Tag Archives: marketing

Book Review ~ Chirping your way through Twitter

How to Be Twittertastic by Jo Linsdell, $3.99US (Kindle)

Twitter. All the rage for “everybody” (really, over 1 billion users as of now) but still a mystery to many of us. How does one say something meaningful in 140 characters – or fewer? Does it matter, or is it just another way to grab time from an already overloaded schedule? Must I twitter?

Every so often I delve into the world of “things helpful to authors.” In this case, though, I think the information has a much broader interest level. Jo Linsdell’s new book, Twittertastic, is written for authors; however a huge portion of the material would also apply to anyone who wants to get something out of the Twitter experience.

Here are some of the subjects that Jo covers:

How to set up your profile and personalize it
Creating your network
Ideas for making the most out of the new features
Tweets- Types of content you can share
Retweets, hashtags, and other Twitter terminology made simple
Twitter etiquette- Dos and Don’ts of the Twitterverse
Time savers

Jo, in her usual manner of clarity and brevity, introduces the reader to the fundamentals of Twittering. How to set things up, how to find people of interest to follow, how to get yourself noticed, WHAT to tweet and where to find content. Also, as is her habit, she includes pages and pages of links and references to get you started on the “but where do I find?” part. You really DO want this one in Kindle format, those hyperlinks are terrific.

Jo also researches her books and provides the statistics and supporting content that drive home her points. For instance, tweets with images garner a 40% greater response from tweeters than text posts. Jo shows you where and how to find image content, how to upload and how to capitalize on it.

As I mentioned, I am greener than the newest newbie in this world of word-spurts, that’s why Jo’s explanation of #hashtags, @addresses and lists, as well as when and where to use what is so helpful. She makes it all seem so easy!

Why, you ask, should someone listen to this particular voice in the crowd of “social media experts?” Because Jo is an internationally bestselling author and illustrator. Each year she conducts PromoDay to bring writing industry people from around the world together. She also manages a blog specifically for Writers and Authors. I should also mention I count her as friend and colleague.

Jo’s Bio:

Jo Linsdell is a bestselling author and illustrator and internationally recognized marketing expert. She is also the founder and organizer of the annual online event “Promo Day” (www.PromoDay.info) and the Writers and Authors blog (http://WritersAndAuthors.blogspot.com).

To find out more about Jo and her projects visit her website www.JoLinsdell.com.

Here, then, are all the great places you can find Twittertastic (the first in a series of Social Media for authors).


And here are the places Jo hangs out:




Filed under Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools

Reviews ~ The World Beyond Facebook

Virtual Book Tours, Effective Online Book Promotion from the Comfort of Your Own Home by Jo Linsdell, Available in Kindle for a special release price of $2.99. ($4.99 after the tour)

virtualbooktoursJo graciously asked me to provide a review of her new release as part of her book-tour-in-progress.  I have to admit I am quite honored and shall give her the full Alcove Treatment.  First the basics.

Virtual Book Tours are a great way to create a buzz for a new release, or to put life back into an older publication. This book takes you through everything you need to know to be able to set up and carry out a successful virtual book tour.

The book is divided into 4 main sections for easy navigation:

1) What is a Virtual Book Tour?
2) How to organise your own tour
3) Promoting a tour
4) Useful resources

You’ll find it packed with links, tips, and advice to help make your tour a hit.

I don’t often visit the world of writing on my blog.  Most of the writers I have interviewed were invited to contribute to a special interest of the time, such as research for books on science fiction or history or some other topic I was delving into.  Sometimes I just get excited about something I’ve found that really helps me as I work through my own writing.  Most of the time, I stick to building my platform and letting my fans and readers get to know me.  That process is rooted quite deeply in how a blog is managed.

I adore many of the friends I have made over the past couple of years as I have become more deeply involved in social media.  I probably spend far more time on Facebook than I should; it is, however, my main source of “outside world” contact.  Granted, that can be a bit skewed.  What I have noticed is that many of the places I visit, the groups that have included me in hopes of my contribution, and the pages that are created for various and sundry books, products, or people, have become overwhelmed with advertising.  Some of my most cherished groups have clamped down hard on hawkers and provided a day or a place to “hang out your shingle.” Then, the managers work hard to keep the communication as informative as possible.

Many marketing gurus in the book industry will tell you that blasting your new release in a dozen or more groups/pages in social media is looked on as spam and does more harm than good.  Sadly, I tend to ignore most of those announcements, focusing more on the informative chats and concentrating on building my network.  I must smile as I write this, because I almost missed a review on my own book with this inattention. So, where can you express yourself, tell people about your latest work, define for the world the thing you most want to say?  On your blog. There are books on how to structure a really successful blog, whether you want to sell books or not – and I will look at them in coming weeks.  Right now I want to talk about Jo Linsdell and her marvelous little book about tours.

Blogs are wonderful things if used to their greatest advantage.  I use mine as a quiet place to express my discoveries, share my wonder, and build an audience for the way I think and write.  In that process, it is often fun to entertain a guest.  This, of course, is what happens in a blog tour.  It is a time when you have someone in for tea (or coffee) and chat about a mutual interest.  Jo shows you how to use that chat to the best advantage of the host and the guest.

There are rules one should follow to be a good guest and a good host.  If you want to discuss some aspect of a work in progress, then you need to find blog hosts interested in your topic, the way you work, how you write, where your inspiration comes from.  As noted, I have invited guests to share their point of view on a number of topics.  It gives my blog life, draws traffic and, well, I usually learn something very interesting.

I learned a great deal from Jo’s book.  She will take you through all of the steps of organizing, managing, closing and analyzing a blog tour.  This little book is packed with page after page of links and references to help you find the blogs that fit you like a glass slipper.  There are even commercial resources you can take advantage of, if you don’t feel confident enough to manage the first tour on your own.

One of my favorite parts (since I’m so obsessive when it comes to organization) is how you think through the process of organizing.  What do you want to accomplish?  What is your goal for the tour in general?  (Don’t cop out here and say – “sell books.”)  Think about what is most important about your work.  Do you write fun youth fiction where the character grows?  Is it steampunk or scifi fantasy?  Do your characters portray historical personalities?  If you know where you are going, then you have a much better chance of picking effective blog hosts (ones that will actually welcome you) and you will know what type of blog posts you want.  Reviews are only one.  There are interviews (of you and your characters) or feature stories.  Jo knows I like to do book reviews, and that is what she asked of me.

As it happens, I also work with a small publishing company, and marketing is one of our highest priorities.  Her book has saved me hours of research combing through the internet.  All those feeble attempts to have volunteers help me dig up suitable blogs for tours for our authors became passé the moment I read her book.  For this I will be forever grateful!  People are busy and volunteers do have lives.

I think that Jo has addressed a really important aspect of the cyber world, and she has given clear and sound advice.  Exchanging ideas, progress, thoughts, and connections in a media that allows reflection and preparation has a very different flavor from the “buy me,” “like me,” freebie  hurly- burly of social media.  Don’t get me wrong: I believe that there is a place and time for marketing on the big network sites.  But I much prefer the path described by my friend and colleague, Jo Linsdell.

Here comes all the “where to find her and who she is!”


Jo Linsdell is a bestselling author and internationally recognized book marketing expert. She is the founder and CEO of the Writers and Authors blog and the annual online event Promo Day. Learn more about Jo at http://www.JoLinsdell.com

For more information about Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion from the Comfort of our own Home, please visit http://www.JoLinsdell.com or contact webmaster@JoLinsdell.com.

Some of the titles now available by Jo on Amazon are:

Children’s’ Books:  Out and about at the Zoo, A Birthday Clown for Archer (& Coloring book and in Spanish), Fairy May

Guides: Italian for Tourists: Pocket Edition, A Guide to Weddings in Italy

Social Media Links:

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube,
Goodreads, Amazon

Click to tweets:

Add Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home to your to-read list http://bit.ly/VBTGoodreads

Learn everything you need to know about virtual book tours in this book by best selling author Jo Linsdell http://bit.ly/VBTKindle

Must read book about organising virtual book tours! http://bit.ly/VBTKindle #Authors


Filed under My Bookshelf (and a movie or two), Stuff about Writing ~ Research Tools, Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools

Starting the conversation on writing.

So, it is time, I think, to start a spot to track the progress of a budding author.  There is not time, I hear, to make sure that your first endeavor reaches the masses (however small or large your own personal mass may be) one must soldier on and get those words out there.  One must let people know you are serious about this writing thing and will provide them with the sort of information (or entertainment) they are seeking for some time to come.   Well, at least that is the hope.

My blog will track my progress as I near the never ending edit cycle for the next work.   In the meantime, I will share information about the sources I find that help me most in the business of getting a book to production.  Today I found the most amazing blog with an articulate and clear post about The Five Mistakes Killing Self-Published Authors.  Amazing lady, this one.  I intend to keep an eye on her!

This blog, Kristen Lamb’s Blog, is not only an inspiration, it is a must have bookmark for anyone hoping to become an author and even those who have been at it for some time.  I have purchased and read one of her best selling books, Are You There, Blog?  It’s Me, Writer.  (also available in Kindle).  Not only does she approach her writing with a personal, right-there-in-the-room type of narrative, she cuts to the chase to let you know what you need to do to create your platform and build a relevant fan base.  All that without spending all of your time sitting at your computer writing blog articles!  This is one amazing source of support, community and solutions to move you to that goal of “getting out there” with the message you so passionately wish to share.

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Filed under Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools

Warning – This is a Promotion!

I have established promotional pricing for Who I Am Yesterday for one day only – Kindle version at Amazon.   The sale occurs on Sunday, August 26.  It has also been added to the Kindle Select program which means it can be borrowed for up to 30 days free of charge.   So, if you were thinking about it but not quite sure (or hadn’t found the time) grab it!

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Filed under Authored Works, Caregiving Backstage

Featured Title!

Just sharing another milestone!  Who I Am Yesterday is a featured title at WonderWorld.

This blog features various genres of ebooks of indie authors.  As it happens, my book made it to the front page!

This was made possible through friends at Facebook and community supporters.  Thanks everyone!  I really do appreciate it.

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Wonderworld Variety

So, I have found another reliable link for writers and authors.  This is a lovely place to submit your ebook publication for exposure!  It’s also a good place to find interesting new books that just might not be on the NY best sellers list, but might become one of your personal favorites!


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Filed under Authored Works, Caregiving Backstage, Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools

New Amazon Author Page

So, now I have an author page on Amazon!  There is an RSS feed connection so all posts from here will post there as well.  Another profile to work on, sigh.



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Filed under Authored Works, Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools