SFFMP 159: Twitter Marketing Best Practices for Authors with Jesper Schmidt

This week’s guest, Jesper Schmidt, is a fantasy author and also the author of non-fiction titles Fantasy Map Making and Twitter for Authors: Save Time, Get Followers, and Grow Your Email List. We haven’t had a dedicated Twitter show before, so we spent most of the hour going over tips and best practices on this sometimes challenging to understand social media platform.

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.

You can visit Jesper in several places online, such as his author website, his series of YouTube videos for fantasy authors, and of course on Twitter. He also works on the AmWritingFantasy site with another author, and you can find numerous resources for writers.

You can pick up Twitter for Authors or Fantasy Map Making from Amazon and other stores.

 

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SFFMP 102: Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging to Build Your Author Platform (and sell books)

Today, Jo, Jeff, and Lindsay talked about a few things they’ve been meaning to cover for a long time, building an author platform (and selling books) through Facebook, Twitter, and an author blog.

Here are some of the highlights of what they touched upon:

  • Is it better to have a Facebook page or use Facebook groups for appealing to fans?
  • What do you post about on Facebook anyway?
  • How can you naturally get more likes and interaction on Facebook?
  • Can a Facebook page actually help you sell books?
  • When does it make sense to pay for a boosted post?
  • Have the guys had any success with Facebook ads?
  • Twitter — What’s the point of Twitter?
  • Is it possible to sell books on Twitter, and, if so, how?
  • Being a content provider on Twitter versus just doing a lot of RTing.
  • Using the If This, Then That service for some automated posting.
  • What are the best practices for starting an author blog?
  • Should you host a blog on your own site or use a free site?
  • What should you blog about as an author?
  • How to get more traffic from the search engines (and how long it takes to build up a site and start seeing that traffic).
  • Is blogging really worth the time?

If you’re interested in writing for Kindle Worlds, in Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire space adventure universe, shoot Lindsay a note for more details. You can reach her through the contact form on her site (http://www.lindsayburoker.com) or poke her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/GoblinWriter). She’s happy to provide the books for free to any authors who might be interested!

 

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SFFMP 21: Marketing and Publishing Comedic Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Co-Writing, and Rocking It with Twitter

In today’s episode, we talked to John P. Logdson and Chris Young, a comedic fantasy and science fiction writing duo. We covered a lot of ground. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Any special challenges with writing humor/comedy?
  • Dealing with one-star reviews from people who don’t “get” the humor
  • Collaboration — who does what and how do you manage to put out cohesive novels?
  • Does collaboration offer any advantages over titles written by a single author?
  • Can any writers collaborate well, or does it take a special personality and/or a certain skill set?
  • Writing to target less competitive categories on Amazon
  • Tricks for producing books more quickly
  • Should you mention that the books are humorous or comedic in the blurb or on the cover? So people looking for serious fiction won’t accidentally grab them?
  • Are there any marketing advantages to writing fantasy/science fiction comedy?
  • How to set up your tweets to market successfully on Twitter (effective hashtag use and Hashtagify for seeing what’s popular or trending + BookLinker to send readers from different countries to the right store)
  • Twitter groups and networking with other authors in a smart way
  • Marketing/advertising on Facebook, Goodreads, and using giveaways
  • The types of marketing John and Chris have tried and that hasn’t done well + what has worked
  • What they do to encourage newsletter signups
  • A new site for crowdfunding/getting pre-orders specifically for authors: Publishizer.

Tools they use for collaboration: Scrivener, Trelby (screenwriting program), and Dropbox.

Want to check out their work?

For more character-driven stories, try Starliner or the Land of Ononokin books. For more humor, check out Platoon-F. They’ve got a new project coming soon as well, a book called Queen Aurthur, a different (very different) take on the King Aurthur story. You can get in touch with them or find out more at their site, Crimson Myth.

 

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