Author’s Guide for Goodreads

5-23-16 The Author's Guide to Goodreads by Frances CaballoI read a great post last week by Sabrina Ricci on her Digital Pubbing blog that analyzed bestsellers in varying genres.

What made the four books so successful? As Sabrina explained:

  • The books were widely available.
  • They were each of the highest quality.
  • The authors and publishers used giveaways.
  • The authors connected with readers in meaningful ways.
  • Multiple strategies were used.

And in the case of The Girl on the Train, the publisher invested time and money in Goodreads.

Yes, Goodreads!

'Do yourself a favor and get this book,' Jason MatthewsClick To Tweet

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Weekly Roundup – Social Media Updates for Authors

Weekly Roundup - Social Media Updates for Authors by Frances Caballo

This past week was rich in terms of content on the blogosphere. I hope you enjoy this week’s social media updates for authors. But first, here’s the story about the above image.

Here’s a little-known fact about me: I hike every Saturday morning, even in the rain. It’s a ritual I refuse to relinquish. The woods is where I replenish myself. Recently, I heard indie author Mark Dawson say that all the writers he knew were walkers. Well, count me as a member of that group. This past weekend, I slipped my iPhone into my back pocket and, of course, silenced it. I intended to take pictures of the wildflowers growing in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. I did take pictures of lupines, paintbrush, and monkeyflower, yet the above tree was my favorite subject. One never knows where the path will lead or where intention may be diverted. But if my experience last weekend can be seen as a metaphor, then it’s this: Don’t be rigid in following a path or pursuing an intention you think is best for you. You’re a writer, an artist. Follow your intuition and you’ll always be on the right course.


Social Media Updates for Authors

The Myth of the Average Reader from Writer Unboxed: “I usually see references to this mythic creature — the average reader — in one of two contexts. First: `I’m going for mass market appeal — I think the average readerwould enjoy my book.’ Second: ‘Well, the average reader obviously doesn’t know what good writing is. Why else would they buy crap like (popular bestseller)?'”

Note: Until this post, I hadn’t heard of anyone discussing psychographics in terms of readership. This is the definition the author offers: “the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.” This was an informative post with a new perspective.

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45 Twitter Hashtags for Authors

 


Social Media Just for Writers email courseFeeling overwhelmed by social media? Does your brain freeze when you consider all the options?

Try my new email course, designed to take the guessing out of your online book marketing.

You’ll learn:

  • Which social media sites are right for you and your books
  • How you can save time on social media
  • Which posts work best on social media

Isn’t that what it all boils down to? Knowing where to post, what to post, and how to post?

My email course has you covered.

So sign up now and receive the lessons that will help you make sense of book marketing with social media.

Send me the email course!


45 Twitter Hashtags for Authors

Twitter Hashtags for Authors by Frances Caballo

Don’t you love Twitter hashtags? Or, are you still confused by them?

No worries. This post will explain everything you need to know about hashtags and give you a comprehensive list of more than 45 hashtags that authors can use.

Hashtag 101

Twitter hashtags are words with the number sign (#) in front of them. To create a hashtag, place the icon in front of a word or before two words that don’t have a space between them.

#AnExample

Hashtags began on Twitter and quickly spread to Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Use hashtags to enhance search results and to highlight keywords important to your niche or genre.

Use hashtags to enhance search results and to highlight keywords Click To Tweet

 

You can search for #WritingPrompt to find suggestions for a sentence to get your journaling started. To find posts with the latest ideas on how to use social media to enhance sales of your book, look for #smm (social media marketing).

Hashtags are a great feature that can help you to expand your online reach by attracting readers searching for the hashtags in your tweets. For example, if you write mystery books, include the genre hashtag to help mystery aficionados find your books.

If you’re looking for a writer’s conference, use #WritersConference in the Twitter search bar to find one. Hashtags are also useful for tracking mentions of you or your books on Twitter, provided you create a hashtag for your book. For example, a hashtag for my first book, Social Media Just for Writers, could have been #SMJ4W.

Did you create a hashtag for your book? Click To Tweet

A caveat: Check out a hashtag you want to create to ascertain that it wasn’t previously created by someone else or that it doesn’t signify something obscene.

You don’t want to overuse hashtags, yet when used appropriately (one or two per tweet), they hold the potential to improve the chance of someone discovering your tweets—and your latest book—through Twitter’s search function. Hashtags can also increase the occurrence of retweets. Twitter users invariably search for information on specific topics and hashtags help to narrow a search.

For example, when you want to find a tweet on self-publishing, use the hashtag #selfpublishing. Then share the information you found with your colleagues.

If you see a hashtag you don’t know, go to http://tagdef.com/ or http://hashtags.org/, which will provide definitions of hashtags.

45+ Twitter Hashtags for Writers

The list below contains hashtags that writers can use to be discovered and to find readers.

#1K1H: This hashtag communicates that you’re about to write 1,000 words in one hour.

#1LineWednesday: Share the best line from one of your books on Wednesdays and use this hashtag.

#99c: If you have a spare $0.99 to spend on a new story, use this tag in your Twitter search bar, and you’ll find a cheap eBook. You can also use this hashtag to find new readers if you’re selling an eBook for this price.

#Amazon / #GooglePlay / #Kobo / #iTunes / #Smashwords: Use these hashtags to let your readers know where your book is available for download or order.

#AmazonCart: You can encourage your readers to connect their Amazon and Twitter accounts. Then each time your readers include #AmazonCart in a tweet, Amazon will know to add the items with the corresponding Amazon link to your readers’ shopping carts.

 #amwriting / #amediting: These terms are commonly used for Twitter chats you join. Johanna Harness is the creator of the term #amwriting as well as the www.amwriting.org website. Chats take place throughout the day. Some authors use #amediting to let their readers know that they are editing their next book.

#AuthorChat: This hashtag is used for ongoing conversations between authors.

#askagent / #askauthor: These are great tags for writers who don’t have an agent or editor, but have questions for them. Who knows? You just might find your next editor or agent on Twitter.

#askeditor: Similar to the above hashtag, use this one to ask an editing question.

#bestseller: Have you written a best seller? Let everyone know. Refrain from using this hashtag if you haven’t written a best seller. Are you reading a best seller? Show your readers that you read as well by including the title, a link, and this hashtag in a tweet.

#bibliophile / #bookworm / #reader: If you’re looking for a reader for your books, add one of these hashtags to a tweet about one of your books.

#bookgiveaway: Is your book listed for free during a Kindle promotion? Use this hashtag. Use it also for your Goodreads giveaways.

#bookmarket / #bookmarketing / #GetPublished: Search for this hashtag to learn more about marketing your books.

#bookworm: Looking for avid readers? Use this hashtag when tweeting about your books.

#BYNR (Book Your Next Read): Authors use this hashtag to promote their books.

#eBook: Did you release an ebook or recently convert a hard copy novel to an ebook? Use this hashtag so that iPad, Nook, Kobo, and Kindle users can download it.

#FollowFriday / #FF: This is a fun Twitter tradition for expressing gratitude to your retweeters by giving them exposure to a wider audience. On Friday mornings, write a message composed of the usernames of your most loyal retweeters. You can also use #FF to connect with writers you admire or members of your critique group or book club.

#Free / #Giveaway: This has become a popular hashtag on Twitter. Let readers know when you’re offering your next book or story giveaway.

#FreeDownload: Use this hashtag when you want to promote your book as being free.

#FreebieFriday: If you offer a book giveaway on a Friday, use this hashtag.

#FridayRead: On Fridays, you can share what you’re reading. Refrain from using this hashtag for your book. Authors use this hashtag to communicate their love of reading.

#Genre/ #Romantic / #Comedy / #Suspense /#Mystery / #Erotica / Paranormal / Poetry / #DarkThriller / Dark Fantasy, etc.: Some readers search specifically by genre when looking for a new book. Use the hashtag that corresponds to your genre.\

#Goodreads: Use this hashtag when referring to a review, book giveaway, or favorite quote on Goodreads.

 #Greatreads: You can use this hashtag for promoting your friends’ books or just sharing your impressions of the last book you read.

#Holidays: #Halloween, #Christmas, #Hanukkah, and other holidays are sometimes trending on Twitter. Use them in creative ways to promote your blog and books when you feature an event or blog post related to a holiday.

#HotTitles: Have you read some books lately that are selling like wildfire? Let your Tweeps know about them. (Don’t use this hashtag for your books.)

#Instapoet: Use this hashtag to attract traffic to your Instagram account, to identify yourself as a poet who has risen through the ranks as an avid social media user, or to attract attention to similar poets.

#KidLit/#PictureBook: Authors of children’s books will want to use these hashtags.

#kindle: If you have a book on Kindle, let everyone know.

#KindleBargain: Use this hashtag when your book is listed temporarily for free.

#memoir: Connect with other memoirists and readers by using this hashtag. Also, designate your latest memoir with this hashtag.

#nanowrimo: Every November, thousands of writers take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the effort to write a novel in one month. The project started in 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over time, it became a national and then international effort. By 2013, NaNoWriMo attracted 310,000 adult novelists, plus an additional 89,500 young writers. You can keep in touch with other NaNoWriMo writers all over the world by using the #nanowrimo hashtag in your tweets or by searching for this term. Use it to let your readers know that you’re writing another volume in a series you write too.

#ShortStory: Do you prefer to write short stories? Attract new admirers with this hashtag.

#ThankfulThursday: Similar to #FF, use this hashtag to thank other users in your community.

#WhatToRead: Looking for a new book to read? Use this hashtag in Twitter’s search bar.

#WLCAuthor: The World Literary Café is a promotional website for authors. Similar to the Independent Author Network (#IAN), Indie authors who join these organizations help each other in their promotions. TIP: These types of hashtags are unfamiliar to your readers so use them thoughtfully, if at all.

#wordcount: With this hashtag you can share your progress with other writers on the book or story you’re writing.

#writegoal: Users include this hashtag to announce publicly how many words they intend to write that day.

#WriterWednesday / #WW: Use this hashtag to connect with writers you admire and authors who are your colleagues.

 #WritersBlock / #WriteMotivation: Do you sometimes need a little motivation in the mornings to get your writing started? Use these hashtags to find your inspiration. If you’re also an editor, use these hashtags to inspire authors.

#WritersLife: If you have a fun image or quote to share about writing or the writing process, use this hashtag to amuse your author colleagues.

Check out this list of 45+ hashtags for authors Click To Tweet

#writetip / #writingtip: If you don’t have time to take a workshop, trying using these hashtags to learn more about your craft. Authors who are book coaches or editors can use these hashtags to attract new clients.

#writing / #editing: These terms are similar to #amwriting and #amediting.

#writingblitz: Use this term to let your followers know that today you are writing as fast as you can.

#writingfiction: Fiction writers use this hashtag to meet each other or to share their books, goals, or ideas on writing fiction.

#writingprompt / #writeprompt: Is it hard to get started on the next chapter of your novel? Well, worry no more. Log on to Twitter, search for this tag, and you’ll find a great prompt to get those creative juices bubbling.

Which hashtags do you use most frequently?

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Social Media Updates for Authors

Social Media Updates for AuthorsI hope you enjoy this week’s social media updates for authors. There’s a lot of information packed into today’s Weekly Roundup, including information on Facebook’s newest feature, the importance of video, and the introduction of Pronoun. Read and enjoy.


ALLi Watchdog Report: Pronoun  from Alliance of Independent Authors and by John Doppler:  “Pronoun’s streamlined interface for uploading and formatting ebooks will be a delight to those who find KDP daunting. The step-by-step guide prompts the author for any necessary information along the way.

“After selecting an ebook template and uploading your Word document, Pronoun converts your manuscript into .epub and .mobi versions which are yours to do with as you please. The setup process does not offer assistance in formatting your document, but a test document I uploaded with basic formatting converted cleanly, and yielded a professional-looking ebook in minutes.”

Note: To go directly to Pronoun, which I’m excited about, go to this website. I signed up for it and maybe write a post about Pronoun in a future post.

Pronoun promises to streamline interface for uploading and formatting ebooks for #authorsClick To Tweet

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Virginia Gray: One Indie Author’s Book Promotion Strategy


Social Media Just for Writers email courseFeeling overwhelmed by social media? Does your brain freeze when you consider all the options?

Try my new email course, designed to take the guessing out of your online book marketing.

You’ll learn:

  • Which social media sites are right for you and your books
  • How you can save time on social media
  • Which posts work best on social media

Isn’t that what it all boils down to? Knowing where to post, what to post, and how to post?

My email course has you covered.

So sign up now and receive the lessons that will help you make sense of book marketing with social media.

Send me the email course!


About Virginia Gray

Indie Author Spotlight: Virginia Gray by Frances CaballoYou rank highly in the categories you selected on Amazon. How did you decide
to select those categories? Was there a strategy or did they simply make
sense considering your topic?

Amazon is an interesting beast. Rather than an online bookstore, if you think of it as a giant search engine–something akin to google—then the importance of searchable keywords becomes imperative.

Of equal importance is your choice of relevant categories. I write romantic comedy with a serious edge; however, if I simply dropped my novels in the “romance” bucket with the hundred-thousand or so other titles, the average reader would never find them.

Targeting is crucial. My settings are in the present, so “contemporary” is important. My heroines are women, so women’s fiction is another label. They are humorous, so now we have humorous contemporary women’s fiction. In fact, I could subcategorize it even farther…get the gist? Now I’m not simply offering my title to romance fans, I’m targeting consumers who actually want to read my kind of book.

If you are wondering why these sub-categories are not options when you upload your manuscript to Amazon, then you’re not alone. The answer eludes us all. My advice is to contact the lovely folks at Author Central and ask for help. But before you do, spend some time wandering around the site. Find authors whose stories and/or styles are similar to yours, and then look at the categories under which their books are listed. This will give you a better understanding of where your book should be placed.

Think of Amazon as a giant search engine--akin to Google Click To Tweet

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Book Marketing Weekly Roundup

Book Marketing Weekly Roundup by Frances CaballoIt was such a wonderful week on the web for book marketing advice for authors. I selected a whopping five posts to share today because of the cornucopia of great content for authors. The big news of the week? Goodreads is testing the inclusion of Kindle ebooks in its giveaway program. This will be huge for indie authors. Plus, I loved being interviewed by Lorna Faith. So check out the show notes, podcast, or video.


Book Marketing Advice for Indie Authors

10 (Practically) Cringe-less Self-Promotion Ideas for Authors from Publishers Weekly and by Kimberly Dana: “Self-promotion is fraught with the cringiest of awkward moments, but my more experienced comrade was right. Combing the social media circuit in search of friends, followers, and readers isn’t just necessary; it’s an integral part of the average author’s day. I consoled myself with one small, comforting thought: I can at least be smart about it.” Note: Kimberly Dana offers some tangible steps for indie authors to follow.

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Authors: You Want Success? Follow Your Passion

 Find your voice - create your path by Frances CaballoI’m writing this after having seen Miles Ahead, written and directed by Don Cheadle, who also starred in it.

The film focused on a set of years when Miles Davis wasn’t recording during the late 1970s. Using flashbacks to earlier times, Cheadle gives us snippets of Miles’ career and how it once flourished. But what we mostly see is the breakdown and its insanity and his path back to resurrection.

Being on top never seemed comfortable for Miles. Yes, there were the record deals and financial deals, but there were also the distractions of drugs, racism, and women. Yeah, being on top as a black man didn’t make him immune to the vagaries of racism.

How does all of this apply to you? I think as indie authors it’s easy to fantasize about what life as a famous author might feel like. We all want to experience it. Don’t you?

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Weekly Roundup – April 29, 2016

Weekly Roundup by Frances CaballoThe Author's Guide to Goodreads by Frances Caballo
This exciting news this week is that my newest book, The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, How
 to engage with readers and market your books is available on Amazon for presale. I plan to release another book in late June and then a third book near the end of this year. Yes, I’ve replaced podcasting with writing books, which is where I feel more comfortable. It feels good to be writing again. What are you working on?

3 Facebook Marketing Tools Authors Must Use via Digital Book World by Digital Book World: “With 1.44 billion monthly active users, according to a Pew report and SproutSocial, Facebook is the market leader for social networking sites. That statistic alone makes a compelling case for why publishers and authors should use Facebook to connect with their readership community and promote their books.” Note: If you love to hate Facebook, now is the time to start liking it again. Facebook live video is hot and it will only become more prevalent. Use video to connect with your readers and to show them a different side to your life.

Facebook: The World’s Largest Bookstore? by Digital Book World: “The big moneymaker was its burgeoning video ad business. Facebook states that people are watching 100 million hours of video per day on its social platform. More than 500 million people watch Facebook video every day. Just let that sink in. Facebook isn’t simply a video discovery platform; it’s becoming the video discovery platform. And it’s still growing.” Note: This is another great post by Digital Book World.

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How to Find Great Content Your Readers Will Love – Part 2

How to Save Time Part 2 by Frances CaballoHow do you succeed when using social media or even when blogging? Deliver great content. Always. Sometimes finding great content can be time consuming. These tools will help you economize your discovery phase of social media marketing. This is Part II of a two-part series. Find Part I here.


Surfing with Your Mobile Devices

Do you prefer to conduct your Internet navigation on mobile devices? Then try some of these applications.

Daily 

If you use the scheduling application, Buffer, Daily is a companion app. Daily will suggest stories. Select the ones you prefer with a touch of the finger and Daily will send the story to your queue for scheduling. It’s one of the easiest curation apps to use.

Feeddler 

Feeddler is an RSS reader for iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches. It’s similar to Feedly in that it’s a blog post aggregator. (RSS originally meant RDF Site Summary but it’s now known as Real Simple Syndication.) As with Feedly, use this mobile, iOS app to collect the headlines and links to updates from your favorite blogs. Download the app from the iTunes store.

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Weekly Roundup – April 22, 2016

Sunrise at the coast

How do you rejuvenate yourself? As an indie writer you’re an author, publicist, social media strategist, and project manager as you oversee your editor, interior book designer, and cover artist. On top of all of those responsibilities, you have your family and maybe your day job. When you’re pulled in so many directions, how do you fill yourself up when you begin to feel drained? Know what I do? I head to the beach, and that’s where I am today. Feeling the spray of water on my face, soaking in the sun, and closing my eyes and resting to the sound of the waves rush in. Write to me and tell me what you do to restore your spirit.


Top Posts of the Week

How to Write a Book Description for Amazon by Mike Fishbein: “As an author, it’s your job to make sure your readers get excited about your book. You need to set the stage properly that triggers their emotions, leaving them eager to buy and start reading.” Note: Mike knows what he’s talking about. He’s a prolific nonfiction author and this post lays a foundation for writing your next book description for Amazon.

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