Tag Archives: Book Promotion

How to Get Book Reviews

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Let’s face it, waiting for book reviews can seem to take a lifetime. These all important book reviews are a necessity in getting your book viewed and purchased by more readers. Without them, you’re screwed.

Waiting for Book Reviews?

While your waiting for your book reviews to increase in number you can begin a campaign that will help them do just that.

Ask for reviews: There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for reviews. In fact, you can send out a newsletter to your subscribers advertising your new book and ask for reviews.

Query book reviewers: You don’t need to pay for this service, although you can. I recommend you get real reviews, because paid ones stand out from the rest, they’re a bit obvious. Start assembling your list of book reviewers well before your publication date. This is something you want to be prepared for so that when your book is released, it has a large amount of reviews to go with it. Book bloggers are the best people to reach out to for this purpose. There are several other places to find reviewers as well.

  • Story Cartel – all books on Story Cartel are free in exchange for honest book reviews.

Be sure to check out the etiquette for this process later in this post.

Offer prizes: You can offer up prizes for your reviews in the form of author swag. People love free stuff and they love to win prizes. You could have anyone who purchases your book write a review and be automatically entered into a drawing that shows your appreciation. You can give out bookmarks, playing cards, coffee mugs, water bottles, sweatshirts, tote bags, and more.

Give your book away: Take advantage of the three days Amazon gives you to give your book away for free. When you are doing your promotions you can mention it’s in exchange for a review.

Ask friends and family: You can amass quite a few reviews just by asking friends, family, and coworkers. These people like you, chances are they are willing to read your book. Ask them to leave you a review, heck, offer them prizes too if you want. Just be sure to mention that they shouldn’t refer to you as if they know you when writing their review. The review will sound more convincing that way and help to draw new readers into buying your book.

Be proactive: What’s important when seeking reviews is to be proactive. Talk about it on your social networks. Use a book teaser to help gain interest in your book through your marketing. But always mention that you would appreciate reviews. Do a blog tour and ask for reviews there.

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A Few Words On Etiquette

Some may not know this, but there is actually etiquette that goes into asking a reviewer to read your book. Reviewers are not obligated to read your book, and they certainly aren’t required to like your book, so here are a couple of pieces of advice for the author who is looking to get their book reviewed.

  • Take the time to establish a relationship with your book bloggers.
  • Take into consideration what the reviewer likes to read.
  • Give a synopsis of your book in the query email.
  • Don’t hound the reviewer.
  • Don’t get upset if the reviewer doesn’t like your book.
  • Don’t expect the reviewer to search out the book.
  • Show gratitude.
  • Make it personal.

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How to get high ranking reviews

Amazon Top Reviewers: Garnering a positive review from one of Amazon’s top customer reviewers is not only a great endorsement for your book, it’s often perceived as a more meaningful, and especially helpful, review due to the criteria that Amazon uses to qualify those that have achieved this ranking.

Their higher profile and credibility, plus the competition for their in-depth, quality reviews makes it tough to catch this group’s attention. But the rewards are often worth the extra effort. In many cases, reviews from top Amazon reviewers can generate enough momentum to create a cascade of additional reviews and book sales.

Another strategy for finding high quality reviewers on Amazon:

  • Go to your personal Author Page on Amazon and locate the “Customers Also Bought Items By” section on the right. This section provides a list of authors whose topic or genre is similar to your own.
  • Clicking on an author name will bring you to their author page, which will include a listing of their books. Choose a book, then click on a review for that book. This will take you to the Customer Reviews page.
  • Click on the name of a reviewer to get to that reviewer’s Amazon profile (which lists books or items that they’ve reviewed).
  • Look for contact info like an email address or a link to their website.
  • Send them a query via email, referencing that you noticed they reviewed book XYZ by John Doe and you are wondering if they would be interested in reviewing your book on a similar topic, and that you’d be happy to send them a free copy if they’re interested.
  • Remember, you can go through the “Customers Also Bought Items By” section on each author’s page, not just your own.
  • No spam! Make it personal and be authentic.

Publishers Weekly: BookLife is PW’s new site dedicated to the world of Self-Publishing. It’s packed with tips, reviews, profiles and destinations for authors and readers!

It’s also the new home of PW Select, their marketing program for self-published authors and the place where indie authors can now submit their books for PW Review consideration FOR FREE!

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10 places that review self-published books

1. Goodreads

2. Digital Book Today

3. Kirkus

4. Self-Publishing Review

5. IndieReader.com

6. Indie B.R.A.G.

7. PW Select (Publisher’s Weekly)

8. Blue Ink Review

9. The Indie Reviewer List — (not a review site itself, but a great resource with links and contacts for book reviewers and blogs that highlight self-published literature)

10. Book Blogger Directory — (similarly, a “comprehensive listing of book blogs”)

What advice can you give for getting more reviews?

 

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Why You Need a Book Poster

By Jessica Kane

Independent authors are faced with many unique challenges, and one of the most daunting is promotion.

Seeing your book in print for the first time is a special moment that soon gives way to the sobering reality that now you must market it properly.

One of the most effective ways to do this is with a book poster.

There are a few reasons why you need a book poster copy

  • A poster is a highly-portable and visual way to draw attention to your book that can be used in variety of methods and places.
  • Aside from book blogging, which is a great method of promotion for independent authors, a book poster that is professionally designed lends a certain amount of credibility to your status as an author.
  • While the number of self-published authors has grown in recent years, there is still something of a stigma attached to independent publishing. Many readers have a perception that the writing of an independent author cannot be as good as that of an author with a big publishing contract. This is patently false, of course, but it is still something you must overcome. One way to do that is to mimic the promotion methods used by mainstream publishing houses, and the book poster has long been used to generate a buzz for new releases. Just check the window of your local bookstore the next time you visit.

The thing is, any old poster won’t do. Too many independent authors make the mistake of trying to design their own or of using a cheap online printing service. A poorly designed poster can actually hurt your chances for sales rather than improve them. If you are going to use a poster, having it professionally designed offers significant advantages. A designer can bring their creative skills into play in order to capture the essence of your book in a way that others cannot.

Think about it. If you are an independent author, writing is what you do. It is far more efficient to spend your time book blogging than to spend it designing a poster or banner. The money you spend on hiring someone to design a poster for you is well-spent because it frees you up to do what you do best–write.

Getting a book poster designed is actually one of the most cost-effective methods of book promotion because a poster has a wide variety of applications.

  • Posters can be bundled with pre-order offers to enhance the chances that people will make a purchase. Be honest. How many times have you purchased a book because you liked the cover art? You’re not alone. The importance of graphic presentation is something the big publishers have always understood. If you sign some posters and include them with a pre-order, there is a chance that you will make more sales.
  • If you are promoting your book with signings at local book retailers, using posters to promote the event and having some on hand to sign is a plus. Once again, the quality of the poster is all important. You only have one chance to make a good impression with it.
  • Posters are an integral part of the press kit that you should assemble and send to media outlets and reviewers in advance of your book’s publication. Critics are just like anyone else. They, too, can be swayed by slick presentation. If you include a poster with your marketing materials you are sending a message that you are a serious player. The absence of nice graphics in the form of a poster or banner will often sound the death knell for an independent author. If a reviewer takes your book out of the envelope and it looks like a self-published work, expect it to be shuffled to the bottom of the heap where it may or may not get a review.

Overall, book posters are a wise investment. They should be a part of your marketing budget for their ability to increase exposure in a way that is effective and economical when weighed against other methods of promotion.

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unnamedJessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in graphic design, marketing, and printing. She currently writes for 777 Sign, her go to place for banner signs, custom flags and custom signs printing.

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The Trouble With Author Spam

by M.R. Goodhew

Are You Unknowingly Spamming Your Social Networks?

Now days indie authors are feeling the pressure to make their social media networks work for them.

They have signed up on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest or as many platforms as they can handle.

They have made tons of connections, traded page likes, and joined all the right groups.

They have studied up on marketing and created a great ad for their book with a catchy tagline and a great hook. Or, they are offering their book at a seriously discounted rate if not for free.

They have created their schedule for marketing and are sticking to it like clockwork. Posting their ad to their groups and feeds at at least three times a day at these particular times – 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm.

The trouble is that they are now spamming these platforms with this ad. Their share shows up constantly along with thousands of others and has become irritating or is largely ignored. Who is this spammer, is it you?

All of these ads have begun to look the same and there is nothing that stops the public you are networked with, mostly authors, from scanning right past all of your hard work that went into that perfect ad. It’s SPAM.

And if that is not enough, you may be posting your ad for your book on the pages of your followers without their permission, spamming their timelines.

There has to be a better way.

And there is.

Build Your Network With Your Brand

Newsflash – becoming an author is not a get rich quick scheme. Your product is not in demand, there are thousands like it on the market. There are thousands of well written free books, discounted books, and unique books with catchy titles and good covers.

You need to stand out from the rest to generate the kind of sales you are looking for and to gain popularity.

Becoming an author is a business venture, not unlike launching a start-up. It takes years to see the profit and plenty of hours of overtime. Becoming an author is a commitment to your writing career and involves your effort and hard work just like anything else of value. My hat is off to those of you who have done it the right way, you’ve busted your butt creating your platform and poured your heart into your brand by doing what you do best, writing.

My advice for those of you who have not began with your brand is this…

The best way to launch your book is a year before you publish. You do this by creating your brand and building a website where you start a blog and you regularly post content related to your brand. You then share this content across your social media networks and begin to build your following the right way, by getting people interested in what you write.

You make connections with real people by talking to them. You read their articles and make comments. You share their content if it resonates with your brand or if you think your network might appreciate it. You guest post on other blogs. You share your content to your groups and you connect with the people in your group. Once you have drawn people to you with your content, it’s word of mouth more than ads that will skyrocket your sales.

There is a time and place for your ad. Once or twice a week in your groups, three times a day on Twitter, once every other day on Google+ and Facebook. You can also append your ad to the bottom of each blog post, this is a great way to market your book.

Find out how to build your author brand in this article. Discovering your Brand

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Become Part of the Conversation through Blogging

If you are passionate about your subject and are willing to write about it regularly (no less than three times per week), a blog can be a fantastic—and free way of building an audience for both you and your work. You can start your blog with WordPress. It’s free, and sign-up is very simple. Below are the steps to help you get started:

  • Set Up an Account: Visit the WordPress.com and set up a free account to create your blog. Or build your own WordPress website by following these simple steps at How to Set Up Your Author Website
  • Give It a Name: I suggest that you use your name so that the blog can expand to include future books you may publish.
  • Write a Post: Once this is done, click “create post.” Type your entry just like you would an email. You can choose different fonts and sizes of text, or add pictures, lists, and links to websites.
  • Preview and Publish: Click on the preview button to see if you like the way your entry looks. If not, you can edit it until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the results, click “publish.”

Write in Blogging Style and Observe Blogging Etiquette

  • Regularly Update: Update your blog frequently, three times a week is a minimum but set yourself a realistic schedule and stick to it.
  • Keep It Short and Concise: Keep in mind that in the blogosphere, people have shorter attention spans than they do offline so you need to make your posts easily digestible and informative – 250 words can be enough.
  • Make It Compelling: Strive to create blog copy that is compelling, interesting, and will invite further conversations. Remain true to your brand. Stay on topic so that you don’t lose your audience.
  • Engage: This is an opportunity to tell your readers what you are writing about. Ask them what they would like to hear more about. This kind of involvement will make them feel attached to you and your work, building an audience that will stay with you from book to book.
  • Involve: Pose questions and comment on people’s comments. A blog is meant to be a community. Respond directly to people’s comments, either in the comments or in a new blog post. This will engage readers so they will come back more often.
  • Give It Personality: Above all else, remember that your blog should be an extension of you, let people know who you are and your opinions should be reflected in your writing style

Target Your Audience and Build Upon It

  • Spread the Word: Once you have been posting regularly for a couple of weeks, tell your friends, colleagues, and contacts about your blog and ask them to tell their friends, colleagues, and contacts. Send an email or newsletter to your email address book or database introducing the blog and linking to it.
  • Utilize Your Sphere of Influence: Look around the Internet for related blogs, and read and post to them. Commenting and becoming part of the blog community will cause others visit your blog and do the same.
  • Use Your Amazon Author Page: Once you begin blogging, be sure to sign up for Amazon’s Author Central. This is a program that will allow you to feed your blog directly onto your author page on Amazon.com, a very powerful way to share compelling content with possible customers.

Optimize Your Blog and Link Like Crazy!

  • Submit Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools: The first place you should take your sitemap for a new website is Google Webmaster Tools. If you don’t already have one, simply create a free Google Account, then sign up for Webmaster Tools. Add your new site to Webmaster Tools, then go to Optimization > Sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap to Webmaster Tools to notify Google about it and the pages you have already published. For extra credit, create an account with Bing and submit your sitemap to them via their Webmaster Tools. Submit url’s to Bing, Google, etc.
  • Identify Clear Keywords: Create a good, concise description for your blog, as well as relevant keywords. Make your headlines snappy.
  • Tag: This is easy to do on the “create post” page. Just enter the relevant keywords in the box separated by commas, this will make your blog easier to search.
  • Link to Retailers: Use your custom “Buy the Book” landing page. The page should be live six months in advance of your book’s publication date (You can list pre-order books with Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks, and Amazon Advantage for paperback publications).
  • Social Networking: Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., to let others know what you’re blogging about and provide links back to your blog.
  • RSS: Put a subscription icon on every page.
  • Pictures: Use images whenever possible.
  • Learn from Others: Take a look at your favorite writers’ blogs and emulate some of the techniques that make their postings great.

Participate On Other Blogs

This can be a very powerful tool for promotion and raising your profile. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Find Your Community: Use a blog search engine to find blogs in your subject/area of expertise.
  • Make Your Mark: Once you have identified those that feel relevant and compelling, become part of the conversation by commenting on a post that interests you and add something that readers of the blog might be interested to know.
  • Let People Know Where You Are: Link to your blog or website if you’ve written something relevant to the conversation. If you are bringing something valuable to the debate, people will begin to follow you and will be more interested in what you publish.

For Your Cover Design, Illustration, & Author Graphics See Michelle Rene

Book Cover Designer and Marketing Design

 

Book Teaser Design by Michelle Rene

CONCEPT TEASER DESIGNED BY MICHELLE RENE GOODHEW
CONCEPT TEASER DESIGNED BY MICHELLE RENE GOODHEW

I now offer authors an option of purchasing

custom designed book teasers.

This is an example of a flashy marketing poster to entice your marketing audience. This type of Book Teaser is a cost-effective way to kick-start your viral promotional efforts. Book Teasers are exciting announcements for the purposes of announcing the publication of your new book (or increasing the sales of your previously published book) and getting your social networking efforts off to a professional start.

  • $50 per teaser
  • $50 per banner

An affordable price for such a valuable resource!


Below is the cover illustration of the book relative to the teaser.

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CONCEPT TEASER DESIGNED BY MICHELLE RENE GOODHEW
CONCEPT TEASER DESIGNED BY MICHELLE RENE GOODHEW

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Arafura 1 Teaser copy