Book launches and crowdfunding campaigns are time-sensitive bursts of marketing so be sure to leverage every interaction with readers with a Facebook frame overlay.
“A whaaaat?” you might be asking…
Step aside coding nerds because technology has made it easy-ish for the non-tech-savvy person to create a Facebook frame overlay. (Granted, not understanding graphic design will make it a bit more time-consuming as you play around with the options, but that’s ok).
Getting folks onto your email list should be your #1 priority after you’ve created some content for your website.
Because nobody can rely on Facebook’s or Twitter’s algorithms to put your content in front of your readers. Sending messages directly to your readers’ inbox is the best way to deliver valuable content and create a dialogue with your readers.
Before we talk numbers, I just want you to know that I successfully Kickstarted Knocked Up Abroad Again with a list of only 110 subscribers. They were my core group of people who I reached out to to generate momentum on launch day of my Kickstarter campaign, but I also leveraged the readers of the book’s 25 contributors.
Pulling the trigger—Sending your first email to your list
Over the years, I’ve struggled with finding topics to send my newsletter recipients. Should I send them links to my blogs? (Yes.) Should I send them links to affiliate courses or products by other people I know, like, and trust? (Yes.) What should I actually send my newsletter recipients?
In short, you can send anything to your readers as long as you are delivering meaningful content. Make it valuable, insightful, or emotional and people will open, read, and share your emails.
I feel most comfortable with sending no more than two (2) emails a month. I have enough to include in each email—blogs, podcasts, articles, etc.—and I can be consistent with bi-weekly emails.
If you’re just starting out, I’d start with monthly emails and see how it goes from there.
Be authentic. Be yourself.
As long as you offer up high-quality content that your readers find valuable, people will stay on your list.
Your readers are smart
Almost everyone knows at this point that if you register for a free webinar or e-book, your email is going onto someone’s list. There will always be folks who hop on your list for a short time to grab your freebie and then unsubscribe right away. Don’t worry about those people.
Focus on delivering quality content or insights about your writing process that will keep your readers engaged.
Ways for indie authors to create valuable freebies
Using MailChimp or Mailerlite, you can create sign-up forms and use automation to deliver digital content as an incentive to increase your subscribers.
Here are some ideas specifically for indie authors but you should use your creativity here (go crazy!)
Podcast about a specific topic related to a popular blog post
Narrated version of a short-story
Special interview with a special guest (video or podcast)
E-book with tips for your readers on a topic related to your book
Special access to digital content that enhances the reader’s experience with your book
Animated short featuring a character from your book
First chapter of your book with a link to purchase the full book
Coupon code for your book or other items you might sell
Anything you can think of that your readers might want
In short, have fun with your content creation and create multiple avenues for people to get onto your list. Send out consistent high-quality content, and be yourself.
Your writing lives on your computer but your fans, followers, and potential readers live on their phones.
Sharing snippets of your writing with your followers in Instagram is a great way to build a loyal readership.
There are some new apps designed for writers to share their work visually and since they are on your phone, it’s much easier to create an Instagrammable image of your latest blog, poem, or chapter.
Readers are visual people
These apps are designed with the poet in mind, but you can use them to highlight attention to anything you’d like your readers to know about.
The latest data from Statista states that 52.99% of global web traffic came from a mobile device in Q3 2017—a significant rise up from the 44% 2016.
More and more readers are surfing on their phones every day and let’s face it, people respond to visuals.
Creating an image is a great way to get more attention to your text.
I tested out two mobile apps for you to consider enhancing your Instagram feed.
YourQuote is an app developed in India that has a huge writing community behind it.
The wallpapers are beautiful and you can add them as the backdrop behind your text to enhance the emotions or imagery behind your words.
The app is a little buggy—it would suddenly close on me or freeze in the middle of my typing—but there are daily writing prompts to spark your creativity.
The app has Facebook and Instagram integrations which makes it easy to share across platforms.
There is also an option to copy your caption so you can easily copy/paste over somewhere else.
Lisa’s unbiased review: B
-This rating is due to the app’s instability. It keeps crashing my phone despite having the latest update.
Mirakee is another app with a writing community behind it. The Explore feed looks like an Instagram feed full of poetry. The tap to heart options makes it easy to share encouragement to other writers and to find a little inspiration if you’re in a rut.
The compose and edit features are similar to YourQuote and navigating the app is easy.
So far, it hasn’t crashed my phone on me, so this less buggy version earns a…
Lisa’s unbiased review:A
Both apps are great options for sharing your writing on Instagram or Facebook and bringing more attention and visibility to your writing.
What’s great about the apps are the writing communities behind them.
The writing communities are a great way to feel connected to other writers instead of home alone writing at your desk surrounded by sheafs of paper and empty cups of coffee.
While Canva is not a writing app, you can use this photo editing app to create your own images and overlay the text manually.
Canva has great free templates with suggested fonts and styling straight from the box.
Unlike YourQuote and Mirakee, there is no Canva watermark attached with the images you create using the app.
The app is seamless and has a desktop version as well, so you can access your images from your Canva account wherever you want to write.
You can upload your own images as the wallpaper which means that nobody will have the same background as you. Your imagery and text will truly stand out from the crowd.
Lisa’s unbiased review: A
-Canva requires a bit more manipulation but has greater control.
-With more options comes more decisions but I love the ability to upload your own images as the background wallpaper.
What hashtags to use?
There are a million hashtags on Instagram but the ones I frequently use are:
#supportindieauthors (4500 posts)
#creativewriting (1.5M posts)
#poetryofinstagram (750k posts)
#writersofinstagram (6.6M posts)
#tellyourstory2018 (my hashtag–use this and I’ll support you with likes and reshares.)
I discuss defining and connecting with your ideal readers in the first section of my Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing course because it is so important to know where to find your readers. It is crucial to get them excited about your book before it is published.
Instagram is a great platform for sharing your writing if you create visuals that connect and inspire your audience.