Category Archives: book marketing

Connecting with Readers: Putting the “Social” in Social Media

Why do we all dread social media? I know very few people—even Millennials—who truly enjoy social media. And when you are using social media to promote your books and yourself as an author, it can feel very, very awkward. The most important word to remember when using social media is “connecting.”

Social media is about connecting with other people—your friends, your family, your co-workers, and of course, your readers. I is about turning your friends and family into readers and your readers into fans who tell other people about your books.

Put Yourself in Your Posts
I’ve been working with a few authors recently on increasing their books sales and the number of book reviews they have on Amazon. All of them have done exactly what I told them: put a note on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account that includes a link to their book showing the cover, and a message saying, in their own words, “I’ve written a book, please buy it, review it, etc.”

The problem is, some of these authors (No, I won’t name you, if you are reading this you know who you are!) have put exactly that. “I recently wrote my first book, XXX. It is on Amazon. I hope you will buy it and write a review about it.
They have gotten some likes, some congratulatory comments, but very few of their social media friends have gone on to buy the book or write a review.

Except one.

What did he write? He wrote a long paragraph, from the heart, explaining why he had written the book, how much it meant to him, and how much he appreciated the support he had had over the years from friends who encouraged him to finish his book.

What happened?

Within minutes ten people purchased his book. Also, several of his friends shared his post with notes to their friends saying some version of, “I know this person and I’m so proud of him.” This resulted in more sales.
Okay, let me be clear, he did not become an Amazon bestseller with one unpromoted post on Facebook. He did make a great start at selling his book.

Show Me, Don’t Tell Me
If you have been writing very long, you have heard the phrase, “show me, don’t tell me.” It means that as writers we need to open up and allow the reader to have empathy for the characters by “showing” them the emotions of the characters through descriptive words. That’s exactly what we have to do when using social media to tell people about our books.

The people on who follow us on social media are our friends. They are interested in what we do. Some of them may be close friends or family, others business acquaintances or readers who are interested in our work. So why do we suddenly freeze and not share our pride and happiness in our books? Being embarrassed to tell people about your books will not get them sold.

What Should You Do?

  1. Create a connection. Don’t just say, “I did this.” Instead, talk about why you did this. How long has it taken you? What were your
  2. Try not to sound stilted. If you think of it as “promotion” you’ll feel and sound stilted and uncomfortable; not at all like yourself. If you allow you’re your honest feelings to show through, your friends will understand that this is important to you and will support you in it.
  3. Don’t just talk about your books. Social media is about sharing. Yes, about the great place you went for lunch, the beautiful flowers you saw, your afternoon with family and friends. The silly, everyday stuff of life.
  4. Respond and Share. If a friend posts something, respond to it, not just by hitting the “like” button, but with an appropriate comment. Share others’ posts, particularly posts that are meaningful to you, or that they are using to promote their own businesses.

There are many additional ways for you to use promoted posts and other social media techniques to reach greater numbers of people, but your friends, and your social media “friends” are your first circle. Reach out to them sincerely and honestly and you may be surprised at the response you receive.

Connecting is better (& more FUN) in Person!

By Cindy Carothers

There are at least 15 ways that you can make money from your book above and beyond book sales. I’ll be conducting a workshop on that at the upcoming Winter Writer’s Weekend. It’s one of many, varied presentations on a range of issues all applicable to your work as a writer.

You can go straight to event registration at the end of this post, or you can consider these other reasons to join us:

Improve your marketing: branding sharpens in person
Branding is so much more than the colors on your website or the logo on your social media accounts or your book cover design. Branding is about personality and the way you communicate it. It is about your audience’s reaction to your personality.
When you attend in-person events, you get the chance to see your brand through fresh eyes and make changes so you communicate your message more clearly. Ever have words in your head that don’t come out of your mouth quite the way you wanted them to? In-person, you can practice how you talk about your message and get immediate feedback for greater clarity.

Build relationships faster: ‘magic’ happens in person
Relationships can start online, but they really solidify when you interact in-person. You have a chance to discover who you really click with.
You’ll often discover more common ground at one event than you will in 50 online messages. Everyone knows that written marketing messages are carefully crafted and for that reason can be inherently suspect.
In person, off the cuff, you’re more likely to make genuine connections based on who you (& they) really are. Your energy and passion are more readily gauged face-to-face.

Collaborate: partnerships form better in person
It’s fun and rewarding to partner with someone that you’ve had a chance to meet in person. You know their personality, their commitment and their style from spending time together at events. Co-author a book, start a new project, add to your promotional team – the possibilities are endless. You may never recognize these possibilities in a purely remote interaction.

Be sure to prioritize
Conferences always go by much faster than you think they will. That’s why it is helpful to have a game plan in mind ahead of time. This lets you make the most of and enjoy your time there. Before any event, take the time to think about what you’re hoping to accomplish by attending.

• If you hope to build a network of supporters that will promote your latest offering, then socializing with others is your top priority.
• If you hope to find a new partner to work with, then you’ll be mindful of the ease with which you can communicate with individuals.
• If you’re going to be educated, then you’ll register for sessions that give you the information you need.
• If you’re looking for feedback, you’ll plan to spend breaks and meals with different people each time.

As an attendee from last year said “the best part of the weekend is always the people.” Come be one of those great people!

A sales and marketing consultant, Cindy Carothers focuses on entrepreneurial behavior – and moving you beyond talking and wishful thinking to executing a promotional plan.

Next Level Book Marketing: Learn How You Can Do It, Too

By Cassandra Laymon

The author of I Found Jesus in the Stock Market, through Cassandra’s book marketing she  has been booked on a nationally syndicated radio show–among other things–since publishing in 2016.

I am not your typical author. I never dreamed of penning a best-selling book, or even writing a book at all. When friends would mention this goal on their “bucket list” I would call them crazy! By nature, I am a math and science girl, and avoid writing when I can.

When I did finish writing my last book at the prompting of a mentor (my second book, but who’s counting?) I thought the hard work was over. In truth, it was the beginning of an amazing journey that is shaping up to be another great adventure in my life.

Keep the End in Mind

The most important thing I would share with any aspiring author is to begin with the end in mind. I was clear from the beginning about the what I wanted to accomplish with this book. I am a CERTIFIED FINANICAL PLANNER™ by trade, and I never intended for this book to become an income stream for me. In fact, all proceeds from book sales are donated to the Blue Ridge Women’s Center, our local crisis pregnancy center in Roanoke, VA. My goals for this book were two-fold:

  1. Educate Christians about the fact that they may be investing in business practices that oppose their faith values.
  2. Demonstrate our company’s expertise in faith based investing, providing an opportunity for potential clients and financial advisors to do business with us.

That’s it. I did not have a sales goal or a revenue goal. I did want to make sure that the book got into as many hands as possible, but I was more than willing to give them away to make that happen.

One of my favorite quotes by Goethe says, “At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.” That is certainly descriptive of what happened for me as I started to market my book.

Coming out of last year’s Winter Writer’s Weekend, I realized that I had not prepared enough for the launch of my book. My book was published, but several weeks later I had not started promoting outside of being a vendor for an event for Christian Financial advisors.

At that event I met Nicole Loughan, who you will also meet at this Winter Writer’s Weekend 2017. While our books are vastly different (she is a best-selling author of southern mysteries) she showed me how to do promotions on KDP Select. After my first promotion, my book hit #1 in the Stewardship category on Amazon. Using some very precise strategies, my book was getting attention.

Note that my promotion was very specific to my niche.  My book is a Christian financial book. I did not market to a general financial market, and I did not market to a wider Christian audience. I specifically focused on Stewardship, because these are the people with whom my message resonates.

At this year’s Winter Writer’s Weekend I will share the rest of my story, including the steps I took to get booked on nationally syndicated radio shows which resulted in prospective client and advisor inquiries that continue to roll in months later!