Archives for March 2014

Promoting Your Blog: How Much Should You Set Aside in Your Budget?

There is no denying that a blog is a highly effective tool for successfully promoting yourself. While once used by everyday people to share their thoughts and opinions, a blog has now become one of the most powerful marketing tools an author or speaker can use.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Whether you have set up a blog as the foundation of your speaking or writing career or you are using a blog to promote your books, one thing is certain: You want to attract as much attention as possible. While that blog may be expertly designed, highly informative, and very engaging, if you aren’t effective promoting it, you won’t be driving as much traffic to it as you could.

What’s that? Promote a blog? But isn’t the purpose of a blog to promote your books and events? While yes, this is true, in order to effectively use your blog to get the word out about your career, you have to get the word out about your blog. [Read more…]

The BookBub Experience

Geraldine Evans Today’s guest post is by Geraldine Evans, a British writer of police procedurals that contain a lot of humour and family drama. She and I met in LinkedIn’s Book Marketing group when she shared her experience using BookBub, a site that alerts interested readers to limited-time free and discounted ebooks matching their interests.

I’ve used BookBub to find new reading material for a couple of years now, but had wondered how it works out from the author’s perspective. When Geraldine shared such a comprehensive review of her experience, I asked her if she’d be willing to do the same thing here for you.

I know there are a lot of numbers involved and that sometimes you’d prefer to avoid those, but they’re worth delving into. So, sit back and enjoy! I promise you, it will get those creative juices flowing.

Are you considering paying for an ad for your book with BookBub? What are you waiting for? Go for it! You’re likely to find it’s worth every penny. Yes, it’s expensive; it was the cost that held me back. Well, that, and the comments on kboards.com/Writers’ Café. According to many members on that forum, getting your book accepted by BookBub was about as likely as flying off on Richard Branson’s spaceship.

But my book was accepted on my very first application. No, I’m not a well-known name. No, I don’t have hundreds of reviews from a dedicated coterie of readers. And I’m definitely not sleeping with the management! And the book for which I wanted the ad is in the mystery/thriller genre, one of their most popular categories. So I had lots of competition.

But, what I think may have worked in my favour is that I was willing to be flexible on my choice of date for the ad. Perhaps, too, the fact that I write mainly in series was also a no-brainer for them. Maybe they assumed I’d be only too willing to pay for further ads for each of the other books in my 15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn series. They wouldn’t be wrong about that as my experience with them was very positive. [Read more…]

9 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Google Hangouts

If you’re looking for a way to engage with a wider audience, Google Hangouts may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Google Hangouts image - Aleweb Social MarketingJust think of this… Instead of taking days, weeks or even months to go on a book tour, you could meet your fans and engage with your audience all from the comfort of your home.

You can invite people to join you live on camera and carry on a multi-participant conversation.

The chat feature allows you to share a link to where people could buy your latest book or product, while they’re On Air with you.

Since multiple people can be On Air at the same time, you can actually interact with your audience.

The possibilities are limitless. You just have to be a little creative. [Read more…]

An Interview with Shep Hyken, One Amazing Author

I met March’s Featured Author in a mastermind group we shared. As first, it was a little intimidating, since I’d known him from Twitter for some time, and considered him to “above” where I was in business. “Networking up,” as it’s called, can often be an unsettling experience.

Shep Hyken - One Amazing AuthorHowever, Shep Hyken quickly put me at ease with his easy-going nature, his genuine interest in people, and his teasing. At one particular mastermind meeting, I was meeting a friend afterward back at my hotel and Shep insisted on coming along to make sure “this guy was alright,” even though I assured him there was nothing going on between us.

But Shep’s a good guy and I appreciated him looking out for me, however misplaced the concern was.

I’m really pleased that he accepted my invitation to be a Featured Author this month, and think you’re in for a treat as he shares his experiences as a successful author and businessman.

Shep is a New York Times and WSJ best-selling author, and his latest book is called Amaze Every Customer Every Time. His field of expertise is in customer service, and he’s definitely been a pleasure to learn from both online and in person. [Read more…]

A Way for Authors to Give Back

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! 🙂

Have you ever been suddenly struck by a thought that you knew you needed to act on right away? That happened to me recently.

I was browsing one of my favorite LinkedIn groups this other day, and I saw this post that simply said:

We are proud to be a part of Authors Supporting Our Troops 2014. I’m packing up signed copies of my books… to be shipped to our troops in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the author didn’t post a link where others could find more information. But the idea appealed to me. Both my sister and brother-in-law are former military and actually met while in Kuwait (after they’d both gone back as contractors). So I wanted to learn more.

I knew from my own loved ones how important it was to have diversions (movies, books, magazines, good ole American junk food, etc.) and other things that made you momentarily feel like you were back at home.

Authors give back by Supporting Our TroopsA quick Google search yielded a Facebook event page and a blog post shedding more light on things.

The event started in January and will continue through April 15th. Its organizer, Armand Rosamilia, is collecting fellow authors’ books to send to our troops stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

He was inspired to host this year’s event when he found out that his hero, Joe McKinney, who was last year’s event coordinator, no longer had a contact to send the books to. Since packages must be addressed to a specific recipient and Armand’s “Special Gal” had a dear friend who was being sent to Kuwait in April, Armand decided to pick up where Joe left off. (You can learn more about the origins of this event here.)

He has made the special request that all books be signed by the author, believing that “the troops will love the read and also knowing the actual author sent the books or the actual publisher.”

It’s such a simple way for authors to give back, and yet will deliver a sense of “home” to those who receive and share them.

If you’re not an author, you can still support the effort by making a donation to help defray the cost of shipping the books. (Contact Armand directly if you’re interested in donating.) And anyone is welcome to buy a t-shirt to commemorate their involvement.

At the time of this writing, 485 people are participating in this event, and over 1,100 autographed books have already been sent to Armand to support our troops. That’s an awful lot of authors deciding to give back. But there’s always room for more!

I added my name among them, as have a few of my friends. I know it was hard for my sister when she was stationed in Kuwait. She didn’t want to worry us here at home, so often didn’t share the details of what was going on in her life. It’s only recently, years later, that she’s started to share some of it with me.

If being inspired, challenged or entertained by any of my books helps a soldier who is far from home escape for a little while, it’s the least that I can do. After all, they’ve sacrificed so much more for us and for our freedoms.

Won’t you join me in supporting this effort? Pledge your books, buy a t-shirt, or donate some money to defray the shipping costs. Every little bit counts!

And leave a comment below to show your support. For every comment left this week, I’ll donate one of my autographed books to the effort (up to 10 copies of each of my printed books).

5 Good Reasons Why You Need the Expertise of Professional Website Designers

Today’s guest post is from Tiffany Olson, who works at Optimize Worldwide in California, a small web development company that specializes in search engine friendly web design. Some of her hobbies include doing yoga, cooking, and reading.

Computer with Website Designed by Aleweb Social MarketingIn this day and age, marketing your next book or your next big talk requires a functioning website to serve as the face of your project on the Internet. However, a site that isn’t effective at making a positive first impression on its visitors doesn’t add any value and can actually end up undermining it.

Many people believe that creating a website is simple and they can save a few dollars by making it a DIY project, but more often than not, this doesn’t produce the lucrative results they desire. A well-built site can help to make projects and business ventures very profitable, and to achieve this, it usually takes the experience and know-how of professional website designers. [Read more…]

The Importance of Regularly Backing Up Your Work

For writers and speakers, if you’re using any kind of electronic device for your writing, data backup is as important as writing in the first place. Computers crash. House fires occur. Hard drives implode. Hackers destroy and steal.

Data loss is a hard reality to accept when it happens to people whose words aren’t their livelihood. For authors and speakers, however, realizing that your work is lost to the ages can be unbearable.

Luckily, the days of disks, hard drives and blank CDs are over. Cloud storage presents an easy, and often free, alternative. Even better, it puts the responsibilities of storage and security on a third party and gives authors and writers the mobility they need to succeed.

The Importance of Regularly Backing Up Your Work - Aleweb Social Marketing

Cloud storage offers mobility and security for writers and speakers.

Why Cloud Storage?

When you store your work locally, you own the responsibility of keeping it safe and secure. Also, if you want to bring your work with you, you have to physically bring your work with you – or email it to yourself.

By hosting your data remotely, a professional service dedicated only to data storage takes over. They host your work on servers or databanks that are temperature controlled, protected both digitally and physically and available to you any time from anywhere. Cloud storage allows you to access your work from all your devices, or any computers, with nothing more than a password. [Read more…]

3 Rules for Marketing Yourself Through Podcasts

If you’re an author or a speaker, marketing may not be a natural fit for your creative personality, but that doesn’t change one simple fact. Connecting with the masses is the key to building and maintaining an audience. Your creativity is why they want to hear what you have to say. Podcasting is an exciting and effective way to stand out and literally let your voice be heard.

Start first, as always with marketing, by knowing who it is that you want to reach. Then start researching the podcasts that your desired audience listens to.

3 Rules for Marketing Through Podcasts - Aleweb Social Marketing

Podcasting is a perfect way to market to the masses.

1. Aim High

Shoot to become a guest on the best podcasts you know. Pick the ones that you enjoy as well as those that enjoy success. If you settle for the shows that you’re sure you can get on, you’re settling for not just a smaller audience, but for reduced credibility. Just a single appearance on a large, credible podcast can boost sales and readership, and it is possible to get a great guest spot on a popular show.

Amy Harrop discusses marketing your book through podcasting, and one of her best conclusions is that it’s better to do one major spot than a whole bunch of less consequential shows. [Read more…]