Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why Social Networking is a Must for Authors: Guest post by Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer

Why Social Networking is a Must for Authors

by Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer

Over the past couple of years, social networking has become an increasingly essential online book marketing strategy—one that you can't afford to overlook.

Reaching potential book buyers is the most obvious benefit of social networking, but not necessarily the most important one. For many nonfiction authors, developing relationships with peers and influencers is equally important. These contacts may review your book, recommend you to others, participate in your book launch, and publish your articles in their blog or ezine.

Social networking is ideal for generating word-of-mouth online book marketing, where your message gets passed along by others. For example, when people enjoy a book, article, blog, or video, they often recommend it to others online. This type of user endorsement is more effective than traditional marketing.

Here are some other benefits of social networking in your online book marketing plan:

*Building author platforms, expert status, and brand recognition
*Getting endorsements and recommendations for your books
*Driving traffic to websites and blogs
*Subtly promoting books, products, and services
*Learning from other authors in your genre or other experts in your field
*Increasing your opt-in subscriber list
*Getting speaking engagements or consulting customers
*Improving search engine optimization and search results ranking through back links from social sites.

Which social networks are most important for authors? For nonfiction authors, my top choices are Twitter, Facebook, and professional network LinkedIn.

For fiction authors, my top picks are Facebook and virtual reader communities such as GoodReads. Other sites may also be useful, depending on your target audience. For example, if you're writing for young adults, MySpace would be a good choice. Children’s book authors can network on JacketFlap. If your target audience is boomers, check out Eons. Also search and Google for networks that serve specific niche audiences.

Here are a few tips for getting the most from social networking:

Be selective about which networks you join and who you invite as a friend. Only invite people who appear to share common interests with you.
Send personalized friend requests, introducing yourself and stating why you want to befriend the other person.
Get involved in the community. Add value by helping others, answering questions, and sharing resources and knowledge. Don't forget to share a bit of personal information about yourself.
Be careful not to appear too promotional. It's okay to promote your products and services on occasion, but don't make that your main focus. Sending out an announcement of your book launch is fine; sending frequent promotional messages about your book is not.

While social networking is a terrific online book marketing tool, it's also great fun to meet people all over the world who share your interests. If you haven't already jumped onboard, get started today!

About the Author

Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and the author of several book marketing guides, including The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing . For more tips, visit her book marketing blog and get a copy of the Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you sign up for her free book marketing newsletter.

Savvy Book Marketer Guide:
Book Marketing Blog:

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why all the rules? From eBooks to Writing.

I went to New York for Thriller Fest and had an amazing time. As I talked with people and writers, agents and publishers they all seemed amazed that StoneHouse Ink has done so well even though we are only a year and a half old. The funny looks and long talks made me think.

Why is publishing easy for some and to others it is this huge mystery?

I think I figured it out. I am dumb... that is to say, I didn't know much of anything about publishing or writing or eBooks so I made it up as I went. Running a business from the clean mindset of just trying new things, experimenting and not letting the old rules bog me down, made the difference.

Here is the truth of it all. It really does not matter how the Big 6 have done it... does not matter how publishers think it should be done. If I have to print a book and go eBook later I say no lets go eBook first and print when we have sales. They say you can't do it on your own and outsell them. We outsell them all the time and most of our marketing is free.

All the terms, Traditional, Self publishing, Vanity, all mean nothing. It is a book, a product. How can we sell that product? If you look at it in these simple terms you will see that it is not any different then any other business.

Let us move to another subject. Writing.

Ah... yes, you must have a degree, have a background in English or be super smart to write a book. Let me say that in a different way. You have to have these things to get a big deal and sell enough books to make a living.

Character A must have a conflict with Character B and Character C has to Blah, blah blah! Foreshadowing, conflict, rules and all the things that you need to know to tell a story. I agree a lot of that is important but writing is the art of telling a story. imagine sitting around the camp fire and hearing different stories. Some tell it in a way that you feel like you are there and others tell it and it lacks the punch. This is the base of story. everything else can be taught.

But what if you have no training? What if you just like stories and want to give writing a go? What can you do?

A ton!

The great writers in our world are the people who DO. They learn as they go as the best teacher is yourself. Write, write and write some more. But if you never DO you never will DO anything. If you party every weekend, go out and mess around instead of putting in the WORK you will never be anything more.

J.A. Konrath worte the perfect blog post about this. From publishing to writing to all the new ways to get content, it comes down to as Nike says: Just Do It!

Here is what Konrath said:

Are You Writing?
I've got some bad news for you.

Right now, you're reading one of the most relevant, controversial, popular, and opinionated blogs about the world of publishing, and it is an epic fail on your part.

You want my sales. That's a statement, not a question. Or if you're dreaming even bigger, you want John Locke's or Amanda Hocking's sales. You want to make enough money to retire within the next 12 months. And you've dropped by my blog to learn how.

Maybe you've been following me for years. Maybe you just discovered me via a Twitter mention. Maybe you heard about me from a friend who said you should come here. If that's the case, your friend wasn't doing you any favors.

Because this blog is a time suck. There are hundreds of entries to read, and tens of thousands of comments. It's easy to get pulled in and waste hours, days, weeks.

Here's the bottom line: every minute you spend here is a minute you aren't spending on your writing.

You want my sales? I've got 40 different ebook titles currently selling. I'll have five more by the end of the year.

Amanda Hocking? Eleven so far. That Locke guy? Eleven. My writing partner Blake Crouch has more than 20 titles. That's why he's making over $30k a month, and you're not.

You'll notice Amanda doesn't comment here anymore, when she used to with regularity. Blake will pop in every once and a while and leave a comment, but he doesn't stick around.

That's because they're doing what you should be doing.

They're writing.

I'm lucky enough to be a full time writer, and I'm fast enough that I can waste my time here and still churn out more publishable words than most. And while it tickles me to get hundreds of comments to my posts, and though my message is no doubt being heard by many writers who are benefiting from it, the best thing you can do for your career isn't reading A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.

The best thing you can do is write. The more, the better.

How many words have you written today?

There is only one rule is you want to be a publisher or a full time writer.


When everyone else sleeps you stay up to finish that chapter. When all your friends go out you work your business. I do not ask you to do this forever, but for a short time and once you begin to see the pay off you will be the one going out and drinking in the sun on a exotic beach somewhere as your party friends work for their boss and fight traffic so they can afford to party on Saturday night.

Now is the part where you choose your life. What do you want?

Now, go do it and don't let the rules bog you down... Cheers

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Airel and Her Humanity

I wanted to touch base with the book I just released called Airel. As we get reviews and comments on Facebook and Twitter I have had one come up a few times that I wanted to address.

On one hand I don't feel the need to explain myself but I like to open up and let you see the other side of writing. The main question, is in the book, Airel comes across as a girl who does not want to get wrapped up in a guy. She even scoffs at girls that make a boy their all, and fall into this crazy love and lose their heads.

After all this, she goes on and does that very thing and gets lost in Michael. One reviewer said this was an error on my part but missed the humanity in all of us. I wanted to make her real, and in a lot of ways she is real to me. And we all do things we say we will never do or have huge flaws in out thinking. Airel is the same way and her lesson is to learn how to live and be happy with just being her.

Now this was not a error, but put in with thought as in real life we are all like this. I know most books have a perfect set of rules and if they say they are spunky they stay spunky all through the book. But to me that makes them un-real. Flat and we all know that is not how we real people are.

So, in closing, most things I do have a good reason, it is for you the reader to find out what I mean or am trying to get across. The reviewer got it right, Airel was one way and did something that was not in her DNA, but guess what? She is not perfect and written to be that way.

Read and enjoy. learn and grow. I hope as you read and watch Airel grow as a person that you will give her some room to make mistakes and learn some things the hard way. I wish she could be perfect but she just is not.

The other thing to keep in mind is some girls are giggly, some are tom-boys, some are super emotional and some never even cry. As you read know that Airel is who she is, and if you are the kind of person that never cries or get excited, you may not connect with her as much. But again, that is all a party of being human. we are all different.

Thank you all so much for reading and keep giving me feedback as I write Michael I am excited to see how she changes and what will happen to her and him in the future.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Guest post: Death Before Breakfast

Gwyneth is a sweet person and a great writer. I remember having "The Talk" with her at the beginning of the year about marketing and online social media. She really took it to heart and went from the low 100k on amazon to the top 1000. Now this month she is set to blow out her all time high from last month! I am so happy for her and she has worked so very hard. Gratz and keep up the good work!

About Gwyneth Bledsoe

Gwyneth is the English author of Amazon bestselling eBook “Death Before Breakfast” of the British Detective Mystery genre, set in England and Paris, France. The Paperback version is also available on Amazon, as is the MP3 downloadable Audio Book. She is currently writing the sequel, “Death At The Races.” Gwyneth read avidly in her teens, especially Agatha Christie novels, so it is especially gratifying to find her book ranked #3 in bestselling British Detective novels, behind the #1 Sherlock Holmes and the #2 Agatha Christie collections. Gwyneth lived in England until her mid-twenties, until a sense of adventure and a job took her across the channel to Paris, France. She did not look back and continued on to California and now Idaho where she lives with her American husband and works for a Christian non-profit organization, helping churches help people.

Death Before Joy

It is with mixed emotions that I see my first novel, “Death Before Breakfast,” advancing rapidly up the Amazon rankings since mid-June, a significant time for me when our close-knit family sat by my mother-in-law’s bedside holding hands as she passed from this life to the next. I wished she could have seen the success of my book, but her passing has given me great pause to think more deeply about the implications of dying, an inevitable event that I write so readily about in my murder mysteries. Within days of her military graveside service, I was seeing the word “JOY” everywhere I went, and have come to the firm belief that she is experiencing eternal joy and that death was just a doorway into a greater experience of life. One day I would like to explore this concept in a novel, where perhaps death is just the beginning – a transition from one country to another where a different language is spoken, and amazing vistas await us, like the Tetons or The Grand Canyon, in contrast to the dirty tenement buildings of south London where I once lived as a student. You are invited to follow Chief Inspector Jack Lawrence and Sergeant Rodney Wilson as they weave their way from London to York to Paris in their search for a murderer, the identity of the victim and the writer of an anonymous letter. I write to develop characters, to introduce my audience to the English culture and to encourage other unknown writers to find a publisher and penetrate the e-reader market.

You can find me on Facebook as “Gwyneth Bledsoe, Author” and also at

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Writing is like Poop!

I know, we don't say poop, but I just did. Hee hee. If you write you know that ideas come in the strangest of places. This one came, well, I bet you can guess where I came up with this one.

I was thinking of my days in the gym and how it was a good thing if you pooped a lot. It is a sign of a healthy system. So the more you poop the better you feel. Are we all feeling a bit uncomfortable?

Now you are wondering what this has to do with writing. Well, as a good story hit-man I can take this out.

Like poop, the more you do the better you get or feel. Writing is like this. Sometimes you write crap, sometimes it is good but you need to keep doing it. Keep your writing mind healthy, keep the flow moving and even if it is a bunch of crap, at least the good writing can move in afterward.

What am I trying to say? Just write, even if it is nothing but crap.