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How Authors Can Build Their Audience on Instagram [Guest Post]

We gladly welcome back our friend Adrienne from Design Roast (who previously showed us how to promote our work on Tumblr) back to the blog!

Image by Erin Bowman, YA authorOne of the fundamental rules writers strive to follow is “show, don’t tell.”

While this is meant to prevent clunky exposition (or the dreaded exposition monologue), it’s also a great piece of advice for the modern writer on social media. Although it might seem more natural for authors to flock to word-based sites like Twitter to promote their work or build their fan base, an image-based site like Instagram can also serve as a great promotional and relational tool for writers.

Here are six ways writers can harness the power of Instagram to build their audience:Continue Reading

The Vin Diesel School of Facebook

Vin Diesel — the less attractive dude in the Fast & Furious movies — has 46 million Facebook likes.

Forty. Six. Million.

The actor joined Facebook in April 2009, a time when only one person had over a million likes (President Barack Obama).

Vin was the second.

His page quickly skyrocketed to #1 — passing major corporations like Coca-Cola who were undoubtedly spending truckloads of cash on social media. Facebook was so confounded by this (Vin Diesel? Seriously?) they called him up to their offices demanding to know what in the [bleep] he was doing.

So what’s his secret?

Well, Vin didn’t return our requests for a Duolit exclusive interview (I think he’s probably at work on Fast & Furious 47: Go Kart Kingdom), but just like we broke down the product launching genius of Justin Timberlake and marketing savvy of Will Smith, we decided to bring you the Vin Diesel School of Facebook.

Grab your pencils and highlighters kids, this is going to make a world of difference for your Facebook account.

Here are the five tips you need to know:

1. Be real

This is the #1 most important thing for any social media outlet: Be yourself.

What Vin Does: Vin writes all his posts himself — not via a paid PR person — because that’s the only way his fans can get to know his personality. That means he shares some personal details about his life along with updates about his latest film projects.

Here’s a post he shared along with a photo of his mother:Continue Reading

Book Marketing Project: Create a Mailing List Freebie and Write Your Welcome Email

BookMarketingProjectImagine you’re back in grade school, sitting at your desk and coloring away happily (those were the days, right?)

Try to remember: Did you prefer starting with a blank sheet of paper or a coloring book page?

I don’t know about you, but I was always more comfortable with that coloring book page — I liked having some idea of where to start creatively filling in the picture!

The roadmap for promoting your book feels much like that blank sheet of paper. Even with a guide like the Weekend Book Marketing Makeover in hand, it can be hard to either 1) sit down and complete the exercises as planned or 2) figure out where to go after you finish.

Shannon and I hate to see our author friends floundering in either one of those scenarios, so we’ve come up with a way to help — our new blog series of Book Marketing Projects. Here’s how they’ll work: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…

Continue Reading