Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

5 free webinars every aspiring author should watch

As part of my role with Author Solutions, I have the opportunity to give and participate in numerous webinars for writers and authors for The Author Learning Center, Hay House and iUniverse to name a few. I always enjoy the experience, but I have to tell you I think some of the best webinars available to authors are on the Archway Publishing website.

Some of the best free webinars for authors are available on the Archway Publishing web site.

Some of the best free webinars for authors are available on the Archway Publishing web site

Full disclosure: I am always involved with approving the topics.and sometimes talk with the presenter to help shape the content, but each time I am always thoroughly impressed with the content and the topics that Simon and Schuster makes available to authors through Archway.

Here are the webinars that you can access for free to learn more about what it takes to publish a better book and market it more effectively.

  1. Secrets of an Acquisitions Editor – How To Get The Attention of a Traditional Publisher-Presenter: Michael Szezeran, Editor at Simon & Schuster
  2. Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make–Presenter: Abby Zidle, Senior Editor at Gallery Books and Pocket Books
    from Simon & Schuster
  3. Four Keys To A Killer Cover–Presenter:Jason Heuer, Associate Art Director at Simon & Schuster
  4. Best Practices For Authors on Facebook–Presenter: Susan B. Katz, Author & Strategic Manager at Facebook
  5. How To Capture Attention On Twitter–Presenter: Andrew Fitzgerald, Twitter Media Team
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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

4 takeaways from BEA (Book Expo America) that authors should know about.

Last week I attended the premier industry tradeshow, Book Expo America, also affectionately known as BEA. Here were some of my observations.

Book Expo America show floor

Lots of activity on the Book Expo America show floor (Book Expo America)

The death of publishing is greatly exaggerated.

While publishing has gone through significant changes the past year, the floor was still filled with lots of new books and authors. Then on the weekend, the doors were open to readers and the floor was filled with lots of eager fans ready to meet some of their literary stars.

Publishing is still a place for start-ups.

One of the more interesting sections for the trade show floor was dedicated to start-ups focused on the publishing industry. I did not get a chance to walk all the booths in Start-Up Alley, but judging by the amount of space they occupied, there were a number of new ideas trying to gain traction. Time will tell but it was encouraging to see investment in new ideas for readers and authors.

Using social media for discovery is a big topic.

As expected a hot topic was how to use social to promote discoverability. One of the most interesting new entrants is Bookgrabbr. According to their site, BookGrabbr is an App and web-based technology product designed to expand the brand and media platform of any author by creating and increasing visibility in the book community and securing new readers and customers for those authors’ books.

Smiling Archway authors packed the booth at BEA.

Smiling Archway authors packed the booth at BEA. One author even wore a Superman cape.

Archway Publishing authors were extremely happy.

At the end of the show, Archway Publishing hosted a reception for authors. As usual, the authors who attend BEA and the event, loved it. I heard two words consistently, “overwhelming and exciting”. That is how authors felt about the time at the Expo and at the reception. It is always a great way to close out the day.

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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

5 Essential Elements of Social Media to Market Your Book Successfully

Social media plays such a key role for authors today who want to find and connect with an audience for their book. For many, the dizzying world of blogs and tweets and posts leaves them confused and questioning what should they do.

Now there is a helpful book that can simplify and clarify the key elements needed for a social media campaign. Chris Bass, who is the Director of Author Marketing Services at Author Solutions, has worked with hundreds of authors on their social media campaigns. From that experience, he has identified five essential elements every author needs to be aware of as they use social media to market their book.  Here’s excerpt from the book that explains in more detail what was the inspiration for the book and how it might help you.

I have noticed that a lot of authors struggle to make the most of social media. Some authors post a single status update to Facebook saying that their books have been published and leave it at that. Some understand the importance of social media but are overwhelmed by the huge number of options available and don’t know where to begin. Some have never used social media before and aren’t even sure what the term means. Whether you’re a longtime blogger and user of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter or are just getting started, this book will teach you the five things you should know about social media to help you get the word out about your book.
You can download the book on a Kindle, Kobo, Sony e-reader or iPad for just 99 cents at Booktango  or from all the major  ebook distributors.
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authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

Michael Hyatt offers his recipe for success: Content + Platform

I did a post a few days ago that introduced you to Michael Hyatt’s new book, Platform, Getting Noticed in a Noisy World.  It is a very helpful book written by someone who has years of experience working with authors and personally building his own platform. In this interview, Mike starts off by talking about how the days of the author writing the book and the publisher selling the book are over. Authors have to be engaged in marketing and connecting with an audience and this book gives practical, insightful, helpful advice on how to do that. In this interview, Mike talks about the two key elements for success in today’s marketplace: content and a platform.

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authors, book marketing, book selling, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

7 secrets of successful self published authors (5th installment): Know the power of social media

Recently, I presented a webinar for Writers Digest with the same title as this series of blog posts. More than 2,000 people registered, which made it the most popular webinar in the history of Writers Digest. That tells me there is immense interest in this topic as the publishing landscape changes at ever increasing speed. So if you did not have a chance to hear the webinar, here’s the fifth secret I have learned from successful self published authors.  They know how to use the power of social media to build a platform. More specifically, they have learned how to use the internet to connect them to readers and potential readers and get others to promote their books using their social media. 

Seems like a simple statement, but the challenge is how do you find the time to keep up on social media given the number of options out there today.  The key is you need to pick one one social media platform to be your hub. For most authors that means a blog or Facebook fan page. Then use technology like Feedburner to push out your content to other outlets such as LinkedIn or Twitter.  However, no matter which platform you pick to be your hub,  you need to have a plan or editiorial calendar. In other words, you need to have a schedule and set of topics you want to write about or promote. If you leave your posts to chance, then you will likely be infrequent in what you post and that is not good. Consistency is  a key to building a following. If you have a blog, make sure your content is not just about your book, but about the topic you are interested in. You need to think about your book as just one of your platforms.

If you have a Facebook fan page, pay attention to what people comment on and what they like. It gives you an indication of what people are most interested in. Personally, I think a blog is the most effective way to build a following, but you may be afraid you don’t have time to write the blog your self or you won’t have anything to say after one or two posts. Not to worry. You can use other means to create content for your blog.

  1. Look for other posts on other news sources or blogs and repost those. (Of course, you want to give them appropriate credit.)
  2. Ask people who are also interested in the topic to do guest posts. They will then promote it out to there followers.
  3. Do interviews with people who can offer valued opinions or lessons on the topic of your blog 

Clearly, this is a big topic that warrants more than just 500 words, but the key thing I want to make sure you take away is you have to be involved in social media if you want to build a platform today. So pick something to be a hub and get started. You will be glad you did.

Using social media can be effective,but overwhelming which is why you need a plan.

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authors, self publishing

A word from Seth Godin: Publishers who don’t have the power to fight the change

Godin's post is titled, "You don't have the power"

One of the blogs I enjoy reading is written by Seth Godin. In a recent post, Seth addresses the current debate around self publishing. His comment fall into the category of, “I wished I would have wrote that” or “I could not have said it any better”.  In his post, Seth makes the argument that publishers resistance to the indie book publishing is short sighted and is a similar battle that  was fought and lost by the movie and newspaper industries. Here’s how he put it:

Movie execs thought they had the power to fight TV. Record execs thought they had the power to fight iTunes. Magazine execs thought they had the power to fight the web. Newspaper execs thought they had the power to fight Craigslist.

 To read the complete post, click here. I think you will find it an interesting perspective.

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If filmmakers can do it, why can’t authors?

 

Earlier this month, The New York Times ran an article with the headline, “As Studios Cut Their Budgets, Indie Filmmakers Go Do-It-Yourself.”

In the article the writer makes the following observation about the changing landscape for the marketing of films:

“Here is how it used to work: aspiring filmmakers playing the cool auteur in hopes of attracting the eye of a Hollywood power broker.

“Here is the new way: filmmakers doing it themselves — paying for their own distribution, marketing films through social networking sites and Twitter blasts, putting their work up free on the Web to build a reputation, cozying up to concierges at luxury hotels in film festival cities to get them to whisper into the right ears.”

I would suggest authors are following this same path. As traditional publishers contract their marketing dollars and focus on celebrity authors, more and more authors are finding they can use social media to build a platform and develop a following for their work.

In coming posts, I will share some examples of authors who are doing this.

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