Building Traffic for Author Blog

June 26, 2017

Get to Know Other Authors Online

 

Reach Out to Other Authors

Have you ever heard the story of the man who had this dream that he went to a place where people were sitting in a banquet hall and their arms were tied so that they could not reach their own mouths with their forks. In the one room they were all sad and looked thin because they were starving to death. Then he saw another scenario where the people were sitting in the same room and instead of trying to feed themselves, they were using their forks to feed the person next to them. These people were laughing and joking and they were healthy and well fed. The first one, the man was told was a picture of the selfish people in hell and the second represented the giving nature of the individuals in Heaven.

 

The same idea can apply to authors. There are those who try to market their books alone. They are like the starving people of hell. However, the authors who do better are those who help other authors. These authors are like the people in Heaven.  Not only does this help the other offer, but it benefits the author who doing the helping as well and creating a win-win situation.

 

If you’re an online author, you want to get to know other authors. It benefits you and it benefits them. You introduce your readers to this other author and this other author introduces their audience to your following. So, how can you build this kind of synergy?

 

 

Find out about each author’s online presence. Talk to the author on direct messages. Connect with them on social media sites other than where you met them. Find out what you have in common in addition to the fact that both write books.

 

 

Offer to Do a Guest Blog on the other Author’s Blog

 

Once you get to know another writer, its time to find a way to help the other author. One thing you can do is to do a guest post on the other author’s blog. This gives the other author’s readers a change of pace and a slightly different perspective.

 

Start by offering to do a guest blog for authors who already do guest blogging. Suggest a topic that relates to that author’s blog, but allow the other author to make the final decision about what you will write about on the blog.

 

Write the best post possible. Turn it in well before the blog is to be posted so that the other author can look it over and suggest changes if needed. Be sure that you include links back to your blog on this author’s blog.

 

Once you have one guest post under your belt, move onto your next. If you continue writing good content on your blog, readers of the other blog will check out your blog too.

 

Offer to Allow Another Author to Be a Guest Blogger on Your Blog

Another thing that you can do is to ask the other author to do a guest post on your blog. In this case, it gives your readers a change of pace and a slightly different perspective.

 

Once you have done a few guest blog posts, ask other authors that you know to write guest posts for your blog. Alternate your own blog posts with posts of other authors.  You might consider having one guest blogger write for you per month if you have been posting weekly.

 

Do a Blog Tour

If you have just launched a book, doing an online book tour is an awesome way to introduce your books to numerous other authors’ followers.

A blog tour is basically numerous blogs done in a succession where you call it a blog tour. There are numerous things you can do to make the blog tour fun.

Again, be sure that you are willing to do the same for other authors in your circle of author friends. Always make sure the fork goes both ways or you’ll end up starving yourself.

I will talk more about blog tours at a later date.

 

Where Do You Find Other Authors to associate with?

I have numerous contacts who are also authors, so finding these authors on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter is something that I have already done. I have a pretty good network to work with.

However, if I was just getting started, I would go to Amazon Author Central and look up authors in my book’s genre. If the author has a blog posted there, I would go to that website and comment on a few posts over a couple of weeks and then I would find out as much as I could about that author.

After a couple of weeks, I would send an email to the author telling him/her about how much I enjoy his/her blog and what I enjoyed most about his/her work. Tell him/her about yourself, but don’t ask for anything. Make it a point to reach out seven times both in comments and email before asking the other author for anything even offering to guest post.

 

There are of course other ways to draw followers to your blog, but exchanging blog posts is definitely a very productive start toward building your blog audience.

If you are an author interested in doing a guest blog or having me guest blog for you, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com

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June 19, 2017

June is Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month! As a self-publishing author, I enjoy taking responsible for my own marketing success. This month I am focusing a lot of my energy and time on self-publishing marketing projects. It is all part of my goals in building my publishing business during the next ninety days.

The Trouble With Traditional Advertising

I have seen a lot of articles lately regarding advertising to sell books. People think that the easiest way to get results from marketing is to create an ad campaign and wait for the results. What people don’t realize is that taking out ads is one of the least effective ways of getting results from marketing. The cost per book sale is more costly than The best way is and has always been through word of mouth and referrals.

Word of mouth can come in many different ways. One way for me to get word of mouth is for friends and family to get the word around about my books. Another is to attend live events like fairs and festivals and introduce myself to others in person. Still another way is to let people get to know me by speaking at meetings or conferences. I can also create live events of my own. On July eleventh, I am going to be attending an event that was created for me at the libraries in Mount Vernon and Marionville, Missouri.

Although I enjoy the live events and\ would love to be able to have more of them, they are costly and offer an even lower return on investment than the advertisements do for book marketing success. So what are good ways to market my book that has a better return on investment?

Free Online Marketing Techniques I Will Use During the Next 90 Days

1, Building blog and newsletter traffic-by joining with other authors through guest blogging.

Building blog and newsletter traffic is easy when I join other authors through guest blogging. It is a win-win for both of us because both my audience and the other author’s audiences benefit from the same post. Both authors also benefit.

2. Getting Reviews

One easy way to get rviews is to offer free pdf copies of Living Today, I to anyone who will agree to do a review of the bookMedia Coverage-By sending press releases to targeted media contacts.

3. Media Coverage-By sending press releases to targeted media contacts.

I can takp resposibility for my own media coveragp by sending press releases to targeted media contactsSocial Media

4.Social Media

I can increase my social media coverage through Tweets on Twitter and Posts on Facebook and by friending more targetted people on these sites.

Over the next four weeks I am going more in depth and explain how I plan to utilize each of these in my own 90 day marketing campaign. I will then use these strategies as the basic principles of book marketing I will use over the next ninety days.

For more information about books by Cygnet Brown, for Kinde books go to

For Kinde books go to https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK

For Print Books Go to http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown

 

 

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June 12, 2017

Tierney James- The author of action/adventure novels is a former world geography teacher and Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Over the weekend I attended the Got Marketing Workshop put out by Tierney James, http://www.tierneyjames.com/ It was fun to get out and go to a workshop and I learned so much from this one. I have a lot of take away information that I know I am able to use to increase my marketing prowess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I learned At the Workshop

I have been going over my notes and here are a number of things that I have taken away from the workshop.

  1. First one of course was to write this blog about it and to let Tierney know that I have mentioned her in my blog post. Thank you so much Tierney for all of your insights into book marketing!
  2. Contact other authors that I met at the workshop. I made certain that at the workshop I took plenty of cards to share with the other authors that I knew I would meet there. I handed out twelve and got seven in return. I have already connected with Tierney, now just six more to go!
  3. Start a Marketing Notebook-All of my work has been in online documents scattered throughout my files. Today I went to the store and picked up the few things that I needed so that I could get started on this project.
  4. Every 90 days offer each of my books in this way on Amazon: 2 day free promotion, one day 99 cent promotion, two day $1.99 promotion and during the two free days, hit the free book websites. I can find these free book promotion sites by googling “free book promotions.
  5. Get a Street Team- Find people who are willing to help me promote my books on social media and do it in a structured way.
  6. Make memes that promote my books (without sounding salesy) and post them on social media. Have various themes so they don’t become “invisible”.
  7. Probably, the most exciting way that she showed me how to market is by using Pinterest. I plan to create these boards:
  • A board for all the books by Cygnet Brown
  • A board for the actors who I think should play my book characters when my book becomes a movie
  • A board telling the story (without spoilers) for each book in the Locket Saga
  • Boards about Specific historical events in the Locket Saga.
  • Simply Vegetable Gardening Tips Board
  • Help from Kelp Tips Board
  • Diatomaceous Earth Tips Board

Followup, More Important than Learning

Although it is true that I learned a lot from this workshop, what’s more important than the learning is the fact that I need to implement what I have learned and have chosen to do with what I learned.

Well, now that I have written this blog post, I can cross that first one off the list! Of course, there are a lot more tips that she offered, but the items on this list, along with what I am already doing, should keep me busy at least for the next ninety days.

So what do you think? Which of these tips sounds most interesting you?

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“Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because having a book is the new business card. If you want to stand out, you need to show your expertise. Publishing a book is not just putting your thoughts on a blog post. It’s an event. It shows your best curated thoughts and it shows customers, clients, investors, friends and lovers what the most important things on your mind are right now.” James Altucher.

 

The Learning Curve

My friend Susan at my first book signing.

 

I self-published my first novel: When God Turned His Head back in 2010. I have to admit, I made a lot of mistakes especially in the beginning because I was in a hurry to publish that book. I thought that by writing a book and getting it published quickly I could make enough money to get my family out of our poor financial condition and get us back on our feet. I had a huge learning curve that I needed to overcome.

 

One of the first things that I learned was that I needed someone else to do final edits on my work because I was too close to my own work to see its faults. The second thing that I learned was that formatting for an e-book was different than formatting for a print book. I discovered that there was definitely a learning curve in self-publishing. However, I have learned that despite the problems that I face in self-publishing, I think that if a big publishing company offered a contract, I would probably decline the offer.

 

A“Real” Publisher?

 

I know a number of people who tell me that I should try to get my books into a “real” publisher, that my books are “good enough” for a traditional publisher. The reason that I self-publish is not that I don’t think writing is not good enough. It’s because I don’t think a traditional publisher is a right fit for me.

 

Contrary to what some people believe, self-publishing is not the same as having a book published by a vanity press. I don’t have to wait months for traditional publication, vanity, or even small press publishing to publish your book using traditional technology. Gone are the days where I would have had to print out thousands of books at a time. This is because, a few years back, two other phenomena changed the publishing industry. The first was the e-book and the other was print-on-demand capabilities. .Thanks to the digital age, I can publish my book with print on demand, and I am able to order as few as one, ten or a hundred books at a time.

 

As a self-publisher, I don’t have to waste my time writing query letters or filing rejections – I spend all my time writing and marketing my book. With self-publishing, I am in total control over my book’s contents, publishing schedule, and marketing tools.  I don’t have a publishing contract telling me what I can and cannot publish. When changes come to my industry, I can quickly determine when I need new editions and can quickly get those changes in my books and to my customers. Self-publishing saves me time. Even with someone else doing the final edits, the longest it takes me to publish a book is six months. It takes a large publishing company two years or longer to get most books out once they have agreed to publish. As a self-published author, I wrote, had edited and published two books in a single month back in December 2015. One of those books Help From Kelp has produced a consistent monthly Kindle income ever since.

 

By self-publishing, I get more income from each book published. If I was using a traditional publishing company, I would be making only a few pennies on the dollar. As a self-publisher, I make 70% on most Kindle sales and around 50% on print books. If having book sales is an indication of being real or not, I am a real publisher.

 

A Truly Independent Publisher

 

I own al the rights on my book. I decide where I will sell my books. I call the shots regarding how my books are used. I don’t have a publisher telling me when I can use digital formatting, sell abroad, or make audio recordings. I have a friend who has placed all the rights of his books after his death into the hands of the publisher. When he dies, his wife gets nothing. If something happens to me on the other hand, all rights belong to my husband and children and their posterity. He has to have permission from the publisher regarding his books’ format (he can’t use digital format or audio), he can’t sell to foreign markets, he can’t translate his books into other languages. He has to market his books only in ways that the publisher approves.

 

There are a few advantages for some authors who use traditional publishers. For instance, there are advances for some authors and those advances are available to the author to promote their own work. As a self-published author, I don’t get advances, but I do have complete control of how I market my books. I heard\ of one author who lived in a rural area who had a publishing contract with a traditional publisher, she didn’t have any advance, but she had to, at her own expense,  go to bookstores several hundred miles away to attend book signings. She didn’t make enough from the books she sold to pay the expense. Granted, I also have to attend events at my own expense, however, I don’t have to attend events that I know I cannot afford simply because it was “in the contract”.

 

Another advantage that authors of traditional publishing companies have is that their books can be distributed in stores all across the country. The problem with this is that most people don’t buy books from bookstores anymore and only best sellers of famous authors get into box stores like Walmart. The only group of booksellers that are on the rise now are independent booksellers who prefer self-publishers who promote themselves.

 

Thanks to Amazon, online book sales are offer self-publishers the same opportunities online as they offer traditionally published books. Online, traditional publishers require the same thing to their authors as what self-publishers are also doing. They require a platform, social media contacts, and an author website that the author provides him/herself.

 

As I grow as an author, I am happy to remain a self-publisher. I don’t need a publishing contract from Simon and Schuster to tell me that my books are good enough. I will let my readers decide how good they are.

What is all the fuss? Check out and purchase my books

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Happy Memorial Day!

I hope that you are enjoying your Memorial Day! I know I am. I hope you also remember those who died for our freedoms.

Is Success a Result of Nature or Nurture?

Over this past weekend, my husband and I were discussing the concept of nature versus nurture. It’s a conversation that we often have and for the most part, we disagree. My husband says its primarily nature, that we are born with DNA and that we are destined to be the people that we become. On the other hand I believe that we decide what we want to become. I believe we become good at what we do because we enjoy what we do. He’s under the belief that we enjoy what we’re good at because we are destined to be good at it and because its easier, than not doing it, we do it.

Studies concerning successful people indicate that successful people are not successful because of genetic predispositions. We can’t do DNA tests to indicate who will be successful and who will be unsuccessful. One twin can be successful while the other is not. Successful people are successful because they think differently.

How Successful People Are Different

 

  1. For successful people, thinking is a discipline. They know that if they want to be better at it, they’ve got to work at it.

 

  1. Successful people take time to develop their thoughts. They don’t just settle on the first thing that comes to mind.

 

 

  1. Successful people think differently because they do things differently.

 

  1. Successful people create goals and plans. They plan ahead, while leaving room for some spontaneity

 

  1. Successful people don’t only plan for their day, they plan out their weeks, months, and long term goals. They don’t walk into meetings, parties, and coffee dates blind. They decide what they want to learn from people before walking in the door.

 

  1. Successful people figure out where they need to focus their energy, and then use the 80/20 rule. They spend 80% of their time on the 20% of things that are most valuable to them.

 

  1. Successful people make logical, informed decisions. Though many express “gut reactions” as something that they often utilize, they don’t let their emotions trump their intelligence. They slow down and think things through before they make life-changing decisions.

 

  1. Successful people are optimists that look for the silver lining in every situation. They don’t see problems, they see opportunities.

 

  1. Successful people are realists who are willing to get close enough to problems in order to tackle them. They understand the consequences and it gives them credibility.

 

  1. Successful people embrace ambiguity. They don’t fear failure.

 

  1. Successful people keep things simple. They narrow things down to best options and then follow through and avoid distractions.

 

  1. Successful people know how to focus.

 

  1. Successful people have agendas for the day and for when they meet people.

 

  1. Successful people take decisive and immediate action while others never take action and risks.

 

  1. Successful people focus on being productive, not just being busy.

 

  1. Successful people avoid perfectionism. They start projects and they finish them.

 

  1. Successful people willing to work outside of their comfort zone. They are willing to be uncomfortable so that they can grow.

 

  1. Successful people focus on making small, continuous positive changes. As their strength grows, they can take on bigger challenges. Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small pieces.

 

  1. Successful people measure and track their progress. They don’t just work in their business, they work on their business.

 

  1. Successful people are resilient. They are not afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes just show them their progress.

 

  1. Successful people spend time with the right people. They associate with people who are focused, supportive, and likeminded.

 

  1. In addition to spending time with the right people.  Successful people expose themselves to different ideas and types of people to avoid groupthink where everyone thinks the same as everyone else. They spend time with people who challenge them.

 

  1. Successful people collaborate with other successful people.

 

  1. Successful people know when to turn off the phone and Facebook notifications.

 

  1. Successful people maintain balance in their lives.

 

  1. Successful people don’t care what other people think of them.

 

  1. Successful people have a strong connection to themselves and revere their individuality.

 

  1. Successful people are always working on their creativity and learning different things.

 

  1. Successful people know when to work alone and when to collaborate.

 

  1. Successful people know that they cannot live on past laurels. They live in the present and prepare for the future.

 

  1. Successful people don’t chase money because what they do is worth more to them than money.

 

  1. Most of all, successful people love what they do.

 

This is where my husband would say that what we love doing is in our DNA and that might be true. He would say that we love what we do because it is in our DNA. In any case, we should take our cue from the successful and do what we and do it with all of our hearts and minds that way we will live our lives to the fullest and not let the world tell us that we don’t have what we need to be successful. We need to believe that we can be, do what we love, take action, and hang out with people that believe in our commitment.

Have you read All 5 Books of The Locket Saga?

 

When God Turned His Head;(The Locket Saga Begins

Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues

Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward’s Solace

Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag

Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Mill Pond

Five books of The Locket Saga are available

Get them in print

Get them on Kindle

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Spring Cleaning My Website

 

Monday, May twenty-second was the last day of school for my daughter and I have just another seven days left at the school before my school year is over as well.

Time sure is flying by  I have three books coming out in the next three months so I figured that it was time to give my website a facelift.

Therefore, I am now taking the time to reflect what I want to accomplish in my writing business. I have been looking at ways to increase the effectiveness of my book marketing online and have decided to start by cleaning out my website.

Even though anyone can click on the home tab on the navigation pane to go back to the homepage, the first thing I did to upgrade my website was to add a return to the home page on every subsequent page on the website. I put a connection at the top of the page and at the bottom of the page, making it super easy for anyone to navigate the website to look around at any of the pages.

 

Spruced up the Home Page

 

Next, I cleaned out the home page of the website. I have started to realize that the home page of my website is like the reception area of a large corporation. Imagine for a moment how a corporation with files and supplies littering the lobby would be perceived. It wouldn’t be considered a professional establishment, would it? Well, neither is a website cluttered with text. To clean it up I took most of the text portion of the webpage and moved it behind the navigation tabs and onto other pages.

I wish I could show you what mine looked like before I cleaned it up. Take my word for it, it looks much better now. In addition to moving most of the content onto other pages, I put the photos of all of my books onto slide shows and put links to the descriptions on other pages. Just click on a book and there’s the description.  Again, I wish I had a before photo to show you, but take a look at what it looks like now. Click here.

 

Made Book Pages More Uniform

 

After I got the home page spring cleaned, I moved onto the subsequent book pages. Before, I had designed each of the pages at different times and used different design structures. They needed to be set up in a more uniform manner and gave them all a facelift and formatted them the same.

What I am currently working on is that I am turning the book descriptions into slideshows so that the pages had movement. It isn’t video, and I may upgrade to that at a future date, but it’s a start and should the overall performance of the site.

 

What’s Left?–Beyond This Clean Up-How I Plan to Keep a Website Updated

 

No website is ever completely done. Every website should be updated from time to time. In order to make certain that I make changes on the website from time to time, I plan to do a few things that will guarantee continuous tweaks and additions. .

 

One of the ways that I intend to make continual changes on my website is that I intend to add a lead-in to each of my weekly blog posts. This is where I will write a short tie in to my blog and then add a link to the full post on my blog site.

 

In addition, besides adding weekly blog posts, the possibility that I will eventually replace the slide shows with video, there are other things that I will do to further improve the website. In the not too distant future, I need to create a signup meme for the newsletter and have the newsletter meme on every page of the website.

 

In addition, I am going to further develop the media kit by adding future press releases for In the Shadow of the Mill Pond which was just released as well as my next books Living Today, the Power of Now and Write a Book to Ignite your Business.

 

Scheduled Time to Review Website Again

In addition to making planned additions to the website, I will need to make additional reviews of the website in the future to make certain that the website doesn’t get cluttered. The important thing that I have learned about keeping up with all of this, especially if I want to do it right, is to schedule time to make it all happen. I intend to make this happen again in three months in the week of August 20-26.

 

Your Turn

 

How about you? Do you have a website? Have you made navigation around your site easy? Does your home page look like a lobby or a warehouse? Are your other pages uniform? Do you have a media kit so that others can know more about you and your books and most importantly how to contact you? Are you adding elements beyond photos and text to make your website more interesting? Do you schedule maintenance time to update your website? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below.

 

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The Title is:

Living Today, The Power of Now

This is the Description of this book:

What if you only had one day to live? The truth is, you only have one day to live and that day is today.

Today, and only today, you have the power of now, and it is strongest when you know that you are on the right path.

From Living Today, the Power of Now, discover how to:

  • To Focus awareness on the present moment.
  • Tips for obtaining fire starting focus
  • How to change bad habits to good habits
  • Create a Time and a Place to dream
  • Take Worry Out of Your Life
  • Learn How to Build on Past Experiences
  • How to Overcome Fear
  • How to Let Go of Regret
  • The value of forgiving yourself and others
  • And much more

Now Please Help Pick Out the Right Cover!

Cover A

 

Cover B

Cover C

Cover D

Cover E

Cover F

Would You Like to Win An Autographed Copy?

If I can get more than ten people to vote, I wil put the names of the voters into a hat and choose one to receive an autographed copy! Will you be that person?

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