Copyright can be a confusing tricky little beast, especially if you’re a non-fiction writer. But even fiction authors can come a cropper. Images, quotes, even brand names all have copyright associated to them. ALLi partner member Tim McConnehey, founder of IzzardInk is here to tease out the ins and outs of copyright for indie authors.
By Kiana Mason
You’ve spent hours writing, editing, and perfecting your book. Now it’s ready to be delivered to the hands of readers everywhere. Whether you’re marketing your book on your website, on Amazon, or through an email blast, start with a listing description that lets people know exactly who you are and what your book is about and makes them want to read it.
But where to start? Use these quick tips to create a listing to promote and sell your book online.
Get Into the Mind of Readers
To make the most out of your listing, consider what readers want and make sure you make it clear that you’re going to deliver it:
Welcome to the latest installment in a blog post series on newsletters.
In previous blog posts we have discussed:
- why you should have one
- how to get people to sign up
- what to say in your welcome emails
- how to avoid causing people to unsubscribe
- what to put in your newsletter
If you have been following along at home, you should now have a growing mailing list and should be sending out newsletters on a regular basis, and now is the time to raise the question of maintenance.
If you’re a regular reader of IU, you know that writing a book is only part of the recipe for success. You’ve taken all the advice about punctuation, plot, characters, and story arc to heart, you’ve written the best book you could, gotten first-class editing, paid for an eye-catching cover and now your book is up on the web just waiting for the orders to roll in.
But they’re not.
Okay… you’ve sent out an announcement to your email list, you’ve posted on Facebook and Instagram, tweeted on Twitter, touted your book on LinkedIn. You’ve sent press releases to the local media and to any distant locations that might be interested (i.e. the setting for your book, your old home town, etc.).
Still no sales spike. What’s up with that?
Change isn’t something that comes easily for many people – myself included. But when change happens on social media – especially when no one knows about it – tempers tend to flare.
When I was made aware of some changes happening on Instagram, my knee jerk reaction was, “Hmmm, that’s interesting. I wonder how that’s going to work.” But when I dug deeper, I really respected Instagram’s reasoning behind this change. And I thought you would like to know about what I’ve learned.
If you’ve ever questioned the best way to use ads to promote your book, you aren’t alone. With Facebook ads being relatively cheap and easy to create, it seems like a no-brainer to use them.
But are those ads actually helping you sell books?
A few weeks ago, I talked with an author who invested in some Facebook ads to promote the sale of his new book. He was impressed by the reach he was getting (which was in the millions) and he was seeing his Facebook and Instagram page numbers grow. But when it came to actually increased sales, he didn’t see the movement he was looking for.
The problem is that we end up getting caught up in the numbers (like the reach and impressions we are getting) and think we are effectively promoting our book. True, that ad might make someone aware of your book, but what happens after that?
Most of the time when an ad appears they will see it and continue scrolling. But then you’re just left with an impression. There’s no way to follow up with them or share more with a potential new reader.
An important fact to remember is that social media isn’t a place to sell – it’s a place to connect. True, we can use social media to promote and market our books, but it needs to be used in a way where we can control the narrative.
When we run an ad that says, “My new book is available – check it out” – why would someone who knows nothing about you, your book, or the story be interested in it? Even if someone knew of you and your book, that ad will not be enough to compel them to learn more.
So what’s the best way to use Facebook ads to promote our books?
Have you converted any of your books into audio books? Supposedly audio books are the “next big thing,” although I’m not sure who decides that. In any event, I have been converting quite a few of my books to audio and have been having a lot of fun in the process. I’m doing this through ACX, and I’ve written here before about how that process works.
One thing that I particularly like about ACX, as well as the meeting place they provide so authors and narrators can hook up, is that they continue to send promotional ideas via email. One such email introduced me to AudioBook Boom.
Smashwords today unveiled Smashwords Presales, a new book launch tool that will thrill your readers.
Smashwords Presales leverages patent-pending technology to enable the creation, management and merchandising of ebook presales. An ebook presale allows readers to purchase and read a new book before the public release date.
Presales are different than preorders. Presales provide readers early and immediate access to an upcoming book release, whereas preorders merely act as product reservations where the customer must wait until the public release date to read a preordered book.
Several New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors have already expressed interest in running Smashwords Presales for future book launches.
“I’m planning to use Smashwords Presales to offer early releases to subscribers of my newsletter,” said R.L. Mathewson, a New York Times bestselling author of romance novels. “When I asked my readers how’d they feel if I were to begin offering presale access as a perk for signing up for my newsletter, the response was overwhelmingly positive. My readers want this.”
When I chat with authors who are running into road blocks I encourage them to try something different. Many times, we end up in a rut because we opt for the same strategies over and over again.
And the reality is video is still very new territory for most authors, and those of you using it may not be maximizing on its potential.
Video is so powerful because it’s always going to be very unique to you and your brand.
For example, you can run discount promotions, and I love these, but you’re still competing with all the other discounted books out there, so it’s an important strategy to have in your arsenal, but it’s one most other authors have as well.
What they don’t have – is you, and your book, and your platform. All that is unique to you, and you can use that to your advantage by using video to promote that uniqueness.
So, here are 10 book promotion ideas that will help you work in more video content!
As a new author, there is so much conflicting information about whether you should or shouldn’t have an author platform before you’re published. I decided to err on the side of caution, and forge ahead with building one, starting with resurrecting my dormant Twitter account. I pretty much started from scratch with only 36 followers and very little knowledge about how Twitter worked.
Through a crazy baptism of fire, I soon learned the ins and outs of Twitter. I jotted down my discoveries in a blog series called Twitter Tips for Newbies, which, to my utter surprise, has proven popular in Twitter’s #WritingCommunity.