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5 Book Promotions That Work

photo by vijay_chennupatiThat rock-n-roll music you hear is blasting from our (figurative) tour bus as Toni and I are currently flying down the Information Super Highway (a.k.a. the World Wide Web) on a mini-tour to visit some of our favorite blogs.

But we don’t want you (our home crowd) to miss out on all the fun!

So here’s a sampler (think of it like an opening act — you can click the link at the end to see the full show) from our stop over at Molly Greene’s fantastic blog.

5 Book Promotions That Work (And 3 That Don’t)

Every author I meet has one question. It’s often disguised by different language and inflection, but it all comes down to the same thing: You want to know how to sell books.

It’s a fair question. You’ve worked hard to write a book, invested some money into production, and now you want to know how you can find fans and make sales. But just as important as knowing what *does* work, you need to know what *doesn’t* work.

So I’m here to share a little bit of both and in turn, answer that one, burning question.

 – WHAT WORKS –

1. KDP Select
Joining KDP Select is the biggest no-brainer promotion for any indie. It’s an absolute must for any book series, but it works for stand-alone titles, too.

But just joining the program doesn’t guarantee you off-the-charts results (the kind you’ve undoubtedly heard of from other author friends). You have to plan out your promotional days just like you’d plan a proper book launch.

Patience, time, and a few strategic investments in paid ads during your promo days (start with Facebook and BookBub) will set your sales on fire.

2. Mailing Lists
Mailing lists are the new social media. Where it used to be easy to communicate with your fanbase via Facebook and Twitter, now the social media sites are so congested your messages get lost in the mix.

To keep your fans hooked and informed of all your latest book news, you’ve got to have a mailing list. It’s easy (and free) to set-up through MailChimp, but the key is coming up with a great incentive for people to join the list. An exclusive excerpt, short story, or alternate POV chapter are all great ways to entice fans to let you in their inbox.

Your list will become your exclusive inner circle of crazy dedicated fans. Keep them happy (and interested) with occasional giveaways and exclusive first-looks, and they will be your go-to resource for advanced readers, street team members, and pre-sell/limited edition opportunities.

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Is Your “Survivor” Mentality Dragging Down Book Sales?

When Survivor premiered, it changed television forever.

After the crazypants finale of the first season, in which a perma-naked Richard Hatch prevailed over…whoever that other girl was (honestly, I remember Sue’s vitriolic speech about rats and snakes but not the runner-up it was directed at), America wanted more.

More backstabbing, more angry speeches, more shady gameplay tactics — with the sole survivor left standing at the end of it all.

Sadly, I see many indie authors adopting this same approachoutwit, outplay, outlast — to their detriment, and to the detriment of their book sales.

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5 Ways to Use Pinterest for Book Promotion

pinterst users 2013Hello, my name is Shannon…

Hello Shannon!

…and I am a Pinterest addict.

I see we’ve got a crowded meeting tonight — it’s lovely to meet everyone.

If you’re like me, large chunks of you day just disappear every time you log-in to Pinterest, right?

It’s okay — admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

The second step is figuring out how to turn a time-wasting activity into a time-saving activity.

Yesterday, I gave you some tips for turning your Pinterest obsession into a fun writing exercise.

(You’ll want to go read that post if you haven’t already, or else our exercise today will be very confusing!)

Now it’s time to kick it up and notch and tell you how your new character and scene Pinterest boards can become time-saving, cost-effective, and (most importantly) FUN book promotion tools.

A quick note: Private vs. Public Pinterest Boards

One of Pinterest’s newest features is the ability to create private or “secret” boards  – which means your pins will stay hidden from your public feed and any pin searches on the site.

Every user is allowed three secret boards, which is where I started my character research. Since I was still in the writing process, I didn’t want to share too much too soon (Plus we know things can change without warning during those early stages!).

But now that I’m building toward my book launch, I’m turning my boards public one at a time to start building the excitement.

It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep your boards a secret during the writing process, just remember that once you’ve made a board public, you can’t switch it back to private (because all the pins are already out there in the great Pinterest universe).

Creating a pin-frenzy!

Once your boards are open to the public, put them to work entertaining your current fans and attracting new ones with one (or two, or ALL) of these promotional ideas:Continue Reading

25 Tweet Ideas To Help Authors Fight Follower Fatigue

25 Tweet IdeasI’ve developed a dangerous addiction.

There’s a local ice cream place that has stolen my heart. It’s called Cold Cow, and those magical folks give you a RIDICULOUS amount of the creamy, delicious treat for startlingly low prices.

For just $4, I get a HUGE bowl of vanilla ice cream piled high with cookie dough (straight out of the Toll House tub), Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Oreos. 

Do your teeth hurt yet?

Now, I understand that Cold Cow is definitely an indulgence, but it’s one I fully commit to enjoying each and every time I sit down with my tanker-truck-sized bowl.

No matter my excitement, however, something strange happens after I dig in.

The first bite is ridiculously awesome.

The second bite is really good.

After the third bite or so, it still tastes wonderful, but each subsequent bite never lives up to the same level as the first.

It’s like my taste buds get fatigued from processing all the awesomeness.Continue Reading

12 Ideas for Email Updates (You’ll Actually Enjoy Writing)

Photo: erink_photography | FlickrI know, I know.

You saw the title of this post and thought, “oh man. Here’s Toni again, going on and on about mailing lists.”

Here’s the thing, though: mailing lists rock. In fact, sending an email is even more effective than social media for communicating with your fans.

Since I know so many of our author friends are short on time, when you grab those precious 30 minutes for book promotion, you want the biggest bang for your buck, right?

So, to help you become more mailing list-savvy, I’ve written a bit about writing email updates. And getting folks to join your list.

But, you still have some questions. I totally understand — this isn’t a cut and dry topic! There’s one especially big question that runs through your mind over and over…

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