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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5 Mind-Blowing Facebook Stats

Here’s a fun fact that will make you feel really old:

THE Facebook’s original profile page in 2004

As of February 2013, Facebook’s been around for nine years.

Were you one of the first to join back in 2004 when it was exclusively for college kids?

I’m semi-proud to say I’ve been a Facebook user since late 2004, when my school (Florida State) was added to the elite list of colleges and universities allowed to participate in Mark Zuckerberg’s grand experiment.

In those days, we whispered about THE Facebook in class — daring to ask the cute boy in microeconomics if he was on the site so we could  run home, get on the computer and send him a friend request (because there was no such thing as a smartphone unless playing snake in black-and-white on an old Nokia was somehow considered smart).

Now everybody and their mom (literally…and in my case, my Nana too) uses Facebook to connect with friends and family all over the world.

But what can it do for us authors?Continue Reading