Another Reason to Use Visual Content


Visuals_EasierToRemember

Make Your Message Memorable

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Creating an Author Collective – Sell More Books, Have More Fun


laphillips52:

Whether you call it a collective a co-op or a group of authors in search a solution, this idea could help you reach your goal of more sales. Here one author shares her experiences and tips sharing the burden and doubts involved in book marketing. Thanks Monica!

Originally posted on Monica Shaughnessy:

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Join The Herd

At the beginning of the year, I emailed a group of writing friends who’d all – at one time or another – turned to either micro press or indie publishing and asked them if they wanted to join me in a collective. I told them that I didn’t need another critique group (I’m already in two), but that what I really needed was marketing support and camaraderie. Soon after, Space City Scribes was born.

Since then, our little group has gained momentum, adding to my career in so many ways. Beyond the great marketing advice I receive every month from these ladies, I also get the support I need to continue my climb up Mount Independent. Tough reviews? Unsuccessful promo? Apathetic book bloggers? I have a group of sympathetic listeners at my disposal who’ll lend me an ear or give me advice. They’re also here to cheer…

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Success for Your Book – in Non-Traditional Markets


laphillips52:

Don’t limit yourself or shut out readers!

Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:

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Do you know that more than half of all books are not sold in bookstores? If you want to take your business to a higher level, there are so many other venues for selling your books.
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Gift shops
Many books fit well in the gift or souvenir market. The price for your book should be under $15, the cover bright and the book a good impulse item. If you offer your book in person, bring a display for dominantly presentation at the cash counter.
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Retail outlets
Some golf club shops, gourmet shops, sporting goods stores, home improvement stores, museum stores or children’s shops sell books as sidelines, items that complement their other merchandise. Offer the outlet ten copies on consignment, plus a free display to get the ball rolling.
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Corporate gifts
A book is the ideal goodwill builder because people value books. Most corporations have marketing budgets for…

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Share quick, concise, visual content!


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Fact: 93% of communication is nonverbal. Authors why not try this quick tip for your book marketing?


When quick, clear, communication is needed use visual content. Why? Because the human brain decodes what it sees concurrently but takes more time to process text.

Quick Tips with Jo Linsdell: Pinterest Book Boards

International best selling author and illustrator Jo Linsdell shares quick tips to help writers and authors in their marketing efforts.

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Every Day Book Marketing is Easy, Fast and Effective


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Authors: Use the Power of FREE and Create Super Fans for Your Books


How to Turn a Freebie Lover Into a Super Fan
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A feImage Courtesy of Chapperal HSw years ago I worked on a project with Days of Our Lives. For those of you who grew up with soap operas (or maybe still try to catch them from time to time) you know that this show has been on the air for 47-odd years. A couple of years ago they released a book, a coffee table book celebrating 45 years of the show. It was a big, pricey, coffee table book, and most bookstores couldn’t keep it in stock. In fact, the publisher went back for many, many printings of it. A funny backstory of this is that initially Barnes & Noble didn’t order enough books, figuring no one would buy them. Clearly, someone should have done some market research. Amazon stocked up, and stocked up heavily, and once Barnes & Noble sold out, guess where soap fans went?

So, I was at the Daytime Emmy Awards in Vegas during this book release time and, prior to the start of the awards show, I was outside the auditorium as many of the fans started arriving. Hundreds of them had been there for hours. I was walking around with the Days book when a woman walked up to me. She asked, “Are you with the show?” Before I had a chance to say no, she launched into a particular issue she was having with Days. She said that several of the sets were reusing the throw pillows and it was distracting to her to see them used over and over again in different houses. Now, you might think this was creepy, that someone noticed something like that, but I see something very different here. I see a Super Fan. You want someone to notice the throw pillows because that means that they not only care about what you’re offering, but they care enough to tell you how to make it better, and, they care enough to support whatever it is that you’re doing.

When you think about creating Super Fans, I think that we can all take a lesson from the Soap Opera market. These actors spend an inordinate amount of time visiting with fans, having lunches with them, sending them correspondence, responding to them on social media (and most, if not all of them, manage their own social media accounts).

With all of the options we have for television these days, soaps should have died out years ago, but they haven’t. Why? The Super Fan.

How can you build a Super Fan? Well, it starts with free (which we discussed in the last issue) and it continues with engagement.

Creating the Super Fan

In one test case, we asked one of our authors to put up a blog post about who she’d cast if her book became a movie. Her fans loved it and she got a ton of comments.

The fact is that 83% percent of Americans want to write a book, and 100% of those authors have dreamed of their book becoming a movie or a TV series. This post resonated with readers visually and also keyed in to their core interest of becoming an author and living the dream.
Then, we took this a step further. We added character profiles to the site: Pictures of the characters along with snippets about them:  http://www.thepublicistnovel.com/about-the-book

I’ve also encouraged this author to pull together a playlist for her book and to ask fans for the songs they think fit with the characters.

Then, we also had trading cards made for the book. You can get these done at GotPrint, and I had them designed on 99Designs for $150.

Easy. I also had them done for my How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon. I have taken both of these sets of cards to events and authors *love* them. In fact, I just took 200 cards of each to ASJA, and I figured I’d wind up taking a bunch home with me but they were gobbled up.

The next step was to take these trading cards (for the fiction book) and send them to every blogger or reader who had reviewed the book. The result? Raves on Twitter, along with a post from a blogger who had taken a picture of the cards.

I also did this with the Amazon cards (sending them to reviewers) and they *loved* this!

Oh, and remember that letter to readers we put in the back of the book? Well, readers responded (some just wrote reviews and did not email, but others did both). To those fans who emailed the author, we offered to let them read book three (the final book in the series) in galley form to get their feedback on the book. Feedback from readers who love you? You bet. Guess what? They loved it. Some posted it to their Facebook page and told all their friends, others tweeted on it. This small gesture made readers feel important, and we all want to feel like we matter, don’t we?

Why does all of  this work? Clearly there’s some fun engagement going on but it’s  more than that: We’re really taking the time to spend time with our readers, even if it’s just virtually.

It takes very little to respond to an email. I mean I get emails from authors wanting advice all the time. I try to respond to many, if not all. It takes a few minutes, but the process of connecting with a reader in a really honest way can benefit you ten-fold.

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Understanding the Metric of Free

Last issue we talked about the power of free and how you can use free to drive your success. We had a book we were promoting as a 2-day freebie. In those two days the book generated 61,000 downloads.  Out of that, the author got a couple of hundred emails from readers (and this happened almost immediately) who had read and loved the book and were encouraged to write to her (thanks to the letter in the back of the book!).

This author decided to take this process a step further and she wrote back to all the readers, telling them that they’d been included in her Exclusive Reader Club which means that they would get access to her next book, for free, just for writing (and posting a review, although she did not ask them for a good one, just that they post a review). This model helps to build a community with readers. She also invited the readers who wrote to invite up to ten of their friends to join this “club” and again, the “cost” of entry was a review. She didn’t even tell them to buy the book, if the reader felt that $1.99 was an unfair price, she’d send it to them for free.

Now this might seem counterintuitive to you, but what she’s doing is building solid rapport with her readers, building trust, and also being fair. She wants a review but if you don’t want to buy the book, you don’t have to. To date, no one has asked for a freebie. Why? Because they came into this “funnel” through a friend. A friend tells them about the book and “you should sign up for book three for free,” and since we trust our friends, we know that they probably know what we like. We’ll see where this winds up when her next book comes out, but for now, this is turning out to be a great way to build an eager tribe of Super Fans.

Own the Shelf

In a world where anyone can publish and many do, you really need to own the shelf – your shelf, your genre. How can you do that? By publishing a lot. Now, keep in mind that short is the new long so these don’t have to be long books.

In fact a few weeks ago I talked to a publisher who told me that a word count between 20,000 and 50,000 was their sweet spot. They said that they sell a ton of books at that word count. This does not mean that they don’t publish full-length books because they do. But sometimes you just want a quick read, right? So does your reader. Owning the shelf is not just key to exposure but also, if you’re trying to build your Super Fan empire, they’re going to want more of your books – and this is a great way to give your readers what they want.

Sell the Experience

I just finished a fantastic book by Nicholas Lovell called The Curve. If you haven’t read it I highly  encourage  you to do so. This  author talks about the Super Fan and goes on to say that technically, you only need 1,000 Super Fans to get a bestseller. I mean, think about it. A Super Fan will tell ten of their friends, maybe 100 or more. You’re more inclined to buy something when someone you trust recommends  it, right? Hence the Super Fan.

When I say “sell the experience” what I mean is that you use free to lower the barrier to entry, to build that Super Fan-dom and now what? Now it’s time to roll out things like Special Editions, Fan events (I had an author who planned a fan tea event at a local tea shop and it was a huge hit). Sure, you can do a book signing and those are great, but sell the experience. You want each of your fans to feel special, right? Make them feel special. People will pay for an experience.

Consider Starbucks. Twenty years ago if someone had told me I’d be dishing out $5 for a latte I’d tell them they were crazy (and I’m not even sure I knew what a latte was back then). Starbucks charges between $3 and $5 for a specialty beverage, you’d think that at some point their success would drop off, but it does not seem to be declining. Starbucks sells an experience and so should you.

To create a wildly successful book, you need Super Fans. And whether you liked it or hated it, the insane success of the book Fifty Shades of Grey was largely due to the Super Fans who loved this book so much that they shared it with their friends and enthusiastically recommended it to their friends on social media.

Super Fans are golden, whether they are recommending a book or telling you about the throw pillows – you should cherish each and every one of them. Oh, and I did get the message to Days, and the throw pillows were changed. I bet that fan was thrilled!

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Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

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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”

~~~~~Click to Tweet~~~~~

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 Dlvr.it  

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 Timely.is 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?


laphillips52:

Are You Taking Advantage of Your Contacts?

Originally posted on growing up writing:

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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.

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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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