Last week we started implementing Digital Marketers 6 Simple Facebook Contests. We started with "Like to Win".
It went for a few days, with a $5 boost and we got about 20 likes.
One of the things that I don't like is that you can't tag people to let them know they won. So while we offered 5 prizes, only 1 person responded and got their prize.
Now, I could do this through Woobox, and that might be the better way to conduct these, but I won't be able to tell you about it until I do.
For the first contest, I consider it a 40¢ per like cost. However, the goal is engagement--not likes. I can see doing these contests once a week will get people coming to your page out of habit.
The cool thing is, you can do these contests on any platform. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ it doesn't matter, you can still adapt it to either. Maybe you'll get better performance than my author, maybe less, but the fact is you'll be doing something. Try it for 3 months and if it's more work than the yield, you'll know it's not something for you. Better knowing than guessing.
ACTION ITEM: Try you hand at Like to Win! Reference this POST for how it works.
Week 2 of the Snow Blood episodic story of Brogio, the first vampire and his canine demon has been going along very well!
When I suggested a serial to my author I had not known how much work there might be involved. I'd forgotton--Who was going to put up all those books on a weekly basis?
But! I have now gained enough experience to get Smashwords formatting down pat! After stripping and rebuilding 6 episodes, I think I've got it to a science.
Most common things I see authors doing is:
a) using the tab for indents.
b) Putting a space in front of the indented sentence.
c) Using really weird and inconsistent paragraph spacing.
EVERY author does it. It's not that they deliberately change all these things, it's that they are using different methods to get ink on paper. Copy/paste, editing, merging files--all that will cause some kinds of formatting differences which Smashwords doesn't like. But, being able to go through and systematically doing it over and over has given me a new respect for Smashwords. They catch all the glicthy mistakes. Smashwords will tell you when your file isn't perfect and then you have to learn why.
After doing it so many times, I've got a standard that will help me in the future. I can't say my ACTION ITEM would be fun--but if you get the chance to upload more than one book at a time on Smashwords--do it. You'll find out all those tricky mistakes that will make your word document clean.
Article written by ULRIKE
How did all this happen? When did I decide to become a writer in this world of many? Should I call myself a teacher instead of a writer?
Looking back, it was meant to be. Born in a small town in Austria, I always felt displaced. From early childhood on I remember being the ‘different kid’ that stood out. Not in a rebellious way, just more creative and inquisitive to the standards of my village. Somewhere around the age of twelve I knew I wanted to be a singer, and the dream of traveling foreign countries and meeting exciting people held a grip on me.
On the midnight train heading to Vienna I started the journey and teamed up with a Top 40 Band playing in a somewhat seedy nightclub. This union lead to living my dream; Germany, Switzerland, England – working as a singer in hotels and bars, all the while moving on to bigger cities – moving on up!
After a concert I attended in London, a friend pointed out that I should visit Hollywood, California- ‘You’ll fit right in’ he exclaimed, and even though I wasn’t sure about this new idea I was willing to give it a try.
Mentally this move produced a shift in my consciousness that proved to be the biggest step I would make. Everything fell into place with astonishing ease. No doubt, I was home. Thirty years later I am still in California, in the same spot: physically but not mentally.
Shortly after this life-changing move I found a job working as a waitress at a Hollywood nightclub. Seemingly out of the blue, I was asked by another waitress, if I thought ‘Jesus was suffering on the cross’. At the time I only had read a few New Age articles and wasn’t well versed in all of the topics. I, however, believed that Jesus was a man that had true Understanding, and with this Understanding he surely was only showing his disciples the power he had over his life and death. ‘No’ I said, ‘I don’t think Jesus suffered. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. He was absolutely aware of this demonstration, and he chose it as a way to prove that ‘life lives’. Death is nothing but a big bully and unreal; imagination at its best.’
This dialogue proved to be the pivotal starting point of my awakening.
This new journey of soul searching and truth finding was exhilarating. I read everything I could get my hands on. I joined a metaphysical class and tested everything I learned. I experienced faith, hope, amazement and wonder. I had to learn the English language basically from scratch, and I did this through reading book after book after book.
After five years of intensive study and application of what I learned, I began to teach metaphysics to a few students and I loved it. We are all teachers and students of life and this was a wonderful way to grow and learn. As this desire developed further, I reached back to my ‘other’ love - writing. I started a book many years ago about my travels in Germany. I had written many poems, but I had also made a promise to myself that ‘one day I would actually publish a book’.
Little did I know that it would take another thirty years to make this dream come true. Life happened with the usual ups and downs, but I never veered off the path for long. I knew deep down in the innermost chambers of my Soul that I meant to write, teach, and spread the Truth of Being. I embraced the Universe and all New Age teachings. I drank from the Eastern philosophies and feasted on many wonderful teachings of the West and East alike. The idea of a better Universe, and a ‘We are all One’ concept was engrained in my being. However, even though this journey proved to be exhilarating I was still waiting ‘until the time was right’ to dedicate my life to my passion. Why?
At that time leaving the corporate world seemed impossible, too many bills to pay, and too many expectations of this earthly life…what would it take for me to make the transformation?
Early 2011 the change came unexpectedly and fast. I was laid off from my job of almost twenty years. Even though I was surprised, I really wasn’t. I had known for some time that I was mentally through with this type of work. I was longing to fulfill my dream, I could taste it, feel it and I knew that it was only a matter of time. And here it was. The Universe had made the decision for me; had helped me to get where I wanted to be all along. ‘Thank you Universe’, I mumbled as I took my last paycheck and trotted home. ‘Thank you!’
It took no time to get that pencil sharpened and the ideas started to flow effortlessly. ‘Someone’ was constantly whispering in my ear- my own ‘knowing’ took charge. My goal was to write about my knowledge of the workings of the mind, and I wanted to share all the goodness it had brought into my life.
Today, I feel that I am a messenger of Truth and that it is my duty to help others. My first book “…because you can!” was finished in eight months and affirms my beliefs of unity and goodness for all.
And lastly, even though it seems that I have accomplished everything I set out to do, I know in my heart of hearts: The Journey of a Lifetime has only just begun!
ULRIKE is an inspirational writer/author and metaphysics teacher. She teaches the art of right thinking in a scientific, step by step program, that benefits all areas of your life; health, wealth and most of all happiness...
you can contact her at:
Books on Amazon
Indies...it's no longer a matter of if you'll make it and sustain yourself off of writing...it's a matter of if you'll last before you can start paying the bills.Listening to one of my favorite teachers on the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast -- Holly Lielse -- I realized that if you keep crafting, keep learning and write good books, you'll be able to make a living off writing.
It might take years. You might give up. You might find writing isn't for you. But if you keep writing you'll find your crowd.
I've listened to only two podcasts on self-publishing, but they've shaped the path I've taken.
ACTION ITEM: For this Tuesday's Tools I'm giving you two podcasts that have shaped the path I've taken. If you have 2 hours every week to commit to listening and learning, click on the pictures below. The links there will take you to the podcasts of these industry leaders that have helped me in my endeavors. At the very least, you'll be inspired and know you aren't alone!
This Marketing Monday tip is completely, utterly stolen from DigitalMarketer because Ryan Deiss is a genius and his ideas were meant to be run away with...and I'm ever to eager to listen and apply!
So, when he shared 6 Simple Facebook Contests You Can Set Up in 5 Minutes we jumped on board and adapted them for the release of Snow Blood.
We started with #1 - Like to Win.
Post to Facebook for new page likes and pick the winners! Ours got a full copy of Season 1 of Snow Blood.
Continuing on each week for each Episode of Snow Blood we'll be going to the next contest. Here's the plan:
#2 Comment to win.
Post to Facebook. Comments get entered. Pick winners.
We thought of asking people to answer, "Name Brogio's love of his life." Or "What breed of dog is Snow Blood?"
Correct answers get an Amazon card.
#3 Solve to win.
Post a puzzle, comments get entered. Pick winners!
This one we may or may not do. I'd thought of posting a picture of those "How many animals in the picture" type thing like Where's Waldo and have people guess the number of wolves in the picture. Correct answers win!
#4 Upload pictures to win.
Have fans post pictures. Pick winners!
For this, I'd have people post pictures of their dogs. Right up on the author page. Winner receives an Amazon card.
#5 Caption to win.
Post a picture. Have fans comment a caption for posted picture. Pick winners!
This we decided not to do. We don't have anything really, except this:
Anyway...I might try it another author's site, but I've got pictures like these that deserve captions. You might want to have your fans comment their captions. Do a mem to let everyone know who won and give a prize.
#6 Join the email list to win.
Post a status giving people an easy way to join the email list and offer a digital copy of Snow Blood.
ACTION ITEM: Go to 6 Simple Facebook Contests You Can Set Up in 5 Minutes and see the examples they did and the full article for yourself!!
In my search for new platforms and links to use for social media I came across Payhip: https://payhip.com
Here's the lowdown when I tried pubhip....
1. No hosting fees.
2. Low 5% transaction fee - don't forget PayPal or Stripe's fees, they apply I'm sure. But 8% charge is better than say 30%.
3. Upload your book in several different formats.
4. Mobile accessible.
5. Gives you a different link to promote your book.
6. Authors set any price or if authors want...readers can set the price.
I don't see a whole lot of marketing going on, but the spirit of indies might drive traffic to Payhip and make it a success if they so choose. So, TRP will be putting our books on yet another platform. At the very least it gives us a) exposure and b) another link to send our readers to!!
Erotic romance is a wildly popular and mainstream genre, earning money and acceptance at an incredibly fast pace. Still, in day-to-day, ‘boots on the ground’ life, it isn’t always easy to find a kindred ‘romance reader’ to share your joy.
I’m shy about opening the topic but some conversations turn out pretty darn sweet, and I make a new friend.
(This is a fictional example:)
A brunette working in my neighbor’s yard leans over the fence and extends a hand. “Hi, I’m Sandy, George’s girlfriend.”
“Hi, Sandy, I’m Marilyn. It’s nice to meet you.” We shake hands, smiling at each other.
“It’s nice to meet you too. This is a great neighborhood.” She leans her elbows on the fence.
“Yes. We like it.” I lean on my rake, happy for a chat.
“Me too. George has asked me to move in with him.”
“That’s lovely. You make a beautiful couple.”
“Thank you. You’re the first neighbor I’ve met. What do you do?”
“Well, you know, family, home, write a few stories.”
“Oh, you’re a writer. What do you write?
“Romance! I love romance. Have you ever read Silvia Day?”
“Absolutely, I love her books. Have you read Shayla Black?”
“Oh, sigh, yes. Maya Banks?
“All of them. Joey Hill?”
“Oh, my, god. Yes! Have you read her newest? You need oven mitts, it’s so hot. Do you want to go out sometime and talk books?”
“Sure, that would be fun.”
“I’m so glad to meet you ….”
“Yes. It’s wonderful to meet a kindred reader.”
And (also a fictional example) sometimes you meet nice people, but they’re not kindred readers.
“Hello, nice to meet you.” I say upon introduction to the wife of a friend of a friend.
“Hi,” she says. “So what do you do?”
“Well, you know, family, home, write a few stories.”
“Oh, you’re a writer?”
“I enjoy it, yes.”
“What do you write? Have I read anything of yours?”
“Romance, mostly. What do you read?”
“Oh, not romance!” she sniggers. “I like non-fiction—things like politics, current events.”
“That sounds interesting. What are you reading now?”
“Oh, it’s tragic! It’s about the scandal of …”
At this point, because I love fiction (where no one really gets hurt) and have heard about the heartrending and unavoidable tragedy in the news, I’m nodding my head politely while wondering when I can escape back to the latest Joey Hill book, or Patricia A. Knight book, or Eden Bradley book …
I’ve been fortunate to find wonderful friends who not only enjoy reading similar stories, but are also critique partners who help me write. Life is good.
Marilyn Lakewood is our latest UP and Coming author! Diving into Sugar Kink Ink, her debut novel "Chase's Hard Wear" is expected to be released December 2014. This new series revolves around light bondage and BDSM themes that tantalize until you scream! "Chase's Hard Wear" will be the first of three and maybe more in the series.
Marilyn writes stories with hot, alpha males to inspire her during the long Northwest winters. She loves creating XXX romances with protective, hard-lovin' heroes and sexy fantasies.
I have a hard time understanding how Google Analytics can help me make better choices in Marketing. Hell, do analytics have anything to do with Marketing?
Yes. Yes they do.
Google seems to understand the need for explaining their awesomeness so...I direct those who want to know more about Analytics to the Digital Analytics Fundamentals course that Google has for FREE...
ACTION ITEM: Go to https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com/course01 to watch and understand Google Analytics.
After reading about Smashword's Preorder option, and attempting the strategy, I've contemplated that authors with a strong following would benefit greatly!
Here are a list of the benefits (and my commentary):
1. Preorders credit on day one of the release, the onsale date, which can spike the book on the charts. In turn that can potentially increase an author's odds of hitting one or more of the major bestseller lists. (Amazon doesn't play by that rule anymore...however Barnes & Nobel I believe still does.)
2. Your book is available on sale at these major retailers on the same day. (Only if you go through Smashwords. If you prefer to have more control over you descriptions or pricing in different platforms...well, then not so much because you have to upload them separately. Call me a control freak, but I like my changes to happen ASAP and not Smashwords two weeks later when they can get to it.)
3. Authors can execute more strategic advance marketing campaigns to build buzz and accumulate orders leading up to their official release date. (With the exception of social media, I couldn't find a place to exercise this type of marketing. Book tours require a link to your book, and they want it in advance. Putting an ad out there where do you send people exactly? Smashwords doesn't actually allow for preorders. How do I find the preorder page on B&N and Apple?)
4. The retailer will display your preorder title alongside your other books in their store. Which will enable you to capture the reader's order at that moment they're buying all your books. (Assuming you have other books...this might not be good for first time authors?)
5. Your advance preorder makes it easier for retailers to slot your book into special preorder promotions. (Ummm...don't they have big names before yours? How many pages do people have to shift through to get to it?)
I believe if you've got a strong following you could do it. The reason why I did the preorder was to hopefully get the book out on B&N and Apple at the same time as Amazon and Kobo. That's what the preorder feature is really all about for me.
ACTION ITEM: If you've got a strong following--this is a great feature! If you don't, it's a fantastic way to get your book on all platforms at the same time! I'm going to employ this for all my authors whether we get the spike of preorders or not.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
Books on Kindle