Tag Archives: how to

Tips For Using Pinterest to Promote Your Book

Posted by March 24th, 2015

Tips For Using Pinterest to Promote Your BookPinterest is a fun, image-based social media platform that allows users to pinall sorts of pictures on boards. As a writer, you might be wondering how you can use Pinterest to promote your book. One powerful aspect about Pinterest is that pins give a visual element to your story. Pins can get repinned”  for months or even years to come. For tips on how writers can use Pinterest, we decided to ask Book Country members Jaycee Ford and Alex Rosa how they use Pinterest to promote their books.

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Janet Umenta: How did you get started on Pinterest? What advice would you give to writers who are hesitant to join “another social media site?”

 Alex Rosa: I think Pinterest is this beautifully organized chaos, which makes it less daunting than other social media sites. So when someone tells me they aren’t sure of giving it a go, I tell them that there’s no pressure. If anything, you can use it as a creative outlet rather than as an output of information. Continue reading

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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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Why Genre Matters: Finding The Right Shelf For Your Book

Posted by December 13th, 2013

Earlier this year, Nevena wrote about how to choose a genre on Book Country. I wanted to expand on why genre matters, and how finding the right genre makes a difference in getting your book into the hands of readers who want to find your book.

We’ve talked about how once writers choose a genre (or a genre chooses you), it becomes a home. It’s where writers spend days and nights creating characters and stories for the world to embrace. Your genre is the country filled with people who want to read and write what you do.

It’s important to decide where your book fits early in the process. Otherwise, you might get stuck describing your book as a hyphen between a western-romance-mystery-literary-fiction-with-some-vampires and a chase scene, and it’s a lot like 50 Shades meets Harry Potter meets Twilight meets The Help with a protagonist a lot like Holden Caulfield, and set in 28th century France.

Here’s why your genre matters: stores, whether it’s the lovely independent on your street or Amazon, need to classify your book so they can sell it to just the right audience. Please don’t say that the audience for your book is everyone — that’s lazy and untrue. If you’re a romance writer, for example, you know there’s a big difference between the way a contemporary is written compared to a Regency. Just like you’re trying to find other like-minded writers on Book Country, retailers want to introduce your book to like-minded readers (who have expectations of what you’ll bring to the page based on the genre you selected).

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Book Country adds a personalized news feed and other new features!

Posted by August 12th, 2013

Today we unveil another new feature for the Book Country community: a personalized news feed.

Here’s what you can expect to see in your news feed:

  • A Book Country member gives you feedback on a manuscript you’ve posted.
    We know how much courage it takes to post your work and how valuable it is to receive member feedback. You’ll see who gave you feedback and a link to your manuscript.
  • A writer posts a new version of a manuscript that you’ve reviewed.
    You took the time out to give feedback to another Book Country member. As soon as that person uploads a new version, you’ll see it appear in your news feed so that you can read it again and see how your support has helped that Book Country member.
  • You have a new connection.
    Book Country is a a community. We believe it’s important to seek out other writers and support each other through the writing and publishing process. When you connect with another Book Country member, you’ll see that you’re connected, as well as that person’s photo and a link to his or her profile.
  • Someone posts in a discussion board where you have a subscription.
    Stay up-to-date with the conversations that matter to you. Subscribe to the discussions you care about and you’ll see when another Book Country member posts in that discussion, as well as that person’s picture and a link to take you to the start of the conversation.

Is your news feed empty? Connect with other members. Give people feedback. Share your work. Subscribe to discussions. It’ll quickly fill up with the news that matters the most to you.

An Explanation
Some members have asked why do we have multiple pages: a home page, a dashboard, and a profile? We wanted to explain our thinking about the design.

When you’re logged in, the home page (where you see the news feed) is the place for you to see everything that’s going on around you in the Book Country community. You’ll see the activity in your news feed, as well as be able to keep track of the books you’re following and manage a list of your discussion subscriptions. Because it’s the hub of information around you, we designed it as the home page. You can get to it from anywhere on the site by clicking on the Book Country logo in the upper left corner.

Your dashboard is the place where you work on your book projects. Whether you’re polishing a manuscript (or two or three or four!) or publishing an eBook, your dashboard is where to go when you’re ready to create. We made this its own page for a couple of reasons. One, we know that work takes focus and wanted to build that into the design of the site. Two, while you may be thinking about your book all the time, we understand that you’re not making adjustments every single day. That’s why we put it by itself — and it’s always easy to access from the Read and Review menu on the left.

Finally, there’s your profile page. This is the place for you to tell people about you. The profile page is where other Book Country members come because they want to know more about you. Your profile is where people see your name, bio, and put a face with the name. It’s where people can see the manuscripts you’ve shared and the feedback you’ve given to others. It’s where other writers can see your favorite writers and books, and most importantly, where members can connect with you — on Book Country, and in social media, if you choose to add links to Twitter or to your website. We designed this as its own page because you know all about you, and it’s the place for others to get to know you as well. Your profile is always easy to view and edit from the Connect menu.

Another New Feature
We made another big change based on Book Country member feedback:

Persistent login. This is a fancy tech term for being logged in until you decide to log out. When you log in, there’s now a box that’s checked by default. It keeps you logged in, even if you close your browser.

If you’d prefer to login with your email and password each time you visit Book Country, simply uncheck the box and you’ll be able to do that.

Note: If you come to Book Country from two computers, say your home and work machines, you’ll have to login twice. The same is true if you use both Firefox and Chrome. (It’s because the login is based on your browser’s cookies. That means if you clear your cache, you’ll need to login with your email and password again. If your internet connection drops, you may also need to login again. If you have a machine that doesn’t accept cookies, you’ll need to login with your email and password each time to you come to the site.)

And a Fix

We’ve been squashing bugs as they’ve come up, but we wanted to let you know about a big one:

When you came to Book Country from an email, and you weren’t logged in, sometimes you’d get a white screen after logging in. We’ve fixed that problem so it shouldn’t trouble you again.

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New Book Country Feature: Following!

Posted by July 29th, 2013

Today when you login, you’ll see some big changes have come to Book Country. We’ve brought back following and designed a new homepage that’s as unique as you!

Here’s a picture of what to expect once you’ve logged in:
New homepage

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New to the Book Country Workshop? Start Here.

Posted by July 26th, 2013

How to workshop on Book CountryWelcome to Book Country! You just activated your Book Country account. You filled out your profile, complete with an inviting picture, the genres you like, and links to find you on social media. You went over to the Introduce Yourself area on the discussion forums and said, “Hi.” Now, you’re thinking about sharing your manuscript for feedback.

We’re a writing and publishing community, and that means that we want you to get involved and support other members. In that spirit, we ask that you read and review one other book on Book Country before you can post your own. If you’re not that experienced at workshopping, this may seem intimidating, but don’t worry!

Here’s how to get involved in the community and get your book on the map:

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