Blockbuster Author Kevin Tumlinson Reveals His Writing and Book Marketing Secrets

Kevin TumlinsonSeveral months ago I used Draft2Digital to convert one of my books to an ePub and distribute it to online book retailers. I was impressed by the customer service I experienced and how easy the staff made the entire process for me.

Then, I recalled hearing Kevin Tumlinson of Draft2Digital speak on Joanna Penn’s podcast about eight months ago and decided to invite him to join my Conversations with Frances webinar series.

Earlier this month I interviewed Kevin Tumlinson, marketing director for Draft2Digital and a bestselling author. We had a wide-ranging conversation about Draft2Digital and Kevin’s writing and book marketing tips. Here are some of the points we covered:

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Indie Author Weekly Update – March 17, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Indie Author update. On deck today are posts from Joel Friedlander, Jane Friedman, Digital Pubbing and others. Don’t miss Joel’s interview of Dan Blank; it’s terrific.

Using Improv Techniques for #Creativity plus Facebook Ads  with Andrea Vahl and by Joanna Penn: “Andrea Vahl is a social media speaker and consultant who is passionate about helping businesses understand and leverage the power of social media to actually grow their business. She’s the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, and she’s also been an improv, stand-up comedian for 10 years. You can listen on iTunes or Stitcher or watch the video here, read the notes and links on Joanna’s website. She Joanna’s website for the complete transcript and links.”

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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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Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day

Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day by Frances CaballoSocial Media in 30 Minutes a Day is the book I’ve just released and its contents are the topic of today’s post. But first, I can’t help but talk about a new app I use to write.

Like I said, I am writing this post while using an application that’s new to me. It’s called OmmWriter. I love it.

OmmWriter offers distraction-free writing. That means that the app takes over my entire screen and I’m unable to bold or italicize what I write although I am able to enlarge the point size of the text. But that’s it. My only task here is to write.

The background of the screen is a pearl color with a few barren trees bordering the bottom. Piano usic plays in the background. It’s soft and creates a calm environment for my writing. It also nudges me to keep writing.


I feel completely relaxed.

There are some options to the right, but I ignore them — except for the opportunity to increase the point size. I have no desire to explore the others because all I want to do is write. I tried to create a screenshot of the icons to the right, but whenever I do, they disappear. How ephemeral, right?

But let’s get to the real purpose of this post.

Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day

But the subject of this post isn’t the app I’m using, it’s my new book. A book that I’m so excited about: Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day.

Why am I excited about it? I feel as though I finally got it right this time. Let me explain.

Two years ago, I released Avoid Social Media Time Suck. I thought it was the perfect follow-up to my first book, Social Media Just for Writers.

But experts in the field hated the title, and the sales proved they were right. It was the right book for the right audience with the right cover. But I messed up on the title. (Writer: Beware of using the wrong title.)

While meant to be amusing, the title fed the fear that social media is this horrible vortex of time suck. But my book was trying to disprove that theory.

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Authors: Use New Pew Center Results to Better Reach Your Readers

Authors Use New Pew Center Results to Better Reach Your Readers by Frances Caballo

Earlier in my career I gave writers some bad advice. (There, I admitted it.)

I advised authors to do what everyone else was telling people to do: Be everywhere. I’m sure at some point someone told you the same thing.

I changed course several years ago and when I saw the newest study from Pew Research, I felt so relieved and substantiated.

You see, the latest study from Pew Research Center’s Internet, Science & Tech Division on mobile messaging and social media use confirmed the new mantra I’ve adopted: market your books where your readers hang out online.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? And this strategy will save you time.

Do Authors Need to Be Everyone Online?

You see, I’m a huge proponent of a certain social media strategy: You don’t need to be everywhere; you need to be where your readers are.

No one has the time to be everywhere. Well, let me qualify that. If you have a personal assistant, virtual assistant and housekeeper, and possibly a home chef, you have the time to be everywhere online.

But most indie authors do everything themselves, including their book covers, marketing, and publicity.

If this sounds like you, then you don’t have time to be everywhere and do a decent job. What you need to do instead is make time to be on the primary social media networks that your readers like to use.

That is how you can best reach your readers online.

Let me give you an example. My colleague Arlene Miller, aka @TheGrammarDiva, spends most of her time on Facebook, LinkedIn, and numerous LinkedIn groups. She ignores Twitter.

Well, she released a new grammar book in the summer of 2015, and you know what? Her sales rocked! And I mean rocked. (She won’t let me release her numbers.)

Suffice it to say she exceeded the sales numbers of many traditionally published authors and is living off her book sales. How many indie authors can do that?

She’s successful because she spends time on the social media networks that bring her comments, shares, engagement, and sales. In short, she’s where her readers are.

LinkedIn is a perfect social media network for this nonfiction, indie author and all that time she puts into those LinkedIn groups has a huge payoff in book sales.

In my case, Twitter is the No. 1 source of traffic to my website. Twitter is where I meet and interact with influencers in my field.

Twitter is where I build a following that buys my books and shares my posts.

And Twitter is where I receive the most impressions, shares and replies (referred to as comments on other social media networks).

When I look at my situation from this perspective, it makes sense that I spend more time on Twitter than other social media networks.

Twitter is awesome for my career as an indie author and a social media strategist for writers.

Where do your readers hang out? Let’s look at the Pew Research Center’s newest study results to help you figure that out.

Of course, first you need to be clear on your reader demographics. Are they mostly female or male? Are they teens, Millenials, Gen X members, or Boomers? Once you have the key demographic data, just apply them to the findings below. (You can find this data by looking at your Google Analytics or Facebook Insights.)

New Research Social Media Data Will Help You Reach Your Readers

Here are some key findings:

  • The number of adults who use Pinterest and Instagram has doubled since Pew Research Center started tracking those social media platforms adoption in 2012.
  • Some 31% of online adults use Pinterest (up from 15% in 2012) while 28% use Instagram (up from 13% in 2012).
  • The number of people who use Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn daily has increased significantly since 2014. Fully 59% of Instagram users, 27% of Pinterest users and 22% of LinkedIn users visit these platforms daily.
  • Facebook remains the most popular social media site – 72% of online adults are Facebook users, amounting to 62% of all American adults. Seventy percent of users say they log on daily.
  • Young adults are particularly likely to use both Tumblr and discussion forums.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.59.14 AM

Now let’s take a look at some demographics.


Facebook - Frances Caballo

Clearly more women than men use Facebook, and although the numbers trend to the younger demographic in terms of users, older users are the fastest growing group of users.

And anecdotally, at least on the West Coast, the younger set is moving away from Facebook and gravitating to Snapchat and Instagram.

When I taught at the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference in August, I asked members in my session to describe their social media use in one to three words. The youngest person in the group – she was in her early 30’s – described her social media use as “so over Facebook.”

I think that describes a lot of people in that age demographic.


Frances Caballo

There’s no surprise here. Women reign on Pinterest, especially among the 18- to 50-year-old set.


Instagram Demographics

If you want to reach readers who are Hispanic or Black, you’ll find them on Instagram.

Presently, this application is most popular with people between the ages of 18 and 49 but that could change. Instagram is now the fastest growing popular so we’ll have to stay tuned.

A reason for every author to use Instagram is that the social web is increasingly visual. Use Instagram to show another side of your author profile and to share inspirational text images your readers will enjoy.


LinkedIn Demographics

The demographics are fairly evenly distributed among gender and age.

This is a great site for college graduates, job seekers, and professionals either wanting to share their expertise or learn more in their field. It can also be a great online venue for nonfiction authors.


Twitter Demographics
As you can see, just a quarter of Internet users also use Twitter, and there are more people of color who sign up to use this network.

An interesting factor is that Twitter attracts primarily urban users from higher income brackets.


The data is self-explanatory. Instagram is primarily popular with non-whites and young adults.

If you write Young Adult and New Adult fiction, this would be a great application for you to use especially if you can consistently come up with great visuals or text-based images.

If you’re confused about your reader demographics, go to your Facebook author page and check Insights, Facebook’s free analytics program once you read 35 page Likes. There, you’ll find gender and age demographics that will help you to apply The new Pew Center’s results to your social media marketing.

I’d love to hear the conclusions you draw.

Spend less time figuring out how to use Goodreads. Get the guide that explains it all.

The Author's Guide to Goodreads by Frances Caballo


Sell More Books with These Tips by Frances Caballo

About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at She’s written several books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, Avoid Social Media Time Suck, and Twitter Just for Writers, which is available for free here. 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 writer conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Ask Frances to prepare a social media audit for you.


Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web


Authors: Engage with Your Readers on Twitter

Engage with Your Readers on Twitter by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 33 published and copyrighted by Frances Caballo every week.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome Tips about Twitter and, of course, I have your tip of the week. Enjoy!


Let’s Talk About

Everyone seems to be talking about Blab, a new live-streaming video app. I’ve been receiving Blab announcements in my email all week from a variety of users.

For example, people like Jon Loomer seems to be holding Blab gatherings every day.

But what is it, you ask?

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Take Your Author Blog to New Heights


Take Your Author Blog to New Heights by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 30 published and copyrighted by Frances Caballo every week.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome blogging tips and, of course, I have your tip of the week. Enjoy!

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Plugins and Apps I Recommend for Your Author Blog

As I said, we’re talking about author blogs today, so I thought I’d some of the WordPress plugins and apps that I rely on to support my blog.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

This simple plugin is a must-have on every blog. It simplifies the mystery behind SEO by showing you in red or green text whether you are using your designated keywords sufficiently.

I’m not savvy when it comes to search engine optimization, so I love this plugin because it makes the process easy. And you can use it to set up your Twitter Card too – a cool option for every blog.

Here’s an example of how it looks:

Avoid Social Media Time Suck by Frances Caballo

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Want to Sell More Books? 23 Pinterest Tips Every Author Needs to Know

What to Sell More Books? 23 Pinterest Tips for Authors by Frances Caballo

Let’s talk about Pinterest today, the social media network that seems to be an afterthought in many authors’ marketing strategies.

As I recently revealed in a blog post, Pinterest is my #3 source for website traffic (following Twitter, in first place, and Facebook). So for me, Pinterest is far from an afterthought.

In fact, I create images that you can’t see on my blog that I use exclusively for pinning to Pinterest. But more about that later.

Here are some quick & easy Pinterest tips:

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Social Media for Authors Podcast: Improve Your Marketing Results

Episode 14 - Social Media Sweet SpotTo read previous episode show notes, refer to my Friday blog posts.

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 Episode 14 Show Notes

This week’s segment includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome social media tips, and of course, I have your tip of the week.

Let’s start with your weekly tip.

You spend so much time learning about social media and keeping up with it that you’d like to see great results, right?

It’s only natural that we want to see our tweets retweeted, our Facebook updates shared and liked, and our images shared.

For me, it’s a sad day when after carefully planning my social media posts they trigger little engagement.

Today I’m going to suggest just three tips that have helped me and I think
will help you too.

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Self-Publishing: 5 things I Will Do Differently Next Time

1-26-15 Self-Publishing Social Media Just for WritersGuest post by Martha Conway on her experience self-publishing her second book.

Last year, after having one novel published by a traditional publisher, I decided to publish my second novel – Thieving Forest – independently.

After six months of research and preparation I launched Thieving Forest in mid-August, and the experience has been enormously empowering.

Also confusing, exhilarating, time-consuming, and an effort that required me to exercise my brain in new and interesting ways.

It was like starting a new job, which it was. And like a hopeless perfectionist, I wanted to do everything right.

What have I learned, and what would I do differently next time? I’ve kept the list short.

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