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’ve had a bit of a crazy week and when I was thinking about this post it occurred to me that sometimes it’s not always about new stuff (the wheel was invented quite a while back) but about sharing something one has come across that seems to cover a fair amount of ground, both things that we might know and have tried already and others that we haven’t.
This article by Derek Murphy is one of those. 29 New Ways to Sell More Books Right Now (check here) goes through a variety of options, from following authors you like in Twitter, to setting up local events with other authors, from having the first book in a series perma-free to giving away book by famous authors in your genre to attract more followers.
Go and visit, follow Derek’s blog and see if any of his suggestions resonate with you. The beauty is that they are very different, and go from things that require little time investment to those that might attract those of us who prefer a challenge.
I hope you find them useful.
Thanks to Derek Murphy for his blogpost, thanks to you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!
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…
If you remember I promised last week I’d bring you the review of a book, and here it is:
Title: The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells Author: Victoria Macgregor ASIN: B010QBV1LY Published: 14th January 2016 Pages: 426 Genre: Family life/Women’s Fiction
Body of review:
The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells by Virginia Macgregor. The Queen of Unconventional Extended Families
Thanks to Net Galley and to the publishers for providing me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
I read Virginia Macgregor’s first novel What Milo Saw a few months back and loved it. I loved the warmth of it, the wonderful characters, the sense of community, the quirky story, and the wonderful boy at the centre of it, Milo. When I published the review in my blog, it was very well received, and in fact one of my followers not only loved the novel too, but discovered a personal connection to the author. Of course I could not resist getting this book when I saw it in Net Galley.
And boy, am I pleased I got it. I’ve loved it possibly even more than the first one. Willa, the little girl who is the heart and soul of this story, is wonderful. She is not as prescient as Milo was, but she is all heart. She loves animals, Louie, the dog, the foxes only she seems to see (she’s obsessed with Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox and the movie of the same title), her parents (although she later discovers that Mummy Fay is not her real mother), her sister Ella, the twin ladies who live opposite, with their Chihuahuas, and everybody else. Her birthday is coming up and she knows Mrs Fox is due to have baby foxes and she’s excited. What nobody is prepared for is the return of Norah, her biological mother who up and went six years ago, and the maelstrom this causes. Norah’s best friend, Fay, and her complete opposite, stepped in when she left and took care of her family, becoming the mother (although Ella always resented her and started a campaign to find her mother, believing she’d been abducted). Norah’s return upsets the new family the ones left behind had created in her absence, and the secrets and lies threaten to break the hearts of all involved.
The novel made me think of an author I’ve read a few books by, Hans Hirschi, who wears with pride the accolade one of his reviewers gave him of ‘the queen of unconventional happy endings’. After reading this novel, I feel Virginia Macgregor deserves to be known as the queen of unconventional extended families. This novel is more insular than the previous one, and although the outside world intrudes (sometimes very forcefully) into the story, this is mostly incidental, and the action takes place around the family, and those adopted into it, like the neighbours, Ella’s Twitter followers, Fay, the members of the family Norah unveils, Sai (Ella’s boyfriend) and his wonderful mother. Willa wants everybody to be happy and live in the same house, and eventually, tolerance, understanding and love spreads to all who come into contact with her and her family.
Macgregor writes beautifully, perfectly capturing the thoughts and voices (the story is told in third person but from the point of view of the different characters) of younger and older characters, and even the dog (that Willa feels a particular connection to). [Although Louie is completely different, the use of the pet as one of the consciousness and narrators of the story reminded me of another great novel,Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene, where Lilith, the cat, observes and sees things the rest of the characters don’t.] We might agree or not with the actions and reactions of the people in the novel, but they all feel real, and we come to care deeply for all of them. The plot deals with themes such as abandonment, family relationships, prejudice, creativity, spirituality, cancer, grief and death, subjectively and sensitively. Yes, I did cry at times and laughed at times. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If the roof of the house is in need of repair throughout the novel and storms keep threatening the house (illustrating in a very plastic and visual way the emotions of those living inside) the ending is heart-warming and hopeful.
This is a novel that will pull at your heartstrings and will make you fall in love with stories and reading. Although it’s very early in the year, I suspect this will remain one of my favourite novels of 2016. Go and read it!
Ah and if you want to check my review for Virginia Macgregor’s previous book What Milo Saw you can do that,here.
Ratings: Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5 Made Me Think: 4.5/5 Overall enjoyment: 5/5 Readability: 5/5 Recommended: 5/5 Overall Rating: 5/5
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!
As you know I’ve been bringing you authors who write mostly in Spanish but who’ve been exploring other markets through getting their works translated. They’ve all been special in their own way, and Roberto follows suit, as you’ll see when you read his biography. Here he is, Roberto López-Herrero.
According to Wikipedia: Roberto López-Herrero (born in Madrid in 1970) is a Spanish writer, screenwriter, actor, director and presenter of TV and radio programs.
He has worked in a variety of programs at national and autonomic level amongst the most important Pecado Original (Original Sin), Saturday Night Live, El Método Gonzo (The Gonzo Method), En Antena (On the air), Un paseo por las nubes (A walk in the clouds) and A 3 Bandas (Three Way) on TV. But the piece of work that has brought him public recognition has been the narration of Ninja Warrior, the mythical Japanese programme. He’s working on the new episodes of the programme.
As an actor he has played in some episodes of TV series such as Maneras de Sobrevivir (Ways to survive) or Saturday Night Live.
On the radio he has worked in Te doy mi palabra (I give you my word, Onda Cero), El Jardín de los Bonsais (The garden of the bonsais. Protagonistas – Punto Radio), La Mirada Cítrica (The citric look. En días como hoy – RNE), and he has collaborated in Queremos Hablar (We want to talk, Punto Radio).
In the nineties, Roberto López-Herrero co-founded Ediciones Cronópolis, a publishing company of role games active between 1993 and 1997. Some of the role games published by Ediciones Cronópolis were created by López Herrero himself, for example Superhéroes Inc.1 o Jurasia.
He is the founder of the humor website El Expecial.
He is the author of two humor novels: “Antonio mató a Luis en la cocina con un hacha porque le debía dinero” (Antonio killed Luís in the kitchen with an axe because he owed him money) and “Una conspiración mundial secuestró a mi perro para que yo no contara todo lo que sabía” (A world conspiracy abducted my dog to stop me from telling everything I knew) and of the noir novel “Normal”, but personally, says Roberto, I’m Rober.
When and how did you start writing?
“I’ve always written, in fact in 1993 I created a micro-publishing company with two friends and we published some adventure books, but it was a pre-technological era and it was impossible for us to make it work.
I wrote my first novel, «Antonio mató a Luis en la cocina con un hacha porque le debía dinero» in 2013. How did I start writing? I imagine it came from reading a lot since I was a child and wanting to tell my own stories.
What could you tell us about your experience as an indie writer:
“It has been a fabulous school. I’ve done and learned to do everything: from formatting to marketing, but it is exhausting.
What’s been the best moment (until now) in your experience as a writer?
“When my wife read my first novel and she encouraged me to publish it. Closely followed by the day when I reached number 1 in Amazon.
What are your favourite genres?
“For entertainment, my favourite genre is science-fiction, in its hardest version, the farthest away from the space opera. For my formative reading I choose a bit of everything, from the classics to the latest books as one can learn from everything.”
What made you decide to translate your novel? And how did you go about getting a translator?
“A friend of mine told me that my third novel, Normal was like a film script and Hollywood should become aware of it. That’s how I discovered babelcube.com and I decided to put my books there. The rest just seemed to happen by itself, interested translators started to appear and today they read me in English, Italian, French…”
Tell us something about your book.
“Normal is a police procedural novel where the murderer is absolutely “normal” according to demographics, and the members of the police who are chasing after him are also “normal”, and that makes me think that we don’t really know what being “normal” means.
Any advice for your writer colleagues (especially those starting up)?
Work every day, hard, as if you were working in an office. You must be rigorous with your timetable and at least, produce two thousand words per day. (It isn’t mine, it’s Stephen King’s and I’d say it has served him well.)
I understand that ‘Normal’ should be available in English version shortly, but in the meantime, you can check all his books here:
Personally, I’m fascinated by the title of this one (actually, the dog one too, but this one is a murder in Twitter) so…
Antonio killed Luis in the kitchen with an ax because he owed him money by Roberto López-Herrero (Author), Anca Dora Costa (Translator)
Police officer Pepe Gómez little imagined the troubles he’d get involved in when he was assigned the investigation of Luis`s murder. At first it seemed very simple but as the clever researcher enters the curious world of Twitter to investigate, an international conspiracy comes to light.
Psychopaths with multiple personalities, TV presenters addicted to alternative therapies, beautiful and sexy hackers and a lot of different characters are part of this novel`s author`s universe, Roberto López-Herrero, who, to prove his healthy mental state, made his debut with a plot of intrigue and passion, emulating Agatha Christie herself.
You’ll find hundreds of sites with advice about book promotion. We even have that advice here on Lit World Interviews. But what do you not find?
Ever heard of an actor named Haley Joel Osment? He saw dead people and was Murphy Brown’s and Forrest Gump’s. He was in a movie where Kevin Spacey played his teacher and had his Osment’s class come up with an idea to change the world. Osment took it seriously and went for it.
Ideas for publicity come from some strange places. I’ve tried here on LWI to get a ball rolling with no luck. It’s almost like having to write a query letter and getting the hook just right. Or making certain your first paragraph of the greatest novel ever written you spent ten years working on will pull in the reader and make them buy your book.
The hook, the bait, the paragraph wasn’t good enough, I suppose.
Big publishing companies have tons of authors. How much time do you think they put in for publicity for each author? Can you image how large a publicity department they would need? A great many of those authors end up doing their own publicity. They have as much clue as the average person when they start. And that book that took ten long years of love and sweat and divorce and celibacy to write ends up going nowhere.
Why? Because all those sites out there don’t tell you something. Don’t provide you something.
Do book blog tours. Have people review your book. Get online presence. Do this, do that. Great advice. Where do you start? How? How do you find these people?
Indie Authors, most Authors are broke, or closet to living check to check. We don’t even have the publicity person of a publishing house telling us we need to do something.
Authors Supporting Authors is what I call a Pay it Forward entity. The idea is hundreds of authors and author supporters end up involved. We become the publishing company publicity machine. How much does it take to click something, or post a prepared post by an author, or even at times read a free book given for a review?
But there is more to it than that. With authors actively being involved we can do things. We can build up lists of blogs with themes that are best for certain types of books. List what sites to go to for types of publicity ranging from free to OMOhNo-I-Ain’t-Paying-That. We can rate services. Put out warnings of scams.
A centralized hub for authors to go to and find what they need without the headache of having to search the internet for it all. Let’s put it all in one place.
I started the site last week. But I am not going to be the only one doing anything. You are as well. You will be providing the information more so than I will. You find something, comment about it. There will be threads to do things like that. You want to be an Author on the site? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It doesn’t mean you will be given author access but you probably will if I know you or one of my friends does. Why the hesitancy? I have to trust because this is important.
I would like to have people who keep an eye on each type of promotional piece to make sure things are being found, comments are being taken care of and people requesting help with promotions are not overlooked.
That’s right. The most important part of ASA is you the author tells the community what you need and the idea is the community responds and helps with the idea of Paying it Forward. We all need help. Indie Authors and Authors in total are one of the largest companies out there. We need to start acting like it and doing something about it. There is room for all of us to have success.
By having one place to go to, we can organize and not conflict with each other if possible.
Will it take time to grow this? Only as much time as it takes each of you to get involved. Will it be perfect to begin with? No. But as soon as possible we will have something great in place we can ALL use. That includes me.
‘The Lyre of Logres’ is my fifth novel and I have organised a Thunderclap (launching onApril 27th) in order to promote it.
It is a book of forty-five short pieces, each relating, in some way, to the landscape. I use the lyre as a metaphor for Mother Earth, and Logres is used deliberately as it is the name of Britain’s Inner Landscape. My image is of a huge lyre which is acted upon by the emotions, actions and thoughts of mankind – and we all, by the way we behave, cause the strings to vibrate, producing songs haunting, sad, joyous, scary and so forth.
Title: Chaos Is Come Again Author: John Dolan and Fiona Quinn Print Length: 350 pages Publisher: Tention Publishing Limited (October 21, 2014) Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Language: English ASIN: B00OSP0AGW Genre: Thriller/romance/? The publishing business, murders and madness
I have read and love the three books (so far) in the series Time, Blood and Karma by John Dolan. I know Fiona Quinn from her fantastic blog (I recommend it to anybody interested in writing thrillers. I had the pleasure of being one of her guests). And I was very intrigued by their collaboration. If any more encouragement were needed, the reviews were great too.
I had read interviews about the process involved in writing the novel and I wondered how it would have worked in reality, as it sounded fairly complicated.
Given all that I had been looking forward with trepidation to reading the novel and it did not disappoint.
The novel is seamless. I could not pick up parts that I fell were more likely to have been written by either author (I might have my theories, but nothing stood out), and once I got into the story that was no longer important.
The novel has two main protagonists: Sean, a young Englishman, a barista diagnosed with schizophrenia and with a violent incident in his past that weights heavy in his mind (although we’re never given any details), and Avery, an American woman, a literary agent burdened with a mother suffering from dementia, and whose difficulties provide at times light entertainment and at others add poignancy to the proceedings.
The two storylines: life in the literary world, a woman’s point of view, friends and chocolate cakes; and London’s gritty life, anxiety and self-doubt, together with a writer with a penchant for scandal (some would say blasphemous), an aspiring poet/singer and girlfriend with no evident redeeming qualities, and a mysterious serial killer, create as many plot threads as any eager reader would wish for (possibly even more).
Social media (Twitter in particular) helps bring them together and reels us into a thriller/romance, with a disquietingly open ending.
It’s dynamic, flows well although the rhythm varies according to whose point of view we’re seeing the story from, and with its mixture of characters and likable central duo it’s difficult not to find somebody to root for.
This is a book for readers who like to explore outside established genres and don’t mind open endings. I’m not sure die-hard thriller fans would approve but writers will have a chuckle. I did.
What the book is about: An American female literary agent, a British man struggling with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and concerned about a previous incident of violence, an irreverent author, a wannabe narcissist singer, who all come in contact with each other thanks to Twitter and the literary world. Ah, and a London serial killer.
Book Highlights: The London atmosphere, seen both through the eyes of locals and through those of newcomers. The inner workings of a literary agency. The relationship between Avery and her friend Lolly that adds a touch of chick-lit to the proceedings.
Challenges of the book: The book moves comfortably between the terrains of chick-lit, thriller, and accurately observed London life. The changes of registry, and the fragments of Travis’s novel might prove challenging to some readers, or at least not sit comfortably with everybody.
What do you get from it: That the cooperation between writers can lead to great things. And, that where there is a will, there is a way.
What I would have changed if anything: Being a psychiatrist I found it difficult not to diagnose and treat a few of the characters and I wonder how somebody with similar problems might react to some the way some of the characters are treated (Goose and his obsessive behaviours, for example) but it did reflect reality (it was probably fairly tolerant compared to reality).
Who Would I recommend this book to?: This novel moves across a few genres. I’m convinced most writers will enjoy it, and those who love thrillers with a degree of quirkiness (rather than straight procedural or cosy mystery lovers).
Ratings: Realistic Characterization: 4/5 Made Me Think: 4/5 Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5 Readability: 5/5 Recommended: 5/5 Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Authors have a lot to juggle, from writing to publishing and everything in between. So how do you find the time to market your audiobooks?
ACX is teaming up with author assistant Kate Tilton this Wednesday, March 18th at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT to talk audiobook marketing and other ways an assistant can help your career. Join us for a #TalkingACX Twitter Chat to get tips and advice for fitting marketing into your busy schedule.
Writers must always have time to write, and we need to be careful of getting too involved in selling our wares rather than creating our wares. Marketing is vital, but….. We all know by now the importance of social media as far as marketing our books is concerned. It’s important to have a platform, with a few favourite sites where we interact with others. If you still have small followings, you might be complaining about too few likes, comments, or retweets, but I also see many overly stressed writers out there whose followings have grown, trying to move at light speed just to keep up with everything. I promise you though, you will reach a point where you can’t keep up without pruning a little.
How many blog posts do you read every day? Times that you take to read an article vary. I’ve timed a couple, and for me they take between a minute to up to ten or more minutes to read. Let’s even things out and say an average of three minutes per post you read. Ten posts is thirty minutes, twenty posts is an hour. If you’re reading a hundred posts a day, that amounts to four and a half hours – two hundred means that around NINE HOURS of your day has been spent reading blog posts. I won’t break down time spent on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on. I’m sure you get the picture because it’s more of the same sort of thing. Responding to interactions on all of your sites takes the same average time per interaction, apart from Twitter which though quite zoomy, makes up for time spent in quantity of posts.
I personally adore blogging and the interaction there. I’ve made some firm friends thanks to good old Worpress, and I’m sure that even if I never write another book (ha haaa), I doubt that I could ever give up my blogging addiction. I learn things, laugh and cry about things there – it’s a fabulous universe. I think that we need to be a little careful of getting ourselves all tied up in knots when we break the “rules” that we see. It generally takes me at least a couple of days to catch up with comments or mentions on all my sites, but it’s something I always make sure I get to as quickly as I can. This unfortunately doesn’t mean that I can quickly catch up. Sometimes I’ve missed a comment, only to find it months later, to my cringing shame. I would never purposely ignore any comment, but as my online journey grows, it happens. And I never mind when a blogger takes a good long while to answer anything I’ve said on their blogs. I understand. Most bloggers do, so there’s no need for panic. We’re all living lives, some busier than others. Some writers are not only trying to write, edit, and do all the other things that need to be done in this new scribbling world, but are also dealing with problems, ill health, financial difficulties, or worse.
It’s important not to allow ourselves to get overwhelmed. I say this from experience, because it’s my character never to ignore anyone, and when I find that I accidentally have, it really upsets me. I often really do spend more than nine hours in front of my computer just catching up. The truth of the matter though, is that no matter how much we want to do every little thing that we think we should, it will get to a point where there just aren’t enough hours in our days.
It’s important for writers to manage their working hours. Right now I have a fairly loaded catch up pile to get stuck into (alright – I always have a loaded catch up pile), but I’ll never break my minimum one hour of writing per day rule. We should be making schedules for ourselves at some point. Daily time for writing, marketing, and the just for fun stuff should be determined, and unless there’s no choice, stuck to. There’s not much point if you’re spending all your time managing your platform if you don’t have the time or energy left to write books.
So I suggest to all you busy, busy scribblers out there, grab a notebook and pencil, and create yourself a timetable, with writing as your top priority every day, and then try and stick with it for at least a week. Don’t spend any more hours other than those you’ve allocated for social media. Do allocate yourself an hour at least a day free time – guilt free too – just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean that you’re invincible or a time growing master. Take a stroll – sit under a tree. Go a little easier on yourself. I promise you that nobody is sitting seething at the time it takes you to get to something – well, maybe there are a couple seething – but they really shouldn’t be. And if they are, well, that’s really not the end of the world. Doing the best that you can is all you can do – and it really is important to do your best, just don’t knobble yourself in the process.
Most of the reading public are not part of writers social networks in any big way. They probably all have a personal Facebook or a Google+ presence, and quite a few people these days have Twitter accounts to see what the Kardashians world is up to. A lot of them are on the mailing lists of book recommendation sites though, and that’s why an important part of marketing should be popping your books up on them now and then in addition to your normal tweeting and sharing on your regular sites.
If you can afford trying for a listing on Bookbub then that’s a good option, but not only is it going to get more difficult to get accepted there now that traditional publishers are using it, it’s also quite expensive. That doesn’t mean you have to do all advertising yourself though. There are a couple of much cheaper options to go for, which while they might not pack the punch of Bookbub, they’re still going to get you more eyeballs on your books, and hopefully a couple of sales from new readers.
I have to say that I haven’t done any serious marketing for my books, so I wouldn’t even try and call myself an expert on selling books. I’ve always worked in marketing though, so I have a bit of an idea. From what I’ve seen so far, I think that the marketing of eBooks is actually the toughest job in the sales world – especially as an Indie scribbler trying to get noticed. It’s always been my plan to write three to five books before I got too involved in the selling of them, and over the past year or so I have been poking around and about for ideas for when I do. As a test, I’ve run one of my books a couple of times on the smaller sites expecting nothing at all to happen, and was really surprised when it actually got sales.
So when you’re ready to promote your books, I suggest that you prepare your strategy, choose your promo days, give yourself a budget for advertising, and put it on a few of the cheaper sites. Most of them require a specific amount of reviews in the upper star range, but not as many as you need for the bigger sites. I got the most sales when I ran African Me & Satellite TV on Choosy Bookworm, but also a couple from The Daily Bookworm, and a few from People Reads, who will also advertise your new release before it has any reviews.
When you’re finally ready to start selling your books, you really should be paying for advertising if you can afford it, and the three sites above have prices starting at eight bucks, so even if you don’t sell too many books to begin with you won’t be lining up for loans either. While our conventional marketing ourselves on Twitter and so on is vital, our aim should also be finding a portion of those millions of ravenous readers out there who don’t have a social network presence, but do subscribe to book mailing lists.
Unless you’re writing purely for yourself, your aim is to sell your work to readers. Selling is a word that often has Indie authors running for the hills. It shouldn’t though. If you want people to read your books, you’re going to have to have them buy them to begin with. There’s nothing torrid about selling your books. Nothing to be ashamed of. So do it. Sell that stuff. But sell it politely. One of the most powerful tools for Indie authors to find readers is Twitter. Unfortunately some of the really hardcore OY BUY MY BOOK brigade have muddied the waters there a little, with their ad nauseam spamming of their books without ever posting anything else. That doesn’t mean that Twitter won’t help you sell books anymore though. You just have to be patient, post interesting content other than only your own, and behave socially.
I often come across Indie authors around and about, who are incredibly selective as to who they’ll follow on Twitter. Unless you’re J K Rowling you’re not going to be successful if you’re expecting thousands of people to follow you for no other reason than that you wrote a book, without any sort of reciprocation. Theoretically it’s better to give than receive, but not so much in cyberworld these days, and if you want to be noticed at all, you have to give. Whether you’re giving information, having lively chats, or just sharing something beautiful, these things will catch the attention of potential readers much more effectively than only ever sharing things about yourself or your books. The same goes with who you choose to follow or follow back.
If you weren’t selling or planning to sell a book, would you have signed up for Twitter? No? Then insisting on only following back other writers, or even more precisely, other writers who you think are “worthy”, is seriously counterproductive.
Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean that nothing else interests you. Writing is your job, and what defines you, but everyone has things that they love to do when they’re not doing their work. Gardening, cross stitch, cooking, art, making really cool medieval chainmail out of bottle tops and pink paperclips. The same goes for chefs, university students, secretaries, CEO’s and plumbers. Possibly what they love to do when they’re not working is to read books, even though it would never occur to them to write one. That guy who followed you who has 178 followers, and tweets about how cool his beer belly is, is a potential reader. And when you – author of note – follow him back, he is most chuffed. He notices you. Retweet the photo of his epic beer spill that formed the shape of a perfect frog bottom on his t-shirt, and you could very well have your first fan. A reader who has not ever considered writing a book. How would you feel if J K Rowling followed you back? And then retweeted you. Not quite the same league, but I’m sure you get my drift.
I only follow two people who don’t follow me back, and unless I find any particular account particularly offensive, or obviously a bot, I follow everyone who follows me. I personally enjoy Twitter, but I know that a lot of authors don’t. They see it as a chore, and something that they have to do to sell their work. I recognise them. They’re the ones tweeting only about their own books, and never retweeting anything at all. So when I see their gravatar in my feed, I very seldom even look at what they tweeted because they’ve already shown me what to expect. Then there are the writers who are trying to build their marketing platform before they publish, which is a brilliant idea by the way, but some of them also only ever post about the book they’re writing. These things are boring if they’re all you ever share, and are never going to grab attention in Twitterverse.
As well as following authors and writers, also follow people who tweet about the things you love apart from writing, and interact with them. Look at the profiles of people who follow you, and follow them back. Look at their tweets and retweet them or reply to them. Make friends out there, and as well as finding future readers for your scribbles, you just might start having a little fun while you’re at it. Don’t just send out your book links, because that’s guaranteed to get your posts muted by many. Selling your books this way really can be fun if you choose to make it so.
Author Presence: Create a Blog and your Twitter Bio
During the previous article we talked about Your Brand Name. If you missed it, you really need to check it out as it will come in handy understanding the importance of what I mean by this and how important it is to you.
What are we talking about today?
We’ll discuss two things today.
Creating a blog with WordPress.com
So why are we doing two things today?
For one thing these will be relatively short and another thing, I want each day to be useful for everyone joining in. So for those with blogs, you might get something out of the Twitter Bio.
Blog Talk Time
Creating a Blog with WordPress.com
When you go to the site you will see where you type in a name and then click create blog. Once you have done this the fun begins. Don’t worry about today being intense, it won’t be. And you know what? If you change your mind about the blog name afterwards, you can create another blog with this same account. That’s right, you can create several blogs with different blog names/addresses within the same account. I have RonovanWrites.WordPress.com AND LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com under the same account. Sure I might could have done it separately but I wanted to be able to keep up with the activity on both at the same time.
For this I am creating a new blog called Ronovan Author so as we walk through I will fill in things appropriately
There are four fields to fill out on the
Get started with WordPress.com screen
BLOG ADDRESS–ronovanauthor ( the wordpress.com part is already there for you)
Once you have filled in these you scroll down and click Create Blog under the FREE column. I mean you can do the premium ones if you like as they do have things like more space, but often times you probably want to at least try out blogging first. You can always upgrade at any time.
You will get two emails; one to confirm your email address and the other one saying you have your blog.
After you clicked Create Blog under FREE you will be taken to another page.
Set up your blog
Blog Title–Ronovan (I could keep it as RonovanAuthor but not right now, although it might work. I can always change it at any time.)
Tagline (Optional)–Author of Imaginations and Realities
Language–English (Yes you can set it to different languages)
Click Next Step
Choose a theme
It looks like at the moment the default Theme is one called Reddle. It’s fine to go ahead and just click on Next Step here as you will be able to change your Theme later. Your main goal today is to get your blog name and get to the point where you can start customizing, not that we will be doing that today. So don’t worry.
Customize your blog (Reddle)
It tells you about the Theme but don’t worry about it right now. And when you see words like ‘custom colors’ and things like that, often times you have to upgrade to premium to get those.
Click Next Step
Share your blog posts with family, friends, or followers
Basically it is wanting you to connect your blog to facebook or Twitter. We will be doing this later, but if you want to you can now. I will still be going through connecting these two at a later date.
Click Next Step
Now it will want you to create your first blog post. You don’t have to. At the top of the screen you will see; Reader, My Sites, and Stats. You can click on any of these if you like and just look around.
Today I want to show you the ‘Dashboard’. The Dashboard is where you will spend a lot of time. You will create your blog post/articles here. You will select your Themes, create pages on your blog, and pretty much everything.
Click on My Sites at the top.
Now you will see all of your blog sites. By the blog you just created you will see a gear in the top right corner of the picture. Click the gear and then click Go to admin dashboard.
One thing you will see is a Welcome to WordPress.com Video. I want to say I watched it and it is rather useful so go ahead and watch it.
And that ends your Blog Talk for the day. You have created a Blog, an Author Blog. Next time we speak about Blogs I will want to give you some Theme ideas to use. The reason I want to discuss Themes before we get into the details of the Dashboard is because not all Themes have the same Dashboard options. But they all work basically the same way with just a few Appearance differences.
Twitter Talk Time
The Twitter Bio
You might be wondering “I’m an author of YA SciFi/Fantasy/Dystopia.”
Nice. Yawn. Sorry, did you say something?
Yeah, that was a bit mean of me but I’m here for Straight Talk. In fact at times I do articles with the titles in them called Straight Talk with Ronovan. So let’s get to it. Your Bio needs to say who and what you are.
Yeah, it’s not the best in the world. But it tells you what I am and do. It gives you a couple of insights into me. I love history, I obviously am a huge fan of tacos (humor there) (not really) and I have Fibromyalgia. I also have both of my main blog sites included.
I have had people follow me because of the Fibromyalgia. I have people comment on their agreement about Tacos being a food group. And I have had people say they Love History too. I apparently have some sense of humor by including the taco comment.
Be as creative as you like. Remember, be professional.
Neil Gaiman is famous. Being famous makes it a bit easier with the Bio but he still has to be somewhat creative.
“will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.”
Perfectly done. His sense of humor is there and he actually tells what he does in a creative way. In fact I need to rethink mine. Look around at your favorite authors and DON’T copy them but see how creative they are.
Jim Butcher is another popular author these days. Yeah, I met him and talked with him for a while during the first round of Dresden Files books. Was a really nice guy and humble.
“–Storyteller. Let’s not complicate things.”
Honestly, I can hear his Harry Dresden character saying this. Well not the storyteller part, but it is definitely Butcher’s writing style coming through in so few words.
In my previous Author Presence article I discussed About.me, it’s importance, it’s various categories and some advice about what to do when setting your account up.
Choosing Your Brand Name
Your name is the best thing to use across all of your social media if you are an author or a blogger wishing to create a brand. Yes, you are a brand waiting to happen. So pop your top, let that fizzy goodness sound and get ready to drink success.
Picking your blog name, even if not your own name itself, needs to be something you are willing to actually say out loud to people. Think about it. “Oh yes, my Twitter handle is Cheetos Fingers, Mr. Top Literary Agent Ever.” Or perhaps you have something even less appropriate that we won’t get into.
Today is about determining what your Brand Name will be. Yes, I have advised it should be your name. Some use the name of their books or the main character in their books.
How to determine a Brand Name even if not Your Name:
You need to Google or search with some search engine the name you want to use. If you are wanting to have the website Ronovan.com, it’s not happening because I own it. So even if your name is Ronovan, you can’t use that. Yes you can use your full name, ronovansmith.com but you need to search. Search all aspects, even Twitter. Just because your name is Ronovan Smith does not mean you are the only one out there and using Twitter. Research.
Don’t stress over this. Take your time. Pick your top three or five or however many you would be happy with BEFORE you begin the search. If your name is say . . . John Smith you might want to try johnsmithauthor.com or authorjohnsmith.com. Google it. By the way, those two are apparently available.
You then use that everywhere. That is your Brand. You might add something to the end of it for whatever like when doing promotions. AuthorJohnSmith.com Books or BookSigning or T-Shirts. Yes, you might look at trademarks and copyrights as well, but you have your presence started.
Also setting up a widely used Brand Name will help with Search Engine Operations (SEO). The more your name appears on posts, articles and anything that goes up on the internet the more and more you will rise in the search engine, I’ll call them lists. Basically the more you are searched and the more you put out attached to your name on the internet the higher in ‘ranking’ you will appear on things like Google. In other words, your name gets closer to that first page of the search results.
Also if you have a Series then THAT can be a Brand Name to use as well. I already have sites saved with the name of future series.
To Do Today:
Determine your Brand Name
If just beginning your Author Presence then set up an email with that Brand Name that is dedicated to your professional life. Even if a veteran of social media, do this as well. You will be doing a lot of signing up for various things and you need to have it in a place that is for your business.
If you do the email, you can go ahead and go to WordPress.com and grab that Brand Name as your blog name. We will be venturing into the Blog life next, but in a slow way. I will give suggestions for ‘Themes’ to use. A Theme is basically the layout possible for your site along with colors and other options. There are plenty of sites out there to tell you how to do this but I am going to do it anyway with an Author in mind. So the Blog is optional today.
Authors: Let’s get started setting up your web presence.
Each day this week I will have an article about another piece to setup. I am not into doing everything at once in one article. We’re not in a hurry. Doing everything in one article makes people feel overwhelmed when all they really need to do is come back to that article the next day. So what I like to do is . . . one thing at a time. Call it the reasonable teacher in me. Yes, I was a History teacher and a corporate trainer type among other things.
Something important to remember as we begin this process together; I want you to know that I will be giving ADVICE here. Take it or leave it. After I give it you then make it work or not. Everything I or anyone else tells you won’t do miracles on its own. YOU have to work it. I have social media things out there that I don’t ‘work’ and they are not doing anything for me. Actually putting all of this together for you is going to make me begin to ‘work’ what I have more.
I strongly advise you to sign up for a Twitter account. I know you might never use it but set one up. For one thing you want to get your Twitter Handle, your Name you like saved by you. But the real useful thing is that you will be able to use it in other accounts you set up. And you will be amazed at how many social media services out there will allow you to simply log in with Twitter. I tell you it comes in handy when you can’t remember a password. I have problems with remembering things, long story, amnesia’s a bummer.
This one account is what I have showing on my Twitter account for people to click on to find out about me.
Yes, that’s a big font there for this. I want you to know why you need one of these.
It’s a great place to point people to for all the basic information they need about you or you want to share and they can find links to everything else about you they might want. All of this is explained below in more detail.
You can connect to other authors and start networking by seeking them out and uniting. Building that platform.
People can find you based on your interests. Someone might be looking for a freelance writer and you have that down as an interest. Someone might want an interviewer and find me. You would be surprised at how many authors do NOT ask to be interviewed for free publicity for their books.
Think of your About.me as your central hub, the Grand Central Station of your social media empire. From this one account people can find all the connections to your other media from one page.
What all can you include here?
I am going to give everyone credit for being able to sign up for an account. Once you’ve done that you will want to Edit Page. You do this by clicking your name in the top right and then Edit Page. If you are just signing in for the first time it may take you right to the Edit Page.
I’ll go in order of the tabs on the edit screen where you would actually be putting information you want to share.
As you are choosing images, links and information to share just remember that anyone can see this including agents and publishers.
Background Photo (You can choose from your computer, facebook, Instagram, or any you have saved with about. me so far.) This is the large full screen image. I have a photo of myself as my background. Why? Because this site is linked to my blog and I can use this photo or another photo mentioned later as my photo that I want people to see when the first show up to my Blog. One is professional and the other is casual and more of that sports guy in a baseball cap thing. You get to see two sides of my personality. Some people use a scenery photo as the Background Photo. It’s up to you.
Name-How do you want your name to appear. That’s right, just because you registered one way doesn’t mean it has to appear that way on the page. Don’t worry about the Font size now, you can change it later as well as for everything else in the Biography sections.
Headline-Think subtitle that appears under your Name. Ex: Author of the McGregor Trials Series.
Biography-This is where you get to tell everyone about you. You can put links in the Biography to any interviews you’ve been in or your books on whatever sales site you have them on. Brief or Long it’s up to you. But know this; the About.me is can appear on your blog and this Bio can appear there as well. Keep that in mind as you compose it.
Location-Don’t worry, you don’t have to be specific.
Work-Put what you want. I have writer, blogger, interviewer.
Education-Again, put what you want to.
Interests-You can have these displayed or not. I don’t see why not. People will find you based on these interests. Choose wisely.
Bio Photo-Uploaded from your computer and it’s best if it’s a head shot. Think Profile Photo. This is the other photo I was talking about earlier during the Background Photo explanation. This is my all American guy photo with sunglasses and baseball cap and looking a bit scruffy. There’s a reason it’s my smaller photo.
Colors-(Play around to see what looks best on your page.)
Page Colors-You can do both colors and patterns. Also choose the opacity.
Bio Box and Font Colors-You can choose the opacity. This is a tricky section. I have my box somewhat opaque instead of completely opaque because my words would not show up properly against the Background Photo. Think about that when choosing your Background Photo. One that has a lot of different colors in it will make choosing font colors difficult. Also remember there are people that are color blind so there are combinations that won’t work well.
There are four different font areas on your About.me page. You can choose the font style you want and the size. The recommendation is no more than two font styles on the page. Play with it. Just remember people are looking at you. Don’t get so ‘fancy’ with your fonts that people have a difficult time reading them.
Apps are things like Twitter and Google+, in other words this is where you chose what Social Media Buttons will show up on your About.me page. They have three pages of apps/social media outlets for you to choose from. One thing to remember is, the About.me account is an app itself of sorts. When you set up your blog you can have a widget app for the About.me page. This is a great way to have all those media buttons for people to follow without cluttering up your blog.
Featured Content-This will show recent content from the links you share.
Soundcloud-I don’t have Soundcloud right now but I have seen it out and about during my travels among various blog type platforms. You never know what will attract someone to follow you.
Links-My most recent blog post titles show on this page and people can click them to go to my Blog and read them.
Youtube or Vimeo-I have a Youtube account and am looking into doing something with it. Stay tuned for . . . something. I really have no idea what.
Contact Info-This is just what it says it is, including your address. Doesn’t have to be filled out.
Settings-This is what you want to appear on your screen and what kind of compliments are possible. Yes, people can compliment your page. People will read your Bio and possibly be inspired by it or think you are creative or cool. Groovy, right? Wait, I’m from the South. I spelled that wrong. Gravy, right?
Well that’s it for today. This should take you some time to set up if you do it properly and you know what? You can always make changes to it. I do all the time. And bonus tip time: Make sure to update your About.me page when things change About.YOU.
Come back tomorrow for the next step of setting up your web presence. It’s an easier one. Kind of. And it’s the next step closer to a Blog.
One of the first things you will find out as an Author is that YOU ARE YOUR ADVERTISING. Agents and Publishers look at what your presence is online and how you are selling yourself. Don’t be offended at that word. Use the word marketing if you like.
The point is, you have to get attention in order to get attention. As soon as you realize you want to be an author start marketing. What are things you need to do?
Establishing your Network/Platform or whatever you want to call it.
Professionals will tell you to focus focus focus. Focus your energy on two or three media outlets and that’s it. Okay, I somewhat agree.
Today let’s talk about three of them:
What’s the best way to control your presence, your marketing, your portfolio and establish a home where everyone knows your name? You got it . . .
Some of you are freaking out. Don’t. You want to know why?
Blogs are free unless you want some super upgrade things
You only put on a blog what you want to
You can delete anything on your blog you don’t like
Why should you have a blog?
Let’s go ahead and establish first that you should go ahead and use your pen name as your blog address or URL. Blog address? Yes, that’s the http://www.whatever.com thing you type. The Title of your blog can be anything else. Like I could change the Title of this site to The Literary World of Interviews. It will change nothing in the way of how you find this site. But I prefer for the name of the site to be the same as the address, the URL address. Being the same is less confusing. And by being your name it will be easy to find you and it’s professional. You can also use the name of your book series. A friend of mine and her family have written a series, the second is out now. The trilogy is called The Seeds Trilogy and their site is very nice. It gives character profiles and a lot of things to help you really get into the atmosphere of the books. One of our Authors, PS Barlett has a nice Author Blog as well.
Your Blog, your official Author site should be professional. It should contain your work and the image you wish to project. Keep the unprofessional things off of there unless you just don’t care. I am not saying don’t have fun and share fun things, I am just saying be professional about what you post.
A Blog is also your central hub that all of your other social media spin off of.
That brings us to . . .
I know you probably just don’t even want to think about it. It’s some alien monster beast that you don’t understand that speaks in hashtagonese but it’s easier than you think. And to be honest, you don’t have to do that much with it at first to get started. You can even connect it to your blog, very easily, and then everything you post on your blog would have a link to it sent to Twitter.
How important is Twitter to a literary type blog person? For this site, LWI, historically since it began the number one place we get people to come visit us from as of this writing is Twitter then WordPress Reader, Search Engines and Facebook. They are all very close in number but those are the top four. And those are the four ways I expect it to be at this moment. We have some great affiliated blogs that we receive quite a bit of traffic from as well.
Don’t just tweet about your books and your work. Tweet fun things, jokes, links to videos, interesting articles, anything. Also keep your image in mind. You don’t want to come off as some immature, racist, sexist punk. I apologize to you immature, racist, sexist punk Authors out there, you can tweet what you like. If you tweet just things about your work, you will lose people, followers. Look at Neil Gaiman. He has a great Twitter feed. He mentions other authors and even tweets funny things along with his work. His are some of the most humorous and window into his world tweets I have seen and it allows his followers to connect with him.
Facebook, in all honesty, is not what it used to be but it is still worth the effort to have an Author page. You can also set anything you post on your Author page to go to Twitter as well. You can so things on facebook such as launch parties and you can even use it much like Twitter now with the use of hashtags. In case you are not familiar with hashtags that is when you see something like #FreeBooks or #LitWorldInterviews. You just put # in front of a uninterrupted series of words or word. And you are not limited to 140 characters as you are on Twitter, although, when/if your facebook post does go to Twitter the 14o characters does become a factor so your message will be chopped if it goes long. I let mine be chopped. I just put my hashtags at the beginning or in the message itself.
Facebook is where, if you have a blog, you want to post other things. You can still post your work. I put links to things on my blog on mine. But I also do videos, little joke images, or sometimes I will do poetry that I only post on facebook. I put things you would only see if you followed me on facebook. Again, not a difficult thing to do.
Believe it or not, you can schedule things to post on each of these media outlets. You can spend a couple of hours and set up a post a day or three posts for the week on your blog, if it takes that long. Tweets can be done the same, and facebook as well. You don’t have to be there and be active all the time, but you do want to respond to people who might comment to you. That’s up to you though. But fans do like some acknowledgement at times.
I will be getting into each of these in detail in separate articles, but for now I would advise anyone reading this that has even the remotest thought of becoming an author to go ahead and set these up. It does no harm. Go ahead and do it. I use WordPress.com for blogging. It’s free and very easy. I’ve tried others and this one really seems the easiest to me so far. It might just be a preference but I do like it, plus WordPress has a great Author community that really does support one another. You want proof? You’re reading the proof now. Authors united to help other authors and to promote their work. That’s right, we want everyone to be a success.