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3 Book Marketing Projects to Tackle in 2014

Photo: vanhookc | FlickrThis is my year.

No more excuses.

2014, I will OWN you!

Sound familiar?

The ringing in of a new year forces us to think about what we’ve achieved in the past twelve months — and how we can do things a bit better this time around.

After the fireworks die down and the champagne stops bubbling, we sit down and make those dreaded…you guessed it: New Year’s Resolutions.

The funny thing about resolutions, though? Their success could be determined by a simple coin flip!

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How to Connect With More Readers in Just 5 Minutes

I was beyond thrilled when the fabulous Jane Friedman said “yes!” to my writing a guest post for her readers. I know everyone wants quick promotion tips, and this is one I think will really help you out. Be sure to click through to Jane’s website to read the rest!

Photo: James Cridland | FlickrLife with a toddler is frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s also inspiring, hilarious and surprising. But it is, very often, incredibly trying.

I’m convinced, however, that these times are just as frustrating for my daughter as they are for me. Our biggest issue is the communication gap; while she can understand the vast majority of what I’m saying, she isn’t yet able to express what she needs verbally (using words that I can understand, anyway).

As a result, I’m often left guessing at what she wants. Strawberries instead of broccoli? Blocks instead of dolls? Swinging instead of reading?

Not to sound all cliché, but I feel like I’m throwing everything I have at the wall, simply trying to see what sticks.

Which is an apt metaphor considering that I have, more than once, ended up with actual food on my wall (it all easily wiped clean, thankfully).

Book marketing feels much the same way.

You’re plugging away, day after day, trying to build the fanbase you know your work deserves, but it’s not going the way you’d pictured when you started out. It’s like you’ve tried everything under the sun (including blogging, tweeting and participating in promotion after promotion) but you can’t find passionate readers for your work.

It’s not that your book isn’t any good (you and your editor spent tons of time making sure it is) and it’s not that readers are uninterested in your genre (your author friends are selling books by the truckload).

No, perhaps the problem is that your message simply isn’t connecting with your readers on a personal level. Your tweets, blogs, and emails aren’t convincing them to check out your work.

Click here to continue reading ‘How to Connect With More Readers’ on Jane Friedman’s Blog…

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

How Fiction Authors Can Steal Marketing Ideas from Their Non-Fiction Friends

BasketBall - scoreI abhor playing team sports.

I presume I’m not alone in this dislike, but I do feel the need to share my reasoning.

You see, it’s not that a bad teammate or anything like that. It all goes back to middle school: in 6th grade, I went from being the tallest person in my class to one of the shortest.

The sudden height catch-up from my peers had an inverse relationship to my prowess in PE class.

Basketball was the particular bane of my existence. When you’re towering two or three inches above your peers, man, basketball is a BLAST. You come to think you have some sort of actual skillz (with a ‘z’) when all you really have is a distinct height advantage.

You may call me a sore loser if you wish (I freely admit that I’m WAY competitive), but when I stopped winning games, I started becoming a bit sour on the whole team sports thing. All of those height-blessed peeps had a total unfair advantage…how could I ever hope to catch up?

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I’m Selling My Chops, But Giving My Gravy Away [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Neal Abbott.

When I began writing, I shared the common delusion that one day I might be rich and famous.

I still may be someday, but that is no longer a consideration for why I write. I am not as concerned about selling books as I am being read. I would much rather sell 10 books to people who read and share them than 100 that sit in a shelf picking up dust, nothing but literary furniture.

I’ve read much about freebies, and I used to think it pointless, even counter-productive. How will I become rich and famous giving away books?

I see things differently now, and I think, better.

I have a novel, Prince, scheduled for launch on November 6th of this year, and I’m trying a couple of things marketing-wise that strategically places some tasty giveaways.Continue Reading