review

6 Best Steps To Promote Your Book Online – Hayley Zelda

It’s not easy to promote your book online. It can be overwhelming, too! But no matter what kind of online book promotion you’re hoping to do, whether it’s Facebook ads or Instagram or Pinterest, the first step is to identify your goals and create a plan to achieve those goals. The best part is, you can get started right now, without any outside help, just by following the six steps below.

  1. Blogging

Blogging is the fastest, easiest and best way to learn about how to promote your book online. While still starting a new blog yourself on hosting sites like Tumblr, you can and should read as many other blogs by authors as you can, and see how they’re doing it. If you think of all blogging as writing, rather than just posting blog posts, you free yourself to write about a wide variety of topics, which will help you learn more about yourself and the process you’re using to tell your book’s story as the author.

Identify a number of specific blog concepts with which you’d like to engage, and then commit to posting to these at least two times per week. Think of these blogs as your day jobs, and of yourself as a full-time blogger. Make sure to keep your blog up-to-date, particularly if you are anxious about your next book. Even if you still mostly write books, reading blogs is a great alternative to watching TV for longer chunks of time.

  1. Social media

Even if you choose to ignore the kinds of online word of mouth promotions you can get by joining groups and groups of writers and doling out free copies of your book, social media is a necessary tool. It is very hard to find success in online word of mouth promotions without a solid social media presence. You want to immediately start socializing with friends and family and acquaintances when your book first comes out, so that you already have a base of people who will speak about you online as soon as you go live. But don’t focus all your efforts there. Moving forward, you’ll want to try to expand your reach with new followers whenever possible. Try tweeting regularly about interesting facts in your universe, or posting excerpts and samples for your readers on Wattpad. Sometimes, these promoted posts can get a huge amount of engagement because of their topical and timely nature, allowing you to build an audience beyond those who know you personally.

By the same token, do not fall into the temptation of building a social media presence by endorsing products you did not find useful. Many people make this mistake once they realize how many followers they can gain by saying nice things about products — they offer to do so, and then never use that product again. Even worse? That product might be inflating their reviews on Amazon. So if there’s a product that you’d like to promote related to your book, you need to decide if it’s actually something you’re going to use yourself, or if you’re just trying to pick up a few more followers.

  1. Top ten lists

You may not remember it, but there was a brief period where lists made a big comeback. What was once a sidebar in magazines was suddenly the most exciting thing you could potentially want to read. Buzzfeed and other sites began producing listicles, or top ten lists about everything under the sun. The popularity of these lists drew a lot of attention, but more importantly, it sparked the interest of advertisers and savvy tech folks. Those lists represented hits on a large share of a particular site’s traffic, and so the reader’s attention was valuable. Today, after a flurry of refinements, lists still remain a great way to get in front of many eyeballs at once, particularly on sites that have a strong target demographic that matches yours, like Wired For Youth. Lists can also play into the popularity of certain mobile apps, too. The list can be your book, in the middle of a list of a broader topic.

Start writing a listicle about your book to promote it, even in the early stages, so you can see the kind of action it generates. This will give you a gauge on how people might respond to a book purchase. To do that, research your target demographic first, just like you did when you wanted to know how to market a book. Once you think you’re targeting a listicle that those people would potentially like to stay updated on, try using it to promote your book. Take note of how many people click through to where you can buy the book. That’s the number you’ll want at the threshold, and you can open that promotion along with several other promotions at the same time. They may have similar demographics, simply because it’s hard to be as specific online. For example, your book might have readers who also like Kendall Jenner — all the followers and subscribers to her social media accounts could also find your book interesting. You just have to test to see if that’s the case, and if something similar comes up a lot, you’ve found your target market. This way, you can make the extremely scientific decisions that could mean good business for you.

  1. Offer special content

Social media can be your friend — but you need to be clear in your mission before you can be good at it. For example, if your goal is to use the content you post as an artful form of advertising, hanging pretty pictures on a bare blog is not going to cut it. If your goal is to build a relationship with your readers, neither will constant self-promotion. The key, above all else, is being intentional about how you use social media. It all starts with your plan. Decide what you want to accomplish and set a goal. Remember, it’s all about getting new readers, and possibly keeping them, so your first priority is to persistently and reliably deliver interesting content on your niche.

If your plan is organized, it becomes easy for you to see right away what you should be posting. For example, if you’re blogging, you can go ahead and tweet the direct link, so that readers can be reminded to check out your content. If you’re posting short stories on Commaful, engage with your following and make sure to update consistently. You could also post the link to your personal Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest account, so you can post new updates with ease. If you apply the universal stress reduction principle of making things easier and simpler, your social media posting will not be as challenging and intimidating, and it will be easier for you to be consistent in meeting your goals.

  1. Forums

Forums are, even today, a great place to find an audience for your book. And forums have made their way into the modern world in the shape of blogging and Tumblr and Goodreads’ forums. Unlike some specific sites, forums are community-oriented, which means the threads are often much longer and the tone of the conversation much more freewheeling. These are all great things. The majority of forum users visit sites like Reddit or Quora to learn about new things, so if you can create a great content piece for the site, it quickly picks up traffic and attention.

Reddit provides you with an especially prompt incentive to continue to create content. Their “karma” system pushes members to both create and vote on content that has already been produced in order to rank and grow, so that they can ascend to the higher ranks of the community, where they’ll have bigger direct influence and reach over time. On Reddit, you don’t just have to one-time-write a successful post and then leave. You will have to go back over and over consistently in order to keep your account active. Also, be prepared for some back-and-forth conversation with your fans — and be honest and transparent about the writing process when they ask you about it! Redditors can be very inquisitive and sometimes a bit challenging in the advice they offer. But if you can develop a relationship with them over time, you have a vast and responsive audience at your fingertips.

  1. Host an AMA on Reddit

The term “Ask Me Anything” has become social media clickbait shorthand. But behind the meme is the opportunity for an author to open up his or her book to the questions of an entire online community. No matter how successful your career has been, hosting an AMA will open you up to a whole new audience, while conferring authenticity and integrity. If you read through the questions on any one AMA, you can see how simple the questions are that fans ask and expect genuine, thoughtful responses. Just be sure not to treat a Reddit AMA like a press conference — give honest answers to the questions you’re asked. AMA threads often end up in the first few pages of Reddit, meaning you’ll still reach your intended audience after the buzz from the AMA dies down.

AMAs are also a great way to discover connections with other authors or with other people in your field. Potential connections are why you do social media in the first place, and there’s no reason not to capitalize on those connections when you have the opportunity — so don’t forget to follow up with other authors or people you’ve met on your AMA afterward, through Twitter, email, or Tumblr. You can cross-promote your new connections both through this medium, and practically — if you find another author in your genre you think might be a good fit for an event, suggest it to him, and see if they’ll dig up some kind of promo code for you.

Ultimately, it comes down to thinking critically about what your book is about, where the audience you want to attract with your book promotion will hang out, and what you want to do with whatever traffic or attention your book promotion brings in. Fortunately, there is no one right answer. What kind of promotion works for you depends on the type of book you’ve written, the method of promotion you’re doing, and even the phase that your book is in — pre publishing, publish and post, or seasoned. Give it a go and see what works for you!

Author Bio: Hayley Zelda is a writer and marketer at heart. She’s written on all the major writing platforms and worked with a number of self-published authors on marketing books to the YA audience.

Poetry Book Mini Reviews

 

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From My Years – Jamey Boelhower

 

This collection touches on reminiscing on past loves and past lives. A reader gets a melancholy feeling of childhood, school days, and relationships with parents. I really enjoyed the heartache and yearning of the past. This poet has great descriptions of the scenery in his poems. I really enjoy the writing style of repetition and line placement, I’d definitely read more collections from this poet. Some favorites in From My Years include Left at Home, Morning Memory, and Hate is a Loan Shark.

 

 

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Rose Petals Under a Reaper’s Robe: Unveiled – Vontress Ortega

 

You can absolutely feel all the anger, betrayal and determination coming off the pages in this collection. This collection is right up my alley with its writing style, I loved it! Vontress touched on so many topics that are personal for me involving relationships, self love, and current society. This collection felt very cathartic and I really enjoyed going through that emotional journey with the speaker. I would recommend this collection to just about every girl friend of mine.

 

Review of Our Whimsical World by Lauren M. Hancock (Alice Well)

The talented author and illustrator Lauren M. Hancock, (also known as Alice Well) got in touch with me earlier this month and swapped books, here’s my review of Our Whimsical World: Illustrated Stories.

Our Whimsical World offers bright rhymes, vibrant illustrations, and profound lessons. Majority of the characters are animals and inanimate objects that really plays into the whimsical theme. Yet they all face struggles and human emotions us, readers face throughout life. It was great to see so many issues touched on by the characters struggling with anxiety, death, hatred, sadness, and feelings of being left out.

The colorful illustrations brought an added layer to every story. The collection of short stories is broken up into 3 sections: For the Younger Ones, Slightly Older, and Older Ones. This really allows an array of readers to enjoy Lauren’s insightful stories. Some of my favorites were:

For the Younger Ones:

Morgan the Star Child for not letting the negativity around her bring her down and Super Sponge for using his talent to help heal others.

 

For the Slightly Older Ones:

Hippobottom the Heiress for her generosity and dedication to understanding victims and Bert the Turt and Trudy the Beet for showing readers what true friendship is and facing discrimation.

 

For the Older Ones:

My heart broke for Mother the Vase and her losses but my heart fills with laughter for The Prince Who Could Carry a Tune.

Get your copy from Amazon and check out Lauren’s Goodreads too!

Where I Ache Review by Venus Davis (from Maria at Sampaguitas)

Maria at Sampaguitas is a fantastic magazine to submit your piercing yet tender pieces to. The magazine encompasses so many different forms from short stories and essays to poetry and photography. If you’re a creative artist, definitely give them a look!

I lucked out by having a regular contributor Venus Davis review my collection Where I Ache!

“In Megan O’Keeffe’s honesty through poetry, I felt seen in a way that I never have before. This book felt like a gift from a close friend. This collection is a hand reaching out to hold the hand of anyone who has ever dealt with grief, depression, heartache, and the massive love for yourself that builds from going to hell and back.”

Read the Full Review here

I’m so thankful for any review I receive, if you are interested in my collection please get in touch! (ddateable@gmail.com)

The choice to self publish

The dream for me had always been to be picked up by a big publishing company in the future of my writing career. I knew that would not happen right away and self publishing some books would almost be like building up a resume. I could grow my own fan base, I would be showing that I’m not just a one hit wonder, and I would show that I have the passion and commitment to continue on for many more years. 

 

There’s definitely stress and frustration that comes with putting a book together but I do love having control over every decision and making my collection EXACTLY how I want it. As I’ve never been traditionally published, I don’t know when the hand off happens exactly. But I’m sure there’s Cover Designers and Illustrators that can give your collection a complete makeover – a makeover you may not want. You can be included in the conversation but how could you disagree with the professionals if you didn’t like the design?

 

A big plus of signing with a traditional company is the marketing resources that can be dedicated to getting your book to consumers’ hands. When you self publish all the marketing and promoting falls on you. The thing is I’ve seen some collections that were published by traditional companies but barely have 50 reviews on Amazon. I know reviews don’t equal sales but one of the big 5 publishing houses should have enough resources to ensure their books are being promoted well. 

 

Traditional publishing companies have been in the industry for a long time, they have a lot of connections, and they know all the ins and outs to get your book in front of the right people. But will they use that knowledge on you, that’s no guarantee as this recent thread on Twitter speaks to. 

 

After publishing my first two collections, I’ve learned I want control of all creative decisions and I want as much promotional help as possible, it seems there are plenty of examples in the industry that traditional companies don’t help me with either of those things. 

 

Being picked up by a publishing company could be the greatest thing to ever happen to your writing career. It could be the greatest to happen to mine as well, I’m just saying that I no longer feel that hungry desire to chase after one of the big 5 houses. I’m happy self publishing. It’s difficult at some points and I know traditional would have it’s own difficulties as well. Self publishing has been making steady strides in this industry for years and I am here for it’s next step.

 

Bookshine and Readbows’ Where I Ache Review!

I’m lucky to have another Where I Ache review coming in! Head over to Bookshine and Readbows for some awesome reviews!

 

Where I Ache is a sizeable volume of poetry, split into six parts labelled with parts of the body that allude to their thematic emotional link.  For example, the ‘Greedy Green Eyes’ section covers jealousy and longing in many of its poems.

In an easy-to-read, accessible writing style, Megan O’Keeffe presents poetry that anyone who has ever loved, longed for or lost can identify with.  The majority of the poems are short – between one and three verses for the most part – but the emotions covered are huge and all-encompassing.”

 

you can read the whole review here, thanks again Steph!

Poetry Book Reviews

Some more book review coming your way!!
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Real like Laundry – Breanne Weber

 

It was so cool to see how this poet used the landscape of the page to draw in drama from spacing out words to isolating sentences. In a similar sense, she also used font size and boldness to highlight words. This gave extra depth to those poems and captured the reader’s full attention. It was very refreshing to read a poetry book that was not centered on love nor a relationship. I wish I understood the chapter title and division more, i feel silly that I wasn’t able to fully get it. This poet also spoke to our 5 senses very well, especially smell which I feel like was a theme throughout the collection. 

 

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Poe-rotica – Jupiter Grant

 

Poe rotica is hot and STEAMY! This is absolutely Adults Only as it contains explicit details of some very adult activities! I found Poe rotica very unique as it wasn’t just your regular love or sex collection, it’s a collection that can be deeply admired by it’s community. For those not familiar with that community, it’s great sex education and cultural knowledge. 

Rhyme schemes aren’t really my personal favorite, but an absolute favorite poem of mine was Tango (p42)! It’s a poetry form you don’t see often, it requires creative skill and, is really fresh in the current poetry world. Jupiter definitely has a passion for her work and she’ll have a great writing career.   

 

Mini Poetry Reviews

I wanted to review some poetry collections since my collection Where I Ache has been getting some lovely buzz here on WordPress.

 

 

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From this, I Bloom – Emily Jane Burton

 

You might remember I actually interviewed Emily early this year as part of my Poet Interview Series. This might be my favorite poetry book I own! The trouble with Chapbooks is, you’re always left wanting more! I love the variety of topics that were included in this collection from family, dealing with losing someone, and finding strength within yourself. I was happy that these poems have titles since not all poetry books do that and I enjoyed the variety of how the poems were placed on the page. This poet also created great imagery and had me using all of my senses. I would definitely buy this poet’s next collection.

 

 

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A Rose, Unbloomed – Angel Blackmon

 

My absolute favorite thing about this collection was the poems that had bolded words creating a secondary poem within the overall one! The book didn’t have page numbers nor poem titles which was really only a bummer because it’s not as easy to go back and find your favorite poem. The collection touched on a lot of deep topics and emotions, it was philosophical and captivated my attention. I was really happy with how many poems got to be included in this one collection and that they weren’t all micropoetry. I can’t wait for the next publication!

 

Where I Ache Review Marlena Marie

Use of Bold and Italics; yes. Just yes. There is a difference between me using bold and me using italics. It just feelsdifferent. You know what I mean? Bold feels more like a statement, a fact, an emphasis. Italics feel fluid, stressed, an emotion laying within the words. It may just be me, however, and, in which case, ignore me.

Forms of poetry I didn’t know; This was nice for the simple grounds that I like learning new things and I learned of two poetry types: Abecedarian and Pantoum.

Notable Quotes:

“We’re making angels out of monsters / in the dark.” – pg 6 (Please Don’t Sugar Coat This For Me)

“If You Don’t Like Me Now / Then You Never Really Liked Me / I haven’t become anyone / who I wasn’t already.” – pg 137

 

To read the full review visit Marlena’s site here

 

Book Review: Where I Ache by Megan O’Keeffe – Beth

Where I Ache is a beautifully written collection of poetry. Each poem in this book really made you feel what the author was feeling. I could feel her pain and sorrow, her love and heartbreak. I can’t remember the last time a poetry collection made me feel so much. There was just so much emotion in every line of every poem.

I bookmarked so many while reading it, because of how much they moved me. I was stunned by how many of the poems really stood out to me. I just related to so many of them, in so many different ways. I fully expected this book to just be another Milk And Honey, but for me personally, it was much better.

 

Read the full review here via Book Review: Where I Ache by Megan O’Keeffe

Where I Ache Review Alliee Reads

In terms of the poems themselves, I did enjoy reading them. They offered an insight into the human experience, they were easily understood and easily able to relate to.

I recommend it to others who need a hand to hold, who need to see that what they are going through is not something that you have to deal with by yourself, that there are others who feel and have felt the same way.

read the full review here at Alliee Reads