Indie Author Weekly Update – May 12, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Enjoy this week’s Indie Author Weekly Update with posts from Brooke Warner, Joanna Penn, BookWorks, Rebekah Radice, and Adam Connell. You’ll find information on Amazon’s new strategy, a new app for authors, image editing tools, and more!

Summer is almost here and after the rain we’ve experienced in Northern California, I can hardly wait for the warm, dry days ahead. What about you?


Indie Author Update

BuzzTrace: New Social Media Software Review from BookWorks: “BuzzTrace is a new software program to help authors and independent publishers manage and grow their platform. BuzzTrace accomplishes this by giving suggestions about what to post online and sending alerts when someone is talking about your book online.”

How Amazon, once again, is driving down the value of books and undermining authors by Brooke Warner: “On March 1, while the only people paying real attention were hypervigilant third-party sellers and book geeks on Reddit, Amazon enacted a policy change that allows third-party sellers to compete for the Buy Box for books in ‘new condition.'”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 21, 2017

Indie Author News

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on social media news including what’s new with Instagram and how best to use Pinterest.


Indie Author Updates

Instagram Just Revamped Instagram Direct, Which Now Has 375 Million Monthly Users from AdWeek: “Instagram revamped its Instagram Direct messaging feature—which now includes disappearing photos and videos, along with texts and reshares—and the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network announced that Instagram Direct now has 375 million monthly active users, up from 300 million last November.”

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Authors: Learn How to Create Shareable Facebook Content

Authors: Learn How to Create Shareable Facebook Content by Frances Caballo

 

My Personal Facebook Tips

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of several blog posts with awesome Facebook tips.

Engagement – the goal of all of our social media efforts – can be tough to attain on Facebook. As I’ll talk about later in this episode, Facebook keeps tweaking the algorithm, making it harder for the posts on our Facebook Author Pages to reach all of our readers.

Darn! Right?

Well, I have some tips for you, and here they are:

  1. Post more frequently. I recommend twice each weekday and once each day on the weekend.
  2. Mix up the days and times you post on Facebook. You’ll, of course, want to check your Insights to see when your fans are on Facebook. But you’ll also want to check for when they are most likely to engage, and the only method to find that out is by mixing it up.
  3. Write short (80 to 100 characters) vs. long narratives. Text overload is rampant these days so if you want your fans to read your post, keep your posts short. The caveat here: Some people do have success with very long, personal revelations and that’s great. But mostly, people want to peruse their newsfeeds quickly.
  4. Include more personality. People do not buy books from brands; they buy books from writers so don’t be afraid to share information that reveals more of your personality. (Confession: I’ve been deficient in this area.)
  5. Be controversial at times. Take a stand on an issue in your niche, genre, or recent events.
  6. Add calls to action. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to purchase your new book. Just use that call to action sparingly.
  7. Vary your types of posts. Vary the topics, the length, the types of images you use, and the types of questions you pose.
  8. Respond promptly and tag commenters. Try to respond to comments as soon as you can and be sure to type their name (tag them) in your response.
  9. Consider freshening up your cover image on a quarterly basis using Canva or PicMonkey.
  10. Host a Facebook Friday networking party that enables your fans to promote their books, blog posts, or other types of news. Get to know your readers and what matters to them.
  11. Drive traffic from other social media sites to posts your want to receive additional attention. This is how: When you click on the date stamp of your Facebook post, you will see that your post has a unique URL. You can drive traffic to that post by using that URL in a tweet or LinkedIn post.

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Social Media for Authors Podcast: How to Conquer Google+

Social Media for Authors Podcast  by Frances CaballoBelow are the show notes from Episode 16 of the Social Media for Authors Podcast. To read the show notes from previous episodes,  please refer to my earlier Friday blog posts.


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This week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome tips that will help you get more out of Google+, and, of course, I have your tip of the week.

Let’s start with your weekly tip.

Before I officially launched this podcast in January, I sponsored a survey, and I asked all of my followers to tell me what they (you) wanted to learn about in this podcast.

Well, Google+ ranked high so here I am fulfilling my promise and giving you information you’re going to love, and that will help you better learn how to make use of this powerful, great social media network.

When Google+ first appeared on June 28, 2011, everyone wondered whether it would destroy Facebook’s popularity the way Facebook tossed a lance into MySpace.

Some social media experts expounded on Facebook’s vulnerability and even publicly said adios to Facebook while proclaiming their allegiance to Google’s new social media product.

[Read more…]

Friday Roundup: How to Engage Your Readers

12-19-14 Engage Your Readers by Frances Caballo

 

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Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment includes summaries of four blog posts that will help you hone your social media marketing skills, and of course, your tip of the week on how to engage your readers I hope you enjoy the post!


Let’s start with your weekly tip.

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.

[Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Image Resources for Indie Authors

Episode 10 - Pinterest for Authors

Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of Resources for Indie Authors tackles the topic of marketing your books and blog with images. Keep reading to learn more.


If you joined Pinterest in the early days and opened a personal profile, you need to upgrade to a business account.

Wait, you’re not a business you say? Of course, you are. You’re in the business of writing and publishing books and if you’re an Indie author that means you’re also forking out some big bucks for editing and design costs. Right?

[Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

11-7-14 Social Media Tips for WritersWelcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of Resources for Indie Authors includes new posts on social media marketing. Keep reading to learn more.


6 Social Media Marketing Tools to Make Your Management Quick and Easy from Jeff Bullas:

Keeping up with the multiple social channels; posting original content and coming up with a social media plan that generates leads, engagement, revenue or some other tangible goal can make you feel like pulling out your hair.However, studies show that social media marketing works. In 2014, investment in social media is a necessity, and no longer a luxury.

An Up-to-Date List of the Algorithm Factors and Changes from Buffer Social: Does this sound familiar: People have liked your Facebook page or followed your profile, and when you post a new update, less than 10 percent of your fans and followers ever see it. It’s a challenge that many Facebook marketers face. How do you get your content seen on Facebook? The secret is in understanding the Facebook News Feed and its mighty algorithm. [Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

10-31-14 Frances CaballoEvery Friday I compile a list of online resources for Indie authors to help newly published writers market their books on the social web. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.


Smart Ways to Manage Time on Social Media by Rebekah Radice: Do you struggle to find enough time in your day to manage social media? Does the thought of juggling your social media tasks make you break out in a cold sweat? Let’s face it, business professionals are busier than ever. Between email, phone calls, projects and team meetings, adding social media to the mix is a recipe for overwhelm.

The 3 Most Important Factors For Growing Your Social Media Community by Robert Caruso: It seems that almost daily we come across social media marketers, enthusiasts and brands that still seem to have limited understanding of social media best practices. Often the social media “consultant” is even missing key factors in their own social presence that hinders their community, reach and growth. You’d think we would be beyond this in 2014, but sadly that is not the case.

The 2014 Social Media Glossary: 154 Essential Definitions by Hootsuite: Welcome to the 2014 edition of the Hootsuite Social Media Glossary. This is a living document that will continue to grow as we add more terms and expand our definitions. If there’s a term you would like to see added, let us know in the comments!

How To Get Your Book Into Costco (and other specialty stores) by Penny Sansevieri for The Future of Ink: In order to be considered for national in-store distribution, you need to pass several (many) checks and your book needs to go to their book buyer who is super particular about what she buys for the stores. Understandably. Product needs to move fast in Costco which is why you may see something one week but not the next.

Related Reading:

Save time on social media with Avoid Social Media Time Suck

Learn about blogging with Blogging Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo Credit: Lee Scot via Unsplash.com

How to Blog Like a Pro

10-20-14 How to Blog-2
Would you love to know the secrets of blogging queens, kings, princes and princesses? You know, those who have hundreds of comments on their blogs and receive thousands of retweets?

Well, Denise Wakeman recently interviewed digital marketing expert Rebekah Radice of Imagine Wow whose topic was how to blog like a pro.

First some background.

If you haven’t come across Denise Wakeman online yet, you might want to connect with her on Google+ and subscribe to her weekly Hangout called Adventures in Visibility.

If you prefer podcasts, you’ll find her on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud as well.

Every week, Denise interviews top pros in the field of online marketing. Her program is consistently good, and she has quite a following.

How to Blog Like a Pro

Rebekah started blogging in 2004. As she explained, she’d always been a writer and at first blogged for the fun of it. Then she saw what an opportunity blogging provides for marketers.

Would you like to know this social media whiz’s secret to great blogging? It’s pretty simple, actually.

Develop a habit. Yep, that’s it. Years ago she knew she needed to be consistent in her blogging, and she wanted to cover big-picture topics while also providing the nitty-gritty details. So she committed to posting one, lengthy blog post every week.

She doesn’t miss a week either. Whenever she schedules a vacation or travels to a conference, she knows that she has to write those posts in advance.

After all, consistency is a major key to blogging. Here are other important factors to successful blogging:

  • Grab people’s attention.
  • Don’t be too wordy.
  • Focus your points and provide as many tips as possible. People love bullets with tips.
  • Create an editorial calendar for the next three months but be open to accommodating new topics.

Now let’s turn the question around. What contributes to a blog failing?

  • Lack of Consistency.
  • Lack of Goals.
  • Lost of focus
  • Not knowing what you’re passionate about
  • Not establishing a blog calendar.

10-20-14 2nd image Frances Caballo

How to Get Your Audience to Share Your Content

Rebekah’s number one tool for increasing shares is that she endeavors to build a relationship with her followers.

That’s the beauty of social media. Unlike any other method of marketing, blogging and social media enable authors to get to know their readers.

When we blast our content, and never ask questions, we relinquish occasions to learn about our audience.

Select one typical person in your audience. What does that person need to know? How can you help that individual? What challenges face that person?

Michael Hyatt describes his audience clearly. He writes for men of a certain age and a certain income bracket.

Rebekah says that once you determine who that person is, it becomes easier to write for that person.

Social Buzz Club and Triberr

Rebekah also mentioned Social Buzz Club and Triberr. Triberr is an app that enables Twitter followers to form groups. The purpose of the groups is to share each other’s content communally.

Similarly, Social Buzz is another collaborative network of professionals who blog. Communities form to engage in reciprocal sharing.

Further Your Brand with Images

As you may have noticed, I’ve been creating a lot of my own images for this blog. Listening to Rebekah, I discovered what I’m not doing: being consistent with the colors of my brand and the font.

That needs to change.


 “There’s enormous value in niching down.”

Rebekah Radice


Finally, she encourages people to “niche down.” Not everyone wants what you have to offer and besides, when you don’t define your specific niche you don’t reach anyone because it’s impossible to market to an unruly audience.

Further Reading:

Blogging Just for Writers

 

Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Friday Roundup: Why Authors Need to Use Social Media

 

Episode 2 Why Authors Need to Use Social MediaWelcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment includes summaries of four blog posts I found on the web,  and of course, your tip of the week on why authors need to use social media.


Let’s start with your weekly tip.

This week’s tip is an answer to the question, “Do I really need social media?”

Of course you do.

I tell authors that if you are content selling your books to your friends, colleagues and family members in your community then don’t bother with social media.

But if you are interested in reaching readers beyond your zip code range, then social media is a must.

As an Indie author, you may not have a publishing deal with a New York-based publisher that manages a marketing department for its authors. But don’t worry.

Social media levels the playing field.

When I look at the Facebook pages and Twitter profiles of Indie authors and compare them to what traditionally published authors have, often the Indie has a better presence on social media.

That’s because you’re the one putting in the time chatting with new friends and fans, retweeting your readers’ content and becoming friends with people across the nation and maybe even around the world.

The more work you put into personalizing your social media presence, the more you’ll receive in terms of content shared and book sales.

Social media isn’t magic, but it can be magical at times. It will allow you to make connections that you never dreamed would be possible.

So don’t shy away from plunging into the world of social media whether you start with Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Start somewhere, grow your presence, and then move on to the next platform where you’ll find your readers.

Now for the second segment of the show …

I scoured the Internet and found some great posts how to create and improve your social media strategy and how to excel on Twitter. I know you’ll enjoy hearing about them. You’ll find links to these articles in my show notes on my Friday blog. Okay, now for the blog posts:

First up, I read Rebekah Radice’s post, Steps to Instantly Improve Your Social Media Strategy. 

Her advice is you need to start by defining your goals. Ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to connect with?
  • What type of content do I want to share?
  • What are you trying to achieve? Is it just book sales or do you also want to get to know who your readers are?
  • How much time can you realistically commit to social media?
  • What does success look like? Is it all about book sales, your income from your books or something else?

I can’t overstate how important it is to spend some time addressing these questions.

Next, make sure you stand out on social media. Focus on the readers for whom you write and find out what they want to read in your blog posts, your social media posts and your stories.

Get to know your audience. Are they women, men, teen girls or more broadly, young adult? As much as you want to write for everyone, narrowing your niche will enable you to hone your message, reach your audience, and sell more books.

Once you know your readers’ demographics, use the social media networks they use.

Next, how do you represent your brand in every social media post? What brand are you trying to build and how will your content further your brand?

Finally, check your analytics programs. You have access to free analytics for most of your social media networks so use them to determine which content your readers love and which ones that just don’t care that much about. By doing this, you’ll know what to post week to week.

Have you ever wondered why some authors succeed at social media while others fail? Or why one writer seems to make interacting online seem effortless? The difference is a solid social media strategy.

Next up is a post I found on Forbes by Stuart Leung: Template For Success: 5 Keys to Creating A Winning Social Media Plan.

His suggestions may seem simple, but they reflect principles at the very core of social media.

Like Rebekah, he stresses the importance of spending time thinking about what success on social media will look like. Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish.”

If you just want to sell books, you might want to forget about social media and turn to Google advertising. I’m serious.

Social media is about people; not about business and not about authors who write books.

It’s about relationships. Leung recommends that if you use social media, you need to be active, and you need to nurture your growing community of followers.

You also need to be transparent. Don’t broadcast your message; communicate directly with your readers. Allow your readers to post their impressions and reviews of your books and even ad an image on your Facebook page. If you are nervous about a reading, tell them. If you’re undecided about a book cover, ask them to help you select one. Involve your readers.

Next, let’s talk about Neil Patel’s post 15 Twitter Hacks that will turn you into a twitter ninja.

Are you ready for his tips? Here they are his best tips:

  • Create lists of people you follow on Twitter. Doing this will save you a bunch of time when you turn to Twitter to curate content or find materials to retweet.
  • Use hashtags. Hashtags will help people find your content.
  • Neil says that the best times to tweet are between 9 am and 3 pm EST. I recommend that you check your analytics or use an app such as SocialBro or Tweriod to determine when your followers are online.
  • Include hashtags in your bio.
  • Use Twitter’s Advanced Search feature.
  • Subscribe to public lists. Go to MakeTechEasier to read a post on the five places to find lists to follow.
  • Use Twitter keyboard shortcuts. There’s a list of them on the blog post.

Finally, there’s 7 Reasons Why Authors Need to Use Social Media,

  • Social media networks inform the world about your website and blog. Every author needs a website and a blog; that’s a given. But how will anyone know you have a website if you don’t use social media? And what about your blog? If you are updating it weekly, which you need to do, who will know you went to the trouble to write a new post if you don’t syndicate it to your social media networks?
  • Social media can attract a wider audience to your readings. It’s great that you invite friends, colleagues and book club members to your readings. I’m sure there are other people in your community who might like to attend as well. Facebook is especially good at spreading the word because your friends can share your posts with their friends and soon you’ll have plenty of people to fill the seats.
  • Social media platforms strengthen the bond between your readers and you. Romance writer Sharon Hamilton has experienced tremendous success with her Facebook page. Through social media, she’s developed a street team of supporters who share her posts. In return, they receive freebies or swag. Social media gives your readers an opportunity to communicate directly with you. They don’t have to go through a publicist; they can send you a tweet or a private message via Facebook and LinkedIn. Or they can ask a question in a comment on Facebook or even add their posts to your Timeline. The same is true for other social media networks. By enabling your readers to contact you directly, you can nurture your relationship with them.
  • Social media offers opportunities for you to promote your books. There is a caveat with this suggestion. You can use social media to promote your books, blog posts, readings, websites, sales, etc., but you don’t want to overdo it. The general rule is that you can promote your news in 20% of your posts; in 80% of your posts you will tweet and inform your following of blog posts that other experts in your niche have written.
  • Social media enables you to build your brand. You are your brand. What you blog about, write about, and post about defines who you are to your readers. For example, my books are about how writers can use social media. I tweet about social media, I teach social media, and the majority of my Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook page posts are about social media. Because my audience is authors, some of my social media posts are about writing. For example, my Pinterest account has numerous boards on social media infographics but I also have pinboards with quotes from famous writers, pictures of interesting libraries and bookstores, images of bookshelves and quotes about the love of reading. I also have writing-related pinboards. Everything I post or pin on social media reflects my brand.
  • Social media will increase your inbound traffic. You want traffic to your blog and website, right? Traffic to your website and blog will increase when you inform the world about them via your social media channels. You can track the number of visits by signing up for Google Analytics (it’s free) and watching trends in your inbound traffic.
  • Social media will decrease your marketing costs. You could hire a publicist, but publicists can sometimes be expensive. With social media, you reduce your costs and take full control of your social web presence.
  • Social media will decrease your marketing costs. You could hire a publicist, but publicists can sometimes be expensive. With social media, you reduce your costs and take full control of your social web presence.

If you’d like to learn how to become more efficient at handling your social media marketing so that you’ll have more time to write, check out my book: Avoid Social Media Time Suck.

Further Reading

Social Media Just for Writers

Blogging Just for Writers

Avoid Social Media Time Suck

 

Frances Caballo- Author of Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web