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Reading Across America: How to Brand Your Reading Series #h2e

When I was first trying to get a job in advertising, a creative director told me that at its heart, it was a relatively simple job.|

If we were trying to sell cat food to cats, he told me, we’d be out of luck because none of us have any idea what cats are thinking. But we’re telling stories to humans, he said, and we all know what it’s like to be human.We launched Liars’ League in London in 2007 with a simple concept: Writers write, actors read, audience listens, everybody wins. We accept themed submissions from writers, our team selects the best handful, and then we cast actors and host rehearsals before they perform the reading in front of a live audience. The original idea grew from our desire to give writers’ work the best possible public performance: not every writer loves reading.

When we decided to set up Liars’ League NYC, the London series had been running successfully for more than five years. Given our fairly uncomplicated model, we assumed the transatlantic translation would be relatively straightforward. It wasn’t: it turns out there are more reading series in New York than there are in London. Like, a lot more. In New York, you can be competing with several readings on any given night. So we realized we had to do more than just throw up a Facebook page and wait for the world to beat a path to our door. To find our audience, we had to tell our own story—to brand ourselves.

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How Does an 8,000 Word Story Go Viral? #h2e

Image: Alfred Lui/Flickr

A recent Atlantic story set a daily traffic record, but most people read it in bits and pieces, while eagerly sharing.

“Did you see that story in the Atlantic?”

This question was all that filled my world on Tuesday, after the Atlantic posthumously published an 8,000-word, complex exploration of an author’s relationship to the woman who was his family’s slave. The story quickly exploded—even amid the endless breaking news cycle in Washington—setting online daily traffic records for the magazine, according to the senior director of communications. It sparked many a twitter essay, blog post, take, and counter-take as the online literati tried to tease apart the difficult and emotional narrative. If you haven’t yet, you should really read it.

But as fascinated as I was by the story and its impact, I was also intrigued by a familiar trope and frenzy that takes place whenever a juicy, intelligent long read is published.

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Content Marketing Equates to Visibility and Increased List Size via @kathleengage #h2e

Most experts who conduct business online and offline know increasing their subscriber list size can equate to increased revenues. Increasing your list with qualified leads takes more than simply adding numbers.

It takes a targeted effort including knowing who you want to reach, where they are at, and getting in front of them in a way that establishes your credibility.

It also takes consistent, and ongoing, effort. One of the best ways to position your expertise is through content marketing.

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Full article click here. 

The idea is to get your content seen by as many people as possible who have an interest in your information.

There are lots of ways to do this with some of my favorite being…

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This is the Reason Content Marketing for Writers Matters #h2e

Content marketing.|

It’s not a term most writers are familiar with, likely because anything with the term ‘marketing’ in it makes us want to run away and cower in the safety of our tried and trusty pens and pads. Besides, we are writers. We want to create art. Why do we need to do any…

.@Amazon Keywords That Pull In More Buyers #h2e

If you’re an indie author, you’re also in the business of book marketing.|


Did you know that?

That’s the first thing you need to know about the publishing industry. Writing great books is only the first step – and with 4,500+ books published each day, getting readers is the hardest part.

Finding a way to set YOUR book apart from the pack isn’t always easy.

Amazon Keywords that set your book apart from the pack! via @bookgal #amazonhacks
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Luckily, I can tell you how to make it happen.

Amazon keywords. You may be surprised by how often they are under-utilized. By using them correctly, you can draw potential readers to your topic and, ultimately, sell more books.

But as with all tools – you must know how to use them correctly and effectively. And the “trick” here is understanding how you pull in buyers.

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The Value of Consistent Book Marketing #h2e

From my years in publishing, I find many writers expect to have instant success.|

While they may not say it verbally, they show this expectation in other ways. It makes sense since we live in a fast-moving, instant message world. One of the ways I see this expectation is in contract negotiations with new authors. In the details of the contract sometimes writers try and narrow the length of the contract to two or three years. I understand their desire but I often end up explaining that books sometimes take several years to take off and reach the public. At Morgan James Publishing, we’ve had a number of books with modest sales in the beginning, but the author consistently works at marketing and spreading the word about their book. These authors try multiple approaches to reach their audience. Then almost without explanation, their book begins to consistently sell in large numbers—month after month.

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Business Musings: How To Build A Brand: The Early Stages (Branding/Discoverability) #h2e

When I do marketing posts, they tend to freak my loyal readers out. Sometimes, the posts freak me out too. What writers want from marketing blogs are simple suggestions that boil down to this:

Do x, y, and z, and you’ll get these fantastic results!

Only it doesn’t work that way. Or rather, it doesn’t work that way for everyone. I’m writing this on Sunday, after our weekly professional writers lunch. We have writers of different levels at the lunch, including writers who’ve worked for decades, and writers who are on their third or fourth year as full-time professionals.

We discussed Amazon ads, which we all jumped into at roughly the same time, using the same or similar methods. We all have had stunningly different results. Those of us who’ve been in the business longer haven’t seen the uptick that the newer authors are seeing—which makes sense, since the ads are about information and discoverability, and we’re better known.

Besides, the hot new thing in indie publishing marketing is only the hot new thing for a few weeks or a few months. Then everyone jumps on the bandwagon and the hot new thing becomes tepid. The innovators move on to other things, hoping some of those things will become hot, and everyone else waits for the xyz instruction on what to do next.

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6 Ways for Indie Authors to Use Goodreads to Network

Social media expert Barb Drozdowich counts the ways for indie authors to network on Goodreads to help market their self-published books.


Goodreads is often the site that is dismissed as difficult to navigate or full of nasty people.  Let’s talk about these elephants shall we?

  • Can Goodreads be difficult to navigate? I think so.  But like learning to write excellent dialogue,  navigating Goodreads can be learned  with a little bit of patience.
  • Is Goodreads full of nasty people?  Not really.   There are 50 million account holders on Goodreads.  In a group that large there are bound to be nasty people.  Take your local mall as an example.  Not everybody there is pleasant,  yet you continue to shop there.  You develop a way to cope with the nasty people –  you can do the same on Goodreads.

goodreads logo

The Enormous Potential Reach of Goodreads

Goodreads had 50 million readers all in on place. What could be a better place for finding readers, especially for the beginning author – or the author trying to make contacts in new countries, ?

But just like you would never stand in the middle of your local public library holding your book and yelling at everybody to read it,  that behavior is not acceptable on Goodreads either.  So put on your reader’s hat,  grab yourself a cup of coffee and think about six distinct networking possibilities

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What Amazon’s New Buy Box Policy Means for Indie Authors via #PW

Photo: Courtesy of the author.

Brooke Warner.

In recent weeks, Amazon’s new Buy Box policy has received a fair amount of industry attention and blowback, leaving publishers and authors speculating about Amazon’s motives for implementing it. While some think the industry reaction is a tempest in a teacup, with publishers raising their hackles once again over an Amazon business decision, others see the policy—which allows third-party sellers to “win” the Buy Box, thus relegating publisher listings to the “Other Sellers on Amazon” section—as an aggressive move against publishers and authors.

Amazon has long enjoyed the widespread support of independent authors, who rightly credit the retail giant for their ability to be authors at all. Without Amazon, most indie authors would have no means of reaching a broad readership. Many will recall the 2014 open letter on endorsed by 27 authors, including J.A. Konrath and Hugh Howey, condemning New York publishing and championing Amazon, reading in part:

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6 Places to Buy Cheap Ads Online (That You Haven’t Thought Of Yet)

Everybody knows about Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ads.|


But are there overlooked places online to buy inexpensive ads?

In 1905, a pharmacist by the name of Claud A. Hatcher worked late into the night on his new formula for a sweet, bubbly liquid. Soon, grocery stores around the world would be selling this new trendy cola. Hatcher came up with a name for his cola—and if you shouted Coca Cola, you would be wrong. He invented RC Cola, the much cheaper and far less famous version of Coca Cola.

In this article, I’ll present you the RC Cola of online advertising options. They might not have the brand power of Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube ads—but they’re a little cheaper and still get the job done.

Use these advertising options to boost your content, impress clients with a cheap media buy, and experiment with your paid media strategy.

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

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