Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Online Watering Holes for Authors – Twitter – Step by step guide set up for authors – Sally Cronin.

So far in this series I have focused on Amazon Author pages, Goodreads and the book marketing potential of your covers, titles, tag lines and key words and making best use of your blog:

Twitter – New look and and step by step guide to Book Marketing useful functions.

The look and  functionality of Twitter has changed recently, and I have to say that I am not a fan (as yet). It is now designed for mobile devices and whilst there are a couple of useful upgrades, for someone starting an account (and some of us who have been using it for 7 years) it is over complicated for what you want to use it for.

However, as a watering hole, for your blog and certainly your books it is a useful platform to establish yourself on. There are some useful marketing features, including paid advertisements, but there is a great deal of free functionality that you can take of advantage of first. To be honest I don’t use all the bells and whistles as I do everything manually, but do find it helpful to use some of their basic marketing options.

I will work my way through the new interface with some of the key elements that you need to focus on as an author with books to market.

And the first place to start is your profile.

On the left of the page you have the new menu and if you click on Profile it will bring up the above page. When you sign up for your account you will be offered a similar page to the one below and also should you wish to edit in the future.



As in the previous posts on marketing your book, it is important that the image that you use as your profile photograph is one that potential readers of your books can connect and relate to. Leaving it blank is not an option as most people think it suspicious that you don’t want to show your face and won’t follow you back. If you are an author then I suggest a good photograph of high quality that you can reduce in size and still retain the definition. Some people will share the picture of a pet or flower but they won’t necessarily sell your books for you.


As an author looking to market your book then your author name should go here. Even if it is a pen name. It should also be the same name as that you use for your blog and any other social media so to develop your author brand. You have up to 50 characters to use in this segment to don’t worry if you have a very long name…

You bio

What is it that you would like the readers of your Twitter feed to do? As an author you want them to buy your books. So here is were you put the genre you write in mainly – Children’s, Fantasy, Memoir, Thriller, Crime, non-fiction – Your Amazon Author Page Link – If you have a blog then you have enough room to briefly describe what readers will find there.

You have 160 characters for this piece so work on it offline to make sure you have your selling message clear cut before you add.

Update your bio on a regular basis with new information.

Location –

This is where I actually live as I have an Irish themed book. But you don’t need to fill this in if you don’t want to.

Author website or Blog link

I use this for my blog link as it is effectively my website too.

Date of Birth.

You don’t have to fill this in.. and I don’t.

Expand your Profile with a Pinned Tweet.

Most accounts that I follow have a Pinned Tweet and you can use as a 280 character extension of your profile…or to announce news of your latest release, review, book signing, etc.

At the moment I am promoting the new bloggers series and it will stay there for September when I will change to another blog promotion. October I hope to be able to pin the news of my next release.

How to pin a tweet.

  1. Prepare your tweet that you want to use in the normal way, using all your 280 characters, and post.
  2. Go into profile in the menu and click on Tweets.
  3. Find your prepared tweet and click the arrow to the right of your name and it will offer you a number of options including Pin this Tweet to your profile.
  4. A box will come up that allows you to cancel or pin. Click pin and the tweet will now appear under your profile.

Tips to building your author network on Twitter.

This is a networking site and as an author you want to engage with others. – Like any cocktail party you need to mingle. The first steps are daunting but if you are a blogger or are on Facebook, you will already know some other authors and the first step is make a list and track them down on Twitter and follow them.

For example you know me and I am always happy to follow other authors back. And you can really get in any author’s good books if as well as following them, you retweet their pinned tweet. Usually they will reciprocate.

If you go into my profile page you will be able to see who I follow and who follows me. Click on either of those and then check the first 50 or so names and see who you also know and follow them too.

You can follow up to 2000 before Twitter will put the breaks on until the number of people who follow you is also at 2000, So it is a good idea to select 20 authors at a time and retweet their pinned tweet but also over a couple of days one of their new tweets. They will usually follow you back.

Some hashtags (identifiers and pop up to the top of the pile) that are useful for an author to use, including #writingcommunity, #amreading, genre specific such as #fantasy #memoir, location #Londonauthor, activity driven #Review and the weekly invitation to follow..#FF – Friday Follow where you can list a fair few of those that follow you to invite them to connect with each other.

Share blogs that you read that are of interest to #Writingcommunity on twitter as that will grab the attention of other authors. Writers are readers too and engaging them will lead them to your books.

When you share a post from WordPress to Twitter, if the blogger has an account it will offer you the option to follow – good idea as you already like their writing and they will appreciate it.

If you are writing guest posts for other bloggers, remember your social media links including Twitter.

Whilst this post has been focused on you as an author using Twitter to promote your books


To tag another Twitter user simply @theretwittername…so for example if you @sgc58 me, it will show up in my timeline.

When someone retweets a post about another author on my blog, such as the Cafe and bookstore new book on the shelves, I always respond and tag the author in question.

Firstly if that is you, thanking the person who retweeted in the first place will win you extra points, and a possible new reader.

Also if you are the person who retweeted the post, you have someone else to follow.

Avoiding the desperate and scammers on Twitter.

Although not specific to authors, there are some people that you don’t want to follow or following you. You can prevent most of that by using your advance filters.

Go to More in your menu

Select notifications and then Advanced Filters

You can select a number of options about who you receive notifications from.

I have chosen not to receive the notifications of those without a profile photo (even if it is a cat) but no profile photo, no email, no phone usually leads to someone using a fake profile (I am followed by most of the generals in the Pentagon!) or bots on phishing trips.

I think that is more than enough for one post and if you have found useful. I do have some more Twitter tips that are more general and will put together another post in the week for those.

Your feedback is always welcome as are your questions. Thanks for dropping in.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Top Drawer News — Blog Hops and Movie Stars by HL Carpenter

Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

This is the third post from  mother and daughter writing team HL Carpenter (Helen and Lorri). They have two blogs and one is for guest posts and book promotions which I featured last week and is a great place to share your work Top Drawer Ink Corp. Now I want to focus on their other blog and their own work.. This post is a an interesting look at Blog Hops for book marketing and some key elements that I agree with wholeheartedly.

Top Drawer News — Blog Hops and Movie Stars by HL Carpenter

Image source: D'vorah Lansky,

Image source: D’vorah Lansky, Share Your

Welcome to our stop on the Book Marketing Blog Hop! We’re happy to see you here in Carpenter Country, and delighted to share what we’ve learned after participating in the 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge sponsored by D’Vorah Lansky Share Your Brilliance

Here’s our take-away from the challenge:

We have a lot in common with Brad Pitt. And you probably do, too.

We signed up for the 30-day Book Marketing Challenge in May. Brad Pitt wasn’t on the schedule, but the course was free, so it fit our budget, and with two book releases back-to-back in May and June, we thought we could use some help.

The challenge consisted of articles, videos, handouts, podcasts, and action steps, and featured modules on Author Platform, List Building, Income Streams, Reaching Your Audience, and Virtual Book tours.

How did any of those topics convince us we have a lot in common with Mr. Pitt? Ask yourself this: How do you know when a new Brad Pitt movie will soon appear in a theater near you?

The answer: Because Brad Pitt tells you so. He makes appearances on all the talk-variety shows. He shares behind-the-camera scenes. He’s funny, charming and gracious. He never asks you to buy a movie ticket or a DVD. He just tells you what interested him about the project, and what he hoped to accomplish by being part of it. He makes you want to be a part of it, too.

Like other participants in the Book Marketing Challenge, we’re authors, not actors. But the idea is the same. Engage your audience and express your enjoyment in your work. Tell the story of your writing process and where you got your idea and why you had to write about it. Be considerate and honest. Make your work a not-to-be-missed experience—and let your reader reach that conclusion without prompting.

You can call it marketing if you like. We prefer to call it connecting, and after 30 days of valuable advice, we think we can do it just like a movie star.

How about you?

©HL Carpenter 2014

About HL Carpenter (Helen and Lorri)

HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity Their website Top Drawer Ink Corp  also offers opportunities for promotion for other authors and their books.

A selection of books for adults, YA and children by HL Carpenter

One of the reviews for The Ghost in the Gardens

Jul 22, 2018 Jane rated it Four Stars

I was not sure what to make of this at first it is unusual and pitched really well for the child. It was a quick read and I loved the main characters love of plants and science.

A lovely story and recommended – You would not expect this to have a ghost as all the main character thinks about is plants and a quest to find a rare orchid that is until her teacher disappears and the police suspect her uncle was involved. She need to find out just what this ghost was telling her otherwise it could be too late.

Recommended and well written.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

You will find a lot more reviews on Goodreads:

Connect to HL Carpenter

Website and blog:
Author Guest posts:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to both of Helen and Lorri’s blogs to explore them further and to take advantage of their kind offer to promote your work.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Writer in Residence -#bookcovers – Persuasion by Paul Andruss

Welcome to the monthly post by Paul Andruss. This time he looks at book covers and their influence on the buying public.. Some interesting experiments that show that time spent on this element of your book is as important as the words inside.

(Andruss) Jane Austen: literary giant or saucy little minx? 

You decide *

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

What if they were wrong?

What if a picture was worth 60,000 words?

60,000 words is almost the length of an average novel.

What if you could instantly download 60,000 words of high impact, emotion-filled advertising straight into the brains of potential readers in the blink of an eye?

Would you hesitate?

Would you heck as like!

Human beings, and other primates, are unique among mammals in that we see in colour. Our eyes have two kinds of light receptors called cones and rods.

Mammals in the Age of Dinosaurs kept safe by being nocturnal. Rods work best in low light, which is fine for nocturnal animals, but they do not process colour. To compensate mammals relied on an acute sense of smell.

Most mammals, like horses, have eyes on either side of the head: to keep a lookout for predators. Up in the trees, monkeys needed to judge the distance from branch to branch, therefore the eyes moved to the front of the face. It made the face flatter, reducing the nose.

The sense of smell suffered. (Think of how much more sensitive a dog’s nose is than ours).

To compensate, we developed cones to see in colour, like birds and reptiles. Although we could no longer smell ripe fruit from a distance, we could certainly see it as ripe fruit changes colour.

Twenty-five million years of evolution left man dependent on vision. We respond to, and process, visual data best. 20% of the brain is devoted to vision. Eyes, as outgrowths of the brain, are the only part of the brain with direct access to the outside world. The visual cortex interacts with at least half the brain including areas for hearing, memory, emotion and automatic responses, which is how we instinctively dodge something even before we see it.

90% of the information we take in is visual.

93% of all our communication is visual: not words!

Reading and writing is only a few thousand years old. Therefore it is no surprise we process images 60,000 times faster than the written word.

Now you know all this, isn’t it time you took control of your book covers and your brand images, icons and posters to effectively communicate the essence of your book in a single high impact visual experience?

I cannot be the only kid who spent his pocket money on records because I loved the LP cover. I did not care what the music sounded like. I bought books for much the same reason.

Today, book covers might not make me buy, but they certainly make me take the book off the shelf. No mean feat in a modern bookstore.

In the 1950s, Victor Weybright of the New American Library set up a quality paperback imprint that sold millions of copies at 50 cents apiece. He originally published mystery stories. One day while reading a novel by William Faulkner, a literary heavy weight and Nobel Prize laureate, he thought…

‘…considering all of Faulkner’s sex and violence, if this book was marketed like a detective novel by Mickey Spillane or Dashsiell Hammett, I could shift copies. Of course the fine writing didn’t help… but in the end presentation is all. A sexy cover can do wonders.

‘I phoned up Faulkner’s publishers and asked for the paperback rights to half a dozen of his novels. The publisher was dumbfounded; we’ve never sold more than 2 or 3 thousand copies of all his works put together and you want to put him on the mass market!

‘I put a sexy cover on ‘Absalom, Absalom!’ and a distinguished one on ‘Sanctuary’. I was astounded when the virtually unreadable Absalom sold in the thousands; while the much better Sanctuary bombed. As an experiment I swapped the covers and watched the sales figures for the two novels flip.

‘It was at this point I realised the contents of a paperback book means nothing. It’s the cover that sells it!’

As writers we pore over our words, reading, editing and honing every aspect of plot, character and motivation; sweating over every clause. But when our perfect novel is finished, how much thought do we really give to the cover? And not only the cover but the entire visual presentation?

In relation to how long it took to write the damn thing, I would say very little. Yet in the end, that eye-catching image might be the difference between buying the Scottish castle next door to J. K. Rowling or having your pride and joy relegated to the bargain bin of the local book store.

An author’s lack of concern about visuals might be a hangover from traditional publishing where the author had little say on the visual marketing strategy. As we never tire of saying, those days are long gone. As ‘indie authors’ we already embrace not only editing and publishing but also promotion and publicity: and isn’t that just visual marketing?

You might protest you are not a graphic artist.

You don’t need to be.

This is not about making your cover and brand image.

This is about choosing it.

You may already outsource your editing, proof-reading and publishing. With each, the final responsibility sits with you, the author. Why should your visual marketing strategy be any different?

Who knows your work better than you?

Who is better placed to say whether an image captures the mood you wish to convey?
Remember the mood you choose to convey may, or may not, be directly, or obliquely, related to, or not at all related to, the subject matter of your book.

A cover image and visual marketing may encourage readers to buy your book but it cannot make your book a good read. Your text stands or falls on its own merits, independent of cover or visual marketing strategy. This is why movie trailers are often better than the actual movies.

Here are psychological principles of visual marketing:

Use a gripping image to get an idea over. If we are told a piece of information, a few days later, we only remember about 10% of what was said. But if it is accompanied by an eye-catching picture the amount of information we retain goes up to 65%.

An image will capture interest in an instant. Given the average person’s attention span is 8 seconds, you have plenty of time to drive a message home.

Use colour. It is more arresting.

We are hard wired to respond to faces. A new born baby recognises its mother. It recognises her smile and even determines her emotional state. As adults we constantly read faces for emotional cues.

Where you can, have the characters’ faces in your marketing tell a story. It will leave people subconsciously curious as to the nature of that story. In the promotional poster for Finn Mac Cool below, you can see Erin’s resentment, seated Finn’s defiant innocence and the muscleman Dermot’s resignation. What impression does it make?

In visual marketing, take care to distinguish promotional materials from the book cover. They are not the same. An e-book cover icon is small. A large picture reduced down is too cluttered and indistinct to have impact. It is better to focus on one detail.


E-book Cover (Andruss)

Our brains love to be stimulated, but our attention span is 8 seconds. After this the brain switches off unless something new happens. Nerves fire at 1,000 electrical ‘pulses’ per second that’s a lot of energy. To understand the information, the visual cortex must communicate with parts of the brain dealing with memory, recognition and comprehension.

When nerve impulses reach a junction, called a synapse, they convert to chemicals to jump the gap. So the chemicals are not exhausted the synapse quickly stops working until something new comes along.

A way to keep the synapse firing is with new data. Animation does this because of the changing images. Animation is a great tool to beat the 8 second rule and create a lasting impression. Here is one that I prepared earlier for the draft cover of Tales from the Irish Garden coming soon by Sally.

I hope this gives you something to think about.


for the original shocking cover to Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

This was banned by the BBCMD
(British Bloggers Committee for Morals and Decency)
for bringing the literary writings of Jane Austen into disrepute

And as such is likely to offend… everyone.


©Paul Andruss 2018

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page:

You can find two directories for Paul Andruss on Smorgasbord – Writer in Residence:

and Paul’s Gardening Column:

Smorgasbord Media Training and Marketing for Authors – FREE pdf of Series

Just a quick note to let you know that I have tidied up all the posts and put into one booklet in pdf which I am happy to email out FREE.

It brings all the chapters together and might be handier than accessing each post individually.

There are seven chapters and might be useful for those publishing their first book in coming months to get some platforms in place and put together some ideas for marketing the book.

Also for authors who might think about revisiting Amazon and their social media to update information and put some new promotions in place.

Please just email me on for your copy.

If you want to pop in and check the individual chapters out here are the links.

Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Advertising – Covers, Titles and Key Words by Sally Cronin

I am continuing the series on media training and marketing for authors which is adapted from my media training course for small businesses and charities. Authors are small businesses with a product that needs marketing to obtain sales. Once you start thinking of yourself as a business it tends to focus your mind differently.

One of the jobs that gave me some perspective on marketing and promotion, was the several years I spent as advertising sales manager for a free paper in London and then a holiday publication company.

Part of my job was writing copy for clients who could not afford to spend a fortune with an agency. This was quite an interesting challenge because most companies, whatever their product wanted to put their name in large letters front and centre. So for example:

Great name, but what does the person who is looking for a new car see when they are skimming the adverts for cars?  Steve Smith and Sons.. but that is not the product for sale and is not going to grab the attention of the person looking to buy a car. If you are looking for a car, you are more likely to be interested in reading the same advert, but arranged very differently.

Using key words effectively will significantly increase your chances of reaching your customers.

Unfortunately this is also a mistake that we tend to make when we market our books.  Unless we are J.K Rowling or any other bestselling author who has a dedicated following, putting our names in very large print on our book covers is not going to achieve sales.

For an author trying to sell a first book and even others that follow, it is almost impossible to stand out from the other millions of books on sale on the primary online bookseller Amazon.. or even on the bookshelf of your local bookstore.

If you look in the average bookstore, novels are shelved alphabetically, not usually by genre, there are no reviews and they rely heavily on cover and back blurb to encourage you to buy. Non-fiction books do have an advantage as they will normally be listed by subject matter which does narrow the field somewhat.

Both however need to have a cover that reflects the contents of the book fiction or non-fiction or, is so visually stunning, that it invites readers to explore further. And very importantly, books need a title that screams out to the reader “buy me, I am the most informative, entertaining, interesting, relevant, novel, self-help book, inspiring story you will ever read” and also find away to convey all that is between the covers!

This is not easy since most titles are only usually between 1 and 5 words.

Finding a book title that sells your book.

There are millions of books available today digitally. This is why it is so important that your title leap out from the page and grab potential reader’s attention. Novels are tough as most of the words used to describe each genre are well used. For romance novelists it must be a nightmare since the words love, destiny, fate, romance, desire etc have to be used in a title in the most imaginative way.

With non-fiction it is not easy but it is simpler – providing you get your USP (unique selling point) in the title….remember that there could be thousands of books that are cover your particular subject matter and you want the reader to buy your book.

So what is your unique angle that makes your book different from all the other books on a particular subject that can be  incorporated in your title? This is where using MY comes in handy.. for who is more unique than you? Instead of A Lonely Childhood.. My Lonely Childhood etc.

Finding an original title for a novel can be tough since there are only so many words within each genre that you can use to convey the subject of your book.

Obviously the genre is a starting point – SF – thriller – comedy – Romance – Humour, Children’s etc, and my suggestion is that you take a good long look at other newish books in that genre so that you are not duplicating – write several down and still see if you can get something unique into your own title – try it out on all your friends and family and when you have your title, it is also important to Google it to see if anyone else has a book by that title.

You may find one or two but if you play around with the wording you can usually find one that is not already in use.

Remember – this is your advertising headline for your book – it has to grab the attention of your potential readers and also those that can help you promote the book.

Using Key Words as Taglines.

Your book cover and the wording are your advertisment and whilst it is not a good idea to crowd the cover with text, having a tag line can help.

This is a recent release by Jane Harper:

If the book had just been the image and the title, the book would have had no identity. The fact that it is written by Jane Harper would have attracted her fans; but what about a reader who is browsing to find a murder mystery or thriller, who had not read any of her books prevously?  But because of the key words and endorsements, the moment you look at this advertisement for the book you know exactly what is between the pages.

Here is another example of a non-fiction book that uses key words to attract the attention of readers. This is written by Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings, who is a best-selling author, historian and journalist who can use his name as key words as can J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and other established best-selling authors. As you can see the use of any form of testimonial is important as is the use of specific words to identify that you are going to be reading about Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939 – 1945.

Book available:

Here are some more examples that show you how tag lines can provide you with that USP that makes your book stand out from the crowd.

“Your genetic makeup – Your grandmother’s legacy……..”. “Training a deaf dog – The hand signal manual”. “The Passion and the Anquish”…..Horror Stories from Beyond the Grave. “Murder at the Fair……. Do you dare ride the Ghost Train?”

If you have already received an editorial or advance reader review then you can certainly put a few words on the front cover with the name of the reviewer that are appropriate. It may not be The Guardian or The Sunday Times but it is still a recommendation to buy.

Note: If you convert your print books to Ebook after you have received reviews.. make sure to mention one or two on your Ebook cover.

Note Two: If you are publishing with Kindle rather than as an independent self publisher you will find that there are restrictions on some wording that you put on the front cover. Check that out before completing your cover design.

So this is effectively your car advertisement, and when you are designing your cover, you do need to think about those select few key words you are going to include in addition to the title and your name to attract readers to buy your book.

Book Blurb.

Amazon offers you the chance to put our back blurb on the selling page so that readers can find out more about the book. This is also part of your advertisement and whilst you should not writer a chapter on the book, you should let a reader know what they can expect.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes.. If you were looking for a book to read, what would make you click the buy button.

Genre – basic story plot – main characters and importantly work your key words into the blurb as well. Add in some teasers too..

“Can Sally get to the chocolate before the cookie monster eats it all?”

You can also put some headline reviews from any advance readers here, especially if there was not room on the front cover.

“Fantastic edge of the seat read” – T.Jones – “Couldn’t put this thriller down until I had finished” – B. Smith  –  you get my drift.

Authors Page.

This is a headliner and a place where not only can a reader find your books but also something about you the author. A photo does help.. it makes you relateable.  Then something that gives a reader some confidence in your writing ability before they buy your book. This does not necessarily mean listing everything you have ever written, but by the way your write your biography.  This is an example of your work and if you don’t interest the reader or impress with your style of writing they may not feel like buying the book.

Check out the bios of succesful authors and find a style and content that you like and use that as a formula.

Categories and key words on Amazon as part of your advertisement tool box.

On Amazon you do have a number of different options to choose when you upload your book in addition to your cover and blurb. These include the option to choose a number of relevant categories, and very important key words that a potential reader might search for to find their next book.

Back to the example of the advertisement for cars!

If readers do not know your name, they are not going search for it and find you. So you have to be in the right place in the bookstore so that they at least might catch sight of your title and cover.  This requires you to be very specific with your chosen book categories and key words.

On Amazon you can use up to 5 – 7 key words for your book but you may find more impact by combining multiple key words together which is useful. Two or three together have more impact than just one. For example Rapid Healthy Weightloss is more specific than just weightloss Give up Smoking, Cooking with microwaves, Lancaster in 1960.

For fictionMurderer for Hire, Romantic short stories, Love Poetry, Thrilling Flash Fiction, Historical Romance etc.

NB.I suggest that you take a look at any older books that you have on Amazon, as they have introduced more options  for categories in the last couple of years. Here is a link also to a post that might help you with key words. Also check the blurb and  see if that might need a little TLC.

Having established a place on the bookstore where the casual reader can find you, you now need to reach out and let specific fans of your genre or non-fiction book know how to find you there.

Next time… joining the right waterholes to find your potential readers for both print and ebooks.

Here are the previous posts on Press Releases, preparing for radio and television interviews:


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Modesty, Perfection and Promotions – Sally G. Cronin

I am reposting some of my guest posts that I have contributed to other blogs in the last couple of years… and this one was posted by The Story Reading Ape in January 2016 and is as relevant today and I hope you will find some of the tips useful.. It also follows on from my post yesterday on using Twitter to promote your blogs and books.

By the way The Story Reading Ape is currently looking for guest writers for a monthly gig between September and the end of the year.. Four opportunities to plug your work.

I have updated my own information in this post since last year.

If it was not for our modesty we would be perfect!

This term is usually reserved for those people that we meet who are brazenly open about their achievements and have no problem as they say ‘In blowing their own trumpets’.

I have come into contact with a lot of writers, including when approaching for an interview on my radio shows. The reluctance I met on most occasions was baffling and yet once I managed to winkle these writers out of their modesty shells they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and loved the attention. It can be terrifying putting ourselves out there for the world to judge.. but if you have achieved something challenging then you are missing not only an opportunity, but a change to encourage and inspired others to do likewise.

Firstly let’s establish why we write. Apart from the odd person who wishes a cathartic experience by writing down their life’s experiences; most of us write to be read. Some authors have spent years researching, soul-searching, scribbling notes on plots and character before creating spreadsheets. Then the real job begins of putting it all down in print, editing, re-editing, proofreading, formatting, designing the cover and going through the rigmarole of either uploading to Amazon direct or going via a second party such as Nielsons. We should also admit at this point that the majority of us do not have a million pound budget or a personal assistant available to market said uploaded book.

Wouldn’t you agree that deserves some for of fanfare, public recognition and celebration.

This means that however shy or modest you are it needs to be tempered with pragmatism. Hands up all of you who do not get a real buzz when one of your books is sold? Not many I bet; unless you happen to be called Wilbur Smith or J.K. Rowling where you count books sold in the thousands.

I expect that you are thinking… We have heard this all before and next she will no doubt say… ‘Establish yourself on social media and spend all day spamming the airways’. Not at all! In fact I am going to suggest a few other ways that you might obtain some plugs for your books and also indulge in your favourite pastime which I assume is writing.

Your Email account.

I think it is fair to say that the majority of us have email accounts these days and send out a great many messages over the space of a week. How many of you have a signature that is automatically sent with your message? Here is mine that goes out on average of 150 times a week which is nearly 8000 times a year.

Sally Cronin
Latest book: What’s in a Name
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You can choose to put as much or as little into your signature as long as you include the crucial links to find your books and your blog. Remember to update your information with your latest book. Don’t worry about the fact that it is going to your friends and family as they need a reminder at times that you are a published author and could use some help with marketing!

Guest posting and interviews.

You are a writer so the obvious way to promote your book or your blog is to write. Certainly one of the best ways to get your book noticed is by taking up invitations from other bloggers. This might be as a guest, for an interview or a post on a subject that is appropriate to the host blog. You have the perfect example of that opportunity here on The Story Reading Ape’s hugely supportive blog for writers. How fantastic to be in the Hall of Fame and take advantage of Chris’s large following of fellow writers, bloggers and importantly readers.




Like Chris I also offer opportunities for you to promote books  in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore and you will find details in this link:

If you are invited to be interviewed in any medium then grab with both hands. Most bloggers will send you a list of questions that you answer and return. If it is for radio, the presenter should always do so as well. It can be a very exciting to be asked to do an audio interview and somewhat scary. Do not let me down by missing this great opportunity to blow your own trumpet.

Social Media

You knew I was going to bring this up at some point didn’t you? I do understand the downside to having a number of social media accounts to manage, along with a blog, writing your own books and keeping up with a full time job and the housework. But there is a way to take advantage of social media without having an account (although it can be very useful).

Make sure that all your share buttons are activated on your blog including the Reblog button.

This enables people, who do have social media accounts, to share your post and news about your books far and wide across their network. This includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit and Google+.

Let me give you a few numbers to encourage you to do this.

Reblogs will send out news of your post with an excerpt to the blog that is sharing. It has your link back to the original and if they are really kind they will put some words of encouragement in the repost. You will now be reaching their followers as well as your own which might amount to several thousand new readers of your blog and your books.

If a reader that shares on Twitter has 1000 followers, which is pretty standard your post has now the potential to reach many more. Their tweet is likely to be retweeted at least ten times to another potential 10,000 readers. That is called networking. You have had to do nothing except add that share button to your blog.

Here is an excellent tutorial on how to add your share buttons by Liz Dexter:

I hope that you will take advantage of every opportunity offered to you. Of course you do not want to be seen as a fame hungry, heat seeking publicity missile. But, how about adding share buttons, guest posting once a month and taking advantage of invitations to promote your work once in a while.

Have fun… I do.

More details with some of my latest reviews and where to buy my books can be found here:

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews – Jason B. Ladd and William Savage

Welcome to the Thursday edition of Air your Reviews which offers authors the chance to share their most recent reviews for any of their books new or previously published. Let me know if you have one you would like to share

The first review is one that I have just posted to Amazon and Goodreads for Jason B. Ladd’s new book published on 7th June. A non-fiction guide to substantially increasing book reviews, Book Review Banzai – The unknown Author’s Ultimate Guide to Getting Amazon Reviews

About the book

Indie author and book review expert Jason B. Ladd reveals the secret to scoring book reviews on Amazon as an unknown author.Using a strategic mix of automation and personalization, Book Review Banzai is helping authors get the reviews they so desperately need in today’s crowded publishing market-place.This high integrity system is a laser-focused approach that teaches authors not only how to effectively get book reviews on Amazon, but how to get them in quantities that matter.Using a combination of free web tools and effective marketing tactics, this 5-step technique saves authors time and frustration by walking them through a process that begins with a Google Search and ends with an Amazon ebook page full of reviews.If you’re publishing a book on Amazon, you must learn how to market your book. Specifically, you must learn how to get book reviews on Amazon.If you’re serious about getting your published work into the hands of reviewers and readers, if you want to finally book that BookBub slot, if you’re ready to unlock your book’s full potential, then you need this concise, competent guide on how to get book reviews on Amazon

My review of the book on June 14th and I rated it 4 Stars.

I was asked to read this book pre-publication by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Reviews are marketing tools that are necessary if your books are to sell and extend their shelf life beyond a few weeks. As an Indie author I am well aware of the challenges that we all face in a competitive market place without a substantial budget. There was barely any Internet book marketing when I started 18 years ago with my first book; but thankfully today there is as much opportunity for exposure as any mainstream author, and it does not have to cost you any money, just time.

There are two factors about this book which I feel are important to comment on. The first is the identification that time and effort spent on marketing your book is key. Also within that is the necessity to persevere with the focus on the book for an extended period of time not just for the few weeks pre and post publication. In the book Jason Ladd shares the various strategies you can employ to keep your book in the spotlight as long as possible, and across as wide an audience as possible.

This leads me onto the second factor that I feel should be highlighted. There are some technical aspects to these strategies that not all of us are going to be entirely comfortable with. However, if you as an Indie author have completed the self-publishing processes that have enabled you to upload your book to Amazon in the first place, you should not find installing and utilising the suggested applications a problem. For those of you who are not as technically inclined, then you can still apply most of the suggested marketing programmes manually, by spending additional time and effort on the process.

The main concept of the book is identifying and contacting book reviewers for your particular genre in substantial numbers. Without, I might add, spamming or contravening the various website’s code of ethics. Jason Ladd walks you through how to accomplish this in detail.

If you feel that the book itself has not given you sufficient confidence to tackle the project of obtaining substantial reviews for your book, you can sign up for an E-course that will take you through it step by step.

It is a short read at 50 pages, but I do think that every Indie author will take away something positive that they can apply to their own book marketing. The main one being that a shotgun approach to marketing is not effective and that it needs to be a well-planned and genre focused extended process.

Personally having read the book, I will be starting my mailing list for book reviewers for the genres my books fall into and will apply the strategies for my next book. At the end of the day it will only cost me time and effort and might yield far greater rewards than I have so far encountered.

Buy the book:

Also by Jason B. Ladd

The latest review out of 168 for the book which lends weight to Jason’s strategies for obtaining reviews.

We all have “life questions” and seek a path to follow. In One of the Few, author Jason B. Ladd documents his journey to finding the path his life should take. Throughout the book, Ladd uses his military experience to connect with the experience of soul searching. During this journey, Ladd takes a look at many issues we encounter (marriage, sex, alcohol, pornography) and compares the stances taken by many different believe systems.

Although I found the format hard to follow sometimes, I still appreciated the author’s honest look at these issues through the eyes of these belief systems. Ladd understands that truth seekers need knowledge about the many belief systems in the world, and he spoke of them accurately and professionally. I recommend this book for those who are seeking truth in their own lives, for those who are wanting to lead and guide others to find the righteous path, and for those who want a better understanding of why many are called and few are chosen.

I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of an honest review.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Connect to Jason via his website:

The next review is for the latest book This Parody of Death (The Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries Book 3) by William Savage who incidentally is my guest on the Book Reading at the Cafe this Saturday. This review is by Noelle Granger on behalf of the Rosie Amber Review Team:

About the book

Ashmole Foxe, bookseller and man about town, moves through Georgian Norwich with the ease of a native and the cunning of a born hunter. So when a bellringer is found with his throat cut, who better to find the killer? Yet Foxe soon scents more than murder. Complications come thick and fast. A family torn apart. A group committed to a secret heresy. A son who betrayed his father. And a woman determined to protect her life’s greatest passion — even if that costs one life or more.

Fighting through a tangle of lies and deceit going back decades will push Foxe to the limit. By the end, no one will escape unscathed.

Noelle Granger’s Review for the Rosie Amber Review Team.

This is the third book in the Ashmole Foxe series, about a Georgian dandy, bookseller, and occasional unofficial investigator. I reviewed both of the previous books and like this character. Of the three, this book is my favorite.

Ashmole Foxe, a man about town and known for his foppish ways, moves easily through Georgian Norwich because of his ownership of a popular bookstore. He has also developed something of a nose for investigation. When a miserly, curmudgeonly undertaker and bell ringer is found with his throat cut, Foxe is sought out by the local grocer, Foxe’s friend Captain Brock, and Alderman Halloran to find the killer. There are more tracks to follow in the investigation than a dog has fleas: a group committed to a secret heresy, a son who betrayed his father, a house with deep and deadly secrets, a woman determined to protect the great passion of her life, a daughter scorned, and a group of bell ringers with axes to grind. Foxe has to unwind a web of lies, false leads, and decades-old deceits to find the killer.

There were no giveaway hints in this book, and I was kept guessing almost to the end. The characters are wonderfully individual, from the urchin whom Foxe befriended, with his own army of street minions, the widow who runs his store, to the seafaring Captain Brock, who may soon be landlocked by a woman. The Georgian world created by the author is authentic to minuscule details, and the reader is immediately immersed in its colorful activity. What I liked most about This Parody of Death was the growth of Foxe. He engages in serious self-examination about the nature of his life, his over-the-top fashion, and possible goals for the future. This character is truly three dimensional and real.

There are a few drawbacks I have noted before: some repetition, over-long discussions between characters and Foxe’s lengthy considerations. However, these are minor compared to the enjoyment of this read. Who knew I would learn about the mathematical patterns of the change-ringing of church bells?

I recommend this book as a great read, as are all of William Savage’s books.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

Also by William Savage

One of the reviews for Dark Threads of Vengeance Book Two of the series

I have a picture in my mind of Mr Ashmole Foxe: a cross between Percy Blakeney (Scarlet Pimpernel) and Sidney Chambers (Grantchester) – an inquisitive dandy, also a bit of a libertine, but with a strong moral sense. Joseph Morrow, a thoroughly unpleasant Norwich merchant, has been murdered and Foxe is dragooned into finding the murderer. Through many red herrings, wrong turns and with the help of streetwise children, not to mention the redoubtable Mrs Crombie, he eventually solves the conundrum which turned out to be rather nasty in its unfolding.

He is still smarting from the departure to the delights of the London scene of his two inamoratas, the Catt sisters, but being Foxe he soon finds comfort elsewhere – no spoilers from me.

Altogether a delightful read and I look forward to Foxe’s next adventure. Well done Mr Savage. How refreshing to have the tale based in Norwich – a great city.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow William Savage on Goodreads:

Connect to William Savage via his website:

Don’t forget to let me have your latest reviews via … you should not keep good news to yourself.

New Book Fanfare – Free promotion for your new book!

New book fanfare

In August last year I introduced the New Book Fanfare for books releases in the previous six weeks. This is just a reminder of this way to promote you new book as part of your launch and also a segway into my feature next week.

I am going to the UK for a week and whilst I will be online her on the blog every day as usual I thought that I would revisit a selection of the New Book Fanfares so far and update with reviews.

Here are the details if you would like to promote your new book in this way.

If you have released a book in the last month or are about to release a new book this is what I need.  A cover and the About the Book.. A profile photograph and About the Author and then your links to Amazon, Goodreads or your own selling sites. Also blog and social media links.  Please take a look at the already published Fanfares so that you get a good idea of how it comes together.. Please send in a word document with any images separately in the email to

I will then post here on the blog and send out into the world via the usual networking sites.

N.B.  I won’t know if you don’t tell me.. so please do not be modest.. it does not suit a writer!

As some of my followers are young adults I am not able to accept submissions for 18+books. Thanks