Amazon just announced a new subscription service called Kindle Unlimited, which allows users who pay $9.99 per month unlimited access to a number of Kindle titles. As an author, you need to understand how this new service works, whether or not your books are included, and how much it pays authors.
When I talk with authors (or anyone for that matter) who are just getting into social media as a way to build their online platform, their knee jerk reaction is to run away from Twitter. Many say it's too overwhelming, they don't understand it, it's too difficult to grow their followers, and so on.
Truth be told, I felt the same way for quite some time. But then I fell for Twitter...hard. It has been a key component for growing our business, connecting us with our ideal clients, and has been WAY more effective than Facebook. Dare I say it - I love Twitter.
When we don't understand how something works, it can be intimidating. So if Twitter is something you've been putting off, or if you need to breathe new life into your feed, I'd like to give you some insider tips into getting the most out of your Twitter account.
Patience is not something we come by naturally. Just the other day we had to explain to our five year old son why he had to wait for this irritating thing called a "commercial" before America's Funniest Home Videos came back on. We live in an instant gratification world where we can get what we want at the click of a button or the swipe of a screen.
Over the years, I've had discussions with hundreds of authors, musicians, and other creatives who seem to have a dangerous common thread that runs through them: the need to compare. This is totally normal and something we're never going to stop doing, but I have a question for you...
Are you comparing yourself to the right people?
I'm a sucker for a good treasure hunt. You're handed a clue and you have to figure out where the prize is - good times had by all. For kids (and, ahem, adults), treasure hunts can be a blast! But as an author or creative searching for an audience, it can feel more like a torture hunt.
If you're just starting off building your audience or if you're stuck in a rut trying to grow your readership, you don't need to grasp at straws trying to find an audience. It's not just about growing your numbers - it's about finding the right people who want to read your books and connect with you.
And I have the magic clue for you - it's called Keywords.
When I was a kid we had a cabin on a lake in Minnesota that we would vacation at during the summer months. My dad loves to fish, so this was a slice of heaven for him. Sometimes we would sweet-talk him into taking us kids out on the boat with him to fish, which would last all of 30 minutes. We would get board and impatient...we just wanted to catch the fish!
Because my dad had been fishing that lake for years, he knew the ideal fishing holes, where the fish liked to hang out because there was ample food available, and the ideal time to take the boat to cast a line out. He didn't discover this the first summer there or even the second - it took time. But over the years, he could read that lake like a book and know where he needed to go to catch fish.
As a writer, you're very much like a fisherman trying to figure out the ideal spot to find your readers. There are several key places, but there are also other pockets - some big and some small - where readers can be found. But there is a strategic approach to finding your ideal audience...
Last week my husband and I were talking about how crazy it is to think that our 5 year old son, Isaac, will never know a world without a screen. Whether it be a touch screen for an iPhone or iPad, the computer screen, the TV screen, there are screens in front of us all the time. I'm a huge fan of technology and obviously it has connected us to people, places, and events that we might not have been a part of if we didn't have that screen in front of us. But that doesn't mean it is the only way we can connect with people.
When we start to think about and consider what we should do to market our books, we tend to jump headfirst into ways we can promote online. People discover, discuss and purchase products online, but we need to think about ways to connect with people offline as well.
Here are five ways to connect with fans offline to market your next book:
Let me ask you a question: What do you think the value of 10,000 Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Google+ connections, etc., are to selling your book? They aren't worth anything if you aren't converting those fans into actual customers who will actually buy your book.
No matter how many fans, followers, or connections you have on social media, they won't amount to a hill of beans if you aren't converting those fans into customers.
So how do you do that? I'm glad you asked! Here is your 4 step process to to make your social media efforts successful:
Our 5 year old son, Isaac, has accumulated several baskets full of various small toys that he absolutely loves. It's full of random green Army men figures, small Angry Bird toys, Toy Story figures, and other small pointy things that when stepped on with bare feet can catapult you into the stratosphere. The other day while playing he dumped them out onto the floor, looked around at them, and then moved on to something else.
The thing is that he keeps adding to this basket of little random toys. He has these little do-dads that could actually be a lot of fun to play with, but he doesn't really do anything with them. They just sit in a box, he dumps them out when he feels like it, and then moves on to the next thing.
So let me ask you this: are you gathering your audience and growing your fan base just to throw them in a box? How are you engaging or interacting with your current audience?