A newsletter all about SUCCESSFUL publishing and POWERFUL promotion.
December 19, 2013 Issue #314
in this issue
-- Note From The Editor
-- Sign Up for Your Marketing Consultation Today!
-- Why You Need Red Hot Internet Publicity Now
-- Feature Article: Book Marketing Predictions for 2014 
-- Understanding Book Distribution (Part 4: Print-On-Demand)
-- Book Marketing Resources From AME
-- Finding Big Bloggers
-- How to Get More Fans on Facebook
-- Get Your Complimentary Copy of APE!
-- Self-Publishing for Authors & Publishers: Spring Online NYU Course 
-- AME in the News
-- Fast Facts on Social Media
-- Editorial Tid Bytes
-- Submit Your Book: 2014 National Indie Excellence Book Awards Contest!
-- Hashtag Dos and Don’ts  
-- Get More Followers on Pinterest
-- Understanding Google AuthorRank and Content
-- Social Media Snippet: 5 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate
-- Social Media Snippet: 46 Experts Share Their Top Social Media Management Tools
-- Reader Tip!
-- ------------------------------------------------------------
Penny C. Sansevieri, Editor

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Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!

Dear Author,
I can’t believe it’s our last issue of Book Marketing Expert for 2013 – and I certainly can’t believe it’s the end of another year. We just had our AME retreat and it was fantastic. A lot of folks ask us what we do during the retreats. Well, we plan new campaigns and new marketing strategies for authors. We plot new ways of promoting books and fun ways to educate our authors. Basically the retreats are all about you – but we have such fun doing these.

It’s also a great opportunity for all of us girls to sit in the same room, bond, eat chocolate (drink wine) and really connect in a way that we can’t do virtually. Also, it was Paula’s 10-year anniversary with AME. Ten years – wow! I still can’t believe it (or that she’s tolerated me that long :-) Want to see pictures of the retreat? Check them out here:

So, here we are, the final issue of 2013. I’d love to know what you learned this year… what was your biggest lesson? And did this newsletter somehow help you get there? No, I’m not fishing for compliments (though we love the love), I’m really trying to get feedback to help us create an even bigger and better newsletter as 2014 rolls in.

With that, I want to wish each of you a merry, merry time during this holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate, remember that this is a great time to just pause and say “thank you.” To you, our reader, and to the authors we help promote: THANK YOU. We love that you’re working hard on your book and I know at times it becomes daunting and tough to move ahead. But remember, even the slightest forward motion is better than nothing at all. Keep moving, keep plugging and we’ll see you in the New Year.

Merry, Happy Holiday from all of us at Author Marketing Experts.
Penny, Paula, Amy, Katie and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

Sign Up for Your Marketing Consultation Today!
Need some marketing help? We offer full service marketing programs, publicity, and coaching. Contact us today for a free 30-minute marketing consultation! Email:

Why You Need Red Hot Internet Publicity Now
Authors, speakers, small business owners:
Listen to an expert who can show you how to get your website noticed, visited, and purchased from - who can show you how to be smart and successful online while keeping your dollars in your own wallet, and whose own site is in the top 1 percent* for traffic of all the sites in the world.
Penny Sansevieri is that expert, and this book is your road map. In the rapidly changing world of Internet publicity, this book is up-to-the-minute (covering social media in detail - not just Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but also recent powerhouse sites like Pinterest and Google Plus - even a chapter on the reputation-rating site Klout).
"Comprehensive, but easy to understand and apply, and anyone who implements her suggestions is sure to gain a ton of publicity."
- Amy Porterfield, Author, Facebook Marketing All-in-One For Dummies
Get your copy today!
Feature Article: Book Marketing Predictions for 2014 
For those of us who market authors for a living, we know that 2013, more than any other year, saw bigger changes in marketing books. More in fact, than any prior year. The changes are largely due to the number of books that have come online both in print and digital and, in some cases, in digital only. In fact, the latest figures for books published daily are staggering. Bowker reported that in 2012 there were 3,500 books published each day in the US; this number does not include eBooks since many of them are often published straight to Amazon without ISBN numbers or other means of tracking. It’s a perfect storm for change.

What this does for the industry is it forces new marketing models in place, while pushing others to the back-burner. So, what’s the biggest change I've seen in 2013? Well, pretty much all things traditional flew out the window. Reviews are still important, but reader reviews took precedence over that. Engagement is still key, but direct reader engagement is even more crucial. What does this mean for you in 2014? Have a look.

More is better: For most of us, the days of writing a book a year, or a book every two years have long since passed. Readers want more content and one of the best ways to engage with them is to keep your books in front of them - and the best way to do that is to keep pushing new books out the door. Keep in mind that when it comes to marketing, content really is king and good content, in the form of a book, can really help to keep you out there. Also, something that I've noticed in the testing that I've done is that the more content you have out there, the more you sell just in general. What I mean by this is that (book) content elevates all of your sales.

When authors release a second book within a short 6-9 month window, they’ll often see higher sales of prior books, just because the new title is pushing the others to the forefront. Though if you do this, you should use the back matter of your book to cross-promote all of your titles. The new year will see more of this being done; pushing out more books for marketing reasons will be a big game-changer for many.

Short is the new long: The good news with pushing out tons of content is you don’t have to be writing 500-page tomes. We've seen this already in 2013, but the coming year will bring this so much more to the forefront. My recommendation is to create one or two full length books a year and then additional micro-content such as novellas or shorter books that focus on one topic or tackle just one problem. You’ll see more on this in a minute. Suffice it to say that pushing a ton of books out is great, but they don’t all have to be full-length books. Supplement your writing with shorter pieces but keep in mind that whatever you do has to be of equal quality.

Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, ever. I predict that in the new year you’re going to see a lot of authors pushing out books like this. One full-length and several shorter. It’s a great way to gain visibility and stay in front of your readers.

Micro-Topics Rule: Your readers are busy, really busy. They want a problem solved or they want to be entertained, quickly. And sometimes they only want to able to pick up a book and read it in one sitting. That’s where micro-content comes in, focused topics solving one specific problem.

For example, if you have a book on starting a business, you may decide to create a focused topic on how to create and execute a solid social media strategy. Or if you've written on parenting, you may write one shorter book on easy and inexpensive ways to ‘green’ your house. The point is that if you can isolate a reader problem and address it, you can win their loyalty. Own a niche, and I mean really own it. If finance is your topic, dig into all of the potential challenges and address them in shorter books. For fiction writers, you’ll see a lot more situational romance. Meaning stories that are just short and sweet, focused on a few characters and one main issue they overcome to have their happy ending.

Readers are key: In the intro paragraph I mentioned the importance of readers. Now, more than ever, you must connect with your readers, you must take the time to reach out to them. I've addressed this a few times in other pieces, too. But the point is that you want to encourage readers to review your book by including a (polite) request for this in your book, you want to engage directly with them on social sites like Goodreads, and you want to communicate directly with them. If you get a review from a reader, thank them. If you have readers who reviewed your other books, reach out to them and ask them to review your latest one. Also, readers don’t just want engagement from you, they want it from your book. Do not, under any circumstances, end your book without giving readers a chance to engage with you, your other material, or your characters.

Be everywhere that matters: This isn't a new thing, but we’ll see more of it in 2014. When it comes to social marketing, you don’t have to be everywhere, you just have to be everywhere that matters. The spray-and-pray theory of marketing is long gone. No one expects you to be on every social media site, but they do expect you to be active on the ones you chose to have a presence on. More than ever, readers want communication. Some years ago authors could be on all social sites and be randomly active on them. Now it just looks like you’ve abandoned your own message. And if you aren't interested in what you have to say, why should your reader be?  

Keywords rule: We know that keywords matter, but the more books that come online the more keywords will become a mandatory way to be found. We just saw a huge scuttle on Amazon over keywords ( but now we’re seeing a new trend on Amazon: readers aren't searching by their favorite authors, they are searching by keywords and the more the better. What does this mean for you? It means that you need to figure out what readers search in your market and rank for those searches.

It also means that you don’t want to rank for the term: mystery, romance or business, because readers aren't searching that way. Our customer searches strings of words, like “romance books under 2.99” or something like that. Keywords on your Amazon page, in your book description, and book keywords will be a must as more and more books come online. You should be looking at this, trying new keywords, and keeping a close eye on your ranking within those words. Just “being on Amazon” won’t get you a sale and the more books that get loaded onto that site, the further down the buying food-chain you will go.  

eBooks: I am still amazed at how many authors release their print books without a digital counterpart. Giving readers access to as many formats of your book as possible is not just important, it’s mandatory. Also, in the new year you’re going to see some very creative uses for eBooks as a way to drive more sales. We've already seen enhanced eBooks, this is nothing new, but I think you’re going to see more of this, done in some very unique ways.

Free: There are many who say that readers are immune to freebies, free books, free promotions. But I think this is wrong. Readers avoid poorly executed campaigns or poorly designed books. Readers want to try your material but only if they perceive it to be of good quality. Free, however, should be part of everything you do. We love to sample. You only have to go to Costco on a weekend to see how much people love sampling stuff. The same is true for content and freemiums are the wave of the future. Putting solid, free content out there will bring in new customers by the truckload. (Though, arguably, the cheese trunk shows at Costco are a tough act to follow).

Cover this: I see a lot of books out there with bad covers and some marketing people encouraging authors to self-design their covers. With more and more books coming online, your cover is the window to the book. Let me ask you this: if you owned a store, would you consider having a bunch of old junk in a dirty storefront window? It’s amazing to me how many authors do this with their books.

Shelf Life: Earlier this year, the Book Industry Study Group did a survey on where readers discover new books. An overwhelming percentage of them said they discovered books in bookstores. This crucial factor in book discovery is significant as we enter a holiday season that might be make-it-or-break-it for Barnes & Noble. I think that in order to keep their doors open, Barnes & Noble will have to get creative and will make paying for placement a much more common thing. We know that some bookstores already charge authors for shelf space and publishers have, for years, paid for premium end-cap and front of store space. I believe that in 2014 we’re going to see much more of this expanded out to a wider market. You want shelf space? Here’s how much that will cost you.

Self-publishing: Thirteen years ago when I was first banging the self-publishing drum most people thought that I was, well, hanging out with the school nerds. Well, nerds rule and now, they are ruling publishing. Self-publishing has already become a much more acceptable way to get your book out there but in the coming year, I believe you’re going to see more partnerships between publishers and self-publishing and, though it may not be in 2014, I think that you’re going to see publishers start to adopt the partnership model that self-publishing brings with it.

You want a Simon & Schuster to publish your book? That’s fine, but the model will change. Authors will be required to be much more entrepreneurial when it comes to working with a traditional publisher and with the days of advances long since gone, I think we’ll start to see a reverse model of paying for a brand name on your book.

Sort of like what Louise Hay did with Hay House. She used her name to push Balboa Press, which is an offshoot of Hay House. The idea being that if the book succeeds at Balboa, then Hay House will pick it up. Now, I’m not sure of the success rate of this model, or how many authors actually make this leap. But I do know that more and more we’ll start to see big-name publishing houses use their brand power to attract authors who are willing to pay for that level of exposure for their books.

Readers are savvy about the books they want to read and authors they want to engage with and 2014 will make it all about them. Being an author means serving your reader in ways that really speak to them directly. You’ll notice that not one of my points above were about traditional publicity or marketing. It’s not that this doesn't matter, but in the past authors have often put the media targets well above their reader connection. Now, if you want some big-time exposure, you’ll have to go after your customer first. Readers have the power to drive the success or failure of books and no amount of advertising or traditional media will change that. As more books come online, those traditional channels will become even more clogged. As bookstores continue to dwindle and, in some cases, charge for shelf space, finding ways to reach your reader directly will become the ultimate goal. If you’re already doing this, you’re really ahead of the game; and if you’re not, the time to start is now.  
Understanding Book Distribution (Part 4: Print-On-Demand)
Walkerville Publishing is in Walkerville, Ontario, right across the border from the home of the second best baseball team in 2012 (Detroit). (If you visit Walkerville Publishing’s website, I’m warning you in advance that you’re going to get Al Stewart’s “Time Passages” stuck in your head.) Walkerville Publishing is two people: Chris Edwards and his wife, Elaine Weeks. He writes books, and she copyedits them.

Years ago he got a Groupon coupon from CreateSpace to publish a book, so he took his collection of photos of Windsor and printed a local-history book called Windsor Then. A local paper ran a story about the book, and he ended up selling 3,000 copies. He still uses CreateSpace as his print-on-demand supplier—as opposed to an author-services company—and orders 300 copies at a time.

You can use an author-services company as a print-on-demand supplier or a pure-play printer such as Lightning Source so that you don’t end up with boxes of books sitting around unsold if you overestimate demand. Both these types of companies work on short lead times so that you can order books “on demand”—that is, when you need them.

Many bookstores will not sell self-published books. Author-services companies may tell you that they can get you brick-and-mortar distribution, but they are shading the truth. Bookstores can order your book from them if someone requests it, but this doesn’t mean they will buy your book for inventory.


Reaches people who prefer printed books. Despite the oversimplifications and misinterpretations, remember that ebooks are still only 10 percent of total book sales in the United States. The only way you can try to reach the other 90 percent is to offer your book in a printed format.

Psychic satisfaction. One of the pleasures of writing a book is seeing it for sale on a bookstore shelf—preferably face-out in the “new and noteworthy” section. Offering your book in a printed format is the only way to achieve this.

Control of final form. Working directly with a printer provides you with more design and format options. It also gives you the freedom to do special editions for appearances and signings.

Higher margins. Selling a printed book directly to customers has some of the highest margins in the publishing business. The flip side of selling direct, though, is that there are the costs of order processing, fulfillment, and inventory.


Complexity. This path involves more work than using author-services companies. Printers only take print-ready PDFs of your cover and manuscript. They also do not provide any handholding, assuming that an experienced production person is managing the process.

Commitment to accept returns. You don’t have to order thousands of copies of inventory, but customers and bookstores can return printed books for refunds. We’ve never heard of having to accept an ebook return.

Sales-tax reporting. You will probably have to collect and pay state sales tax for books sold directly to readers in your state of residence, although you won’t be responsible for books sold at a wholesale price to resellers.

Guy Kawasaki has written 12 books, 10 of which were traditionally published. His newest book is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book, which helps people understand how and why to self-publish.
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, is available as an eBook ($9.99) and in paperback ($24.99). Visit
Book Marketing Resources From AME
* Add AME to your circles on Google+ at:

* "Like" our Facebook Page for marketing articles and tips, YouTube videos from our book marketing channel, notices about upcoming webinars, and more:

* Need book marketing content? Visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at:

* View "Drive More Traffic Using Hashtags!" and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing!
Finding Big Bloggers
Looking for influential bloggers to contact for your campaign? Try Mozbar which helps you tap into insights and search engine rankings of bloggers. This site will let you know how the blogger you’re considering ranks and how influential they really are! You can download it at 

How to Get More Fans on Facebook
We have a great opportunity for you! Amy Porterfield, author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, is offering a Facebook course that will walk you through everything you need to know to create, monitor, and track your ads. You'll learn how to grow your fans, create Facebook ad campaigns, use ads to drive Facebook traffic to reports, eBooks, videos and other products, and sell your products and services.
Don't miss out! Sign up now:
Get Your Complimentary Copy of APE!
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the publication of Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book, Guy Kawasaki is having a giveaway. Redeem the offer for this must-have self-publishing resource here:

Self-Publishing for Authors & Publishers: Spring Online NYU Course
Take advantage of this chance to learn the ins and outs of self-publishing from the comfort of your home - in six comprehensive online sessions!

As an author, discover your publishing options and how to select the best publishing path based on your genre and goals as well as the existing marketplace for your book. Or, if you work in a traditional publishing house, learn how to work with print-on-demand companies and how to bring self-published books into the traditional publishing fold.

Whether you are an author or a publisher, take this course to gain an understanding of the decision-making framework and the factors that drive successful self-publishing.
Sign up now! 

AME in the News
* The Book Designer blog featured Penny's post, "Author Alert: Resolving the Amazon Keyword Issue," in its weekly roundup:

* Keep up with Penny's latest articles for Huffington Post:
Fast Facts on Social Media
Daily active users: 665 million

Twitter saw a 44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013
Twitter has 288 million monthly active users, which means that 21% of the world’s Internet popular is using Twitter every month.

YouTube: 1 billion unique monthly visitors
6 billion hours of videos are watched every month
The average age of a YouTube user is 18-34
Editorial Tid Bytes
The angle a non-fiction writer chooses to cover a subject determines its future.  A book about a Nobel Peace Prize winning Physicist can be told from the history of the discovery or the personalities of the people involved.  Or it can be both, but that will confuse the market. 
Sandi Gelles-Cole is the founder of Gelles-Cole Literary Enterprises, an editorial consultancy in business since 1983.  She is also a member of The Consulting Editors Alliance
Submit Your Book: 2014 National Indie Excellence Book Awards Contest!
The National Indie Excellence® Book Awards (NIEA) was created to help establish self-publishing as a proud, legitimate, and strong facet of the publishing industry.
NIEA is proud to be a champion of self-publishers and small & independent presses that go the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect.
The National Indie Excellence® Book Awards is open to all English language books available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. Visit
Hashtag Dos and Don’ts  
Now that Hashtags are so popular, it’s a great idea to use them. But there are specific things that work and that don’t work for Hashtags, let’s look at a few:

  • Shorter Hashtags are always best, longer hashtags take up too much space in your tweet
  • If you’re creating your own hashtag, make sure that it makes sense to the follower. Using keywords in hashtags is always a great idea.
  • Take a look at sites like and see if you can use a hashtag that’s trending and relevant to your topic. You can also use (another great hashtag directory) to find solid, trending hashtags and their conversations.

  • Don't use too many hashtags in a tweet or other post, this will just get distracting and hard to read.
  • Don't use hashtags that are too hard to read, understand, or too quirky. Being quirky is fine if it’s part of a trend, such as #angiesrightleg which was a trending tweet a few years ago at the Oscars, but otherwise stay away from long tweets that are too hard to understand.
  • Don’t use more than two words in your hashtags, the longer they are the harder they are to read.
  • And finally, don’t use a hashtag just for the sake of using it. It won’t get you blacklisted per se, but it won’t help in your online marketing efforts, either. 

Get More Followers on Pinterest
Pinterest is such a fun site, and it's often referred to as “eye candy.” It’s a great way to drive traffic to your website. Here are a few quick ways to build more followers on Pinterest.

Share, share, share

Sharing is the best way to grab new followers and the more you share, the more people will see your pins. Since 80% of content on Pinterest are repins, you get some significant value in fresh, original content.

Hang with the Cool Kids

The popular pins on Pinterest are another way to grab lots of exposure. To find the most popular pins, click on the little box next to the search bar. There you’ll see the various categories on Pinterest as well as your Home Feed (the people you follow) and “Popular;” if you click on that you’ll see the best stuff trending on Pinterest. Repin and comment on these. It’s a great way to engage there.

And speaking of popular pins, when you’re commenting on these make sure that you write something other than “this is great” – be creative if you comment. The more creative you are, the more you’ll get noticed by the pinner and their followers.

Promote Your Boards

Most people don’t follow entire profiles but instead, will follow boards. So find your most popular boards and then rearrange your page and make sure they’re at the top of your Pinterest profile. Be sure to also share your pins on your social media. For example, you can use the image from Pinterest on your Facebook page to drive more people to your board.

Follow the Leader

Following high-ranking people in your industry is another good way to get engagement and perhaps even more followers. Many will follow you back and once you’re connected to them, you’ll get their updates into your stream so you can comment, and repin, their posts! 
Understanding Google AuthorRank and Content
Google Authorship allows you to build a network of fans, if you know how to set it up properly:

Social Media Snippet: 5 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate
When people visit your website you want them to take action. Here’s what you can do to make visitors become followers and buyers:
Social Media Snippet: 46 Experts Share Their Top Social Media Management Tools
There are many ways you can make social media posting, management, and monitoring simpler. Here’s what the experts say:

Reader Tip!
If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.
Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from. 

To see a price list or schedule a free consultation, send your e-mail to with the subject line "Author Services Info." You can also visit our website at

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