Since I’m planning on turning these posts into a book, I’m going to tinker with a more user-friendly format. Let me know what you think! My personal experience will be in italics.
Follow Up With Beta Readers: Essential. Every time I do this I get another review. Simply send an email to the effect of: “Just checking in. Have you had a chance to read ON FIRE yet? I’m looking forward to seeing your review posted on amazon!”
Generally, this results in more reviews and additional interaction with your beta readers, which means more of a personal connection. Result!
Have Stock Images at the Ready: Over and over again we hear how images increase sharing on social media posts. Time wasters like searching for free ones every time you have something to post is one of those things that halts production, and most often results in skipping the post altogether. Sign up for a good deal with a stock photo site to get this gear ticking over quickly.
I have wasted so much time looking for free images. When I found an excellent lifetime access deal to one of the stock photo sites that offer royalty-free images, I jumped on it. I signed up for lifetime of access to photos for $49 at stockunlimited.com, and found the deal on appsumo.
Leadpages: Get your reader conversion magnet set up. For newbies, a reader conversion magnet is “an ethical bribe.” Which in our industry is basically an ebook giveaway to get people on your mailing list. This is the new business model. You’ve got to write lots of books, and generally, you need to give at least one away for free. If you only have one book, you can give away bonus materials, like an extra chapter, or some “documents” that relate to your book, though I’m not sure this is as effective as a full book. I hemmed and hawed about this idea of giving away a free book for months. I overthought it and made it too complicated. The backend of the thing is a bit complicated because there are a few steps: 1. Get people to your mailing list page, 2. Get their email address, 3. Get that email address sent to a list where it’s organized for your use, 4. Deliver their free book in the desired format via an automated email, 5. Provide tech assistance for those who have trouble downloading. I recommend leadpages, if you, like me, have no idea what you’re doing. They have excellent help for FAQs, which answered all my questions, and tons of video tutorials to show you how to do everything. All of my emails were answered thoughtfully and within 24 hours. I was really surprised when everything went smoothly, for the most part, and when I could actually work out the interface. The integration with wordpress (website where you might want to publish your mailing list page) and mailchimp (email service that’s good for autoresponders and integration with other services) and bookfunnel (for $20 per year, they’ll seamlessly deliver your free ebooks and provide tech support to people who don’t know how to download and access them on a variety of devices). It all seems to work well; I did what it said, and mostly, within a couple of days, I got it to work the way I wanted. Now it’s done. You can use this giveaway link in any number of ways, but I am keen to have it in my ebook before my next bookbub (see more on this below), so that I capture these readers and also to use it for Facebook ads to add subscribers to my list.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’ve been struggling to get this accomplished for months now. I took the plunge. I signed up for the cheapest package on leadpages (you can upgrade at any time), chose the highest converting template, used language that the most successful authors do in their opt-ins, and set up my site to give away ON FIRE to people who subscribe to my list. I had my website hosting company add the plugin, there were a couple of kinks, and then I was on my way. Now I can create any pages I want and have them show up on my wordpress site. You can also publish with Facebook, though I haven’t done this yet.
*Bookbub note: Yes! I scored a bookbub for a 99 cents promo for DIARY OF A WORKING GIRL, for May 23!! It forced me to get a lot of my actionable book marketing ducks in a row pretty quickly. I will blog more about my application process for this promo soon. Check back!