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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Not on Instagram? Use It to Build Your Brand, Find Success


Yrsa Daley-Ward, a traditionally published poet, attracts quite a crowd to her poetry readings at bookstores.

How did she gain this popularity? One word. Instagram.

She’s one of a growing breed of poets who uses Instagram and has been referred to as Instapoets.

Most Instapoets are self-published, such as Lang Laev (1 million+ followers on Tumblr), Robert Drake (1.3 million Instagram followers as of three years ago), and Tyler Knott Gregson (335,000 followers on Instagram).

In the New York Times last weekend, journalist Lovia Gyarkye reported that Daley-Ward:

“is part of a new generation of writers using social media to share their work, build their brand and find an audience.”

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13 Ways to Promote Before Publication

A number of months back, I wrote an article on how to promo preorder books for Bookbub. The original piece was pared back a little, but today’s post is the whole enchilada. Enjoy!

For a traditionally published author, a hefty number of preorders can increase a print run and create a sense of excitement around a new release. Early buzz may convince the publisher’s marketing team to take a book more seriously, and invest more time, creative brain-power, and marketing dollars into nurturing a potential bestseller.

For a self-published author, a swell of preorders can trigger algorithms that wake retail sites like Amazon to your book’s presence. This makes it more likely that a book will appear in “hot new release” lists, which can increase not only preorders, but post-publication sales and even name recognition.

Finally, because many retailers count preorders on release day, a large number of preorders can land an author on a bestseller list, whether traditionally or self-published.

However, preorder marketing efforts don’t always guarantee preorder sales. When promoting a book, there are so many factors at play: the uniqueness of a book, whether it’s a series or standalone, the dynamic of the author’s platform, the promotional budget, the author’s marketing prowess, and more.

Regardless, the months before a book releases are golden for creating awareness. First, let’s cover how to set up a preorder for success.

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The whole idea of “building a platform” and “marketing your book” is to get people to read what you’ve written. Whether you’re traditionally or self-published, connecting with potential readers is crucial. There are many good ways to do this (although it’s not necessarily easy), and plenty of resources to  help you. Today I want to point out the most common mistakes I see authors making in the effort to connect with readers.

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Five Ways Authors Can Use Alexa

Five Ways Authors Can Use Alexa Self-Pub

Amazon has been shipping the Echo smart speakers for several years now, but the tech is still new to some of us. For example, I just got my first Echo, an Echo Dot. I’m still finding out what it can and can’t do (it can’t actually read my Kindle ebooks to me, but it is great at being aggravating).

While I have been putting the Dot through its paces, I also took some time to find ways that writers could use Alexa as the virtual replacement for the office assistant that many of us want but few can afford.

I couldn’t actually find very many current features, but I did find five.

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New Amazon Rules on eBook Bonus Content

kindle stuffing
Oh, come on – don’t tell us you don’t get this!

Poor Chance Carter. Poor, poor Chance Carter. Here he is, just a guy trying to make a living at this indie author thing, and he gets caught in Amazon’s bookstuffing dragnet.

Bookstuffing works like this (don’t try this at home!): In an effort to get the largest possible payout on Kindle Unlimited borrows, certain authors have been shoveling several books into a single book file and marketing it as a single book. Sometimes they reuse the same bonus books multiple times; David Gaughran recently shared a chart that shows how an author named Cassandra Dee does it (again, please don’t try this at home!). These authors will put a come-on at the front of the file to entice readers to click to the last page of the book in order to enter a contest or get a free short story; the bots at KU then count the whole book as read.

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e35 book markets other than amazon

One subject that has come up a lot in this podcast is the advice of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Amazon may be at the top when it comes to the book market, but newer platforms for people to sell their books on are emerging and making your book available on those platforms can increase your sales.

Amazon has started cracking down on authors and publishing companies who are practicing deceiving tactics when it comes to increasing their sales, and Amazon has begun cracking down on these. But that has created some casualties of authors who weren’t breaking any rules, but were still dinged by Amazon. It’s important these authors are making their books available elsewhere, not only to avoid being left out to dry if Amazon decides not to sell their books anymore, but also to increase overall sales.

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10 Book Marketing Mistakes Every Author Should Avoid

Early this morning a guy spammed our blog comments trying to sell his online courses. His “marketing service” posted the same four-paragraph pitch on 16 separate blog posts in about five hours using a fake Facebook account.

That’s a lot of spamming in a short amount of time!

This is the equivalent of a salesman knocking on our door 16 times in five hours trying to sell us the same set of encyclopedias with the same pitch after we told him no.

Don't make these book marketing mistakes! We show you 10 book marketing mistakes every author should avoid and how to fix them. Book marketing tips, self publishing tips, book publishing tips, self publishing strategy, book marketing strategy

Would you do that to someone face-to-face? No! But this approach happens all the time online. And the crazy thing is, it rarely works – yet people keep doing it!

I want to equip you with the best information possible because I want to see you succeed and thrive online – in a genuine and honest way.

Below I’ve listed 10 mistakes that I see authors make online along with some tips for how you can easily remedy them.

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Why Live Videos On Social Media Are A Game-Changer for Marketers

Why Live Videos On Social Media Are A Game-Changer for Marketers

Video marketing is an interactive way to deliver your brand’s message and grab the attention of consumers. It can help in increasing engagement on social media.

Live video as a part of video marketing strategy is gaining popularity and is expected to be a trend in 2019 as well. People spend 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video as compared to pre-recorded videos.1

Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter introduced the live streaming concept to make people share their life events with their friends and family. The below graph shows the state of live video streaming on different platforms:

Tech chart of the day

The concept of live videos is evolving, and a number of businesses are using it to create a strengthened bond and connection with their customers.

Live streaming helps brands connect with their audience on a human level. It also lets people participate in brand storytelling in ways that can enhance the consumer experience. You too can use live video streaming and deliver content to your users in innovative ways. Read on to learn how your business can benefit from live videos.

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How To Make An Audiobook: Publishing on ACX and Audiobook Marketing

Question: Which of the following book formats has the highest year over year growth in the last three years?

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The Book Promotion Tool You Aren’t Using Enough

The Book Promotion Tool You Aren’t Using Enough

To many authors book promotion is a necessary evil. When I put my author hat on, I totally get this.

Why can’t you just spend all day writing? Why does this whole book promotion thing get in the way of your real passion?

But then we suck it up and we try our best. Some of us have figured out what works, and some of us are still trying to find our groove.

For those still trying to find your groove I want to encourage you to talk those who have figured it out.

Think of it as author therapy.

You can most definitely learn by talking through your book promotion struggles and listening when others share their successes.

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