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How to Get Your Email Subscribers to Leave Quality Reviews—Legitimately

One of the most difficult parts of book marketing (if not the most difficult) is getting reviews for your book, particularly quality reviews that exceed one sentence. Why is this? Because each potential reviewer is a busy person with a lot on their plate, so their time is valuable.

read more How to Get Your Email Subscribers to Leave Quality Reviews—Legitimately


Adding a Video to Your Book’s Amazon Sales Page

Guest Post
by Ellen L. Buikema

While perusing Facebook, I noticed a post in the Indies Unlimited Fans Group that piqued my interest — the new “add your video” option for your book’s Amazon sales page. I state upfront that technology and I do not always have an easy relationship, but this looked so promising that I thought I would give it a try. Please note that not everyone is seeing this option on their books’ pages yet.

read more Adding a Video to Your Book’s Amazon Sales Page

What Authors Need to Know About SEO

Lately I’ve had people reach out to me saying, “I’ve been told I need to pay someone to help me with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Can you help me with that? If not, do you have someone you could recommend?” Well I don’t really “do SEO,” but I am happy to help any website get better search rankings for free. It’s not as complicated as you might think:

  1. Use a website platform that handles Search Engine Optimization for you automatically (like Squarespace) and submit the website domain to Google and Bing for them to crawl and index.
  2. Use your website to share a steady and consistent stream of great content that naturally uses keywords in the content itself that people would use to find you.
  3. Create and schedule a steady and consistent stream of compelling social media posts that link to your great content on your website.

Websites that end up as top results in searches have the most traffic, and are indexed with the strongest legitimate use of keywords in the page titles, headings, and body text. Getting indexed properly of course requires that your website have the proper formatting. Google is ranking websites higher in search results that also have SSL security to protect users, as well as being mobile friendly with responsive web design coding. All of the popular CMS web hosting platforms keep up with such things so you don’t have to think about them.

Once your website is indexed by the search engines and you have that consistent content stream giving you traffic from social media to your website, only then should you invest in an “SEO specialist” whose main role would be to run ad campaigns for you.

As you have heard us say many times before, “it’s all about the content!”

read more What Authors Need to Know About SEO

The DIY Guide To Turn Your Book Into An Audiobook

Audiobooks are big, and they’re only getting bigger. In 2016, the annual sales of audiobooks were 2.1 billion dollars, and sales increased to 2.6 billion dollars in 2017. (Source) With podcasting also on the rise, it looks like audio is where the market is flooding to right now for content consumption

read more The DIY Guide To Turn Your Book Into An Audiobook

4 Signs You’re Using Outdated Marketing Techniques

Relevancy is everything in today’s marketing landscape. Things move at lightning speed in the digital world, so what worked for your business last year may not be very effective anymore.

Failing to adapt to change and sticking to the status quo can bring certain death to a business. For example, Kodak was once a powerful brand that controlled 90% of the United States’ film market in the 1970s. However, they never adjusted their marketing message and relied on old strategies to keep them afloat. Kodak failed to realize that customer’s priorities change. Today, consumers are interested in the actual story of a business, in addition to their product. Kodak failed to adapt to the changing priorities and nearly had to shut its doors after it declared bankruptcy, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “Having a Kodak moment.”

read more 4 Signs You’re Using Outdated Marketing Techniques

Kids These Days… Have They Stopped Reading?

For years, critics have bemoaned the decline of reading among both children and adults, but new data actually presents hard numbers on how this behavior has actually declined. According to analysis conducted by Jean M. Twenge, PhD, of the recent Monitoring the Future report, kids these days have all but stopped reading.

“Wait, we’ve heard this before,” you might think, and you’re not wrong. Even when preteens, teens, and young adults became somewhat early adopters of digital reading tech, the paper-only crowd still voiced concern. Now, though, the evidence straight from the survey respondents themselves points to a decline in long-form reading, regardless of whether it was paper or digital.

read more Kids These Days… Have They Stopped Reading?

Will anyone read ebooks on Instagram?

Instagram is primarily a photo sharing app and it is owned by Facebook. It is a place where people augment the the pics they take on their smartphone with a myriad of customization options. The New York Public Library is taking a calculated gamble that people might want to read ebooks on Instagram too.

read more Will anyone read ebooks on Instagram?

Can Authors Succeed With Social Media?

“It’s all about the aggregate.  No single event, tweet, or special project on its own will sell a significant number of books.  But, if you keep doing all these useless, pointless things that have no impact, slowly but surely you’ll build a platform.”
Writing Without Rules (Writer’s Digest Books) by Jeff Somers
This statement makes absolute sense when you think about the way book marketing works today.
Authors rarely get a quick-fix for promoting a book or marketing their brand – it takes hard work and consistent persistence to break through, all with no promise of it even happening.  It takes a certain kind of mental attitude to have the courage to leap into book marketing, the willpower to stick with it despite all odds against success, and the mindful focus to always promote no matter the challenges, rejection, or tears.
It may seem, on a daily basis, that no matter what you do, the result is the same – no traction in book sales, no obvious fame, and no impact with your words on the lives of others.  But such snapshots don’t tell the complete story.  In reality, if one is doing enough to promote a book – and doing it well —  a slow build up is happening, much like a grassroots political campaign, and all of a sudden, one day, you start to reap the rewards from it.
At least that is the hope, that all of the seemingly silenced or meaningless social media posts turn into more connections, deeper engagement, and actual book sales.

How To Use The Right Words To Market Your Book

The words we use matter.
They express a certain mode of thought.  They mean something specific, but can have different connotations for certain recipients or speakers.  Choose your words wisely when promoting your book and marketing your brand.
For instance, how do you position yourself when sharing your area of expertise and background?  Are you trying to sound like a thought leader?  An intellectual?  A get-it-done type of person?  Do you lead with your years of experience – or will this indicate youthful inexperience or outdated thinking as an older person?  Do you highlight a particular job you had, a personal experience, or samples of your wisdom and insights?
Are you a “veteran” of hundreds of lawsuits (if a lawyer) or have you been an advocate on behalf of hundreds of victimized individuals?
Do you help others lose weight, live longer, feel better, and look great (if a nutritionist) – or do you enhance one’s wellness and overall health?
The specific words, their order, their timeliness, and their relevance conspire to play a key role in how people come do see you.  Do you speak with confidence but not hype?  Do you guide, but not dictate?  Are you optimistic, but grounded?
How do you discuss the price of your book?

Marketing Poetry and How to Find More Readers

It was National Poet’s Day this week and in honor of that special literary holiday I thought it was appropriate to give poets some love, and talk about specific strategies for marketing poetry and improving your book discovery.

Because I think a lot of poets will concur with Graves when he said:
“To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.” — Robert Graves, in response to a questionnaire in Horizon, 1946.

And to put it mildly, it’s hard to make money at something that isn’t considered a profession.

That being said, authors around the world write in all sorts of genres without making tons of money right away, but what they do get in return, if they’re doing it right, is a dedicated fan base.

Marketing poetry the right way can get you that fan base!

But if you’ve written and published poetry, you already know how difficult marketing poetry books can be.

So here’s some advice on taking things to the next level:

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