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Marketing Writing Business

Risk to Reach

 

In this ever changing world, it is easy to want to sit back and watch others sink or swim. Have you ever been with a group and you all want to do something that appears fun, exciting, thrilling—like jumping off a rock ledge into a lake on a hot summer day? There is a moment when everyone dares everyone else to “go first”. Finally, the bravest (or maybe just the craziest) runs and jumps in!

Often new options of social media feel this way. There was a time when Youtube, Vimeo, LinkedIN, Facebook, GooglePlus, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Periscope were new—and there will be MORE NEW options!

So why would we try to learn and use social media?

Because we all want to reach people with the hope and help offered through a personal relationship with God. We also want to strengthen individuals, marriages, families, churches, businesses, and communities (and countries!)

The Apostle Paul put it this way:

Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. (1 Cor 9:19 NABRE)

As writers, speakers and book store owners—social media does handcuff us to the populous. It is time consuming, and many days we might even feel “enslaved” to the digital world.

But we do it (Likely not all forms, but a few favorite forms) because it is another road to reach some for Christ.

Yes there is a learning curve—yes, learning it will be time consuming, but just like learning to swim, when we learn it, we can enjoy using this skill! When we learn a few favorite social media methods,  we can use it to reach others. However, no matter your chosen favorite social media, to learn how to use it best, you have to jump in and SWIM.

We can take “swim lessons” from others who seem capable:

  • Leaders we can observe – We gain principles as we read and survey their choices.
  • Leaders we can help – We gain network friends and see the more inner workings as we participate.
  • Leaders we can become – We gain wisdom as we try—and maybe fail some and succeed some or swim and tread water somewhere between.

Bill and I are “jumping in”. In conjunction with the release of our newest books:

 

We will host a 7 Day Celebration of SIMPLE SUCCESS. Each day we will share a SIMPLE SKILL, a SIMPLE SUCCESS TOOL and a SIMPLE SUCCESS TIP. We are weaving together a “life raft” of social media to keep our Simple Skills ™ message afloat for 7 days.  We invite you to take a dip and jump in with us!

Go ahead, jump in with us, and we can all learn together! 

We will share videos, tweets, Facebook posts, infographics, images, quotes through the 7 days of emails—and in our social media.
Ways to jump in:

Lastly– you try a campaign too! And invite me to jump in on your team too!

Ready, set  . . . jump!

Bill and Pam Farrel
Bill and Pam Farrel

Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, authors of 40 books, and Co-Directors of Love-Wise.com

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Marketing

Be Quotable

Do you highlight quotes as you read a book? Do you copy down favorite sayings on to sticky notes and post on your mirror or computer? Do you share graphics of favorite quotes on facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest? Yep, me too!

And that is the goal of a writer or speaker—to be quotable. To share nuggets of wisdom people can easily grab and grow with.

In your books and speeches, be sure to place short and simple quotes under the 100 characters (#plusyourname #your website). Be “tweetable!”

Tweet this: When VERTICAL relationship with God is healthy, your HORIZONTAL relationships with people are healthier @pamfarrel #7simpleskills

As you travel, look for photos you can take, so you own the image and can turn it into a beautiful memorable graphic. (Or if you see a great snapshot on facebook page of a friend, ask for permission to use and give them credit (like this awesome photo of a tree taken by my friend Abby) to which I added the most quoted phrase from my book, Woman of Influence.

woi 1 ordinary woamn

In my more recent books, I asked the publisher to have pull out quotes, already in a graphic so people couple even Xerox and place on their mirror, or bedside or in the Bible to give them strength for life’s journey. In Brave New Woman these are called “Winning Wisdom” and in my newest book, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success for Keeping it All Together, they are “simple sayings 4 success”. My friend, Christin Ditchfield (also an author) created a simple branding graphic template I can place any quote on for social media and instantly people can recognize the source of the quote. (You can create images free on places like www.picmonkey.com  or www.canva.com)

 

While I look for quotes to use as I write a book, I also enjoy that first read through of my own book before my first interview as I take a highlighter to mark off quotes to share verbally in the interview but also to use on my various social media platforms. And I usually run a contest on my social media with my friends, or my launch group and I ask them to place their favorite quotes on images I can use on social media too. It is nice to see what others deem quotable.

Lastly, google your own name or your own book, or search through Amazon or Good Reads, chances are others have quoted you in places all over the web—and rejoice if you see your quotes captured on an image, or selected to share in reader groups or other platforms.

 

Two of my happiest days as a writer were when I was given a calendar of quotes of Inspiring Women of God—and I turned to find several by me! The second was when a woman in one of my audiences asked if she could quote from my books for her daily text message devotional and I replied, “Yes, but only if you sign me up for them too!” then one day, when I was really struggling with a spiritual attack on the future of my ministry, at 6 am my cell phone text beeped and one of my own quotes from 10 Best Decisions a Woman Can Make was exactly what I needed to read to give me to courage to face my day!

 

May your quotes bless others—and may they boomerang back to bless you too!

Pam Farrel
Pam Farrel

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 40 books and she prays she will be quoted long after she is dead, gone and in heaven with Jesus! www.Love-wise.com

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Marketing

Annoying Marketing

C. Kevin Thompson
C. Kevin Thompson

Grace and Peace to you from C. Kevin Thompson!

Does anything annoy you when it comes to authors marketing their own writing? A barrage of Facebook posts, perhaps? Sent out like Hootsuite clockwork to all the pertinent reader groups? “Buy my book! Buy my book! It’s only 99 cents for another two-and-half-days.”

Or what about constant twits from the infamous Twitterverse? “Buy my bk! Buy my bk! Only .99 4 2.5 more days.”

Okay, so I jest. A little bit. We’ve all probably been guilty of this kind of annoying marketing at some point. It’s one type, according to Jonathan Gunson, fiction authors should never do on a regular basis.

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Marketing

Using Twitter to Your Advantage

"Pam-Fave

Pamela Meyers here with another post on marketing your book.

Last month, my post involved social networking and how new and veteran authors
can make it all work. I shared many tips that author, Jane Steen, presented at my local ACFW chapter in October, and promised this month I would share her tips on increasing your Twitter presence to your advantage.

If you are like me, you’ve been on Twitter a while now, probably used it a lot at first and then as life got in the way, found yourself only going there on occasion. After hearing Jane’s method on how to quickly build a following on Twitter, I found myself rethinking things.

So fasten your cyber seatbelts and get ready to build Twitter followers fast.

1. Follow 10-20 new people who interest you daily. Jane stressed, not to limit yourself to only people in the publishing industry. Spread out. Get your name and books out there.

This really takes very a short time. Nearly every day I get a notice from Twitter with at least three people who have started following me. I often delete the message unless I know the person, but lately I’ve taken the time to click on each follower’s link, read about them, and most times I  follow back.

Another way to find new people to follow is by going to the Twitter page of people you follow. On the left side of the screen, Twitter lists about three people that person follows. Choose one to follow and another person come in to take the place of the one you just followed.

2.  Unfollow the same number of people who have not followed you back (use JustUnFollow, ManageFlitter, or similar sites to keep track)

I haven’t yet done this (blame it on a tight deadline), but I plan to do it once I head into the holiday quiet period and see how it works. Jane has been using these sites for a while and says the system works well.

3. Keep your number of followers just above the number you follow.

4. Tweet interesting stuff, but not too often.

I think the last point is very important. You want to keep it interesting, and most people aren’t interested in what you had for lunch or what chore you just finished. I stopped following someone once because it seemed most of her tweets were about the load of laundry she just finished or what she was cooking for dinner. Now, maybe if you are following Wolfgang Puck or Mario Batali (both famous chefs) their daily menu would be interesting, but probably not in most of our cases.

Also, you don’t want to tweet too often. Sometimes I’ve seen tweets come through one right after the other from one person. It’s apparent they set up the tweets ahead of time and scheduled them to send all at once. Spread them out.

Another point, not made on Jane’s list, but one I think important. Be careful to not self-promote ourselves right out of  a Twitter following. Nothing loses a follower faster than making our tweets all about us and our books. I once unfollowed a person because every single tweet she sent was a line from her current release, or a reminder where to buy the book. One or two is fine, but a dozen in one day is overkill.

If you are really organized, you can set up a time once or twice a week and schedule Tweets to release throughout the next several days. Jane recommends using HootSuite to do this. Also Buffer or Timely are other sites that offer similar functions.

One last thing. Don’t feel you have to respond to people’s tweets, but try to respond back to people who respond directly to you. This is good for building relationships with potential readers.

So, get on Twitter. Open an account if you don’t have one, reacquaint yourself with it, if you do,  but haven’t been there in a while. If you have other suggestions that have worked for you, please comment!

Categories
Marketing

Social Networking – Are You Doing It?

Hi everyone, happy Octo"Pam-Faveber. It’s Pamela Meyers back again for another installment on marketing your new book.

In recent years, social networking has become a stronger and stronger vehicle for marketing our books. Recently, Jane Steen, a fellow ACFW member, partnered with me on a social networking presentation at our local ACFW chapter meeting.

I learned way more than I brought to the table that night as I listened to Jane’s presentation, and came home with new resolve to up my game in the world of Twitter, Facebook, and the myriad of other social networking opportunities we authors have.

The attendees at the meeting were a good cross-section of the various levels of knowledge, interest, and comfort levels that are probably represented by larger samples. Some came to the meeting with a lot of knowledge about Twitter and Facebook, while others had not yet attempted to get involved in those or any similar sites like Goodreads, Linked-In, and Pinterest, to name a few.

Is Social Networking Necessary?

Regardless, one fact stood out. No matter where you are in your writing career, newbie or seasoned veteran, if you have a book out there, you need to take advantage of what social networking can do for you. Jane listed several benefits for us:

  • It raises your visibility
  • It gives opportunity to network productively with other writers
  • It allows you to connect with your current and future readers
  • It gives you opportunity to show your expertise and your interests
  • It can add layers to the world of your writing.

Deciding where to get involved can be overwhelming, especially if you are starting out from nothing. Be assured you don’t have to be on every single site there is. Pick three and stay with those, using what interests you to drive your site choices.

Blogging

I’ve heard more than one person lament that they know they should be blogging because that’s what authors do, but they’ve tried it and hate it, or they haven’t tried it but feel pressured that if they don’t post every day, they aren’t doing it correctly. First, if you absolutely are uncomfortable with blogging, then do something else. But, if you want to give it a try, or maybe you are like me. You’ve had one for years, but the novelty has worn off, and you find yourself blogging only a few times a month.

Take heart. You don’t have to write a dissertation every time you blog. In fact, it’s better if you keep your posts to just a paragraph or two, but work to blog consistently. A friend of mine blogs every Tuesday and Thursday, and she’s let her readers know they can expect a new entry on those days. Another author I know blogs nearly every day, sometimes two or three times a day, but usually her entries are short. In either case, it works for those individuals. There is no right or wrong way.

You may be thinking you don’t have enough to talk about to keep a blog going. Do you have a hobby or other involvement (other than something polarizing like politics) that interests you? Author, Allie Pleiter, whom I mentioned in a post here several months ago, is an avid knitter and has a blog that is totally about knitting. She posts about each project she starts as it progresses and includes pictures. If she travels out of town, she tries to visit a knitting store in the town and talk to the people there. She then features that store in a blog post. Even though her blog is all about knitting, the followers of that blog, learn bits and pieces about her and her books. When a new book comes out, you can be sure many of them will want to purchase the book and read it.

Twitter

Since Twitter made its first appearance a few short years ago, it has been enhanced quite a bit. For instance, by using a hash mark (#) next to a topic you are writing about and include it in the post, that post will be accessible to all who go to that topic using the hash mark and the topic name. For example, if you were on Twitter last night during the presidential debates, you may have noticed some of the people you follow making comments about the debate and including #debates in their remarks. That sent
their comments and everyone elses’ that contained that topic indicator to a trending thread where you could read dozens of comments made by others as the debate took place.

Prescheduling

One feature that you can do with both Twitter and blogs, is to preschedule your posts. Most blog platforms have a feature where you can write a blog post then schedule it to post at some date in the future. Also a site called Hootsuite lets you see your
Facebook and Twitter updates all together and to preschedule posts. I have an account there, but never finished setting it up. Don’t be like me. Do it and use it. It will save you time keeping up with both of those sites. I plan to heed my own advice here.

At our meeting, Jane gave us an easy-to follow method she discovered for building your Twitter follower base fast. I’ll share that next time and talk about other social networking sites.

 

Categories
Marketing

Uping the Game With Social Media

Hi everyone!

Pamela Meyers here with another discussion on marketing your novel.

Recently, while in a Pam2011SmallChinFistdiscussion with a couple people from my
church, a woman asked me if I had a publicist. I replied that the publisher for my book releasing next spring has a publicist on staff that is available to me, but for my small press books, the marketing is pretty much up to me. At that point the man with us spoke up and recited the old adage, “To make money, you have to spend money.” I assured him I agreed, but with a very slim budget, most of the marketing has been up to me and I needed to be creative without a lot of expense. Then I added that I have a lot of input from my professional organizations as to how to go about marketing my books.

Later, as I reflected on that conversation, I stopped to thank God for providing me with CAN and those here who work so tirelessly to help its members get the word out about their books, and also for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) to which I’ve belonged almost since its inception. Between these two organizations I have learned a ton about marketing, and yet feel I’ve barely scratched the surface.

One of the ways I want to push the publicity for my next book is to utilize Twitter more than I ever have. During the launch of Thyme for Love I sent out Twitter posts with links to where the book could be purchased, giveaways during my blog tour, and anything else related to the book, but I keep asking the question:  Can I do more?

My pastor recently reported that after posting a website link on Twitter for my church’s radio and on-line ministry website, the website received 34,000 hits in a 24-hour period. That started the wheels in my head spinning, and I began to wonder what else I could do to stir up peoples’ interest enough to go to Amazon to order my new book.

This month at CAN we are seeing first hand how a team of people can bring about positive results more effectively than just one person. I don’t have near the number of Twitter followers to generate 34,000 hits by myself, but we can help each other in this way by agreeing to publish the Twitter posts that are being gathered every week.

It takes more than saying “Buy my book by going to this link.” We need to think creatively about how to get people interested in learning more about our books. This can be done by starting out with a tease, or asking a question to which they have to go to the link to find the answer, or holding a give-away and getting people to your blog to sign up for the drawing. But there has to be even more we can be doing. I’m just now starting to noodle what else I might do so I’ll be ready when the release date gets closer.

Have any good ideas to share? Please leave a comment!

Categories
Writing Business

7 Twitter Rules of the Road

Ava Pennington
Author, Ava Pennington

Hi, Ava Pennington, CAN Secretary, here. Our CAN members have been learning how to better use social media, thanks to several recent member webinars. As I apply what I’ve been learning, I’ve noticed some parallels with driving…