Book Marketing Mondays: The Single Best Marketing Tool for an Author

Posted in Book Marketing on January 17th, 2011 by admin


Guest Expert: C. Patrick Schulze

In my last article for Bookbuzzr, I discussed the need to identify your niche market, those people who might purchase your book. Today, we’re going to discuss one of the major tools you use to market to those potential customers, your blog.

If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of a blog, the term comes from the contraction of the phrase, “web log.” A blog is simply a way to post whatever you wish to the Internet. Many think of it as a free, simple, easy-to-maintain website and others consider it an open journal.

A blog, as with every part of your marketing, has but one main purpose. It’s to raise awareness of you and your books and novels.

However, it also serves a number of other purposes.

Your blog:

  • helps establish your credibility as an author
  • allows others to learn of your books and novels
  • sells and pre-sell your books, 24/7
  • allows you to have a two-way conversation with your potential customers
  • serves to promote your existing and upcoming books and novels
  • allows you to communicate about things that are of importance to you
  • can put you in touch with other authors for collaborate, not competitive, efforts
  • can even help you develop the habit of writing on a regular basis

Best of all, with a blog your prospective book buyer volunteers to receive your marketing message. Now that is a powerful marketing concept and, by itself, is reason enough to blog. (How often do you voluntarily ask people to send you commercials?)

Though you can pay a great deal for a blog, there is no need to spend anything beyond the time you invest to establish and maintain your blog. The cost depends on the company with which you set up your blog, and whether or not you hire someone to run it for you. I recommend the free route and with that in mind, here is a list of organizations that can provide a blog for you.

I personally work with WordPress and Blogger and find them easy to use and understand. Of the two, WordPress is my favorite as it affords more options to customize your site.

Most who are aware of blogging yet do not take advantage of the medium indicate the time needed to keep it maintained is a major obstacle. Understood. However, one secret to a successful blog is not daily updating but regular updating.

Regular can mean once a day, once a week or once a month. I personally recommend a minimum of twice a week and no less than once a week. Regardless, the trick is to maintain a schedule and stick to it. Humans are creatures of habit, and if you don’t offer your prospects some sort of routine, most potential buyers will gravitate to your competitors’ more regular blogs.

One common comment I hear from those who do not blog is, “Nobody wants to know what I had for dinner.” Another is “I don’t know what to blog about.”

These and most other reasons for an author’s failure to blog are most often rooted in the their misunderstanding of what blogging is all about. Blogging is about sharing. Sharing what you have a passion for, sharing what you know and sharing what you want your readers to know.

As an author, we are passionate about our books and novels and most often about the subject matter of our books. Further, we want people to know about our books. So guess what you blog about? Yep. Your books and the subject matter of your books.

I’ll use my own novels as an example. I write historical fiction set in the time of the American Civil War. Why then? Because I’m passionate about the Civil War. So what do you think is the focus of my blogs? You’re right if you said my books and the Civil War. Is this picture becoming clear?

In my last article for BookBuzzr, we spoke about your niche market, right? Well, target your blog toward your niche market and what they want to learn in relation to your subject matter. For example, if you write about psychology, your blog should at least cover that topic and cater to others interested in that same information.

Now, the real secret to blogging?

There is no secret.

Regardless what you hear, nobody has the secret. Like anything, it’s a learning process and experience is the best teacher. So jump on in and get your blog set up and running. It’s a relatively new, no cost, form of marketing that works. You, as an author, really should the idea take to heart.

Now, what questions do you have about blogging?

Until we speak again, know I wish for you only best-sellers.

~C. Patrick Schulze

C. Patrick Schulze is a writer and retired self-employed businessperson. He graduated from Old Dominion University in Virginia, USA with a B.A. in, of all things, Political Science.

He is married to his lovely wife Katy and they live in Richmond, VA (USA). He has two daughters, two step-children and six grandchildren. He is an avid photographer and life-long student of the American Civil War.

He has published two novels and has a third on its way. His articles have appeared in Williamsburg Living Magazine and he is a regular contributor and

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7 Quick Writing Tips For Daily Bloggers

Posted in Blogging on August 11th, 2010 by admin


Question: How long does it take you write a post? 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes? Personally, it all depends on the topic. Some topics are easier to write about than others.

I think we could all agree on that..

Some posts are easier just to make a quick 5-10 minute video. But, as a rule of thumb.. if it takes me more than 25 minutes to get it down on paper – I’m probably doing too much, and more than likely going off on a tangent.

The main reason readers come to your blog is to get a quick tip, or get inspired by a short story. They want to get in, engage and get out… it’s unfortunate, but it’s true.

Our job as bloggers is to provide them with valuable and useful information they can benefit from right away. With this post or article, I’m trying to accomplish the same thing.

Here Are The Top 7 Writing Tips For Daily Bloggers

Tip#1 is to stay clear with your topic of choice for every blog post. Nothing’s worse than having your readers ask “where is this going?” dead-smack in the middle of the post.

Tip#2 is to understand “Message To Market”. If your target market are beginners, don’t start writing about higher conversion rate on sales pages when they can’t even set up a domain with hosting.

Tip#3 is to create ‘Scannable Content’ just like this one. This helps your readers get the most out of an article even if they just skim through to get the best points.

Tip#4 is to Bold, Italics, CAPS and Underline words and phrases. This helps you direct your readers attention to the most important piece of the post. (for example – the list of tips in this post)

Tip#5 is use subheads INSIDE your post. Most people just write, and write and write and write.. without any breaks.. without anything that can grab your readers attention. Sub-headlines are great because again, skimmers will continue reading if they found a subhead interesting.

Tip#6 is to insert pictures into your blog post. Pictures provide your readers with a visual of what you’re trying to say. (..also an attention grabber)

Tip#7 is to write short paragraphs. I’m afraid of long paragraphs – they just look really looooonnngg.. and when I see them – I run away. Most people are like this, and you’re probably like this too. So, do us all a favor and break up your long paragraphs into short ones.

Trust me, you’re readership will shoot through the roof. This article took me 18 minutes to write. It’s short, sweet and to the point. I also tried to make it really easy to understand.

The last thing we want to make our readers guess what we’re trying to say, so it’s best to just say it.

That’s about it.. You want some more?

Make sure to sign up for the Blogging Blueprint video course. You’ll get 6 video trainings to help you create a better blog.

One last thing.. did you like this post? Great! Share it, retweet it, and leave your comments below.

Take care & Talk soon,
Hector Cuevas

Hector Cuevas helps home based business owners build their businesses online.

Read more:

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How to Write Blog Posts When You Are Blogging to Market a Novel

Posted in Blogging on July 23rd, 2010 by admin

by: Phyllis Zimbler Miller


Publishing a non-fiction book will usually make it easy for you to write a blog dedicated to your book. The non-fiction subject of your book and related topics can provide ample blogging material.

For example, if you wrote a book on cooking low-fat diets, you could post one low-fat recipe a day along with insider tips to ensure the recipe turns out well.

Or if you wrote a book on new social media platforms, you could write each post about one new social media platform and probably never run out of new posts.

The problem of writing ongoing book blog posts really presents itself to fiction writers. If you’ve written a romance novel or a mystery novel, what are you going to write about in your blog posts?

With a little imagination (and you are a fiction writer, aren’t you?) you can come up with interesting posts for your book’s blog. Let’s look at some examples:

You write a novel that takes place in 1970 during the Vietnam War. Because the Vietnam War plays an important role in the novel, you could write posts about historical events that took place during that era or historical events that led to that era.

And you could write about the military today fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan and about military families back home. There’s no need to mention your book in every post; the overall context of the blog is about your book.

Now let’s stretch our imagination farther. You write a mystery novel about a series of medical-related murders. You could write posts about deaths that were not murders but were actual medical mysteries.

You could also write posts about new hospital procedures that are being implemented to reduce medical-related deaths. And you could write posts telling the family of hospital patients what to look for in suspected medical malpractice.

What if you’ve written a children’s picture book about family members learning to get along? Children are not going to read your blog and their parents aren’t going to read your blog aloud to their children.

You could write posts about parent-child issues; if you’re not an expert, you can quote other experts. You could review other children’s picture books on similar topics. You could write posts about children’s literacy issues.

The truth is that you can cast your imagination net far and wide for subjects on which to blog. Just remember that every few posts you should mention your book in connection with that post.

For example, if you were writing a post about children’s literacy issues, you could mention that a specific second-grader in your book could read long words but not short words and that her teacher suspected dyslexia.

Or you could quote an entire (short) scene from your novel to illustrate a point you’re making. And, yes, it’s okay that people reading your blog may not know who the characters and situation are. If you choose an appropriate scene, most readers will be able to understand the context of the excerpt.

Fiction authors should be as active as non-fiction authors in the use of blogs to market books. Give your blog readers interesting and well-written posts, and they will read your blog and hopefully buy your book. – P.Z.M.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a National Internet Business Examiner at as well as a book author, and her power marketing company combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands.

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9 Tips for How to Market Your Book on a Limited Budget

Posted in Book Marketing on July 2nd, 2010 by admin

9 Tips for How to Market Your Book on a Limited Budget

By: Phyllis Zimbler Miller

There are thousands of ways to market your book. And after months of marketing my book MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL, I’ve come up with a list of what I’ve found to be the most effective and important tips for getting the word out on a limited budget about your book.

Tip #1 – Get a website:

Have a website ready to go the moment your book is out. And then connect your website directly to your book’s page on Amazon (and other sites too). (For example, see

Tip #2 – Write discussion guidelines:

Have discussion guidelines available to download as a pdf off your website. And if you’ve written an adult book, consider including a section of questions for teens.

Tip #3 – Provide free chapters:

Have the first few chapters available as free pdf downloads off your website. This is a great way to get readers “hooked” on reading the rest of the book.

Tip #4 – Do read some books on promoting your book:

Some of the books I found particularly helpful are:

Sell Your Book on Amazon by Brent Sampson (terrific ways to establish a presence on Amazon)

Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny C. Sansevieri (you can sign up for free email info at

Plug Your Book by Steve Weber (subtitle: Online Book Marketing for Authors)

1001 Ways to Market Your Books (sixth edition) by John Kremer (huge book so for now I only read Chapter 12 — “How to Sell Books Via Computer”) (you can sign up for free email info from him at

Tip #5 – Collect all the publicity tips you can and jump on any opportunities:

Joan Stewart the Publicity Hound (sign up for free email info at has great pr tips. And sign up on to get email updates for story sources that reporters need.

Tip #6 – Start a blog as soon as possible, preferably before your book is published:

Unfortunately I only learned this wisdom right before my book was published, but I did jump right in once I did learn. (See

Tip #7 – Optimize your Amazon presence:

Make sure you take full advantage of author tools on Amazon, including having your blog feed into your AmazonConnect feature on your book’s page.

Tip #8 – Ask book bloggers to review your book:

And if they say yes, be sure to give them a free copy for themselves as well as a free copy for a contest in connection with your book. Book giveaways on book blogs are major attention-getters for people who read. (And if book bloggers really like your book, they’re often willing to post the review from their blog on Amazon and other book sites.)

Tip #9 – Take a virtual book tour:

I used <a href=””></a> to take a month-long virtual book tour (your book is featured on blogs with either a review or an interview or both), and I found the experience extremely effective for developing relationships with book bloggers.

About the Author

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the president of and the author of Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel ( .

(ArticlesBase SC #617187)

Article Source: Tips for How to Market Your Book on a Limited Budget

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Blogging Can be a Powerful Tool for Marketing

Posted in Blogging on July 1st, 2010 by admin


Blogging is a practice that has been around for at least 5 years. It began with average, but opinionated people with something to say, who wanted to share their opinions with anyone who would read them. While it has been popular with the general public, it hasn’t caught on with many businesses until recently. Blogging can be a powerful tool for marketing and exposure for any business if done properly. This article will cover the first steps businesses will need to take to set themselves up for successful blogging.

1. Your first step is to select an appropriate host for your blog. There are a couple of solutions that you can use to host your blog. You can:

1) Host it on your own server
2) Host it at a blogging hosting server, such as or

If you host your own blog on your own web site, you will need to find blogging software that you can use on your web site. You will need to determine what your web site server capabilities are, and then determine what blogging software will work within your server environment. You will then need to install the software and arrange it in order to begin blogging.

2. Configure Your Business Blog

Once you have determined how you want to host your blog, and have installed it, or signed up for your blog service, you will need to configure your blog.

Configuring your blog includes, what template you want to use with your blog. Most blogs whether they are on a blog hosting service, or software that you have installed, will come with several templates. If you are new to the Internet, and don’t have a lot of programming experience, it is probably best to stick with one of the templates that has come with the software or service. It is however, better if you have some programming background, or have the funds to hire someone, then you can get your blog to look like your business web site
Other things that will need to be configured are settings such as the name and description of your business blog, the email address you want messages from your blog to be sent to, how you want your blog archived (posts saved for future access), what ping services you want to notify when you update your blog, and other settings too numerous to mention in this article.

3. Determine the Content of Your Business Blog

This next step can be done before you actually install your blog, but you will need to determine the topic of your business blog, and how you want to convey your information to your target market. The content and topics of your blog should relate to your industry. You can focus as narrow or as wide as you choose think is appropriate. In general, it is a good idea to cover many areas within your industry and then separate the different areas of your industry into different categories within your blog’s

lastly but most importantly, you should choose topics and categories that will be of interest to your visitors. You will need to research the keywords that your customers would use to find you. There are many keyword research tools existing on the web today that will tell you what exact phrases, and how often, your target market is using to find you. These keywords will determine the topics of your blog entries. You should also use some of the phrases you have found in your research in your business blog posts.

4. Begin Blogging for Your Business

The last step is to start blogging. You can choose from a number of various formats to add entries to your blog, as blog entries can take on any format. Some formats that you may want to consider include:

1) Writing articles and posting them to your blog.
2) Finding related news items in your industry and posting them with comments as to what you think of the news item.
3) Answering frequently asked questions you get from your clients.

4) Writing reviews of products/services in your industry your style of posting should match what your target market would find interesting.

Now that you know the basic steps of what needs to be done to begin business blogging, you can choose how you want to host your blog, what keywords your target market uses to find you, and what format would make the most sense to begin blogging. There are many web sites that have more articles and in-depth information about business blogging. You can use these resource sites to help guide you through the process from making your first post, to getting your first customer from your business blog.

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Marketing your book before it’s published—9 tips for success

Posted in Book Marketing on June 3rd, 2010 by admin

By Sue Collier


One of the biggest mistakes I see authors make is waiting until after they have books in hand to start promoting them. Initial sales are often disappointing, and authors end up discouraged. A book marketing plan should be in hand well before the book’s publication date, and there are many steps authors can take to help ensure their books success.

1. Have a website. This might seem like a no-brainer. It’s worth mentioning, though, since I still do get approached by potential authors who seek help self-publishing their book, only to find they have no website. Or authors might have a website but no information on their book—even after it’s been published.

2. Make your website “sticky.” Not only do you want to have a reason for visitors to stick around—and come back—but you want to have a way to capture their email address so you can stay in touch. Offer a free report in return for their email address; then stay in front of them with a regular ezine that provides valuable content and shares your expertise.

3. Start a blog—and update it regularly. I know, I know. Blogging takes time, which is at a premium for most people, and it’s tough to commit to two or three entries per week. But it gives you the opportunity to share your expertise with potential book buyers. Plus search engines love the fresh content, and it will help in your web rankings. You can also share the links on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media sites (more on that later).

Incidentally, make sure your blog is parked at your website and doesn’t have “WordPress” or “Blogspot” in the address. You’ll miss out on valuable search engine optimization if you don’t have your own unique URL.

4. Comment on other relevant, high-traffic blogs. Not only does this give you another opportunity to showcase your expertise, but it’s a great way to get to know people. When you leave good, informative comments in other blogs (not simply “Great post”), you can increase traffic to your own blog. People who read your comments may want to read more of what you have to say and find themselves clicking over to your own blog.

5. Write articles. Informational and how-to articles should be submitted to high-traffic article sites. They will attract visitors back to your website, where you can offer a signup for a free ebook or ezine to share more information.

6. Sign up for Facebook. With more than 300 million users—and growing daily—can you afford not to be there? Because your profile page is all about you—people don’t want to “friend” a book or a business; they want to connect with a person—it’s a nice way to bond with people on a bit more of a personal level and build relationships. Avoid hard selling here.

Join relevant Facebook groups. You can find like-minded people by searching for groups in particular subject areas. This is another great way for you to communicate with others, provide valuable information, and exhibit your expertise.

7. Create a Facebook fan page for your book. Because your profile page is all about you, you’ll want to create a Facebook fan page for your book. Here you can promote your book by adding useful tips and linking to your site.

8. Complete your LinkedIn profile page. If you are a professional, you probably are already on LinkedIn. (If you’re not there, it’s easy to sign up.) Make sure your profile is 100 percent complete. And make sure your profile is public because it allows search engines to find you.

Join relevant LinkedIn groups. These groups are similar to those on Facebook; they also have the added benefit of letting you communicate directly with other members, even if they are not part of your network.

9. Join Twitter. This is the fastest-growing social networking site. A microblog that limits “tweets” to 140 characters, this busy community allows you to connect directly with people better than Facebook or LinkedIn. It offers another opportunity for you to share valuable content and your expertise. When you post a new blog entry, for instance, you can tweet it here—driving traffic to your website or blog. You can “follow” industry experts to keep abreast of the latest news.
You are probably thinking this all sounds like a lot of work. Well, it is. But you can publish the best book in the world—but if people don’t know about it, no one will buy it. These online techniques are simple, free (unless you hire a consultant), and effective. And necessary if you intend to successfully sell books.

About The Author

Sue Collier

As a writing coach and publishing consultant, I have worked with hundreds of authors, helping them write, edit, and publish hundreds of books. My book The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing is slated for publication by Writer’s Digest in March 2010. I currently own Self-Publishing Resources; we provide book writing, book packaging, and book marketing services for self-publishers and small presses.

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