RWA17 Workshop Recap – Attracting Readers

At the #RWA17 conference, I attended several sessions that told us how to attract more readers. See my post on building Mailing Lists below if you’ve missed that one. Again, these conference notes are subject to my interpretation. So let’s look at some of the suggestions.
Reader
Respond to readers by replying to their emails, tweets, and Facebook posts. Mention their name in your response. Tag them if you want to catch their attention. You want to turn “cold” leads into customers, then fans, then friends, and finally into ambassadors.
Use social media tools to get your message across several platforms. Check out https://meetedgar.com/ for managing social media posts. It allows you to schedule posts across several sites. For limited time posts, you can set expiration dates. Another site is https://www.socialjukebox.com/. This allows you to set automated tweets and also link to Facebook and LinkedIn. I use this one and it’s a great time-saver. Resharing your evergreen content keeps your social profiles active and gives your posts more exposure.
Post regularly and vary the content of your posts. Do #ThrowbackThursday (old photos) and #TGIFriday (plans for weekend). Always include hashtags on your tweets and Instagram posts.
Involve your readers. Bring them into the creative process. Ask for opinions on cover art or book titles. Ask which secondary character they’d like to see in your next book.
Video is popular on social media and so are photos. Try Facebook live video or adding photos to a post. It will have a higher organic reach. Boost your posts. Share to a page or group. Link your Instagram posts to show up on Facebook and Twitter. Establish your brand on Pinterest.
Upselling counts in the book market. Offer new mailing list subscribers a freebie then say that for only $X, they can get the next book. Utilize drip mailing campaigns to this purpose. At each step, you’re offering something new.
Maximize your social media channels. Facebook ads were discussed along with other ways to get newsletter signups using widgets and links to your opt-in form. Use pinned tweets when you want to advertise a new release or giveaway. Invite interactors to Like your page. Participate in Goodreads and join special interest groups on the different sites.
Pricing and Sales. Indie authors can run sales campaigns on more expensive books at other platforms like iBooks. Ninety-nine cents may be better than free in a campaign because you’ll rank in the sales charts, and readers are more likely to read a book they paid for than a freebie. Although, I have to say I’ve found new authors from free books offered on BookBub and at The Fussy Librarian. Then I’ve gone on to buy their entire series. Sales of your backlist titles can carry over to your frontlist (new) titles.
Cutting Edge Technologies like apps and Facebook Messenger ads could become more important. Offer a free book or chapters via Messenger as part of a drip campaign. Build your Messenger subscribers, but your newsletter mailing list should still come first.
Use Multiple Points of Entry. Offer readers full-length novels, short stories, novellas, spinoffs, mini-series within a series, sample chapters.
Diversify your Book Formats with ebooks, print, and audio. Do box sets with your own series. If you do a group promo with other authors, make sure the story you offer relates to your series.
Cross-Promote with other Authors using the sites mentioned in my Mailing List post or with your own “lifeboat” team. Newsletter swaps are becoming more popular. You mention each other’s new releases or sales in your respective newsletters.
Do what you can, and don’t stress over the guilt that you’re a slacker compared to others who are doing a gazillion more promotional activities than you are. Recognize your limits but strive to learn something new. Set business goals each year along with your writing objectives. Do one new thing at a time. Then it won’t seem so overwhelming.
What other techniques would you suggest to gain readers? As readers, how do you find new authors to read?
For my conference photos, Go Here. https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor
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Social Media Tips

Humanizing the Web with Marc Ensign

Marc Ensign

At a recent meeting of the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, nationally acclaimed social media expert Marc Ensign advised us to be a Dick and follow the Ten Virtues when it comes to social media. He described his neighbor named Dick who welcomed him into the neighborhood and was always looking after Marc’s interests, sharing his resources and time very generously. From studying Dick’s manner, Marc decided this approach could work on social media as well. His philosophy is akin to Do Unto Others as you would have them Do Unto You. Be kind, generous, and giving, and you’ll help to save the Internet. Here are his Ten Virtues, subject to my interpretation and the accuracy of my notes:

Be Engaged with other people. Listen intently to your connections. Build relationships. Market the people around you. Listen to them and comment on their sites. Like aspiring authors’ posts and websites. Help others get their message out. Connect and give people what they want.

Be Valuable by helping other authors who want to get published. Mentor them, tell them how you did it, and offer tips. Add value to your relationships. Make it about “let me help you” and not about selling.

Be First to offer help before you’re asked. “Let me give something to you first.”

Be Welcoming by putting people at ease, sharing ideas, introducing new options. Welcome everyone even if they disagree with you. Talk about it with them. Make it a conversation. Be open to hearing what people have to say.

Be Humble. Your purpose should be bigger than yourself as an author, than being on the bestseller list or having a high Amazon rating.

Be Authentic. Be true to yourself in all that you do.

Be Generous by helping people and giving information away. People will see you as a resource. On your website, offer free articles and other resources. Your philosophy should be “Let me give to you” rather than “Let me give to you and see what I’ll get from it.”

Be Transparent to appear more human. Talk about what problems you’re having in your writing. Like, “Here’s what I’m doing with this character. Why isn’t it working?” or, “Why isn’t this book selling?” Let people into your life and into the scary stuff of your career.

Be Perceptive by being aware of what’s going on in other people’s lives. Follow up on people’s blog posts by returning later and inquiring about an earlier issue.

Be Awesome. Reach out through your blogs, comments, and sharing. How can you be awesome for someone else?

It’s all about caring, giving, and sharing yourself without being concerned about what you’ll get in return.

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Marc Ensign has been featured in/on CNN, the Huffington Post, Inc 500, Forbes, New York Post, PR Daily, Jezebel, and ProBlogger.

Website: http://www.marcensign.com
Twitter: @MarcEnsign
http://Googleplus.marcensign.com
http://Facebook.marcensign.com
http://Linkedin.marcensign.com

 

Social Networking for Writers

Florida Romance Writers January 12, 2013 Meeting

DATE: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel, 1825 Griffin Road, Dania, 33004
COST: $22 per person/member, $25 non-member; includes buffet breakfast
DIRECTIONS
: I-95 to Griffin Road exit (Exit 26). Go east on Griffin and make a right at the first light into the Sheraton parking area.
PARKING: Self-parking is free of charge. Take a ticket when you enter and when you leave be sure to tell the parking attendant you were attending the FRW event.
PROGRAM: Social Networking for Writers with Author Nancy J. Cohen and Special Guest Barbara Vey, Contributing Editor at Publisher’s Weekly.

The planned schedule is to start EARLY: breakfast and business meeting simultaneously at 9am, followed by Nancy’s talk at 10am, and Barbara at 11 or shortly thereafter. What a way to kick off the New Year! Don’t miss it! Email me at lisamore1@aol.com.

SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR WRITERS
Have you hesitated to get started on Facebook or Twitter because you don’t know what to do? Or perhaps you’ve established a presence on the social nets but would like more tips and tricks. Join this workshop to learn more about Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other sites where you can connect with friends and readers.

Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Shear Murder is the tenth book in this series and her sixteenth title. Nancy’s imaginative romances have also proven popular with fans. Her first title in this genre won the HOLT Medallion award, while Silver Serenade won Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. https://nancyjcohen.com/

Barbara Vey: As Contributing Editor for Publishers Weekly, Barbara Vey brings readers and writers together with her popular Beyond Her Book blog. Recipient of the 2012 RWA Vivian Stevens Industry Award. From her entertaining “Drive By Videos” to reader feedback on books with WW Ladies Book Club BHB continues to grow into a must read daily adventure. An avid reader, Barbara consumed a book a day before taking on the glamorous life of a roving reporting. Traveling all over the United States to conferences from Romance to Thrillers, Mysteries to Horror, Historicals to Comic Con, Barbara has even broken through the barrier into the entertainment industry by covering Red Carpet Events and interviewing the likes of Richard Dean Anderson, Joshua Jackson, Joss Whedon, Chris Evans and others. But her love of Romance and the Happily Ever After keeps her grounded while she offers readers a place to step away from life’s daily trials to take a positive journey through the world of books. http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
Please RSVP by the Wednesday prior to the meeting by e-mail to Lisa Manuel at lisamore1@aol.com to make your reservation. Members may pay at the door, but if you make a reservation and then can’t attend, you will be billed for $22.00. Please remember we are now accepting only CHECKS or PayPal. Please be advised there is a $5.00 late fee for any reservations made after the Wednesday, 4:30pm, prior to the meeting.

NON-MEMBERS are welcome to attend two (2) meetings per year. Please contact Lisa Manuel at lisamore1@aol.com for more information. Pay via PayPal at http://www.frwriters.org or send a check for $25.00 payable to Florida Romance Writers, Inc. to:

Florida Romance Writers
c/o PO Box 430744
South Miami, FL 33243

How Can Readers Help Authors?

If you’re an avid reader, no doubt you’d like to encourage your favorite authors to keep writing. What can you, as a consumer, do for the writer who bares her soul to you in each story? Beyond buying her latest title, is there more?

You betcha! Here are some things you can do on your end that will be appreciated.

Write customer reviews of author’s books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Shelfari, and Library Thing.

Add author’s book to your Wish List on Amazon.                           books2

Search for author’s website, author name, and book titles periodically to raise their rank in search engines.

Bookmark or add to Favorites the author’s online sites.

Like author’s Facebook page; Share and comment on her Facebook posts.

Retweet author’s Twitter updates; Mention author and her books on Twitter.

Like and Tag author’s Amazon author page as well as each book title and edition.

Share author’s newsletter with your friends.

Recommend author’s books online on various reader forums.

Create a Listmania list on Amazon and add author’s books.

Look for good reviews of author’s book and click Yes to “Was this review helpful to you?”

Follow author’s blog tours and leave comments.

Repin author’s photos on Pinterest. Go to online bookseller and Pin author’s book covers into one of your albums.

Offer to hand out bookmarks for author.

Initiate a Street Team of fans to spread the word about author’s works.

If you live in the same region, suggest the author as a speaker to various groups.

Buy the author’s latest book or ask your librarian to order it and put your name on the wait list.

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Anything you can do will help, especially in this era of viral content. Word of mouth still has the most clout. So share your pleasure in the author’s writing and make her job easier so she can concentrate on writing the next book.