All posts in Blogging and Social Media

How To Get Your Book Noticed: Marketing for Authors

How To Get Your Book Noticed: Marketing for Authors

I recently got an email from a new author asking for advice on how to get her book noticed. I wrote her a short reply about The Long Road and The Immediate Fix. Then I got to thinking that I really didn’t cover it enough so I thought I’d try to tackle that today.

First of all, I will say that while I am a marketer with an M.B.A. from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business in Entrepreneurial Marketing, and I started a company, Aquent (renamed from MacTemps), out of college that landed on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Company six years later at the #12 spot, I have never worked in children’s book publishing nor marketed a book.

Aquent

I do, however, know how to get bloggers to notice your book, from the backwards perspective of publishers, PR folks, and authors asking me to cover their book. And I also I think that building the brand of YOU, THE AUTHOR, is not so different from building a blog following. Over the past seven years, I built a blog audience of 100,000+ page views a month, and a social media following:

I have a Twitter following of 76,900

My Pinterest following is 143,700

My Facebook network is 6,400 (personal and PragmaticMom)

My Google + network is 11,200

My Instagram following is 7,600

My LinkedIn connections total over 3,500

and I can share with you my learnings and takeaways.

So read on if you want my 2 cents …

First of all, I noticed that publishers don’t spent a ton of time or money on most authors. Sure, if you are Rick Riordan, they go crazy with a huge marketing campaign, but for most authors, it seems to be about a three week campaign. And here’s why …

Think about how many books publishers launch each year. And when they reach out to bloggers, the emails asking for coverage can feel like too many times to the well. Bloggers like myself stop reading and responding to these requests. Blog tours get harder to set up. You see where this is going … publishers want authors to set up their own blog tours. It’s because that a personal request from an author is going to get noticed a lot more than a mass email from a publisher or a PR firm.

Marketing for books  is generally a “set piece” comprised of:

  • Advertising (consumer, trade, school, library)
  • PR (bloggers, publications)
  • ARC distribution
  • Promotions (Goodreads, school and library conferences, trade shows)
  • Author appearances (school visits, book store events, conference events)

Authors get a budget based on how many books they are expected to sell. ARCS and advertising are hard costs. PR and outreach are staff time, and I am guessing most likely email blasts to internal lists. Read more…

My Top 10 Favorite Instagramers

My Top 10 Favorite Instagramers

I’m fairly new to Instagram — about two years now — and it’s becoming one of my favorite social media platforms to meet and really get to know bloggers, authors, illustrators, and moms. I like how quickly an image can convey a message and how easy it is to comment and follow the commentary.

Here’s a small sampling of who I love. It’s pretty impossible to pick just 10 but that’s what I did today. I could probably keep this kind of post up weekly for months! How about you? Who do you recommend?


My Top 10 Favorite Instagramers

You might recognize these illustrators from children’s books but follow them for their amazing doodles.

1. Lori Nichols. I love her hyperlapse drawing videos. She’s a fun illustrator to watch in action!

Lori Nichols

2. Inky Girl. Debbie Ridpath Ohi plays with her food, making for whimsical drawings.

inky girl debbie ohi

Read more…

how to set up a blog or website

How to Set Up a Blog (or Website)

If you are thinking of setting up a blog or even a simple website, it’s becoming the same thing. You can set up a blog to use as a website for your small business. Here’s how in three easy steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Blogging Platform. Spoiler alert: Use Self Hosted WordPress.

Step 2: Secure Your Name and Host. Spoiler alert: Make sure your name is available on Twitter and other social media platforms. Use BlueHost.

Step 3: Configure and Design Your Site. Spoiler alert: Make sure your blog/website theme is Responsive.

Ready? Let’s go! Read more…

My Blogging Journey at Year 7

My Blogging Journey at Year 7

I was a neighborhood party the other night when someone I knew asked me about how my blog was going. I don’t think she was looking for “fine, blogging is great!” It might have been more of a career question: are you making money blogging? So I thought it was time for an update on my blogging life.

Blogging is a Journey not a Destination.

I started blogging nearly seven years ago with an idea to turn it into a business. I had other ideas for a birthday gift registry for family members to go in on expensive gifts but I am not a programmer and didn’t want to hire one.

Initially, I wanted to share the after schooling curriculum I pieced together to catch my oldest up in first grade when her teacher was absent so often that there were subs for subs. It took a while, but I eventually found my voice and rekindled my love of children’s books. It wasn’t long before I put a stake in the ground and declared that I was dedicating my efforts to promoting diversity, inclusive, and multicultural books. Multicultural Children’s Book Day came out of that and with it, the joy of working with Valarie Budayr at Jump Into a Book and Becky Flansberg of Frantic Mommy.

Multicultural Children's Book Day Read more…

how not to get your wordpress blog hacked

How Not To Get Hacked: My Advice after 2 of My Blogs Were Hacked

Two of my blogs got hacked recently. I think the hacker used the same means for illegal blog entry: an old theme that I had tried out years ago and rejected. That particular theme was probably not updated over time, and it became a Trojan Horse for hackers to enter my blog.

It turns out that WordPress users are more vulnerable to hackers since it’s a big community. Don’t worry! Here are some FREE tips and action items to lockdown your security.

Trojan Horse

How about you? Have your blogs ever been hacked? What else did you do? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Zorpia is a Pfishing Scam: BEWARE!!

Countdown: My #2 Most Popular Post of 2015

Zorpia is a Pfishing Scam: BEWARE!!

Zorpia is a Pfishing Scam: BEWARE!! is my 2nd most popular post of 2015. After a bad experience when I accidentally gave Zorpia access to my Facebook in order to read a message “sent” to me by my daughter, I wrote this post. It took me nearly a week to shut down my Zorpia account. Zorpia somehow got access to my email and started emailing all my contacts with messages to join Zorpia from me!

I am convinced that Zorpia is not just a Pfishing scam but possibly the base from which China and/or Northern Korea are getting email addresses to use for cyber warfare.

My blog was recently hacked so I’ll be writing a post on that next. I think honest and helpful accounts of bad experiences are appreciated by anyone who goes through this same trauma! Or at least that is my takeaway from the popularity of this post for me!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

MaryAnne of MamaSmiles turned me on to this gratitude challenge:

Today I’m joining a group of bloggers who are uniting to blog about 50 Happy Things for 2015 – and we would love for you to join us! If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s okay. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos. Dawn has a linky you can join on her blog if you decide to write a post!

Read more…

permalinks

What Not to Do To Get Traffic to Your Blog #InfluencerMarketing

I remember when I started my blog about seven years ago. I wrote a few posts and then sent it to friends and family via email and Facebook. That got me a pop of traffic but then what? How do you get readers?! The kind of readers that come back day after day. It’s an addicting quest and I’ve made many mistakes on this journey of If You Build It, They Will Come. Let me share my most spectacular mistakes with you!

How To Get Traffic for Your Blog

permalinks

Permalink Nightmare

If you are like me and you set up your blog in ignorance, you might not even know what a permalink is. I didn’t. My WordPress blog template had a default permalink setting (that’s the link that is created for each post) that used numbers. I never really thought about my permalink. It was just there.

But then I took an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) class and I learned that the permalink IF IT HAS WORDS SUCH AS THE WORDS IN YOUR TITLE can generate traffic from search engine queries. But, of course, mine had numbers. So I just switched it on the back-end of my blog so that my permalink used the title of my post.

Disaster!

Please go here to read rest of post.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TapInfluence, the leader in connecting influencers with opportunities to collaborate with brands.


soul camp

A “Good” Domain Name: The Possibilities Are Now Endless!

Do you remember life before the internet some thirty odd years ago? I do. I remember when email was the “new thing.” Seven years ago, when I met a friend at post MBA graduate function, her classmates were telling me that kids no longer use email. That was news to me! But’s it’s true. Teens and twenty-somethings only use email to communicate with “adults.”

I remember when URLs were limited to .com for companies, .edu for schools, and .gov for government, and .org for non-profits. But then … the internet took off. Blogging took off. Everyone on the planet has a blog or a website for their personal brand. There are simply no “good” names left.

When the folks at Name.Kitchen contacted me about writing a post for them, it was the first time I realized that a whole new world of domain names is now available! If you think in the old way of domain names, you’ve probably have had the frustrating experience of not being able to secure the.com of choice or having to create a ridiculously long and hyphenated name. That’s so hard to remember! Read more…