Monday, April 20, 2015

3 Dangerous Book Marketing Ideas which Drain Your Bank Account items in general...

You can put your book cover or author name on anything nowadays and though these items do get a lot of attention (Who doesn't like free stuff, huh?) are they a worthy investment? Are you wasting your money on these items and not seeing a large return on sales?

Here are 3 Dangerous Book Marketing Ideas which Drain Your Bank Account...followed up by suggestions on how to better invest your money, get more attention for your books and still get the write-offs.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ideas for Promoting a Series

As the author of the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles, I've run into a few challenges with promoting the other books in my series after Book 1. The biggest challenge has been trying to get people to review the 2nd, 3rd or [insert #] book in my series when the reviewer hasn't read the previous books. Though the books in my series can be read as stand-alones, there is the over-arching storyline the reader might miss out on if they read the books out of order.

So how do you catch a reader up to the main storylines of the previous books without them having to read the books? The Synopsis!!

I know...I can hear you groaning now, but the full synopsis can be a great marketing tool! AND if you convert it to an eBook, you can send it to the reviewer with a nice cover image, your publishing and copyright information and buy links.

The Synopsis

Remember the synopsis is not the back of the book blurb. This will have the beginning, middle and end of your story. And when I mean end...I mean it needs to tell the reader how the book ends. This is most definitely the spoiler...but if you write it in a way that is intriguing, they'll want to read the wonderful details of the actual novel, which might encourage some sales. If not, they'll at least get the gist of the other books and won't be missing out when they read a book in the middle of the series.

If you're an author who has pitched the first books in your series, you may already have a synopsis, because that's probably what you submitted to the publisher. Dust that puppy off and get ready to work on a few rewrites!

However, if you're a self-published author, you probably do NOT have a synopsis for your books. As an ex-content editor for two publishers, I learned a few things about how to improve the synopsis and make it POP! As such, here are some tips and suggestions on writing or revising your summary:

Attn: Bloggers - Please Put a Search Feature on Your Site

Blogging Tip: Search Feature

This post is primarily for bloggers, but this can apply to authors, too, because they usually have their own websites and blogs as well.

I'm going to get to the point immediately: PLEASE PUT A SEARCH FEATURE ON YOUR WEBSITE or BLOG.

Why? Because the next question will be a mute point and make everyone's life easier.

Is Your Blog Easy To Navigate?

That question is SO relative, it's insane. Everyone is used to whatever websites they visit and if something isn't in the same place as the websites THEY visit, they're going to get frustrated and leave. So, you can do all the research you want to on what's commonly found on websites similar to yours--and you'd do yourself some service (and your visitors) if you did such research--but someone will inevitably have a hard time finding something on your website.

So what do you do as a fail safe for any visitor?

Include a SEARCH feature for your site. On WordPress, it should just be an easy drag-and-drop widget you can load into your sidebar. On Blogger, it's in the design section. Admittedly, I have one on this blog but it doesn't seem to be working as of late. Not sure why. I'll have to investigate, but it sounds like a issue, not an Arial issue.

As an author, when I've been featured on someone's blog - either a review, a cover reveal or a book tour - it is so difficult to refer people to the blog where I've been featured if all I have is the main address. Since I know many bloggers publish a lot of posts in one day, I can't expect them to put my post at the top where it's easy to find. And if I don't get the permalink for the feature, I have to go to the website and search for it...if there is a search feature. If I don't have a search feature, it's a lot more work on my end to go to Google and HOPE it shows up on the search.

If you don't have a search feature, you lose that extra traffic to your site...and isn't that part of why you're featuring an author? To drive traffic? Help yourself and do this one thing...PAH-LEEZ!

Social Media Information

PLEASE make your social media information easy to find, too. If you don't know how to create buttons for the various platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), then you should be able to create a hyperlink easily enough. Put it on your CONTACT page or in your sidebar.

Okay, I'm done ranting.

That's my two pence...