Archives for March 2016

Getting Reviews from Reader Communities

Book-Communities
Reader and Writer Forums and Communities seem to be the best places to solicit book reviews.  Why, you might ask?  Well, as a member you are known and appreciated and you have “personal” contact with these folks.  So they are way more inclined to write a review for you.  Joining Wattpad, Goodreads, or any other book club, and network on these sites is a great possibility to make a name for yourself as a writer anyway.
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FanStory
A community for writers of all skill levels, comparable with Wattpad. They invite writers: “Make connections and friends. Enjoy sharing your writing. Learn from feedback that will be written on everything you write.  Share your poetry, stories and even single book chapters. Fun writing contests with cash prizes.  Choose from over 50 writing contests every month.  There is no limit to the number of contests that you can enter.  You keep your copyright and all rights to your writing.”
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FanStory organizes Reviewing Contests:
“We recognize reviewers who stood out more than others.  We are looking for quality, not quantity.  Someone well rounded when reviewing both poetry and prose.  Someone who views every piece as a whole, not just focusing on one aspect of the work.  Someone who inspires a writer to improve, not beats them into the ground.  It is a Quality Seal, but for reviewers.  We want people to see the gold stars, and to know that a review by this person is honest without being cruel, and thorough on all aspects.  The panel is looking for honest and detailed reviews that offer authors constructive feedback.  Members have the ability to nominate four reviewers each month to go before the Reviewer Recognition Panel.  Each month the Reviewer Recognition Panel takes the member that receives the most votes and decides on the winner of the contest.  The winner receives a prepaid $100 visa gift card (or optionally an Amazon gift certificate or 110 member dollars). Write reviews and you will automatically be entered.
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Canadian Book Clubs
Canadian Book Clubs are now open to authors who want their books reviewed, organizing these reviews: “We have finally enlarged our mandate to review books for a small fee.  The reviewer is not part of our staff, nor a free-lancer, but from one of our registered book clubs! We ask the person who would like to submit a book for review to send us a book, along with a small fee.  In turn, we redistribute that book to a member of one of our book clubs.  All people who review books have requested reviewer status.  If you would like to submit a book, please send them an email to: books@CanadianBookClubs.com.”
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Goodreads List of Most Popular Reviewers
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Click on “community” at the top of your Goodreads page, then click on “people” and on “most popular reviewers” at the right site of the opening page, where it says “meet people”. 
 There is a list of people published who wrote reviews that got the most votes on Goodreads this week (there are also lists for this month, in the last 12 months, or all time):
Most popular 100 reviewers this week in The United States
Most popular 100 reviewers this week in Canada
Most popular 100 reviewers (worldwide) this week

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What you will do is to invite these popular reviewers – or “top reviewers” or the ones who wrote the “best reviews” to join you on Goodreads.  Follow their reviews, “shelf” their books if they are writers too, and find out their blogs, websites and social media accounts to follow them too – long before you ask them for a review.
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BookBrowse Online Book Magazine
Their mission is to seek out the diamonds in the rough from the approximate 200,000 books published each year in the USA alone, so that you can spend more time reading exceptional titles, and less on books that don’t live up to your expectations.
BookBrowse’s concept is simple: “We combine the best features of a highly selective bookstore – hand selected and personally recommended books, with the best features of a newspaper book review column – except you can read the opinions of multiple reviewers not just one!  They also offer many things that you won’t find in a traditional book review magazine – such as reading guides, interviews, extended author biographies and literary quizzes; plus the ability to browse for books by time period, setting and theme; find read-alike suggestions from one book to another and much more.”
Under the section “contact us” authors will find “Info for authors wanting to be reviewed by BookBrowse”.
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Don’t forget to thank all your reviewers personally.  Keep in mind that these wonderful people are taking the time to read and write up a review.  Many of them are donating their precious leisure hours or days to you and your book.

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Authors Have Two Jobs

 

2-Jobs
What other important things should authors do besides write? Answer: Get folks to read what they have written! Marketing is the other author’s job. Are you doing it?

An often-visited topic is how to create balance in our lives. Much has been written on this and it isn’t easy to achieve.  Most of us face challenges that overshadow what we would like to be doing versus what we do.  We get lost.  Within the confines of being an author balance is critically important; it’s a must achieve imperative to be successful. You cannot afford to get lost.
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Imagine you are as talented as Mark Twain was, but no one finds your work; what then?  You might achieve self-satisfaction, but not much else.  So is it better to write a mediocre novel and be well read, or a great novel that no one knows about?
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Of course, that’s a false premise although examples of both scenarios are certainly available.  What you need to do is find a balance between writing and marketing.  To be good at one and not the other is to limit your horizons.  The publishing industry today expects authors to pull their weight when it comes to promotion and marketing.  However, you won’t get their attention or your audience’s attention if your novel, short story, poem, or other writing isn’t compelling.
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It’s Tough Out There…
Where does that leave you?  It’s tough out there as anyone who has been in the industry for more than a week can tell you.  There are no silver bullets.  However, pursuing an approach based on achieving balance will make a difference.  Let me explain exactly what I mean when referring to balance.

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Balance is largely the proportioning of your time and talents between creating products and marketing those products.  As a writer, I know it’s generally more fun and rewarding to write than it is to market.  However, you must do both.  In fact, I will go a step further and say you must focus on marketing first!
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Building an audience before you need one is the key. Of course, the task of building an audience never truly ends.  However, it does become easier over time.  It’s like building a snowman.  The small snowball you start out with takes a lot of effort to build into a larger snowball, but as it gains mass it becomes much larger for about the same effort.

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If you have created an audience before you publish your first novel, the work to launch your literary masterpiece successfully will yield a better outcome than if you publish a book and then begin developing an audience. It’s simple mathematics.
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Here are More Suggestions:
  • Create a matrix with three columns: Daily – Weekly – Monthly. The rows are tasks. The first three rows are must-do tasks, the next three rows are if time allows tasks. Then assign a time of day for each task.
  • If you’re like me you are more creative in the morning so do tasks like writing during those hours reserve the more repetitive or mundane tasks for later in the day.  Maximize your time with this approach and don’t be afraid to adjust the matrix as you gain experience using it.
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This won’t solve all your balancing issues, but it is a useful tool and I highly recommend it – or something akin to it.
Author Bio
Carey Azzara has accomplished a number of goals including two graduate degrees, a career in public health, VP of market research, President of a marketing company AtHeath, LLC, raising a family, and rescuing a few dogs.  He has published numerous articles, reports, and books.  Along the way, he has had experiences that have inspired him to author the short stories collection.  They say writers write.  Azzara writes for the joy of sharing his ideas and stories with you.

http://atheath.co/landing/a-writer-writes/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7473663.Carey_V_Azzara

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Get Book Reviews at Reader Communities

Book-Reviewer


There is not only the possibility to get reviews from book bloggers and single reviewers, but also at reader forums and book communities – where giveaways and participation in book discussions will help an author to socialize and to meet readers and reviewers.  

Reviews really help book sales, so publishers and authors are keen to offer free book giveaways to entice reviewers.  At some of these reader communities single chapters (or more) can be placed on the members timeline even before the book is finished.  A prominent example is Wattpad, where members then comment on the manuscripts, acting as free beta readers for the author.  Other favorite places for readers, such as LibraryThing, Amazon or BookLikes are helping authors to set up giveaways if their books are in digital format only.
However there are ways to print a handful of books once you have an ISBN – such as digital printing at university copy shops or at Espresso Book Machine outlets – in order to start a print book giveaway, or to cater to reviewers that prefer paperbacks.
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Reader Communities and Forums.
As an author you are most likely on Goodreads, go to your page, click on Community at the upper part, and use the drop-down menu to find “groups”.  Use the search function, typing in “reviews” or “reviewer”, or just use this link:  
https://www.goodreads.com/group/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Reviews&commit=Search

One of the groups is for example this one:
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/60696-making-connections

Over 1000 books are listed to Read & Review.  This is a place for Authors, Bloggers, Publishers, Reviewers, Book Tours, Giveaways, and Interviews to make connections, find followers, ask for help with Blog Tours, Interviews, or just need some help with your blog.

GOOD REVIEWS: This Group is only for authors who are looking for reviews and Reviewers who love to read books and share their reviews.
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Print Book Giveaways at Goodreads.
Goodreads only allows print books as giveaways at this point.  They offer all members: “Be the first to read new books!  Pre-release books are listed for giveaway by publishers and authors, and members can enter to win.   Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway.”   The idea is that many of the people who win a free book will write a review of it on Goodreads.   Some people even write reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.
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Library Thing.
LibraryThing was created by Tim Spalding, a web developer and web publisher based in Portland, Maine. There are two different ways of getting book reviews, one is for publishers who can offer an Advance Review Copy (ARC), and the other one is for authors who already launched their book:

  1. Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway program
  2. e-Book Giveaway Offers

Authors can also join the “Hobnob with Authors” group and discuss their work with interested members.

Offer e-Book Giveaways, too.
In terms of features and functionality, both competitors BookLikes and LibraryThing are similar to Goodreads and offer e-Book Giveaways for members. Of course, they do not have the traffic that Goodreads has, so you should not expect similar results, if you have done a print book giveaway on Goodreads in the past. To list your book giveaway LibraryThing, sign up for a free account and click on the giveaway link when you are logged in.  On the next page, there should be a tab at the top of the page in the main navigation that says “Create Your Giveaway.”  Their rules seem to have been almost copied directly from Goodreads, as they appear to be identical. For more questions and answers, go to their FAQ section.  

Best of all, on LibraryThing you can choose to pick the winners of the giveaway yourself!  It is certainly less expensive than donating print books, and you can easily offer a dozen or more copies.  You can either send the winners a (portable document file) PDF, or you can gift the ebook via Amazon and boost your sales ranking at the same time!
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Biblio Connection
Reach a growing audience of book lovers by sponsoring a giveaway. Sponsoring a giveaway is a great way to generate interest in your book and attract new readers to your work.  Bookstores and book collectors, you too can garnish a little exposure and gain new customers.  You supply the book; Biblio Connection will host a giveaway on the site for free!
Biblio Connection also prominently introduces new author members prominently on their website and encourages everyone to read their profiles, check out their websites and social media pages, and most important: to discover their new books.  Inclusion on Biblio Connection’s Featured Author Profiles is an easy and FREE way to promote your brand and gain added streams of exposure.  Publicize upcoming (giveaway) events, or book signings and speaking engagements.  You can even send personal invitations to members/friends using the events feature.
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Here are Twelve Giveaway Tips for Authors:

  1. Enter your first giveaway four to six weeks before your book’s launch (as soon as you have the ISBN, if it is a print book), and then periodically every other month. 
  2. Schedule your giveaway at least two weeks in advance.
  3. Write a compelling giveaway description with snippets of reviews and mentions of any awards the book won.
  4. Use the free-event feature at Goodreads and Google+ to invite everyone of your followers to sign-up for a the possibility of a free copy in the Giveaway.
  5. Always offer autographed books for print versions.
  6. Take notes and follow everyone who applied for the giveaway. These are the people who are interested in your book!
  7. Send a thank-you note to everyone who entered, and offer two or three chapters of your book to the not-so-lucky ones, and invite them to join your e-mail newsletter.
  8. Announce the giveaway at least once a day on your Google+ timeline, Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and share it with the public, with your circles, and extended circles. In addition, use the function “Also send e-mail to your circles” next to the sharing button for your first post and then use it again towards the end of the giveaway period to remind readers.
  9. Post your giveaway article on your website or blog and a link to this article regularly to all your social media sites. Do not forget Pinterest, Instagram or Flickr.
  10. Use any kind of image or graphic that fits the theme of your book, not only your book’s cover photo. Maybe you can even create a short video about this giveaway.
  11. Make arrangements for interviews in local newspapers mentioning your giveaway. Plan well in advance, two to three months at least.
  12. Announce your Book Blog Giveaways in these listings / blogs, too:

http://bookblogs.ning.com/group/bookbloggiveaways

http://cuddlebuggery.com/previous-lbba-giveaways/

http://www.iamareader.com/giveaway-hops

http://bloggiveawaydirectory.com/tag/books/

https://www.facebook.com/freebookgiveaways

http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com/2014/06/giveaway-book-of-life-by-deborah.html

http://mostlyyabookobsessed.com/2012/09/blog-makeover-and-giveaway.html

Moreover:  Do not start or end your giveaway on a holiday, or the days before.  People are busy with other things around this time, or they travel.  And, do not limit your giveaways to your own country; offer them worldwide.  It means more exposure.  If your giveaway is only one to three copies, it is affordable, especially if you send it as a gift through Amazon.  This will help your ranking, too.  But always include a friendly note, even when you gift it via the online retailer.  If you ship the books yourself, do not delay the delivery to the lucky winner, once the giveaway ended.
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Find more reader communities to choose from at these websites, sign up with them, create an author profile, show your books, and participate in book talks – long before you mention your book giveaways or before you ask if anyone would like to review your books. 
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GooglePlus Reviewer Communities:

Developing a successful social media platform, Google+ built a large community of users online, sorted by interests – for example these communities of reviewers and authors:
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Book promo-review group.
“Writers/readers/bloggers group.  Join if you love to read, write, review and promote books.  There are for example two sections: ‘Books Need Reviews’ and ‘Readers Offering Reviews’.”


MODERN GOOD READS Free Ebooks 4 Review.  
“FREE ebooks available to all, but please leave an honest review.”
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Africa-American Self Publishers And Reviewers.  
“African-American, Culture, Fiction, Review: The idea of this community is to offer a helping hand to Self- published authors to promote their works. Especially, African writers.”
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Indie Author Book Reviews.
“The Place to promote and be promoted. Modelled on the Indie Author Review Initiative on Goodreads, this is the place to write and get reviews for your Indie published books.”
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Book Reviews.
“Book reviews for the rest of us! This is a community for book reviews written by real people like us. Is there a book you just finished reading that you would like to tell us about?”
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Book Reviewers. 
“For readers, writers, and reviewers. This is a place to introduce your books, share your reviews, post giveaways, author interviews, or just simply be creative.”
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Conclusion:
Once you signed up in forums and book communities, contribute and be a part of conversations at book communities.  There are many ways to provide writing advice and book recommendations.  Ask other members for their favored books.  Be engaged – contribute through comments, messages, friending, and active participation in forum discussions.  Your suggestion to read your book will be welcomed more once book lovers get to know you.  Don’t sign in and start immediately talking about your own book.  Other members find out about it from your profile, being more engaged in discussions is the key for success on these places.  And also to write lots of book reviews for other writers …

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How to Increase Readership via Sharing Buttons

Sharing-buttons

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Originally I wanted to start this blog post, mentioning hundreds of websites I visited just last week, which did not have any sharing buttons.  And how difficult it makes it for the reader to share information about news and events in publishing, such as publishing conferences, writing contest deadlines, freelance offers etc., or book reviewer pages.  Even major international book fairs were missing out on these valuable tools. But it gets worse:

Browsing the Internet for the latest social sharing button offers, I discovered an article at Solostream.com: “Social Sharing Buttons For Your WordPress blog”.  This article did NOT contain a single sharing button on their own blog, despite the introduction sentence for this post: “Social sharing buttons are a must for a blog nowadays. There are multiple plugins for …”
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Benefits of Social Sharing Buttons.
In order to generate free advertising, social sharing buttons are one of the best ways to spread the word via a variety of social media channels.  Social shares are important for driving traffic to your website or blog.  The impact of getting shares from influencers on social media networks will have positive effects on a website.
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More is Not Always Better.
Each social sharing button uses a piece of JavaScript code to connect forth and back between the social network’s servers and your site – which can slow site load-times of your site. The only real way to test their impact is to A/B test pages with and without social media sharing buttons, and make a decision based on the evidence. A/B testing is a way to compare two versions of a single variable typically by testing a subject’s response to variable A against variable B, and determining which of the two variables is more effective.
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Select the Right Social Networks.
There are two ways you can be sure to select the social networks that matter most to your site. First, you can check out where your readers are already sharing your content and then on which social media site you have the most followers.
Limit the number of social media buttons. Three, maximal four social sharing buttons (Google+, Twitter and Facebook) are enough. Make them small, maybe even grey/blue to not distract readers from your content or your message.
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Where to Place the Sharing Buttons?
It’s not enough that your buttons look good, or that they are just present somewhere on your pages. They need to be placed where they’re going to catch your reader’s attention and make it easy for them to share your content with their followers.
Placing social buttons to the left of the blog post makes sense, as readers follow text left to right. A growing trend is to place shareable content inline with the rest of your content, for example these “click-to-tweet” plug-ins.
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No matter where you place the buttons: they should be in close proximity to the content being shared. According to a Nielson eyetracking visualizations study, online visitors in the Western world are mostly reading Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.  The top left portion is the most-viewed part of the web page, which supports the idea that left and top are best choices for social share buttons (beside an image of your latest book, I might add).
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Remember: “Design is not just about how it looks. It goes much deeper than that. It’s how it works
~ Steve Jobs

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Some Facts About Social Media Sharing Sites.
While Facebook has the most users, it is not the best site for SEO, which is GooglePlus, which feeds posts automatically into their search engines.  They don’t need to be “found” by web crawlers, as they are immediately pinged to Google.  A Google sharing button is a must-have component of your social media button set.
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A Twitter button is also a must-have, as the nature of  Twitter itself is content sharing. Including this button on your blog, in combination with participating in the conversation, will drive more traffic to your posts.
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If your blog or website has an image to each article, or videos, place a Pinterest button.  The site is popular among readers who consume lifestyle content.  Think entertainment, books (especially romance, as the majority of Pinterest users are women), recipes, interior design, fashion etc.
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Reading and Sharing.
Hopefully you have already linked your own Twitter page(s) with Google+ and LinkedIn. In order to save time, share the content you found on the internet and let other users and followers know about it with LinkedIn and Google+.  No need to tweet it, it will appear on Twitter automatically – if your Twitter account is connected with those sites!
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Find Links, Images, Descriptions and even Reviews of Sharing Buttons in these web articles:

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3817-Top-10-Social-Sharing-Buttons-for-Your-Website

http://www.solostream.com/blog/social-sharing-buttons-for-your-wordpress-blog/

 

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Like to Write an Article for SavvyBookWriters?

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During the past four years I have written more than 1,500 blog posts at SavvyBookWriters, which have been read by over a Million people.
These posts are submitted regularly – often several times a day – to Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, a dozen Google+ Communities, Goodreads etc..

However, this blog would benefit from time to time by a variety of voices, additional advice and different points of views.  So, I am now inviting guest posts on our successful blog.
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You might have read a blog post or in my publishing guide books, how authors can get publicity for their titles by writing content.  Blog guest posting is one of the possibilities!
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Guest posting is a great way for your blog and your book to get some fantastic exposure. You certainly can add links from your guest blog to your website, your own blog or the online retailer where your book is sold.
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At the same time you will be helping readers of this blog by providing them with useful and relevant information. I welcome posts from writers or bloggers and others in the publishing industry, who know from their own experience what they are writing about.
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Here are some Guidelines for you:

  • Before you start writing, check out the table of contents from earlier blogs, in order to avoid duplicated articles – unless you write from a different and new angle.
  • Your Guest Post must be original. It should be a new, original post, written entirely by you. No articles from article directories.
  • Topics: should be relating to writing, publishing and book marketing. It doesn’t have to be specific to e-books.  Articles about print or audio-books are very welcomed.
  • Length: somewhere between 500 words to 750 words. Longer posts if the subject requires it.
  • Exclusivity: for 30 Days.  By submitting a guest post to me, you agree not to post it anywhere else online for a period of 30 days after it first appears on this blog.
  • Don’t query. Just send your entire post to 111publishing *at* gmail  . com – directly into the email-body.
    NO ATTACHMENTS  will be opened!!!
  • Subject: Guest Post
  • Please include a short “About the Author” bio of approximately 80 words  – not including the link to your Web site.  Add your Twitter, Google+ and Goodreads link to the post, so that I can follow, re-tweet and re-post your article.
  • The link back to your blog should be in the Author Bio, not within the article itself. Your bio link must link to your own author site, writing- or publishing-related web site or book.  No affiliate links and no links to unrelated sites.
  • Writing a book and writing an online article are two different things.  Check a former post that describes how to write for the web before submitting.
  • Please send a polished and edited post that you would be proud to have published!

You will be contacted within 3 working days.

Thank you for your interest and I do look forward to hearing from you!

Doris-Maria Heilmann

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How to Deal With Negative Book Reviews

Bad-Reviews

Many authors are a bit devastated when a negative review shows up on their books’ sales pages.  However, a book with lots of reviews has real legitimacy and gives readers and potential customers a range of perspectives, making them more likely to buy it.  So, trying to get lots of reviews is advisable.  But how do authors handle the inevitable bad ones?  And why might these unfavourable reviews – or often might not –  influence book buyers.  Last but not least: Why would anyone write a negative review?
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Remember: Bestsellers Get Bad Reviews too!
Just read the list of real bad reviews of now Classic Books in an article on Huffington Post.  
Digital Book World also listed snippets from negative Bestseller reviews:

It was one of the most boring and shallow books that I have ever read.” —review of the American classic The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Not nearly enough consistency and far to [sic] little plot.”—review of Harry Potter And the Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

If I were you, I’d peruse it briefly at your neighborhood library before putting hard-earned money out.” —review of children’s classic A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Superficial, shallow, boring and inconsistent.This was easily the most overrated book of 2013.” —The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, a real Bestseller and Pulitzer Prize Winner.

I find myself saying to myself as I read it ‘bla bla bla’ as that is what the author seems to be saying.” —review of National Book Award Winner Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen.

Find more Bashing Reviews of Classic Books, that are bestsellers and award-winners.
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Funny, Negative Reviews:
Bestseller author Rayne Hall once blogged about negative, but funny reviews she received, some are really hilarious, for example This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”  Or: “The character of Queen Matilda is not believable”.  Sorry, but there’s no Queen Matilda in the book…
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But You Might Not be Amused…
After all, your book is your baby, and you don’t want it bashed.  Consider this: Are Book Reviews really THAT important?  In a poll 70% of book purchasers admitted to buy books after checking the reviews.  Surprisingly many did not pay too much attention to 5-star or 1-star reviews, rather more about the number of reviews and the average rating.  Many negative reviews are short and not talking much about the book, rather about the preferences of the reviewer.  And the bashing reviewers are often only showing their mean character, which makes it easy to ignore them altogether.
Don’t forget:  A 5-star review could be a good friend or family member and a 1-star someone from the competition, right?  So, what I am doing is to check the “history” of the reviewer.  How many books does he or she review. Just click on the reviewers name and go to their Amazon site to find out more.  Interesting also, if it was a “verified purchase” or if the reviewer states at least to have the book received in order to write a review.
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How a Review Should be Written.
Reviews on book review sites should be about the book under review. Other readers don’t need a diatribe on why a reviewer dislikes a particular genre. If you can’t judge a book based on the quality of the story in the pages, you have no business reviewing them. Why should anyone care how you “feel” about the book or the genre?  THE one and only important  judgement should be: Has the book fulfilled its purpose? Has it entertained, was the plot thrilling in a mystery, or had the protagonist a believable character?  In the case of a non-fiction book: Did I learn a lot of new things?  Did I receive lots of valuable information that I couldn’t get in a dozen of Google searches?  Was it filled with detailed instructions?

A review is not a synopsis of the book’s content.  A review should tell readers what the reviewer thought of the book from multiple perspectives, not to repeat the book blurb.  It doesn’t really interest others if you liked the book or not!  Take care to be impartial.  Your task is not to champion or chastise the author – it is to evaluate the merits of the work – and if the author accomplished it. Read more detailed tips on How to Write Book Reviews in a former blog post.
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It Happens to EVERY Writer!
No matter if you won the Pulitzer Price, or if you teach English in high school classes, or how many books you have sold.  Negative book reviews, especially those that are potentially malicious, are near the top list of nightmare scenarios for every writer. You have been putting your heart and soul into pursuing your passion. So it is understandable when you would like to act first in the face of negativity and have regrets later. Please don’t!
A bad review is, of course, very uncomfortable to read. You can cry, have a few too many drinks, or get mad. Sometimes – or often – the review has nothing to do with the actual book or with you:

  • The reviewer regrets the purchase or someone make a negative remark about his / her taste.
  • The reviewer expected a different content – and hasn’t read the description, or clicked on the wrong book to order.
  • The reviewer thinks there is too much violence or sex in the content for her or his taste.
  • The reviewer could have a bad day, a very bad day even, and just overacts.
  • The reviewer could even be a competitor (or their friends).
  • Maybe the reviewer thumbed through the book and read only a few sentences.
  • The reviewer is jealous of your success, or is not able to write a decent book.

Quality reviews would describe the writing style, plot lines, and characterization and back up the positive or negative comments with specific examples.
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How to Deal with Negative Reviews?
Anyone who chooses a career in the arts, no matter if it is music, acting, painting, or writing, should accept that reviews, good, bad, and non-committal, are a part of the business. All artists have to deal with all kinds of reviews.  Writers tend to be quite emotional people, that’s what makes them good at what they do – being creative – but it also means that they are likely to take a bad review to heart.  The best way to deal with bad reviews is to ignore them.  If they really hurt, talk with your writer colleagues or friends about it. They can go to your books page and choose the “fair” reviews, and click on: Helpful.  Do I need to say more? Consumers are smart enough to sniff out and ignore a negative review in a sea of positive ones.
Lev Raphael wrote in the Huffington Post: “I’ve published almost two dozen books and I now read as few of my reviews as possible. Why? Because I’ve learned more about my work from other authors through their books, conversations, or lectures than I have from any reviewers, and I don’t look to reviews for education or approbation. I hope they’ll help with publicity, but I’ve seen people get raves in the New York Times without any impact on sales.  We authors shouldn’t let our self-esteem be held hostage by reviewers, and we should try not to over-estimate their importance or expect them to stroke our egos.  As for bad reviews? Ignore them along with the good ones, and keep writing.”
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Never Contact a Reviewer!
There’s no point in doing so. Everyone has an opinion, and all opinions are valid to the person who has them.  Never respond to bad reviews on any forum or blog, because you will never win the argument.  Life is too short to worry about what anyone thinks of your work.  You shouldn’t be reading your reviews at all!
A review is nothing personal – It’s business.  Your book, written with the labor of love and handled like your baby, is still a book, a product.  You are an entrepreneur.  You’re in the business of writing to make money.  It’s a business of skills like most other businesses.  Never forget that no matter how much one reviewer hates your book – others will love it.
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Just Work on More Reviews.
Hopefully you worked hard on getting lots of reviews, so that few bad ones diminish in a sea of brilliant reviews. If you can afford it, try to get as many professional reviews as possible, such as Midwest Reviews, Armchair Reviews, ForeWord Reviews, Kirkus Reviews etc.  They are trained and know how to write a fair and professional review.  Any review, good or bad, is better than no review.  Readers who like the genre you write in will give you a better quality review, whether it’s a good review or a so-so review.  Join as many reader communities as possible, in order to meet people who like you genre, post short stories or single chapters there and make lots of friends who might review your next books. Join Wattpad, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari etc..   And contribute to the good karma and write lots of reviews about the books YOU are reading : )

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Sending a book, either traditionally published or self-published, out to the world puts an author in a vulnerable position. But as Stephen King once famously wrote: “You can’t please all of the readers all of the time; you can’t please even some of the readers all of the time, but you really ought to try to please at least some of the readers some of the time.”

In Conclusion:
Reviewers are often expected to predict a novel’s future, which is impossible to fulfill with complete accuracy.  One reason why the art of the negative review has been called into question: Self-Published Writers need our support, and there’s also often a dissonance between critical reception and, say, some of Goodreads’ crowd-sourced opinions.  The Goldfinch is just one example of a title that failed to garner the support of top reviewers, but charmed book lovers, as well as the 2014 Pulitzer judges.

Want to Read More About Negative Reviews – And How to React?

Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/got-a-1-star-review-what-can-you-do/


How to Deal With Negative Book Reviews?

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews-2/

More About How to Get Professional Reviews

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/prestigious-reviews-and-how-to-get-them/

Huffington Post Collection of Articles Regarding Bad Reviews

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/bad-book-reviews/


Funny Review Article by Rayne Hall

http://venturegalleries.com/blog/have-you-ever-received-any-negative-reviews-that-were-really-funny-most-authors-have/

 

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10 Tips on How to Pitch Book Reviewers

Book-Review

Getting reviews is a bit like “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” question. It’s harder to get people to buy your book if you don’t have reviews, but it’s hard to get reviews if people don’t buy and read your book.  Besides asking your readers for reviews – in person or in your last pages of the book – the second-best method is to follow book bloggers and reviewers and approach them eventually.
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However, there are a couple of rules how to proceed
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1. Follow the reviewers blog, as well as their Social Media sites.
2. Read at least a dozen of their reviews.
3. Double-check that they prefer the genre you are writing in.
4. Read carefully their submission guidelines – and follow to the point.
5. Only when you are “friends” for a while – at least online – query them for a review.
6. Submit the book exactly in the format the reviewer asks.
7. Wait. Wait. And wait some more… and if you are lucky your book will be reviewed in a couple of weeks / months.
8. Once the review appears on the website, and/or Amazon and Goodreads: email or post a thank-you note.
9. Link to the reviewers page when you post a snippet of the review.
10. If the reviewer is an author as well, promote his/her books too.
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Writer Beware of these Mistakes:
Scrolling through blog posts of reviewers and book bloggers, I am randomly citing some statements from some frustrated folks:

“What I hear most from top reviewers is that indie authors do NOT approach them with courtesy, or consideration for the types of books each reviewer prefers.  The sad fact is many new indie authors do NOT take the time to read reviewer instructions, and also often believe reviews sell books, so they keep searching for more reviews and do NOT promote their books.  Reviews are static unless they are read and they only get read when a book is in front of an audience–via promotion.”
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“I still get people asking me to review material I clearly do not read.  In my case, I spotlight romance and mystery, with some images that are explicit or graphic and the text is usually for adults only, but I receive countless request to review children’s books or middle grade.  I have a profile on Amazon and Goodreads, and my blog that clearly states what genres I will review.  Does anyone ever bother the look at my profile?”
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“If you want me to seriously consider your book, please spend the time to find out my name, and do not address your email vaguely “to whom it may concern” or such – I will immediately delete it.”
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“And please do not send me a bunch of links to look at – if you want me to spend a few hours reading your book and then spend another hour reviewing your book on various sites, please invest five minutes telling me about your book.  Again, if you just send me a bunch of vague links, I will delete your email without a reply.  It has come to this point, because I’m sick of vague, mass produced emails.  I don’t get paid for reviewing books.  Yes, I love to read and write reviews, but I do this for fun.”
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“Some authors take offence if their books don’t get a four or a five star review.  A three star rating is nothing to be ashamed of.  How many stars should be given to Stephen King, Harper Lee or J.K. Rowling?  Did you really just write a novel that comes anywhere close to their books?  When you write a novel of that caliber, you have earned a five star review.
You should be concerned with one and two star ratings, if the reviews mention plot failures, grammar, punctuation and faulty formatting.  Yes, some reviewers are cruel and take things too far sometimes.  But they embarrass themselves, not your book.  Readers who compare reviews will identify mean-spirited reviews.  And yes, authors need elephant hide to survive out there.  Most reviewers don’t want to make you mad or hurt your feelings.”
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Tips for “Advanced” Book Reviews:
Reviewers and book critiques from magazines and Newspapers can be important for multi-book authors when it comes to getting the word out about your work. Your novel might be the next great American classic, but if no one reviews it then … Literary critics, both offline and on, already have your prospective audience’s attention, so what can you do to guarantee that they focus it on your book? Well, unfortunately, the short answer is that you can’t. There’s no way of ensuring that a critic reviews your book. However, with just a little research, you can avoid making rookie mistakes that keep some books from even being considered for review.
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What are Rookie Mistakes when Offering a Book for Review?
Some major Magazine Book Critics gave almost identical advice for Advance Review Copies and how to pitch them:

  • Research what kinds of books the editor personally reviews for the magazine.  Don’t send your 18th novel to an editor of nonfiction or scientific books.
  • Use e-mail only.  Never call.  Never write through the PO.  Do not include gifts.
  • Make sure your press kit tells us exactly when the book will be released.  To review a book, I have to schedule it.
  • What is the subject, in just a couple of sentences?
  • What are the author’s qualifications and previous books?  You can include much more information below that, but try to get our attention with the brief summary first.
  • Send a galley or ARC (Advance Review Copy) at least! three months before publication, with a one-page pub letter (consisting of the title, the author, the pub date, plot summary, any blurbs, and a paragraph telling me who the hell the author is).
  • Shoot a single (1) e-mail, a month before publication, reminding me that the book is coming out and why I should care.  Three: a finished book, also a month before publication.
  • Just an envelope or bubble mailer will do the job.  Don’t send a parcel.

More tips on getting book reviews – lots of reviews – will be explained in detail, peppered with hundreds of book reviewer contacts, in our upcoming book: 111 Tips on How to Get Book Reviews. It will be launched in late Spring.
If you are subscribed to our monthly newsletter, you will receive a handful of book reviewer contacts in each of these newsletters.

In the meantime, contribute to the good karma, and write lots of reviews about the books YOU are reading : )
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/most-important-guidelines-to-write-book-reviews/

How you can place your reviews on Amazon sites around the world can be found in this former blog post:
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/amazon-book-reviews-worldwide/

 

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Would You Like to Write in Italy or Oregon?

BOGLIASCO

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Application deadlines are looming for some very attractive Residency and Fellowship offers in Italy and the USA.  Statistics claim that one out of three applications is successful…
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Each year, the Bogliasco Foundation awards approximately 50 Fellowships, without regard to nationality, age, race, gender, or religion, in any subject area of the following disciplines: archaeology, architecture, classics, dance, film/video, history,music, landscape architecture, literature, philosophy, theater, visual arts.

Located in the fishing village of Bogliasco near Genoa, in a region of extraordinary beauty whose landscape has stimulated creative expression for centuries, the Bogliasco Foundation offers one-month residencies to individuals of all nations who can demonstrate notable achievement in the Arts and Humanities.  Visit their Photo Gallery.
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For Bogliasco Fellows, the time and space to create in complete freedom, combined with the thought-provoking company of varied colleagues in an unforgettable setting, results in astounding productivity, novel approaches and often-unexpected collaborations.
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Application Deadlines:
January 15th for the subsequent fall semester, and April 15th for the subsequent spring semester. For further information about applications and to apply, click here.

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FELLOWSHIPSVisit their Photo Gallery
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SITKA Center, Oregon
The Sitka Center’s Residency Program has provided more than 200 visual artists, writers, musicians, and natural science scholars the opportunity to conduct their work while deeply engaging with the inspirational coastal environment of Cascade Head.  Up to six residents at a time, usually from different disciplines and stages in their careers, live and work on campus for up to 3,5 months free of charge.
The Sitka Center offers workshops, residencies and community events, while maintaining a facility appropriate to its needs in harmony with its inspirational coastal environment near Cascade Head and the Salmon River estuary.  Location is Otis, Oregon.
Apply for Sitka’s residency program, which is designed for an artist, writer, or naturalist with professional experience. Deadline is April 17, 2016.
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The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers.
The fellowships in Columbus, GA. are intended to afford the writers in residence uninterrupted time to dedicate to their work, free from the distractions of daily life and other professional responsibilities.

The Marguerite and Lamar Fellowship for Writers will be offered for the fall semester of 2016, the fellowship to begin the first of September and to end the first of December.  During this period of time, the Smith/McCullers Fellow will reside in a spacious private apartment in Carson McCullers’ childhood home, the Smith-McCullers House.
The Fellow will be provided with a stipend of $5,000 to cover costs of transportation, food and other incidentals. Fellowship recipients will be required to introduce or advance their work through reading or workshop/forum presentations.  The Fellow will work with the McCullers Center Director to plan a presentation near the end of the residency.

Why do you write? What are your writing goals for yourself? What kinds of projects are you working on, writing-wise and otherwise? Why do you think you’d benefit from a retreat such as this one?  The winner will be chosen and announced by August 1 and will be invited to attend the retreat free of charge.
Deadline for submissions is April 1, 2016.
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Columbus-Georgia.

Fellowship at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Are you having several years experience in publishing?  Are you an editor, rights and licensing professional, literary agent, small publisher or a product manager (print and digital)?  Then you are in the “right position” to be considered for this fellowship, offered by the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016.  Deadline for applications is April 30, 2016

The Frankfurt Fellowship Program focuses on information exchange, professional dialogue and the creation of networks between young international publishers.  Visits of publishing houses and booksellers, market presentations, match-making events and dinners, and networking opportunities take place in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin.
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15 Years Fellowship Program.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s Fellowship Program.  First launched at the 50th anniversary of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1998, the Frankfurt Fellowship Programme has provided information and networking opportunities in the world of international publishing to more than 260 participants in 48 countries.
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Benefits
Travel expenses and accommodation while staying in Germany are covered by the Frankfurt Book Fair.  This also goes for part of the food expenses until October 16th.  Participants are responsible for covering their travel costs to Frankfurt and back.
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Program
Starting at 17 October to 23 October, there will only be evening engagements within the Fellowship programme. During the day the Frankfurt Fellows can arrange their own appointments.
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3 Letters of Recommendation.
The letters of recommendation should be written by international publishers, editors, foreign rights directors/managers or literary agents with which the applicant has worked. Recommendation letters written by authors cannot be considered.
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Deadline is April 30, 2016
Application Form

 



Rafflecopter: Another Free Tool for Book Buzz

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FREE

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Why Do We Love “Free”?

Maybe it comes from our ancient and once necessary habit of collecting and gathering food in the wild – which our ancestors got for free. “Not seeding, yet receiving food for free”?   The word “free” initiates a response in our minds that’s completely different from any normal business transaction. ….in the land of pricing, zero is not just another price – nothing beats the emotional surge of FREE!
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Ever Shopped at Costco?
Retail giant Costco is infamous for the large quantities of free samples they give away. An article by The Atlantic highlighted that when free samples of pizza are provided, Costco sales of pizza go up by 600%, when wine is sampled, sales go up by over 300%.  Did you realize: even ordinary neighbourhood groceries offer now from time to time free samples.
The convenience store chain 7-eleven gives away unlimited free slurpees on July 11th every year (July 11 = 7/11 = their company name).  You’d expect them to lose a lot of money, right?  The opposite is true:  They make boatloads of money through doing this campaign. In an article published by USAToday, the company said the sales of slurpees skyrocketed by 38% of July 11th during their promotion.
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Run Viral Giveaways.
Many authors set up giveaways on Amazon for print books – and now even for ebooks.  While this is an effective way to generate excitement, it is even better to create giveaways that encourage Tweets, Facebook Likes and email signups – and you get to know who signed up for your prize and is interested in your book.  At Amazon you will NEVER find out who downloaded your free book or to whom they will send the free print version of your novel.
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Rafflecopter is a free giveaway tool that you can embed in a blog post, on your website, your email newsletter, or attach directly to your Facebook page, e.g. to encourage more likes.  Why Rafflecopter?  Because it’s easy to use and free.  It takes only minutes to create a Giveaway.  And it gives you the ability to create multiple entries so that through one Giveaway you can fulfill various objectives, including link building and social engagement.

Giving away free copies of a book is a well-known way to generate buzz and maybe reviews. Instead of solely distributing advanced reader copies (ARCs) to book bloggers or reviewers, set aside a few copies for a free giveaway that gets people excited to read your book, even if they don’t win one of those free copies of your book – or perhaps an iPad or iPod – if you want to splurge.  You can do this before or after a book’s release, and give away either print or digital copies. Run a Rafflecopter on your blog for your next book or to promote an existing one.
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The Free Rafflecopter Giveaway Plan Includes:

  • Unlimited usage
  • Embed anywhere
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Random winners
  • Twitter and Facebook entry options
  • Free-form email entry options
  • CSV exports of the participants
  • 6 languages to get the message out (English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese)

Take a tour to learn all the details.
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Entrants Will Promote Your Book – Automatically.
Rafflecopter makes it easy to run book giveaways while simultaneously getting entrants to promote the book or participate in the conversation.  It is a bit like “Pay-with-a-Tweet”.  For example, with the free version of Rafflecopter, people can enter your giveaway by:

  • Tweeting a message you specify.
  • Following a specific Twitter profile.
  • Visiting a Facebook fan / book page.
  • Leaving a blog post comment.
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Benefits of Using Rafflecopter for Giveaways:

 

  • Grow your network. Running a giveaway is a fantastic way to build your social media following on sites such as GooglePlus, Facebook or  Twitter.
  • Generate leads. A sweepstakes is great for growing leads or increasing the number of email list subscribers. It’s a lead generation secret weapon.
  • Save money. Run a free Rafflecopter; Just budget for the cost of the prize (or prizes), how you will market it, and the time you spend on managing the process.
  • Gain product exposure. Launching your product with a giveaway is an amazing way to generate buzz around your brand. Having the prize be your product will help gauge interest and fuel excitement.  Using your product as the giveaway’s prize is one way to get people excited about your product and try it out.
  • Additional benefit: the participants tweet and post about your giveaway in order to be able to enter it.
  • Give back to your fans.  Want to share the love & give out prizes to your fans?  Running a giveaway is a great way to show your appreciation.
  • Save time & headaches. In relation to other internet marketing channels, running a giveaway doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. In addition, the amount of time spent into creating and launching a giveaway promotion is relatively low. Rafflecopter makes this process fast and easy.
  • Have some fun. Everyone loves the chance of winning! There’s nothing more joyful than delivering the good news to your winners. Relative to other marketing channels, running a giveaway can be a blast.
  • Liven up your community. If you’re looking for a way to get your fans excited, running a giveaway will get your books more exposure and remind them of you as an author.

The Rafflecopter widget can be embedded on an author’s website, a publisher’s blog, a guest post in a blog tour — wherever it fits into your promotional efforts.
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Promote Your Giveaway.
Rafflecopter recommends: “If you’re planning on sending out a newsletter and want to include a link to your promotion, there are two specific times you’d be recommended to do so:
24-36 hours after launch. Your giveaway has launched and you probably can’t wait to announce it to your email list subscribers. Show some patience though! Consider waiting a day or so after the giveaway has opened. This will give you a chance to promote it across a few other social networks first to make sure the giveaway is running smoothly. Wait a day after launch to make certain the giveaway is set up exactly how you’d like before telling your subscribers.”
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Create Excitement on the Last Day.
Winners are randomly selected once the contest ends.
While promoting during the last 24 hours of your giveaway, create excitement but with a sense of urgency.  Here are tips that will help you make the most of the last day of your giveaway to help maximize your giveaway’s total entries.

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End Your Giveaway Monday at Midnight.
Plan out a newsletter that you can send to your subscribers 24 hours before your giveaway ends (linking to your promotion). A full day is plenty of time for folks to open, read, and enter your giveaway before it closes.
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Show Your Prizes on Pinterest.
Hopefully you have an audience on Pinterest, now it’s time to get to pinning!  This is where you can get visual.  Simply pin a few exclusive images of the prizes you’re offering.  Or how about a banner that describes your promotion and links to where it’s taking place?  And Pinterest, like Twitter & Facebook, allows you to use hashtags in your pins.
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Tweet it on Twitter.
Send out a few tweets during the day that effectively counts down the time left to enter.  Include appropriate hashtags and call-to-action messaging in your tweets – and don’t forget to ask for re-tweets.  Use schedulers, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, and take advantage of the “hot times” where Twitter is busiest.

Submit your Giveaway to these sites to get even more exposure:
Contest Girl
Online Sweepstakes
Sweeties Sweeps
Can Contests

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Write Another Blog Post.

Hopefully you connected your blog / website with your GooglePlus and your Goodreads author page already to have each of your blog posts automatically connected with your social media sites – and in turn your Google+ presence connected with your Twitter timelines?
Schedule a blog post about your giveaway not only at the beginning, but also one for the last day or two days before your campaign ends. Don’t forget to post an attractive image of your giveaway prize. Why not also write a short article on your LinkedIn page?
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Get a Quick Tutorial.
How to choose and contact winners for your giveaway? How do I choose & contact winners for my giveaway?  Choosing a winner with Rafflecopter is easy! Rafflecopter gives you the tools that help you:

  • randomly select a number of winners from your entrants pool
  • help you verify the winners’ entries
  • announce the winners directly on the widget

Take a tour of the entries tab in your Rafflecopter dashboard, where you will choose winners:

After your giveaway ends, sign into your Rafflecopter account and find the giveaway’s ‘entries’ tab where you’d normally moderate entries by clicking on ‘pick a winner’ or moderate. Clicking on the ‘ADD A WINNER’ button will generate 1 random entry from your entry pool. For 5 winners, click ‘add a winner’ 5 times.  To verify the winners’ entries, view your entries by clicking on the ‘SHOW ME THE ENTRIES’ button. You can sort entries by IP, name, email address, etc.
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Keep in mind that giveaways run into the same problem as giving your readers a free item for joining your email list.  You’ll get some people who are only interested in free goodies. For this reason, it’s a good idea to import these email addresses into a different list from your main one. These email addresses will be less targeted, so you won’t want to send them emails as often as your primary list.  Send them only invitations to your next giveaway, in order not to be seen as spammer.  If they like your writing, they will sign up to your newsletter list anyway.  Make sure to tell them how to join your main list in one of your auto responders.  If you get several hundreds or thousands of  subscribers from the giveaway, then even 20 percent or less will give your list a significant boost.
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Get giveaway best practices in Rafflecopter’s new free 60+ page ebook that you can download from their site.



Why Your Book Won’t Be a Bestseller – Yet

Bestseller
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You might have read too many authors who are bragging over their bestselling works.  And your first or second book is just not moving… You get more depressed from day to day and don’t even want to check your sales pages on Amazon or look at their Bestseller lists. Even worse for you is to check the weekly NYT Bestsellers. Becoming a bestseller author seems to be totally out of reach – or is it? Here is what you can do about it, but first some hard facts to consider:

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7 Million Self-Published Titles: Stiff Competition.
Since 2010 roughly 7 million new self-published books appeared, almost all at online retailer’s websites. And these titles will be offered for many years to come, as most of them are in digital format. The “gold rush” seems to be over.

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How NYT Bestsellers are “Made”.
Bestseller does not mean an outstanding book in quality-writing, it means only: sold in high numbers during a certain period, compared to other books who sold less copies. And it means a print book, mostly in hardcover and sold at book chains and mass market in the United States. This way excluded are: ebooks, audiobooks, books sold in other countries than USA, and self-published books.

If you can spend between $60,000 and 100,000 for marketing, you can use the services of a promotion company, e.g. San Diego-based ResultSource.com who will buy your books en masse in chain stores to get your book into the bestseller lists … We explained in detail “The Dark Side of Bestseller Lists”, first investigated in The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike by Jeffrey Trachtenberg in WallStreet Journal.

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More Roadblocks for Independent Writers.
Did you buy your own ISBN? No? Without your personal ISBN (not from a POD company) and without national distributors e.g. Ingram, LightningSource etc., bookstores will / cannot even order a book for a customer. If your book is not internationally listed at Bowker, bookstores cannot find it in their computer.
Big media reviewers do not even accept 10% of the submissions they receive – and as an independent author you are competing with traditional publishers (who know these reviewers for many years and might even be friends with them – and mostly also are their advertising customers – you get the idea?).
Bookstores are still very reluctant to order self-published books from CreateSpace – after all, Amazon is their hardest competitor.
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See your writing and publishing as an evolving process –
consider it as a marathon and not as a sprint to riches.
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Yes, there are writer-millionaires, such as James Patterson, J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, but they are not even 1% of all writers and it took them dozens of years or even longer to come to this fame and wealth, not to speak about the portion of good luck or to be at the right spot at the right time.
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Dreams Don’t Work – Unless YOU Do!
Bestseller Authors who are the most successful understand that publishing is a business. If no one knows about your book, then how can you expect to make sales? Nobody ever made money writing a book – only by selling it!
Here at SavvyBookWriters.com/blog we have more than 1,500 articles, explaining authors in detail how they can overcome all these obstacles. Succeeding at self-publishing means also to use some traditional marketing methods, and a budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing, including website, paying for IT help, designer, or Google ads.
Start early and do first a market research before writing your book! Authors, and especially self-publishing authors need to study their competition carefully too: Read their books, study book covers, pricing, reviews, and the marketing of competing books.

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Bestseller Authors Need Years …
Authors are most of all: artists – just as musicians, sculptors, ballet dancers, actors or painters. They all study for years in their field of arts and it takes a long time, at least five years, or 10,000 hours to become a master of their craft. Building up an audience takes lots of time, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the groundwork to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.
A book marketing professional has to learn years and years.
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Why, as an author, not take advantage of their knowledge to keep your head free for writing and interacting with readers? No one would start a catering business without learning to cook, and knowing how to present food or how to find customers. Writing a book does not make for a publisher. Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market, no matter if self-publishing or going with a trade publisher.

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Print is a Must!
Print books still make up for about 60% of the book market, depending if you look at book sales numbers or revenue per book. The audio-book market is certainly growing too. Libraries order both book forms, however prefer hardcover with spine. How to sell / distribute to libraries is explained in detail in our blog article. Books for library-use need a Library of Congress Catalog in Publication block or, for a self-published book, Publishers Catalog in Publication block and / or a listing with Bowker word wide.

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One more tip:

Be very carefully in which categories you place your book, and also with the right keywords, especially on Amazon and other online retailers, so that readers find you easily and that you are not placed in a category with too much competition.

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How to Get Prestigious Book Reviews.
Check out professionally published books: Many of these trade books have either on their back cover (paperback) or on the binding flap (hard cover) several snippets of the book reviews, as well as endorsements from bestselling writers or other professionals, that were already written before the book was printed. It is not easy to get your book reviewed in these journals; however, it is possible – if you have written several books already.

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Find Professional Networks.
Long before your manuscript is finished (or even better: before you start your book) get yourself into professional networks:

 

  • Join lots of Reader Communities, such as Goodreads, Wattpad, LibraryThing etc.
  • Write for Newspapers / Magazines – the best way to get a name as an author! And earn money at the same time.
    Why? These networks with editors and publishing professionals will not only help you to improve your writing portfolio (and maybe even get you paid for it) but it also improves your chances to get coverage by your “colleagues” – in contrast to begging a prestigious newspaper / magazine to review your book.
    Clever Marketing and reaching millions of people can be done totally free (other than your time). Just use your creativity and imagination!
  • Be self-assured and don’t hesitate to pitch international newspapers / blogs. It takes as much time as to pitch your local neighbourhood paper.
  • Write something of value for readers – which is “by chance” part of your book, such as travel tips to the location of your books plot, museums, festivals or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.
  • You have to do your research anyway, why not use the material you gather and write several articles that you can offer – always mentioning your book.
  • As a writer you know how to write, just learn how to write online content by reading lots of online articles and how they are set-up
  • Have a stunning photo on your books cover!
  • Prepare a Media Kit on your website – and in print, with perfect book description and professional photos.

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Send out Advanced Reader Copies:
ARC’s, or advance review copies (8 – 6 months! before your publication date), to booksellers and journalists. Because ARCs may not have been put through the entire editing process, the copy will often differ slightly from the standard edition of the book. You need professional reviews to entice pre-orders and early readers / reviewers.

Study these Magazines’ / Newspapers’ review submission guidelines – and follow to the point! Read also their previous columns, maybe a book review fits into this column, rather than the book review editors section.
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Online Marketing and Social Media.
Blog / Website
“At the very least, new authors should be blogging” – that’s what publishers and agents expect. Blogs are an essential tool of any writer. Not only does it get you writing on a regular schedule, it lubricates your writer’s brain, eases that fear of putting yourself out there in the world.
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Social Media Networking.
In order to be found on the Internet’s Search Engines you need to be on Google+.  Second comes Goodreads where all the book lovers are, and then Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Try to stick with readers, reviewers and book bloggers on these Social Media platforms.
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Become Friends with Book Bloggers and Reviewers.
Careers everywhere depend on networking, same with a writing career. Start making “friends” with reviewers, long before your book is finished: Search on your social media sites for reviewers, reviews, book bloggers, etc. when using the search function on top of Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and Google+ pages. At Goodreads, reviewers are listed, so you can conveniently choose them as friends and follow them for a while, see which book genres they prefer, before you approach them.
Check out the bestsellers in your genre (in bookstores or online) and find names of reviewers. If these reviewers have a blog (and most do), comment on their articles. Offer them well-written guest blogs, geared to their topics and readership.
Joining reader communities, such as Wattpad and posting sample chapters also helps to attract book lovers who often are approachable for review inquiries.
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Here are a Half Dozen Links to Book Marketing

Checklist: How to Organize Your Book Marketing

7 Tips to Promote Your Book for FREE

17 Tips How to Successful Run Book Giveaways

Benefit of Writing Contests and Book Awards

Successful Book Selling – The Non-Traditional Way

How to Choose the Right Genre for Your Book

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Conclusion:
The possibilities to market your book are endless, and it should be an ongoing process to build your author brand and to establish a huge platform from where you can interact with your readers. However to become a recognized and “real” author with lots of book sales, you need to write at least 3 to 5 books and dozens of magazine or newspaper articles for your portfolio. It will take time – a couple of years – but you will eventually become a Bestseller author. Take Stephen King as a role model and never, ever give up! Have fun writing and meeting your readers.

These are just a couple of Book Marketing Tips. Detailed descriptions how to implement the best methods in transferring your books to bestseller status can be found in our e-books on Amazon.

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