tweets. If you were part of #indiechat, then you could set up a stream to only show tweets using that hashtag. Ian Cleary on Razor Social also recommended a few other tools. I’ve only used Hootsuite, but he said he likes Tweetchat the best. Tweetchat lets you adjust the speed you see new tweets and pause tweets coming in so you have a chance to respond.

I’m glad these tools are out there. They help make Twitter a lot more manageable. Do you know of any other helpful tools? If so, please let me know in the comments!