Thurday teaser: The Author’s On-Line Presence: How to Find Readers

Share

New from Barb Drozdowich

Authors, tired of wasting valuable writing time?!

·      Have no idea what to do with a blog, website, social media or newsletter?
·      Dread the thought of learning more technology?
·      Feel like you’re drowning in a technology swamp?

Let award-winning technical trainer Barb Drozdowich save you time in building your on-line presence!

Why is Barb’s book different from all the others?
·      Author Experience: Barb has worked side-by-side with authors just like you.
·      Barb is a teacher. She can break down dry, complex subjects into easy to learn bites without the technobabble.
·      Publishing Expertise. Who better learn from than someone that’s already completed the publishing journey?

Don’t just take it from Barb. Listen to what other authors have to say.

    • “This is a book that is integral for any author who is beginning to move from dreamer to published” ~C.A. Lawrence
    • “The book is straightforward, easy to understand, and answers all the questions you possibly have or will have.” ~ Jane
    • “Barb writes from the heart & from hard won experience – ride on her back and get started on your journey to success.” ~James Minter

To help you save time, Barb will teach you the critical details on:
– How to set up your blogging platform
– How to optimize and secure your website
– How to create content and the learn the basics of networking with readers
– Establish an on-line presence for your author brand.
** And much, much more!

The Author’s On-Line Presence, is a simple, straight forward guide to help aspiring authors, or someone struggling to create a robust marketing platform save time.

If you are looking for an easy to follow guide that helps with conquering that technical swamp, Barb’s book is it!

Buy a copy today and walk confidently into the world of book marketing.

Available from Amazon.

About the author

Social Media and WordPress consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about romance novels.

She is the author of 10 books, over 30 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

 

She can be found on her

And follow her on  Twitter @sugarbeatbc.

 

Share

Thursday teaser: The Complete Mailing List Toolkit

Share

By Barb Drozdowich

Welcome to The Complete Mailing List Toolkit part of an ongoing series of author “how-to” books, which is designed to help you navigate the technical issues of self-publishing. This box set specifically focuses on how to create optimized reader newsletters, how to grow your mailing list, how to ensure your newsletter arrives in inboxes and how to master email marketing services such as MailChimp.

I will use the word “communication” a lot in this box set. I feel to be successfully engaged with your audience, you must communicate with them, not simply bombard them with email and social media posts. Whereas many experts focus on simply gaining subscribers, I argue that this is too narrow of a focus.

Why this book?

Two reasons:

  1. This book is well researched and pulls information from many different schools of thought, and
  2. I take a holistic view of communicating with readers.

Initially, my intention with this box set was to collect information from a wide variety of sources and condense it into a neat and easy-to-understand package for you. However, as I was researching, my opinion changed. I found that much of the information available online and in various webinars seemed to miss the boat in terms of accuracy, while others just seemed fixated on adding people to a mailing list like hoarders would add one more item to a collection. They weren’t looking at their readers as individuals, nor were they treating them as such.

I wanted to create something more “bigpicture-ish” (is that a word?)—that looks at all aspects and all facets,of communicating with readers using newsletters. Hence the box set. For authors who just want to attack one part of this puzzle, the books are available individually, but my wish is that they are all read together.

I come from a background of technical training and while I’m certainly comfortable with technology. I tend to be holistic in my view. I want to break subjects down into manageable sections, and I don’t want to skip topics because they are difficult to explain. I feel that I haven’t done my job unless I can explain complicated things and make them relevant to you. I’m holistic in terms of looking at one subject within a larger context.

In terms of communicating with readers, I don’t focus on only one part of the puzzle in this box set. I want you to understand why I suggest using shorter subject lines for a newsletter. I want you to understand why entertaining readers, is as important as communicating with them. I want you to understand why it is necessary to use an Email Marketing System right from the get go to communicate with readers. I want you to understand how to work within the laws that govern your actions when you communicate with readers. I want to explain why the technical aspects that many overlook are really important to success in your endeavors.

Most importantly, I want you to understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all methods of communication. The way you communicate with a teenager isn’t the way you would communicate with a senior. The material that fans of romance are interested in is not likely to be the same as fans of horror. I want you to learn what your audience wants, not take the advice of an expert without thinking about it and without testing it out. I want you to learn to talk WITH your audience, not AT your audience. I want you to see your readers as more than a wallet.

Seems like I have a huge objective! We are going to break the subject of communicating with readers down into four books. In the first book we are going to address the topic of gathering the names of interested readers. We’re going to view it as something other than hoarding.

Next we’ll learn to use MailChimp really well. There are many Email Marketing Services, but MailChimp is the most popular with folks just starting out. If you have already chosen a different service, note that the lessons in this section are transferable to other services.

In the third book we’re going to talk about making sure that our newsletters actually end up in the inbox of our readers. This book will be fairly technical, but you’ll have a good understanding of why best practices are what they are.

Finally, in the last book, we’re going to talk about how to create really great content that is appropriate for our readers. We’ll bring in some science, some psychology, and some good old-fashioned marketing to help you form a plan for going forward.

I guess it is too soon to say that I’ve really enjoyed writing these books … but I hope that you appreciate my efforts and learn to be better communicators with your readers!

About The Complete Mailing List Toolkit

Is a broken mailing list holding back your author career? Discover how to transform your marketing and attract dedicated readers.

Does emailing your subscribers feel like shouting into the void? Are you struggling to come up with newsletter ideas that resonate with readers? Author consultant Barb Drozdowich has spent decades teaching writers how to navigate the technological pitfalls of publishing. Now, she’s here to help you master your mailing list.

The Complete Mailing List Toolkit provides a holistic approach to reader engagement through the power of direct communication. This bundle of four essential books provides strategies for list building and step-by-step guidelines for creating content that turns readers into lifelong fans. Through a series of easy-to-follow explanations, you’ll finally discover how to optimize your use of MailChimp and revolutionize your author platform.

In The Complete Mailing List Toolkit, you’ll discover:

  • How to create attractive newsletters your readers will eagerly anticipate
  • How to troubleshoot deliverability issues so you can reach more readers
  • How to understand and measure open and click rates to gauge your success
  • How to tailor your message to meet the needs of your unique audience
  • Why quality engagement matters more than subscriber quantity, and much, much more!

The Complete Mailing List Toolkit is your how-to guide for mastering email outreach and connecting with more fans. If you like practical solutions, down-to-earth explanations, and empowering guidance from an industry expert, then you’ll love Barb Drozdowich’s career-changing box set.

Find it on Amazon.

About the author

Social Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance novels.

She is the author of 15 books, over 45 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

She can be found on her

Share

Thursday Teaser: An Author’s Guide to Goodreads by Barb Drozdowich

Share

Chapter 1 – Networking

There is lots of advice surrounding Goodreads and how to use it as a selling tool. I don’t agree with all of it since I find that a softer approach tends to be more effective. Both in terms of selling books and my business, I find that the hard sell routine can turn people off. Conversely, I feel if you treat people fairly and ethically, they will respond in kind.

It makes me happy to refer books I absolutely LOVED to my readers on my book blog. Similarly, I work hard at creating helpful tutorials for my business blog. When I get a comment about how I saved someone time, it makes my day.

I try to combine these two tactics when on Goodreads. On one hand, I’m a voracious reader and enjoy sending someone in the direction of a great book. In fact, I hope they will return the favor as I’m always looking for something new to read! I also enjoy sharing information with people that I “meet” on Goodreads. I’m happy to answer a question if I can, or point someone in the right direction for what they are searching.

This is all part of networking, which I emphasize a lot in my consulting. Building friendships and relationships is key to building a business. My audience isn’t as big as some authors so I take advantage of any networking opportunities as I can.

Many authors gravitate towards the hard sell – the big numbers. They are only interested in the BookBub promotions and the like. They have a game plan that tends to be ‘go big or go home.’ There are many different ways to sell books and as an author, you need to do what feels right for your career. But when you are just starting out, you don’t qualify for the big promotions and it takes time to find other authors to collaborate with.  Because of this, I try to get new authors to focus on being as complete with the development of their platform as possible – don’t just put in the minimum required information – be thorough and as complete as possible. More on this later as I discuss what makes for a standout author profile.

As I’ve said before, I tend to look at the world of book promotions from a different perspective than many. I view it strategically by focusing on stats where others focus on feelings. I view book promotion as a big puzzle and I work to put as many pieces in place as I can.

I see Goodreads as a land of opportunity for authors. It comes with 50 million readers and authors. Although there are some exceptions, basically everyone on Goodreads reads. No other social media has the same concentration of readers. In the early days, I set out to see how I could connect with other readers. I had been successful in networking my book blog and I wanted to see what networking opportunities I could find on Goodreads.

I found the motherlode!

In addition to walking you through the creation of an account and your author profile, this book will explain best practices for building friendships and relationships on Goodreads as I want you to look at each section with an eye towards networking.

Not every section will resonate with every author. There are parts of Goodreads that just don’t work for me, but keep an open mind. Try new things. Be the creative person that I know you are. And don’t hesitate to drop me an email and share your ideas!

The book is available on Amazon and the free course is available here

Share

Thursday Teaser: Blogging for Authors by Barb Drozdowich

Share

blogging-for-authors-silver-awardWhy do I need to blog?

THE QUESTION that comes up repeatedly during my discussions with authors – Why? Why do I need to blog? There are several answers to this question. At the top of the heap, blogging is a writing exercise, another opportunity to develop that writing muscle. The second reason is to communicate with your readers and develop a community.

We all figured out how to make friends in Kindergarten: “Hi, my name is Barb. Do you want to play with me?” As adults in the electronic world, the way to make friends is admittedly a bit more complicated, but not impossible. It goes something along the lines of, “Hi, my name is Barb and I write books. Let’s explore interests we have in common and chat about stuff over a cup of virtual coffee.”

The third reason, as I mentioned in the previous section, is to communicate and share with your community of readers in a fairly permanent way. Unlike the other parts of your platform, your blog posts can be searched and found months or years after they were first shared. So a post that attracted a new reader into having a virtual chat with you two years ago could easily be found today and have the same effect on a new reader.

Your blog is your public face to the world. In today’s society if we want to find out more about a public figure, we “Google” them. Frankly, we expect all public figures including authors to have a website of some sort where we can find out more about them and their books. As we’ll find out in the coming chapters, it’s important to have a blog, but generally not necessary to have a website and a blog. A blog offers an author the ability to add fresh content on a regular basis to their site – something that Google LOVES!

Think of Google as a toddler. For those parents reading this, you realize that toddlers don’t stay interested in anything for long. Even shiny, new toys are quickly abandoned for the box they came in. Google is similar. Google is attracted to new content. A blog that’s posted to on a regular basis provides a steady stream of “shiny new toys” for the Google search engine. This helps a site rise up the ranks in a Google search. While it’s true that the majority of your traffic will initially either come from your friends or be referral traffic from other social media, you want readers to be able to Google the genre they read and find your site in a search. We’ll talk more about this in a future chapter.

One last comment for this section is about tone and language. As I’ve mentioned previously, I feel that your blog should be a conversation – a dialogue with your readers. A blog post that’s a dialogue with your readers is typically casual in its language and tone, like a conversation between friends. It’s meant to share information as you would over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer with your friends. If your blog post is more formal, it will sound like a dissertation or even a monologue. It may end up conveying information to an audience, but it typically won’t turn your audience into a community. In short, your audience will react differently. Think about how you react when reading let’s say a Wikipedia page. You’re looking for information and you get it. Compare this to reading a chatty, personalized blog post. You’ll have a different internal reaction.

I’ll continue to remind you to keep the word “dialogue” in your mind as we go through this book. I find when you think of something as a dialogue, that is what you create.

Blogging for Authors can be purchased from Amazon

*****

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance novels.

She is the author of 10 books, over 30 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

She can be found on her Author Website, Business blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, and YouTube

 

Share

Thursday Teaser: Blogging for Authors

Share

By Barb Drozdowich

You could WIN a free e-copy of Blogging for Authors. Find out how at the end of the excerpt.

AT ITS HEART, blogging is just another form of communication. In my mind there isn’t a lot of difference between blogging and having a chat with some friends over a cup of coffee. You’ll notice that I’m using the words “chat” or “conversation.” When we’re talking about blogging, I want you to keep the word “dialogue” in mind.

A blog is neither a billboard, nor a monologue. Blogging should be a dialogue.

Although I refer to the words “conversation” and “dialogue,” your first response may be that no one talks on your blog, or that no one leaves comments for you to respond to. Times have changed.

The face of a conversation has changed in the electronic world. The person with whom we are chatting may not literally respond with words – they might respond with actions such as sharing your post with their friends on Facebook. They are doing the electronic equivalent of “Come over here and listen to this person.” The electronic version is more along the lines of “This is great information; please go and read it.” That’s a response and in the big picture, that’s a much more important response. Although I’m the first one to admit that comments are wonderful, such interaction is between two people. I have 16,000+ followers on Twitter. If I share on Twitter, it’s pretty likely that more people than just myself will be part of the conversation. It’s also pretty likely that a handful of my 16,000+ followers will join in, in their own way.

If you have a WordPress blog, one of the people you are “speaking” to might click on the Like button or in fact be so moved by what you have to say that they re-blog it. And the conversation grows to include even more people.

The author’s blog is a space that belongs to the author – unlike Facebook, Twitter or other social media. The author’s blog is also searched and indexed by Google unlike the various social media (for the most part). This allows for your conversations to be searched for and found long after they take place. This isn’t true of any material that you put on most social media. In fact, a post on your blog can be found years after it’s created. The accepted shelf life of a Facebook post is considered to be between two and five hours and the shelf life of a Twitter post is 18 minutes. A LinkedIn post can have a shelf life of up to 24 hours in some cases.

An author’s blog is the place where the author can share with their community; the place they can start or continue conversations and have dialogues. This is the place that the dialogue will grow a community of friends and supporters – people with like interests who will help spread the word about your book.

What’s Blogging for Authors all about?

Are you an author who needs to learn more about blogging?

Do you feeling uncertain about technology or what to blog about?

Finding that all-important reader is the key to an author’s success. Many studies shows that blogging is a great way to connect with readers because at it’s heart, blogging is just another form of communication.

Blogging for Authors covers all aspects of blogging from what to write to how to navigate today’s technology

In this book you will learn:

* Why authors need to blog

* What topics authors should blog about

* How to choose a platform to blog on

* How to create the ideal blog post

* How to manage sidebars and widgets

* How to keep your site safe and up to date

˃˃˃ And there is more!

Blogging for Authors contains links to 26 free instructional YouTube videos as well as a coupon for money off my newly created WordPress for Beginners Course – the perfect tool for authors & bloggers. This course is an online program specifically designed with beginner authors/bloggers in mind.

Pick up this great deal today from Amazon and approach blogging with confidence.

How to win a free e-copy

If you’re an author, tell us your biggest blogging challenge in the Comments section below. Author Barb Drozdowich will choose a commenter at random for a free e-copy of Blogging for Authors.

About the author

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance novels.

She is the author of 9 books, over 25 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Visit her:

And follow her on Twitter @sugarbeatbc.

Share

Teaser Tuesday: Top Advice for Authors Promoting Their Book by Barb Drozdowich

Share

Don’t you just wish you could ask Book Bloggers for some pointers on marketing books?

I did!

And I got 502 responses….

BD_ebook_authorspromotingadvice_FINAL

Do you need help with your book marketing?

Take the advice of 500+ book bloggers!

In a survey of 500+ book bloggers, the question was asked: “If you could give an author one piece of advice about promoting their book, what would it be?”

The answers are fascinating! They show authors what is important to book bloggers and what they need to promote your books.

With book bloggers and other online sites being more and more involved in the marketing of books, authors need all the hints they can get. Let these answer guide you through the world of online promotions.

Top Advice for Authors Promoting their book can be purchased from Amazon, B&N, Kobo 

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency.

She is the author of 7 books and over 25 YouTube videos all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Barb  can be found on her blog, FB, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, YouTube and Amazon

 

 

Excerpt:

Be real and create a rapport with the blogger before even thinking of asking them. Also, grammar and spelling matter!

In addition to book cover, blurb, and buy link, give out a little personal information (not too private), so that readers can see you as a real person.

Don’t spam. My pet peeve (and it’s nothing to do with blogs at all) is when an author is constantly posting, once or twice a day on a particular Facebook/Goodreads/Twitter page. Those people do not want to read your advert. Again.

Don’t spam! I never accept a review request via Dear Blogger, or from an author I have never interacted with before. And those who send me e-mails, then contact me on Twitter because I haven’t answered their e-mails are authors I will never read.

Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, to get the word out about your book.

Please use the right name of the person you are emailing.

Don’t ask a blogger to change a review.

Think long term.

Treat book bloggers and readers the same way you’ like them to treat you. If you want respect and kindness, show respect and kindness.

Ask before sending copies of their books in an email if asking for a review. If they require help with a blog tour, then contact bloggers individually. It may take more time, but the personal touch is always better.

Start promoting early. Use ALL social media platforms. If someone posts a review, share the review on different Facebook groups, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Everywhere. Create your Media kit, Make sure your book is mentioned as much as possible. Hand out free copies to gain reviews on other platforms, use Netgalley. Make sure you exhaust all your resources.

Write all your market copy before you even begin writing the book. That’s when you’re most enthusiastic about it and that enthusiasm will show in the tone of everything you write.

Get a social media person to run Facebook, Twitter, and Pin-interest. Someone who is young and trendy and knows how people think.

Encourage people first, then promote, and get to the heart of your theme so it’s easy to find keywords.

If you have a blogger review one of your books – please share the review. Comment on the post. Make a big deal out of it. They took their time to read your story. You should take some time to share their thoughts about your hard work.

Write to me as a human. It takes about 10 minutes to do an individual e-mail and about 20 to do a round robin. Unless you do the round robin right, you’ll get more response from the 10 minutes.

To stop by the blogger’s site or post about their books and comment with something as simple as “thank you for featuring/reviewing my book” (if a review – whether it was positive or not)

Look at my blog first and tell me why your book fits my reading tastes.

Don’t request a review if you don’t want honesty

Find someone who loved a book of yours previously or similar to yours and ask them to help, it works with me, and also don’t give up, keep looking, keep tweeting, keep posting, because all books are awesome 🙂

Share

Win a Book Wednesday! Book Blog Tours: An Essential Marketing Tool for Authors

Share

Welcome to Win A Book Wednesday!

Leave a comment to enter to win a copy of Book Blog Tours: An Essential Marketing Tool for Authors, 2nd Edition. Hot off the press – published on  Amazon yesterday! This new edition covers both tours carried out by tour companies as well as DIY tours. Filled with helpful tips and even spreadsheets to help you organize your next tour!
BD_coverdesign05_FINALWhat’s your verdict on Book Blog Tours? 

Great idea…or a waste of time and money?

Not sure what a book blog tour can do for your visibility as an author or the promotion of your book? Are you considering trying out a Book Blog Tour to market your newest release? Do you want a primer that will help you take confident steps into the book promotion world?

Book Blog Tours teaches you about Tours (either hired or DIY) from the point of view of a Blogger and a Reader?

Book Blog Tours covers topics such as:

  • The Hows and Whys of book blog tours
  • Book Marketing on blogs
  • How to set goals for a blog tour
  • Giveaways from the point of view of a blogger and a reader
  • How to plan a DIY blog tour
  • Contains spreadsheets and checklists that will help you organize your tour

˃˃˃ Work your way through the topic of book blog tours in a step-by-step fashion, both from the point of view of hiring a service as well as the DIY type of tour.

Book Blog Tours looks at blog tours differently than other books. This book challenges commonly held beliefs and has you thinking and planning before acting on your next tour.

Book Blog Tours is available on Amazon

*****

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency.

She is the author of 6 books and over 20 YouTube videos all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

 

Author Website: http://barbdrozdowich.com

Business Blog: http://bakerviewconsulting.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbDrozdowichAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sugarbeatbc

Google+: https://plus.google.com/110824499539694941768/posts

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sugarbeatsbooks/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7234554.Barb_Drozdowich

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSgVt36XlVAHWj5dkSd0Zyw

Tech Hints Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/DfCRj

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Barb-Drozdowich/e/B00EN3CIDM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1437240887&sr=1-2

 

Share

Focus Friday: The Author Platform – A Beginner’s Guide

Share

On Sale for 99 cents today!

The Authors Platform ShadedAuthors, creating buzz for your book and your career just got easier.
The Author’s Platform will help you create, understand, and use a powerful author platform to sell your books.

Social Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich will steer you through the technology behind book marketing without all the confusing techno-speak. She has helped many authors build an author platform that engages readers and builds sales.
This book will help you decode the mystery behind building a powerful author brand and navigating the social media platforms essential to publishing success.

The Author’s Platform teaches you why you need the various facets of the author platform to build visibility. Barb uses a simple analogy, Operation Book, to help you understand the steps to successful book marketing in the media age.

She covers:
– The difference between a website and a blog
– The important items your blog should contain
– The eleven essential social media platforms
– Newsletters
– Amazon’s Author Central
– …and many more topics!
˃˃˃ Start your journey to publishing success today!

The Author’s Platform: A Beginner’s Guide can be purchased from Amazon

*****

BarbDrozdowichPicSmallerSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency.

She is the author of 6 books and 25 YouTube videos all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Barb can be found:

Author Website  |    Business Blog  |   Facebook Author Page

Twitter  |    Google+   |   Pinterest   |   Goodreads 

YouTube Channel

Tech Hints Newsletter

*   *   *

Excerpt:

What is an author platform? As the name suggests, your platform is the launch site for all marketing activities. Book buying is a relationship activity, and you need a means to develop relationships with readers and new fans of your work. Since the Internet has brought the world to your doorstep, the process may prove easier than you think.

Do authors need an author platform? I believe they do. Many books have been written on the subject of selling books. Bookshelves, both physical and virtual, are littered with different points of view. Everyone claims they can help you sell a million copies.

What books do you know that have sold a million copies? Are they all examples of great literature? Are the authors in line to win a Pulitzer Prize? No? Then why does a particular book sell so many copies? In many cases, the book simply catches a wave of attention.

Name a book that is hugely popular and you’ve found a book built on relationships. Think about it: the majority of the time, we buy books based on a suggestion from a friend or another trusted source, or we purchase due to word-of-mouth praise or media publicity. You either wanted to see what all the fuss was about or considered reading it to see if it was really that bad!

If you are an indie author, or simply a new author, you need to create buzz about your book. I often refer to the creation and marketing tasks as “Operation Book.” Just think of Operation Book as a strategy game—the authors who learn to play this game the best will sell the highest number of books. Is it really that simple? It can be.

Once you understand the rules, you will play the game like a master. Operation Book works differently for different types of books. However, each book requires:

 

  • Readers
  • Fans
  • Methods of communication

 

You’ll notice I didn’t mention great cover art, flawless formatting, the absence of spelling mistakes or other mandatory elements of good publishing. Miss any of these elements and it can count as points against you in Operation Book. But we all know of books that have these issues yet still sell lots of copies. For our purposes, we’ll focus on how to use the author platform as a method of marketing and communication or, in other words, Operation Book.

Share

Win A Book Wednesday The Author’s Platform: The Beginner’s Guide

Share

Welcome to Win A Book Wednesday! Leave a comment below and enter to win a copy of the Author’s Platform: The Beginner’s Guide

166_0.667498001436562231_wyap_cv_hrCreating buzz for your book and your career as an author just got easier.

‘The Author’s Platform’ will help you create, understand and use a powerful author platform to sell books!

Social Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich will steer you through the technology behind book marketing without all the techno-speak. She has helped many authors just like you build an author platform that engages readers and builds sales.

This book will help you decode the mystery behind building a powerful author brand and navigating the social media platforms essential to publishing success

‘The Author’s Platform’ teaches you why you need the various facets of the author platform to build visibility. Barb uses a simple analogy, Operation Book, to help you understand the steps to successful book marketing in the media age. She covers: 

  • The Difference between a Website and a Blog
  • The Important Items Your Blog Should Contain
  • The Nine Essential Social Media Platforms
  • Newsletters
  • Amazon’s Author Central and many more

˃˃˃ With simple-to-follow steps, Barb will help you create, understand and use an Author Platform to support your career.

Available on Amazon

Barb’s note: 

The whole point of this book was to create something that wouldn’t be intimidating to beginner authors, yet give them enough information to get started building their platform and get ready to move to the next level of understanding about promoting their book. If you have an author like that in your circle, please pass this book on to them as it truly is written at the primer level!

*   *   *

BarbDrozdowichPicSmallerSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency.

She is the author of 6 books and 25 YouTube videos all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Barb can be found:

Author Website  |    Business Blog  |   Facebook Author Page

Twitter  |    Google+   |   Pinterest   |   Goodreads 

YouTube Channel

Tech Hints Newsletter

*   *   *

Excerpt:

Website or Blog

 

Let’s start with the hub of your author platform—your website or blog. These words are often used interchangeably but can actually denote separate things. Let’s define.

Usually the word “website” refers to a static site on the Internet containing information that isn’t changed frequently. A programmer or web designer versed in HTML coding usually makes the changes on a per-change or hourly basis. Many authors view websites as expensive, and they certainly can be.

I’m rather frugal and prefer not to spend money. As a result, I’m not fond of static websites. Yes, they serve a purpose. However, I don’t think the average author must make the investment.

Static websites pose another problem. Because new and exciting information doesn’t appear in a timely fashion, these sites don’t attract the attention of Google and therefore often don’t rank very well in a Google search.

Think of Google as a toddler with a new toy. Those of you who have had exposure to toddlers know the toy doesn’t stay new long and, before you know it, the toddler is on to other toys—always looking for something new and different. If the content on a website is rarely updated, Google won’t pay much attention either.

Why should you care about this? As an author in need of visibility, you must rank as high as possible during a Google search. If you have an uncommon name such as mine, ranking on Google is a slam-dunk. Search my name and you’ll discover I own the first page of Google in a name-based search.

If you have a common surname like Smith or Jones, or share a name with a celebrity, you’ll probably never own the first page of Google. A client of mine shares his name with a moderately successful country singer. That’s a tough row to hoe. Ranking higher on Google than a famous person is difficult, but it is possible—as long as your name isn’t Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

Why do you want to rank high on a Google search? It’s true that the majority of your readers will come from word of mouth. But not all. If a potential reader wants to find you quickly, or they’re looking for books in a specific genre, they frequently perform a Google search. They’ll glean the first entries found, but rarely look beyond the first few pages delivered by Google. Make it easy for readers to find you by ensuring you rank high on a search.

 

Tech Hint: I have lots of people tell me they “Google” themselves or search for themselves on Google all the time and they rank really well. Google is a responsive search engine. In other words, it learns. The more you perform a certain search, the better Google gets at finding what you want. If you Google yourself all the time, Google will get really good at finding you. Go to the local library and do the same search without signing on to your Google account. You will likely see a very different result. You likely don’t rank as high as you think!

 

Let’s return to our discussion of websites versus blogs. If websites feature static content, blogs offer a constant stream of new information. To my mind, blogs offer a second benefit: an author can maintain a blog with minimal paid help. Most important, a blog’s fresh content ensures it will rank higher in a Google search. (Remember the toddler example.)

 

Blogs

 

During the 1990s, a blog was known as a weblog, indicating that it was something found on the Internet as a serial recording of information—a diary, if you will. Today, blogs are quite different, personalized and modified to display information in a variety of ways. But ultimately, a blog is still a serial collection of information.

In my experience, most blogs are designed by highly technical people with little understanding of the needs of authors. Even if your first blog seems a technical wonder, it is likely to change once you decide how you will use your blog. Please use the information below to make informed choices about your initial direction, or to modify the blog you’ve already developed. Whether you are a new or seasoned blogger, I hope that by the end of this section you will have a better sense of the components required for a successful blogging experience.

This brings me to an important point: regardless of your web designer’s opinion, ultimately your blog must be easy to use and tailored to your needs. If you have a blog that is too complicated for your skill level, ask for help. Make sure that help is qualified and is used to working with authors. We are a niche group with unique needs.

There are many different platforms for blogs including Blogger, free WordPress (also known as WordPress.com) and self-hosted WordPress (also known as WordPress.org). Each platform has positive and negative aspects.

As of this writing, a self-hosted WordPress blog costs no more than $100.00 a year. There are some additional startup costs. For example, how much you spend depends on the graphics selected for your blog.

For a nominal charge, you may also register a domain for your free WordPress or Blogger account. Doing so allows use of your author name unless the domain has been registered by another writer with the same name. For example, I own the domain barbdrozdowich.com and it is attached to my author site.

Do you care if you register your own domain? Only you can answer that question. In my opinion, you should.

 

Share

Wordless Wednesday

Share

So….Is this happening where you are?

How much snow have you gotten yet?

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 5.39.31 AM

 

It’s not snowing where I am, but I thought I’d include one of my favorite snow pictures! Enjoy and stay safe!

IMG_1868

Share