Tag: Marketing

Pinterest – Why it’s beating Facebook & Twitter

Pinterest – Why it’s beating Facebook & Twitter

6939604809_6b072449a0_zAre you on Pinterest? You need to be.

Pinterest has been around since early 2010, and serves as a digital “corkboard.” Users create boards and pin pictures to those boards, effectively building a corkboard of photos about a particular subject. More than 80% Pinterest users are women age 35 and older and in the upper middle class economic scale.

Here are five reasons why fiction writers should utilize Pinterest:

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Marketing books – Worth It or Wasteful?

Marketing books – Worth It or Wasteful?

google_talk_iconShould you be marketing books, even if your book isn’t finished? There are several schools of thought.

I recently attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference in Denver, Colorado, and had dinner with Super Agent Kristin Nelson. Let me caveat by saying, it was not an exclusive, sit down to chat about Hugh Howe or anything. I just happened to grab one of the nine seats available at her table.

But I did ask her about what writers should be doing with their marketing. Her response: write the next book. No, she didn’t advocate Facebook or Twitter or Blogging or Giving Talks All Over the Country. She said, “Write your next book.”

Recent studies have shown series do much better, with regards to sales, than stand alone books. So what she said makes sense.

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Now, in contrast, Jeff Shelby, author of like a gabillion books like Stay at Home Dead, said he does do all the social media andstuff. To be fair, he also punches out close to five books a year, some co-written with his wife.

I’ve heard agents say they won’t take on a new author without at least 2,000 Twitter followers. I’ve heard  publicists say writers must have a blog.

I think it has long been proven that the nature of the book industry is unpredictable. There is no magic bullet, and there is no formula to make you a bestseller. Which is kinda like dieting. No diet works the same for everyone, but the bottom line is that less calories in and more calories expended equals lost weight. So, applying that analysis to selling books, the only thing we know for sure is that telling people about your book is how they find it and buy it. If they don’t know, they won’t come. That’s it. Everything else is just gravy.

So how do you generate word of mouth marketing?

1- Write the very best book you can. People don’t want to read crap. They tell their friends about good books and about crappy books.

2- Write another very best book you can. If readers liked the first one, they’ll devour the second one.

3- Have a landing page. One page where readers can find you and your books. Because where is the first place a reader will go after they hear about your book? The internet. But don’t spread yourself out too much.

4- Make that landing page great. Whether it’s a Facebook Page (which can be used as a blog), a website (which can also have a blog) or just a blog, make it professional, accessible and friendly.

5- Talk to people. Word of mouth is still the BEST way to sell books. Tell everyone and anyone how totally awesome your book is. Or just get your momma to do it.

But what people? Where? Think outside book stores, coffee shops and library. Ask yourself what themes and messages live in your book. If you could talk about those to any group of people, who would it be and why? Let me know because this is truly the first step in creating a good marketing plan.

Market your new book: 4 ways to kill it before it’s launched

Market your new book: 4 ways to kill it before it’s launched

ERNEST HEMINGWAYSo you’re a writer who wants people to read your book? Awesome! Do you know how to get that book and the next one in their hands? Do you really know how to market your new book? Well, if you do all the following, you’ll guarantee they won’t come back for more.


READ MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! LOOK AT MY STUFF! – Continually asking people to do something for you is a major turn off, this includes asking folks to buy your book six times a day on Twitter. You haven’t let them get to know you first. It’s much more valuable to post about you – your likes, dislikes, hobbies, activities, thoughts.  Thoughts on what? Anything – a new book, a news story, even politics and religion.


Let your peeps get to know you and give them free stuff (bags, mugs, pens, corsets, whatever). All people love free stuff. The bookmark is overrated. Do something cool from your book. Aaron Michael Ritchey gives out a red bag with candy in it because there is a red bag in his book. Cool idea. Plus, I love candy.


HERE IS MY ONE POST FOR THE WEEK – Your one post? You are selling a product. That product is you, the writer, and your book. If all you offer is one post a week, that doesn’t allow potential readers to get to know you or your book. And readers buy books from word of mouth.

If people aren’t talking about you, they aren’t buying you. Rule of thumb: 1-3 Facebook posts, 7 tweets & 1-3 Pinterest pics per DAY. At least one blog post a week – blogs are more about consistent content. Pick a day or two and stick to it. If you really want to get wild, do videos and podcasts as well.

If You Build it They Will Come... Just Kidding...WRITE IT AND THEY WILL COME – Really? The publishing industry is a business. Period. If you want to sell books, or simply get your book in other people’s hands, they have to know about it. Whining about the audacity of publishers to expect you to market is a waste of time.

Bob Mayer gave a talk last year and told us he couldn’t believe the audacity of the publisher to ask him to market his work AND they still gave him only 15-30% of the cut. That is worth complaining about. Marketing is a necessary evil, but if you are biz savvy enough, have the time and maybe a bit of cash, you can indie publish and keep 70% of the cut. That’s what Bob did.


publishing-team-author-supportLEAVE TEAMWORK TO FOOTBALL PLAYERS – Will everyone succeed? Of course not. But my mantra is you’ll always be on the outs if you don’t make the effort. Today’s publishing business is saturated, which means it’s a publisher’s market, not a writer’s market. That doesn’t mean it is Fort Knox. It is penetrable. You can get your name and your book out there.

One of the best methods I’ve seen is to tag team with other authors. You promote them, they promote you. You talk about their book. They talk about yours. Build a team of people who are as excited for you to succeed as you are. My writer crew has a group on Facebook with about 30 authors on it. Every time someone has a new post, or a new book or a signing or anything, we all go read it and put it out on our outlets.


It doesn’t have to be hard to market your new book. I know it’s not as much fun as actually writing it, but with enough creativity, you will get your book in the hands of the readers and they will tell all their friends how crazy awesome your book is. So get out there and make it happen!

In the meantime, let me know in the comments the most annoying comment or tweet you’ve every read.


Woobox – a Facebook App for Newbies

Woobox – a Facebook App for Newbies

Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 12.32.37 AMOne of the most frustrating but increasingly useful tools on Facebook Author Pages is applications.  They are a must-have for any author worth his marketing salt.  Some are super easy to upload and use.  Others, not so much.  Particularly if you want to customize them or if you don’t want to pay for them.

So here’s what I learned recently about the Woobox Apps.


1- Woobox is a great for all things writer.  It includes apps for the most important ones: Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.  Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 12.33.56 AM


2- Woobox also offers giveaways, deals, coupons, polls and contests which help make the page more fun.


3- Woobox again offers a “blank” app if you will.  One you can customize to showcase your website or where to buy your book.  The biggest thing you have to remember is to check the redirect button.  It’s imperative.  Must. Hit. Redirect.  Otherwise you’ll sit for two hours agonizing over why the heck the stupid thing won’t work.


Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 12.35.28 AMThe bottom line is that if you want to at least look like you know what you’re doing on Facebook, the Map and the Likes apps, or boxes, must go.

I like Grisham’s page … he uses it to encourage reading.  His three apps are Grisham Library, What I’m Reading and Goodreads.  Can’t get more literary than that.  And all three of those boxes can be customized using Woobox.