5 Online Ways to Increase Your Author Presence

  1. BuildingBlocksBuild a website–To me this seems silly to post but you have no idea how many authors I know who still have no websites. They rely on their Amazon pages or nothing at all to direct their reading public to their books. I suppose this will work for some but for those who want to control content on their sites, you will not get that with an Amazon author page if you wish to categorize your books or if you wish to have a bio, a contact page, a newsletter, or a blog. Amazon pages are limited to what is uploaded to each book and a small amount of personal information like your bio and your social sites. WordPress, Blogger, and Wix (there are many others too now) allow you to customize your “store front” to your exact specifications and not Amazon’s or Barnes & Noble’s.
  2. Blog–If you can, blog on a regular basis whether you post once a week or five times a week. You accumulate followers by telling people in your social networks that you now are blogging. Hurray! As well, you accumulate followers when you follow other bloggers because they will tend to follow you back. It’s a synergistic way of gathering readers and getting your name out to the ethosphere. And each time you blog, your followers will get an email notification telling them you have posted an article. Once people begin to “like” or to comment on your posts, interact with them in meaningful ways. Don’t just say “Thanks!” and dash off. Tell them their comments strike you somehow. That they are kind to have commented at all. Be personal with your followers and they will share you with their followers sometimes by reblogging your posts! Or by sharing your link on Facebook and Twitter. Kindness goes along way with people. It certainly does with me. And, don’t forget to include buy links to your books.
  3. Social media–If you’re not already on Facebook and Twitter, you are missing books sales and referrals from these social avenues. I can’t say enough about getting accounts on social networks. Here are a few more obscure sites you might think about joining too: LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Ning, Vine, MeetMe, Flickr to name only a few. Of course you’ve heard of them but how many of you are actually active on these sites?
  4. Easy access to book content–Make sure the landing page on your website contains a book image (or images), reader reviews, and links to your buy sites as well as any book trailers and other videos of or about you or your books.
  5. Book sampling–This is what I’m talking about when I refer to book sampling… “You can find the first few chapters of my latest book, The Deer Effect, by CLICKING HERE.” These days authors must make their samples available online much like we would sample books in the bookstore. You can even use images of the back blurb to make sampling your book a more visceral experience to potential buyers.

So, there you go, 5 ways to increase your presence. I hope you employ these ideas now or soon. And, if you have success because of this short post, please pass me around to your friend. I write books too! ~Susan

TO BUY MY LATEST BOOK ON AMAZON.COM, JUST TAP ON THE IMAGE BELOW.

The Deer Effect by Susan WingateFor your Kindle book, go to: http://amzn.to/1AOB6a6

For your Nook book, go to: http://bit.ly/1EW9SAS

10 Easy Tips to Help You Build a Wider Reading Audience

Over the last seventeen years (six years after the advent of the internet), I began my career as an author and launched a website.

As a non-technical person, I have learned a few things about running a digital book business that I would like to share with you. I’ve developed this short list from my personal experience. What I mean is that, I’m not just regurgitating information that is already out there. And, although it may already be out there, I’m including it on my list because it works and has been an integral part of my success as an author.

Here you go, 10 suggestions to Help You Build a Wider Reading Audience:

  1. Develop your social contacts. Nurture your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and on LinkedIn in order to build your friend count, your likes, comments/replies, and your retweets.
  2. Be present on your social sites a few times throughout the day. This doesn’t mean you have to stay online all day long. Please do not. I typically “pop” in to each site for a few minutes three or four times per day (morning, noon, evening, and before I go to sleep). I try not to stay on any site longer than 5 minutes at any given time. This equates to about 1 total hour of online socializing.
  3. Answer difficult questions. When you post to your social sites, answer truthfully those questions that other authors might be afraid to answer. Are eBooks going to make print books obsolete? If you know the trends, you can answer with authority. If you answer yes, brick-and-mortar bookstores might have an opinion. And you better be able to back up your answer. If you answer no, well, you still better be able to back up your answer. Knowing your industry will offer you a plethora of material to blog about.
  4. Blog regularly. I typically throw out a blog post two to three times per week. More often than that clutters people’s inbox and they start to delete your posts automatically. (Don’t yet have a blog? Get one. They can drive traffic to your social sites and link back to your blog and your books.)
  5. Blog about other authors, their books, and their brands. Sometimes our blogs can seem all about “me, me, me.” I’m guilty of it. I guess this is because time is limited and writing a blog post can take up to a good hour to write well. It’s easy to throw something out to the blogosphere about, say, the same book you’ve been talking about for weeks. But fresh is key, here. Your readers won’t leave you. They will be grateful for your well thought out take on someone else. And you might even help out another author.
  6. Join sites of common interest. Do you know other authors, agents, publishers, editors, book reviewers, bookstores, or librarians? Of course you do and they all have sites you can either join, sign up for their newsletter, or link to and from. I don’t know about you but whenever someone likes, comments or follows my blog, I become giddy. So, guess what I do? I follow them back! Doing so builds traffic between sites and traffic equates to book sales.
  7. Send out a press release for your book. When you have a new book release, make sure a wider audience gets a chance to view your news. With press release sites offering distribution services such as PRWeb.com, Free-Press-Releases.com, and PRLeap, writing a press release and having it broadcast to specific regions and demographics is made simple. You can even do a press release for no cost on some of these sites.
  8. List your books. Make sure you have a book page on your site. This may seem like a no-brainer but I’ve seen author pages with only their bio and contact pages. You need to establish credibility and sell your books, even it that means embedding code for an Amazon Author page that lists your books. But taking the time to build your book page, without making it look like a link to Amazon, will encourage your visitors to click-thru to the links and will not appear pushy. I don’t know about you but when I click on an author’s “Bookstore” and I’m zoomed over to Amazon, I feel sort of cheated. Embed your links by stating they are links. Your visitors can then choose to click-thru to your books online bookstore (such as Amazon.com) or not.
  9. Send out occasional newsletters. Lately, my newsletters have been published about twice a month. Monthly newsletters are great. You’ll notice, however, that the busier you are, the more you will want to push your books through your newsletter. I’ve seen authors send out weekly newsletters. But building a newsletter is more time-consuming than writing a blog post. So, use your time wisely here and only send your newsletter when you must. I use Constant Contact but there are many other great online newsletter building sites.
  10. Talk about your books. It’s okay to promote your work–to blog about it, to post about it on your social sites, to send out your newsletter about it. In fact, it’s crucial you do for your business which is to sell books. But when you do talk about your books, tell people why they should read your stories. Will they feel inspired? Will they come to understand an ongoing universal problem just a little bit better? Will they turn their attention to God? Will they want to be a better person? If you can instill in people a good reason to buy your books then they will.

There you have it. 10 easy to follow tips and tactics to build a wider reading audience for your books. I hope you implement some of the items on this list. But, mostly, I hope you sell more books.

Best wishes to you! Remember, you can click on the image to buy either of the following titles. And, you can visit me on Facebook and Twitter. ~Susan.

Mystery/thriller collaboration with the Prime 5 Authors http://amzn.to/1AAOU7u
Mystery/thriller collaboration with the Prime 5 Authors
http://amzn.to/1AAOU7u
#1 Amazon Bestseller Christian Fantasy Metaphysical  Visionary  http://amzn.to/1yptpYk
#1 Amazon Bestseller Christian Fantasy Metaphysical
Visionary
http://amzn.to/1yptpYk

A Little Game Today on The Finer Act of Observing a “Thing”

A Little Game Today on The Finer Act of Observing a “Thing”

I posted the question below on Facebook today.

See, I’m thinking about teaching a writing class on observation, about what makes up observing something and how writers might learn to observe correctly–whether we’re observing a person, place or thing, meat, vegetable, fruit, animal or mineral.

But, seriously, I was driving down a road I rarely drive this morning. This road winds through…

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A Little Game Today on The Finer Act of Observing a “Thing”

I posted the question below on Facebook today.

See, I’m thinking about teaching a writing class on observation, about what makes up observing something and how writers might learn to observe correctly–whether we’re observing a person, place or thing, meat, vegetable, fruit, animal or mineral.

But, seriously, I was driving down a road I rarely drive this morning. This road winds through the country and we had fog in spots which broke up visuals into dreamy, whipping cream scenes of woods and roadside ferns, of intermittent sky and houses. The thought of how I was seeing these scenes made me think about how writers might learn to observe better or at least learn to be cognizant of how they observe.

So, this is the question. I’m not testing you on this but instead I’m hoping to add more ideas about the finer acts of observation.

Question: several stages of observing a “thing”:

  1. the initial sight of the thing,
  2. the reaction to the thing (think sensory here–touch, smell, sound, taste)
  3. the active watching of the thing,
  4. the recording of the thing,
  5. the memory of the thing,
  6. the describing of the thing,
  7. our emotional/psychological reaction to the thing,
  8. observe other peoples reactions to the thing (contributed by Mark Woodland).

These are just a few ways we might go about observing a “thing” but I’m wondering… how else do we observe?

If you wish to contribute an observation suggestion, please feel free to put it in a comment. And thank you!

While you’re here, I would love you to sign up for my newsletter On the Couch (that’s a take on Writing from the Couch, my blog). It’s only a CLICK HERE away and it’s pain-free! You can take a peek of On the Couch by CLICKING HERE.

We Never EVER give out our email subscriber information. Ever!

To buy any of my novels, you can simply click on the image below.

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A Free Day for Susan–of Writing, Cats and Golf

A Free Day for Susan–of Writing, Cats and Golf

This is not Susan Wingate out on the golf course. This is Kenny Perry.So, I deliberated about placing my own name in the title of this post but this particular title sums up best what today’s post is all about.

Normally, blog posts for Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are committed to other authors of which I gladly offer up a little e-landscape for their work.

Still, now all I really have for posting my own, more personal notes are the first two days of the week.…

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A Free Day for Susan–of Writing, Cats and Golf

This is not Susan Wingate out on the golf course. This is Kenny Perry.So, I deliberated about placing my own name in the title of this post but this particular title sums up best what today’s post is all about.

Normally, blog posts for Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are committed to other authors of which I gladly offer up a little e-landscape for their work.

Still, now all I really have for posting my own, more personal notes are the first two days of the week. Oh, sure, I could post on the weekends but those days are meant for family and golf.

Like, yesterday, when my dear friend, Carol, emailed me after Church asking if I was up to a little bump and run. An awesome request! Because I had asked Bob like fifty million times that morning–before Church and after–if he would go out with me. But, since Bob had worked Saturday and had worn himself into a frazzled pile of flesh, he decided to just potato it in front of the TV.

When I received Carol’s email in my inbox, I jumped at the phone, tackled it and wrestled it into submission, finally punching in her numbers and was quite breathless when Carol answered, “Hello?” on the other end.

“Yes! Carol, I would love to play golf.”

But I couldn’t just run out. No. One kitty was missing. Gully.

I was down to eleven cats at that point. Way too few.

Kitty had left the day before around 4:30 p.m. I needed to retrieve her from her “go to” spot–which she travels all day and night, ending two miles north of our home, through rough and wood, a vast pasture land (with a beautiful cow who I want and will procure one day, dagnabbit) and finally arrives at a mobile home park where Miss Gully–the missing kitty–finds her needed rest.

Gully was no where in sight before Church. However, after Church, I found her there on top of someone’s home. She wouldn’t come down.

Then, just before a jaunt on the golf course, she decided that if she ever were to eat a well-balanced diet (one sans shrews, rats and tohees), she’d best get her rear-end off that roof and back home to mommy.

Which she did. Gully slipped down a filbert trunk and ran to me. Imagine a scene from a love story, the slow-motion clip–two long lost friends find each other and connect in a spinning embrace.

Well, that’s not what happened.

This is what happened: I brought along a can of cat food and bribed her with that ever-recognizable snap of the can and the tinkling of the fork as gravy-laced food is dished out into her small china bowl. Then, I said in my sweetest kitty-mom-voice ever,

“Miss Gully. I have a golf game in fifteen minutes. If you don’t get your furry butt down here right now, I’ll leave you on that roof for another three hours.”

At this point, I would like to talk about the approaching storm and how to play golf in a hurricane but perhaps that’s a topic for another day.

Still, I believe it was me and my love for all things cat (and not the changing weather to gale force winds and not the sideways rain, certainly not the food) that prompted Miss Gully off that roof yesterday.

Well, we’ll leave her prompting off the roof to wonder. We may never know. Yes, we talk. Well, I talk to her. But, see, Gully doesn’t speak English. She’s a transplant from the Dominican Republic.

My Books

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First Line Friday Presents!

First Line Friday Presents!

This is the second Friday and we’re off to a great start. What fun this is to read just a glimmer of what the entire story will be.

You will enjoy these next few first lines. The four authors contributing for today’s post are:

  • Danielle A. Dahl
  • Jamie John James
  • Robert Saltzman
  • Peter Aleff

Here is your set of first lines…

Danielle A. Dahl

DanielleDahl-SiroccoFrom her novel SIROCCO, A French Girl Comes of Age in…

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First Line Friday Presents!

This is the second Friday and we’re off to a great start. What fun this is to read just a glimmer of what the entire story will be.

You will enjoy these next few first lines. The four authors contributing for today’s post are:

  • Danielle A. Dahl
  • Jamie John James
  • Robert Saltzman
  • Peter Aleff

Here is your set of first lines…

Danielle A. Dahl

DanielleDahl-SiroccoFrom her novel SIROCCO, A French Girl Comes of Age in War-Torn Algeria:

“A tremor shook the soaring rock and its crowning city.”

DanielleDahl-AuthorShotwww.dadahl.com

www.facebook.com/danielle.dahl.566

www.twitter.com/DanielleDahl5

You can buy SIROCCO at: www.Amazon.com

Jamie John James

From his work-in-progress novel entitled KEY:

“She called herself Whiskey and she looked like a premium brand.”

www.jamiejohnjames.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com

Robert Saltzman

From Robert’s novel THE BILLY GOAT CAPER:

RobertSaltzman-BkCover“The words “criminal masterminds” were an oxymoron to Bobby he knew that sooner or later you’re going to slip up, and then it will be “gotcha”.”

http://www.amazon.com/Billy-Goat-Caper-Robert-Saltzman-ebook/dp/B00IAVR7P2/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1398188429&sr=1-4&keywords=robert+saltzman

RobertSaltzman-AuthorShothttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/405287

http://www.thinkbobby.com/

https://www.facebook.com/saltyandtheserpent

https://www.facebook.com/Salty917

Peter Aleff

From Peter’s novel SOLOMON’S SKY: The Religious Board Game on the Phaistos Disk

PeterAleff-Phaistos“Just as the correct key easily opens a hard-to-pick lock, the rational approach used in this book easily unlocks the wealth of information on the Phaistos Disk, a famously long unsolved archaeological puzzle from Bronze Age Crete.”

http://phaistosgame.comPeterAleff-AuthorShot

Well, that’s it for the second week of “First Line Friday.” I hope you all enjoyed these pieces as much as I did. And I hope you will check out each author and his or her work. All authors love being read and need your support.

As for me, you can find all of my books by clicking the photo below. Have a great weekend. Stay away from cranky people.

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I’m reading the Sarah Steele thriller series by NY Times Bestseller Aaron Patterson

I’m reading the Sarah Steele thriller series by NY Times Bestseller Aaron Patterson

Help! I’m reading and I can’t get up!

Te he.

What I love about my job is that reading is a HUGE part of my work. So, as I sit back in my cushy couch with my feet propped up on the ottoman and my tea ready for sippin’, I am digging into the Sarah Steele series by Aaron Patterson. The series can be summed up by saying the stories are a cross between Legally Blonde and Dexter. Another thing I love…

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I’m reading the Sarah Steele thriller series by NY Times Bestseller Aaron Patterson

Help! I’m reading and I can’t get up!

Te he.

What I love about my job is that reading is a HUGE part of my work. So, as I sit back in my cushy couch with my feet propped up on the ottoman and my tea ready for sippin’, I am digging into the Sarah Steele series by Aaron Patterson. The series can be summed up by saying the stories are a cross between Legally Blonde and Dexter. Another thing I love about them is that they are set in great places around the United States, like Boise, Idaho and New York City. Plus, Sarah Steele is an intelligent main character who knows how to kickbox. And, if you’re even remotely mean to women or intend them harm in anyway… watch out.

This is my book list:

Actually, Melting Steele isn’t even out yet. However, I have in my hot little hands an Advanced Reader’s Copy. I love those. They often have a few errors but this one is beautiful. The editors and artists for Aaron’s books are awesome. They’re always ready for press.

I’ve already read books one and two of the Sarah Steele series but with e-copies of each story will be going back and forth between them all to fill in my rapidly diminishing memory.

 

Aaron - Breaking Steele Aaron - MeltingSteeleAaron - Twisting Steele

Great covers, no? Great series too.

You can find Aaron Patterson by clicking HERE! Aaron is on Facebook and Twitter too.