Posts Tagged ‘promote books’

Years ago being an author meant you would write a book, get published (if you were lucky) and hope for the best when it came to selling and gaining visibility for you and your masterpiece. That is unless you had star status or were a professional speaker who could sell from the platform or to your existing client base.

Countless authors romanced the idea of going on a world tour with their book, being the star author in bookstore after bookstore with lines of eager fans clamoring to purchase an autographed copy of their book.

Like numerous other authors, with my first book I was convinced I would miraculously be discovered, appear on all the top television talk shows, be swept away by a major publisher and live happily ever after with my world famous book. The dream went as far as me living a solitary life in a rural community, on a nice piece of land, near a river or lake, a mystery to the residents of the local town.

Like most authors’ my dream quickly soured when I realized the truth of what it meant to be an author. There was little if any budget for book tours, publishers (if you could even get one) didn’t proactively promote our books above and beyond a short-lived attempt, and most authors would rather scale the side of mountain than speak in front an audience.

I had the good fortune of being a professional speaker, so scaling a mountainside was not something I could see myself doing at any point in my future. Yet, selling books was still a matter of schlepping boxes from location to location in hopes of selling out at each venue.

Fast forward to today. Having a world tour is now at close as any author’s computer keyboard and telephone. With the onslaught of teleseminars, social networks and social media marketing there are so many options for authors that certainly didn’t exist when I published my first book well over a decade ago.

Between social networks, blogging, guest blogging, joint venture book launches, web radio, teleseminars, and webinars to name but a few choices, an author can create their own very successful book tour. With a bit of ingenuity, focus and commitment, it is now feasible for an author to take a book from total obscurity to a global virtual book tour in what used to be an impossible timeframe and within a very low budget compared to what it would have cost for even one book tour in the past.

The best part of all is the playing field has been leveled due to the Internet. And even if the author doesn’t have the time, skill set or desire to host their own tour, there are experts who specialize in coordinating virtual book tours (hint – one leading expert is as close as the owner of this blog).

Myself, I do have the skill set, but I also know that at times it is actually more cost and time effective to contract an expert rather than coordinating it myself.

However, if you want to organize your own tour, here are a few considerations. One, who is your reader? Resist the temptation to say, “Everyone.” In the world of marketing, we say, “If everyone is your market, then no one is your market.”

Next, determine where your reader “hangs out”. What social networks do they belong to? What forums do they frequent? What web radio programs might they listen to? Who do you know (or could you know) who has a similar readership reach as those readers you are trying to reach who could do a feature blog posting on you or help to otherwise promote your book?

Begin now to formulate the answers to these important questions.  Within the answers lie the opportunity to invest your time and efforts gaining targeted visibility and sales without having to schlep books in the trunk of your car to location after location.

Kathleen Gage is known as the Street Smarts Marketer. She is the author of four books, dozens of eBased information products and teleseminars. Kathleen works with speakers, authors, coaches and consultants teaching  them how to gain visibility for their products and service.

She lives in a small rural community on what she calls her “little piece of heaven” across from a picturesque river where she is a mystery to the people in her town. She attributes her good fortune of being able to reside where she does to the power of the Internet to market her books and other products.

To learn how to effectively market yourself by way of the Internet, click here to join Kathleen’s Street Smarts Marketing VIP Club.

12 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

By Nikki Leigh

Customers in these tough economic times are looking for the best ways to spend their time and money. Business people who have a strong social media presence have the opportunity to communicate directly with their potential clients.

Which of these benefits appeal to you?


  • Generating global sales

  • Building relationships is an important part of the social media puzzle
  • Generate a buzz about your business and products
  • Reach your target audience
  • Get information about you and your business to many people
  • Create links back to your site, blog etc – we bookmark your website pages & articles
  • Let customers & potential customers to learn more about you, your business & products
  • Help online visitors get to know the person behind the business or other product
  • Search engines love blogs & social sites. Your information gets to search engines quick
  • Give people the opportunity to communicate with you through the various sites
  • Comments can give you the chance to see what your social sites are thinking
  • Build credibility and increase visibility

Many people have expressed the thought that social media marketing is a waste of time. However, when you know how to use the various social media options and tools, it can be a very powerful promotional tool. We’ll share many tips in the coming weeks to help you understand why social media marketing can be a great tool to propel your business to the next level, even in a down economy.

For more details of some social media options Promo 101 offers –

For more information about social media marketing – I recommend Book Promo 201: Harness the Power of Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing – or

This post was shared with me this morning and I like to share details about various book release options along with distribution and promotional opportunities — so, the top audio book sites seemed like good information to share. These sites are the ones that are selling the most audio books.

50 Best Websites for Audio Book Addicts

Love reading, but hate the strain on your eyes? Then check out the world of audio books. Not only can you enjoy them without a pair of glasses, but you can listen to them while driving, in the shower, and many other places a traditional book won’t go. If you want to learn more, or simply need to grow your collection, check out these top 50 audio book sites, with everything from the best stores to free books.

Best Stores for Audio Book Addicts

These sites are ideal for finding the newest release or getting recommendations for just the right audio book.
1. Amazon: The leading name in online book selling, Amazon has a special section for audio books. You can grab the latest books or classics on CD, MP3, or as a download. Choose by subject, featured, top ten, best selling, and more.

2. This site contains a large selection of both new and used audio books. You can buy, rent, download, or even trade items. They even have certain collections on sale.

3. The Talking Book Store: There are over 8,000 downloadable audio books to choose from including hundreds of foreign language study courses on this site. The Highly Recommended section has downloads for just $0.95 and up. You can also get a buying guide, help for downloading, and instructions on how to burn a CD.

4. Barnes & Noble: With a special section for audio books, you can find tens of thousands of titles. Browse the latest titles by subject or best sellers. They also have tons of books in other formats as well.

5. Audio Editions: In addition to the usual media, you can also find books on tape at this site. You can view the bestsellers, as well as preview the upcoming releases. There is also a book outlet with audio books priced 35 to 70 percent off.

6. Audio Books Online: The site shows you ten ways to save right on their homepage. You can also choose a variety of subjects biography to war. They also have an “Audie” award where they list their favorite books.

7. AudioBooksCorner: The site contains over 10,000 titles available by author or titles. You can also get books from around the world on this site. They even have a free section with many items available at no charge.

8. On this site, you can choose to rent, buy, or download audio books. Each choice is discussed in further detail and start $7.95. They also have a top 20 section if you need help selecting a book.

Best Free Sites for Audio Book Addicts

Got a classic or public domain book you’ve been dying to listen to? Then visit these sites to find it and many other books without spending a single penny.
9. AudioBooksForFree: The title says it all, you can find thousands of audio books on this site for download at no charge. Choose from fiction, non-fiction, children’s, or even music on the site. Before you download a book, it will also tell you the gender of the author or narrator and if the book has explicit content.

10. LibriVox: This site provides free audio books from the public domain, many of which involve classic works. Volunteers record chapters on the site, and you can even learn more about becoming one. They also have a podcast to give you the latest in their audio books.

11. Free Classic Audio Books: You can download your first audio book straight from their homepage. Formats include MP3 and M4B. Sample titles include “Huckleberry Finn,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “The King James Bible.”

12. Visit her for a wide selection of audio books at no charge. You can also get links to popular paid books, along with a best seller list. There are even free samples of best selling books for the viewing.

13. Books Should Be Free: Tough to argue with that, this site delivers just what it promises. They have the most popular downloads available directly on the homepage. Be sure to check out their top 50 books for even more.

14. Free-Books: This site has a readily available index with 23 choices right on the homepage. These books are available as “read and listen” or as an MP3 download. You can also get other free services on this site such as historical photos and immersion learning.

15. Project Gutenberg: A leading site for free eBooks, you can also get audio at no charge. Choose from computer generated or human read. You can also download thousands of text only books as well.

16. Podiobooks: Get serialized audio books in podcast form on this site. There are currently 6,878 episodes available for download in 335 titles. You can check out their most popular selections, or connect with other audio book fans on the site.

Best Devices for Audio Book Addicts

Now that you have some audio books, you need something to hear them on. Check out the below for the best in audio book products and accessories.
17. Kindle: Starting at $299, this iPod for books can hold 1,500 items. Features include wireless service that lets you download without a computer or Wifi, free book samples, and a huge selection of different reading materials. Best of all, audio book lovers will enjoy the read-to-me feature which translates text to speech.

18. Playaway: This device is preloaded with audio books and looks a lot like a Walkman. In addition to personal use, the device is also utilized for schools, libraries, and the military. Available only for rental.

19. M-Audio: Visit here to get the latest in audio technology for your computer or mobile device. They sell state of the art headphones, speakers, and more. Be sure to check out the resources section for more information.

20. Sony Reader: Similar to the Kindle, this reader starts at $279. You can get it in a variety of styles and colors as well. There are also books for sale and special offers as well.

21. MP3 to iPod Audio Book Converter: Got an iPod, MP3 audio book, and no way to connect them? Then get this free download to convert that download into an iPod friendly file. It also works with WMA, M4A, WAV, OGG, and more.

22. Exact Audio Copy: This is an audio grabber for CDs using standard CD and DVD-ROM drives. Use it to grab the audio off of any book and save into the format of your choice. The download is free for non-commercial purposes and comes with useful guides.

Best Rental Sites for Audio Book Addicts

Wish Netflix rented books? Then check out the below for the best in audio book rentals with many similar features.
23. Audible: A subscription service, Audible allows you to choose from 60,000 titles for one monthly fee. With a simple download, you can get magazines, radio shows, comedy, and speeches in addition to books for listening at your leisure. There is also a section for kids and the first three months are only $7.49 a month.

24. The Audio Book Store: This store allows you to choose whether you would like to download a single book, or rent unlimited books on CD with a monthly membership. They have 60,000 items to choose from, and they all cost $7.49 each. You can search by subject, best sellers, and more.

25. Simply Audiobooks: Three clubs to choose from on this site allow you to rent, download, or do a Playaway rental. You can even get a 15 day free CD rental trial with no shipping charges, late fees, and unlimited rentals. They also have an audio book store with 22,000 titles to choose from.

26. NetLibrary: With both eBooks and audio books, this site is worth a look. A membership gives you access to their constantly updated books. You can even get audio libros for Spanish speakers.

27. Audio To Go: Another renting site, plans start at $16.99 a month. There are over 23,000 titles on CD or tape. You can even get a free trial membership for two weeks.

28. Audio Book Worm: Choose from thousands of audio books shipped to you on this site. You can rent by mail or download their software for rentals. There is even a free trial period.

29. Books Free: Recommended by “O” Magazine, this site is definitely worth a look. You can rent books as an MPS, on CD, or even the old fashioned, paperback versions. Choose from a variety of plans, or rent books a la carte.

30. Book Club Offers: Still not sure which service to pick? Then stop here to get a side by side comparison of many leading sites. They also have more information on other similar clubs.

Best Christian Sites for Audio Book Addicts

With many audio books just for them, Christians can find everything on these sites from the Bible to the latest works in religion.
31. Audio Treasure: Get the Bible in MP3 format as a free download on this site. Choose from versions such as King James, World English, Spanish Reina Valera, and many more. You can also get other related audio books on the site.

32. Free Christian Audiobooks: Similar to the above, this site goes beyond the Bible and offers many other related works. Books are available for Windows Media and iPod. There is even the option to order the entire site on disc if you don’t feel like a lengthy downloading process.

33. Audio-Bible: Visit here to get The King James Bible narrated by Stephen Jonston. It is over 72 hours long and uses Real Audio. You can also get other related links on the site.

34. Christianbook: An Amazon like site, they also have a special section for audio books. There are currently over 6,000 titles to choose from in a variety of categories. If you prefer old fashioned books, there are also tons available as well.

35. DeseretBook: This Christian themed book store is designed for the LDS family. In addition to the many hardcovers and paperbacks, you can also find a special section for audio books. Simply expand the section to get choices such as children’s, fiction, young adult, and more.

36. The Catholic Company: With tons of products, you can also find many audio books, along with videos. View by most popular, best reviewed, and more. You can also call their toll free number or request a catalog.

Best Website for Kids and Teen’s Audio Books

Because young people like to read as well, visit these sites with loads of audio books for sale or free for the downloading.
37. Storynory: Get free audio stories just for kids on this site. You can choose from fairy tales, classics, educational, and more. Stories also come in text so your child can read along.

38. Recorded Books Youth Library: Kids and teens will enjoy this audio book site just for them. You can purchase the latest educational and fiction books straight from the homepage in different formats. There are even resources for adults on the site.

39. Learn Out Loud: Browse this catalog of educational audio books, podcasts, downloads, and free audio. There are over 20,000 titles from hundreds of authors and publishers. You can even get free videos on the site.

40. Playtime Books: Get books for kids in MPS, CD, and even bilingual format. They have special sections for different subjects, the newest available on the homepage, and many recommendations. Best of all, the site is entirely free.

41. Kids’ Corner: Get many classic tales by authors such as Beatrix Potter on this site. They even have slide shows for viewing straight from your computer. In addition, there are also audio interviews with such notable figures as Mr. Rogers.

Best Specialty Sites for Audio Book Addicts

Go beyond the traditional audio books, and check out these sites many genres and readers in mind.
42. AudioFile Magazine: This is the magazine for people who love audio books. Issues contain reviews, new releases, author and narrator interviews, and even award winners. There is even a free trial offer if you are still unsure on whether or not to subscribe.

43. Soundview Executive Book Summaries: Get titles to help run or grow your business in many formats, including MP3. There are three different subscription levels to choose from. If you don’t want to join, you can also purchase single books.

44. Bookshare: Visit here for audio books for those with disabilities. The site offers more than 50,000 digital books, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals, and assistive technology tools. Anyone can join and it is free for U.S. students with qualifying disabilities.

45. British Columbia Libraries: The “library without walls,” they have many audio books. Members can check out audio books just like at a regular library. Visitors can also get excerpts on many books at no charge.

46. Audio Publishers Association: This site contains the voice of the audio book industry. Get the latest news in the industry by stopping by here. They even have a list of resources for those interested in a behind the scenes look.

47. The House of Oojah: Australians with an interest in audio books will enjoy this site. Choose from fiction, children’s, meditation, and more. If you live outside the country, you will also find many new and interesting titles.

48. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic: Visit here to get textbooks and others on audio intended for students with visual or learning disabilities. Anyone can order one of their products, and they currently have over 54,000 to choose from. There are also lesson plans, volunteer opportunities, and more.

49. ListenToYouTube: Is there an audio book on YouTube that you want on your computer or iPod? Then visit this site to convert it into an MP3. Simply paste in the URL, click GO, and get the file without a fee or signing up.

50. Books on Tape: This site is for those who still prefer this classic method of audio books. They have over 7,500 tapes priced at up to 75 percent off. You can also get audio books as CDs or downloads.

With hundreds of books coming out every week, who has the time to find a quiet place and read? Check out these 50 audio book sites, find a book you’ll love, and share it with the entire family.

Originally posted at

Imagine – using a cocktail as a promotional tool.  Read on for details about the ingredients for this cocktail and how it has worked into the promotion of Cafe Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island by Barbara Bonfigli

Retsina has been given a bad rap, starting about 500 b.c. when some picky Athenians turned up their Grecian noses at the scent and taste of pine resin. Being a readily available natural resource — pine forests were a lot more common in Greece than cork groves — it was used to seal traveling amphorae of white wine. These plugs of pine added a certain flavor to the wine — turpentine comes to mind here. Heroditus records no complaints back then. For a while it was even trendy to add a little pine mash to the freshly pressed grapes. But when the Turks began overrunning parts of Greece a few hundred years later, a legend grew that pine sap was added to the wine stores to spoil them for the invaders. That sealed retsina’s fate in the area of public relations — ’til now.

When I started going to Greece in the 80’s, the Turkish invasion theory had waned, and I was told that a bit of resin in your wine prevents a hangover in the hot, ubiquitous Greek sun; be sure to pack a bottle for your beach picnic. I wasn’t buying that, but I am buying retsina. The fact that I, a Californian born within sipping distance of the vineyards of Napa Valley, really like retsina, indicates that the ancients were on to something. Either that or it’s clear proof of reincarnation. That, however, is a another story…maybe the sequel to “Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island.”

Publishing a book requires a thorough review. I discovered that my novel mentions retsina 34 times, not in a loving way. According to my protagonist Sarah, retsina can start your motorbike, remove nail polish, cure you of thought, and cause –what is it?– oh yes, memory loss. Unfair Sarah! I decided to correct this slander. For my first book party, held in a fancy Greek restaurant in New York City, I decided to create a cocktail based on retsina. A friend and I experimented with lots of ingredients (this is pure fun, by the way, as long as you’re not planning to drive anywhere.) We couldn’t get it quite right. Then the bartender at the restaurant added a little Samos, a sweet Greek dessert wine to our concoction. Bingo! The “Café Tempestini” was born.

We served it that first night, to a lot of discerning i.e. highly skeptical — but brave– Greeks and they were amazed. The main ingredient is rather disguised of course, but you can still taste retsina in there. Now I mix a batch at every bookstore event, book party, dinner party. People adore it; and how it opens their ears and imaginations and wallets! Books are flying out the door.

To learn about Barbara Bonfigli and Café Tempest, feel free to visit any of these sites.

Order Café Tempest directly from the publisher – or from Amazoné-Tempest-Adventures-Small-Island/dp/0981645313

To see the complete tour schedule visit

Barbara Bonfigli’s website –

Here are some tips for bloggers.

• Keep your posts “on topic”. This will enable you to promote your product and website when you keep your posts and blog on topic.
• Make your posts informative and interesting. This isn’t just busy work to entertain your visitors. You can share information to help them make an educated decision to buy your product.
• Do not recycle old information. Your readers want you to share new information. The exception would be to relate a past event to a present situation.
• Have a realistic and consistent schedule. After you start your blog, post fresh content on a regular basis. Your potential customers will expect that and will lose interest if you lag behind with your posts.
• Make the important message easy to understand. The posts don’t need to be elaborate and technical. Be conversational and easy to understand tone.
• Maintain a certain level of quality. You need to use keywords in your posts but don’t lose the effective content because you tried to cram too many keywords into your post. Search engines love blogs and can increase references to you and your product. Maintain the quality and weave keywords into your posts.
• Proofread your work. The old adage is to: edit, edit, edit and edit again. If you want to look like a professional and your post is full of errors and typos, the visitor will not be motivated to buy from you. Or they won’t see you as a professional. This can hurt your credibility.
• Be passionate about your topic. If you are excited about your subject, that should be conveyed to your visitors. Pass that excitement to your potential customers and they should rush to buy your products.
• Determine your target market. It is critical that you know who needs your product. These are the people that you need to attract with all of your promotional efforts.
• Finally, link to other blogs. When you post comments on other blogs, include your blog URL under your name. Don’t post an elaborate message or blurb about your blog. All you need is to post a relevant comment that will attract attention and list your name and blog address. Subtle is much better than blatant and potentially rude promotions.

Nikki Leigh is an award winning and best selling fiction and non-fiction author. She has over sixfteen years of promotional experience. This background has been helpful with her book promotion and her new promotional venture, Promo 101 Promotional Services which offers many online promotional options. Her promotional books – Book Promo 101 and Book Promo 201 lets her share many of the things she’s learned. For details about Nikki Leigh, visit For detailed promotional and virtual blog tour information, visit – She also has a blog where she posts a wide variety of promotional articles – – check the category list for any specific topics that are of interest to you. For full details about Book Promo 201 –

In the 21st century, it’s no longer optional to have a blog. All authors need to have a blog to promote their books. Before we go any further, let me expand on that a little bit. Every authors needs to have an active and relevant blog. That means there should be fresh and interesting content on the blog at least 2 – 4 times a week.

What is a blog?

Originally a blog was simply a way to communicate with friends. Four or five years ago I started a “blog” to post a novel I was working on and to share it with friends. Today blogs are a great way for authors to build a brand and establish a promotional platform for their books. You can use a blog to help potential readers get to know the author behind the book and to learn more about the books you write. Non-fiction authors can use a blog to share their writing style and it is a great way to build your credibility when you write about the topics in your books. Think of it as a cyber sales person who is representing you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What does your cyber salesman say about you and your books?

Choose a Blog Platform

To get started, you can easily set up a free blog on or, each of these services offer free blogs. You click to “join” and the website is set up in a way that makes it very easy to set up a simple blog. Follow the directions and you can start blogging in minutes. Over time you can learn ways to fine tune your blog and to customize the layout or you can hire someone to set up a blog and to teach you the best ways to use that blog to promote.

For authors who are less tech savvy, Blogger is very easy to use. For authors who have more computer and internet experience, WordPress is a great free platform. Each of these sites gives you a or address, but for $10 on Blogger and $14.95 on WordPress, you can chose your own domain name to use.

How to use a blog?

A blog can include information about your writing, how you write, how you develop story ideas and why you’re qualified to write your books. Non-fiction authors can use their blog to build their credibility with potential readers. Take the opportunity to show people that you have something beneficial to share. You can also show that you have the background and knowledge to help them. Fiction authors can share insider details about their books, the characters, the setting and many other parts of their books. You can also share writing and promotional tips with others. These are just a few of the unlimited number of ways you can use a blog to promote yourself and your books.

Promote your blog

Just starting a blog is not enough. Once you have a blog and once you start blogging on a regular basis (at least 2-3 short or long blog posts per week), you need to list your blog in blog directories. Two or the many directories include: and . Go to both of these sites and register for an account. Once you have an account, you can submit your blog(s) to the directory. This is a great way to help more people find your blog. Think of these like a “Google” for blogs.

Your blog address should be listed on your author business cards, linked to your website, included on your social media profiles, included anywhere your author bio is posted  and listed in your email signature block. These are a bare minimum of the places where you should list your blog address.

It is also very good to register your blog with or and place a subscription block so that interested readers can subscribe to your blog. This means that your subscribers will be notified about each of your future blog posts. It’s a great way to stay in touch with interested readers.

These tips are just the beginning of your blogging journey. But it is a promotional journey that you need to take – you and your publisher will be happy that you did.

About Nikki Leigh

Nikki Leigh is an award winning and best selling fiction and non-fiction author. She has over sixfteen years of promotional experience. This background has been helpful with her book promotion and her new promotional venture, Promo 101 Promotional Services which offers many online promotional options. Her promotional books – Book Promo 101 and Book Promo 201 lets her share many of the things she’s learned. For details about Nikki Leigh, visit For detailed promotional and virtual blog tour information, visit – She also has a blog where she posts a wide variety of promotional articles – – check the category list for any specific topics that are of interest to you.  For full details about Book Promo 201 –

Even in this technological age, we can promote books face to face with potential readers. I don’t know about you, but I love to see a reader’s face light up when they talk about my books or my characters. That light in their eyes can be hard to convey in an e-mail or on a message board.

Use Bookstores To Promote Books

Book stores and other retail outlets can be good places to promote your books. Libraries in some areas may purchase your books to place on their shelves. Other libraries offer classes or chances for authors to speak and the public is invited. Libraries are a natural place to attract readers and to promote your books. I walked into my local library earlier this spring and the librarian recognized my name. She said, “You are a new published author.” The people standing close by turned to look at me. It was like being a kid in a candy store.

Bookstores and libraries are not the only place to promote your books and we’ll discuss other alternatives. They won’t all work for you, but consider who you know, where you shop and the clientele each business attracts. Are they individuals who would like to read your book? It is very possible.

Promotion At Writer’s Conferences

Writer’s conferences are a great way to meet readers and other authors. I recently met one of
my favorite authors and discovered a couple of new favorites. These events usually need volunteers, program moderators and authors to give speeches, to participate on panels among other things. These opportunities provide free promotion for your books.

Craft Shows For Book Promotion

Craft shows are another way to get the word out and to meet new potential readers. I will share a couple of wonderful resources to help you find craft shows and similar events in your area. Once you find a craft show, there are ways to make the most of the event. We’ll discuss ways to get the most out of the shows.

Nikki Leigh
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series