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How to build better relationships with your readers using Goodreads’ “Ask the Author” feature

How to build better relationships with your readers using Goodreads’ “Ask the Author” feature

Goodreads Ask the Author

Goodreads recently introduced an exciting feature called “Ask the Author.”  With this tool, fans can pose questions to their favorite writers.

As the author, the questions do not appear publicly until you approve them and post a response. You can choose which questions you want to answer and WHEN you want to answer them. The “when” is important because your answers will be displayed in the news feeds of all your followers. By spreading out your answers, you’ll increase the chances your readers will view these interactions and get engaged in the Q&A process.

You also get to turn the “Ask the Author” feature on and off whenever you want…

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Who’s stealing eBooks? (and why you shouldn’t worry about piracy)

Who’s stealing eBooks? (and why you shouldn’t worry about piracy)

The following infographic from Encremento provides some fascinating stats on eBook piracy, DRM, and other publishing industry efforts to combat file sharing.

But here’s the thing: you shouldn’t worry about Piracy.

It’s been about seven years since Amazon’s first Kindle came out. Now that so much time has passed, I think it’s safe to look at the marketplace and say that the publishing industry will not encounter anything close to the level of piracy suffered by the music industry.

Either eBooks and digital music are completely different beasts (they are) or the publishing industry learned from the missteps of their music business counterparts — or a bit of both. But no matter what the reason, the data illustrates that, as always, OBSCURITY is the enemy of independent authors, NOT piracy.

Check out the infographic below, …

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Killer writing tools that will help you get the job done

Killer writing tools that will help you get the job done

Tools for writingIf you’re a writer that has to create web content on a deadline (freelancer, student, staff writer, etc.), you probably need some special tools to get the job done right.

Below is a list of tools to help online writers submit work on time, create better content, and share their writing with a wider audience

After the Deadline —This is an elementary software, compatible with WordPress and other writing applications, that checks your text for spelling and grammar mistakes. You will still have to proofread your texts, but After the Deadline is a good last-minute solution when you’re in a hurry.

WordPress — The blogging platform WordPress is the most used tool for online writing. WordPress offers a large number of features, so you’ll want to take some time to learn the basics. Also, if you’re most comfortable using WordPress for your website/blogging/content-creation needs, HostBaby can help you host a WordPress site.

WordCounter — Knowing the exact number of words and symbols in a text is extremely important for writers. Nuances make a huge difference, which is why everyone needs a precise word-count tool that goes beyond the basic features of popular word processors. Check out the new WordCounter tool by essay writing service NinjaEssays!

Social media automation tools

These tools are vital for those who use multiple social networks. They help you manage the presence of your content – and give you data that will help you make smarter decisions about when and where to post it. The most popular tools are Buffer and HootSuite.

Buffer is a tool that allows you to share your posts and to select the best content using one simple application.

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Authors, leave your literary success up to something other than luck

Authors, leave your literary success up to something other than luck

Literary successBookPromo makes the hard work of book promotion a lot easier

“What the internet and e-reading devices have done is open the world up to storytellers to be in charge of their own careers.” So said mega bestselling author Hugh Howey in a recent discussion at Book Expo America in New York. He was one of my speakers on a panel I moderated advising first-time authors, and he shared some thoughts for writers hoping to get noticed in today’s digital landscape.

“How hard you are willing to work and how hard you are willing to study and practice are the only limiting factor these days,” said Howey. “Luck will always play a part, but her role has been diminished.”

That’s a perfect summary of why BookBaby has worked so hard to create and develop BookPromo for all our authors. I’m pleased to announce the newest additions – targeted direct-to-reader advertising opportunities — to this powerful suite of tools and services was unveiled today. You can read much more about it HERE. And as always, BookPromo is a free package for all BookBaby authors.

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The least appealing summer residencies for poets and authors

The least appealing summer residencies for poets and authors

Ali Shapiro posted a funny series of illustrations on the Ploughshares blog about the least desirable places to spend time polishing your manuscript: airports, amusement parks, basements.

Actually, a nice cool basement doesn’t sound so bad right about now!

What about you? Where will you be writing this summer? Any official residencies?

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Reach more readers with BookPromo

Reach more readers with BookPromo

Now BookPromo is packed with even more promotional muscle

Only BookBaby gives you the marketing, advertising, and PR, tools you need to properly promote your book and drive sales. We call it BookPromo. It’s free with every BookBaby publishing package. And it has become the most popular reason why authors choose BookBaby.

Now we’re proud to announce that we’ve expanded BookPromo to be an even more powerful promotional tool for you.

Here’s what new:

Exclusive discounts on targeted advertising

Thanks to BookPromo you can reach thousands of targeted readers with incredibly affordable advertising.

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Book reviews for self-published authors: what you need to know

Book reviews for self-published authors: what you need to know

How to get book reviewsBook reviews. You want ‘em. You need ‘em. You hope they’re glowing. You think they’ll help you get to the next phase of your writing career. And you might be right!

But how do you know if your book is ready to be reviewed? What outlets will review self-published books in the first place? Are Amazon reviews really that important? And what do you do if you get a bad review?

The following articles about independent book reviews will help answer these questions and more:

Get reviews for your self-published book

Why your last book didn’t get reviewed

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PR basics for authors: how to approach the media

PR basics for authors: how to approach the media

Author PRSelf-published authors focus so much energy on getting book reviews that they often miss opportunities for wider press coverage from outlets like newspapers, weeklies, local cultural or art magazines, local TV news and news magazines, interview or lit-based programs on community, college, and online radio, podcasts, book blogs, and more.

It’s no secret that positive media attention can help you exponentially extend the reach of your book, so isn’t it time you pursued a few of these avenues?

But how do you go about contacting “the media?”

Actually, it’s simpler than you might think. There are five basic rules for handling your own PR:

1. Contact the correct person

Do a little research. Make sure you have the right name and email or mailing address for relevant producers, podcast or radio hosts, editors, etc. Nine times out of ten this information is readily available online.

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The science behind that “old book smell”

The science behind that “old book smell”

Ever wonder why libraries and used book stores smell so good?

Wonder no more! Andy Brunning, a chemistry teacher from the UK, has created an infographic — shown below — that breaks down (ba-dum-chik) the chemical reactions that occur in paper and ink as they age, causing the “old book smell.”

Next time you thumb through the pages of an old book, taking in its intoxicating aroma, remember what’s behind that comfy smell: science! 

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Social media basics for authors: simple and effective book promotion tips

Social media basics for authors: simple and effective book promotion tips

Social Media for AuthorsWhen it comes to promoting your self-published book, traditional book marketing strategies can still be highly effective.

But if you want to reach a wider audience and get connected to more potential readers, the solution is social media marketing.

With social media, you don’t have to waste your money on paid advertising in print, radio, or TV media; you don’t have to exert a bunch of energy planning readings or book tours; and you don’t have to spend time trying to impress a bunch of book critics. All you need to do is create a connection to other people. That’s the purpose of social media, after all.

I’m not saying that traditional  marketing doesn’t work anymore, because it occasionally still can. It’s just that it doesn’t guarantee that your book will sell a million copies or become a success — and it costs a lot of money. Social media, on the other hand, is free.

To expand the reach of your book promotion, increase your book sales, and convert more readers into buyers, here’s a few tips on how to make the most of social media:

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