Become an “author-preneur”

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Q: Why Do We Need A Strong Social Media Presence?

Hurry_Time_iStockI am always taken aback when I hear this question. But then I think of how many people have commented on the time social media takes from their day, so I briefly answered with a few of the benefits social media can offer and listed “5 Tips For A  Time-Saving Social Media Strategy”

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A: Times have changed. Today our community is much larger and if you’re going to build your author platform or sell books you have to create a global image for yourself and your book. Doing it through social media is economical, efficient and wide-reaching. Through social media networking you can increase your reader sales and fanbase, attract visitors to your site and find the attention for your work you’re looking for.

Consider these ideas for saving some time creating your targeted audience on social media:

1.   Prioritize Your Day – Who says you have to check-in with your tweeps first thing?

2.   Time Yourself – Decide how much time you’re going to spend on social media and stick to it. Is 15, 20 or 30 minutes all you’re going to allow yourself? Good, you’ve got a busy day ahead of you.

3.   Use RSS Feeds – Deliver fresh content to Twitter, Facebook and more by sharing your blog posts automatically every time you publish. Set this up quickly and easily using  

4. Preschedule Tweets and Posts – Your name, book and message can appear online automatically sporadically throughout the day when you set up instant posts via orHootSuite. This way your identity is kept before your audience, seen by a wider group of people and you don’t have to continually take the time out of your day to initiate the activity.

5.   Comment and Sign It – There are other social platforms besides Twitter and Facebook. Set aside a block of time a day or two each week to visit other blogs, discussion boards and groups. Comment on a post and remember to leave your signature complete with your name, book title and web or blog site address. 

Related Post: What Social Media Can Do For You (Infographic)

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Do Author Signings Work?


Are You Taking Advantage of Your Contacts?

Originally posted on growing up writing:


Marketing is time consuming, there’s no doubt about it, but the benefits are about far more than selling a few books.

From two signings I have sold books, sure, but what I didn’t expect were the associated benefits.


Here’s the list:

1.  I met Nick who works in the bookshop where my signings took place. His day job is as a journalist with a local radio station. I donated half a dozen books and he promoted Dirt Busters in prime time. His promotions manager also contacted me.

2.  I met Steve who is also an Indie Author. We met later for coffee and it turns out he is a motivational coach in his spare time. His day job is with local schools where he runs Outdoors Programs. He is going to help me set up and run Writers Retreats for students.

3.  I met Janet who bought Dirt Busters fir…

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Using hashtags… the RIGHT way By Jo Linsdell

With over 255 million monthly active users Twitters news stream can get overwhelming. Hashtags are a great way to find and be found in the sea of tweets. On Twitter, hashtags are used to highlight keywords and categorise your tweets. There are lots of companies that study statistics, behaviour, and tweets on Twitter and their research confirms that tweets with hashtags get more engagement than those without. One study carried out by Dan Zarella found that tweets with one or more hashtags are 55 percent more likely to get retweeted.

Unfortunately a lot of people don’t know who to use them though. Adding #a #hashtag #to #every #word is just plain annoying and offers no benefits at all. They need to be used the right way.

Hashtags can be a great way to mark yourself as an expert in your field and also help you reach your target audience. They help your tweets show up in search results and make it easier for readers to find your content.

So what hashtags should you be using?

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As your main goal is to build your author brand and sell more books, you need to think of keywords related to your niche and the topic of your book. You’ve probably already done this exercise when you where writing your book description and picking which categories your book would be labelled under. Take those keywords and use them in your tweets. By singling in on a few hashtags related to your niche you can build name recognition around those terms. When people think of that word they think of you as your tweets come up regularly in searches on that topic.

Hashtags are also used to make it easier to follow conversations on Twitter. Live chats happen all the time on Twitter and can be a great way to reach a new audience and connect with new readers.

using hashtags the right way infographic2Pin on Pinterest

If you host an interview or get interviewed in a live Twitter chat you should create a unique hashtag of your own to make it easier for readers to follow along and interact with you during the event. Using a tool like is useful for following a specific hashtag during a live event.

Are you using hashtags to make your content stand out on Twitter? Do you have a unique hashtag specifically for tweets about your book? What hashtag are you most likely to be found tweeting?

Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator and internationally recognized marketing expert. She is also the founder and organizer of the annual online event “Promo Day” ( and the Writers and Authors blog Her latest release How to be Twittertastic is available now from all Amazon stores. To find out more about Jo and her projects visit her website

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Introducing How to be Twittertastic by Jo Linsdell

VBTbannerHowtobeTwittertasticRAbout the book: Are you ready to be Twittertastic? Twitter is the most immediate of all social media and allows you to connect with readers and others from the literary industry from all over the world. The fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013 Twitter now boosts 255 million monthly active users. How to be Twittertastic teaches you what Twitter is and how to use it to  build your author brand, connect with readers, and sell more books. Learn strategies and tips that will help you leverage your Twitter presence and get the most out of your tweets.

What’s covered:

  • How to set up your profile and personalise it
  • Creating your network
  • Ideas for making the most out of the new features
  • Tweets- Types of content you can share
  •  Retweets, hashtags, and other Twitter terminology made simple
  •  Twitter etiquette- Dos and Don’ts of the Twitterverse
  •  Time savers

twitter_tweet_this_65band more… How to be Twittertastic is the first book in the Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media series.

  • Release date: 1st July 2014
  • Product Details: Kindle
  • File Size: 2191 KB
  • Print Length: 94 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Purchasing links:

Author bio: Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator and internationally recognized marketing expert. She is also the founder and organizer of the annual online event “Promo Day” ( and the Writers and Authors blog ( To find out more about Jo and her projects visit her website Author website:

Goodreads book page:

Facebook event page:

Social Media Links:





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You can also see Jo’s guest post “Using Hashtags…the right way” this Thursday, 7/17 here on Book World Marketing.


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46 Top Websites to Promote Your Book for FREE


Too many authors overlook the benefits of FREE or they offer their book in a Giveaway2giveaway but don’t promote the event. Then they figure they’ve proven their point. If you don’t promote you might just as well not bother!

Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:

Book Store

Stand out Against Thousands of Books

Added June 23, 2013:

Dear Reader:  This list of websites, which we compiled in March 2012, grew in the meantime to almost 100.  Please visit our two new blog posts with even more possibilities to announce your work for free:

All three blog posts are officially copyright registered.  To link to our blog posts, and let your own readers know about these websites, please use the RE-BLOG link on top of this page. Thanks!  Please learn about re-blogging here:


Original Article from March 11, 2012:

1. Goodreads
Use your free membership to promote yourself and your books. Reviews are essential and reviews on Goodreads site help your book to really stand out to millions of visitors.

2. Wattpad
Wattpad has experienced explosive growth since its inception and has become the world’s most popular destination to publish and…

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Your Best marketing Tools

Promote-Graphic-TWO-5Top 10 Mistakes Every Author Should Avoid
As any author discovers, there’s plenty of free advice out there for what they should – and shouldn’t do – when publishing a book. If I had to create a Top 10 list of mistakes authors should avoid at all costs, I’d focus on the following topics, because these omissions can really set you and your book back:

1. Not Understanding the Publishing Industry: Writing a book does not guarantee you readers. Before you publish, do some research – who are your competitors? What do they publish? How is your genre faring in the industry right now? Knowing your market is vital to finding and connecting with readers, receiving book reviews, and getting book sales.

2. Not Realizing Book Covers are Key: Readers and book buyers spend only seconds looking at book covers, and many of them now view thumbnail-size images online. Investing in a professionally designed cover by someone who understands book design and the publishing industry is a smart move. If you can’t capture people’s attention with a strong cover, you’ve likely lost a prospective reader and buyer. You’ve put a lot of work into writing your book; apply the same philosophy to your book cover.

3. Not Knowing That Editing is Your Best Marketing Tool: There are at least 300,000 books published each year, according to Bowker. With all that competition, you want your book to be the best you can make it. A poorly edited book will not gain you readers, reviewers, or fans. If your book is your resume, what kind of message are you sending if your book is full of errors? This is the most common complaint about self-published books: lack of quality control, aka, editing.

4. Not Getting Good Advice: Sure, your mom and your friends support what you do wholeheartedly – but what do they know about publishing and promoting a book? There are so many reputable, free resources available to authors for every phase of their publishing journey – from blogs to social media groups to online forums and more. Take advantage of these resources, ask questions, learn from others, and share your insights.

5. Not Working Your Market: One great thing about social media is it really does let you find people who read books in your genre. And you can cultivate these readers in a number of ways beyond buying, reading, and reviewing your book. Why not seek beta readers from your market before you publish? Many authors have successfully built a stable of pre-publication beta readers who offer their insights. Beta readers are not editors – while they may find a grammatical error or typo, what they really do is help an author understand if the story works, if it’s authentic.

6. Forgetting That It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint: If you’re going to publish a book, you have to be in it for the long haul. Those “overnight” success stories are never true. By the time you’ve heard of the author they’ve already put in years working on their writing, getting published, and building a following. Approach your marketing with the long-term in mind.

7. Not Knowing That Timing Matters: This is where a writing, publishing, and marketing plan comes in handy. If you want reviews, you need to build that into your publication schedule because if you seek major review sites or publications, they’ll want a copy of your book at least two to three months before it’s published. If you want a distributor for your book, it’s going to take some time for them to get your book placed. Work out these dates in a flexible plan (to cover for anything that will go awry, this does happen) for publishing your book.

8. Overlooking the Importance of Your Website: Your website is your 24/7 sales hub, and unless you know how to convert web visitors into buyers, you should find a professional to design your site. DIY websites rarely sell books, nor do they help an author’s ranking in Google search. These things matter, and that’s why having your friend’s teenage son design your site is probably not a good idea – unless he knows all about web conversion and SEO.

9. Not Building Relationships: Are you getting book reviews, interviews, or other coverage? If so, be sure to thank them for taking the time to review your book or interview you. These not-so-little things do matter in the long haul. These are people you can approach for your second, third, and subsequent books – and your requests will be successful if you’ve taken the time to build relationships. I can’t believe how rarely authors take the time to say thank you, when that little step can go a long way toward developing a following.

10. Not Trusting Your Team: If you’re hiring people to help you publish and/or market your book, trust their advice. You chose them for a reason (I hope), so take advantage of their expertise. Look for someone with a good track record in the industry who understands the market. Then let them do what you’ve hired them to do – otherwise, what’s the point?

Publishing and promoting a book is a huge challenge, and authors often feel overwhelmed by a myriad of choices. But focusing on a few key areas can be the difference between a book that finds traction versus one that gets lost in the crowd. In the end, it’s worth the time to invest in your book, your team, and your promotion.

Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

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Social Media Myths: Use Shortened URLs

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Guest Author, Lynne Spreen, Reviews Guy Kawasaki’s APE

Hi Everyone, Remember the post for the ‪#‎FREE‬ download of Guy Kawaskai’s book The Ape (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur)? [You can find that here in case you missed it.] Lynne Spreen has been good enough to review that book written for self publishers!

Thanks Lynne! ~~~~~~~~~~
This is a reaction to the book APE, How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. I bought it when it first came out, read most of it, got overwhelmed and put it away. Recently I went through it again, and now that I’m a more experienced writer and entrepreneur, I was able to evaluate what was helpful and what was less so. Overall, I was pleased with how much information is in it. It’s a great resource.
Although the book is packed with information, at times it almost seems to try to do too much. The title stands for Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, and in my opinion the first of the three is a bit superficial. If you don’t know how to write, for example, the chapter on how to write a book won’t help you much. And if you’re buying this book, you already know you’re going to self-publish, so the chapter on making that decision is kind of pointless. And the chapter, “Tools for Writers,” in which Guy concludes you should use Microsoft Word? I think most of us knew that.
However, the latter two-thirds of the book are seriously helpful, especially if you’re close to finishing your manuscript. At this point, you’ll need to know how to polish, publish, and market it. This is where the book offers detailed, easy-to-absorb information.
APE is available as an ebook and a paperback, but the former provides dozens of useful links, so I recommend that version. My favorite chapters:
  • How to Sell Your ebook through Amazon, Apple, etc.
  • Self-Publishing Issues: how not to get ripped off by author-services providers
  • How to Navigate Amazon. Helpful not only from an author’s point of view but also a customer. (Guy deserves a five-star review just for deconstructing this behemoth.)
  • How to upload your book to a publishing service, using Kindle as the example
  • Really helpful chapters on building “an enchanting personal brand” (platform) and how to use social media for that purpose
  • How to guerrilla-market your book This is a book that deserves to be in the library of any self-publisher, from one-book memoirist to career-building author. Many thanks to Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch for their efforts.

by Lynne Spreen 
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If Ollie Can Boost Book Sales So Can You!

It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. You’re already a writer and probably a blogger. Brainstorm a few ideas or write down 5-7 questions you think readers might ask and answer them. Voila,  you’ve got a guest blog post to share!

Here’s a few more quick ideas to get the buzz going:

  1. Select a Goodreads or Facebook group and write a post offering a copy of your book in exchange for an honest review;
  2. Book yourself to speak at a local book club and use your Smartphone to record yourself reading an excerpt of your book;
  3. Send a message out to your email list, friends, and family
  4. Contact a few fellow authors (or a few book bloggers) to ask about posting a guest article on their site;
  5. Schedule a literary event within the community;
  6. Distribute personal service announcements (PSA) to local radio and TV stations and newspapers. You don’t have to spend time writing this. Just use the first paragraph of your press/media release as a PSA;
  7. Create a Rafflecopter contest or giveaway and promote it via social media with pre-scheduled posts. By pre-scheduling the posts via HootSuite or another service you can avoid having Twitter or Facebook gobble up your precious writing time and still get the word out;
  8. Create a business card or bookmark for your book (don’t forget all of the vital sale info); it’ll be ready to circulate at events, to librarians or anywhere your readers might gather*;
  9. Update your Amazon and Goodreads author pages;
  10. Send thank-you notes to people who have been helpful to you.

Bonus Tip: Augment your Amazon Author Central Page – link to your blog, Twitter feed or add a video

*Bonus Thought: Delegate, manage, and hire out the everyday tasks like circulation of author swag, maintaining your marketing calendar, and keeping your social media networking responsibilities up-to-date.

Tweet: 10 quick ideas (and a bonus) to get the buzz going

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