IWSG – ASK PZM: December 2013

It’s that wonderful time again, the first Wednesday in the month, Insecure Writer’s Support Group day, compliments of our very own fierce and noble Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavannaugh. If you think this group sounds like a good place and you’d like to join, click here

Do please check out Alex’s post today. He’s got an announcement to make AND some niffy surprises. 

It’s a simple process: 

“Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.” 

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG co-hosts this month are: Julie Flanders, Heather Gardner, Kim Van Sickler and  Elsie is Writing!

Now that the INSECURE WRITER’S SUPPORT GROUP Website is a reality, please help us spread the word.  
ASK PZM: December 2013
Q:  The internet is constantly changing, so what worked yesterday is old news today. How does that affect marketing?
This is an excellent question because it is something that everyone who uses online marketing, not just authors, has to continually consider.
Who remembers MySpace?  If any authors are currently participating on this site (which still exists, because I just checked), these authors are probably not optimizing their book marketing outreach.
There are always new relationship sites coming online that could be helpful for reaching our target reading audiences.  But we can’t be everywhere at once, especially if we also want time to write our books.
This means that we need to keep a pulse on what new site is taking off and which new site is probably not going to be worth our time investment.
For example, I think that Pinterest can be a good site for authors because it does not take a lot of time to participate and keywords can help people find Pinterest boards and pins.  On the other hand, I’m not sure that being active on Pinterest helps sell books. But what is good about Pinterest is that if, for example, your blog posts with photos have the “Pin it” share option, it is easy for people to share.
Besides free online marketing options changing all the time, paid advertising options also change.  For example, Facebook now has very detailed paid advertising options and Twitter is increasing its focus on paid tweets.
Numerous experts give free webinars on these subjects (think Mari Smith for Facebook) and, if you can listen to some webinars live or on replay, the investment in your time can be worthwhile.  Plus certain paid webinars may also be worth your time and money.
You do not have to be an expert about all the major social media marketing opportunities.  But it does make sense to keep up with major changes that can help you promote your books.
Q:  How should an author encourage readers to read their book and write a review if they loved it?
One way of doing this is to ask for a review if a reader loved your book.  You can put a link at the end of an ebook or physical book that goes directly to the review page of your book on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever you want to send readers to write reviews.
Yes, the link will not be clickable in a physical book or on some ereaders.  But if you use a shortened URL such as bit.ly for the long permalink to the review page, readers should be able to easily type the shortened URL into their browser windows.
Q: What about marketing ideas related to holidays?
Definitely utilize holidays that relate to your books. For example, in connection with Veterans Day I tweeted the Kindle link to my ebook SOLOMON’S JUSTICE: A PTSD SHORT STORY.
Of course, tweeting in connection with holidays is a simple marketing step.  Use your imagination to come up with other ways to attract attention.
Perhaps you have a mystery novel that includes a recipe for holiday cookies.  Maybe an online kitchen utensil site would be interested in selling your book with a shoutout for the recipe and the kitchen utensils needed for the recipe.
Obviously these kinds of cross-promotions need to be planned months ahead of time.  Now would be a good time to plan for Thanksgiving in 2014.

When considering cross-promotional opportunities, remember that the starting point is what can you do for the other person.  The second consideration is what the other person can do for you.

TWEET #1 – How does the changing internet affect marketing? (click to tweet) 

TWEET #2 – How to encourage readers to write a review. (click to tweet)

TWEET #3 – Need some marketing ideas related to holidays? (click to tweet) 


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books, and she blogs on book-related topics at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com   

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