Issue #802 March 22, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- A Tip Jar at Your Blog
- Your “We We” Score
- How to Help Stores Sell Your Books
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
I’m dreading my back-to-back appointments on Monday with two doctors, both specialists, for this persistent cough that’s still hanging on. What if they tell me I’m allergic to my dog?
1. A Tip Jar at Your Blog
What’s the first thought that pops into your head when you see a tip jar at someone’s blog?
I used to think they were, well…not exactly for me, but perfectly fine for down-and-out writers who couldn’t find any other way to monetize their blogs.
Now I’m not so sure.
Maria Popova–a Bulgarian writer, blogger and critic living in Brooklyn–has a huge audience, with more than 420,000 followers on Twitter. She has written for Wired UK, The New York Times, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, The Atlantic and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. So she’s got street cred.
Along the left margin, under the heading “donating = loving,” she explains that the blog is ad-free “and takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain.” Readers can click on a “$7/month” button, or donate via Paypal.
She makes the same appeal at the bottom of her blogs posts.
Tip jars are one of the tips I shared during the webinar “27 Ways to Monetize Your Blog”. It comes with a bonus package that includes a transcript on how to outsource some of the administrative work associated with your blog to a virtual assistant, leaving you free to write.
2. Your “We We” Score
When you write a press release, blog post, pitch, article, sales letter or website copy, is it all about you? Or does your writing focus, instead, on the person who’s reading it?
Find out quickly by using the We We Calculator, a free analysis tool that counts certain words that are key indicators of whether your focus in on the customer or not. It helps you get a sense of the impression you are making on your prospects and pinpoint where you can make changes quickly and easily.
Give it a whirl.
This free tool was one of dozens of tips that Colin Martin shared during the free webinar on “Stealth Persuasion: Capturing the Emotions (and Money) of Your Website Visitors.” It’s about an hour and a half and packed with content. You will LOVE Colin’s fast and easy formula for writing headlines that make readers click and keep reading.
Set aside some time this weekend to watch it.
3. How to Help Stores Sell Your Books
During Thursday’s webinar with Amy Collins on how to convince big chains to sell your books, Amy stressed the importance of publicity, and what it takes to convince stores like Costco to sell your books. When you talk to the big chains, they will want to hear that you are:
–On local radio shows.
–Getting several book reviews per week.
–Offering coop advertising funds. That is, money the stores can use to market your books. (Don’t mention an amount.)
–Being interviewed by print media.
–Selling books on your own. Show them statistics from Nielsen’s Bookscan, a key metrics service that provides sales information from retailers.
–Sharing photos and links on social media showing your book launch party, book signing events and other successes.
That takes a lot of work. And not all authors, especially indie authors, are up to the task.
If you are, get your hands on contact information for the chains Amy discussed on Thursday’s call, a sample sales package, and a sample cover letter you can use when approaching the stores.
The link for the video replay and all the downloads is being sent today. Order “How to Convince Costco, Walmart Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books.”
4. Hound Video of the Week
Thanks to Linda Jay Geldens of San Francisco for this video of Sophie, the English Bulldog that loves rolling down hills, just like we did when we were kids.