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TBOWT 038 –Book Reviews by the Dozens with Tara Alemany

August 25, 2014

Book Fairs for Authors by Larry DeKay with Peggy DeKay, published by Darby Press is available now at Amazon.com and on Kindle. Book Fairs for Authors teaches authors how to apply to a book fair, improve their chances of being accepted, and how to leverage their attendance at a book fair to garner speaking engagements, book signings, and sell more books. The book comes complete with vetted book fair links to dozens of book fairs, book festivals and book expos around the country. If you plan to make book fairs a part of your marketing plan, and you should, Book Fairs for Authors is a must have for your book marketing library.

Today’s episode features an interview with Tara Alemany, author, speaker, hybrid publisher, and social media consultant. Tara has authored two books and has been co-authored or been a contributing author to three more. Today we will be highlighting some of the information in her book The Plan That Launched a Thousand Books, a DIY guide on how to promote and market your book.

Listed below are the questions and highlights of Tara’s answers. To hear more listen to the complete podcast.

Q&A:
Peggy: Hello Tara. Let’s get right to it. What types of reviews are there and why should we get as many reviews as possible?

Tara: Although there are many types of reviews, they are important because they represent word of mouth endorsements. As authors, we rely on reviews not just to promote our books after publication, but we also use reviews by beta readers to make our books better before publication. A bevy of well-chosen beta reviewers can make your book better. Once the book is published, online and print reviews become a powerful marketing tool and testimonial for your book.

Peggy: What about paid reviews?

Tara: Although there are many sites that offer paid reviews there is some skepticism on the value of paid reviews. Kirkus is one paid review site that comes to mind. These reviews can be expensive, (Kirkus is several hundred dollars), but you only get one review for that price and no idea if it will be positive or negative. If you have that kind of money in your marketing budget, it may be worth pursuing (assuming you’ve written a worthy book). However, there are other more economical resources that can also generate great reviews for you.

Peggy: Where have you been successful in obtaining reviews?

Tara: Storycartel.com has been a great place to get reviews. They match authors to host reviewers in exchange for a free digital copy of the book. During the first three-week period, you should send your potential reviewers a short campaign of emails.
I also like Goodreads.com, noisetrade.com and triberr.com. Triberr.com is a group of bloggers who create “tribes” centered on a specific topic area. You can use triberr.com to find people who are reviewing books in your genre.

Peggy: What about paid advertising on Facebook or Google ads? Have you had any experience with these?

Tara: Facebook ads can be helpful if you set a realistic budget. I spend $5 to $50 for each ad campaign. Once your budget is spent the ad stops. I recently read one statistic that said that a Facebook post (free) on a page with 18,000 followers was only seen on the newsfeeds of 200 of those followers. This means that paid, targeted, adverting on Facebook may be a better way to go.

Peggy: I have heard great success stories about Google ads. I know one author who sold 8,000 books using a $50 per month Google ad campaign. I have also heard negative stories about people buying “pay-per-click” advertising, then receiving huge bills from Google.com.

Tara:  I too have heard mixed stories about Google ads. The problem is, I have heard more stories of people who accidentally spent hundreds (and sometimes thousands!) more than they expected running a Google ad. That’s just not going to happen with a Facebook ad. Once your budget is reached, the campaign ends, so the risk is minimal and it creates some great “brand visibility” if nothing else. You can do a 1-3 -day campaign with a budget of $5 to $50, and are only paying when someone clicks on your ad.

Peggy: What is the best way to leverage the reviews I already have? They might be advance praise endorsements, Amazon reviews, or emails sent to me by people who have read my book?

Tara:  Use reviews to your advantage by posting them on your website, sharing them on your social networks, embedding them in blog posts, and using reviews to generate a speaking engagement or guest appearance. Remember to reach out to people who aren’t necessarily in the traditional “book” business but in related endeavors. I use both Twitter and LinkedIn as greats social media platforms for connecting with my readers and with other authors.

Peggy: I have been hearing good things about bookbub.com. Bookbub.com is a paid site. Do you have any experience with it and if not, have you heard anything about it, good or bad?

Tara: I have heard good things about www.bookbub.com.  The pricing depends on a number of factors, like genre, whether you’re offering the book as free or paid, etc. There is a blog post on my website that goes into great detail about a UK writer’s experience with www.bookbub.com. To read the article click here:
http://alewebsocial.com/bookbub

Where to find out more about Tara:
http://alewebsocial.com

The Summit
The third annual (2014) Business of Writing International Summit is over for another year. We had our largest crowd ever for Peggy’s How to Self-Publish Your Book workshop with featured guest speaker, Kathi Dunn of Dunn and Associates. Our keynote speaker, Mark Wayne Adams gave a great keynote and taught a spectacular class on public speaking. Over 30 experts, in three days of fun, food, and learning. We hope you will join us next year.
To see pictures of the Summit go to our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/WritingSummit
(Pictures courtesy of John W. Smith)

Get your copy of Larry’s book today:
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Fairs-Authors-Larry-DeKay/dp/0983414432/

We love to hear your comments, please
E-mail us at
peggy@tbowt.com or larry@tbowt.com

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