Tag Archives: authors

Write And Sell: 5 Social Media Tips For Book Marketing

Write And Sell: 5 Social Media Tips For Book Marketing

Oh the horror… Many authors hate book marketing, and they aren’t that keen on social media either. Authors want to write, and leave everything else to others.

Would that we could. That would be the best of all worlds. Sadly, even if you have the money to pay a good publicist, you’re better off doing most of your marketing yourself. No one knows your novels (and nonfiction books) as well as you do.

You’ll learn a great deal from marketing too. This helps your writing.

So — is social media useful, or useless, for book marketing?

Social media marketing: slow growth, then a healthy, ongoing harvest

Important: be aware that NO form of marketing is an ATM machine.

I posted about visibility on the freelance writing blog:

… (some) writers think of marketing in terms of “launches”. That is, they believe that marketing is something that you do for a few weeks a year whenever you have something new to promote.

… It works for a lucky few. For the vast majority of writers however, launches produce a tiny number of sales or none at all.

Look at marketing in general, and social media in particular, as a cumulative process. Just because no one’s bought your book in a week, after you posted on Twitter FIVE times, it doesn’t mean that no one’s seeing your tweets. (Try posting something stupid, and the instant response will provide a quick reality check. :-))

A reader may need to see mention of your book several times before he clicks through to your book’s product page on Amazon or elsewhere.

Now let’s look at the tips.

1. Invest in assets: create or buy great images

Images sell — seriously.

I know we’re all about the words, but people can’t read your words if they’re not paying attention. You grab their attention via images.

2. Create a plan to build your audience, reader by reader

Social media is social. You attract readers individually.

When you’re just starting out (and afterward too) think in terms of small wins. One response to a tweet; a like on your Facebook page… two followers on Pinterest.

3. Leverage others’ audiences with great content

Guest posting on other authors’ blogs used to be super-effective. Now, not so much. However, it’s still valuable. Leverage others’ audiences to grow your own.

4. Write and promote: promote your books before publishing day

You publish your book, and then promote it, yes?

No — if you do that, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build anticipation and readers before you publish.

I gave you a mini marketing campaign for social media on this post. Use that as a template to create your own publishing plan; start when you start writing your book.

5. The 80/ 20 rule: remember to promote your books on social media

Marketing on social media is a balance. If every post you make is promotional, you’ll never sell. On the other hand, if you’re too shy to sell, you’ll sell a lot fewer books than you could.

The 80/ 20 rule is popular in social media marketing. That is, for every four items you post, one is promotional. The other items provide information or entertainment.

You don’t have to adhere slavishly to the rule, but do remember that you’re marketing on social media to sell books.

Onward — book marketing on social media works if you do. 🙂

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99
You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell. More info →
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Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99
I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly. More info →
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Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Write A Book: 3 Simple Ways To Get Nonfiction Ideas Readers Love

Write A Book: 3 Simple Ways To Get Nonfiction Ideas Readers Love

You want to write a book. Specifically, you want to write a nonfiction book. Easy — ideas are everywhere.

You’re keen to get started, but every idea you develop seems trite — uninspired. You’re wondering whether you’ll ever come up with something original.

Hey, listen up… “Original” is over-rated. Let’s say you managed to develop a completely different idea for a book… An idea which no one has ever had before.

Amazing, right? A guaranteed bestseller, right? Wrong.

Hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world are cudgeling their brains and looking for ideas too. Not only is it unlikely that you’ll come up with something that no one has ever thought of before, but if you did somehow manage it, chances are that no one would buy your book.

Decide now that you’ll write a book which will sell: the only way to do that is to write what readers want.

Write a book that people want to read

Recall that you’re not just writing a book, you’re writing a book that people will want to read.

When I started my writing career, more years ago than I care to remember, a savvy editor suggested that if I wanted to sell, I write about: diets, romance, and money. That trio of topics will always be popular, because: human nature.

Let’s look at ways you can get ideas and write books that readers will love.

1. Make a list of what fascinates YOU

It’s not what you know, it’s what you love, and want to learn more about.

Before the Kindle and the self-publishing revolution, authors’ research to find ideas for books was time-consuming. Not only did you need to hustle to the library to study databases of books which were already published, you had to source lists of upcoming titles as well.

All that took time, and convincing editors that you’d found a hot topic took a lot of back and forth. Even remembering those long-ago days makes me tired. 🙂

Today, you have millions of potential readers, and those millions of readers have endless interests. No matter how esoteric your own obsessions are, it’s likely that thousands of readers share those obsessions and will want to read about them.

So make a list of what you love (or hate, come to that) and keep adding to it. The list will serve you well in years to come.

2. What problems can you solve?

Everyone is an expert on something, and nothing is ever lost on a writer.

Make a list of what you know. Consider your history, your job history, personal challenges you’ve overcome… You’ll be surprised at the length of the list, no matter how young you are. Of course, if you’re mature, you know even more.

Share your knowledge.

3. What do you do in your spare time? You’re a fan of…

What do you like to do?

Create another list. This list should include everything you’d do if money were no object, as well as your favorite pastimes.

Your three lists: competition analysis

You now have three lists.

Choose five to ten topics, and do a little competition analysis.

From this early-stage analysis, you want to know:

  • The category: how popular is the topic? Do any books covering the topic appear in Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers? Here’s the Top 100 for 2017.
  • Assuming that your category is represented, are the books indie published, or traditionally published? Traditionally published books are a good sign, because publishers have research resources that we don’t. (Don’t take this too seriously — publishers are often wrong. :-))
  • Potential for a shortie title. Can you come up some shortie topics with which you can test the category’s potential? Writing a couple of short titles makes sense, before you spend several months writing.

If you want to write a book, there are a million nonfiction topics

As we’ve said, with millions upon millions of readers, chances are that thousands of them will be interested in any idea you choose.

Have fun. And keep adding to your lists. Then you’ll never run out of great ideas for great books. 🙂

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99
In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams. More info →
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Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

$5.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 5
Genre: Writing
You're a writer. You need to make money from your words. What if you could create AND sell a nonfiction book in just a day? More info →
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New Novelist: 3 Tips For Creating Great Fictional Characters

New Novelist: 3 Tips For Creating Great Fictional Characters

You’re a new novelist. You want to write a wonderful novel, with exciting characters — a bestseller. So you decide you’ll develop your characters by creating extensive bios.

Not only do you know what flavor ice cream your main characters enjoy, you also know their shoe size. You hope that all this attention to detail will make creating characters easy.

After a few weeks, you realize that your characters are boring people. You find yourself plotting their death. Unfortunately, if they die, your novel dies with them. (Sob.)

New novelist: the story question is everything to your characters

Many a new novelist has happily put the cart before the horse, so to speak. The cart being an intricate plot with exciting characters (or so you hoped — how could a private eye with a background in military intelligence be so boring)?

You forgot the horse: the story question.

From New Novelist: Write A Selling Novel With One Simple Strategy:

The point of a novel is often referred to as the “story question”, or “dramatic question.” Although the story question might not be stated overtly, it must exist for your novel to be satisfying to readers.

In many genres, the genre itself offers insight to the story question:

  • In mysteries — will the sleuth find the killer?
  • In romances — will the boy get the girl?
  • In thrillers — will the hero save the world?

Your story question always comes first. By all means, work up character bios, but do keep your story question in mind, because it maintains your narrative drive, which is what keeps readers reading:

Something important MUST be at stake in your story. If not literal life or death, then metaphorical life or death. When there’s nothing at stake, readers don’t care, and they won’t read.

For readers to care, your characters must care.

Here are three tips which will help you to create wonderful fictional characters.

1. Create a character who will help to solve the story question

Before you create any characters, know your story question. You don’t need to know details, a story seed is fine:

  • A stalker hunts Character A. Who is he, and what does he want? When she discovers what he wants, will she give it to him?
  • Character A’s son vanishes. The young man drove away to start college, but never arrived. Law enforcement won’t help. Will Character A find her son?

Your story question enables you to create a character about whom readers care.

2. His past made him what he is, so…

More than the color of his hair, or his shoe size, it’s vital that you know that your character is: someone who… (fill in the blank.)

Whether you believe that someone’s character is formed by nature or nurture, a character’s past makes him who he is. Spend time creating a backstory for each of your main characters, but keep backstory OUT of your novel.

While it’s essential that you know why your main character rushes home before dark, you don’t need to elaborate on this; keep your story moving forward.

3. A quirk makes a character real, but avoid overdoing it

Creating character quirks is fun.

Your character might:

  • Have a favorite pair of socks he always wears when giving a presentation;
  • Rescue stray animals, until his home is a menagerie;
  • Hum under his breath when driving, or checking his phone.

A character quirk or two goes a long way. More important than quirks, are a character’s attributes: your character might have a quick temper, or be secretive for no real reason.

What’s the difference between an attribute and a quirk? An attribute will affect the story question, and the plot.

For example, perhaps your main character is scared of heights (attribute.) It affects the plot, because at the novel’s climax, he has to rescue someone who’s climbed onto a bridge. The climber is ready to dive into eternity, unless your character saves him… But he’s scared of heights. Now what?

Your character’s fear affects the story; it doesn’t matter that he drinks three, and only three, cups of coffee a day (quirk.)

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →
Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

$5.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
Genre: Writing
How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. More info →
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