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Are You Tapping Into the True Power of Social Media?

We are familiar with how important social media has become in light of the recent pandemic. With the re-opening of businesses, people are more able to go back to interacting with one another more than they have in the past few months. However, social media is still one of the most widely used way people interact with others on an international level.

It has become critical for businesses to have ways their customers can stay connected with what they plan to offer including sale dates and discount opportunities.

If you need a clearer view into just how powerful social media is, check out this article: 10 Social Media Statistics You Need to Know in 2020 by Oberlo.com.

Now, as brands (including you, authors) and businesses, we realize these facts cannot be ignored. This being the case, so many resort to being overly “salesy,” constantly posting about how their followers “need to buy this” or “need to have that.” It’s really bad when it comes to the writing community.

Hard truth: Nothing sends your followers to hit un-follow faster than “buy my book,” “buy my book,” “buy my book.”

Another hard fact is: rarely does social media result in conversion and that is what you, as a brand, want. Conversion.

The question then becomes, are you utilizing the true power of social media?

Remember 80/20:

People buy from brands they trust and know will guarantee them a good experience and quality product. One power of social media is it allows you to build that trust by utilizing what is known as the 80/20 rule.

So what is it?

Simply put, it says put your ego aside and focus on the people who give their time to look at your content on a regular to semi-regular basis. 80% of you energy needs to GIVE BACK to your readers while 20% can be promotion.

Badredheadmedia has an ingenious book called the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge. In it, Rachel teaches you how to go about capitalizing on your social media without sounding salesy. We recommend her blog to anyone who is looking to understand the rule of 80/20.

This is what makes blogging such a powerful platform for authors. Evergreen content and what a good colleague and mentor of mine refers to as “digital breadcrumbs” offers more than paying 40$ a year to Twitter accounts who promise to “tweet” your book on a daily basis.

How you might ask?

When people go to Google you and your book, the more you’ve become involved, the more your name will populate! The more you populate the search, the more people are guided to your content and your book.

See how this works? You gave to them, they found you. Tada!

Create Engaging Posts

“Buy my book” posts are rarely engaging.

Instead of murdering a tweet with a life of .02 seconds with “buy my book, buy my book,” use those short seconds to offer an inspiration, ask a question, get engage.

That’s what social media is. It’s not a conversion tool, but a tool to build a network (hence the word “social”). Conversion is low for buying anything on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

FyreSyde Publishing personally experimented with each of these platforms and learned quickly:

We spent more money running ads than actually converting.

Two years have been put into building the functional network we have now and we’re still building it.

The point is: Focus less on selling your beloved book baby and focus on building a network of loyal people who know you. These people often will support you simply because they know you — NOT your book.

Titles come and go but the author remains the same.

Don’t Know What to Post?

We hear this all the time. And truthfully, we still have problems with it too. While we try to blog weekly, sometimes we just aren’t able to and that can be hindering because it breaks our readers’ confidence.

But! This is not the end.

CoSchedule has an amazing resource titled “52 Effective Social Media Post Ideas and Examples to Fill Your Calendar.” Their blog is one we go to often and another resource we recommend if you’re struggling with marketing.

The key here is engagement. Paint yourself as a human being and you will build trust. Build trust and you already have a vast word of mouth resource at your hands.

Use Hashtags Properly

The key to using social media to its full potential is tapping into the power of hashtags.

How we usually do it for Twitter and Facebook is we pick a trending hashtag, one relevant to our audience and a branding hashtag.

For Instagram, we use anywhere from 9 – 15, once again keeping in mind the audience we want to reach.

There are many you can choose from but we will include a few of our favorites here.

  • Twitter:
    • #MondayBlogs – Monday only; no self-promo. Great for bloggers to share resources that have helped them.
    • #BookMarketingChat – Wednesdays at 8pm CST. Run by Rachel Thompson, featuring names who know how to market. Great to build engagement and ask questions.
    • #Chance2Connect – 3rd Tuesday every month. Run by author Kim Chance. A wonderful way to meet other authors and build a network.
    • #PitDark – This one is held twice a year and is exclusively for authors in the “darker” genres who are looking for publishers and agents. DO NOT FAVE IF YOU ARE NOT ANY OF THE ABOVE.
    • #PitMad – Similar to #PitDark
    • #TeaserTuesday – A great way to help boost awareness of a new release. We use this to share teaser photos and moodboards for our author’s newest releases.
    • There are daily trending tags you can use as long as it is used properly

  • Instagram
    • #writingcommunity
    • #Smallpress
    • #publishersacceptingsubmissions
    • #bookstagram
    • #bookish
    • #booklover
    • #igreads
    • #goodreads
    • #amreading
    • #romancebooks
    • #paranormalromancebooks
    • And more

  • Facebook: Hashtags for Facebook are similar to the above.

Another helpful resource for finding hashtags:

Blaise Ramsay
Blaise Ramsay

Blaise Ramsay is the founder and owner of FyreSyde Publishing and Greenwood Grove booksellers. She is also the author of the shifter romances Blessing of Luna and Bane of Tenebris which were recently obtained by Black Rose Writing. In 2017, Blaise began her quest in writing and publishing as an indie author, soon realizing it wasn’t enough, opening FyreSyde Publishing to other authors to help them in the publishing process. As a publisher, FyreSyde uses the network its created to help authors in their marketing efforts. It currently has five authors on its docket and seeking gradual growth in order to keep true to its mission statement. In 2020, it looks to expand its catalogue by three titles with four – six forecasted for the year 2021. Out of a need shouted out in the local community, FyreSyde has expanded to its first division, Greenwood Grove Booksellers, an indie bookstore that removes the gatekeepers so authors can find a home for their books on a shelf. Blaise has guest-posted for multiple blogs, appeared on radio shows, and spoken at multiple live events. She is a professional ghost-writer, writing coach and business coach. Aside from writing and publishing, Blaise runs two blogs on Instagram, JazzyGatorGrill and BloodyGoodBookReviews, where she loves to connect with the foodie and bookstagram communities.

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The Publishing Market is Changing: Are You Ready?

Courtesy of Pixabay

Let’s face it, every market is saturated. Every market requires entrepreneurs to be able to adapt to an ever changing market. Refusal to do so could result in a massive loss of sales.

We will be brutally honest. The market is becoming harder for Indie authors to get a foothold in the publishing industry. Doors once open are now closing due to a lack of care in editing, cookie cutter plots and just downright bad writing. By no means are we saying it’s impossible but you must be willing to accept some hard truths.

In a recent article we came across published by Author Publisher magazine titled The 10 Major Publishing Trends of 2018ten of the major shifts in the publishing market were outlined.

To begin, if you’ve been in the self-publishing or writing industry in general, you have become aware of the recent acquiring of Amazon’s KDP rigorous changes in rules for getting and keeping reviews.

Amazon’s new policies have made it to where if they find one hint a person leaving a review knows you in any way, your review will be deleted.

What does this mean to the market? It means that authors will have to get smart and reach further into methods they may not traditionally have used in order to reach more readers and build a readership.

The truth may be harsh, but here it is.

Authors have to realize that writing with the goal of reaching any sort of publishing deal, must treat their writing as a business. You are a brand if you produce a product. Apple is not only known for its products but also its logo and as a brand trusted by a vast amount of consumers willing to pay hundreds of dollars to make sure they have the newest model.

You may have also noticed, traditional publishers are becoming much more selective to unsolicited manuscripts. They are tightening their reins and requiring authors to reach out to agents in order to pursue contracts with them. Agents are harder to come by (at least those who are accepting queries) and often make authors wait long periods of time before inevitably rejected them.

The types of books — audio, ebook, paperback, hardback, etc — are becoming more widely distributed in a constantly fast-paced world. A few years ago, one might have been able to produce only ebooks but once again, there’s a shift.

Readers are shifting back to desiring to hold a paperback version of the books in their hands. Book bloggers are no longer accepting “self-published” books.

Paranormal romance (or the romance genre in general) books are a saturated, yet highly demanded genre, but one must see the underlying cry for thrillers, horror and mystery. The market is once again showing a subtle shift. One merely must go to Amazon and search through the best sellers to see what the highest ranking titles are.

Best seller rank on Amazon is no longer entirely dependent on reviews. We have seen many authors who have been able to play the AMS system so well, they break the traditional trends of publishing and are reaching the top seller list with as little as three reviews. For example, Bella Forrest’s A Shade of Vampire 68: A Purge of Nature.

Reviews are a great indicator for customers to understand what they’re buying, by no means am I saying they aren’t important. I’m saying obtaining best-seller’s status is no longer solely dependent on them.

Although these shifts might be terrifying in nature, especially to young authors or authors just now getting feet wet in the industry, it is a necessary part of economics and commerce. Those who fail to shift will be weeded out, thus leaving the market to grow with those who followed the marketing shifts.

However, adapting is a part the economy, the economy is built of those who fail, learn, adapt and start anew.

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NaNoProMo Day 20: How to Improve Your Email Newsletters Right Now by @SugarbeatBC

What would happen if social media suddenly went black? We’re talking no more tweets, Instagram death, Facebook crashing apocalypse. What would you do?

Enter your email list – one of the most powerful marketing tools in any business’ arsenal. These are the people who receive newsletters every month with exclusive goodies (or we hope you include them).

For NaNoProMo Day 20 (created by Rachel Thomson), Barb Drozdowich offers some insight as to how you can improve your newsletters. Don’t miss out on this valuable information.

Excerpt:

Many of the experts in the field focus on aspects of this communication which in the big picture don’t really matter. Or in some instances are detrimental to your ability to communicate with readers. In fact, it is my assertion that many of the experts in the field haven’t actually read any of the research in the field of communication with readers. They often repeat advice from others – assuming if someone is talking a good game, they must know what they are talking about.


In today’s post, we are going to mention two points of proven research and then talk about some ways to harness the power of that research to up your game.

Barb Drozdowich, How to Improve Your Email Newsletters Right Now

Find out more about Ms. Drozdowich:

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NaNoProMo Day 2: A Novel Way of Speaking: Just for Authors by PaulGeigerSpeak

Let’s face it, speaking for authors in general can be pretty daunting, especially if you’re one of those who freezes up in front of people. For day 2 of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson), Paul Geiger offers a way that could help ease the stress of speaking.

In this article, Paul gives three points to help authors talk about their books. We hope you will check out the original article here: A Novel Way of Speaking: Just for Authors.

Here is a quick excerpt of what you can expect:

Most authors will admit they write a lot better than they speak. (I happen to write the same way I speak – but I’m only developing one character here.)
Most people, in general, don’t even like the sound of their own voice. Couple that with a little nervousness when being interviewed about your book and you’re in for a bumpy and unpredictable ride.
Any time you let the word out that you’ve got a big promotional opportunity, you will inevitably receive a lot of well-intentioned advice:
“Be yourself.”
“Just speak the way you write. You’ll be great!”
“Show them how smart you are.”
“Take a deep breath and go for it.”
Your friends and family mean well but, ultimately, you’re still left with no answers. The better action plan for how to talk about your book has only three parts:
Discover your bumper sticker.
Leverage your forward momentum.
Know how to close the loop.

Paul Geiger, author of Better Business Speech

You can find Paul on his social media: