How To Turn Your Book Marketing Into A Book

Susan DayGuest Posting by Susan Day.
Susan Day is a children’s author of over 20 print and eBooks. She has been working her social media presence for over five years and feels her head is just bursting with tips and advice. To alleviate this condition she has decided to blog a non-fiction book one post at a time entitled How to Publish a Children’s Book at Little or No Cost.

HOW TO TURN YOUR BOOK MARKETING INTO A BOOK
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Bookstore

Book by Ian Muttoo

A few weeks ago I was hit with a revelation that really blew my mind. The idea to write a non-fiction book about what I have learnt in the publishing industry had been ticking over in my brain for some time. However, I didn’t want to spend hours and hours writing, creating and publishing another self-help book that would languish at the bottom of an Amazon’s list.

Then one day, I came across an article by Nina Amir titled How to Blog a Book. This was the answer I was looking for. Blogging a book, one post at a time, would help me not only get my book completed but it would open up many other opportunities.

So, I sat down one Sunday and, following Nina’s advice, I created a Tab le of Contents which I use as a guide so I know what to write next. Under that, I started writing my book. Then I set up a website and a sign up from for newsletters. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is.

I post short pieces that will go into my books as chapters. If the information is too long I simply break it up. I also post other things that are related to my topic but might not make it into my book. I plan to invite other authors and guests, as well.

I have to say I have found the whole process very rewarding and lots of fun. I don’t feel like I’m stuck writing something that might not go anywhere. Already, there are a lot of people signed up to my RSS feed and my newsletter.

There are a few do’s and don’ts which you can find in Nina’s book. However, I can’t see why you couldn’t blog a book on any subject, even a fiction title. I’m sure you’ll find the whole experience just as rewarding as I have and who knows, perhaps you’ll build a significant fan base before your book is even published. I know I have.

Catch up with my journey at: www.howtopublishachildrensbookatnocost.com

How Amazon’s Author Central Can Improve Your SEO

A.S. Chung B&WPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

HOW AMAZON’S AUTHOR CENTRAL CAN IMPROVE YOUR SEO
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A.S. Chung Amazon Author PageWell done! You have managed to list your book on Amazon and it is now available for sale. It would seem that for most self-published authors, this is the first port of call and it always brings about such a great sense of achievement when you finally see your book listed and is available all around the world.

Now, have you set up your author page?

It is quite amazing how many indie authors don’t utilise this free function or aren’t even aware of its existence. I was certainly guilty of it until a fellow author pointed out to me that I hadn’t uploaded mine. It is perhaps one of the most under-utilised marketing tools and one shouldn’t under-estimate its value. Some of the benefits of having an Amazon author page include:

Let Your Readers Get To Know You
The Amazon Author Central page enables readers to get to know you as an author. This small engagement brings some life to the book and can often encourage the reader to buy your book if they identify with you and your story.

Controlling You Profile
Amazon is a jungle. With more and more books being self-published on a daily basis, it is imperative to take advantage of any medium which may assist with increasing exposure. Taking full control of your Amazon profile helps to define you and your books in exactly the manner you wish to. You are also able to add more books to the list as you continue to launch new titles.

Keyword Searches on Amazon
Having a well-managed author profile will aid in keyword searches on the website and improve your Amazon and Google SEO.

Tracking Sales
Amazon Author Central provides free book tracking in terms of weekly sales, sales rank and author rank. This could certainly help you with your Amazon book marketing strategies if you understand when and where your books are being sold.

Getting More Followers
You are able to interface your blog postings and Twitter feeds onto the profile page so it is always showcasing your most up to date postings. Readers do enjoy seeing that the author is active in the social media world and any subsequent follows increases the author’s presence. This in turn leads to greater web presence and assists with search engine tools.

Reader Interaction
Author forums and discussions are also another free function of the program. This allows the author to interact with readers personally and is an invaluable capability.

Customer Reviews
All Amazon customer reviews for all your books may be found in one place and thus easily accessible.

The setup of the author page is a highly user-friendly process. Follow these steps for how to set up your profile page.

Author Page Tab

  1. Sign up for Amazon Author Central.
  2. Click on “edit biography” to add a biography of no more than 100 words. Amazon provides you with an example of a good biography.
  3. Click on “add a blog” if you have one so that the reader can see your real time updates.
  4. Click on “add event” to share your upcoming speaking engagements, bookstore appearances, and other events.
  5. Add up to 8 photos that will help to enhance your author profile.
  6. Add any relevant videos of interviews, book trailers, or book signings.
  7. Add Twitter account so your feed is included in your profile.

Amazon Author Central Author Page

Books Tab

  1. Click on “add book” to create your bibliography.
  2. Search by title, author or ISBN.
  3. Add any editorial reviews.
    a. Reviews should be from reputable sources and the source should be credited after the quotation.
    b. Quotes from outside reviews should follow “fair use” copyright guidelines.
    c. Limit of 1-2 sentence.
    d. Up to 600 characters.
  4. Add product description.
    a. An objective summary of the book subject matter and genre.
    b. Up to 4000 characters.
    c. Don’t include spoilers!
  5. Add something from the author.
    a. A message from you about this book – what was your experience writing it, why did you write this book and how does it relate to other books you’ve written?
    b. Up to 8000 characters.
  6. Add something from the inside flap.
    a. Content inside your book’s flap should be transcribed without any changes.
    b. Up to 8000 characters.
  7. Add something from the back cover.
    a. Content inside your book’s flap should be transcribed without any changes.
    b. Up to 8000 characters.
  8. Write something about the author.
    a. This section should be the same or similar to your biography as it would appear in a book.
    b. Up to 2000 characters.
  9. Make sure this information is copied across all available editions i.e. eBook, paperback and/or hardcover.

Amazon Author Central Book Page

And that is it! Important to update your profile over time as you change and evolve. Reminder that if you have books on amazon.uk, it is not an automatic update on that site; you would have to login and create a profile specifically for that site. If you are able to get your profile translated, you should also update your author central page for other large international Amazon sites such as France, Germany and Japan.

I’ve Written My Book, Now What? Where To From Here?

Posted by Deb Hockenberry.
Deb Hockenberry is the children’s picture book author of Where Can We Have The Party? Deb always wanted to write for children since she was a child myself! Deb also blogs about her writing journey and what happens after you’ve written your masterpiece!

I’VE WRITTEN MY BOOK, NOW WHAT? WHERE TO FROM HERE?
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Milan Book Stall by Weldon Kennedy

YAY! I did it! My picture book is being just about ready to go to print. Okay, that’s great news for me but now what? I know I have to market and promote my book but exactly how do I do that?

I’ve found a few things out. First, it’s very important to have a web presence. Start a blog, a website, or both. If you want to do both, Weebly is a very good webhost. It’s a WYSIWYG website and that makes it very friendly for a non – techie person like myself. So is GoDaddy. There are also free ones out there like Blogger and WordPress. All of these are what-you-see-is-what-you-get sites.

Unfortunately, I’ve only found one book on how to market and promote a children’s book. That book is called: How To Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets To A Best Seller.  This book is chock full of information. I can tell you from experience that you really should read this eBook with a pen and notebook next to you!

From this book I’ve found out a few things.

  1. Join social networking sites. Yep, let yourself be known. I don’t mean to constantly talk about your book. That’s spamming. Just socialize—that’s the key word in social networking. Then when you get your book cover or box of books, take a picture and share it on those sites. Now, you can talk about your book. But again, don’t talk about it every day. You might get a sale this way!
  2. Pull up a spreadsheet (or write this down) of your plan to market your book. Are you going to ask your online friends to review your book? That’s always fun. I’ve been involved in many blog-hops! Do you plan on going through a paid publicity site like World of Ink? Are you going to contact the Author’s Showcase to see when you can be on that internet radio show? How about where you can do book signings and book readings? You can put an ad in the newspaper announcing your book. You can also have you friends who review books interview you. Actually, this can be any friend you blogs. Write all this down so you don’t forget your plan.
  3. Google the subject of your book in your town. For instance, my book subject is a birthday party. Google “birthday party + your town. I was so surprised at the amount of links I received for this! I had no idea there was a place specifically for parties in this town. You can use you phone book to look these places up.
  4. Have a media kit (media release) prepared. I’m still working on mine since my picture book won’t be out for a few months but here’s what you need: On one sheet of paper you should scan a picture of the book, have a short bio of yourself, and a blurb of the book. Also on this page you should have the pertinent information about your book (ISBN number, number of pages, price, and the buy links). Don’t forget you contact information on that page! This includes your mailing information, website, and email address. On a separate page have your publicity picture.
  5. Read marketing blogs and books. They’re full of advice. True they aren’t specifically geared to children’s writing but to marketing in general. I’ve found an excellent marketing website called The Publicity Hound by Joan Stewart. Don’t forget to sign up for her free ezine. It’s full of advice!
  6. Learn to make a video. Videos promote you and your book much better than plain text. I’ve found this out by using Facebook. It dawned on me one night when I was thinking about how to market my upcoming book, that I always stop at the videos on Facebook to watch them.

In your computer is a free movie maker. If you have Windows, you’ll have Movie Maker, for a Mac it’s called iMovie or iMovie Maker. Windows also has free music included with Movie Maker called All Free Music. The point is that you can make your own book trailer by yourself and for free. Book trailers raise interest in your book and that means more possible sales.

This is what I’ve learned so far with the most important being a web presence. You can advertise and even sell your book there. So, get one! Read those marketing books and form your own ideas. Join the many different social networking sites, get to know the people, and let them know you!

Author Interview: Michelle R. Eastman

The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale by Michelle R. Eastman

THE LEGEND OF DUST BUNNIES, A FAIRY’S TALE
BY MICHELLE R. EASTMAN

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about.
The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale is a light-hearted story about a serious topic: Being Yourself.

The Legend of Dust Bunnies will open your eyes to a world of dirt and dust that you never knew could be so magical and fun! Did you know that Dust Fairies come into our homes at night and spread dust, drape spider webs, and even spit crumbs into the carpet? They do!  It’s true!  Well, not all fairies. Artie is different. He doesn’t like messes, and he doesn’t fit in. At first, Artie is lonely and unsure of what to do, but then he takes matters into his own hands. When given lemons you’re supposed to make lemonade, right? This story does one better, it turns DUST into DUST BUNNIES. The Legend of Dust Bunnies is the story about how and why a misfit Dust Fairy turns dust into cuddly dust bunnies and the joyful aftermath that follows. It will have families looking at dust bunnies in a new light, and may actually give kids an excuse NOT to clean their rooms.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
My story’s main character, Artie, was inspired by my eight-year old son’s habit of collecting things.  He notices and appreciates the beauty in items that most of us would cast off as trash.  Artie uses found items to create unique treasures and happily shares them with his fellow Dust Fairies.

3) Why did you pick this genre?
Rhyming picture books are my favorite books to read. My son and I make a trip to the library once a week to fill our bag. He is now 9, and I still read aloud to him each night. I have wanted to write a picture book for most of my adult life. Publishing this book has been an incredible experience.

4) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
The book’s illustrator, Kevin Richter, created the cover and the entire layout and design of the book. I connected with Kevin via Elance. He is an incredibly talented guy, and he’s a pleasure to work with. He is in the UK, and I am in Iowa. All of our communication has been via email. Despite the distance, it has been a wonderful collaborative partnership. Kevin “got” the story immediately. Not only did he bring my vision to life; he brought elements to the story I hadn’t even imagined. Kevin is an experienced comic book illustrator, and I think his experience with that genre gave the characters and scenes an action-packed quality that further enhanced the story.

5) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
I grew up in a low-income household with teen-aged parents. Books were not a priority in our house.  I am pretty sure I was never read to as a baby or as a small child. When I started school, I began to develop a love for books. It was exciting when the book-mobile rolled into our neighborhood and I could climb on board and check out a few books. One of my favorite books was Charlotte’s Web. I won a copy of it as part of a RIF sponsored contest at school. I cherished that book. I also loved Beverly Cleary books and anything relating to history and biographies.

6) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
Visiting schools and libraries and interacting with kids is the very best part of the whole author experience. I am also proud of a literacy initiative I started called Picture Book Pass it On.  I encourage people to collect/donate books to kids in need. This past March, I hosted a special drive called MARCHing Books to Kids. We collected over 300 books for children of incarcerated parents. Children’s authors from around the world donated signed copies of their books to the project.

7) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
The main character, Artie, has a hard time finding his place among the other Dust Fairies. He wants to be accepted, but he isn’t willing to change who he is to do that. Although there is a take-away message, I try to subtly weave it into the story. Kids are smart cookies-they take away what is meaningful to them and their life experiences.

8) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
I spend a lot of time reading children’s picture books. I enjoy reading them and I find them comforting and inspiring. I like to read short stories (especially sci-fi from the 50’s and 60’s). It is fascinating to see how many of the futuristic elements are now commonplace. I also like reading and re-reading poetry from Langston Hughes.

9) What are you working on now?
Kevin and I just released our newest book, Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie. This book takes a light-hearted approach to the compelling desire kids have to fit-in. The story validates the need we feel for acceptance, while imparting a gentle take-away message of the joy that can come from embracing one’s individuality.

Here is the synopsis:
Fairies, music, and dust! Oh my! Aggie is a little Dust Fairy with a big problem. She wants to join the fairy band, but they do not approve of her offbeat style. Aggie is determined to impress them, but that turns out to be harder than she imagined. Just when she thinks she will never find a way to fit in, Aggie discovers it might be more fun to stand out.

Michelle R. Eastman

THANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Michelle R. Eastman and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Michelle R.Eastman
Where to purchase her book: Michelle R.Eastman, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Michelle’s social media connections:

social-facebook-box-blue-icon social-twitter-box-blue-icon      pinterest-icon

Blogging Glossary, A Helpful Guide for Beginners: Part 3 of 3

A.S. Chung B&WPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

BLOGGING GLOSSARY, A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS: PART 3 OF 3
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Blog Wooden TilesIn part 1, I talked through the step by step fundamentals for blogging to help you get started and show you that it’s not as daunting as it looks. In part 2, I dug a little deeper and identified slightly more difficult terminologies that I believe are essential for taking your blog from amateur to professional.

In part 3, I am going to introduce you to some seriously boring and dry terms. Not that I am trying to get you to opt out of reading this post altogether but a little fore warning didn’t hurt anyone! This glossary page introduces you to some blogging terms that will help you in the long run. For the seasoned blogger, perhaps this may help you understand blogging in greater depth or perhaps give you some ideas of how to further improve your blog’s functionality and features.

ATOM
Atom is a machine-readable xml-based web syndication format which allows users to subscribe to blogs and allow your readers to get up to date content as you post them.

AUTOCASTING
This is an automated form of podcasting which allows your followers to have access to audio versions of your text only posts.

BLAUDIENCE
The audience of a blog.

BLOG CARNIVAL
A blog carnival is essentially a blog post that contains permalinks to other articles or blogs which cover a specific topic. It operates somewhat like a magazine which has an editor-in-chief, writers and readers. The editor-in-chief or owner of the carnival is responsible for soliciting submissions and inviting contributors.

BLOG HOPPING
Blog hopping is about following links from one blog to another. You may be invited by an organiser to participate. How it works is essentially all bloggers would post about an agreed topic or genre at one given time. The organiser would distribute all the permalinks to all bloggers so it is available on everyone’s post.

BLOGOSPHERE
This refers to the collective community of all blogs and bloggers.

BLOGROLL
This is a list of blogs a blogger either follows or recommends. It usually resides on the sidebar and is an excellent way to get to know the blogger and their affiliations. A blogroll may also be used as a means of advertising or cross promotion in support of the blogging community.

CAPTCHA
This stand for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers And Humans Apart. For security purposes, have you ever had to type in a verification based on numbers and letters? That is CAPTCHA. It helps to minimise spam.

CMS
CMS stands for Content Management System. It is a software program that allows you to add content to a website more easily.

CSS OR STYLESHEET
This is short for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is written in HTML and is used to style your blog or website. This is required should you decide your blog needs to move onto the next level as the basic template no longer meets your needs.

EVENT BLOG
A blog that contains content specific to an event.

FEED
Much like all social media platform, particularly Facebook, a feed provides readers with frequently updated posts. They may be updated either via email or through an RSS reader.

IMPRESSION
This refers to the number of times your post has been viewed.

JPG
Stands for Joint Photographic Expert’s Group and is the most common file format for images.

MEME
This is about an idea that has been passed from one blogger to another.

META DESCRIPTION
This is a short and succinct description of your page or post. The description should be about 150 characters in length with strategic usage of keywords for search engine optimisation.

PAGERANK
Used by Google to rank websites in their returned results.

PHOTOBLOG
A blog that is built predominantly on images rather than words.

PING
A ping is an alert in the trackback system that informs the blogger that another blogger has submitted an entry that is about the original post.

PODCASTING
Podcasting are digital audio or video files which are produced in a series.

RECIPROCAL LINK
When one blogger exchanges links on its blogroll with another blogger’s blogroll.

THREAD
A series of posts on a specific topic.

TRACKBACK
A trackback is the ability for a blogger to let another blogger know you are talking about them. It is like cc mail. It allows a blogger to link to a post on other blogs.

TRACKBACK PING
A ping that notifies a blog’s server that a post on that blog has been commented upon.

WEBINAR
This is an online seminar, presentation or workshop.

Well, that’s it for the 3 part series on blogging glossary. If you missed the first two parts, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

It would be an opportune time for me to note that majority of everything I have mentioned over the last 3 days, WordPress.com does it all automatically. I don’t build anything, download anything nor do I worry about RSS, Atom, PHP coding or CSS. In saying that however, I can’t customise my blog by purchasing different themes or plugins. But I work with what I have and live with no complications or hassles!

I hope this has helped you on your blogging journey!

Winner! Readers’ Favorite Award!

Readers' Favourite Book AwardA Brand New Day, by self-published author A.S. Chung, has won a bronze award for the category of Children’s Concept books in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Award contest! A Brand New Day is a children’s picture book about divorce using loving words and beautiful  illustrations. We are absolutely thrilled as contestants range from first-time authors to New York Times bestsellers and celebrities!

Here is more about the Reader’s Favorite Award Contest:
Readers’ Favorite is the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, and have received the Best Websites for Authors and Honoring Excellence awards from the Association of Independent Authors.

“We receive thousands of entries from all over the world. As a result of these large submission numbers we are able to break down our contest into 100+ genres, where each genre is judged separately, ensuring you only compete against books of your particular genre for a more fair and accurate competition. We receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America). “

 

Blogging Glossary, A Helpful Guide for Beginners: Part 1 of 3

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

BLOGGING GLOSSARY, A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS: PART 1 OF 3
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Using Laptop

Blogging? by Anonymous

Are you thinking of starting a blog to complement your writing? Let me guess, you started to do some research and after encountering a great deal of mumbo jumbo tech speak jargon, you gave up the notion and closed the laptop. The idea continues to linger in your head so you give it a few more attempts at making this decision but it was all too overwhelming and you just didn’t know where to start.

Yes, they have great forums to help, comprehensive YouTube tutorials you can follow and FAQs as thick as Tolstoy’s War and Peace. But where do you start? Not only that, once you started, could you really sustain it for fear of not being able to comprehend even the basics of blogging?

For the next few online marketing tips, I am going to focus on blogging glossary, over a 3 part series for easy digestion. As you can imagine, the list is endless so I am only going to concentrate on important pieces of information. I will attempt to make it easy to understand so that you can take that leap of faith!

Here is a simplified step by step guide and some comprehensive tips to get you from the beginning of the blogging process to your first post.

Step 1: Domain Name
A domain name is the website address and this must be purchased.

This is the very first thing you need to do. Prior to purchasing a domain name, it is important that the name is also available across all your social media platforms so there is unity for your brand. There is nothing more frustrating than buying a domain name, only for the Twitter handle or Facebook Page name to already exist!

Step 2: Web Hosting
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organisations to make their website accessible on the World Wide Web.

You need to find a hosting service that has a plan to suit you. Unfortunately there are a lot of providers so you will have to do your homework. You can purchase your domain name through most web hosting service providers. Better still, you can join a blogging service such as WordPress.com, who provides hosting for free!

Step 3: Theme
Assuming you have selected your blogging service such as WordPress or Blogger, you now need to select a theme or a template.

You can select from the free range or purchase custom designed themes. This is a much bigger process than you can give it credit for. The theme sets the tone for your blog in terms of colour palette and aesthetics. Different themes also provide different layouts and selecting one that best suits you is highly time-consuming. It is therefore important to draw out a plan of how you want the blog to look like before selecting a theme. Play around with the free templates and get a feel of what it may look like.

Step 4: Page
A page is static and contains information that you want people to see all the time.

Now you can start creating your pages. Example, your About Me page remains constant. It essentially is the top level menu for your readers to select from. Don’t create your content for the pages as yet. Complete your full layout to ensure the “shell” works for you in the first instance.

Step 5: Category
All your posts (see below for definition) can be categorised.

Categories make it easier for your followers to target their search or browse a specific topic that interests them. Categories are also useful as they can be utilised to create sub menus.

Step 6: Menu
A menu provides you with the main navigation for your blog.

Once you have created your pages and categories, you can now use them to create your menu. You can also determine where you want it physically placed. Your primary menu traditionally sits on the top with your static pages eg About Me, Book 1, Book 2, Contact Page etc. You can also create sub menus using your categories and can exist perhaps on the side bar that houses specific topics.

Step 7: Widgets
Areas of your website that are uniquely designed to stand out and commonly found in the side bars of your website (left or hand side of a page).

Essentially, widgets are additional features you can add to the base template of your theme. Some examples include adding an image, add a text box, a calendar, search box or your social media icons.

Step 8: Settings
The Settings menu of your blog is where you will configure everything about how the blog works and functions.

I suggest going to your Settings menu after you have done the above as you will have a better understanding of how you wish for your blog to look like. Here you can decide how many posts you wish for your readers to be able to see, uploading a logo, time format adjustment, do comments have to be approved, what social media icons you wish to have, etc. You will find you will re-visit your settings over and over again as your blog matures and grows.

Step 9: Post
A blog is made up of a collection of posts. This is when you create a piece of content and post it on your blog.

Posts will appear in order of publication. At this point, create one post to see how it will look like. Add links and images into the body of the post so that you can get use to the basic functions. Keep playing with your layout until you are happy with it. For a quick tip; I save my posts on a word document. Word documents however are filled with back end formatting that sometimes sends the post askew on the blog. To alleviate this issue, cut and paste the piece onto Notepad in Windows or TextEdit for Mac, format your spaces and paragraphs and then cut and paste it back to the blog. This will create a clean post and you won’t get frustrated with formatting like I did!

Why eBook Editions Are Vital for Every Indie Author

Goldie Alexander

Guest Posting by Goldie Alexander.
Goldie Alexander writes  for adults and children of all ages. Her work includes 85 novels and non fictions, plus prizewinning short stories, plays, and articles. She writes historical fiction, fantasy, crime, science fiction and collections of short stories.

eBook Readers

ebooks en ereaders by Maria Elena

WHY EBOOK EDITIONS ARE VITAL FOR EVERY INDIE AUTHOR
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I enjoy picturing po-faced commuters reading the latest crime or romance in their mobiles, tablets and Kindles as they head to their dreary jobs in banks and IT companies.  When I was a kid we read comics. Perhaps this is the contemporary adult equivalent.

The major advantage about eBooks is that they are so easily downloaded; there are no forests being cut down, no problem with storage, no hanging around waiting for that copy in the library, and no roaming the streets trying to find a book shop that might still be in business.

Yet there’s never been a time when it’s harder to get big publishers to take on unknown authors. Most seem to be waiting for the next JK Rowling. So how does this affect the unknown writer who can’t find a company to take his book? The answer seems to be to publish digitally. But unless this occurs under the auspices of a big company, it carries the unfortunate label of ‘vanity published.’ Vanity publishing has a bad name because sometimes money has been saved on editing, design and interesting covers. It is assumed that if a book hasn’t been picked up by a well-known publisher that it can’t be any good. Rest assured that big time publishers don’t always know what they are doing. One reader for a distinguished firm told me that she had never ever recommended anything in case she made a mistake.

From a strictly personal perspective, eBooks are wonderful. After a recent accident, I think I would have gone insane had it not been for my Kindle. I downloaded wonderful, and some not so wonderful novels, at a third of the price I would have paid for hard covers. Considering that I read at least two hundred samples and at least half of these as whole books while stuck in hospital, how else could I have managed to tackle a whole library? I could never have afforded it. Nor would anyone have been prepared to bring me that many books.

However Amazon, Kobo and Apple only list about twenty top sellers amongst the thousands of available books. To compensate, if a particular book or author is typed in – and you have to know who you are looking for – that book or author will come up, even if all the books that author has written are not there. My latest is both available in print and on Amazon and/or Kobo, but it certainly isn’t everything I have written because many of my books were published before this digital revolution.

The problem as I see it is that unless a book is displayed on these top lists, no one will ever know anything about it. I once thought good writing deserved to be recommended, or a popular topic would win readers, but this isn’t always the case. And as far as I can see, these lists are quite random.  I think the crux of eBook publishing is: How do we get our books onto that ‘A list’? Social media seems to be the answer. Your name has to be known. You have to become a ‘brand’. So if you want to sell your eBooks, it’s a good idea to blog, twitter, Facebook using all social media as often as you can stand. At least several times a week.

8 Exciting Instagram Content Ideas For All Authors

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

8 EXCITING INSTAGRAM CONTENT IDEAS FOR ALL AUTHORS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Instagram on Laptop

Coffee+Instagram by Casey Fiesler

Without the written word to express your thoughts, ideas and feelings, indie authors may find it challenging to share their story through images. Unlike the big players such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, one set of updates will suffice across all mediums. We have become very proficient in cutting, pasting and re-adjusting our posts to fit in the limitations of each platform. Essentially however, they have the same message and all we are trying to do is ensure we capture a broader market.

Instagram however requires a whole different set of communication skills. What Instagram content would be suitable and would I have enough to sustain a continual dialogue? Note that Instagram conversations are not based solely on you posting images but also relying on others to create content for you through hashtags and communicating with them. Here are some ideas.

1) PERSONAL
This is a great platform for followers to get to know you as a person. How much you wish to divulge is at your discretion but your readers may like to know anything from your hobbies, travels, and pets, right through to everyday mundane things like what you ate for breakfast. It brings out the human aspect of an otherwise very formal and professional authorship.

2) INSPIRATION
You can post images of anything that inspires you. Quotes are especially popular, especially if they are your own. They are a great way for you to store your inspirations so that you can refer to them at any time. Use well thought out hashtags to facilitate ease of search as well as taking advantage of trending hashtags.

3) WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING PROCESS
You could share your writing process with your fans. From photos of you literally writing, broken keyboards from frustration, research being conducted in the library to crumpled papers on the floor. If it takes you 12 months to finish your book, that’s 12 months of content.

If you are collaborating with an illustrator and you’re allowed to share the creative process, Instagram the drawings. Fans would love to see the production of illustrations from sketches to the end product. Images could also be teasers such as a cover being broken up to 9 squares and you sending each square per day until the “puzzle” is complete. The ideas are endless!

4) BOOK LAUNCH
A book launch is an excellent content creating activity. Take images of your new book including the inside cover, some pages and the back of the book. Include any media activities as well as any book launch events.  Take images of your guests and your fans. Take some selfies!

5) BOOK PAGES
If you are a novelist, take photos of different sections of your book/s. They can just be artistic images to promote your book, they can be a specific line or sentence you wish to talk about in detail or perhaps you have a new edition with a new foreward you wish to show off.

6) PHOTOGRAPHY
You can share images of beautiful photography about anything related to books, writing or the subject of your book. I personally love black and white images of anything to do with books, libraries and people reading in interesting places. Therefore I could re-gram images from Instagram or find creative common pictures on the internet to share for no other reason than the fact that I love them!

7) WORKING
Post images of you working. It could be anything from attending a conference, being interviewed on a radio show, doing a school tour or doing a book signing. Take lots of photos of each occasion, not just one so you can post continuously. Be creative and also post photos of the surrounds of your work. E.g. if attending a book fair at an exhibition centre, take a photo of the building for its architecture, any advertising and signs of the book fair, the interior of the fair at its busiest or even some exhibitors and delegates.

8) COPY WHAT WORKS
Check out what people are following and what is popular. Adapt it to yourself and your book/s to capitalise on what is trending. Copy what other people are doing and make the necessary variations to suit your needs.

I am sure I have only scratched the surface but this should get your creative juices going. If you write YA or MG or novels that appeal to an age group between 16-35, this is the medium for your book. It’s certainly a great way to capture a different set of readers that your other social media platforms can’t.

Top 25 Interesting Instagram Facts For Indie Authors

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

TOP 25 INTERESTING INSTAGRAM FACTS FOR INDIE AUTHORS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP 
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Abraham Lincoln Quote

“Let the people know the facts and the country will be safe” by particlem

I don’t use Instagram as a book marketing tool. But I love using this application personally. Therefore, I have decided to collate a list of interesting facts that will help me decide if I should adopt another platform (not that I don’t already have enough!). Yesterday, I explored Instagram for Self-Published Authors, as a general research piece to convince me it’s worth thinking about. However I felt that I needed more evidence to propel me further in making this commitment.

So here are some fascinating and interesting facts:

  1. Facebook owns Instagram
  2. There are over 300 million Instagram users in the world today
  3. There are more than 70 million photo and video shares each day
  4. Overall there have been 30 billion photos shared through the application
  5. 41% of Instagram users are aged between 16-24 years
  6. 20% of internet users have an Instagram account
  7. 95% of these users have a Facebook account whilst 83% of them have a Twitter account
  8. The breakdown of users over the continents is: 25% in North America, 33% in Latin America, 16% in Europe, 34% in the Middle East/Africa and 16% in Asia
  9. 61% of Instagramers like at least 1 posting a day
  10. 51% of users are male while, 49% are female
  11. 70% of Instagramers have already taken part in a contest or might do so
  12. Top 3 reasons why users follow brands on Instagram: 62% because they love the brand, 54% to discover new things, 48% because they find content interesting or funny
  13. On average, posts by top brands receive 216 comments, with 50% of comments being posted in the first 6 hours
  14. The average caption on Instagram is 138 characters long, including hashtags
  15. On average, posts that include another user handle in the caption receive 56% more engagement than those that don’t
  16. Adding a location results in 79% higher engagement
  17. 47% of adult users access Instagram from a smartphone. 53% use a tablet
  18. There are around 2.5 billion Instagram likes every day, or 8500 new likes each second. 1000 comments are left each second
  19. Around 25% of Fortune 500 companies use Instagram actively. They usually post on Thursdays
  20. The more hashtags you add, the more likes and comments you will get. Instagram allows up to 30
  21. Instagram users prefer desaturated photos. They get up to 600% more likes!
  22. Don’t leave too much blank space in your Instagram photos. Busier photos get more likes
  23. The number of Instagramers in the U.S. will reach approximately 106 million by 2018
  24. 26% of users earn an income of $50,000 – $74,999 whilst a further 26% earn over $75,000 per annum
  25. The average Instagram user spends 21 minutes per day using the app.

There are many more statistic I could have filtered however I felt this was sufficient to paint the picture. There must be at least a couple of facts above which caught your eye or perhaps peaked your interest in how you could use it sell your books and increase readership. Please feel free to share your Instagram experiences.

Sources:
Instagram Blog: 300 Million: Sharing Real Moments
GWI Infographic: Instagram Users
Iconosquare Blog: 11 Instagram facts every marketer must know
Sprout Social: 5 Insightful Instagram Statistics That You Should Know
LinkedIn Pulse: The 2015 Instagram Statistics You Should Know
Agora Plus: 8 Little Known Facts About Instagram Pictures, Filters, and Hashtags
Pew Research Center: Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms
Econsultancy: 20+ Instagram stats marketers need to know