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Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
Welcome back to another issue of our newsletter! We're glad you're here.
It's acknowledged around our office that I am wildly addicted to Pinterest but the good news is, I'm not alone. Since Pinterest started gaining attention some six months ago, it's grown to the be one of the top three social media sites. You can't turn on the evening news without hearing about Pinterest and the addictive quality of the imagery and eye-candy content.
This week we're looking at this powerhouse social media site and how and why you should use it to promote your stuff! We have another jam-packed issue filled with tons of tips, including a great article about how to get your book into bookstores, and have you heard of Google's Panda update? If not, find out why it matters to you and what you can do to keep your site high in search rank!
Thanks for reading! Oh, and if you happen to be going to the Unicorn Writer's Conference in late April, drop by and say hi. I'm headed back there for the second year in a row and thrilled to be going, it's a fantastic event!
Wishing you publishing success,
Penny, Paula, Amy and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
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Feature Article: The Power of a Pin: Why Pinterest is a Game Changer
About 10 months ago, I listened to Gary Vaynerchuck talk about this new site called Pinterest. He was really excited about it, though at first I didn't get it. "Get on Pinterest now!" Gary encouraged. I didn't listen, thinking "oh, dear, not another social network!" But Pinterest has proven to be anything but another social network.
First, its growth has been extraordinary. According to several reports, including a blog post shared on Mashable, from September 2011 to December 2011, unique visitors on Pinterest increased by 429%. That kind of growth has never been seen in a social network and while it's still early for Pinterest, we're seeing a lot of staying power, especially with established brands like Macy's, Land's End and magazines such as Real Simple - which got more traffic from Pinterest in October 2011 than from Facebook.
For those of you who haven't been on Pinterest, the concept is almost deceptively simple. You sign up for an account (there's a waiting period right now as Pinterest tries to manage traffic and new accounts, once you sign up it should take about a week before you can get in). The site is a collection of boards, sort of like virtual bulletin boards that you name and add to your page. You can have as many boards as you want and name them whatever you want (though make sure to read through the Pinterest terms of service so you know you're not violating any of their regulations). The boards can describe your brand, book, message, or business. We'll look at some board ideas in a minute but for now, think bulletin board.
So, that said, how can you make the most of Pinterest? Like any social network, I recommend that you poke around, follow a few people in your industry and see what they are posting about. There are a lot of creative boards and a lot of companies using Pinterest as a unique brand extension. Check out http://pinterest.com/chobani/, they have all sorts of boards that tie into their brand including Chobani Champions, recipes, spoons, and sans yogurt which is a board about all things non-yogurt related.
Picking your Boards
* First, it's important to come up with creative and interesting board names. Keep in mind that these board names get shared whenever someone repins you so make them catchy!
* When you first start on Pinterest, you are a completely blank slate. It's up to you to fill your new Pinterest page with exciting boards. But where to start? Well, your business, product, message, or book will often determine the boards you put up. You should consider your audience first and what they would like to see.
Here are a few ideas:
* If you do a lot of speaking or other offline events, create a board that captures the excitement of these by posting pictures and videos. This is especially great if you have a conference or other big event you're planning. You could put the board up early with "teaser" content to encourage sign-ups, too!
* Create a customer or reader board that has pictures and/or videos of happy customers. I often talk about capturing endorsements or reviews on video when you see someone at an event, these can be posted to this board.
* How-to boards are great as well. You can create a board (or several) around how-to's related to your product or service.
* Company boards are great too, you can create one that showcases your company, sharing your core values, and also highlights your team.
* Thank you boards are great, too. Consider creating a thank you board for clients.
* If you're promoting a new book, product, or campaign you can also create a board to support that. The board can have tutorials on it, or videos of the new product. It can be a combination of how-to and showcasing what you're offering.
* Tutorials are big for our company, so we plan to offer tutorial boards to help walk our clients through how to use social media, how to continue reaping the benefits from our campaigns once they are done, etc.
* Trends and seasonal stuff make great boards, too. So don't hesitate to create a holiday or trend board if you think your audience will be interested.
* You can also let your customers work on a board with you. Create a user-generated content board and invite customers or readers to pin away!
* If the idea of Pinterest is still intimidating, consider the following marketing ideas for your boards:
* Videos: Pinterest loves videos. What videos can you pin to a board?
* Keywords are big on Pinterest, so be sure to think carefully about what you name your picture and what words you use in the description. You can even use hashtags on Pinterest and if you're trying to get the attention of another Pinner, use the @ followed by their Pin-name to tag them. You can also use a dollar sign to add a "ribbon" to your pin that will immediately show pricing. This is great if you're selling product.
* When you add your pin, don't forget to tweet it and add it to Facebook, you can do this as soon as the pin is loaded.
* When you blog, be sure to add great pictures to your blog so that when you pin your blog post to your board, you can capture a great image. Images on Pinterest are obviously important!
* Click the "popular" link on Pinterest to see what's hot and what's trending. You might be able to make this part of your content strategy.
* Be sure to promote your Pinterest account on Facebook, Twitter, on your website, and in your email signature line, of course
A Few Final Points
Be sure to add a catchy description to your profile and when you're setting up your Pinterest account, link it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. This will help you gain followers, and add the icons to your profile page so you can direct people there, too.
Make sure to engage on Pinterest. Repin pins you love, comment on pins and since you can see pins on the site from folks you aren't even connected with, be sure to broaden your reach when networking. You never know where the next follower will come from.
Pinterest is a fun, if not highly addictive way to start marketing. Still not sure what to do on Pinterest? Then get started by following others in your industry and get a sense of what they're doing. While the future of Pinterest is still uncertain, one thing we know for sure. The site has grown at rates that no one expected and continues to do so. It's been the quickest site to monetize (to give you perspective, it took Twitter five years to monetize) and has already become a staple for many businesses.
Be sure to "Like" our Facebook Page for marketing articles and tips, YouTube videos from our book marketing channel, notices about upcoming webinars, Publishing Insider shows, and more: http://www.facebook.com/bookmarketingame.
Looking for book marketing content? Visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/articles/.
Watch "How to Be Successfully Published" with Ken Atchity and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing! http://www.youtube.com/user/BookmarketingAME.
Pleasing the Panda Regime: Rising in the Ranks with Good Writing
Who isn't familiar with the image of the solitary writer?
Sitting alone, an unsmiling face illuminated by a single candle, mired in an existential quandary; full of disgust and angst and wracked with the agony and desolation of a pitiful, meaningless existence. The candlelight is now the incandescent glow of the computer screen but the loathing and isolation are still there, especially when the writer cannot find a job. Luckily, good writers have been in high demand thanks to Google.
In early 2011, Google enacted the largest update to their ever-changing algorithm to date. The update is known in tech circles as Panda. The purpose of Panda was to de-value the trashy, spammy sites on the Internet so that search results (Google's primary function) would be free of useless returns. In order to facilitate this, Google's search algorithm gives value (in the form of "rank") to sites that meet a set of criteria:
* Content must be rich * Website must be easily indexed * Pages must load quickly * Advertising/content ratio needs to favor content
Up until this point, website content writing has been thin, uninspired and near worthless. The extent of Internet marketing involved things like email marketing, black hat SEO and banner adds. Panda banished sites filled with that kind of writing to the nether-realms of the Internet (read: page 10 or 12 in search results).
All of a sudden, websites were in dire need for new, fresh content to rise in the ranks of Google ( http://www.seomoz.org/blog/beat-google-panda). Writers on the lam were recruited en masse to produce this content, rescuing them from the sordid world of unemployment and putting them in a position to ply their talents in a corporate initiative. The result: a golden age for copywriters.
The call for real writers to begin writing content bolstered the value of content on the Internet, and as websites rose in rank thanks to the efforts of the writers, those very writers became essential to the new web marketing process.
Under the Panda regime, the Internet has swollen with high-quality, valuable content, at once beneficial to the average web user and branded companies. The average person interested in finding real content about a subject benefits by not having to wade through a swamp of ads for Propecia and Acai Berry cleanses. And companies looking to rise in Google's ranks and thereby secure more brand recognition and conversions achieve those goals through rearranging site infrastructure and beefing up content channels.
Google is notoriously fickle when it comes to their algorithm, and even when Panda dropped, many legitimate websites saw a dramatic decrease in their rankings. The issue has since been smoothed over as the algorithm is constantly updated and refined. Movements in the Googleplex indicate that they will continue to pursue these types of updates in the future in the name of cultivating an Internet free of websites populated with advertisements, links, and weak content. Writers will benefit from this boom for a long time to come.
The Self-Publishers Online Conference May 8-10, 2012
At the fourth annual Self-Publishers Online Conference, you can learn from 16 Expert speakers. You can attend this virtual conference from the comfort of your own computer, wherever you happen to be located. All you need is an Internet connection. With our unique online conference software, you can attend seminars live or via recording, learn about useful publishing resources in the Exhibit Hall, and interact with speakers and other attendees through the live discussion areas.
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, April 17 at 4 p.m. Pacific: Special Guest Amy Collins
One of our favorite guests, Amy Collins of The Cadence Group, will stop by to discuss the most recent developments in the publishing world and what it means for authors.
Shows available for download include:
* Special Guest Amy Porterfield on The New Facebook Page * All Things Pinterest * "Like" My Stuff * 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
These unique strategies will help you write a better book in less time. They're from Arielle Ford and Mike Koenigs, who interviewed bestselling authors, top publishers and editors, and show you:
- how to plan and find time to write a book - entertaining new ways to overcome writers block - how to write a great book faster - the importance of constructive, honest feedback - when is the right time to write your book - how to master the psychology of the process - tips on finding your "author's voice" - and lots, lots more
If you haven't yet heard of Arielle Ford, she's a bestselling author who was also known as "America's #1 book publicist" to Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Neale Donald Walsch, Debbie Ford, Mark Victor Hansen, and many other successful authors.
Her business partner, Mike Koenigs, is an author, and the mastermind behind viral book launch campaigns for authors like Harvey Mackay, Bill Glazer, and Dan Kennedy. He's also worked with Tim Ferris, Brendon Burchard, Simon Mainwaring, and lots more.
Together, Mike and Arielle tapped their powerhouse network of best-selling authors to get every last strategy today's best-known authors use to write the books everyone's reading.
14 Ways to Build Strategic Relationships With the Who's Who of Social Media
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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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