Category Archives: book marketing

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!

Amazon Super URLs: Why NOT to Use Them In Book Marketing

What is an Amazon Super URL? It’s a special link to your book that includes a keyword word that links to your book.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t you want to use a link like that?

Apparently, some authors attempt to use them as “hacks” to make their Amazon clicks look greater than they are.

Let me put a disclaimer here: I am a technical illiterate. I don’t understand all the reasons why and how this works. It involves Amazon sales algorithms, search engines, and other mysterious “geek” things. If you want to know more about the technical side of this, here’s an excellent article.

The Super URL Problem

Let’s say you send out an author newsletter, or sign up for a book promotion on Ereader.com or Fussy Librarian. You go to Amazon, type in a keyword you know always brings up your book, and copy and paste that entire link into your newsletter or e-book promotion site. This goes out to hundreds or thousands of people. And 50 of them click on the link in the same hour. This should be great! But that code word shows Amazon that everyone who clicked on the book came from the same source.

Obviously, your promotion is working. But Amazon wants to make sure that it is correctly tracking the products that people purchase when they search a particular keyword. The more accurate their algorithm, the better the Amazon shopping experience. To put it bluntly, when you type in a keyword, Amazon wants to bring up the product you are most likely to buy.

There is a lot of information in a URL. There is a time stamp, keywords, your book rank at that moment, and more. If everyone who clicks your book in one hour uses the exact same URL, Amazon thinks you are trying to game the system. Even if you have done it by accident. And they can punish you for it.

This includes reviews as well as sales. If you put out a request for reviews with a link that includes keywords or a time stamp and get several reviews linked to that one URL, Amazon is likely to take down ALL those reviews.

What link should you use?

Use only the “foundation” of the link.

I’ll use my own book as an example. In the first link, I typed in the words “urban fantasy romance” to bring up my book. You can see that those words are listed.

https://www.amazon.com/Patient-Wolf-Wicked-Urban-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B01DYRMKRG/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486483126&sr=1-1&keywords=urban+fantasy+romance+the+patient+wolf

But if I want to send this link out in a book promotion, I would shorten it to include only the Amazon ASIN number.

https://www.amazon.com/Patient-Wolf-Wicked-Urban-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B01DYRMKRG/

This is the safest link you can use when promoting your book. Whether you are doing it accidently, or to try to game the system, using a link with keywords or time stamps puts your sales and reviews at risk.