Category Archives: Promo Tips

Better Images for Social Media Sharing

Boat on lake at sunrise demonstrates the importance of good images.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

For a long time I was oddly resistant to rethinking the way I approached images on my blog.

I knew there was a better way than the method I was using, but I didn’t want to find the time to figure it all out. I also am terrible at design.  Additionally, I didn’t really see what the big deal was, although I kept reading that better use of images can help us in terms of sharing. Images can give a post more views, especially on platforms like Facebook.

I finally got the memo when Twitter suddenly got more visual.  I also noticed that when I’d share links on Twitter, if the image on the writer’s post was optimized, it would automatically share the image with the text of the tweet.

I have a feeling that my process here is slightly convoluted, but I’ll share it anyway, along with resources that I know of to make better blog (and other platform) images. Continue reading Better Images for Social Media Sharing

What I’ve Learned in 2016

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by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

2016 felt like a very busy year for me, although my production slowed down slightly. I wrote and published two books and am sitting on a finished third until after the holidays.  Usually I’d be halfway through a 4th book by now.

I think the reason it felt so busy was because of all the promo-related and distribution-related things that I learned and all the various platforms I tweaked.  I sat down and tried to compile all the different things that I’d read about, studied, and implemented and came up with a list to show myself that I’d been even busier than I’d thought.

Here’s a roundup of some of the things I learned in 2016:

I  learned how to find more newsletter subscribers. I participated in more group-related promo for my genre and was part of several massive giveaways with fellow cozy mystery authors. Readers entered by signing up for newsletter lists. My newsletter list grew very quickly in 2016 because of this (from a free to a paid list) and my open rate remained nearly the same.

I found that I can keep my income relatively stable, even though individual book sales are down, by producing more books, in more formats, available at more retailers. Continue reading What I’ve Learned in 2016

Twitter Analytics for ‘Best of 2016’ Tweets

Twitter Analytics for 'Best of 2016' Tweets is a post by Elizabeth S. Craig

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

If you’re like me, you’re in the middle of a very busy time of year.  I’m trying to wrap up a project (definitely not releasing it in December…January is better, sales-wise) in the midst of shopping, decorating, and driving my daughter to her own events.

Besides all that, I’m still trying to keep up my online presence. One of the ways I make this easier around the holidays is to schedule my ‘top tweets of 2016’. The past couple of years I’ve used a very convoluted method of discovering and then scheduling these ‘best of’ tweets.  But with Twitter analytics, I’ve found a better way.

First off, Twitter analytics is a very interesting tool, if you haven’t already been using it.  Journalist and Publishing Perspectives Editor-in-Chief Porter Anderson explains why in his post “How to Use Twitter Analytics to Boost Your Social Media Marketing.”  Even if you don’t want to schedule year-end tweets, if you’re not familiar with Twitter analytics, you should probably take a look. It’s interesting , at any rate, to see who your most influential follower is.

Here’s how to use it to learn your most popular tweets of the year: Continue reading Twitter Analytics for ‘Best of 2016’ Tweets

Public Speaking Tips

A microphone is in the foreground and empty seats are in the background for the post "Public Speaking Tips" from author Elizabeth Spann Craig.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

There are some writers I know who were born to be public speakers. They do a great job with audience engagement and can captivate a room.

Then there are the rest of us.  :)

As I’ve said before, I’ve definitely made my peace with public speaking by this time and have grown to enjoy it.  It’s has taken me years to finally embrace it (I’ll give a shout-out to Toastmasters, which provided a lot of help).

Here are some tips that I’ve learned along the way

Know your audience in advance.  I’ve learned that this is essential. Sometimes, for example, I’m speaking to beginner writers. Sometimes I’m speaking to writers who know a good deal about writing and promo.  If I mess up and make my speech too complex or too easy to understand, I’m going to lose audience interest and look unprepared. Usually the event organizer has some idea about who is going to be attending.  And, obviously, it’s also important to know if you’re speaking to writers or to readers.

Get Q&A questions in advance to spur others later.   If you’re speaking to a group, club, or organization, ask the event organizer to get some early questions.  Or you could pass out index cards to the audience before the event.

When preparing the speech, focus on value for the audience.  Once you know who the audience is, you can prepare a talk that will keep their interest with information that they find useful. This, to me, is half the battle of giving a good speech.

Arrive early.  Arriving early helps for a variety of reasons. It helps us in case something has gone wrong (sometimes there are technology issues) and it helps us because we can greet audience members as they come in (which helps allay nervousness).

Ask the audience a question as a warm-up.   When I speak to groups of readers, I’ll poll the audience by asking for a show of hands to a general question (for me, it’s usually ‘How many of you grew up reading mysteries?’). Not only is their answer interesting to me, but it usually functions as a great warm-up and gives me a little information about my audience.

Continue gauging audience interest.  If audience members start looking bored, sleepy, or restless, I’ll change direction and try something else.

Move. Instead of standing behind the podium, it can be helpful to move around to engage the audience better.  Although I think too much movement looks a little too restless.

If using a powerpoint, visuals are key. Reduce text.  Create visuals using free tools like VisualHunt and Canva to make your slides. It’s generally said that slides with too much text are overwhelming.

Pause for laughter. If people are laughing, it’s best to wait instead of trying to talk over them and cutting the moment short.

Consider adding more value by making your notes and links accessible to audience members on a password-protected page on your website. This tip is more useful when speaking to writers’ groups and conferences.

If you’re ready to do more public speaking, create a ‘speaking’ page on your website and include ‘speaker’ in your LinkedIn headline. If no one knows you’re available to speak, you’re likely not going to get many invitations.

Do you do much public speaking? What tips can you add?

Tips for public speaking: Click To Tweet

Photo credit: bionicteaching via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC

10 Minute Marketing

10 Minute Marketing is a post from author Elizabeth Spann Craig.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Sometimes there is so much promo-related stuff to do that it can seem overwhelming.

And, once we actually feel as if we get a handle on everything, that’s when something changes. There’ll be a new marketing approach or a new platform to use.

For me, it’s been helpful if I approach promo the same way I approach writing a book. It’s sort of like the saying:  how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

If I can make at least a little progress each day, I feel as if I’ve really accomplished something.

It might be most helpful to make a list of things you want to update or areas you may want to learn more about.

Some of these tasks you may want to break down into several days of projects. Breaking them down makes them even less intimidating to tackle. For example, if you were completely new to Goodreads: read for 10 minutes about the site, set up a login, create your profile, link to your books, sign up for a giveaway, etc. Continue reading 10 Minute Marketing