If you recall, a few weeks back I wrote about the advantages of joining in multi-author promotional campaigns (read the post here) and one of them was the fact that you could learn from other authors.
Today, thanks to another multi-author event I’m taking part in (an audiobook giveaway for Thanksgiving), I’ve discovered something called HeadTalker. It seems to work in a similar way to Thunderclap (although I’ve never used Thunderclap), the idea being that you can set up a campaign, and ask other people to provide you support, via sharing on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn, although they can choose to share everywhere or only on some of them). You have to choose a goal, a number of people who has to offer their support, and if you reach that number, then on a set name and time, your message (the campaign with the message you’ve chosen and the link you decide to use) will automatically be shared by all these people wherever they’ve chosen to share it. So it’s a good way to make a bit of noise (for instance if you’re organising an event, having a launch, a special promo, whatever).
I don’t know if you’re like me, but I tend to find articles, books, podcasts, etc, that sound interesting in my day to day life, or in my visits through the internet and social media (much the same thing these days) and although I don’t have time, I decide to save them for later, for that perfect occasion when I’ll need just that piece of advice or tip. Yes, that perfect day rarely arrives.
Over a year ago (towards the end of 2015), having subscribed to Sandra Beckwith‘s newsletter (here is her website in case you’re interested. She has plenty of free content on marketing and promotions, and although she works more in non-fiction, it’s well-worth having a look), I saw that she was offering a service throughout the following year. For a very small fee (I’m not sure what it was but I think it was $1) she would send daily tips to your mailbox. I couldn’t resist and I signed for it. And I’ve been getting these tips. I decided to save them all in a document to make sure I could access them easily. Although I read them as they arrive, I haven’t done much organising and have not looked at them in depth, but now that we’re coming to a time when there are a lot of promotional campaigns being organised related to holidays and events (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year), I decided to check her advice and share it with you. Here are some of her tips, related to the subject:
Remember to pitch seasonal magazine articles or news items related to your book or its topic four to five months in advance of the season or holiday. Pitch four weeks out for newspapers. (We might already be late, but worth keeping in mind for next year).
Identify perennial seasonal topics you can link your book to – e.g., grief at the holidays or June weddings – and pitch yourself to the press as an expert available for interviews. Write a blog post about them. http://buildbookbuzz.com/8-ways-to-pitch-media-outlets/ This sounds like a pretty good idea, and although on the surface it might seem more relevant to non-fiction writers, personal circumstances vary, and if you think about it, you might find relevant topics you hadn’t thought about.
Use Chase’s Calendar of Events or the quirky monthly holidays listed at the Holiday Insights website to create a promotion around a relevant holiday or special occasion. http://www.holidayinsights.com/ In this global times, when we’re pitching to an ever increasing and larger market, it’s good to be able to localize our efforts and make them more relevant.
This is a personal suggestion, but I can’t say if it works or not. Just because you don’t have a book in a genre specifically relevant or suited to the holiday or season (a romance for San Valentine’s day or a Christmas tale for Xmas) that does not mean you can promote your books. Try and be quirky and appeal at other interests… ‘Can’t take any more happy ever after? Why not check my horror story? (For San Valentine’s, for example). Or, ‘Thinking about murdering somebody during the family reunions? Read a crime thriller instead’ (for Christmas). See what you think, and if you decide to try it, let me know how it goes.
Thanks very much to Sandra Beckwith for her suggestions, to all of your for reading, and do like, share, comment and CLICK!
I have taken up an external project with tight deadlines to work towards and that means sometimes I have to improvise more than I like, but I thought I could share a few thoughts on the possible benefits of joining in with other authors to promote your work, organize events, giveaways, etc.
Even if you’re a skilled marketeer (I am not), there are advantages to working as part of a team.
In no particular order:
You can share the organizing with others. Different events are organized differently, but it is possible to share and delegate responsibility for different parts of the event to different people, or you might just join in and follow instructions if you’re not a strong organizer.
You can join forces and share skills to create a great event. You might be very good at visuals but not good at keeping track of lists, or setting up a Raffle copter giveaway. Rather than doing a bad job, you can each do what you’re best at.
You can pull together your followers. A few months ago, when I had just started my own subscribers’ list and had very few followers, I joined in a giveaway with a group of authors where we could choose which link we wanted to promote. I chose the link to my list and I ended up with almost 800 subscribers. This works better when the giveaway is geared towards similar genres to those you write in, or set up as multiple genres from the beginning, but you never know what might catch a reader’s attention.
You can learn new things and join in events you might not have dared to organize by yourself. You might learn things and find out about resources you’d never used before, and you might dare to try things (within the safety of numbers) that you might not have wanted to do by yourself. (For example, I’d joined in several Facebook parties but only as part of the public, as I never thought enough people would attend just for me. If you are part of a group and know other authors from the same group will attend, you will feel more confident and dare to try new things. Yes, I eventually did participate in a Facebook author event. I did it!).
You might be able to cover a wider geographical area and take advantage of promotions or options that are otherwise limited to certain markets. I have, on occasions, tried to organize giveaways or send gift cards and then realized that they were only open to authors with accounts in Amazon.com (let’s say). If the event or giveaway is run but international authors it will be possible to access the best options for the different markets and your knowledge base will cover a wider area.
You will be able to afford bigger rewards and a varied choice of gifts and books that will make it more attractive to readers. If you take part in a lot of giveaways it can become expensive, especially if you want to offer something a bit costly. Joining in with other authors means you can offer bigger gifts without costing you the Earth.
They can be a great way to make yourself known in a new genre. If you’re writing in a new genre or market, joining in with other authors who are already known and have an audience with fans of the genre will open many doors for you.
You might feel more comfortable talking about other people’s books also taking part in the event and sharing their achievements than blowing your own trumpet all the time. I forgot this one, that for me is one of the most important, on first writing the post, but I’ve added it on.
I’m sure you can think of many other reasons to join in with other authors, but those were just a few I thought up. And I wanted to show you, as an example, a giveaway I’m taking part in.
I haven’t been using it very long, so I’m learning as I go along, but I thought you might find it interesting. You can sign with Twitter, Facebook…. (the usual suspects). Once you’ve signed, the site gives you the opportunity to promote (boost they call it) one of your Tweets, Tumblr posts or one of your videos in You Tube or Vine (or the four of them). You’ll have to connect your accounts in those platforms, if you have them, but then if you choose to boost a Tweet, for instance, the site brings up your Twitter feed and you can choose one of them. How it works is, you boost one of your posts (you have to tag it according to theme) and then they’ll suggest posts that you can share based on your interests, that you can record (you can edit those if you aren’t offered much choice. The wider you cast the net, the most posts you’ll be offered to retweet, reblog or feature, in the case of videso). The more posts you share for others (and you will be given a list and you can decide to share each one or not) the more others will share yours. The site tells what reach your content has achieved.
I’ve so far only tried the free option, that is limited in the reach you can achieve (although it seems to grow with time) and number of posts you can boost, but there are paid options that offer you a bigger reach and also options to boost several posts. (The free option only allows to boost a post in each platform at a time and they normally last for a certain length of time, that varies, longer for videos and shorter for others. If you connect your e-mail they’ll tell you when the campaign has finished, but it’s worth keeping an eye on it, just in case, as it doesn’t always happen. I’ve also noticed that there’s the option of terminating a boost before it’s run the time allocated).
If you enjoy the content of some of the people in particular, you can follow them there and their content then will come up automatically when you’re looking for things to share.
If you want to check their own video explaining how it works, here it is:
Although I haven’t been using it long, it seems like an interesting option to reach different people and to meet new bloggers, You Tubers and Tweeps. And as one can choose what subjects to boost, it also can be used to discover new content, that you either write about (therefore reaching people already interested in it) or you want to research.
Go on, give it a go!
Thanks for reading and you know what to do, share, comment, like…
It’s true that the best thing to do after launching your book is to concentrate on writing your next one, but that doesn’t mean that shortly after launch your book should be ignored other than a tweet now and then with buy links. The thing with traditional publishing, unless you’re one of the most popular writers in the world, your book won’t always be in the limelight. Even if it’s lucky enough to be moderately successful, it will still have to make way for the latest bestsellers, and eventually it will officially be backlist and have zero promotion from the publisher. Too many other shiny new books to see to.
The nice thing about being Indie published means that you can give your book a new party anytime you like. I like the idea of doing something every three months or so. As time goes by all of your online sites will grow with new followers. Followers who weren’t around when you launched your last book, and who might quite like it if they knew a bit more about it. Most people don’t inspect every link in the sidebars of blogs that they follow unless they’re looking for specific information, or if your words have impressed them so much that they simply must have more of them immediately.
Every couple of months, have a look at your backlist, and think of your next promotion. If you have more than one book published consider having them all at the party. You could make one or a couple free as incentive, and then set the particular book that you want to promote at ninety nine cents, either as a Kindle Countdown or manually set the price for however many days you plan on promoting it. You could ask your fellow bloggers to participate in a blog tour, or you could simply announce your special deals on your own blog. Many of your community friends will share posts like these, and with Facebook, Twitter, and shares on other platforms you’re very likely to find at least a couple of new readers. You can run some advertisements on promotion sites, either paid or free, depending on what you can afford too.
Don’t be disappointed when your first book launch only yields a few sales to begin with. As you grow and write more books and gain new readers, all new promotions of them are going to be new to new fans, so dust off your backlist, consider new covers or rebranding if they’ve been languishing for too long, and give your older books a new lease on life.
Hi all. I’m promoting my translating services (English-Spanish) this month through my blog, and I thought I’d share it here too.
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that apart from writing, reviewing books, and talking about books, I also translate book from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English. I started by translating my own books because I wanted to make sure my parents and my friends back home could read them, (although I’m Spanish, from Barcelona, I’ve lived in the UK since 1992) but in the last couple of years I’ve also been translating books by other writers. You can check some of those here.
Due to family matters I haven’t had much chance to promote my services until now. To get things started I’ve decided to offer a special promotion. 50% discount of all translations. It is a time limited offer.
My usual tariff is $40/1000 words but this will be slashed in half. If you’re thinking about translating your book in the near future, you can take advantage of this offer and reserve a spot at this price for a deposit. If you’d like to discuss your project in more detail, you can e-mail me at email@example.com
As an author, I know we live for our readers and want to ensure that our books can reach readers wherever they are and in whatever language they read. I won’t lie to you. There are other options to get your books translated, like Babel Cube where you can offer your books for translation for a split royalties’ deal, but you have to give control over the process to Babel Cube and they control the production of the book and the distribution rights for five years. I know quite a few of us are self-published authors and we are used to being in charge, or at least closely supervising, all aspects of our book production, so this might not be an attractive option for all. There are many places where you can find translators, including Fiverrif you’d prefer to be in charge of the process and you have the funds to invest and the time to check and vet. It’s your decision.
As you know, I blog in Spanish and English and I’m happy to share the books I translate with some of the readers and writers groups I belong to and to write a feature about them in my blog. But I’ll happily do that even if you get the translation done elsewhere. You only need to let me know.
Thanks to all for reading this and I’d be specially grateful if you like it, share, and comment. And send me an e-mail if you want to ask me any questions. (Ah, I’m happy to check translations done by others if you want a second opinion or a second pair of eyes).
As you know, here in Lit World Interviews you can find advice for writers, inspiration, interesting resources, book reviews, interviews, offers, recommendations… I know not only the collaborators to the blog, but also the readers and followers have plenty of experience in the world of the written word, be it as authors, readers or both.
I wanted to try to tap into the vast knowledge and also the opinions of the readers here. We’ve talked about marketing on many occasions, although mostly about ways to sell digital books. I’ve been interested in selling directly to the public for quite a while, although I hadn’t managed to get organised until recently. Now I’m booked to attend a couple of book fairs, one in April (check here ) and one in August (checkhere ), in different parts of the UK, and as these are my first, I’ve been wandering about SWAG, those complimentary presents writers give to readers as reminders of their books and brands.
I’ve read some articles on the matter and authors have very different opinions on it. I was wondering, authors, if you had used it, what’s your experience of it? What was more successful for you? What did you find offered you the most value for your money? Are there particular items you recommend or tips you can give? Did you personalise everything? And readers, do you like swag? Are there any items you remember in particular? Are there things you would feel cheated if you didn’t get? Do the items you get influence you in any way? What would you like to see if it was your choice?
I have some ideas but don’t have a lot of money to spend on this and my skills are quite limited with regards to crafty things (I’d love to be able to crochet bookmarks but I don’t have much time) and I have no helpers or team. Any suggestions are welcome.
Thanks very much for reading and for your help. And if you want to share, the more comments, the better. Ah, and if you’re near the locations of the book fairs, do come for a visit!
For those of you scribblers just joining Twitter for the very first time, there are a couple of tips and tools to know about that will make your tweeting life a little more fun. First the basics. Once you’ve signed up with Twitter and replaced that old egg with your author photo, it’s time to start socialising. You can only see the tweets of people who you follow, and likewise, only people who follow you will see your tweets. The way to get followers when you’re new to Twitter is to start following others. Search for people to follow by name or by putting things like writer, author, photographer, gardener, or any other thing that you are interested in, and follow away. I don’t follow many Twitter sites that don’t follow me back, but that is up to you. As a newbie this is important though, because when you are finally following two thousand people, you can’t follow any more until your follower count matches that, which generally means a lot of time spent trying to unfollow quite a lot of people.
This is where the Crowdfire app comes in useful. Log on to it every few days and see who you are following that is not also following you, and unfollow them easily from there. If you’re a busy Indie working on promoting your books, unless you really are interested in certain accounts regardless like Nigella or J K Rowling, there is no point in clogging up your timeline with tweets from people who aren’t interested in yours. Also sign up for Hootesuite to easily see what’s been happening all on one page. Check out popular hashtags to add to your tweets such as the #amwriting or #amreading ones. Check out the trending hashtags on any given day to see if you have anything to add to the conversations.
You’re not obligated to follow back everyone who follows you. I do follow back mostly unless a new follower is obviously a bot. These are often spottable by their continuous stream of generic tweets with no retweets in between. Also if someone has tens of thousands of followers and is only following a few themselves, it’s a fair bet that they will unfollow you once you’ve followed them. If anyone retweets your tweet it’s good Twitter etiquette to head on over to their profile and see if there’s anything you can retweet for them to return the favour. Retweet others anyway, and soon you’ll have a fine flock of Twitter friends ready to retweet for you when you have book news or any other important thing to share.
Go to Tinyurl to shorten any links that you want to tweet to twenty six characters. One hundred and forty isn’t a lot to work with when you have a lot to say. Another way of getting more than a hundred and forty per tweet is to create them as images using Canva or Picmonkey or any design software that you might have available. You can also shorten your links with Hootesuite if you plan on using that.
Make sure that when anyone tweets any posts from your blog site that your Twitter name gets included when they do, so that you know when anyone is sharing your work, and then you can return that favour too. You can also make certain quotes or sentences within your posts tweetable by using the Click To Tweet app. All of these apps are free so there’s no reason to have to struggle with Twitter.
Finally, to include an actual tweet in your WordPress blog, all you have to do is find the tweet you want to share on your blog. Click on the date, which will take you the tweet itself.
Copy and paste the tweet’s URL on its own line wherever you want it to appear in your post and have a look on Preview to see what it will look like, and then publish.
Today I’m sharing a post that I published in my own blog last week. Sorry to those of you who might have read it already, but people seemed quite interested, so I thought I’d share it with you too.
I know we’ve all been told we should use social media to promote ourselves, our businesses, blogs, books, painting, whatever we do. And I know we all have our preferences, or sites that we understand better, or we find more useful, or that don’t give us a headache.
I must confess I quite liked Twitter to begin with, when I joined a few months before I published my first book. I would follow people I found interesting, read their Tweets, and be excited if somebody decided to follow me. I read about the subject, I tweeted quotations, ideas, suggestions, retweeted interesting things…
I’ve met many interesting people through Twitter, especially many authors, and we tend to share content and RT. Then I had problems with hackers, suspensions and got tired of it.
I’ve tried a variety of things to manage Twitter. I still use Hootsuite, as it allows me to see several streams at the same time, but although I tried the paid version that allows to upload big lists of Tweets, I didn’t find it flexible or varied enough, and it still required me to upload a new list every day, and that is not always possible.
I’ve tried automated follows, but that risks following porn sites, some of those fake sites that only promote sales of followers, and eggs (some eggs might be genuine people who don’t know or care about having a picture, but some, many, are fake accounts). Although when the followers start rolling in (when you have a certain number of followers it seems to work by inertia and people follow you no matter what) it’s difficult to keep up and I suspect I’ll have to go back to one of the automated systems soon.
Following people who follow you takes time (if you check who they are and share some of their content). And then there’s the social aspect of it. Interacting with people, etc., that’s the interesting bit, but some days we might not be able to dedicate it as long as we’d like. Yes, it all takes time.
Unfollow the unfollowers… I usually do a run with Tweepi every so often (you’re not limited in the numbers you can unfollow).
But then, what about advertising and sharing interesting content that will make other people follow and spread your message?
That’s where Tweet Jukebox might be of interest to you.
I discovered it through one of the author groups (actually, a Twitter group where we share our Tweets). Thanks Regina Puckett!
This is Tim Fargo‘s baby. The idea is that you can have several boxes, that send Tweets you have pre-programmed before, and they send them out randomly. You can adjust the days of the week and the intervals for each one of these boxes. But once they are on (you can use CVS or txt only document to upload tweets, although I haven’t been very lucky with that, or you can insert individual Tweets, and pictures too), if you turn that box on, they keep going day in and day out. So you can try, there are a couple of boxes pre-set, one with quotations and one with pictures, that allow you to see how it works.
You can sign in just using Twitter,and if you have any problems, you can contact them and they kindly reply very quickly.
Ah, yes, it is FREE. It’s still in beta stage and the likelihood is that there will be a paid version, but he’s very insistent that it will not affect the free settings.
There are also a number of videos sharing the process and how it works. I share a few here, but if you decide to give it a go, you can watch them all:
What is Tweet Jukebox
Why use Tweet Jukebox?
Best Practices for Tweet Jukebox by Tim Fargo
And now, I have a few boxes going (oh, there is a limit to the number although I hadn’t realised, but when I queried that I was granted more boxes so…), including one where I’m sharing other people’s contents, books, blogposts, whatever I find interesting. So, I’m happy to add more Tweets to this box. Who knows? It might help! So, if you have any favourite Tweets you’d like me to add to my repertoire, please, do add them here in the comments or send them to me. And if other people want to share them too, why not? Let’s share!
Thanks to Regina for pointing it out, to Tim Fargo for the creation, and thanks to all of you for reading. And you know, like, share, watch, CLICK and leave your Tweets!
Think about that for a moment. Who in the world would Search you? Why?
You sent in a query somewhere.
You self published and suddenly have good numbers.
In other words, there might be people out there in the literary/publishing worldlooking forYOUR NAME. And why do they do this?
Straight Talk With Ronovan: The Search is On
Writing a great book will not always get you published or make you the success you want to be, whatever success that is. Either traditional or self published it doesn’t matter, because people are going to look for information about you.
I Search for you. Yes, when I do interviews, book reviews, anything I do about an Author, I Search. Why do I Search? Why do Agents Search? Why do Publishers Search?
Personally I have a list of names that I want to ask to interview, but have to wait until the ones I have get caught up, or better yet . . . they ask me. You ask me and you are legit, 99 times out of 100, you get an interview.
But why do we Search?
We Search to see a few things;
What is your web presence
Do you have a web presence
What publicity is there out there about you
What work of yours is available to see, and
What’s your reputation
Why do we want to know these things?
How marketable are you, and
How much marketing capability do you have in place of your own
And are you who you say you are
Yeah, I know, you dream of that big signing and everything gets taken care of for you. Sorry darling, that’s a rarity. It’s kind of like a rock band; the money is in the tours and the t-shirts not the albums.
Same for the Author, everyone wants you to sell yourself for them. You are the return of the original rock star, the author. You could sign with anyone but you have to promote yourself.
In days to come I will be putting out articles about how to get that network in motion NOW, before you’ve finished your first draft, your first chapter or even knew you were going to write a book. Start today setting up a network for whatever you want to do in the future, even if it is something as simple as setting up Twitter and gaining Followers. Do it now.
Read what I have for you or not, it will be coming to help you. Trust me, as a writer myself, I hate the idea of having to take time to do self promotion, but by doing a little at a time now, it sure saves a lot of time later.
These days to be a successful author you have to be more than just a great writer. You have to be savvy about the ways of marketing and social networking. I can feel the cringe vibrate from your keyboard to mine. But how do you think you found this article if you didn’t have some bit of that working for you already or me either?
Today I just want to discuss a couple or few basics.
As I look for people to interview some of the things I remind bloggers of keep coming up with authors. After fall, aren’t we writers/authors bloggers of a sort as well?
They happen to us all. You’ve clicked one and it takes you nowhere. Imagine as I am clicking a link on someone’s Twitter profile to get information about them to approach them for an interview and I get the error message that the page can’t be found. I am a guy wanting to help authors out and simply wanting to see more information. But that also means I am acting as a fan and wanting to look at information about people I think fans want to learn about.
So imagine that if it is a fan, they see your great header photo that looks way cool, you have an amazing and very professional profile head shot and then . . . the Click of Doom. Some might search the internet or I might personally search Amazon, but this is like being at the checkout line at the grocery store and you see all the candy and the little things. That’s right . . . This is Impulse Clicking you just gave them the empty box of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Will they search, will I go to Amazon, will we step out of the checkout line for you? Would you for us?
What’s worse than a Broken Link, maybe no way to connect at all? You have a great site that you’ve set up but you haven’t put it out there on you various connections for people to see. You don’t have it on Twitter, you don’t have it in your email signature. You don’t have it anywhere! No matter who you are or what your fame is, you are your best advertising and you are the only one you can always count on 100% of the time. So if you fail yourself, how can you count on anyone else?
Nothing to Link To:
You need a site of some type to link to. This sounds a lot like the No Links point but there is a difference in not noting your links and not having anything to link to. There are free platforms all over the internet. I personally have a ‘Blogger’ account at blogspot,com and of course my main one is here at WordPress.com, and I am branching out as I explore more and more platforms to discover what is best. For me personally, I recommend WordPress. Perhaps I like WordPress because I am simply accustomed to it, but it is an easy platform and you can get involved in a good community. Writers tend to support each other a great deal on WordPress in giving ‘shout outs’ about each other.
I will be putting together a ‘How To’ of creating an author blog/site very soon. Each person here at LitWorldInterviews (LWI) has their own particular talents. We all enjoy writing. We are all at different stages of our writing careers. My other talent is an enjoyment of how to make friendly or professional looking sites and getting your name out in the public. You will be seeing the LWI site change very, very soon as it has grown into something more than I thought it might be at first.
One thing to Remember:
Don’t spread your focus too thin. Give your attention to two, maybe three outlets. A blog, a social network (I use Twitter), and one other thing, perhaps facebook or Google+. I know people think of facebook as a social thing but a lot use it as their primary author page. I still use more than three but only because I have them built in. Which you can too and I will be showing you how.