Author Archives: Stephannie Beman

About Stephannie Beman

I’m a city girl turned rancher, a mother of two rambunctious girls, and a wife surviving on little sleep and coffee. I love reading books and seeking out interesting facts to add to the randomness swirling around my brain. I occasionally moonlight as a writer of fantasy and paranormal romance and book cover designer. But mostly, I’m just me.

Do I really need a Blog?

I don’t think every writer needs a blog.

I don’t think fiction writers need a blog.

I don’t think most readers give a rats a$$ about writer’s blog.

I think telling writers that they need and don’t need a blog is plain stupidity. :D

You are welcome to disagree with me. I won’t stop you. But I want to tell you why I believe the statements above.

I don’t think every writer needs a blog.

Every writer is different. The goals for their writing are different. No one author platform is the same.

This blog is about writing, publishing, and marketing books, the niche is self-published fiction writers. It was started to share our thoughts and opinions on self-publishing when it was still a shiny bright toy. This is a non-fiction blog. We get 50 to 4k+ hits a day. It works because it is geared toward readers looking for information on self-publishing and writing.

On a personal note, it fills my need to write about writing and publishing. It’s not here to sell my books (Probably because I’m a fiction writer, not a non-fiction writer.) It doesn’t build my platform, unless I start writing non-fiction. It’s mostly a blog for you and me.

Blogging was one of those things created for non-fiction writers and those who liked to share their personal journals online. What better way to build a non-fiction platform then by sharing snippets of information found in your books.

I don’t think fiction writers need a blog.

Fiction writers don’t need a blog. For the most part it serves little purpose other than to alleviate the guilt that we “should be blogging.” If a blog helps you hash out your thoughts and ideas, keep at it. However, if you hate blogging, can’t think of anything to say, and don’t want to do it, don’t. Create a website instead and use your blog as a latest news stream to let readers know that you have something coming out or places that you’ll be. Create an ‘Extra’ pages for fun facts and stuff for readers.

I don’t think most readers give a rats a$$ about your blog.

Before I became an author I never read a blog from an author. I visited plenty of their websites. But I didn’t care what they had to say about their daily lives, what contest they were running, what their life was like, if they were having trouble with the characters, if they’re busy or in need of a holiday, if they’ll be absent from the internet for weeks or why, or what their kids are doing.

Sorry, but I’m selfish that way and irrelevant information isn’t going to make me want to come back. And I’m not alone. Many readers don’t visit the author’s blog. They don’t care about the life of the writer. They care about the books. And reading a blog geared toward other writers is a turn off for many readers.

The top things a reader want when they come to your blog/website isn’t the blog. They want information on your books, what is available and what is coming out. They want to know about you, but not too much about you (About me page?). They want a way to contact you (Contact Me page). They want excerpt from the books (Books page). Possibly some fun facts about the books (Extras about the books). Maybe a FAQ page (Author FAQ or Book FAQ pages).

I think telling writers that they need and don’t need a blog is plain stupidity.

Yes, I see the irony of this statement and I still believe it’s true. I don’t think writers should tell other writers that they absolutely need a blog or that they don’t. Every writer is different. Their goals for their writing are different. Their author platform isn’t the same as another authors.

Besides, I didn’t tell you not to blog, merely that I didn’t think every writer needed to. I’m a blogger that shouldn’t blog. I can’t keep to a consistent schedule. I only blog when I feel like it and weeks can go by without a word from me unless I start feeling guilty or have a sudden burst of energy and write dozens of posts at that time. I have plenty of ideas for blog posts and title and no real passion to do most days.

Categories: Author Platform & Branding, Blogs & Websites | Tags: ,

{Question} Planners and Organizers for Writers: Yes or No?

I’ve been looking into buying a new planner, since my old one died at the first of August and it’s something I need. However, I’ve been having a hard time finding one I like and I’m curious to know:

How many of you are using day planners?

What are your favorite formats? Monthly? Weekly? Daily? Horizontal or vertical?

What do you look for when you choose a day planner?

Categories: Schedules & Routines, Writing as a Business | Tags: ,

Guest Post: Six Smart EBook Promotion Tips for Quick Sales

If you have eyed the internet for publishing your book this time for the many obvious benefits of publishing an EBook, it’s nice, but don’t be content with the publishing part itself. If you thought the game ends there and the rest depends on the readers, you are wrong.

If you don’t promote your book well on the internet, you will lose out soon. So, to gain concrete success that comes when many copies of your book are sold, sign up for as many avenues of promotion available online whether these are ads, blogs, reviews, online book retailers, social media, etc…

Expand Your Fan Brigade

In the year 2013, social media is being given preference over other channels by Google search. So, make sure you have active accounts on social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, MySpace, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many others.

Putting a word about your EBook on social media is sure to go viral sooner or later and make you popular in no time. But, for that, you must be actively posting comments about your eBook and trying to get the maximum number of likes, comments, replies, and shares from others. Creating active fan following on social media is sure to make you popular even if it is moderate in number. These, in turn, will add more fans to your brigade. Greater visibility leads to increase in sales.

Join Affiliate Programs

Signing up for affiliate EBook marketing programs like Amazon.com Associates helps you increase sales significantly. This is because when you are associated with a top online retailer like Amazon or Goodreads, you surely reap greater benefits due to the brand value that these bring to your EBook making more and more people consider buying it.  Improved trust leads to increased sales.

Get Involved into Cross Promotion

When you cross promote your eBook with another promoter’s books or other products, you save a lot of time, money, and your marketing efforts are halved too. You don’t have to rack your brains so much for chalking out a smart marketing plan; the other party is there to help you. But, make sure you contract with a marketer whose products are popular with buyers. This is because if people don’t trust them, they won’t trust what they promote too. But, if carried out smartly, cross promotion almost always produces good, concrete results (sales) making it a reliable method of eBook marketing.

Be Generous with Freebies

Give away lots of free EBooks in the first phase of marketing like through affiliate programs, through special schemes and discounts, as a prize to winners of online competitions, an EBook for joining a blog or a fan club, etc… Be generous but don’t be a wastrel. Make sure you get enough returns for your free distributions. If nothing else, try to get a review from people in return for free EBooks. Freebies will always lead to greater sales.

Reviews

You may try hard in promoting yourself. But, self-bragging hardly works. Who wouldn’t talk good things about their own work? So, in order to gain more trust from book readers, making a third party talk is the best way. Even if they are commenting negatively for your book, do not worry.

Have the tolerance to understand their views and reply back to them in a way that seems positive to them. It’s good to accept negative reviews as that is an aspect of any new venture however, do not put up with too many bad comments. Else, the equation will tilt in a way that will not be in your favor.  Third party brings more credibility thus improving sales.

Book Exhibition

Get your EBooks exhibited at a local library or a small-scale book fair event in your city to begin.  Make sure these are technically sound EBooks compatible to open on different computer and mobile systems. If you want to take a giant leap, you may try to put up your EBook at a book exhibition event of international caliber. Don’t just send your eBook there. Go and personally speak about your eBook to promote it. Making a personal presence always helps. Special events like these are more likely to grab eyeballs rather than random, scattered marketing efforts thus improving sales.

____________________________

Alana Woods is a writer with rich experiences in writing books, blogs, and articles on a wide range of topics. She has full faith in Combined Book Exhibition services to do justice to the book promotion. You can visit the Frankfurt book fair in October this year. It will be an exciting and maybe breakthrough experience for your children.

Categories: Marketing & Promoting

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