Several times a week, someone will email and ask me to read their book and write a review. It is a good strategy to approach well-known reviewers. Normally their request mentions a book that I have read and reviewed, then pitches their book. Because I’ve written almost 700 book reviews on Amazon, I get these requests. To be honest, I look at their books and in most cases I politely decline the offer—for several reasons. Most of them are ebook only books on Kindle and I do not have an Ebook reader. Also when I look at the books, I’m not interested in reading their book so again I decline.
Because I’ve been reading and writing book reviews for many years, I have publicists and publishers often pitching for me to read their books and write about them. I am committed to continuing to read new books and write book reviews about those books. I review the book on Amazon but also on Goodreads, where I have 5,000 friends (the limit).
Repeatedly I see authors launch their book with no book reviews on Amazon–zero. In fact, during the last week, I’ve seen two long-time publishing professionals (literary agents) launch new books with no Amazon book reviews. If Amazon is selling 70% of the books (a number that I’ve seen recently in the publishing press–unsure if true or not), then it is critical for every author to get book reviews
I’ve been a Twitter power user since 2009. It’s my favorite social media platform, and to be honest, it’s how this introvert manages a social life
But many authors make mistakes with their social media marketing. In today’s article, Dan Blank gives some tips on how to use social media effectively to help you find readers.
The most common mistake I see people make in social media is to use it as a publicity channel.
Quite frankly, many writers see social media as their lone marketing channel. Having grown up in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, they treat it as one would a television commercial: they buy “air time” and repeat their advertising message as often as possible.
I have seen this many times, you look at an author’s book proposal, and the marketing plan consists of vague mentions of engaging in social media, starting a newsletter, and well, lots of hoping. Because in reality, they have no idea who their intended audience is, how to reach them, and what engages them….
Fast food, quick quotes, quick drying cement, 1 hour pizza delivery, 45 minute oil changes and instant soup – these are just a few hallmarks of the “I want it now” mentality which permeates the planet. Rush hour is not named “take it easy hour”, “go slow hour” or “be safe and get there on time hour”. Everyone expects fast, faster, fastest, but this oftentimes leads to a watered-down, low quality result.
There is another approach, and it is called slow blogging.
There are those smart bloggers who look like sloths compared to the “one post per day” formula that most unsuccessful, small bloggers stick to. They practice slow blogging. This gives your readers time to really reflect upon and absorb the content you deliver. It also means more time for you to properly research, write, edit and produce a quality post.
If you spend 30 to 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, creating 5 short blog posts, have you really given your readers your best effort? What if you took that same 2.5 to 4.0 hours and spent it creating a single, incredibly valuable, well-researched, problem-solving, evergreen resource for your audience? This is the slow blogging idea, spending more time writing a longer piece of content, and delivering a higher level of quality.
Have you heard of Pat Flynn?
Content that resonates is key, there is no argument. I’ve always said just make great content, and you’ll get the views/likes/subscribers you were hoping for.
In the content world today, that’s not entirely true. Content is still key, but realizing the content context is also huge. Where people are consuming it, why they think they should and how they were referred to it plays a huge part. We have the UnScientific proof.
Last year, we shared a clip of my “Millennial Rant” on the UnMarketing Facebook page. One of the things about this new video landscape on Facebook is that 85% of videos are watched with the sound off so we also added closed-captioning, so people could see what I was yelling on stage.
The following is a guest post from Stella Togo, book author, speaker, and blog post author.
Do I have your attention? Good, because tip #1 is to grab your readers with an intriguing title.
Use a title that grabs the attention of your readers. Like most beginning writers, I used to draw out all of the details and leave the best for last instead of bringing the best to the forefront as a major point of interest
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
So You Want to Teach an Online Writing Course?
My first exposure to online writing education—for adults outside of degree programs—was Writer’s Online Workshops, a division of Writer’s Digest. Prior to that, my experience and prepared curriculum was entirely centered around the traditional classroom.
As I gained experience managing and evaluating online education through Writer’s Digest—and teaching online courses myself—I began to field more questions from authors who were curious about doing it themselves, but didn’t know where to start. And so I came up with the following tips
Note: This is a guest post by Dave Chesson, who helps teach authors advanced book marketing tactics at Kindlepreneur.com. He’s also the creator of KDP Rocket, software that helps authors discover profitable book ideas that Amazon shoppers will love.
When I first started Kindlepreneur about a year and a half ago, I didn’t have a following. I was just a writer with an idea that I thought was unique – teach people advanced book marketing tactics.
But, as we all see when we first create our platform, nobody knew it existed. My traffic was zero.
I was writing articles that I thought self-publishers needed to know, but no one even knew my content was there; thus, no one read them.
And that’s why I shifted my strategy. Instead of writing my best stuff for no one to find, I’d start my platform by writing articles I knew people could and would find when they searched the internet.
I decided to start creating ‘seed’ articles
Since I had gone through this with our son just a few years before, she said, “OK – give it to me straight. What do I really NEED and what can I live without? Can I live without a baby wipe warmer or do I really need that?”
When I was pregnant with Isaac I remember having a mini-meltdown at Babies-R-Us. There was SO MUCH STUFF! And I thought I had to buy it all before he was born.
Then my mother, in all of her motherly wisdom, called and said, “All he needs for the first few months are you, a place to sleep, blankets, diapers, and a bunch of white onesies. Keep it simple at first. You can get the other stuff later.”
It was a huge relief. And she was right
After the last post, we got in a rather spirited discussion in the comments regarding talent. Lora, an editor, was relaying a common malaise many editors feel (I’ve felt it myself plenty of times), which posits the eternal question.
Are there just some people who simply lack the talent to be novelists?