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Self-Published Authors: Technology Tips and Tools to Increase Your Visibility

Image from canstockphotoSelf-published authors,  have you uttered this sad tale: I have a garage full of books. How do I sell them?

If so, you made the mistake similar to planning a party, but forgetting to send out the invitations.

Potential readers must know you exist before they can buy your book.

Too many authors groan that they didn’t sign on to be salesmen, but without making yourself and your book visible, you stand almost no chance of selling any books.

Help is on the way.

Here are 6 articles and one free webinar to help you come out of hiding so you can enjoy the book sales you deserve.

Free Webinar on March 12, 2015:  Joan Stewart with Ben De Reinzo
Start Selling Books and Building an Audience in Minutes with Book Sales Pages
Register here.

This is for authors who are launching a book but don’t have the time, money or patience to build a website. It’s also for anyone who can’t rely on Amazon alone to sell their books.

On Thursday, March 12, Joan Stewart is hosting a free webinar with Ben De Reinzo from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. He’ll introduce you to a powerful new technology that gives authors more control over the sale of their books, even if they can’t afford a webmaster and have zero techie skills.

Drew Hendricks on Website Magazine
4 Critical Steps to Make Your Website Responsive

As of last year, more people are using their smart devices to browse the Web instead of computers. Due to the change in information medium, it’s important for businesses to create a responsive website that meets the needs of its consumers through a page that can be displayed fully and comfortably no matter what screen size is accessing it. By making your website responsive, you make your business’s information more convenient and therefore more accessible to anyone searching for it.

Mal Darwen on Wordtracker
An Introduction to Long Tail Keywords

The long tail of keyword research is fundamental to your online success. That’s really important, so I’ll say it again. The long tail of keyword research is fundamental to your online success.

I’ll tell you how to work with long tail keywords on your site to benefit your customers, improve conversions, and boost your visibility in search results.

Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land
Google Search Algorithm Adds Mobile-Friendly Factors & App Indexing To Ranking

Google announced it is making two significant changes to its search algorithm for ranking the mobile search results.

Google will be using mobile-friendly factors in its mobile search results starting on April 21, 2015, and it will rank mobile apps participating in App Indexing for signed-in users better in the mobile search results starting today.

Caitlin Muir on Author Media
Why You Need a Hashtag for Your Next Book

Twitter isn’t going anywhere. The sad thing is, most authors are ignoring it.

They can’t afford to.

Janice Clark on BizmSolutions
11 Tools for Those Suffering Social Media Overwhelm

For a busy entrepreneur, the days can often fly by, with a workload so overwhelming that it seems impossible to get it all done.  Manage clients, market the business, stay on top of the latest trends and don’t forget to be authentic, creative and take some time to chat up your target audience on at least three different social platforms!  Whew! Sound familiar?
. . .
Here are eleven tools you can use to help you pull it all together and get more done in less time.

Aubre Andrus on Mashable
10 Quick and Easy Marketing Tools for Authors

Regardless of whether you’re self-published or have a Big 5 publisher behind your book, all authors are doing the same thing: promoting themselves and their book. While marketing takes away time from what we authors do best — writing — it’s a necessary evil.

 


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Article by Flora Brown

Flora Brown is an author, blogger, speaker, and book coach. She's the creator of "Rockin' Your Book" an eCourse delivered to your emailbox.

If you like this post, you can keep up with the latest information from Color Your Life Published by subscribing to updates at the top of this site. When you do, you'll be able to download a free copy of the eBook, "It's Time to Write Your Book."

50 Shades of Pay

Tie-in to 50 Shades of Grey brings 50 shades of pay

Photo by Flora Brown who thankfully has no aspirations for a career in photography

In the summer of 2012 I met a friend for lunch. As an avid reader, she always carries a book with her. This time I couldn’t help but notice her copy of “50 Fifty Shades of Grey” on the table, covered by a yellow flower in her attempt to camouflage it. She should have used a larger flower. (I can sometimes get a sharper focus, but I had to be quick. I was sneaking this shot.)

This mixed reaction is typical from readers who are hiding or denying their attraction to “50 Fifty Shades of Grey,” but are devouring it nonetheless.

The reaction by early readers foretold the book’s destiny. Check out its count of 29, 956 reviews as I was writing this article (that MUST be a record.) Many of the reviewers bashed the book as poorly written, amateurish, with unbelievable characters, but admitted they couldn’t put it down.

Even before the BDSM movie “50 Shades of Grey” opened in movie theaters on February 14th, the book-turned-movie sparked widespread reaction that will surely lead to 50 shades of pay for entrepreneurs, authors, psychologists, and others who are riding its popularity.

Quick-thinking entrepreneurs tie-in to the movie’s popularity

  • A Texas church gave a twist to the message of the movie by offering “Right THEY Valentines Day weekend experience” where the book 50 Shades of They by Pastor Ed Young was the reading material.
  • In an article titled 50 Shades of No Way, sex therapist says the book is the talk among her clients who worry that they are not steamy enough
  • Always urging us to get free publicity, Joan Stewart, the publicity hound, shares how B.L. Ochman pulled traffic to her Google+ account when she shared the LEGO version of “50 Shades” a few weeks ago.
  • Looking for more steamy romance? There’s an app for that. It’s called After Dark.
  • You can get your 50 Shades of Grey Christmas tree ornaments if you order early
  • Want to get that tie design on your nails? OPI shows you how in this video.

Celebrities had their fun with parodies

Negative reactions and repercussions get attention too

  • University of Chicago student charged with sexual assault after allegedly trying to recreate scenes from movie
  • Middle school students were unintentionally given 50 Shades of Grey crossword puzzles
  • American and Canadian activists who work to prevent domestic violence started a grassroots movement, 50 Dollars Not 50 Shades, urging us to donate to women’s shelters instead of buying movie tickets. Follow them on Twitter at #50dollarsnot50shades
  • Accusing 50 Shades of sabotaging intimacy, clinical psychologist Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh are offering a free copy of their “Christian perspective” intimacy book, Pulling Back the Shades, in exchange for copies of the E L James novel. (Be sure to check out the authors’ poses on their website.)

Author is stunned her hobby piece is a phenomenon

No one is more surprised at the popularity and widespread reactions to her erotic romance trilogy starting with “50 Shades of Grey” than British wife and mom of two, E.L. James. She told TODAY’s Michelle Kosinski  “This is my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies in there, and that’s it.”  James admits she’s not a great nor disciplined writer, and yet she brought a hot topic into the mainstream. That means lucrative pay for her and those who ride her popularity wave.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

I’m a firm believer in promoting your book, business or service by piggybacking on holidays, special events and popular trends. If you are opposed to the topic of the book and movie, is this where you draw the line?

Or do you create your own book or movement presenting the opposing viewpoint?

Or quickly stock up on gray ties in your haberdashery?

Perhaps you could write an analytical work about the irony of the main character’s name, Christian?

Or you talk about how Jackie Collins is tame by comparison?

Would you let your distaste or disgust stop you from riding the 50 shades of pay possible for your business, product or  service with a “50 Shades of Grey” tie-in?

Leave your comment and share this article with others. I’m counting on you.


ProPics1-cropped-600x750

Article by Flora Brown

Flora Brown is an author, blogger, speaker, and book coach. She's the creator of "Rockin' Your Book" an eCourse delivered to your emailbox.

If you like this post, you can keep up with the latest information from Color Your Life Published by subscribing to updates at the top of this site. When you do, you'll be able to download a free copy of the eBook, "It's Time to Write Your Book."

How to Sell Your Book Inside Costco and Other Major Stores

how to market self-published book

Sonia Marsh, on the right, greets me and another shopper at Irvine Costco 8-24-13

Go to Costco on the weekend (if you dare) and you’ll pass vendors encouraging you to sample a food or learn more about a home improvement item or other product. It’s safe to assume that letting consumers touch, taste, or experience a product increases Costco’s sales.

Did you know that as an indie author, Costco will let you set up a table to talk to shoppers and do book signings?

(Puts going to Costco on a weekend in a whole new light, doesn’t it?)

That’s what my friend Sonia Marsh did at her local Costco (twice) to promote and sell her memoir, Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island [Amazon Associate link]

When I stopped by Sonia’s table to buy my copy and get it signed, other shoppers paused to hear about Sonia’s tropical island adventure and get their hands on her book as well.

Ka-ching.

And after the book signing ended, Sonia’s book remained for sale in Costco’s book section for another two weeks.

Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

You, too, can promote and sell your book in the same way, but not only in Costco. Did you know that you might also be able to convince Target, Walmart, big supermarket chains, and even airport bookstores to give you shelf space?

But only if you follow the rules.

Amy Collins of New Shelves Distribution knows the playbook because that’s what she does five days a week. She sells her clients’ books to the big chains.

Amy says you can do what she does if you know who to contact, what kinds of books they want, what your book package must look like, and what to do if the merchandisers are reluctant because they’re already stocking titles similar to yours.

She’ll be Joan Stewart’s  guest on a webinar at noon Eastern Time on Thursday, March 20, on “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books.”

Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books”

Everyone who registers will get a peek at Amy’s Rolodex, access to her contact information for the big chains, and a sample kit of what to send book buyers.

Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books” even if you can’t attend live because Joan will be recording it and you’ll be able to watch the video replay and access the other materials.

PS

Getting your book into these big chains and in front of millions more readers takes persistence and attention to detail. You only get one chance to do it right.
Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books”

PPS

Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, has been giving tips on how to get free publicity for your product, service, cause, or issue for decades. I started buying Joan’s products when I began my first Internet business back in the late 90’s before webinars existed. She was shipping audio cassettes then.(Look it up if you’re under 25.) I have learned so much from Joan over the years that I became an affiliate. That means I will receive a commission if you sign up for the webinar, but I was recommending Joan’s products before she had an affiliate program.

Get Media Coverage with a Compelling Press Release That has a News Tie-in

The media continually scrambles to fill the news, on and offline. You can get free  and invaluable promotion for your book, blog or other writing with a great press release.  To get  published your press release must tell a  compelling story and have a news angle or a hook that grabs the media’s attention.

A press release is a pseudo-news story that will convince an editor of the newsworthiness of an event, product or service.

If you can tie together a press release about your writing with some connection to a news story, you can generate immediate attention which can lead to increased sales for your book or traffic for your blog.

News tie-ins are great because a lot of the work is already done for you.

For example, when a portion of one of the major freeways in south Los Angeles, the 405, was closed for widening, the city, county and whole state were abuzz. In anticipation of this one weekend, July 16-18, 2011, some businesses closed, some lifestyles were altered and the media garnered tremendous attention by dubbing this event Carmageddeon, warning drivers to stay away from the area. 1,000’s of tweets, Facebook messages and many news stories were spun from this event.

Retailers, such as www.cafepress.com, were ready with Carmageddon t-shirts, mugs and iPhone cases and more. Some local bars and restaurants offered special deals to help ease the stress on local residents, and of course, get them to still shop during this period.

Clever authors, bloggers and writers  could have tied into Carmageddon if they cover topics about stress relief,  handling adversity, resilience, time management, happiness, child’s play, crime and so on.

During the same time frame, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony  parted ways. Coaches and therapists could tie in to this news story with an article about what we can learn from celebrity breakups that can help our own relationships.

Back to school stories are popular in August.  Can you write about how back to school is different for K-12 students enrolled in online programs?

With news stories, there is a very short window of opportunity. The good part, however, is that there are always news stories, though not equally dramatic, but always with possible tie-ins that can mean visibility for you.

What is happening in the  news that you can tie in to promote your topic or niche?