Monthly Archives: April 2013

Why not try a blog challenge to boost your blog?

UBCNow that I have come to the end of the Ultimate Blog Challenge I must say, what a great way to boost my blog and get me writing. I actually started this blog on the first day of the challenge and thought it would be an excellent way to quickly populate this blog with some good content. The challenge is to write 30 blog posts in 30 days and with this very post that you are reading now I have completed the challenge. And just in time, too. πŸ™‚

I can honestly recommend to you to join one of these challenges to get your blog going and keep it going, maybe give it a new lease of life. So after 30 days, what has the challenge done for me (and what could it do for you)

  • got me back into the habit of writing
  • filled my blog with 30 quality posts (since the title of my blog is 1001 book marketing ideas, it’s at least a good start)
  • got to virtually meet some fabulous fellow bloggers
  • received some great advice on other people’s blogs (part of the challenge is to visit other blogs and comment)
  • got me to think about how to structure the posts into themes

And with that I promise to continue to provide good quality book marketing ideas as the title of the blog says. There probably won’t be another 30 in the next 30 days, but I’ll keep going strongly.

And finally how can you find out about blog challenges? You can go to the link of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and check when their next one is for starters. If that’s not soon enough for you, simply do a search on “blog challenge” and I’m sure there’s one starting pretty much every month somewhere. Good luck and let me know how you’re getting on! πŸ™‚

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Book Marketing Myths busted: The publisher will do all the marketing

Myth bustedMany authors are seeking to get published so that the publisher can do all the hard work for them. Well, fact is, the publisher will do some marketing for you, probably send out a press release or two about your book being published and some other initial marketing activities. But if you really want your book to take off, it is your job as an author to do your own marketing.

You want to use all the tools available which in this day and age is a lot of digital marketing, such as establishing a high profile on social media, keeping a blog and sending out email newsletters as a minimum. You don’t need to be an expert on marketing to do all that, just start with one medium, get some momentum going and grow your audience.

Or you could hire a marketing specialist (like myself) to do the work for you, letting you get on with your writing.

In future posts we will look at more book marketing myths and bust them one at a time.

 

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A really easy book marketing tip

As I trawled the internet for yet more book marketing information, I came across a YouTube video that I would like to share with you today. It’s by the lovely Stephanie Newell, author of The Buzz. It shows a very easy way to increase traffic coming to your website and raise your profile as an author. Why don’t you click and have a look?

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Good research sells books

DNA

Image courtesy of rajcreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Almost every author I have spoken to talks about research. It’s one of those topics that simply goes with writing a book. But authors do varying amounts of it. Some writers research barely enough to put together a book whereas others could almost write another book or two with the material they’ve had to omit from their intended book because of very extensive research. Of course, if you do research you will want to credit it in your acknowledgements page and that’s where the reader (as well as the publisher) will find out how much research has been done on a book.

Books that are well researched will generally sell better than books that are simply based on the author’s own experience and imagination. In fiction, the settings will seem more realistic, the characters better fleshed out and the facts more believable. In non-fiction, the presented facts will be more believable and authentic if you can back them up with solid research.

How much research do you need? That very much depends on your book. But don’t worry about having done “too much research”. There’s no such thing. Because whatever is left over and you can’t use for your actual book, you can use it for all your marketing activities. Here are some ideas where you can show off all your additional knowledge and up your marketing game:

  • blog posts
  • articles
  • interviews
  • book readings
  • speaking engagements and talks
  • your website (create an additional resources section)
  • “did you know” posts and Facebook and other social media
  • and if that’s not enough you can always write another book πŸ˜‰

I am sure you can think of even more ways to show off that you’re an expert on your subject which makes your book even more desirable. Please share in a comment.

 

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SEO on a shoestring

English: The three biggest web search engines

English: The three biggest web search engines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have a website you have probably come across the term SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation). You will also have come across businesses who are set up solely to improve your SEO (and costing a fair bundle in the process). Especially at the beginning not everyone has that kind of money but you still want your website to be easily found by Google, BingΒ  and their contemporaries. Don’t worry, this will not be highly technical at all, just some simple tips that you can easily implement.

Search engines keep changing, so what was all the rage 5 or 10 years ago and kept you ranking high might not work anymore, so make sure your website is always up to date regading SEO.

At the moment these are some things you need to keep an eye on:

Incoming links

These are links from other websites to yours. They have to be relevant and good quality, meaning that you can’t simply swap links with anyone. If you’re a romance writer, and your link appears on websites about car tyres or washing powder it will not count. Links on book reviewer’s blogs and other authors, however, will be good for you.

Keywords

Keywords are words and phrases that people type into the search engine when they look for something. Now once upon a time, the more you plastered your content full of those keywords, the better. Not any more. You need to have your keywords in the headings (make sure they’re also formatted as headings) and a few times throughout the content. Ideally, the main keyword you want to be found for is also appearing in the page description that appears at the top of the tab (speak to your web designer if you’re not sure how to do this).

No flash video on home page

If you have a funky flash video on your homepage to introduce your website which ends in something like “click here to enter the website” you have a problem. Google and Co cannot look past that and find out what’s on your actual homepage so will not rank you very well. Rethink where to put that video if you really like it, or get rid of it altogether. You could put it on YouTube with a link to your website – and create a good quality incoming link. πŸ˜‰

These are my 3 top tips for DIY – SEO. I will offer more in the future and am very happy if you want to share tips of your own in the comments below in the meantime.

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Twitter for authors – use hashtags

hashtag

hashtag (Photo credit: danielmoyle)

The Twitter usage of hashtags has somehow crept into everyday conversation, so even though hashtags were originally meant for use on Twitter and other social media you can now come across them everywhere. In social media, hashtags mean a particular topic or sometimes an emotion you’re talking about, so that other people wanting to talk about the same topic can easily join in a conversation that’s already ongoing or start their own.

Here are some hashtags that are particular useful for you as an author if you want to connect to readers:

  • #BookGiveaway
  • #MustRead
  • #LitChat
  • #TeaserTues
  • #FreeBook
  • #FreeDownload
  • #Kindle
  • #Nook

You can, of course, also connect with your readers via genre, so any of these will do very nicely for you as well:

  • #Romance
  • #Horror
  • #Scifi
  • #Thriller
  • #Mystery
  • etc.

It’s worth checking your particular genre with a simple hashtag google search.

Related Posts:

44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know (http://www.authormedia.com/44-essential-twitter-hashtags-every-author-should-know/)

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Have you thought to use Pinterest as an author?

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Pinterest! I think it’s a beautiful medium and I simply love enjoying what other people have posted, liking, commenting and re-pinning onto my own boards. But it’s not just a fun place to hang out, it’s also a great tool for authors to connect with their readers. How, I hear you ask, since it’s all about pictures and writing is all about words? Well, if you think about it, writing is about painting pictures with words. Pictures and images often inspire us to write and why not combine the two?

Here are two ways I can see this working very well.

1. Create a board that shows what inspired you to write your book. Is it landscapes, places, foods, animals, people – wherever your inspiration came from, there must be images connected to that. Your fans will be interested and inspired at the same time.

2. Create a board with book covers of books that are in the same genre as your book. Make sure your book is prominently among them. If people find books they’ve already read and enjoyed in the same list as your book, they are likely to try out your book as well.

Make sure when you pin images you find on websites to link directly to those images on Pinterest, so you don’t breach copyrights. If you have the little PinIt add-on in your browser even better, it will make the process of only pinning images you can share on Pinterest easier and link to the correct content. When linking book covers, including your own, link to Amazon or another book seller. The book covers are meant to be marketing tools and people will be happy for you to share them.

I will post more ideas on how to use Pinterest as an author in the future, so watch this space. πŸ™‚

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