Tuesday, January 26, 2016

To Share with Your Readers: Tips for Writing Amazon Reviews

Penny C. Sansevieri, is the CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. and internationally recognized as a book social media marketing and book marketing, and a media relations expert. She frequently offers tips and advice on marketing books on Amazon.

As an author I always, always try to encourage my friends to post amazon reviews for books they’ve read. I remind them that reviews matter to authors. Most, however, aren’t familiar with writing amazon reviews or have never written one.

Another issue, I’ve heard from numerous authors who have friends who post amazon reviews, for which they are grateful, but wished they were more detailed. Many times the reviews consisted of not much more than “Loved this book!” And while it’s great to have fans, amazon reviews like that do little to help a book along. Also, shorter reviews are often frowned upon by Amazon and could get pulled if the review seems disingenuous. Read more about why Amazon reviews get pulled.

When a book has lots of great, detailed reviews, we tend to scan them for highlights on the things that matter to us. That’s how we often buy books. Both good and bad reviews can help us decide, and, frankly, I’ve often bought a book after I read a bad review because what the reviewer didn’t like was exactly what I was looking for. That’s why detailed reviews are not only helpful, they’re a must for your Amazon page.

It’s tempting to ask friends and family to write reviews. They often want to help but aren’t sure what to say. And you may have readers who love your work but aren’t savvy on posting reviews.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Is Your Book Lost at Sea?

Dr. Judith Briles is a writing coach, book coach, and publishing expert who recently offered detailed advice on evaluating a floundering book and tips on how to avoid getting lost in a literary sea.

Amazon changed the publishing field—a great thing for so many newbie authors who didn’t think New York or an agent would ever give them a moment’s notice … and it’s also a not so good thing. The level of book pollution has gone beyond the stratosphere.

Anyone and almost everyone can vomit out words and dump them into Amazon’s CreateSpace or get in bed with the growing number of vanity-type presses and in days, literally days, have a book in hand. Is it a quality book or a great looking book? Most likely, not. Too many launch with little to no editing. Ditto with interior and cover design.

Which means that finding buyers—the potential Super Fans—has become fierce. And for authors—all authors—getting found has become the eighth wonder of the world.

Has your book become a sardine in the sea of books available?

Is it lost? Can it be found? Can it become a whale so your buying public can’t miss it?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

10 Ways Travel Makes You a Better Writer

Happy New Year!  Time for new beginnings in your writing, right?  Novelist and producer, Stephanie Storey recently wrote for The Huffington Post about a different approach to writing using real-life experiences.  What do you think?

I love to travel. When I was a kid, my parents drove us from coast to coast in a motorhome. When I was eighteen, I went to Europe with a traveling choir. I've studied art in Italy, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, and just this week hiked to a glacier on the south coast of Iceland.

Travel has taught me a lot about life (how to communicate, adapt, and solve problems), but lately I've realized about how much travel has taught me about writing...

1: Planning ahead.

Before going on a trip, you have to plan: buy plane tickets, book hotel rooms, or at least do enough research to know you want to go where you're going. Same with writing: before you start, plan your main characters and big plot points, research your location or time period; I often make a big outline and lay it out on the floor -- sort of like a map of my story -- to guide my way...

Read the remainder of Stephanie's tips here.