Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Using Twitter to Promote Your Books

If you wonder whether or not you should use Twitter to promote your book, Bob Sanchez, author of When Pigs Fly, Getting Lucky, and Little Mountain, provides good insights.

Use Twitter To Get The Word Out
by Bob Sanchez

Which is the harder job: writing or selling? You could argue that writing and selling require two different personalities, but I don’t think that’s quite true. In any case, we indie writers know that finding an audience—a paying audience from the general public—is a challenge. How do you get the word out about your book?

One approach that’s working for me is Twitter, and maybe it can work for you.

Let’s start with some assumptions. Sure, you can pay someone to do the marketing for you, with only one guarantee: it will cost you money. Sales are never guaranteed. Another person’s efforts may be helpful or they may not. They may work their tushes off for you or they may not. You can safely assume that no one cares about your success as much as you do. There is also a pretty fair chance that however much you pay for promotion to whomever you pay it, you will not get your money’s worth.

So what’s an indie -- self published author -- to do? This indie uses Twitter.

The main advantages to Twitter are that it is free and that it can reach a lot of people. You write a message of 140 characters or fewer and post it so your followers can see it. Then some of them can retweet your message to theirfollowers. The potential is for your message to reach many thousands of people. In my case, I have an Amazon author page listing my three Kindle books at $2.99 each. So my tweets typically include the URL of my author page along with a quote from a review, for example:

Getting Lucky bitly.com/bobsanchez #kindle #amazonprime #mysteries #crime "a page turner!"

So there are the title, the link, four subject categories denoted by “#” and a nice snippet from an Amazon review. The other tweets I post, and this is critical, are retweets for other writers who are promoting their work. A whole lot of reciprocity goes on with Twitter. When you promote for others more than you do for yourself, it will come back to benefit you.

There’s more to know, but none of it is hard to learn. Also, many third-party tools exist to help you use Twitter more effectively, such as Twellow and TweetDeck. For me, the combination of offering reasonably priced good books and a free advertising platform is a winner.

Bob Sanchez's three novels have had over 70,000 downloads this year. His Twitter handle is @desertwriter, and he'd love to follow and support you on Twitter.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Write What You know - Novelist Rasana Atreya Shows How

How many times have you been told – write what you know? However, that general statement tells nothing about how to go about doing it. Rasana Atreya tells how she did exactly that, and wrote, Tell A Thousand Lies.

Of Dark Skinned Girls, Lies, British Spellings and Novels
(c) by Rasana Atreya

I wrote a whole novel about a dark skinned girl. If you were Indian, you’d know this is a big deal. Dark skinned girls don’t count for much in our society. Not as central characters of a novel, not as potential brides.

Funny thing is, I grew up in a colour-blind family. My mom was dark skinned, dad was as light-skinned as could be. It didn’t matter to them, so it didn’t matter to us. When I married, I found the same unusual pairing in my in-laws. I say unusual, because fair-skinned girls are highly prized. But it didn’t matter to my in-laws either, so it did not register for a while that the Indian society was changing, and not for the better.

Matrimonial ads in newspapers (yup, we still have those) are chockfull of parents seeking for their sons ‘fair-complexioned’ brides. Indian television is overrun with commercials touting the latest ‘fairness cream’ aka skin lightening product.

I came up with a tongue and cheek slogan based on the latter, though this whole premise distresses me: Fairness Creams : Finding Solutions to Life’s Vexing Problems, One Application at a Time.

Because these commercials promise everything from good grades to nirvana, if only you use the said creams.)

Back to my book. I incorporated two more of my favourite themes – superstition and dowry. Threw in a bit of corruption, a dash of jealousy, a pinch of greed , stirred the pot, and ended up with Tell A Thousand Lies.

Why a thousand lies? Because there is a saying in my native tongue, Telugu, which goes something like this: Get a girl married, even if you have to tell a thousand lies to do so. ###

Rasana offers copies of her ebook in exchange for reviews. She's also giving away three (paperback) copies of her book on Goodreads until July 25, 2012.

Rasana Atreya, Author, Tell A Thousand Lies [Shortlisted for the2012 Tibor Jones South Asia prize]

http://ow.ly/9A83N [Amazon US]


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unanticipated Book Promotion -- Well, Maybe..

Although I don't recommend this example as an innovative promotional tool, it's an interesting look at what CAN happen–seen on Yahoo.com, .....Jack Daniel's Sends the Most Polite Cease-and-Desist Letter Ever .

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Musings and Marvels Blog Demystifies ePublishing

Sabrina Ricci's blog, Musings and Marvels, Exploring the ins and outs of the publishing industry, is one every serious author needs to become intimate with.

Bookmark it and visit frequently.

If you have a work-in-progress that you intend to epublish, or if you have published ebooks, or are only thinking "maybe I'll publish an ebook," now is the time to read "Self-publishing ebooks: Why maximizing distribution matters."

Learn about Sabrina and her accomplishments on her blog, and read more here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Jennifer Donohoe Speaks to the World of Technology For Promoting Books

What to do?
Promoting a Book in this World of Technology
© by Jennifer Donohoe

Promoting a book in the world of technology can be a daunting task. However, there are new and inventive ways of getting that book out to the public through the technological advances we’ve enjoyed over the past ten years. I work with adolescents on a daily basis. It seems they cannot peel themselves away from their cell phones, iPods, e-readers, or computers. They live, breathe, and eat social media. Whatever is out there, they will find it. Believe me, this is true.

One of my clients felt inclined to share the “Butt Crack Song” with me. Yes, it exists.

Granted, young adult genres and children’s genres would benefit the most from it, but adults are slowing falling in place too. Other genres could reap the benefits of utube, facebook, and other book reading sites, such as Goodreads, Shelflari, BookDaily, and Your Book Authors.

There are several software programs available that can also help promote your story. IClone, Poser, and Daz Studio are 3D programs that can add more spice to your novel and reach those social network crazed adolescents.

I currently work with Poser Pro. This program allows the creator to make single 2D photos or 3D movies. Photos of the characters add more dimension by allowing the readers to connect to them in a deeper sense. I’ve not managed the expertise to create book trailers, but it is a definite boost to most genres.

The author should investigate the social media available then decide what will help get their book noticed in the mass of other books that are out there. Today, authors have to become more than writers if they want to survive the growing diverse media concepts popping up on a day-to-day basis. The old publishing world is slowly descending into history and the new more tech-savvy people will grasp the software available to them.

Writing is important to an author and the majority of their available time should be spent writing and honing their craft. Several people now offer help to these authors to promote and reach the millions surfing the Internet. Investigating these services could benefit an author’s future success. With the onslaught of new software, YouTube, Facebook, and other social medias, finding the right fit for your book is important.

Research…research…research. It’s time to embrace the future and flow with the times if any author wants to be a success.

Daz Studio 4 offers the full version as a free download for a while on the program's website. [The price of the full version is usually $300 - $400.]

Download the hexagon while you're there too, as this program helps build characters and objects that Daz Studio, Poser, or IClone may not have.

Jennifer Donohe, authored The Legend of the Travelers: Willow's Journey. Available at Amazon.com. It has been featured on A.D. Trosper's blog.