5 Tools Every Indie Author Should Use

5 Tools Indie Authors Should UseWhen I first started using social media, confusion quickly set it.

I read a lot of blog posts and tried every application I learned about. I signed up for more than I needed and registered for apps before they were even available. Some that come to mind are Strawberry Jam and BrandBuilder and its precursor, none of which exist today. I tried out SocialBro, and it doesn’t exist today either.

In fact, sometimes I write about apps, and six months later, well, they’re kaput! It’s an embarrassing at times and can get frustrating.

There are some applications that I know aren’t going to abandon me, and so today I am taking the risk of suggesting that there are five tools that indie authors can’t be without.

Ready to see which ones they are?

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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 10, 2017

Indie Author Update

In this week’s Indie Author Weekly Update you’ll find posts on blogging, branding, author bios, social media, and more. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.

Meanwhile, after several days of rain and hail we’re enjoying a few days of respite, sun, and warmer temperatures. The warmer temps are always inviting to pursue a hike or bike ride. Don’t you agree? I hope you find your time in the outdoors as inspiring as I do.


 Indie Author Update

Why Do I Need a Media Kit? 5 Reasons (+ FREE online workshop series March 13-24!) from Chris Well: “The media kit is an essential tool for every author who wants to leverage the power of the media to build their brand. This set of PR materials gives media influencers and others a clear snapshot of what you have to offer.”

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How to Get Going with MailChimp and Email Marketing

A MailChimp Primer for AuthorsEverywhere on the blogosphere writers are hearing the admonishment, “Start an email marketing program.”

Publishers, the experts tell you, want to know that you have an email list. Even if you’re an Indie author and intend to be indie as long as you can breathe, an email list is important to your marketing efforts.

So it’s loud and clear that you need an email list, right? But did you ever notice that there’s little advice about which programs are better and how to use them? Well, I intend to clear that up today.

There are several email marketing programs available but the two most popular ones are MailChimp and AWeber. The pricing plans are similar, however, with MailChimp you can start with a free plan.

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Indie Author Weekly – March 3, 2017

ndie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to today’s edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. You’ll find posts on how to building a landing page, secure forewords from a bestselling author, how to incorporate storytelling in your blog and more. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection and that you have a fabulous weekend.


Indie Author Updates

8 Landing Page Design Principles You Should Never Break from Undullify: “Let me tell you something about landing pages. When you start analyzing what makes a landing page tick, you start to notice something – they all start to look the same. Optimization experts have whittled landing pages down to a core format that is pretty much universal, because it incorporates design elements that work consistently in favor of increasing conversions, no matter what the industry.”

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What Are the Trends in Publishing? Here Are 10 Mark Coker Identified

Mark Coker on 10 Publishing Trends

Mark Coker’s Publishing Observations and Predictions

While attending the San Francisco Writers Conference, I decided to drop in on Mark Coker’s session on the ten trends driving publishing now and in the future. Here’s what he had to say:

Trend 1
Look for larger, broader macro trends. Ten years ago, ebooks comprised one-quarter of one percent of the book industry. Today? Half of all books are ebooks, even though over the past three years ebook sales have been stagnant.

Mark noted that ebooks offer a more portable discovery and reading experience, the deliver is instant, and readers can adjust the font size to their personal preferences.
Trend one quarter of one percent of book industry were ebooks ten years ago

Over the past three years ebook sales have been stagnant Click To Tweet

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 24, 2017

Indie Author Update

Here’s another edition of the Indie Author Update. This week’s topics include book marketing, Facebook advertising, and blogging tips.

Kevin TumlinsonI hope you join me for the next  Conversations with Frances when I interview Draft2Digital marketing director and blockbuster author Kevin Tumlinson. Kevin is considered a prolific author, and was named one of Shelf Media Group’s 100 Notable Indies in 2016. I hope you’ll join us on March 1st at 1 pm PST as he shares his marketing tips.


Indie Author Updates

10 Tips To Up Your Book Marketing Skills Right Now by Rachel Thompson: “The basic premise of book marketing is this: write great books that people want to read, then effectively market them. If you’re self-published, use professional editors, designers, and formatters so your book looks amazing. I self-pub’d my first three books and invested in those services through scrimping and saving. Now you can crowdfund. It’s doable.”

Write great books and then effectively market them. Click To Tweet

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Getting lost in time online? 4 Tips to Keep You Focused

Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day4 Tips to Keep You Focused (And So Much More!)

Instead of my usual text-based blog, this week I present a vlog for you. It’s the session I gave at last week’s San Francisco Writer’s Conference. If you were unable to attend the conference or  my session, you can see and hear it now. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day by Frances CaballoThe basis of my presentation was a book I published late last year titled Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. To have access to the apps I recommend and the cheatsheets, purchase the book.

 

Frances CaballoThe author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Kevin TumlinsonThe next free webinar, Conversations with Frances, featuring Kevin Tumlinson of Draft2Digital, is March 1st. Plan ahead by signing up now.

 

 

Indie Author Weekly Update – February 17, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Today’s Indie Author Weekly Update includes posts on several topics from Pinterest to book marketing to attracting more traffic to your blog. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.

Today I’m in San Francisco at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference. It’s my favorite conference and I’m fortunate that I get to present every year. Meanwhile, the rain has returned to Northern California so wish me luck as I drive to and from San Francisco

Indie Author Updates

Not Writing for Writers from Writer Unboxed: “The best idea I had for my first book came while I was raking leaves the backyard with my dog and realized that my main character also needed a dog. And then, to the soothing sounds of my rake scratching through the grass while I gathered cottonwood leaves into piles, I worked through the all the ways my character could and couldn’t acquire her new best friend. When I sat down to write, I knew exactly what she would do.”

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Want in on a secret? Email marketing rocks!

Rock your readers' world with email marketingWould you like to know a secret? One that social media managers might not freely reveal?

Here it is: Email marketing is in some ways more effective than social media.

Really? Let me backtrack a bit.

Admittedly, they are two different animals. If you send too many emails to your list or the information isn’t relevant to your audience, you’ll lose your subscribers fast.

But, if you send promos, freebies, and relevant information, they will love every email you send.

Social media can refer traffic – it certainly sends traffic to my website. But what social media is best at is engagement. By its very nature social media is social so if you’re not making time in your day to socialize with your readers, well, you’ll losing out on a huge benefit of the social platforms.

Social media is best at engagement - email marketing at traffic referralClick To Tweet

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 10, 2017

Indie Author Update

This week’s Indie Author Update covers a gamut of topics, from marketing plans to blogging to Twitter.

I normally schedule one Conversations with Frances each month but in March and April I’m breaking the patter and featuring four guests instead of two. I hope you check out the lineup and sign up for these free webinars.

Indie Author Updates

How I Became a Bestseller with a Coordinated Marketing Plan from BookBub Partners: “When my first novel, The Fairy Tale Bride, was traditionally published in October of 2000, I had all the usual hopes and dreams of new writers — letters from readers, great reviews, and, of course, becoming a bestselling author.”

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