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Offering Readers Extras

As an indie author, simply writing your book is not enough. You need to have a marketing strategy, and let people know about your work. You also need to find your target audience, and then give them a reason to keep buying your work.

One way to do that is to offer extras to your readers. The Write Life calls them “insider treasures.” The idea is to make your readers feel special by giving them a gift:

Many authors create incredible extras inspired by their writing, drawn from their characters or worlds. This can be anything from a map of an alternate world to lovely character cards, or a peek behind the curtain at your creative process.

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How to Launch a Book Without a Platform: Interview with Rachel Swanson

A question many first-time authors ask is how to launch a book without a platform? Is it possible or do you need to build your followers first?

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Our guest for today proves you can successfully launch and sell a book, without a major platform. Rachel Swanson was once an aspiring author with a small blog – under 100 email subscribers – and what she did with her first book was nothing short of amazing! She launched a book and sold thousands of copies in the first few weeks, and that trend has continued ever since.

To start off, I share the email she sent to pitch herself to come on this show. I think it’s a great example of how to position yourself when asking to be a guest on any podcast or other medium, and I wanted you to hear it.

We then transition into talking about how her book has sold over 10,000 copies. This is an exceptional milestone that many books don’t reach in their first year, and yet Rachel has accomplished this in just the first six months of her book’s launch!

On today’s episode of The Portfolio Life, we discuss how Rachel’s book came to be and how it became so successful, plus candid advice for following in her footsteps.

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How to Increase Website Traffic – A Guide For Beginners

How to Increase Website Traffic – A Guide For Beginners

There is no way around it. If you have a website, your business needs visitors. The more, the merrier.

But, quantity is not the most important thing you need to worry about. You also need visitors who perform the actions you want them to perform, whether it be purchasing your product, subscribing to your email newsletter, or downloading your PDF file.

So, the real question is not how to get more website traffic, but rather how to get traffic that converts? Furthermore, how do you do it profitably?

This article will help you answer those questions. It is a simple guide to increasing website traffic for beginners.

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How to Sell More Books with 13 Pre-Order Strategies

How to Sell More Books with 13 Pre-Order Strategies

If you’ve never done a pre-order campaign, or your last one wasn’t successful, I want to go over 13 strategies that will ensure you’ll sell more books next time around.

Working pre-order campaigns into your author marketing plan help you build buzz. Plus they are an excellent excuse to engage fans and draw in new ones. And pre-orders can really be lucrative for sales, when done right.

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5 Ways to Get People Talking About Your Brand, Both Online and Off

Across continents and generations, research shows that the recommendations of friends are trusted more than any other form of advertising. People love to hear, watch and share stories with the people who matter most to them. The Story feature on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and even Google encourages users to share their choices and experiences more frequently than ever.

Rather than interrupt those stories with ads, your brand can become the topic of these stories—if you deliver an experience worth sharing. The main factor that drives these experiences is not the size of your staff or marketing budget; it’s something we all possess: creativity.

Below are five key touchpoints to consider when creating your strategy to spark shareworthy stories about your brand.

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How To Fix A Broken Book PR Campaign

Are you underperforming when it comes to getting book publicity and if so, what can you do about it?
In order to fix a problem, you need to properly assess it.  Identify, thus far, your book PR campaign’s strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities. What areas have the potential for success – and which ones have proven to be unviable?
Underperforming doesn’t just mean you aren’t achieving results that you hoped to achieve or even thought reasonably possible to obtain. It means you are below expectations or the norm.  You know you can still do better. So how will you fix this mess?
Start by identifying what has worked so far.  Think about why it worked.  Continue with that approach.  Was it the angle pitched?  Wasn’t it something you did to convince others to cover your book?  what was the method used to reach the media (phone vs. mail vs. in-person vs. snail mail)?  Did you have a connection that was leveraged?  Was there a tie-in to the news cycle?
Then look at what hasn’t worked.  What could be modified or overhauled about your approach?
Next, look at upcoming opportunities. Are there upcoming story angles that you should utilize, given the news cycle or holidays or honorary days that are coming up to tie into?
Sometimes an under-performing PR campaign needs to have goals or revised ones – and it needs a rededication or commitment to achieving them.  Will you spend 20 minutes a day on PR?  An hour?  Two hours?
Another area to explore is that maybe you need help.  Are you prepared to hire someone to help you market and promote your book?
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Who Reads Your Book? How Knowing Your Reader Can Help

As authors and writers, we are always looking for new ways to connect with readers. In spite of countless ‘how to” posts and training programs, no one has, as yet, produced a consistently successful method for growing a following and selling books to new readers.

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9 Things Amazon Secretly Launched that Can Help All Indie Authors with their Book Marketing

Amazon is always changing things up. And that’s why it’s important to always be watching for what’s new. Especially if we’re in book marketing mode (and aren’t we always?), making the most of Amazon is a great way to spend your time. So fair warning, some of the things I’m mentioning here are good, some are less so. But regardless, they will all affect all of us who are in the throes of promoting our books. And as a side note, many of these do affect indie authors more so than traditionally published.

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A Free Way for Authors to Engage with Readers on

BookBub Recommendations: A Free Way for Authors to Engage with Readers on BookBub.comA Free Way for Authors to Engage with Readers on

Readers love getting book recommendations from people they trust. In fact, close to 50% of BookBub’s members say it’s one of the primary ways they find new books to buy.

Millions of BookBub members already get recommendations from fellow readers on, but many have told us they want to hear from their favorite authors as well. So we’re excited to tell our partners about this free way to engage with fans! Posting a recommendation on is a great way for any author to interact with their followers in a positive, friendly, book-focused environment.

Sharing a recommendation on BookBub helps authors:

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15 Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

15 Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

book marketing

We’ve all been there: a book we were excited about, one that we worked on earnestly.

But when it hit the market, all that came back was a big yawn.

No author wants to be in that situation, most of all a self-published author. We gamble our own time, money, and commitment to our books, and we really need a positive response sometimes just to keep going.

But there it is: your baby isn’t selling.

What went wrong? Is it something you can fix, or is it embedded in the DNA of your book, a flaw so grave it can never recover?

Take a look at this list and see if you’ve been guilty of any of these oversights.

And don’t feel too bad, we all make mistakes, miss important road signs, get confused on the journey to publication.

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