Tag Archives: book promotion

How Authors Can Dramatically Grow Their Email Lists

Posted by July 20th, 2015

Stand-OutDo you spend a lot of time promoting your book on social media but feel like it hasn’t reaped the results that you were hoping for? It may be time to focus on building an email newsletter following instead. Stand Out author Dorie Clark thinks that reaching your audience via email is one of the most effective ways to increase book sales. Read on for her advice on growing your subscriber list.

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My first book, Reinventing You, launched in 2013. I tried to prepare, but despite my best efforts to interrogate fellow authors who had gone before me, I still didn’t fully understand what a book launch entailed. I was diligent in my execution yet vaguely disorganized—constantly staying up late answering interview questions, crafting guest posts, and enduring a punishing and hastily-assembled travel schedule. These were things I should have planned better, yet somehow didn’t know how to.

Two months ago, I had another opportunity to do it right with the release of my new book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. Here are the key things I learned in the last two years of almost nonstop book promotion.

Your email list is paramount. What sells books? Not social media. Atlantic journalist Derek Thompson shares an indicative story in which—despite one of his tweets becoming a viral sensation, with nearly 1,500 retweets and 155,000+ impressions—only 1% clicked the link to actually read his story. Note that this is a free story—not something that costs nearly $30, like your book. So what does work? Your email list. Blogger Chris Brogan famously said, “To me, the hottest and sexiest social network right now is your inbox,” and he’s right. Even if people are overwhelmed by their inboxes, they still read email, and an opt-in relationship with your readers is the most powerful force for communicating your message. I’ve used free (and freemium) tools like AppSumo’s ListBuilder to dramatically enhance my email subscription rate.

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Twitter for Beginners!

Posted by March 12th, 2014

twitter_for_beginners

What It Is

Twitter is a micro-blogging social network through which millions of people communicate with each other, and with the world at large, via 140-character “tweets.” Twitter can be accessed via their website, mobile apps, text messages, or a number of third-party applications, such as HootSuite.

Twitter is a vital tool for driving site traffic and also for participating in online conversations and communities.

How It Works

When you sign up for Twitter, you select an available handle, or username, then you choose who you want to “follow.” When you follow someone, each tweet that person sends shows up in your Twitter feed. People can also follow you, of course, and the more active you are, the more people will follow you and subsequently receive your tweets. You can converse with people directly by using the @ symbol followed by the person’s handle, or you can participate in larger group chats using hashtags, which are defined by the # symbol.

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How to Create a Facebook Page for Authors

Posted by January 17th, 2014

71 percent of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook, which means there is a pretty good chance your readers are, too. That’s why Facebook is a great place to get started if you’re an aspiring writer or published author who wants to build a following for your writing. A dedicated Facebook page helps you connect with your readers and promote your work. You can share information that your fans will appreciate: updates about your writing inspiration and progress, author events and news, and also fun book-related stuff–like pictures of reading cats!

kerry schafer booksWhy do I need a Facebook Fan Page?

“Why can’t I just use my regular Facebook account to do all that?” you ask. While you can let others follow your personal profile without friending them, a Facebook Page is better suited to your promotional efforts as an author. A fan page is a searchable, public page that all Facebook users can “like”. (When a Facebook user likes a page, your updates appear in that user’s newsfeed.) With a fan page, your personal account is separate — your fans will see your writing-related news without seeing the selfies you share with your friends. You can assign administrators to your Facebook Page so they can help you manage it. We know, having a staff to manage your social media may not be relevant to you at this juncture, but you’ll thank me when you become a superstar author and have your arms full with writing and author events.

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The Five Golden Rules of Social Media for Authors

Posted by December 11th, 2013

I am so pleased to welcome my friend Andrea Dunlop to the blog today! Andrea and I used to work in publicity together at Doubleday. Andrea is a writer of wonderful fiction (check out her novel THE SUMMER OF SMALL ACCIDENTS) and nonfiction, published on blogs around the web.

Now Andrea works as the Publicity and Social Media Coordinator for Girl Friday Productions, where she helps independent and traditionally published authors create marketing and publicity plans for their books. Andrea is also a brand-new member of the Book Country community!

Check out these awesome tips Andrea has put together for us about social media for authors. These are ways that authors can broaden their writing network, their audience of readers, and the public’s knowledge about their books, all via social media.

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Andrea Dunlop portraitSocial media outlets like Twitter, Goodreads, and all of the myriad blogs devoted to books are a boon for authors (independent and otherwise) who want to promote their books. A robust social media presence has gone from being a bonus to a must-have, and it’s the ideal way to capitalize on that ever-elusive word-of-mouth marketing.

Whatever tools you use to build up your following, here are five golden rules for becoming a social media all-star.

Be realistic and be consistent

If you manage to do the hard work of getting readers to stumble across your blog or Twitter account, the last thing you want them to find is a space that has digital tumbleweeds rolling through it. Be realistic with yourself about how much time you have to spend on social media per day and design a strategy around it. Much like starting a new workout regimen, you need to give yourself realistic benchmarks and go from there or risk getting discouraged. Ever been to a gym in January? How many of the people in there promising themselves they’re going to work out every day are still there come February 1st? Give yourself something you can realistically work in each day—whether that’s a couple of tweets a day or two blog posts a week—and stick to it. Once you’ve been doing it for three weeks and it’s officially a habit, add on.

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Mimi Speike

Posted by November 25th, 2013

mimi_speikeToday we have one of our most seasoned Book Country members, Mimi Speike, as our guest. We caught her at an opportune time–as she’s making final revisions to her historical fantasy series and is preparing to launch them into the world. 

NG: When did you fall in love with writing?

MS: I wrote in school, of course. I didn’t start writing for my own pleasure until around 1984. An idea got hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I’d always read. I began to examine style, particularly that thing called flow. I started writing Sly! and fell so in love with the somersaults that you can turn with well-chosen words that I’m still at it. This is the greatest game there is.

NG: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about yourself as a writer? What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve overcome?

MS: I’ve learned to follow my gut. Screw rules. My Intrusive Author style is universally despised, apparently. But, that’s my voice. I’m sticking with it.

Biggest challenge? The one we all face: self-doubt. Once in a while, I manage to subdue debilitating insecurity, only to be seized by its equally evil twin, unabashed arrogance, no improvement in terms of objectivity. I don’t think in terms of overcoming. I try to balance the Jekyll and Hyde of my authorial personality, and let it go at that.

NG: How did you go about cultivating your writing style, and what role humor plays in the SLY series?

MS: I admire nineteenth/early twentieth-century lush description. I try to emulate it. That whole out-of-fashion scene-setting really turns me on. I also adore exceptional grace of phrasing; I think of it as a musicality. I scour the classics for vocabulary, sea terms in particular. I have a pirate episode in Sly! What do I know of the sea? Nada! Two Years Before The Mast, set two hundred years after my period, furnished information on shipboard routine. That has to do, until I lay hands on more timely material.

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