Live Book Clubs: Are You Reaching These Important Influencers?

book-club-surveyBook clubs can be a defining moment in any author’s career. Fact is, the success of any book is accelerated if book clubs get hold of it and begin spreading the news. That’s why we call them “influencers” and that’s why we work hard to find and vet them for you.

This article from the Independent Book Publishers Association Book Clubs: The Benefits shows how beneficial book clubs can be, or you may want to read how book clubs’ word-of-mouth put Water for Elephants on top (yes, even above the Oprah selections of the day!) in the NYT: Big Time for a Novel…

Getting Your Novel Into the Hands of Book Clubs

Meet Kathy Murphy, the “Pulpwood Queen” who opened the only Hair Salon/Bookstore, Beauty and the Book in the country in Jefferson, Texas and in 2000, founded and now operates the 600+ chapter book club, The Pulpwood Queens, nationally and in 15 foreign countries – the largest “meeting and discussing” book club in the world!

Kathy will be on a very popular panel at this year’s PubSense Summit, titled Busting into Book Clubs. joined by WWW’s own Jacqueline Gum who vets book clubs for our Winner Circle; Melissa Rodrigo, Melissa Rodrigo, founder of the Charleston Book Lovers club, which currently has over 700 members; and literary agent Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management, who works with authors to make their project as appealing as it can be to book clubs!

Know of a Live Book Club in Your Area?

Besides the WWW team reaching out regularly to bloggers, Twitterers, indie book stores, readers at book festivals and more, once every few months we circle back to the coolest source – YOU – to ferret out the latest book clubs in cities around the world. Because, the club you know about might also be of value to one of our other emerging authors – and their club may be of value to you!

Please, take answer the few questions below, or make a comment with the book club manager you want us to reach out to, or jot us an email at info@writerswin.com.

With your help, our vetted list of LIVE book clubs in the Winner Circle, now already over 200 live clubs and thousands of readers strong, will offer authors the best chance to expose their work to new readers. And book clubs will have the opportunity to read new work in the genres of their choice, and maybe even influence who the next best-seller will be… It may be you!

 

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Interview from the Author Hangout

marathon-not-a-raceThis post is excerpted from the transcript of WWW’s Shari Stauch who appeared on The Author Hangout at AuthorMarketingTools.com: Episode 13: Great Marketing Ideas with AMT’s Shawn Manahan and R.J. Adams. Visit the link to view the video, listen to the podcast or download the full transcript!

AMT: You end up working with a lot of authors; what is the hardest thing that authors deal with when it comes to marketing their own eBooks?

SHARI: Well, there’s two big things. One is misinformation. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and because of this whole new explosion of self-publishing there are people that kind of want to take advantage of authors.

When you’re birthing this new baby, your book, you’re willing to do anything to get it out there. So you have to be very careful and do your research on companies that you’re going to work with.

And then the other thing is the understanding that in the traditional sense of things, an author needed to make it – especially in fiction – in the first 90 days with that book, or it was going to be remaindered on the shelves. And now, books that are 10, 15 years old are coming back to the fore and gaining new steam because a book club will pick it up here or a reviewer will catch it there. You have a much longer shelf life. So the first thing we tell authors is it’s a marathon, not a race. [Read more…]

Scrivener Advantages for Authors

Scrivener-for-AuthorsOur thanks to author and co-founder of Unbound Words Jennifer Kohout for this guest post. Jennifer will be teaching a master class on Scrivener for Authors with Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn at this year’s PubSense Summit. WWW tribe members can save 10% off their registration with code WWW2015!

If there is one program that I would recommend for authors, it’s Scrivener. Scrivener is amazing. It does everything you need to research and write your next novel, and then some. I’ve been using Scrivener for almost two years and I know that there are features that I’m not using. It is amazingly robust.

I will admit there is a learning curve. How steep depends on how technologically savvy you are, but it is well worth investing the time to learn. Once you get over the pain of learning a new system you will find that Scrivener saves you time and energy.

Here are a few of the features that I love:

[Read more…]

2015 Book Marketing Predictions from Smith Publicity

BookMarketingAintEasyThis post by Dan Smith first ran on Smith Publicity’s site, one of WWW’s valued and Stellar Partners. Since 1997, Smith Publicity has promoted thousands of books from every genre from New York Times best sellers to first time, self-published authors. Their ultimate goal is to secure as much media attention as possible for their clients to raise awareness, build an author’s credibility and brand, attract new opportunities and spark book/ebook sales. Smith Publicity offers a wide-range of services, from full-service book publicity campaigns to lower-cost, book marketing support services, and they offer special discounts to WWW readers! Contact Corinne Liccketto for more information: corinne@smithpublicity.com.

Since Smith Publicity was founded in 1997, every year in the book publishing and book marketing industries has been marked by one constant theme: change. Like many industries, and perhaps more so than most, the book world underwent a massive transformation via the convergence of technology and market changes. [Read more…]

Author Lessons from the Shark Tank

shark-tankGuilty pleasure: tuning in Friday nights (or whenever I get around to watching the DVR) to ABC’s Shark Tank. It’s interesting to see entrepreneurs offer up their new ideas and follow along to see their progress. And yes, I’ve succumbed to more than a few of their cool product offerings. I think of it as a TV shopping spree on steroids.

But there’s also plenty of hidden advice for authors on there! So, taking from some of the Sharks’ most common (sometimes rude but usually on point) comments, here’s some valuable author advice straight from the mouths of sharks Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran! [Read more…]

Emerging Author? Distance Yourself from The Pack

PubSense_250x250Thanks to WWW team member and PubSense Summit 2015 conference faculty member Jacqueline Gum for this guest post. Read on for your special WWW discount code and important deadlines!

Writing a book is, either fortunately or unfortunately, one of the most common endeavors known to humankind. Everyone is writing a book. Your weird uncle Al is writing a book. So’s your neighbor and the waitress who served your dinner last week. Some of them will even finish. Some of them are even good writers with good stories to tell. And all of them are trying to get published.

This is not a big-fish-in-a-small-pond scenario. It’s a big-fish-in-a-galaxy-of-oceans-filled-with-other-equally-large-fish situation.

The good news is: You have every reason to believe that you have a chance. Publishers and agents and readers are always looking for new and exciting books, and there is more fluidity than ever in how stories are distributed and how money is made. But one thing is certain, the only constant thing in publishing today is change. [Read more…]

Creating a Mastermind Group to Meet Your 2015 Writer Goals!

step-up-your-writer-goalsGraphic courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Phew! We made it past the holidays, even if some of us (well, me) are still taking down the decorations. So now it’s time to really step on up to those 2015 writer goals.

If you’ve never explored a Mastermind group, now may be just the time, and I want to explain why.

Mastermind Groups WORK!

Back in mid-2012 I (somewhat reluctantly) joined a Mastermind Group. I figured I’d give it a shot, and ended up being pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie. We all worked at our goals together, but then for one reason or another, some moved away, others moved on… We lost the formality of the group but we stayed in touch.

Recently, three of the original members decided we needed to regroup and revisit, so we brought on a few more folks and gathered together this past week to talk about our new strategies and challenges and current direction.

One of the original members brought a mind-map (my fave mind-mapping app for both PC and Mac is MindNode) I’d done when I’d first gotten involved. Revelation! [Read more…]

Hot Tips for Your Author Website

authorwebsiteOur thanks to Kiffer Brown of Chanticleer Book Reviews for this guest post. Learn more about WWW’s author website solutions HERE!

How will readers, who you will probably never meet in person, decide to read your book? How will you communicate across the Interverse to compel them to take a chance on your book? To invest their time reading your books? To forge a virtual connection with you as an author? To be able to “connect” with you and your work?

It is good to remember that websites and digital collateral (your digital footprint in the Interverse i.e. social postings, blogposts, etc.) are dynamic, changing entities. You can add, subtract, adjust, pivot, and enhance it. You can add new websites for new books and  new pen names. Nothing is carved in stone.

Your author website should quickly answer the following in a visually appealing manner for your targeted readers:  who, what, when, where, why and how.

The average length of time that you have to make an impression on a website visitor is about 5 to 10 seconds. It is in this amount of time that a website visitor will decide whether to close the browser window to your website or stay and “visit.”

Website Basics

  • websites should load quickly (visitors no longer wait for websites to load)
  • websites should be visually interesting and compelling with a LOT of pertinent photos, graphics, and images
  • websites should always have blog posts with fresh new content for SEO crawlers–even if it is just a paragraph or a blurb at least once a week
  • websites should supply pertinent information as to Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How

 WHO — Who You  Are as an Author? Who Are Your Favorite Authors? Do You Have  Hobbies? What Are Your Interests & Pet Peeves, Your Idiosyncrasies?

WHAT – What Do You Write? What Inspires You? What Do You Like to Read?

WHEN–When Can They Expect: your next installment, your next book, your next signing, your next blogpost, etc.?

WHERE — Where Do You Write? Do you write while  on the bus, at a local café, in the garden, do you do your best work while traveling, or under pressure with NaNoWriMo ?  Where do you get your inspiration?

WHY– Why Do You Write? Why are you inspired to write?

HOW–How Do You Write? Are you fueled by lattes, morning runs,  chocolate, or traveling? Are you a  pantzer or planner? Remember to most readers, authors are intriguing beings with magical skills of creating characters, worlds, and stories.

Notice the order of the questions is in the order of importance. Readers can then choose to drill down for more information or “turn the page” for the rest of the story. Your job is to keep them captivated and interested.

Answering these questions will facilitate interaction with potential readers, and convert readers to fans. Fans amplify your marketing and promotional efforts. Fans are evangelists for your books! Then the Interverse will then amplify these actions and grow your audience and readership organically. Growing your audience increases your book sales. 

Social Media Marketing Insights: Free Download!

2014industryreport-coverOne of our favorite reports on social media marketing each year comes from our friends at Social Media Examiner, and this year is no exception!

In their sixth annual social media study, more than 2800 marketers reveal where they focus their social media marketing, which social tactics are most effective and how content plays a role into their social media marketing, all incredibly useful info for authors who depend on social media to expand their audience!

In this free report, you’ll discover:

  • What social platforms marketers will focus on in the future
  • The top social media questions marketers want answered
  • How much time marketers invest with social media activities
  • The top benefits of social media marketing and how time invested affects results
  • The most common forms of content for social media marketing
  • And much more!

Here’s just one cool example of info contained in this report, an insightful chart as to what pro marketers judge as the benefits of using social media today!

social-marketing-benefits copy

The top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic. A significant 92% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses.

Increasing traffic was the second major benefit, with 80% reporting positive results.

Most marketers are using social media to develop loyal fans (72%) and gain marketplace intelligence (71%).

The largest increases in reported benefits were developing loyal fans, which increased to 72% from 65% in 2013, followed by increased sales, which jumped to 50% from 43% in 2013.

Some questions that naturally emerge from the above chart might include, “Can I achieve more benefits by investing more time in social media?”, “Are marketers who’ve been using social media for years gaining even better results?” and “Is there a difference between B2B and B2C?”

Further charts in the free report address these questions — Check it out, marketing authors!

Jumpstart Your Writer Imagination

writer-imaginationOur thanks to media relations expert and award-winning author Christina Hamlett for this guest post. Graphic courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

If your storytelling skills need a jumpstart or if you’d just like to persuade your Muse to stop moping around the Land of Writer’s Block, the following exercises are guaranteed to get the new year’s creative juices flowing.

Coffeehouse Characters

Grab your laptop and head for the nearest place to buy yourself a latte. Your assignment is to observe the clientele and see what kind of fictitious stories you can create about them. What does their clothing, body language and general appearance suggest? Are they on their way to work? What kind of job do they have? Do they appear to be waiting for someone?

Once you’ve finished your notes (and for goodness sake, never stare or come across as an urban stalker), start constructing a plot in which you speculate what will happen to this people in the next 24 hours.

Yard Sale

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The next time you’re at a neighborhood yard sale, stop in and buy something. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as its presence tweaks your curiosity. Does it seem out of place amongst the other items? Is it something that’s obviously well worth more than its price tag? Or is it something so ugly and impractical you can’t help but wonder how many birthdays and Christmases it has been recycled? Whatever it is, make it the star of your next short story.

Tuned In

Tell yourself that the next song which comes on the radio has been picked to be the soundtrack of a new movie. Your job is to come up with a plot for that movie by the time the song finishes playing.

Dearly Departeds

Have you ever run across obituaries where an entire estate has been left to one’s beloved cat? Or perhaps you’ve read about little old ladies who lived in the same town for years and not a single soul ever knew what exciting lives they had in their youth. Not only is there a wealth of intriguing back-story to draw from in these various accounts but also creative musings regarding the settlement of their estates.

TV Teasers

“A rock star and a nun are a shipwreck’s only survivors.”

“A murder victim returns to Earth as a circus bear.”

“A girl defies her parents’ wishes and dates the village idiot.”

These are the kind of teasers you find in TV guides for upcoming programs. Such vague descriptions provide a lot of latitude for your own creative plot-weaving, don’t they? Take the bear story. Has the bear returned to find his killer? Is he being punished to atone for the bad way he treated animals in his job as a zookeeper? Is he under a curse that will only be reversed if the right person kisses him on the nose?  

Try spinning these ideas to fit different genres. For instance, a rock star/nun musical will be a different tone than one in which the rock star is psychotic and killed someone before he boarded the ship. And maybe that village idiot who seems so harmless has a secret nobody knows – that he turns into a werewolf every full moon.

Alternative Endings

Every writer has a drawer full of unfinished stories. Now is the time to pull them out, read them over, and construct three different endings for them. This will force you to examine whether your storyline has provided for outcomes other than the predictable one you may have been writing all the clues toward.

What would happen, for instance, if Romeo and Juliet hadn’t died? What if Cinderella’s feet had swollen and the glass slipper didn’t fit by the time Prince Charming tracked her down? And speaking of footwear, what if Dorothy’s ruby red slippers were defective and she was forced to stay in Oz forever?

Classified Romance

There’s no shortage of lonely hearts in the world, many of whom utilize the classifieds as a way to connect. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play matchmaker and orchestrate an introduction between Ms. C-5 and Mr. G-49? For this story-starter, pick two people with the least in common and craft a situation whereby they have to work together to reach a goal, solve a crime, save the planet, etc. Tempers flare, sparks fly, worlds collide! Can true romance be far behind?