Virginia Gray: One Indie Author’s Book Promotion Strategy


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

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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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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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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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How to Find Great Content Your Readers Will Love – Part 1

Social Media Curation Tools 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 I of a two-part series. Find Part II here.


 

“It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time.” Alexis Ohanian

On social media, your reputation rests on the information you post. If you want to attract a following that looks forward to every word you write, every image your post, and every video you find or create, curate with care and with your readers in mind.

As Lee Odden, of TopRank Marketing said, “Content isn’t King, it’s the Kingdom.”

Curation isn’t as difficult as it might sound. If you know who your readers are, try to find content that will resonate with them. If you don’t have a clear sense about your readers, check your Google Analytics or Insights on your Facebook page. These two free programs will reveal in-depth information about your readership, including gender, age ranges, and a range of preferences.

How do you curate content? By slicing through the slush in your news feeds, inboxes, and blog feeds and selecting the best and most relevant content that applies to your readers.

Content isn't King, it's the Kingdom. Lee OddenClick To Tweet

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Friday Roundup April 15, 2016

Friday Roundup of the week's best posts by Frances Caballo

Welcome to Friday’s Weekly Roundup, my collection of the week’s best posts. I hope you enjoy this week’s collection.

How to Use MailChimp and Bookfunnel to Grow Your Author Mailing List by Aimee Coveney via Alliance of Independent AuthorsWhile you may not have the intention of sending newsletters on a weekly or even monthly basis, when you have a new book available, what easier way is there to share the news with your existing audience? It’s therefore well worth going to the trouble of attracting new subscribers to your mailing list. Note: This post explains how you can use Bookfunnel to get your lead magnets (giveaway books) into the hands of your readers so you can grow your email list.

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What to Post on Social Media Plus 38 Examples

What to Post on Social Media Plus 38 Examples by Frances Caballo

Ten years ago, you wrote a book and you never expected to find out anything about the author. Now with social media, everyone wants that connection. I think our readers want to be invited into our lives and brought on the journey and be part of this whole process. ~~ Jane Green

Not Sure What to Post? Try These Ideas

Authors often ask me, “What should I post on social media?”

The answer is simple: Great content that your readers will enjoy. Social media and book marketing aren’t about you. Yes, you have books to sell and a blog you want your readers to visit. But in the end, everything you do is about the reader.

As such, the content you post will be driven by what motivates, moves, and meets the needs of your readers.

In other words, the content you post will need to be:

  • Informative
  • Interesting
  • And when images and videos are used, captivating
  • And at times, your content can be entertaining

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Friday Roundup April 8, 2016

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.


 Friday Roundup of the week's best posts by Frances Caballo

I enjoyed finding, reading, and learning from these posts this past week and I hope you like them as well.

Facebook: The World’s Largest Bookstore? by Digital Book World: “The big moneymaker (for Facebook) 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 story is about the power of video and you will be amazed by the statistics. Get those book trailers rolling!

More than 500 million people watch Facebook video every dayClick To Tweet

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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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Authors: Just Be Where Your Readers Are

I just did it again. I 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. (Why wait?)


Find Your Readers by Frances Caballo

 

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

― Michael Altshuler

The new marketing dictum for selling your books or anything else is this: You don’t need to be everywhere; you need to be where your readers are.

Remember that. Otherwise, you’ll waste time. Focusing your energy and time on the social media websites where your readers network is your first rule.

There are plenty of experts who disagree with this theory. But think about it. No one has the time to be everywhere. Let me qualify that. If you have a virtual assistant, housekeeper, personal chef, and driver, you have the time to be everywhere online.

But Indie authors like you do everything themselves. To be economical, many writers create their book covers. Every author, once a book is published, then handles the marketing and publicity.

Don't be everywhere; be where your readers are @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

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