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Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
Thank you for joining us for another issue, we are really stoked that you're here! You know I was reading this article on crop-sharing the other day. Have you ever heard of that? It's where several farmers tend to and sow land that they divide amongst themselves but none of them owns.
When it came time to harvest they would reap the benefits - but not always. If the farmer or person who owned the property decided to kick the crop-sharing farmers out, they would lose their harvest. Have you ever considered how similar your social media strategy is to this analogy? You tend to, plant and grow your presence online - but is it your real estate to own? This week we take a close look at social media and the smartest way to approach it.
We're so glad you are here again, we love that you read our newsletter and we get consistent feedback on how much you love it. We love it, too! So thanks for letting us be with you on this incredible journey!
Enjoy this wonderful season! I don't know about you but I'm so thrilled that Fall is here, it's my favorite time of year.
Wishing you publishing success,
Penny, Paula, Sherrie, Amy and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
Combined Book Exhibit Upcoming Book Fairs
2011 American Association of School Librarians Minneapolis, MN Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, 2011
Once every two years the American Association of School Librarians holds its official conference and trade show. AASL has more than 10,000 members so it's not surprising that the biannual trade show is so well received. More than any other group, school librarians typically go through the Combined Book Exhibit book-by-book as if on a treasure hunt. AASL is also the largest national audience for K-12 books.
2011 Ohio Library Council Toledo, OH Oct. 26 to Oct. 28, 2011
Ohio has always had a reputation for being a state concerned with libraries, often cited as the state that spends the most on its libraries per capita. Like the rest of the country, hard times eventually caught up. But it looks like 2011 will be a return to form, with nearly 40 new or additional levies passed to support libraries throughout the state, and an increase of more than 10% in statewide library funding. With these changes, Ohio Library Council's 2011 book fair should reestablish the state as a powerhouse in the library market.
Feature Article: The Quickest Way to Kill Your Online Success
I have a friend who lives in San Diego. She and her boyfriend rented this lovely home outside of the city. They have tons of land, a great house. It was really a fantastic deal. Since they were in such a good place, the rent was cheap and they had no intention of moving anytime soon, they decided to do some minor renovations to the house. This became their "weekend warrior" project. They'd paint, tinker, plant and in the end, they had a great and slightly improved property. Then one day the owner stopped by for a visit. "Bad news," he said, "I need to sell this property and I have a buyer who wants to offer top dollar, in a market like this I'm sure you understand why I need to take it." They had 30 days to move out.
Now, you might think this is a very sad and unfair situation, but it happens all the time. And it doesn't just happen to real estate, it happens online too. It's a great thing, this social networking, but what a lot of people forget is that you don't own the sites you are populating. While Facebook owns the world (pretty much) right now, things could change. But more than that, sometimes a slight "uh-oh" from you and a slight violation of the site's terms of service can cause you a world of grief. We had a client several years ago who built up 5,000 friends on his personal profile. I kept cautioning him about doing promotion on that page as Facebook has rules against doing promotion on a personal profile. He continued to do promotion (though not heavy) and lost his page. He never got it back. His entire tribe of 5,000 people was lost in the minute it took Facebook to pull down that page.
Don't get me wrong, it's great to utilize these tools and promote yourself, but just remember: as much as you might feel "at home" on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter, you don't own these properties. They do. Be smart and make sure you aren't making these sites the center of your success. Here are a few tips to help you own your real estate:
Website. You should always, always, always have a website. I know some authors who use Facebook as their websites. Big mistake. I know other authors who get a website that doesn't belong to them, meaning they are part of a community of free sites they don't own. If the community decides to stop doing websites and goes away, guess what happens? So does your content.
Smart Social Media. One of the things I really recommend is that you center all of your content around your website. That's partially why I suggest linking your blog to Facebook and Twitter. The content starts on your site and gets funneled from there, rather than in reverse.
Other ways to promote. Consider other ways to promote your stuff that isn't social media centric. Interviews on (other) blogs or websites, for instance. Yes, you are still putting stuff out there on other sites, I'm not saying not to. I'm saying that you need to make sure that whatever content you put out there is reflected on your site as well.
Duplicate content. There's a problem with posting huge amounts of duplicate content online, but unless you are pushing hundreds of pieces out a month, I doubt you have anything to worry about. However, the flip side is that you want to make sure you have copies of all the content you put out there. If you're uploading a video on YouTube, don't delete it off of your computer because you think it's "safe" on this site. It may very well be, but if you lose your page or YouTube gets bought (again) and morphs into something else, you're in trouble.
Enhanced website. When I talked about having a website, I'm not just talking about having a one or two-pager. I mean have a robust site packed with content. Make sure that you have a blog, and you might consider adding a resource section, etc. All information about your books should be on the site (don't rely on Amazon to house this for you) and be sure that any ordering information is on your site as well. Wait! You might ask, is Amazon in danger of going away? Not likely. But as they've shown in the past by pulling down books and buy buttons without warning: Amazon can do whatever it wants.
Traffic. So, the nitty gritty of promotion is what? Sales, right? Sure, and exposure too (though I think you should target exposure first, then sales, but that's another article). If you're sending all of your traffic to social media sites, guess what? Your website traffic is probably pretty low or non-existent. If you send traffic to social media sites guess who benefits? Well, certainly you do in the way of exposure, but long-term this isn't a good plan. Let me explain why.
If you aren't promoting your site as the center of the universe, and instead pushing people to social media sites, then your website isn't getting those super valuable incoming links from blogs, websites, etc. that you are promoting yourself to. As a result, your site will sink in Google rankings. That means if you lost one or more of your social media sites, you could certainly pick up the pieces and start sending people to your site, but that will be a long, hard haul. Better to focus on that now and gather that traffic, along with the buzz you create in social media, so you aren't caught with a zero starting point if anything happens.
You might think that the moral of this story is a slightly paranoid "trust no one" mantra but it's not. It's about protecting your stuff and being a smart and savvy author. You would never open up a store in a mall without a lease that locked you in for a certain amount of time, right? While there are no guarantees in anything, you need to be smart about all of these wonderful, free, not-owned-by-you social media sites. You might do a fantastic job of driving traffic, fans, and likes to various pages. But the reality is that you should focus on what you own, your website. I love my social media sites and yes, it's a widely known fact that I'm addicted to Twitter. Yet they aren't the center of my online universe, my website is. Yours should be, too.
Sign Up Now: Author101University
Are you curious about what publishers like Harper Collins, Morgan James, Adams Media, Wiley, Random House, and Simon & Schuster are looking for? What is the best way to get your manuscript read when you're an unpublished author? Want to know the biggest mistakes to avoid when writing book proposals?
You'll be engaged as top pros share their expertise, reveal the inner workings of the publishing industry, and discuss various approaches to common marketing and publishing challenges. This event will be held Oct. 27 to 30 at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, NV.
Need Book Marketing Content? Visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at http://www.amarketingexpert.com/articles/.
Learn 'How to Succeed Online and Sell More Books' and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing! http://www.youtube.com/user/BookmarketingAME.
I recently read a medical thriller by Michael Palmer, which I was enjoying a great deal until about the last 20%. The protagonist is a doctor who has Asperger's syndrome, and from the character I learned something about what life is like from behind the eyes of a high functioning "Aspie." The plot was intriguing, the main characters likeable, and there was a great twist. So what was my problem with that last bit of action?
Without giving anything away, let's just say that one of the characters has been tortured, yet immediately jumps up and does heroic deeds without the serious injuries the character sustained interfering at all. Another character comes close to drowning and suffers serious cuts and bruises, but disregards all that and plunges on. Adrenaline could certainly account for some of that energy but, come on - torture?
As a mystery writer, I fully understand that our stories are not real life and that characters in books have to do things that ordinary people in the same situation probably wouldn't do. But shouldn't their experiences leave some mark on them? My older son broke his collarbone in a motorcycle accident. Now, he's big, tough, and a bodybuilder, but eighteen months later he still experiences significant pain in his shoulder. If he were a fictional character he would be immediately jumping from one building to another like Spiderman, disregarding injury or pain.
Seeing people die in horrible ways, maybe even having to kill or seriously injure someone - has got to impact our characters in life-changing ways. In real life, if someone fails to deal with such experiences directly, they would likely suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. In fiction, that could make for all sorts of interesting sub-plots.
We want our readers to identify with our characters, and over time, whether it's through the arc of one book or an entire series, come to care about them as if they were old friends. An important part of making a character real is to give them human frailties, both physical and emotional, which means reacting to the challenging - okay, awful - things that happen to them in the plot. So, if your protagonist has just faced down a killer and shot him or her, I want to know how he feels about it. Is he exhilarated, or does he experience pangs of guilt? Or is she just plain exhausted by what she's gone through? If your protagonist was kidnapped and threatened, brutalized, perhaps, when she escapes from the situation, does she begin to feel as if she must now always look over her shoulder? Can she ever feel safe again? Does she have nightmares about what happened to her?
I addressed this issue in my third mystery, Dead Write, where my protagonist, forensic handwriting expert Claudia Rose, was still suffering emotionally from traumatic experiences she'd undergone in Written in Blood, the previous book. Having lost a friend to a brutal killer, and after witnessing violent death, etc., Claudia is experiencing depression. She tries to hide how she's feeling by withdrawing into a shell, but the distance this creates causes uneasy ripples in her relationship with her lover, Joel Jovanic. The trauma also brings up painful old memories of a childhood situation that continues to haunt her.
Our protagonists are expected to have a character arc and to have learned something by the end of the book. By using what happened in one book as a stepping stone to Claudia's emotional growth in another, I was able to give her character more humanity - humans suffer and hopefully, we grow from it. Our characters should, too.
Guest post by Sheila Lowe. Like her character Claudia Rose in the award-winning Forensic Handwriting Mysteries series, Sheila Lowe is a real-life handwriting expert who testifies in handwriting-related court cases. She's a frequent guest in the media and was invited by Lifetime Movie Network to provide information and analyses of criminals on its website as a tie-in for Jeffery Deaver's The Devil's Teardrop movie. Sheila holds a Master of Science degree in psychology and is the author of the internationally acclaimed The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis, Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous, and the Handwriting Analyzer software. http://www.claudiaroseseries.com http://www.sheilalowe.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/sheila_lowe
The Surge of eBooks!
According to Neilson Online, more books were sold on the Internet in 2008 than any other product. Amazon recently reported that 180 eBooks are sold for every 100 hardbacks and they expect digital will surpass paperbacks before the end of the year.
Submissions Accepted: The 2012 Indie Excellence Awards
The Indie Excellence Awards contest is taking submissions!
NIEA celebrates overall excellence, including design and promotional text. To enter, please send one copy of your book per category entered. Books with publication dates of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are eligible. Books published anywhere in the world may be submitted as long as they are in English and can be purchased in the United States.
Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - and her guests - has to offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here. Publishing Insiders is now available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go!
How to Get Your Book Reviewed, Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Eastern
It can be a challenge to get your book noticed amid the hundreds of thousands of new titles published every year. With so much competition, reviews are one of the best ways to boost book sales. Join us as guest Dana Lynn Smith discusses how to find prospective reviewers, request reviews and then take those published reviews to the next level.
About our guest: Dana Lynn Smith, author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides, has a degree in marketing and 16 years of publishing experience.
* All About Ghostwriting * Publishing Insights from Ellora's Cave * Re-Purposing Your Content * The Future of Author Events * Selling Your Book in Bulk and Special Sales * What Authors Must Know About Book Cover Design * Literary Agents and Their Evolving Role in Publishing * The Dos and Don'ts of Distribution, Parts 1, 2 and 3 * SPECIAL GUEST Seth Godin: Poke the Box * Smart Self-Publishing: Why Book Design & Editing Matter * Smart Self-Publishing: Making Money with eBooks * Smart Self-Publishing Series: Becoming Your Own Publisher * Branding: The Secret to Selling More Books * Secrets to Getting Your Book Into Libraries * Getting Your Book into Bookstores with Elaine Wilkes * This Book Will Make You Money with special guest Jim Kukral * How to Make Money on Twitter * A Self Publishing Success Story * From Blog to Book * The Digital Book Revolution * Powerhouse Promotion with Marci Shimoff * eBooks: the Savior of Publishing or the Foe? with Joe Konrath * Special Guest Mari Smith, queen of Facebook * All Things Twitter! with Warren Whitlock
Want to have your blog post to social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook? Try http://dlvr.it/. It's a great way to spread your content out over a number of social media platforms!
Social Media Snippet: Timing Your Tweets
Want to know the best time of day for you to Tweet? Check out http://timely.is/#/. Fantastic service that analyzes your Tweets and response and tells you when it's best to post!
Social Media Snippet: Who's Following You?
Ready to analyze your followers? Formulists http://formulists.com/ puts your followers into buckets so you know who they are, what they do, etc. Great service!
If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.
WHO ARE WE
Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.
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