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Should You Buy a Blog Tour to Publicize your Book?

By Martha Kennedy, Author of indieBRAG Honorees, Martin of Gfenn, Savior and The Brothers Path When you write a novel and follow the indie publishing route, you’re faced with marketing your work yourself. There are a lot of “experts” with advice for reaching your market. When I finished my most recent novel, The Brothers Path, a book about the Protestant Reformation, I was determined to market it as well as any “real” publisher would. I had personal reasons for this, “I’ll show you!” and “V is for Vendetta” reasons, but mostly because I believe people will like it. To like it, readers have to know about it, so… The “experts” strongly advised indie authors to sign up for virtual book tours. This involves hiring a coordinator, who has extensive contacts with book-bloggers, to set up a “tour” for your book. The tour is a catalog of different book blogs that, for a period of time, feature your work in reviews, interviews, excerpts and prizes — in my case, it was free books — to those blog readers who win the raffle offered by a particular book blog. I believed the experts, and a virtual tour seemed like a good way…

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The Art of Social Media

    The Art of Social Media for Self-Publishing Authors Most if not all self-publishing authors do not have publicists to promote their work. Therefore, you must work diligently to have your books noticed. Social Media is a crucial key to networking and to publicize your book. You must be willing to put forth the time, but it is well worth the effort if done correctly. Companies such as BRAG are a wonderful example of on-line promoting and networking. If you are a BRAG Medallion Honoree, share to the world that you are! Share BRAG's website to other sites, talk about what it means to be a BRAG Honoree. When needing reviews, have legitimate reviewers read your book other than just family and friends. You need readers who will be objective and who could give their honest opinion and to give constructive criticism- when needed. Encourage reviewers to post their reviews on various sites, including book forums. On-line interviews are another tool for promoting your book. Holding interviews also gives the chance for the reader to feel more connected to you. Readers are more likely to buy your book if they know a little about you and what your interest…

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Promoting Wisdom from Stephanie!

indieBRAG: If you are a BRAG Medallion honoree, congrats! Now it's time to get to work. Share with the world that you have been honored! Not only will promoting that you are a BRAG Medallion Honoree get your book out there, but supporting indieBRAG in everything they do will help as well. Share indieBRAG's website to other sites. Talk about them on facebook, twitter and share to any writer's group that you might belong to. You want indieBRAG to work for you and they do as well, but they need your help. indieBRAG Virtual Book Tours: We are excited about this new venture and want to encourage our authors to participate. Several times a year we will select authors and will be contacting you regarding this book tour. I encourage you to take full advantage of this. What a great way to promote your work and indieBRAG. www.bragmedallion.com Layered Pages: I have had the honor of working with indieBRAG on several projects. The first project is interviews, promoting indieBRAG and finding them readers to read your wonderful stories! If you are interested in an interview please contact me at, layeredpages@yahoo.com. Also, indieBRAG and I are starting a new project that I think you all will be excited about. indieBRAG Virtual Book Tours! If your interested in this project and would like to participate, you may contact indieBRAG or Layered Pages for more information. This is another great way to promote your book! If you would like to see how the interviews are conducted, please visit www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Goodreads: BRAG Authors, it is so important to utilize Goodreads. 1. Make sure your profile is compete. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself on there. Add a link to your website, blog, and the BRAG Medallion site on there as well. 2. Everytime you post on your website, create an event for it on Goodreads. It's so easy to do and very effective. 3. Encourage people to write reviews of you work and to post it on Goodreads. 4. Be active on Goodreads as a reader. Members like to see authors who are big readers like them and they are more likely to add your book "to read" if you are active. 5. Hold giveaways on Goodreads about three months before you publish your book. Then hold another one on the publish date and repeat every three months. 6. Hold discussions on your profile. It's a great tool! Facebook: Facebook is another great tool for promoting/networking and to meet other authors and readers. Every time you add a new post to your website, link it to Facebook. Also, you can create groups and pages on there about your work. Share other authors work as well, get involved. Sharing written reviews about your book on this site is wonderful! And most importantly its okay to do a little shameless bragging about your work! Twitter: Tweet about your work and others. Re-tweet other authors work as well and reviews, and blogs you like. This is another great tool. Stephanie,

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Promo or No Promo?

What is the best way to get attention for your book? Renee Pawlish did an interesting piece on her blog - To Become A Writer on what is the best way to promote your book or not to promote at all. According a recent Taleist survey, there seems to be very little benefit to paying for reviews or ads and that most successful authors would agree that word-of-mouth is the number one driving force to success. But how do you generate such word-of-mouth? Certainly your family and friends are great advocates but not enough to drive up sales! Reviews do matter, but one of the issues that we have avoided here at B.R.A.G. is whose reviews. Sites where an author, all of his friends and family fill the reviews with glowing accounts of the best book ever, gives a reader false hope this is going to be a book they will like. I don't believe a reader chooses a book because it is self-published or not, but reading a bad self-published book might give them the impression that most are not worth reading and shy away from a book because it is self-published. Where do you get worthwhile reviews? Well, first of all, here at B.R.A.G. We have a global reading base who are not in any way related to the authors and have nothing to gain but the satisfaction of finding the next really good book. Goodreads and Facebook are also a great way to find reviewers and bloggers to offer your book to. Here is something to consider when you are out trying to get the attention you hope will send your book to the bestseller lists- Make sure this books is well conceived, well written, thoroughly edited (both story and copy) and properly formatted. Let us not forget that word-of-mouth can go both ways. One bad review probably won't destroy your chances for success but several certainly will. Another widely accepted view is that to be a bestselling author, you have to write books! Once fans have discovered your amazing book they will be looking for more and if you don't provide them with more great stories, they will most likely stop talking and that is exactly what you don't want. So my humble opinion is write, write, write and use the advertising money you save on editing and a really great cover. Let the knowledgeable readers on Goodreads, facebook and other social media know your are out there and spend what little time you have left in a day getting reviews. Yes, I think word-of-mouth is the answer – just make sure it is authentic enough to carry your book to the top and, most important, make sure your book is ready for such scrutiny! Oh, and of course, a B.R.A.G.Medallion will tell all readers this is a book worth your time and money!

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