Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Support Other Writers With Reviews

Writers are readers. What are you reading? Are you consistently reading books. And what do you do when you complete a book? 

Recently I finished reading Frances Caballo's excellent book Avoid the Social Media Time Suck. As I read the book, I marked several sections that stood out to me. As I finished the last page, I went to my computer and wrote a few words about the book and I posted it on Amazon and Goodreads. Here's what I wrote:

Every Writer or Would-Be Writer Needs this Book

Social media can be a huge time suck and consume your day so you never manage to accomplish what you wanted to do. Most writers want to write and despise talking about their books or their writing on social media. To be honest, get over it.

With thousands of new books entering the market every day (yes, thousands), every writer needs to learn to use social media to their advantage—i.e. do it effectively and not consume hours of time. In this short book, social media expert (a term I don’t use lightly) Frances Caballo gives writers an effective, practical strategy to build their presence online yet still have time to write.

Like it or not, literary agents, editors and publishers are looking at your social media presence then making decisions about whether you can reach your target market or not. Often they have high numbers and criteria for the books that they publish. You can easily drown jumping into the social media sites on your own. This book includes detailed tools (many of them free) to help you succeed and yet not consume your day.

 As Caballo writes at the end of the second chapter, “Social media needn’t force you to spend hours at your computer every day, sucking the hours out of your day when you have other pressing needs, responsibilities, and desires. By spending fifteen minutes every morning curating and scheduling and allocating fifteen minutes every evening for socializing online, you too will benefit from the power of social media in today’s world and find readers who will be happy to find you and read your books.” (Page 26)

I highly recommend this book to read, study and apply to your daily life.

It did not take a great deal of time and thought to write these few words of honest review. After posting the review on Amazon and Goodreads, I took additional action. I used my various social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) to tell others about my review. It is one of the ways that I support the authors and the books that I read. 

These simple actions are something every reader can do to help others and spread the message about their books. With the huge volume of books published every day (according to Penny Sanseveri, over 4,500 new books are published every day), with a small action of writing a few sentences of honest review, each of us can highlight good books. 

Notice an honest review is not copying or using the words from the back cover of the book. Recently a "reviewer" contacted Morgan James Publishing and requested review copies of books. They were sent and I asked him in return to send us his "published" (loose term) reviews. When we read these "reviews" they were exact words from the back cover of the book. Yes, there was some minor value to get these words out but they were not reviews. This "reviewer" is not going to be sent additional review copies (free books from the publisher to media and book reviewers).

Over the years, I've written more than 500 customer reviews on Amazon. It is a practice I continue today. As you help others, you are building goodwill in the community. When you publish a new book, you will find that these people will support you with reviews. 

If you want to know more about this process of writing and how to get book reviews. I recommend this free teleseminar with Dana Lynn Smith: http://YourBookReviewed.com.

Are you writing reviews when you finish a book? Are you telling others about the reviews? It is key to take consistent action. 

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Listen to This Podcast to Grow Your Writing Life

John Vonhof interviewed me for his podcast Writers On Fire. We were scheduled to go about 45 minutes but actually went almost an hour and a half. John edited the podcast down to a rich 63 minutes. You can listen to it on his site (click the link). On the site you can listen to it there or download it to your computer. 

While I haven't been blogging much lately because of my travel and other responsibilities, it is not far from my radar and intentions. I hope you will use the search tool in the far right column of this blog to look for topics and posts when you have writing questions. There are over 1200 entries in the Writing Life—loads of content.

Thank you in advance for listening to this podcast and I hope it helps you grow your own writing life.
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