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Twitter Mistakes to Avoid

July 15, 2014

Your Twitter profile is your introduction to new followers; your first firm handshake. It helps to establish you as an expert and shows other Twitter users exactly why they should follow you. To grow your platform and utilize Twitter to the fullest, avoid these common profile mistakes:


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Why Isn't My Social Media Following Growing?

March 19, 2014

We’ve already discussed determining your social media status and the dos and don’ts of social media, but what if you’re working hard to create and share quality content on your social media profiles but not seeing your platform grow?

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An Intro to Crowdfunding for Your Book

August 6, 2013

 Crowdfunding is well known as a buzzword, but many people still struggle to grasp the concept. So here’s a quick definition: crowdfunding is a means for artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses to raise funds and mitigate the financial risk of their creative projects or business ventures.

In even simpler terms, it’s a way to generate financial backing from people who believe in your project—your family, friends, peers, and audience.

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Increase Your Book Discoverability with Online Excerpts

April 19, 2013

I’m blogging over at the IBPA blog about the benefits of online excerpts and I’ll be speaking at the IBPA Publishing University in Chicago April 26-27 – Session 904: Marketing Outside the Box: Creative Tools to revitalize Revenue, including book discoverability, shareability and monetization.

 

Check out the post below and I’ll see you in Chicago!

 

Increase Your Book Discoverability with Online Excerpts

 

Book discoverability—how and where consumers find and purchase books—is a priority in any good book marketing plan. This happens in a multitude of ways, ranging from giveaways to publicity to word-of-mouth, and what generates the most interest is different for every book. But what if there was one thing that every book should have to help their online discoverability? One thing that increases the odds that every book will connect with the right audience? There is - online excerpts

 

Available Amazon Search Inside and B&N See Inside

 

Read More…

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Tree Neutral Book Publishing – YES! It Does Exist!

April 8, 2013

Tree Neutral

Greenleaf isn’t just our CEO’s last name—Greenleaf Book Group is committed to taking proactive steps to offset our tree consumption in our day-to-day and business lives. We recycle, do the majority of our daily work electronically, and encourage our partners and authors to do the same. (We’ve also been known to give a tree a little hug as we walk by. Shhh. It’s our little secret.)

 

Tree Neutral© is our commitment to the future of our forests. We work with individuals and companies that want to offset the number of trees they consume by taking proactive steps such as recycling, converting to electronic records, planting trees in direct proportion to the number of trees they use, and other methods of reducing tree consumption.

 

We partner with the Arbor Day Foundation to offset the number of trees the books we published consume by taking part in reforestation initiatives all across the United States. In 2012, we focused on Pere Marquette State Forest in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as well as Manchester State Forest in central South Carolina to improve habitat for endangered species and restore the forests to their former glory. 

Manchester State Forest

Our nation’s forests provide wood for homes, habitat for wildlife, clean air, and drinking water for millions. Urban trees provide environmental, economic, and social benefits such as reduced energy consumption, less stormwater runoff, and lower crime rates. You can imagine the havoc deforestation creates and see why we’re so committed to the cause.

 

So, just how many trees did Tree Neutral© plant in 2012?

 

(drumroll please)

 

A whopping 10,742 trees! That makes 45,462 trees since the inception of the Tree Neutral© program.

 

We hope you’re as impressed and inspired by these numbers as we are—and remember, by choosing to be Tree Neutral, you’re making a responsible decision that will have a positive impact on the future, your life, and your business. To get involved, visit the Take Action page of the Arbor Day Foundation for information on donating, becoming a member, and volunteering in your community.

 

Follow us on Facebook to watch as this number continues to grow. 

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Utilizing Endorsements

March 27, 2013

So, you know how to identify and approach influencers for endorsements and you’ve got kudos and support rolling in from mentors, thought leaders, bestselling authors, and standouts in your industry. Now, what the heck do you do with those sparkling endorsements? You know that endorsements influence consumers to act, but how do you make sure consumers see those endorsements? Here are a few ideas:

 

Add endorsements to your book cover. Give the most prominent spot on the cover of your book to the strongest endorsement by your most recognizable endorser. You can add additional endorsements on the back cover or add an endorsement page to the beginning of the book.

Add endorsements to your retailer book pages. Most retailers have a section on each book page specifically for endorsements and reviews. Your publisher can assist in adding these blurbs to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and other retailer sites. You can also add endorsements to your Amazon book page through your Amazon Author Central account.

Quote those endorsements. Your publicity efforts can get a lot of mileage out of a great endorsement. Add quotes to ads, press releases, book descriptions, and sales materials.

Name-drop. It’s hard to find the fine line between casually mentioning an endorsement and being an obnoxious name-dropper, but it can be done. Don’t be afraid to mention those endorsements at the podium or in interviews when appropriate. Endorsements are largely volunteer efforts, so by making use of your endorsement, you’re endorsing the endorser (did you get that?), which can benefit everyone.

Add an endorsement page to your website. The great thing about websites is that they can be updated regularly to add fresh endorsements. You can even branch out and add published reviews and testimonials from readers. This can help keep your website fresh for your fans and search engines. 

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Creative Commons To The Rescue

March 8, 2013

Have you ever written a blog post that you’re super excited about only to find that you’re missing the perfect photo to complement your writing? Or the perfect background music to accompany your video? Creative Commons to the rescue!

 

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of digital content through free, legal tools that work alongside copyright to give people the right to share, use, and build upon work that others have created. That means that if you’re looking for content you can freely and legally use—everything from songs, videos, academic materials, photos, and more—you should start your search with Creative Commons–licensed content. It also means that if you’re an artist, photographer, or academic and want to put your work out there for others to use, you can assign a license and give them permission via Creative Commons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0VzUigrb_g

 

The most commonly used type of Creative Commons content is photos, and photo-sharing site Flickr has more than 200 million public Creative Commons–licensed photos available, making it the largest free photo repository in the world. Writers can search for images for use in blog posts, book illustrations, and even book covers thanks to photographers and artists everywhere taking part in Creative Commons.

 

Have you used Creative Commons content? Have you licensed any of your content with Creative Commons?

 

You can find Creative Commons content and learn about how to license your content at www.CreativeCommons.org.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Blog Fresh

February 25, 2013

By now we all know that a blog is an integral part of an author website. It serves as a place to connect with readers, establish yourself as an expert, and build your platform. It can also be a place to flesh out new ideas, get feedback, and weigh in on hot topics. But after months or years of blogging, how do you keep things fresh?

 

Commit to it. Bloggin’ ain’t easy. Try an editorial calendar (or at least a running list of post ideas) to keep you on schedule and creating new content. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Change up the design.  Apply a fresh coat of paint to the ol’ blog every now and again. A new background or color scheme is a quick and easy update that your readers will notice and appreciate. If you’re Photoshop proficient, try changing your header image every month—it’ll give readers who use a feed a reason to click through to your site.

Ask your readers what they want. Since you’re the expert, your readers will undoubtedly have questions, and those questions can turn into great blog posts (or even a series of posts) on a topic you may never have thought of. Give your readers what they want and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Go multimedia. You’ve hopefully been incorporating photos and video into your posts, but how about creating your own?  They don’t have to be anything fancy—most smartphones can record and upload videos directly to YouTube. Just make sure the camera is steady and the sound is good, and the content will speak for itself.

Experiment. Do you usually write text-heavy posts? Try an infographic. Do you usually post on Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Post on the weekend. Try new things and see how your readers respond. You may hit blogging gold, or you may find that your readers like you just the way you are.

 

Also check out these tips from ProBlogger on 31 days to building a better blog and Rachelle Gardner on 13 simple tips for a better blog.

 

What do you do to keep your blog fresh? 

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Showcase Your Book with Ganxy

February 8, 2013

We’re always on the hunt for new book-promotion and discoverability tools for our authors, and Ganxy is rolling out some cool features that we thought we’d share.

First, what is Ganxy? Ganxy is a set of easy-to-use online tools that help content providers reach their audience through promotion, social sharing, and commerce.

At the hub of Ganxy’s offerings is a showcase feature that’s completely free to users and takes just a few minutes to set up.

As you can see below, the showcase has some great functionality and includes a book description; a downloadable excerpt; social sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and via email; direct links to all major retailers; and the ability to embed your showcase on your Facebook page, website, or blog.

"A Prayer for the Devil" by Corrin on Ganxy

 

Authors can also work with Ganxy to facilitate direct sales of their ebook, with Ganxy handling payment processing, content delivery, and even customer support. Ganxy can even harvest email addresses from those sales so that authors can turn buyers into repeat buyers. If you decide to start selling via Ganxy, the fee is a flat 10 percent of net sales.

And if you’re looking for a way to offer free ebook promotions, Ganxy makes it possible though “open promotion” (the first x number of visitors download free) or “closed promotion" (redemption codes required)—it’s a perfect way to gift ebooks, bundle them with physical books, or use them as a value-add at speaking events.

What do you think of Ganxy? Will you be giving it a try?

Be sure to check out the Ganxy blog; there you’ll find the latest on how they’re helping authors promote and sell their titles. 

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Instagram for Authors

January 7, 2013

I know. I know. Another social media site you don’t have time for. But hear us out.

 

Instagram is a photo-sharing and social networking service available for Apple and Android devices that allows users to take photos, apply filters reminiscent of the Kodak Instamatic, and share them with the Instagram community (7.3 million daily users) and on Facebook and Twitter.  You should be mixing up your social updates with links, video, and photos anyway, so leveraging the hottest photo-sharing app to help you do so just makes sense (and can be a lot of fun).

 

Like your activities on a slew of other social media sites, your Instagram activity plays into your Klout score—the measure of your online influence—so the more active you are, the more influential you’ll be. And Instagram profiles aren’t confined to the app anymore: anyone can view and engage with your Instagram photos by visiting instagram.com/yourusername.

 

Not sure what to share on Instagram? Here are some ideas . . .

 

        Promote what’s new. Your book is probably one of many ventures you’re involved in. Use photos to promote new products and share special offers in a way that’s creative and easily re-shareable.

Feature others. Is your book inspiring others? Did someone reach his or her goals based on your method? Feature that person’s work and let everyone know that you’re paying attention.

Enhance your brand image. Like your high school English teacher taught you, show—don’t tell—how you’re giving back. Highlighting charitable work and community involvement can enhance your brand image and help the causes you support.

Generate engagement. Just like on Twitter, you can hashtag Instagram photos, providing users with a way to find your photos though a simple keyword search. Create your own unique hashtag and encourage others to use it to create a catalog of images related to your book/brand.

Give a peek behind the scenes. Working on your next book? Share how you cultivate your ideas, be it a laptop and cup of coffee or a whiteboard full of notes and scribbles.

 

Need more convincing? Check out what New York Times Magazine contributing writer Clive Thompson had to say about his Instagram usage:


 

Do you use Instagram? Share your profile in the comments!

 

(Details are still emerging about Instagram’s new terms of service and how they affect users. Be sure to keep tabs on sites like Mashable and CNN Tech for the latest.)

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