Monthly Archives: January 2014

Promote Your New eBook Like a Pro

Helpful Tips For Social Media Promotion of Your Ebook

a guest post by Anna Fox

Social Media Promotion of Your Ebook

Once the words are out and the proofing is done, you’ll find yourself with an ebook that’s ready to be published and, if all goes according to plan, adored by the public at large, making you a healthy amount of money and establishing you as a writer whose work is well worth reading.

The trick to achieving that goal lies in your ability to moonlight as a marketer. When it comes to self-publishing, you lose the assets that traditional publishing firms have to offer, and there is probably no asset that you’ll miss as much as having a well-trained advertiser on your side.

Luckily, though, the web at large and social media in particular make being an effective marketer easier than you may think, allowing you to be a full-time writer and a part-time advertiser, and all to wonderful results.

If you’ve got an ebook to self-publish and you want it to be the success that you’ve always dreamed of, follow these seven helpful tips for social media promotion of your ebook:

1. Prepare Your Accounts

No social media promotion can take place without well-connected accounts, of course, so the first step in getting the word about your new ebook out to the world at large requires that you start making friends with people online who share a common interest with the themes and ideas that your book touches on.

Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, or any other of the seemingly endless different social networks, such as the very helpful social sharing hub MyBlogGuest, you’ll need to make as many connections as possible in order to build an audience worth hawking your wares to.

2. Orchestrate a Build Up

Exactly how far and wide you’re able to spread the word about your book in advance of its release will determine just how successful your sales at launch are, so you’ll need to come up with an intriguing marketing plan in the months leading up to the big release date. This can involve any number of tactics, so long as they’re always aimed towards helping more people to be aware of your book, what it has to offer, and exactly why they should be looking forward to reading it.

To this end, consider releasing tantalizing details about settings, plot lines, and characters, the wittiest and most humorous of quotes from the book, and any associated media such as artwork, photography, and other visual aids. All of this will combine to have your fans genuinely excited for what’s to come, even while building what will surely prove to be a loyal following as you build your writing career.

3. Celebrate Your Launch in (Virtual) Style

Parties may have required a physical address in years past, but social media has made it possible to come together with hundreds or even thousands of like-minded people virtually, and this represents a fantastic way to get your book off of the ground, build excitement among your buyers, and help both word of mouth and internet buzz to draw in many more people who may be interested in spending a few dollars in order to read what you’ve written.

4. Unique Hashtags and Keywords Build Buzz

Keywords Build Buzz

While connecting with like-minded readers, each of them a potential buyer, on popular social networking websites is a fantastic start, the real audience is out there, among the millions of people who may very well love your book, but also run the risk of never hearing about it at all.

Hashtags and keywords to the rescue! Whether you’re writing about your book in thousands of words on a blog or in 140 characters on Twitter, be sure to use hashtags and keywords that reflect the many nuances of your book. For example, if you’re publishing a financial how-to guide, you’d mention keywords such as “making money” and “increasing wealth.” If you’ve written a fantasy novel a la Harry Potter, you’d go the route of utilizing hashtags like “#magic” and “#fantasy.”

This type of effort is exactly what you need to draw new people into your circle, helping them to find you via searches and social trends and growing your ebook-related network with potential readers who have a real, genuine interest in your topic. Those are, after all, the people most likely to invest in the cost of your work.

5. Connect with Each and Every Fan

Your fans pay the bills; therefore, your fans deserve your attention. Even once your ebook has been released and sales start happening, be sure to continue to give your readers all of the social attention that they ask for, helping them to feel at home with both you and your book.

Besides earning the appreciation of readers and giving them a good reason to tell a friend about how well-written and approachable you are, you’ll also begin building the kind of following that promises to follow you from publication to publication, helping you to achieve success in the future as you push further into your career as a writer.

6. Contests, Competitions, and Giveaways – Oh My!

Generating buzz around a new ebook, whether it be a technical manual aimed at web designers or a fanciful piece of fiction, can be exceptionally difficult, but offering up freebies is always a great way to grab the attention of potential buyers and new fans.

Leading up to the launch of your ebook, use your social media status to host interactive contests that result in your followers getting a free copy of your work. Try to create the contests in such a way that they relate directly to your topic, helping you to generate buzz not only around what you promise to give away, but also around your topic itself.

Remember: a single copy of your ebook costs absolutely nothing to give away, so don’t be stingy when it comes to allowing no-cost copies of your work to make their way to the masses. Besides intriguing potential new buyers with the interest that your promotional tactics will inspire, you’ll also be setting up more and more people with the ability to spread the word about how much they enjoyed and how much they took from your book, and that may very well turn out to be the most important advertising of all.

7. Be an Expert in Your Niche

With so much competition out there, you can be sure that there is very little new under the sun, and that requires that you make very sure that you know exactly what you’re talking about, letting your readers know that your words are worth consuming, even amongst the many millions of words available to them at any given time.

If you’re writing a technical manual, be sure to always know what you’re talking about, not only within your work, but when associating with fans and followers, as well. If you’ve written a historical piece, know your history. If you’re pushing a fantasy novel, know the niche well enough to appeal to those readers who are sure to be well-versed in the niche.

Images Credits: keywords, blogging.

About the author: Anna Fox is the writer addicted to self-improvement. She is running a blog where you can find dozens of tips for increasing productivity. For spreading the word about her ideas she is using Viral Content Buzz – free social media platform for content promotion.


Filed under Guest Bloggers

Phillip Margolin – The Storyfix Interview

The New York Times bestselling author discusses his latest novel, why it took 30 years to get it out, and reflects on what it takes to reach your goals in this business.

Larry: Your new novel, “Worthy Brown’s Daughter,” is a departure from your usual genre, though it’s still a “legal thriller” (this one set in the mid-1800s, making it a “historical” in terms of categorization).  Can you tell us how the idea came to you, and why it took you 30 years to get from there to here?

PM:  Sometime in the early 1980s I ran across an article about Holmes v. Ford, an 1853 case from the Oregon Territory. Colonel Nathaniel Ford brought a family of slaves – Robin and Polly Holmes and their five children – from Missouri to Oregon. He promised to free them if they would help him establish a farm in the Willamette Valley. They kept their promise but Ford only freed Robin and Polly and a small child and kept four children as his servants. Oregon was very racist in the 1800s. Our Constitution barred free Negroes from Oregon if they weren’t living in Oregon when it the constitution was passed. These two illiterate, impoverished ex-slaves had to find a white lawyer who would help them get their children back. In 1853, George Williams, the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court ordered Ford to return the children but one child died while in his custody.

I thought this story was heartbreaking and I was inspired to write a novel based on it but I didn’t know enough history to do that. I spent the next six years doing research on the period and, more specifically, on what it would have been like to practice law in the Wild West.

I finished a draft in the late 1980s but I didn’t feel it was good enough to be published. In 1993, I published my first bestseller, “Gone But Not Forgotten,” and I put my historical novel away while I worked on contemporary legal thrillers. In 2010, I finished a book well ahead of deadline and decided to give my historical novel another look. My agent didn’t think it was publishable as written but she made some excellent suggestions for a rewrite. I scrapped the earlier version and did a complete rewrite starting at page one. This version was totally different from the others and HarperCollins bought it.

Larry: Being so established in the modern legal thriller niche, how much arm twisting was required to get your agent and publisher to line up behind the idea?

PM: HarperCollins and my agents were very supportive. I’ve heard of other writers who have tried to change genres and been rebuffed by their publisher. This never happened with HarperCollins. I believe there were several reasons for their terrific support. First, I believe this is the best book I’ve written and my publisher appreciated the quality of the work. Second, although “Worthy Brown’s Daughter” deals with serious subjects like slavery and dealing with grief at the loss of a spouse, it also has all the elements of my contemporary thrillers including a surprise ending in the middle of a murder trial. The book can be read as a serious literary novel, an historical novel, a western or a legal thriller and I believe that HarperCollins realized that these multi-genre aspects of the book might attract people to my work who may not have read me before.

Larry: You’ve written 17 NY Times Bestsellers, which is amazing.  What was the most powerful “tip” you learned early on, and what would you say now, after being on that A-list for this long, to writers who would like to earn their way to such visibility, as well?

PM: Don’t try to figure out what you must write to get published or make the bestseller list; write something that excites you. If you look at most first novels, even ones that aren’t particularly good, they all have a certain energy that comes from a writer getting an idea that excites them.

Larry: Just like King tends to keep his stories in Maine, you tend to set yours in Portand and the Northwest.  Is that a comfort level thing, a branding strategy, the leveraging of “real” cases, or something else?

PM: I set my books in Oregon because I love Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Also, when I start my books with the sentence “It was a dark and stormy night” I’m not lying most of the year.’

Larry: You were kind enough to read and blurb my new novel.  How many blurb requests a month do you normally receive, and do you have advice for those who reach out to “name” authors without the prior-acquaintance advantage that I had with you?

PM:  I am asked to blurb books a few times a year and I only blurb a book – even if it is written by a friend – if I like it. I will not read a book for a blurb unless it has been accepted for publication.

Thanks to Phillip Margolin for taking the time to share with us.  That tip about writing what you love, rather than writing what you think will sell, is a game-changer.  That said… what excites you still needs to be written in context to the proven principles of story physics for it to work.  His new book demonstrates that, as well.

Worthy Brown’s Daughter releases January 21, 2014, from HarperCollins.

Click HERE to go to the book’s page…  HERE to go to Phillip Margolin’s Author site… and HERE to go to his personal website, which is excellent.


Product Details

A Short Review of Worthy Brown’s Daughter

by Larry Brooks

Given that Phil blurbed my new novel (DeadlyFaux), and then appeared here in this interview, you might question my objectivity as a reviewer of his new novel, Worthy Brown’s Daughter.

Don’t.  I can tell you with complete honesty, objectivity, clarity and sincerity that Worthy Brown’s Daughter is an excellent novel, immersive and even disturbing (in a good way) to read.  And if you’re a Phillip Margolin fan already, you’ll find it to be a refreshing mash-up of his familiar take on all things lawyerly and a perfectly nuanced trip back in time to the mid-1800s Pacific Northwest.  If you’ve ever wanted to time travel, this novel is as close as you’ll get without actually using time travel as a literary device.

For me the book was a powerful vicarious experience. I marveled at how the roots  of the modern practice of law — complete with corruption and incompetence and the value of a solid attorney who will do what it takes to have your back — was evident in the legal machinations of hero Mathew Penny as he helps a black laborer, Worthy Phillips, out of a jam compelling enough to be an Emmy-winning episode of The Good Wife.  Throw in a bombshell femme fatale who makes Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct villain look like a pickpocket by comparison, and you have a cascade of emotional empathy driven by an ongoing stream of dramatic twists.

Evidence of story physics abounds in this novel.  All six realms are in play, and as such the novel becomes a clinic on how to tap into the forces that make a novel a rewarding reading experience.  A compelling dramatic premise that you haven’t seen before… dramatic tension fueled by a can’t-look-away plot… great pacing that allows the story to be as character-driven as it is plot-centric… emotional empathy that has you rooting for the hero as hard as you’re rooting for the villains to get hit by a stagecoach… a vicarious reading experience that plops you back in 1860 Oregon to an extent you’ll be checking your boots for mud… and a clean writing voice that infuses the read with grace minus any literary distractions.

This is how it’s done.  Read earlier Margolin novels and you’ll see the same hallmarks of excellence in play.


A nice quick review of Deadly Faux can be found HERE, on Kay Kenyon’s great site for writers, along with some other “worthy” recommendations.

If you caught the pun… couldn’t stop myself.


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