Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Use Author Central as a Marketing Tool #WWow

If you want to appear as a serious writer, there are several resources/tools you need to have. The most obvious is a website, perhaps a blog, but have you thought about the ever apparent Amazon? When you click your author name, what happens? Does it take you to your author page? If not, you're behind!

HOW TO USE AUTHOR CENTRAL for your benefit

You'll want to use Author Central to be visible to your readers, to market yourself and to appear as a serious writer. Author Central is the first thing you should use to start building your brand!

How can this be a marketing tool?

1. Promote your blog, twitter and videos by connecting them to your Author Central Page.
2. Track your sales.
3. Track your author ranking.

What is Author Central?

Author Central is an Amazon service that connects your books on Amazon to your author profile. If you click on an author's name on Amazon, it'll take you to your profile and you set up that profile on Author Central.

Here's an idea of what you can do:



How do you create your account? 

1. Go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/
2. Sign in with your regular Amazon account. If you don't have an Amazon account, now's the time to start one!
3. Go to the PROFILE tab and add your picture and bio.
4. Other options in the PROFILE are to add your Twitter handle, your blog's RSS feed, videos of your trailers and events.
5. Next, claim your books. Search for your book under the BOOKS tab and click CLAIM IT.

USING AUTHOR CENTRAL TO MONITOR YOUR RANKINGS

You can track three key items on Author Central:  book sales,  author rankings and customer reviews.

BOOK SALES - Found under the SALES INFO. Keep an open mind as sales figures sometimes come in slowly and are not up-to-date. Also, this is obviously only Amazon numbers.


AUTHOR RANKINGS - I'm not sure what good this data is, but it's interesting to look at, nonetheless. From what I can tell, your ranking goes up with more sales. Makes sense. You can also see how you play out in your specific genres.


CUSTOMER REVIEWS- Find recent customer reviews in the REVIEWS TAB. 

What I ultimately suggest is that you take an hour or two (or twenty) to set up your account, play with the features and see what you can do. Also, promote your page and let others know you're out there!

How have you used Author Central? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.


Melinda Dozier is a contemporary romance author published by Crimson Romance and Swoon Romance. She is also Marketing and Art Director for a small publisher and spends way too much analyzing data for fun. Her current book is on sale TODAY for 99 cents! ONE LUCKY NIGHT can be found HERE and her Amazon page is HERE.




Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#WWoW: Tammy's Tidbits from #RomConU and Indie Publishing #MyWANA



Hello my friends! Welcome to Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. I know it's been a long time since my last post but I've a fabulous one for you today. I just returned from Denver, Colorado where I attended RomCon University and RomCon 2014. I had a great time connecting with fellow authors, readers, and friends—both old and new. If you've ever wondered whether or not you should attend conventions and conferences, stop right there. Do it. You need to interact with your peers, make connections, and overall enjoy yourself.


This year was the first time I attended RomCon University. This portion was aimed specifically for authors—published and aspiring. So many great topics were covered, but I filled my schedule with seminars aimed at marketing, publishing, and formatting. 

I'm what people call a hybrid. I have books published traditionally through a publisher (Siren Bookstrand), and I've self published the rest for FOUR pen names. I have the best of both worlds, but there's always room for improvement. That's why I looked forward to this conventions for months. Let me tell you, I wasn't disappointed at all. 

I attended two talks given by Smashwords' Marketing Director Jim Azevedo. He gave out a thumb drive with his presentations on it as well as the three free books put out by Smashwords founder Mark Coker: Smashwords Style Guide: How to Format Your EBook, Smashwords Book Marketing Guide - How to Market any Book for Free, and Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success. All of these books are FREE and can be found on Smashwords.com or Amazon. Go ahead and download your copies now. I'll wait.

Got them? Good! You'll need those later, but for now let me give you the highlights of Jim's talks. Self publishing no longer has the stigma it had as little as five years ago. Before, if you said you published your own books, people thought you weren't good enough for a traditional publisher to take you under their wing, so why should they read any of your work. It's a good question, but very misguided.

You see, some of the most talented authors out there are self publishing/going "indie". Of course, there are some books published way too soon, without formal editing and publishing. There are some with covers that will make you cringe...but so many more with professional looking covers that draw you in. This is the group we choose to be in and Smashwords is one of the ways we can get there.

One thing many of us struggle with is how to price our books. Should we go for a freebie to draw in readers? Should it be 99 cents? What price is too much for an eBook? Jim shared a lot of research with us. It's a good marketing strategy to set the first book in a series for free in order to get the readers invested in the characters and the story lines. If they love them, they'll come back for the next books and pay for them.

He shared that 99 cent price point pays out quite well, but the $1.99 spot is a dead zone. Very few if any books sell at that number. Best to move it up to $2.99 and get the sales. For the larger books over 60k words or so, $3.99 is a good price point. Much higher than $5.50 and the sales numbers go down, but of course you make more per book than you would at the 99 cent price point.

Why did I share that? Well, for those of us still building up our following, it's valuable information. The lower prices do help get your name out there and new readers feel they aren't breaking the bank taking a risk on a new author. Once they're hooked, if you price your work fairly, they'll keep coming back again and again.

Smashwords of course isn't the only name in the Indie publishing game. If you want your work to get into the brick and mortar book stores, you need to have it distributed through Ingram. Now I know what some of you are saying. If you have the expanded distribution through Createspace, you do get distributed through Ingram, but buyers see that Createspace is the publisher (by the ISBN number) and they don't want the books. You can't do the expanded distribution through Createspace if you have your own ISBN number, so what are you to do?

Go directly to Ingram and have them distribute for you through their Ingram Spark program. With Ingram Spark, you can publish an eBook, paperback and hard cover all in one spot. Hopefully by the end of the year, they'll have reworked their process so you can use a Word.doc file for all your needs. For now, you need to upload a clean EPUB file for your eBook, and a clean PDF for the print versions. 

Robin Cutler from Ingram gave the presentation on using Ingram's services. For minimal fees, you can have it all at your fingertips. For only $49 per title, you can distribute both print and eBook versions. It's the same cost for print alone so might as well do both. If you only wish to go the eBook route, it's only $25 per title. There is a $12 annual marketing access fee per title as well. 

For these prices, you get included in the Ingram catalogs distributed to libraries and book stores. There are many other tools on their site to help you market each title and you have all the benefits of print on demand without the hassle of having to be responsible for books in a warehouse or for the cost of returns.

As the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Sassy Vixen Publishing, all of this was fabulous news. I came away from those lectures with a renewed outlook on the publishing industry and my part in it. Sure SVP only represents me and my other three pen names, but one day we will take on additional authors. At that time, I want to give them the best options out there for their books, just like Siren gave me when I first started out.

Still not sure going Indie is for you? Check out Ingram Spark and read the Smashwords guides for yourself. It's not the secret world that some make it out to be. If you have your manuscript edited, re-edited and polished until it shines, and you have a professional looking cover, get yourself to these sites and upload your work. Join the world of the published authors and have fun!

Until next time,
~Tammy

Learn More About Tammy


Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan and Tawny Savage make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.
Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.


Check out:

Tammy's Website
Tammy's Blog
Tammy's Books on BookstrandAmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords,  and iTunes 
Friend Tammy on Facebook
Like Tammy's Facebook Author Page
Friend Tammy on Goodreads
Friend Tammy on Pinterest
Follow Tammy on Twitter
Find Tammy's Videos on Youtube


If you'd like to share your experiences in the publishing world, please contact us about setting up a guest appearance. We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#WoW! How to Get Facebook to Share Your Posts With Your Fans and Followers #MyWANA


Welcome to Tammy's Tidbit's here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. It's been a while since I've posted. I hope all is going well with everyone and their journey through the world of publishing. Last week, Paloma posted a graphic on how to break through writer's block. I needed that. I've been suffering with it off and on for the last couple months. Now I'm down to the wire for a deadline on April 15th and finally! Things are flowing again. Whew!


With that under my belt I can concentrate a bit more on sharing more helpful hints here with everyone. This week I'd like to talk a bit about how to get around Facebook's algorithm that determines who will see your posts on your wall and fan pages. 



If you have a author/fan page you've noticed that only a small percentage of your fans (those who've liked your page) actually see your posts. Why? Because those are the ones who actively engage with you and your posts. They like it, make little comments on the majority of them or even just a smiley emoticon. These are the people Facebook and their computers feel are important and want to be updated about you and your page. 

You can get more views for your posts by encouraging your fans and friends to make comments. One way to get your post in front of your current fans and friends is to boost it. For only $5, up to 3500 people can see your post. Of course this depends on your current fan base and friend count, but it is an investment that can really pay off.  Some of these people may not have realized they weren't seeing your posts. If they just click the like button, Facebook will register that as an ENGAGEMENT and these folks will be on the list to see your next posts. The more they like and leave even a short comment, the higher up on the list they go.

Sure, these little boosts may not lead to any sales of your books, but it gets your name out there and in front of the people who WANT to see your posts. These are the people who WILL buy your books if they know about them. It's why many of them liked your fan page to begin with—to get news of your events and new releases.

Another thing that's really helped me to get my posts in front of even more people who are NOT my fans/friends yet is FREE. In two groups I'm in, we do weekly post shares. Each of us creates a post/status update on our wall or fan page, then we share the URL of the post in our group thread. Each person participating in the thread will then click on the URL, like the post and leave a comment. We also share these posts on our own walls and pages to our fan base. These additional shares make the original posts more engaging and Facebook keeps the lists growing.

Go ahead and give both methods a try. Use them in combination with each other to get more reach. Either way you do it means you get your name and your work in front of more people and in front of those who wish to see it. Isn't that what social media is all about?

For more information on how to get around Facebook's algorithm, please check out this fabulous blog article by Elyse Salpeter: Facebook – Getting Around the Darn Algorithm…

Until next time,
~Tammy


Learn More About Tammy


Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan and Tawny Savage make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.
Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.


Check out:

Tammy's Website
Tammy's Blog
Tammy's Books on BookstrandAmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords,  and iTunes 
Friend Tammy on Facebook
Like Tammy's Facebook Author Page
Friend Tammy on Goodreads
Friend Tammy on Pinterest
Follow Tammy on Twitter
Find Tammy's Videos on Youtube


If you'd like to share your experiences in the publishing world, please contact us about setting up a guest appearance. We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

#WWoW! Just Write!



LEAVE A COMMENT

This feature will take place each Monday. We display a graphic, thought, inspiration, photo, etc & You tell us what you think. When you leave a comment, also leave your twitter account. We will follow you. All we ask is that you follow each of the other commenters as well.
Let's build our writing community!

Monday, March 31, 2014

#WWoW! 7 TOP TIPS for Beating Writer's Block



How Do You Beat Your Writer's Block?
LEAVE A COMMENT

This feature will take place each Monday. We display a graphic, thought, inspiration, photo, etc & You tell us what you think. When you leave a comment, also leave your twitter account. We will follow you. All we ask is that you follow each of the other commenters as well.
Let's build our writing community!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#Wwow - Writing from the Gorilla's Point of View by Sharon Struth



I was having lunch the other day with a friend who shared a hilarious story about purchasing gorilla suits for her sons one Christmas (thank you Lisa O. for a great tale). Later that night, while I read a new book, visions of the gorilla suit returned to me. It wasn’t because the story was about primates. The story stopped me because the writing violated some basic rules about point of view (POV) making me wish the author had slipped on the main character’s suit to tell the story.
Having a story unfold through a single character’s viewpoint isn’t an easy thing to do. However, once you decide to reveal your story through either first person (I, me), third person (she, he) or omniscient narrator (hey, it’s those guys down there), it’s important to stay in a single character’s head. NOT forever, but for—let’s say—a scene or chapter or place clearly marking a POV shift. Otherwise, you’re hopping from head to head, like the story I was reading.
Some writer’s like to argue that “head hopping” makes for a richer experience, so a reader can learn what everyone is thinking or feeling.
The problems with this approach?
First, to agents and editors it shows you’re an amateur. They like books where there is a clear POV character speaking to them…one at a time. Otherwise, the story reads a little like a meeting where everyone is talking at once and it’s difficult to become invested in who matters in this tale.  Also, unless you’re a pro (I’m talking a Nicholas Sparks-like pro), then you probably won’t be able to write this way in a fluid manner. Sure, some author’s head hop. You’ll note their published books typically have printed on top, “NY Times Bestselling author…”
Second, letting everyone know what everyone else thinks at the exact moment of each scene reduces the stakes of the story. As a reader, I want to fully be the character…mind, body, and soul. Consider this: have you ever done something stupid and wondered what everyone who is politely smiling at you really thinks? Yeah, me too. So do my characters. When an author head hops in their writing, the mystery is gone. Good writing is about creating page-turning novels
Third, when you stay one character’s head for a while, EVERYTHING from this one perspective, it gives more opportunities to slowly reveal conflict in your story. An example from The Hourglass, where Brenda (heroine) talks to hero CJ (hero) about her first husband:

“People change.” She shrugged. “Not everything can be fixed.”
The topic left her uneasy. For Brenda, every time the signs appeared—slurred words, a shift in his demeanor or the odor of liquor on his breath—the old wounds of her childhood reawakened. A crater of angst would swell in her gut while her inner soul waited in the same gloomy place as Jack’s until he returned to normal. She pressed her lips tight, unwilling to say more.
CJ’s jaw tensed and, even though he looked at her, it seemed his mind wandered deep in his own life. He replied quietly, “You’re right. Not everything can be fixed.”
Sadness filled the space between them. An emptiness in CJ’s expression left Brenda wanting to know more.

Did you want to know more about what CJ was thinking? Then it’s a good thing I stayed in Brenda’s point of view.

Now go toss on a gorilla suit (or your character’s suit) and pursue your writing journey. What it reveals may surprise you.


THANK YOU to our guest author, Sharon Struth.
You can find The Hourglass here: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Sharon’s Website: www.sharonstruth.com

For a trailer, excerpt or book group questions visit www.thehourglassnovel.com

Author Bio:
Sharon Struth writes from her home in Bethel, Connecticut where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She's a graduate of Marist College and was raised in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Her debut novel, The Hourglass, is published by Etopia Press. Other writing credits include essays in several Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, the anthology A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers, Sasee Magazine and WritersWeekly.com. She is represented by Blue Ridge Literary Agency (http://www.blueridgeagency.com/)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#WWoW!: @dochappycamper Asks What is a BlogHop and Why Do I Want to Be in One? #amwriting #MyWANA


Welcome to Tammy's Tidbits here on Writer's Words of Wisdom. The last time I visited with you I had told you I was taking a step back and re-prioritizing my world as a writer, publisher and veterinarian. I'm still working on paring things down to be more manageable—not overwhelming.


In that vein, I'd like to talk a bit about a networking tool for bloggers and by extension authors. For those of you who don't have a blog, you should get one up, or at the very least do guest spots on other blogs to get you, your brand and your books out in front of as many people as possible. I've already talked about blogs in other posts, so I won't go into that again in today's discussion about BLOG HOPS.

What is a blog hop?

It's an "event" where blog owners sign up with the link to their blog in order to share their content and network with other bloggers and gain more exposure for their work (blog or in our cases books). There's usually a common theme such as a specific holiday and is made up of bloggers/authors who write about similar topics or genres.

Do the participants have to write about the same topics or in the same genres or can anyone join?

The whole concept of the hop is to get more exposure and to network with like-minded individuals. As a romance author you wouldn't want to join a blog hop made up of mostly Sci-Fi or horror authors would you? Very few if any people interested in those genres would want to stop in to see your work. 

Bottom line: blog hops that are successful don't have a mishmash of participants. They have a common theme and topic/genre across the board in order to draw in as much response from those outside the networks. Their goal is to introduce new readers and followers to their work.

How long do hops generally last?

Usually only one day, but there are some that last as long as a week over a busy holiday season. I found that if a hop goes longer than three days, you end up not getting very much interaction or new visitors by the end of the event. The most response occurs over the first three days.

How do you join a hop?

The hosts of a hop will advertise on social media when they've opened up the sign up sheet for their hop. They'll also include all the rules, theme and if you're required to have a prize offered for those who visit your blog. It all depends on the hosts and what they wish to do, but some will also have a grand prize where the winner is drawn from the names of all the people who left comments on the various hops. The more stops you make, the more entries the "hoppers" get in the various giveaways.

The most common form to use as a sign up "sheet" is created using Linky Tools. I'll talk that more on another day, but in short it's a way to add your information to the sign up sheet. Linky Tools converts that to a clickable link that will show up in the blog list. This list will then be made available for all "hoppers" to click on to move from blog to blog.

What if I want to organize a hop but only include members of a specific group I participate in? Will this work?


No. You'll only reach a specific number of followers—the very same number you have now and no "new blood." As host, you'll want to give all participants the chance to broaden their fan base. You can't do that if you all share the same pool of readers and most of them are members of the group and yourself.

Now if your intent is to share only within the group and have a way for members to "hop" around between your member blogs, then YES this sort of blog hop would work but it won't bring you more outside traffic. You do this sort of hop using a "private" linky list. All of that is described on the Linky Tools page.

So go ahead and sign up for a hop and meet more bloggers and writers within your genre. Not only will you find authors new to you, you'll be introduced to many more potential fans as well. Get a few hops under your belt and maybe you'll want to host one for yourself!

Until next time,
~Tammy

Learn More About Tammy


Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan and Tawny Savage make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.
Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.


Check out:

Tammy's Website
Tammy's Blog
Tammy's Books on BookstrandAmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords,  and iTunes 
Friend Tammy on Facebook
Like Tammy's Facebook Author Page
Friend Tammy on Goodreads
Friend Tammy on Pinterest
Follow Tammy on Twitter
Find Tammy's Videos on Youtube


If you'd like to share your experiences in the publishing world, please contact us about setting up a guest appearance. We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to Increase Facebook Engagement Without Paying a Buck #WWow #WritingAdvice


So, you've probably noticed all the restrictions Facebook has on authors pages. As a newbie to the social network realm, I decided to do a little research. I'm still in the research phase, but wanted to share what I've done to try to figure it all out.

Mind you, I'm not a statistician or a numbers person. I am a people person and I'm analyzing the interactions I've had on social networks. 

First, I had a few questions. I spend a lot of time on social media and I wondered which place is more valuable. I could spend MONTHS researching this question alone, but I've come to this conclusion (as many of you have). It's all about FACEBOOK and how we utilize it. 


I've also found that Facebook is the place to connect with readers, whereas Twitter is the place to connect with other authors/publishers/agents.


Here is an interesting info-graphic about the average amount of minutes spent on social media. (Taken from The Wall Street Journal)




This made me sad, as I've really taken a liking to Google+. Again, you can see Facebook is where it's at.

So, with this information, I've learned that we need to engage ourselves more on Facebook. BUT how do we do that when Facebook controls who sees our posts and when? 

Based on what I've heard from other users, I tried some experiements out in one week. 
A little about my Author Page. As of this post, I have 856 followers. Not bad for a newbie author. What IS bad is the amount of views my posts get. With that many followers, I have an average of 25 views per post. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
In ONE WEEK, here are my most important variables:


The post with the most engagement was a Picture/Quote/Oustide Amazon Link receiving 68 views and 1 share. SHARING seems to be what's important here, because normally a link to an outside source brought down the views.


Just as a side note, the second most engagement was a PICTURE of a sexy man. Yeah, yeah, I can't help myself. I have noticed that sexy man pics tend to get a lot more views, though, so that's why I'm including it.


Other top views included: 
A simple post with only a comment (43 views)
Sharing a FB link (45 views)
Funny picture (45 views)

Also noticeable was that all my higher viewed posts were "liked' or "commented" on. 

The post with the least engagement was a share of a friend's post with a resounding SEVEN views.


Want to increase engagement on social media? Ask questions. It´s an easy way to start a conversation and get to know people online. #socialmedia


As a final experiment, today I asked my followers to comment on a post as part of a FB experiment. After 7 hours, I've had 28 comments & 6 likes. With this post, I've had 473 views and expect more. So, COMMENT, PEOPLE, to help each other out. 


OVERALL ANALYSIS:
To have more engagement/views:

More comments = more engagement (duh!)
Use pictures (don't just link to the picture)
Others share your post
Share interesting posts from other FB users

MORE ANALYSIS to come!

Melinda Dozier is a contemporary romance author who loves to spend time on social media. Her two books, BREAKING THE RULES from Crimson Romance and LOVE AND OTHER GAMES from Swoon Romance have been category best sellers on Amazon. You can find her at www.melindadozier.com







Monday, February 10, 2014

Why a Cartoon Works as an Erotic Author Persona

THIS POST ReBlogged from Author Marketing 101: Why a Cartoon Works as an Erotic Author Persona

Therese & Morgan Say: Are you still cringing at the thought of doing a photo shoot for an author portrait? Well, here is an alternative for those of you who may be camera shy or otherwise have a specific reason for not wanting to have your picture floating around the internet. We reached out to our dear friend, Sabrina York for her thoughts on why she chose to use a cartoon illustration instead of an author portrait. 'Her Royal Hotness' was an early supporter of our efforts and we will forever love her!


Sabrina Says: For the last century or so, I have worked in government for a very conservative organization. (Well, it seems like a century.) What I write is not conservative in the least. So I knew as soon as I sold my first steamy romance, I would need to use a pen name. It would serve as a tool to keep my personal and professional lives separate and would also allow me to write in other genres under another name if I so desired.

Because this separation between my worlds was so important to me, I hired a company (Visual Quill) to help with developing a branding strategy. We defined a profile for my core customer, and from that designed a logo and tagline, which I would use for all my marketing.
My core customer is, like me, a little reserved on the surface, but with a playful and naughty side. She has a snarky sense of humor and loves bling. These elements are all incorporated in my persona.

What are the hallmarks of an effective persona?

Professionalism
My philosophy as a newbie author was this: “Begin as you mean to go on.” It was my intention to be a bestselling author and I decided to behave like one from the very beginning. My thought was, this is big business. And big businesses have logos. They do not rely on photographs of their CEOs.

“But Sabrina,” you may ask. “How can a cartoon logo be professional?”

And I will respond, “Stop interrupting.” But then I will go on to share that any cartoon can be a professional logo…if it illustrates your brand. KFC and Wendy’s are two that pop to mind, but I won’t mention them because then I’ll get hungry.

Recognizability
A logo is far more recognizable at a glance than a photograph. As we all know, a customer must see your logo three times for it to sink into their consciousness (new studies reflecting our shortening attention spans suggests that number is closer to 17). By using my logo as my “face,” people see it over and over again on Facebook, blogs, marketing material, Goodreads, Pintrest, Twitter…and so on.

It has recognizability. They know, immediately, who I am. And if they’ve read my books, they know my brand. On that note, for those of you who regularly change your profile picture on Facebook, realize you are losing a little chunk of your brand recognition every time you do so.

A Shield
Because I use my logo rather than a photograph in my marketing efforts, it is easier to maintain personal privacy, or at least some distance from my personal persona. This may not seem important when you are just starting to build your fan base, but when 75% of your followers on Facebook (and closer to 95% on Twitter) are people you do not personally know, this becomes essential.

Friends of mine—erotic authors—who use their personal photograph as their profile picture, spend a lot of time fending off advances from individuals who think Facebook is a dating site. Apparently these charming fellows think erotic authors need a date…which is far from the truth. We are all too busy writing to date.

Other authors have shared even more disturbing stories about being stalked (and not in a good way), and fans who “friend” their husbands and children as a way to connect with them. It is an excellent idea to keep your personal business off social media—especially photographs of your children. If this is your business, treat Facebook, and other social media outlets, like a business site.

Advice on how to create your own persona
Think about who you are and what you write. What image do you want to portray? Is there a unifying brand you can apply to your persona? For me, my tagline, Her Royal Hotness, ties into the tiara in my logo. To extend the thread, I do a regular tiara giveaway and my promo pens are festooned with bling.

Everything ties together into a neat package. A package readers can recognize in an instant.

And if you were wondering why I felt the need to keep my private life private from my conservative employers, download a copy of my free teaser book and see for yourself: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/

Happy reading!

About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the award winning author of over twenty hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers, her titles range from sweet & steamy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

Like my Facebook Author Page
Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york
Follow me on Goodreads
Check out my Pintrest boards
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Using Niche Marketing for Your Book @KayelleAllen #MFRWorg

REPOSTED FROM MFRW - Marketing for Romance Writers: Using Niche Marketing for Your Book @kayelleallen ...

DEFINITIONS

Let's start with two definitions for the term niche marketing. Niche -- A position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it; the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species). Marketing -- The exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money; the commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service; engaging in commercial promotion, sale, or distribution.

Niche marketing is networking. It is not selling. It is not carrying around your books or even bookmarks or business cards. Niche marketing is finding out who likes what you write, and finding ways to be seen by them. Let me explain.

Most marketing efforts are overt. Television commercials show a product and explain why you need it. Car commercials focus on the vehicle's aesthetic appeal, economy, dependability, affordability, and the prestige of ownership. An ad for a new product explains how it's used, why you need to try it, and often offers a bargain for ordering now. Who hasn't heard "But wait! Order now and get..."

IT'S NOT SELLING 

The point of niche marketing is not to sell. It's to rub elbows with people who like "what" you sell and letting them discover your product organically. Your signature on forums, emails, and groups should always have links to your website. Never send anyone anything -- even other writers -- without including your professional signature and a link to something relating to your brand. A book, your website, your blog, social media, etc. You can't have niche marketing if no one knows how to find you. By all means, if you have a tagline (and you should get one asap if not), display it in banners and buttons. Mine is below.


I'm not talking about an in-your-face "DOWNLOAD NOW!" approach, but a simple and direct one. Set up your profile so that every message ends with your name, your writing tag, and your website. If you don't have a tag and website, create them. These are gems! You can use these everywhere you go. A website gives people a central location to learn more about you and your books, and a tag simply tells people what kinds of books you write. Mine is "Unstoppable heroes, Uncompromising love, Unforgettable passion." Anyone who reads my books is going get these things. It's a few words that say everything about my writing. Using your tag in your signature is a form of passive marketing. By combining passive marketing with niche marketing, you can get a double opportunity to tell people about your books, without hitting them over the head with a "BUY NOW!" message.

Go where people who read your type of book can be found. If you write books about horses, you associate with horse people. If it's cats, then you go where cat folks meet. If it's vampires, maybe you hang out with people who watch vampire movies. Niche marketing means you are part of a group that likes the things you write about. It's not selling or talking about your book. You're just there, being one of the gang. Finding the right niche means being with like-minded people. A guy who sells tractors should find out where farmers hang out. His niche is people who need what a tractor can do. Figuring out what the tractor does and what problems it solves will help him figure out who will buy his product.

Think "what problem does my book solve?" If you write fiction, don't assume your book solves no problems. It likely solves many, including boredom and not knowing what to read. One of the first things to consider is that fiction creates a fantasy for someone. If you can fulfill a fantasy, people will pay you for it. A fiction book entertains. People who want to escape and relax with a good story will pay for the privilege. What prompted you to write the book? Think about that and make notes about your thoughts and needs regarding your decision to write, other than "to make money from a book." We all want that as an outcome, but it's not why we write, is it?

Jot down fantasies your book fulfills. You might be surprised. Then look at who is buying similar books (and movies/TV) that fulfill those. It's not necessarily what you thought at first. Be open to new ideas. Where can you go to reach that crowd? Be prepared to spend some time in research, and in getting to know the fans of the genre or series.

READ MORE by following this link.

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Post by author Kayelle Allen, multi-published, award-winning Science Fiction Romance author of unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, and unforgettable passion.
The Author's Secret https://theauthorssecret.com
(post also shared with Savvy Authors)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#WWoW!: Burning the Candle at Both Ends and the Middle with @dochappycamper #MyWANA #amwriting


Welcome to Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. Each week the four of us share the things we've learned on our journey to become published authors. At times we may discuss the same topic, but never the exact same opinion as our experiences vary. That's what makes our little group unique. We share with you what has and hasn't worked for us so you can find what works best for you.

Today's topic is all about burnout. I've written about this before. As authors we tend to get so involved with all aspects of writing, publishing and promoting, we forget to take time out for ourselves. I know better and still here I am again at the point where I'm simply overwhelmed. I'm over-committed, overworked, and in dire need of sleep.

Sound familiar? Multiply that by four and you have my life. Well, I should say multiply that by six: four pen names, a publishing house, and my "evil day job" as a veterinarian. Just with all that alone, I have very little time to take care of my home, my husband and myself. My health has suffered because of it and now I'm at a point where I'm no longer enjoying the very reason I got started on this journey in the first place—my writing.

What used to be a joyful escape has turned into another drudgery. I want that joy back! I'm not saying I don't want to treat writing and publishing as my job. I just want to be able to wake up each day with a smile on my face, looking forward to what my characters have in store for me.

How did it get so out of control? In all my excitement with getting published, I agreed to do weekly posts such as this one, joined Triberr, tweet teams, blog hops, chat groups, author support groups, started my own publishing house and branched out into multiple genres with my various pen names. As they were published, the demand for the next books from each of them grew. The pressure was on to produce faster in order to keep these new readers coming back for more.

Instead of allowing myself to take the time needed to produce the best books possible, I pressed the deadlines, added more and quadrupled my stress levels. These stresses built up higher and higher and lead to all of my health issues—least of all the high blood pressure and diabetes.

It's time to STOP and re-evaluate my goals as
a writer
a publisher
and a veterinarian

I need see how these can balance with the rest of my life and create the all new, and improved...ME. If I'm not healthy and happy, none of the rest will fall into place.

My advice to myself and all other authors out there is to continually re-evaluate your business plan/career goals to be sure you keep balance with your personal life. If any part of these goals get out of whack, you may find your creativity drying up, your health and well-being plummet, and you'll feel like a failure.

In other words: BURNOUT



So recognize the signs you're burning the candle at both ends and the middle before it's too late. Give yourself permission to walk away and enjoy the life around you. Spend time with your partner/spouse and family. 

Devote only one hour a day or on specific days of the week for promotions. Make sure you designate at least an hour a day where you only WRITE. Nothing else. No Internet, no chat, no Twitter, no promotions, nothing. Only write those tales your characters are dying to tell.

Don't commit to projects that will take you away from your ultimate goal of producing your next book. Not to say you can't do one, but realistically look at your schedule and see if you can devote time to it. If you can't give it your best shot, don't volunteer the time and energy you don't have.

Don't feel guilty about saying NO. You are not a machine. Even if you were, machines require routine maintenance to keep running in top order. You must take care of YOU above all else. Nothing else matters if you're not around to enjoy it.

I'm off to take my own advice. I may not be back here weekly now, but you will see me at least once a month with more advice from the trenches. When we meet again, I'll fill you in on how my new plan of balance is working out!

Until next time my friends,
~Tammy

Learn More About Tammy


Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan and Tawny Savage make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.
Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.


Check out:

Tammy's Website
Tammy's Blog
Tammy's Books on BookstrandAmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords,  and iTunes 
Friend Tammy on Facebook
Like Tammy's Facebook Author Page
Friend Tammy on Goodreads
Friend Tammy on Pinterest
Follow Tammy on Twitter
Find Tammy's Videos on Youtube


If you'd like to share your experiences in the publishing world, please contact us about setting up a guest appearance. We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#Wwow - Top 10 Online Sites for Free Photos










Say Cheese! Ever since I became an author, I've had to use pictures for everything! My blog, my website, promotional badges, promotional videos, book trailers ... the list goes on. So, finding a good place online can be time consuming. That's why I stepped in today to tell you of FREE places to find pictures online. If you don't think it's important to use royalty free images and to just copy/paste, you better think differently. Read this from author Roni Loren: Bloggers Beware: You Can Get Sued for Using Pics on Your Blog

I do not work for or represent these places in any way. I've just stumbled upon them and find them useful sites.

1. Open Clip Art
2. Wikepedia Commons - a database of freely used media files
3. Stock XChg - the leading source of free stock photos
4. 20 Free Online Stock Videos - an article that shares 20 different places
5. Stock Vault
6. Creative Commons - Search for free photos or videos from several public domains
7. Free Digital Photos - an extensive selection of free photos
8. Dreamtime - Offers free weekly photos for download.
9. Free Photos Bank
10. Free Stock Photos
11. Photo Pin

Happy picture hunting!


Melinda is a contemporary romance author represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. You can find her on the web at www.melindadozier.com. Both her novels are available at all ebook retailers: Breaking the Rules from Crimson Romance and Love and Other Games from Swoon Romance.