How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

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hat1 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

Sound the alarms! Alert the press! You have a new article on your blog and it is not to be missed!

If you are an author and you are on Facebook, you have likely seen those posts that say, “I just got my book. Please buy it! Here is the link.” What about those that ask, “Please visit my web page and let me know what you think!” (Which means, “Compliments please! No criticisms.”)

Or we see the status updates that say, “I have a new article here, I hope you will read it.” What about, “I just did a podcast interview. It is only 47 minutes long and I know you won’t want to miss it.”

How do you know I won’t want to miss it? I think. I am sorry, but that is exactly what I am going to do.”

Everyone is busy!

We all want to support each other, but that doesn’t mean you have to sell in your posts. Instead you can write effective Facebook status updates that will build a relationship by helping others. Selling books and trying to build that platform all the publishers and agents want us to have is a hard job. But each of us are also trying to figure out how to juggle it all, right?

Sadly, we just don’t have time to write reviews, vote, comment, and promote the hundreds of the members web sites, books, events, interviews and more–even when we believe in what they are doing.

We want to be able to help others

We do want to point the people we serve in the right direction, however, and that means referring those we serve to other people we trust; to a good book we think could be life-changing; to a web site we know where they will be encouraged.

We want to tell the people we serve that we have just the place or just the resource that will help them through this specific place they are in, and we can take comfort in knowing they won’t get lost in the shuffle.

But why would I refer those I serve to other people, not my own books?

What about my own book? you may ask! Well, does it meet their needs? It may. . . but they may be looking for something in addition to it. For example, my organization, Rest Ministries serves people who live with chronic illness. But I also receive emails from people with chronic illness or chronic pain who are going through a rough divorce, have kids with behavioral issues, have a parent with Alzheimer’s Disease. I know they need more than what I can offer them. And I love to be able to narrow down the thousands of books on Amazon to one or two that I know will meet their needs because I know the author personally!

Try to avoid asking for favors if the other person has nothing to benefit from it

gift How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingWhen you are posting status updates in an author’s group, it can be tempting to think, “Well, we are here to support each other, so I need people to go vote for my web site for this contest, because then I will rank higher and sell tons of books and I will eventually return the favor when I have more time.”

We all love a party and with that party comes gifts and favors, right? But do your best to resist the urge to ask for a flat-out favor more than twice a year in your writers group. Like “vote for me to win this category!”

When you start typing out a status update about your latest article you just wrote, the web site updates you slaved over all weekend, or a radio show you are going to be on in thirty minutes, stop and ask yourself, “What is in it for them?” Then write your message with what would interest you if you were them. People constantly are saying they want to have the best Facebook status message, or the funniest Facebook status, but in the end, I see authors who are rushed and they just slap up a generic message with little emotion, except for pleading and desperation.

“Pleeeease come to my site and vote today! I really want to win this bad! You will be making a difference in my life!” I sense desperation and I just click away, because, honestly, there will be a few people a day that ask me to do this, and then someone will question why I did it for one person and not for another. Now, I do vote. When someone is a friend or a peer who I know well and respect their work a great deal, it is worth it to me to see their outreach grow. I have also been the recipient of some awards because people took time to help me and I am very grateful. But, I really don’t have a lot of time online, and I want to invest it into people who understand what to write (and not write!) as their Facebook status messages. Pleading for votes for a different contest every couple of weeks won’t get my attention.

Make your Facebook status update stand out with specifics

What is the message you have and who is it important for? It only takes a few extra minutes for authors to write effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing of their posts, as well as build relationships with peers online.

For example, if you are talking about parenting styles and how we have to learn both our personality style and that of our child to most effectively make wise parenting decisions, you may be tempted to write, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!” Don’t.

Because what most of us think is, “That’s nice for her. But I don’t have time to finish my own work, much less listen to hers. Oh, well. I am sure she will do fine.”

Instead, tell us who would most benefit from this program. For example:

“If you serve people who are struggling with their kids who won’t get dressed in the morning, kiddos who won’t eat their lunch, and children who won’t go to bed at night, they will gains some new parenting tools they may not have ever heard of before! In my podcast interview today, parents will quickly understand how personality styles can impact how well a child listens to his or her mom and dad. If they miss it, it will be archived later.”

See how that sounds more interesting? Will everyone now tune in? No. Will it not apply to some people? Of course. But will other authors think, “Oh, that describes some of the people I serve. This could be a handy resource for them”? Sure. And you have made it easy for them to click “share” and edit it just a bit so it sounds appealing for their audience.

Would that have shared your message that said, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!”? It’s unlikely.

Make it easy for people to help you

mouse How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingBy simply telling your colleagues what is in it for them, you will save them time, they will recognize you as a certain type of expert, and you are giving them quality descriptions they can easily pass along. For example, future posts could say, “If you serve people who are frustrated parents then you will be interested in . . .” or “If you outreach to teens who are dealing with depression, you should know about my . . .”  These are examples of effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing online.

You will be reaffirming your expertise in your niche

This is also a great way to not just self-promote but narrow down the different areas of your expertise and make sure those who have callings that overlap with your own to know about it. If you cannot come up with who may specifically be interested in your article, perhaps you should go back and rewrite it for a better niche market (which will improve your Google rankings too!)

Whenever you write, “People who ___ would be interested in this because ___” you are telling people what you do and who you serve. If you are a parenting expert, for example, you will never run out of material! Beside parenting, you can go into issues with adult children, adoption and foster children, children with special needs, children with chronically ill parents, and the list goes on. An article on conflict resolution can be rewritten and adapted dozens of times for all sorts of scenarios, and each of these can be made into a status update that describes, “If you are a parent who ___ .”

Say thanks

As we participate in writers groups, it can become easy for us to get so focused on our own marketing steps, we forget to say thank you. As a writer, you know how easily time can get sucked away when you are sitting on the computer, especially if you are able to access the internet. When colleagues take time away from their own work, to support you, say thank you.

Tell them how much you appreciate it. Go to his or her website and see what you could do to help out. Can you comment on a few blog posts, let them know you visited and found it hard to maneuver around their shop, tell them you loved the clip art they chose, introduce them to someone on LinkedIn.

Little things mean a lot and they will remember that you took the time to offer some encouragement back to them.

lisa copen small How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing
Lisa is the woman behind the screen who enjoys sharing marketing tips that she has learned along the way as an author, speaker, and director of a nonprofit organization. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis nearly two decades and is a wife and mom.

 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

A Refreshing Time-Lapse Video of a Bookstore Being Built!

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build a bookstore 300x215 A Refreshing Time Lapse Video of a Bookstore Being Built!

If sales of e-books is getting you down, take 1 minute and 17 seconds to say, “Yes, now that’s what I love to see!” Half Price Books  opened their 113th store last Thursday, and as a way to say thanks to their customers (that they are opening stores, not closing them) they put together this fun video demonstrating all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to open a new bookstore.

 A Refreshing Time Lapse Video of a Bookstore Being Built!

Writing Brings Healing to the Soul – Free Ebook of Tips

By Lisa Saunders, Special Guest Writer

lisa saunders daughter Writing Brings Healing to the Soul   Free Ebook of Tips

Lisa and her daughter

The moment I gave birth to my daughter Elizabeth in December of 1989, I felt a stab of fear—her head was so small, so deformed. Within 12 hours, I was told she had been profoundly disabled by congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus). The neonatologist said, “If she lives, she will never roll over, sit up, or feed herself.”

He was right.

Writing (and Scripture) was how I dealt with my initial shock and grief–organizing my thoughts of despair by getting them down on paper stopped them from endlessly swirling around and overwhelming me. Getting my revelations and stories inspired by Elizabeth published made me feel less alone as I connected with others. Sharing my story with others not only healed my own soul, but according to the letters I received from readers, my candid thoughts were also bringing some healing to them. Eventually, even my sense of humor returned and I found that I was able to start writing about other things.

Many writers have asked me, “How can I get my story published?” In order to share what has (and has not) worked for me, I’ve written a FREE e-book, “How to Publish and Promote Your Work,” to help others find the same satisfaction I felt when publicly sharing my thoughts. To download it visit the web site post, Free “How to Get Published” E-Booklet and click on the “Get Published” button.

When trying to get a non-fiction book published, it is required to submit a book proposal. The publisher for my recently released book, “Anything But a Dog! The Perfect Pet for a Girl with Congenital CMV,” which is about a big, homeless dog’s devotion to my disabled daughter, gave their permission for me to include my book proposal in my free e-book. Readers can use it as a guide for their own proposals.

Share your soul!
Lisa Saunders

Note from Lisa Copen of You Can Sell More Books: I had the opportunity to read this ebook and it’s a gem. Lisa writes it from the heart, but also provides some special stories and examples that will help you piece together your own story for a book, an article or more. It’s a wonderful tool I recommend.

 Writing Brings Healing to the Soul   Free Ebook of Tips

Building ECommerce Web Site – 3 Myths

 Building ECommerce Web Site   3 Myths

It’s good to know how to build your website before you tackle such a big job. Especially building eCommerce web site. If you plan to sell your products or service, don’t call your webmaster until you know these myths.

1. Building a professional website is easy.

You may think you can just buy a program or a book and it’s doable quickly. Maybe learning HTML is easy, but you’ll need to know a lot beyond that. For example, will you need a shopping cart functionality, and for interactive Web 2.0 you might need PHP, Javascript, ASP.net or other types of scripts. Building a website is deceptively complex and requires a variety of skill sets, from HTML savvy to good artistic taste.

You may want to think about hiring a web design professional. Building an ecommerce website from scratch is time consuming and expensive, because it takes countless hours of high level skills including your web copywriting and optimizing with low competition long tailed key words. You may want to first consider a web writing coach who knows key word optimization. Then, contact a web designer who knows web marketing such as article marketing, social networking, and optimization.

2. Making your website colorful, full of pictures is all important.

It’s far more important to plan your site first. Know the first, second and third most important thing you want to sell and then, write a low competition long tailed key word headline in each product or service sales letter.

Your landing page takes some pre-thought too. What can you give your potential clients to get them to your sales copy? Usually a free report or white paper will pull them if they need the skills.

3. The more products, the higher the income stream.

Remember, it takes time and many email promotions to keep leads coming to your sales funnel. Create only the products you have time to market. We figured out my three best sellers and concentrate on those. Opt-in lists to collect leads for skills categories of book writing and publishing, free article marketing, and Website marketing with great optimized copy. If building eCommerce website, decide what makes you the most money, and what you enjoy doing for your service. It’s always best to have a niche. Go with just the few tailored offerings that brand you.

Remember you want your company to stand out from the crowd, so determine your niche and stick with it. Make your web site reflect you and your solutions to help your targeted audience.

Judy Cullins helps businesses create and sell more products and services and raise your traffic Get more information at Judy Cullins’ web site .
Reprinted with permission from ezinearticles.com


 Building ECommerce Web Site   3 Myths

Don't Think Outside the Box?

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We hear it over and over: “think outside the box,” but what does it mean – and does it really work?

I was inspired to write this piece after reading a book called You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself (by Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford Beckwith/Business Plus). They address this in the book, but I’d like to take this a step further. First off, if the box you’re in works, well, it works for you. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But here’s a twist. Don’t go outside the box, enhance it, add to it and infuse it with influences you wouldn’t normally have been exposed to.

Have you ever noticed that the minute you step outside of your “space,” like going on vacation or traveling a different way to work, that something pops? A creative solution emerges to a long-term problem, or you suddenly hit on a new story twist for your next book.

As authors, publishers, entrepreneurs, speakers, we are called upon to be creative. We want unique ideas to write about and unique messages to sell them. So we try and get creative and move out of our comfort zone. Now, while I’m all about moving out of your comfort zone, the out-of-the-box thinking that marketers love to tout isn’t really that effective or, for that matter, even possible.

If you’re struggling to be creative or to problem solve, you might want to take some time to add some new influences to your day. Sometimes if I need to flex my creative muscle I will try and find a correlation between something totally opposite what I am working on. Meaning I’ll try to find the common thread. It’s a fantastic exercise and again, it’ll help to stretch you and bring more influences into your box.

Do you remember the movie “Working Girl”? In it Melanie Griffith was trying to climb the corporate ladder but part of her never really fit in. She read all the wrong magazines, didn’t really dress the part, but in the end she came up with an idea that was the center story of the movie. A New York executive asked her where she came up with it and she said, “Reading W.” “W?” the exec questioned. “Yes,” Melanie’s character said, “you never know where the good ideas will come from.” And that’s my point exactly. You never know where and when inspiration will strike, but if you’re sticking to the same routine, it’ll be a lot tougher to find inspiration than if you shake up your day. Here are some ideas to help you get there. Consider one or all of them. You’ll be surprised what you learn!

1) Read a magazine you wouldn’t normally read: If you are in business and you read Business Week or Entrepreneur that’s great, but the likelihood of either of these magazines expanding your horizons is minimal. Why? Because they’re really telling you more of what you already know. I travel a good deal and whenever I’m in an airport I try and pick up a magazine I wouldn’t normally read. Try this, you’ll be surprised what you learn, and something outside of your normal scope of reading can trigger new ideas.

2) Watch a movie you would never normally watch: If you’re a western junkie, try watching a chick-flick or vice-versa. I know for you die-hard thriller watchers this might make your skin crawl, but trust me, a change of pace is always good to trigger the creative juices.

3) Listen to a different radio station: This is really fun, and even better, why not try listening to a station outside of your area? I grew up in Belgium and will sometimes listen to Belgian radio. I also love digging into the podcasts on NPR and other talk radio shows.

4) Go to a tractor pull instead of the opera: OK, maybe not exactly, but the idea here is to expose yourself to something new and again, try and find a creative way that it ties into your book or area of expertise. One year after watching the Tour de France I was inspired to write an article called, “Biking and Book Marketing: what the Tour de France can teach us about marketing our books.” Odd as it seems, this article got a lot of traction. We ran it in our newsletter and many bike-fan sites ran it too, no surprise because authors are everywhere.

5) Change your work surroundings: I’m not talking about moving offices, just try working somewhere else. Sometimes if I’m buried in minutia and struggling to be creative, I’ll pack up my netbook and go hang at my local Starbucks for an afternoon. Working on a plane does this for me, too, and knowing this, I save all my creative challenges for my next flight (fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I’ve been flying a lot these days). The point being, sometimes sitting at your same desk and same chair doesn’t do anything for your creativity; in fact, often it stagnates it. Just like standing water, every once in a while you have to drain your mind of the usual, input the unusual and see what happens.

The idea of “thinking outside the box” was coined by an advertising firm eons ago, and we’ve used it, and in many cases overused it. Yes, it means be creative, but as I pointed out earlier, if you’re doing well then clearly your box works for you. Instead of trying to move outside of it, try bringing new influences into it instead. You’ll not only find that your creativity is moving again, but the ideas, which before had seemed stuck behind a roadblock, are now more like free flowing traffic.

Where will your journey take you?

Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

 Don't Think Outside the Box?

5 Reasons Every Writer Needs a Web Presence and Where to Start

I recently talked to a friend who was having an article published in a well-known, highly competitive magazine. She hasn’t yet taken the jump to have a web presence. I tend to forget that I spend thousands of hours online, receive hundreds of newsletters each month and answer over 1000 emails a month. I don’t realize that the words “blog,” “SEO,” “keywords,” “meta tags,” and even “book marketing” are not terms most people go to bed thinking about. Or get up at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep and read articles from an online business school giving advice on internet article marketing.

As a writer, do you really need a web site, even if you are just writing articles offline? Yes!

Here are 5 simple reasons why and where to start:

(1) People need to be able to find you. If they like your article in a magazine they will often Google you or look online at the magazine’s web site to see how to contact you. It’s good if you have an email, but you don’t want that on the magazine’s web site or you will soon be bombarded with spam. And it may sound silly, but if you don’t have a web site and are trying to market yourself or your business in some ways, it’s assumed you just don’t know what you are doing.

Anyone who has a business either designs or hires someone to design a web site for them. Would you have a delivery service without a vehicle or a restaurant without a menu? That’s you without a web site. Just do it.

(2) The good news is that you really can do your own site. Gone are the times when we had to hire web designers at $75-$200 per hour (and yes, I was a web designer, so I am allowed to say that.) Now you can whip up a presence on a blogging service like wordpress.com – for free– and have the added benefit of being “pinged” and getting your fresh content out there. (FYI: If you don’t know what “ping” means, don’t worry about it. Just know when you hit the “publish” button WordPress will take care of letting the search engines know about you.)

(3) Create some profiles so people can find you. If you set up a blog or web site, that’s a great place to send people to who are looking for your fresh content, latest publications, profile and how to hire you. But if they just Google your name, the odds are that they may not find you on the first few pages, especially if you have a common name (and millions of names are “common” on the Internet.) So go to web sites like Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, Facebook.com, Squidoo.com, linkedin.com, and even Myspace.com and mess around to create a profile that at least sends people back to your site. The size of these social networks help them rank high and people will be able to find you more easily.

(4) Start writing articles to give away. Yes, I know, if you are a paid writer that sounds less than appealing. But there are some perks:

  • Magazine/newsletter editors often have extra space in their publications or online content and may put in some keywords to find an article or expert writer on that topic for the space they are trying to fit. I’ve been there and found articles/writers from their free articles online; I’ve also been a writer whom magazines have found because of my free articles.
  • You need to become known as an expert in your niche field, and that takes more than 2-3 articles on your topic each year in hard-copy magazines. Marketing on the web with articles can help make it impossible for people to get away from you when they type in keywords you have taken over. And there are thousands of keyword phrases no one is writing about, for example, “marketing in the catering business article” is a term that, according to an keyword service, not one web site has targeted. Same with “article on direct marketing personal selling” Hmmm…  With just a few clicks you can know what phrases in your niche aren’t being clicked on. See my blog “faves” for my favorite service where I get this info!
  • You can find what topics are most appealing by how many clicks they get and then query magazines on these topics. It seems it’s never the topics you would expect that have a lot of hits. Articles sites like www.ezinearticles.comand ideamarketers.com are great ways to get your content out there and then build on it for your queries.

(5) If you’re a writer you are assuming that there are a few other people out there who are interested in your topic. Find them! Go to social networks like Squidoo.com or Ning.com and find the groups. On Ning.com for example, each group you participate in you are given a “page” where you can also blog. Most Ning sites have it set up so YOUR blog posts to the main site of the web page automatically.

Once you get the hang of these, start your own social network and be the founder of the hub, creating the ability to be considered the expert. Plus, you can email all the members with a touch of a keystroke. (Gold!) Participating in these networks is great because you can also ask for feedback, quotes, anecdotes  dexamples from people, create a poll, etc. These are all helpful in writing new articles.

In the past, having a web site could seem overwhelming. Learning to program html, uploading via ftp, using meta tags and paying those monthly service fees whether you made 2-cents or not was draining–sometimes to your spirit of the project, sometimes to the pocketbook. Today, with blogs having great template, easy to use programs, and the ability to make them into Widgets and get them on people’s web sites all over… the possibilities for exposure are endless.

And the sooner you start, the better your odds will be over the next writer who specializes in your topic and finally decides to get online next year. One of the reasons my organization still ranks incredibly high on the major search engines is because I’ve been online since 1997.

Keep me posted on your progress!

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Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 5 Reasons Every Writer Needs a Web Presence and Where to Start

5 Way Authors Sabotage Their Internet Sales

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Image via CrunchBase

Despite all the work we put into marketing our books, little things count the most. Here are 5 ways I’ve seen many author sabotage their best efforts for online sales.

[1] They don’t take advantage of Amazon‘s programs. Amazon wants to make money off of you so they give you a lot of ideas to improve your sales. Tags, listmania, “So You” Guides, Author Connect Blogs, and much more all were developed to help you sell more books. And don’t forget to check back at least every few months to see what new things they’ve developes.

04 st whycanti item2c 5 Way Authors Sabotage Their Internet Sales[2] Poor cover art. Visuals count! I think every author should invest the $97 into Cover Action Pro. This software (which works with Photoshop) will create 3-d images of all your books (softcover, hardcover) CDs, DVDs in boxes, magazines and more. My sales have gone up considerably since using this software and it’s the only one I can find that makes the images in 300 dpi resolution, meaning you can use it in printed documents and (See an example to the right – this took about 30 seconds to make. I puchased Photoshop 7 off of Ebay for about $15 since I didn’t have it and it was required to run the software.)

[3] No “buy now” button. Make it EASY for people to find a button to actually purchase the book. Some of the most beautiful web sites lead you through three pages of more and more information about the book before you can finally locate a place to actually buy the book.

[4] No “sign up” box with a special offer. Even if you don’t have a newsletter authors should be collecting the emails and first names (and city/state is helpful too) of people who visit their web site so that you can send them information about your next book, signings you may be doing, publicity, etc. And don’t say, “To receive more information sign up here…” You need to offer them some little nugget for free. This could be a Top 10 list, a “special report” about 5 things not to do, a checklist, an essay, whatever you think would interest your readers.

[5] No links. Though you may not want to clog up your site with information other than your book, what list of links and resources would be helpful for your reader? Author web sites are not typically the kind of sites people bookmark. So make sure you have some kind of content that has to do with your book topic that is so worthwhile visitors won’t want to lose track of where it is at.

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For more Book Marketing Tips SIGN Up to receive our RSS feed and you’ll be entered to win a copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books 5 Way Authors Sabotage Their Internet Sales by John Kremer.

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 5 Way Authors Sabotage Their Internet Sales

Here we go! Blog #1

sale

sale Here we go! Blog #1

Yes… you CAN sell more books. I look forward to starting this blog in, encouraging authors or dreamers that marketing books can be:

[1] fun! (really, it can be, you’ll find out how)

[2] possible on a small budget (or if you’re like me… budget? what budget?)

If you took years off your life to get some words between the covers of a book, you want others to actually read it, right? We all love grandmothers, but we’d like our readership to move beyond immediate family. And no more using those boxes in your spare bedroom for guests to use as luggage racks! It’s time to open those boxes up and start getting busy!

I look forward to our time together and your input too!

Lisa

 Here we go! Blog #1

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