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Taking a Facebook Book Promo idea to WordPress

So the other day I opened up my personal Facebook Feed to allow my writer friends to put up one of their books in the comments of that day’s post. You see, I try to keep my FB feed relatively free of constant promotional book posts. Not that I won’t tell my family and friends about my writing life, but I don’t want it to be filled with that. I use twitter, my author page, google+ and other social media means when I want to post more often. For FB, I really just love to keep my regular feed filled with poignant, slice of life events for all my friends and family to chat about.

Now, I happen to have a lot of friends that love to read, and with all the millions of books in the world, it’s just so hard for people to sometimes find these little gems. Especially when I know how hard everyone has worked on these. (though I will admit, I have not read them all) Still, these authors were keen on letting the world know about their work, so I wanted to showcase them a bit more. I’ll start with mine:

THE HUNT FOR XANADU Doug CoverTHE HUNT FOR XANADU by Elyse Salpeter
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
A girl on a quest for revenge to find her parent’s killers. Book #1 of 3.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ahjL12

H.E.R.O. – METAMORPHOSIS by Kevin Rau
This is a FREE, full-length ebook and kicks off the most extensive superhero novel (not comic book) series in existence!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aUHy74

TRUST by Pamela Kelley
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
What do you do when your fiancée becomes a murder suspect 3 weeks before the wedding?
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a7kBR4

ardenARDEN’S ACT by Elizabeth Thomas
Genre: Historical Romance.
In the time of Charles II, the first women are allowed to act in plays. Arden West comes to London to do this, and finds romance and adventure along the way.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aHlyjD

A TIME TO TELL by Maria Savva
Genre: Family saga
A story about love and family relationships – history repeating itself.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aJpddT

BLUEWATER DRONE by Charles Dougherty
Eleventh book in the series about the adventures of two young women running a charter yacht in the Caribbean.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aqzHzP

THOMAS TALKS TO ME by Denise Vitola
Need a Writing Muse who has great ideas and tips? Let an angel help you.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aob6sT

chrissieAMONG THE OLIVE GROVES by Chrissie Parker
Genre: Historical fiction.
Love bravery and sacrifice on a Greek island during World War II.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aJoFos

An Anthology of Pet Tales with Ann Swann’s story SNAKEMAN
It’s an anthology of true pet tales.
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/gu7mmzw

BATS by Fred Barnett
Protecting their all dead habitat from tourists. PLUS The Black Friday Shoppers
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ak4oFm

BREATHE by Christine Grey
Genre: Fantasy Adventure with plenty of Romance
The Destiny Series, Book 1 Fantasy, PG-13 Girl meets boy while trying to kill boy.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aHnokR

jessieJESSIE by Rebekah Lyn
Genre: Young Adult.
Jessie is the 2014 winner of the Patrick D. Smith Literary Award for Florida Fiction. Jessie’s boyish ambition is to ride a rocket into space and he has plans to make it happen.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2an0nUK

darkTHE DARK by David C. Cassidy
Genre: Supernatural Horror
IT KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT. IT KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED. Don’t miss this two-time award-winning novel.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aDgsnL

Want to check out some lovely poems by Tracy Meyerhoffer? She enjoys writing poems about the life experience. There is something there for everyone to identify with. Funny, thoughtful or quirky, my poems are like snapshots of someone’s soul.
Check out her website: http://www.TracyMeyerhofer.com

lisaMs. Cheevious In Hollywood: My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town by Lisa Jey Davis
It’s my memoir of my fun time as a single mom pursuing a job working in Television… and landing said job!! It’s filled with funny stories and foibles ala newly single mom… and also tons of a-list celebrity dish as well… I hope people enjoy! It’s available in paperback, hard cover and eBook:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/lisajeyd-book

BITE SIZE READS by Roseanne Baxter Frank
Slightly twisted, deliciously dark really short stories for people with very little time or very short attentions spans.” Sometimes what you read depends on how much time you have.
Amazon: Bit.ly/BiteSizeReads

Please feel free to check these out and if you get a chance to read any of the books above, there is no greater favor to an author than leaving an honest review. It means so much more than you know.

Happy Reading!

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Authors, Really, Don’t Do These Things….

postNow, before I begin this post, I need to declare that I’ve probably committed a few of these less blatant faux pas myself during my start in publishing. To a new author, you think it’s not quite a big deal, but they really are. The more you’re immersed in the publishing social media industry, the more you learn the do’s and dont’s. What irks me are not the newbies, but the people who have been publishing for years who continue to make these mistakes or these “not cool” actions. I’ve spoken to authors directly about it and many of them have listed why they do them. One told me “they were too lazy to do anything else.” Another told me that they were too desperate and figured “why not?”

Well, the why not and too lazy won’t help any of us be successful and more than that, it won’t help us with our other fellow authors helping us. So here are some things I see, some of my biggest pet peeves. If you see yourself consistently doing any of these, please just take a moment and rethink them.

#1) For goodness sake, on your author page, please don’t guilt readers, friends or family to buy your book. Please don’t tell everyone you’re broke and that you need to pay your bills and it would really help if you could purchase a book for them. This is your public author page. Be professional and respectful. It’s one thing to suggest they buy your book and explain you’ve just launched it and would love their support, or ask for reviews, promote blogs and other things, but when you start resorting to guilt to purchase? Not cool and you certainly won’t get a fan base invested in your work.

#2) Please don’t go to another author’s page and promote YOUR book or services. (someone did it to me yesterday – an author I actually know on social media) You want to tell an author you now do book covers? Then email them or IM them – don’t go to their author page and put a big photo of YOUR book or services on their page. Just not cool and you can be sure I’ll delete it pronto. That page is mine. Meaning, if I want to promote another author, I do it because “I” want to, not because someone else used my platform to meet new people.

#3) Please don’t spam your twitter followers with ONLY “Buy my book” tweets or a post about your book. Or for that matter, just post other people’s book tweets. It’s lovely of you to do that to support them, but you want to be known for more than just being a book spammer. Follow some conversations, ask questions, retweet other people. Work with the hashtags. Anything, but just spamming. Talk to people. You must do this if you wish to have more engaged fans.

#4) Please don’t ask someone to retweet your book if you’ve NEVER once done anything for them. If you don’t speak to these people ever, you don’t buy their book, you don’t promote them, you don’t do a review, don’t expect them to just do a dedicated campaign for you. And then if they don’t do this “dedicated campaign,” don’t then stalk them on social media and ask them WHY they haven’t looked at your book yet. Trust me, my reading list for author friends, which is 15 deep, comes first. And another thing, when I read a friend’s book, I do not expect them to buy and read mine just out of courtesy. I chose to read that book. My time is so limited between work, family, commuting, and my own writing that I simply have no time.

#5) In the same vein, please don’t ask another author to do anything for you on twitter if you don’t even follow them back. I have so many authors asking me to do things for them, retweet their books, BUY a book, review a book, yet they don’t follow me and have never once engaged me, promoted me or listed me. Am I petty? No, it’s a courtesy. IM me on the side, go to my web page and seek me out and email me if you have a question – but tagging me so my followers see you just to promote yourself? Not cool. I’ll respond much better privately, trust me.

#6) Please don’t send me publicly anything dirty, racist or ultra religious. Even if it’s a joke and you think the joke is funny and I’ll enjoy it. I have a great sense of humor… but PRIVATELY. But, if it’s on my public feed, I’ll delete or block it. My son saw something really lewd on my feed last night as I was doing a tweet and when I checked it, this photo was right below it. He was appalled and fled the room. I was utterly embarrassed as I stared at the blatant close-up of a woman’s naked “hooha” being “serviced.” I had to assure my son that it wasn’t my post. He didn’t quite believe me thinking that if it was on my computer, it must be mine. BLOCKED and REPORTED.

#5) Lastly, this is a biggie on Facebook and it bothers me the most: FOLLOW THE RULES ON A PAGE. If it is a tweeting page, please make sure MOST of your requests are tweets. If it is a likes page, make sure most of the requests are likes. If it is a horror blog and they don’t allow book promotions – DON’T PROMOTE YOUR HORROR BOOK. It’s one thing if authors ask other authors on those pages occasionally to help them do something because they’ve become friends and they’ve all supported each other, but it’s something else when people continually abuse the rules on a page for their own self promotion yet the admins are too kind to do anything about it.

Maybe I’m just overly sensitive. Maybe I’m a just a stickler for rules. But, I do think with the internet being so impersonal we must put the “personal” back into it.

Thoughts?

What do you think of this Cover & Blurb?

Hey, everyone – I could use some advice! I’m working to release a horror tale to be ready for Halloween. It’s called THE MANNEQUINS and is about a film crew that enters an abandoned mansion and gets caught in another reality run by a madman. This is the awesome cover Laura LaRoche made for me, but I’m still playing with the tagline and thought I’d ask for your opinions and suggestions. I wanted the cover to be creepy and cool and I think she nailed the mood perfectly.

Folks are chiming in on my author page at http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor (so if you could go there and give a like and comment, that would be great – or below is fine too!)

So, which tagline do you like the best, or come up with one of your own creation! I’ve been told the only caveat is to keep it brief. Some of the top suggestions are below:

Don’t go inside…
Fear has a new name…
They’re waiting for you…. (reader suggestion)
Come inside… (reader suggestion)

The Mannequins

So, would you take a peek at this cover? Does it scream horror? Thanks so much for your help!

Social Media – It’s Not A One Size Fits All World

one sizeYou see a lot of people on social media posting the same thing over and over, across multiple platforms. It could be book links, or promotional blogs, or here’s what I made for dinner, or the same rant about the world. You know, the tweeter who only posts his books and then on google+ does the same thing. The FB friend who only posts photos of her daughter and discusses her beauty over and over. There are definitely people that after awhile when I see their posts, I cringe, because I know what’s coming. You don’t want to become that poster.

The fact is, social media is not a “one size fits all” world. People go to social media for different things, the same way readers love different genres, and magazines are niche. Here’s a quick synopsis of some of the social media outlets and what their participants are looking for.

Twitter: A great place for small little 140 character tweets. You can do a book promo, ask a quick question, do a cute game – but people want something quick, fast and then… you’re outta there. I will tell you – consensus is if you only post book promo tweets you are assured of getting blocked fast. Do two to four a day, but no more and spend more time interacting with people or doing different kinds of posts. And be nice on twitter – I can’t tell you how many people think this anonymous world gives people the right to be mean. Arguing with people on a public forum like twitter is never a good way to make friends.

Facebook: To me this is a more personal place where it’s totally acceptable to talk about your family, what you ate, things you did, ask questions, polls, play games. People expect it. Just mix it up. And, if you expect anyone to see your posts and comment on them, you have to interact with people. There is no way around it. You don’t comment or like any of your friend’s posts, Facebook will shove you down in analytics and folks won’t see your post for hours.

Instagram: This is really Facebook, but in pictures. People don’t really want to talk on there – they just want to post photos. Comments are ok, but liking their pictures is what people are going for – to show you enjoyed their photo post.

Google+: My newest obsession. This is different – people want to read a bit more content and it’s appropriate to give them a bit more – not an entire novel’s worth, but definitely leave more than you would on a tweet. Photos are great on here, but explanations of why that photo is there, or why you are sharing a particular link, is even better. Add hashtags so that google analytics can pick you up. This is a great link on How to Make an Awesome Google Post: http://dustn.tv/perfect-post

In every one of these mediums above, conversations are key. Answer people’s questions, comment on blogs. In every one of these, continuous and sole self promo to excess is bad. Unless you are on a “Facebook brag group” no one, including your good family and friends, wants to see a book promo post over and over. I heard this cool ratio to do FOUR fun tweets/posts to every ONE promo post. You still need to promote your books, but it shouldn’t be every single post.

Love to hear what you think!

Why You Should Do A Goodreads Giveaway

goodreadsgiveWhen I talk to authors about what sort of promotion they are doing for their novels, I hear mostly “I’m posting on Twitter and my Facebook page.” Occasionally I’ll hear they do a post on Google+ or something on LinkedIn. I’ll also hear about doing ads on BookBub, ENT and sites like that. What I’m surprised is I don’t hear more activity happening on Goodreads.

You see, Goodreads is where readers go to find books that their friends are reading. Yes, there are a lot of authors there, but there are even more readers. I believe it’s important to branch out into different social media networks because you never know where you’ll find that next loyal customer.

Which leads me to why you should do a Giveaway on Goodreads. For the price of your book, mine average about $4.50 on Create Space, and shipping to the winner, I essentially have an “ad” for under $10 that runs on Goodreads for about two months. It sits there, it pops up occasionally, I can promote my giveaway and then people have the ability to enter AND THEN also have the ability to put it on their shelf to read if they like. If they do this, then it sits, for free, as a sort of ad, on their shelf that their friends can also see they are interested in reading.

I’ve done quite a few giveaways on Goodreads. I offer out my ARC Copies that might have some errors (which I make very clear to the winner) and it allows me to get exposure without having to run an actual ad. (and it allows me to get rid of the copies I won’t actually sell)

Here are some results of some Goodreads Giveaways I’ve done for three of my books:
I finished one yesterday for my thriller THE HUNT FOR XANADU and 616 people entered.
In November 2013 I did one for my dark fantasy novel THE WORLD OF KAROV and 510 people entered.
I did another one for my YA thriller, FLYING TO THE LIGHT and 623 people entered.

These are people who may never have come across my books before and if you’re lucky, the winners will leave a review for you as well.

So think about going on Goodreads today and creating a giveaway. Just remember, it needs to be a hard copy. You can give out as many books as you wish. I do just one so I can spread it around, but I see more people seem to enter when there are multiple copies to win. Totally your call. And while you’re at it, go enter a few giveaways, too. I’ve won some myself and it’s a great way to read a new author.

Now, for anyone interested, on 8/30 I’m doing an online book launch event for FLYING TO THE FIRE, which is Book #2 in my YA Deaf Thriller series. It’s all online and I’ll be giving out prizes for interaction. Please click and join here – you don’t need to purchase the novel – just come for fun! https://www.facebook.com/events/669594469785008/

Facebook – Getting Around the Darn Algorithm…

facebookFacebook – people seem to have either a love or hate relationship with it. They’re upset about the new layout changes, they’re upset at not seeing photos of loved ones, they’re disappointed their FB Fan pages are not being viewed by their fans.

All of these disappointments are completely valid. Now let me help you get around them.

Problem: You’re not seeing posts of your friends and family that you think you should be seeing.
Solution: Facebook has built a model around “engagement.” They have decided that if you like or comment on people’s posts, you obviously are engaged with them. They also believe that certain friends on your friends list, who get a lot of comments, are people you would want to see more of because OTHER’s engage with them. As a result, they might show you these periphery friends because they think you might find them engaging as well.

If you are not seeing some of your friend’s posts, your relative’s posts, there is a reason. You have not engaged them enough. Do you smile at their photos and posts and simply move on, without liking or commenting? Do these same people do the same thing to your posts? You’ll get a phone call later that “Oh yeah, I saw that but I didn’t respond.” My suggestion is to like every single thing they do and COMMENT on it. Yes, it’s a game and it sounds silly, annoying and time-consuming, but play it. Go to some friend’s/family pages right now and start liking and commenting. Facebook’s algorithm will ascertain these people are important to you. Not just because you’ve listed that they’re a close friend or relative (which does help when you click those options of delineation), but because they want to make sure, for certain, you like these people before they serve them to you time and again.

Problem: Facebook Layout. It’s confusing. It’s busy. I liked the old way.
Solution: Deal with it. They’re simply playing around with the experience to figure out how to honestly, get more ads in there in a way that’s not too intrusive, while still giving the user what they need. (remember, FB IS a business) Just note, the experience is also very different on Mobile, Tablet and PC. On the phone I see hardly anything, on the IPad it’s a bit better, and my best experience is on my laptop. Don’t expect the bells and whistles of FB if you’re just on your phone. Maybe you should check onto it on a computer now and again to get the full experience. It’s like your webpages – they look very different on a phone versus on a computer.

Problem: People say you post too much.
Solution: There’s a very good reason I try to post a lot. How will I ever know what will make people respond? Is it a photo? A link? A review of my book? Is it a great, goodwill video? A recipe I found? A person’s thoughts I’d like to share? We must continue to post often. If we don’t spam our readers with the same topic over and over, and continue to switch things up and be witty or informative, then folks shouldn’t have a problem. The important thing is to keep getting your name out there because the more people that respond, the more engagement and exposure we will have, and the more you will make it to the top of that algorithm.

Problem: Facebook Fan Pages. Fans not seeing my posts. This is in my own craw, to be sure. How is it I have 1282 fans, yet only 4% of the people will see my post? Easy. Maybe my fans have not responded in the past. Maybe they’ve seen some of my posts, but because they have NOT engaged, they do not get served my posts as much, or as often, as other fans.

Solution: Pay to Play. This is FB’s new model of business, because yes, it is a business. I suggest you boost a post and target it only to your fans and your fans friends. I do this for $5 and I jump up to 1200 views. Why is this important? Because now your fans will get served the post and if any of them like it or comment, guess what? You just got bumped up as being engaged with them. And if they like and comment, their friends will see it on their stream as well. I just boosted a post the other day after I saw only 2% of my fans had seen my post. Suddenly I saw fans like my post that I haven’t seen in months and months.

You see, it’s not enough that someone is a fan, a close friend, a brother or sister. Facebook has no idea, nor cares, about anything but your interaction with these people. And you have the option for people you are not seeing, at any given moment, to go to their page and like and comment. In fact, every single fan, friend, and relative has the option at any moment to GO to your page to see your own posts whenever they wish as well. But most people won’t take the time and prefer to get “served.” By actually and forcibly engaging them, you become automatically top dog, front and center, where you wish to be.

So I leave you with this: “Engagement is key.” You must play the game if you want the most out of your facebook experience. But one thing to note, folks. Please remember… Facebook is FREE. Authors, ever notice how mean people can be when you offer a FREE book? Ever think how opinionated someone is with a free book and they might start it and not even finish it? It’s like Facebook – it’s there, it’s free, but to get the most experience, you need to use it properly – just like a book – for the most experience, you need to finish the darn thing before you judge.

If you found this helpful, how about we engage a little bit? Would you go to my author page and like and comment on a few posts if you’ve not done it before? It would be most appreciated. I will do the same and engage you back. http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor