5 Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your Book

With the exploding popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s easier than ever to connect with people all around the world. But, if you’re not sure how to get started or are unsure about how to make connections with your target audience, don’t worry! Here are 5 easy tips to help you!

1. Determine what your goals are.

  • Increase awareness? The average person spends nearly two hours on social media every day, and therefore social media is one of the best places to grab a reader’s attention.
  • Drive traffic to your book? Drive visitors to your author webpage or to your listing on Amazon.
  • Generate new leads? These are people who have indicated interest in your book in some way, shape, or form, but haven’t yet purchased it.
  • Build your royalties? You can use social media to turn your audience into paying customers.

2. How often should you post?

  • Facebook – Two or three times per day
  • Instagram – Once or twice per day
  • Instagram Stories – Eight to 16 Stories, twice per week
  • Twitter – Three to ten times per day
  • LinkedIn – Once or twice per day
  • Pinterest – Five to ten times per day

3. When should you post?

  • Twitter – 1-3pm weekdays
  • Facebook – 1-4pm weekdays
  • LinkedIn – 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Instagram – 5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays
  • Pinterest – 2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best
  • Google+ – 9-11am weekdays

4. What should you post?

  • Facebook – Post videos about your book, live videos of you talking about your book or at book events, photos of you and your book, blog posts and curated content.
  • No matter what type of post you’re sharing on Facebook, the copy you add alongside your content can be key in how it performs.
  • Instagram – Post hi-res photos (your cover, your author photo, any images or illustrations within your book), behind-the-scenes photos of your book events, quotes, user-generated content (sharing other photos, such as attendees at a book signing) but give credit to the original creator (known as a re-post), and Instagram stories. Captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text, they become shortened with an ellipsis (those 3 dots you see on posts). You want to grab the readers’ attention with your opening line or two.
  • Twitter – Post news about your book, blog posts, photos of you and your book at events, curated content and images. The type of copy in your tweets can drive huge improvements in your results.
  • Pinterest – Images are the best thing to post on Pinterest. Post hi-res photos of your book, the cover, book events, step-by-step photo guides and infographics.
  • LinkedIn – Post professional information about your career as a writer. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, the most suitable content will revolve around you as an author. Share news about your book and milestones on your LinkedIn page, particularly if the book involves career advice.

5. Automate, engage, and listen

  • Automate posting of your social media content. A tool like Buffer is great for automation. It allows you to create all the content that you want to, all at once, and then place everything into a queue to be sent out according to whatever schedule you choose.
  • Social media requires engagement. When people talk to you, talk back. Set aside time during your day to follow up with conversations that are happening on social media. These are conversations with potential customers, references, friends, and colleagues.
  • Don’t forget, the ultimate purpose is to sell copies of your book. So always be polite, helpful, and generous. Book sales will follow.

For more information on marketing your book, log into your Publishing Center for a complete list of marketing options and to access the free Book Marketing Resource Center.

 

5 Ways Awards Boost Books

Whether we care to admit it or not, we are influenced by others in our purchase decisions. We ask friends for recommendations. We read product reviews. We think twice about buying something that has earned a meager 3/5 stars.

Likewise, positive buzz is priceless. In fact, word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools any business can have, including the self-publishing business. That’s why book awards—positive word of mouth from experts in the field—are so much more than a pat on the back for an author. Awards are also an underutilized marketing tool with benefits that go well beyond the warm-fuzzies that come with positive recognition.

Here are five ways book awards can benefit self-publishing authors like you:

  1. You score media visibility. A book award can create media buzz for your book and there’s no better marketing than that.
  2. Readers take notice. Book buyers often rely on reviews and award wins to identify the quality before they make a purchase. So, the more recognitions you get—and the more of them that come from reputable sources—the more value potential buyers will ascribe to your book.
  3. The domino effect. Awards inspire reviews. The more awards you have, the more likely you are to get noticed by other book award panels and reviewers, raising your profile even further.
  4. Amazon shows support. Once a book begins to accumulate book awards, reader engagement and reviews, Amazon will want to back that book. They may promote it as an editor’s choice and the book will likely rank higher in Amazon’s search results. This activity influences purchases, and Amazon wants its sellers to succeed.
  5. The bottom line grows. More awards mean greater visibility, which generally translates into more sales. A feather in your cap is a huge step toward turning pageviews into follow-throughs.

Win or no win, book competitions get your title in front of savvy literary professionals and eager readers.

Feel like you have a potential award-winner in your hands? Let Outskirts Press get you submitted to book competitions so you can compete for prestigious titles and prizes.

 

Capture Readers with a Free Custom Cover!

You’ve heard this many times here: They say you can’t judge a book by its cover … but book shoppers always do. Always.

Like it or not, readers have little to go on, other than first impressions, as they pare down thousands of book choices to the few they wish to explore further. That means your cover may well be the single most powerful marketing and selling tool in your arsenal.

An eye-catching professional cover design has a huge job to do. It must entice the specific readers you’re after, instantly. It must make them want to take a closer look at what’s inside. Once you’ve attracted the right audience, your cover must also impart vital information about your book at a glance: genre and content, tone or mood, and even the quality of the writing itself. If your book cover does all that, your audience is more likely to buy.

So, how do you create a book cover that meets those lofty goals? Publish with Outskirts Press now and it’s our gift to you! We’ll give you a FREE Custom Cover Design (valued at $399) for your book when you purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package during this limited-time offer!

To enhance your book with a sales-boosting, professional custom cover, just place the publishing package of your choice in your shopping cart and enter the promo code October_FreeCover at checkout. It’s the best marketing decision you could make!

Questions about this offer or which publishing package and options are right for you? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Self-Publishing Creative Services

Whether you’re a new author, a seasoned pro or just thinking about self-publishing, there’s always a lot to consider along your publishing journey.

Many authors find themselves overwhelmed with all the “little finishing touches” that add up to a huge workload just to get their book in tip-top shape for publication: creating a beautiful cover; crafting cover copy that’s both SEO-friendly and compelling to prospective buyers; polishing the manuscript until it’s flawless; formatting for a beautiful paperback and hardcover book, as well as for a fully functional ebook … You’ll need to be a Jack/Jill-of-all-trades with a lot of time on your hands to cover all that creative territory!

Understandably – and wisely, we might add – many authors hire professional creatives with specialized skills to take these tasks off their hands. Here are five smart ways to get the most out of these creatives services and save money in the process.

  1. Look for money-saving bundles. No one wants to get nickeled and dimed when they self-publish. Our publishing packages are assembled to help you get everything you need to publish and market your book at a discounted package price. From comprehensive One-Click Suites tailored to specific book genres to publishing packages such as the Ultimate and Full-Color, bundles save you time and money, and spare you the stress of cherry-picking services.
  2. Think outside the bundle. There’s no need to accept an all-or-nothing approach. Not only does Outskirts Press package the essentials into convenient publishing suites, but we have scores of optional custom creative services you can select or add to your publishing package, including Custom Cover Design, Custom Illustrations, Professional Copy Editing and Enhanced Interior Formatting. In fact, we offer more creative options than any other self-publishing company.
  3. Personalize, customize, revitalize. Never feel you must purchase more than what you need. Although Outskirts Press publishing packages are exceptionally well crafted, you’re always free to build your own menu of services to get something that’s fully customized to your needs. It costs nothing to chat with an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 or via our live online chat option; a consultant can help you choose the perfect products.
  4. Rely on specialized expertise. Once you’ve chosen your package and/or creative options, know that you can relax and hand off the heavy lifting to graphic designers, professional formatters, marketing copywriters, seasoned copy editors and other talented creative service providers with experience in the publishing industry.
  5. Never be afraid to ask for help. It’s our desire to always tell you “yes.” We realize every author’s work is unique and every situation is different — so if anything is ever “close but not quite,” let us know and we’ll make it perfect for you. Outskirts Press will always work with you one-on-one to ensure you have the services you need and that those services are delivered to you in a manner that works best for you.

At Outskirts Press, we want to help bring your unique vision to life. Your book is a one-of-a-kind work, so we’ve designed a full range of products from which you can pick and choose to get service that’s as unique as your book! Learn more about which ones are right for you by speaking with an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant at 1-888-672-6657 or via the live online chat option on our website.

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Once Upon a Cover: The Power of Eye-Catching Copy

There once was a time when you might venture forth to browse the shelves at your local bookstore or library, run your fingers along a hundred or so spines, and snatch up the book that most grabbed your attention. These days, the process has a digital equivalent, and many of us readers lose hours upon hours of our lives scrolling through listings on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s online stores before settling on the books which pull us in. But in one thing, we haven’t evolved. Despite mostly eschewing cliches, one continues to haunt us: “don’t judge a book by its cover!”

These words haunt us because of their impossibility. We do judge books by their covers, and in an era of rapid digital evolution, we’re still drawn to books with interesting cover art over those with basic or template designs. And while e-book formats sometimes require less emphasis on physical appearance (interior formatting is simpler and a full cover design is not always necessary), they still need distinctive, eye-popping cover artwork. And since the reader will be viewing the cover on a screen–often the size of a business card–it is very important that the design is appealing and captures the essence of the book.

If your front cover is your book’s first impression, your back cover synopsis is a very valuable second; you’re targeting your reader, pulling them in, and convincing them that this is a book worth investing in. One typo or missing element could make the difference between your sales being “okay” and “wow!”

And, it’s important to realize that this back cover content isn’t solely for the actual back cover — it is also the sales copy (otherwise called “the annotation”) for the detailed sales page on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Most book buyers thoroughly read the sales copy of the books they are considering, so this is not a detail you can ignore.

But should you write your own sales copy? Writing something that educates or entertains is different from writing something that sells. As a professional author, it’s important to know when to ask for help.

The skilled team behind our “Cover Text Refinement Option” knows what it takes to transform a browser into a buyer! With this optional production option, you’re telling your readers that your book is worth their time and money because you’ve made it the best it can possibly be–both inside and out. Meanwhile, the Outskirts Press copywriters will do what it takes to hook your readers by professionally summarizing your manuscript, creating eye-catching headlines, and writing a compelling author biography.

You’ve spent so much time and energy creating your masterpiece–don’t let your hard work go unnoticed! An amazing back cover and sales annotation can make the difference between someone scrolling past your book…and someone buying it.

Have questions? For more information about self-publishing with Outskirts Press, get in touch with a Publishing Consultant. There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment
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Spring Into Some Savings This May!

Spring is a time for renewed hopes, and a time to dust off those projects which have been sitting in the back of your mind–or in the far recesses of your computer’s memory–over the chilly winter months. You’ve had time to let the ideas percolate, like snowmelt through warming soil, and things are starting to come together to grow your dream into something magnificent. Now that May has arrived, spring is officially underway–and your prospects are coming up all roses!

We at Outskirts Press would like to invite you to make good on your desires, and to that end we are offering a spring savings discount of $250 off either our Ultimate Publishing package or our Full-Color Publishing package!

You are an author who knows the virtues of patience—after all, waiting through the cold winter months for a sale like this one is no easy thing!—and you are committed to doing the necessary research to ensure you pick the right self-publishing company for your needs. We hope that, with our phenomenal offerings and equally phenomenal spring savings discount, you’ll choose to publish with us—the one Top Consumer Reviews rated #1 Self-Publishing Company for 2016!

Here’s how to do it:

From now until the end of May, log onto our website or get in touch with us over the phone and add one of these two packages to your shopping cart. Then, enter the promotion code 250May17 at checkout.

That’s it!

If you have any questions or, if you want to find out more information about either our Ultimate or our Full-Color Publishing packages, get in touch with your Publishing Consultant. There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment
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Great Things Follow Just One Small Click

Struggling to balance your writing time with the sometimes overwhelming process of publishing and marketing your own book? You might just appreciate the value of what we at Outskirts Press call “One-Click Publishing.” All of our One-Click Publishing suites share the same core DNA—an understanding that indie authors shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire publishing burden and go it alone, foregoing professional insight just because they’ve chosen to leave the traditional publishing path. And what better partner in walking that path than the self-publishing company ranked #1 by Top Consumer Reviews?

Since Outskirts Press offers separate One-Click Publishing packages for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Spiritual, Christian, Children’s, Cookbook and Memoir book genres, you can always be sure that the services included will be useful and not just throwaway extras.

Consider, for example, our One-Click Publishing service for fiction books. It includes formatting, copyediting for up to 75,000 words, custom cover design, ISBN and barcode, wholesale distribution through outlets like Ingram and Amazon, an author webpage, one-on-one author support, a digital author galley as well as print author copies, tip sheets, 5 hours of consultation with a Personal Marketing Assistant, a press release, e-book editions, and a whole host of other features that would take too much room to list here.

Our One-Click Publishing suites are easy to use, and by virtue of what economists call “Economies of Scale,” they also make products and services more affordable by bundling them together! They also help save you time and energy. Indie authors have a tremendous drain upon both in the form of publishing and marketing minutiae. After all, it’s unusual for any adult person to possess the skill to execute a beautifully designed book cover as well as the experience necessary to purchase an ISBN without hassle and to construct an effective social media marketing strategy.

A carefully-chosen publishing package sets you free to do what you love most—write—without sacrificing something else important, like eating well, or sleeping eight hours, or time with your family. If you find yourself in a tight spot, we hope that you add our One-Click Publishing services to your list of possibilities.

While our services and packages are all great, our people also shine. We’re proud to offer top-rated self-publishing services to some of the world’s most interesting and innovative authors. We’re here to make your job easier—and yes, to make sure you get to do the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do in order to sell your book.

Talk with a Publishing Consultant to get exactly what you need — and get the most out of it! There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment
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