Tag Archives: Facebook

This is Blatant Advertising

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Colorful Tapestry of Words2

How do you feel about authors advertising their books any and everywhere they can? I am one of those people. I’m an author, and I try to take advantage of every opportunity I come across to tell someone about my books.

Even if I am an author, I get tired sometimes of seeing so many ads on Facebook and Twitter, which is certainly two-faced of me. I can’t have it both ways. There’s one side of me that wants to see things I can read about a fascinating subject not another “look at my book, see me.”
Since I’ve said how I feel, let me share the link to my latest book with you and also offer tips on how to possibly market a book. Here’s my link. Have a look and if you would like to do an Amazon review, I will send you one free for an honest review.  http://amzn.to/1Xogylz

Here are some book marketing tips taken from an article on Author Media by Caitlin Muir.
89+ Book Marketing Ideas That Will…
Increase your web presence:
Create a testimonial page on your website
Add the free My Book Progress plugin to your WordPress website to update your visitors about the status of your upcoming book.
Retweak the SEO on your site
Ask fans to post their reviews on your Facebook page
Ask fans to post their reviews on Amazon
Ask fans to post their reviews on Goodreads
Sign up for Twitter
Clean up your social footprint
Create an author FB page and use it instead of your profile
Sign up for Google Authorship
Offer bloggers advanced reading copies
Go on an online book tour
Create a book launch team
Host Q+A sessions on Google+
Create Facebook Friday videos
Register as an author on Amazon
Register as an author on Goodreads
Create a book trailer
Add the free My Book Table plugin to your WordPress website to boost book sales.
Create a hashtag for your next book
Build your fan base:
Start an FB campaign to increase your fans
Start a Google Campaign to increase traffic to your site
Start a controversial web series
Link up with other writers for your controversial web series
Start weekly Twitter chats with readers
Keyword your blog posts
Create a monthly newsletter
Create an affiliate program
Host-guest bloggers
Become a guest blogger
Create business cards with your web address on them and hand them out
Put your photo on your business card for stronger branding
Start commenting on other blogs (early and often)
Host regular author hangouts on Google+
Host regular author interviews on Google+
Record your Google+ hangouts and put them on YouTube
Get social media coaching
Cultivate Community:
Create an online community with a forum
Say thank you to readers with special incentives for being a fan
Ask your reading community to design merchandise for your store
Create a fan page for your main character (works well if they are in a series)
Ask fans to create their own book trailers and post them online
Offer core fans advanced copy of future books
Ask fans to post pictures of “character spottings.”
Offer “extra features” on your website
Use Twitter hashtags
Poll your readers and listen to what they say
Answer all your blog comments
Engage with your fans on FB
Ask your fans to post pictures of them reading your book
Make some extra money:
Repackage old blog posts and sell them as an e-book
Join an affiliate program
Speak on the core topic of your book
Become a content writer
Host paid webinars
Freelance with niche magazines
Sell ads on your website
Sell ads in your newsletter
Write a new ebook tailored to your fans
Mentor another writer
Become an Amazon Affiliate (and use MyBookTable)
Offer customizable ebooks for readers
Sell your book on your site, not just Amazon
Tweetables:
The @AuthorMedia crew just gave me 89 free book marketing ideas. Watch out the world! – click to tweet.
My sales should spike soon. I’m going to try out some of the book marketing suggestions from @AuthorMedia. – click to tweet.
89 Book Marketing Ideas That Will Change Your Life. Try one today! – click to tweet.
Have you tried any of these marketing tips from @AuthorMedia? They look great! – click to tweet.
Dang. I needed book marketing ideas, and I found 89 of them via @AuthorMedia. – click to tweet.
If you write books, you should look at this list ASAP. Unless you are my competitor. – click to tweet.
Need some book marketing ideas? One of these ideas should do the trick! – click to tweet.
Build your brand offline
Write a Press Release
Ask to be interviewed by your local paper
Ask to be interviewed by the paper your book is set in
Ask to be interviewed by the local radio host
Ask to be interviewed on the local morning show (read this article first)
Partner with a band that has the same cause as you
Go on a physical book tour
Start thinking local
Sell themed merchandise (Think “Team Edward” shirts)
Rent a billboard
Host a book release party
Link with an activity that supports your cause and sell your book there
Create a viral video about a scene from your book
Find a Place To Give a Book Reading:
Your local coffee shop
A hospital
A retirement community
A rehabilitation center
A local church
A locally owned bookstore
The library (try the five closest to your house)
The local community college
A school
Wherever the main setting of your book is
Google+
Videos you upload to Facebook
Goodreads
Discover where to donate your book (and make new fans):
Women’s shelters
VA hospitals
Homeless shelters
Children’s hospitals
Retirement homes
The five closest libraries to your house
The library in your hometown
Summer camp
Community libraries at coffee shops
The local community college library
The libraries in the town where the book was set in
BookCrossing.com
Local B&B’s
Local motels
Prisons
Church libraries
Rehab centers
Cruise ship libraries
Doctor’s offices
Community centers
Senior Centers
Become an expert:
Listen to the Novel Marketing Podcast.
Get active on LinkedIn
Write Op-Ed pieces on the core message of your story
Write freelance pieces on the core message of your story and pitch to niche publications
Give lectures on the core message of your story
Host webinars with other experts
Create a series of web-videos interviewing experts on the core message of your story
Make sure your author about me page is interesting and relevant
Create a Meetup group
Have any book marketing tips you’d like to add to the list? Leave them in the comment section.

How to Make Sure You’re Not Wasting Time on Social Media

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A great article through the book designer that I want to share with you. It explains a lot about using using the analytics of the social media sites to optimize your time. Have a blessed day. Shirley

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 12:01 AM PDT
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By Frances Caballo
You cannot add more minutes to the day, but you can utilize each one to the fullest. – Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Social media platforms are free to use to help market our books and keep in contact with our readers, colleagues and friends. However, social media takes time, and it’s important to not only be efficient with our time but to be effective as well.
Dr. Alan Zimmerman, a business consultant and speaker, says that time is the world’s most valuable commodity and that our success or failure in business or life can depend almost entirely on how we choose to use it. He also makes these points:

Time is a resource but one that you can’t buy, rent, borrow or store; you can only spend it. The truth is obvious here and yet I think his point is a good reminder about how valuable and limited our time is.
Zimmerman says there is nothing more difficult than actually accomplishing something of value. We can easily keep ourselves busy, right? But how often do we examine our use of time to determine whether we’re using the time we have to set and reach our goals in life?

There’s a difference between being efficient and being effective. Zimmerman says that efficiency is doing the job right while effectiveness is doing the right job. Are we engaged in busywork frequently or are we making progress? I would add this to his notion: Are we simply using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms because we’ve been told that we need to have a presence on them, or, are our efforts focused and helping us to attain our goals of reaching more readers and selling more books?
Zimmerman cautions us to avoid the hamster’s dilemma. Instead of merely thinking about how much we can do in a day we need to contemplate what we want out of our lives. It’s always helpful to stop during the day and think about whether our tasks are taking us closer to the conclusion of our projects, such as finishing a book or organizing a blog tour.

Let me bring this discussion back to strictly social media. We know that in order to reach a worldwide audience with our books, social media is a vehicle we can use. But how much time do we need to spend on social media and when will we know whether our efforts are effective?
Social Media and the Return of Investment of our Time

I find that authors using social media tend to fall within three broad categories:
They have difficulty finding time to use social media.

They fear getting sucked into the vortex of distractions caused by social media, the Internet in general, and email.

They waste their efforts because they are unaware whether the content they create or share resonates with their fans and followers.

Previously on this blog, I discussed a four-point formula for using social media effectively. Here are the four steps:
Curate your content. Every day you need to search for great content that is relevant to your readers within your niche. Twenty percent of the content can be text or images your create while 80% of the content should be shared from other sources.

Use scheduling applications to post your content to your social media networks. For Facebook, use the scheduling feature within the status update box.

Allocate time in the day to be social. By taking time to comment, share and Like posts you keep the “social” in social media.

Analyze your metrics. This step is the crux for how you will continue to develop your social media marketing strategy and determine whether your time is being used well.

Facebook Insights

Let’s start with Facebook. Once your Facebook page has 35 likes, you have access to Facebook’s amazing analytics feature called Insights. For example, in the screenshot below I know which time of day my fans are most likely to be on Facebook and, therefore, will have a greater chance of seeing my posts. (I arrived at this graph by clicking on Insights and then Posts.)
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Based on the information above, I routinely post information at 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM because I know those are the times when the majority of my Facebook fans will be using Facebook.
There is also a graph that will tell you which day of the week your Facebook fans are more likely to see your posts. For my page, the numbers were inconsequential but you will want to check this for your own page. You’ll find it at the same location, Facebook > Insights > Posts.

When I click on the People section of Facebook, I can see the demographics on my fans. While most of my fans are from United States, I notice that I also have fans from the UK, Australia, and Canada.
Metrics


When I click on People Reached, which is valuable information, the demographics change.

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Facebook also provides demographics on the people who engage with your page.
When you click on Visits, you can decide whether you want metrics for a week, a month, or a quarter. In this graph, Facebook keeps track of the number of times fans viewed my Page and Tabs.
Metrics
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Tabs are the application boxes you can create for your Facebook page to generate sign-ups for your newsletter, interest in your books or to connect with you on another social media platform. The example below is of the three Tabs I created.
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The screenshot below indicates how people arrived at my Facebook page. The abbreviation t.co indicates those visitors who arrived from Twitter.

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Facebook also provides metrics on the type of status updates that enables my posts to reach more people and generate better engagement. The metrics from my page indicate that posts with an image that I upload outperform text-based and link posts. For clarification, a text post doesn’t include an image or link.
Back in January, Facebook tweaked its algorithm to show fewer text-based updates from pages in Fans’ news feeds. In other words, if you liked my Page yesterday and if I wrote a text-based post this morning, it’s unlikely you would see it. However, if I instead posted an image with text, you would be more likely to see it.
Link posts can be generated in two ways: applications from blogs such as Networked Blogs or Dlvr.it that auto-post links to your new blog posts on Facebook, and status updates that include links that auto-generate images. For example, this is a link post.
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This is an image post.

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Metrics for Twitter and Pinterest

When you sign up for a business account on Pinterest, or transfer your personal account to a business account, you will be able to avail yourself of its free metrics tool, which keeps track of impressions, reach, clicks, pins and more. It will also show you which of your pins have been most recently or most frequently pinned.
This chart shows how quickly reach drops when I post less frequently to Pinterest.

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Twitter also offers a free analytics tool that you’ll find at https://analytics.twitter.com. This is what you’ll see when you navigate to that link:
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If you click on Best Results, Twitter will line up the tweets that receive the most Faves and Retweets.
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In addition, you can download the results into a spreadsheet to determine which were your most “shareable” tweets over a variety of date ranges.
Metrics – Twitter3
When you click on Followers, Twitter provides in-depth information about your growth in followers, their interests, locations, and genders.

Metrics-Twitter3

When you sign up for Google Analytics, Google+ Page analytics are now integrated into the reports. In addition, if you subscribe to SocialReport (an application I use but am not an affiliate for), you can receive daily or weekly metrics on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Google Analytics, Blogger, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Tumblr, Instagram, SlideShare and other metrics all in one report.

The demands of our culture can make us feel as though we need to be plugged into our iPhones, tablets and computers 24/7. As some in the social media realm say, there is the Fear of Missing Out of some unknown innovation if we were to unplug to devote our time to other pursuits, such as our writing.
Mari Smith instead promotes the Joy of Missing Out. It’s her career to be on top of the latest tweak that emanates from Facebook’s Silicon Valley office yet she doesn’t worry. She makes time for a retreat every quarter to further her spiritual growth.

We need to make sure that the time we spend on social media is worthwhile and we can accomplish that my studying our metrics to better understand the demographics who follow us and discern the type of content that resonates with them.

A Short Story (The Bluff) and Vacation

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Hello everyone. I am off to North Carolina and the beach today. Before I leave I decided to post a short story I wrote a couple of days ago. It’s a true story based on a lesson my six year old taught me (she’s now 41). I hope you enjoy it. I will post again after I get back from my trip.  Blessings to all.


I became a mother at the ripe old age of eighteen. I soon learned I knew nothing about raising a child. Three years later, I decided I needed two children to show off my child rearing abilities. I had a beautiful son and daughter.

My son, Allan, was the best boy. He loved to hunt, fish, and played Evil Kenivel on his bike. The trips to the hospital are another story. This story is about my little princess, Stephanie. She taught me an extremely valuable lesson about bluffing.

For some reason during her first year of school, Stephanie decided to stretch her independence. From a mother’s point of view, a six-year-old, in the first grade needs a great deal of motherly love and guidance.

This beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, little girl was a bit hard-headed. That came from her father’s side of the family, of course. I’d ask her to do something, and she would stand with her hands on her hips and tell me no. She got her tail busted a few times, but it didn’t seem to matter to her. (By the way, you have to remember, back in the 70’s, busting tail wasn’t considered abuse.) I had to think of a creative way to get my daughter to behave. I came up with the perfect idea.

When Stephanie misbehaved, I would explain to her I was sending her to a convent run by Nuns, who would make her behave. We weren’t Catholic, and I’m sure she didn’t have a clue of what a convent was. All she knew I was going to send her away from home and that was all she needed to behave. I had my well-behaved daughter back. That is until October.

One Thursday evening in October, my little angel reverted to an obstinate, hateful, child. She pushed me to my limit. You know they do learn at a remarkably early age what buttons to push to send you near to the breaking point and then back off. With my control being reached, I yelled, “All right, little girl, I have had it with you. Come Monday morning you will be enrolled at the convent.” Of course, I didn’t have any intention of taking her anywhere, much less the fact I wasn’t even sure there was a convent in Oklahoma.

Stephanie believed me, settled down, and began watching TV with her brother. It ended up a real,enjoyable evening, and not even problems going to bed. I patted myself on the back, one more time for controlling my daughter without having to bust her tail.

Friday morning, the kids got up without any problem, had breakfast and headed out the door to school. I headed to work. I was the Director of Nursing at a nursing home. My day was going well, that is until 1:00 PM and I heard an overhead page announcing a phone call for me.

“Hello”, this is Shirley. How can I help you?” I’m thinking it’s a doctor’s office calling with orders. That’s the usual calls I received.

“Shirley, this is Amanda Jenkins, Stephanie’s teacher.”

“Is Stephanie hurt? What’s wrong?” I asked. I felt panic.

“Oh, nothing is wrong. I just wanted to ask you to come by the school and sign Stephanie’s transfer papers.”

“What? She’s not transferring anywhere.” I had forgotten about the night before.

“Stephanie came to me this afternoon and turned her books in. She said you were transferring her from here today, and she would start on Monday at another school.”

My darling called my bluff. I had to explain to the teacher what happened. I didn’t think she was going to stop laughing. I felt like an idiot. I never bluffed my daughter again. She taught me a good lesson about bluffing. Don’t do it unless you’re willing to follow through and accept the consequences. My consequences were, I had to eat crow.

 

I Won, Yippee, I won

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Photo of ice-covered mailbox in Spotsylvania C...

Photo of ice-covered mailbox in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA. February 14, 2007. Photograph taken by Joy Schoenberger with a Pentax K100D Digital SLR camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I’m posting my 200 word flash fiction piece which won me $55.00. It’s the first  writing contest I have won, so I’m tickled. I have to admit it does make my ego feel good, even though I know it’s not really a big deal.  I wonder what it is that makes winning a contest so enjoyable? Is it the recognition of your work? I think these little ego boosts are good for a writer. Writing is a hard profession, due to all the other great stories out there in the publishing world. I’ve had my three seconds of bowing and patting myself on the back, now I have to get back to the real world and writing my book.
I hope you enjoy my 200 word story.
***
The Rent
The forecastt for the day is cold with a winter storm warning. I don’t want to get out of my nice warm bed, but I know I have to. There are many errands to run, and I have to do them before the storm hits.
Why Mrs. Flannigan has me pay my rent in person, I’ll never understand. It would be easier if I put it in the mail with my monthly bills. There isn’t any use crying and whining about it. That’s the way it is.
I back my car from the drive for the ten-mile trip to Mrs. Flannigan’s. My phone is in my purse for an emergency. The sleet and freezing rain are  already falling. The radio announcer tells everyone to stay off the roads. I’m not the smartest person, because I’m driving. I can’t drive fast because of poor visibility.  My hands are gripping the  wheel and my knuckles are white. Relax, Sally, you can do this.
The bridge over the lake is icy. What is that idiot doing? He’s going too fast. I’m in the middle of the bridge. I can’t scoot over. No, oh God help me.
Paper reads: Trucker and young woman join fatality toll.

Twittering Away: Why do we do it?

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I’m just a bit messed up on my blogging but that’s ok.  I’m not exactly a straight as a string  kind of gal. My actions just go with my flow at the time.  My blogging was intended for three times a week but there’s nothing to say I can’t add extra’s.  Consider today an extra. That being said let me get on with what I want to blog about.

Today, Twitter is on my mind.  You want to know why? Whether you do or don’t I’m about to tell you.  I joined and became active on Twitter last week.  Since I am an author and everything I read states I should be using Twitter and others to build my platform.  I have spent the past week getting close to 1000 people to follow me and will be doing more. Those 1000 people are doing the exact same thing I am.  They’re trying to sell, whether it is a book, or some kind of other product.

I really can’t figure out why I’m doing it.  It’s not like the majority of these people really want to get to know the real me and I have found some really scary individuals that I don’t want to know and refuse to follow.  I spend the majority of my time going through my email and following whom ever replied to my  tweet or their letting me know I’ve followed and are thanking me for doing so.  That is really the extent of our contact.

How is this helping me sell my books? I have to admit I have seen  some interesting titles and covers flashed before my eyes.  At  some point in time, if I remember them, I might purchase and read some of them.  The key word in that sentence is remember.  There are so many books and titles my brain is scrambled (more than usual.)

So why do we do it? As for me it is because someone said it was the thing to do.  Weather it is or isn’t, I really don’t know.  What I do know is it keeps me busy.

My Family Will be Thrilled…..

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It was so easy it scared me.  I published my Christian Poetry book on XenXii.com.  For some reason I thought it would be harder.  It was a little time-consuming for me to get the poems and pictures into one document.  Thank goodness this was a small book. I wanted to see what actually happens with the process.

Now comes the hard part of trying to sell the book.  I think publicizing is the hardest part of the book writing process.  I probably won’t get on Good Morning America or Anderson for the world to see me  and listen to me say how wonderful either of the books I have out now are. I have read everything I could get my hands on about selling a book and they all start with the social programs.  What works, what doesn’t work and what might work when your networking. So I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, but who I’m connecting with is other writers trying to do the same thing I am.  I think it is a vicious circle.

I am beginning to do Pod Radio interviews now and I must say it has been interesting.  I plan on doing more of them just because I like to talk and I can hear myself on the radio. That is something I never thought would happen.  I know I can get my family to listen and tell me how good I sounded and how absolutely wonderful the books sound.  There’s nothing like having people who love you.

I think I’m going to try my hand at doing a book commercial. That will be fun and once again, it will thrill my family.

Oh by the way drop by http://www.xinxii.com/en/verses-for-my-king-p-333636.html?osCsid=gmcb03bri8khs1hcqg1s9gtf03 and have a look at Verses For My King.

We Are Not Alone

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Day 6:  Are you as lost as I am when it comes to dealing with Social Media?  I can write all day long but trying to figure out all of the ins and outs of all of the social networking sites.  I am a real babe in the woods.

I decided I needed to learn as much as I could about the subject.  I purchased a book called “We Are Not Alone, The Writer‘s Guide to Social Media,” by Kristen Lamb.  What a phenomenal little book.  She explains everything in an easy to read and understand format.  The book had been recommended to me by a friend, because she knew I had just published “The Tower” and would be doing my own promotion work.

According to Kristen, beyond selling books, social media can help the writer learn from the very best and it makes networking with people very easy.  An aspiring author and make mentors of their favorite best-selling authors.  You can zero in on resources you need without combing through books, magazine articles, ect. to learn your craft.

She even goes into Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs.  She says the secret of sales is on the pyramid.  Marketing uses our tendency to buy or do things because of our emotions.  When you are writing it is important to illicit emotion from your reader.  If you didn’t they might read the first chapter and then close the book forever.

We need to bring people out of their comfort zone.  As Kristin wrote, comfortable people do not have needs for us to fill.

The back cover of her book says it all:  Social Media is more popular than ever.  As society becomes more technologically advanced, people are seeking new ways to connect.  Relationships are vital to our survival and our mental and emotional health.

There are more opportunities for a new author today than ever before.    With thousands and thousands of author with books and blogs, how can a writer succeed?

Kristen’s method is simple, effective and helps author find ways to employ imagination and creativity in writing.

I for one will be using this little book to guide me on my discovery to social networking.  I hope to publish my second book, The Dobyns Chronicles, this fall.  I want to have a lot more knowledge about how social networking functions by the time that book is published.

I am finding  writing “The Tower” has been a learning experience for me.  I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know until my book was published.  I am just a bit lost in processes.  It is good to know “We Are Not Alone.”