- Write a basic press release about your ebook. This can be tweaked depending on the focus of your recipients.
- Get your daily dose of Google by creating a search on keywords about your topic that’s delivered to your email address. This lets you see what others are saying about your subject. Once you see this, you can begin to acquire website addresses and start a list of contacts to contact about your ebook.
- Find blogs on your topic. You can write a small article and submit it for them to publish. Always include a tag line–Jim Crawford is the author of the ebook, “A Fine Mess,” which helps you navigate the world of clutter. His book is available on Amazon and iTunes and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website for helpful decluttering tips at www.afinemess.com.
- Create a Facebook page and include it with your website (if you have one) and blog (if you have one) on all marketing materials.
- Always follow up on press releases. Many editors don’t even pay attention to an emailed press release unless someone follows it up. Direct contact is OK.
- There’s a lot you can do without spending money. However, Google Adwords are affordable. I don’t know how effective they are. I would not fool with Facebook advertising.
- Set up a blog and link it to your website, if you have one. Blogs are easy to set up. I recommend wordpress.com, but there are many others. It’s kind-of like an easy website that you can maintain for free.
- Guest Blogging. Guest blogging is where you write a blog post for another blogger to share with his or her readers. It creates additional exposure for you as you are writing for a new audience. If these readers like what they see, they’re quite likely to subscribe to your blog as well, perhaps look up your book, and maybe even buy it.
- Think about your ebook this way: Top 5 Reasons People Should Want to Read My eBook ➔ Top 5 Reasons People Should be Interested in Me ➔ Top 5 Reasons My eBook Topic is Important Today, and from these lists you should be able to identify the ➔Top 5 Reasons the Media will be Interested in Me and My eBook.
- Centers of Influence (COIs) – Get your ebook into the hands of people who can influence others to purchase it. Examples: Doctors recommend your ebook on healthy eating to patients; Veterinarians encourage pet owners to buy your ebook on dog training; Hair Stylists chat up your ebook on party planning, fitness programs, gardening, cupcakes, etc.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I find the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” This is especially true when it comes to your ebook marketing efforts. But it doesn’t have to be that hard, just smart.
HERE’S A LINK TO AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR E.J. SULLIVAN ABOUT HER NEW EBOOK, “DIARY OF A MAD MAN’S DAUGHTER,” WHICH AIRED ON ABC33/40 “TALK OF ALABAMA.”
When the people who invented Twitter first came along, they really did themselves no favor in the name. Twitter and Tweet are almost too preposterous to be taken seriously. But, given time, the fundamentals of the important roles Twitter can play have caused many to overcome and accept the silliness of the name. There are still holdouts. There are many who don’t “get it.” And there are others who have entered the Twitter universe and come away disillusioned because it was something different from what they expected. Efforts just didn’t equal payoff.
Recently the capabilities of Twitter were explored in an O’Reilly webcast titled “#tweetsmart,” hosted by J.S. McDougall, a web developer, digital strategist and author of a book titled “#tweetsmart.”
McDougall admits to entering the world of Twitter like many of the rest of us as a “complete skeptic.” But, after some time, he began to see that, rather than a mere marketing outpost, Twitter is a conversation. And, he says, therein lies its potential.
His book is a series of formulas that he devised through trial and error to gain attention to a publishing company where he was employed. By patiently building on what worked, he was able to bring substantial attention to the products the company offered.
According to McDougall, this forum “helps marketers be more interesting on Twitter, adding value and raising awareness in a way people enjoy and find fun.”
Those who have used Twitter merely to advertise their product have oftentimes had disappointing results. It’s been described as a trough that everyone is trying to feed from at once. Used that way, it’s easy to come away with viewing Twitter as a waste of time.
McDougall offers ideas for first determining if a company’s audience is even on Twitter. Then creativity can guide marketing efforts to inform and to make the interacting process fun. He suggests that a company start with monitoring a Twitter presence for 15-30 minutes twice a day and then “grow into it over time.”
And the crux involves optimizing all efforts, whether through Twitter or a website, to make it easy for a visitor to buy a product.
“#tweetspeak” is for sale through the O’Reilly website and Amazon.
The release is near for the ebook “Alternative Pathways Inn” by The Blind Wanderer (aka Wanda Carruthers).
This ebook is for
- If you’ve been hurt
- If you’ve been confused
- For those who have thought that life might hold more
- If you’ve been thrown a ball (or more than one) from left field
- If you’ve tried and failed and tried again
- If you’ve taken life too seriously
- If you’ve needed a way out, up or through
- If you’ve flown too close to the flame
- If you need encouragement
- For those who tried to make sense of it all
- If you see yourself on a spiritual path
- For those looking for a few extra tools to embrace life’s surprises
- If you like to look more deeply
- If you try too hard
What this book provides is an open hand with a few insights to guide you to greater depth with words echoing philosophies that have stood the test of time. Also, catharsis, rest and perhaps a smile.
A Digital Writers Workshop will cover the ins and outs of digital publishing. Sign up for the email list here on the blog
for further information as it’s released.
There are a few things taking place in the modern age of digital writing. Now like no time ever is it easier to get your story out there. The floodgates have opened and there’s a long line of frustrated writers, aspiring writers and professionals who are beating a path to self expression.
So, much is getting out there without the prior benefit of editing and polishing. Writers tend to think of their words as gold — all writers. And for those who have made a lifetime out of the pure mix of blood, sweat and tears that it takes to get a work printable, it’s a little more than disheartening to see the upstarts enter the field, as if all it took was the ability to craft a few sentences.
The opportunities that writing in the digital realm afford has created new styles and manners of writing AND selling. There are crafty opportunists who are using words as a sales tool and then giving it the hard sell to anyone who will listen on Facebook, Twitter and the other venues that can be turned so easily into self promotion vehicles. And, for those who are successful at this method, it leaves the rest of the pack to just scratch their heads in wonderment at how all those years of striving and hard work can be so easily passed by by an efficient sales pitch.
Part of the explanation goes to the givens that writers have adhered to through the years. Since their words are gold, it has gone that we write and it’s just a matter of the right timing and luck for our ship to come in. We write and then wait for popular opinion to grant that we indeed have the voice that guarantees our place in the halls of literary greatness. For the upstarts that dash off and upload their first drafts, and then sell, sell, sell to their mailing lists, it’s been a bit unnerving to see that these salesmen succeed in getting to the top of the charts, even if it’s only for an hour in Amazon’s top 10. Or to see these salesmen use hijinks and manipulation to push merchandise, like offering their book for little or for free in order to boost the numbers. And then there are the reviews. Beware. Some of them have been manufactured — not that this hasn’t been done through the years on book jackets and in press releases. It’s just that the lines of decency and propriety have been blurred by the guys that don’t really understand that these manuscripts are words, for crying out loud.
And there’s a bit of sour grapes here. Writers wouldn’t be so brazen as to assume that they could perform brain surgery without training. Why, then, does anyone think that because they can construct a sentence, that they are a writer? But there are those doing just that and some of them are enjoying success. Never mind that it wouldn’t matter if it was words or widgets, this element that writes without really respecting the craft will only have its day for a while.
So there. But if digital publishing has the traditional publishing world on its ear, it’s still for good reason. Because the traditional publishing method really does stink unless you are on the inside. There are many times that I have wished that I had wanted to be an accountant. How easy would that have been? There always seems like there’s a need for accountants. And two plus two always equals four. But, no, for some reason early on in my development I realized that I was a writer and the die was cast. I’ve said that thank goodness I didn’t want to be a poet — that’s the only thing I could think of that might be worse. That’s a really toughie.
The theory goes that we write and somehow our manuscript will capture both the eyes and the imagination of just the right editor who will catapult it and us to literary stardom, which translates into cash aplenty and the nods of the literati that we do indeed belong with the masters. Ha. And tell me about the thick skin that a writer has to have to face rejection umpteen times and continue to believe in their story and that they aren’t a fraud. The process of finding an editor is also quite time consuming. And, what makes an editor know so much, anyway? Look at some of that drivel that passes for literature these days. We know that somebody must have owed someone’s brother-in-law a favor for that to have gotten published. And insiders tell me it is very much a who know who world. Living in Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia, I didn’t know anyone in publishing in New York, Boston and London. When you are a gentle creative soul in the first place, it takes guts and strength to keep believing in yourself. Sometimes they let you down easy with feedback like “your manuscript’s not long enough” or “it’s too long.”
But the new digital opportunities are astounding. No longer do you have to wade through the slog of hoping to catch an editor’s eye. This is the good news. No longer is vanity publishing the stigma of amateurishness that it once bespoke. So, here for all those frustrated with the process, here is the open door you’ve been waiting for all these years. You can get your manuscript out there and let it happen like it should have been for all this time — let the reader decide if it’s the writing of an amateur or the esteemed musings of an learned visionary that’s viable . If it turns out to be the writing of amateurs, so be it. If it’s the great story that’s lay dormant in a drawer for two decades and has now found its wings, also, so be it.
The caveats now are to get others to read it before you take it to epublication. Get the bad grammar out. Clean it up. Nobody gets it perfect all alone. A writer gets so close to the words that typos go uncaught. That’s normal. Get a good copy editor to give it a once over. Get feedback. Get good cover art so that you don’t look like a real low rent project, unless your message is on how to publish for little or no money.
As writers are getting their works out hurridly, the errors are there. Formatting that doesn’t quite work. Links that don’t work or are nonexistent. The errant letters or numbers that appear in the middle of a paragraph. Readers will get used to some of this. It was already happening from the big publishers who were having to cut staff input for budget reasons. There are many print books with quotation marks missing or formatting errors that I have come across in recent years — the type of thing you never ran across in year’s past.
But, it’s all good. At least writers now have a chance that they didn’t have before. And the readers will make the decision about what is good and what is not. Writers will have to be more involved in marketing their products, but that was already happening in the print world. The notion that a writer writes and then sits back and waits for accolades is hooey, and probably was never much a reality for many out there.
So, if you have a message in your heart, and it’s a bit surprising that so many people are so hungry for self expression and exposure, then write. Write as if it was the most important thing. Write as if the world could change with your words. Write as if someone’s day could have more depth with what you have to say. And then have the respect in yourself to get the words presented with quality and style. You may not sell many books, but you will probably touch a few lives. You will probably make a difference to someone. Don’t quit your day job until you are making a lot of money selling books. Selling books has always been a rather tough sell most of the time. But, go for it. Be open to criticism. Believe in yourself, but be willing to make a change to a phrase you particularly love.
And thank the stars that you have the chance to make it happen rather than sadly putting your manuscript in a box at the bottom on a drawer. Step up to the plate. You may end up being your biggest fan, but you also may make a few along the way. Be willing to self promote. And enjoy your position as joining the ranks of the published for all the glory and the benefits (sometimes merely intrinsic) that this affords. You may change a life or two in the process, and that, in itself, is a thought worth embracing.
A Digital Writers Workshop will cover the ins and outs of digital publishing. Sign up for the email list here on the blog for further information as it’s released.
It’s not enough to get your ebook into the webisphere. You’ve got to promote it as well. If you want to spend your time doing what you do best — writing — let me publicize your work. I will:
* Write you a press release
* Research the blogs and review sites that would be interested in reviewing your ebook
* Contact the reviewers with information about your work — and then follow up
* Contact the television talk shows in your area to schedule an interview about your ebook
* I can send out regular tweets for you, but the system will work best if you are actively involved in the tweeting as well
I have scoured the Web and have only found a couple of services that are knowledgeable about the mechanics of ebooks and how they are promoted. It doesn’t work to send a press release to 800+ news/blog outlets and leave it at that. Follow up is crucial. I have worked as a publicist promoting events both large and small. Now my world is ebooks. Contact me and we can discuss what your ebook needs to get noticed.