Twitter for Indie Authors

17 Dec
December 17, 2014

twitter for indie authorsTwitter is a must-have for every author and one of the quickest platforms to launch and use to build a following. Unless you have a compelling reason to choose a username on Twitter that is specific to the book or series you have written, your Twitter account should be your name or pen name for long-term branding purposes. (Stephen King doesn’t have a Twitter account for every book; he has one Twitter account as a horror writer).

Twitter is the one platform where you can’t really run the risk of overposting. Each Tweet is only visible for about 5 seconds, and while you’re literary career will be over in a heartbeat if you just tweet “buy my eBook + link” every five minutes, the more active you are on Twitter (authentically and with personality), the better.

Share quotes you love. Share links to books you’re reading. Share links to news articles. Retweet stuff you love from the people you follow. And yes, absolutely tweet about your eBooks, your blogs posts, your newsletter, your upcoming events, and your other platforms (just don’t make your feed all about you).

Twitter is easy to use anywhere, but the challenge is in communicating what you need in less that 140 characters. Our rule: Keep it short and sweet, leaving room for followers to mention you in their retweets.

Next up: We’ll be talking about Tumblr and why it can make everything easier for authors.

Read the previous posts in our social media for indie authors series:

Why Every Indie Author Needs GoodReads

Why Every Indie Author Needs a Facebook Author Page

Why Every Indie Author Needs a Facebook Author Page

15 Dec
December 15, 2014

EG FBWe’re continuing our series on social media for indie authors. Last time, we discussed the importance of GoodReads. Today, we’ll discuss the Facebook Author Page. The Facebook author page is critical for indie authors for a number of reasons:

  • Readers haunt author Facebook pages
  • Facebook offers the ability to be visual
  • If you ever want to be picked up by a publishing agency, your Facebook following can make a difference

The reason you want to set up a fan page rather than use a personal profile is because the page is public, so anyone can see it (even if they’re not on Facebook). It also allows you to keep your personal profile personal, for the security of your family and the preservation of your private life.

Elements you should include on your Facebook page:

  • A profile photo and cover photo
  • Details completed in the “about” section, with links to your website and other social media
  • A signup prompt for your newsletter if you have one (and you should)
  • Links to your eBooks

Also be sure to secure your shortlink username as quickly as possible. You’re a lot easier to find if you’re author page url is facebook.com/AUTHORNAME than if you’re url is Facebook.com/authorpage/123456789.

Building a fan base on Facebook can take time. Be consistent in your efforts to share content. It doesn’t – and shouldn’t – be all about your eBook or buying your eBook. In fact, your Facebook author page gives you the opportunity to go beyond simply talking about just one eBook, instead talking about yourself as an author. You might share writing tips, insights into indie publishing, or information about other passions you have, such as dancing or rescue pets.

Let your readers see YOU. Talk with them, answer questions, and give them a way to get to know you. Just don’t ignore them!

 

Next up: Twitter for authors.

 

 

Why Every Indie Author Needs Goodreads

12 Dec
December 12, 2014

goodreads-logoWe’re launching a new series to help indie authors get started on the social media platforms they need. Because your efforts on social media should not be merely about sales but also about networking and connecting with readers, Goodreads is crucial for all indie authors. Not only does this platform give you – for free – a place to build a profile, post blogs, and list all of your eBooks, there are also forums you can participate in, millions of readers you can connect with, and other authors you can learn from.

The Goodreads Author Program is, according to the website, “a completely free feature designed to help authors reach their target audience — passionate readers. This is the perfect place for new and established authors to promote their books.”

The Goodreads Author Profile

Your free profile on Goodreads should include your photo and a bio at the very least, but you can also write blogs on Goodreads, create lists of your favorite books, publicize events, such as launch parties, cover reveals, or speaking engagements, share excerpts from your books, and answer questions from Goodreads and from readers.

Learn more:

Next time, we’ll talk about Facebook for creating an author page.

7 Social Media Platforms Indie Authors Must Embrace

10 Dec
December 10, 2014

market your ebook on social mediaSocial media is more than just an outlet for announcing your eBooks and a means to improve sales, although a variety of social media platforms are useful for that. Social media is, however, that which connects indie authors to existing and potential readers, transforming them into dedicated and loyal fans – a street crew of sorts – that are willing to carry part of the burden of marketing your eBooks.

How do you turn social media connections into a street crew? You give them a glimpse of you: the author.

Your social media efforts should not – and cannot – be only about sales. In fact, the biggest way social media can help you is in branding yourself as an indie author and providing you with a variety of platforms from which to share, grow, and develop your visibility as an author.

The following social media platforms are crucial for authors, and we’ll discuss why and how each should be used in coming blogs:

  1. Goodreads: The author/reader platform for connecting, discussing, and sharing.
  2. Facebook: While you can allow people to follow your personal profile on Facebook, it is through your author page that you will realize the most benefit.
  3. Twitter: Twitter is a must-have for every author and one of the quickest platforms to launch and build a following.
  4. Tumblr: Often-overlooked, Tumblr is an excellent platform for building your brand as an author and making management of other platforms easier.
  5. Instagram: Instagram is the platform every indie author should consider adding in 2015 if they are not already using it.
  6. Pinterest: As image-based connecting becomes even more important, Pinterest is a platform you shouldn’t be without.
  7. Google+: While there are some who claim Google failed at its social media experiment, the improvement in visibility from having Google+ makes it a worthy platform.

And not everything you post on these social media platforms has to be about your eBooks. In fact, it’s better if you share other personal nuggets about you, whether it’s your penchant for knitting and the pictures of the projects you do on Pinterest and Instagram, or your favorite soundtrack to write to on Tumblr. The more you reveal of yourself and connect with your audience, the more willing your audience will be to help you grow as an author.

Use Fiverr to Sell More eBooks

05 Dec
December 5, 2014

fiverrFiverr is a website that connects problems with solutions. There’s no simpler way to describe it. People who have special sets of skills offer their services for $5 per job. The service is a cost-effective way to get small jobs done. For example, if you have an issue with your WordPress website and you simply can’t figure out why something won’t work, you can pay someone on Fiverr to solve a single issue. Something that might take you hours may only take another person 10 minutes.

How does Fiverr help indie authors?

Think about the toughest parts of your job as an indie author: eBook marketing, eBook cover designs, web formatting issues, obtaining reviews for your eBook. While there are some things worth paying more to obtain (editing and proofreading, a publicist, ghostwriters, etc.), Fiverr can help you with the small tasks.

Is your eBook going on sale for 99 cents? Hire a couple of Fiverr providers to promote it across multiple Twitter channels and Facebook groups. Will your eBook be free for a specific period of time? Someone on Fiverr may be able to help ensure you get the word out. You can even hire a Fiverr expert to create a marketing video for your eBook.

Do you want an eBook cover that will help you realize better sales? Find some cover samples that you like, and hire someone from Fiverr to help. You may have to pay more than $5 for a high-res, licensed image, but it will likely be much less costly than the average $299 cover design.

Choosing the Right Fiverr Offers

When choosing which services to buy on Fiverr, be sure to review the ratings the provider has. Even if they have five stars, take the time to read a few of the comments to see if they delivered what the requestor asked for and on time, or if the provider simply created headaches along the way. If you do hire someone who does a good job for you, be sure to rate them accordingly and leave a good review to help others.

Using Reddit to Expand Your eBook Sales

03 Dec
December 3, 2014

redditReddit, launched by two students from the University of Virginia, is a social networking and news site that allows members to submit content. In addition to sharing links, community members can also post to reddit. Registered users then vote the posts up or down by degree of importance or popularity, the idea being that each user will help the most popular content become viral.

Reddit can be a useful tool for indie authors for a number of reasons. Not only are there subcategories that indie authors can subscribe to and network with other authors, such as r/selfpublish, but there are a number of subcategories where indie authors can promote their eBooks, especially when they are on sale or being given away as part of a promotion.

Whenever you are running promotions or sales on your eBook, you should submit to reddit the link that allows users to buy your eBook. Be sure to clearly communicate in the title of your reddit post the details of the deal. And it’s important to come back and reply to comments left on your post regularly. Use a title for your post like, “Today only, download [Title of eBook] Free!” Share the link to your purchase site and include a little information about what your eBook is about.

Have you used reddit to improve your eBook sales and network with other indie authors?  Let us know!

Comprehensive eBook Planning: Follow-Up

01 Dec
December 1, 2014

6. follow up stepsThe final step in comprehensive eBook planning: follow-up. Start by collecting links to press releases, interviews, and blog articles about you and your eBook, and create a media page on your website.

EditionGuard Comprehensive eBook Planning: Follow-Up

Measure how well your efforts have paid off. You’ll need the following information:

  • Sales, broken down by day or by week
  • Dates specific marketing efforts occurred, comparing those against generated sales
  • Google analytics, to measure traffic to your website

You can analyze book sales, to determine what types of marketing campaigns were most effective and where you should budget future marketing funds. You can also measure how much your digital reach is growing. Try searching for yourself on Google to see what kind of results come up. Do the same with your book title.

Continue to monitor your progress and growth over time. Some eBooks quickly gain popularity; others take time to reach their intended audience. If your eBook sales are slow or non-existent, you may need to hire a marketing specialist or publicist to help you. It will also help if you are working on additional titles (whether part of the same series or not).

Here are some additional resources to help you fire up your sales:

Can I improve my #eBooksales by giving away #eBooks?

Indie Writer Question: Do I have time to publish an ebook before the holidays?

Can video marketing increase your ebook sales?

If your New Year’s resolution is to sell more ebooks, start here

Improving #ebook visibility. An EditionGuard special series

How #socialmedia improves #eBook sales

Marketing your #eBook on #Pinterest

Marketing your #eBook on #LinkedIN

Marketing your #eBook on #Facebook

Marketing your #eBook on #Google+

Marketing your #eBook on #Twitter

Free #marketing for your #eBook

Comprehensive eBook Planning: After You Publish

26 Nov
November 26, 2014

5. after you publishWhile you might think that publishing your eBook brings you to the end of your comprehensive eBook planning, it does not. In fact, after you publish your eBook, the hard work really begins, especially for those authors who want to eventually support themselves completely with the eBooks they write.

EditionGuard Comprehensive eBook Planning: Stage Five – After You Publish

Your marketing efforts should truly kick into high gear once your eBook is published. There are a number of paid and free sites that you can leverage for marketing your eBook, depending on how you price your eBook.

You can also begin planning specific events to occur at the moment of publication and just after you publish.

Begin by planning a number of eBook marketing events, or work closely with your publicist who can coordinate and plan them for you. These events include:

Once you’ve published your eBook, it’s important to continue blogging and remaining visible on social media. Track and record all of the efforts you make so that you know what works well (and what doesn’t), so that you can make detailed marketing plans for your next book.

Next time, we will discuss the final step in comprehensive eBook planning: the follow-up.

Comprehensive eBook Planning: When You Publish

24 Nov
November 24, 2014

4. when you publishTo continue your comprehensive eBook planning, there are many factors to consider when you publish your eBook.

EditionGuard eBook Planning Guide: Stage Four – When You Publish Your eBook

The most important factor is pricing. Pricing your eBook can be challenging, but it is important to keep in mind that readers have an expectation (and rightfully so) that eBook prices will be lower than print book prices because of the lower overhead.

Once you know how soon the eBook will be published, you can begin to take preorders for it.

Continue to conduct author interviews, post to social media platforms and to your blog, and market your eBook using a variety of different venues and sources. If your eBook is part of a series, you can also market the previous and upcoming eBooks in the series. Create excitement and engagement in your eBook by hosting contests to giveaway copies of your eBooks.

As you are publishing your eBook, you can begin working on your next eBook – starting again with step one – even as you finish the final steps for the current eBook. Our only caution to you is to never sacrifice quality. Take the time to write well, hire the support you need to turn out an excellent product (cover designer, proofreader, editor, marketer, potentially even a ghostwriter), and never stop working to make yourself visible online.

Next time, we will discuss the comprehensive eBook planning steps you can take after you have published your eBook.

Comprehensive eBook Planning: After You Write

19 Nov
November 19, 2014

3. after you writeAfter you write your eBook, there are several steps you need to take before you publish it. The comprehensive eBook planning never stops.

  1. In-depth editing of your eBook
  2. Line-by-line proofreading of your eBook
  3. eBook formatting
  4. Finishing your cover design
  5. Converting your eBook to the digital publishing file types you need (EPUB, PDF, etc)
  6. Continued marketing of your eBook

EditionGuard’s eBook Planning Guide: Stage Three – After You Write Your eBook

After you write your eBook, you have a unique opportunity to market your eBook and help build interest in your book even before you publish it. From conducting author interviews with various bloggers to creating an author profile on author sites like World Literary Cafe, you can begin to promote your author identity and generate excitement about your upcoming eBook.

You should also request reviews from established bloggers and book reviewers, many of whom will allow you to use portions of their review on your website as long as you link back to them.

Next time, we’ll talk about the comprehensive eBook planning steps you can take when you publish your eBook.

More resources for indie authors:

Stop making excuses and write your #eBook!

WordPress Plugins for #indieauthors

WordPress Plugins for #indieauthors part 2

Write your first #eBook! Get started here.

Write your first #eBook – ideas to tell your story

Write your first #eBook – use a template

Write your first #eBook – create an anthology

You’ve written an #eBook – now what?

Before you publish your #eBook