Welcome to this week’s edition of Writer’s Tips. In this edition I’m featuring a 3 part series that Ace Promoter of Indie authors – Sally Cronin, has written to inform authors of key things we should be doing to help gain exposure for our books, how to make the most of our Amazon author pages, and ‘Watering Holes’ where authors can congregate online to gain readership. These posts have great information for both new writers and seasoned writers alike, as there’s always something we may overlook.
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Attracting your readers, Covers, Book Titles, Tag Lines and Key Words by Sally Cronin
Attracting your readers, Covers, Book Titles, Tag Lines and Key Words
Authors are small businesses with a product that needs marketing to obtain sales. Once you start thinking of yourself as a business it tends to focus your mind differently.
One of the jobs that gave me some perspective on marketing and promotion, was the several years I spent as advertising sales manager for a free paper in London and then a holiday publication company.
One of the key elements of marketing and selling is to attract the right customer for your product and in book marketing this is your readers.
Part of my job was writing copy for clients who could not afford to spend a fortune with an agency. This was quite an interesting challenge because most companies, whatever their product wanted to put their name in large letters front and centre. So for example: Continue reading at the Smorgasbord
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Setting up your Amazon Author Page by Sally Cronin
I began promoting authors and their books back in 2001 and then it was all about splashy book launches, press releases and getting local coverage. Indie authors had it tough in those days trying to break into the establishment and get the attention of national press, but could do very well locally.
It is very different today in many respects, but certainly you can still make a big splash in your own local area, especially if our books are relevant to the history of the area. Press releases and going door to door to established businesses such as bookshops, cafes, art galleries and holding book signings can certainly launch a book and possibly get the attention of a wider audience and the national press.
Six years ago I began promoting my own books (particularly Ebooks as I tend to still go local for my print books) and a handful of authors here on Smorgasbord, which over the next two years developed to become The Cafe and Bookstore. This celebrated three years of book promotions earlier in the year and there are between 150 and 175 active authors with new releases and reviews at any given time.
Taking my experience of the ups and downs of book marketing over the last 18 years I feel that if I can give a helping hand to other authors, it might help them navigate the marketing process a little more effectively. Especially when we have a global marketplace at our fingertips.
I am delighted that I am in a position to showcase authors here on my blog and on social media. And for me it is important to provide this FREE as I know how tough it was back when I started, and even more so now, to get noticed.
However, I have over the years found some stumbling blocks that are common to many authors.
It would be lovely to think that we write a book and readers will then flock through the doors on the online bookstore and grab a copy. Unfortunately today you are in competition with the many thousands of other books that are published that week, particular in a popular genre on a worldwide basis.
So everything you do online has to have one clear goal, and that is to encourage readers to buy your book. But all the promotions in the world with wonderful blurb and reviews are not effective unless they address one very important question.
Where do you want potential readers to end up?
Somewhere they can buy the book immediately.
For most of us, whichever publishing path we have taken, Amazon is our primary bookseller. Some of you will publish through Amazon’s own Kindle and Print publishing services, others like myself are independent and do our own formatting and design before signing up for a seller account.
But, you do need to meet the technology and worldwide opportunities at least halfway and one of the most effective tools at your disposal, even with one book, but certainly with multiple releases, is the Amazon Author Page.
There are a number of book promotional sites available, mine included, who will promote your book, but we need to put a buy link for your book so that readers can head over and purchase. That link is usually Amazon as it is the largest online bookstore in the world. More importantly it is where those who live online, such as other authors and bloggers have set up accounts to buy their books.
That being the case, I always put the Amazon author page in the bookstore so that when the potential buyer heads over they can see the authors bio, photograph and more importantly, not just one book, but all of them. They can then choose which book to select, but you never know, they might just pick up another one or two at the same time.
The majority of authors that are promoted here have an Amazon author’s page, but you will be amazed how many do not who ask me to promote their books.
This is one of the most important book marketing tools that you can use as the link should be on all your correspondence, from the signature on your emails to your profiles on all the social media sites you are using. Certainly on your business cards and also at the back of your books, along with the covers of the other books you have written.
From the perspective of a book promoter, it makes it very difficult when an author has five or six books and no author page.. I have to spend considerable time tracking them down and I then do not have one central link to put them under.
This loses you sales.
Amazon is your bookstore, your bookshelf and your author page needs maintenance from time to time.
- When was the last time you checked your bio. I see many that are at least a year and a couple of books out of date.
- Would a new profile photo give your author page a new look too?
- Have you added your blog link so that your posts will show up on the page encouraging readers to visit you there.
- Are all your books, including your latest listed on your author page?
- Is all the information correct about your books?
- Ensure that when your books are uploaded all formats are available on the book selling page. Otherwise you will lose sales from readers looking for either print or Ebooks and not finding it on the same page.
Even if you only have one book, it is a good idea to set up your Author Page and you can do so on both the UK and the US sites as when they list your books on one they might not carry over your bio or other information, including the photograph. Often if you do not manually update your author page on the other country’s site, you will find there is not bio or the photograph is missing so you do need to keep an eye on both.
Even if you have not been the person who uploaded the book, as the author you can sign up for the Author Central or as many of you are a KDP author you can use that identity to log in.
I have taken some screen grabs to illustrate the process… Continue reading at the Smorgasbord
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Marketing – Online Watering Holes for Authors – Part One – Is your Blog book marketing ready? – Sally Cronin
So far in this series, I have focused on Amazon Author pages, Goodreads and the book marketing potential of your covers, titles, tag lines and key words:
In the next three posts I am going to look at the online social media platforms that are helpful in your efforts to market your books. None of them are perfect, not least of all because of the amount of personal data that is collected, but you are in business as an author and advertising is a key element of your strategy.
This week I am going to focus on blogging which in my experience over the last seven years is the one that offers the most options when it comes to book marketing, as it is combined with another crucial element… the marketing of you the author.
Blogworld is probably the most effective watering hole for writers.
There are an estimated 60 million bloggers on WordPress alone, and I recognise that it can take time to establish your own community of writers and readers. I started my own blog in 2012 but it was not until September 2013 that I really began building my brand consistently.
I wanted to promote my previous books which were just converted to Ebooks, and this gave them a new lease of life. New covers, updated and previously only sold in print at local outlets, I was finally after 14 years able to take advantage of the global Kindle and Epub market.
Seven years later, this platform and my social media, not only offer me an opportunity to promote my own books but also to promote other authors. Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore has 150 + active authors (recent reviews and releases) at any given time and passed its third year anniversary in June this year. . .Continue reading
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Stay tuned by following Sally’s blog for the next series for writers and authors where she’ll be focusing on social media for writers.