Social Media

Pinterest for Authors: Cool People & Boards to Follow

Not long ago, I wrote an article about Pinterest but never really got into the nitty gritty because I was new to the platform and had no clue what to do on there. Recently, I’ve been finding it easier and more fun to use than Facebook or Twitter. There aren’t that many annoying restraints or constant algorithm changes—yet! Also, I can save time on all my social media accounts by sharing interesting pins to Facebook, Google or Instagram, sites that all favor images.

So let’s start today by using the search engine to find cool people and boards.

Search Terms That Could be Useful

In a Pinterest search you will find several search options which can confuse some people. There’s a small almost unnoticable tab that you can click on where a list of  all of the most popular subjects on Pinterest pop up. Pinterest 2For the sake of this post, we’re just going to go to Film, Music & Books where you’ll find this: Pinterest Basic Search As you can see there are a whole lot of irrelevant non-book related things that were pulled up from this search.  However, you can narrow that search by typing something more specific like: Book Lovers. 

When you do that you will be presented with the All Pins tab as well as the, Your Pins, Pinners and finally, Boards. If you’re looking for something or someone specific, Pinners or Boards are what you want to choose.  Also, if you look toward the top of the page you’ll see several other tabs relating to the words (topic) you have searched. Pinterest Search Techniques If you’re not careful, you can spend hours on Pinterest as I sometimes find myself doing.  So here are a few search terms that will speed up your search.

Tip: You can sign up for Pinterest’s own blog which gives tips and tricks on how to navigate the site.

Boards with Writing Tips

If you’re constantly looking to improve your craft or even looking to challenge yourself as a writer, then Pinterest has you covered. Here are a few boards with everything from character development tips to jokes about writing.

  • ~Writer~  is a board by Sian Rickett’s who pins good tips and half a million other pinners agree!
  •  To Write Characters by Rowena Murillo, has several interesting boards for authors filled with solid tips on the psychology of characters.
  • Writing Tips from Hazell Longuet, has everything from grammar to productivity.
  • Character Personality Traits is a board by yours truly, where I post about personality traits and psychological disorders.
  • Write ✏️✏️✏️ D.i.a.n.a. G.u.n.d.e.l.a.c.h. has tips and jokes.

Boards with Publishing Tips

What indie author doesn’t need marketing advice these days? Here are a few boards for those of you looking for some resources.

  • Author Resources is another board by yours truly and it’s filled with everything from free books on self-publishing, to lists of book reviewers and advertisers.
  • Self-Publishing 101 is a board by Self Pub Nation and is for newbies, naturally.
  •  Book Promotion and Publicity by Your Writer Platform also has awesome pins about promotion and publishing.
  • How to Sell More Books a board from Penny Sansevieri, from the Author Marketing Experts Inc. has everything you’ve ever wanted to know about DIY Publishing.

Quotes & Funny Stuff

Want to post something inspiring or funny to your readers but have nothing to say? Then try seeking out quotes and jokes, they’re everywhere on Pinterest and some of them are unique.

Some Familiar Brands

Yes, companies feel just as pressured as we are to keep up appearances on social media.

Being True to Thyself

Like your books and website, your social media presence should be used as a business card, letting people know who you are, while your posts (pins) should show them what you can do.  This is 20% of social media, the other 80% is sharing, commenting and connecting.  Social media is not about collecting followers or faking engagement.  No one benefits from that.  When the marketing experts talk about building an author platform, they mean building a reputation.  Social media is a great place where you can be you and show the world what you’re all about.  This quote from the late Dr. Seuss says it all:

Advertisements
Book Promotion, Business, Indie Publishing, Marketing

Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services To Promote Books? Part 3

 

pinterest_2be152b24b
Pic via Pixabay

I was going to post this separately but since it’s relevant to the other two articles on social media services, I’m extending this series. Today, I want to discuss how to research and analyze social media marketing services. Don’t worry, I won’t get too technical. This is important if you want to discern which marketing strategies have a real chance of working for you. As I learned while writing this series, information isn’t always readily available. Sometimes, you will have to dig for what you need to know. But you’re a writer, and already used to that sort of thing, right? So here’s how to find out if a social media service is legit…

Look At Their Numbers

If you’re hiring a social media service it would be rather important to look at their social media accounts and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do they have more followers than me?
  2. Are they promoting books to readers?
  3. Do their posts have more interaction than mine?

If you answer no to any of these questions, you should consider moving on. You don’t have the time or money to throw away on a service that isn’t going to help you promote your books. You probably already have a social media presence that’s either small or nonexistent, so there’s no need to add a zero to your marketing equation.

Getting To Know Them

Once you’ve found out if their following is on the up and up, it’s time to go deep and start analyzing their followers. You need to be sure these accounts are real.  Granted, there are going to be some spammers and fakery but if their Twitter following is more than 20% fake, this is a huge problem. Let’s put that into perspective, if a promotional site claims to have 50,000 followers but 20% are fake, that means 10,000 of their followers are worthless. Can you afford to pay for that? Fortunately, there are several apps that can help you analyze someone’s Twitter account.

Sadly for Facebook, things aren’t so easy I know, shocking right?  On Facebook, you’ll have to go to a person’s page and click on “likes” in order see the countries from which these likes are coming from. If they all come from places in Southeast Asia, they’re most likely fake. Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East are renown for their online scams as well as their spam but they’re also a hot bed for like farms which you can read about here.

How Do You Know If A Service Has Gotten Any Traction?

Okay, so you finally found a promotional service that has legitimate followers congratulations, however, you’re still not done. Before you submit your tweet, post or excerpt, you’ll need a link to wherever your book is sold. When you grab that URL, I would suggest you get a trackable link. This is important if you want to know for sure if a service is actually working for you. Trackable links can be found at:

These sites not only shorten your URLs but track them as well. This means you’ll know exactly how many people clicked on your promo and when. It’s a win-win! In the beginning, you’ll want to monitor any services your use whether it’s advertising or social media blasts.  It would also be wise to schedule different campaigns on separate days just to keep things easier to track.

Helpful Tip: If you haven’t gone exclusive with Amazon’s KDP Select, I’d advise linking to various book sellers like; Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or even Google Play. This also keeps things easier to track and it helps promote your book across all seller platforms.

Checking Sales Rank

I know this is obvious but it must be pointed out that you need to keep track of your sales during your promotional campaigns. You have to know which services are giving you the best ROI and which ones are duds. This will save you time and money the next time you promote your next book. So there you have it, if you have any tips on how to research and analyze a social media promoter, let me know in the comments section.

Also, if you didn’t check out the previous 2 posts, what are you waiting for?

  • Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services to Promote Books? Part 1:
  • Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services to Promote Books? Part 2
Book Promotion, Social Media

Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services To Promote Books? Part 2

social-media-services-part-2
Image via Pixabay

Last week, I discussed social media services and today, I’ll talk about services geared specifically  towards authors.  Since social media is becoming more and more of a pay to play kind of environment, many authors are either abandoning their accounts, or moving on to other sites.  This is a mistake.  Social media is still useful, I talked about it before in, “How to Approach & Pitch Social Media Influencers.” However, for those who simply lack social grace, there are services which will retweet/like your posts, hold Twitter discussions, and even build your community for you.  Here are just a few of the more popular ones.  P.S. I am in no way affiliated with the services mentioned. 

Bublish

Here, you share your book’s excerpts on their website and Bublish tweets the excerpt to their followers.  Bublish also promises to optimize excerpts with keywords and metadata.  This is something you can easily do yourself which I discussed in this post.

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t discuss the major problem with their website, you see, it gets poor traffic.  My blog almost has the same Alexa ranking as this site and lately, my blog gets around 60-90 views daily.  Also, upon inspecting their Facebook page, and their Twitter feed, I saw lots of posts marketed towards authors, not readers.  However, if you must try it, they have a free trial period but after that, it’s $9.99 a month.

TweetYourBooks.com
A.K.A. (BookTweetingService.com) this company claims that their followers are real and actually block spammers, as well as fake accounts.  They even go through the trouble of showing their stats here while slamming some of their competition.  I found one author who used the service but never broke even for her nonfiction book.  To be fair, this was not the experience of another author.

If you want to test it out yourself, their rates start at $29, for 1 day of tweets, and go up to $125, for 5 days of tweets.

Book Tweeters
Book Tweeter is a well known social media service that claims a following of over 480,000 of both readers and writers over 5 different accounts.  Their services start at $19 for 1 day, (60 tweets) to $75 for 7 days (300 tweets).  They do not accept erotica or books with hate speech and reserve the right to reject any book for promotion.  P.S. Sometimes they have sales so sign up for their newsletter and keep your eyes peeled for coupon codes (Scroll to the near bottom).

Book Bear
Book Bear is a bare bones social media promotion site that offers packages from $10 for one post/tweet to $100 for a 1 post/tweet per day for 5 days promo.
Their Facebook page is a ghost town but their Twitter feed is a different story. Their Twitter account has 116,000 and a little activity.

Masquerade Tours
Masquerade Tours is a blog touring service but they also offer several social media services including Twitter blasts, and a live Twitter chat featuring you and your book. A simple Twitter blast to their 50,000 followers will run you about $40 and the Twitter chat will require prizes and swag (from the author) and runs about $75 (minimum) but the experience can be customized so prices can go up.

Pump Up Your Book

Pump Up Your Book is a public relations service that specializes in setting up virtual book tours, creating book trailers, handling social media blasts as well as website design. Their social media blasts offers cover reveals, blog posts and a mention on their book tour page for about $199.

Virtual Book Tour Café

Virtual Book Tour Café offers book tours of course, but they also offer to help build your social media as well as advertising on Facebook, banners, book thongs, book reviews and a plethora of other things.  It runs about $599 which is quite steep but it seems like a more comprehensive service rather than the tweet and run services I’ve been seeing.

Ghost Tweeting
Ghost tweeting has a specific service for authors. It is the perfect for those authors who don’t want to deal with social media at all. Ghost Tweeting promises to create content, post it and build your community for you. They will also create content for not just your Twitter account but also, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages as well.  Their rates start at $295 and go up to $1,295.

After Thoughts

For many including myself, social media doesn’t work when it comes to promoting books and never really did. But as I said before, if you want to go hybrid, you’re going to need a pretty sweet looking platform because agents are now Googling authors before saying yea or nay to a project.  I still believe you should try to do things the old fashioned way by building relationships and networking.  Influencers in charge of large reading communities are much more responsive to people they are familiar with, than those who send their middlemen.  Besides, most of the prime real-estate (fan and community pages) on social media isn’t for sale.

Read the rest of the series here:

  • Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services To Promote Books Part 1
  • Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services To Promote Books Part 3

 

Book Promotion, Social Media

Should Indie Authors Use Social Media Services to Promote Books? Part 1

 

social-media-part1
Pic via Pixabay.com

Several years back a few websites popped up promising to help people grow their social media accounts and even make them look popular by liking or retweeting them. Immediately, celebrities everywhere became their biggest clients by paying for fake fans, retweets and even comments, I talked about it a while back on Writer’s Weekly. Most people, myself included, considered it to be nothing more than useless vanity metrics. Anyone who knows a little about online marketing understands how easy it is to manipulate metrics.

Sadly, not everyone has been clued in and that includes those within the publishing industry but are you surprised? Believe it or not, they still think that having 5,000,000 Twitter followers actually means something. Remember just this past year, an author on Wattpad was given a six figure deal after writing 3 fan fiction stories that got over 1 billion views. So publishers love big numbers, go figure! Unfortunately for those indie authors wanting to go hybrid, (meaning self-publish as well as traditionally publish) they are going to have to grow their social media following. There’s no way around it.

What About The Indie Who Doesn’t Want To Traditionally Publish?

It often takes years to organically build a following that is both large and engaged. You can speed up the process by following and unfollowing random people or by signing up for quid-pro-quo groups online but that will never gain you true fans and that is why you’re on social media for, right?  Being an indie author gives you time, but I still see some indies trying to grow their social media following in an attempt to fake it till they make it.  But I digress… There are many legitimate reasons to use a social media service:

  • Grow your social media following—duh!
  • Promote your book launch or sale.
  • Get comments or shares for a blog post
  • Promoting book signings, interviews or social media events
  • Grow your email list

Things A Social Media Service Can’t Do For You

One important thing these services can’t offer is genuine interaction, they can’t respond to people who actually engage with this campaign.  It will be completely up to you to show up and answer questions or thank people for their comments and compliments. Today, I’ll focus on social media services that promise to help broaden your reach online.  Below is a list of some of the more popular services.

Thunder Clap This past year, I saw several authors in my Facebook group promoting their Thunder Clap campaigns. Basically, ThunderClap is a crowdsourcing site where people join a campaign to tweet something simultaneously, thus making it more likely to trend on Twitter. P.S. None of the authors I’ve spoken to, have reached their goals. Even the guys over at the Self-Publishing Podcast, didn’t speak too highly of it. The inherent problem with Thunder Clap is that in order to use it, you have to already have an engaged following. Also, you will have to find followers willing to allow the ThunderClap app to access their Twitter accounts in order to tweet your post.  As you can imagine, this may be unacceptable to most people.

Easy Retweet Easy Retweet is a site that allows you to upload your blog or website post and members of the website will retweet you in exchange for free credits from the site.   You can also purchase credits for around $2.00 for 500 credits or $60 for 80,000 credits.  They also try to target these retweets by asking you to select the subject you’re tweeting about.  The subjects range from tech, blogging, and of course, writing.

AdRetweet Works just like Easy Retweet and offers retweets for 7 days at $4.95 to an entire year of retweets for $89.99.

Fiverr Fiverr is an outsourcing site and often one stop shopping for lots of indie authors. Here you can hire graphic designers, copy writers and yes, even social media promoters. All this usually for under the price of $20.

Social Promotes Social Promotes offers a free exchange of retweets but you’ll have to retweet others to get the credits offered. Social Promotes also offers credits of 100 retweets for $2.00 and 1,000 retweets for $29.00. Keep in mind they have targeted and non targeted services which basically means targeted retweets will come from accounts in the U.K. Australia and the U.S. which isn’t really targeted enough for my tastes.

Professional Social Promotion Professional Social offers to grow not only your Twitter following but your Youtube, Facebook and Google Plus following as well.  Their prices range for $10, for 250 Facebook likes, to $100, for 3,000 likes.  Also, their social sharing which includes blasting your posts to sites like StumbleUpon, Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook runs about $10.

Round Team Although, Round Team isn’t like the other sites mentioned above, I believe I should mention it because it is becoming rather popular with authors. This is an automatic retweeting service that let’s you control who you retweet by letting you define the settings. You can choose to retweet posts with certain hashtags or even just retweet your followers. They have several plans starting at free and going up to $29.99 per month. However, keep in mind with the free service, Round Team sends out their own posts with banners and links to their website.  Here’s how they look (name of author has been redacted): Round Team Promotional Tweets If you’re okay with promoting someone else’s product on your Twitter account, then the free service is right up your alley.

In Closing

Although, many of these services are cheap and claim to have many followers, there’s no guarantee that any of your social media posts will be seen by actual readers.  This is the critical flaw in all of these services. Unless, you go through all their accounts (which is impossible to do since many of the sites won’t reveal that info) it’ll be a shot in the dark at best. I think these services are perfect for the author who sucks at social media or just don’t want to be bothered with it. However, in order to use them effectively, you’ll have to know something about hashtags, the best times to post and how to use images to enhance posts.  That’s because most of these companies only provide a basic post and run type service.  So this isn’t ideal for book promotion or any sort of literary promotion. However don’t fear, because next week, I’m going to discuss social media services geared towards authors and book promotion. So stay tuned…

Read the rest of the series here:

  • Should Authors Use Social Media Services to Promote Books? Part 2
  • Should Authors Use Social Media Services to Promote Books? Part 3
writing

Okay, So I Was Wrong About Pinterest: An Author’s Guide to Using Pinterest

instagram_1e150b887e
Image via Pixabay

Recently, I had to eat crow when it came to Pinterest. Though I never said anything publicly, I did once joke (privately) about how Pinterest was social media for people who couldn’t read. However, on June 18, that all changed when I was graced with a repin by a Pinterest power user. From that one user, I got almost 150 new visitors to my blog, as well as 5 new subscribers in just a few hours. The last time I’ve seen results like that it was from StumbleUpon.

But I’ve been wrong before remember, when I talked trash about Wattpad last year until I learned how to dominate that site? Honestly, I don’t mind being wrong, however, I do mind staying that way. When I realized there was something to Pinterest, I had to investigate and of course, share what I’ve learned with you.

Do SEO & Hashtags Matter?

Yes, Pinterest is heavily focused on all things visual, but they also have an algorithm that favors certain keywords.  However the jury is out, when it comes to hashtags, not everyone agrees that hashtags even matter.  That’s because recently, Pinterest changed their algorithm so that certain hashtags aren’t searchable.

The Pinterest experts suggest that in order to get repinned you must have a good photo with key words in it as well as keywords in the description!  Notice how it isn’t as simple as post and run?

Meeting the Pinterest Superstars

As with Facebook and Twitter, there are power players that you should know about. In fact, it would wise to befriend these people so that you can enlist them in your Pinterest army. Pinterest itself makes it real easy to find power users.

As if that weren’t enough, there are also Pinterest boards that authors should be aware of. Here’s a list of “Bookish Pinterest Boards” via Book Riot.  Some boards are public like this one, which means you can post on their boards but only if your pin is relevant to the board.

The Time You Pin Matters Tremendously

Just like with any social media site, you need to be most active when your audience and the power users are online, otherwise, what’s the point?  If you haven’t noticed, Pinterest buries old content further and further down the timeline with newer, fresher content like Twitter.

From what I’ve noticed, my best results have been around the late afternoon and evening hours. It makes sense, people are most active online after school and work.  You can even schedule your pins using sites like; Hootsuite, Viraltag, and GoPixel.

Authors Who Would Benefit From Being on Pinterest

Pinterest’s audience consists predominately of women, at 68% and of those women 50% are parents. Their ages range anywhere from 25- 44 but keep in mind, some of them are teachers, librarians as well as authors. If you’re a man don’t worry, this isn’t an anti-male site.  For example, I know of a male author on Pinterest who writes about mobsters as well as crime and he not only pins his books, but also articles about famous mobsters.  His account is well set out and you won’t catch him pinning things that don’t exemplify his personality or his work.  Same goes for Orna Ross author and founder of The Alliance of Independent Authors she also has an awesome account as well.

Tip: Don’t just use your boards to promote yourself, create one or two to help to promote others. I did so here with my board, “A Few Authors I Know” and another called, “Stories on Wattpad.” Even if you don’t have a large following, people will appreciate the effort and will reciprocate. This is how you build a loyal following on any social media site.

Short Cuts: Building Your Following Quickly

It was only a matter of time before people starting looking for ways to increase their following numbers and there is one website that caters to just that.  Hat tip to Hazel Longuet and her site “The Novel Experience” for the awesome Pinterest hack.  Viralwoot is a website that is similar to Twiends and ILikeTraffic where you pay for seeds and those people collecting seeds repin one of your pins.  It’s almost like cheating the system but not quite.  Those people who get free seeds can then use them to promote their own pins and yes, they can unpin or unfollow you quickly, it’s not unheard of with sites like this.

Well I hope I gave you a few ideas for using Pinterest to promote your book. I also hope I showed you not to knock a site until you’ve actually tried it.  I’ve opened the comments section if you want to share a link to your Pinterest account please feel free.

Book Promotion, Networking, Social Media

How to Approach & Pitch Social Media Influencers

pinterest_4cb215da08
Photo from WikiMediaCommons

It’s a problem that many social media admins and page owners complain about all the time and that is complete strangers wanting favors. Don’t think it’s a problem? Just go to Twitter and type the words Please RT or Help Me into the search engine and you’ll find an endless feed of begging. Now, I’m not shaming anyone because I used to do it too thinking that was the way social media worked.  Unfortunately, I listened to the social media experts who told people to ask, ask, ask which got me absolutely nowhere.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I lost a few followers because of it!

The Inherent Problem With Social Media

The biggest problem most indie authors have is that their following on social media is small to nonexistent.  I mean, who follows an unknown author?  With no little or no money, we can’t buy ads or promote posts which naturally puts us in a pickle.  However what most indie authors don’t know is that they can borrow somebody else’s network.  So how do you get someone to lend you their audience?

Whatever You Do, Don’t Skip This Step!

If you really want to get on someone’s radar, you’ll need to join the community you’d like to target. And you’re going to have to be a good community member, which means sharing, and commenting on the page whenever you can.  If you’re friendly as well as helpful, you’ll get noticed in no time.  If not, you might want to consider moving on.

Now keep in mind, you’re building a relationship so this will take time.  For example, when I joined Red River Writers, I was a member of their community for nearly a year when they announced they needed a virtual assistant.  Of course I applied, and didn’t need to feel anxious about approaching them because I was already acquainted with them.

A Cautionary Tale:

In a previous post, I mentioned a viral incident where a young woman approached a job recruiter on LinkedIn who ended up berating her for her poor etiquette.  She was called, entitled and tacky by the recruiter and despite everyone’s outrage, I understand the hostility.  Now I’m not agreeing with how the recruiter behaved but I do know this could’ve been easily avoided if the young woman had simply introduced herself and expressed interest in becoming a part of the recruiter’s community.

Your Angle, You Do Have One Right?

As long as you view this as a business proposition and not a handout, then you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable pitching to a social media influencer or any influencer for that matter. However you first need to ask yourself, what do you bring to the table? Can you offer a free book, tee-shirt or a gift card? As a marketer, you’re going to need an angle.

Things You Need Before You Pitch:

  • A familiarity with the page admin and the community.
  • An appropriate book.  Don’t pitch a romance novel to a sci-fi page.
  • A bribe or special offer.

With Facebook’s Crappy Algorithm Come Many Opportunities

Since Facebook has limited the reach of most pages, page owners are scrambling to hang on to their following. It sucks for them because many of them can’t afford to advertise but you can easily bring a bit of buzz to their page with gifts and bribes.  I believe now that Facebook is an easy target for indie authors looking to promote their work.

On the Reading Between the Wines’ Facebook page (You need to be logged in to see the link) they occasionally offer author takeovers. A takeover is just like it sounds, an author takes complete control of the page in order to hold contests, answer questions and even interact with readers.  Believe it or not, these types of pages aren’t hard to find.

Tip of the day: You can find author friendly pages on Facebook, Twitter and even Google+ by typing, Author Takeover in the search engine and investigate which authors are doing takeovers and where.

Because I Care, Here Are More Resources

Here’s a Google spreadsheet listing Facebook groups that are promotional friendly.
Bloggers who Interview Authors by Lisa Kalner William (You must be logged into Google)
A list of 80 Book Reviewers on Twitter Compiled by Yours Truly @WritingPants

There you go, more tips that can help, you promote your book successfully on social media.  Next week, I’m talking about author assistants and why you’ll need one if you’re going to do a promotional blitz.

Book Reviews, Social Media

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Trolls

trolls-finished-pixabay

This week, in one of my Facebook groups a teen author asked about marketing her book on Goodreads and I was stunned by the reaction of some of the adults in the group.  Many discouraged her from using the website citing, trolls and bullies.  Granted, some of them had been trolled but to discourage someone from trying to market their book just on the off chance that they may run into an a**hole is stupid.  If that’s the case, let’s all avoid the internet because a**holes are in season year round!

Yes, we’ve all heard about the various smackdowns involving readers and authors but those incidents represent only a tiny fraction of interactions between authors and readers.  In fact, many authors have successfully used Goodreads without any problem.  It’s sad but, Goodreads recently had to upload tutorials for authors to cut down on the confusion and prevent drama.

Looking back, if I could, I would’ve handled the situation with this newbie differently, here’s what I should’ve said…

Your Book Will Get Panned

I wish I had the guts to tell this young author, that she needed to be prepared for the inevitable trashing of her book.  However, the poor kid was already getting an ear full, I didn’t need to add to the hysteria.  But if I had been honest, I would have told her the publishing world isn’t all rainbows and kittens.  I’ve been the target of trolls first, as a freelancer and recently, as a blogger.  Do you know how I handled that?  I just kept writing!  Let your anger fuel your creativity, not destroy it.

Even Your Online Reviews & Blurbs are Subject to Criticism

For example, if you give too many 1 star reviews, you’re jealous, but if you give too many 5 star reviews, you’re on the payroll.

Several of my author friends have been accused of being paid reviewers simply because they review books.  I guess it’s hard for them to imagine the writing community as a  supportive place where we often help one another.  Instead, they’d like to envision us desperately trying to vote each other off the island—professionally speaking.

Also, the recent sock puppetting scandals have many readers skeptical about online reviews. So if they sense anything awry, they’ll dismiss or attack it.

Google Alerts: The Instrument of Fear Mongers

There are many publicists who insist authors get Google Alerts on their names and their books in order to monitor their online reputation.  Seriously, who cares what people are saying about your work?  Sure as an indie author it’s your job to get a few positive reviews, but it’s not your job to control the whole damn review section of Amazon!

For example, Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch released a self-publishing book called APE and I was interested in purchasing it.  However, when I looked at the price it was a whooping $7.99, for the ebook.  In order to justify spending that kind of money on a digital book, I decided to look at the reviews.  I came across this lonely one-star review which was titled: “rubbish.”  Scrolling down, I saw there were multiple responses to the reviewer from the co-author himself.  I still to this day, don’t understand why?

Some Reviews are Total BS:

Here’s a secret you need to know, not everyone who reviews a book has actually read it.  In the past, I’ve read reviews where the person actually admits they didn’t even read the book they’re trashing.  Need proof?  Here’s an article in the Huffington Post that lists the most popular books people pretend to read.

The Stats

For those of you petrified about groups of trolls trashing your books and your reputation, relax.  Most readers don’t discover their books on Goodreads and rarely do they get it from some blogger.  In fact, most readers I’ve spoken to don’t even know what Goodreads is.  I found this out this when I went on a quest for reviews.

There are multiple statistics that tell us how readers discover books and authors.  One was done a few years back on Mobilereads, another by Goodreads, and one by NYT bestseller Marie Force.  So stop giving online trolls power over your career.

Let Em Talk: You’re Too Busy Being Fabulous!

When Nina Davuluri was crowned 2014 Miss America, a few hundred racist Tweets popped up on Twitter.  How did she handle it?  Not surprisingly, with the grace and dignity of a beauty queen.  Now, if you want to find those Tweets you have to look hard because many of them have been deleted or made private.  Shame is a powerful thing.

Believe it or not, most of the world still takes place off line and thank God!  Could you imagine if Douchey_McDouche85 was relevant in the real world?

Final Thoughts

I’m not making light of when someone intentionally hurts your feelings but I am diminishing the power those words hold over you.  You are not allowed to be brokenhearted over something a mentally deranged/miserable/ignorant/pathetic individual said.  Your career is too important.

The best revenge against any troll is to write the next book.  You know, so we can give them something else to talk about. 😉

Now it’s your turn, what would you have said to a young newbie?  Tell us in the comments.