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Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
In order to grow, you've got to automate. While the word "automation" might give you chills, trust me: there are always parts of your business that can and should be automated. Years ago, we started noodling with autoresponders; we used them for online classes, marketing tips, etc. and we loved them!
Even then the autoresponder system was a great way to keep your marketing funnel alive, and even more than that, you can use them for all sorts of things. It's kind of surprising to me that so few people use autoresponders, so this week we're looking at the magic of automation and how autoresponders can really help you grow and manage your marketing.
We have more great content this issue, and don't forget to check out the fabulous article on marketing eBooks! If you aren't on Kindle yet you should be.
Penny, Paula, Amy and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
Understanding Facebook Content Interaction
If you've got a Fan Page you need to head on over to Facebook Insights for some really interesting information and insightful (hence the name) data. Facebook just rolled out a new, updated version of this and I think you'll like the results.
First, you can find Insights on your Fan Page (upper left); once you're there you can see all sorts of data on the information you post.
1) Reach: This is the number of unique people who have seen the post for 28 days after publishing the post.
2) Engaged Users: These are people who have engaged with your post in some way, i.e. clicked the link.
3) Talking about this: This is an interesting number and you've no doubt seen this pop up right under your "Likes." These actions are: liking the post, commenting, sharing the post, responding to a question, or RSVPing to an event.
4) Virality: This is the number of people who have created a story from your page post.
Knowing these factors is important to keep a close eye on what gets the most response from your page posts. Watch these numbers for some great insight into what fires up your fans and what leaves them cold.
Feature Article: Maximize Your Marketing With Autoresponders
With all the talk of Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+, it's easy to forget some of the good, tried-and-true marketing tactics. For instance, the autoresponder. I started using autoresponders about eight years ago, and since then it's become a consistent part of our marketing.
While autoresponders may not be as sexy as some of the new social media, it's a method of marketing that should not be overlooked. Here's why. We get flooded with information via text messages, Twitter tweets, or Facebook status updates - the information is endless. We don't often retain what we read or hear just once. That's why there is the "marketing rule of seven," in other words it takes seven impressions to your book, message, or product for your consumer to take notice. Certainly it's conceivable that you could manually send out email messages to your customer base. But if you're trying to run a business, create a product, write new books, and all of the other things that fill your day, this really isn't very reasonable.
Why an autoresponder?
As your email list starts growing and your followers start multiplying, you really want to automate as much as you can. You might not like the idea of automating your marketing, but without a certain amount of automation your marketing will never grow beyond what you can handle in a day. Yes, we all want a personalized experience within the company, and trust me when I say that a certain amount of automation will help you do that. As an example, we have automation handle all of our newsletter sign-ups. These are folks who come to our website and want to subscribe to our newsletter. They don't need a personalized email; they often don't need to call. They generally just want information. Other people land on the site who want more than just information, and they contact us in a variety of other ways. But the autoresponder that's in place helps to manage the flow of new users that find us. It also keeps us on their radar screen. I created 52 Ways to Sell More Books for our autoresponder, and we deliver tips, insights, and helpful advice in two separate emails.
Understanding how a good autoresponder works
For an autoresponder to be effective it needs to be populated with small bits of information that are delivered sequentially over a period of time. In order to encourage people to sign up for your autoresponder you must offer them something they need. I've talked a lot about the "ethical bribe" to get someone to sign up for your newsletter. The autoresponder is very similar; give them something they need so you can get what you need: their email address.
To understand how autoresponders work think about the last time you subscribed to an online e-course or some other type of "drip marketing campaign." You gave your email address in order to get something valuable in return. That value was delivered in the form of information, and often this information was not delivered at one time. A good autoresponder is just a one-shot deal; it's a system that drops information one bite at a time into the end-user's email inbox. When I was first introduced to autoresponders I wasn't really sure how to use them. Then I remembered that we are all content creators. At this juncture in our careers we probably have more content in the form of blog posts, Twitter updates, and e-books than we ever thought we would. This content has enormous value not just as a whole product, but also as bits and pieces.
How would you use an autoresponder?
There are a lot of uses for an autoresponder. As I mentioned we use it for our email capture. It's our ethical bribe and people love it. But you can use an autoresponder for just about anything. Here are some ways I've seen an autoresponder used:
* Lessons: e-learning is a fun way to deliver information. You can drop lessons into an email that delivers them right to your customers' inbox. * Exclusive content: giving your end-user access to exclusive content via an autoresponder is another great idea. * Book teasers: you can deliver any or all of your book via autoresponder. That's what I did with 52 Ways to Sell More Books. I also gave folks the option to "Buy it Now" if they wanted to. * Tips, wisdom, insight: deliver your brilliance via an autoresponder. * Interviews with experts: your consumers might love these interviews, they can be print or video, in which case you'd point them to your YouTube channel. * Questions, questions, questions: readers love questions, especially the most frequently asked questions you might get.
Timing of your messages
Before you embark on your autoresponder campaign I encourage you to create a publishing schedule. My recommendation is to keep the first few emails close together. So, immediately when someone signs up they get email #1, then two days later they get #2, and two days after that they get #3. From there I tend to space these out a bit more so that my 52 tips can actually spread out over almost three months. Once we get through that first three or four email sequence, I recommend dropping back to once a week or once every 10 days. Remember, you're still connecting with your end-users but you're not staying in their face (and cluttering their email) in some obnoxious way.
How long should my autoresponder be and how many messages should I have?
In my view autoresponders should be short. I keep them to 200 words or less. Especially when you're delivering frequent content during days 1-4 of your sequencing, you don't want people to have to read a lot. I can almost guarantee you if they do they'll unsubscribe from your list.
How many you should have is entirely up to you. You might talk to some Internet marketers who say you should always be communicating with your end-users but keep in mind the funnel that you're working with. Our autoresponder is the key to our newsletter, which goes out every two weeks. We don't want to inundate them with too much content, so at some point our autoresponder ends but gives the end-user the option to restart the sequencing.
What you should never do with an autoresponder
Years ago when autoresponders were first used by marketing mavens, they were often used to sell. The autoresponder was part tip and mostly a sales pitch. This worked for a while, but I can guarantee you it won't work anymore. These days, it's all about content. High quality, helpful advice and great content. Make sure that your autoresponder is 99% helpful or entertaining content and only 1% marketing. In fact we don't even really market in our autoresponder. Instead, we invite folks to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation. Remember the call to action. Each autoresponder should have a call to action without being overly salesy. You'll keep your readers a lot longer that way and create a fantastic marketing funnel of loyal and buy-ready followers.
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I'm considering using Kindle books to sell other Kindle books that I've written, promote print editions of other books that I've written and drive traffic to one or more of my websites. As I read through the guidelines provided by Kindle, they reinforced a basic truth of marketing, a truth that I had almost forgotten in my zest to use this new medium: The best marketing does not appear to be marketing.
Specifically, this means that I need the copy of my book to motivate people to click through to my website, or other books. It's a violation of Amazon's Terms of Service (TOS) to sham sites for a basic good reason: readers get annoyed and they don't like to feel they're being sold a bill of goods. Okay, we live in a world where we pay for movie tickets and have to watch commercials for soda and candy before we see the movie for which we've paid. However, books should be one step less commercial. Readers expect that!
With that said, it's okay to mimic what a hard copy book does with regard to marketing, namely list other books by the same author and the author's website. It's also okay to include links to non-commercial entities. For example, my Kindle book I Am Here, Dad includes links to photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, and my Kindle book Generous Nick Chavez contains links to the sites of many charities that Mr. Chavez supports.
I have studied what other people have done to successfully promote their Kindle books, and these are the marketing strategies that I am starting to implement:
1. I've written more than one Kindle book so that readers who love my work can buy an additional book too. For example, I Am Here, Dad is written for a boy who has lost (or will soon lose) his father. Can You Feel Me, Mom? is the same basic book, but written for girls who have lost (or will soon lose) their mother. Zoey's Letter to a Soul is a similar book that appeals to children who have lost an uncle, aunt, other relative, friend or pet. All of these books tie in with Relax, Rejoice & Rejuvenate, Vol. 1: This book features an affirmation for every day, an affirmation for everyday use, and a selection of spiritual photographs. It provides spiritual refreshment. In the near future, I'm introducing three more complementary books.
2. I am telling people about how and why I am writing these books. I feel that a backlink from a site where I guest blog to my Kindle Store page will be beneficial. It's an earned backlink. I'm taking the time to write an original article for the site.
3. In the past my children's book, The Monster on Top of the Bed, has received excellent reviews. I plan to tell the reviewers about my new Kindle books, and benefit from the goodwill that my previous work has generated.
4. Social marketing can be a boon or a bust. I know that, so I plan to implement the methodology suggested by John Locke, who has sold over one million Kindle books, in his Kindle book How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! In a nutshell John suggests setting up friendship circles, and using good old-fashioned reader contact to build traffic. I realize that there's a difference between the books that he's written, which are novels, and my work, but it makes sense to me to follow marketing advice that's based on The Golden Rule, i.e. treat readers the way that you would want to be treated.
5. In my books, I've included links to my website, which will soon be updated.
6. I've also built a separate website, GreatShowcases.com, which I'll use to tell people more about my work, and give them an opportunity to place advance orders for work that is in progress. This site will soon be updated to tie in with my Kindle books, which I am selling for $.99.
7. I plan to sell .mobi files through affiliates. Mobi files are compatible with Kindle readers, but I'll make most of the $.99 from these sales instead of $.35 each from Amazon Kindle. I also plan to offer these through affiliate sites, and provide a 50% commission to those who sell it. I'll net out with about the same amount of money that I'll make from an Amazon sale.
8. I plan to create YouTube videos that show the use of a Kindle book, and link to the Kindle or other store.
9. I plan to approach non-profit organizations to market the .mobi books, and to provide them with 50% commissions. I'll educate them as to how to write an email that will generate sales. Imagine approaching 200,000 members and asking them to spend $.99 for an eBook, with 50% of the sales going to support the charity.
10. I plan to network with the people on Stump Markus, an Internet radio show that I've been listening to for three years.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Also, (since this is a marketing site), I'd appreciate your visiting my Kindle Store page and buying a book. (In sales, it's always good to ask for the sale.) If you do contact me with marketing suggestions, I will follow up with you, and I believe we will both benefit.
Guest post by Alan Jordan: Alan Jordan is an experienced author with many business books, several children's books and motivational books for adults to his credit. For an updated list search the Kindle Store for "Alan H. Jordan." Visit http://www.AlanJordan.com for the latest information.
Open Now: The 2012 Indie Excellence Awards
The Indie Excellence Awards contest is taking submissions! NIEA celebrates overall excellence, including design and promotional text. To enter, please send one copy of your book per category entered. Books with publication dates of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are eligible. Books published anywhere in the world may be submitted as long as they are in English and can be purchased in the United States.
Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - and her guests - offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here. Publishing Insiders is now available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go!
Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. Pacific: Special Guest Arielle Ford
Arielle Ford is a leading pioneer and personality in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. For the past 25 years she has been living, teaching, and promoting consciousness through all forms of media.
Arielle is also the creator of the at-home publishing study course Everything You Should Know About Publishing, Publicity and Building A Platform as well as the annual 21st Century Book Marketing event which is the premiere book marketing event for authors.
Shows available for download at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepublishinginsiders include:
* Secrets to Creating Children's Book Apps * Lead Without Followers with Dave Ursillo * Facebook Facts from Social Media Expert Mari Smith * Special Guest Mike Stelzner on social media marketing * Special Guest Amy Porterfield on Facebook Marketing * Special Guest Chris Brogan on Google+ * How and Where to Sell Your Self-Published Book * Speaker Tips for Authors * How to Get Your Book Reviewed * The Future of Author Events * What Authors Must Know About Book Cover Design * SPECIAL GUEST Seth Godin: Poke the Box * Smart Self-Publishing: Why Book Design & Editing Matter * Smart Self-Publishing: Making Money with eBooks * Smart Self-Publishing Series: Becoming Your Own Publisher
Sign Up For Author 101 University Today!
Imagine a gathering of some of world's most sought-after marketing and publishing experts ready to give you the "keys to the kingdom" to:
- Get your book published
- Sell your book to a publisher
- Promote yourself using low-cost means online to catapult your sales & exposure
- Make your book a bestseller
- Transform your business into a mega success
It's not a dream.
In fact, that's what you can expect at the upcoming Author101 University event coming to Los Angeles March 1-4, 2012.
You'll hear top publishing and marketing experts reveal tools and techniques to get your book published and double or triple your income as an author or publisher.
But this program is not just for established or aspiring authors.
It is for entrepreneurs, small biz owners, speakers, and just about anyone else looking to meet and learn directly from some of the bestselling authors and experts in marketing.
Tip submitted by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program and author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books including the second edition honored by USA BOOK NEWS.
If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.
WHO ARE WE
Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.
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