C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet? That is the Question.

Yesterday I mentioned ReaderScout.com to keep an eye on price drops Amazon may put on your books without you knowing. Today, I have useful alternatives for book marketing, graphics, and social media.

  1. Goodreads can be good, but it would be a lot better with less drama. You probably already know the upsides and downsides of GR’s rep. Though it’s owned by Amazon, it still has its old clunky user interface. Infamous for harsh reviews, bullying, and lack of moderation, it’s not always a fun place to hang out. Authors get called out for bad behavior (good), but not so with readers behaving badly (less good). It’s a site best suited for avid readers. I admit, it’s a huge platform that can be useful. However, authors must tread very carefully. It’s all eggshells and landmines over there.

    I’ve just signed up for bookwyrm. Upon further research, there are many more sites available for readers to find and track books and authors they enjoy. Here’s a link to a comprehensive article at Rigorous Themes. Though many of these sites aren’t as well known, there are readers there. It might serve you to be a bigger fish in a smaller, friendlier pond.
  2. If you’re writing for profit, you need to market your books. Personally, I’m fed up with Facebook and Amazon ads, so let’s talk TikTok. Many authors are flocking to TikTok in hopes of getting traction on #booktok. It’s a great platform in many ways and I just love, love, love seeing so many people who love, love, love fiction! You may notice, however, that much of #booktok is about the same books over and over again. If you break through, it’s fantastic.

    I’m using TikTok wrong in that my page is not just for readers, but also for other writers. It’s best to stick to a theme, but I just can’t shut up about writing and book publishing, In addition to talking about my books and recommending other books, I’m often on #writertok and #writingcommunity. I frequently pontificate on stuff on topics I could be covering here. I know that, but video is fun and I reach more people daily using video than I do with blog posts.


    Find me on TikTok @therealchazzchute. It’s this blog, but shorter, faster, pithier, and with my sexy, sultry tones. (Sorry about the face.)
  3. What else can you do to market your books? Graphics for your ads, blogs, and extra content, bien sur! But how do you do that? Photoshop used to be a gimme on Apple computers, but they took that away and now it’s expensive. Bookbrush can be useful, but it’s not cheap, especially if you opt for the escalated options with more deliverables. Here are your Bookbrush pricing options:

There’s the free and paid version of Canva and Picmonkey. Of these, for ease of use, Canva is my favorite.

However, if you’re marketing aggressively and want a free graphics option with the muscle of Photoshop, check out PhotoPea. The deliverables are powerful, and did I mention it’s free? It’s free. Free is our friend.

4. And finally, you know we have to talk about it. To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question.

Elon Musk has proven he’s no Tony Stark. He’s Phony Stark. His takeover of Twitter has been ham-handed and I don’t think I need to go into details on those facts. I’m still on Twitter because I’m familiar with the user interface and I’ve built a little following there. It’s still where a lot of people are for as long as it lasts. Perhaps when it goes into receivership, someone else will take it over and unfuck it. In the meantime, where else can we go in case Twitter breaks?

Alternatives to the Sick Bird

I’ve signed up on Mastodon and Counter Social. My first reaction is that this open-source software is not ready for prime time. It’s bewildering at first glance. Second and third glances, too. Several people have complained that they unwittingly started more than one account before they settled in. Honestly, I’m still not comfortable with either platform.

There’s also the time issue. I’m all for spending those in-between moments on social media that would otherwise be wasted. I’m not for wasting time on social media. Add more platforms and you’re spreading yourself thinner.

To let people know about my latest book promotion, I found myself posting on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Mastodon, Counter Social, and Facebook. For a marketing push, that’s acceptable to me. For everyday use, though? I’d prefer to have fewer platforms to manage. Better to let them fight it out and go with the one that dominates. Until the conqueror takes the battlefield, we’re stuck in a kind of limbo. Setting up a new social media account can be exciting until you realize how hard it is to start all over again building a following.

When all’s said and done, we will go where we find value and where the people are. That’s why you’re still on Facebook. At least there we get birthday reminders, and that’s great value!

P.S. Moments after uploading this post, I found out about BeReal. It feels like Now on TikTok. This whirlwind of new platforms is exhausting. Read the BeReal breakdown on HuffPo.

~ I’m Robert Chazz Chute. Check out my killer crime thrillers and apocalyptic epics on my author site, AllThatChazz.com. (And TikTok! Platform of the future today! I’m @therealchazzchute.)

Filed under: book marketing, publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The BookBub Ads We Don’t Talk About

How do I make a bobby ad, the kind where I choose them instead of hoping they’ll choose me?

You can apply to BookBub and hope you get picked for their newsletter deals for their multitude of subscribers. It’s difficult to get into, far harder than it used to be. Back in the gold rush days, I was fortunate to get the okay from BookBub several times. Today, I’m talking about their other option. You can bypass the BookBub lottery and pay for a targeted ad to appear on at the bottom of their daily newsletters.

How it works

From your BookBub partners dashboard, under My Promotions, choose BookBub Ads. From there, build your own image or use their template. Set the length of campaign, total budget for the campaign, and bid by CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Target by genre and/or by authors with whom you are a kindred spirit. The site gives you a sense of whether your targeting is too broad or too specific. All pretty straightforward.

I have experimented with these ads before and, honestly, the results were grim. Be cautious and conservative and test, test, test or you’re setting your money on fire. What I like about these ads is the interface. It’s much less complicated than the Amazon ads dashboard. You don’t have to slog through a confusing user interface to get the data you need for feedback on your experiments.

How do I make the art that goes with my ad?

Listening to Six Figure Authors recently, they suggested using evocative art that reflects your book. They argued against using your book’s cover. I enjoy that podcast, and rarely dare to disagree. However, if your cover art is as great as it should be and reflects your genre, I’d stick with it. That’s what I’m doing. (You might notice the ad example above is blurry. That’s because it’s blown up for the blog. At its ad size of 300 x 250 px, the image is sharp. My cover art for Endemic is from 100covers.com and they were very pleasant to work with.)

Bookbub offers you a template so you can upload your cover. You can make your own easily using sites like Bookbrush or Canva. If you decide to go with art that isn’t your book cover, try depositphotos.com.

A Word About Bookbrush

I recommend it. I like their options and they are improving their offerings and the user interface. If you checked them out before, but we’re sure you wanted to use it, look again.

However, in my opinion the platinum membership is too expensive for most authors’ needs. For instance, book trailers are a fun idea and I have experimented with them in the past. However, the ROI isn’t there at the premium price point of $246/year. Creating video for book trailers is a bottom of the barrel marketing priority. You can get that kind of add-on far cheaper on Fiverr.

Will my Bookbub ads pay off this time? We’ll see. I am very proud and confident in the book I’m offering readers, but as I said, keep an eye on your budget and test, test, test! When ads don’t work, kill them. At least with BookBub metrics, figuring out what’s working and what’s not won’t be a riddle wrapped in a mystery and hidden in a taco.

~ My latest apocalyptic epic is perfect for the bookish. Endemic’s protagonist, Ovid Fairweather, is a former book editor trapped in a pandemic that has yet to end. Pick up Endemic here.

For all my books, check out the links at my author site, AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: book marketing, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Marketing: Three Tips

Sometimes I clue into useful writing, publishing and publicity tools late. Here are three book marketing tips I’m using now.

Booklinker

The tool I just started using in Booklinker. Instead of breaking out links by individual store, one free link boosts international sales. Make it easier for readers to connect to their home stores with one click and they’ll find our books clickety-quick.

Here’s what mine looks like:

viewauthor.at/RobertChazzChute

Canva

I have been using Canva for social media posts and more for quite a while, actually. It’s free and the user interface is friendly. However, it hadn’t occurred to me before that I could use custom sizing to make buttons for my newsletters and websites. Combine this feature with Booklinker and BOOM:

TAKE ME TO YOUR BOOKS!

Speaking of newsletters, catch my thoughts on how I changed my mind about writing newsletters in my latest blog post. It’s called The Newsletter Deal.

 

Facebook Live:

Authors and publishers are in a pay-to-play environment now. To become visible and sell books, you must advertise. The only thing better to connect with readers and the love of books is to spread your words by word of mouth and personal interaction.

Note: I still don’t recommend hanging out at bookstores and doing signings unless you already have a huge following. It was sad to see one long line of fans for Kelly Armstrong as eight forlorn and lonely unknown authors watched and waited for someone to give them a single glance. Digital interaction is much more efficient and even more fun because I don’t have to leave my house.

Facebook Live is a nice alternative to shouting your name and tossing business cards from a careening car. I’ve done plenty of podcasts so Facebook is the live video equivalent without the longterm commitments podcasts demand.

I’ll be experimenting with my first Facebook Live event tonight at 8 PM EST. I’ll let you know if I throw up from nerves. If that happens, I’ll just keep going. If the event goes well, it’s fun but if it’s an utter disaster, it could be a viral sensation. As long as it isn’t a burning sensation, I’m good.

Find me on Facebook tonight, December 19 at 8 PM EST. I’ll be the one sweating questions and doing my Joker impression.

 

BONUS: The Big Giveaway

Christmas comes early this year. On Friday, December 21, I’m giving away ten of my ebooks for free, no strings attached. Happy holidays! Go to Amazon on Friday and choose what you like among the following ebooks (or download them all!):

AFTER Life Inferno (my new zombie apocalypse)

Machines Dream of Metal Gods (the first book in the Robot Planet Series)

Bigger Than Jesus (The Hit Man novel that started the series)

All Empires Fall, Signals from the Apocalypse (an anthology of end-of-the-world tales)

Wallflower (my time travel novel featuring Kurt Vonnegut as a character)

Dream’s Dark Flight (a paranormal urban fantasy stand-alone novel in the Dimension War universe)

Brooklyn in the Mean Time (my autobiographical crime thriller)

Murders Among Dead Trees (my fiction anthology featuring the award winners)

Self-help for Stoners (a fiction anthology for introspection)

Do the Thing (non-fiction to help you deal with stress)


To subscribe to my newsletter and get a heads up on more giveaways and deals, join up at AllThatChazz.com.

To join me at the Fans of Robert Chazz Chute Facebook group and get behind the curtain daily interaction, click here.

 

Filed under: book marketing, publishing, , , , , , , , ,

http://mybook.to/OurZombieHours
A NEW ZOMBIE ANTHOLOGY

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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