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Marketing, publicity, and promotion

• About intelligent talk radio
• All about bestsellers (tips, facts, and stories)

• All the really good (intelligent) radio and TV talk shows and podcasts
• Ads: Amazon marketing and ads
• Ads: Google, Facebook, Apple, and BookBub ads
• Ads, ad networks, ad platforms, media, etc.
• Ad blockers, whitelisting, and virtual private networks
• Author bios should sell books
• Author book talks and readings
• Author branding
• Author platform, Building your
• Author websites can sell books
• Author websites--well-designed examples
• Bestsellers (tips, facts, and stories)
• Bestseller lists
• Blurbs and celebrity endorsements
• Book covers and titles, Secrets of successful
• Book fairs and festivals
• Book marketing and promotion
• Book promotion on the radio
• Book recommendation sites and social media networks for readers
• Book tours
• Book trailers: Do they sell books?
• Book trailers (examples of good ones)
• Creating your author website
• Creator platforms fight for market share
• The difference between advertising, publicity, marketing, promotion, and sales
Email marketing
• Getting good publicity
• Goodreads: Using it to market your book
• How to launch a book
• How to market yourself, a product, or a process
• Marketing wisdom for introverts
• Key marketing, submissions, support, and self-publishing Services
• Keywords and book marketing
• Landing pages 101
• Marketing, publicity, and promotion, miscellaneous entries about
• Marketing to book clubs
• Marketing to libraries, bookstores, schools
• Marketing wisdom for introverts
• Metadata, demystified
• Newsletters to reach and grow your audience
---• Monetizing newsletters: Paywalls, micropayment, ads, subscriptions
• Press releases
• Radio and Television Interview Report: Does it work? Is it worth the money?
• Recommended reading on book marketing, publicity, and promotion
• Secrets of successful book covers and titles
• Shopify, Squarespace, and other eCommerce platforms
• Social media marketing
• Social media networks and book discovery for readers
• Substack and email newsletter subscriptions
• Tools for monitoring website traffic (miscellaneous, and in alphabetical order)

See also
How and where to get book reviews and publicity
News, reviews and promotion for self-published and indie books
Social networking for book lovers (book discovery and communities)

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Key marketing, submissions, support, and self-publishing services

(Firms with listings, in alphabetical order)

The Best (and Worst) Self-Publishing Services.Rated by ALLi (Alliance of Independent Writers) Almost indispensable.  Five ratings (Excellent, Recommended, Mixed, Caution, and Watchdog Advisory) are shown by color, so you know which firms to try and which to avoid or be cautious about. See also ALLi's Self-Publishing Services Directory.
The Big, Big List of Indie Publishers and Small Presses (Nonconformist Magazine) 150+ proofs that indie is beautiful.
CLMP's Directory of Publishers (Community of Literary Magazines and Presses) Hundreds of small publishers creating print and digital books, magazines, online publications, chapbooks and zines. Formerly the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.
Duotrope Many, many listings and set-ups that save you time submitting fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and visual art to publishers and agents. $50 a year.
Funds for Writers (C. Hope Clark's useful site) Info on grants, fellowships, contests, awards, markets, submissions, and newsletters.
Midwest Book Review (listings for a gazillion topics and a super search engine)
New Pages Calls for Submissions for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. News, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more
Poets & Writers A major nonprofit serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Extensive listings for literary agents, grants, awards, writing contests, small presses, literary
Publishers Lunch (free subscription from Publishers Marketplace) is read free by 40,000 industry insiders and considered "publishing's essential daily read.
Publishers Marketplace ($25 monthly, and no long-term commitment). Track deals, sales, reviews, agents, editors, news. This dedicated marketplace for publishing professionals, built on the foundation of the free Publishers Lunch, gives you access to a database of every editor, every agent, every merger, and (almost) every deal that occurs in the mainstream publishing world. Benefits of membership include access to sections on Deals & the Dealmakers; Who Represents (30k authors & their agents); Book Tracker (sales insights); Contacts (Agents, editors, publishers, more); The Automat (24/7 curated publishing news); Member Pages (Establish your presence).
Publishers Lunch Deluxe or Lunch Deluxe Weekly. Full access to searchable multi-year archive of industry news, a nightly email reporting 10 to 50 deal transactions, and database of industry contacts, scripts, and posting privileges.
Systems for managing pitches and submissions.


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Goodreads: Using it to market your book

Goodreads is a popular site for rating and commenting on books. Books appear there because a member puts them into a to-be-read (TBR) section on their profile or in a Read section on their profile. When Amazon acquired Goodreads, it became very easy to add a book--and then any Goodreads member could comment on it.

    Novelist Maggie Lynch advises authors to "create a Goodreads Account and Author Page, claim your book(s) and start building followers. When you do that, whenever one person recommends a book or even adds it to their TBR section, all their followers get a notification. So it's a way to get more eyes on the book. Also, it helps to be a Goodreads Author member for those of us who are not bestsellers already. It allows readers to ask questions and to connect with us if they want."

Author Program — Use Goodreads to Promote Yourself and Your Books
The Goodreads Author’s Marketing Checklist (Cynthia, Goodreads blog, 6-6-18)
Goodreads Librarians Group Volunteers who help ensure the accuracy of information about books and authors in the Goodreads' catalog--the official group for requesting additions or updates to the catalog. See also Goodreads Librarian Manual and Discussion Board.
How do I add my new book to Goodreads? (Buy the Book Marketing)
Preparing Your Goodreads Marketing Timeline (Cynthia, Goodreads blog, 6-26-16)
•  Case Study: Using NetGalley and Goodreads for Book Marketing and Publicity (Jane Friedman, 2-1-17) Read or listen.
Goodreads has a 'review bombing' problem — and wants its users to help solve it (Jim Zarroli, NPR, 12-17-23) Amazon-owned Goodreads makes little effort to verify users, and critics say this enables a practice known as review-bombing, in which a book is flooded with negative reviews, often from fake accounts, in an effort to bring down a its rating, sometimes for reasons having nothing to do with the book's contents.
Let’s Rescue Book Lovers From This Online Hellscape (Maris Kreizman, Opinion, NY Times, 12-24-23) "Internet sleuths figured out that an author named Cait Corrain, whose debut novel was scheduled for 2024, had created fake accounts on Goodreads in order to review-bomb other books....Goodreads is broken. What began in 2007 as a promising tool for readers, authors, booksellers and publishers has become an unreliable, unmanageable, nearly unnavigable morass of unreliable data and unfettered ill will....After Amazon’s acquisition of it in 2013, Goodreads seemed primed to either sink or soar. While Amazon had won few fans in the book community, thanks to its predatory business practices, it is also the foremost online marketplace for books, and so a companion site dedicated to discussing books seemed an obvious and potentially beneficial complement.
"But Goodreads quickly began to languish in an awkward limbo — neither a retailer nor an inviting online salon.
How Extortion Scams and Review Bombing Trolls Turned Goodreads Into Many Authors’ Worst Nightmare (Beth Black, Time, 8-9-21) Many authors and publishers now see Goodreads as a "necessary evil" along claims of scams, online abuse and more. Amazon bought Goodreads in 2013 and many feel that since then the site has declined in quality... "Scammers and cyberstalkers are increasingly using the Goodreads platform to extort authors with threats of "review bombing" their work–-and they are frequently targeting authors from marginalized communities who have spoken out on topics ranging from controversies within the industry to larger social issues on social media....As author Rin Chupeco told TIME, Goodreads is a "good idea that slowly became unmanageable over the years due to lack of adequate moderation and general indifference.""
Case Study: How Penguin Press Made 'Little Fires Everywhere' a Roaring Success (Suzanne, Goodreads blog, 5-22-18)
Make Your Goodreads Author Profile Great (Cynthia, Goodreads blog)
Strike a Pose: Optimizing Your Goodreads Author Profile Picture (Cynthia, Goodreads blog, 2-10-18)
11 Ways to Love Goodreads Even More (Rebecca Joines Schinsky, BookRiot, 9-15-15)
8 Ways Authors Can Use Goodreads to Promote Their Book (Thomas Umstattd, Author Media, 5-29-18)
The Goodreads Author’s Marketing Checklist (Cynthia, Goodreads, 6-6-18)
Managing Your Goodreads Author Settings (Cynthia, Goodreads, 6-8-18)
Discoverability, Part I: What the heck is it, and why does it matter? (Jean V. Naggar Lit. Agency, 2-22-13). See also Discoverability, Part II: How to use Goodreads to solve the discoverability problem (2-28-13)
Your Guide to Giveaways on Goodreads (slideshare, Goodreads)
How to Make the Most of Goodreads Giveaways (Penny Sansevieri, DBW, 9-29-15)
•  2 Ways to Make the Most of Goodreads (Jane Friedman, 2-15-12)  Reviews are essential. Giveaways are a powerful promotional tool (the top techniques behind successful advance giveaways).
•  Goodreads Giveaways
Effectively Engaging with Readers on Goodreads (Smith Publicity)
How to Combine Editions of Your Book (watch the video)
•  Adding the Goodreads Widget (WordPress)
Getting to Grips with Goodreads: 6 actionable ideas (Laura Pepper Wu, 30 Day Books blog) on how to make your book more visible to this online book club's 12 million members.
Why Goodreads is bad for books (Sarah Manavis, New Statesman, 9-10-2020) After years of complaints from users, Goodreads’ reign over the world of book talk might be coming to an end. Amazon holds an effective monopoly on the discussion of new books – Goodreads is almost 40 times the size of the next biggest community, LibraryThing, which is also 40 per cent owned by Amazon – and it appears to be doing very little with it. Still in development, The StoryGraph already has tens of thousands of members attracted by the promise of a place beyond Goodreads. (H/T Jane Friedman)
•  Adding the Goodreads Widget (WordPress)
•  Could the Internet Save Book Reviews? (Sarah Fay, The Atlantic, 5-7-12) Even as print publications are getting rid of reviewers, websites and podcasts offer new ways of approaching literature.
How Does Goodreads Make Money? (Arvyn Cerézo, Book Riot, 6-28-22) Though Goodreads doesn’t appear to be bringing a lot of money to the juggernaut that is Amazon, it remains a data gold mine for the corporate giant as it retains its hold over the publishing industry. Goodreads and/or Amazon is probably getting more mileage with tons of user data they collected throughout the years, and that’s all that matters in the digital age. Just ask Meta.
Five Tips for Using Ask the Author on Goodreads (Cynthia, Goodreads blog)
Five Things to Remember When Engaging on Goodreads (Cynthia, Goodreads blog)http://www.30daybooks.com/getting-to-grips-with-goodreads-6-actionable-ideas/
Guidelines for Authors (Goodreads)
Advice for Aspiring Indie Authors by Successful Indie Authors (Cynthia, Goodreads)
How to Rock Out on Goodreads ("a marketing expert")
Archive of Goodread blog for authors and advertisers

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Selling your book to libraries, bookstores, schools


Says former librarian Marie Monteagudo, "the only way to get any review in front of librarians in pubic libraries is through the professional sources for traditional publishing:

  • Library Journal
  • School Library Journal (SLJ, for kidlit)
  • Kirkus, "the gold standard of trade reviews for libraries" (NOT Kirkus Indie)
  • Booklist
  • Publishers Weekly (PW).
  • For academic libraries:

For academic libraries:

  • Kirkus
  • Choice
  • ARLIS (art books for art libraries)


You can buy a mailing list from ALA (the American Library Association).  Different library systems use different vendors, so there's no one-size-fits-all place through which to sell books to libraries. But libraries are an important market. As Marie explains: "What's most important before marketing is distribution to library vendors, aka Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Overdrive/Libby & Hoopla for ebooks.
   "SLJ is the trade journal for both public and school librarians and has been for decades, including not only reviews but articles relating to the profession. Having your publisher send your book for a review is a big plus since there's a potential of 80,000 school librarians & 16,000 public librarians who subscribe and read the reviews, and 5,000 academic libraries. That's why seeking out a traditional publisher is so important to your book's sales.



Tweets from a few librarians about vendors:

---"We've got other vendors for our books. Brodart, Ingram and Baker and Taylor. Netlibrary and Overdrive for ematerials."

---"Does the publisher distribute to Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Hoopla and Libby? This will help your book get into public libraries.
---"And while this might not be true for all libraries, the library system that I work for does not purchase items outside of Baker and Taylor or Ingram, regardless of how much push there is from the author."
---"...many libraries [especially smaller ones] are not allowed to order from Amazon. If it isn't on Baker and Taylor or Ingram they are told it is not necessary. This is a bureaucratic issue which is hard to overcome, especially when budgets are so limited." H/T Marie Monteagudo

---"Follet has almost 70 percent of the school market."

---"There's also Netgalley for advance e-copies. The readers are reviewers, bloggers, librarians, teachers, and booksellers."


     If you self-publish, you can pay for a Kirkus Indie review, which won't necessarily be positive, but often is. "Kirkus Indie isn't a waste of dollars if you're promoting your book to libraries," says Marie Monteagudo, writer of children's and local history. But Kirkus Indie is not the same as Kirkus.

       "Libraries consider Kirkus the gold standard of trade reviews. Your potential market is 16,000 US public libraries including branches, 5,000 US academic libraries and over 98,000 US school libraries.Then there's Canada, the UK & others. Who will actually buy it depends on the library's readership and their budget.
     "In addition, your book needs to be available through library vendors/distributors like Baker & Taylor where they receive a contracted discount. Most libraries don't use Amazon for purchases except for buying out-of-print books, replacement copies, other unique books & if the college president requests 'everything out there' on some topic."

      "When visiting libraries to market your book, I suggest bringing a one-page sell sheet indicating your library distributors and a link or OCLC number for Worldcat along with a sample copy. Librarians are dubious about self-pubbed books and quality is one of the issues. Do you have the CIP in the book? That's a big plus. Ask for a librarian, usually at the reference desk, not a library clerk and at the same time inquire about doing an author talk."

       On your sell sheet, do not write lengthy book descriptions and bios. Look at a Library Journal review. They're very concise and contain both a description and comments. That's what librarians are used to reading. Keep it simple (a good quote from Kirkus) and lots of white space."

       Says a bestselling author whose books are stocked in libraries: "Ingram is a printer, not a publisher, and they distribute. So when you uncheck expanded distribution with Amazon (which goes through Ingram anyway), you can then keep a copy with KDP and put a copy with Ingram as well. That makes it easier for libraries and bookstores to order. There is nothing to retaliate for. This is just business. Very common. It's what I do, one copy with KDP and one with Ingram. No special formatting required for Ingram. I use the same files that I used for KDP. If you de-check expanded distribution also, that doesn't mean Amazon will then order from Ingram--though they could. Sometimes they do--having it both places helps keep it in stock."


Book Distribution Basic Explainer Definitely worth reading this explanation of something essential for a book's success. See also Wikipedia's List of book distributors.

Sell sheet
Sell Sheets: How to Create One That Gets Results (Jay Fuchs, HubSpot)
Creating a sell sheet: Sell sheet examples, template, and design (Zendesk blog)
What Is a Sell Sheet? (With Benefits and How To Write One) (Michael May, Indeed, 6-1-23)

How to Make a Brilliant Sell Sheet for Your Book (Evergreen Authors) Excellent templates to use for your sell sheet!

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Hold On, eBooks Cost HOW Much? The Inconvenient Truth About Library eCollections (Jennie Rothschild, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, 9-6-20) Ebooks for libraries are really, really, really expensive. And then we don’t even get to keep them. Librarians pay wholesale for print books that can remain in circulation for literal decades, but ebooks are very different in terms of access and in terms of cost. (She interprets the numbers.)
      On the same topic, Maryland Gives Up on Its Library E-book Law (Andrew Albanese, PW, 4-11-22) First introduced in January 2021, the Maryland law required any publisher offering to license "an electronic literary product" to consumers in the state to also offer to license the content to public libraries "on reasonable terms" that would enable library users to have access. The law emerged after a decade of tension in the digital library market, with libraries long complaining of unsustainable, non-negotiated high prices and restrictions. The Association of American Publishers filed suit, arguing that the Maryland law infringed on the exclusive rights granted to publishers and authors under copyright. The judge concluded: "Striking the balance between the critical functions of libraries and the importance of preserving the exclusive rights of copyright holders, however, is squarely in the province of Congress and not this Court or a state legislature." (A mere snippet. Do read the article.) See also Court Blocks Maryland’s Library E-book Law (PW, 2-16-22)
Amazon withholds its ebooks from libraries because it prefers you pay it instead (Nick Statt, The Verge, 3-10-21) Amazon’s publishing arm has refused to sell digital books to libraries....Amazon is again setting its own terms and using its dominance as a major US bookseller and publisher to break from industry norms. But instead of lowering prices for customers, which arguably won Amazon public favor in its antitrust fight against Apple and the major book publishers a decade ago, the company is withholding books from libraries.
What Do Authors Earn from Digital Lending at Libraries? (Jane Friedman, 9-30-21) "Traditionally published authors are paid when their books sell to libraries regardless of format, usually at the same royalty rate that’s paid out for a retail sale. However, library unit sales may not be known to authors, as they’re often mixed in with retail sales on royalty statements. Complicating matters, what the consumer pays and what the library pays for an ebook may not be the same. Digital licenses can be as much as six times the consumer price and they expire.... "One of the most interesting things about the panel with Rasenberger and Dye was the simultaneous chat happening amongst librarians. One attitude—expressed by more than one participant—was that if authors aren’t earning enough from library lending, perhaps they need better contracts with their publishers."
How to Sell to Libraries – Top 10 Strategies for Independent Authors and Publishers (Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, excerpt from The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries) Here's Tip 1: "Publish a library-friendly book. Library books take a lot of abuse, so libraries prefer books that are sturdy. However, given the choice between a hardcover and paperback edition, they may choose the paperback because it's less expensive. Libraries generally will not purchase books with spiral or other nontraditional binding, and they don't like books with "fill-in-the-blank" pages. Nonfiction books should have a good index and preferably a bibliography. Librarians also prefer to purchase books that are cataloged using CIP (cataloging-in-publication) data."
And tip 3: "Make sure your book is available through major library wholesalers such as Baker & Taylor and Ingram. The majority of library book purchases are made through wholesalers, and some libraries won't order directly from small publishers."
How and where to get book reviews and publicity
How and where to get reviews that lead to library purchases
Absent Live Events, Publishers Keep Creators and Librarians Connected (Marlaina Cockcroft, School Library Journal, 12-23-2020) Traditional publishers have pivoted with COVID-19, reaching librarians via webinars, virtual conferences and other virtual events (which have been reaching new teachers and librarians who can’t afford the time off or the travel costs of attending a conference in person"),providing access to electronic ARCs through Netgalley instead of mailing physical ARCs (advance reader copies), downloadable kits, teacher guides. Simon & Schuster offered an “ALA in a Box” promotion, where librarians could choose e-galleys or a select number of physical galleys.

       "Events on Instagram, Crowdcast, and other platforms are here to stay, marketing directors say, in large part because they draw a much larger school and library audience online than is possible in person. The focus is less on swag, more on deep connection with readers. Since librarians can tune in from anywhere for free, a broader, more diverse group is engaging and providing feedback."

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The Case For Libraries (David Vinjamuri, PW, 4-3-15) "The problem with focusing on platform size is that it measures marketing potential rather than brand strength. Without a unique brand, all the marketing in the world won’t build loyal readers." Libraries are a place to become visible as an author and for books/authors to be discovered (especially by people who do not go to bookstores). How about Amazon? "The inventory of Amazon may be virtually unlimited, but the size of your screen is not." Unlike bookstores, libraries do not remainder books. Studies show that toughly a third of people who bought a book in the last month also read one from the library in that same month, and that over 60% of frequent library users have also bought a book written by an author they first read in a library. Libraries are the most trusted institution in America, librarians a trusted source for book referrals. And libraries need our support.
Directory of Best Practices for Public Library Events (Panorama Project) Based on findings from Panorama Project's 2019 Public Library Events & Book Sales Survey and compiled by a volunteer committee of public librarians, is intended to offer an overview of the best practices librarians across the country have used to produce, market, and host successful events of all types.
Materially Different: A New Kind of Materials Survey (Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal, 3-2-2020, at start of pandemic) As LJ’s materials survey grew too complex, we turned to vendor data for a granular look at what’s selling to libraries. Fiction: According to Baker & Taylor, mystery, thriller, romance, literary fiction, and women’s fiction were the top five print fiction subjects purchased by U.S. public libraries last year, in that order [and a change in trends]. Neither fourth-place literary fiction nor fifth-place women’s fiction is broken into subgenres, but both do well enough to approach suspense titles in number of units sold. Comics/graphic novels/manga makes its appearance for the first time in a materials survey report, ranking seventh in B&T sales. Nonfiction: In B&T nonfiction sales, biography claims the blue ribbon, with history following in second place. That sounds like a lot of serious reading mostly focused on the past, but in fact personal memoir constitutes 40 percent of the biography category. Cooking comes in third.
• 6 Steps to Get Your Self-Published Book Into Libraries (Ilham Alam on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-21-19) Step 5: Ensure that your book is available through library wholesalers Baker & Taylor (US and Canada), WhiteHots (Canada) and Library Services Center (Canada). Libraries can then easily find your book and buy it from these wholesalers.
Early Word Galley Chat (#EWGC), the monthly Twitter chat where librarians share what books they are most excited about. See also Early Word ("The Library-Publisher Connection) Join it each month for GalleyChat, to talk with fellow librarians about your favorite (and not-so-favorite) recent galleys, and seed the market with pre-pub galleys and e-galleys. Also participate in Library Reads (H/T Skip Dye, the VP of library marketing at Penguin Random House, via The Hot Sheet)
Library Reads. The monthly nationwide library staff picks list for adult fiction and non-fiction. See also Library Reads resources Edelweiss and NetGalley, the leading resources for digital advance reading copies, both support LibraryReads by accepting votes for the list, and by making digital Advance Reading Copies widely available to library staff.
Why Writers Should Care About the ALA Annual Conferences (author Jesse Byrd, 7-5-18) "Why sell to libraries?  Most bookstores want a discount (at least 40% off your retail price). Libraries RARELY return books. Most bookstores want your book to be listed as ‘returnable’ so if they don’t sell them all they can send the remaining inventory back to you for a refund." And with libraries there is higher potential for bulk sales: "You speak to a district manager who likes your book. This person has 10 libraries within their district. They'd like 10 copies of your book for each branch...You just sold 100 books via a single contact/conversation....Most of the 16,000 librarians who attend ALA have buying power. A lot of the ones we met had their purchasing Credit Card on them in case they see something they really like."
How to sell your self-published book to libraries. Novelist and self-publishing guru Melinda Clayton explains: “If you're self-published and you made it through the CreateSpace-to-Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP Print) migration, people should be able to order your book from Amazon. If you chose to use Kindle Direct Publishing's free ISBN and selected "Expanded Distribution," your book should also be available for libraries to order. If you didn't choose to use the free KDP Print ISBN, your book won't be made available to libraries through KDP Print.
      "If you're also distributing through IngramSpark, your books should be available to both stores and libraries. If you haven't also directly uploaded your book to IngramSpark, it won't be there.  CreateSpace/KDP Print and IngramSpark are two completely different entities; uploading to one doesn't put it with the other.
      "In short, if you publish through KDP Print with their free ISBN and select Expanded Distribution and if you also upload directly to IngramSpark, your book will be available for libraries to order. If you don’t, they will have to order it directly from you or from a store and libraries don’t like to do that."

     One further tip from Melinda: "If you use Ingram, you can set it so that the book is only available for you to order. This gives you time to order books yourself to send to review places. Once you're ready for it to be available for stores and libraries to order, you simply go into your settings and select that option." 

Allow at least three months from the time you get copies of your book until your official publication date (including copyright year date), time to try to get reviews (traditional publishers often allow more time). Libraries won't even know about your book unless it gets reviews. And libraries won't usually be interested in buying a book with last year's copyright date.

     Says another author: 'Once your books are shelved by a library in your area, it's important to let them know you're available for events. Over the years I've been invited to give talks or participate in panels on various topics. Some of these libraries have paid an honorarium and also arranged for a bookstore to handle sales. Others have a tight budget and I'm happy to waive the fee. This is a great way to reach new readers and also strengthen relationships with local bookstores."

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What is the Indie Author Project? "IAP Library Print Editions is a sales and marketing program built to partner with public libraries to discover and then sell the best indie-published books into library print collections. This program, in partnership with IngramSpark, is provided to those authors that have been selected by our curation partners and library editorial boards and will launch in early 2020."
--- Curated Indie Ebooks Available for Public Libraries through Rakuten OverDrive (Indie Author Project) The IAP eBook collections feature award-winning titles from across the world that are hand-selected by Library Journal, Black Caucus of the ALA (BCALA), and a network of hundreds of librarians participating in the IAP’s regional indie eBook contests. This is a royalty-paying program to the selected authors, and it is the latest development in the transformation of deeper mainstream public library involvement in the indie book world.
---Indie Author Project Regional Contests (Ingram Spark, Library Journal)
--- Indie Author Project (IAP) Expands Library eBook Distribution (Newswire story)
---Biblioboard and Indie Author Project BiblioBoard is a software company that helps libraries and their patrons Create, Share, and Discover content in their community. We created the Indie Author Project to encourage a strong relationship between indie authors and their local libraries.
In 2019, more Americans went to the library than to the movies. Yes, really. (Dan Sheehan, LitHub, 1-24-2020) Yes, according to a recent Gallup poll (the first such survey since 2001), visiting the local library remains by far the most common cultural activity Americans engage in.
New Leaf Distributing Company. Andrea Jones, author of a Hook & Jill series of adult novels of Neverland, highly recommends New Leaf for distribution of self-published books. "Don't be put off by the New Age theme. They are reliable, affordable, they keep and share clear sales numbers, and they pay royalties on a regular schedule. New Leaf does not require a publisher to have a long list of products, nor to add to that list yearly. The only drawback I've found to New Leaf is that Ingram will not carry their products. If an author has already arranged to manufacture her own book, New Leaf seems to me to be a good resource for its distribution."
Discover Insider Secrets to Selling Books to Libraries (30-minute audio, Amy Collins, Book Marketing Mentors). Or you can read the transcript. "The foot traffic in libraries has more than doubled in the last two years. Selling books to libraries is an under-served, under-tapped market." The Book Industry Study Group "will tell you that books that are stocked in libraries, 100 units or more, over 100 different library systems or more, are five times more likely to be selling on Amazon at a brisk rate. There is something about having your book in a library that gives it either a nod of credibility, or just the word of mouth that dramatically increases your sales outside of the library." She tells you where you need to have your book listed to have libraries look at you. "...librarians want to know that the book they're considering has been approved by an outside third party... If one of their trusted wholesalers likes your book enough to put it on their shelf or to recommend it to them, they will give you a far greater chance than if you are not listed with those wholesalers." Go to Book Marketing Mentors site for links to more (but not all) interview transcripts
Getting Paid: How Do Authors Make Money from Library Books? (Troy Lambert, Public Libraries Online, 8-18-16) A dose of reality.
Book Marketing: How To Get Your Book Into Libraries (Eric Simmons on Joanna Penn's Creative Penn blog, 6-12-19) Simmons explains in some detail his strategy for getting his self-published memoir into libraries.
Getting Self-Published Books into Public Libraries (Betty Kelly Sargent, PW, 4-10-15)
Self-e (Self-e White Paper, Library Journal) Six Strong Benefits of Supporting Your Local Author Community in Your Library. Sign in and access their other white papers.

• If you are trying to get ebooks into libraries, you can always try Library Journal's Self-e program, says novelist Melinda Clayton. "If your ebook passes their screening program, it could become available to participating libraries nationwide (Library Journal's Self-e Select). Even if it doesn't pass their screening program, it may still be made available to your state's library systems. Authors aren't paid for books selected, so this option really works best if you have a series the reader might want to pay for after reading the first book, or if you have a backlist you can use to encourage authors to find and buy your most recent books. I would consider inclusion in LJ Self-e Select a marketing opportunity more than a money-making opportunity."

•  H/T to The Hot Sheet. There are roughly 18,000 library buildings in the United States and 10,000 public library systems. Titles libraries promote to their patrons through various means have been shown to increase book sales to consumers indirectly. Check out Early Word Galley Chat (#EWGC), the monthly Twitter chat where librarians say what books they're most excited about. Three of the Big 5 publishers are shifting "from perpetual access licenses (one high price for access forever) to a two-year metered model (lower prices with an expiration date)" for e-books.

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Create Engaging School Visits (Michelle Cusolito, YouTube, Authors Guild, 5-8-18) 80 minutes of excellent very practical ideas for planning and running an engaging school or library program that also meets the needs of teachers and librarians. Michelle gives a quick overview of Common Core standards to help you see how your work dovetails with the standards. Then she moves into practical, real-world examples of successful programs designed to suit the style of the individual author. She also offers tips for selling books, setting reasonable fees, and running Skype visits.
The Library Market: What Indie Authors Need to Know (Jane Friedman, Publishers Weekly, 9-25-15) Self-publishing success stories are predominantly within genre fiction, where patron demand often lies. And it’s easier for librarians to assess the quality of adult fiction than nonfiction. With nonfiction, librarians need reassurance that someone is vouching for the integrity of the information, as well as the author’s credentials. Some librarians say self-published children's literature has also not achieved professionalism.
9 Steps to Getting Your Self-Published Books into Libraries (Amy Collins on The Book Designer, March 2016) Headlines: Learn what librarians need. Approach wholesalers first. Make your book available on full trade discount and fully returnable. Go after reviews from respected sources (e.g., Midwest Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, any major newspaper, Booklist and Library Thing). Create a plan to increase demand and drive traffic into libraries. Etc.
Getting Self-Published Books Into Libraries (Jane Friedman, 10-1-15)
Marketing to Libraries (ALA Library Fact Sheet 5)
Getting Your Self-Published Book Into Bookstores And Libraries (Debbie Young talks to Joanna Penn, on The Creative Penn, 2-26-15) Among tips offered: Quality standards are critical. Leave behind any sense of entitlement. Booksellers want a 40% (or significant) discount because they need to pay for their store costs, staff costs and all their other business costs from the sale of books. Bookstores generally won’t order Createspace books as they have no returns. Libraries are going digital and you can get into library digital catalogues through OverDrive on Smashwords.
Independently Published and Self-Published Textual Materials (Policy Statements Supplementary Guidelines, Library of Congress Collectons) Guidance to Library of Congress staff regarding: (a) the dramatic increase of self-published works as a significant portion of and change in the book publishing industry, and (b) the acquisition of independent (indie) and self-published materials. (Possibly helpful indirectly.)
Opening Up To Indie Authors: A Guide for Bookstores, Libraries, Reviewers, Literary Event Organisers ... and Self-Publishing Writers by Debbie Young and Dan Holloway (the Alliance of Independent Authors, a UK organization)
Self-published Authors Learn to Market to Libraries (Henrietta Verma, Library Journal, 6-2-14) Many more tips from experts in the field.
Self-publishing and Libraries (Annoyed Librarian, 10-21-13)
Why you need IngramSpark AND CreateSpace – UPDATED (Amy Collins, NewShelves.com, 5-21-16) Main points: Use CreateSpace for Amazon. It does a great job and takes less money for each sale. In addition, use IngramSpark so that your book can be ordered by the bookstores and libraries from the large wholesalers with which they prefer doing business. Use your own (Bowker-provided) ISBN so that you have the benefits of your publishing company’s brand on all databases.
What Authors and Publishers Need to Know About CIP, PCIP, MARC, LCCN, PCN (Amy Collins, NewShelves, 3-16-16) Follow Amy @NewShelvesBooks. See also Product identifiers, explained (ISBN, WorldCat, CIP, LCCN, PCN, LC-CIP, P-CIP, and BISAC headings)
How To Set Up a Price-Specific Bar Code for FREE (Amy Collins, NewShelves.com, 5-18-16)

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Monetizing newsletters and other publications:

Paywalls, micropayment, ads, subscriptions

See also
Email marketing services
Substack and its competitors (newsletter service providers/platforms)

The Five Types of Indie Newsletter Business Models (Alex Hazlett and Dan Oshinsky, Inbox Collective, 8-29-22)

Matching the right newsletter to the right business model. What does each type mean? How big is its audience? How does the newsletter grow? How does it make money? What happens if your newsletter or goals are a little different? Check out Inbox Collective.

• AWeber, Beehiiv, ConvertKit, Ghost, Mailchimp, or Substack: Which Is The Right ESP for Your Indie Newsletter? (Dan Oshinksky, Inbox Collective)

From the many email platforms (email service providers, or ESPs) to choose from, here are six options worth a closer look. This guide walks you through what makes each of these platforms so useful, what they cost, and why they might be right for you.

     "If you haven’t yet chosen an email newsletter platform—or you’re looking to switch—this is by far the best, unbiased guide I’ve seen. The only drawback is that it doesn’t include MailerLite, which is one of the most popular and affordable services for authors. Still, this guide will help you ask the right questions and aid you in making a decision." ~Jane Friedman, on Electric Speed
How to Create a Newsletter with Canva Ronny Hermosa's excellent 38-minute step-by-step video tutorial on designing a lovely, captivating tutorial with engaging content in Canva, with lots of helpful links in the text below the video. See his Facebook page: Learn with Ronny
---MailerLite offers a free platform for emailing your newsletter. I got these links from Cecilia Bamberg, who published her first thriller in 2023 and posted what she found useful in an Authors Guild discussion.
---Subscriber Surge Giveaways (Written Word Media) A cost-effective way for you to grow your email list so you can reach qualified readers and sell more books. You gather email addresses and one or more winners get a free ebook.
---BookTuberama For Kindle book giveaways and email-list development.
How to Start Monetizing Your Indie Newsletter (Dan Oshinsky, Index Collective, 3-23-23) How do you know when it’s time to start monetizing? And what are the different ways newsletters like yours monetize? Some options, discussed in some detail: Selling a subscription or membership. Selling advertising in your newsletter. Asking readers for donations. Selling ebooks, merchandise, or other products. Using affiliate links to recommend other products. Consulting, coaching, or teaching. Hosting events or workshops. Monetizing through indirect revenue (paid talks or freelance gigs, for example).
The best threads on how to grow and monetize newsletters

Gunnar S. Holm's Twitter exchanges (a great set of tips):
---Austin Rief on how @MorningBrew got its first 10k subscribers.
---Scott Oldford on his top 5 monetization strategies. Wisdom Media now owns 15 newsletters with a total audience size of over 500K subs
---Matt McGarry ("the newsletter guy") on the math behind a $1M per year newsletter business. The four routes a newsletter can take:
1. The hybrid model
2. The sponsorship model
3. The lead generation model
4. The courses and coaching model
---Ethan Brooks How 7-Figure Newsletters Work
---Alex Lieberman When building a business, nothing is more important than a co-founder relationship.
---Andrew Wilkinson In 2019, I set out to do something simple: Recreate the local newspaper in digital form, by creating a simple daily newsletter focused on Victoria, Canada, my home town đź“°I hired a journalist and we started sending out a quick summary of what’s happening every day.
How to drive paid subscriptions without a paywall (Simon Owens, YouTube 1hr 13min video, 7-21-23) Simon talks with Carla Zanoni and Ryan Sager. Simon indicates the kinds of insights and tips each offers (for example, how Carla's team leveraged The Wall Street Journal’s massive social channels to drive paid subscriptions, and how to utilize “gift” links to allow your paid subscribers to share your content with their friends and colleagues). Among other things,  Ryan Sager talks about how newsletters can leverage their first party data to lure advertisers, how super niche B2B newsletters can convince companies within their niche to become sponsors, why newsletters should convince their sponsors to set up a dedicated landing page so they get full credit for all the traffic they send to the sponsor, and so on. 
Email Intelligence (Who Sponsors Stuff) News and tools to learn more about email newsletters. E.g., How To Prospect for Newsletter Sponsors, How to Price an Ad in Your Newsletter, and How to Cold Email a Potential Sponsor.
Monetizing newsletters: when creators strive with ideas (Marie Dollé, In Bed with Social, 8-12-20) Newsletters are having a moment, as creators experiment with more creative approaches to monetize and engage their audiences. Selling to businesses? (advertising, consulting services, gigs, affiliation) Or selling to consumers? (subscriptions, memberships, donations; selling online courses or digital goods,

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Nuance is coming to a paywall near you (Mark Stenberg, Medialyte, 4-28-22) Publishers are getting more sophisticated in how they gate their content. The strengths and weaknesses of various forms of paywalls: No paywall, Guilt paywall, Registration wall, Archival paywall or timewall, Freemium paywall, Subject-specific paywall, Metered paywall, Dynamic paywall, Hard paywall. (H/T Simon Owens, whose Facebook leads are excellent.)
Mother Jones CEO on how reader donations became big business for investigative title (Charlotte Tobitt, Press Gazette UK, 3-16-23) “Smart, fearless journalism” is the tagline of American investigative news outlet Mother Jones – but would this mission be possible without its non-profit model heavily based on reader donations? Monika Bauerlein says the growth in journalism sitting behind paywalls is causing a "major crisis" for information. “We would not be able to do the kind of public service journalism that we do, that is really the entire focus of our newsroom if we had to rely on commercial revenues.” Today, three-quarters of revenue at Mother Jones comes from reader support, with around 50,000 people in any given year who donate, allowing it to sustain a newsroom of 50 journalists to produce its website and bi-monthly print magazine. Historically, advertising made up about 13 to 15% of revenue – with this now down to 6%,"the trajectory is pretty clear that we would not be here at this point" without reader support.
   Bauerlein described the growth in journalism going behind paywalls as a "major crisis". "I understand why that is and that newsrooms have to stay in business, but it means that digital spaces in particular are now full of good information that is accessible only to people who can pay and disinformation and garbage that is free and abundant, and I think that's a really dangerous environment."
The 4 hurdles micropayment platforms can’t overcome (Simon Owens Media Newsletter, 2-14-22) Most publishers remain wedded to their subscription models and show no appetite for offering a micropayments alternative (paying for a single article through an easy platform), for four reasons: Limited marketing real estate, the economics and friction of selling a paywalled article (in addition to which  the economics of selling an article for $1 aren't worth it), and publishers' reluctance to go in for a single sign-on platform. ''

Sticky (by Newsletter Glue) Hear from the best newsletter operators in the business on how to monetize, grow and run your newsletters.

• Substack and its competitors (newsletter service providers/platforms)

Newsletters to reach and grow your audience directly

See also:

Email marketing (emailing services and how to grow your email list)
Substack and its competitors (newsletter service providers/platforms)


Let me know if I got anything wrong or omitted something important. I'm still figuring things out myself.

How the Daily Upside grew to over 1 million subscribers (Simon Owens, 5-14-24) Patrick Trousdale explains why he partnered with a traditional news brand and how he works with finance influencers--starting with how he convinced The Motley Fool to partner with him, and how he works with finance influencers to drive signups.
Substack Is Both Great and Terrible for Authors (Jane Friedman, 3-4-24) Novelist Dana Stabenow gave an inspirational talk where she couldn’t resist offering a practical tip at the end: “Remember this if you remember nothing else from my speech tonight. It turns out that an active buy link in a newsletter targeted at people who really want to get it is the most effective means of selling your book.”
       "As you become known as an author, or when you publish your first book, I hope you’ll consider establishing a standard and free email newsletter that’s meant to primarily serve your readers, to keep them informed about your work. Because those are the people who are most likely to buy your next book."
How Jane Friedman built her book industry newsletter The Hot Sheet (Simon Owens, Creator Collab House, 2-8-2021) You can get two issues of The Hot Sheet free. I did so and then subscribed both to the Hot Sheet and Simon's posts. See also Jane's Email Newsletter Recommendation Roundup, her Electric Speed archive, and her critique of Substack's hype about itself as a venue for paid newsletters.The game we’re playing is one that gives power to writers and creators. It’s a game that ensures writers can maintain their independence without most of the drudgery that comes with running their own media operation, and without having to cede control to a gatekeeper. We build tools that give writers and creators the full powers of the internet so their work can have maximum impact, reach, and revenue. We are helping to unlock the potential of existing writers to get greater value for and from their work, and so that new types of writers can enter the media economy and thrive.

Mail Tester Test the spamminess of your e-letters
Judd Legum proved that investigative journalism can thrive on Substack (Simon Owens Media Newsletter,10-12-21) The former ThinkProgress editor had over 150,000 signups and at least 7,500 paying subscribers to his newsletter. Since launching his Substack newsletter Popular Information in 2018, Legum has not only broken dozens of major political and business stories, but his reporting has also driven real impact. As Substack matures as a company, it’s attracting more and more veteran journalists who are leveraging their reporting expertise and contacts to break news.
Digital Platforms and Journalistic Careers: A Case Study of Substack Newsletters (Shira Zilberstein, Tow Report, CJR, 9-29-22) Three dominant themes explain how journalists use and interpret Substack: Journalists who view newsletters as a career resource use Substack to enhance their work within the traditional legacy media industry. Alternatively, some pursue newsletters as an alternative media model. These journalists critique dominant media outlets, highlighting experiences of precarity, inefficiencies, and the ways in which norms of objectivity exclude personalized forms of information production and audience engagement. Finally, a third subset of journalists define their newsletters as a lifeboat. For these journalists, newsletters serve as stopgaps when they lack other career opportunities and resources. These journalists are critical of the economic feasibility, informational quality, and role of technology companies in newsletter media models.
The increasing importance of newsletters for selling books (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter, 2-8-23) A lot of organic distribution channels that authors used to rely on (including Amazon and Facebook) have completely dried up. Newsletters, on the other hand, allow authors to actually own the audience relationship, so you’re seeing more of them leveraging platforms like Substack to deepen that relationship. See How to promote your book on Substack
The products that Jacob Feldman, co-founder of The Sunday Long Read newsletter, can’t do without (Simon Owens, The Entrepreneur's Tech Stack, 7-6-23) Feldman walks us through 3 essentials: Mailchimp / WordPress / Memberful and some products that are more fun: Superhuman, Tot, Paste, Raycast, Wave. Simon has a series of such interviews.
The biggest mistakes paid newsletters make (Simon Owens, Q&A, 4-20-22) Writers often make bad assumptions about what kind of content people will pay for and the calls to action that will convert a free newsletter reader into a paid one.  The more new features you add for paying subscribers, the easier it gets to convince your free audience that recurring payments are worth the expense. Experiment with different conversion strategies. Figure out how best to reduce "churn" (more people unsubscribing than newly subscribing).  A good newsletter to subscribe to for describing effective approaches newsletters take to attracting and holding on to subscribers. See also What we can learn from The Guardian's membership strategy (7-27-22) It reached 1 million recurring paid members without implementing a paywall.
Paywalls (7 Takeaways) Includes takeaways for those eluding paywalls. See also How to bypass a paywall (easy guide) (Renat Gabitov, Bardeen) and 16 ways to get around a paywall (All About Cookies) Virtual private networks (VPN) are one way. "Paywalls are necessary for content creators to make money and continue developing content, but sometimes you want to read an article without adding yet another subscription to your bank account."
An industry-wide slowdown in subscription growth (Simon Owens, 4-27-22) It’s not just Netflix that’s stalling out; lots of publishers are struggling to maintain their early subscriber growth numbers. That’s probably why we’re seeing more and more publishers switch to looser paywalls, the logic being that it’s better to keep serving a reader with more ads than it is to bounce them off the website.

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Can the Morning Brew model work with paid subscriptions? (Simon Owens, 6-22-22) Readers typically don't want to pay for daily news digests that contain very little original reporting. Axios is building an interesting template for how a differentiated product meant to appeal to a specific subset of its readership could work.
Not a Newsletter (Dan Oshinsky) Read their latest stories. "Together, let's make better newsletters."
The Week in Newsletters (GetReview)  Packed with lessons learned, insights into where newsletters are heading, and tips on doing things smartly. 
Forbes launches massive expansion of paid newsletters (Sara Fischer, Axios, 1-19-21) Forbes is launching a newsletter platform that will allow journalists to launch their own paid newsletters and split the revenue with the 103-year-old publisher.
Axios Wants Us to Read Everything in Bullet Points (Katie Robertson, NY Times, 3-7-22) The news organization that prides itself on short-format writing has big plans to expand in local news, paid newsletters and even the emails sent by your bosses. Will its short-format writing build back trust in the media among busy audiences and teach corporate America to quit its long-winded jargon? Thinking about the right brands to collaborate with; How to price ad space; What to include in a pitch; How to sell ad space without being too sales-y. Excellent overview.

Forbes launches massive expansion of paid newsletters (Sara Fischer, Axios, 1-19-21) Forbes is launching a newsletter platform that will allow journalists to launch their own paid newsletters and split the revenue with the 103-year-old publisher.
How WhereByUs scaled its local newsletters to multiple cities (Simon Owens's media newsletter, 7-26-21) Christopher Sopher explains how his team developed a set of publishing tools and processes that can be launched in any city. “If you're a publisher, if you're trying to build a community around email, it's actually really hard to do that with a marketing tool. It's not built for it. So that was where the genesis of Letterhead came from: 40 to 45% of their revenue comes from newsletter advertising that is either sold directly through self-service or at least facilitated by our software. The platform allows a potential advertiser to choose between CPM or flat pricing. They launched a "freemium" newsletter membership program (free for everybody, with special content for paid subscribers).

     Paid subscribers to Simon Owens's newsletter can also read about the exact time commitment it takes to run a paid newsletter; how TinyLetter created a market for editorial newsletters, then failed to innovate; lessons learned about running a paid newsletter. Lots of useful reading.

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1000 True Fans (Kevin Kelly) “A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce.”
The Ultimate Newsletter Guide: How to set up Paid Sponsorships with Brands (Anangsha Alammyan, blogpost on Swapstack, 7-19-21) The landscape of newsletter marketing, explainedch Is Better for Writers? (Jane Friedman, 4-17-21)
 • Newsletter sponsorships are the future of targeted advertising (Paved, sponsored content, Marketing Dive, a free daily newsletter read by industry experts)

How WhereByUs scaled its local newsletters to multiple cities (Simon Owens's media newsletter, 7-26-21) Christopher Sopher explains how his team developed a set of publishing tools and processes that can be launched in any city. “If you're a publisher, if you're trying to build a community around email, it's actually really hard to do that with a marketing tool. It's not built for it. So that was where the genesis of Letterhead came from: 40 to 45% of their revenue comes from newsletter advertising that is either sold directly through self-service or at least facilitated by our software. The platform allows a potential advertiser to choose between CPM or flat pricing. They launched a "freemium" newsletter membership program (free for everybody, with special content for paid subscribers).

     Paid subscribers to Simon Owens's newsletter can also read about the exact time commitment it takes to run a paid newsletter; how TinyLetter created a market for editorial newsletter
Dine and Deliver is a private dinner series for newsletter operators, co-hosted by Who Sponsors Stuff? and Inbox Collective .
---Who Sponsors Stuff on newsletter circulation figures
---Inbox Collective's latest stories
For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated (David Carr, The Media Equation, NY Times, 6-30-14) "An email newsletter generally shows up in your inbox because you asked for it and it includes links to content you have deemed relevant. In other words, it’s important content you want in list form, which seems like a suddenly modern approach."
How to Setup Your Email List and Signup Form on Your Author Website (Creative Penn)
How to Grow Your Email List (Kirsten Oliphant on Jane Friedman's blog, 7-25-16) See also Starting an Email Newsletter: Why to Do It and Which Service to Use (5-16-16)2,000+ signups (Substack Writers' Library, 3-4-2020) She shares the three most important factors in growing your paid audience.
Subscriptions start working for the middle (Delia Cai, Nieman Lab, “Six-figure Substack incomes and subscriber numbers sure sound great, but they’re not the only ends to the means.”


Mass email newsletters or blogs?
The 80 Best Single Operator Newsletters (Eli London, Inside Hook, 7-22-20) There is now technology available that will allow anyone, no matter their technical background, to distribute their own mass emails.

A Thousand New Email Sign Ups in a Week? It’s Possible. (Ashleigh Renard on Jane Friedman's blog, 3-9-22) You don’t need to start strategizing newsletter content or setting a delivery schedule in order to begin building your email list. Focus on a problem you can help people solve and then "share your solution as a free (and simple) download that people can receive when joining your mailing list. Signing up for your email list will be an impulsive decision, just like grabbing that magazine at the checkout counter.

How a side project inspired by Serial grew to 25,000+ subscribers — and a deal with Vox (Miranda Perez, They Got Acquired, 4-28-22) Inspired by “Serial” and the podcast explosion it sparked, journalist Nick Quah created a newsletter analyzing the growing podcast trend as a side hustle in 2014. Launched as a side hustle, this podcast newsletter soon became a full-time job — and then it landed the founder an exit and a new opportunity.
The Blissfully Slow World of Internet Newsletters (Clive Thompson, Wired, 5-13-16) Sometimes your feed needs to slow down to a titrated drip. That's the appeal of the weekly newsletter. Phil Kaplan launched TinyLetter, a simple tool for running a newsletter, and a renaissance began. Being opt-in has another benefit: It allows newsletters to stay weird.
What Every Writer Needs to Know About Email Newsletters (They’re Not Going Away) (Catherine Baab-Muguira on Jane Friedman's blog, 4-5-21) Newsletters are being reshaped by the internet and related trends, including "the continued move of advertising dollars away from traditional media and into Facebook and Google, which allow for much more specific ad-targeting....this is pushing heavyweights including the New York Times and Washington Post to rely more and more on subscriptions, rather than advertising, as their primary source of revenue... email addresses are the marketing gold standard, widely understood to be more valuable than social-media counts," and so on. Why an email list beats every other kind of following and how you can get started.
Want to Build an Email List? 7 Newsletter Platforms to Choose From (Lisa Rowan, The Write Life, 6-15-15) MailChimp. TinyLetter. ConvertKit. Campaign Monitor. AWeber. Get Response. Constant Contact
For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated (David Carr, The Media Equation, NY Times, 6-30-14) "An email newsletter generally shows up in your inbox because you asked for it and it includes links to content you have deemed relevant. In other words, it’s important content you want in list form, which seems like a suddenly modern approach."
The New Social Network That Isn’t New at All (Mike Isaac, NY Times, 3-19-19) "That’s because my new social network is an email newsletter.... there is a growing interest among those who are disenchanted with social media in what the writer Craig Mod has called “the world’s oldest networked publishing platform.&rdquo

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Best Email Services for Authors (Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur, 3-24-22) Dave presents a side-by-side comparison of four services: MailerLite, Mad Mimi, ConvertKit, and Mailchimp (in descending order).
The best email newsletter software: 9 email marketing services for your business

How a side project inspired by Serial grew to 25,000+ subscribers — and a deal with Vox (Miranda Perez, They Got Acquired, 4-28-22) Inspired by “Serial” and the podcast explosion it sparked, journalist Nick Quah created a newsletter analyzing the growing podcast trend as a side hustle in 2014. Launched as a side hustle, this podcast newsletter soon became a full-time job — and then it landed the founder an exit and a new opportunity.
What Every Writer Needs to Know About Email Newsletters (They’re Not Going Away) (Catherine Baab-Muguira on Jane Friedman's blog, 4-5-21) Newsletters are being reshaped by the internet and related trends, including "the continued move of advertising dollars away from traditional media and into Facebook and Google, which allow for much more specific ad-targeting....this is pushing heavyweights including the New York Times and Washington Post to rely more and more on subscriptions, rather than advertising, as their primary source of revenue... email addresses are the marketing gold standard, widely understood to be more valuable than social-media counts," and so on. Why an email list beats every other kind of following and how you can get started.
For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated (David Carr, The Media Equation, NY Times, 6-30-14) "An email newsletter generally shows up in your inbox because you asked for it and it includes links to content you have deemed relevant. In other words, it’s important content you want in list form, which seems like a suddenly modern approach." nterface for creating a variety of campaigns, newsletters, and automation for book funnels." Some warned against MailChimp, which gutted its free tier a few years ago, "so while you still don't pay until you get 2000 subscribers, you're extremely limited in what you can do."

How to Setup Your Email List and Signup Form on Your Author Website (Creative Penn)
How to Grow Your Email List (Kirsten Oliphant on Jane Friedman's blog, 7-25-16) See also Starting an Email Newsletter: Why to Do It and Which Service to Use (5-16-16)

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Does Twitter drive most newsletter subscriptions? (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter) If you look at the Substack leaderboards, you’ll see that all the top newsletter writers have at least 100,000 followers.

Newsletter Ninja: How to Become an Author Mailing List Expert by Tammi Labrecque. Writes David Gaughan: "Learn how to put value in every single email, and start building a passionate list of engaged readers."

I’m Not Tired, You’re Tired: Newsletter Writer Fatigue Sets In (Andrew Fedorov, Off the Record, 10-28-21) Attracted by the dream of being your own boss and writing whatever you want, a hidden truth behind the Substack-driven newsletter boom is sinking in: it is absolutely exhausting.
Newsletters were supposed to be the Wild West. Enter Sheriff Google. (Brian Contreras, Los Angeles Times, 6-14-21) The newsletters business is booming, and Substack along with it. But one big thing still stands between writers and their readers: Google and its mysterious Gmail inbox filter.
How a trade show’s newsletter saved the company during Covid (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter, 3-25-21) Ross Douglas launched a newsletter about urban mobility and then was able to leverage its audience when he pivoted to virtual tradeshows.

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Local news in Kentucky with Sarah Baird (Ali Montag, Newsletter Crew, 7-28-21)
Not a Newsletter: A Monthly Guide to Sending Better Emails A monthly, semi-comprehensive, Google Doc-based guide to sending better emails! From Dan Oshinsky, the founder of Inbox Collective, an email consultancy, and the former Director of Newsletters at The New Yorker and BuzzFeed. Full archive here.
How to Grow an Email Newsletter Starting from Zero (Christina McDonald on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-5-19)
How To Create An Email Newsletter ( Beatriz Redondo Tejedor, Mailjet, 6-19-2020) Pros, cons, and how-to, once over lightly.
25 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List (Andy Pitre, HubSpot, 3-12, but updated) Scroll down to download a free Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing.
29 ways to collect email addresses for your newsletter (Vertical Response)
Cultivating Your Perfect Audience – an Interview with Paul Jarvis (Kirsten Oliphant, Create If Writing, 10-21-15) Why engagement trumps numbers alone. “People don’t realize they can cultivate an audience of people they want to have in their audience.
•  Oh God, It's Raining Newsletters (Craig Mod) "Newsletters are having a bit of a moment.... Newsletters and newsletter startups these days are like mushrooms in an open field after a good spring rain. I don’t know a single writer who isn’t newslettering or newsletter-curious, and for many, the newsletter is where they’re doing their finest public work." Links to various interesting newsletters.
The Sample is a newsletter discovery service. After you sign up, they pick a different newsletter to forward you each day. If you like it, you can hit "subscribe in 1 click" and you'll get added to their list. You can also give a 1-to-5 star rating to help their recommendation algorithm learn your preferences better. See How The Sample drives thousands of newsletter subscriptions (Jacob O'Bryant, The Sample, 11-2-21) How they do it.

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Facebook reportedly plans newsletter tools after explosion in popularity
Email Newsletters for Authors: Get Started Guide (Jane Friedman, 4-3-2020) Regular email contact with your readers creates a long string of impressions, so that your name stays at the forefront of their mind. Emails are harder to miss than social media posts and you own your email list, unlike Facebook or Twitter accounts. Tips on developing a strategy, handling subscriber fatigue, etc.
Facebook is said to be planning newsletter tools to court independent writers. (NY Times, 1-28-21) Substack, a start-up founded in 2017, has attracted a growing audience with software that allows writers to publish and distribute both free and paid emailed newsletters to their followers. In return, the company receives a nominal cut of the writer’s subscription sales.
Is Substack the panacea local news is looking for? (Elizabeth Djinis, Poynter, 3-3-21) When The Weekly Standard announced its demise, journalist Tony Mecia started a local newsletter, using Substack, a barebones newsletter platform that allows journalists to engage directly with subscribers, relying on a paid subscription model to earn writers money. founded in 2017. He's not the only one. An interesting piece.
How NewsMatch Makes a Difference for Nonprofit Newsrooms Around the Country (Mark Glaser, Knight Foundation, 10-21-20) NewsMatch is a matching program that helps nonprofit news outlets fundraise from their communities with matching grants from a number of national and local foundations. See
How NewsMatch works (NewsMatch).
Is a Substack subscription too expensive? (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter) He's selling a bundle of case histories as an ebook. His columns about newsletters make a lot of sense. He offers a paid and a free subscription.  See The exact time commitment it takes to run a paid newsletter). That's not the only medium he writes about.

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How publishers will deal with the "Substack problem" (Simon Owens, author/owner of Simon Owens's Media Newsletter, published a good history of the rise and fall of Mailchimp's Tinyletter ("one of the greatest missed opportunities in tech"), a mini-history of the email newsletter world as seen through one newsletter's rise and fall, with interesting links.
Popular Information Judd Legum's newsletter about politics for people who give a damn. See Judd Legum Wants to Fix News With a Newsletter (Emily Dreyfuss, Wired, 7-12-18)
Here’s what you need to know to build successful paid newsletters, popup newsletters, morning digests, and community newsletters (Shan Wang, Nieman Lab, 4-16-18)
“Think of it as a Kickstarter tote bag but much, much better”: Dirt, an entertainment newsletter, is funding itself with NFTs, not subscriptions (Brian Ng, Nieman Lab, 10-19-21) “NFTs are the newest form of digital content. Structurally, that fits with Dirt’s scope.” Or, as Dirt explains: “Think of the NFT as your Dirt annual subscription, except it’s something you own (until you decide to sell or trade it).” (There's a lot more to the explanation.)
Building a Mailing List: How I Did Mine by Steve, on Vertical Response, a newsletter service. One of the responses is from Joann Ross, a successful romance writer, who uses interesting techniques to build reader loyalty.
Judd Legum Wants to Fix News With a Newsletter (Emily Dreyfuss, Business, Wired, 7-12-18) The founder and editor in chief of ThinkProgress is starting over with "Popular Information," a one-man political newsletter "for people who are feeling overwhelmed." Check out Popular Information. "He hopes by offering something without corporate money, paid instead in small amounts by individual stakeholders who want to read what he has to say, that "Popular Information" will act as a guide to politics that matter."

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Top 10 Tips for Great Newsletters (Alex Mastrianni, Informz, 9-20-13)
How To Write Email Newsletters That People Actually Want To Read (Margo Aaron, HubSpot, 11-13-17)
Using Book Promotion Newsletters to Increase Sales Mike O'Mary on Jane Friedman's blog, 12-21-2020) This is especially useful if you have no idea what a book promotion newsletter is. O'Mary has a newsletter focused on self-published books (Lit Nuts).
How Taegan Goddard built a thriving paid membership for Political Wire (Simon Owens, 1-14-2021) Taegan Goddard contends that "Political Wire, the aggregation and analysis site he founded and runs, was perfectly sustainable when he rolled out his paid membership program a half decade ago, and that he only did so to provide a way for his most loyal readers to bypass the site’s ads.... By launching a membership program, Goddard was able to forge a more direct connection with a readership that he’d spent the better part of two decades growing."
How to Create a Lead Magnet That Actually Gets Leads (Entrepreneur, 12-7-16) A lead magnet is content given away to someone in exchange for their email address. The greater the value you give customers, the more they will trust you with their email addresses. Five ideas for lead magnets that work: The "cheat sheet," templates, free training, swipe files, and tool kits.
No Unicorns: The Right Way to Grow Your Personal Mailing List (Paul Jarvis, 99U) The key? Acting like a human being. See also Jarvis's How to Create a Self-Paced Email Course(Smashing, 2-10-14)
How to Create an Email Newsletter People Actually Read(Ginny Mineo, HubSpot, 4-21-15)
Newsletter writers need to focus more on revenue diversification (Simon Owens, 1-31-22) Most creators should probably have at least two or three business models.

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Substack and competitors

See also
Newsletters to reach and grow your audience
Email marketing (emailing services)

MEDIUM, SUBSTACK, ETC....Choosing a newsletter service provider/platform
What Writers Need to Know About Newsletter Service Providers (Olaitan French, Authors Publish) Point-by-point comparisons of three e-newsletters platforms: Bulletin, Substack, and Revue. These three platforms perform the same function in terms of sharing and monetizing the content you create, but with differences (for example, Facebook owns Bulletin and Twitter owns Revue).  Other venues for newsletters: Ghost, Mailchimp....
Substack Has a Nazi Problem (Jonathan M. Katz, The Atlantic, 11-28-23) The newsletter platform’s lax content moderation creates an opening for white nationalists eager to get their message out.
Why Medium failed (Simon Owens Media Newsletter, 7-21-22) Ev Williams didn't fully realize how the Creator Economy would evolve. (How times change. See next entry.)
Why Medium is succeeding where other “platishers” failed (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter, 9-10-20) Ev Williams built a social media company around longform writing.
How Bernard Hickey created a newsroom in the comments section (Engage. On Substack.) "Giving paying subscribers a chance to be part of the action, help us report the news and ask the right questions has been a fantastic way to build extra flavor and strength in the subscriber relationship."
Introducing Substack Notes (Hamish McKenzie, Chris Best, and Jairaj Sethi, On Substack, 4-5-23) Unlocking the power of the subscription network. Notes fosters deep connections and quality over shallow engagement and dopamine hacks.
---Top 50 Substack Newsletters (ranked by how many subscribers they have) Substack is gifted at marketing itself.
Grow: How Katelyn Jetelina turned a side hustle into a safety net The Grow interview series is designed to share the nuts and bolts of how writers have gone independent and grown their audiences on Substack.
---Substack Grow, a crash course (six workshops) on knowledge writers need to grow their readership and paid subscriptions on Substack.
Writing fiction on Substack with Elle Griffin (interviewed by Ali Montag on Newsletter Crew) Elle is serializing her first novel in a newsletter on Substack, publishing chapters every week for her thousands of subscribers. She also manages a Discord community with hundreds of Substack writers. Here, she shares her advice for writing and selling digital products online. ‍See more interviews on Newsletter Crew's newsletter blog. Lots of interesting insights into what newsletters can do.
Here’s how to build a better newsletter, according to a bunch of self-professed newsletter nerds (Christine Schmidt, Nieman Journal, 1-24-18)
Before Substack, there was Medium — and its network is about to get bigger (Kerry Flynn, CNN Business, 1-14-21) Substack has become synonymous with writers looking to go independent. But for many years prior, there was a different go-to place for self-publishing: Medium. Now through a new acquisition, Medium has another way to entice people to read its content and write for its network. Medium is acquiring Glose, a digital platform for buying, reading and discussing books. And back to articles about other aspects of newsletters

. A leader among paid email newsletters, as it says about itself "Build your audience on Substack, or bring them over. When you're ready, you can add paid subscriptions and keep 90% of the revenue. Top writers on Substack make millions of dollars a year."~Substack
‘A little bit of an experiment’: New York Times Opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury on why she’s tapping artists as part of a paid newsletter strategy (Sara Guaglione, Digiday, 10-29-21) ...to give creative people who have strong ideas and strong opinions a platform to wrestle with them more often than just a one-off experience.
Eight alternatives to Substack (Mighty Networks) Overview of features of Patreon, Medium, Ghost, Buttondown, HubSpot, MailerLite, Revue, and Mighty Networks.

What I learned from a year on Substack (Casey Newton, Platformer, 9-16-21) Your questions about Platformer, answered.
One million strong (Substack, at 4 years) 1 million paid subscriptions to publications on Substack. A recap of its history, with interesting comments.
Introducing the Substack app (Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Sethi, Substack, 3-9-22) And Answers to common writer questions about the new Substack app. While building the new Substack iOS app, we spoke with hundreds of writers to get their feedback. (H/T Simons Owens)

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I Like Substack. But the PR Is Getting Ridiculous. (Jane Friedman, 9-3-21) Substack "makes it easy for non-tech people to harness the power of email newsletters," but don't fall for the platform's PR machine about being a moneymaker for serialized books and disrupting publishing, and remember what happened to other efforts funded by venture capital. Her email newsletter The Hot Sheet ("launched before Substack exised") brings in a lot of money, but as she spells out in Where My Money Comes From (7-2-21, scroll down for a chart showing the sources of her income), her newsletter accounts for only 12% of her income.
The exact time commitment it takes to run a paid newsletter (Simon Owens' Media Newsletter, 8-27-20) It's impossible to run a Substack as a side hustle.
Sovereign Writers and Substack (Stratechery, 3-22-21) From the Hot Sheet: "After recent controversy over who uses Substack (with some Substack users choosing to leave the service because it has refused to de-platform some controversial writers), Ben Thompson at Stratechery makes the argument that Substack’s users are not employees, creators, contractors, etc. Rather, readers literally pay writers directly, and the writers pass on 10 percent of their revenues to Substack."

      And that leans on this story: Substack writers are mad at Substack. The problem is money and who’s making it. (Peter Kafka, Recode, 3-19-21) The newsletter startup’s new controversy, explained. Substack faces tension as it tries to be both a platform — where it simply sets up a place for anyone to write anything and steps away — and a publisher — where it makes choices about the kinds of writers it wants on Substack. The money that Substack and its writers are generating — and how that money is split up and distributed — is of intense interest to media makers and observers.
The gritty reality for Substack’s middle class (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter, 1-31-21) Star journalists generate six figure revenue within weeks after launching on Substack, but that's not the reality for most writers. A must-read, most-often-read piece if you're thinking of jumping on the Substack train. (I subscribe.)
Substack is for independent writers (Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj, Substack, 3-17-21)
Setting up your Substack for the first time (Substack) If you’re launching a paid newsletter, make sure your first post is public so prospective subscribers can read it.
Substack page on resources. See, for example,

--- Make your newsletter stand out.
--- How Emily Atkin turned her climate change newsletter into a six-figure income (3-4-18)
--- How Lenny Rachitsky earned $65,000 in his first year of writing (8-1-18)
--- How my Micro-Chop Substack newsletter helped me bounce back from a broken car (Gino Sorcinelli, 9-23-19)
--- A growth masterclass with Judd Legum of Popular Information (6-1-2019)


Announcing the winners of Substack Local: Telling the stories of our communities (Substack)
Inside Substack, where authors are suddenly making serious money in the newsletter game—but it’s publish or perish (Jen Doll, Fortune, 10-7-21) Part of Fortune's Creator Economy series.
Is Substack the Media Future We Want? (Anna Wiener, New Yorker, 1-4-2021) The newsletter service is a software company that, by mimicking some of the functions of newsrooms, has made itself difficult to categorize.... other newsletter platforms, such as Revue, Lede, or TinyLetter (a service owned by Mailchimp, the e-mail-marketing company), have never offered incentives to attract writers. By piloting programs, like the legal-defense fund, that “re-create some of the value provided by newsrooms,” as McKenzie put it, Substack has made itself difficult to categorize: it’s a software company with the trappings of a digital-media concern....
Serialized Books Are a Burgeoning Business at Substack (John Maher, PW, 8-19-21) The subscription e-newsletter platform Substack has already made its mark on the media business, but will it do the same for book publishing? Authors including Elle Griffin, John McWhorter, Maggie Stiefvater, and Matt Taibbi use the service to serialize new books or publish short stories exclusive to their newsletter audiences, but to date, the platform is still only dipping its toes into the book business. Still, Substack provides authors—the latest of whom is Anand Giridharadas, an editor-at-large for Time, political analyst for MSNBC, and former New York Times correspondent—with some interesting options upon which to capitalize."

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A Good Newsletter Exit Strategy Is Hard to Find (Delia Cai, Vanity Fair, 11-11-21) As burnout and new opportunities beckon, newsletter writers navigate the awkward matter of quitting—and issuing refunds. It’s just the latest wrinkle in the digital economy’s complications of work and worth.
         'Casey Newton, a tech journalist who has written about Silicon Valley for a decade, left the Verge in September to launch the Substack newsletter “Platformer,” a solo venture, where he analyzes news about social networks and democracy (ten dollars per month). Newton, who is a friend of mine, declined an advance but took a health-care stipend; he joked to me that his life has now been twice disrupted by the Internet—first when he was a newspaper journalist, “and the Web came along and devoured print,” and then a decade later, when “social networks came along and devoured the Web.”...Depending on which source you consult, Substack might be “reinventing publishing,” “pioneering a new ‘business model for culture,’ ” or “attempting to build an alternative media economy that gives journalists autonomy.”'

       Includes an interesting brief history of pre-internet newsletters that were sent via snail mail.
Welcome, Facebook and Twitter. Seriously. (Hamish McKenzie, News and Views, Substack, 2-4-21) "I genuinely believe that Twitter and Facebook getting into paid newsletters is good for writers and a positive development for the media ecosystem. We need more initiatives that give power to writers and reduce the force of the attention economy, just as we need more electric cars, more solar energy, and less burning of fossil fuels."

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Email Marketing Services

See also
Newsletters to reach and grow your audience
Substack and its competitors (newsletter service providers/platforms)


Basically you build a newsletter and then send it out through email providers such as Mailerlite (which many authors use because the first 1000 subscribers are free and charges after that are a lot less than with Constant Contact, which is popular with bigger businesses). You can set up automations so that Mailerlite automatically sends an email after people join your list. 


A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing (Neil Patel) Email marketing is the act of sending promotional messages to people in mass quantities. It typically is to generate sales or leads and it may contain advertising.Most people are on email—and the number increases every year. Email marketing beats out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing. With email marketing you own the connections—you don’t have to worry about algorithm changes tanking your reach. You need an email list, an email service provider/platform (software that helps manage your email list), and clear goals.
How to choose email marketing software (Melissa King, Marketing Tips, Zapier, 4-19-22)
Email providers for newsletters include (in alphabetical order) ActiveCampaign, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, Drip, FloDesk, GetResponse, HubSpot, Klaviyo, MailChimp, MailerLite, Moosend, Sendinblue, ZohoMail

Best email providers of 2022 (Mike Williams, Tech Radar)
10 Best Email Newsletter Services, Compared (SeedProd)
The Best Email Marketing Services Compared
Email Marketing’s 10 Most Important Questions, Answered (Kevan Lee, Buffer, 3-5-14) Solid advice. See also 6 Creative Ways to Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing (Jimmy Daly, Buffer, 5-17-15) See also SEO Marketing.

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5 Reasons Email Marketing Crushes Social Media Marketing for B2B (Neil Patel)
Why Newsletters Suck And How To Do Successful Email Marketing (Pia Silva, Forbes, 4-11-18) Engagement is all that matters
5 Email marketing trends to watch 2021 (Lewis Dormer, Smart Insights)
The Author's Guide to Building an Email List (and Selling More Books) (Tom Morkes) A marketing channel is any avenue or outlet that lets you promote a message to your target market. Podcast, radio, tv or magazine advertising; blogging or guest posting; billboards, sponsors, etc. create demand. A sales channel lets you turn this awareness into a sale--point the listener to the right place to purchase. 'Harvest demand.' His steps: Author's website. Email marketing service. Ecommerce solution. Optin gift (done last but put front and center on your website. Good lesson in marketing books.
Mailjet Launches Analytics Tracking for Email Marketing Campaigns (Mailjet, 5-12-2020) Fatima Zahra Hazzaz explains UTMs (Urchin Software Corporation, later acquired by Google and converted to Google Analytics).
MailChimp vs Constant Contact: Which Email Marketing Software Reigns Supreme for Small Businesses? (Katie Hollar, Capterra.com, 12-1-16). Part of a series on email marketing software (Capterra). See also 10 Free Email Marketing Software Solutions for Small Business Marketers

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MailChimp Alternatives for Authors (Ricardo Fayet, on Jane Friedman's website, 8-23-17) MailChimp is getting serious competition from MailerLite and ConvertKit (for professional bloggers).
Mailchimp for Writers and Authors (Derek Murphy, Creative Indie) Free video series.
Are you doing this wrong with email? (David Gaughran) and How to *reduce* the size of your mailing list (and why).

How to Setup Your Email List and Signup Form on Your Author Website (Creative Penn)
How to Grow Your Email List (Kirsten Oliphant on Jane Friedman's blog, 7-25-16)
How to Clean Up Your Mailing List (& Why You Shouldn’t) (Nate Hoffelder) Pros and cons of: Using an email validation service. Deleting the email addresses that don’t open your newsletters. Culling your mailing list to comply with the GDPR. Culling your mailing list because subscribers cost money.
Building a Mailing List: How I Did Mine by Steve, on Vertical Response, a newsletter service. One of the responses is from Joann Ross a successful romance writer, who uses interesting techniques to build reader loyalty.
How to Get Readers to Unsubscribe From Your Newsletter (Nate Hoffelder) Ten reasons readers unsubscribe.

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Authors: Here’s All You Need to Grow Your Email List (Emily Wenstrom, The Write Life, 8-17-16) Cast your net. Bait your hook. Reel it in.
69 Highly Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated) (Mary Fernandez, OptinMonster, 11-8-16)
Lead Magnets: Ideas and Examples to Grow Your Email List (Paul Boag, ConversionXL, 8-11-17)
7+5 Examples of Brilliantly Effective Opt-in Offers and How You Can Use Them in Your Business (Thrive Themes)
8 Opt-In Offers Your Visitors Can't Refuse (Entrepreneur, 8-31-06) Offer a free course. Offer a free e-book. Offer downloadable articles. Offer other "downloadables." Offer a regular contest, puzzle or game. Take a survey. Offer a members-only forum or discussion board. Offer members-only specials.
10 excellent optin offers fiction writers can use to build their email lists. (Derek Murphy, CreativeIndie) "I wrote this post years ago… now I use book giveaways and targeted Facebook ads to build a big list of readers who like my genre; then I try to get them to download a free book. At that point they’re already on my list… but I also make content that gets traffic and have an offer on my sidebar for a free starter library."
What is Paper.li and Why Should You Care? (Kate Moore, Uptown Studios, 5-31-14) Her account of a content curation tool that enables individuals to create social-media “newspapers” based on topics they choose. See also What is PaperLi? (a YouTube video explanation).

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Keywords and Amazon marketing

See also Search engine optimization (SEO)

Researching Amazon Keywords and Categories: A Look at the Paid Research Tools (Jane Friedman, The Hot Sheet) Your goals as an author should guide your investment in keyword or category research tools. 

       "Categories represent genres and subgenres of books recognized by librarians, booksellers, and readers, such as sweet romance or cozy mystery. Some categories are small or emerging (humorous fantasy), while others are popular and have lots of competition within them (contemporary romance).

       Meanwhile, keywords are more granular and describe the story—including time periods and settings, character types and roles, plot themes, and special situations or events. Amazon offers self-publishing authors guidance on selecting both categories and keywords."

    See what Jane writes about Rocket Publisher, KDSPY, and K-lytics, "the three leading category and keyword research tools geared toward authors focused on Amazon sales."
---Publisher Rocket Installable software, $97, a one-time cost. A 30-day money-back guarantee of results. Was initially KDP Rocket.
---KDSPY A browser extension (for Chrome and Firefox). Reverse engineer the bestseller categories in a single click. $47, one-time cost.
---k-lytics (basic, premium, and elete)

---KDSPY vs Publisher Rocket Comparison: Which is Best? (Sam Howard, Nerdy Book Girl) Publisher Rocket wins, as explained here. Explanations help you understand the product, too.
BkLnk Book category research and more. This came up in a discussion on the Authors Guild discussion page in autumn 2022. "Amazon recently changed how they rank your books on the category lists. While you can still be in up to 10 categories, you can only rank in 3 of them. They've always shown just 3 categories on the detail page, and that's still the case. Now, if you have a good rank and would show up in all 10, or more than 3, you will only show up in 3. This may be an effort to prevent authors from gaming the system ("bestseller in six categories").
Words Gone Wild: KDP Keywords Revisited (David Kudler on The Book Designer) "First, it’s no longer necessary to limit yourself to phrases that a potential reader is actually likely to enter." "Second, since Amazon searches for the occurrence of a word in any keyword field, it makes no sense to repeat any words." Etc. Explained, with examples from experience.
Using AMS Ads to Increase Your Sales (case study) (Dave Chesson with Michael Knight, 22 minutes, Kindlepreneur) Knight explains how essential Publisher Rocket was for increasing sales and income on his books. He brought down the cost of sales by dropping keywords that don't work for a particular book. Do not just dip your toe in the water to test it -- stay long enough to give an ad a chance. Test it and test again, changing the text, the phrasing, dropping keywords that don't work, etc., to bring down the cost of sales and learn which ads sell more books.
Using AMS Ads to Increase Your Sales (case study) (Dave Chesson with Michael Knight, 22 minutes, Kindlepreneur) Knight explains how essential Publisher Rocket was for increasing sales and income, he brought down the cost of sales by dropping keywords that don't work for a particular book. Do not just dip your toe in the water to test it -- stay long enough to give an ad a chance. Test it and test again, changing the text, the phrasing, dropping keywords that don't work, etc.
Publisher Rocket (Kindlepreneur) For $97, find the right keywords for a book--essential for making money selling books online).
Twinword (a smart keyword tool for SEO and PPC marketing (that's "search engine optimization" and "pay per click" marketing). See also KDSPY and K-lytics.

Facts About Book Metadata and Why It's Critical to Your Publishing Success (Ingram Spark, 12-24-18) 'Your book metadata should be as descriptive as possible, including elements such as what genre the book fits into, who is telling the story, and keywords or information that will appeal to the intended audience. Specific descriptive information that includes terms like "beach read," "Italian cookbook," or "authoritative biography" will help put the book title on the radar of readers who are looking for a certain kind of book.'
Amazon Keywords. Automatic Targeting vs Choosing Your Own (Keri-Rae Barnum, New Shelves, 12-3-18) "Amazon’s automatic targeting got me 26 clicks. My ad got me 151 clicks....There are free places to find great keywords and comparative titles such as Yasiv.com; however, here at New Shelves, we also have a number of paid subscriptions to include KDP Rocket and TwinWords. These specialized programs allow us to pull keywords based on real-life Amazon searches and algorithms. When creating our keyword lists we search for three things: comparative authors, similar books and like-minded audiences."
How to Choose the Right Kindle Keywords (Kindlepreneur) In order for our book to be found by shoppers, we need to know what terms shoppers type into Amazon – otherwise, our target keywords will be useless.

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The difference between publicity, advertising,
marketing, sales, and promotion

Publicity (or public relations) is getting media to review your product (in our case, probably a book) or to do stories about you or your product without paying them to do so. It's making yourself discoverable. You may have to pay a publicist to help interest NPR or the New York Times in interviewing you, but you don't pay the media for doing the interview. You send a free book to a reviewer, but you don't pay them to write the review. That's why you hear the term "free publicity." Publicity includes press releases and websites and might include media and blog tours.


Advertising is paying to get your message to people -- paying someone to feature you or your product. You provide the copy, packaged in as eye-catching a way as possible, and pay for its placement. Advertising is one aspect of marketing. 

Marketing, with books, is basically the catch-all term for everything that gets book readers to buy books, which may or may not include advertising and publicity, depending on who's talking, and might include direct mail. Choosing a good title, an art, is also part of good marketing. "All marketing is really just relationships," says John Kremer. Others speak of the four Ps of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. Marketing requires a commitment of both time and money.

Promotion is all the forms of communication you use to persuade your target audience of the merits of your product--all the things you do to increase interest and awareness and to generate sales.

Sales, according to Mike Shatzkin, has been traditionally been "managing channel partners," such as bookstores.)  With a book, a good title has to be MEMORABLE--otherwise you can't get good word-of-mouth, which is essential to book sales.


These distinctions adapted partly and initially  from John Kremer's recorded comments on Great Writers Book Marketing Series, hosted by N. Kali Mincy (loosely captured--not verbatim)  and added to over time as I have come to understand the terms.  John is the author of an excellent guide to book marketing: 1001 Ways to Market Your Books (get the most recent edition). You can subscribe free to his useful book marketing e-letter here: http://www.bookmarket.com/


"It's not the size or the flashiness of the marketing you do, it's the consistency and longevity of it," says Linda Coffin, who for years ran a teeny ad in the classified section of a women's newspaper. "It was barely bigger than my thumbnail. But it was ALWAYS there. I got business from it because when potential clients finally decided it was time to do a personal history, they knew where to look for the ad they'd been seeing for years. When I finally stopped running the ad, many people contacted me to find out if I'd gone out of business."


The Difference Between Marketing and Publicity (M.J. Rose & Randy Susan Meyers, who run AuthorBuzz, on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-15-13)

"1. 85% of all books get less than $2,000 in marketing from the publisher. And more than 85% of all books sell less than 1,000 copies.

"2. 95% of all bestsellers get more than $50,000 in marketing and PR, and often it’s upwards of $150,000. There are never more than two or three books a year that break out on a fluke with no marketing and PR." "For every dollar you spend with a publicist, spend a dollar with a marketing company. That way, even if the publicist can’t get reviews and publicity, you’ll still get exposure."

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About Talk Radio

Here's an article that puts some of this in historical perspective: The Birth of Conservative Delusion (Michael Goldfarb, Salon, 10-20-13). "The long road to Ted Cruz, Fox News, the Tea Party and right-wing insanity has its roots in the events of 1973." "Under Reagan, Republican appointees on the FCC abolished the fairness doctrine, the obligation for broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues. This led to an explosion of opinionated propagandists on the air waves relentlessly attacking 'liberal' media. It continues to this day, degrading American public discourse." No Fox News here.
---After Hurricane Maria, AM radio makes a comeback in Puerto Rico (Ryan Bell, CJR, 4-23-18) “After the hurricane, Puerto Rico’s journalism industry was left in disarray. To cope with the lack of power and poor communication channels on the island, journalists pooled resources and formed reporting collaboratives....Contrary to predictions and global trends in the industry, radio proved itself in this circumstance to be vital...."AM radio emerged even stronger. Young people in the under-35 demographic are listening to radio news for the first time in their lives. Radios are at the center of a culture shift. Neighbors sit together drinking coffee and listening to the news.”
---Read Alix Spiegel's Transom Manifesto (Transom, 11-12-14), or “A Practical Guide to Different Radio Techniques” a.k.a. “Dorky Radio Dork Shares With Other Dorky Radio Dorks Information That Most Sane People Would Not Have The Remotest Interest In.” She talks about how the position of the narrator relative to the content is key to the effectiveness of storytelling on radio programs such as This American Life (which she co-founded), Radiolab, and hard news.
Wherever you are, in the United States, you may find this handy: Radio Locator https://radio-locator.com/. Plug in a city name, zip code, call letters, or various other variables and locate all the radio stations nearby --maybe to click on and listen to while traveling.

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• Really good (intelligent) radio and TV talk shows and podcasts

How to listen to podcasts

A podcast is a radio broadcast on the Internet, which you can save and listen to when you want. It's called streaming when you listen through a website, but you can also download it (save it to your smartphone, tablet, or computer) and listen without being on the Internet.
For iPhones and iPads, use the Apple Podcasts app that comes on most Apple devices.
For Android phones and tablets, get the free Stitcher app or RadioPublic from Google Play. Here's Digital Trends on How to download and listen to podcasts on Android or iOS, which includes links to Overcast ($5), Pocket Casts ($4), and Google Play Music.

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OR GO TO • Really good (intelligent) radio and TV talk shows and podcasts

Book blurbs, celebrity endorsements,

and "advance praise" (not "advanced" praise)

7 Steps to Landing the Perfect Blurb for Your Forthcoming Book (Writer's Digest, 6-7-23) Author Aileen Weintraub provides her seven effective steps to landing the perfect blurb for your forthcoming book, even if the whole process feels more than a little awkward.
    Step 1: Engage With Other Authors On and Off Line
    Step 4: Keep Your Ask Short
    Step 5: Make It Easy for Them
Getting Book Endorsements (Blurbs): What to Remember, Do, Avoid, and Expect (Barbara Linn Probst on Jane Friedman's blog, 6-2-22) A comprehensive description of the process done right, ending with "While stellar blurbs are great to have, they aren't the only—or even the main—thing that readers care about. In my own research, 750 readers told me that the reasons they buy a book from an unknown author are: the cover and title, the short book description on the back, and recommendations from friends they trust. Not Kirkus reviews or awards or blurbs, and certainly not the logo of the publisher on the spine."
Beware of Book Blurbs (GD Dess, The Millions, 3-1-23) An informative and amusing historical piece: The practice of blurbing your friends’ books—as well as discussing how pernicious it is while continuing to do it anyway—has always been a feature of publishing.
Do blurbs help sell books (Pat McNees, Writers and Editors blog, 4-24-16) My own experience getting praise for my book Dying: A Book of Comfort from Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement, made me realize that even a nobody could get a "blurb" for a book from a celebrity expert, if the book was good enough and timed right to the right person. (Her comment about the book: "This remarkable collection, coming from personal experience and wide reading, will help many find the potential of growth through loss.") Includes links to others' opinions about blurbs ("advance praise") selling books.
Blurb Matters: A Quiet Manifesto Beth Kephart on Jane Friedman's blog, 12-13-22) What if we began to view blurbs not as a branding or a boast, a quantifiable need, a checklist check, a ploy, but as a kind of offering to the writer during that particularly vulnerable, pre-launch time when the critics and the general public have not yet had their say. If we were to reposition blurbs in this way—as affirmations as opposed to marketing tools, as possibilities instead of prerequisites—wouldn’t that also shift the way we traffic in the thing?
The Five “S” of Blurb Writing—5 Awesome Tips (Editing Services, Editage) In another use, "a blurb is the short yet descriptive account of the book that goes on the back cover."

Does your blurb tell a story?

Does it make the reader want to read more?

The blurb should highlight the selling points of a book—the hook or the main character, etc.

"What is it that the readers would want to know? How can my book add to the existing literature? What makes my book different? Who am I selling my book to?"

Best part: Examples.
Case Study: How Celadon Books Got Everyone Talking About 'The Silent Patient' (Suzanne, Goodreads blog, 5-30-19) The “breakout” success of this debut novel by Alex Michaelides was the result of a year of work by the Celadon team (it was their debut also), which started early by collecting rave blurbs from bestselling authors, packaging them on the front of advance reading copies (ARCs), sending the book out in stages with handwritten notes to a small list of librarians and booksellers (so there were constant waves of glowing comments)
Forget The Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story On Blurbs? (Colin Dwyer, NPR, 9-27-15) Those snippets of praise on book covers have been around for 150 years (at least). But how do they get there? Jerome Loving, author of Walt Whitman: Song of Himself, adds: "It's not surprising that the poet who began his first great poem with the words 'I celebrate myself' would be one of the originators of the book blurb."Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, head book buyer at Kramerbooks, a Washington, DC, bookstore, told NPR, “If I haven’t heard of the author writing the book, but it comes with the imprimatur of a reputable writer or someone I respect, that will make a big difference....It's less for what the blurb says than who's doing the saying." A roundup of tips and opinions on "advance praise" solicited before publication.
A small bookstore pondered its future after a day without a sale. After a tweet, it became overwhelmed with orders. (Cathy Free, WashPost, 1-31-2020) After more than 100 years in business, the Petersfield Bookshop in Hampshire County, England, did not have a single sale one day, saddening bookseller Robert Sansom so deeply he decided to tweet about it. Sansom’s tweet went viral and was retweeted by author Neil Gaiman to his 2.8 million followers, prompting thousands of people to inundate the shop’s website with orders.
How to get awesome book cover blurbs (Sandra Beckwith, BuildBookBuzz, 2-26-2020) "With nonfiction books, you want blurbs from people respected for their subject matter expertise or their accomplishments in your field. For novelists, testimonials from people with recognized names in your genre are golden." Describes 9-step process for snagging book cover blurbs.
Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Celebrity Book Endorsements (Author Marketing Endorsements). Endorsements include book blurbs (those quotes that appear on the cover and the first page), forewords, reviews. How to pitch the celebrities you want to provide one of these.
How to Get Incredible Blurbs for Your Book (Tucker Max, Scribe Media)
Do blurbs help sell books? (blog post)
How to Get Book Blurbs/Testimonials for Your Book Cover (Brian A. Klems, Writer's Digest, 4-17-17) Most books have book blurbs on the book jacket, giving it instant credibility. As a first-time author, how do you get quotes from popular authors for the cover of your book?
Do celebrity book blurbs 'blackmail' readers? (Claire Armitstead, The Guardian, 9-15-17) Man Booker prize judge Colin Thubron has complained this week that star endorsements bully readers into admiring books, but it’s long been standard practice
Celebrity Endorsements (Penny C. Sansevieri on Authors & Speakers Network, 2-13-2020)

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Secrets of successful book covers and titles

People do often choose a book by its cover (including its title or its jacket copy)

"Studies show that a whopping 79% of people cite the cover design as a major reason behind why they chose to buy a certain book."


"[N]othing is more heartening than seeing how good books can be made into desirable objects. The spell that packaging casts is essential to its humane appeal….Book covers may be inessential to the primary task of reading books, and yet they are invaluable to the secondary task, making books appealing and seductive by their shimmer.

       ~From How the Graphic Designer Milton Glaser Made America Cool Again (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker, 3-20-23)

5 Ways a Book Cover Could Hurt Sales — And How to Fix It (Johnny B. Truant, BookBub, 8-16-17) Covers must look professional (not DIY); must be genre-appropriate; must promise what the book delivers; must show off a book's most commercial side; and, if part of a series, must look like a series but have their own identity. Good and bad examples, side by side, make the point. As Tara H. observes, "They make good points about why this or that worked or didn't work, and how to bump up the professionalism, artistry, or point of each cover."
The Clinch: What makes a book about love a Romance? (Katie Mingle, 99 Percent Invisible, 6-1-21) After "Producer Katie Mingle’s mom wrote a romance novel, Katie set out to understand the romance genre and its classic covers. There was a lot to unpack.... As the romance genre exploded in the 1980s, the covers got more over-the-top and eye-catching. These covers are familiar to anyone who grew up stealing glances of them in the grocery store in the 1980s: half-nude men, women with gravity-defying hair."
When Your Publisher Gets the Cover Wrong—Very Wrong ( Joni B. Cole on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-23-23) Don’t fail to put your foot down when necessary, but also listen, really listen to the professionals. Be open to their advice, and carry that open-mindedness through every step of the publishing process. That's the advice, but this is a story of when the process took a wrong turn, and what happened next.
Great covers sell books, but what makes for a great cover? (Pat McNees, Writers and Editors blog) "What about the best book covers makes us look at the book? We can see them from afar as well as in thumbnails. They ask a question rather than provide the answer. They elicit an emotional response.They're not too cluttered with copy and information and backstory. They make clear what genre the book is. They don't look like all the other covers -- and even the spine (the only thing we may see in a bookstore) sells us. It's immediately apparent that they are part of a series we love. Plus many other angles on the covers that work.
• Covers sell books when the author is unknown to the reader. (Seen on Reddit) The first things readers see when they see your book is title and cover design. Check out these covers that draw a reader in (in totally different ways):
---The Winterkeeper
---The Kissing Rabbi: Lust, Betrayal, and a Community Turned Inside Out
There is a Major Problem With Modern Book Cover Design (Austin Harvey, Books Are Our Superpower, 11-26-21) Sometimes, maybe you *should* judge a book by its cover. In the 1950s, book covers tended to feature illustrations done in a vintage style (Catcher in the Rye or The Lord of the Rings). In ’60s, covers featured prominent text and minimalism; in the ’70s, vibrant graphics; the ’80s, prominent text, bigger and bolder. In the 2020s: big, chunky text, lots of colors, and the covers all tend to look the same. See Welcome to the Bold and Blocky Instagram Era of Book Covers (Margot Boyer-Dry, Vulture, 1-31-19) "If books have design eras, we’re in an age of statement wallpaper and fatty text," bold and dazzling, to stand out in a highly competitive market.
Before-and-After Book Cover Design Ideas Becky Rodriguez-Smith, director of design services at BookBaby, and Amy Epright, senior book designer, address five elements that make a great cover design, with before-and-after examples to drive home design ideas.https://www.bookbaby.com/learn/book-cover-design-before-and-after
Lousy Book Covers
Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy (Jessi Rita Hoffman on Jane Friedman's blog, 8-13-15) The 150 words on your back cover may be the most important words in your book. "After the book title and front cover, the back cover is the next thing readers look at when deciding whether to make a purchase." The difference between what novelists and what nonfiction writers would say.

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On Changing Book Titles and Covers: My Own Experience and How You Can Do It Too (Joanne Penn, Creative Penn, 4-28-15) "I've just been through a massive rebranding process: re-titling and re-covering the first 3 books in my ARKANE series, and updating the back matter for all the other books." See also The Importance of Keywords for MetaData and the Discoverability of Your Book (Joanne Penn, 2-28-13) Google has a Keyword Search Tool that you can use to discover what search terms people are using and what is most popular. It is primarily used for people wanting to bid on advertising terms, but we can use it as an indication of interest, as well as a verification of the kind of language people use when searching.
Reading Books by Their Covers (Katie Lundin, Book Life/PW, 6-11-21) A marketing and branding specialist looks at six trending cover designs in 2021: Creative title graphics, eye-fooling designs that burst through or leap off two-dimensional covers, minimalism, bold patterns, retro and nostalgia, clean, easy-to-read typography (look at the examples). 
The hottest trend in book covers is colorful blobs (Jeva Lange,The Week, 1-15-2020) And other jacket design trends!
Book cover re-designs: A pro offers 7 before and after examples (Alexander von Ness on Build Book Buzz, 8-12-2020) Visually persuasive and well articulated.
Why Business Books Are Blue (And Other Tricky Marketing Techniques) (Laura Vanderkam, Fast Company) "A successful book cover design is part art, part science, but mostly business. A book cover has one job–to make people look....Blue is known to be a color that represents business, trustworthiness, and calm.”

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YA Cover Makeovers: A Gallery of New Paperback YA Looks (Kelly, Stacked, 10-7-19) Which cover do you prefer? Choose, then read the commentary. See also 14 Book Cover Makeovers We Can’t Stop Talking About (Diego Molano Rodriguez, Riveted by Simon Teen, 5-11-20)
Jacket Copy Sells Books, So Make It Good. (Laura Hazard Owen, Publishing Trends, 5-1-09) Jacket copy is "the second most important book purchase factor (after favorite author)...'Certainly all these other pieces of ephemera, reviews, bestsellers, endorsement information, they always find that helpful, but the story is the thing,' said Mitch Hoffman, Executive Editor at Grand Central Publishing, reporting on a survey about the marketing effect of book jacket copy. The "lede" and the look are important because shoppers may give your book no more than seconds of attention. So 'cut to the chase,' especially for young readers.
Focus on your book's back cover (Steven Spatz, Book Baby blog, 11-23-15) The 150 to 200 words you’ll choose to place on your book’s back cover might just be the most important words in your entire book project. This is especially important book marketing real estate for self-published authors.
Book Cover Design Mastery (Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur) Practical tips like dimension requirements your ebook cover design must follow to sell online. See also How to Create a Back Book Cover Blurb that Sells (Dave Chesson) and The Back of a Book Cover: How to Build One That Actually Works (with Template) (Reedsy) and 10 Tips to Write a Book Blurb That Sells (Kotobee).
• You are presenting at a graduate conference in the humanities.What is the vague topic of your paper? (Maks Viktor Antiquarian Books) A spoof on bad titles.
Under the Covers: The Design Stories Behind Bestselling Romances (Goodreads, 10-17-19) "A lot of authors put together a Pinterest board on what the characters should look like (very helpful)." Behind-the-scenes notes on how cover art for romance novels is created.
Sourcebooks Shares 7 Strategies for Successfully Redesigning Books (Net Galley Insights, 7-15-19) Sarah Cardillo, Director of Publishing Operations at Sourcebooks shares how she and her team use sales numbers, comp titles, and audience responses to guide their redesign strategy. "Sometimes we see that consumers are most excited about a particular aspect of the book that we did not position against – that we didn’t address on the cover or with the back cover copy." Or, "where your hardcover may have been packaged more like a romance, but your reviewers really like the mystery in the story – a repackage could lean toward the mystery aspect." Etc.
e-Book Cover Design Awards In his monthly award column, Joel Friedlander comments on strengths of that month's winners. A strong graphic and readable type are important, for example.

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Why Your Cover & Blurb Suck (Rebekah Haskell, 2-14-18) "Effective packaging for a book–cover, title, subtitle, blurb, etc–isn’t so much a reflection of your story as it is of your audience… at least, that’s how it should be." See also Before You Hire An Illustrator 9 beautiful book cover design trends for 2019 (Meg Reed, 99designs)
The 89 Best Book Covers of 2020 (Emily Temple, LitHub, 12-2-2020) As Chosen by Our Favorite Book Cover Designers.
7 tried and true ways to make a book cover decision (Sandra Beckwith, Building Book Buzz, 1-31-18) "1. Take it to a librarian or bookstore clerk. 2. Get opinions from your target audience."
Is social media influencing book cover design? (Holly Connolly, The Guardian, 8-28-18) With ‘bookstagramming’ becoming a force in marketing, are designers making covers more colourful, bolder and cleaner, to stand out on our screens?
The Trouble With Designing a Book When Its Author Is in Jail (Janet Hansen, LitHub, 4-16-18) on Creating the Cover for Nico Walker's Cherry. Interesting for showing the evolution of a jacket design ept through many iterations.
Your Book Needs a New Cover, a brief section of Penny Sansevieri's blog post 6 Reasons to Relaunch Your Book, on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-10-18). Why? Maybe the wrong cover for your genre or category, too many or the wrong photos, hand-draw covers and paintings with meaning only to the author.
On Changing Book Titles (Joanne Penn)When titles for the first books in a series don't measure up to (or fit in with) later titles, maybe it's time to revise the early titles.
How to Find and Work With a Book Cover Designer (Joanna Penn, Creative Penn, 2-14-18). See list of book cover designers she recommends. Somewhere in a book or on the book cover you can usually find the name of the cover artist (or on Amazon "Look inside the book"), then search for the website of the designer you are interested in.
Cover Story: The Ups and Downs of Redesigned Book Jackets for Children's Books (Elizabeth Bluemle, PW, 3-6-18) Publishers breathe new life into older titles with redesigns. Before-and-after examples.
Developing a 'selling' book title
Three Surefire Ways to Fail at E-book Cover Design (IBPA, June 2016) SIMPLICITY: At small size, simplicity is essential: Limit the cover to the title, author name, and one graphic that instantly communicates something about the tone or genre of the book. Avoid shoehorning many images onto the cover. SCALE: Shrink your cover to the size it will be seen on sites like Amazon, Smashwords, and iBooks store. Will your concept work there? LACK OF STRATEGIC BENEFIT: Can your potential reader see what type of book it is? (Is it a mystery but looks like a romance novel?) If they are part of a series, is that visually apparent? "Treat your e-book covers as related to, but not identical to your print book covers. Keep them simple, legible, and recognizable."

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Best Colors for Book Covers (Stacie Vander Pol, Cover Design Studio) See also Back cover and spine, Front and Back Cover Copy for Book Covers, Typeface and Font for Book Covers, and other angles on the outside of your book.
Book Covers See Yellow to Attract Online Shoppers (Lucy Feldman, WSJ, 5-24-16) As Amazon’s importance as a bookseller has grown, publishers are pushing their designers for brighter, bolder covers that pop for online shopper. That has led to a spate of brightly colored book jackets, with blaring yellow covers now appearing in profusion. The hot color of the moment (2016)? Yellow. “Everything gets simplified to what the eye can see at one inch. That can be the size of the graphics, the colors, the amount of detail,” said Robbin Schiff, executive art director at Random House.
• Here's a GREAT ebook cover: The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1) by Tarryn Fisher
Why Do So Many of This Year’s Book Covers Have the Same Design Style? (Heather Schwedel, Slate, 8-25-15)
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Taking Author Photos (Tom Rachman, Literary Hub, 3-19-18) "The writer on the book jacket and the writer in store often differ by more than a decade. We chortled about vain authors. Didn’t they realize they’d be unmasked at every public event?"
• "A book cover should be the fulfillment of the reader's wish, and is much more about metaphor and sub-genre than how you want to present yourself in public." 5 On: Julie Smith (Kristen Tsetsi, Jane Friedman blog, 2-20-18) Julie is a mystery novelist who has become a fiction ebook publisher and marketer.
3 Steps to e-Book Cover Design Success (Joel Friedlander, Book Buzzr 11-28-11)

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Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism (Joel Friedlander, Publishing Basics 2-13-12). Tell-tale signs of amateur book covers include:
~bad font choices
~confused graphics
~colors that don’t work
~meaningless or overused stock photography
~too much copy.
The Complete Guide to Choosing Book Cover Fonts (Monica Dube, PublishDrive, 1-28-19, Part 1) and Part 2.
The Making of a Book Cover (Phyllis Theroux with Kathy Abbott)
14 Tips for Good Kindle Cover Design ('Cheap Literature' Smith, Humble Nations).
Do blurbs help sell books? Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, head book buyer at Kramerbooks, a Washington, DC, bookstore, told NPR, “If I haven’t heard of the author writing the book, but it comes with the imprimatur of a reputable writer or someone I respect, that will make a big difference.” A roundup of tips and opinions on "advance praise" solicited before publication.
Great covers sells books, but what makes for a great cover? (links to informative pieces and series about what makes book covers function well, or not, as marketing devices)
The Disappearing Double Chin Trick for Portrait Photography (EDW Lynch, LaughingSquid.com, 7-18-12). Photographer Peter Hurley demonstrates how to take more flattering portraits by having the subject adjust their head position slightly in order to accentuate the jawline (and remove the “double chin”). About 7 minutes into the video, Hurley shows a series of comparison photos—the difference is remarkable.
Judging the Book: 50 Most Captivating Covers of All Time (OnlineUniversities.com)
The Best Book Covers of 2011 (one man's choice--Skip Prichard--and mostly "high concept" but interesting as for that purpose)
Cover story: a year of beautiful books (Kathryn Hughes, Guardian UK, 12-2-11). Publishers have responded to ebook surge by bringing out exquisite new releases and revamps of print classics. (Here's a Flickr group celebrating beautiful books.)
Is This Title O.K.? (Andy Martin, Draft, NY Times, 9-01-12)
“What steps should writers take when they disagree with the publisher’s choice of a cover?" (The Big Thrill, Thriller Roundtable). ITW members Kate White, Eric Red, Bob Doerr and A. J. Kerns discuss ways of persuasively suggesting a particular cover design doesn't work.
The Rising Value of Land in Book Titles (Alex Williams, NY Times, 9-11-13). This year: "The Lowland," "Joyland," "Sisterland," "Fairyland," "Jungleland," "Motherland."

     “Book publishing is a very imitative business,” said John Mutter, the editor in chief of Shelf Awareness, an online newsletter for booksellers and librarians. “When a new kind of title or cover works, elements of them show up in connection with other books until another unusual, effective title or cover appears.” A survey of earlier soundalike titles, too.

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All-Time Great Titles (e.g., Goodbye to All That -- Abbeville Press's blog)
The importance of hiring a cover design professional (Reedsy) An interview with Rachel Lawston.
Great covers sells books, but what makes for a great cover? (Pat McNees's roundup of help articles)
Book Cover Design: How self-publishing authors can do it best (Martin Cavannagh, Reedsy)
The Creative Road to a Great Book Title (Arielle Ford, HuffPost)
Computer Model Names Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder as “The Perfect Title” for a Best-Seller (Lulu) and you can put your title to the test with the Lulu Titlescorer
What Makes a Good Subtitle and How Long Should It Be? (Susan Kedrick, Book Cover Coaching)
Two Book Covers Go from So-So to Wonderful (John Kremer, who does book cover critiques for $150
Great covers sells books, but what makes for a great cover? (links to informative pieces and series about what makes book covers function well, or not, as marketing devices)
Two Very Ugly Book Covers (John Kremer)
Where the cover of your favorite novel comes from Charlotte Strick (The Atlantic, 3-15-11). The Farrar, Straus and Giroux art director behind the jackets of Freedom and 2666 explains what goes into designing book jackets.
What Makes Readers Give an Unknown Author a Chance? (Barbara Linn Probst on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-12-19) Scroll down to "Overwhelmingly, what made respondents willing to “give a new author a try” (other than a trusted recommendation) was the book’s cover and title: in other words, their first impression." and "First, looks matter." And read the comments.
Judging Books by Their Covers (Erin Moriarty of CBS Sunday Morning, 12-19-10), text and video. The Designs of Dust Jackets Are as Artful as the Words They Encase, but Will e-Books Spell the End of Book Covers?
The Importance of Your Book Cover: Achieving the Right Fit (Colleen Gleason on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-20-13)
Book cover transformations (before and after, Dunn & Associates)

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Book cover makeovers, with explanations (Foster Covers)
My Favorite Book Covers of 2009 (The Book Design Review, NY Times, 12-22-09, with links to favorites for 2005-2008 as well)
Book Covers: Paper Stock and Cover Finishes (John Kremer)
Book Design for Transformational Authors (Mark Gelotte's site, advertising his wares, but with good examples of book design--not so much of covers)
5 Steps to Great Cover Art (Jay Swanson on Jane Friedman's blog, 3-7-16)
Elements of Good Cover Design (John Kremer)
Don't Crowdsource Your Cover Design (Jane Friedman, PW, 5-24-19) In particular, the author crowd doesn’t represent readership. "Be intentional, focused, and reader driven when making decisions."
Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy (Jessi Rita Hoffman on Jane Friedman's blog, 8-13-15) "The hundred-and-fifty words you’ll place on your back cover are arguably the most important words in your entire book....After the book title and front cover, the back cover is the next thing readers look at when deciding whethe r to make a purchase." Examples for fiction and nonfiction, what not to say, etc.
Book design is no laughing matter. Okay, it is. (Knopf book designer Chip Kidd's TED talk)
Book Cover of the Week: Saul Steinberg, A Biography (Jewish Book Council, 12-11-12)


All about bestsellers (tips, facts, and stories)

(see also Bestseller Lists)

Why the Bestseller List Should Not Be Your Goal (Kate McKean, Eff the List, 4-3-24) "What’s going to make a publisher look at your next proposal or manuscript with heart eyes? Reprints and low returns. Stores ordering more of your book(s) because people keep buying them, long after your “launch week” marketing extravaganza. How do you sell your next book? Sell your current one. Keeping your book in conversations by doing what you can do online—writing, posting, videoing, whatever you can do that makes sense for your market—whether it’s about your book or not. Boosting other authors so you become a member of a community, which in turn may support you."
How ‘That Octopus Book’ Won Over More Than a Million Readers (Alexandra Alter, NY Times, 12-30-23) With its beguiling octopus narrator, Shelby Van Pelt’s “Remarkably Bright Creatures” has notable staying power and is back on the best-seller list — a year and a half after its release.
How Colleen Hoover Rose to Rule the Best-Seller List (Alexandra Alter, NY Times, 10-9-22) With legions of devoted fans and a knack for high-voltage emotional drama, Hoover has sold more than 20 million books. And she’s done it her way. Her success has upended the publishing industry’s most entrenched assumptions about what sells books. Her devoted fan base has given her a degree of control over her work that is unusual in publishing. She got her start self-publishing and has continued to do so on occasion, but has also struck deals with multiple publishers, sometimes selling print rights and keeping the e-book rights. She’s written romances, a steamy psychological thriller, a ghost story, harrowing novels about domestic violence, drug abuse, homelessness and poverty. Though her books are hard to categorize, most of them have an addictive combination of sex, drama and outrageous plot twists.
How a Mormon Housewife Turned a Fake Diary Into an Enormous Best-Seller (Casey Cep, New Yorker, 7-25-22) Go Ask Alice sold millions of copies and became a TV movie, but its true provenance was a secret. According to Rick Emerson, author of Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries when Beatrice Sparks presented “Go Ask Alice” for publication, she explained that she had “found” a teen-ager’s diary, claiming that she’d “edited” or “assembled” it, but always maintaining that there was a real teen-ager whose story she was sharing. (Not true.) It was part of a wave of literature marketed to young adults and became one of the most widely banned books of the seventies—which only increased its popularity.
When is a bestseller not necessarily a bestseller? (Carolyn Atkinson, Front Row, BBC, 9-2-22) Authors and publishers all want to sell enough books to have a bestseller. But is a bestseller always actually a bestseller? Not necessarily if a publisher has paid to get on a shop's bestselling shelves, or staff base the rankings on what they predict might be popular. In other words, some book charts are not based solely on how many copies have been sold.
Amazon’s Orange Banner: The Anticlimax of Achievement (Jen Craven on Jane Friedman's blog, 10-17-23) The euphoria of hitting the top spot on Amazon can quickly give way to the realization that it hasn’t fundamentally changed much at all.
NPD Publishers Marketplace BookScan (which bought and replaces Nielsen's BookScan). "BookScan is the gold-standard data service that tracks actual retail sales of trade print books in the US on a weekly basis through direct reporting from all major retailers. (It includes Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Costco, Target, Walmart, Target, and many other general and specialty retailers selling books, plus over 800 independent bookstores, covering approximately 85 percent of trade print sales in the US.)" A one-year subscription is $2500.
Atypical vs. average: the great battle of our time (Ed West, Wrong Side of History, 7-22-22) Most disputes in the culture war are between wizards and muggles. "Like so many modern fairy tales, [J.K.] Rowling’s stories mixed traditionalist aesthetics with progressive moral vibes, emphasising the importance of caring, tolerance and anti-elitism, but most of all praising and comforting the atypical. It is because these stories especially appealed to people who saw themselves as atypical — as many voracious young readers do — that so many now feel bitterness and anger towards the author for not supporting the most totemically atypical group of all."
How James Patterson Became the World’s Best-Selling Author (Laura Miller, New Yorker, 6-13-22) This is perhaps the most forlorn aspect of “James Patterson”: that a man so relentlessly bullish on storytelling seems never to have formulated the story of his own life. Patterson’s common touch may have something to do with his onetime day job in advertising. See also James Patterson Apologizes for Saying White Writers Face a ‘Form of Racism’ (Michael Levenson, NY Times, 6-14-22) His comments had been widely criticized.
Everything You Wanted to Know about Book Sales (But Were Afraid to Ask) (Lincoln Michel, Electric Literature, 6-30-16) An In-Depth Look at What/How/Why Books Sell.
How to Be a Writer and Still Get Really, Really Rich (Maggie Bullock, Get That Money series,The Cut, 3-21-19) Jessica Knoll worked at Self and Cosmo magazines before setting out to become rich as a novelist. "If I had to pick three things that were most influential in getting my book out there, it was Reese Witherspoon, the Today show, and the Skimm. The Skimm sells books."

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Why Books Don't Sell (Maggie Lynch, POV Author Services) Six free online lessons, roughly 20 minutes each, Maggie's explanation plus PowerPoint presentations. Marketing tactics change with time, but the basic principles still apply.
How to Hit the USA Today Bestseller List (Nicholas Erik's mini-guide--which he uses for fiction). "Unless you have a huge audience, BookBub does 90% of the heavy lifting during a USA Today run... Authors have made the list without using Facebook/BookBub pay-per-click (PPC) ads (AMS is less helpful for short-term boosts), but the extra firepower often puts you over the top." Worth a read, and here's his curated list of promotional sites he uses to promote his novels. Go here to sign up for his book marketing newsletter and here for his book marketing book. He talks numbers and algorithms more than psychology and word of mouth.
Success in books: a big data approach to bestsellers (Burcu Yucesoy, Xindi Wang, Junming Huang & Albert-László Barabási, EPJ Data Science, 4-6-18) Genre fiction (not literary fiction) and memoirs dominate the bestseller list. An interesting (albeit dry) discussion of why certain trends develop. Genre fiction--suspense/thrillers and mystery/detective categories--and memoirs dominate the bestseller list. Check this one out for its bar charts showing relative popularity in various categories. "About 33% of the surveyed readers chose history as their favorite genre, while 31% preferring [sic] biographies and memoirs....We find that within fiction, most bestsellers fall into the ‘general’ fiction category (also known as ‘mainstream’ fiction), with 800 books making it the most popular category. This category mainly contains ‘literary’ fiction, i.e. fictional works focused more on themes and characters than on plot. These are the books frequently discussed by literary critics, featured in prominent venues and taught in schools, factors contributing to their popularity. In contrast ‘genre’ fiction, i.e. plot driven fiction like mystery or romance...is rarely considered by literary critics and is often reviewed only in venues catering to niche audiences....Yet we find that the total number of bestsellers in these ‘genre’ categories collectively (1668) is more than twice the number of bestsellers in general fiction (800)."
Author loses spot in Top 10 after buying 400 copies of his own book (Alison Flood, The Guardian, 7-22-2020) Mark Dawson’s purchase pushed his thriller The Cleaner up the Sunday Times chart, but the book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan began investigating after Dawson revealed on his podcast, The Self Publishing Show, that he had placed an order for 400 hardback copies of The Cleaner with a children’s bookshop in Salisbury, and Nielsen has now revised its figures. Dawson’s actions were criticised by other authors for gaming the system.
Author alert! What you don’t know about BookScan can hurt you (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal, 5-14-09) 7 Publishing Insights Revealed By Last Year's Top 100 Bestselling Books in UK (Adam Rowe, Forbes, 1-5-19) Fiction bestsellers are mostly crime thrillers now. Sci-fi, fantasy and romance aren't popular genres for print bestsellers.Children's books sell a lot more than we give them credit for. General fiction bestsellers usually move about 140,000 copies. Etc.
How to Become a Bestseller with Money, Luck, or Work (Mostly Work) (Cyndy Etler on Jane Friedman's blog, 4-26-18) Scroll down for practical, concrete advice about the hard work only the author can do to create a bestseller. Etler's book: The Dead Inside: A True Story.
A History of Buying Books Onto the Bestseller List (Sarah Nicolas, Book Riot, 1-6-2020) In November, Donald Trump Jr.’s Triggered hit number one on the New York Times bestsellers list—with an asterisk. Or more accurately, a dagger (†). This is the first time many people noticed this dagger and learned that it means the NYT believes the book has made it onto the list with the help of bulk purchases. It is, however, far from the first book to do this. Trump's The Art of the Deal also bought it's way onto the list.

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Case Study: How Celadon Books Got Everyone Talking About 'The Silent Patient' (Suzanne, Goodreads blog, 5-30-19) The “breakout” success of this debut novel by Alex Michaelides was the result of a year of work by the Celadon team (it was their debut also), which started early by collecting rave blurbs from bestselling authors, packaging them on the front of advance reading copies (ARCs), sending the book out in stages with handwritten notes to a small list of librarians and booksellers (so there were constant waves of glowing comments), giving out 200 copies of the book to librarians at BookExpo America (BEA), being creative on Instagram postings, and paying attention to comments on Goodreads. “As this is the first title coming out of Celadon Books, people were already curious, but when they saw so many big names praising The Silent Patient, the excitement really ratcheted up,” said Rachel Chou, Celadon's associate publisher. Goodreads, which has more than 90 million members, was a key part of Celadon’s marketing plan.
One Million Readers: The Definitive Guide to a Nonfiction Book Marketing Strategy That Saves Time, Money, and Sells More Books by Boni Wagner-Stafford
Behind the Scam: What Does It Take to Be a ‘Best-Selling Author’? $3 and 5 Minutes. (Brent Underwood, The Mission, Medium, 1-31-17) An "Amazon Bestseller" is not equivalent to the prestigious bestseller list of the NY Times (based on polls of bookstores) or the Wall Street Journal (based on Nielsen Bookscan) and even counting has changed, because there are more lists, more authors, and (with the advent of ebooks) prices ranging from $0.99 and up. Underwood explains how a book that sells only three copies can make one list and a book that sells 10,000 in a single week might not land on another. And with Amazon in particular manipulation is possible, as Underwood explains, because it has 500 categories, you can choose your own category, you can set your price (at $0.99, say), and with luck you can get a "bestseller" label.
Is ‘viral book’ an oxymoron? (Becca Schuh, Columbia Journalism Review, 5-29-19) Going viral can be a launchpad, but it doesn't guarantee book sales. "[V]iral stories also tend to be free and morsel-sized, so cost and time aren’t obstacles to gaining a very wide audience. Once you have to lay out twenty bucks and spend a couple of days reading a whole book—the audience who does that wants something that’s more than basic,” says book critic Christian Lorentzen. What may resonate on social media may not resonate outside of it.
Amazon’s own published books are quietly taking over the site ( Thu-Huong Ha, Quartzy, 10-26-18) AG: "For the last two weeks, three of the top 20 bestselling fiction books on Amazon were from its own imprints. And recently that was as high as six of the top 20. These numbers should, however, be taken with a grain of salt as individual book sales are mixed in with subscription downloads which could inflate certain titles."

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The Indie Author Mindset: How changing your way of thinking can transform your writing career by Adam L. Croft. Croft writes crime thrillers and mysteries and holds the #1 bestselling author spot on Amazon (#2 is J.K. Rowling). “Being a writer is not something that happens to you. It’s something you make happen.” P.S. That's with self-published books. See From paying the bills, to £2,000 a day: making a killing from self-publishing (Alison Flood, The Guardian, 6-2-16) Her Last Tomorrow, Adam Croft’s latest DIY thriller, lifted his bedroom business into the sales stratosphere. He talks about paying off his mortgage in weeks and why he’s fine with publishers being ‘sniffy’...Croft says he had sold around 350,000 books in five years, until the gamechanger: his most recent novel, Her Last Tomorrow. This thriller has sold 150,000 copies in just five months, and Croft estimates that he’s on target for £1m ($1.4m) of sales in 2016...Croft’s success comes in the wake of a new report from Enders Analysis, published by the Bookseller, which found that 40 of the 100 top-selling ebooks on Amazon US in March were self-published.

Debunking the Bestseller Book Sales Spike (Soren Kaplan, Leapfrogging.com, 2-18-13, Part 1), and Part 2. Two weeks ago The Wall Street Journal published an article on “bestseller campaigns” and highlighted the fact that I used the marketing strategy to vault my book Leapfrogging onto the bestseller lists. I woke up to see my face prominently displayed on the Journal’s webpage.... I thought hitting the bestseller list – even just for a week – would create real market demand for the book. It didn’t. But if I hadn’t run my book through a bestseller campaign, I wouldn’t have gained the personal knowledge of the secret system used to manufacturer Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestsellers. I wouldn’t have discovered that most publishing insiders are keenly aware of this prevalent marketing strategy and that they view “gaming the system” as standard practice....Given what I’ve learned from working with ResultSource, the marketing company who’s literally written the book on bestseller campaigns, I estimate that a minimum of 20-30 percent of all business books on the bestseller list in a given week are “SpikeSellers” – books that achieve enough of a short-term sales boost through orchestrated pre-orders to hit the bestseller list, only to fade away into obscurity." Full of practical insights, such as "Nielsen – Sells book sales data to publishers and others; only counts hard copy books as part of their bestseller list formula, which promotes hard copy print book sales that benefit traditional publishers."
• Similarly, a book's sales numbers on Author Central (from BookScan) may appear lower than the author knows them (from royalty statements) to be. Book Scan's count is said to represent about 60 percent of actual sales from stores, as sales from a lot of independent bookstores, and specialty stores, and bookselling websites beyond Amazon and B&N are not tallied. And one author was told by her publisher that Amazon doesn't want people to artificially spike their sales numbers by buying books in bulk, so each sale (even of two or three copies) is counted as one book sale.
Did this book buy its way onto the New York Times bestseller list? (Kayleigh Donaldson, Pajiba.com, 8-27-17) A YA novel (Handbook For Mortals by Lani Sarem) was removed from the top position on the New York Times bestseller lists, after evidence was found of strategic preorders.
The convoluted world of best-seller lists, explained (Constance Grady, Vox, 9-13-17) "The general consensus is that if you want to make your way onto a best-seller list, any best-seller list, you have to sell at least 5,000 books in a week, or maybe 10,000. Beyond that, things get complicated depending on which list you’re looking to end up on. That’s because the different lists don’t all use the same data. No one has access to all of the sales made by every single book published in the US in a given week." Explains how the various bestseller lists are compiled.
My Amazon bestseller made me nothing (Patrick Wensink, Salon, 3-15-13) "My novel shot to the top of the site's bestseller list last summer. You won't believe how little I got paid."
Why Isn't the Best-Seller List Simply a List of Best Sellers? (Adams Sternberg, Behind the Best-Seller List, NY Times Magazine Interactive). Among other things, it omits perennial bestsellers like The Great Gatsby and religious devotional sold to institutions in bulk, such as Jesus Calling.

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1000 True Fans (Kevin Kelly) “A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce.”
How Bestseller Lists Actually Work -- And How To Get On Them (Tucker Max, Entrepreneur, 8-30-16) "No bestseller list measures the actual best selling books. Every single bestseller list either measures a limited number of sales in a few places, or far worse, it's a curated list and a small group of people are deciding what to put on their list."
How Many Copies Does It Take To Be an Amazon Bestseller? Not So Much (Gabe Habash, Publishers Weekly, 3-10-13)
The Reality of a Times Bestseller (Lynn Viehl, Publetariat, 4-20-09). Hard dollars-and-cents figures from the author of Twilight Fall: A Novel of the Darkyn
The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike (Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal, 2-21-13). How some business-book authors hire a marketing firm that purchases books ahead of pub date, creating a spike in sales -- in effect, buying their way onto bestseller lists (albeit very briefly).
The Jimmy Fallon Effect: Sit Down on ‘The Tonight Show,’ Watch the Rankings Rise (Porter Anderson, Publishing Perspectives, 3-19-19) a look, courtesy of Jamie Granet Bederman and the Fallon show’s team, at some of the jumps they’ve been tracking in the Top 100 rankings on Amazon.com when authors appear on the show with Fallon. With the Tonight Show Summer Reads book club, “We felt like we actually got them to read, which is really exciting–to get kids off their iPads to actually read a book.”

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Hillary’s consolation prize: a No. 1 bestselling book (Steven Levingston, Outlook, Wash Post, 9-15-17) Various authors of bestsellers riff on why having a bestseller is better than being president.
Dear Book Lover: How to Write a Best Seller (Cynthia Crossen, Wall Street Journal, 1-23-12)
What Is a Bestseller? (Lynette Padwa, Los Angeles Editors & Writers Group, 2011).
Here's How You Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestsellers List (Jeff Bercovici, Forbes, 2-22-13)
The New York Times Bestseller List (Seth Godin 10-22-07) "Cumulative advantage is a powerful side effect of story telling. Get out front, even a little, and you sell more because many people like to invest in a winner. We like to read what other people are reading."
• "To me, the secret to everything is radio. I was busy doing radio interviews for a year, and finally book sales started increasing." ~John Gray's book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus stayed on the bestseller list for seven years.
What makes a best seller? 3 eras, from self-help to '50 Shades' (Bob Minzesheimer and Anthony DeBarros , USA Today, 10-10-13)
What 20 years of best sellers say about what we read (Bob Minzesheimer and Anthony DeBarros , USA Today, 10-10-13)

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Books for the Ages, if Not for the Best-Seller List (Clark Hoyt on what's wrong with bestseller lists, NY Times, Opinion, 10-21-07)
'The 4-Hour Workweek': A Case Study in DIY Marketing (Steve Rubel, AdAgeDigital, 6-4-07). How Timothy Ferriss rode blogs to the bestseller list. See also How Does a Bestseller Happen? A Case Study in Hitting #1 on The New York Times by Ferrill himself (HuffPost 8-14-07). And then: Publishing 2.0: Tim Ferriss on Using a Viral Idea to Create a Best-seller
The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller (Shira Boss, Your Money, NY Times, 5-13-07)
When Everyone Was Excellent (Joshua Hyatt, Inc., 5-15-99, on why In Search of Excellence by Peters and Waterman, became a bestseller)
The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days (Fern Reiss)
How Darcie Chan Became a Best-Selling Author . Self-publishing is upending the book industry. One woman's unlikely road to a hit novel. (Alexander Alter, WSJ, 12-9-11)
The Reality of a Times Bestseller (Lynn Viehl's frank and fantasy-destroying tale of what happened when her Darkyn novel, Twilight Fall, made the NY Times top 20 mass market bestseller list), followed up by More on the Reality of a Times Bestseller (9-6-09).
Of brooms and bondage. Publishers used to tell readers what was hot. Now it's the other way around. Now "readers can go online to berate overhyped books that fail to thrill."
Four self-published authors on New York Times ebook bestseller list (Alison Flood, The Guardian, 8-2-12). JK Rowling is number one, as you would expect. But who are Roger Hargreaves and Richard Parsons? And what are they doing in the top 10? (Brian MacArthur, The Telegraph, 12-22-09)
• "[M]edia products are what economists call 'experience goods': that is, shoppers have trouble evaluating them before having consumed or experienced them. Unable to judge a book by its cover, readers look for cues as to its suitability for them, and find it very useful to hear that 'Dewey' is 'a "Marley & Me" for cat lovers.' In much the same way that potential publishers do, readers value resemblances to past favorites."
~ Anita Elberse, "Blockbuster or Bust: Why struggling publishers will keep placing outrageous bids on new books" (Wall Street Journal, 1-3-08)

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Bestseller lists

The convoluted world of best-seller lists, explained (Constance Grady, Vox, 9-13-17) There are dozens of best-seller lists in the US. None of them are exactly alike, and none of them are entirely accurate. Grady provides a look at how a breakdown of how the five major lists — Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Indiebound, Amazon, and the New York Times — work.

The Murky Path to Becoming a New York Times Best Seller (Sophie Vershbow, Esquire, 12-9-22) Publishing insiders tell Esquire why they find "the list" so frustrating—turns out, it's a data project full of contradictions. No one outside The New York Times knows exactly how its best sellers are calculated—and the list of theories is longer than the actual list of best sellers. Everyone Vershbow spoke to argued that attempts to game the list are as frequent in book publishing as new Danielle Steel novels. Authors on the paid speaking circuit are able to negotiate the purchase of books into their honorarium package in lieu of a standard speaking fee, thereby driving up their best seller chances. Preorder incentives are another method that authors and publishers regularly employ to juice week-one sales.

The Revamped USA Today Bestseller List Isn’t What It Used to Be (Jane Friedman, The Hot Sheet, 10-2-11-23) Over the summer, the USA Today bestseller list returned after being on hiatus for about six months. For self-publishing authors, the return was welcome news, as USA Today rankings did not prioritize print book sales over ebook sales the way other publications did, such as the New York Times. However, more than three months in, it’s becoming clear that the list relaunch hasn’t brought back the list in a way that remains valuable to those who have celebrated it most. From June 21 through October 4, 2023, the number and variety of self-published titles hitting the list is a fraction of what it used to be.
USA Today Suspends Book Bestseller List (AP, USNews,12-12-22) USA Today's weekly chart of top-selling books is on indefinite hiatus [until the end of the year] after the newspaper's parent company, Gannett, laid off the editor in charge of compiling the list that's closely followed in the publishing industry.
USA Today Best-Selling Books (a compiled list, "based strictly on Nielsen Bookscan reporting"--"Some say the truest of all the lists, which tracks all formats of a single title rolled up into one number that is then ranked against all other types of books (fiction, nonfiction, children’s)" (Tim Ferriss) Note: Nielsen sold BookScan to NPD Publishers Marketplace BookScan.
List of bestselling fiction authors (over time--only authors with estimated sales of at least 100 million are included, and authors such as Miguel de Cervantes, Alexandre Dumas, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne, Rick Riordan, Jack Higgins and Leon Uris have not been included in the table because no exact figures could be found)
The Truth About The New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists (Tim Grahl, Observer, 2-4-16) WSJ builds its list based on the sales figures it gets from Nielson’s BookScan, BookScan doesn’t track all purchases (not big box stores Walmart and Sam’s Club or Create Space, for example). The NY Times has its own secret method. Grahl explains how publishers can game the system (it takes $$).
Publishers pay to get books on WH Smith 'bestseller' charts, say industry insiders (Katie Grant, The Scotsman, 1-22-22) "WH Smith customers could be forgiven for assuming the retailer’s “bestseller” charts are a ranking of the page turners flying off its shelves.Yet customers who purchase a novel or autobiography displayed in the top 100 chart may be buying a book not nearly as popular as its placement suggests. In some cases, the chart position is based not on sales, but how much a publisher has paid to have its title billed a "bestseller", industry insiders have said."

How the Book Review Makes Its ‘10 Best’ List (Terence McGinley, Times Insider, NY Times, 11-22-19) "The New York Times Book Review works so far in advance that it can begin thinking about its 10 Best Books of the Year list in January. Rigorous debate narrows a wide-open field as the year progresses.... “We are trying to find books that we think are the best written, the best told, the best argued, the best researched or reported when it comes to nonfiction, voices that are strong and distinctive in fiction, styles that are either exemplars of their form or are groundbreaking in some way. Things that are original and interesting. Books that are truly distinctive. Books that we think are for the ages, and which years from now you would turn back and read.... Sometimes the books that are most valuable are hard to get through. Part of what makes them great is the challenge."

    The author and publisher of Handbook for Mortals reportedly hoped that gaming the New York Times best-seller list would make it easier for them to sell the book’s film rights down the road, which is presumably why they were willing to spend the money to get the book onto the list.
Does Anybody Know What a Bestseller Is? (John Maher, with reporting by Rachel Deahl and Claire Kirch, PW, 11-3-17) There are more bestseller lists than ever and the ramifications for publishing remain unclear. The sheer number of lists and Amazon’s decision not to widely share its e-book sales figures (despite the fact that BookScan has for years asked the company to take part in its sales aggregation program) means that there is not a true national bestseller list that can definitively identify what the top-selling books are across all formats in a particular week. As a result, there’s some confusion about what the designation “bestseller” really means.
How To Get On The NY Times & Every Other Bestseller Book List (Tucker Max, Scribe, 6-14-19)
How Bestseller Lists Actually Work -- And How To Get On Them (Tucker Max, Entrepreneur, 8-30-16)

How Bestseller Lists Work…and Introducing the Amazon Monthly 100 (Tim Ferriss, 8-17-12)

NPD Publishers Marketplace BookScan (which bought and replaces Nielsen's BookScan. "BookScan is the gold-standard data service that tracks actual retail sales of trade print books in the US on a weekly basis through direct reporting from all major retailers. (It includes Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Costco, Target, Walmart, Target, and many other general and specialty retailers selling books, plus over 800 independent bookstores, covering approximately 85 percent of trade print sales in the US.)" A one-year subscription is $2500.

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New York Times Bestseller List ("a 'survey,' based on a proprietary and closely-guarded list of accounts they poll weekly for sales,' tabulated Sunday to Sunday, according to Tim Ferriss
Best-Selling Books Week Ended X (Wall Street Journal, a compiled list, "based strictly on Nielsen Bookscan reporting")
Most Read Books This Week in the United States (Goodreads, "most read," not "most bought")

Amazon Best Sellers (make top of list for a month)
Publishers Weekly bestseller lists (by categories: overall, fiction, and nonfiction front list; hardcover, paperback, and mass market frontlist; top children's frontlist fiction, top children's picture books; top food & drink; top romance, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, comics, bio & autobio, top history and poli sci, top religion fiction, top religion nonfiction) In each case, click on symbol to get full list.
CNN Top 10: Bestsellers (lists top 10 for USA Today and Wall Street Journal--WSJ with one list for fiction and one for nonfiction--explaining how they were calculated)
Bestseller lists (BookSpot's up-to-date links to bestseller lists)

Shepherd: The 100 best books of 2023 A reader-supported list. I look at the list and think about checking the top books out at the library. YOu can search for books by genre, topic, or age and by category: New books Nonfiction Literary Historical fiction Romance Fantasy Thriller Romance (love) Murder World War II Adult Children Middle school etc.

Bestsellers section (PublishersMarketplace)
Bestselling authors of the decade (Telegraph, 2009)
List of best-selling books (Wikipedia, a dynamic list, based on estimated sales)
The GOP’s big bulk book-buying machine is boosting Republicans on the bestseller lists (Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 4-16-21) The National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect GOP candidates to Congress, spent nearly $400,000 on bulk purchases of Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s memoir and social critique, Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage. Four party-affiliated organizations, including the Republican National Committee, collectively spent more than $1 million during the past election cycle mass-purchasing books written by GOP candidates, elected officials and personalities, according to Federal Election Commission expenditure reports. See also Every candidate an author: The ceaseless boom in books by politicians (Karen Heller, WaPo, 5-27-15)

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The Creator Economy

Was Randy Cassingham the first member of the Creator Economy? (Simon Owens Media Newsletter, 12-1-21) In 1994, he launched This is True, one of the first email newsletters, and grew it into a thriving business.
The New Holy Grail of Traditional Publishers: Direct-to-Reader Relationships (John B. Thompson on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-7-21) An excerpt from Book Wars: The Digital Revolution in Publishing
•  Could the creator economy work for fiction authors? (Elle Griffin, The Novelleist, Substack newsletter 5-9-21) Profitable trash, the serial novel (think "Game of Thrones"), crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and which platform is best for fiction writers: Wattpad, Patreon, Substack, or Amazon Vella?
How AWS and Other Cloud Providers Became the Internet’s Most Powerful Moderators (Owen Williams, OneZero,medium.com, 1-16-21) A good, concise breakdown of how a handful of large tech companies came to power a huge swath of the web. (H/T Simon Owens for this whole thread)

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Building your author platform

How Author Platform Connects to Author Brand (Karen A. Chase on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-1-23) How and where authors reach readers: that’s platform. It’s a combination of four factors: Message ((the announcement from the gazebo), target audience (the citizens gathering around the gazebo), platform tools (the gazebo and directional signs to it), and brand elements (the gazebo they see and experience).
How to Build Your Author Platform When You Have No Clue What That Means (Rachel Thompson, Bad Redhead Media, 11-14-21) "Think of your author platform as a deck. Each tactic is a plank. Without a full deck, your platform isn’t solid. It’s flimsy. Building each plank will give you a solid foundation to work from when selling your book so nothing falls through." Planks include social media (good for building relationships with readers), reviews, sale pricing, newsletter, blogging (hugely important: "You will show up in search engines, your site will be indexed, and readers will start to associate you with the keywords and keyphrases (aka, your branding) you want to be known for.")
What the @#$% is a Platform? (Kate McKean, Agents and Books, 4-9-19) A platform is to sell books. Two big ways to do so: name recognition (and the holy grail of marketing, word of mouth) and reason to buy. With fiction, add genre.

•  Email marketing reaches more people than Twitter and Facebook combined. ~ @Buffer
A Definition of Author Platform (Jane Friedman, 7-25-16) Here (and in a webinar available to Authors Guild members free) Jane explains that your platform is your "ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach." Your platform grows out of your body of work – it’s about the visibility of your work, who’s aware of your work: Where does it appear? How many people see it? Where does it spread? What communities is it identified with? Who does it influence? Who helps spread the work about it?

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. How to turn your social media accounts into viable business opportunities
Author Platform Follows the Work (Mirella Stoyanova on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-27-24) "While author platform is important, I think new writers are particularly vulnerable to getting the order of operations wrong. The author platform follows the work. Not the other way around....my people will find me, eventually."
Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick by Alexandra Watkins. Does your series have a brand name?
Creator platforms emerge as a front in misinformation battles (Max Willens, Digiday, 1-19-21)
The Future of Platforms (Michael A. Cusumano, David B. Yoffie, and Annabelle Gawer. MITSloan Management Review, 2-11-2020) "Platforms power the world’s most valuable companies, but it will get harder and harder to capture and monetize their disruptive potential.... The top-ranked companies by market capitalization are Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Amazon. Facebook, Alibaba, and Tencent are not far behind."
Amazon Has Gone From Neutral Platform to Cutthroat Competitor, Say Open Source Developers (Andrew Leonard, OneZero, 4-24-19) Open-source software is defined as code that can be freely shared and modified by anyone. But now Elastic was telling customers that certain elements in its product mix could not be accessed without payment and that the code could not be freely shared. Community leaders say AWS increasingly poses an existential threat. AWS is striking at the Achilles’ heel of open source: lifting the work of others, and renting access to it.
Le Batard’s ESPN Exit Settlement Included Rights to His Followers ( Eben Novy-Williams, Corey Leff. Sportico, 1-14-17)

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The Writer's Bridge Ashleigh Renard (social media maven and author of the memoir Swing) and Allison K. Williams ("Unkind Editor") break down the myths surrounding social media for writers and reach over 420k followers. Each hour-long video of one of their many frank talks (including "do-overs" of ineffective social media messages--taking ineffective messages and fixing them) provides many practical tips, tactics, strategies. You can sign up for the Express Lane and access episodes 1-32.
How One Author Landed a Publishing Deal for a Gift Book: Q&A with Sarah Chauncey (Jane Friedman, 10-27-2020) "Sarah didn’t realize that gift books require a platform. Luckily, she was able to interest an agent anyway, who—rather than reject Sarah’s project out of hand—told her to go and build a platform. Once that was accomplished, the agent promised she’d put the book on submission." And now the book is published: P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna An illustrated gift book for adults grieving a companion cat, celebrating the often-quirky bond between humans and felines.
How to Create a Facebook Author Page (Clayton Noblit, Written Word Media, 2-25-21) Do this!

How to Optimize Your Facebook Author Page to Sell Books (Chloe Kizer, Written Word Media, 2-7-19)
Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’ (Elizabeth A. Harris, NY Times, 12-7-21) Social-media fandom can help authors score book deals and bigger advances, but does it translate to how a new title will sell? Publishers are increasingly skeptical. Crucially, executives say, there is an increasing awareness in the industry about the difference between the number of followers and how engaged they really are. Do they comment? Do they share? Why people are talking about this person is what's driving engagement. "A new dimension of this conversation is TikTok, which has become a powerful force in selling books. Successful 'BookTok' titles are generally pushed by enthusiastic readers weeping into their camera phones about how much they loved the book, not authors shilling their own work."
Author Platform Is Not a Requirement to Sell Your Novel or Children’s Book (Jane Friedman, 2-8-24) Publishers and literary agents know this, even if they pretend otherwise to conveniently reject you and your work.

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• "There are two kinds of platform, and ideally you want to demonstrate that you've got both.

First: What makes you an expert and the clear choice to write the book you'e proposing.

Second: What media connections do you have that will help you reach your intended audience with your message." ~ Mollie Glick, literary agent, quoted in Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript

Writing a Book or Article? Now’s the Time to Create Your ‘Author Platform’ (Devoney Looser, Chronicle of Higher Education, 7-16-18) "Having an author platform means you are not only publicizing your next article or book, you are seeking the right readers for it. You are thinking long term to actively manage the ways you put yourself forward as an authority. You’re working to pop up in someone’s Google search for your area of expertise. The best predictor of a book's success is the involvement of the author..." How Looser, for her book on Jane Austen, did a book trailer script, search engine optimization (SEO) for her website,
     The best online networks on which academic authors might interact (join the conversation!) include Academia.edu, Amazon Author Central, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, LibraryThing, LinkedIn, Humanities Commons, Pinterest, ResearchGate, ScholarlyHub, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube. Excellent suggestions for practical steps to take, such as: "Share daily snippets of your research findings online. Offer praise to someone whose work you admire. Submit research news to an alumni network or professional society. Improve your website. Add a link to your email signature. Tell colleagues when you ask the library to order their books. (Later you’ll invite them to consider requesting yours from their library.) Do something each day to connect and amplify..."
3 Elements of a Successful Online Platform (FSB Associates, 1-6-17) Design (visual branding), Engagement (build a following), and Visibility (build it before you launch).
Subscription Marketing for Authors: A Primer (Anne Janzer on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-17-2020) Nurture a relationship with your readers, and they’ll do the marketing for you. Add value to every interaction by being yourself, even if you rely on automation to simplify your operations.

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How to Convert Book Readers into Email Subscribers (Dave Chesson on Jane Friedman's blog, 10-3-19) Reader magnets are free resources you create to give book readers an incentive to join your email list. Invite them to visit your website for extra training videos -- or the full version of something you describe only briefly up front. Create a free ebooks or online course, or free supplementary material, etc.
Building a Memoir Writing Platform: What Is Your Message? Part 1 and Part 2 (Kendra Bonnett, 2-28-10, on Women's Memoirs). What's your message is part of figuring out who is your audience, which means who will buy your books! A very helpful discussion. See also a third part, about "who" (3-5-10).
A Smarter Author Platform for the Digital Era of Publishing (Jane Friedman, Writer Unboxed, 4-2-18) It is not just about the number. "Author platform, in its simplest form, is an author’s ability to sell books....by far, digital media—and social media specifically—is the most prevalent and straightforward way that authors are now visible to readers and sell books. In some ways, this has changed publishers’ expectations—and what authors need to do regardless of how they’re published—but in other ways, the game has remained exactly the same." And it is not just about the numbers. "A smarter and more strategic author should evaluate their platform strength on three levels: ability to reach new readers, to engage existing readers, and to mobilize super fans.
10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog (Jane Friedman, 9-9-18) A knowledgeable author's tried-and-true methods, including: 1. Make sure your social media profiles always link to your website. 2. Include your website address on all offline materials. 3. Work toward appearing at the top of search results for your author name. 9. Run regular interviews with people who fascinate you.
Authors: Build Your Street Team in 4 Simple Steps (Reedsy, 9-1-16) Originally, street teams were used by record companies to promote new artists. Their tactics involved moving albums to the front of racks at record stores, plastering posters all over town, and inundating radio stations with requests.... As a self-published author, your street team is a group of people who can provide feedback and get the ball rolling with word-of-mouth. At a very basic level, this usually means writing reviews of your book. Start by looking close to home. What you want is a) beta readers to give you feedback or b) book launchers who can provide honest reviews for your launch date, Once you send out your ARCs (advance reading copies), clearly communicate your expectations.
Book Funnel lets you distribute Advance Review Copies (free books) in an e-format that’s suited to your readers’ preferred device.

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How to Become an Author Expert and Strut Your Stuff (Joan Stewart, "Publicity Expert," on The Book Designer, 5-17-18) As an author, you have expertise that you can use to promote your work. Here
are some tips.
What's an author platform? Part 1 (Sandra Beckwith, Build Book Buzz 2-8-12), what it is and why it's important, and part 2, 12 platform-building elements to consider.
Standing Above the Crowd: Platforms and Publicity in a Crowded Marketplace (transcript of Authors Guild symposium, 2005, with Nick Taylor, Beth Dickey, Nelson George, E. Jean Carroll--appears not to be available now, but maybe a friend of yours has the Bulletin it's in). Generally it's easier to get publicity for a nonfiction book than for fiction, because you have a hook. Whether a book is going to sell often depends more on how presentable the author is than on the book--so the publicity department will want to know how articulate and camera ready the author is and with how much media experience. You are pitching yourself as well as the book.
     "Becoming a specialist, becoming the go-to person for bookers on talk shows and so forth, certainly is a great aid in building a platform," says Taylor. But it's the passion for your specialty you want to convey. And media training is important for learning to boil everything you know down to a four- to six-minute interview that will work on national television. It's important to let your personality to come through, to project who you are -- not just to be "well-spoken." Publishers are doing fewer and fewer book tours (too expensive, for too little return). If you hire an outside publicist, have a clear mandate what they are supposed to do. If you send an email, the headline should make clear what you are emailing them about--not just "great book" but something interesting--that will make the person want to call you and learn more. Don't do interviews before the book is available--it's a waste: Book buyers are impulsive, so they'll go to the store to buy the book and it won't be there. "Unless your book is already climbing the bestseller charts and is already on its way and you’re trying to maximize it, advertising is not an effective use of your money."

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Building a Platform to Land a Book Deal: Why It Often Fails (Jane Friedman, 1-5-17) Don't focus on superficial indicators of platform or only on social media growth. Figure out what topics or themes you are genuinely interested in and want to become known for and think how you could appeal to readers interested in them.
The Basics of Building a Writer’s Platform (Writer's Digest, 10-22-12) Excerpts from Chuck Sambuchino's book Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author. The book contains 12 case studies from authors with effective platforms, and professional advice from literary agents (see reviews here.
Building a Platform for Your Work When You’re Unpublished (Michael Warner on Jane Friedman's blog, 1-21-19)
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. See also his piece How to Launch a Bestselling Book
Matt Law's review of Michael Hyatt's Platform University
What is an author platform and why do I need one? (Joanna Penn, Creative Penn, 6-26-09)

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Common Reasons Nonfiction Books Don't Sell (Jane Friedman, 11-2-2020) Not a big enough platform? don't have recognized authority or credentials on the topic? the idea or story doesn't resonate? your target audience is too wide and amorphous? the writing isn't good enough?
      "Not every nonfiction book requires a platform. For example, it's conceivable to sell a memoir without a platform; some agents and editors consider memoir the same way they consider a novel. A platform is nice for memoir, but not always necessary if the story premise resonates in the current market and is compellingly written.
       "It's also possible (if not probable) that a smaller or independent publisher would be willing to take on an unknown author with solid credentials and a strong book idea or manuscript, especially the project is a great fit for the mission of the press. Academic or university publishers will likely be most concerned with degrees, credentialing and research—credibility among one's peers—rather than platform."
Nathan Bransford, agent, on author's platform (interviewed by Meredith Resnick, The Writer's [Inner] Journey)
• Author Videos: The Author Takes a Star Turn (Pamela Paul, NYTimes, 7-9-10), on the importance of the author video for connecting readers to authors (and book buyers).
The platform vs. the eyeballs (Seth Godin) Are you buying momentary attention or are you investing in a long term asset?

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Build your author platform: 10 tips from a pro (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal)
The number one way to get published -- your author's platform (Jeff Rivera's YouTube site)
"Platforms" Are Overrated (Stephanie Bane, Creative N0nfiction, Fall 2014) Common sense talk about the value (or not) of book authors building a presence on social media
Creating An Author Platform That Sticks (Angela Ackerman, The Bookshelf Muse 2-3-12)
The “New Author Platform” – What you need to know (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal, 7-25-11)
Strategic tweeting for authors (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal 3-20-11)
Fifty Ways to Build an Author Platform (Christina Katz, author of Get Known Before The Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths To Grow An Author Platform , on Digital Book World 12-21-11)
10 Tidbits About Author Platform (Rachelle Gardner, 10-3-11)

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What you need to include in your email signature (Yen Cheong, The Book Publicity Blog)
What You Can Learn About Platform From a 12-Year-Old (Michelle Melton Cox on Jane Friedman's blog, 10-19-2020) Building a platform is akin to making friends at a new school: invite, engage, be helpful, share and, most of all, be your best self.
How to Build a Writer Platform With No Time, No Credentials and No Book (Kimberley Grabas, WritetoDone)
Why You Need an Author Platform – and How to Get One (Ali Luke, WritetoDone)

"Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen are . . . distinguished not by worldly status and achievement, but by the particular standing they have among their friends. People look up to them not out of envy but out of love, which is why these kinds of personalities have the power to break through the rising tide of isolation and immunity."
~ Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point

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Author brand and branding

• "There is a kind of Mickey Mouse way of looking at brands. In particular in the States, a lot of the publishing houses are lost in the Middle Ages, they really don't have a clue. I remember initially it was like, 'Oh my God, he's going to hurt the brand by doing other kinds of stories.' And I said, here's what I think a brand is, from my own experience with dealing with a lot of brands - a brand is just a connection between something and a lot of people who use or try that product.
      "If there is a brand that's called James Patterson, and I suppose there is, it's that when you pick up a Patterson book you'll not be able to stop reading. It doesn't matter whether it's a romantic story, a young-adult book, or non-fiction."
~ James Patterson, in an interview with the U.K Independent.

How Author Platform Connects to Author Brand (Karen A. Chase on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-1-23) Every effective brand has these three characteristics going for it: Unique. Consistent. Authentic.
Brand the Author (Not the Book) by Karen A.Chase. A workbook for writing and launching your own brand.
Crash Course: The Ultimate Book Marketing Formula (Nicholas Erik) "A brand is simply a promise of a consistent customer experience. Your brand develops over time and comprises your genre, voice (the style / tone of your books), persona (how you communicate with readers), and packaging (items like your titles, blurbs, and covers).'
•  The Case For Libraries (David Vinjamuri, PW, 4-3-15) "The problem with focusing on platform size is that it measures marketing potential rather than brand strength. Without a unique [author] brand, all the marketing in the world won't build loyal readers." Libraries are one place to become visible as an author and for books/authors to be discovered.
The 10 Commandments of Author Branding: Embrace Authenticity, Gain Book Ambassadors, and Create Your Tribe by Shayla Raquel. A do-able guide to the full range of activities: building a supportive writer tribe or community, tackling social media, recruiting adorable dogs as book models for social media, handling in-person events, setting up a successful book launch, etc.
Personal Branding Basics for 2011 Chris Brogan's explanation: "Your branding isn’t a logo, the same profile pic everywhere, a catch phrase, a theme song. Your branding isn’t a clever little ploy. It’s a whole package, a whole storyline, a promise and symbols," an “emotional aftertaste.” And it requires repetition: "Be there. Be useful. Put out good media."
Do Journalists Need to Be Brands? (Elizabeth Spiers, Medium, 3-6-22) "This week’s intra-mural media kerfluffle revolves around backlash to the idea that journalists need to be brands themselves — apart from the institutions they work for." Two high-profile Times journalists, Maggie Haberman, and Taylor Lorenz (who left the Times for The Washington Post) differed online about whether an author needs to develop a brand. Lorenz "affirmed that it’s important for younger journalists especially to develop themselves as brands and Haberman responded by accusing Lorenz of attention-seeking, and a host of other established journalists chimed in...mostly triggered by the word “brand” but also by the dynamic at play between Lorenz and Haberman."
How Writers Build the Brand. Tony Perrottet (amusing New York Times essay, 4-29-11) on author self-promotion from Herodotus on, including Balzac, Colette, Guy de Maupassant, Gerald of Wales, Ernest Hemingway, Georges Simenon, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, and Grimod de la Reynière (who carried promotion to an extreme). Stendhal is quoted as saying, “Great success is not possible without a certain degree of shamelessness, and even of out-and-out charlatanism."
Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales by Dana Kaye. You’ve finished your book. That’s step one. Chicago-based book publicist Dana Kaye takes you through step two: getting your book into the hands of legions of readers.
Authentic Branding for a Global Audience: Angela Ahrendts (The Future of Storytelling 2013) Video about using music, digital platforms, and authentic and emotive storytelling to market Burberry.

@BeneaththeBrand Talent Zoo's Twitter feed "Covering the changing world of branding."

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Secrets of successful book launches

How to do a virtual book launch (5-17-2020, during the pandemic!)
Approach to Book Launches (Barbara Linn Probst on Jane Friedman's blog, 6-30-2020) romoting a book isn’t a one-off event. It’s a series of marathons, sprints, and pounces: long-lead strategies, mid-range tasks, and sudden opportunities. Navigating these three distinct realms requires availability, adaptability, and a flexible responsiveness. An excellent, practical account of Probst's experience with her debut novel Queen of the Owls (April 2020), the powerful story of a woman’s search for wholeness, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
Bookseller survey finds debut authors struggle with lack of support (The Bookseller, 2023) Publishers: First-time authors need more support than most of you are providing.
Trapped in the Fire and Fury of the World’s Greatest Book Launch (Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer, 1-8-18) "Sitting at an Amazon rank of about 48,000 during preorders before the planned January 9 publication date, everything looked ready for a decent showing." Then excerpts appeared, and books were sent to top media anchors (who held them up and showed them), then Trump tried to stop publication of the book.... a wild story and, at the end, the four lessons learned.
Get Reader Reviews Now to Drive Sales Later (Mike O’Mary on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-9-21) You can get reader reviews on Amazon, BN.com (Barnes & Noble), Goodreads and elsewhere—but especially on Amazon and Goodreads. Here’s how to do that: Goodreads giveaways, blog tours, advertise via email newsletters, KDP Select Giveaway, etc.
What are Goodreads Giveaways? Using Book Promotion Newsletters to Increase Sales (Mike O’Mary on Jane Friedman's blog, 12-21-2020) With links to several of them.
A Book Launch Plan for First-Time Authors Without an Online Presence (Jane Friedman, 12-12-17)
Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book by Courtney Maum. Highly recommended.
9 Secrets to a Successful Book Launch Party (Alice Osborne)
Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales by Dana Kaye
It Takes a Village to Launch a Book (Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer, 6-12-17) Joel also markets a Book Launch Toolkit. (If you bought it, let me know if you found it good value.)
The EPIC Guide to Book Marketing (Epic Launch) 38 authors share 81 marketing ideas for every stage of the self-publishing process. The idea may be to get you on their mailing list, but if you're creating a to-do list, scroll down the numbered list of suggestions.
How to Optimize Your Amazon Author Central Pages (Penny Sansevieri on Jane Friedman's blog, 4-27-17) Penny is the author of 5-Minute Book Marketing for Authors
How to Write Your Amazon Book Description (48 minute video, bestselling author Bryan Cohen reveals his process for writing incredible book blurbs) Focus on what is the number one conflict or takeaway in your book--for example, the protagonist wants X but Y is in his way. Base your headline on your main conflict.
Mastering the Amazon Book Description: What You NEED to Know (62-minute YouTube video, Brian Meeks on Self-Publishing with Dale L. Roberts) See also Mastering Book Descriptions with Brian Meeks (Episode 025 of The Indy Author podcast). The product description is a piece of advertising designed to do one thing: to get a potential reader to give your book a try. And buy his book: Mastering Amazon Descriptions: An Author's Guide (Copywriting for Authors, by Meeks).
How to Improve Your Amazon Book Descriptions (Penny Sansevieri on Jane Friedman's blog,10-8-19) "Most people don’t read websites; they scan. The same is true for your book description. When your description is visually and psychologically appealing, it invites the reader to delve in instead of click off. Huge blocks of text can overwhelm."
6 Reasons to Relaunch Your Book (Penny Sansevieri on Jane Friedmans blog, 5-10-18)
5 Things I’m Not Doing to Launch My Book—Plus What I’m Doing Instead (Deanna Cabinian on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-28-17)

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Compelling author bios help sell books

Writing Your Author Bio? Here Are 20 Great Examples. (Plus a Checklist!) (Diana Urban, BookBub, 10-15-21) You should regularly maintain your bio on places like your BookBub Author Profile so fans and potential readers seeking you out can learn more about you and why they should pick up your latest book. Download author biography checklist, which includes list of where to post your profile.
The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King (Michael Margolis, 99u.com) Marketing your work? Tell your story. Why writing a compelling personal bio is crucial to your career, and tips on how to craft one.
Pay Proper Attention to Your Bio (Jane Friedman, Writer Unboxed, 11-25-13)
How to write a great author bio that will connect with readers (Chris Robley, BookBaby, 3-5-14)
How to Write a Killer Author Bio (Reedsy)

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Author websites can sell books

and can draw you in

How to Build an Author Website: Getting Started Guide (Jane Friedman, 2-18-2020, update of 2015 article). Informative and covers the basics.  What belongs on the home page, for example: '

1. Clear identity or header.

2. The cover of your latest book or books.

3. Links to social media sites where you're active.

4. An email newsletter  signup (see her advice on using exit-intent pop-ups).

5. Social proof (And see what Jane says about "welcome messages.")

6. (optional) "A super brief description of who you are."


Elsewhere, Jane recommends checking now and then to make sure things work on your website: Have you tried using that contact form at your website lately? What experience do people have? Do your website's social media buttons link to the correct accounts? What do your online bios say? What's your sign-up sequence for your newsletter?
What’s More Important: Author Websites or Social Media? (Jane Friedman, 9-11-17) Book authors MUST READ this. Maybe check out the dialogue:
---Why Don’t Publishers Believe in Author Websites? (9-27-13) and the many comments in response to it.
---Why Authors Should Believe in Their Websites (Darcy Pattison, Fiction Notes, 9-27-13)
---If You Build It, They Won’t Come: A Guide to Author Websites (Laura Hazard Owen, Publishing Trends,12-1-08) This has interesting insights into what readers return to an author's website for (and what works best on social media instead). "Codex found that the main thing respondents want on fiction authors’ sites is exclusive, unpublished writing, with 43% saying they’d return for it regularly. 'Exclusive content appears to be a missed opportunity on almost all sites,” says Hildick-Smith, and women find it especially appealing. Visitors will also return to authors’ sites regularly for schedules of author tours, book signings, and area appearances (36%); lists of the author’s favorite writers and recommended books; “explainers,” or inside information about the book (36%, with men finding these especially appealing); downloadable extras like icons and sample chapters (33%); and weekly e-mail news bulletins with updates on tours, reviews, and books in progress (33%).'

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A secure URL should begin with “https” rather than “http.” The “s” in “https” stands for secure, which indicates that the site is using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate or a Transp;ort Layer Secuirty (TLS) certificate.
Why is HTTP not secure? | HTTP vs. HTTPS (Cloudfare) HTTP requests and responses are sent in plaintext, which means that anyone can read them. HTTPS corrects this problem by using TLS/SSL encryption.
HTTP vs HTTPS: Comparison, Pros and Cons, and More (Hostinger Tutorial) HTTPS secures connections with a digital security protocol that uses cryptographic keys to encrypt and validate data. The most common way for websites to use HTTPS and have a secure domain is by obtaining a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate.
How to Make a Website Secure: 7 Tips You Can’t Afford to Ignore (WebsiteBuilderExpert)

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Naming and claiming your author website (Sandra Beckwith, BuildBookBuzz, 7-12-17)
6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name (Rohit Bhargava, Non-Obvious Insights, 4-2-10) Geared to businesses, but a useful explanation.
Steal These Testimonial Examples: 6 Designs to Highlight Your Expertise (Pamela Wilson, Copyblogger, 4-26-21)
Self-Hosting Your Author Website: Why and How to Do It (Jane Friedman, 9-9-14)
67 Epic Author Website Designs (and How To Improve Yours) (Matt Ziranek, Rocket Expansion, 10-1-2020) Easy navigation, clarity, branding, author funnel, SEO success, fan resources--Many examples, with good commentary. See also 10 Fantasy Author Websites That Take Your Breath Away and Why.
10 Steps to Building an Author Website (Joe Bunting, The Write Practice). Excellent advice, including: "The best place to build relationships with your readers (and sell books!) is your author website...email is far and above the best way to get your audience to buy your book. The best place to build your email list is on a website. In fact, a simple, single-page website with an email opt-in form is enough to completely change your publishing success."''
10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog (Jane Friedman, 9-9-18). And read the comments.
Self-Hosting Your Author Website: Why and How to Do It (Jane Friedman, 9-9-14) Starting with "What is it?" -- plus the advantages and disadvantages and the how-to's.
What is an XML sitemap and why should you have one? (Yoast.com, XML for Everyone, 12-9-19) Can someone tell me if this is important?
What content does Google consider "Very High Quality" according to its updated Quality Rater Guidelines? Original. Accurate. Comprehensive.Clearly communicated. Professionally presented. Reflects expert consensus. @CyrusShepard

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Tech tutorials for computer novices (created as I developed this website using Authors Guild templates) Here's the first full review of this website that I'm aware of: Writers and Editors: Expert Knowledge from A to Z (CMGWrites, ServiceScape, 1-30-19) My mouth fell open when I read this review of my Writers and Editors. Here are ServiceScape's reviews of other websites.
Why Freelance Writers Need Their Own Websites (Amanda Layman Low, Media Bistro)
The Best Website Builders (John Stevens, Hosting Facts, 1-5-18) They bought and tested the 10 most popular website builders, reviewed their pros and cons, and gave them a score: Sitebuilder, Wix, BoldGrid, SquareSpace, uCraft,Weebly, Jimdo, Yola, Doodlekit, and Webs.com.
Best Website Builders (Robert Mening, 9-4-17) A website builder is a tool that allows you to construct a website without needing to know "manual code editing." Mening reviews ten of them for usability, uptime, speed, and price: Sitebuilder, Wix, SquareSpace, BoldGrid, Weebly.com, Jimdo.com, Doodlekit.com, Webs.com, Yola.com, and Web.com.
How to build a personal landing page online (David Nield, Popular Science, 2-22-18) Places where you can create a very simple, very inexpensive personal website.
Author websites that pull you in (in different ways) (Pat McNees, Writers and Editors)
The Best Website Builders (Scott Chow, The Blog Starter) Some of the same website builders reviewed, plus video demos.
Top 10 Web Hosts of 2017. Everything you want to know about web hosts, including what they are, what Java hosting and PHP hosting are, etc.
5 Reasons Not To Use Wix For Your Website – A Brief Wix Review (Darren Craig, Fully Charged Media, 3-15-15)
Smashing Magazine has excellent material on website design (including 10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines, tutorials, navigation, typography and free fonts.
21 Award-Winning Website Designs & What They Did Right (Christine Austin, iMpact, 5-23-18)
8 Website Assets You Need to Secure Before Your Redesign (Dave Sotolotto, iMpact, 5-23-13)
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Online Lead Generation Funnel (John Lincoln, of Ignite Visibility, on Inc., 1-20-17) At the top of the sales funnel, develop a great landing page (secret: good copywriting). Figure out how to get them to land there (market your marketing). Make it easy to collect email addresses on any device. Start the "drip" campaign. Goal: Change leads to conversions. For that, see 5 Social Media Lead Generation Tips to Double Your Conversions ("thought leadership," gated content, social media ads, webinars or twitter chats, and contests).

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Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Which Is Right for You? (Cavera)
How to Start an Online Store Using WordPress + WooCommerce (FREE) (Robert Mening, WebsiteSetup, 11-17-16)
Shopify vs. WordPress (WooCommerce) for e-commerce? (Robert Mening, WebsiteSetup, 5-23-16) “I want to build an e-commerce store … but should I use Shopify or WordPress?”
Unpublished Writers and Websites: Should You Have One and What Should It Say? (Jane Friedman, 11-13-17) If you start the website development process early, before you really “need” a site (before people seek it out), you can enjoy a gentler learning curve, as well as the power of incremental progress. You don’t have to launch and perfect everything at once.
Bob Bly's portfolio Bob posts links to many, many samples online, grouping the links by media (e.g., brochures, landing pages, white papers) and by product or industry (e.g., financial, health care, software). His advice: "Get as many samples of your work as you can -- and ask the client's permission to post them on your site." Here's his site as Bob Bly, Copywriter/Internet Marketing Strategist.
16 of the Best Website Homepage Design Examples (Lindsay Kolowich, HubSpot, 5-26-16)
Self-Hosting Your Author Website: Why and How to Do It (Jane Friedman, 9-9-14) Self-hosting is when you have access to all of your website files and the servers where those files are stored (that is, where they are hosted). You own those files and have the freedom to change them.
Breaking Into Startups. This is for aspiring software engineers but if you're doing your own website it may come in handy, for technical stuff.
Course report on Coding Bootcamps
Broken Link Checker (Janis Elsts, Vladimir Prelovac) Works for WordPress blogs. Google "broken link checker" to find similar help for other blogs and websites.
What is a coding bootcamp? (Artur Meyster)
Google Analytics for Bloggers (Jeff Sauer, Presentation Notes, 9-23-13)
Why I Started Using Pop-Ups on My Website (Jane Friedman, 8-11-16) Pop-ups are annoying, but adding one to a website doesn't drive readers from the site, and it greatly increases the number of readers who subscribe to the site.
How to Use Exit-Intent Popups to Grow Your Email List (Martin Zhel, MailMunch, 2-26-16) Dan Zarrella ran a test and found that popups don’t affect his bounce rate at all. But, without them, he gets 50% less subscribers.

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Google Analytics vs. Stat Counter (pros and cons of two services for measuring site traffic)
The real difference between StatCounter vs. Google Analytics? (StatCounter forum)
Why Your Freelance Writer Website Makes You Sound Like an Idiot (And How to Get Your True Voice Back) (Sophie Lizard, guest-blogging on Write Your Revolution
Well-designed authors' websites (column along left side)
If you build it, they won't come: a guide to author websites (Laura Hazard Owen, Publishing Trends, 12-08)
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)(WC3 Web Accessibility Initiative), including Mobile Accessibility at W3C
Ten Author Websites That Really Do the Business (The Writing Platform: Digital Knowledge for Writers). Simon Appleby, director of digital agency Bookswarm, highlights ten websites that do their authors justice on the web and gives reasons (including "black marks"): John le Carré, E.L. James, Joe Abercombie, J.K. Rowling, Anthony Horowitz, Bernard Cornwell, Anthony Beevor, Will Self, Gillian Flynn, Marcel Theroux
WAVE (a web accessibility evaluation tool, which you may find helpful -- it puzzled me)
Landing Pages: Turn Traffic into Money (Copyblogger). Sign up for a free ebook on the subject. "A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result."
Why You Need to Build Links to Your Website and What a Good One Looks Like (Rebecca Corliss, Hubspot, 1-24-11)
Did You Graduate from Link-Building High School Yet? (Pete Caputa, HubSpot 9-30-08)
No author website rules of the road in publishing contracts is a big fail for the industry (Mike Shatzkin, Idea Logical Company, 3-19-15) Read the comments. "There should be no doubt about the critical importance of an author’s web site (and no, a page on the publisher site isn’t an adequate substitute). The author site serves three absolutely essential purposes that will not be adequately addressed without one." Purpose 3: "3. It gives a logical place for anybody writing about the author to link. That’s why author websites often score so high in search. (Inbound links are SEO gold.) And if an author doesn’t have a website, the next logical place to link might be the Amazon author page, or the Amazon product page (the book). The next choice would be a primary social presence, like Twitter or LinkedIn. "This last point is not registering in many places. At one big house, we know that their policy is to avoid linking to Amazon if they can; they’d rather link to B&N. But they also don’t highly value author websites, and they certainly don’t routinely make sure they exist. The omission of author sites means they’re creating links to Amazon, whether they like it or see it that way, or not."

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About Me page (Andrew Wise)
Widget websites (John Kremer's links to websites and other services devoted to making and hosting widgets)
BlogHer (a social community for women who blog, with a popular conference in July)
The $105 Fix That Could Protect You From Copyright-Troll Lawsuits (David Kravets, Wired, 10-27-10). "Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a website enjoys effective immunity from civil copyright liability for user content, provided they promptly remove infringing material at the request of a rightsholder. That’s how sites like YouTube are able to exist, and why Wired.com allows users to post comments to our stories without fear that a single user’s cut-and-paste will cost us $150,000 in court. But to dock in that legal safe harbor, a site has to, among other things, register an official contact point for DMCA takedown notices, a process that involves filling out a form and mailing a check" to the U.S. Copyright Office. Advises Kravets: "If you run a U.S. blog or a community site that accepts user content, you can register a DMCA agent by downloading this form (.pdf) and sending $105 and the form to Copyright RRP, Box 71537, Washington, D.C., 20024."
See the Web Site, Buy the Book (informative essay by J. Courtney Sullivan, NYTBR, 1-23-09), with links to websites and book trailers
Author Website Tips: The Importance of a Call to Action (Writer's Relief, Huff Post, 4-3-13)
7 Steps to Make Sure Your Website Is ADA-Compliant (Mike St. Jean, 3 Media Web, 10-1-18). Evaluate Your Current Site. Choose the Right Graphics. Add Alt-Text and Readable Fonts. Make Website Features Logical. Code Your Site with Standard HTML Tags. Make the Site Keyboard- and Pause-Friendly. Remain Up-to-Date on Compliance Changes. Use this ADA Checklist to do a quick audit of your site today.
Author Websites: 7 Of The Best Writers' Sites
100 Best Websites for Writers (Carrie Smith, The Write Life, 1-19-15)
Developing Non-English Web Sites (Computing with Accents, Symbols & Foreign Scripts)
Web marketing advice (Flyte)

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Some well-designed author websites

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~ Robert Benchley

Jay Baer, Hug Your HatersJennifer Baljko (travel writing) • Brit BennetLarry BleibergLawrence BlockJudy BlumeLesley M.M. BlumeChris BohjalianBrené BrownDan BrownVern BrykCamden Writers (click on the photos) • Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, and Erin Torneo (PICKING COTTON:Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption--a dynamic site) • Sandra Cisneros It helps to have a great image/book cover. • Common Craft (Lee and Sashi LeFever videos: "Our product is explanation") • Kevin DaumKenneth C. DavisBarry EislerJonathan Safran FoerRoxane GaySue Grafton (A is for Alibi, B is for...) • Robin Marantz Henig • Amanda Jones (visually irresistible) • Miranda JulyBrian Jay Jones (super blog posts make you want to read his books) • Rupi KaurIXK Ibram X. Kendi's brilliant site <• Austin Kleon Jon Krakauer Peter and Jane Lehmann-Shafran (Video Biography Central, flipcard entry page) Cleverly designed. Click around the site. Jane is gone but Peter's still here. • • Stephenie Meyer, whose Twilight saga is a sub-page (fabulous covers) • Judy MoodyKen Norkin, KNCreativeLauren Oliver <•  Miquel Reina (emphasizing multi-language popularity)• Eric Ries, The Lean StartupRick Riordan (Percy Jackson series) • Amy Krouse RosenthalLJ RossJ.K. RowlingSciWrite Clever cartoon. Biomedical writing and editing. • David SedarisMaggie Stiefvater (Go big!)• R.L. Stine (astrology) • WriteInc. Peter Bowerman features corporate writing. <• Neon Yang

Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.~Winston Churchill

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What you need to know about metadata

What Is Book Metadata, And How Can It Improve Your Sales? (Robert Wood, Standout Books, 6-10-19) "Metadata is text added to webpages that is intended to be picked up by computer systems and search engines rather than people. These invisible instructions help categorize web content, which in turn helps various systems make complex decisions about how to treat web pages....Metadata tells websites simple facts about book, like title, price, and author, but it can also find you new readers."
What Is Metadata And Why It Is Important For Books (Derek Haines, Just Pubishing Advice, 11-22-2020)
Search engine optimization (SEO) Links to key strategies, information)
Best Metadata Practices (Jennifer McCord and Aubrey White, Ingram, 11-23-18) Elements of good metadata.
Facts About Book Metadata and Why It's Critical to Your Publishing Success (Ingram Spark, 12-24-18) 'Your book metadata should be as descriptive as possible, including elements such as what genre the book fits into, who is telling the story, and keywords or information that will appeal to the intended audience. Specific descriptive information that includes terms like "beach read," "Italian cookbook," or "authoritative biography" will help put the book title on the radar of readers who are looking for a certain kind of book.'
Metadata Demystified: A Guide for Publishers (PDF, Amy Brand, Frank Daly, Barbara Meyers, Niso Press)
A Self-Publisher’s Guide to Metadata for Books (Carla King, Media Shift, 10-12-10)
Facts About Book Metadata and Why It's Critical to Your Publishing Success (Ingram/Spark)
Get Your Metadata House in Order (Google Document
Publishers Take Seat at Metadata Table with Giant Chair (Jennifer Zaino, Semantic Web, 3-1-10).
Metadata is the new most important thing to know about (Mike Shatzkin, IdeaLogical, 6-8-10)
Adding metadata to photos (Pat McNees site)

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What is a landing page for?

Landing Page Fundamentals (Part 1, The Unbounce Landing Page Course) "Never.Start.A.Marketing.Campaign.Without.A.Dedicated.Landing.Page." A landing page can be any page that someone lands on after clicking on an online marketing call-to-action. Dedicated, promotion-specific landing pages are what we'll be focusing on. Dedicated landing pages are standalone pages that are designed for a specific marketing campaign.
The Savvy Marketer’s Checklist for Seductive Landing Pages (Henneke, Copyblogger, 4-9-15) Advice about call-to-action buttons and button copy, and conversion. Do download the editable checklist.
5 Landing Page Mistakes that Crush Conversion Rates (Brian Clark, Copyblogger, 1-19-11) A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. It can be a sales page, an email opt-in page, a video landing page, or even a content landing page designed to rank well in search engines. Here's how to avoid making five of the most common mistakes people make on landing pages, starting with "Blowing the headline."
Copyblogger archive of articles about Landing Pages

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How to get your book reviewed

In a terrific long piece in the Summer 2014 Authors Guild Bulletin, "The Power Is Shifting to the Author," Isabel Howe's Q&A with novelist C.J. Lyons, Lyons says, about the difference between marketing and promotion: "Marketing is building the readership. It's getting the word out when no one has heard of you. It's reaching new readers. That is vital, no matter what stage of your career you're in.
     "Promotion is taking something that is already starting to get known and get a buzz, and increasing that, giving that buzz a greater impact. But you can't do that without already having the buzz.     "Unfortunately, a lot of publishers just want to do the promotion" and for most authors just list their book in their catalog.
How four magazines you've probably never read help determine what books you buy. (Adelle Waldman, Slate, Sept. 2003) "Look up a book on Amazon.com, and the first media review you see isn't from a well-known book review outlet such as the New York Times or Washington Post but from Publishers Weekly. Scroll down, and chances are you'll also find an opinion from Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, or Booklist. You've probably never read these magazines, even if you've seen their names on book jackets. But they're helping determine what you read.
Get Your Print Books Reviewed Pre and Post Publication (Judith Briles, AuthorU) Provides details on how to submit to Library Journal, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and ForeWord Reviews ("the gold standard in book reviews," which traditional publishers ALWAYS send review copies to) and Blue Ink Reviews. (See also Kirkus Indie Reviews and Foreword Clarion Reviews.)
The Essential First Step for New Authors: Book Reviews, Not Sales (David Wogahn on Jane Friedman's blog, 1-30-18) "New authors have no symbolic capital. They are not (yet) known for producing quality books that seduce readers. Is it possible for self-publishing authors to create symbolic capital? Absolutely yes, and many have. In today’s increasing online world of book shopping, it is book reviews that build symbolic capital."
How to get your book reviewed in the New York Times, if your name isn’t David McCullough (Carlos Lozada, book critic WaPo, 6-9-15) In an hour-long C-SPAN interview, book review editor Pamela Paul weighs in on what it takes to get noticed by the Times (highlights). Here's the interview: Tour of NY Times Book Review (C-SPAN, 5-26-15)
• Darcie Chan started word-of-mouth on her quiet novel, The Mill River Recluse, by getting the book featured on promotional sites for low-priced ebooks. After lowering the price to 99 cents and being featured (for free) on Ereader News , her sales jumped in two days to 600,000. Sites that promote low-priced eBooks (typically for a fee) include
~BookBub (includes major books, not just off-brands--but publisher PAYS to have book featured)
~ Ereader News (tips, tricks, and bargain books for your Kindle)
~Pixel of Ink (free & bargain Kindle books),
~Kindle Nation Daily (free books + Kindle tips + news, commentary)
~ The Frugal eReader (frugal finds under nine for the Kindle)
~Bargain eBook Hunter (briefly traps free Kindle books)
The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages (Partner Press) A Directory of 200 Book Bloggers, 40 Blog Tour Organizers and 32 Book Review Businesses Specializing in Indie-Published Books.
The Secrets to Getting More Book Reviews (Even if Your Book Is Already Out) (Penny C. Sansevieri, HuffPost, 5-25-12)
Getting reviews and promotion for self-published books (Writers and Editors, much of the advice applies for traditionally published books as well)
Top 25 Sites for Finding Reviewers (Published to Death, 8-27-17)
To Share with Your Readers: Tips for Writing Amazon Reviews (Penny Sansevieri).
What Every Indie Author Needs to Know About Their Book’s Landing Page (Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer, 12-8-14)
Want to Launch Your Book With a Bang? Then You Need This. (Kimberley Grabas, Your Write Platform, 11-27-14). How to build your following beforethe book deal.
How To Get Book Reviews As An Unknown Author (Jason B. Ladd, author of Book Review Banzai, on Joanna Penn's site, 7-29-17) For getting Amazon reviews for genre fiction.
The DOs and DO NOTs of getting your book reviewed (Damien Walter, 1-16-14)
The Best Reviews Money Can Buy (or, Book Reviewers for Hire Meet a Demand for Online Raves, by David Streitfeld, NY Times, 8-25-12--note 300+ comments)
Download the Universe (a science e-book review site, with reviews by science writers)
Blue Ink Review is an example of a pay-for-your-review site. It pays reviewers $75 for a review and charges the self-published author $395 for a review (as of November 2012), or $495 for "fast track" (review to be completed in 4-5 weeks).

For more on fake book reviews:
The furor over 'sock puppet' Amazon book reviews (Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times, 9-4-12). For more on this topic see Fake ("sock puppet"), not quire kosher, and poison reviews


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Social media marketing

How to Create a Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses (Martha Kendall, Later blog)
Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’ (Elizabeth A. Harris, NY Times, Books, 7-12-21) Social-media fandom can help authors score book deals and bigger advances, but does it translate to how a new title will sell? Publishers are increasingly skeptical. 'A new dimension of this conversation is TikTok, which has become a powerful force in selling books. Successful “BookTok” titles are generally pushed by enthusiastic readers weeping into their camera phones about how much they loved the book, not authors shilling their own work.'
Social Media Marketing: How to do it, Types, Tools & Tips (Neil Patel)
500 Social Media Marketing Tips(Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and More!), a book by Andrew Macarthy On Amazon you can "look inside this book" to get a sense of whether it would help you.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works and Why the Algorithm Is Great for Marketers (Alfred Lua, Buffer Social, 4-25-17)The Instagram algorithm, like the Facebook News Feed algorithm, is ingenious in showing the best content to the most people. The seven key factors: engagement, relevance, relationships, timeliness (how recent), profile searches (the accounts you check out often), direct shares, time spent.
6 Best Social Media Tools of 2019 (Copper) And a CRM (customer relationship manager) that ties all your relationships together. Buffer, Hootsuite, SproutSocial, MeetEdgar, Mention and Tweetdeck.
Social Media Marketing for Businesses (Wordstream) Chart shows details about "seven best social media marketing platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, SnapChat, TikTok
9 Free Social Media Marketing Courses That Won’t Put You to Sleep (Wordstream)
---1. Local Social Media Marketing Lab (LOCALiQ)
---2. Social Media Marketing for Business (Wordstream)
---3. How to Create an Impactful Social Strategy for Any Business (Skillshare)
---4. Social Listening: Your Launchpad to Success on Social media (SproutSocial)
---5. Facebook (Meta) Advertising Blueprint courses
---6. Influencer Marketing 101: From Zero to Hero (Later)
---7.How To Use TikTok for Business (Udemy)
---8. Best Practices for Inclusive Social Media (Ragan)
---9. PPC University: Social Ads 101 (Wordstream)
4 Creative Ways to Use Clubhouse for Marketing (Later blog)
The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing (Hubspot)

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Shopify, Squarespace, and other eCommerce platforms

Want to sell your own products and don't know where to start? Except for selling books through Amazon, which I've done for years, I am new myself to e-Commerce, but am providing links that seem to explain some differences between platforms. Note that some get affiliate fees if you sign up for a service through their links. (If you find a good and honest /objective explanation and evaluation, let me know so I can add them below.) What others say about these platforms:
Square, a free device and an easy way to accept credit and debit card transactions at events. "All you have to do is sign up and they’ll send you one in the mail. Once you get it and plug it into your phone, you’ll have to sign in to get your account. And just like that you’re ready to go! FYI: There’s a small fee per credit card swipe, similar to PayPal fees." ---5 Tips for Selling Your Books at Events—on a Budget (Chrys Feys on Jane Friedman's blog, 10-10-18)
Shopify Saved Main Street. Next Stop: Taking On Amazon (David H. Freedman, Medium, 7-22-20) The Canadian e-commerce company is breathing down Silicon Valley’s neck as the next great enterprise behemoth
Shopify vs Squarespace: Which is best for you? What's the Host provides cost and other details, plus pros and cons for each. Gets affiliate fee.

Amazon is loosening its grip on customers and letting some sellers reach out to them (Annie Palmer, CNBC, 4-23-21) "Amazon recently began piloting a tool for some companies to communicate with customers who opt to follow them. Amazon has long prohibited merchants from soliciting customers unless it concerned things such as the status of their order. The company has rolled out several tools to help businesses build a presence on Amazon as it faces competition from the likes of Shopify."
What's Behind the Shopify Effect (Alex Danco's Newsletter, 5-2-21) Merchants of all sizes are thriving on Shopify, and the platform represents a growing and important alternative to selling on Amazon. Merchants of all sizes are thriving on Shopify, and if anything, the small merchants are outperforming the larger ones in relative impact and growth this past year. But it benefits a very particular type of merchant, one that creates meaning. Contrast of shopping ("opt in" to challenges) and consumerism ("opt out"). That post is apparently related to this:

Shopify, the e-commerce company that’s coming for Amazon (Patrick Sisson, Vox,1-23-2020) The Canadian-born e-commerce platform has become one of the most influential players in online retail. Currently more than 1 million merchants around the globe use the company's technology to open their own digital storefronts and sell goods on the internet, creating a constellation of independent, and decentralized, stores.
Selling Books Direct on Shopify with Katie Cross (Creative Penn, 6-20-22) Podcast, transcript, and Show Notes.
Choose the right ecommerce platform More flexibility, faster go to market. See what open SaaS can do for you. BigCommerce. Magento. Volusion. Demandware. WooCommerce. 3dcart. Shopify. Kibo.
The 20 Best eCommerce Platforms to Start an Online Store (Matthew Guay, Zapier,
The big reason Shopify is better than Squarespace (Hued Design Studio) What makes Shopify a better choice; a comparison of both platforms. "If you're selling more than 5 to 10 physical products, I would stay away from Squarespace."
What is SaaS? 10 FAQs About Software as a Service (SaaS) (Taylor Short and Lauren Spiller, Software Advice) SaaS--also called cloud based software--is a method of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection and a web browser. In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and the code that makes up an application. Careless employees, insufficient remote work security, and programming bugs ranked among the top security threats faced by U.S. businesses.

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Tools for monitoring website traffic

Some search monitoring tools:

AWStats *** Bitly *** Clicky *** Cyfe *** Google Analytics *** Keyword Explorer (Moz) *** Open Web Analytics *** Piwik *** Search Console Insights *** SEMrush *** ShinyStat *** SimilarWeb *** StatCounter *** W3Counter *** W3Perl *** Webalizer *** Woopra ***

Search Console Insights (Google, Beta version, 6-19-23) Insights into traffic to your site, for site owners and content creators. Learn how people found your site or parts of it: what search queries they entered. Shows:
Your growing content compared to previous period;

Your most popular content by clicks in the past 28 days;

How visitors find your site on Google search.

10 Web Analytics Tools For Tracking Your Visitors (Sitepoint describes AWStats, eLogic, Google Analytics, ShinyStat, SiteMeter, StatCounter, W3Counter, WcPerl, Webalizer, and Woopra)
The Best Website Monitoring Cloud Services of 2017 ( Juan Martinez and Rob Marvin, PC Magazine, 7-19-17) Chiefly for businesses, not authors.
The Top 10 Free Content Analytics Tools (Amanda Walgrove, Content Strategist, Contently, 8-2-16) Reviews Google Analytics, Bitly, Piwik, Open Web Analytics, Clicky, Similar Web, SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, Cyfe, Google Search Console)
3 Free Tools for Monitoring Website Traffic (Zoe Meeken of Business.org, 4-10-13, describes Google Analytics, Alexa, and Going Up!)
7 tools to monitor your competitors’ traffic (Sam Crocker, SocialMedia.biz, 1-10-11) Just how accurate are Alexa ("dubious numbers"), Compete ("good UI, questionable data), Google Ad Planner, Google Insights, Google Trends, Quantcast ("nifty media planner tool"), SEMrush ("most accurate of the bunch"), comScore, and HitWise? "We tested 25 sites for which we had reliable internal data, giving us insight into just how accurate these tools really are — or aren’t."

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• About intelligent talk radio
• All the really good (intelligent) radio and TV talk shows and podcasts
• Ads: Amazon marketing and ads
• Ads: Google, Facebook, and BookBub ads
• Ads, ad networks, ad platforms, media, etc.
• Author book talks (and readings)
• Author websites-- some well-designed examples
• Bestsellers, All about (tips, facts, and stories)
• Bestseller lists
• Book covers and titles, Secrets of successful
• Book fairs and festivals
• Book marketing and promotion
• Book promotion on the radio
• Book tours
• Book trailers: Do they sell books?
• Book trailers (examples of good ones)
• Building your author platform
• Creating your author website
• The difference between advertising, publicity, marketing, promotion, and sales
• Landing pages 101
• Getting good publicity
• How to launch a book
• How to market yourself, a product, or a process
• Marketing to book clubs
• Marketing wisdom for introverts
• Newsletters and other ways to reach your audience, grow your email list
• Press releases
• Radio and Television Interview Report: Does it work? Is it worth the money?
• Recommended reading on book marketing, publicity, and promotion
• Secrets of successful book covers and titles
• Shopify, Squarespace, and other eCommerce platforms
• Social networks for readers
• Tools for monitoring website traffic
• Using Goodreads to market your book
More about marketing, publicity, and promotion (miscellaneous, in alphabetical order)

See also

How and where to get book reviews and publicity
Selling your book to libraries, schools, and bookstores (under Self-publishing)
News, reviews and promotion for self-published and indie books
Social networking for book lovers (book discovery and communities)

Author book talks (book events, readings)

Online and  in person

Should you have a small showing and few purchases, hide your disappointment and be lively and engaging with the few who do come. Books are expensive, after all, your event has stiff competition from other forms of entertainment, and readers can experience author book talks online. Engage with the people who do come, as you never know who they are and who they may influence, or how their response to you and your book will have ripple effects. Don't look only for talks in bookstores--look for opportunities to speak to small and large groups of any kind, including book groups, and ask if you can bring your book and sell copies (not all groups allow that). Some readers are bored by author readings, so if you do one, keep it short--and learn to read in a compelling manner! Combine a brief reading with a story or two from your life or from your experience with the novel,or with the subject, and above all, try to engage with the audience. The Q&A period is sometimes the most interesting part, as you're talking about what they want you to talk about.

How to Plan and Host Worthwhile Online Book Events (Jane Friedman, 1-19-22) Solid advice, with insight and tips from a range of people. For example, novelist Karen Karbo suggests, “Being in conversation is more interesting than a talking head. If you can talk with someone with her own following, even better.” Author Angela Ackerman recommends trying to do events with "emotional pull," with three components: Offering entertainment, adding value, and satisfying a need. "Over the long term, Ackerman suggests using events to build relationships with readers rather than just sell books."

    To frame the event, decide beforehand, says former agent Mary Kole, "What is it that you want with this event? To get readers? To transmit books into hands? Or to make royalties?"

    'Novelist Amy Impellizzeri has found that the promise of future book club appearances (whether live or FaceTime or Zoom) is a fan favorite. "When readers know their favorite authors are willing to make an appearance to their own book clubs after the online launch, they are more likely to buy and even read!"'
Online events: How to Do a Virtual Book Launch (blog post)
Venues for author interviews, webcasts (sites where readers can find them)
Author interviews, book readings, glimpses into the literary world (podcasts and downloads for book worms and writers)

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How to Plan a Book Reading That Delights Your Audience (James Navé and Allegra Huston on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-13-19) The authors of How to Read for an Audience: The Stuff Nobody Teaches You advise you not to exceed allotted time and to read material you connect with emotionally so the audience gets the emotional connection, among other things.
A Game Plan for How to Nail Your Next Reading (Gigi Rosenberg on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-4-19)
From Page to Stage: Inspiration, Tools, and Simple Public Speaking Tips for Writers by Betsy Graziani Fasbinder. See review by Sandra Beckwith (Building Book Buzz): In chapter 16, she 'discusses why she believes “presence” is “the most important delivery skill of all.” Fasbinder says presence “is about being fully attuned emotionally, intellectually, and physically in the moment . . . .” but adds: "When you go to the trouble of preparing a compelling presentation that’s related to your book, you’re giving a full-blown presentation, not a talk. I’d like to see authors use 'talk' less and select a replacement word with more gravitas."
Toastmasters. Find a club near you. Terrified of public speaking? Here's a place to practice and get coaching and support.
Putting on the Show: Eight Rules for Book Talks (David Stewart, 2-4-16) "...the probability that somebody will recommend a book to others—is heavily influenced by the cover....Authors should avoid being too clever with cliff hangers. The last 10 or 20 pages really need to seal the deal.""A lousy ending has a very negative effect on the recommendation factor for a book. Readers want some level of closure."
How to Perform (Not Just Read) Your Work in Front of Audiences (Natalia Sylvester, Writer Unboxed, 6-1-18) 
Giving a Successful Author Talk: Three Ideas (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)
9 tips for successful author readings (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal, 11-19-09). See item 9: 9. Make sure your books are stocked for the event: here’s how.

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How to do a Book Talk: An Author's Guide (Charles J. Harwood)
11 Ways to Guarantee a Successful Author Talk (Matthew Dicks, HuffPost, 5-19-15) Tell a good story rather than read from your book. Pull back the curtain on your experience in the publishing world. Write down all the questions asked from audience (or have a friend do so). "When you answer a question with a story or anecdote that an audience seems to like, don’t wait for someone to ask you the right question in order to tell it again. Find a way to weave that story into every talk." Do not read from notes. Speak extemporaneously. Share the stage with another author. Be prepared for no audience or two or three people. "Remember that the publishing and book business is a small and insular world. Be "cooperative, collaborative, and kind."
A literary agent reflects “On Authors and Book Talks” (Debbie Carter of Waverly Place Literary Agency, on Joan Detz's blog, 7-22-16) What not to do: underprepare and bore your audience.
Video Interviews with Children's Authors and Illustrators (Reading Rockets)
5 Steps to a Killer Book Talk (Kate Raphael, on Jane Friedman's blog, 7-7-2016) "Recently, I interviewed Claudia Six, author of Erotic Integrity: How to Be True to Yourself Sexually, along with Brooke Warner, author of Greenlight Your Book. I asked them why it takes so long to bring a book into the marketplace, and Brooke talked about the pre-sale and pre-publicity process. Then Claudia chimed in, “It’s kind of like having erotic integrity—you’ve got to own that you’ve written this book and you have something to say.” I thought, “She is going to do well because she can turn any question into a chance to talk about her book.” That’s a great skill to cultivate."

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Book tours

Why a Book Tour Is More Brutal Than a Political Campaign (Steve Israel, NY Times, 11-6-18) The former congressman Steve Israel thought he had a tough skin, but that was before he wrote a novel (a political satire on the National Rifle Association)."In politics, one’s skin must be impenetrable to insult and even the occasional knife in the back. But sitting behind a pile of books at an Authors Night, watching people pick up your book as if it’s a piece of spongy fruit at the market, is sheer torture....But it’s not just the rejection. It’s the Willy Loman loneliness of it all."
The Not-Quite End of the Book Tour (Noah Charney, The Atlantic, 10-17-15) 6 a.m. flights, three-person audiences, and “escorts”: inside the 21st-century reality of a storied institution. Publishers "have adapted to a changing industry—by becoming more selective about which authors to send on tour, which promotional appearances to secure, and how to make the dollars stretch." In this new, more austere era, publishers only regularly pay to send authors who are compelling public speakers, authors with large established audiences who are guaranteed to sell well and therefore cover expenses, or authors with a high profile that extends beyond books. "Author escorts are local residents of the cities visited by those of us on tour, and are subcontracted by publishers to meet and guide authors who come into town. " "Book events are not just about selling to the people who attend them, which even for prominent authors can mean only a few dozen copies sold. They’re about getting authors local media attention, getting bookstore staffers face time with authors so they can promote the books, and signing copies. While signed books do sell better, they also can’t be returned to the publisher if they don’t sell—a win-win for publishers."
Book Tour Planning 101 ( Midge Raymond, on Jane Friedman site, 9-16-13). Some tips: Go where your friends are. Team up with a fellow writer. Think outside the bookstore. Offer something more than reading. Try a virtual book tour.
Books Tours: 7 Things I Learned About Marketing Books (Chuck Sambuchino on YA writer Mike Mullin , Writers Digest, 11-9-12) "Physical tours can still sell a lot of books." The only foolproof way to draw a crowd is to "go where there's a captive audience" (for a YA book this might be a school or a juvenile detention center).
10 things you don't know about authors on book tour (John Scalzi, LA Times, 4-20-17) 'It's disorienting...It's a grind...Your author likely has a handler...You have to be “on” and six more.
Creating a Successful Book Tour: Five Tips from an Indie Author (Edie Jarolim, author of the memoir 'Getting Naked for Money,' Publishers Weekly, 9-11-17) "Self-publishing wasn't really an issue, I discovered. Bookstores are more concerned about your book bringing in an audience than how it was published." Among her tips: 1. Target indie bookstores—and not just because of good publishing karma. 2. Contact bookstores as far in advance in possible. 3. Give bookstores both general and specific reasons to host you.

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The D.I.Y. Book Tour (Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderal Diaries, Sunday NYTBR, 1-14-10) "I didn’t want to travel thousands of miles to read to 10 people, sell four books, then spend the night in a cheap hotel room before flying home....I decided to try something I hoped would be less lonely. Before my book came out, I had set up a lending library allowing anyone to receive a free review copy on the condition they forward it within a week to the next reader, at their own expense....if people wanted to hold an event in their homes. They had to promise 20 attendees. I would sleep on their couch. My publisher would pay for some of the airfare, and I would fund the rest by selling the books myself."
Speaking of History: 4 Tips for Giving a History Talk That’s Actually Interesting (Karen Dustman, Clairitage Press, 11-13-19) Make it about people, focus on forgotten or hidden history, and use illustrations!
Why book tours are passé (Teresa Méndez, Christian Science Monitor, 11-30-07) Author readings and signing sessions, once the staple of publishing publicity, are being usurped by virtual encounters and promotional videos. Can the old face-to-face model be improved on?
U.S. Book Signing and Event Directory
Tips For Setting Up Author Readings and Book Signings (Valerie Peterson, The Balance, 7-10-17)
Nine Writers and Publicists Tell All About Readings and Book Tours (Matthew Gallaway, The Awl, 4-10-12) Wildly varying opinions and experiences and lots of ideas of how to do it better (or not so awfully).
So You Want an Online Book Tour: An Author's Guide to Online Book Tours by Jaime McDougall.
See also Author book talks.

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Book Marketing and Promotion

In an excellent piece in the Summer 2014 issue of the Authors Guild Bulletin, "The Power Is Shifting to the Authors," novelist CJ Lyons writes about an article in Digital Book World that explains "the difference between marketing and promotion. Marketing is building the readership. It's getting the word out there when no one has heard of you. It's reaching new readers. That is vital, no matter what stage of your career you are in. Promotion is taking something that is already starting to get known and get a buzz, and increasing that, giving that buzz greater impact. But you can't do that without already having the buzz. Unfortunately a lot of publishers just want to do the promotion." (For 90% of authors and of the books they release every year, "they're not doing anything except throwing them in a catalog.")


Book authors traditionally lament their publishers' failure to run ads about their books in book review media, but advertisements (for which one pays) lack the credibility of reviews and publicity (news and feature stories, for which one doesn't pay). It pays to understand the full marketing mix, which in this day and age includes getting to popular bloggers, websites, and anything the purchasing public is likely to read and be influenced by. The most important thing is to get information about your book out there, where people know it exists, and can easily purchase it -- and make it tantalizing in as few words and images as possible.

Lenore Hart on the Authors Guild forum (quoted by permission):

     "As someone who's been publishing books for over three decades (with a husband who's been doing it for over four), I can say that the main burden of continuing promotion has ALWAYS been the responsibility of the author, with a few exceptions. Even though there are those who seem to believe otherwise, there was never a halcyon day when all publishers spent thousands and thousands on book promotion and tours for every author's book, especially for any extended period of time. What all publishers do provide, primarily, is launch-type marketing and promotion, including submitting advance reading copies (ARCs) to national and regional review sources as well as online review blogs, and initially placing some ads in sources they can afford (a small press obviously isn't going to spring for a NY Times Book Review ad, which costs about $9000 for one-fifth of a page).

        "Some large and small presses even fund or partially fund limited book tours by the author, usually by car or Megabus, not lots of flying (or will again now that Covid restrictions are lifting.) But be prepared, if you want a lot of exposure, to also put your own money on the line, unless you have a solid record of blockbuster sales which the publisher can reasonably hope to duplicate in order to offset the cost of such a broad campaign. Because, unfortunately, this is an industry which is constantly introducing new products -- and in which the individual economic success of said products almost always depends heavily on luck, as well as on very hard work."

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• Asked about promoting books, bestselling (and self-published) novelist Pamela Kelley (author of The Restaurant and The Nantucket Inn series) told an Authors Guild group:
---First thing I would do is set up a mailing list--both Mailchimp and mailerlite are free for your first 2000 and 1000 respectively.
---Then I would set up social media--Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest and Clubhouse. Of those, Facebook and Instagram seem the most useful for fiction authors for reaching readers. Clubhouse is fantastic for networking with other authors and learning and eventually maybe reaching readers too. Some friends of mine organized a writers conference on Clubhouse one weekend in June and I did a session on book launching.
---I would join some Facebook groups in the author community.

---There are many author related groups where you might learn some good marketing tips.
---I would put your email signup link on all of your social media.
---I would also set up a website and put it there.

Pamela Kelley also recommends:
• The Facebook group The Business of Being a Self-Published Author (20BooksTo50K)
• David Gaughran's online course Starting from Zero "One of the first things he teaches in it is how to build your author platform and mailing list."
How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market (Ricardo Fayet, Reedsy Marketing Guides Book 1, free on Kindle) Solid info.
Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book by Tim Grahl. "Focuses on finding and building your core base of readers that love your books and will always buy them."
20Booksto50k[R]-Live Events That's a "20booksto50k puts on a conference every year--non-profit--small fee for those to attend--but once the conference is over the videos are put on youtube for anyone to watch. And there is gold here. Many of these sessions are also found at more expensive conferences and some are exclusive to 20books. They mostly focus on marketing, but there are also craft and business sessions. Here is the link to conferences last year and the year before. Fantastic ones with Tiktok, which was growing with book sales.
4 Pillars of Book Marketing, or How to Sell More Books in Less Time (Matt Holmes on Jane Friedman's blog, 4-5-23)
Create a superb book product page.
Drive traffic to that page. Pick one or two platforms to do so, to begin with.
Develop true fans of your books, who you have direct access to through email. (Do not rely on social media or other platforms.)
Make a profit (not just royalties). Track the right numbers. He tells you how.

How to Use Promo Stacking to Sell More Books (Catia Shattuck, My Book Cave) Promo stacking is the strategy of booking multiple promotions for one book in a limited time period, usually 5–7 days, with the goal of achieving a certain ranking on retailers (like hitting a bestsellers list) and selling more books, even after the promotion period ends.


Asked about making good book reviews work for you, Kelley suggested:

---Do you have a blog? Make a blog post and put the editor's review there. You can link your blog through Author Central to your author page...easy to do, takes about a minute. And then every post you make will be featured on your Amazon author page right at the top and that's a great way to bring attention to it. 

---Do you have a newsletter? Send an email to your list sharing your happy news.

---Post on social media with the editorial review and you could also boost that post so that new readers will see it. 

---If self-published, go in and add the review to the editorial reviews section on your product page. 

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•  This (Storytelling) Will Be the Top Business Skill of the Next 5 Years (Shane Snow, The Content Strategist, Contently, 2-3-14) Amanda Palmer changed the game for independent musicians with her campaign on Kickstarter. And she did it not by simply asking for money, but by telling her story. Listen to her TED talk about how through good storytelling she financed producing her first record: The Art of Asking (2013).
How To Sell Books, part 1 (David Gaughran's newsletter) Product is what you are selling (and the weaker your book is in hard-nosed commercial terms, the harder your job will be in selling it). Promotion is the art of getting that message out to your target audience. And platform makes the job of selling the next book a whole lot easier – giving you a free megaphone for every launch.
      One problems authors have in selling books...is that they focus too much on the promotion stage, especially when they have only one book. They just want to sell books, not realizing that some quite important things need to be in place first to make the product shifting part go smoothly – and then neglecting to put enough effort into what you might call aftercare, the process of ensuring that a customer becomes a fan, one who recommends all your books to their friends and is first in line for the next one. Or platform if you prefer. Just remember: No one wants to follow anyone who is engaging in the hard sell, all the time.
Succeeding with Self-Published Memoir: Q&A with Ashleigh Renard (Jane Friedman's blog, 12-16-21) "I worked really hard on social media for years, with super slow growth, and I wondered what hacks or strategies I needed to employ to connect with more people. What I didn’t realize was that the people I was watching grow were buying followers and likes. I was comparing myself to something that wasn’t real. It’s not about building a feed that looks good, it’s about creating and connecting in a way that feels good, that fills me up rather than stressing me out." Do read this Q&A.

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The Difference Between Marketing and Publicity (M.J. Rose & Randy Susan Meyers, guest posting on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-15-13) "PR and marketing can expose books to potential readers. The book—the words and the premise, the first few pages, the flap copy, the book cover—must entice, enchant, seduce. The book sells the book."
Book Marketing (with Nicholas Erik) (The Writer's Cookbook, Podcast, Productivity, Publishing, Social Media and Marketing, 8-26-21) A sci-fi and fantasy novelist and indie author talks about the best way to market a single book. why mailing lists are important, how to find a writing routine that works for you, and which type of paid advertising will get you the highest ROI.

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How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market (Ricardo Fayet, Reedsy)
The Pocket Guide to Book Marketing: A Road Map to Marketing Your Book by John Koehler
Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Aimed at self-published authors of fiction.
The Four Pillars of Book Marketing (PDF, Brian Jud, The Association of Publishers for Special Sales) Know to whom you are selling, what is important to them, how you can integrate all the marketing elements and then place the emphasis on running a profitable business. You will sell more books and have some fun in the process.
How to Boost Your Online Title Sales Today with High Performing Book Descriptions (2020) (Ingram, 5-8-2020) The art and science of book descriptions that sell.
How to Sell Books in 2020: Put Them Near the Toilet Paper (Elizabeth A. Harris, NY Times, 7-22-2020) "Book sales jumped this spring at big-box stores, which stayed open and stocked essentials while other shops closed. Dennis Abboud is the chief executive of ReaderLink, a book distributor that serves more than 80,000 retail stores, including big-box and pharmacy chains. He said that in the first week of April, his company’s sales were 34 percent higher than the same period the year before. 'With the shelter in place, people were looking for things to do,' he said. 'Workbooks, activity books and just general reading material saw a big increase.'

      "Among the big-box chains, each has a somewhat different bookselling approach. Walmart offers a lot of commercial fiction, books on topics like self-help and weight loss, as well as children’s books. Much of Target’s selection is aimed at female readers. Costco sells many classics, like 'The Wizard of Oz' and Jane Austen, along with children’s workbooks."
Facebook Tips: 31 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page (John Kremer's Tips on Self-Marketing).See also 20 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Fan Page (Justin Wise, Social Media Examiner, 9-15-11)
What Can Independent Presses Do to Survive These Uncertain Times? (Jennifer Abel Kovitz, ZG Stories/Medium, 4-23-2020) Part 1 of a 2-part series on essential digital marketing strategies for small publishers. Part 2 of this series on resources and best practices for book publishers: More Essential Digital Marketing Strategies for Independent Presses. "The same principles apply to professional independent authors. Among the key recommendations: get your metadata in order to improve online discoverability—and write better book descriptions." (Among other things, learn what metadata is.  Highlights: "Ingram is, without a doubt, the single most important channel with whom to maintain inventory levels for the foreseeable future. Do read these two pieces. H/T The Hot Sheet (worth a subscription for indie authors).

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Virtual Book Launch Events: 8 Ideas from Authors (Diana Urban, BookBub, 4-30-2020) Links to tutorials on Instagram Live, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Zoom Webinar. Twitch Livestream, prerecorded videos, Reddit AMA, Twitter Chat.
The shy author’s guide to book promotion (Sandra Beckwith, Building Book Buzz,12-2-2020) Focus on the many promotional opportunities that don’t require voice-to-voice interviews or conversations, with examples.
Book Publicity, Promotion, & Marketing Resources (Building Book Buzz) Press release distribution services, media list resources, specialized resources, and services that connect journalists with authors and other sources (HARO, Pitchrate, SourceBottle, and RadioGuestList.com).
16 Ways To Market Your Audiobook (Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn, 4-22-2020)
Book Club Strategies for Authors (1-hour YouTube video. Novelist and nonfiction author Amy Stewart shares tips onhow to market effectively to book clubs.

Know Your Audience – The Secret To Author John Locke’s Success (Caitlin Muir, Author Media). Locke's approach is to write a book fast and spend a lot of time marketing it (or marketing a batch of books written fast). But, writes Mike Shatzkin, Would million ebook-selling author John Locke be better off with a publisher? I think he very well might… (Idea Logical, 6-26-11) Shatzkin loves Locke's 99 cent books, "a cross between the long-dead Jim Thompson and the very current Carl Hiaasen." He's "a hard-working, tightly-focused, very sophisticated marketer with a clear plan and the discipline to follow it. Every self-publishing author should read" his book, How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! But he's leaving a lot of money on the table.

      "There is nothing about what he’s done that couldn’t be just as well done to support a book from a publisher that is in hardback at $20 or more and is a $9.99 ebook....If there are people who only choose from the cheap books, there are also people who want to choose from the professionally validated books, the ones from the major publishers." ... "If Amanda Hocking could get $2 million for four books, how well is John Locke really doing financially getting less than 20% of that for nine?"

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Bringing the Joy of Read-Alouds to Middle School Students (Christina Torres, Education Week, 11-20-19) 'For the past six years, I’ve used “read-along,” a twist on reading aloud, as a staple of my middle and high school teaching practice. Unlike traditional read-alouds, all students follow along with their own copy of the text, and I stop periodically to explain vocabulary, model note-taking in the margins, or engage in class discussion. This strategy has been hugely beneficial for my students. Reading texts aloud in class has helped me build community."
Forget The Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story On Blurbs? (Colin Dwyer, NPR, 9-27-15) Those snippets of praise on book covers have been around for 150 years (at least). But how do they get there? "It's less for what the blurb says than who's doing the saying," says Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, head book buyer at Kramerbooks. "If I haven't heard of the author writing the book, but it comes with the imprimatur of a reputable writer or someone I respect, that will make a big difference." Jerome Loving, author of Walt Whitman: Song of Himself, adds: "It's not surprising that the poet who began his first great poem with the words 'I celebrate myself' would be one of the originators of the book blurb."
How to Get Author Testimonials for Your Book(Stephanie Chandler, Nonfiction Authors Association blog, 5-29-18)

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A Publisher’s Guide to Navigating the World of Digital Book Marketing (free PDF, Ingram)

Step 1 Understand the Analytics Driving Online Platforms

Step 2 Get More From Your Data

Step 3 Create Meaningful Marketing Content to Engage the Right Audience

Step 4 Reach Untapped Readers Who Want What You Are Selling.

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Bookstagrams of Ebooks: 38 Stunning Examples You Must See (Diana Urban, BookBub, 2-4-21) 38 bookstagrams of ebooks on Instagram from authors, publishers, and book bloggers that demonstrate how to beautifully display ebooks in your social media posts and digital marketing campaigns.
What Donald Trump Can Teach You About Book Marketing (Even If You Hate His Guts) (Penny Sansevieri, Author Marketing Experts, 3-18-16) A good summary of what you need to know to market yourself as an author, and an interesting take on Trump.
How to create a street team for your book (Meagan Francis on BuildBookBuzz, 7-25-14) For her book Beyond Baby: A Week-By-Week Guide To Creating A Life You Love When Your Kids Aren't So Little , Meagan Francis "decided that my number-one goal was to have a solid number of Amazon reviews, so my only “requirement” to be part of the group was an agreement that they would post an honest review when the book came out. Any additional support they could provide – social sharing, etc. – was welcomed, but optional." But first she asked her launch team for feedback on things like book cover design, colors, fonts; pricing and sales; and how customers were likely to want to buy the ebook. Members of the launch team got a free copy of the book, tips, and regular peeks “behind the scenes” at the writing process via informal videos created just for team members.
Build Your Street Team in 4 Simple Steps (Reedsy) "Healthy beta reading communities can be found on dedicated sites like Goodreads, Scribophiles, and Absolute Write. Plus, don’t forget about groups on Google+ and LinkedIn: a quick web search will send you in the right direction. Before you parachute into a forum to demand help, it’s important to establish yourself as a part of their community....BookFunnel lets you distribute free books in a format that’s suited to your readers’ preferred device."
9 Ways (and 2 Rewards) of Marketing Your Own Book (Beth Alvarado on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-30-19) Authors who want to sell their work must often do the marketing themselves, and some methods are easier than others. In this guest post, essayist, memoirist and short story writer Beth Alvarado discusses the ways and reasons why you should take an active role in marketing your own book.
Choosing a Publicist: Ruling Out and Ruling In (Barbara Linn Probst on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-20-19)

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Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step-by-Step Guide by Fauzia Burke. Good for those who aren't already tech, web, and social-media savvy.
• Should you use postcards, e-postcards, business cards, or bookmarks at events where you are promoting your book? Melinda Clayton takes bookmarks (with front bookcover image on front and description, purchase, and contact info on the back). She also takes business cards, but people tend to prefer the bookmarks. Always carry business cards! You never know who you will run into, even in the grocery store. You can get e-postcards designed for free at Canva.
What I Learned About Marketing: The 6-Month Report (Beth Jusino, 4-30-19) 1. Marketing starts long before release. 2. Know your tribe, and build relationships there. And so on, explained (and click on her links to related topics). Or read her book: The Author's Guide to Marketing: Make a Plan That Attracts More Readers and Sells More Books. See Long-Term Marketing Strategies for Authors (YouTube, an Authors Guild webinar, 1.5 hours) "Marketing is the collection of things you do over time that build name recognition."  It's about building name recognition and trust and relationships.

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Dealing With Book Promotion Fatigue (Jael McHenry, Writer Unboxed, 6-5-18) " The joy and terror of publishing in the social media age is that once you have a book, you literally could be promoting it every minute of every day."
Book Marketing Update (John Kremer's very useful site). See also his Free Reports on Book Marketing (e-zines, selling our books outside of bookstores, top 101 marketing sites, top 25 independent bookstores, reports for authors, reports for novelists, reports on book design and printing, reports on book publicity, and recommended resources).
21 free resources for authors (Sandra Beckwith, Build Book Buzz, 2-3-15)
Book Promotion 101 (Bella Stander's links to useful resources)
Book Promotion Newsletter(bi-weekly ezine for authors by Francine Silverman), small subscription fee
Book Marketing the Old Way Versus the Way That Works Today—Part 1: Book Reviews (Beth Bacon, Digital Book World, 9-30-14). Part 2: Email promotions.
5 Dangers of Buying an Email List in 2018 + Alternative Strategies (Sarah Turner, Website Planet, 7-18-18) Several important reasons not to buy email lists to use for promotion--the importance of curating your own email list.

Book giveaways
How to Do Honest and Legal Giveaways as an Author (Chrys Fey on Jane Friedman's blog, 8-3-2020) She recommends Rafflecopter as the world’s easiest way to run a giveaway. Practical advice, including major do's and don'ts (for instance, "You cannot force the winner to pay for shipping. This goes along with the above. You are responsible for shipping costs." and "You cannot require people to review your book in order to enter your giveaway. This is against Amazon’s Terms of Service.")

How to Conduct a LibraryThing eBook Giveaway (Shelley Hitz, The future of ink: Digital Publishing for Online Entrepreneurs, 12-6-13)2-22-12)
Promote Your Book with Contests & Giveaways (Joel Friedlander, CreateSpace, 9-11-12

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How to Write Better Marketing Copy (Jane Friedman, PW, 9-21-18) Don't be too smart or clever in your book descriptions. When marketing books, think—and write copy—like a reader. Use the words your readers would use. Don't use ‘urban settings,’ ‘world-weary protagonists,’ and ‘harsh realism,’ if your readers are likely to look for a book with less sophisticated terms such as ‘bad guys,’ ‘FBI,’ ‘action-packed,’ ‘surprise ending,’ and ‘courtroom drama.’
A Timeline for Publishing Success (PDF, Your Expert Nation, from a workshop at the Brooklyn Book Festival, 9-21-14)
Timeline for a Book Campaign (PDF, Sarah Russo, Public Relations)
(The Book Publicity Blog Yen Cheong's news, tips, trends and miscellany for book publicists), which contains a great blog roll for book lovers
Annie Jennings reports on getting author publicity (free)
AuthorBuzz (marketing service that puts authors directly in touch with readers, booksellers, librarians)
Best book promotion sites for indie authors (David Gaughran) Best sites in David's experience for boosting your sales, launches, free promotions, series promotions, and mailing list too.
Author Central (beta site for author profiles on Amazon.com)
Author Marketing Experts (several consultants)
• Author Videos: The Author Takes a Star Turn (Pamela Paul, NYTimes, 7-9-10), on the importance of the author video for connecting readers to authors (and book buyers).
Autographed by Author stickers. Buy them from Wax Creative Design and put them on books you sign for bookstores and others.
Out-of-the-box book marketing tips (Christine Benedict on marketing a novel)
Backspace Book Promotion Network
Author Promoting Book Gives It Her All Whether It's Just 3 People Or A Crowd Of 9 People (Onion spoof of the Author Book Tour, 4-14-11)
The Marketing Rule You Can’t Forget (Ryan Holiday, on Jane Friedman blog, 7-19-17) It ain't just about creating the work. It's also about the work of getting out there and "winning your readers, customers, and fans for the first time, one person at a time, all over again."
Bookstore Lists on the Web, John Kremer's list, including Top 20 Independent Bookstores
Book tour? More like a safari (Carolyn Kellogg, L.A. Times 3-7-10). With publisher publicity departments backing away from traditional author tours, writers are left to their own devices--and strangers' couches. Which is where we learned about couch-surfing!
Chris Bogan's marketing blog
Build Book Buzz (Sandra Beckwith's blog).
The Double-Edged Sword of List Building Promotions (Brenda E Smith on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-16-24) Third-party promoters who offer to pad your email subscriber list for a fee might be attracting the wrong type of readers. Plus, "List-building giveaways specifically hurt authors whose base email lists are small, because doubling or tripling their size from promotions, where the addresses are not people genuinely interested in their books, puts those authors at a higher risk of violating email service policies when those people unsubscribe."
Even the biggest and smartest publishers still have a lot to learn about digital marketing (Mike Shatzkin, The Shatzkin Files, 3-26-14). Among other tips: Find "out who the people are who have already read the book and commented on it and what words they use when they describe it. LibraryThing tags and GoodReads reviews are key sources for that..."
Frugal Marketing (Shel Horowitz on Book Marketing)
Help! My Book Isn’t Selling. 10 Questions You Need To Answer Honestly If You Want To Sell More Books. (Joanna Penn, Creative Penn, 10-12-12)
How to Position Yourself as an Expert by Pitching Your Local Media (International Freelancers Academy)
Publicity Hound's Tip of the Week
NetGalley.com, a website for "professional readers" (who read and recommend books: reviewers, bloggers, media, booksellers, librarians and educators). Publishers (including self-publishers) pay NetGalley to host digital galleys (not printable, and not printed), both PDF and EPub files, readable on all major reading devices . Publishers can limit distribution in various ways.
Marketing Matters (Brian Jud's blog) and articles, especially about selling through nontraditional channels
Planting the Book Publicity Seed (Jocelyn Kelley, HuffPost blog, 11-13-12). It takes time and lots of little efforts to get a book noticed. "Most 'break out' authors have been working at this tirelessly for a very long time."
Publishers Turn to Chapbooks to Create Buzz ( John Maher, PW, 5-10-19) Marquee titles get the chapbook or pamphlet treatment, with brief selections from upcoming books.“We printed 1,500 copies of the pamphlet at Sterling-Pierce, the printer we use for ARCs,” said NYRB publisher Linda Hollick. “We mailed five pamphlets to each of our top 100 bookseller customers, with the idea they might give it to their own best customers.” (Many asked for more copies.)

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Use QR Codes to "Amplify" Your Work (Research Explainer). "These two-dimensional bar codes—looking like crossword puzzles for masochists—enable audiences to scan the code with their smartphone or camera-equipped tablet to gain access to information or trigger actions. For example, scanning the QR code on this post will link you to the Explaining Research web site." But they can also take you Amazon (or elsewhere) to sell your book, and for people with smartphones, this could mean quick, impulsive sales.
Portland Badge Company (customized name badges at reasonable prices)
Book Marketing Online 2010 (video of panel discussion organized in March 2010 by the NY chapter of the Women's National Book Association).
Rethinking book marketing and its organization in the big houses (Mike Shatzkin, Shatzkin Files, 12-17-12). Publishers need to realize that "the title-driven and pubdate-driven marketing techniques that we all grew up with will shortly have outlived their usefulness." See also Imprints in the 21st Century (Shatzkin, 3-6-09): "the imprints that matter in the 21st century have to mean something to consumers, not to intermediaries" -- not what shelf in the bookstore does a book belong on, but what niche will the reader find it in.
Getting to Grips with Goodreads: 6 actionable ideas (Laura Pepper Wu, 30 Day Books blog, on how to make your book more visible to this online book club's 12 million members)
How to Market a Book and Strengthen Your Author Platform with Goodreads (Kimberley Grabas, Your Writer Platform 5-3-13, with thanks for other links)
Savvy Book Marketing (Dana Lynn Smith's tips, tools, and techniques for promoting your book), including her list of eZines for Authors
Do authors really need to promote their own books? (Mary DeMuth, guest-posting on MichaelHyatt).Check out the comments!
Novice Authors Must Promote Themselves, Since Publishers Won't by Neely Tucker tells how Kelly Corrigan sold 80,000 copies in hardcover and 260,000 in paperback of her memoir The Middle Place.
If Publicity Doesn’t Sell Books, What Does? (Meghan Ward's Writerland 2-28-12), followed by Does Publicity Sell Books? The Debate Continues
Case Study: Book Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation And Using Press Releases For Your Book (Kit McKittrick, guestblogging on The Creative Penn: Adventures in Writing, Publishing, and Book Marketing
Why Print Advertising for Books Doesn't Work (Foner Books, a Self-Publishing blog)
The Role of the Novelist: How Jonathan Franzen Won the Book Publicity Game (Austin Allen, Big Think, 3-28-12). "He has won the book publicity game because part of him—but only part—despises it. So great is his anxiety about the role of the novelist in our culture that it has become integral to his literary persona. And as happened with Wilde, Norman Mailer, even Hemingway, his persona now threatens to overshadow his work."
Book Launch 2.0(Dennis Cass, as clueless writer resisting the new social media), satiric YouTube video)
Top 10 cool, free book marketing resources (Build Book Buzz)

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Pirate Publishing with DMB (StoryShop Uni) "Publishing is your high seas; own it like a pirate." Several interesting articles, including Loyalty Vs. Friction (11-3-19) "For nearly one hundred years, marketing efforts have increasingly been based on friction tactics. The practice of interrupting the consumer experience with advertising intensified via radio and then television. Friction-based marketing has come to a head with the emergence of the world wide web. Clunky banner ads have mostly given way to targeted advertising via Google Ad Sense, Facebook, Youtube, and now Amazon. Advertising interrupts streaming audio and video not just at the beginning but throughout the experience! This is the definition of friction for the consumer. Friction is generated by interrupting the consumer with something they don't want, or at least at a time they don't want it. Loyalty is generated by giving the consumer what they want when they want it. Emails, and even text messages, are less invasive than phone calls." Then after criticizing Amazon for its evil ways, "Kudos to Amazon. But as a storyteller and writer, I will not passively watch Amazon commodify and then leverage publishing in an effort to sell more crap." That's the criticism.

       Here's the remedy: The Pirate Author Code

1) Pirate Authors are beholden to reader engagement. (Engagement Vs. Conversion)

2) Pirate Authors cover their assets. (Author Brand Vs. Broker Brand)

3) Pirate Authors grow brand loyalty. (Loyalty Vs. Friction)

4) Pirate Authors sail as a Pirate Crew. (Collaboration Vs. Isolation) "The only 'us vs. them' we should acknowledge is Pirate Authors vs. Information Dealers." 5) Pirate Authors support the broader Pirate Community. (Abundance Vs. Scarcity) I'm not sure if DMB/StoryShop Uni is asking fiction writers to join a revolution or to merely join forces to stop being exploited by the Amazon and other neo-monopolists.
Detailed analysis of a perfect blogger pitch (Chris Abraham, Marketing Conversation, 12-3-11, on how best to reach bloggers, how to engage them, how to get them to carry our client’s message to their readership)
The Top 10 Things Book Publicists Want Authors to Know (John Kremer, Ask the Book Publicist, 8-17-11)

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Book promotion on the radio

How to Get on Radio Talk Shows All Across America w/o Leaving Home by Joe Sabah (available on Amazon). Does not contain his database of radio shows, which you can order here.
Talk Radio for Authors: Getting Interviews Across the U.S. and Canada by Francine Silverman
Attract More Readers and Sell More Books: How to Promote Your Own Book (Without Feeling Sleazy) (Beth Jusino, Authors Guild webinar, 9-20-19, YouTube video, 1.5 hours) How to craft a marketing plan that raises awareness and makes the sale, based on your own unique strengths and audience; how to use (and when to ignore) traditional and popular marketing tools like press releases, giveaways, events, advertising, contests, reviews, awards, etc.; plus a few counter-intuitive and unusual marketing strategies that really work.
8 Steps to Getting Radio, TV, and Podcast Guest Expert Interviews (Scott Fox, SPANnet)
Radio interview promotion (Bryan Farrish's helpful articles about)
Book Bites Talk Radio (Christine Kloser and Lynne Klippel)
Radio Interview Promotion (Bryan Farrish's many articles on the subject)
Top 10 ways authors can make radio interviews pay (Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound)
Roster of intelligent radio and TV talk shows and video
RadioGuestList.com (this free service uses e-mail to help connect talk show hosts and producers with authors and experts)
Thoughtful radio and TV talk shows (particularly on NPR and public television)
Radio Locator (this site provides a comprehensive, searchable list of all the radio stations in the world (and, in the U.S., by city, by zip code, by call letters, including Internet streaming). What I found for my zip code was a far more complete list than I've been able to find locally!

"To me, the secret to everything is radio. I was busy doing radio interviews for a year, and finally book sales started increasing." ~John Gray in an interesting interview on how he honed his message down to something people could hear (it took years) and how he worked his way to the bestseller list, where Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus stayed for seven years.

"We've actual found that signings are the least effective author promotion which can take place in the store. What really works are events or panels. For instance, the topic of taxes is something that starts to concern everybody after the first of the year. What we do is put together events by various tax money management people or financial consultants from January through March in the stores."
~ Marcella Smith, Small Press Business Manager, Barnes & Noble (on Book Marketing Matters


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How to market yourself,
an organization, a product, or a process

I Shot Someone...and Found My Story (Kristin von Kreisler, Publishers Weekly, 12-21-18) Marketing 101: Start with a good title, one a reader has to click on!
• Some people are allergic to the idea of "selling" their services.  Think of it instead as letting people know about how you can serve them.
17 Instagram Book Promotion Ideas from Publishers (Shailee Shah, BookBub, 4-28-21) Image oriented so get that cellphone out and take pix!
Work 2.0: The Obstacles You Don't See (podcast, Hidden Brain) Introducing new ideas is hard. Most of us think the best way to win people over is to push harder. But organizational psychologist Loran Nordgren says a more effective approach is to focus on the invisible obstacles to new ideas. Fascinating and persuasive. See Nordgren's book (co-author David Schonthal): The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas.
Your Breakout Book Dana Kaye's webinar course that helps you organize your marketing. One writer said it was more cost-effective than hiring a publicist.
5 Ways to Use Community Marketing for Your Book (Amanda Miller on Jane Friedman's blog, 9-27-22) With BookCrossing you can track your book and its travels. Start a reader’s pass-along. Little Free Library. Leave something to read in doctors’ and dentists’ offices and coffee shops. Donate a copy of your book to local silent auctions and fundraising events.
The Psychology of Author Marketing (Dave Chesson on Jane Friedman's blog, 6-21-18) Basing his advice on what he learned from Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, Chesson talks about the three principles Cialdini explains will create conditions to compel people to take action: The Law of Reciprocity (offer genuine value, give a priced book for free, feature reviews in editorial section of your book's Amazon page, etc.); Liking: If We Like, We Follow and Buy (with advice on specific angles of this), and Taking Influential Actions.
KDP Rocket (aka Publisher Rocket)Dave Chesson's software that helps peel back the curtain on Amazon and see the wizard (or book data) behind it. Find the key words readers type into Amazon. Discover bestselling book categories. Find profitable keywords. Learn what works for your competitors. See new features and upgrades (Chesson promotion)
Nickolas Erik's curated list of promotional sites that he personally uses to sell books "BookBub trounces every site on this list by many orders of magnitude." Useful in conjunction with his two books: The Ultimate Guide to Book Marketing: The 80/20 System for Selling More Books and The Ultimate Guide to Author Productivity.
Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker
Promote Your Book with Your Values Sonya Huber on Jane Friedman's blog, 5-25-22) 'When I began to offer free workshops with writing prompts built around my book’s theme, my audience counts were ten times what I’d been able to pull in for a reading. Plus, the focus shifted from “me” to “us”: I got a chance to interact and be spontaneous, to read and hear writing from participants, to dialogue about questions that emerged from writing prompts, and even to do some writing myself.'
Your Fans Want to Know Exactly How You Did It (Chris Abraham, B2B) People are obsessed with process. How did you get to where you are and learn what you know? That’s why YouTube is an obsession: it’s all about “how you do it” or “how you did it.”...When people want to know how you did it, they don’t want to just see the final, edited, version — they’re interested in seeing all the struggle, challenge, revisions, and endless iterations it took to finally be ready for opening night."
Before You Market Your Book, Set Your Objectives (Boni Wagner-Stafford on Jane Friedman's blog, 8-2-19) By the author of One Million Readers: The Definitive Guide to a Nonfiction Book Marketing Strategy That Saves Time, Money, and Sells More Books.

Should You Hire a Social Media Assistant? (Barbara Linn Probst on Jane Friedman's blog, 10-29-2020) Unlike publicists, who seek media coverage on your behalf, or direct marketers, whom you pay to advertise your book on their sites, such an assistant takes over tasks that you could, if you wanted, do yourself or learn how to do yourself. The question is: How much is that time worth to you, and are there other benefits, besides freeing up your time, that a virtual assistant can offer?
A Debut Novelist in a Pandemic: How to Navigate a Launch Through Social Media (Kathleen Marple Kalb on Jane Friedman's blog, 4-12-21)
Some notes on book promotion (Janet Reid, Literary Agent, 12-13-18) E.g., follow as many people as you can and build your Twitter stream first. Watch for people asking questions and chime in with an answer. (Read on about that!)
• One author's advice: to actually sell copies of your book, carry a copy with you at all times (or in the trunk of your car) along with a Square for credit card sales and cash for change. Make impulse purchases (from "the author") easy. (I've found this true for Dying: A Book of Comfort which people do buy in quantity, as I give them a discount for quantity and I'm the only source for the little gift-book edition).
Netflix’s Millarworld Film and TV Adaptations Highlight the Importance of Books (Adam Rowe, Forbes, 7-17-18) The growing need for intellectual property by streaming giants “to develop into niche or four-quadrant hits across the mediums of television, film, and narrative audio” is opening up new opportunities for authors. “The ideal source material can be (relatively) inexpensively produced, can explore a massive variety of ideas, and is copyrighted by a single individual, making the rights easy to negotiate.”
How to Turn Trolling Into a Fine Art (Catherine Baab-Muguira on Jane Friedman's blog, 9-7-21) Edgar Allen Poe wrote many negative (even harsh) reviews of other people's work, as well as reviews that applauded the best writers. His "elevated trolling" of weak writers and crafty cultivation of his literary heroes—particularly Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Barrett Browning—helped turn them "into advocates for his own work." Not everyone can pull that off.
Making Tracks: Bill Kimberlin's enhanced interview, part 1. Bill did a podcast interview with a British website about his book Inside The Star Wars Empire: A Memoir. After they posted it, he downloaded the audio and added film and still photos to it, "so it could go out again as what they call an 'enhanced interview.' This then became a media tool for getting interviews as you could see he was verbal and interesting. This clearly works when the interview and subject are as interesting as Bill's are. I found myself going to Amazon to buy the book and I have no interest in Star Wars (but liked his story of the process). I learned of this from the Author's Guild discussion group--a practical reason for joining the Authors Guild, if you qualify.
How to Become an Author Expert and Strut Your Stuff (Joan Stewart on The Book Designer, 5-17-18) The five levels of expertise, from perceived authority to influencer/thought-leader.
How to Effectively Use Live Video (Even If You Fear the Camera) to Reach Readers (Amy Collins and the team at Best Seller Builders on Amy Friedman's blog, 10-7-19) Doing live video broadcasts is an effective way to engage with your target audience, get them to know and like you, become your fan, and eventually buy from you. You can start with either a smartphone or a tablet with the capability of broadcasting video (also known as livestreaming).
Pre-Publication Marketing: A Van Tour to Bookstores (Cai Emmons in a Jane Friedman Q&A, 9-24-18) "In November, Weather Woman by Cai Emmons will release from Red Hen Press. To spread the word, Cai drove 'the Weather Woman van' to independent bookstores in the Western United States, distributing advance reader copies, chatting with booksellers, and speaking at a variety of venues across the country. Emmons discusses how a van tour to meet booksellers in person helped her overcome her timidity about book marketing.
• One of many practical suggestions in Writing a Book or Article? Now’s the Time to Create Your ‘Author Platform’ (Devoney Looser, Chronicle of Higher Education, 7-16-18): "If a listener shows the least bit of interest in my book, I pull out a card and say, "Here’s what it looks like. Isn’t the cover beautiful?" A card is more portable than a flier. People usually don’t mind humoring me by taking one, and I feel a lot less like I’m distributing takeout menus. Plus, it’s a free bookmark."
How to Reach Out to Influencers for Book Promotion (Shayla Raquel on Jane Friedman's blog, 10-24-19) Influencers are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a topic and likely use social media to get their messages across. People listen to their recommendations because they have credibility. Which influencers do you approach for their support, and how, and how not, and when (in the timeline of your book's finishing and publication).
How to Network Better by Saying Less (Jane Friedman, Publishers Weekly 5-25-18) "Let’s say an author has written a novel based on historical events about a submarine that sinks off the coast of England during World War II. It appeals to men who love Michener. End there. The bookseller doesn’t need any more to understand the readership and whether it’s the sort of thing for her store. Part of being a good salesperson for your work is developing a rapport with others and understanding their interests and needs. The conversation can’t be focused on you. You’re not sitting down with Terry Gross and divulging your origin story as a writer, how you were inspired to write the book, the twists and turns the story takes, and the research surprises along the way....You have to put aside any impulse to digress about the content of the book.... you won’t become a person to be avoided later on, along the lines of, “Oh, there’s that author who cornered me for 15 minutes and wouldn’t stop talking about his book.”
Timeless storytelling tips from Warren Buffett (Lou Hoffman, Ragan's PR Daily, 4-10-18) Warren Buffett, one of the planet’s richest men, keeps readers engaged in his annual letter to shareholders. To keep readers hooked, he uses an engaging mix of conversational and straightforward language, accountability (with a touch of self-deprecation), anecdotes teased out as backstories (you don't have space for a full-length story), humor, metaphors and analogies.
Great Writers Book Marketing Series (N. Kali Mincy's interview with John Kremer is excellent--on BlogTalkRadio) The most important investment in book promotion is your cover. If you're going to spend money, spend part of it on a good cover and make sure the title is easy to read and memorable, because word of mouth is what makes a book a bestseller. Branding is whatever you do to make yourself or a book memorable.
4 daily deal services that will sell your book (Sandra Beckwith, Build Book Buzz, 9-9-14) Discoverability. Four deal services (BookBub, The Fussy Librarian, Readers in the Know, and Riffle Select) that send daily book deal e-mails to thousands – even millions – of book lovers who have opted in to get the messages offering books in the genres they enjoy.
A Free Way for Authors to Engage with Readers on BookBub.com See also the paid way to reach potential new readers: BookBub Featured Deals Pricing and Statistics. BookBub is expensive; you use it to promote one discounted book, the idea being that will lead readers to your other books. One author who had success with BookBub in the mystery and crime category said other worthwhile (but not so satisfactory) lists include Bargainbooksy, Robin Reads, EReader News Today, and Free Kindle Books and Tips (FKBT). See also Do Daily Deal Services Work? One Author’s Experience with 19 Promo Sites (Laura Heffernan, Writer Unboxed, 9-3-17) Interesting details! And see Free and Paid Book Promotion Services (Reedsy)
Storytelling Vs. Corporate Speak (Lou Hoffman, Ishmael's Corner, 9-23-11) The infographic is the new black. Hoffman uses one to show a gap the difference between the content developed by the PR function and the type of content needed by journalists, bloggers and other influencers.
Five Storytelling Techniques to Give Business Communications Liftoff ((Lou Hoffman, Ishmael's Corner, 8-30-15)
How Authors Move Their Own Merchandise (Joanne Kaufman, WSJ, 1-18-11)
How Authors Really Make Money: The Rebirth of Seth Godin and Death of Traditional Publishing. Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, on the economics and practical realities of being published in print, in e-books, and through self-publishing (vs. traditional publishing). (No simple answers.) Listen to the realistic video. (Publishers are good at distribution and making good book covers.) Three books Ferriss recommends:
~The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
~Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
~Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity: The Insider's Guide to Promoting Your Book--and Yourself by Rick Frishman, Robyn Freedman Spizman, and Mark Steisel.
Use Motivational Fit to Market Products and Ideas . Heidi Grant Halvorson and Jonathan Halvorson (on The Science of Success , a blog about strategies that work) explains the
difference between promotion motivation (striving for gains) and prevention motivation (avoiding losses). "To create motivational fit, you
always want to keep both the qualities of the product and the motivation of
your audience in mind, particularly when you are trying to position a
particular product to a target population." By the author of The Surprising Secret to Selling You by Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of 9 Things Successful People Do Differently(a Kindle single).
• Chris Guillebeau's case study of promoting his own writing, 279 Days to Overnight Success, on his blog The Art of Non-Conformity. A follow-up blog entry expands on his lessons learned.
Online Marketing Strategies: Proven Ways to Grow Your E-Business (Jim Carroll and Rick Broadhead, PDF)
Seth Godin's blog on marketing
Marketing Resources for Web Entrepreneurs (Lisa Angelettie's helpful links)

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Book Fairs and Festivals

The Ultimate Book Festival Checklist (Indie Author HQ, 9-22-14) Book festivals bring together authors and readers. A good use of your time as an author.
BookFairs.com (full listing of North American book, paper, and ephemera fairs)
The Fairs
Book fairs and festivals (Book TV's list and links, international)
Book Expo America (BEA) Publishers are there to sell books and do business and to become aware of what's going to be hot in the market. This is not the place to pitch your novel. Admission is expensive and a Random House editor was heard to say that authors at BEA are like "ants at a picnic."
Book fairs by state (Library of Congress)
Book Fair calendar (antiquarian book fairs, Book Source Magazine)
5 Reasons To Attend The Vegas Valley Book Festival In 2014 (IndieAuthor HQ)
The 12 Commandments of Selling Books at Book Fairs, Conventions, and Festivals (Terry Cordingley, on The Savvy Book Marketer)
Selling Books at Fairs and Festivals (Paula Margulies, on The Writer's Edge, 2-10-10)
How to Maximize a Book Festival Appearance: 9 Tips (Chuck Sambuchino, Writer's Digest, 10-13-13)
Book Fair Bewares (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware,
How Authors Are Chosen for Book Fairs (Valerie Peterson, About Money) Interview with Miami Book Fair International's Paola Fernandez-Rana
Book Festivals - Literary Festivals Are Great for Writers and Readers (Valerie Peterson, About Money
Washington DC Annual Book Festivals and Literary Events (Rachel Cooper, About Travel)
Publishing Conferences & Book Fairs – What’s In Them for Self-Published Authors? (Debbie Young, Alliance of Independent Authors, 2-14-14)
Authors Guide to the Frankfurt Book Fair (Hannah Johnson, Publishing Perspectives)

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Getting good publicity

Crafting a good elevator pitch, hiring a good publicist, knowing where and when and how to get publicity


Remember, to get publicity and reviews for a book, you must launch your campaign MONTHS before the book's publication date. Do NOT wait until you have a copy of the book in hand. What you are hiring, if you hire a publicist, is their time, expertise, and connections in the media.
Book PR Myths You May Not Know about And How To Be Your Book’s Best Publicist with Kim Corbin (Kim Corbin, The Authors Corner) Don’t wait until the book launches to hire a publicist. Your journey is a marathon, not a sprint....It’s not that publicity doesn't sell books. It just doesn't sell as many books as what people think.
But What Do You Want? (Cassie Mannes Murray, Pine State Publicity, 8-10-23) How to start thinking about book publicity before meeting with a publicist.
Getting the Word Out: 25 Years of Changes to Book Publicity (Sophia Stewart, PW, 4-19-22) The book review dominated literary publicity for most of publishing history, and "literary tastes and discourse were shaped by a small, elite group of reviewers at legacy media institution": The Atlantic, the Nation, the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Republic, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and London Review of Books) changed little over 100 years.“The review may often furnish the selling slogan for the book, while even a candid and unabashed ‘slam’ may frequently contribute, or be made to contribute, to sales.”

     Blogs came in  and"the literary blog was nothing short of revolutionary."  "Getting a book into the hands of a literary blogger could mean getting it in front of the eyes of countless readers who trusted that blogger’s taste." Few of them were paid" but "“Many writers with distinctive voices have gone on to pursue paid bylines, and shifted daily reflections to social media” (e.g., Lydia Kiesling, Jessa Crispin, and Maude Newton)....

     "This interactive style of blogging was facilitated by the dawn of “microblogging” on such platforms as Twitter and Tumblr, which launched in 2006 and 2007. A social media presence became mandatory for book critics, book publishers, and authors, whose followings factored into what they could command in book deals.

     Finally, readers themselves created their own communities on BookTube, which was supplanted by Bookstagram, whose content "tends to comprise photos of books against pretty backgrounds, with captions containing the Bookstagrammers’ thoughts on said books." By 2021, the video-sharing platform TikTok became "the most popular app among young Americans. And TikTok’s literary segment, BookTok, has garnered more influence than BookTube and Bookstagram ever did."

     Then came celebrity book clubs. "Despite the newfound power of celebrity within book publicity—that a single Instagram post from the right person can bump book sales, for instance—the practice of book reviewing, which also influences literary consumption, has been largely democratized....With the proliferation of publicity channels—legacy media and grassroots digital publications; major celebrities and niche influencers; professional book reviewers and amateur Goodreads reviewers—promoting books has never been so multifaceted, so far-reaching, and so out of publishers’ hands."
What to Look for in a Book Publicist—Plus Tips for Going It Alone (Tanya Hall on Jane Friedman's blog, 6-4-18) Hiring an outside publicity firm is a big decision, and knowing what to expect on the front end can help you make the right selection and get more out of the experience. See also Book Distribution Basic Explainer Definitely worth reading this explanation of something essential for a book's success. See also Wikipedia's List of book distributors.
Salary for Freelance Publicists (Career Trend)
The Elevator Pitch (Chris Van Dusen, excellent 44-minute talk at UC Irvine on how to present your story in the most effective manner). What you offer that no one else does, presented succinctly, honed to what's in it for the person you're pitching to, what problem you provide a solution for--as an opener for a conversation (and be sure to get THEIR business card).
How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch that Will Land You Big Business (Dumb Little Man)

Help a Reporter: How to Answer HARO Requests and Get Free PR for your Small Business (Linsey Knerl, 1099Mom.com) This free service started by Peter Shankman rivals the traditional ProfNet method of getting leads for stories and promoting your product or service. Linsey shares her top 5 tips for making sure your pitches are read and used by the reporters using HARO. An old piece, still relevant, though Shankman is selling HARO. Linsey used HARO  to get a book she helped co-write into Better Homes and Gardens, All You, Family Circle, Shape, Reader's Digest, and many more.
Choosing a Publicist: Ruling Out and Ruling In (Barbara Linn Probst on Jane Friedman's blog,5-20-19). "Know what you’re looking for. You can’t embark on an intelligent search for a publicist until you’ve examined your own needs, expectations, and transactional style." "Without a good fit, the relationship won’t work, regardless of the publicist’s stellar credentials." What questions to ask to choose the right publicist. (Always read the comments on this blogsite.)

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Choosing a Publicist (Again): Assessing Your Changing Needs (Barbara Linn Probst on Jane Friedman's blog, 9-9-21) "A first novel will attract attention, precisely because it’s unknown.... For a later novel, a different marketing strategy might make more sense....To figure out which PR firm, package, or combination of a la carte services will meet your present needs," do a "forward-leaning assessment based on where you are now, as an author, and where you might be able to go next."
Five PR Tools Every Writer Should Know About (Authors Guild, 6-9-21) For example, online book clubs.
The Difference Between Marketing and Publicity (M.J. Rose & Randy Susan Meyers on Jane Friedman's blog,11-15-13) Marketing is paid placement on blogs, radio, TV, newspapers, etc. If you pay for it, it shows up. Publicity is the attention you hope to get for free--except for the cost of hiring a publicist, if you choose that route.This piece is about what to expect, or not. Essentially, people need to hear about a book several times before they notice it.
NetGalley Book Review Program: A Case Study (David Kudler, interesting article on The Book Designer, 7-20-16) NetGalley is a book review service that connects book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators. For this author, it was a good way to check out the cover, the way the book was pitched (it was more for middle grade than YA, and not as "action-packed" as copy suggested), and so on. Done early for a wide audience, it was a good way to get a lot of reviews.
Getting reviews and promotion for self-published books
How and where to get book reviews and publicity
How to Find and Work With a Book Publicist—Successfully (Jane Friedman, 2-16-16)
The Author's Role in a Successful Book Publicity Campaign (Sara Wigal, IngramSpark, 12-19-17)
Is All Publicity Good Publicity? Nathan Ihara (MobyLives 3-16-11) writes about a new study by the journal Marketing Science, which reports that the effect of negative reviews on books by well-known authors is a 15% decrease in sales. “For books by relatively unknown (new) authors, however, negative publicity has the opposite effect, increasing sales by 45%.” Delays after reading negative reviews help unknown books more than well-known books. "in short, if you’re a nobody, it’s better to have your book attacked than ignored. Over time readers will forget the mean stuff said about you, and will only remember your book’s name." Thanks to Sue Russell and Bill Morris of The Millions for this lead.

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5 PR industry father figures (Richard Etchison, Ragan's PR Daily, 6-15-18) Brief profiles of five legendary figures--Bernays, Lee, Edelman, Schmertz, Burson--who shaped modern public relations, and what they contributed. Dan Edelman, for instance: 'As the story goes, he had haircare client Toni Co. send six sets of twins on a cross-country trip in a “perm box” trailer, inviting the public to guess which twin had the Toni home perm versus the expensive salon job. The media tour was born, and the rest is history.'
How to Save Money and Do Online Book Publicity Yourself (Fauzia Burke, on Jane Friedman's blog, 4-19-16)
Pimpin' Your Book: What is publicity & marketing, anyway? or how to work with a publisher's publicity and marketing departments (and to know the difference between them (Colleen Lindsay, a/k/a The Swivet, 9-6-08)
The Publicity Hound (Joan Stewart's very tips on self-promotion and getting free publicity) Check out blog posts, ezine, etc.
The Five Golden Rules Of Publicity For Authors (Katherine Smith, Internet Writing Journal, Oct. 2002)
How to publicize your writing by speaking in schools, libraries, and shopping malls (Anne Hart, Ground Report, 11-1-09). "if you are writing children’s books," writes Hart, "purchase your state’s public school directory. Contact schools and school librarians. Charge a fee from $400 to $1,000 to visit schools. Select the appropriate age group to speak to assemblies about your book(s) if they are suitable for that age group." (One colleague who has made a good part of her living through such school visits says that recession-induced cutbacks have dried up this source of income.)
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) Become a source for reporters and media outlets.
7 Tips on Book Publicity (Livia Blackburne, on Chuck Sambuchino's blog, Writer's Digest, 5-26-10)
How to publicize and promote your own work
Rusty Shelton and Katie Andrews, of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, were guest bloggers on Lisa Tener’s Writing Blog, where you can read several useful postings on how to publicize and promote your work:
---Why Publicity Is Your New Best Friend
---The Publicity 411: What to Know Before Getting Started
---Press Releases & Pitches: How to get the word out about your book
---Virtual Media Training: How to Rock Your Interviews
---Social Media and Beyond: Why You Must Join the Movement and Where to Start
With "extra credit" for a three part series on the Phenix & Phenix blog about prepping authors for TV talk shows:
---Part One: Booking the interview
---Part Two: Soundbyte prep
---Part Three: Networking

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Book Publicity: How to ‘Book’ Authors in the Media (Andrew Blum, PRNew, 7-18-16)
The Art of Publicity for the Self-Publishing Author (Reedsy, 8-11-17)
The Art of Publicity: How Indie Publicists Work With Writers (Tess Taylor, The Practical Writer, on Poets&Writers, March/April 2018)
Barcelona Principles 2.0 (PR News) "The Barcelona Principles is a set of seven principles that provide the first overarching framework for effective public relations (PR) and communication measurement. The principles were originally adopted by about 200 delegates from over 30 countries at the 2nd Annual European Summit on Measurement in Barcelona, Spain in 2010, convened by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC)....The Barcelona Principles outline the basic principles of PR and communication measurement and represent an industry-wide consensus on this topic. They are intended to not only demonstrate proof of performance, but how to foster continuous improvement. "

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Amazon marketing and ads

Writing the Amazon book description


About pop-up ads: To get rid of them you typically click on an X or on "No, I don't want what you're offering" or equivalent. But if you're researching how to make money through Amazon (etc.) marketing, look them over. And read the following.
Ad research. An emotional tipping point for ad research. "Advertising that generates a strong emotional response, even in the absence of a discernible product message, is more efficient than message-based advertising," reports Orlando Wood.
How to set up your Amazon Ads account (YouTube video, Amazon Seller University)
Amazon Ads Resource Library Facts, figures, and case studies. (H/T Marie Monteagudo)
Amazon Ads: Step-by-Step Walk Through for Beginning Authors (Jane Friedman, 6-16-22) Amazon ads are a valued (and sometimes expensive) tool for authors and publishers to drive book visibility and sales. Here's a guide to getting started.
Amazon Ads for Traditionally Published Authors Interesting webinar presented by the Authors Guild and The Hot Sheet. Amazon now allows traditionally published authors to purchase ads for their books, after previously selling ads only to self-published authors. As with any marketing expense, it’s best to start with a realistic view of the potential return on investment. This is especially true for traditionally published books, because the lower royalty rates can make pay-per-click ads prohibitively expensive. To help traditionally published authors get the lay of the land, this panel includes bestselling indie authors and book marketing professionals who have been working with Amazon Ads for years. Some comparisons with Facebook ads.
Best Page Forward Turn more browsers into buyers. "We write done-for-you book descriptions and advertising copy." Get "cheat sheet" in exchange for giving them your name and email address.
How to Write Your Amazon Book Description (48 minute video, bestselling author Bryan Cohen reveals his process for writing incredible book blurbs) Focus on what is the number one conflict or takeaway in your book--for example, the protagonist wants X but Y is in his way. Base your headline on your main conflict.
Mastering the Amazon Book Description: What You NEED to Know (62-minute YouTube video, Brian Meeks on Self-Publishing with Dale L. Roberts) See also Mastering Book Descriptions with Brian Meeks (Episode 025 of The Indy Author podcast). The product description is a piece of advertising designed to do one thing: to get a potential reader to give your book a try. And buy his book: Mastering Amazon Descriptions: An Author's Guide (Copywriting for Authors, by Meeks).
Sell More Books With Amazon Ads (Kindlepreneur's free course) See also Free Amazon Book Advertisement Course: Ads for Authors (Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur, 7-20-21)
Authors Optimizing Amazon and Facebook Ads - Support Group
Publisher Rocket (formerly KDP Rocket) as described by Dave Chesson (Kindlepreneur): Helps Amazon shoppers with book discovery; helps you find best categories for your book, shows what other authors are doing/how much earning, creates effective Amazon book ads.
Amazon Book Ads – A Remarkable Case Study Reveals Untapped Potential (Michal Stawicki, Kindlepreneur, 7-20-21)
Marketers & Coffee: Facebook Ads vs AMS Ads (listen to Jonny Andrews on Kindlepreneur, 30 minutes)
10 Critical Things To Get Right When Doing Amazon Ads For Books (Laurence O’Bryan, PublishDrive, 10-13-20) Quick beginner tips on Amazon ads. For those who haven’t yet used Amazon to advertise their ebooks, this is a good starting point for learning the metrics and terminology.

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Amazon’s ad revenue is twice as big as Snap, Twitter, Roku, and Pinterest’s combined. And it’s growing 1.7 times as quickly. (Megan Graham (@megancgraham) at CNBC, 5-25-21)
Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author's Guide - Beta Group (Facebook page, Q&As)

Amazon Ads for Authors: Tips and Strategies to Sell Your Books an excellent guide by Deb Potter, one of the admins for the helpful Facebook support group Authors Optimizing Amazon and Facebook Ads (search and find lots of good info).
Amazon Ads Unleashed: : Advanced Publishing and Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors by Robert J. Ryan
Amazon Ads for Indie Authors: A How-to Guide from an Industry Expert by Janet Margot

The Rising Cost of AMS Ads (John Doppler, Watchdog Reports, Alliance of Independent Authors, 9-13-18) Indie authors, If you’ve noticed a sharp decline in the effectiveness of your AMS ads recently, you’re not alone. An Amazon cash grab may be at the bottom of it.
Amazon Ads Unleashed: Advanced Publishing and Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors by Robert J. Ryan
Getting the Most from Amazon Advertising: AskALLi Members’ Q&A Podcast (Howard Lovy, Self-Publishing Advice, 9-18-2020) Excellent full discussion.
Amazon Sets Its Sights on the $88 Billion Online Ad Market (Julie Creswell, NY Times, 9-3-18) "Thanks to its wealth of data and analytics on consumer shopping habits, it can put ads in front of people when they are more likely to be hunting for specific products and to welcome them as suggestions rather than see them as intrusions. Amazon is gaining in advertising when the public perception of Google and Facebook has soured....For some brands, the increased spending is most likely directly linked to increased competition on Amazon’s platform from Amazon itself. As Amazon introduces more of its own private-label goods, many companies are expanding their advertising spending to raise the visibility of their products."

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Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author's Guide by Brian D. Meeks. (Read the comments to see if this is for you, and how.) See also Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author's Guide, the Facebook page (a private beta group)
Marketers & Coffee: Getting the Most out of AMS Ads with Brian Meeks (Brian Meeks on Kindlepreneur)
Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author's Guide by Brian D. Meeks
What You Need to Know About Amazon Ads (Amy Collins, New Shelves, 1-15-19) What they learned from running over 300 Amazon ads for authors and their books.
Setting up and Optimizing Your Author Pages on Amazon and Goodreads (Amy Collins, New Shelves, 10-8-19) Good how-to.
How to Improve Your Amazon Book Descriptions (Penny Sansevieri on Jane Friedman's blog,10-8-19) "Most people don’t read websites; they scan. The same is true for your book description. When your description is visually and psychologically appealing, it invites the reader to delve in instead of click off. Huge blocks of text can overwhelm."
Amazon Ads for Authors: Two Case Studies Showing They Do Work (Reedsy)
Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer Jay McGregor, Forbes, 4-17-15). Get more updated material about Mark Dawson's success marketing self-published novels by googling him or signing up for his email blasts. Here are his German Amazon ads.

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My Honest Review of Mark Dawson's Self Publishing 101 (Amy Lynn Andrews, updated 10-3-19) "Self Publishing 101 is about marketing. The actual writing process is not covered." You need to do marketing even if you're traditionally published.
Changes to Amazon Advertising: What Authors Need to Know (Dave Chesson on Jane Friedman's blog, 3-18-19) "A couple of months ago, Amazon changed the name of their advertising platform from Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to Amazon Ads, which is why you might still see people, myself included, call it AMS." Changes are in three categories: new advertising modes, improved dashboard, better ad targeting. A good explanation of something I didn't realize I needed explained.
Book Advertising – Free AMS Advertisement Course for Authors (Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur)
How To Get Approved for More Amazon Book Categories (Scott Allan, Self-Publishing School, 2-1-18)
Using Amazon KDP Ads to Sell Your Ebook on Amazon (Rob Kroese on Jane Friedman's blog, 1-3-17) "For most self-publishers, Sponsored Product Ads are a much better bet for generating positive return without forking over hundreds of dollars up front." "Keep an eye out for keywords that are costing you a lot ($.20 or more) per click." Kroese is author of Self-Publish Your Novel: Lessons from an Indie Publishing Success Story
Strategies for using Amazon Marketing Services to make your book pop to the top in Amazon searches (Ian Lamont of i30 Media, 30-minute IBPA podcast) A real-world assessment of what works and what doesn't when working with Amazon (or with Facebook and Google ads).
How to make Amazon Advertising Product Display Ads (YouTube video, Ian Lamont of i30 Media)
Clicks, Impressions, and Conversions, Oh My! Digital Marketing Terms You Need to Know (Stephanie Theisen, Leighton Broadcasting, 4-4-16 updated to 2018) A mini-glossary of terms such as conversions, cost per thousand (CPM), cost per click (CPC), cost per action (CPA), targeting, landing pages, mobile gateway.

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The Difference Between Website Impressions and Clicks (James Parsons, GrowTraffic, 1-25-15) When your ad loads and displays in front of a user, that is one impression. ... Well, you can't have clicks without impressions. Users need to see your ads before they can decide whether or not to click them. This is typically referred to as CPM, or Cost Per Mille, where Mille means thousand.
Using Amazon Ads to Sell a YA Novel: A Detailed Analysis (Deanna Cabinian, on Jane Friedman's blog 7-31-17) A dollars and cents analysis of money spent and earned.
Using Amazon Ads to Grow a Newsletter List (Alexandra Amor, Book Marketing, on The Creative Penn, 3-2-17) A list of subscribers who have read and liked your books can be one of the most powerful tools in your book marketing tool box. Why I think Amazon ads are a great way to find new readers and new subscribers.
Use QR Codes to "Amplify" Your Work (Research Explainer). "These two-dimensional bar codes—looking like crossword puzzles for masochists—enable audiences to scan the code with their smartphone or camera-equipped tablet to gain access to information or trigger actions." They can also take you Amazon (or elsewhere) to sell your book, and for people with smartphones, this could mean quick, impulsive sales.
Amazon’s ambitious drive into digital-advertising (The Economist, 10-27-18) Building a big ad business will help the firm to keep expanding. Amazon has 4% of the American market, Google 37%, Facebook 21%. "But Amazon started experimenting with ads only six years ago, and its young business is growing fast in a rapidly expanding market. By the end of the year it will overtake Microsoft, a software giant, and Verizon, a big telecoms firm, to rank third in America, according to eMarketer, a research firm." (See the story for dollar figures.) And Amazon ads (especially voice ads and commercial breaks) could put customers off and targeted ads based on info Amazon has on us could elicit a privacy backlash.
Amazon's massive bet on podcast advertising (Simon Owens, 8-16-21) Though it still has a long way to go.
Mark Dawson's Masterclass on Amazon Ads #056 (Self-Publishing Formula podcast #056, 3-17-17) You can click for a free Amazon Ads cheat sheet. See also Mark Dawson's masterclass #146 on Amazon Ads (transcript) and podcast of Episode 112. In particular, check out Learn Strategies That Are Working in Amazon Ads Right Now (PDF, Mark Dawson and Joanna Penn, 11-18)

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Linking to Amazon (Aaron Shepard) How to Create the Shortest, Simplest Links to Your Books on Amazon.com, by the author of Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing, or or How to Publish Your Books with Print on Demand and Online Book Marketing on Amazon.com.
ReviewMeta Analyzes Amazon ads to learn which ones you can trust. Explained here in short video.
A Field Guide To Amazon Advertising (Marketing Land, 11-3-15, so maybe not up to date) Columnist David Rekuc walks you through Amazon’s ad formats and explains how you can achieve the best return on investment for each one.
Aaron Shepard’s Publishing Page The new business of self-publishing. Print on demand. Ebook publishing on Kindle, online marketing on Amazon, and DIY book design.
Amazon Sales Ranking and Author Rank (Foner Books) Calculate How Many Books Amazon Sells from Ranks.
Watch Your Rank (Publishing Central) See more articles on Self-Publishing (and similar articles on topics listed along left).
How to Successfully Market Products on Amazon & Think like a Buyer (Kevin Rizer, Big Commerce). For example: If They Can’t Read It, They Won’t Come. For buyers unconvinced by your title and images, your bullet points are your next opportunity to seal the deal. And: Images are Emotional Recognition Tools
Amazon sponsored ads: How they work
7 Ways to Promote Your Amazon Listings and Drive More Sales (Shopify)
Acceptance policies for Amazon book ads (April 2017) Includes General Requirements, Unacceptable Books and Ad Content, Restricted Categories, Image Restrictions.
Amazon to test new ground for its Sponsored Products ads: the rest of the internet (Garett Sloane, AdAge, 7-23-18)

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Google, Facebook, Apple, and BookBub ads

In an Authors Guild discussion, a couple of authors who have tried ads said they had more success (a little) with Facebook ads than with Amazon ads. The key, says Pamela Kelley, is to "start very small as you learn what works and only spend more when your ad is profitable."
Your First Facebook Ad Training (Wolf Pack Productions) A free online course. They offer a paid version, too. No idea how good the paid course is, but free might be worth a try.
Facebook Ads For Authors (David Gaughran, YouTube video tutorial,1hr 15 min) A detailed tutorial on creating Facebook ads, for authors looking to scale up and sell more books. Focus on the targeting interface in particular, which will make or break your ad.  Check out his email archive.
Facebook Targeting Expansion Becomes Default (Jon Loomer, 9-23-21) "Facebook is making a change to force advertisers to potentially target more broadly using Targeting Expansion for some situations. It’s a big change that could lead to more results (if it works the way it’s designed), but it may also upset advertisers wanting to limit targeting to a smaller group." See Loomer's website for For Advanced Facebook Advertisers Only (video explanation).
Porn, Piracy, Fraud: What Lurks Inside Google’s Black Box Ad Empire (Craig Silverman and Ruth Talbot, ProPublica, 12-21-22) Google’s ad business hides nearly all publishers it works with and where billions of ad dollars flow. We uncovered a network containing manga piracy, porn, fraud and disinformation. Google is the only major ad platform that hides the vast majority of its ad-selling partners. This means Google does not disclose all the websites and apps where it places ads or the people and companies behind them. The company conceals this information even after helping establish and publicly supporting an industry transparency standard for disclosing such sellers, which its competitors have largely adopted.
How Google’s Ad Business Funds Disinformation Around the World (Craig Silverman, Ruth Talbot, Jeff Kao and Anna Klühspies, ProPublica, 10-29-22) The largest-ever analysis of Google’s ad practices on non-English-language websites reveals how the tech giant makes disinformation profitable. Four examples of articles with false claims that Google placed ads on, in apparent violation of its policies. Google routinely places ads on sites pushing falsehoods about COVID-19 and climate change in French-, German- and Spanish-speaking countries. The resulting ad revenue is potentially worth millions of dollars to the people and groups running these and other unreliable sites — while also making money for Google. Includes a Glossary for Understanding Digital Ad Buying and Selling
Google Says It Bans Gun Ads. It Actually Makes Money From Them. (Craig Silverman and Ruth Talbot, ProPublica, 6-14-22) The tech giant has long boasted that it doesn’t accept ads for firearms, but a ProPublica analysis shows that Google’s ad systems served up more than 100 million ads from gun makers. Weapons makers and sellers can use Google’s advertising tools and partner exchange system to place ads on firearm and outdoor enthusiast properties and on other sites that have not blocked weapons ads. This is where the vast majority of gun manufacturer ads end up — on sites with names like thefirearmblog.com, gundigest.com, and survivalistboards.com.
How Steve Bannon Has Exploited Google Ads to Monetize Extremism (Craig Silverman and Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, 11-20-21) Google kicked Bannon off YouTube because of his violent rhetoric but still sent ad dollars to his website that promotes misinformation about the election and the pandemic.
Facebook Ads (video, Malorie Cooper aka M.D. Cooper, 20Books Vegas 2021 Day 3)
Help! My Facebook Ads Suck by Mal Cooper and Jill Cooper
Facebook Ads FAQ (Jon Loomer, again)
Mad Ads Old and new series on Facebook Ads (David Gaughran) Check out his email archive.
Facebook Grew Marketplace to 1 Billion Users. Now Scammers Are Using It to Target People Around the World. (Craig Silverman, A.C. Thompson and Peter Elkind, ProPublica, 9-22-21) For years, Carman Alfonsi relied upon Facebook Marketplace to buy and sell used pool tables for his Michigan billiards business. He banked a steady stream of income from the wildly popular online bazaar. But this July, Alfonsi’s Facebook account was hacked and used to post roughly 100 scam listings for cell phones and vehicles, directing buyers to contact an email address controlled by the scammers.
Facebook Targeting Expansion Becomes Default (Jon Loomer, 9-23-21) "Facebook is making a change to force advertisers to potentially target more broadly using Targeting Expansion for some situations. One of the surface-level problems with Targeting Expansion is that when you turn it on, the “Potential Audience” immediately balloons to the size it would be if you removed all targeting restrictions within a location." Instead of wading in these weeds, check out Loomer's Facebook marketing tutorials.
Facebook Ads for Authors 2021 (Margie Lawson) "Facebook is under fire from all sides. They’ve become mired in politics, anti-trust lawsuits, and are embroiled in a dispute with Apple over how consumer data is used.... For 2021, Facebook is on a massive verification kick. They want to know who they are working with, and to do that, they want two-factor authentication on accounts." And that's just one point among many. "Trust but verify is the axiom to run ads by."

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Apple is becoming a bigger player in digital advertising, risking antitrust action and its image (Joshua Benton, NiemanLab,10-18-21) Kneecapping Facebook and adtech companies in the name of privacy just happens to have tripled a key part of Apple’s ad business.
Google, Shopify Extend Ties in Commerce Blitz Against Amazon (Mark Bergen, Bloomberg, 5-27-21) "Google is pushing further into e-commerce with new tools and partnerships with Shopify Inc., Square Inc. and others to gin up more shopping on the search giant’s web properties -- and very much not on Amazon.com Inc. Alphabet Inc.’s Google announced Thursday that merchants using Square, GoDaddy Inc. and WooCommerce will be able to sell products more easily on Google search, Maps and YouTube."
How Authors Can Leverage Facebook Ads to Sell More Books (Matt Holmes on Jane Friedman's blog, 6-15-21) When to use Facebook ads, are they worth your time and money, how Facebook ads are structured, how to create scroll-stopping Facebook ads, testing ads one variable at a time, testing multiple audiences and ads, tracking data.
The Facebook Ad Library
Maximizing Book Sales with Facebook and BookBub Ads: Q&A with Melissa Storm (Cathy Shouse on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-11-2020) The bestselling author discusses best practices for ads, how to keep your spending in check, the top three mistakes authors make, and more.
Facebook may take 7% revenue hit from Apple privacy changes (Eric Benjamin Seufert, Mobile Dev Memo, 1-18-21) App Tracking Transparency (ATT), the privacy framework that will imminently be enforced on iOS, is the most sweeping and tectonic cause célèbre that the mobile ecosystem has faced. This policy change was not unexpected...[b]ut most large ad platforms were seemingly caught flat-footed by ATT, and Facebook, perhaps more than any other large digital advertising platform, has been scrutinized exhaustively regarding the potential revenue impact delivered to it by ATT....Google and other ad platforms face nearly equivalent exposure.
Help! My Facebook Ads Suck by Mal Cooper. "...tailored for self-published fiction authors who want to advertise their novels on Facebook...." One thing that totally mystified me was the back end of how Facebook decides which ads to display. I never realized how detrimental adding lots of text to my ad images was to the number of impressions the ad gets and the cost per click, but it does make my glorious flops make a lot more sense." --an Amazon comment.
Amazon PPC Challenges Google Ads (Search Engine Journal) A study of billions of dollars in Pay Per Click (PPC) expenditures reveals insights into spending trends, particularly between the platforms hosted by Google and Amazon. Key Differences Between Google and Amazon: Return on Advertising Spend, Algorithms, Ramp Up Time, Budget Strategies.

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Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes by Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes, and Bryan Todd
How to Find Out What Google and Other Big Tech Companies Know About You (Thomas Smith, OneZero, Medium, 2-11-2020) As a consumer, I believe our biggest obligation at this point is simply to stay informed.
Google Ads Targeted at Literally One Person Could Be the Future of Doxxing (Patrick Berlinquette, OneZero, Medium, 1-31-2020) It’s easy for anyone to disaggregate your data, and use it against you.
Why Does Facebook Think I’m ‘Political’? (Yoram Hazony, author of "The Virtue of Nationalism," WSJ, 7-25-18) The robots at Facebook always urge me to “boost my post.” Later: “Your ad was not approved because your Page has not been authorized to run ads with political content.”..."Did Facebook get its 'political ads' policy from Monty Python, while outsourcing customer service to HAL from '2001'? Or is it simply unwilling to run ads for a book about the virtue of nationalism?"
The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising by Brian Meert
Help! My Facebook Ads Suck by Michael Cooper
How to reach up to TEN MILLION readers with BookBub Ads for authors (YouTube, a one-hour David Gaughran tutorial, 5-13-2020). If you like that, see more of his Marketing with a story tutorials. And check out his email archive.
How to Get More BookBub Featured Deals (Nicholas Erik, 2022)
The Best BookBub Ads of 2018 (Carlyn Robertson, Insights (BookBub's blog, 12-18-18) "Some had a high click-through rate, some had a low cost-per-click. Some cost thousands of dollars, others cost $100. One campaign ran for over two years, another for just a few days. But every one of them demonstrates the core elements that make for effective advertising on any platform: targeting a relevant audience with engaging creative that will capture their interest."
Using BookBub Ads to Support Your Book Marketing (Anne Janzer on Jane Friedman's blog, 12-18-18)
How to Use BookBub Ads to Promote Any Book Diana Urban, BookBub Tutorial, 5-31-16)
David Gaughrans posts tagged 'BookBub Ads
Book Marketing: How to Optimise Facebook Adverts – A Case Study (Indie author GD Harper, ALLi, 4-15-17)
Using BookBub Ads to Support Your Book Marketing (Anne Janzer on Jane Friedman's blog, 12-18-18)
Google Adwords, Explained
Google, Facebook, Amazon: Our Digital Overlords (Robert VerBruggen, National Review, 12-12-17) It’s not time to smash these companies to pieces. But perhaps we should rein in some of their most egregious practices.

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Make Your Book More Discoverable with Keywords (Kindle Direct)
Browse Categories (Kindle Direct) "Browse categories are the sections of the Amazon site where customers can find your book. Think of browse categories like the sections of a physical bookstore (fiction, history, and so on). During title setup, you'll choose a BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) code. The codes you choose, along with your selected keywords, are used to place your book into certain categories on Amazon.After your book has an Amazon listing, your book's category will appear under the Product Details section of your listing. This is the path customers can follow to find your book. To make your book appear in the right categories, choose the categories and keywords that best describe your book. Learn more about BISAC subject codes and keywords for category assignment.
Here’s how Amazon could shake up the Google-Facebook ad duopoly (Cale Guthrie Weissman, Fast Company, 3-18-18) "Google and Facebook–control over 60% of the advertising spend. But it’s anyone’s guess how long their dominance will last.
How merchants use Facebook to flood Amazon with fake reviews (Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg, Wash Post, 4-23-18)

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Ads, Ad Networks, Ad Platforms, Ad Retargeting, etc.

and The Death of the Third-Party Cookie

How Retargeting Ads Work: Retargeting Pixels & The Remarketing Cookie Process (YouTube video explanation by Isaac Rudansky, a gifted explainer of ad tech. ("Retargeting is implemented by adding a piece of JavaScript code or a pixel (literally a 1×1 image) to your website’s pages, typically in the footer. This pixel is small enough so it’s not seen or noticed by the user. It allows the retargeting ad service to send a request and drop a cookie."
The Death of Third-Party Cookies (What Marketers Need to Know) (Molly McGuane, Terakeet, 1-14-22) ---By 2023, Google Chrome will join Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari in phasing out third-party cookies. ---Currently, the advertising industry depends on third-party cookies to track consumers as they move across the internet.

---Marketers that rely heavily on third-party data for ad targeting and other campaigns will need to reevaluate their strategies.
The Death of the Third-Party Cookie: What Marketers Need to Know About Google's 2022 Phase-Out (Pamela Bump, Marketing, Hubspot) Because Chrome, Safari, and Firefox will all no longer support this type of data tracking by 202[3] (revised goal), publications like Digiday are calling Google's phase-out the "death of the third-party cookie." So far, Google says it's only planning to phase out the third-party cookie on its browsers. However, first-party cookies that track basic data about your own website's visitors are still safe. A first-party cookie is a code that gets generated and stored on your website visitor's computer by default when they visit your site. This cookie is often used for user experience as it is responsible for remembering passwords, basic data about the visitor, and other preferences.
The Cookieless Future: Why Are Cookies Going Away? (Hannah Stewart,Learn Hub, 2-9-22) Since Google announced the elimination of third-party cookies and Apple announced changes that make Identifiers for Advertisers (IDFAs) significantly less valuable than before, marketers have become increasingly concerned about the cookieless future. With so much digital marketing activity relying on data from third-party cookies, a large majority of the ad tech sector - as well as publishers, advertisers, and marketers - are in a massive, frenzied race to find viable alternatives. Google opted out of "personally identifiable information (PII) collection methods" because it has implemented what seems to be a more secure alternative: Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), aka Privacy Sandbox.Google says FLoC is a "privacy-first" and "interest-based" advertising technology (AdTech). Instead of third-party cookies tracking a user's browsing habits across the web, Google's web browser, Chrome, will do this instead. High-profile investigations, coupled with growing consumer fears, have created the perfect storm Google is being forced to respond to.

COVID and cascading collapses in media/advertising (Benedict Evans) Fascinating use of charts to show changing advertising shares in various media.
Why Programmatic Advertising May Be the Future of Media Buying (Ted Vrountas, Lead Generation, Instapage,1-3-2020)
Why host-read ads will never go away (Simon Owens's Media Newsletter) His example: YouTuber Thomas Ridgewell's comedy sketch (a thirty-minute video) about Ridgewell's history selling brand sponsorships for his channel-- executing a nine-video brand deal he signed with a VPN company (Surfshark). "Despite the rise of programmatic advertising, the beloved host-read ads that appear on your favorite podcasts and YouTube channels are here to stay," writes Owens.
What is Ad Retargeting and How Does It Work? (Michal Wlosik, AdTech Processes, Clearcode, 10-4-17) There is no way to effectively prevent a user from leaving your website by closing the browser or tab. But there are ways to remedy the problem. Enter ad retargeting. Retargeting (or, using Google’s nomenclature, remarketing) is a way to make the ads “follow” those customers who, for some reason, have left your store without making a purchase.
How publishers sell ad inventory (Eric Picard, SpringLoad, 8-9-12)
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman. Subtitle: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters. "The style of copy taught here that worked in print ads is even more powerful on the web today," writes one Amazon customer.

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How to Build a Swipe File (Samuel Thomas Davies) A "swipe file is a collection of tested and proven advertising ideas. Traditionally, that collection might have included print ads, mailing, and sales letters. But in today’s digital age, that might also mean banner ads, email campaigns, online marketing strategies, and more."
Top 5 Media Startup Mistakes (Mike Nolet, Mike On Ads, 10-7-10) "My first title for this post was “top 5 ad-network mistakes”… then I realized that ad-network was a “bad” term… so intead I’m going to refer to a “media startup”. I’ll put networks, DSPs, trade-desks, dynamic creative providers… any company that buys & sells media (*cough* … looks like a network.. *cough*) under this new “media startup” bucket."
The New Display Ecosystem — Part I: A few words on HYPE. (Mike Nolet, Mike On Ads, 7-17-11)
Exchange v. Network, Part I: What’s the difference? (Mike Nolet, Mike on Ads, 8-16-07) See also Part II: Adoption (9-2-07) and Links to all his posts.
The Challenge of Scaling an Adserver (Mike Nolet, Mike On Ads, 4-4-10)
With Ads In Place, Google Takes Training Wheels Off AMP (Sarah Sluis, Ad Exchanger, 2-18-16)

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Press releases--yes? no? how to write a good one

How To Write a Press Release, with Examples (Geoffrey James, MoneyWatch, CBS, 11-10-10) Five rules to make sure your press release drives prospects to contact you.
Why You Need a Press Release in the Digital Age (Claire McKinney on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-7-24) Whether you write novels or nonfiction, a press release is still an essential tool for raising awareness and sharing your work’s core message.
Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book by Sandra Beckwith
The pros and cons of press releases vs. pitches (Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, 2-4-14) followed by When to use a press release and when to deliver a pitch (2-6-14) and The Publicity Hound’s 89 Press Release Tips (a free course on how to write press releases).
Newswise A free newswire for journalists. A press release distribution service for public relations professionals. A news site for the intellectually curious. Newswise means different things to different people, and each group participates in different ways. Journalists can find embargoed research news, expert sources, and feature ideas to help them do their jobs. See FAQs and various wire services
Is there still a place for PR wire services in the 2018 communicator’s toolbox? (Arik C. Hanson, Talking Points, 6-14-18) An interesting way to answer a question: Let various former users of wire services say they are or are not useful -- certainly not in the original way, in this digital age.
Journalists are ditching the press release (Beki Winchel, Ragan's PR Daily, 5-25-18) "Nearly half of reporters (49 percent) said they’d more likely pay attention to a press release if it contained an infographic, and 13 percent said they’d pay attention if a video was featured in a release. Thirty-five percent said nothing PR pros do will make them interested in releases—so you might want to flex your social media muscles and get your storytelling juices flowing. Short, snappy pitches with an enticing narrative sent through email or Twitter will probably gain more attention." Free download: Journalism in the social media age How journalists use social media to source stories and disseminate news.
Headline vs. study: Sometimes fishy, sometimes pulling a rabbit out of a hat (Michael Joyce, HealthNewsReview.org, 5-14-18) Too often news releases or news stories about research misguide people because the headline promises more than the content delivers--8 of 14 headlines overstate evidence (3 examples given).
How to Vet Industry PR Claims (Knvul Sheikh, The Open Notebook, 3-26-19) Science journalists are not just storytellers. They serve as watchdogs, too, informing readers about everything from the environmental impact of space delivery capsules to product launches of drugs that might end up in your medicine cabinet. When story leads slip into our inboxes in the form of press releases, how do reporters sift through the PR claims and,verify information? Four journalists discuss the problem: Nidhi Subbaraman (Buzzfeed), Hal Hodson (The Economist). Sarah Scoles (freelance, Wired, Popular Science), Emily Hayes (Scrip and Pink Sheet, pharmaceutical industry publications). "The statements that companies make—often cloaked in impenetrable business jargon that barely means anything at all—aim to advance a narrative that’s good for business, even if it’s misleading...And I’m (slightly) more skeptical of government press releases than I am of academic ones. Federal agencies and organizations have a long history of obscuring information they don’t want the public to know about, or slanting true information they do release to avoid upsetting people or making themselves look bad," says Scoles.
No, press releases aren’t dead -- but sometimes there are better alternatives (Michelle Garrett, Muck Rack, 1-9-18)
Health News Review criteria for PR news releases
Effective press releases , many different articles on the subject! (Tech & B2B PR blog)
How to send a press release in 6 simple steps ( Jessica Lawlor, Muck Rack,10-11-18)
Free guide: How to craft a winning PR pitch (Jessica Lawlor, Muck Rack, 9-25-17) The do’s and dont’s of pitching the media
Writing a Press Release (Get-Your-Message-Out.com)
How to Write a Press Release. (Class: PR) Long-winded, but possibly useful.
Calling publicists: 7 tips for writing a great press release (Michelle V. Rafter, WordCount, 1-14-13)
Format for press release (Media College.com)
How to Write a Great Press Release: A Sample Press Release Template (Bill Stoller, Publicity Insider)
13 Ways to Find Anyone’s Email Address (Kinsta)

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Ad blockers, whitelisting, and virtual private networks (VPNs), etc.

(as viewed from all sides of the "issue")
Best free ad blockers to remove ads and popups (Sam Cook, Comparitech) Good explanation of how ad blockers work.
Best Ad Blockers (vpnBlocker) ExpressVPN’s ad blocker is the best ad-blocking solution. It’s more robust than a regular ad blocker since it also encrypts your data and hides your IP address to keep your data and identity private.
Ultimate Guide to Adblock Whitelisting--plus Adblocking Privacy & Tracking Blockers! (Admiral)
How to make sure important emails never get sent to spam (Melanie Pinola, Computerworld, 2011) No email spam filter is perfect. Whitelist the contacts you know aren't from junk senders. (You want to keep the junk out but let the good stuff in.)
FTC called on to investigate ad whitelisting (E&T, 1-15-2020)
YouTube isn't happy you're using ad blockers — and it's doing something about it (Tim Marcin, Mashable, 10-6-23)
What to Do When YouTube Warns You About Your Ad Blocker (Jake Peterson, Lifehacker, 4-16-24) YouTube is cracking down on ad blockers, but there are workarounds. (The problem for us ad-avoiders is this: ads are how sites like YouTube make money.)
Free Ad Blockers vs Paid Ad Blockers: What's The Difference? (Ghostery)
How to Get Past a Paywall to Read an Article for Free (Pranab Parab, Lifehacker, 4-9-24) These are the best tools to bypass a paywall (but you should still support journalism when you can). "The simplest ways are often the best. There are plenty of paywalled websites that have an arrangement that lets people arriving from Google search access their articles for free."
Free Tube app (the private You Tube client)
Pros and Cons of Ad Blockers (The Edinburgh Reporter, UK, 2-9-23) Comments about Ghostery, AdBlock, AdGuard
Pros and Cons of Ad Blockers (Quora) Lots of comments from the public, some useful.
How to Browse the Dark Web (David Nield, Lifehacker, 4-2-24) And what's the difference between the deep web and the dark web?
How Much Does Spotify Cost? (Lisa Mulka, NerdWallet, 4-9-24) The audio streaming subscription service Spotify has Premium accounts that range in price from $5.99 to $16.99 per month. You pay for ad-free listening, personalized recommendations and high-quality audio. This isn't the only service with such options.
Ad Blocking Growth Is Slowing Down, but Not Going Away (Amy Ho, eMarketer, 7-26-19) “Desktop and laptop continues to be where most ad blocking occurs. It's harder to block ads on smartphones since most activity takes place within individual apps....There’s a substantial number of internet users rejecting the current tradeoff of ads for content as unfair, though they may be whitelisting sites that have proved their value. And past research suggests those users are valuable to marketers: younger and more affluent than average.”
How to whitelist Computerworld in popular ad blockers (ComputerWorld)
Problems Posed by Ad-blockers (Robert James Gabriel)
Best VPNs with Ad Blocking (Sven Taylor, Restore Privacy, 7-24-2020)
Best VPN Services for Torrenting (Restore Privacy)
Best VPNs for Streaming (Heinrich Long, Restore Privacy, 8-18-2020)
Best VPNs for Netflix (Sven Taylor, Restore Privacy, 1-1-2021)

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Marketing your book to book clubs

Book clubs are an important factor in book sales these days. Offer to come to any book club in person or by Skype (if you have a stable connection), as some members may buy books and when many patrons put a book on hold, libraries often buy more copies of those books (because they are in demand). Book club members often belong to more than one book club, so a good discussion in one group may lead to selection in another.
• ***Book Club Strategies for Authors (YouTube video, Amy Stewart, Authors Guild, 4-29-2020, 55 minutes and worth listening to) Amy, the author of six nonfiction books and six novels, has held more than 250 book club chats over Skype. In this webinar, she talks about outreach strategies, working with publishers on investing in book club promotion, and ways for authors to manage book club requests.
Build Your Book's Fan Base with Book Club Marketing (Aerio, 9-12-18) How to make your book book-club friendly and figure out how to pitch your book to book clubs in advance.
The State of the Book Club (Casey Blue James, News for Authors, Penguin Random House, Nov. 2016) A publishing pro alerts us to the many ways book clubs operate and thus the many ways authors can connect with readers. Good place to start your author to-do list.
Authors and book clubs (Sandra Beckwith, BookBuzz, 1-2-19) If you've had local publicity, local book clubs may contact you. Providing a book club reading guide on your website helps you and your book get found by groups and shows your interest in them.
Online Book Club. They have a big following, many readers, so consider a giveaway. One author said "There is BookBub, and then there is everyone else") and you'll find more opinions on KBoard in 2016 and 2017.
Make Book Clubs Part of Your Marketing Plan (Book Marketing Tools)

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How to Get Your Book Selected by a Book Club (Book Marketing Tools)
Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Authors (BookBrowse, 4-19-21) In descending order: At the top: Kristin Hannah, then Ann Patchett, Fredrik Backman, Amor Towles, Erik Larson, Lisa See, William Kent Krueger, Jodi Picoult, Louise Penny, Elizabeth Strout.
Be Careful at the Book Club, the Author Might Be There (Julie Bosman, NY Times, 1-30-40) “At Little, Brown and Company, marketing executives often make authors available to appear at book clubs via Skype — at no charge....They’re the core reading audience,” said Miriam Parker, the online marketing director for Little, Brown. “They’re the people who are interested in finding out about something new. They have a book every month, and they talk about them. They’re the influencers in their communities.”
The 15 Best Online Book Clubs (Discovery, Reedsy) Maybe you won't join them, but reading about them may give you an idea how to run your own.
Book the Writer. Pop up book groups. You may have to pay but you can get many writers to speak with your book group for free or a low fee.

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10 Virtual Book Clubs You Can Join Now—And How to Start Your Own ( Andrew R. Chow Time, 3-25-20) How a few book clubs operate.
Advice for book clubs wanting to invite authors to their meetings (BookBrowse) Some guidelines for inviting authors to your book club.
Authors: Read This Before You Visit a Book Club (Alice Osborn)
Book Club Tips for Author Chats (Lisa Munley, Books on the Brain, 1-17-08) Many authors are willing to speak with book clubs via speaker phone, and they are surprisingly easy to arrange

Authors: Does Your Book and/or Author Website Include Book Club Questions? (Where Writers Win)
The Exhausted Author’s Guide To Book Club Tours (Jennifer Miller, HuffPost, 8-9-13) "Last month, 76 book clubs read my debut novel, The Year of the Gadfly, and I visited all of them....Book clubs are in high demand by publishers; they’re just about the only group of people left who reliably buy books. I knew I’d have to do something ridiculous to get their attention." She offers 7 lessons learned.

Books for book groups (Writers and Editors)

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More about marketing, publicity, and promotion

(miscellaneous and in alphabetical order)

"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." ~ Napoleon Bonaparte


Advance Copy (NASW). Backstories by members of the National Association of Science Writers, the brainchild of Lynne Lamberg.
American Booksellers Association (ABA) And Now, the Tricky Part: Naming Your Business (Emily Maltby, WSJ, 6-29-10) and Name Choices Spark Lawsuits (Emily Maltby, "Start-Ups Can Get Mired in Costly Trademark Scuffles With Bigger Firms," WSJ, 6-24-10)

•  And the Award for Best Book Trailer Goes to (Jennifer Schuessler, Paper Cuts, NY Times, 5-21-10, on the 2010 Moby Awards with links to great book trailer!

•  The Art of Self-Marketing (Kerri Harris, Writing Assistance, Inc.)
Art of the Sample Chapter (Amy Gahran about Kindle, Poynter, 7-17-09) An increasingly powerful tool in book marketing is the free “sample chapter,” given away in electronic format to be read on a computer or e-reader.
Attention economy Wikipedia on the management of information that treats human attention as a scarce commodity.
Author Central Authors: Be sure to post your author profile here.
Author/Illustrator Network. Children’s Literature (CL, an Author & Illustrator Booking Service) currently helps schools, museums, conferences and other organizations identify authors and illustrators for speaking engagements -- to provide insight into their craft and connect their audience with the world of literature. ("Takes the stress out of ordering books to coincide with author visits.")
• Author Videos: The Author Takes a Star Turn (Pamela Paul, NYTimes, 7-9-10), on the importance of the author video for connecting readers to authors (and book buyers).
The Author Will Take Q.'s Now (Kara Jesella, NY Times, 9-2-07, on appearing in discussions on blogs and websites as part of a "virtual" book tour)

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Badges, customized. Portland Badge Company (customized name badges at reasonable prices -- be memorable when networking!)

Beware Who's Who scams. Know who the legitimate Who's Who operations are (Marquis in America and A&C Black in the UK) and who just wants your money (Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware)
The Black Book Club Takes It to the Next Level ( Iman Stevenson, NY Times, 7-29-1010) What is essential to each of these groups — and why members find them appealing — has a lot to do with leaders creating a space free of the white gaze.

Bob Bly's free how-to articles (by a top gun on copywriting and direct mail promotion). See also Bly.com newsletter archives. Spend time here; he has much to teach. By the author of The Copywriter's Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells and of How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit: Your Guide to Writing and Publishing Books, E-Books, Articles, Special Reports, Audio Programs, DVDs, and Other How-To Content
The Book-Club Hustlers (Francesca Mari, Daily Beast, 7-14-17) Enterprising fiction writers are marketing themselves to book groups in person, by phone, and over Skype to boost sales. Meet the new breed of literary types on the make

Book readers' social media:
You want your books to start getting talked about here:
• GoodReads (a popular site for rating and commenting on books)
• Shelfari (another popular site for rating and commenting on books)
• BookCrossing (a popular book sharing site, with some paid features, including book tagging: You physically tag books and keep track of who has a book, what they write in journal, where it has traveled)
• LibraryThing (enter what you're reading, or your whole library--and connect with people who read what you read)
• BookMooch (Give books away. Get books you want.)
• PaperBack Swap (a paperback book sharing service and community)
• Revish (a book rating community)
• Reviews of these and other niche social networking sites (Kevin Palmer, Social Media Answers)
• Social Media Map 2014 (PDF -- see full-size version!)
• How To Sell Books With Social Media (Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn, 8-20-12). See also Give, Give, Give, Ask: Lessons Learned On Social Media And Entrepreneurship From Gary Vaynerchuk (12-20-13)

Bookstore directories:
• American Booksellers Association directory, as well as a directory of resources for booksellers
• Bookstore lists on the Web (John Kremer)
• Top 20 Independent Bookstores and Top 700 Independent Bookstores (John Kremer)

Book tour? More like a safari
(Carolyn Kellogg, L.A. Times 3-7-10). With publisher publicity departments backing away from traditional author tours, writers are left to their own devices--and strangers' couches. Which is where we learned about couch-surfing!

Copyblogger (Brian Clark's tips on copy that improves marketing success). Here are links to some of the entries on this impressive and very helpful weblog:
• 9 Persuasion Lessons from a 4-Year-Old by Jarom Adair
• 22 Ways to Create Compelling Content
When You Don’t Have a Clue
• The 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging by Sonia Simone
• 5 Landing Page Mistakes that Crush Conversion Rates by Brian Clark
• Why Content Marketing Is the New Branding by Frank Strong
• Is Commenting on Blogs a Smart
Traffic Strategy?
by Brian Clark
• Why You Can't Make Money Blogging by Sonia Simone
"If you want to make money in the real world, solve real problems. If you don’t offer customers something they dearly want, whether it’s to gain some great pleasure or escape some great pain, you’re not going to make any money."
• Blog Money: The Income Outlook for 2009 (Brian Clark's entry about the smartest monetization strategies for blogs and content sites, and why advertising is no longer on that list. It’s not about trends in advertising or trends in the blogosphere. It’s about giving customers something they want or need.
• Keyword Research for Web Writers and Content Producers
Spend a little time on this site!

Branding. Personal Branding Basics for 2011 Chris Brogan's explanation: a brand is a promise. Scroll down and you'll find links to excellent tips on branding.

Building a Mailing List: How I Did Mine by Steve, on Vertical Response, a newsletter service. One of the responses is from Joann Ross, a successful romance writer, who uses interesting techniques to build reader loyalty.

Building a better tagline, part 1 (Fritinancy on your company slogan, or strapline), and Part 2 . Start with a naming brief.

CAN-SPAM Act, a compliance guide for business. This law sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Here's John Kremer's page on Sending Emails to Bookstores and Other Potential Buyers

Does Free Pay? Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail, thinks you should consider giving your book away. Jordan E. Rosenfeld on why he thinks so. (Writer's Digest, 11-3-08)

Don’t Be Boring: Hints for Better Bookstore Events & Other Presentations (Randy Susan Meyers, Beyond the Margins, 8-18-14) Meyers highly recommends the book Naked at the Podium: The Writer's Guide to Successful Readings by Peter V. T. Kahle and Melanie Workhoven

Don’t Drown in Anonymity in a Sea of Memoirs (Kendra Bonnett, on Straight from Hel, 1-27-10). Start local, if you're nobody.

Editorial reviews
The Art and Science to Amazon Editorial Reviews What should you put there? What will make a difference to sales? (Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur) "We conducted a test and found that not only do shoppers pay attention to editorial reviews, but these reviews influenced shoppers to buy at a noticeable rate…when done correctly." A FULL must-read discussion.

Embrace Life (the buckle-your-seatbelt video that has caught attention worldwide), and the production company's story of "The Making of Embrace Life"

First Time Novelist: The Genius of Cross Marketing (Reyne Haines, Huff Post, 9-5-13). Emily Liebert partnered with a designer, a nail polish company, and a jewelry line to create looks inspired by the characters in her first novel.

For Whom the Shill Tolls. Paul Devlin (Slate, 10-13-06) on Hemingway's lost work for Ringling Bros. and Ballantine Ale, a review of Hemingway and the Mechanism of Fame: Statements, Public Letters, Introductions, Forewords, Prefaces, Blurbs, Reviews, and Endorsements (edited by Judith S. Baughman and Matthew J. Bruccoli) and an overview of changing attitudes toward author self-promotion.

4 Affordable Ways to Master Book Marketing (Dave Chesson on Jane Friedman's blog, 1-25-18) Chesson gives details on Free video content (YouTube and other book marketing channels), book marketing podcasts, book marketing audiobooks, free or discounted online courses.

The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything (Derek Thompson, Atlantic, Jan/Feb 2017) What makes things cool? Industrial designer Raymond Loewy believed that consumers are torn between a curiosity about new things and a fear of anything too new. To sell something familiar, you have to make it a little surprising. To sell something surprising, you have to make it a little familiar.

Get Booked on Radio Talk Shows (Mark A. Kaye, SPANnet)

Hidden Meanings in 12 Popular Logos (Vicki Passmore, WalletPop, 1-14-11)

Hometown Reads ("Read local."“Your next favorite author could be your next-door neighbor") "We’re a community dedicated to serving local authors across the country, by helping them connect with readers in their hometown through what we call the Read Local movement. Our site is the first of its kind to organize authors by local community, a design that is intended to facilitate both networking for authors and exposure/connection to more readers." Explore the website.

Marketing Resources for Web Entrepreneurs (Lisa Angelettie's helpful links)

How to Attend a Conference as Yourself (Peter Bregman, Harvard Business Review blog network 3-26-12)

How to publicize and promote your own work
Rusty Shelton and Katie Andrews, of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, were guest bloggers on Lisa Tener’s Writing Blog, where you can read several useful postings on how to publicize and promote your work:
• Why Publicity Is Your New Best Friend
• The Publicity 411: What to Know Before Getting Started
• Press Releases & Pitches: How to get the word out about your book
• Virtual Media Training: How to Rock Your Interviews
• Social Media and Beyond: Why You Must Join the Movement and Where to Start
With "extra credit" for a three part series on the Phenix & Phenix blog about prepping authors for TV talk shows:
• Part One: Booking the interview
• Part Two: Soundbyte prep
• Part Three: Networking
How to publicize your writing by speaking in schools, libraries, and shopping malls (Anne Hart, Ground Report, 11-1-09). "f you are writing children’s books," writes Hart, "purchase your state’s public school directory. Contact schools and school librarians. Charge a fee from $400 to $1,000 to visit schools. Select the appropriate age group to speak to assemblies about your book(s) if they are suitable for that age group." (One colleague who has made a good part of her living through such school visits says that recession-induced cutbacks have dried up this source of income.)

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How to Sell a Book? Good Old Word Of Mouth (read or listen to Lynn Neary, NPR, 9-10-10 on the launching of Emma Donoghue's novel Room, from which NPR posts an excerpt.)
How to Use Swag to Support Your Book Marketing (Dawn Reno Langley on Jane Friedman's blog, 11-6-18) "One-on-one advertising works better than anything else—and the best part about book swag is that usually you’re the one handing the swag to your reader... The design should match your subject matter, your book's theme." Types of giveaway: Bookmarks, book plates, magnets, business cards, sticky notes (with your book title at top), posters, keychains, fans, bags, postcards, stickers, buttons and pins, pens/pencils, jewelry, t-shirts, and so on. Ends with links to where to buy your swag.

How Writers Build the Brand. Tony Perrottet (amusing New York Times essay, 4-29-11) on author self-promotion from Herodotus on, including Balzac, Colette, Guy de Maupassant, Gerald of Wales, Ernest Hemingway, Georges Simenon, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, and Grimod de la Reynière (who carried promotion to an extreme). Stendhal is quoted as saying, “Great success is not possible without a certain degree of shamelessness, and even of out-and-out charlatanism."

• "Inbound marketing is marketing to people who end up at your website, social media, or some other owned territory. Outbound marketing entails your going out in search of potential readers, such as through paid advertisements."~from the marketing section of the Authors Guild Guide to Self-Publishing (free to members)

IttyBiz: marketing for businesses without marketing departments. Word Nerd Naomi Dunford's delightful site makes sense, entertains, and has great voice. See especially her posts for marketing school:
Identifying Your Target Market, Or Why I Don’t Want A Monster In My Pants
Marketing School, Day One: What Is A USP and Why Should I Care?
Marketing School, Day Two: DIY USP
Writers: How Not to Suck at Marketing a guest blog for Freelance Folder
Marketing School: How to Be a Spammy Pants
What The Hell Is Branding and that's only the beginning. This delightful woman is a one-person marketing school. Brava!

James Patterson Inc. (Jonathan Mahler, New York Times Magazine, 1-24-10) "Patterson has been a beneficiary of the industry’s shifting economics, but he was also a catalyst for change at Little, Brown and in the world of publishing in general. When Patterson published his breakout book, “Along Came a Spider,” in 1993, Little, Brown was still a largely literary house, whose more commercial authors included the historian William Manchester, biographer of Winston Churchill. Patterson’s success in the subsequent years encouraged Little, Brown to fully embrace mass-market fiction. But more than that, Patterson almost single-handedly created a template for the modern blockbuster author." And the rest is history.

James Patterson, from an interview with The Independent (UK)
"There is a kind of Mickey Mouse way of looking at brands. In particular in the States, a lot of the publishing houses are lost in the Middle Ages, they really don't have a clue. I remember initially it was like, 'Oh my God, he's going to hurt the brand by doing other kinds of stories.' And I said, here's what I think a brand is, from my own experience with dealing with a lot of brands - a brand is just a connection between something and a lot of people who use or try that product.

"If there is a brand that's called James Patterson, and I suppose there is, it's that when you pick up a Patterson book you'll not be able to stop reading. It doesn't matter whether it's a romantic story, a young-adult book, or non-fiction."

Marketing Wisdom for Introverts

'In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few.'

The most important thing an expert needs to learn is how to think like a beginner.

~ Zen master Shunryu Suzuki , as quoted by Karl Albrecht

The power of introverts (Susan Cain's TED Talks, Feb. 2012) Listen and/or read transcript. Introversion is "different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they're in quieter, more low-key environments." And our schools and workplaces are designed for extroverts. See where she goes from there....
Presentation Tips for Introverts (Leslie Belknap, Ethos3, 11-19-15)
Is Marketing For Introverts? Insider Advice To Unlock Your Potential (Julie Neidlinger, CoSchedule Blog, 8-31-15) Content marketing requires people, talking, selling. Here’s how to handle it as an introvert.
Caring for Your Introvert (Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic, March 2003). Essay on the habits and needs of a little-understood group. For example: "We tend to think before talking, whereas extroverts tend to think by talking..." Further: introverts are not good at small talk.
The Introversy Continues (follow-up to Rauch's "astonishihgly popular" 2003 article)
Introverts of the World, Unite! (Sage Stossel's conversation with Rauch, with insights like this: "a lot of introverts are actually very good at being social. It just takes a lot of work for them."
The Introvert's Guide to Marketing Your Business (PDF file, Ruth Ann Woodley's interview with Nancy Ancowitz)
The Introvert's Guide to Marketing with Video (Marcia Yudkin on SiteProNews 6-5-11)
How to Network: For Introverts Rob May (Business Pundit)
Marketing to Introverts (Nedra Weinrich, Spare Change 12-15-06), making a difference with social marketing
The introvert's guide to speaking (Mack Collier)
The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling (well-written insights into the differences between introverts and extroverts, and the strengths of introverts)


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Media mailing lists, sites -- sources for:
• MagaGenie Media Spotlights (John Kremer's profiles of magazine editors, book reviewers, columnists, and key media contacts in radio, TV, newspapers, and syndicated columnists)
• Top 101 Book Marketing Sites (John Kremer)
• Poynter's secret list of book promotion contacts ($4 to download)
• BurrellesLuce (media mailing lists of top daily newspapers, blogs,consumer magazines, and social networking sites), expensive

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• National Speakers Association (NSA)
• NetGalley a site where book reviewers and other professional readers can read books before they are published, in e-galley or digital galley form. Members register for free and can request review copies or be invited to review by the publisher.
• New author sells 80K books in 1 year. Here’s how (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal, 10-1-15) None of the routine techniques were producing results. John and Rebekah Davis (he's author of Blood Line) completely retooled their strategy, and in one year have sold a phenomenal 80,283 books and counting. Here in an interview with Rebekah Davis, is a rundown of exactly how they did it.
• New Pages (gateway to valuable book review sites, especially for the alternative press/self-published books)
• Nick Morgan's blog, advice on public speaking, by the author of Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma, Working the Room: How to Move People to Action through Audience-Centered Speaking, and Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action

One Author's Quest for Tribal Leadership by Mary DeMuth, author of the popular Christian memoir Thin Places. See also Three Benefits of Finding Your Tribe and Leading It. Her tribal theme: Turning Trials Into Triumphs.

Online Book Reviews: How to get them (Annette Fix, Publishing Basics). Excellent links to review resources.

Plucked From Their Web Writing to Promote a Vaseline Brand (Tanzina Vega, NYTimes, 11-8-10). Vaseline uses crowdsourcing to find product spokeswomen.

Poken. Techno-business card.You touch gadgets with someone else and exchange contact info. What is a Poken? (check out wedding edition, for your guests on social media)

Publishers Weekly (PW) (PW, a prepublication review outlet that goes to booksellers; you DEFINITELY want your book written up here--check out which kinds of books are being featured in upcoming issues)
Relationships between public information officers (PIOs) and journalists
The Renegade Writer (Diana Burrell and Linda Formichelli) Was a blog and website; now it's Renegade Writer Press. First publication: The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success
Rick Bragg’s Recipe for a Rich Story (Jessica Colburn, 11-15-12, Platform Magazine, Public Relations Out Loud)
Roar! Get Heard in the Sales and Marketing Jungle: A Business Fable by Kevin Daum, a sample of which you can download at http://kevindaum.com/.
See the Web Site, Buy the Book (essay by Courtney Sullivan, NY Times Book Review, 1-23-09)
Seth Godin's blog on marketing and the ways ideas spread
7 Of The Best Book Marketing Strategies by Neil Patel (Penny Sansevieri, Author Marketing Experts, 7-5-22) Research your niche. Develop an online presence and following. Develop a blurb and press kit. Design an eye-catching book cover. Run targeted ads on social media. Create a mailing list to market your book. Network with other authors in your niche. Three examples (website, social media, mailing list)
Shelf wars: What authors need to know about bookstore visibility (Alan Rinzler interviews Andy Ross, The Book Deal, 4-13-10)
Shop Talk -- Innovation, Marketing, and Alliances (archive of John Caddell's old posts)
Simple Email Marketing for Makers (Megan Auman, Creative Live) One of several online Craft Business Classes.
Social Media Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide
(Neil Patel)
Stop Freaking Out About Personal Branding (Becky Johns, 11-23-10). "Seems like most people are working hard at making their personal brands more professional. And most professional brands are trying to figure out how to become more personal."
Strategic Public Relations (Kevin Dugan, opinion on marketing, media, and more)

All the top (both good and intelligent)
radio talk shows and podcasts (and a little TV)

The best talks shows are not only good places to hear about what's going on in the world, and why, but also a great way to hear authors talk about their books and other writings. And these are fantastic shows to listen to while while you're doing physical and mechanical work -- like checking website links! Let me know which intelligent talk shows that are available online are missing here. Here is a list of the NPR partners , all the radio stations that help make podcasts of their shows available. Sometimes you have to go to the originating station for a program to find the program's podcasts. And now I see that Howl has launched podcast $ubscriptions for "exclusive access to Marc Aaron's episode archives. See also
    Addictive and wonderful cable and TV
    Blogs, news, and podcasts about medicine, health, and science
    Blog roll: good book and lit blogs
    Social networking for book lovers

A Beautiful World (Minnesota Public Radio), a news program that features inspirational stories and positive a news program that features inspirational stories and positive trends from around the world, inspired by "Solutions Journalism," which seeks to illuminate and report stories not only about the world's problems and challenges, but also about achievements and solutions.
AfterWords (C-Span's Book TV) -- authors of the latest nonfiction books interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, and legislators (both current guests and archives)
All Songs Considered (ASC)
All Things Considered (Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present a daily mix of news, interviews, and features--NPR and WNYC)
American History TV (C-Span3)
---Oral Histories
---The Civil War
---History Bookshelf
American Public Radio programs
American RadioWorks hour-long documentary from American Public Radio, with in-depth reporting on public affairs, social and cultural subjects and the 20th century experience)
The Animal House (WAMU, weekly discussion explores the latest in animal science, pet behavior, and wildlife conservation)
As It Happens (long-running CBC interview show, with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas, with humor on the side)
Ask Me Another Puzzles, word games and trivia played in front of a live audience (NPR and WNYC)
A Way With Words (lively language show, with Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett; be sure to browse the newsletter archives)

Backstage Babble Charles Kirsch interviews professionals in the theater industry about themselves, their careers, and the people they've worked with along the way. Charles is definitely precocious.
BackStory (the American History Guys bring historical perspective to the events happening around us today). See the BackStory archives
• BBC programs (British Broadcasting Corporation
---BBC News
---BBC podcasts
---BBC Radio 4 programmes, such as A Point of View
---BBC radio programs (alphabetical listing)
---BBC World Service
Becoming Wise: The book and the podcast (Krista Tippett, podcast). Read her blog essay Rules for discussing the meaning of it all.
Ben Franklin's World (a podcast about early American history). Podcast archives.
The Big Broadcast (WAMU) Radio from the golden age, the '30s, '40s, and '50s, hosted by Murray Horwitz. Each Sunday night you’ll hear shows like Gunsmoke, The Jack Benny Show, The Lone Ranger, Suspense, Fibber McGee and Molly, and Dragnet all woven together with historical tidbits
The Big Interview (Dan Rather, AXS.tv) See Dan Rather on Trump, Nixon, and why he never worked in network news again (Kyle Pope, CJR, 7-9-18)
The Big Listen (WAMU and NPR) There are tens of thousands of podcasts out there. So how do you know what to listen to? On The Big Listen — THE broadcast about podcasts from WAMU and NPR — host Lauren Ober introduces you to podcasts you've you might not have ever heard of, and gives you the inside scoop on shows you already love. Helps you curate your playlist.
The Big Read (Financial Times podcast) Longform stories that explore and explain key themes in world news, science, and business, and discussions with FT reporters.
BlogTalkRadio. Read, for example, Authors, Consider Blog Talk Radio! (Molly Greene). Read about shows featuring books.
Bob Edwards (and Bob Edwards Weekend /a>)
Booknotes.org (C-Span's amazing archive of Brian Lamb's 800 interviews with nonfiction authors, 1989-2004, many with streaming video, all with transcripts -- searchable alphabetically or by category)
Booktalk Nation (Authors Guild's project to build a nationwide community of authors, readers, and independent booksellers). Nationwide phone-in and live online video events are intended to supplement book tours and other efforts promoting new books. Press release:Next Up: Video.
Book TV (C-SPAN2, booktv.org, top nonfiction authors and books).
---Listen live online to Book TV (who's being interviewed now)
---C-SPAN Video Library. The site is full of transcripts that may be helpful in research, or just to satisfy your curiosity (more quickly than listening)
---Current Book TV schedule
---C-Span In-Depth Interviews (three-hour interviews)
---C-Span Series A-Z (America and the Courts, American History TV, American Presidents, etc., on through The Supreme Court, Toqueville, Washington Journal, and The White House)
The Bowery Boys (podcast about New York City history). Big archives .
The Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC Radio's daily two-hour talk news program, covering politics and life. on which Brian Lehrer synthesizes the major issues of the day and provides a conduit for analysis between his interviewees)
Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (Maximum Fun) Features interviews with brilliant creators, culture picks from favorite critics and irreverent original comedy (formerly The Sound of Young America).

Car Talk, Tom & Ray Magliozzi acting silly in Boston and answering questions about car problems (NPR)
CBC Radio podcasts (CA). Featured podcasts: The Current, Day 6, As It Happens, Atlantic Voice, Back Story, B.C. Almanac, North by Northwest, BC: The Early Edition, Because News, Calgary: The Eye Opener, Campus -- and that's just page 1.
Charlie Rose Searchable by person, topic, or year. Categories include All, Politics, World, Entertainment, and Tech. See also the tenCollections (shows, by category, with such categories as Actors on Shakespeare, The Brain Series, The Humor Section, Nobel Laureates, The Rise of Isis, Furry Friends).
Chicago Public Radio (produces "This American Life," "Eight Forty-Eight," "Odyssey," "Schadenfreude," "Performance Space," among others)
Code Switch (NPR) News from the frontiers of race, ethnicity and culture. Code Switch podcasts
The Colbert Report (Feel the news along with Stephen Colbert, America's ballsiest pundit, with highlights and full episodes of The Colbert Report, from The Daily Show or Comedy Central)
---C-Span Radio online (listen online if your radio doesn't pick up the broadcast). Here is the radio schedule.
---C-Span Podcasts (After Words, American Political Archive, Newsmakers, Outside the Beltway, Podcast of the Week, Q&A, Road to the White House, The Communicators, etc.)
---C-SPAN TV, live (listen online)
---C-SPAN2 (live, online)
---C-SPAN Video Library
The Current (investigative radio news, Canadian Broadcasting Corp.)

The Daily (host Michael Barbaro) The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (TV). Emmy-award-winning news parody, with edgy humor and interviews, such as this one with the Spice Girls, dripping with sarcasm.
Dark Horse podcast with Bret Weinstein (in this case a long and fascinating discussion with Jeremy Lee Quinn)
Day 6 (CBC) with Brent Banbury (lively weekend news magazine show)
Dear Therapists Famous therapists and national advice columnists Lori Gottlieb and Guy Winch guide fellow travelers through the challenges of life.
Democracy Now An independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by  journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González, provides daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports.
Diane Rehm show (the current podcast). See also The old, wonderful, daily Diane Rehm shows (archive of past programs -- daily weekday show featuring smart conversation and civil dialogue on top news stories and new ideas)
The Dinner Party Download (an hour-long celebration of culture, food, and conversation with hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam designed to help you dazzle your friends at this weekend's get-together)
Dr. Death (Wondery) A story about a charming surgeon, 33 patients and a spineless medical system that failed to protect these patients at every possible turn.

Embedded Hosted by Kelly McEvers, Embedded takes a story from the news and goes deep. What does it feel like for a father in El Salvador to lie to his daughter about the bodies he saw in the street that day? What does it feel like for a nurse from rural Indiana to shoot up a powerful prescription opioid?

Food Sleuth Radio (PRX, Melinda Hemmelgarn, registered dietitian and investigative nutritionist) "Helping people think beyond their plates"
Forum with Michael Krasny. KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
The Frame (KPCC). Movies, music, TV, arts and entertainment, straight from Southern California. Hosted by John Horn
Freakonomics Radio (co-produced by Marketplace™ and WNYC -- Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior). Listen to, for example (and read about) Ten Ideas to Make Politics Less Rotten.
• ****Fresh Air® with Terry Gross, excellent interviews, often with novelists or musicians

Gadget Lab Podcasts (Wired)
The Genealogy Radio Show (Lorna Moloney, Raidió Corca Baiscinn)


Here & Now (WBUR) live midday news program with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson. (Click here for Past Shows.
Hidden Brain (NPR, podcasts) Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain's host Shankar Vedantam reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships. Tired of bad news? Wanna feel good? Check out all the My Unsung Hero segments.
Hourly News Summary Five minutes of NPR news, updated hourly.
How I Built This (with Guy Raz, NPR, podcasts) The stories behind some of the world's best known companies, about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.
How It Happened (Axios, host Erica Pandey, featuring instant histories) The 5th season features Elon Musk vs. Twitter (not a chill normal dude). Previously: (season 1) Trump’s Last Stand; (2) The Next Astronauts; (3) the Abraham Accords; (4) how the invasion of Ukraine happened in slow motion over 8 years and then all at once.
How Sound: The Backstory to Great Radio Storytelling (podcasts, produced by PRX.org and Transom.org) A bi-weekly podcast on radio storytelling produced by Rob Rosenthal for the Public Radio Exchange. From fieldwork and recording techniques to narrative and ethics, HowSound explores the ins-and-outs of radio storytelling. Archive of HowSound podcasts.
How to Do Everything (half advice show, half survival guide--how to find a date, how to find water in the desert, etc.)
HumaNature (real stories where humans and our habitat meet, produced and distributed by Wyoming Public Media)

In-Depth (video of monthly C-span program, 3 hours on the works of a single author, with Q&A from audience). See Archive of past episodes.
Indivisible (WNYC) Indivisible is public radio’s national conversation about America in a time of change (Trump's presidency).

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In Our Time (A to Z archives, BBC, Melvyn Bragg and guests discussing the history of ideas)
Intelligence Squared (IQ2US.org), a U.S. radio forum for live debate and intelligent discussion (NY Times: "pointed political debate minus all the shouting) See IQ2 blog and IQ2, Past Debates
Interfaith Voices
(Maureen Fiedler brings fascinating guests and discussions to this religious news magazine, interesting even to the faithless -- conversations on a variety of topics, "promoting interfaith understanding through dialogue") Archive of past shows. "Does not preach or proselytize, and is not affiliated with any religious organization." Compelling shows
In the Author's Voice (WSIU)
Invisibilia (Latin for invisible things), Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, and Alix Spiegel co-host this popular NPR program about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and thoughts. "Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently."
It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders (NPR podcast, conversations about what's going on in the world, with deep dives on Tuesday with artists, writers, journalists, etc., and Fridays a recap of the week's news, culture etc.)

Justice. What's the right thing to do? Nearly one thousand students pack Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre to hear Michael Sandel talk about justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship. Now you can take the same journey in moral reflection. Great TV. Click on the episode guide.

Kind World, an online experiment at WBUR in Boston, celebrated the effect random acts of kindness can have on others.
The Kojo Nnamdi Show (WAMU --live two-hour magazine program highlights news, political issues, and social trends of the day. Special regular segments, archived: Tech Tuesday, with The Computer Guys and Friday, The Politics Hour .

Latino USA (NPR), the radio journal of news and culture, is the only national, English-language radio program produced from a Latino perspective.
Left, Right & Center KCRW’s weekly civilized yet provocative confrontation over politics, policy and pop culture.

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LGBTQ&A (Jeffrey Masters, host, for The Advocate) A weekly interview podcast that gets beyond transition and coming out stories in order to get to know each person's defining moments, their accomplishments, and how they got to where they are today.
Longform Podcast

Making Sense (Sam Harris's podcast, 10-30-2020). This link takes you to Harris's fascinating discussion with Andrew Sullivan about why Trump has been so successful despite being a horrible person.
Marketplace (American Public Media -- daily, presents news on business, economics, and money)
Modern West (a monthly digest of news and cultural stories from the Mountain West, from Wyoming Public Radio)
Morning Edition (NPR). ‎Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep provide news, analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. Stories are told through conversation as well as full reports.) Here's an archive of stories.
The Moth Radio Hour (professional and amateur storytellers, based in New York)

National Public Radio programs guide
NPR podcasting directory
NPR podcasts, alphabetical by title or by topic (for example, segments on gardeningor by provider (radio station).
New America Now (hour-long news and culture audio magazine for and from California's ethnic communities, New American Media)
The New Yorker podcasts
The New Yorker Radio Hour, a weekly program presented by the magazine’s editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. (This is Episode 7, The Mayor and the Mormon Church, and David Angell). At about minute 25, Roger Angell -- pronounced Angel -- talks to David Remnick about the relationship between editors and writers, and about his writing of This Old Man. See All Episodes (on WNYC).
---New Yorker Fiction podcast (monthly reading and conversation with the New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman)
---Politics and More Podcast (a weekly discussion, hosted by The New Yorker’s executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden)
---New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice: Fiction from the Magazine (New Yorker fiction writers read their stories)
---The best recent New Yorker podcasts
99% Invisible (a tiny radio show about the process and power of design and architecture. "Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. Produced by Roman Mars, one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in 2013. Anchor show for Radiotopia.

Old time Radio (archives of old radio shows, Archive.org). Browse by collection, title, subject, keywords, date, or creator.

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On Being (with Krista Tippett -- conversations about the big questions at the center of human life--the human side of news and issues)
1A (podcast from NPR and WAMU) Hosted by Joshua Johnson, inspired by the First Amendment, 1A champions America's right to speak freely. News with those who make the news, great guests and topical debate. Weekday conversation framed in ways to make you think, share and engage. From NPR and WAMU. Taking over Diane Rehm's time slot, weekdays 10 to noon.
Only a Game (WBUR, NPR) Sports, NPR style, once a week. Archive.
On Point (Tom Ashbrook)
On the Media. WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our world view. Veteran journalists Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield give you the tools to survive the media maelstrom. See podcast archive. For example, Print Is Back Again (3-11-16) A special hour on publishing--from Amazon’s flirtation with brick-and-mortar bookstores to wholesale suppliers shilling books by the foot as decorative objects.
Out on the Wire (Jessica Abel, an index to all the stories mentioned in her book Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio

Participation Nation . Archived stories focus on the ways we work together, the similarities among us, the good deeds that people do. "Tell us your stories, in 100 words or less, of good deeds, constructive actions, etc." Last story dated 2012 but you can still listen online.
PBS News Hour podcasts (full show, segments, Politics Monday, Shields and Brooks, Science, Art Beat, Brief But Spectacular, Health, Making Sen$e, Supreme Court, World.
---PBS TV online (WETA), streaming and PBS WEB video
Planet Money (the economy explained, NPR). Listen online or to the podcast, or read the transcript. Excellent explanations, including several long stories done for This American Life.
Political Gabfest (Slate) with Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz, is the kind of informal and irreverent discussion Washington journalists have after hours over drinks.
A Prairie Home Companion, with Garrison Keillor (American Public Media) A "loveable cornball dose of middle America" with news and views and music from Lake Wobegon, the little town where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average"). Some News from Lake Wobegon monologues, Guy Noir, and other treasures.. Do read The Garrison Keillor You Never Knew (Cara Buckley, NY Times, 6-16-16), a story about the man and the show -- how it came to be, why it succeeded, and why it might be on its way out.
Public Radio Exchange (PRX) playlists

q (pronounced "khyew"--CBC with Shad). Arts & entertainment gets personal. Conversations with actors, comedians, actors, writers, authors, directors, musicians and folks from all walks of life.

Radio Diaries. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Check out The Real Refugees of Casablanca for great radio/podcasting. Radio Diaries started with a Kickstarter funding campaign. Part of Radiotopia, PRX.
Radio Garden (live). Click on the globe, go anyplace in the world, and listen to what's being streamed around the world. Confused? Listen to/or read Radio Garden Lets You Tune into a World of Global Broadcasts (Deepak Singh, Goats and Soda, NPR/WAMU, 12-16-16)
• ***RadioLab (NYC Studios) A two-time Peabody Award-winner, Radiolab is an investigation told through sounds and stories, and centered around one big idea--it is great storytelling online.  Here are some interesting (sometimes "heart-swelling") programs, which you can download or listen to online. Once in a while this comes on while I'm driving and I think I'm listening to This American Life. Found this episode on Lost and Found especially interesting. Produced by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich
Radio Netherlands Worldwide (in English)
Reply All (PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, hosts, for Gimlet) A podcast of stories about how people shape the internet, and how the internet shapes people--"an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it."~The Guardian
Reveal (Al Letson and journalists from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX) Journalists speaking truth to power.

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Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine (another Maximum podcast). Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin dig through the annals of medical history to uncover all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways we've tried to fix people over the years. Hear Sawbones archives (on podbay.fm)
• ***Science Friday (Ira Flatow -- great listening if you have even a remote interest in science--"Brain fun, for curious people"). This is one of those shows you listen to as you run errands on Saturday and spend half an hour sitting in a parking lot because you get caught up in a story and want to hear the ending. The good news is, if you can't wait that long, you can listen to it later at home.
Science VS (Gimlet) takes on fads, trends, and the opinionated mob to find out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between.
Selected Shorts (WNYC, short fiction read by the stars of stage and screen, recorded live)
Serial (from the creators of This American Life, this award-winning investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, narrating a single true story over a whole season (and new ones each season). Serial's first 12 episodes were about investigating the 1999 murder of 18-year-old high school student Hae Min Lee. Her body was discovered in Leakin Park in Baltimore, Maryland. A few weeks later, her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Masud Syed, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.~Digital Spy
Snap Judgment (a themed, weekly NPR storytelling show, compelling personal stories - mixing tall tales with killer beats to produce cinematic, dramatic radio)
Sound Medicine (WFYI and Indiana University School of Medicine) explores new medical research, evaluates the latest health trends, and dispels common medical myths. Special features include oncologist Dr. Larry Cripe’s Grace Notes essays and Dr. Rich Frankel’s Patient Listening stories.

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Soundprint (radio stories ranging from hard investigative to the evocative experiential documentary)
The Splendid Table (the show for people who love to eat, with Lynne Rossetto Kasper). Click here for recipes.
Stanford Out Loud. Podcasts of Stanford Magazine stories: Stanford Prison Experiment, the death and probable murder of Jane Stanford, and Outbreak: How a band of student volunteers and a campus physician with a carnation in his lapel helped confine the tragedy of the 1903 typhoid epidemic.
StarDate (Sandy Wood, runs on more than 300 radio stations--very brief broadcasts/podcasts about astronomy and the universe)
State of the Re:Union (a series that set out to explore how a particular American city or town creates community, the ways people transcend challenging circumstances and the vital cultural narratives that give an area its uniqueness)
The State We're In (TSWI, first-person stories from around the world about how we treat each other). This weekly radio program from Radio Netherlands Worldwide, which explored human rights, wrongs, and what we do about them, has stopped producing shows. Many of the programs were still online last time we checked, including The Last Show--Our Favorites! (27 Oct 2012).
Still Buffering (real-life sisters Sydnee McElroy (Sawbones) and Rileigh Smirl as they help bridge the gap between the teenagers of yesterday and today, with "Maximum Fun" podcasts. Archives.
S-Town (popular podcast from Serial and This American Life) John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder.

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Storycorps (podcasts)
The Story (with Dick Gordon -- first-person stories from real people, not experts, to help us understand what's happening in the world). Special features:
The Story Salon -- e.g., The Tribesman Who Friended Me on Facebook (partner, Salon Magazine); Following the Oil (stories about oil & the environment following the BP Oil leak 2010); Good Water (stories about the ways we use, waste, and pollute water); Messages from [Little] Mogadishu (Abdi Iftin reporting on his new life as a Somali refugee); Stories of Haiti, and more.
Studio 360 (Kurt Anderson's smart guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts -- and the people who are creating and shaping our culture)
Stuff You Should Know Join Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant as they get to the bottom of odd questions, like how Twinkies work and if zombies exist. From HowStuffWorks. Also on Stitcher

The Takeaway (popular national morning news program that invites listeners to be part of the American conversation)
Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso, a weekly podcast of intimate, long-form interviews with the people shaping our culture today: filmmakers, comedians, activists, politicians, authors, actors.
Talk of the Nation (NPR). Alas: After 21 Years, NPR Is Ending ‘Talk of the Nation’ (Brian Stelter, NY Times Media & Advertising, 3-19-13). The Friday version of “Talk of the Nation” — “Science Friday with Ira Flatow” — will still be distributed.
TED ED: Lessons Worth Sharing (free educational website for teachers and learners, using engaging videos to create customized lesson)
TED Radio Hour (based on riveting TEDTalks from the world's most remarkable minds)
TED Talks Daily Journalist/host Elise Hu brings you thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable by the world's leading thinkers and creators.
TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading. Excellent speakers on fascinating topics, free to the world, on video, often or usually with transcripts. Browse themes and categories here.

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Third Coast International
• ***This American Life (WBEZ, Ira Glass rounds up some great stories and storytellers, in this show that "pioneered a new form of audio narrative journalism." Want to pitch a story? See four sample pitches (for stories that made it onto the show). Listen to archived radio shows (podcasts, download, apps, on radio). You can explore the radio archive by date, by contributor, by location (where story takes place), or by tag. Check out The Best of ‘This American Life’: 25th Anniversary Episodes.
The Thriller Zone (@thethrillerzone) with David Temple.
To the Best of Our Knowledge (ttbook) (Wisconsin Public Radio)
To the Point (Warren Olney, host; news on hot-button issues, great listening)
Too Much Information (Benjamen Walker, WFMU)
Transom Podcasts archive (Transom is a showcase & workshop for New Public Radio). Listen for example to Andrew Forsthoefel's delightful Walking Across America .
Triggernometry (YouTube) Konstantine Kisin and Francis Foster engage fascinating people in honest conversations. Try Douglas Murray: "We Are Standing on the Precipice". (H/T Romy Mancini)
Truth Be Told (KQED) What if we could get better at handling racially charged situations by breaking down our past encounters?
The Two-Way (Breaking news from NPR, image and text). See Last 'Two-Way' Post Isn't Our Last Story: A Look Back, And How To Find Us Now (Camila Domonoske, The Two-Way, 6-5-18) Work not stopping, but re-locating, to NPR News, orNational or or NPRWorld.

University of the Air (Wisconsin Public Radio). Listen to podcasts in UOA archives
Up First (NPR, hosts Rachel Martin, Noel King, David Greene and Steve Inskeep) The three biggest stories of the day, with reporting and analysis from NPR News — in 10 minutes.
Voices of the First World War (BBC Radio 4) Dan Snow brings together the sound archive collections of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC for the first time to tell the story of World War I through the voices of those who were there.

Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me! Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell host the weekly NPR news quiz panel show alongside some of the best and brightest news and entertainment personalities.
WAMU-FM (this is a station, not a program--the local station at American University, in the D.C. area, which produces great programs, many of which are broadcast nationally. Its slogans: "Radio without all the noise" and "The mind is our medium.")
WITS (a live public radio show that brings world-class comedians, actors, and musicians to the stage of the Fitzgerald Theater, where host John Moe gives them and the audience the time of their lives)
WNYC (all shows) Your destination for all things public radio.
The World (PRX, on NPR) The world's most interesting stories, which remind us just how small our planet really is.
World Business Report (BBC)
World Religions 101 (Interfaith Radio)
WTF with Marc Aaron. Listen to How Marc Maron squeezes honest conversations out of people (on "Q," Maron and Shad discuss the roots of this wildly popular podcast, and how Maron has managed to have frank, illuminating conversations with everyone from Mel Brooks to Mick Jagger. ("I'm very good at intimacy with strangers.") Listen, for example, to Episode 190 (alas, a premium podcast--not free), in which Todd Hanson, one of the original writers for the Onion, tells a powerful story about depression.
The Writer's Almanac (Garrison Keillor brings poetry to the people!). See The Comfort of Consistency (Alec Glassford, The Stanford Storytelling Project, 6-6-14) "...if you embed your narratives with consistent idiosyncrasies—a song to open, a proverb to end, a constant tempo—you will create tiny traditions for your audience to hold on to, little anchors that tie their hearts to your stories."
wsRadio.com (index of all wsRadio.com shows, targeted to very specific audiences)

You Must Remember This (podcast about the secret and/or forgotten history of Hollywood in its first century) See searchable archive.

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The 100+ Best Podcasts to Listen to in 2020 (Samuel Thomas Davies) Handily broken down into podcasts by category: business, comedy, education, health & fitness, history, marketing, personal finance, psychology, science, self-help, true crime.
The 50 Best Podcasts of 2018 (Laura Jane Standley and Eric McQuade, The Atlantic, 12-23-18)
The 10 Best Podcasts of 2018 (Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 12-5-18) Political scandals, true crime, and Y2K.
27 Podcasts You Need to Start Listening to in 2018 (Scott Bryan, Tim Lane, Julia Furlan, Buzzfeed, 2-2-18) Follow-up to 27 Podcasts You Should Listen To In 2017.
The Best Podcasts For Book Lovers (Book Scrolling, 10-9-17)
The Best New Social Thriller Is a Podcast (New York Times review of "Adventures in New America."
Spotlight on New York Times podcasts
Post Reports (daily podcast from The Washington Post)
Top ranking podcasts in news and politics (Podbay.fm)

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Social Network websites (Jon Kremer, 1001 Ways to Market Your Book)

Social Twist (Launch social referral marketing, content engagement, and social apps using ST's enterprise-class customer activation platform )

Submit your biography to Marquis Who'sWho (free, and not everyone is accepted). Avoid Who's Who scams.

A Tale of Two Authors. Matilda Butler, guest-blogging on Straight from Hel (Helen Ginger's blog), with Part 2 continued on Women's Memoirs.

Target Can Make Sleepy Titles Into Best Sellers Motoko Rich (NYTimes, 7-21-09) on how the big box stores can affect a title's sales)

10 Brilliant Marketing Ideas (Entrepreneur slide show and text)

10 Tweetable Twitter Tips for Book Publishers (J.S. McDougall, Huffington Post, 1-4-10)

10 Ways Filmmakers Manage Their Online Reputation (Elliot Grove, Raindancer)

Twitter Book Club (the Jewish Book Council's twitter book club lets twitter users engage in real-time conversation with the author of a particular, predetermined book. And those who don't participate can read the archived twitter-discussion, on the JBC site.)

231 ways publishers can make media pay (Damian Radcliffe,What's New in Publishing) Proven revenue ideas for publishers, large and small: great list! With advertising proving to be a problematic and unreliable income stream, for many outlets right now, the race is on to find other ways to make media pay. Last year, in a free report, we set out 50 techniques being used by a range of different companies. This was followed by two deep dives (also free) into the emerging field of eCommerce.

Use Motivational Fit to Market Products and Ideas (Heidi Grant Halvorson and Jonathan Halvorson, The Science of Success: a blog about strategies that work). There is promotion motivation (striving for gains) and prevention motivation (avoiding losses). "To create motivational fit, you always want to keep both the qualities of the product and the motivation of your audience in mind, particularly when you are trying to position a particular product to a target population." By the author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently (a Kindle single).

Use the Power of Local Promotion to Sell Books (Savvy Book Marketer). See also Getting Regional Media Coverage. "Regional media coverage can be a stepping stone to broader markets. By doing interviews on local radio or television shows, you will gain confidence and experience and you'll also start to generate audio and video clips that you can show to larger media outlets. It works the same way with print media – start local and then expand your publicity efforts."

Virtual Author Visits in Your Library or Classroom, the mission of the Skype An Author Network (a way to provide K-12 teachers and librarians with a way to connect authors, books, and young readers through virtual visits)

The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less, by Peter Bowerman

Whatever Happened To Traditional PR? (Greg Miller, Bulldog Reporter's Daily 'Dog, 5-22-12). See also Google+ Hangouts (Richard Edelman, 5-22-12)

When Not To Choose Adwords (Eric Werner, Making Adwords Make Sense, 10-7-08)

Recommended reading on book
marketing, publicity, and promotion

Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound. Rent her brain, check her website or her blog (Tips, Tricks & Tools for Free Publicity), or subscribe to her Publicity Hound Tips of the Week. Here's her archive.
Is Public Relations A 'Bullshit Job'? (Paul Holmes, The Holmes Report, 5-11-18) An LSE professor says public relations consultants are part of a troubling trend: the proliferation of "bullshit jobs." If you agree, perhaps you're doing PR wrong.
The Holmes Report: Charting the future of public relations.
How Authors Can Find Their Ideal Reading Audience (Angela Ackerman on Jane Friedman's blog, 10-12-15)
5 Ways to Sell More Books for the Holidays (Penny Sansevieri on Jane Friedman's blog, 7-30-18)
Guerrilla Marketing for Writers : 100 Weapons to Help You Sell Your Work by Jay Conrad Levinson.
500 Social Media Marketing Tips by Andrew Macarthy. (On Amazon you can "look inside this book" to get a sense of whether it would help you.)
99 Ways to Spread the Word About a Book You Love (Claire Handscombe, Bookriot, 1-20-16)
Reader Analytics from Jellybooks: Crunching the Numbers to Improve Book Marketing and Sales (Jane Friedman,7-27-17)
Andrew Rhomberg: How and Why We Measure a Book’s Audience (Daniel Berkowitz, Digital Book World, 3-7-16). An account of Jellybooks Founder Andrew Rhomberg' presentation at Digital Book World 2016. “We still know almost nothing about readers, according to Rhomberg, “especially in trade publishing.” Calling the company’s service basically 'Google Analytics for ebooks,' Jellybooks embeds a javascript into EPUB 3-based ebooks to track readers. All readers who are tracked are fully aware, having received the ebook for free in exchange for access to their data....Among the data that Jellybooks tracks for are three key performance indicators (KPIs) that are of special significance to publishers: completion rate (how many readers actually finish the book), velocity (how quickly readers finish the book) and recommendation factor (for those who finished the book, how likely it is that they would recommend it)."
Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book by Tim Grahl. Start with his article: Attention Authors: The Tech Tool That Really Makes Books into Bestsellers
Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books by David Gaughran
Opportunistic book publicity: Leverage what’s in the news (Sandra Beckwith, BuildBookBuzz, 6-28-17)
Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers, or get a free sample here, or better yet, listen free to his presentation at O'Reilly Tools of Change on 10 Bestsellers: Using New Media, New Marketing, and New Thinking to Create 10 Bestselling Books
Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity: The Insider's Guide to Promoting Your Book--and Yourself by Rick Frishman, Robyn Freedman Spizman, and Mark Steisel.
The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
Writing on the Ether: Are You Marketing to Your "Adjacent Fans"? (Jane Friedman, 8-15-13). "There was one type of comp I loved then and love even more now; the non-book comp. As in “…will appeal to fans of Star Wars…” or “…will appeal to fans of The Sopranos” or “…Six Feet Under…” or “….The Walking Dead…” or “…Post Punk Bands…” or “…the Tea Party…” or…you get it. ... when I spoke with my friend about her slow-seller, we found ourselves mentioning several films to each other, each of which had some “comp”-arable material to her novel. Those are non-book comps. And suddenly she has film fans to think about in terms of who might be buyers of her book."
Discoverability, Part I: What the heck is it, and why does it matter? (Jean V. Naggar Lit. Agency, 2-22-13). See also Discoverability, Part II: How to use Goodreads to solve the discoverability problem (2-28-13)
The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living, by Peter Bowerman
1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers by John Kremer
Complete Guide to Self Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote, and Sell Your Own Book, 5th edition, by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier (once over lightly focus on nonfiction)
The Publishing Game by Fern Reiss (three titles: Bestseller in 30 Days, Find an Agent in 30 Days, and Publish a Book in 30 Days ). Shorter books.
Beyond the Bookstore: How to Sell More Books Profitably to Non-Bookstore Markets, by Brian Jud
John Kremer's Self-Publishing Hall of Fame
Publicize Your Book: An Insider's Guide to Getting Your Book the Attention It Deserves by Jacqueline Deval
Marketing with Speeches and Seminars: Your Key to More Clients and Referrals by Miriam Otte
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout ("customers want brands that are narrow in scope")
Many resources are available online. Check the links above.

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Book trailers

(examples of good book trailers, videos, VidLits)

Scroll down for "best of" video groups.

Like movie trailers but for books and on the Web, book trailers are increasingly used to promote books. Do they sell books? The jury is still out on that. But check out these examples. Do they make you want to at least look at the book?
American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath by Carl Rollyson
Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography This trailer for the master photographer's master class really makes me want to take the class--does it have that effect on you? Note how many views it has.
Blood’s A Rover by James Ellroy
Boys in the Boat (great at showing them in action, rowing in the big race in Berlin, 1936--and suggesting the great historical context)
The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science (YouTube)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke ( fan book trailer by Maia Buljeta, winner of an amateur book trailer competition--"Coming Soon to a library near you")
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Devotion: A Memoir by Dani Shapiro
Craziest (Liz Dubelman Vidlit)
Fifty Shades of Chicken (hilarious book trailer for Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook by F.L. Fowler. A parody of you-know-what.
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
The Four-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss
From Bad to Cursed paranormal YA by Katie Alender (starring Disney Channel's Zendaya Coleman)
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America by Katrina Shawver. (The book.)
Hollywood Enigma: Dana Andrews by Carl Rollyson
The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Theroux. See also The Making of a Book Cover (Phyllis Theroux with Kathy Abbott)
Legend by Marie Lu
Lemony Snicket book trailer
Leviathan steampunk YA by Scott Westerfield (the Clankers vs. the Darwinists), part of a series
Lily Alone a children's novel by Jacqueline Wilson (try to resist this one!)
'Lit" by Mary Karr
The Love Song of Jonny Valentine (Teddy Wayne endorses his own book--if you don't like the trailer you may not like the book's humor)
Meet Me Under the Ceiba
The Miriam Black Novels by Chuck Wendig
Money is the last taboo (Hilary Black talks about The Secret Currency of Love)
Now I See You a memoir by Nicole C. Kear (an animated trailer with tongue-in-cheek humor and practical tips about a girl who at 19 learns she is going blind)
One More Thing by B.J. Novak (the trailer pokes fun at French New Wave, for this collection of short stories)
The One by Kiera Cass
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (a popular fantasy novel)
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (one of the most popular book trailers of all time, and one of the first)
The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin (trailer by animator Ilya Kuvshinov)
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein (6.5 minutes, and unnerving)
Slaughterhouse Five: Why should you read Kurt Vonnegut? (YouTube, Mia Nacamulli, TED-Ed, 11-29-18) An interesting mini-lecture on Vonnegut, with this promotional message: 'Download a free audiobook version of "Slaughterhouse Five" and support TED-Ed's nonprofit mission.' And download a free audiobook version, with a 30-day trial with Audible.
Theory of Remainders by Scott Dominic Carpenter (using quotes from reviews)
This Is How You Lose Her (Junot Diaz at Google)
Tweek: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff
Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone (film noir-inspired animated book trailer by Glinda Chen)
What They Didn't Burn by Mel Laytner (The Auschwitz Registration Form, 35 seconds) and Relics of Hate and The Ghetto Painting
Wild by Cher Strayed (this trailer of a memoir is also good for those who have already read the book -- photos I wish had been included in the book)
Wonder by R.J. Palacio ("I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.")
You Are Not So Smart, book trailer for You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, an d 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself, David McRaney. An animated trailer that for a few hours made me stop procrastinating!
You're a Good Mom--and Your Kids Aren't So Bad Either by Jen Singer (love the voice)
P.S.: What I Didn't Say, a do-it-yourself book trailer that Megan McMorris made (using iMovie and Garage Band) for her anthology, P.S.: What I Didn't Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends

21 Epic Book Trailers (Inspiring Videos and Why They Work) (Rocket Expansion)
10 Great Book Trailers and Why They’re So Effective (TCK Publishing)
How to Make a Book Trailer (The Easy Way) (Mandi Lynn)
The 10 Most-Viewed Book Trailers of All Time (Film 14) Comments frame the trailers. See also A Guide to the Best Fan-Made Book Trailers (Steph Jack, Film 14, 1-29-17)
10 Great Book Trailers and Why They’re So Effective
Book Signing in the Waldenbooks (and Nobody's There) Parnell Hall's country-western-style video
The Middle Place Kelly Corriganreading an essay on the power of female friendship, to promote her memoir of cancer and caregiving, The Middle Place
Web 'VidLits' Used to Promote New Books (Laura Sydell, Weekend Edition, NPR, 5-21-05) They've been around for a while!

VidLits--examples of book trailers from one of the first sources
Laura Sydell's NPR story about Web 'VidLits,' featuring Yiddish with Dick and Jane
The Dog Dialed 911
Julie and Julia (brings out the book's appeal, which is different from the movie's)
Liz Dubelman's "Craziest" (8 minutes and a 'must-see' for Scrabble fans)
Yiddish with George and Laura
More VidLits

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Does Radio and Television Interview Report (RTIR) work? Is it worth the money?

Radio-TV Interview Report (RTIR) is now all digital! A blurb in the email edition of RTIR is only $400.

It depends on your topic, your budget, your marketing moxie, and whether the planets align, apparently. On Thursday, 3-19-09, Debra Sanders wrote in her blog, A Matter of Panache, "I have been running ads in The Radio and Television Interview Report (RTIR) since September, and let me tell you, these are not cheap ads. RTIR is one of the mainstays of the radio and television talk show industry—every month it contains almost a hundred pages of tabloid type ads, all clamoring for the attention of talk show hosts ranging from the likes of the guy running the little radio station up the road, to those in charge of finding guests for Good Morning America and Oprah." Debra was writing about a small subset of head injuries: concussions. And in five months she got not one call. Then Natasha Richardson died of an untreated head injury and Debra's phone started ringing.

Her main message: "Anyone…I mean, anyone and everyone who sustains a jolt to the head (note that I said jolt, not crack or bump to the skull) needs to be carefully watched for a minimum of twenty-four hours, with the absolute understanding that slow bleeds which cause swelling, can cause death if not treated. The subdural hematoma that killed Natasha Richardson was easily enough treated had it been caught. Physicians treat it all the time—they open up the skull and make room for the swelling, and rarely does the injury become fatal. Left untreated however,the outcome is nearly always tragic." Without a celebrity death, the media weren't interested.

If you have a book topic or personal story that the media ARE more likely to be interested in, listen to "Rich Guy" Robert Kiyosaki talk about how marketing, not good writing, was the key to his success selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! This is basically a plug for RTIR, and a knock on the publishing industry, which said "no thanks" to the book, which the author and his wife self-published. It sold 26 million copies.

For yet another take on TRIR, read the exchange (especially "Manny) on the Absolute Write forum on how Manny (presumably Stuart J. Smith) tried three ads on RTIR and had an interesting kind of success selling The Russian Bride Guide.
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Social networks and book recommendation sites for readers

Where do you go to find something to read? 

BookBub Amazing deals on bestselling ebooks. Great daily deals on discounted ebooks.  My book club thanked me for this link, as a good cheap-book shopping tool. I check Amazon comments on a title before I buy (but it does lead to impulse-shopping).
BookCrossing (a popular book sharing site, with some paid features, including book tagging: You register a book, get a Bookcrossing ID, use that to physically tag a book, and release it (e.g., leave it in a coffee shop or on the subway). The person who finds the book you set free can register it, so you can follow where it travels)
Bookish (NetGalley, publisher-owned) Discover books you might like: giveaways, recommendations, exclusive author content, etc.) Genres covered: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Young Adult.
Bookperk. HarperCollins' site offers perks for "insiders."
Book Sprout An easy and effective way to get more reviews.

• ***GoodReads A popular site for rating, recommending, and commenting on books, for keeping track of what you read, and would like to read--or forming a book club, answering trivia, or collecting your favorite quotations. See How to Maximize Goodreads Giveaways (Penny Sansevieri) and How to Rock Out on Goodreads.
inReads (WETA, DC's public television affiliated, launched inRead 6-22-11, in Beta). Lets users converse about books, read reviews and get recommendations. Read (PW account here.
Kobo's Reading Life. Explore. Unlock. Share.
• ***LibraryThing. A cataloging and social networking site (almost a book club) for book lovers. Helps you easily create a library-quality catalog of books: books you own, books you've read, books you'd like to read, books you've lent out ... whatever grouping you'd like. Provides an easy way to give away "advance reading copies (ARCs)". Connects you to people who read what you do. Enter what you're reading or your whole library. A community of 2,550,000 book lovers. Great user-powered book ratings, reviews,and recommendations.
Nook Friends (Barnes & Noble site for Nook readers)

Reddit /r/booksuggestions subreddit Good place to get recommendations based on specific authors or titles you've enjoyed, or see what people suggest in specific genres, says Alan Henry in Five Best Book Recommendation Services (Lifehacker, 5-18-14)'
PaperBack Swap (a paperback book sharing service and community)
Revish (a book rating community)
Scribd (pronounced "skribbed") may be the largest book club in the world--on many topics
Shelfari A social cataloguing website for rating and commenting on books (kind of like all the comments about books you find on Amazon, but focused on that and not on selling) -- a community-powered virtual bookshelf, to display your favorite books and connect to people who love to read what you love to read. Owned by Amazon but separate from it. (Meanwhile, Amazon itself usually shows lots of books LIKE the book you're looking up, which can be useful if you're trying to remember the name of a book by an author you like--although they tend to stuff a lot of ads in just before the "If you like this, you may like X" section.
Storygraph Helps you track your reading and choose your next book based on your mood and your favorite topics and themes (based on your likes). "Because life's too short for a book you're not in the mood for."
Tertulia A new app, designed for iPhones, is trying a different approach, by measuring and distilling the online chatter about books to point readers to the ones that are driving discussions. Tertulia, says its CEO, aspires to be the book equivalent of Netflix for movies and Spotify for music. From A New Way to Choose Your Next Book (Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris, NY Times, 6-7-22) Most books are sold online, where it's impossible to replicate the experience of browsing in a brick-and-mortar store. Book-discovery apps have struggled to reproduce online the kind of real-world serendipity that puts a book in a reader's hand.
Wattpad (an eBook community). Fiction-oriented. Read stories. Vote for your favorites. Create a library.
What Should I Read Next? "Enter a book you like and the site will analyse our huge database of real readers' favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next." Easy site to use; you don’t need an account to sign in. If you do sign in, you can list your favorite books, to be added to the database.
WriterSpace Communities for readers and writers.


See also

---Social networking for book lovers
---Online Marketing Resources (excellent links)

---Reviews of these and other niche social networking sites (Kevin Palmer, Social Media Answers)

---Creating Your ‘Author Platform’ (Devoney Looser, Chronicle of Higher Education, 7-16-18) " The best online networks on which academic authors might interact (join the conversation!) include Academia.edu, Amazon Author Central, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, LibraryThing, LinkedIn, Humanities Commons, Pinterest, ResearchGate, ScholarlyHub, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube."

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Do book trailers sell books?

(For most authors, not worth the $$.)

Amazon is auto-embedding videos on book listings (Facebook, Nate at The Digital Reader) Amazon has quietly added a new feature to book listings on Amazon.com that will quickly prove to be both a boon a bane. They've added a new "Related Video Shorts section" under the editorial reviews and product descriptions."
To Book Trailer, or Not Book Trailer … that is the question (Thomas Umstattd, Podcast 51, Novel Marketing, 10-28-14) The pro's and the con's. And what to do if you come down "pro."
Are Book Trailers a Marketing Must-Have? (Marisol Dahl, The Write Life, 11-5-15) A very thoughtful analysis: Book trailers are not a universally accepted book-marketing tactic and a good book trailer involves a huge investment of time, money, and skill. Book trailers are notorious for getting few lifetime views and unimpressive conversion rates. What if you make one, but your target audience never sees it? A video may get a lot of views, but not all viewers are potential readers. It’s a risky marketing strategy, and a good decision depends on a strong cost-benefit analysis well before your book’s launch date.
Fantastic Book Trailers and the Reasons They’re So Good (Shirin Najafi, The Rumpus, 6-27-13)
Book Trailers And Using Video For Book Marketing(Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn, 3-2-15) Stats show that if a book trailer is used strategically as a video marketing tool (rather than a vanity item) it can lead to increased awareness and book sales. Examples of a bad book trailers are everywhere. Most of them are not actually trailers but rather DIY slideshows. Poor editing makes them way too long and they just plod along to the bitter end. Good advice on what makes a good book trailer – and a bad book trailer.
Video Marketing Without a Goal is Just Moving Pictures (listen to the podcast: Stephanie Saretsky, Unbounce, 6-24-15) In this episode of the Call to Action podcast, Unbounce’s Dan Levy talks to Jennifer Pepper (Unbounce’s Customer Success Content Strategist) about this tricky task. They dive deep into the importance of a data-driven approach to video marketing campaigns, and share some tried-and-true storytelling methods that’ll give your videos that extra kick. Using a book trailer on a sales landing page can increase conversion rates by as much as 80%
The Awkward Art of Book Trailers (Rachel Aarons, New Yorker, 12-19-13) What’s most sad about it is the whiff of defeat—the sense of a publishing industry in forlorn compliance with the laws of a YouTube world. "Maybe one secret to book trailers is acknowledging that it is impossible. But they do give a meaningful sense of the authors’ sensibilities. The message I take away is not that words are inadequate without visual aids, or that books are slaves to YouTube, but that some writers have imaginations that extend across different media, and a few even know how to access their inner hams."

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Marketing, publicity,
and promotion

• Really good (intelligent) radio and TV talk shows and podcasts
• About intelligent talk radio
• Secrets of successful book covers and titles
•All about bestsellers (tips, facts, and stories)
• Building your author platform
• Creating your author website
• Some well-designed author websites
• How to launch a book
• Tools for monitoring website traffic
• Shopify, Squarespace, and other eCommerce platforms
• Using Goodreads to market your book
• How to market yourself, a product, or a process
• Marketing to book clubs
• Getting good publicity
• Press releases
• Book marketing and promotion
(including book promotion on the radio)
• Author book talks
• Book tours
• Book fairs and festivals
• More resources for and articles about marketing,publicity, and promotion
• Newsletters and other ways to reach your audience, grow your email list
• Recommended reading on book marketing,
publicity, and promotion

• Do book trailers sell books?
• Sample book trailers
• Social networking for readers
• Marketing wisdom for introverts
• Amazon marketing and ads
• Google, Facebook, and BookBub ads
• Does Radio and Television Interview Report work? Is it worth the money?

See also
• How and where to get book reviews
• News, reviews and promotion for self-published and indie books
• Social networking for book lovers (book discovery and communities)