Benefits and Tip of Google+ Hangout for Authors

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.

BENEFITS AND TIPS OF GOOGLE+ HANGOUTS FOR AUTHORS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Google+ Hangouts

What is Google+ Hangouts?
Google+ Hangouts is a virtual communications platform that is mostly utilised for its video format.  As an author, you can create a private Hangout event whereby you can invite guests of up to 10 participants or you can be invited to join a Hangout.

What is Google+ Hangouts On Air?
Google+ Hangouts On Air is open to the public and anyone can view it as it happens live. Viewers do not have to participate. Upon conclusion of the event, it is automatically recorded and posted to your YouTube account as well as your Google+ account. This is a great way for authors who are not tech savvy to create videos that are easy to share across their social media platforms.

How Authors Can Use Google+ Hangouts To Their Benefit

  • Google+ Hangouts is a great way to showcase your book. This may come in the form of a book launch or a book club type event whereby you can discuss your book in detail.
  • You can invite your fans and readers to join you in a “get to know your author” type event whereby you invite them to ask any questions they may have of you. This enables a global reach and allows your fans to get to know you on a more personal level.
  • Authors can join writing group Hangouts to collect ideas during your writing process. It’s also a great way to get support from fellow authors should you have any issues or concerns you are having difficulty resolving.
  • You can engage with your fans during your entire writing process of your next book. Perhaps create a Hangout every month, after every chapter or when drafts of illustrations come in. Particularly great for those writing a series as fans are eagerly waiting for the next instalment.
  • Authors can use Google+ Hangouts as part of their book tours and virtual readings. Most authors don’t have the budget to do so or perhaps physically can’t get to towns and cities that require too much time or expense.
  • There is something to be said about getting to know someone personally. Well, at least this feature allows you to get one step closer to your fans and readers. This encourages loyalty, especially if they are able to identify with you.
  • The video component of the Google+ Hangout on Air is a very powerful marketing tool that can be utilised across all your digital marketing platforms and it didn’t even require you to produce your own video! Best of all, it’s completely free!

Tips On How To Run A Great Hangout

  • Test your event! Make sure all your equipment is available and that they are all in working order. Nothing worse than hosting an event and no one can see or hear you!
  • Make sure that you have a good internet connection and that your Hangout doesn’t stall half way or even cut out altogether.
  • Make sure you have a good background to work in with no distractions that could keep your participants wondering around the space. The more neutral and minimal a background, the better.
  • It is advised not to have pets or children in the vicinity of your Hangout. This is the best way for everyone to lose concentration if the event holder is continually interrupted.
  • Sound is very important, especially if creating a video for distribution later. Make sure your surrounds are quiet and you may even want to invest in an external microphone for further clarity.
  • Lighting is also important. Make sure participants are able to see you clearly without shadows to distract the Hangout.
  • The most important tip of all is of course to market the Hangout. No one will participate if they don’t know about it!

So, camera shy authors (that would be me!), do you believe this would be beneficial to you?

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Have you Joined The Goodreads Author Program Yet?

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.

HAVE YOU JOINED THE GOODREADS AUTHOR PROGRAM YET?
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Goodreads Otis Chandler

Otis Chandler Goodreads Founder by Christopher Michel

As an author, I am sure you have joined Goodreads as part of your online marketing strategy. Known as the Facebook for book lovers, it is an extremely  large digital library that every author should be a part of.

Now that you have navigated your way through the website, please venture your way to the bottom of the page and click on Author Program. If you haven’t already set this up, please take some time to do so. As it is a site which is dedicated to all things books, it is an invaluable tool to take advantage of it. It is completely free so you have absolutely no excuse!

It is important because under all the books listed on Goodreads, there is an option to click on the name of the author to find out more about you. You need to make sure you give them a dynamic snapshot of you so that curious readers can get to know you.

Features available in the Author Program:

  • Create a profile by adding a photo of yourself that best reflects you as an author. I suggest a fairly professional looking image and not one that is cropped from a family photo.
  • Write a compelling bio about yourself. Only limited by your imagination!
  • This feature enables you to share with your fans what you are currently reading. Makes for a good conversation piece.
  • This feature also allows you to list your favourite books.  Avid readers can form opinions about your personality just by the books you read.
  • You can advertise any upcoming events such as book launches, readings or book signings.
  • You can share a small excerpt of your book to entice readers.
  • If you maintain a blog, you can add it to your profile for greater exposure. All posts on your blog will automatically be uploaded on your profile so no additional work required.
  • You can add the Goodreads Author Widget to your website or blog to showcase all your hard earned reviews.
  • Promote your books by participating in discussions that may be relevant to the book genre or topic.

A.S. Chung Goodreads Author Page

There is no harm in joining this program. According to Goodreads, they are the world’s largest site for book readers and book recommendations. With over 20 million users and now acquired by Amazon, it is a truly useful site to be a part of.

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
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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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

30 Facebook Groups Every Author Needs…..And It’s Free!

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.

30 FACEBOOK GROUPS EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS…..AND IT’S FREE!
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Photo Montage

Facebook Groups continue to evolve over time to support writers and authors in a myriad of ways. I have collated a list of Facebook Groups to help indie authors in all facets of the self-publishing journey. If you are searching for the following, you have come to the right place:

  • Support for self-publishing authors.
  • Book marketing ideas.
  • A space to promote your book/s.
  • Author support through discussions and forums.
  • Improve your writing and manuscript assistance.
  • Lover of books in general.

1. Amazon Book Club
Download free e-books, join our book loving platform, or read our daily reviews. If you are a published author, go ahead and announce yourself and your book(s) on this site. Readers, please go ahead and leave your reviews and recommendations.
28,237 members.

2. Aspiring Authors
If your dream is to become a published storyteller (novelist, screenwriter, poet, short story writer etc.), you’ve come to the right place! What we’re all about: books, novels, stories, writing, writers, plays, screenplays, short stories, plot, creative, creativity, fiction, interactive story.
26,996 members.

3. Authors
Anything about writing.
Stories, experiences, advice and tips.
Any new books, promotions or book cover designs.
27,769 members

4. Authors 99¢ e-Books Promotion
This is a group for .99 e-books only. Please promote your books here if they are .99 cents or free!
9,259 members.

5. Authors and Book Lovers Discussion Group
This is a discussion group for authors and book lovers to chat about their favourite books. All Authors are welcome to promote here!
21,778 members.

6. Authors, Agents, and Aspiring Writers
We welcome authors at every stage of their career. Here are the rules for this group: This group is for all things WRITING! You are free to promo new releases, your books, your writing blogs, your thoughts on writing and always ask for help from others to improve your craft. If you have information that you think will be beneficial to writers, please share.
18,750 members.

7. Authors, Bloggers, Writers, Readers and Books
Geared to Christian content. Space for authors, bloggers, writers, readers and books to post information about their blogs, books, reviews and their websites, etc. A group for sharing our interests and activities regarding our page title. – we encourage those of any faith or beliefs to join in the sharing. Only God knows where our seeds might be planted.
13,898 members.

8. Author Meeting Place
A place to meet and greet other authors. You might be able to share marketing ideas and/or events in your area if you meet someone close to you. Authors unite!
4,715 members.

9. Authors Promoting Authors
Authors Promoting Authors community group. This group serves as a forum for discussion, promotion and sharing
16,956 members.

10. Books, Books and more Books!!!
Where authors and readers can post to help promote their books and giveaways.
32,618 members.

11. Book Promotion
The goal of this page is to help you the author to accomplish your goals. It is similar to our mission at Best Seller Publishing – “To make our clients best-selling authors and launch them to a life of independence, generous income, and meaningful impact.” So from time to time we will be offering FREE training in the form of videos, webinars and recordings. They will be specifically focused on helping you become a best selling author and monetize your books.
25,808 members.

12. Book Review & Promotion
Writer · Books · Publishing
29,839 members.

13. Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook
A group for authors and illustrators of children’s books, from picture books to YA, in all genres, plus aspiring writers and all readers who love children’s literature.
5,542 members.

14. Free ebooks for Kindle, Nook, and More
Welcome readers and authors! This page is for listing free ebooks only. Authors, join this group to post notice of ebooks that you are giving away freely to everyone. This is a great way to promote “free ebook” days in Kindle’s KDP Select program, but please list your book only when it’s free to all Amazon customers.
2,540 members.

15. Free Kindle and Nook eBooks For Readers
This is a group for readers to come and find free Ebooks. Anyone can join and post links to the free Ebooks they have found; we especially love when authors join this group and post links to their free Ebooks! There are no limits for genres or where an Ebook can be read. Most of the Ebooks posted are available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook, Smashwords or even a plain PDF file.
33,013 members.

16. Free Today on Amazon
This group is for free books only!
18,578 members.

17. Free Today on Kindle & Beyond
Authors: Announce your free books here.
Readers: Learn which books are free today.
14,821 members.

18. Go Indie
All things book-related are welcome, including articles from author blogs and websites, announcements for free and discounted books, book discussions and more. Posts related to services being offered to authors are welcome as well, provided the owner/poster contact the admin beforehand.
5,756 members.

19. Indie Author Book Promotion Page
Welcome to the open group for Indie Author book promotions.
26,545 members.

20. Indie Authors International
READERS and WRITERS from EVERYWHERE, across borders, without barriers. EVERYONE WELCOME.
12,058 members.

21. KIDLIT411
A Facebook group of children’s writers and illustrators run by the founders of the website http://www.Kidlit411.com. Share your information and kid lit news and join a fun community.
2,037 members.

22. Kindle Authors Helping Authors
Welcome to a FB group that actually helps authors. Please take the time to visit other author’s pages and like them on Amazon FB and outside web blogs and websites. We also love receiving tips on what has helped authors sell books, receive helpful reviews or set up their platforms.
4,043 members.

23. Marketing for Authors
Written the book? Now what? Now it’s the hard part, now you have to market it….
This group is for fellow authors to swap marketing ideas with other authors and ask questions.
11,782 members.

24. Passion for Books
Everything related to books. Authors of books are welcome to post photos of your books. You can also post your videos. And talk about your books.
31,165 members.

25. Ready To Read
Open group to promote your new release. It is acceptable to promote a ready to read book, for blog posts that are about a ready to read book, and events for ready to read books.
13,369 members.

26. Review Seekers
This is where authors and publishers meet readers and users who write and post reviews of books and apps on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and blogs. Members are invited to request a review if they indicate they will provide free copy to reviewer
12,037 members.

27. The Literary Lounge Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Illustrators
Calling all authors … is there a book in you? This is the place to be if you want to learn about writing, creating, strategizing, developing, publishing and selling your book. If you want to create a book that has pizzazz, punch and panache…
15,154 members.

28. We Love Books
Save money and time by buying on line. If you love books, please feel free to tell us about your book that you wrote, a recent one that you read or something you would like to recommend.
3,655 members.

29. Writers and Readers Unite
Invite all of your friends to a place for authors and readers to come together. Authors may post about their new books and readers may post review or comments Poems and personal blogs post are welcome
25,398 members.

30. Writer’s Group
This group is for writers and those interested in the craft of writing, to mingle, meet, inform, learn and cooperate (https://www.facebook.com/groups/memberswritersgroup). Writers of all skill levels and experience are encouraged to help each other through problem spots in their writing, bounce ideas off other members, and talk about the latest news affecting the industry/craft; exchange leads to discovery. Readers and fans are also welcome to participate. Anyone may submit passages of written work for group critiques. Surveys, both by post and software application, as well as thought experiments are also welcome.
30,892 members.

How Authors Are Under Utilising LinkedIn

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 AUTHORS ARE UNDER UTILISING LINKEDIN
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP 
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How much of LinkedIn do you actually use?

Browse through the “Interest” tab and what do you see? How many of those functions do you utilise to your advantage either for informational purposes or as a marketing tool to promote your books? Let’s explore some of these offerings.

COMPANY PAGES
A Company Page allows you to learn more about a specific company you may interested in. By following a business of interest to you, you can:

  • Learn more about the company, such as a publishing corporation, as you browse through their overview and any other information they may provide.
  • Get the latest updates and developments about a particular business and any news regarding an industry of interest such as publishing or writing.
  • Learn more about specific aspects of their business should they utilise the Showcase Pages e.g. information for illustrators, picture books, submission etc.
  • Enables you to find specific employees within the company you may wish to connect with that could possibly help you as an indie author ie editors, copywriters etc.
  • View available careers within the company that may be of interest to you if you think it may assist you with your writing career.
    Create your own Company Page should it fit the criteria.

LinkedIn Company Page

GROUPS
LinkedIn Groups are a fantastic way to get connected with like-minded professionals. There are many writers, children’s books, author and self-publishing groups that may of relevance to you. All groups are now private and you must be a member to participate in them. They are of great benefit because:

  • You can engage in professional discussion about any topic relevant to that group. E.G. What are some of the best book marketing tips for a first time self-publishing author?
  • You may start a discussion topic should you wish to find out more information.
  • Engaging regularly in conversation enables others within the same industry to get to know you and is a great networking medium.
  • Groups is not a place for self-promotion and is therefore moderated regularly which gives you a genuine platform for open discussions.
  • A good place to learn about the writing industry and anything associated with it to help you as a self-publishing author.

LinkedIn Groups

PULSE
LinkedIn’s Pulse app is a professional news app that is tailored specifically to you to bring you breaking industry news and posts published by your network or by any of your connections.

  • It is a fantastic way to get a snapshot about fellow authors, news about publishing companies or industry stories which may be relevant to you, on one medium, whilst you’re on the run.
  • You can publish a post to add you’re your connections’ feed so they may keep up to date of your breaking stories or posts.
  • An excellent tool for you to promote your work through innovative writing

LinkedIn Pulse

SLIDESHARE
SlideShare is a digital platform that joined the LinkedIn family in 2012. It started out as a means for people to upload their PowerPoint or video presentations and share with the world. This has now evolved into a content marketing medium for any type of digital content.

  • A great medium to find well-presented digital content that may be useful to you from top experts.
  • As an author you can upload your own digital content as another form of marketing to appeal to your LinkedIn followers and draw more attention to your book/s.
  • SlideShare comes with its own analytical tools so another way to monitor its worth and if it helps with you your digital marketing activities.
  • All users are able to share the digital content enabling further exposure

LinkedIn SlideShare

ONLINE LEARNING
Want to learn a new skill? Join LinkedIn’s online learning platform that gives you access to a myriad of courses from design to marketing to the web.

  • As most self-published authors would have probably learnt by now, writing the book was the easy part! Marketing the book brings about a whole new learning curve. This online learning platform would be a very useful tool.
  • You may search your online learning by author, which enables you to follow a writer you may resonate with on specific topics.
  • Documentaries by subject are also available for further learning.
  • You can save you courses and documentaries on a playlist so that you can refer to them at any given time.

LinkedIn Online Learning

If you haven’t already done so, explore these functions. You may very well find new ways of marketing your book/s!

A Brand New Day: A Banana Split Story by A. S. Chung and Illustrated by Paula Bossio

A Brand New Day, children’s picture book about divorce receives a beautiful review from The Picture Book Review!

The Picture Book Review

A Brand New Day is an uplifting and beautifully illustrated story about a little girl’s life with her parents after the divorce.  It does a marvelous job of reminding us all that a parent’s marital status has nothing to do with how much they love their children.

Title: A Brand New Day:  A Banana Split Story

Author:  A. S. Chung

Illustrator:  Paula Bossio

Pigeonhole Books, July 2014, Fiction. ISBN: 978-0992538200

Suitable For Ages: 3 – 8+

Themes/Topics:

Family, Divorce, Parents

Opening:   

“I love Mondays and Tuesdays when I get to stay with my Dad.  I get to help make dinner with recipes from his notepad.”

Brief Synopsis:

A little girl tells us, in verse, about what her life is like on the alternating days that she spends with her mother and father.

From A Brand New Day. Images Courtesy of A.S. Chung.

From A Brand New Day. Images Courtesy…

View original post 629 more words

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
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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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?
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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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!

20 Twitter Hashtags Every Author Needs To Get Followers

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.

20 TWITTER HASHTAGS EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS TO GET FOLLOWERS
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Apart from utilising Twitter to promote your self-published book/s to potential readers, every author should also be using Twitter to connect with other authors. This is a fantastic platform to help one another cross promote each other’s books and capitalise on each other’s database of followers. Here are the top 20 hashtags to get you going.

1) #amwriting
A Twitter hashtag created by Johanna Harness in 2009 and is short for “I am writing”. This hashtag was created for the writing community who wish to create conversations and share ideas during their writing process.

2) #amediting
Created in the same vein as #amwriting, it is a hashtag used by authors who are going through the motions of revising their work.

3) #ff
This hashtag denotes Follow Friday and is used specially to cross promote other authors and writers by recommending them to your followers.

4) #fridayreads
A day dedicated for reading! All authors are readers too and it is a great way to show support for your fellow author’s books. It also creates a sense of community as you are helping them promote their books across your social media platform. Hopefully this will be reciprocated.

5) #IARTG
This is the Hashtag for Indie Author Retweet Group. Simply follow this group on Twitter to join, and then add #IARTG in any tweet you want them to re-tweet.

6) #indieauthor or #indiepub
Used to identify oneself as a self-published author.

7) #indiethursday
Dedicated specifically to independent booksellers, readers use this hashtag upon visiting such bookstores or have made a purchase, on Thursday. This is a great way for self-published authors to make a list of these indie bookstores.

8) #kidlitchat
Calling all authors, writers, bloggers, readers, illustrators, teachers and librarians! Essentially this hashtag is for anyone interested in children’s literature. This occurs every Tuesday night at 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific time.

9) #litchat
Created by litchat.net, here is what it’s about “LitChat is a fun, fast, and friendly way for booklovers to talk about books on Twitter. We chat on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4-5 pm (est). Read the LitChat blog to see what we are chatting about each week. Each week we have Topic of the Week, which is drawn from a recently released book whose author appears in #litchat during our Friday chat. On Monday and Wednesday, we have open chat relating to that Topic of the Week.”

10) #Mondayblogs
Publish your blog post on Monday and bloggers will help you retweet.

11) #mswl
Manuscript Wishlist is the most important hashtag for all authors. Used by editors and literary agents searching for specific manuscripts. It could be yours!

12) #MyWANA
WANA stands for We Are Not Alone, created by author Kristen Lamb who advocates building a community of writers. At one point in her writing career, she never felt more alone. Hence she created a community where writers encourage and help each other through the writing process.

13) #nanowrimo
National Novel Writing Month is most widely known for the event it sponsors each November that encourages its participants to write a complete, 50,000-word novel during the 30 days of that month. The motto of NaNoWriMo is “Your Story Matters” and participants are known as “Wrimos.”

14) #novelines
This hashtag is used when you quote from a book, which could either from your own or others.

15) #PBLitChat
Hashtag specifically for picture books only.

16) #poetrymonth
“Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month, held every April, is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.” This hashtag encourages poets to hold poetry events, write poetry and share their works.

17) #shortreads
Used to relate to anything to do with short stories with particularly heavy usage in May during the National Short Story Month.

18) #teasertuesday and #samplesunday
Tuesday and Sunday are the traditional days to show the world a small sample or snippet of your writing. This hashtag will help readers find you and your works. This is a great way to promote an upcoming book.

19) #writerwednesday
This is a generic hashtag for all writers and authors to utilise on hump day. It can be used to tweet about writing, promoting your book, connecting with other authors or provide literary advice.

20) #writingtip
A hashtag with an offer of writing tips by writing coaches, fellow authors and editors. A great way to get those creative juices flowing should you be experiencing writers block or just for a little inspiration.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About iBooks

A.J. CosmoGuest Posting by A.J. Cosmo.
A.J. Cosmo is the author & illustrator of 40 children’s books for Kindle. Some have monsters in them, some have fairies, some have aliens that lost their way home, some have pet dinosaurs that tear up homes. A.J. Cosmo recently released Miss Molly’s Magical Mystery Meals on iBooks.

5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IBOOKS
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eBook Reader

The Future of Books by Johan Larsson

While most independent authors work exclusively with Amazon and the Kindle, Apple’s iBooks offers not only a consistent format, but also a host of tools that Kindle does not yet have. Here are five things about creating iBooks that you probably didn’t know.

  1. It’s easy to use.
    While you have to use a mac to create anything for Apple’s platforms, iBooks Author, the app that you use to format the books, is actually easy to use. The program works a lot like Keynotes (Powerpoint to Windows users) and has much of that easy to use, slick interface that Apple is famous for.
  2. You can add music.
    iBooks has what are called “widgets.” Widgets add functionality to the eBooks. One such function is sound and can be added to the book in the form of a button that plays an audio file when pressed, or a background sound that triggers when the user lands on the page. This is great for children’s books because when a child touches a cow they can hear a moo (you can even hide the buttons under the picture!) It would also be neat for a horror book to play a chilling song while the user reads a scary passage.
  3. You can create a custom glossary.
    iBooks has a built in dictionary and wikipedia link, however, creators can also add a custom glossary. Any word or phrase can be highlighted in the book and added to the glossary. Once there, creators can add lengthy notes to the keyword including different definitions, story meaning, or even creator commentary! It’s up to you and this feature makes iBooks similar to the special features on DVDs.
  4. Books can have video.
    Another of the widgets is the video widget. iBooks supports Quicktime and MPEG4 natively. The video frame can be scaled and placed just like any other object in the book, it can even be full screen! Objects can be layered (stacked on top of each other) in iBooks, so here’s a place where magic can happen: you can layer text and images on top of video! The text and images will disappear when the user plays the video, but this could be to your advantage. Imagine a children’s book where a static page suddenly comes alive. The background and characters start moving and a voice reads the text as it appears. How cool!
  5. Titles publish quickly. iBook on iTunes
    One of the criticisms of publishing on iBooks is that titles take much longer to get to the store than they do on Amazon. While it is true that Apple checks every title for consistency (what you say is in the book in your description, has to be in the book) and functionality (links, videos, sounds all play) doing so does not take as long as you might think. On average, titles publish to the store in less than a day. So where do the much talked about delays come from? Nine times out of ten it’s user error. Though some of the interface is difficult, Apple has tremendous technical support, and if you find your title stuck, getting it unstuck is as simple as giving them a call.

I hope that this list has inspired you to create an iBook of your own. The platform is powerful, and while Amazon has the largest user base, the tools Apple offers are hard to ignore. So if you have a title that could use some of these extra features, consider creating an iBooks version.