Author Archives: redwingredtail
Welcome to the latest installment in my blog post series on newsletters. In previous blog posts we have discussed why you should have one, how to get started setting up a mailing list and newsletter, how to get people to sign up, how to get readers to unsubscribe, and what to put in your newsletter.
If you have been following along at home, you should now have a growing mailing list and should be sending out newsletters on a regular basis, and now is the times to raise the question of maintenance.
To put it another way, how and when should you delete email addresses from your mailing list?
This is a perennially hot topic in marketing circles, and there are as many different opinions as there are grains of sand on a beach. Some say you should run all the email addresses in your mailing list through a validation service, and remove any addresses that raise red flags. Other experts such as David Gaughran say you should cull any email addresses which don’t open your newsletters. And of course everyone agrees you should bring your mailing list in compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
I am of the opinion that you should clean up your mailing list as rarely as possible. In fact, the only time I would recommend removing email addresses en masse from your mailing list is to keep from getting charged more by your mailing list provider (for example, some will charge you more per month if you have more than 1,000; 5,000; or 10,000 subscribers).
The thing is, I prefer to avoid culling my mailing list because I know that any time you cull the list, you will remove active readers by mistake. I’ve actually had readers say this to me after they stopped getting my newsletters, and I have also been culled by mistake. (One well-respected “expert” has cut me from his list twice even though I opened and read all of his newsletters.)
There are many different views on this topic, so I am going to use this post to give you both sides of each argument.
Recently one of our regulars, RLM Cooper, posted a comment, to wit:
What I’d like to know is not how to avoid critics, but how to get your book noticed in the first place. My book has great reviews (all handful of them) but Amazon makes it nearly impossible to find even when you key in the exact title of it. Unless you know the author and the book title, you are toast. I’ve tried advertising (on a small scale – I’m a writer, not a billionaire). I’ve tried having someone “promote” my book by placing posts on their book promo site with “thousands of followers.” And each day, new books are published and mine sinks down a bit in the Amazon ratings….You all know how much work, sweat, time, tears, effort, love goes into your work. How do you cope when almost no one notices? … How do you keep going when nothing seems to help? … I’m becoming discouraged even with the great reviews my book has gotten. Is it worth it to keep on keeping on?
To which our own Steve Hooley offered foundational advice: “Don’t give up, RLM. Remember PERSEVERANCE. This is a topic worthy of a future discussion.”
The Role Of A Book Publicist—And How To Be Your Own | Self-Publishing Relief #motownwriters
You’ve self-published your book and now it’s available for sale. But the bookstore shelves are crowded (both brick and mortar and virtual), and it can be hard for your novel, memoir, or nonfiction book to gain any attention. At Self-Publishing Relief, our marketing experts know that a book publicist can help get the word out about your book. The role of a book publicist includes arranging book tours and signing events, and knocking on a few doors in hopes of getting media attention for an author. You can hire a publicist for your self-published book—but this can be extremely costly. If you’re on a budget, here’s how to be your own book publicist!
BONUS IDEAS THAT HELP YOU SELL BOOKS BY CASEY DEMCHAK #motownwriters
I’m a huge believer in selling books by offering your audience tons of value.
If you combine giving value with telling readers in everyday language how they’ll benefit from reading your book… you’ll never have to use a “cheesy sales pitch” to motivate them to buy.
It’s a basic formula – communicate reader benefits + offer big-time value = more books sales.
3 Ways To Improve Your Poetry In Under Ten Minutes ǀ Writer’s Relief #motownwriters
Writing good poetry takes dedication, many attempts, some rewrites, and of course, time. But not every poetry exercise or lesson needs to take hours. In fact, the experts at Writer’s Relief know a few great ways to improve your poetry that take less than ten minutes! When you want to give your poetry a quick, effective boost, try one of these methods.
Ways To Improve Your Poetry In Under Ten Minutes
Imagine you’re on stage reading your poetry at an open mic night or poetry slam. Hearing how your poetry sounds instead of silently reading it to yourself offers a whole new perspective, and it’s a technique every poet should use during the revision process. After you’ve edited and refined your poem, find a quiet spot and read it aloud to yourself. Do it a few times, too, and at different speeds. Notice where you trip up or where the wording sounds awkward, and mark those spots. Now you know which lines need a little extra work! Bonus: You may enjoy the experience of reading your poetry aloud so much that you sign up for your next local open mic night!
HOW TO LEVERAGE “PIGGYBACK MARKETING” TO SELL MORE BOOKS! BY CASEY DEMCHAK #motownwriters
In my last video I gave you simple ideas for creating enticing bonuses you can give away during your book promotion campaigns.
In this week’s book marketing copy training video… I’m going to teach you about an often-overlooked promotion strategy that allows you to put your free bonuses to work for you.
The strategy is called piggyback marketing.
In a nutshell, piggyback marketing involves planning a special promotion for your book that is tied to a current news or cultural event that you know will get media attention.
It’s a clever little strategy, and you can discover how to leverage it to gain new fans and sell more books by watching this week’s video…
7 EASY WAYS TO SAVE TIME BLOGGING DURING 2022 BY ROGER C. PARKER #motownwriters
The start of 2022 offers an opportunity reflect on your your experiences blogging during the current year and identify possible ways to save time blogging during the coming year. Start by asking: “What were the lessons and takeaways you learned while blogging during the previous year?”
Many bloggers might immediately respond “blogging took a lot more time than I had expected!” If you spent more time blogging than you would have liked, it’s time to explore 7 ways you can save time blogging during 2022. This might help you free up time you can devote to other marketing tasks (like writing a book).
Below are 7 easy ways you can not only create more efficient blog post during 2022, but you can save time writing, self-editing, and promoting your blog posts. The following ideas are easy because they don’t require a lot of learning or execution time. They’re practical because they have proven their value over time.
8 WAYS TO COLLABORATE WITH FELLOW AUTHORS FOR BOOK PROMOTION AND BUSINESS SUPPORT ON YOUR WRITER JOURNEY #motownwriters
Being a writer can be a lonely profession, even if it’s just your part-time side gig. Unless your partner or best friend have also written books, they aren’t likely to understand how challenging the entire process can be. From inception of manuscript to book publication to promotion and beyond, becoming an author can be a complex journey.
The good news is there are many writers who are traversing the same path you are, and they feel just as overwhelmed as you do. Following are ways to connect with writers and adopt strategies to support each other along the way.
SPS-308: Foreign Market Opportunities for Authors – with Alex Newton
When is it a good time to translate your books into another language or turn them into audiobooks? Alex Newton walks James through some of the ways he crunches the numbers to determine if a book is worth this investment.
- On Mark’s recent recovery from the ‘rona
- The return of Self-Publishing Show live in 2022
- Book selling trends and growth during the pandemic
- How the pandemic has affected sales in specific genres
- Should authors invest in audiobooks and translation?
Resources mentioned in this episode:
PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Show’s Patreon page
SPS LIVE IN 2022: Sign up here to receive notification when tickets go on sale for SPS Live in London
FREE TIKTOK AUTHOR ADS ADVENTURE: Sign up here to receive notice when the adventure begins
WEBINAR WITH ALEX: Join the free SPFU and you’ll receive access to Alex’s webinar on Using Data To Make Good Decisions
MERCH: Are you a ligneous beetle or a yawning hippopotamus? Get your SPF hoodies and t-shirts in the brand new SPF Store.
How To Start A Book Review Blog—And Score Some Free Books! | Web Design Relief #motownwriters
If you are a ravenous book reader, you may be able to turn your passion for the written word (and your love of sharing your opinion) into a rewarding book review blog. Not only do book review bloggers get the satisfaction of reading and critiquing, they also often score free books from writers and publishers who want to generate some book review blogger buzz. Here’s what Web Design Relief wants you to know about how to start a book review blog!
How To Start Your Own Book Review Blog
Pinpoint a genre/readership. Although your reading tastes may run the gamut from quiet literary fiction to noisy international espionage thrillers, you may want to focus your book review blog on one specific genre. When you focus clearly on a particular target audience, you’ll have a better chance of connecting effectively with that specific readership.
Ever since social media appeared in the mid-2000s, publishers and authors (and marketers) have argued about whether social media actually sells books.
I thought this was an open-and-shut case, but every so often it has to be re-litigated.
YES, social media sells books. See what’s happening on TikTok for the most recent example of how and why.
But does an author’s personal social media following sell books?
Often. Usually. But not magically without any effort whatsoever.
Which brings me to the New York Times article published yesterday about celebrity-authored books that aren’t selling all that well. It’s titled: Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’
Is it really unreliable? Or is it publishers falling asleep at the wheel? Or is it the case of not-so-great books being published and no one wanting them?
There’s a lot of context missing from the article—things we don’t know about what’s happening behind the scenes marketing-wise. But if publishers’ marketing teams truly believe an author’s large social media following will, of its own accord, lead to enormous book sales, that’s pretty simplistic and naive. Maybe these publishers assumed the celebrity authors would do more than they did, on social media, to talk about the book and move copies.
But most authors, even celebrities, need to be assisted or receive direction on how to do this well and in a way that has meaning and leads to sales. The NYT article makes it sound like publishers are just sort of sitting on their hands, waiting for the millions of followers to just show up and buy the book. No decent marketer today with a pulse thinks that just happens, and publishers tend to employ smart people. At least that’s what I’ve always thought. Then I read this quote in the article:
In an effort to mitigate these issues, some book contracts now specify the number of posts required before and after a book is published.
That is not going to fix the problem. And it’s very depressing that anyone in publishing today thinks it will fix the problem. It sounds like an executive’s bad solution.
Article: Wait! Are You Ready to Start Promoting on Amazon: Book Marketing Podcast Recap #motownwriters
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Wait! Are You Ready to Start Promoting on Amazon, is a recap of “5 Reasons Not to Put Your Book on Amazon Until You’re Ready to Promote It,” a recent episode on our Book Marketing Tips & Author Success podcast.
We give more details on common mistakes authors make when putting their book on Amazon without any forethought for promoting. Make sure to download and listen to the full episode so you don’t miss anything!
We get a lot of authors coming to us because they published their book and then did nothing with it. They assume hiring us can make up for all that lost time. And while we can definitely help you catch up in some areas, there are things even beyond our control.
Article: 5 Surprisingly Simple Book Marketing Tips to Help You Stand Out From the Competition #motownwriters
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Book Marketing always seems complicated, doesn’t it? But the truth is that the best book marketing strategies are the ones we so often overlook – and they’re simple, even deceptively simple. And the best part is that it doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money or learn how to perfect that dance for your TikTok presence. Sure, you can if you want to – but if learning a new social media platform isn’t your thing, take heart, because the best book marketing isn’t always about jumping on the next big thing. Let’s dig in:
Reading Time: 6 minutes
When it comes to how to market a book, there’s a lot of industry “jargon” – like the terms ARCs and Galleys. And what’s even more confusing is how and when to use them!
First let’s discuss what these key marketing tools are.
ARCs and Galleys Explained
The term ARC stands for Advanced Review Copy. Galley essentially means the same thing but you’ll often see these two terms used interchangeably.
The term “Galley copy” is usually reserved for books that are still in the editing phase, meaning this version is maybe only 60% ready to go – it’s probably lacking a run-through by the author and needs one more content pass by an editorial team.