Tag Archives: book marketing

Podcasting to Grow Your Audience of Readers and Fans

Podcasting is another way to grow your audience

Judy Baker says the power of podcasting in marketing your bookDid you know that podcasting is a powerful way to promote your book and grow your audience? Have you ever listened to a podcast? Have you ever considered creating your own podcast show? It is not as difficult as you might imagine and it can yield amazing results for your book marketing and promotion.

Watch this 2-minute 12-second video about podcasting

Transcript of the Video: Host an Author Podcast to Market Your Book

You can do an entire podcast series based on your book. True for fiction or non-fiction. Many people enjoy listening and learning. Podcasts are enjoying a resurgence in popularity and it is an uncrowded medium.

This is Judy Baker, your independent book publishing mentor, also known as a book marketing mentor, from brandvines.

I want to share a tip with you that I shared with a group of independent authors and publishers who came to an event I hosted with my cohort, Judy Reyes, at our local independent bookstore, Reader’s Books in Sonoma.

We discussed different ways you can promote yourself and your book. One of the tips I shared, create a podcast around your book. This works for both fiction and nonfiction. And there are many great examples:

Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, and Steal the Show did an entire podcast (series) for his second book that built up interest prior to the book launch. He had tidbits that he was sharing before the launch of his book, and he got people excited and ready to purchase the book when it became available. And in fact, he even did some pre-sales.

There is a great resource for you to check out. It’s called the bookmarket.com, and there is an article about Promoting your Book with an Author Podcast by Patrice-Anne Rutledge. You can find it at http://www.bookmarket.com/podcasts.htm

It tells you why a podcast is a great tool for you as an indie publisher and how to set up your podcast! So, what are you waiting for?


Marketing is a conversation. Let’s Talk. 707.938.2586



Book Promotion and Sales for Absolute Beginners

Book Promotion and Sales Doesn’t Have to Be a Solo Act

Book promotion has lots of parts. Knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. It takes time, energy, resources and knowing what to do and when to do it. Finding the right team to support you can be daunting.

Start Talking, Listening and Learning

Join the conversation with Book Marketing Mentors, Judy Baker and Judy Reyes, at Reader’s Books, August 3, from 5-7pm.

You’ve got questions, we have answers.

RSVP to: https://bookpromotionandsales.splashthat.com/

It’s free.

8 Tips for Getting Book Reviews

8 Tips for Getting Book Reviews

Step One is to find reviewers.

Some authors don’t realize they can to go out and find people who like to review books. There are many places to locate potential reviewers, and most of them won’t cost you a penny beyond your investment of time. Here are my eight tips for getting book reviews for your amazing book.

8 Tips for Getting Book ReviewsTip #1: The Book Review Directory

I just discovered The Book Review Directory. It is a website where reviewers can sign up, and authors can list their books. Most books have a direct link to where it can you can purchase them.

Authors can buy paid ads too.

Over 125 Book Reviewer bloggers are listed here. Books are classified by genre.

All in all, it is worth exploring this site to find reviewers for your books.

Tip #2: Rave Reviews Book Club

There is a small annual membership fee, $25, for this group. It is a supportive group of authors reviewing and buying books by other authors in the group. They have an online catalog, contests, a virtual book club, spotlight authors, member of the month and other ways to get noticed and to promote your books. It may not be the prettiest website from a visual standpoint, but what it lacks in visual design it more than makes up for in the wholehearted support for participating self-publishers.


Rave Reviews Book Club started on Facebook.

Tip #3: Choosy Bookworm

Choosy Bookworm has a “Read & Review Program” that allows an author to give away an ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon / Goodreads. They have over 60,000 subscribers to their Daily Deals Newsletter, 7,200+ Twitter followers (@choosybookworm), and 14,700+ Choosy Bookworm Facebook Fans. They also have paid options for promoting your ebook to their readers.

Tip #4: Reader’s Favorite

Reader’s Favorite offers free book reviews which they will post on some of the top trade and social media sites. They will create an online Review Page for your book where they will post all four and five stars reviews. They do not guarantee that they will select your book, and it may take up to 3 months. They offer Paid Review services that range in price from $59 – $199.

You can participate in the Monthly Book Giveaway program by providing a free copy or your book to the contest winner.

Tip #5: Underground Book Reviews

Underground Book Reviews focuses on independently published books. They don’t charge to review and only accept the following types of books:

  • Novels and novellas of all genres
  • Adult, young adult and middle-grade fiction
  • Self-published and independently published fiction

Although they do not review them, they will still list these books on their site)

  • Non-fiction
  • Memoir
  • Children’s books
  • Short story compilations
  • Graphic Novels
  • Poetry compilations

They offer advertising opportunities on their website for a fee.

You must become a subscriber to submit a book for review. You will receive their e-zine, book reviews, interviews and articles in a weekly email.

You can become a Premium Member for 99 cents a year.

There is a directory of members which includes authors and publishing professionals.

Tip #6: The American Library Association Booklist

  • www.ala.org/booklist, The American Library Association Booklist Publications, includes an archive of over 160,000 reviews which they make available to their subscribers. An excellent resource for authors and independent publishers. You can submit books for consideration before being published. Click here for instructions to submit your book.

Tip #7: Reader’s Circle

www.readerscircle.org has over 200,000 readers. You can find or start a book club with help from this site. Authors can promote their books by paying a one-time fee of $70.

Authors can add their events to the Reader’s Circle calendar.


Tip #8: BookLife

BookLife.com is a website from Publishers Weekly dedicated to indie authors. The site provides a free and easy way to submit self-published books to Publishers Weekly for review and offers editorial content—success stories, interviews, author profiles, how-to pieces, news, and features—geared toward helping indie authors achieve their goals. Whether an author focuses on writing and editing, art and design, or marketing and distribution, BookLife has valuable resources that can help along the way.

I agree they offer lots of great resources for indie authors. When you arrive on their landing page, you will find a great big button that looks like this:

booklife free services

Bonus Tips: Online Book Clubs

WellRead Book Club

www.wellread.org/the-club/well-read-book-club/ has a TV show where they feature one book a month. Members can post comments and reviews. You can request an interview and get more information about Well Read from producer@wellread.org.

Online Book Club

onlinebookclub.org is a free site for readers where you apply to have your book reviewed.

Goodreads Groups

www.goodreads.com/group You can search for reviewers, join groups and so much more. Amazon owns Goodreads. Goodreads is the place for avid readers and reviewers. You can put out a request for reviewers. Free to join.

Here are two articles about joining online book clubs:

Should You Join an Online Book Club? Hell, Yes. By Catherine McKenzie, published in Huffington Post

Online Book Clubs: Talk That Stays on the Page  By Judy Abel in The New York Times

Get Book Reviews for Your Amazing Book

Go out there and get book reviews. Then, post a comment about your results with these resources or share recommendations for other places to find reviewers.

Arouse Curiosity on Social Sites with Teasers Announcing Your Book

Arouse Curiosity on Social Sites with Teasers Announcing Your Book

Arouse Curiosity on Social Sites with Teasers Announcing Your Book

Your book is amazing. If you want to sell more books you need to tell the world about it. Arouse curiosity and get people talking about your book on social sites to grow your audience. Tease them and build anticipation for your book.

Tell Your Story in Small Bites

Plan a series of posts and updates that plant ideas and leave them wanting to know more. Interesting social status updates drive traffic to your blog. Provide astonishing insights and unveil your perspective in social posts. Consider creating a series of tweets based on chapters in your book. Reveal tidbits that arouse interest. Inspire their imagination. Surprise your readers. Grow your audience with quality. Focus on why your book is valuable.

Spotlight characters or an intriguing aspect of your story if you are writing fiction. Share endorsements that give your writing credibility. Reward readers with unique, colorful content or practical information.

Exploit the Power of Imagination

Smart authors use cliff-hangers. People want to know what comes next. Show glimpses of your book that unlock emotion. Unusual or exotic elements break through the ordinary conversations on social sites. Astound readers to get their attention. Then deliver on your promise. If there a secret in your book, tease with possibilities. Build suspense.

Try Before You Buy

Publishing short excerpts from your book is a popular way to attract readers. Giving away samples is a good investment. Like the food samples in a grocery store, sampling is a low-risk way for people to try out your writing. If they like the sample, you have engaged prospective book buyers.

Be Bold

Before you publish your book, you want to get as many people as you can talking about your upcoming book. What aspects of your book are daring, groundbreaking, pioneering or strange? Capitalize on what is innovative in your online book teasers.

Authentic stories work. Honest emotion, underdogs, second-chances, these are hooks that touch our hearts. You can talk about your book or what it took for you to write it. Talk about obstacles. Talk about triumphs. Be bold.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Use images in your social posts to get more eyeballs on what you are saying. Your book cover tells a story. You can make a video book trailer. Post photos from your book research. Post photos of yourself as you write your book. Take a quote from your book and turn it into an image. Create your own visuals using online services like canva.com or shareasimage.com where you can combine text and images like the one you see at the start of this post.

Watch the Video

In this short (under 1 minute) video, I recap why you want to arouse curiosity on social sites with teasers announcing your book.

These are a few ideas to get you thinking about ways you can arouse curiosity about your book. Now go out there and get people talking and you will sell more books.

Surprise, Delight, Engage, and Fascinate Readers with Your Kickass Blog

Surprise, Delight, Engage, And Fascinate Readers With Your Kick Ass Blog About Your Book

Surprise, Delight, Engage, And Fascinate Readers With Your Kick Ass Blog About Your BookStart your blog before you publish your book. It’s a way for you to have a conversation with curious readers. It is the place where you can connect with your community. It is your marketing hub.

A Blog is Your Website

With WordPress it is easy to create a site that will showcase your book. I’m talking about a self-hosted site where you own your domain (url) and WordPress.org is installed. I strongly advise you to avoid setting up your website on WordPress.com  which is someone else’s digital property. You will encounter many restrictions, you won’t look professional and worst of all, it doesn’t allow you the freedom to use powerful tools that grow your email list.

Nonfiction Authors Are Experts

Nonfiction authors can position themselves as experts by telling stories about a problem they solved in their book. People with that same problem can discover you through a search. They are attracted to your blog because they want to know what you know.

Fiction Authors Tell Amazing Stories

Fiction authors can talk about their characters, how they developed the book, research they did, how they came up with the idea for the book, and they may even post parts of the book prior to publication to get feedback from their readers.

Start Your Blog Before Your Book Is Published

Start your blog as early as possible so it can help you grow your audience before you publish your book. It’s a way for people to get to know you and the value of your writing. Each blog post is a sample of your perspective and your writing.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Use your blog to arouse curiosity about your book. Post about your process. Invite guests bloggers to participate and bring their audience to you.

  • Surprise your audience with value. Give them bonus information that may not appear in your book.
  • Delight your audience with great content.
  • Engage your audience by asking for their opinions. It is a way you can get feedback and improve your book before you go to publication.
  • Fascinate readers by giving them insider knowledge. A sneak peak behind the scenes can pull them into your world.

Each Post is a Gift

A blog about your book is a tremendous way for you to build interest and connect with an eager audience hungry for the content you offer. Think of each post as a gift for your readers. It’s a genuine and reliable way for you to generate interest in your book. People want to connect with you, the author. Don’t skimp on revealing fascinating information about yourself.

Set-up Your Blog in Under an Hour

You can start a blog in under an hour using WordPress. I’ve done it countless times. Here is an overview of what you need to do:

Purchase a domain name

I use bluehost.com as my Internet service provider. I go to them to purchase and register domains too. I appreciate bluehost’s reliable 24/7 customer service. They are only a phone call away.  bluehost is my choice of providers because of their one button WordPress installation, easy to navigate user interface, security, safety and support.

A Rose by Any Other Name

Your domain name could be your name (if it is unique and available), the name of your book or the name of your publishing company. Just like the title of your book, shorter is better when it comes to a url, and if you can use key words in your domain name as in your book title, that is even better.

Technically Challenged?

Even if you’re technically challenged, it is easy to find WordPress experts who can help you set up your blog and show you how to add new content. You can also find a consultant who will post for you.

A Blog is Easy and Affordable

Launching and contributing to your blog is an affordable and easy way for you to unlock a flow of exciting, revealing, important and valuable conversations with your readers.

Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Creating a beautiful blog is an unparalleled opportunity for independent authors. It is your home in cyberspace. It can attract attention, grow your audience, showcase your work, and provide media with information about you.

Make an irresistible offer of something that your target audience values. In exchange, visitors to your website will give you their email address. Email is one of the most effective ways to convert visitors into customers. Building your email list is vital to reaching your goal to sell more books.

Passion Fuels Action and Attraction

Use your imagination and breakthrough your fear. The more you write from a place of passion, the more you will enjoy posting and sharing with your audience. Authentic emotion connects to readers in a very deep way.

Each time you blog you are adding to your inventory of stories. Offer exclusive information to your readers and encourage them to become part of your inner circle.

Gather metrics on what is working for you on your blog — Google Analytics is free. Discover what touches a nerve with readers and build on it. Your blog puts a spotlight on your book, your expertise, and your point of view. Feed your blog fresh content on a regular basis and improve your discoverability on Google.

Link to Your Social Accounts

Share your posts on other social channels and pull people back to your blog. Each time you write a new post on your blog, be sure to tell the world. Link to your other social channels such as:

  • Amazon Author Page
  • Goodreads Author Page
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Surprise, Delight, Engage and Fascinate

Use Your Blog to Surprise, Delight, Engage, and Fascinate Readers

Build your blog, post by post. Feed it regularly. Nurture your audience. Do this consistently and grow your audience. You will sell more books.

Tell me how you are using your blog to grow your audience. Post your comments below.

You Can Be Shy and Market Your Book Successfully

You Can Be Shy and Market Your Book Successfully

You Can be Shy and Market Your Book Successfully

I’m Shy So Why Am I in Marketing?

People are usually surprised when I tell them I am shy. Most people don’t see me that way because I am a “situational extrovert.” If I have a job to do, I feel confident. I look for ways of helping others to take the focus off of me.

I learned shyness from both of my parents. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I discovered I could do things differently. I learned some tips to help me go forward and connect with people instead of staying off in my own prison of shyness. After years of doubt, of feeling fearful, isolated, resentful and sad, I knew it was time for a change.

Breaking the Ice or How I Learned to Break Free of My Fears

It was the day I attended a luncheon where Susan Roane was the speaker. During the time before she made her presentation, she went from table to table asking questions. She got to know them as individuals. When it came time for her speech, I listened with astonishment. She ably included specific bits of information she learned from the 100 or so people in the room. Susan showed me a way out of my dungeon of shyness. Being interested in others and asking them about themselves was my ticket to being more comfortable with strangers. How to Work a Room, is one of the best books about creating connections.

Another favorite book of mine is Susan Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. This inspired me to acknowledge my fear and do things I had avoided. She identified five truths about fear. They are:

  1. The Fear will always be with you
  2. The only way to overcome fear is do go out and do what you are afraid of
  3. You will only feel better about yourself when you go out and do it!
  4. Everyone is afraid of facing the unknown
  5. Pushing through your fear is better than feeling helpless

Authors Can Be Shy

You can get out of the trap of shyness. You wrote a book for a reason. Focus on your purpose, your message to the world. Here are some ways for you to break free and get moving on your book marketing:

  1. List the reasons you wrote the book and the value people will get when they read it.
  2. Be gentle with yourself and remember nobody’s perfect . Pick one thing you can do today that will put you in front of your audience. Do this every day for at least 10 minutes. The more you practice a skill, the easier it becomes for you.
  3. Celebrate your wins. Keep track of your successes. You might do this in a digital journal or a notebook. Include positive reviews, encouraging words, awards, those wins you can look at when ever you need a boost.
  4. Partner with someone. You don’t have to go it alone. Get together with a friend or another author and check-in regularly. Helping others helps you.

What is Holding You Back? By Sam Horn is another book I recommend for overcoming shyness. Sam gives an assortment of practical actions you can take immediately and get on with your life.

It’s O.K. To Be Shy

  1. Acknowledge your fear.
  2. Be curious.
  3. Be helpful.

These are my big three fear busting tips. Do you have a tip to share about overcoming shyness? Share them in the comments area.

Free Book Marketing Tip #7 – Make an Irresistible Offer

Make an irresistible offer

Irresistible Offer – How to Sell More Books

I was talking to one of my clients today. Distressed by her failure to keep the deer out of her enticing garden, she asked me for suggestions that might be more successful than what she has tried so far. She has been losing the battle to keep deer out of her luscious garden. Despite her efforts to discourage them, deer are jumping over her fence, running across the deck, even going down stairs to get to  her garden, where they are eating all of her vegetables.

Why are the deer so persistent?

O.K. You are probably asking “What does this have to do with book marketing?” The deer keep coming to her garden because they are hungry! They want what she has in her garden and are willing to come back, again and again to get it. When you make an irresistible offer to your fans, you can have them as eager as the deer, only this time, you will have fans who are willing to stand in line, to buy your book just so they can get your book and the bonus(es).

It is a spectacularly successful strategy for building anticipation when you tell your fans about the launch day bonuses for weeks in advance of your publication day. Offer a pre-order bonus to your fans when they buy your book on a specific day. They will be hungry for your book and the bonus or bundle of extra goodies you are offering. By sweetening the deal, you can convert more shoppers into customers than you would ever be able to do without your “irresistible offer.”

Find Partners

Look for affiliate partners who are willing to offer a bonus for your book launch. It  gives them exposure to your fans, and vice a versa. The power of two is exponentially greater than the power of you alone. Ask your partners to promote your launch day to their email list and social followers. Everybody wins. You sell more books.

What you can add as a bonus

Non-fiction authors can include a pdf tip sheet, a case study, access to a video, something you have already created and are willing to share as an incentive to your audience to buy your book. Fiction authors could offer a special short story or a book club guide. Be creative.

People are funny

Do you know that there are authors who are selling their books by offering them for free or for a penny on Facebook or LinkedIn or to their email list? Yes, it is true. Brendan Burchard did it with his latest book. They only ask you to pay for shipping. It may sound like a crazy way to sell books and you may wonder if they are making any money that way. They are, because they are reaching more fans and getting known as a best-selling author.

Share your irresistible offer

Share your irresistible offer and how it helped you sell more books in the comments area below this post.



Free Book Marketing Tip #6 – Wear Your Book

Free Book Marketing Tip #6 – Wear Your Book

Free Book Marketing Tip #6 - Wear Your Book

Discoverability is about Visibility

Turning your book into wearable art is a way to get noticed. You are promoting your book in a lighthearted way and starting a conversation with people who are curious.

Two of my clients are shown wearing their books:

Peter Engler Wearing his New and Improved T-Shirt


Peter Engler, author, showing off his book, New and Improved.

Daily Clean Your House Flow for the Classroom bookDaily Clean Your House Flow Hat

Deborah Myers, author of Daily Clean Your House Flow™ for the Classroom

Wear It, Share It, Give It Away

Both Peter and Deborah put their book covers on other items:

  • Mugs
  • Posters
  • Tote Bags
  • T-shirts for Adults
  • T-shirts for kids

This is easy to do with online or local vendors who specialize in promotional items. They need high-resolution artwork to start (your graphic designer can help you with the specifics.) You can wear your book, share your book-based art to wear as gifts or sell the items to your fans.

Deborah has a store within her website where the book cover art to wear is available. Take a look at her website for ideas to inspire you.

Wear Your Book

There are many ways to get discovered. Imagine wearing your book when you have a book signing, or at an interview. You might consider wearing your book when you record a short video and hold up a copy of your book.

Remember, marketing is a conversation. Get one started by wearing your book!

Share a “wearing your book” story in the comment area.