Category Archives: Platform/Marketing

6 Ways to Use Twitter to Promote Your New Book

When it comes to writing styles, Twitter and book writing are about as far apart as an author can get.However, Twitter can be a very natural way to promote a book. Not only is the
Twitter audience a reading-friendly one, unlike, for example, YouTube,
but many of Twitter’s features naturally lend themselves to promoting a
book.So, if you’re interested in promoting your book or eBook on Twitter, here
are a few tips that can help get you started expanding your readership
140 characters at a time. Short Username, Short Book Title

One of the defining characteristics about tweets is that there isn’t a lot
of room. Since you know you’re going to want to include your book’s
title and retweets/mentions will include your name, you need to keep
those as short as possible to leave more room for the message.

Short one-word book titles work best, but any title that can be abridged to
under 10 characters is a good start. The same goes for your Twitter
username, which should be short, but clearly representative of you.

Find Others and Engage With Them

It’s important to note that Twitter is not a purely promotional medium.
While you can easily promote on it, since others get to choose what
messages they want to hear on Twitter, you have to make sure that you
are engaging with other users as you are promoting.

Use the Twitter search function to find people who are tweeting about
topics related to your book an engage with them. Follow the, @reply them
and generally interact with them. Build a solid follower base and
continue to engage them even as you promote your work.

Being a marketing-only channel is a great way to ensure no one listens to what you have to say. Some suggest following a 20-to-1 rule for tweeting to avoid being viewed as a spammer.

Use Hashtags to Build Community

Hashtags, which are keywords prefaced by the “#” symbol (EX: #ebooktitle), are
short terms used to “tag” a tweet. They are instantly linked to the
search results for that hashtag, making them an easy way to build a
connected series of tweets.

When promoting a book, your title might make a great hashtag if it is short
enough. Failing that, you can abridge your title in a way that is easily
understood. The idea is to find a tag that is unique to your book and
that those who talk about it can easily find others who are talking
about it and further participate in the conversation.

Find Tweetable Content

Odds are your book has quotes and short phrases that, on their own, are
provocative, interesting or discussion-worthy. Tweet those quotes out
along with your hashtag and a shortened link to your book’s landing

The idea isn’t so much to turn your tweets into advertisements for the
book, but to get others talking and thinking about what it has to say.
That will help spread your book’s message, along with its link, all over
Twitter and encourage your audience to promote your work for you, even
if they don’t realize they’re doing it.

  Hold a Contest or Promotion

Contests and promotions, generally, do very well on Twitter and are a great way
to get retweets of your posts and spread your message to a new audience.
All you need is a good reward, a tweet for others to share (retweet)
and a way to determine the winner or have others redeem their reward.

If you’re promoting your book, you can easily give away an autographed
copy of your book or something related to your book such as an hour of
free consulting or a free DVD.

Alternatively, you can also offer a discount to anyone who retweets your post, for
example, 15% off a copy of the book for those who send out a notice to
all of their friends.

The better the prize or the better the discount, the more people who will participate. Just be sure to follow Twitter’s guidelines for holding a contest to be sure you aren’t shut down.

Track and Monitor Results

Finally, as with any promotion, it’s important to track and monitor results.
This means setting up a landing page just for your Twitter efforts,
tracking visits to that page and sales from it.

This will enable you to understand how your efforts are going and how you
can adjust them moving forward, enabling you to continue to improve as
time goes on.

In the end, Twitter can be a tough environment for a marketer as it
involves a lot more than merely blasting a message out to the masses.

However, with a little bit of effort, some planning and some creativity, you can
find a very receptive audience on Twitter that may be more than happy
to buy your book.

This post was written by Lior Levin, a marketing adviser for a cancer center that specializes in  targeted cancer therapies, and who also works for the international MA in political science department at the Tel Aviv University.

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5 prompt Friday

         Here we go again…

  1. The empty feeling in my stomach spread to my chest and head, threatening to pull me inside out.
  2. How do I say this to you?
  3. On her wrist was a bracelet made from multi-colored paperclips.
  4. His voice crackled through the walkie-talkie, “The Eagle Has Landed.”
  5. Are you ready to do this?

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


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Margaret Norton, Author of “When Ties Break” Guest Posts

Margaret NortonAuthor Margaret Norton, guest posts today to share the importance and art of MARKETING for writers.  

Leave a  comment or question TODAY to be entered in the book giveaway: a PDF copy of When Ties Break. Margaret will be answering all comments! 


Writing and Marketing a Memoir is not for Sissies 


By Margaret Norton, Author of When Ties Break,  

             Five years ago, after the deaths of eight people I knew, I started writing to deal with my pain. I shared my journal with a few friends, and their response was, “That’s good. You should write a book.” Up to then, my writing experience was limited to church newsletters, job training materials, and Christmas letters. I felt that my story was interesting as well as inspirational, and I blindly plunged into writing my first book.  

Win this Book (pdf)


            The initial manuscript was completed in about six months, but the revision process took about a year. Initially, I included everything. I dumped all my feelings onto paper. At the beginning of this journey I had one main question – why didn’t my brother and I get along? As I pondered this question, I went all the way back to childhood. The end result was a book covering over fifty years – much longer than most memoirs and in some ways more like a biography.  I found that my book, much like my life, didn’t necessarily fit into a neat, predictable package. The end product was a streamlined version of the first manuscript.  

             While writing, I collected ideas on how to promote my book. Everything I read said this would be very difficult. I read that, but I didn’t believe it. My BS is in marketing; I have sales experience and know a lot of people. This will be the fun part, I thought. Maybe not easy, but certainly something that I can do. My book, When Ties Break, was released on August 3, 2010, and these are a few of the things I’ve learned since then:  

  • Independent book stores are more approachable than the large chains.
  • Not many people attend book signings for new authors. Don’t be disappointed. Take them as an opportunity to get out and meet new people. You have to talk to people.
  • You don’t make much money at book sales, but you make connections.
  • Connect your reviews to your Amazon book page by signing up for an author page.
  • Create side businesses to help promote your book. I have a speaking and a life coach business.
  • Contact book clubs to see if they would read your book one month, and offer to come either in person, by phone, or using Skype.
  • Utilize the Internet, especially social media sites. Use them to promote events like book signings and to connect with readers and other writers.
  • Writers support other writers. Accept their help. In return, remember to help others.
  • Book blogs are an easy way to promote your book. Offer to give a free book or pdf.
  • Sign up for Google Alerts with your name & your book. See what others say about you.
  • Remember, it’s one book at a time. Initial sales will probably be low. Create a demand for your book by working hard to market it.
  • Your publisher and others may help, but the ultimate job is yours.
  • Take pictures of your events, and put them on your website or blog. Have fun. Write and blog about your experiences. It’s okay to brag.
  • Connect with & talk to your readers. They give you ideas and encouragement.


            Finally, be thankful. With the high rate of rejection, you are fortunate to be published. It is very hard work promoting your book, but it is fun and rewarding. 

Bio:  Margaret Norton has always pushed the envelope – never totally accepting the status quo. A people person, her greatest joy comes from helping others. Stopping abuse is her passion. Writing When Ties Break helped her uncover and deal with her deepest hurts. She believes that by sharing her story with others she can break the cycle of abuse – one person at a time.  As a personal life coach, Margaret founded Life Transitions to help individuals deal with change. In addition, she is a trained Stephen Minister and a Dale Carnegie Coach. This training, along with her personal life experiences, makes her a caring and compassionate coach. Her stories have appeared in A Light along the Way, The Upper Room, various local newspapers, and online. Margaret is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, WOW! Women on Writing’s Premium Green network, Story Circle Network, The Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, the Editorial Freelance Association, the National Association of Professional Women, and The UNC-W Alumni Association. 


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Celebrate Good Times, C’mon On!!

“There’s a party goin’ on right here, a celebration to last throughout the year…”

Actually, the PARTY is here. Christina Katz showcases the PROUDEST moments from 40 writing mamas! Read for  inspiration, laughter, tears and motivation. Continue the party on your own blog! What is your proudest writing moment so far? Raise your beverage of choice and cheer!

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2010: The Year of Clarity

At the end of each year, I like to look forward: forward to the days and months ahead and how I will best enjoy, work, play and reach for my goals.

So, 2010 will be dubbed The Year of Clarity. My mission is to refocus my talents and align my true passions with what brings me most joy: writing & submitting fiction and personal essays, teaching my young writer classes, and hosting authors on my blog. Everything else can fall to the wayside and the world will not actually implode. Fascinating.

Cool thing I discovered, is that when you focus on something, The Law of Attraction brings people and opportunities and other instances into your line of vision.  Example: yesterday I received Chris Brogan’s monthly e-newsletter which had a similar theme  to clarity: ecosystems

“Translating that, “ecosystems” means that for every project I take on, I’ll ask whether it fits any of my existing platforms, whether it’s something that can grow beyond a standalone project, whether it’s something that helps grow my existing ecosystems, etc. The point being that everything has to match up, and I can’t keep saying yes to things that come along, just because they’re awesome.”

Are you a “yes” person? Are you overwhelmed? Think there’s a connection there?

I love Chris Brogan’s idea of ecosystems, building upon an existing platform.

As part of my Clarity for 2010:

  • I’ll be purging paper: many, many issues of magazines, print outs of articles and writers’ guidelines (I can find everything on-line, after all) – look for giveaways on my blog next year!
  • Restructuring my young writers’ classes so that my lesson plans can grow with me – not be recreated for each teaching session.
  • I will also discipline myself to workout in the morning whether Pilates, yoga or toning (Because there is ALWAYS a reason not to do it midday) and I feel so cruddy if days of sloth have gone by.
  • (Biting my lip I say this) I will not join or otherwise commit to any more projects/organizations/volunteer groups/invitations to write for free (that hurt a little)
  • Find balance between teaching/helping other writers and focusing on my own writing: i.e. during my teaching sessions just focus on my lesson plans and student work with journaling for myself. Work on my own drafts and submitting in between teaching gigs.
  • Continue my use of lists, but be more realistic and forgiving (give myself a lot less to do until I can master one or two things – instead of being spread way too thin)
  • Scale back on the mass amounts of research/reading about writing and refocus on the actual writing. I’ll do this by canceling many of my google alerts and free email subscriptions. There is such a thing as too much information! ; )
  • And most importantly, Have assigned writing days/time slots to work (without too much internet use -I’m very easily distracted.) Outside of these set writing times, I need to learn to let it go and focus on the people in my life, including myself.

So, what are you guys going to focus on in 2010? Write it down. Make it happen. Let’s keep each other accountable, shall we?


Filed under Advice, Believe, goals, Organization, Platform/Marketing

Events for Writers in NY & MI states

Because we all need to push away from our desks and venture out to mingle in the writing arena, here are some events scheduled this month:

Event: PITCH: Brooklyn, NY

“”Pitch your story or book face-to-face with the Flatmancrooked editorial team.””

What: Business Meeting

Host: Flatmancrooked

Start Time: Sunday, September 27 at 11:00am

End Time: Sunday, September 27 at 2:00pm

Where: Brooklyn Library – Park Slope Branch

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:


Fall Writers’ Workshop With Heather Sellers

Learn a terrific new focusing technique that

will allow you to dream forth the most amazing

scenes. Get out of your head and into

your senses; invent fantastic, compelling

scenes that will leave your readers


Heather Sellers will share techniques acquired

from Robert Olen Butler and Lynda

Barry. Topics include How To Focus, Stop

Drafting, What To Write, Revision That Actually

Works, and Tips and Tricks to Keep Writing.

For more information, contact the store

Literary Life Bookstore (616.458.8418 or

email at



Fall Writers’ Workshop with Heather Sellers:

Fabulous Images in Fiction and Memoir


Monday, September 14

Two-Session Workshop will be held onAND

Monday, September 21


758 Wealthy Street SE

Literary Life Bookstore


7pm – 9pm


Each session is $25 (save $5 if both sessions

are paid for in advance). Space is limited

to 10 writers, and spots will be reserved

upon receipt of payment.


I’d love to drive to MI and attend this one and the price can’t be beat, but alas, I have  a day job to attend. So, do me  a favor, OK?  Go there – take great notes and come back here to share your knowledge with the rest of us!  Do It!


Filed under books, Education, Platform/Marketing, teaching, writers

Just Be

Ever receive something in your inbox that just makes total sense for your life at that moment? Happened to me this morning and I thought I’d share it with you:

“Lose yourself in the moment at hand instead of contemplating the moment to come. When you play a game with a child, don’t think about what you need to do after the game. Instead, jump into the game, absorb it, laugh, be fully present. When having a conversation with someone, listen with your heart and mind versus thinking about what is around the corner or what will be said next. Becoming more attentive, moment to moment, is one of the quickest ways to a more joyful heart and rich life.”


This was taken from Brook Noel’s Good Morning message. sign up for her dailies – you’ll be lifted each morning.

With this direction in mind, I’m off to relax and explore in nature with my husband and two sons this weekend. Happy Writing, all!


some links from what I learned this week:


From Teaching Authors blog:  3) AYouTube-available video of A School Visit by best-selling Author/Illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
Sit yourself down in the school auditorium, surround yourself with kiddos, and listen and learn how and why Jarrett makes books.


HelpAReporterOut (HARO) mktg/platform tip


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