Tag Archives: book marketing

Tips & Tricks

The picture really is worth a thousand words, so make it count!

“No one knows or cares who I am from a hole in the wall, so why do they need to know about me, the author?”

This is a common thought among many self-published authors, and a fair point, especially if this is your first book. But remember, your name is on that book, and readers do care about that. Just as we can’t help but judge a book by its cover, as readers, we can’t help but judge whether we want to invest in you by your author photo.

You’ve put a lot of thought into the content, editing, and design of your book, and that same careful calculation should go into taking the perfect author photo for your platform. While it may be tempting to boycott the author photo altogether, having a professional photo can go a long way.

If you look at Amazon’s top 10 bestselling authors on any given day, you’ll find they all have headshots that accompany their author bios. So, if you ever aspire to be the next Stephen King, or Margaret Atwood, get yourself camera ready!

The most important reasons to have an author photo taken right from the start are to give readers a sense of what kind of book they can expect from you, and to reinforce your credibility as a published writer. There’s a lot you can convey about your writing persona and style by the way your photograph is taken. Not only that, this photo is your key to being taken seriously in the literary industry.

While the central purpose of an author photo is to accompany a bio on the back cover of your book, they can also add professionalism and transparency to your website, promotional materials, and be quite handy during press opportunities.

So, here are some Tellwell tips for getting that perfect picture:

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Author of the Month

How Tellwell author Angela Campagnoni is using social media to gain exposure and publicity

angela-campagnoni-2017-head-shotAfter losing her beloved father at a young age, Angela Campagnoni set out to write a book that helps children going through similar devastating losses.  In March, she published I Want to See My Papa, a touching, illustrated book to help children understand loss, bereavement and healing through love and acceptance.

Writing was a self-healing process for Campagnoni, but the real journey had just begun. “It’s a lot of work, once you hit marketing,” she admitted.

Campagnoni was fortunate to already have a strong social media following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, from her work in the fashion industry. Even with her pre-established networks, she still considers the online marketing to be a fulltime job.

“If you don’t have a social media presence already, start it early, early, early,” she said. “Even with my amount of social media, I still felt like I was late. It’s hard when it’s your first time because you don’t know what you should share, and what you can share.”

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Tips & Tricks

Affordable online advertising for authors

More than 2.34 billion people are using social networking, and there are more than 3.6 billion internet users worldwide. Online marketing is integral to building your author platform to reach your target markets and promote your book. One of the best ways to boost your online presence is advertising.

As an independent author, you may not have the budget to invest thousands of dollars into online advertising, but don’t rule it out just yet. Here are some affordable online advertising options to consider:

 

Facebook Advertising

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Facebook advertising is open to anyone who has created a Facebook Page, to promote their business, product, or brand. Facebook ads are broken down into three parts: the campaign, the ad set and the ad itself.

When setting up an ad on Facebook, the first step is to identify the objective or goal of the campaign. Authors can use Facebook advertising to promote their Facebook page or their website, boost a post from their Facebook page, or promote an event. Facebook ads are most effective for driving traffic to you page or website, to boost your subscribers. They can be a great tool to develop your online following.

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Author of the Month

Tellwell author Deborah Kane shares her inspiration behind writing the Fifth Dragon series

deborah-kane-headshotWhat started as a creative outlet after long days of high-pressure financial work for the government soon morphed into the beginning of the Fifth Dragon series.

Deborah Kane never intended to embark on writing a fantasy series, nor did she expect the ideas to translate to three books, or more. Kane wrote the first book, Fifth Dragon – Cumulos Capers, to revive the humorous aspects of fantasy.

“Most of what’s out there is really dark,” she said. “This is just light humour with some magic.”

There was no plan in mind, no concerns of pleasing anybody and no restrictions. “This one just kind of came out of nowhere,” she said.  “I wrote it just for fun, the writing just came and came, and then I realized ‘Oh my gosh, these are books.’”

By the time she started writing the second book, Kane got more serious about the project. “Only as I went along, I realized, ‘Okay, I need a direction,’” she explained.

First, she set herself a schedule, writing in five hour increments, mostly over weekends. Though Kane stressed the importance of being passionate about the subject matter, she also recognized the value of sticking to time goals.

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Tips & Tricks

Using BookBub to boost ebook sales

screen-shot-2017-03-29-at-2-42-56-pmAs an independent author, having an ebook edition can be integral to book sales. Indie ebooks control somewhere between 10% and 20% of the publishing market, so maximizing your online e-book sales should be part of your marketing plan.

BookBub is a well-established email service, notifying subscribers of discounted ebooks. It was originally designed to help lesser-known authors – specifically independent authors – connect with their target audience. BookBub subscribers have the option to choose from 40 distinct genre categories and receive daily featured deals based on their interests. With more than two million members, Bookbub can be a great way for you as an author to gain readers, reviews, and an increase in ebook sales.

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Tips & Tricks

Tips for writing an effective back cover blurb

You’ve written a book, so how hard can it be to write a couple more paragraphs for the back cover? It may seem easy in theory, but, writing a condensed yet enticing summary can be quite the feat. As an author, you know the contents of your book inside and out, but what does your audience need to know to convince them to read the book?

Here are some tips to write an effective and engaging back cover blurb:

Think of your back cover blurb as a roadmap for readers.

It’s your job to highlight the key things they will get from the book.

  • Start with a hook, something interesting to grab the reader’s attention right from the start. A poignant quote, pressing question, or pithy summary may be a great place to start. This is essentially the “pick-up line” of your book, so grab your audience’s attention with something powerful.
  • Your blurb should include context or background information to set the stage. For non-fiction, this could establish the premise of the book, and for fiction, this might be the setting of the book.
  • Next, you’ll need to introduce the main character(s) of the book along with some detail about their role in the plot development. Use adjectives that would help to characterize while keeping the description succinct.
  • Now that you’ve established a premise, you’ll want to tease the reader with the main conflict or problem in the book. For non-fiction, this could identify controversy, challenges or struggle in the book, and for fiction, this could hint at the climax of the story – although avoid spoilers.
  • It can be quite effective to end the roadmap with a twist or cliff-hanger to intrigue your audience. The twist could be phrased as a question or a dramatic statement, which tells your audience that reading the book will answer it.
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Tips & Tricks

Using NetGalley to Market Your Book

 

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One of the biggest challenges as an indie author is gaining exposure, so your book doesn’t get lost amongst the millions of other titles listed on Amazon and other online retailers. Getting book reviews is one of the best ways to gain some initial publicity, especially for fiction authors.

NetGalley is an online marketing and publicity tool used to gain readers who will read and review e-books. Authors use this as a portal to provide digital files to an online community of more than 310,000 ‘professional readers’ including bloggers, book reviewers, media professionals and booksellers. Many bookstore buyers, librarians, and well-established book bloggers subscribe to NetGalley as a source for new titles to review and/or buy. It is open to Canadian, US, UK and Australian markets.

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Tips & Tricks

Self-published printing options: matte vs. gloss, perforation and duplex covers

 

You’ve submitted your manuscript and now the project you’ve been pouring over is materializing into a book. As an independent author, you get to determine the look and feel of your book. The print-on-demand company we work with, IngramSpark, offers a variety of options when it comes to printing your self-published book. Here are some options to consider for your work.

Cover finish

IngramSpark offers a glossy cover or a matte cover. These two options give the reader different visual and tactile experiences.  A glossy cover is considered to be the classic choice and will give a rich and vibrant look to your book cover. A colourful photo like a sunrise or ocean scene will pop with a glossy cover. It’s more durable so it can repel small coffee or water spills, within reason. The downside to glossy covers is that they scuff and scratch more easily.

In comparison, matte book covers are trending right now. The finish is professional looking and can give a contemporary look to your cover design. Not to mention the feel of a matte cover is quite unique – its smooth, soft surface will give the reader not only a visual but a tactile experience. Matte lends well to more subtle cover art and will absorb and hide scratches more so than a glossy cover. However, a matte finish may dull certain colours.

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Authors in the Media Tellwell Books

Authors in the Media

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Our authors have recently been featured on CBC radio and television, the Burnaby Now newspaper, CHEK News, the Times Colonist and in a documentary. Congrats on all the great press!

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