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15 Fanbase-Boosting Facebook Secrets

Want more on Twitter, Blogging and Email Marketing? Grab the whole Book Marketing Basics series for less than a buck!

Do you want to know something that makes me feel old?

Facebook has been around for eight years.

I was a sophomore in college back in 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg first launched the social media site that changed the world. Back then, only college students could have profiles on the site — making it easier for us to stalk meet new friends.

Now everyone (including your grandma) is on Facebook and happy to overshare every detail of his/her life.

But with the launch of the new timeline feature and the addition of in-page apps, Facebook has also become an essential, powerful tool for business owners (including us career-minded indie authors) to connect with fans.

Best of all? It’s FREE.

If you’re not harnessing the power of Facebook to promote yourself, find new readers and chat with fans, you’re missing out!

There are a MILLION ways to build your fanbase with Facebook fan pages and, to get you started, I’ve nailed down 30 tips you can start using today (15 here and 15 more I’ll tell you about later).Continue Reading

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Email Updates (Your Fans Actually Read)

The average person receives 147 emails every day.

When I first read that statistic, it seemed like total hooey. Almost 150 messages every day? Maybe fancypants famous people get that many, but definitely not me.

I was debating between feeling relieved or unloved, when suddenly, it hit me: I probably DO receive that much email every day.

Between spam, the latest sales at Hobby Lobby, updates from family and emails from our lovely indie author friends, the amount of mail adds up quickly!

The process of filtering through my emails has become so automatic, however, that I disregard at least half of those emails before even opening them.

I’d be willing to bet that you do the same.

With that in mind, would it surprise you to know that, as an indie author, your mailing list is your biggest asset?

Continue Reading

31 Book Marketing Ideas You Can Use Today!

Sometimes, you need a quick project.

For the past two weeks, my daughter has been teething (read: grumpy) and, as a result, I’ve not had more than 30 minutes to focus on any one activity (save for sleeping at night, blessedly).

I suspect that I’m not alone: 45% of us are only able to work for 15 minutes without being interrupted by one thing or another.

When you’re facing a day (or week…or month) filled with interruptions and distractions, it’s ideal to focus on quick projects! Knowing what you can complete, however, in such a short period of time is difficult.

If you’ve followed us for awhile, you know we think spending time on book marketing every day is an absolute must. To help out my fellow time-strapped folk, I’ve put together a list of  31 book marketing (and fanbase-building) ideas that you can easily complete in a day — or less!Continue Reading

What Will Smith Can Teach Us About Selling Books

He’s king of the world (or at least the box office). Photo by walmartcorporate.

In the last ten years, Will Smith has made 10 movies. Of those 10, nine of them hauled in a minimum of $100 million in box office sales apiece.

(Seven Pounds missed the mark by a measly $40 million.)

If you think that his success is by accident, you’re wrong. It’s by educated, researched design.

Many years ago, when Will Smith was preparing to enter the movie industry, he and his manager decided that they didn’t necessarily want to make Oscar winning movies or spirited indie flicks, they wanted to make box office hits. Period.

So they did their research, studied the 10 top grossing movies of all time, and identified the common characteristics.

This is what Will himself said about that research in a 2007 Time Magazine article:

“We looked at (the list) and said, O.K., what are the patterns? We realized that 10 out of 10 had special effects. Nine out of 10 had special effects with creatures. Eight out of 10 had special effects with creatures and a love story.”

So what did he do?

Will Smith made movies with special effects (Bad Boys I & II; I Am Legend), special effects with creatures (Men in Black I & III; Independence Day) and special effects with creatures and a love story (iRobot, MIB II).

And you know what? They were all box office hits.

He threw in the occasional drama (Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds), kids movie (Shark Tale) and sports flick (Ali) to mix things up and suddenly, Will Smith had a booming movie star career.

So what can we learn from Will Smith’s strategy?Continue Reading

Would You Pay for Positive Reviews? [Discussion]

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that getting attention as an indie author is incresingly difficult. The number of self-published books grows every year and, with it, your chances of hitting John Locke-type success shrink.

Any author knows that favorable reviews are extremely effective in making your book stand out. Heck, we’ve written about it in the past.

But, to what length would you go in hopes of securing those 5-star reviews? 

Many authors (including the aforementioned Mr. Locke) have gone so far as to pay for positive reviews, and it happens to be a growing trend.

This topic is begging for a lively discussion, so check out “The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy” and jump in!  We want to know:

  • How are your purchasing decisions influenced by reviews? Does this information make you doubt those 5-star reviews?
  • Would you ever consider paying for reviews? Have you offered a perk or gift in exchange for one in the past?
  • Is the current system of reviewing books too easy to manipulate? How would you change it?
  • Regardless of those working to game the system, will the real 5-star books still rise to the top?

We can’t wait to hear your responses! To join the discussion, please leave a comment below addressing any (or all) of the above questions. Also, mention the discussion to your indie author friends — we’d love to hear from everyone!