Here are some of the specifics on what we covered:
How someone can be hired to draw a map for your world (fantasy or otherwise) for less than you might think.
Some of the challenges when you’re working full time and writing a novel a year.
How authors can better use Twitter to find their target readers.
Picking one day a week to schedule tweets to go out throughout the week.
Having tweets appear at all times of the day to target potential readers in other time zones.
Some of the tools that Jesper uses for scheduling, automation, tracking links, and finding followers who are likely to be interested in his books: HootSuite for a better Twitter app, SocialOomph for scheduling, Canva for creating images with text, Bitly for shortening and tracking links, and Crowdfire to find targeted people to follow.
Creating interesting content that would appeal to your target audience and then sprinkling in promotional tweets (Jesper keeps it to 1 in 10 tweets).
How Jesper uses Hootsuite to find content and relevant tweets to reply to.
Using free books or stories (with an email sign-up requirement if you’re list building) to appeal to Twitter users (you’re less likely to simply sell a book flat out).
Making use of the pinned tweet with an image/book cover and link to your freebie.
Signing up for the advertising program in order to gain access to a Twitter Card, which you can write text and a link in and give away to people who follow you.
How much time should an author be spending on Twitter each week?
Just using the free options for everything Twitter-related — Jesper hasn’t heard of an authors finding it profitable to actually pay for Twitter advertising.
This week, we were joined by Will Turnage, the founder of the discount book promotion site, Book Barbarian (in addition, he runs Red Roses Romance and Book Adrenaline for mysteries and thrillers). He’s also the author of three science fiction and fantasy novels, and is a fan of the genre. We asked him about some best practices for authors using promotional sites.
Here are a few of the specifics that we covered:
What it’s like writing and running a business from Cartegena, Colombia.
How Will turned from author to founder of a book promotion site, one of the first devoted to scifi and fantasy.
The challenges of building up a subscriber base and keeping new people coming in (yes, these guys have some of the same challenges that we have as authors!).
Some trends that Will has seen — what sub-genres of SF&F tend to be most popular and what types of covers work well.
How many reviews you should have before submitting your book to a site like Book Barbarian.
Whether it’s necessary to have a high normal price and deeply discount to appeal to readers.
Best practices when it comes to free books.
Ad stacking across multiple book promo sites to sell/give away more books and in the hope that your book might stick on the store sites for longer.
How often one should submit books to promo sites and when one might experience diminishing returns.
We had a very informative show tonight when non-fiction and fantasy author Andrea Pearson joined us to chat about one of her passions: newsletters! (Jo, Jeff, and Lindsay don’t share this passion, so it was great to get answers from a pro.) Andrea has written more than thirty novels across three pen names and also has a series of books for authors called Self-Publish Strong.
Here are some of the details of what we covered:
Doing a big promotional push at launch or waiting until your book has a good number of reviews?