10 Things Your Competition Can Teach You About Social Media

10 Things Your Competition Can Teach You About Social MediaWhen writers are new to social media, I always recommend that they spend time lurking around the social media networks they plan to use.

The advice isn’t as unsavory as it may sound. After all, I’m not talking about spying around street corners but instead observing the competition on social media.

For example, how do other authors engage with readers? Who do they follow? Who follows them? How often do they post?

You get the idea.

New to social media? Spend time 'lurking' firstClick To Tweet

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Sick of Social Media? 10 Steps to Revive Your Enthusiasm

The next episode of Conversations with Frances features Jane Friedman. Jane is a columnist with Publishers Weekly, a professJane Friedmanor with The Great Courses, and she’s been a keynote speaker at several writers’ conferences. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo America and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the N

ational Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. On November 1 – Tomorrow! – at 11 am Jane will share her thoughts on book launches. She’ll also be available to answer your questions. Join us on November 1st, Tomorrow!


Sick of Social Media? 10 Steps to Revive Your EnthusiasmTired of Social Media?

Do you ever get sick of social media? Come on. Admit it.
I think you know what I mean. The cat videos, the political diatribes, and the men telling you how beautiful you are and with $5,000 they could fly to your location and take you out on a smashing date. Haven’t received any of those messages yet? Consider yourself lucky. What about those pictures of meals that just don’t look that appealing? I’ve seen my share of them.

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup September 16, 2016

Indie Author Weekly Roundup by Frances Caballo

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Roundup is rich with social media advice. I hope you enjoy this edition.

Conversations with Frances Webinar SeriesIf you haven’t signed up for my webinar with Joanna Penn, do so now. I will debut my new webinar series, Conversations with Frances with Joanna as my first guest. It promises to be a lively discussion as we talk about marketing and her new program, How to Write a Novel. Join us!


Not Sure How to Approach Social Media? CARE about Your Readers via Jane Friedman: “Among all the rules you’ll find online—the 80/20 rule (only 20 percent of your posts should be about your books or blog posts), the admonitions against using social media as a bullhorn, the warnings about over-automating—there’s also an unspoken tenet. This tenet isn’t a rule that comes up on the blogosphere. Instead, it’s more of a system of approach; to describe it, I use an acronym that I created while preparing for the San Francisco Writers Conference last February.”

Fact: 78 percent of Americans have a social media profile Click To Tweet

Indie Author Updates

Pinning Away Pinterest Social Media by Ronel Janse Van Vuuren: “I had this nagging suspicion that my social media skills are a bit lacking. So I signed up for an email course through social media strategist Frances Caballo’s blog while I was there reading yet another great article. I knew that I was wasting valuable writing-time managing my social media platform. Yet I didn’t know how to fix it on my own. (Yeah, misspelling the title of this blogpost could’ve worked well here…)”

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How Social Media Fits into Your Publicity Strategy

How Social Media Fits into Your Publicity Strategy by Chris Well for Frances CaballoToday I present a guest post from Chris Well (@BuildYourBrandA) of Build Your Brand Academy on the topic of social media vs. publicity. Chris does an excellent job of explaining how you can use social media to gain publicity for your books.


So I was sitting at my desk, probably doing my job, certainly minding my own business, when I got a phone call from an author who had a book and wanted me to do something about it. Granted, at my day job I’m employed by a major media company with a network of websites, magazines, and radio stations.

But this author was going about this “publicity” thing all wrong. No matter how compelling his book might be—and as he attempted to tell me his life story, it did sound like the stuff of which TV movies and after school specials were made—he was talking to the wrong person at the wrong office at the wrong company. His book was not a fit for our audiences.

When I asked which of our brands he was pitching, he didn’t have an answer. All he knew was I was someone in the “media.”

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The Only 10 Social Media Applications You’ll Ever Need

The Only 10 Applications You'll Ever Need by Frances Caballo

When I write my books, I list a lot of applications. How many? Avoid Social Media Time Suck must contain about 100.

Some readers like the variety but others want me stop being impartial and identify those that I would highly recommend.

It’s a fair criticism.

So today, I’m going to do just that. I’m not going to criticize applications because what might be a good app for one person might not fit another at all. But I will tell you which social media apps I think are worth using. Here we go.

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Have You Seen These Social Media Tweaks?

Make Way for Change on Social Media

Have you noticed all the changes happening on social media? Facebook is making most of the tweaks, but I’ve seen modifications in other places as well.

Today I thought I’d share a few items I’ve noticed that may convince you to use Pinterest, buy a Facebook ad, or just take note of what you can do these days on different platforms.

Let’s get started with my miscellaneous observations.

Facebook Advertising

There’s no doubt in my mind that when done correctly, Facebook advertising works. Some people catch onto it right away, others spend too much money, and then there’s me: I just don’t use it often enough.

When I launched my book, The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, on May 19th I thought I’d support the launch with a Facebook ad. Guess what? It worked.

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Social Media Weekly Roundup for Authors

5-27-16 WeeklyRoundup-2I was talking with a friend recently, and she asked me what I’d be publishing this year. I told her I’m writing three books: the Goodreads book I just released, a time management book, and a comprehensive book on social media. She asked me how much they would cost. I haven’t decided on a price for the paperback of the last book I’ll release this year, but the ebook will be about $4.99. She said, “That’s expensive for an ebook.” Really? I tried to explain to her the costs indie authors incur: their time, editing, book covers, and book formatting. When you consider the costs, I don’t think a comprehensive book priced at $4.99 is too much. So my message this week is don’t fall into the trap that all of your books need to be priced at $.99. You’re worth more than that. Now tell me what you think about book pricing. Note: I do lower the price of my ebooks after they’ve been on the market for a couple of years and when I’m preparing a massive update.


Here’s the Social Media Weekly Roundup

Using The #Audiobook Service ACX via Self-Published Authors Helping Authors: “I think I speak for many of us when I say we’d like to have our books in audiobook form. Besides being a possible way to connect to new readers who don’t necessarily like to sit down with a paperback or e-book and another possible source of revenue, audiobooks have a prestige to them. It’s sort of magical hearing your characters come to life in your car or in your earbuds through sound and description. It’s pretty powerful.”

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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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Authors: How to Get Started on Social Media

Social Media Tips for Authors Plus 7 Tips for Better Engagement by Frances Caballo

I recently added even more pages to Twitter Just for Writers, bringing it to 52 pages. And it’s Free for you.

Twitter Just for WritersGrab a copy of your 52-page eBook on Twitter today. In Twitter Just for Writers you’ll find:

  • Easy to follow instructions on how you can get started.
  • Instructions on how to devise a password that will never be hacked.
  • Terms and special hashtags just for authors like you.
  • A list of applications to use with Twitter.
  • Advice on how to select your username and write your bio. (So many authors get this wrong.)
  • Plus guidelines for advanced users!

Download your FREE copy now.


“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.” Amy Jo Martin

Take Care of These Basics Before You Start

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of web-based strategies designed to increase visitors to your website so that your website will place well in Google searches. Historically, SEO has been used heavily to boost traffic to websites. But guess what? Social media has become increasingly important in any SEO formula.

In January of 2015, Shareaholic wrote on its blog, “The shift from search to social isn’t just in progress: it’s already here.” Shareaholic credited eight websites with referring the most traffic, and among those are Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as YouTube and Google+.

These 8 social media sites refers the most traffic @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

How to Get Started

As you sign up for Twitter and other social media channels, you’ll need to decide on a username and a unique password.

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7 Tips for Using Social Media During Election Seasons

7 Tips for Using Social Media During an Election Season by Frances CaballoIt’s election season here in the United States. Even though we’re past the buzz of Super Tuesday, I haven’t yet forgotten the pulse in the air as voters and broadcast journalists used the radio, the Internet, and probably the TV networks with the latest tidbits of voter updates, sound bites, and reports of insults lobbed against by candidates against their current foes.

Compare our marathon of an election season with Britain’s. In the U.K., the campaign season lasts one month and “virtually nothing,” according to the Chicago Tribune, is spent on either campaign. Here, it seems to last forever and cost, according to The Hill, $5 billion.

The election cycle begins with leaks that someone will run, formal announcements, debates, and the primaries. Then we have the two conventions, announcements of nominees, more debates, and finally an election. Whew!

How do you handle all this brouhaha when you turn to your social media? Well, let’s talk about that.

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