Feb 8 – Create a quick contest

#scifichat #fridayreads were trending today.  It’s Kite Flying day. 6 days until Valentine’s and only 4 days until Mardi Gras.  So, there’s plenty of ways to tie in your tweets to current events!

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Speaking of that.  One of our authors – Carol Denker – author of Autumn Romance is launching a contest between now and Valentine’s Day.  She will send a book priority mail to whomever gives her the greatest idea of a Valentine’s gift (under $50). Whoever has the most likes, wins the book. She’ll priority mail it on the 12th, autographed so that you can present it to your sweetheart on the 14th.

It is a cool way to market the book. It brings attention to it, creates a buzz around it. Gives people something to look forward to and check back on her page about (creating FB popularity). This also gives the people who put in an entry a reason to share it with friends asking for votes. Very simple and easy to manage. No complicated rules – etc.

Giving away a book for an easy public contest is a good idea. What can you think of, that would get people thinking about your book?

This is just a fun example that I wanted to share. Get creative and hold a contest. You could do it monthly, quarterly – who knows.

Fun stuff! Good work, Carol!

Have a good weekend everybody!

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Jan 29 – Randomness and Social Media

#MyLifeIn5Words – And since I see nothing too exciting to write about “Corn Chip Day” and it is so late, I’ll lead with tomorrow’s obscure label and wish you all an early Happy “Escape Day”

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That should be some good ammunition for tweets – write your life in 5 words.

I am that I am… Well I know that is not original and many other great people have said it before me, but I can’t sum up all the labels in my life in 5 words or less, so I’ll just be me instead…

Today’s exercise is one in randomness and you get to choose your social media of choice – be it Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

My favorite book in the world is called “Illusions” by Richard Bach. In it he describes a magical book called “The Messiah’s Handbook.” That book has no page numbers because it has the amazing quality that where ever you open it to is just the right message you need to receive.

So, I’m going to assume that about your book. It is magical also. I want you to pick it up, and with your eyes closed open to a random page. Depending on the page, create a Tweet, Facebook post, or Pinterest pin for what is on the page. Trust this experience and find the gold that’s right there on that page.

Share what you did in the comments! This should be fun!

Enjoy… and go Escape!

Jan 22 – Cooperation

Ask Your Cat's QuestionsHey it’s: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day and National Blonde Brownie Day and suddenly I want to go to Applebee’s!  #InMyCity is trending on Twitter.

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I’d like to draw your attention to a comment by Carol Denker posted on yesterday’s blog about asking people for reviews. This is her personal experience and she already has another great review on her book Autumn Romance today. Check it out. Good job Carol!

Again, I’d like you comment on this blog and link to your book’s pages and talk about your experiences doing these exercises or your other great ideas. As I say to my ‘League of Extraordinary Authors,’ “A raising river floats all boats!” So, let me help you too. Part of book marketing is cooperation!

Go out to Amazon.com and leave a nice review for an author you know. If you’re like most authors, you network in writing groups. So, I bet you know several other authors. If not, let me suggest a couple of free Kindles that you could read today and give a nice review on. http://ebookstobelievein.com/freekindles.php Might I suggest Sparkle Phillips’ Finding Your Fortune – it speaks directly to authors. Download it for free (today), peruse it and give it a nice recommendation. If you don’t like that idea, there are 5 others to choose from.

Once you do something nice, then find that author’s fan page and post a link on it to your review. Let them know you’ve helped them.

One day as an experiment I created Top 10 pages for several authors. I usually charge for this service, but on this occasion I didn’t charge. I put out a direct Facebook message on their fan pages letting these authors know that their book was featured on a Top 10 page. Oh my, did they respond. They linked to these pages from their websites. They posted a direct thanks message to me, both private and public and some wrote a newsletter to their group about their new-found honor. My webpages got a ton of press because I was generous. I couldn’t have gotten that much press so quickly any other way. So, doing a little something for someone else really does help you. It comes back to you many times over.

If any of you want to put a good review up for any of the books at Books To Believe In, leave me a comment with the link to the book and the name of your book and I’ll create a top 10 page for you!

Have a great day!

Jan 16 – Write 10 Interview questions

National Spicy Food Day (good for the cookbooks and nutrition books) – only obituaries and the like trending on Twitter (but if your book is about grief, that’s a possibility for you to connect)

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Everyone knows that a Press Kit is probably something an author should create – especially if they want mainstream media exposure. Most press kits contain 3 things – a Press Release, a Biography (headshot included) and Interview questions.

Mainstream media exposure is great for any book and author, and I’ve seen it launch a book and I’ve also seen it do virtually nothing for a book. It depends on so many factors. But let’s assume it is a good thing and we’ll want to go after it. So, creating a press kit is on the to-do list.

Writing and posting press releases will be in a future post. Today, I want to talk about interview questions. These are your book’s talking points, and we need about 10 of them for any good press kit. So let’s start brainstorming… There are the typical questions, “What inspired you to write your book?” “How long did it take you to write your book?” “Who is your book going to benefit?” and so on. These provide a good starting point.

Shhhhh

I kept the fact that I was
writing a book a secret

Let’s dig deeper. For Angel On Board, I wrote it in secret. Not many people know that, so how would I craft a good question where I can explain that?

“Hey EJ – did you write your book in secret?” is a little too blunt. “Who helped you write your book?” “When did you write your book?” “Where did you write your book?” Those questions will pull out that answer.

So, figure out 10 points you’d like to make about your book to someone who is willing to listen to you talk about it. List them on paper. Then craft the question that will pull that answer out. Now you have your interview questions.

But guess what you also have? You have 10 good Pin’s on Pinterest. You have 10 good blog posts. You have 10 good Facebook posts. And you’re 33% done with your press kit.

Yes, use the same information over and over again, just dress it up differently. It will help you keep your message consistent, entertaining and memorable.

Jan 15 – Write a FB post with some back story about your book

Today is “Hat Day” – Martin Luther King’s real birthday, and #ConfessionNight is trending on Twitter.

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I have written a few times on my Facebook Fanpage about how the characters in Angel On Board got their names. In fact one of those stories is called “Marshal, Marshal, Marshal’ in Angel On Board – Real Life Stories.

Today, as I can get triple mileage out of this post by talking about a holiday and some great back story for the book, I will have a #ConfessionNight.

The main character of the book is named “Martin” and that was to honor Martin Luther King. The character was a preacher in life, African-American, strong, full of integrity, wise and loving. Every time I thought of him, I heard the name Martin. I loved the connection.

The angels helped me name my characters. Several of them were named for people who were my angels. But there was some very strange activity around the names of the characters of “Jeremi” “Marshal” “Martin Harper” and “Glory.”  The real-life circumstances that went into naming them made great stories in and of themselves.

Stuff like this is interesting back story and would probably be the answer to an interview question if you were to be interviewed somewhere. Instead of waiting for your moment on Oprah – give your future readers a taste of who you are and where your book came from. This will make it very memorable and again, create the relationship between you and your reader that will result in sales, referrals and hopefully repeat customers.  Repeat customers? Yes, people who will buy your book over and over again, because it makes the perfect gift! When they give that gift, they tell a bit of this kind of back story to the recipient of the gift to make the gift more special.

Share this kind of information with your readers, on your blog or in your posts. It will result in you building a great following.

Jan 9 – Create a Facebook (FB) post about the next holiday on the calendar and tie it to your book

On your book’s FB fan page, create a post linking the next holiday you’d like to celebrate with your book.

For instance, Angel On Board and Memorial Day go together. Unfortunately, it also works with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for those unfortunate enough to have lost a parent. But on a lighter note, it goes with Thanksgiving, because we’re grateful for those we loved.

In Angel On Board – Real Life Stories, we talk about the day Bulldogs and Babies were born on the same day… Trust me, I have June 12’s blog already planned out.

Linking your book with things that are going on around us in the world helps people relate to your book and make it memorable on another level. These posts can be serious or they can be tongue-in-cheek, it doesn’t matter as long as your book gets attention.

There is a “Bizarre Calendar” in google.com/calendar that you can link to. For instance today is “PLAY GOD DAY.” Tomorrow is “PECULIAR PEOPLE DAY.” I can think of a couple of humorous posts for both of these regarding “Angel On Board – Real Life Stories.”

When you go into Facebook, you should ‘use facebook as your book’ so that you can post directly on to your book’s fan page. Go up to the HOME area and select the little gear to the right of it and you should see a list of the pages you can post on. Select your book. Here is Angel on Board’s fan page. Go see what I wrote – and if you haven’t “LIKED” the page yet, please do.

You could attach your book to a cause as well. There’s always some type of Awareness campaign going on. You could post, “In honor of xxxxxx awareness week, I’m letting you know about this…” and you fill in the blanks. The possibilities are endless.

Jan 3 – Post a link to FB (Facebook) from your book’s Amazon.com page

Remember I said that one of the things you would need to have done before you could do everything in this series was to create a FB fan page for your book. This is a pretty simple process, and there is plenty of help. I hope you posted your book’s cover in Facebook and have a banner background that is a different picture. Assuming that is already done, go to your book’s Amazon.com page. Remember ours is at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AB7XXU6/grearelabook-20.

On the right side of the screen, just below the boxes for the shopping cart, there are at least three social media short cut buttons for you. One is Twitter, one is Pinterest and one is Facebook. There may also be an email button. Find the Facebook button and click it.  This will pop up a screen with your link already partially built, and it has an area asking you to “Write Something”. By default it will assume you want to share this on your own time line, it assumes you want it to be PUBLIC, and it will build you a Share It button.

First things first, please write something about your book in the space where it asks you to “Write Something.” Say, “Check out the great reviews at Amazon.com” or “My book just sold again…” or “Look at my new sales rank… hot seller today!” or whatever feels right to you.

Next on the drop down list where it asks you to SHARE: (defaulting to your own timeline), choose the drop down list until you see your book’s fan page. If you created your book’s fan page this will appear automatically. If you did not, please be sure whoever created it for you gave you administrative rights so you can post on it.

After you’ve written something and chosen your own fan page, press “Share It” and it will post to your book’s fan page. https://www.facebook.com/guardianangels101 is ours. Yes, we share a fan page with the parent book Angel On Board, but that is appropriate in this case. If your book is in a series, then the series can have a single fan page.  If you also have an author page, that is fine, but your book needs a fan page specifically.

Now that you have shared on your fan page, sign on to Facebook using your own timeline and re-share your post underneath your normal sign-on. Under the comments section, it might be a good time to ask your friends to click through to your Facebook fan page and “LIKE” it.

This one exercise does many things. You are actively posting from your Amazon.com page and Amazon.com loves that. As the old adage goes, “God helps those who help themselves.” Amazon helps authors who market their own books! So kudos… then it is a way to give your friends another great reminder to “LIKE” your book’s fan page. Your book also gets twice the press on FB because of the re-post. Hopefully it will get some click-throughs and Amazon.com will reward you for traffic by considering your book popular based on traffic!

It’s a win/win/win/win!