Monday, January 1, 2018

Why the Typical Book Tour Is Hurting Your Book Marketing Efforts


Why does it sound like I’m knocking what we’ve come to know as the typical book tour, especially after I’ve been spending the past few years singing the praises of virtual book tours? It’s simple. I’m a marketer, and I know when a marketing tool has run its course and it's time to step things up. In my professional opinion, traditional book tours are no longer the ideal book-marketing tool for authors. Here’s why:

Your Readers Are Tuning Them Out

As a marketing professional, I make it my business to track engagement stats – particularly when it comes to social media. Lately, I’ve noticed a steady decline in book tour engagement. Why? Because readers are beginning to tune out anything titled “Tour, Blitz and even Cover Reveal”. Again…why? Because they’re coming to expect the same old, tired copy and paste post.

Google is Punishing Bloggers for Posting Copy & Paste Tour Posts

There’s no doubt about it – when it comes to site rankings, Google is king. Duplicate content hurts a website or blog’s Google site ranking – A LOT. Typical copy and paste tour posts are indeed duplicate content. Book bloggers who slap up copy and paste posts and call it done, during a tour stop, are posting duplicate content. It’s as simple as that.

WordPress.com is Shutting Down Bloggers Who Publish Copy & Paste Tour Posts

Book bloggers, using WordPress.com (the free platform, not the private domain .org platform) need to be super aware of this. WordPress.com takes a very strong stance on copy and paste tour posts. Not only do they consider these posts duplicate content, they consider them SPAM, and that, my WordPress.com blogging friends is a violation of the WordPress.com TOS. They can shut you right down in a second and there’s nothing you can do about it. All your hard work is gone, never to be seen again.

Some people think WordPress.com is now actively going after bloggers who publish copy and paste book tour posts because they have an ulterior motive – to get you to purchase a private domain through them. Whatever their motivation, copy and paste tour posts can very well get your WordPress.com blog terminated without warning.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on these trends and I knew that changes needed to be made in the way that I promote authors. It’s why I’ve very recently restructured how I market authors with online events. You can read more about my new Book Marketing package here. You can read about my new Author Marketing package here. If you’re an author, looking for a better, more original way to market yourself and your books let me know!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Author Interview and $25 Amazon Giveaway with Anita Dickason Author of The Code Name Trackers Detective Book Series


We're celebrating Strong Women in Literature this week with Dallas police officer, turned detective novelist, Anita Dickason. Anita writes the Code Name-Trackers book series.  


*Don't forget to enter the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway at the bottom of this post!


 

I had the pleasure of chatting with Anita recently about her law enforcement background and about her wonderful book series. Anita had some interesting and impressive things to say, so let's get started! 


Please tell readers a bit about Sentinels of the Night.

With my law enforcement background, deciding on the type of books I wanted to write was easy. I would write about what I know – crime and cops. Developing the characters was more difficult. I have always enjoyed reading about characters that had an extra edge, a special ability that lets them overcome adversity and danger. How could I add that mystique and make it unique? Since I also love reading the myths and legends of the Native Americans, Scots, and the Irish, I turned to those ancient tales to find my inspiration.

In Sentinels of the Night, I created a new FBI team, Code Name – Trackers. Each of the agents has a different ability, a secret that defies logic and reason. While the novel is a standalone, I use a popular technique of creating a group of characters to provide continuity. In my subsequent books, another character takes center stage. I like this style of writing as it allows me to add depth to the characters.

Where did the story come from?

The plot is based on an incident from my law enforcement career. I crossed paths with a serial killer. He was ultimately convicted on multiple counts of murder, but he was a suspect in several others, though it couldn’t be proved. I have never forgotten the dead look in his eyes. It was if nothing was alive, no feeling or emotion. That memory became the basis for the character of the serial killer.

The paranormal ability is drawn from a Native American myth. I came across a woman, Alice C Fletcher (1838-1923). She was an American ethnologist, anthropologist, and social scientist who studied and documented American Indian culture. This was a woman who was ahead of her time in a man’s world. She lived with the Indians and translated the chants used in their ceremonies as well as their stories, and then wrote a book about it. That is where I found my paranormal element.

Owls are considered the guardians of the night and the messenger of death. Dying is crossing over the owl’s bridge to the other side. I used one of her translations at the beginning of the book:

The night season is mine. I wake when others sleep. I can see in the darkness and discern coming danger. I have power to help the people to be watchful against enemies while darkness is on the earth. I have power…(Alice C. Fletcher, 1900)

The book trailer I created highlights the eerie nature of Cat’s talents.

Is there a little bit of Anita in Cat’s character?

OMG-not just a little bit. How about a whole lot! In the opening scene in the book, Cat is chasing a serial killer in a railroad yard. That happened, but I wasn’t chasing a killer. A thief bailed out of a stolen car and decided that racing over and around railroad cars was a good place to try to ditch the cops who were chasing him. We caught him.

I was a unit sniper on the Dallas SWAT team. For many years, I competed in rifle competitions and managed to set eight national records along the way. Cat is a sniper. As a cop, she battles her inner demons as she second-guesses her actions as I did on many occasions. It would be difficult for me to separate my thoughts, feelings, and experiences of twenty-seven years of law enforcement experience from my characters.

What made you make the switch from Marketing Manager to Dallas PD?

Even as a child, I wanted to be a police officer. It wasn’t possible as that was the era when women were denied access to many jobs. Even in the middle 70’s, I was working for the Bell system in Omaha, Nebraska and tried to change my career path. I applied to the Nebraska highway patrol. I got an interview, but the recruiter told me I’d never get the job. The reason is the male officers would refuse to ride with me because their wife wouldn’t like their husband working with another woman.

It wasn’t until the middle 80’s that I got a chance. The county sheriffs’ department had a reserve deputy program who were volunteers. I applied and was accepted. My experiences during the five years I was with the department is another long story, but I found a love and passion for the job. I took a leap of faith, one that was both a financial and physical risk. At age 43, I applied to the Dallas Police Department. It was one of the few departments that didn’t have an upper age limit. I was accepted and had the dubious honor of being the oldest woman to graduate the academy. Twenty-two years later, I retired. I had a phenomenal career that included patrol, undercover narcotics, the Dallas SWAT team, and advanced accident investigator. I never regretted the decision or the sacrifices it entailed. I would do it again in a heartbeat if that were possible.

Is there another book in your immediate future?

Going Gone! is the second novel and was recently published. Tracker Ryan Barr is the lead character along with Kerry Branson. She is an ex-homicide detective turned private investigator. They are pitted against a psychopathic mastermind whose obsession involves an intricate scheme to kidnap the children of high-ranking politicians on Capitol Hill.

I am working on the third novel, still unnamed. I find the inspiration in my titles from words or phrases in the book. So far, inspiration hasn’t hit. The plot involves an ATF agent who has disappeared, and the Trackers are on the hunt. 



For more information on Anita Dickason and her FBI tracker series please visit her website and her Amazon author page.


Please join us in celebrating girl power with exclusive author guest posts on the following amazing book blogs:



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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Book Media Kits Are Convenient Promotional Tools for Authors


If you’re an author, you’re probably always looking for ways to get your books the attention they deserve. Emailing book bloggers, book clubs, online reading groups, etc. is an excellent way to drum up interest in your books. However, before you even consider approaching busy book bloggers and other reading groups you should have a clear and concise email message prepared. It’s important to be professional when asking for book reviews so plan what you will say ahead of time.

As a book blogger, book marketer and author promoter I’m often surprised at the lack of information presented in an initial email contact. It’s critical that authors make things as convenient and easy as possible for potential reviewers to decide whether or not to accept your book for review. Including as much information about who you are, what your book is about and where it can be purchased can mean the difference between enticing a book blogger to read and review your book or simply deleting your email.

An informational book media kit, kept on hand, will make things tremendously simple for authors as well as book bloggers. Each time you reach out to a potential contact you can simply attach your media kit zip file.

If you have no idea how to create a comprehensive book media kit I can help. I’ll compile all of your book and author information into one convenient, information-packed zip file for you to store on your computer – just click here to get started!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Michael Okon Releases Monsterland SciFi Fantasy Novel

Award-winning, best-selling author Michael Okon will be releasing his paranormal scifi fantasy Monsterland on Friday the 13th and we have all the details here. 


Monsterland brings vampires, werewolves and zombies together in a one of a kind amusement park. The plot centers around high schooler Wyatt Baldwin, who just happens to be the new kid in town. Being new for Wyatt means becoming part of the “unpopular” group at school. Wyatt secretly worships perfect and beautiful Jade, but knows she belongs to Nolan, the school jock. 

Wyatt is a good and caring kid, so when he hears that a rich doctor, named Vincent Conrad, is coming to town to create a Monsterland theme park that will also double as a research facility for victims of a devastating pandemic, Wyatt is in awe of the doctor. 

Dr. Conrad rewards Wyatt’s admiration by giving him and his friends premium tickets to Monsterland’s grand opening night. Will Wyatt and his friends witness the beginnings of a legitimate medical project or has Dr. Conrad been deceiving the world? What could possibly go wrong? 





Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters. 


Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.


Please click on the following blog links to read exclusive guest posts, character interviews and more from Michael Okon:


Monday, October 2, 2017

Author Vicki Morris Releases New Career Guide

Author and career and happiness coach, Vicki Morris, has just released her much-awaited career workbook "InspiredWork". Designed to create the work you'll LOVE in just 8 weeks, Vicki is certain InspiredWork is filled with enough valuable information for readers to make informed career change decisions. 


Vicki is adamant that the InspiredWork system works so well because, "With inspirational career transformation coaching, the focus is on helping people to transform their career and brand so they are happy at work and feel like they are living their highest potential in a career that is inspiring and uplifting to them." 

InspiredWork covers an extensive amount of information for anyone seeking a career change:


  • Why 80% of people are unhappy at work and if you are one of them
  • What inspired work means to you
  • Which career path (new job, career or business) is right for you
  • How to create a personalized game plan to transform your career
  • Step-by-step guidance on how to find a job, change careers or start your own business in just 8 weeks
  • And Much More


InspiredWork is available in eBook and print forms on Amazon.com. Vicki encourages readers to take her career quiz and connect with her via her website. She's also sharing several exclusive, informational articles on the following websites:



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Why Authors Need LinkedIn


When it comes to social media most people think of Facebook and Twitter, but have you paid much attention to your LinkedIn profile lately? Are you even using LinkedIn to promote yourself and your books? If not, there are plenty of reasons to get started!

Know Your Target Audience

You can effectively use LinkedIn by first identifying your potential readers. According to a recent Quantcast report:

  • There are ever so slightly more men than women using LinkedIn
  • Most LinkedIn users (61%) are in the 35 – 50+ age range
  • Thirty-three percent of LinkedIn users have graduate degrees (compared to the Internet average of twenty-one percent)
  • Forty-four percent of LinkedIn users have annual incomes above $75,000

In short, the report found that LinkedIn users are generally older, higher educated and more affluent than those on Facebook and Twitter. Statistics aside, LinkedIn has tons of social media appeal for anyone looking to promote and market – and this includes authors.

The Many Benefits of LinkedIn

The excellent thing about LinkedIn is its profile capabilities. A LinkedIn profile can be set up resume-style, with education, experience, skills, affiliations and much, much more. Links can easily be added to your profile and this includes website links. For authors, this means you can add a link to your author website, your Amazon Author Page and another social media platforms.

Writing an Excellent LinkedIn Profile and Bio

You’re a writer, so you should be able to write an informational, engaging and compelling author profile and bio. Be sure to mention your books in the “Publications” section and add a few organic keywords, but do it sparingly and naturally. Don’t forget to include a great author photo. Include book cover photos and trailer videos whenever and wherever possible. Play around with the sections until you have your information in the order that makes the most sense chronologically.

You’re Not Done with Your LinkedIn Profile Yet

Once you have your LinkedIn profile as near perfect as possible, don’t stop there. Join a few of LinkedIn’s groups and start contributing to discussions. Position yourself as an expert in your writing genre. Grow your connections (without spamming members) and post articles to your profile. Update details as necessary. As with all social media, it’s about Engagement Marketing, so be engaging!


If you need help creating the perfect LinkedIn profile, but you aren’t sure where to begin let me know here. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sharing is Caring – Why and How Authors Need to Get Social with Social Media



I’ve said this many times before – if you want to market yourself and your book you MUST get social. Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay so we’d better be using it to its fullest advantage.

Why Your Book Needs Social Media

We’ve all seen how 140 characters can spread like wildfire when tweeted on Twitter. Just imagine if you could harness that power to let potential readers know about your book. You may not be able to take it to the level of a Trump Tweet, but, if done correctly, you’ll get your book’s message across to thousands of unique viewers.

Influencers Abound

Social media is loaded with influencers and your book needs them. Influencers are people with thousands of dedicated followers. Even an influencer with “just” hundreds of followers can be an amazing asset to you.

Begin by searching for influencers in your book’s genre and follow them. Interact socially and genuinely (aka, no screaming about how great your book is). After following, engaging, retweeting and sharing for a while you can reach out to see if they’d be willing to post something about your book. Offer to return the favor. Two-way, mutually beneficial relationships are a goldmine for you and your book.

Social Media Generates Traffic

If you’re…

  • Looking to get more social media followers
  • Trying to build your newsletter subscriber list
  • Get people to check out your website
  • Entice people to read your blog posts
  • Have potential readers view your Amazon Author Page

 …social media will help you with all of these things and more.


If you’re not already active on social media then you’d better get started NOW to improve your book’s visibility. Social media marketing should be at the top of every author’s book marketing campaign. If you’re overwhelmed with the process let me know so I can help!