Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

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Publishers – Aggregators – Master Distributors

 

Some excellent advice and howtoitness over at All Indie Writer by Jennifer Mattern.

Maybe you’re writing your first book. Perhaps it’s off with your editor. In either case, you still have a ways to go before your book is in the hands of readers. That means it’s much too early to worry about setting up an author blog, right?

Wrong.

You don’t need to wait until your book launch to set up an author blog. In fact, you shouldn’t wait this long if you want your blog to help you boost book sales at launch time.

Author Blog vs Author Website

Worried about launching a blog because you aren’t ready to launch your ideal author website?

Don’t be.

Sure. Your author website will have more than a blog. You’ll want everything from your author bio to book sales pages. But there’s no reason you can’t give that website a jump start by focusing on your author blog.

Read the rest at All Indie Writer

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Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

 

Self-publishing experts agree blogging is a great way to connect with your readers as well as keeping the writing gears well oiled. Here are some great ideas for blogging and writing from a terrific blogging website:

 

If you’re reading this, it means you blog.

5 proven strategies for defeating writer's block for bloggers

Obviously.

You’re a blogger. You’re a content marketer considering blogging as part of your marketing strategy. You’re a fiction writer considering blogging as a good way to communicate with readers or promote your book.

Whoever you are, if you create online content you constantly need ideas and plans to answer these eternal questions:

What to blog?

What content to share with readers?

What to write?

It’s a big problem for many bloggers, especially those believing the more often they write and publish, the better. As a result, they experience writer’s block, they procrastinate or sacrifice quality for quantity, and they eventually become sick and tired of blogging.

Sounds familiar?

If so, don’t panic!

This article will reveal all secrets of coming out with great ideas for your blog, and it will tell you what to do when you are stuck and don’t know what to write.

Let’s get started…

 

 

Get started blogging about your book(s) and read the rest at Be a Better Blogger

First Edition Design eBook and POD Publishing

 Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

 

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Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor
Serving Publishers & Independent Authors

 

 

Reviving a stale book

Over at The Future of Ink

by 

 

What if I told you that you could simply and easily revive an old or older book and start making sales on it again? Would you be game?

Most of us who have been writing for a while are sitting on a lot of content and a lot of older books that are taking up virtual shelf space on Amazon.

I was at an event a few weeks ago and an author there said that he had a science-fiction/fantasy book that had been out for a few years and it hadn’t done well. “I sure wish I knew then what I know now,” he said. And I realized that for him, it’s really not too late.

This is an issue a lot of authors face: a stale book that’s been out for a while and you feel like you’ve really exhausted your options. Book sales are sagging and you figure it’s over.

Well, it’s not. You have a ton of options now to revive, renew, and even re-release a book with minimal effort.

Read the rest of this article on The Future of Ink: http://thefutureofink.com/how-to-revive-stale-book/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tfoi+%28The+Future+of+Ink%29

 

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First Edition Design eBook Publishers

Great post of resources!

· · in Books, Publishing. ·

kindleAs far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her! 🙂 she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of posting this on August 10th 2014, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

If you think I’m missing something, let me know in the comments.

As always, you can express your gratitude by purchasing one of my books 🙂

 

. URL Free Ad Paid Ad Comments
. 100 Free Books Guaranteed no longer accepted
. Addicted to eBooks Guaranteed registration required
. Ask David Guaranteed
. Author Marketing Club Membership + listing
. Awesome Gang Guaranteed $10
. Bargain eBook Hunter – now Hot Zippy Guaranteed
. Best Indie Books $8-$60, free to premium members Requires registration
. Book Blast Guaranteed  Must be deal, not free
. Book Canyon Guaranteed
. Book Deals Daily $5 $5+
. Bookpinning Guaranteed “Pinterest for Books”
. Book Worm Empire $5-$15 also do paid reviews
. Book Daily Membership + samples
. Book Goodies Guaranteed
. Book Goodies $5
. Book Goodies $25
. Book Goodies For Kids Guaranteed Children only
. Book Matchers Listing + search service
. Bookish Must ask by e-mail
. Book Tweeting Service $29+
. BookBrowse $2-7 pm
. BookBub Various options. $60+ probably most effective right now. Novels only.
. BookBub $40+ May also post deals from other sites
. BookSlut $175-$450
. Daily Free Books Guaranteed $7.5
. Digital Book Today Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Digital Book Today Various options, $30+
. eBook Daily Deals Guaranteed
. Eat Sleep Write Book plugs from $50+
. eBook Impresario $20+
. eBooks Habit Guaranteed
. eBooks Habit $10
. eBooks Grow on Trees $20-$60
. eFiction Finds Guaranteed $5+
. eReader Cafe Guaranteed
. English Books XTME $9-$30 No longer guaranteed. ForAmazon.de
. EReader News Today Not guaranteed Very limited selection, 4 stars minimum
. Fire Department $50
. Fiverr $5 per service individual people advertising your book
. Flurries of Words $4+
. Free Books Hub $5
. Free Digital Reads Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Free eBooks untested
. Free Kindle Books Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Free Kindle Fiction Not guaranteed
. Free Kindle Fiction $5
. Free Kindle Giveaway $10+
. Freebooksy Not guaranteed $50
. Frugal eReader Not guaranteed no longer accepted
. Frugal eReader $50+
. Frugal Freebies $3-$8
. Fussy Librarian Guaranteed
. Good Kindles $7
. Goodreads custom budget largely ineffective
. Hot Zippy Not guaranteed $15 own several other websites
. iAuthor UK £0.6 per click
. iLove Ebooks various options, $25-$300
. Indie Author Anonymous $5-$10
. Independent Author Index Membership + listing $19 one-time fee
. Independent Author Network Membership + listing $25 one-time fee
. Indie Book Promo Guaranteed Four options, $25+ or small options, $8+
. Indie Promotor various options, $25+
. Indie House Books Guaranteed various options, £25+
. Indies Unlimited Freebie Friday, 99c Thursday
. Just Kindle Book Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promo Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promo $10+
. Kindle Book Promos Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promos various options, $10+
. Kindle Book Review Not guaranteed $5+
. Kindle Mojo Not guaranteed $25+
. Kindle Nation Daily Guaranteed
. Kindle Nation Daily Various options, $100+ number of options, effectiveness reduced lately
. Kindle Romance Review various options, $25+ Romance only
. Kindleboards Free post in the thread  One per book
. Kindleboards Guaranteed
. Kindleboards various options, $35+
. Lendle various options, $35+
. My Book and My Coffee Guaranteed On Hiatus
. One Shot Pitch Guaranteed pitch design £5-£20
. Orangeberry Not guaranteed
. Orangeberry Promos various book tours, $29+
. Pixel of Ink Not guaranteed Very limited selection
. Pixel Scroll – NOW HOTZIPPY $5+
. Read Cheaply Not guaranteed Must cross-promote
. Reading Deals Not Guaranteed $5
. Reddit Guaranteed On the day. Must have account.
. Snicks List Guaranteed On the day
. The Cheap Ebook $15+
. YA Book Promo Central Same as Indie Book Promo YA only

First Edition Design eBook Publishing

 

Another great post from over at Bad Redhead Media

AUGUST 17, 2014 BY

I asked my Facebook friends last week what confused them the most about author marketing and social media. So for the next several weeks, myself and several esteemed guests will be answering those questions for you! Thank you to all who answered. Here’s the first question:

How do you build an audience before you have a product? MJ Kelley @themjkelley 

Many aspiring authors or bloggers ask this question a lot, and really I see this as a question of confidence more than anything — what do I have to talk about? Why should people tune into my blog or social media channels if I don’t have anything for sale yet? Is this an ‘author platform’ issue?

Let’s deconstruct.

PRE-MARKETING

Many authors start off blogging, so let’s begin there (and if you’re not blogging, you should be!). Your blog is your your home, your place for folks to come in, take off their shoes, have a drink, hang awhile. Get to know YOU, and you get to know THEM. In other words, start building a relationship now (not to mention, it boosts your SEO and SMO, but that’s a whole other post).

Did you hear me mention anything about product, or selling? No, and it’s not because you don’t have anything to sell (because you do — you’re selling you, whether you realize it or not). You are utilizing relationship marketing skills as opposed to more old-school transactional (sales-focused) skills — building relationships for future sales and customer satisfaction. You’re also genuinely and authentically being yourself — letting people know you, and they are letting you know them. This is invaluable foundation building time for whatever it is that you will be ‘selling’ in the future — a product (book), a business, or a service.

I suggest you begin your pre-marketing at least six months to one year prior to the release of your book. Even earlier is fine. Why? Because you are building relationships with your demographic, people who read your genre, people with whom you share a common bond.

WHERE

Where do you pre-market your non-product? I know, it seems kind of ridiculous but… remember, we ‘brand’ the author, not the book. So since we’re marketing YOU, let’s make you easily visible. Twitter, Facebook (you must have a personal account where people ‘friend’ you to manage everything else over there — even if you never use it — so grin and bear it), a Facebook page (required for any product or service), Google+ (you may think it’s silly but Google is the largest search engine in the world, and they own Google+ so…), plus either Pinterest or SnapChat or Instagram or YouTube — pick one.

You may think these new visual apps are silly but frankly, who cares? This isn’t about you or me — it’s about your buyers — your readers. If you are a YA author, you best be on SnapChat because that is where your demographic is. Most importantly, remember that social media is about building relationships, not ‘selling.’ Not having a product to sell is actually an excellent way for you to focus on being a person, not an automaton who constantly spouts ‘Buy my book!’ links, which is a turn-off anyway.

BOOK RELEASE

Once your book is ready to go, you’ve built this base of people who have taken an interest in you, Jo Author. So now, when you tweet or post that your book is ready to go and is anyone interested in beta-reading or reviewing, you will have people READY TO GO. We’ve all seen the desperate, ‘Will anyone, anyone, review my book? Please?’ tweets go by and feel kind of sad for the lonely, misguided soul because clearly, they have done ZERO pre-marketing. Not only that, but by asking anyone and everyone to review their book, they aren’t focusing on their demographic, risking poor reviews by having say, a sci-fi fan review their romance book. Not a good fit. I’ve seen it happen and it’s not pretty.

Here’s why that’s a mistake: it comes across as disingenuous. What’s in it for the reader to purchase and read your book if you’ve never approached them before? Nothing. It’s all about you, the author. But what if that person has known you for six months already, is part of a private reading group or inner circle you’ve created, has signed up for the newsletter you’ve set up after you read this post (hint, hint —Mailchimp is easy to use and totally free), knows that your kitten died, you know that their Uncle Mort just turned 90 and danced on the table at his party even with his arthritic knees, etc. That makes them special to you, and you to them.

That’s what relationship-building is all about!

CHANGE YOUR PARADIGM

Ask not how to build your audience before you have a product, but how can you build relationships leading up to the release of your product. And remember this: your product will change with each book release — but you, the author, will not. Don’t open a new Twitter account or Facebook page with every book — it’s a waste of your time and effort. Focus your marketing efforts on what we’ve discussed here today — say it with me one more time — building relationships! — and you will build a readership that will last through many years, not only one book release.

First Edition Design Publishing

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2014
Another great post at AuthorCulture

I’ve been fortunate enough to interview a lot of authors. Hundreds, in fact. Some were fabulous and I wished I could have crawled through my computer monitor and hugged them. And some? Meh. The problem is the ones that were “meh” are also the ones who seemed to be the most difficult to work with.

Authors really need book bloggers, today, so we can’t afford to leave a “meh” (or worse) impression behind. Here’s some stuff that I personally appreciated when working with authors that left a good impression.

No Drama

There’s nothing worse than getting a last minute request to schedule a post (or worse, review a book) while an author drones on and on about deadlines and how exhausted they are in promoting this book and how busy they are and… sigh…

Know why bloggers hate this drama? Because they have jobs, too. They also have a limited amount of time in a day and while your book is the most important thing to you it isn’t the most important thing to them.

The best authors to work with have been respectful of my time and effort and answered my interview questions without drama.

Personalized Thank You Notes and Even Gifts

Writers are always on a budget, so gifts are a really rare thing, but I was given a couple things by authors and guess what? I remember them fondly. One sent me a cool Elizabeth I notepad from London and Starbucks gift card for being a first reader for her Tudor fiction book. Another sent me an antique coin. Both gifts tied in with their books, and the added effort was noticed and appreciated.

But I’ve also received personalized, handwritten thank you notes from several authors and those meant just as much to me. In fact, I’ve decided to make this a habit for the people that host me on a blog from now on, too. Sending a note doesn’t take much time but it does mean an awful lot to someone who made the effort to put you on their site.

Be Interesting

When you’re doing a blog tour, and answering the same questions over and over, it can be a challenge to be interesting. But resist the urge to cut and paste answers, and really try to make every question, even the ones you’ve answered a bazillion times, reveal something cool about yourself.

Tell a story with your answer. Compliment other writers or the blogger who is hosting you. Add a photo you haven’t shared too much. Find a unique way to interact with readers.

Some of my favorite interviews have been the ones where authors took my boring old questions and were so funny and charming they made me sound like James Lipton.


Follow Their Rules

When you have a book to promote and a blog tour to do, you want to control the show. You might even send an email that says “I’ll do an interview, guest post, and giveaway” but be careful about being too limiting. Some bloggers like to do it their own way.

Several years ago I stopped doing giveaways on my writing blog. My readers seemed to hate them. They enjoyed finding out about new writers but weren’t wild about leaving comments for books, and some even wrote me to tell me they’d like my blog a whole lot better if I didn’t give stuff away.

What did I know? I thought everyone loved giveaways, but if my readers weren’t fans why should I do them? So I stopped the practice but some authors get very testy about this. One insisted I do a giveaway because her publisher required it. (I’m still not sure she had that correct, but maybe it was true.)

I once did an unusual interview where I had to answer a lot of hypotheticals about my dating book that related to pop culture. It was super fun and I got a lot of positive comments on it.  Sometimes bloggers like to mix it up by having you answer questions as your character, or having you answer rapid fire, silly questions… whatever their preference, go with it.

Gratitude

Be sincerely grateful when bloggers are hosting you, because they really are helping your career. One author followed up an appearance on my blog by doing a post on her blog listing the top 10 things she loved about getting interviewed by me. I did mention that my questions are rather boring, right? So this was a clever and creative thing to make the interview stand out, and I was touched that she added that to her site.

However you decide to respond to and thank your bloggers, be sincerely grateful. Your intentions will show in the words and actions you choose, and your bloggers will be happy to welcome you back again when your next book is out.

Cherie Burbach has written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, and more. Visit her website, cherieburbach.com.

First Edition Design Publishing

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

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Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

Terrific post on badredhead media

JULY 20, 2014 BY
HELPING AUTHORS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING, AND BRANDING TO SELL MORE BOOK

Taken from rant my today on Facebook because I just couldn’t listen to the whining anymore (warning: a few choice curse words ahead). grumpy

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ONE thing will not sell your books. It’s a combo of:

– a spectacular book (professionally edited, formatted, designed, proofed)
– reviews (minimum 25) within the first few weeks
– beta or ARC readers before you release
– an optimized website (professional graphics, social media icons, keywording, HTML, CSS for faster loading, etc…all to increase your SEO). Look it up.
– an active blog (once weekly minimum).
– a book trailer (share on your own site and YouTube)
– participate in memes like ‪#‎MondayBlogs‬ or chats — meet cools peeps, learn, promote others
– interactive social media (not spammy) at minimum Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ (important for your Google ranking) following readers, book bloggers, book reviewers, book clubs
– groups (important to establish connections with peers)
– an eBook version (duh) Don’t care if you hate eBooks. What do your readers want?
– a virtual blog tour (won’t sell books. DOES increase visibility, SEO, reviews, connections with readers and bloggers, and Google Ranking)
– Google AdWords (get advice on how to do it correctly, study and research, or pay someone to do it for you), or FB or Goodreads or blogger ads. Something!
– Book clubs.
– Book signings.
– swag (bookmarks, pens, postcards, etc)
– guest blog guest blog guest blog (and not only about your book and how wonderful your toenails are).
– interviews
– give back, for fuck’s sake. stop talking about yourself all the damn time.

Bitch and moan that you’ve done EVERYTHING (bet you haven’t), and still haven’t sold any books. I don’t believe you. Sorry.

When you’ve done ALL of the above in great detail, and I mean everything with a concentrated effort and still haven’t sold any books, then guess what? Maybe you need to rewrite your book, or write another.

It typically takes FIVE books to start making a living on your work. FIVE. (Says who? Almost every writer who is making a living on their books –Steena HolmesBette Lee CrosbyRyne PearsonLiz SchulteHugh Howey, and on it goes).

Bottom line: focus on building relationships, people. It’s not all about you!

So stop with the whining over here about how Amazon sucks or blah blah doesn’t work (nothing is magical), pull up your big girl and big boy pants, and spend that effort writing your next blog post, book, or tweet. Or yell at me for bitching at you. I don’t care. I won’t be here.

I’ll be writing my next book TOUGH LOVE FOR WHINY WRITERS. ha.

First Edition Design Publishing is the world’s largest eBook and POD (Print On Demand) distributor. Ranked first in the industry, First Edition Design Publishing converts, formats and submits Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and scores of additional on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The company is a licensed and approved Aggregator and holds licenses with both Apple and Microsoft.

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

Print On Demand First Edition Design Publishing

Publishers – Aggregators – Master Distributors

 

MONDAY, JULY 7, 2014

 

I interact with a lot of authors, many of whom contact me about getting interviewed for my writing site. I see a lot of author bios, some that wow me and many that make me cringe. I’d even include myself in that mix.


Don’t Throw Words In That Have Nothing to Do With Being a Writer

 

When I published my first poetry book ten years ago, I had just come off a 20-year career in marketing. I felt this was important somehow, mainly because I didn’t have many other writing credentials. I did have several freelance articles published, but didn’t feel that “made me a writer.” (Don’t we love it when we seek permission to define ourselves that way?)

 

So my writer bio went something like this: Cherie Burbach is a poet and marketing professional.

So far so good, right? Not so fast. In reviewing my book, one reader wrote on her blog something like this: “I enjoyed her poems but I don’t see what being a marketing professional has to do with anything.” She then went on to offer up some of the things she liked about the book, but I couldn’t get past her statement. What a great lesson for me. Who cared that I worked in marketing? My readers certainly didn’t.

 

After this I became more aware of my bio. I still tweak it. I try and make it sound pertinent and interesting, but I’m sure I’ll be updating and changing it as long as I’m given the opportunity to write.

 

Problogger

 

Once upon a time, the word “problogger” was really cool. It was arguably started by Darren Rowse who named his site that way and described what he did as professional blogging. At the time, people were experimenting with blogging, just using it as a means of expression (before every writer on the planet realized it was a way to get a platform) and Rowse helped show that you could make a serious living that way.

 

Now, I see this word used all the time by authors who blog here and there (guest posts on their friend’s blogs, promotional posts, blog tour posts) but don’t really do “professional” blogging.

 

Why do I care? Because I am a paid blogger and there’s a big difference. Stating you’re a “problogger” implies that you’re an expert at SEO and the latest Google algorithm. It means companies pay you big bucks to create blog posts for them, and that you’re probably also really good at social networking (which is the other piece of professional blogging.)

 

Fans don’t know or care about this term. If you’ve got a blog or appear on a couple of their favorite sites, that’s what they care about. Mostly, they just care about your books.

 

Active Member

 

Be careful about saying you’re an “active member” of an organization. I see this constantly with one or two organizations in particular, and think it makes you sound like you’re a national chapter leader when maybe you’re just a member… like everyone else.

 

I first saw this listed on a new author’s bio for an organization that I had recently joined. I excitedly asked her how she was involved (hoping to get more involved myself) and she told me she commented on the group’s email loops. That’s being “actively involved”? I don’t think so.

 

The danger in listing this is it makes you sound like you’re trying to sound more important than you are, and readers don’t care about this stuff. Your bio should tell a reader about yourself, not fluff up your credentials.

 

__________________________________________________________

 

Cherie Burbach has written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, and more. Visit her website, cherieburbach.com.

 

First Edition Design Publishing is the world’s largest eBook and POD (Print On Demand) distributor. Ranked first in the industry, First Edition Design Publishing converts, formats and submits Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and scores of additional on-line retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. The company is a licensed and approved Aggregator and holds licenses with both Apple and Microsoft.

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

First Edition Design Publishing

Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

Another great guest post from Duolit! by Adrienne from Design Roast.

tumblrTumblr is a must for any author looking to build a following of readers. It is a platform to promote your writing within a tight-knit community, as well as a place to dynamically tell the world about you and your books through videos, quotes, photos, reblogging, links and just some straightforward text too. The most popular way to share on this site, however, is through the creative use of animated gifs.

What do all of these forms have in common? They’re short, easily digestible content.

Today, a variety of literary figures can be found on Tumblr, including book reviewers, publishers, booksellers and, of course, authors. Tumblr has many opportunities for authors, so keep reading to learn how to get started.

Sign Up for Tumblr and Set Up Your Profile

tumblr-johngreen

For starters, create an account. This means uploading a photo of yourself and creating a unique username. Since your username will be a part of your tumblr URL, choose wisely.

Some established authors, like John Green, have gotten creative with their username — his isfishingboatproceeds. If you’re looking to build a following, consider using a familiar title from your books, or simply your name/pseudonym.

The rest of the account settings are pretty straightforward. In the “About” section, share a bit of your background, as well as a few of your book titles. You can also set your preferences by allowing, or not allowing, replies from people – and since you’re building a community, it’s a good idea to allow these comments.

Another great feature is the “Ask” section. By turning this on, your readers can ask you questions; just be prepared for them to potentially ask about everything from your favorite place to write to further details about your characters and when your next book is coming out!

How to Customize the Appearance of Your Site

tumblr-themegardenThere’s a variety of functionality you can add to your site; one way to really stand out is to personalize the look of your site with a theme (found under Settings > Edit Theme).

If you have a header or background that you’ve designed, you can upload these here. Alternatively, you can simply change the color background to set a tone for your tumblr site. This area of the Tumblr settings even gives you the ability to change your site’s font.

Just keep in mind: Every setting you choose creates an impression about you and your books. Choose colors that will be pleasing to your audience, and fonts that aren’t too hard to read.

If you need assistance with your design, check out the “theme garden” by clicking on Settings > Find Themes. This “garden” is full of choices that can reflect what you and your writing are about. There’s a plethora of options – they even have a storybook theme perfect for children’s authors.

While some of these themes are free, others do cost a nominal fee, which is much less than what you’d spend hiring someone to do the design work for you.  Plus, you can do some customization after choosing a theme, such as change up the features – color, font, etc. – to really make the site yours. Just keep in mind the theme will only change how your readers see your page; it won’t change your home feed (where you’ll make updates and monitor other people’s pages).

How to Enable Comments

Many of the themes available through Tumblr include the ability to add comments through Disqus. If Disqus isn’t enabled, the only way people can interact with your content is by liking it and reblogging it. If you’re looking for more interaction on Tumblr, start by making a Disqus account and then adding your Tumblr site under “Your Sites” in Disqus.

Next, visit your Tumblr settings and choose Settings > Edit Theme > Customize. Once there, put your Disqus-supplied username in where it asks for your “Disqus Shortname.” Disqus also gives you the ability to check if it was installed correctly and allows you can set rules in order to moderate your comments.

How to Promote Your Books on Tumblr

authorstumblrNow comes the fun part: building up the content on your site! While you’re free to post about whatever you want on your Tumblr page, as an author there are some things you should focus on:

  • Quotes: Not only can you offer an excerpt from your books, but you can also quote reviews of your work or even just quotes by others who inspire you. Then, you can comment on the quotes you post.
  • Videos: Think book trailers for your work or just content you think has some relevance to your brand and the topics you love to write about.
  • Images: Have a new book coming out? Tease what it’s about through images that inspired you while writing, and then post the book cover to Tumblr.
  • Links: The world is your oyster when it comes to posting links. Share articles you’ve written around the web, press coverage, links back to your personal writing blog where longer text content resides and more. Like videos and quotes, you can provide some commentary on any link you post.
  • GIFs: Animated gifs are by far the most popular way to tell a story or share a thought on Tumblr. They can be about a TV show you’re inspired by or simply something fun to share with your readers. Find gifs to use on Giphy.

No matter what medium you use to blog on Tumblr, be sure to tag each and every post with keywords, so users other than your followers can easily find you.

How to Gain a Following on Tumblr

For starters, start following others. You find others by searching their email, URL, or username. Alternatively, search for topics and blogs that interest you. You can focus on publishing-related sites, but follow sites that simply interest and inspire you too. Some people might follow you back, some might not, but it’s a start within the community.

As for gaining followers and readers of your own, simply interact with the site. Like other people’s posts and reblog. Spread the love among Tumblr, and Tumblr will spread the love right back.

While the functionality of Tumblr is simpler than writing a lengthy blog post every day, its offerings are immense. Don’t be intimidated by the site; just get started with an account, explore hashtags and other people’s pages and have fun with it. You never know how it might help you in your next writing endeavor!

Adrienne is a freelance writer and social marketer who loves analyzing social media campaigns to see what works. To see more of her work, check out her blog about design.

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Another great post from Duolit!

“Break’s over.” – Jed Bartlet, The West Wing

Photo: araza123 | FlickrLife loves to throw curveballs.

As soon as you’re feeling good about how things are moving —WHAM! — something comes along to knock you back.

If you’re part of our mailing list, you’ve read about the personal curveballs Shannon and I were thrown this summer, but I’m sure you’ve experienced similar situations, too.

A change in seasons (“Summer’s here — I’m going outside!”), big life events (“I’m having a baby!”) and just the simple ebb and flow of life all affect our priorities, habits and schedules.

At some point in your writing career, building your fanbase will be the farthest thing from your mind.

When you first waver off track, it might just be for a few days. But then, a week goes by…then a month, and before you know it, it feels harder and harder to get back into marketing your work and easier and easier to extend the break.

Eventually, you realize that you need to get back to promoting your work.

But where do you start?

Falling behind is terrifying. You’re afraid that you’ve done irreparable damage to your writing career by taking a break.

I mean, what if you have to start from — gulp — scratch?!

How to Get Back on Track After Taking a Fanbase-Building Break

First off, simply take a deep breath.

Even if you’ve been out of the game for a few months (or longer!) you won’t have to start promoting your work from scratch, unless you want a clean slate. Regardless of how dire it feels, the fans you’ve gained and the progress you’ve made won’t be negated by the time off.

I don’t want to mislead you — it takes effort to get the ball rolling again, but it won’t be as much as you think.

Are you ready to get started? Put on some relaxing music and let’s work through the five steps for getting back on the book marketing bandwagon!

1. Cut yourself some slack

Many writers I know (myself included) have terribly guilty consciences. Heck, I can still feel bad over mistakes I made as a kid!

But, one thing I’ve realized about guilt over the years is that it doesn’t do anything to help you move forward.

So, the first step for getting back on track is to forgive yourself for veering off in the first place. Taking a break does not make you a bad, bad author who doesn’t care about her career — it just makes you human!

Take a (-nother) deep breath and remember: the passed time is what it is; you’ve done nothing wrong.

2. Assess the situation

Now that you’ve taken care of the guilt, let’s figure out where you left off the last time you were working on promotion. It’s the best way to decide how to move forward. As a start, ask yourself:

  • Do I have a website? If so, where?
  • Do I have a blog? If so, where?
  • Which social networks am I a part of?
  • What was the last promotion/promotional activity I was working on? What were the results?
  • Who are my readers? How was I trying to reach them?
  • Who were my biggest fans and/or author allies? How do I get in touch with them?

Spending a few moments on the survey serves two purposes:

  1. Reminds you of the progress you’ve made in the past
  2. Puts you back into the self-promotion mindset

Basically, it gives you all the information you need to start moving forward and making new plans!

3. Focus on promotions you enjoy

While falling off the wagon can happen to even the most enthusiastic author, it happens more often to those who dread promotion or are only using certain promotional tools because they feel like they have to.

I officially give you permission to stop this madness!

Shannon and I are both huge proponents of book marketing your way. When the responsibility’s all on your shoulders, you get to decide which methods you want to use. Why? Because, if using Twitter triggers head-bashing tendencies, you will start finding reasons not to log in.

Remember: much to many authors’ chagrin, there is no one true path to publishing and promotional success. Some authors couldn’t imagine their success without Facebook, but others (who are doing just as well) have never even used the service.

Blaze your own trail and only partake in the promotional avenues you feel comfortable with and enjoy. You’ll be happier (and more successful) in the end!

4. Take small steps

After a break, you’ll feel tempted to make up for lost time by taking on a bunch of new marketing projects at one time, but don’t do it! If you do, that initial, enthusiastic push will fizzle into burnout, and that’s what we want to avoid this time, right?

Instead, focus on one promotional project at a time and break that task down into smaller steps. In this vein, we’re starting a new blog series with a monthly project for you to tackle, but you can easily do this yourself with any of your marketing ideas.

As an added bonus, breaking down a single idea into smaller steps will allow you to accomplish each one more quickly — and what feels better than quickly checking things off your to-do list?

5. Build in breaks

This time around, get ahead of the game by building mini-breaks into your promotional life. You’ll not only keep up your enthusiasm for promotion, but you’ll also become a pro at restarting things after a few days or a week off. Then, when real life strikes, you’ll know exactly how to bounce back!

If taking time off doesn’t make you feel comfortable, instead focus on moving at a pace that is maintainable for you.

As an example, if you realistically have 5 hours a week to devote to promotion, don’t try to schedule in 10 hours of work. Or, if you have more motivation during certain weeks, accomplish more during that week and plan for a more relaxed schedule the following week.

Very few of us work at this whole book marketing “thing” full-time. The more flexible you are with planning your time and accomplishing your goals, the happier (and more productive!) you’ll be.

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