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Do I Need a Platform and If So, How High?

Anne Greenwood Brown talks about platforms for authors. She showcases a fiction author who’s book has in interesting premise – celebery crushes.

Notice she says getting a following can take years. I think she’s right, for most of us authors, so patience and persistance is a must, whether you’re going the traditional route or self-publishing.

Have a read…

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In 2010, when I first dipped my toe into the publishing world, the biggest mystery to me was—besides figuring out the difference between a query and a synopsis—this thing called a “platform.” At th…

Source: Do I Need a Platform and If So, How High?

Amazon Eliminates Two Promotional Options 

Amazon is shutting down it’s giveaway option (which was a great promtional tool) and it’s matching program (which allowed a reader who bought your print book to buy the ebook at a reduced rate).

I didn’t know this, so I wanted to make sure you-all had heard.

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Source: Amazon Eliminates Two Promotional Options | Self-Publishing Review

Advertising Your Books – Part Two: Facebook Ads | Valerie Biel

Valerie Biel has given authors a wonderful step by step process for setting up a Facebook ad, in addition to tips on how to monitor that ad and make sure it is working for you.

I particularly like the advice on setting up a universal purchase link for your other books in the back of your ebook. Great idea. And BTW draft2digital lets you use their universal link creator even if you don’t publish through them. They have another company: Book2read that allows you to create this universal link for free. How nice is that! (And still I wonder, what is the catch? The pragmatist in me says nothing is for free. But maybe there isn’t a catch. I’ll use it and let you know.)

Amazon also has a linking service that will direct buyers to the correct Amazon “store” for them (US, UK, Japan, France…). Their service is booklinkerI’m going to use this one too!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Facebook ad, so I’m sure I’ll use this post to help me when I try it again.

Thanks Val!

If you click on her post for her bookbub ad, you’ll notice, Valerie compared the various ad’s she created for her bookbub ad. Lawrence O’Bryan also talks about comparing ads plus other things that we can compare. Take a look at his post about A/B testing.

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Advertising Your Books – Part One taught you how to get started with BookBub ads. I’ve continued my ad testing on that platform and have updated that article with more notes on my results HERE. The article below details how to advertise on Facebook.

Source: Advertising Your Books – Part Two: Facebook Ads | Valerie Biel

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(This is the picture I used for my just released “All is Revealed in Russia” – the final book in the Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure Series. front cover - AIRIR Don’t I look lovely! – And mysterious!)

Top 10 FAQs About Book Publicity and Promotion 

Some good information about promotion by Joan Stewart. I particularly like the list of free press release distribution services. I have not tried any of these but will definitely look into them.

Joan also lists a couple paid services that she prefers, though one would have to wonder if she says The main reason you’re publishing your press release isn’t so media reprint it. Few if any will. You’re publishing it so it pulls traffic to your website and serves as collateral material for a well-written, customized pitch to a journalist, reviewer, influencer or someone else who can help you, I’m not sure that would be money well spent. I would think the free services would suffice. But what do I know about this? Nothing, really.

Anyone else know about these PR services?

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The number one question authors ask? “How long do I have to market my book?” Here are the most frequently asked questions I hear about book publicity…

Source: Top 10 FAQs About Book Publicity and Promotion – The Book Designer

Advertising Your Books – Part One: BookBub Ads 

Great post by Valarie Biel on Book ad, with details on book bub! Thanks Val!

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We often discuss the free ways to achieve attention for your books through social media and traditional media publicity. But what about paid advertising? Is this ever a good idea? Yes, paid advertising can give your books a sales’ boost. Particularly, after the buzz of your book launch has died down and you’re trying to gain some traction with sales. However, there’s a lot to know, and it’s important not to spend your advertising dollars before you’ve done your homework.

Source: Advertising Your Books – Part One: BookBub Ads | Valerie Biel

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Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Lessons From BuzzFeed on How to Grow and Engage Your Audience

Dan Blank (WeGrowMedia) talks about growing your audience, as a author, with Ze (Zay) Frank of Buzzfeed.

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As with many things Dan talks about, it seems to be a matter of connecting and “collaboration” on a personal level with people. I think you can use that word “collaboration” in a few different ways. But I took it more as connecting.

And the fact that Ze says with some of his more viral posts, he doesn’t really know why they went viral, says a lot too.

Dan even says: But for the 1,000 other things you do to try to develop an audience for your work — articles, events, interviews, blogs, newsletters, social media — don’t assume you know what will work. Experiment and allow others to help you learn what does and doesn’t work to engage them.

That means trying a lot of different things. What I have found is things I do in person, work the best and sometimes lead to things I can’t predict (as I mentioned in this post I did on marketing).

Another point they make is you can’t be in one place (online or in person) and expect to reach a lot of people.

Ze says that only 15-17% of views of Buzzfeed content comes from Buzzfeed’s website and the same percent from their other channels: emails, social media… I think that is amazing! A big company like that and that’s how many people come to their site or visit their social media and share their content?!

What does this mean? Same thing, really. You can’t put up a website and decide that is good enough. You need to be in a lot of different places. And some (most?) of the sharing, of course, you have no control over.

Here is the whole post, if you want to read it.

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Source: Lessons From BuzzFeed on How to Grow and Engage Your Audience – WeGrowMedia – Dan Blank

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Reader’s Favorite Award Deadline Soon

Spring is the time to enter book award contests.

There are a limited number of big-name books awards available to self-published authors. Reader’s Favorite is one of them.

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Jim Carrey Gold Medal

Jim Carrey

The regular deadline for this year is May 1, so you’ve got time yet to sign up. If you’re not quite ready, June 1 is the drop dead deadline, which will cost you more, of course.

I have entered this contest a couple different times. Have not won yet, but earned a very nice 5 star review. You can also request more than one review, whether you win or not.

The cost is $109 now or $119 on June 1.  They have 140+ genres. You get a chance to get a traditional publishing contract, win money, be represented by a marketing and PR firm, and have your book made into a movie. And of course the publicity would be wonderful with such a large, international award.

I also recommend the IPPY Award, The Brag Award  (adult and children’s books), the Moombean Children’s Award (for children’s stories, obviously),

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Eriq La Salle

Eriq LaSalle – Actor/Director

Happy Spring!

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CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality