A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

NOTE: the blog is currently dormant but please enjoy the posts we're keeping online.

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Social Media - extra savvy

I-Spy: Social Media - extra savvy

Join the authors and friends of Not Your Usual Suspects for an occasional series of posts about their world of reading, writing and publishing.

Short and sweet, hopefully both informative and entertaining - join us at I-Spy to find out the how's and why's of what we do.
Today’s Post: Social Media - extra savvy…with Clare London


Social Media yadda yadda - we all know we have "Be In It to Win It". And yet many of us struggle with the time, know-how and energy to reach out to our readers as much as we'd like (or are told to *g*). This is a post with some of the Shortcuts and Tips I've found recently that may help us all keep up. They're in no particular order of importance, not exhaustive, and there are alternatives in each case that you can search out if you prefer. But I can recommend these as easy to use - because I've used them :).

And please feel free to share anything useful YOU'VE found, in the comments.

Prepare/Schedule your content

HTML-ing: Can't get the right look for your blog post? Not all online editors give you all the options at the touch of a button. It's always useful to have some basic HTML knowledge, if only to highlight a phrase in a different colour, or check "behind the scenes" to see what stray code is making all your first paragraph appear in BOLD.

Here are some sites with the basic commands (you don't need more to start with) including a useful chart of the codes for colours. (Many other sites are available, too).

Booklinker: set up one single Amazon link for your book that will lead automatically to the right country's site, when a buyer clicks.

QR codes: these are the spotty squares that allow people to buy things on their smart phone. Set one up easily for a book and add it to your website or promo postcards.

Amazon carousel: Make the most of your eye-catching covers on your website (for between 6-10 covers).
Update Nov 2015: Amazon have now withdrawn this widget :(.

Slideshow: Create a slideshow of your covers, or as part of a promo tour. It can be embedded into your website or blog. I can't find many free sites nowadays, but this is one still in use that's easy to use.

Advertise and Sell

LINK!! One of the most important thing (in my opinion) is to offer links every time someone visits you and/or your book. If you blog, offer "share" links. Your blog will offer that option in the settings.
If you blog about a new release, include BUY LINKS! There are a couple of ideas in this post on setting them up easily.

Short and Sweet: use these sites to shrink your book's long URL link into a quick 'n easy format.

Blog Post Feed: for the click of a button on your blog settings, you can get it to feed automatically to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Amazon Author Page (that's my experience with Wordpress, yours may vary). So one post hits many outlets with no extra effort from you.

Schedule: Most blogs offer a scheduling option, so you can write your blogs when you have time (private author joke *g*), but can then set a different time for it to go live.
You can also schedule Tweets to post periodically, for example during a new release week. I know a lot of people use and recommend these options, though I haven't used them myself.

YouTube: It's astonishingly easy to record on your phone / PC / tablet nowadays and then upload it to YouTube. I've used it for an author reading of an excerpt and a book trailer.

Competitions: If you run a giveaway, consider using Rafflecopter to collect entries and choose your winner. You can specify what people have to fo or post, to qualify for an entry e.g. you can gather likes for your FB page, or ask for comments on the blog.

Amazon Author Page: A must-have! when Amazon (allegedly) accounts for almost 80% of all book sales. All your books on one easy page! All it needs is a photo and a bio. Then log in, go to "add a book to my bibliography", search for your books by name, then tag them "this is my book".
You can also feed your blog to this page (see above) and (I believe) post videos.

Authorgraph: set your books up on this site for readers to contact you for a virtual autograph.

Keep an Eye on Things

How are your sales going? Are you attracting visitors to your blog? It's difficult at the best of times to measure the effect of marketing, but here are some tools.

Track Amazon: This site will track sales of your books on Amazon. It's not 100% accurate (in my opinion) but is a judge of what's selling, especially as you have to wait months to see the same results on a publisher statement.

Newsletter: set up an occasional newsletter to notify loyal followers.

Gossip!: see if anyone's talking about/reviewing you. Set up a Google Alert for your pen name and books.

Website statistics: most blogs and websites offer a counter facility to measure visitors, their location, and what pages are popular. But

Klout: this is a new platform I haven't tried yet, but it looks like it organises your posts, and also measures the responses. Let me know if you're using it and what'd good about it!

Good luck, and here's to savvy social media users!

~Clare London~


JL Merrow said...

#sadface: No new carousels as of today:

Clare London said...

*sigh* Times they are a-changing! Thanks for updating me :). We have one here on the site.

From Amazon: We will be deprecating Amazon Widgets effective November 1st, 2015
If you currently have widgets on your website, they will continue to work, however you will be unable to modify them or create new instances effective November 1, 2015.
See our FAQs for complete details.

Anne Marie Becker said...

SO MANY great tips here. I hadn't heard of Booklinker! Thanks for summarizing and sharing. :D

Clare London said...

Anne-Marie, Booklinker is one of my Tips for the Year! Another author put me onto it :). It means I only have to post one Anazon link wherever my book is for sale.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Wow, Clare! My head is still spinning! Thanks very much for the primer on social media. I'm going to do some serious exploring.

Clare London said...

Marcelle, small steps is the name of the game, I reckon LOL. It's a bit of a List, I know, but is there as a resource for dipping into as and when needed.

Rita said...

Clare will you move in with me and help? I need it desperately. Frankly i think all this extra stuff we have to do above and beyond writing it what is so frustrating. Are those your nails? I want!

Clare London said...

Rita, I think you'll find those nails are worn by someone who's never Battled the Internet at all *lol*.

LIsa Q. Mathews said...

Wow, great resource list, Clare! Especially for newbies like me. I've been feeling a little dizzy.

Clare London said...

Thanks Lisa, it's just a few things I've discovered along the way. But then if they go and bring out new stuff all the time, how are we meant to keep up?! *sigh* :)

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