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Thread: How to promote your book like an intelligent human being and not an SEO Dweeb

  1. #276
    figuring it all out
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    Great advice within this thread. I now have a few more places to visit for promotional purposes. It is a shame that Amazon won't let me set up a giveaway due to where I live. But I just set up one with GoodReads so that'll be interesting to see how that goes
    http://www.authorellie.com

  2. #277
    Wetting my feet get Slaven's Avatar
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    There are so many promotional techniques. SEO, SEM, Social media etc.

    It all depends on your gaols. Branding takes one way, profits another. You want to sell more books? You need a good plan for it. People usually overpay some things while not even considering some cheaper and more effective ways to promote their product.

    I'm a new author but quite experienced in digital marketing so ask me anything. 😌

  3. #278
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    I wish I had thought to take pictures when I was doing that back in Monterey in the 80s. I used to be an apprentice armorer/swordsmith in the SCA. One of my tasks was to cold forge a broadsword. I remember beating on that piece of steel for months. Then when it finally passed muster, the master armorer took it and stuck it in the fire and said, now that you know how to do it, do it again.

    I damn near cried, but the second one went much better. And then I was just starting to learn hot forging when my time at DLI ran out and I had to leave Monterey. *sigh*

    I have to admit, my arms were in the best shape they'd ever been after whanging on that lump of steel with a 5 pound hammer.


    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    That's a great example of something to write about.

    How to take a piece of steel (with pictures, even cell phone pictures) and make it into a sword.

    • Short posts over a series of weeks would be ideal. One a week, even. Aim for a length per post of 300 to 500 words; 750 tops.
    • Try to have an image in each post, if you can.
    • Have an image of your book and a link to a page about it and how to buy it in the sidebar of each post.

  4. #279
    banned as an incurable tosspot billythrilly7th's Avatar
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    Has anyone taken the time to compile all the amazing advice in this thread, updated it, and made it available to the lazy man in one easily clickable link?

  5. #280
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billythrilly7th View Post
    Has anyone taken the time to compile all the amazing advice in this thread, updated it, and made it available to the lazy man in one easily clickable link?
    It's just one thread, and the conversations here are a big part of the advice given. You can't separate the talk from the information without losing a lot of the value.

  6. #281
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I've printed out this post (something I don't do often) because I will use it as a guide while I am creating my third web site. Thank you for the advice, Medievalist.

  7. #282
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin PickleHeartsBooks's Avatar
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    Here's a little dilemma that I have: I post book videos on youtube. If any of you are not aware of it, there is a fairly tight community on youtube of book reviewers called booktube. I started booktube before I decided to self publish a book, and I don't have a lot of subscribers (1500 or so) but I am very engaging with the people who do follow me. Most of us follow each other and comment on each other's videos and reply to each other's comments on a fairly regular basis. So what would the protocol be for commenting on reviews of my books in this instance? If I am already subscribed to the person and already comment on their videos in regular situations.

  8. #283
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PickleHeartsBooks View Post
    Here's a little dilemma that I have: I post book videos on youtube. If any of you are not aware of it, there is a fairly tight community on youtube of book reviewers called booktube. I started booktube before I decided to self publish a book, and I don't have a lot of subscribers (1500 or so) but I am very engaging with the people who do follow me. Most of us follow each other and comment on each other's videos and reply to each other's comments on a fairly regular basis. So what would the protocol be for commenting on reviews of my books in this instance? If I am already subscribed to the person and already comment on their videos in regular situations.
    You can say thank you.

    Never ever say anything about a review of your own book other than thank you. And if saying thank you is going to make you want to say something more, don't even do that.

    Commenting on your own reviews is the author's big mistake. It never ever ends well. Reviews aren't for you; they're for readers, so mostly, they are not your business.

  9. #284
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    You can say thank you.

    Never ever say anything about a review of your own book other than thank you. And if saying thank you is going to make you want to say something more, don't even do that.
    Came back to this thread to say precisely this.

    The only exception I can think of is if there are factual errors in the review that might be problematic. In that case, I'd only respond if the review had a really large readership/viewership, and I'd stick with correcting the factual errors and commenting on nothing else. (And the only reason I think of this exception is because it happened to me, I didn't respond, and it genuinely hurt me professionally.)

    ETA: And yeah, really, don't do that either, unless it's on Good Morning America or something. I may very well have made it worse if I'd responded; I'll never know. Best to stick with a smile and a "thank you" for a good review - and as a booktuber, you could drive some traffic to their channel as well.
    Last edited by lizmonster; 07-05-2017 at 06:34 PM.
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  10. #285
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    ETA: And yeah, really, don't do that either, unless it's on Good Morning America or something. I may very well have made it worse if I'd responded; I'll never know. Best to stick with a smile and a "thank you" for a good review - and as a booktuber, you could drive some traffic to their channel as well.
    That's so tricky, and the hindsight thing is maddening, too. Everyone's situation is different; but I can see where some things would have to be contradicted, depending on the audience (if it's a blog that 5 people read, I wouldn't and haven't).

    And there's sometimes the option of not directly engaging, but, particularly if you don't respond immediately or specifically, responding on your own space later, without linking or naming names, etc.

  11. #286
    practical experience, FTW SaraC's Avatar
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    I just skimmed the thread, but the little bits I did slow down and read carefully were helpful! I'm planning to self publish one of my novels to keep myself from going insane with all the waiting that comes with traditional publishing. I'm doing a crowdfunding thing for it on Publisherizer and noticed that while my followers, friends, and family respond to my posts and tweets about anything but my book, they seem to ignore the few tweets I do make promoting my book.

    I post I got a request from an agent about the ms I'm taking a traditional route for, I get a dozen likes in an hour. I share a link to my book that I am self publishing, I get a like from my mother and no one else. I haven't been spamming people. I posted once before I launched the campaign, once when I launched and one or twice after. I have been blogging about the experience, but my blogs have been more what someone else in the thread described as publishing journey diaries. And people have been reading them, but probably to decide if they want to try something similar, or avoid it.

    At first, I was thinking the hive mind was telling me not to bother with self-publishing, but really, they just didn't want to be marketed to. Period. If I want to sell my book, they are not the ones who are going to buy it help me promote it. It took me about two days to get that message. I think some people never get it. When I have more time, I will read this thread in more depth to figure out the right way to do things.

    Thank you!

  12. #287
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaraC View Post
    I'm planning to self publish one of my novels to keep myself from going insane with all the waiting that comes with traditional publishing.
    I am very uncomfortable with your use of "going insane" here. It minimises the problems faced by people with mental health issues, and that's not nice. I'd be grateful if you'd not use this sort of language here.

    And it's "trade publishing".

    I'm doing a crowdfunding thing for it on Publisherizer and noticed that while my followers, friends, and family respond to my posts and tweets about anything but my book, they seem to ignore the few tweets I do make promoting my book.

    I post I got a request from an agent about the ms I'm taking a traditional route for, I get a dozen likes in an hour. I share a link to my book that I am self publishing, I get a like from my mother and no one else. I haven't been spamming people. I posted once before I launched the campaign, once when I launched and one or twice after. I have been blogging about the experience, but my blogs have been more what someone else in the thread described as publishing journey diaries. And people have been reading them, but probably to decide if they want to try something similar, or avoid it.

    At first, I was thinking the hive mind was telling me not to bother with self-publishing, but really, they just didn't want to be marketed to. Period. If I want to sell my book, they are not the ones who are going to buy it help me promote it. It took me about two days to get that message. I think some people never get it. When I have more time, I will read this thread in more depth to figure out the right way to do things.

    Thank you!
    If your friends and family can't yet buy or order the book you are probably wasting your time promoting the book for now.

    You're right that people don't want to be marketed to. People want to engage in conversations on social media. The people who are best at social media make very very few self-promotional posts or tweets. They just have fun, make friends, and are generally interesting and entertaining.

  13. #288
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    Came back to this thread to say precisely this.

    The only exception I can think of is if there are factual errors in the review that might be problematic. In that case, I'd only respond if the review had a really large readership/viewership, and I'd stick with correcting the factual errors and commenting on nothing else. (And the only reason I think of this exception is because it happened to me, I didn't respond, and it genuinely hurt me professionally.)

    .
    I recently experienced a good example of this. There's a British author, who is a Facebook friend of mine and who has just published a book which is getting fantastic reviews in all of the UK mainstream media. She has finally hit the big time, I believe, and it's also a very good book. On one of her private Facebook posts she complained that a certain reviewer in a very presitigious magazine had made a factual error -- can't remember the details now but will post later. She said she normally would never reply to a review but when it's a factual error, then the author should do so and it should be de-stigmatized. I do agree with this.
    Last edited by aruna; 07-12-2017 at 02:55 PM.
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  14. #289
    Perpetually in transit Helix's Avatar
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    Is it the best idea to name and reveal publicly what someone has said on their FB page? You could get the point across without naming the author.


  15. #290
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    That's why I distorted her name but you're right.
    OUT NOW!
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    Amazon US:

    Sons of Gods -- the Mahabharata

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    Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that ...
    ~ Rumi

  16. #291
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aruna View Post
    - - -
    She said she normally would never reply to a review but when it's a factual error, then the author should do so and it should be de-stigmatized. I do agree with this.
    (This is OT at this point, sorry!)

    My case was a little fuzzier, in that the blogger (who's also an established author) didn't name the book, and clearly hadn't read it, but managed to use it as an example of What Not To Do. (Won't go into detail, but yes, I'm 99.9% certain they were talking about my book, and even if they weren't, it was a remarkably spiteful thing to do to a debut author.) When people asked in comments, they PM'd the title, so I've no doubt word got around. And this blog has a LARGE audience. I've actually had to block this person on Twitter, because folks I like follow them and sometimes retweet them.

    And maybe they really didn't do me any damage. I'll never know. But it was a shocking article nonetheless, and I do wish I'd had the presence of mind to come up with a pithy response, never mind all the people advising me to ignore it.
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  17. #292
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    (This is OT at this point, sorry!)

    My case was a little fuzzier, in that the blogger (who's also an established author) didn't name the book, and clearly hadn't read it, but managed to use it as an example of What Not To Do. (Won't go into detail, but yes, I'm 99.9% certain they were talking about my book, and even if they weren't, it was a remarkably spiteful thing to do to a debut author.) When people asked in comments, they PM'd the title, so I've no doubt word got around. And this blog has a LARGE audience. I've actually had to block this person on Twitter, because folks I like follow them and sometimes retweet them.

    And maybe they really didn't do me any damage. I'll never know. But it was a shocking article nonetheless, and I do wish I'd had the presence of mind to come up with a pithy response, never mind all the people advising me to ignore it.
    That sounds like an awful (and delicate) situation; I'm sorry you had to deal with it.

    I had an error in a (negative) trade review. I didn't respond. Then I saw the error repeated in a prominent media outlet's blurb of the book. At that point, I tweeted a correction of the error without naming the origin. Doubt any of it mattered much, but for me as a reader, this particular error MIGHT have been a deal breaker on the book.

    As a reviewer, I sometimes get thanks from authors. Totally fine. Totally open to hearing about factual errors, too, because we want to get things right. Emails explaining how I didn't understand the point of the book? No, thanks.

    Returning to the more general promo topic: I just published (in a regional newspaper) a mini-review of a local self-published space opera that was awesome. Like, a total surprise to me, as someone who doesn't even normally read space opera. I only knew about this author and her trilogy because I met her at a local reading organized by a blog that promotes SF/geek culture. So find your local networks and work them!
    YA thriller The K1ller in M3, out now from D1sn3y-Hyper1on

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  18. #293
    practical experience, FTW SaraC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    I am very uncomfortable with your use of "going insane" here. It minimises the problems faced by people with mental health issues, and that's not nice. I'd be grateful if you'd not use this sort of language here.
    Sorry if I offended you. I have a lot of mental health issues and tend to use that phrase more than I should when talking about myself and my problems...I guess I could have said something along the lines of "to keep my publishing related anxiety in check."
    Last edited by SaraC; 07-19-2017 at 11:32 PM.

  19. #294
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaraC View Post
    I'm doing a crowdfunding thing for it on Publisherizer and noticed that while my followers, friends, and family respond to my posts and tweets about anything but my book, they seem to ignore the few tweets I do make promoting my book.

    I post I got a request from an agent about the ms I'm taking a traditional route for, I get a dozen likes in an hour. I share a link to my book that I am self publishing, I get a like from my mother and no one else. I haven't been spamming people. I posted once before I launched the campaign, once when I launched and one or twice after. I have been blogging about the experience, but my blogs have been more what someone else in the thread described as publishing journey diaries. And people have been reading them, but probably to decide if they want to try something similar, or avoid it.
    And, following on Old Hack's
    If your friends and family can't yet buy or order the book you are probably wasting your time promoting the book for now.
    they probably can't think of much to say about it. At this point, if you're still fundraising, they can't really say much about the book, they haven't got it, they haven't read it, and recommending it to others is sort of speculative. It's hard to get enthusiastic under the circumstances. Especially if the only thing they can apparently do at this point is pony up for the fundraiser.
    I would say continue with what works. If people are reading the 'publishing journey diaries', give'em more of that. For non-writers, it's probably an interesting look at things they haven't considered. Not just the publishing, but how an author makes decisions about a story, etc. Tell them how you decided how the magic works, how you decided what's in your 'North-East' area, etc. Why does your cover look the way it does?
    And, if it's does as a description of the 'publication journey', it doesn't sound "Buy it! Buy it!" but it piques interest.
    I bought a friend's book, not in my preferred genre, based on her description of how she had 'designed' the clothes. I wanted to see what the end result was.

  20. #295
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    This is a well-written, easily understandable post from WordPress.org on what SEO done right means, and how you, as a writer, can make your site perform better for users/readers and search engines.

    The Reality of SEO Basics

    When you hear “search engine optimization” — or, more commonly, SEO — you might feel like you’re swimming in alphabet soup. But have no fear: learning SEO basics is not nearly as technical as it may seem. SEO is less about filling your site with the right keywords (what people type into Google searches), and more about writing great content that your audience finds useful. You may be surprised to learn that Google is actually pretty savvy when it comes to figuring out whether or not a website is helpful.
    It really is about the writing, about the content, and about readers.

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