Monday, November 28, 2011

Pam Throws a Wide Loop to Corral Social Media

Several months ago on the ACFW loop, someone asked how to promote ebooks on Kindle and Nook. I was in the middle of promoting my debut novel at the time, so my efforts were fresh on my mind. So I jumped in to share the following down and dirty tips for promotion.

Ride for the Brand

First and foremost, I have to mention Tyndale’s HUGE promotion network: It’s entirely possible (even probable) that the list below is my piddly attempt to promote myself when Tyndale House can tweet and post on facebook that Stealing Jake is available on Amazon, B&N & CBD, and loyal Tyndale fans flock to download it. So having a wonderful publisher behind me to promote my book is huge, huge, HUGE to me as a newbie.

Team Roping

My Seeker sisters and I promote each other on Facebook and Twitter by sharing and retweeting. We visit blogs where the others are guests and poke fun ... uh... I mean, support each other. The more you develop your online presence, the more comfortable you become, and the more readers reach out to you. Also, an aside: Seekerville has really helped me open up so that I can blog and comment with a measure of confidence. So, if you’re a bit shy about posting online, jump in now before you sell your first book. You’ll be glad you did!

Gather at Popular Watering Holes: Pam's Author Page on Facebook, Twitter

Accept friend requests on Facebook for everybody who’s a decent-looking sort. Friend people you know personally. Write on their wall. Say, "Howdy, pardner". Search for your church, high school, organizations, colleges, your kids’ daycare pages. When something amazing happens with your book, share it there. I shared my “Stunned to be #1” blog post on my local newspaper's fb page. The newspaper asked for an interview. AND the reporter had already downloaded Stealing Jake and didn’t know I was local. That was TOO cool!

Create an AUTHOR page on facebook. Wonder of wonders, I just created mine this weekend, so it's a cold, lonely cabin out in the middle of NOWHERE. Just click here to see what I mean. How about dropping by some furnishings to make it look a little more like home? A table or a chair. A three-legged stool. An old quilt for my rope bed. A coffee pot. (Ruthy, while I'd love a Keurig, I don't have any electricity in this 1880s cabin, so I'll have to make do with a enamel cofeepot!) I can't wait to see ya'll post on the page. If nothing else, a pound of coffee to get me through the winter would be nice.

Jaw Around the Campfire

Talk, then talk some more. I’m posting every 2-3 days on my personal blog, and Twitterfeed sends those posts and Seekerville posts to fb and twitter where they can be liked, shared, and retweeted. Sweet!

Tweetdeck. Okay, I’m depending on Edie Melson’s book Social Media Marketing for Writers: How To Blog, Tweet, & Peep Your Way Onto Amazon's Best Seller's List to walk me through Tweetdeck. I think I tried to sign up for it before, but couldn’t figure out exactly what to do. Edie explains how to make life a little easier with Tweetdeck. Be right back (Literally. I’m installing Tweetdeck now!) Okay, not quite there yet, but I'll wrestle this thing to the ground eventually!

Be Right Neighborly

Schedule a blog tour: You can hire someone to do a blog tour for you or you can do it yourself. I set up my own blog tour and visited about 50 blogs in 90 days. I, the spreadsheet queen, had them all carefully catalogued, the date, the blog, contact info, and whether I promo’d it on fb/twitter/yahoogroups. I also had a column on whether I was offering a giveaway, who won, and if the prize had been redeemed.

List your blog tour dates on your blog: This I never had time to do, but I needed to. I wanted to. Audra Harders TOLD me to. I just never had time. Sorry, Audra!

Share the Bounty

Giveaway with a twist: Instead of giving away lots of ebooks, I gave away a Kindle. And for ROLLING content to post online, I added Seeker books to the Kindle giveaway every few days. The lucky winner’s Kindle Touch shipped last week, and I “gifted” her with the 14 Seeker ebooks she also won. As far as I know, I was the first to do this type of giveaway (Kindle loaded with books), but maybe not. I just haven’t actually seen another giveaway like it.

Stay in Touch

Create a Newsletter: For a chance to win the Kindle, people had to sign up for my newsletter. First name and email addy only. This gives me a fan base.

Yahoogroups: I’m a member of about 30 yahoogroups. Some I can’t promote on, but there are about 15 I can. I let them know about my book release, my Kindle giveaway, and how to sign up for my newsletter.

Promote within Amazon: Create your author page on Amazon, and feed your blog to it. I know nothing about RSS feed, but apparently I did it right because Calico Trails is
feeding to my Amazon Author page. Whew, what a relief! Not sure if it's bringing folks to me, but it's another spot, another link back to me.

Post your name and your book online often. Post something on facebook, twitter, and goodreads to rotate your name/book on social media. Blog, search for your name/book and retweet it. Thank people for tweeting about you. Tweet about others. Like what others are saying. Share. Comment. Talk about others, and when appropriate, do a post about your book. Just don’t be obnoxious. In has a schedule for commenting on blogs, tweeting and posting on facebook so that she doesn’t get overwhelmed. Just a little bit each day keeps you in the game.

Find a Fresh Watering Hole

Look for facebook/twitter accounts that have to do with your book. I’m friends with some folks who wrote books on coal mining, orphans, street kids, kids working in coal mines, threads that my book includes. I haven’t had time to connect more with them, but the seeds are being sown.

Are you a member of Goodreads? I wish I had joined earlier because it takes me a while to figure out how things work in the different formats. But I LOVE Goodreads. Almost 500 folks had marked Stealing Jake as read or to-be-read. I check it every day. Yes, I'm pathetic. lol

What about The Book Club Network? Nora St. Laurent does a great job promoting Christian fiction. Visit TBCN and dip your toe in the waters over there. Nora is giving away 100 books in the first 20 days of December!! Can you imagine? I’m giving away two ebook for Kindle copies of Stealing Jake during TBCN's Christmas Party.

Are you a member of the ACFW Book Club? Stealing Jake is a January 2012 ACFW Book Club pick, so to celebrate, I’m giving away another Kindle on December 15th, 2011. It’s a KindlePalooza! The winner receives a Kindle and a minimum of 12 of the 2012 ACFW Book Club picks, so it’s a gift that keeps giving all year long!

Take advantage of the Amazon Bestsellers Rank subcategories. Here’s one more tip that I haven’t mastered, but I think I’m missing a great marketing opportunity. I’m not talking about the Tags that customers can put on the books, but the actual subcategories under the Product Details. From what I can gather from Amazon, the publisher is the one who works with Amazon to set these, not the author. If the book is self-published, then the author is the publisher and can request more subcategories. Still working on that one. If anyone has any input, I’d love to hear it.

Nobody likes a low-down outlaw!

Don’t be an obnoxious social media ignoramous. My agent pointed his readers to a great blog post on this very topic. Roni Loren’s post and the comments helped me refocus on how to balance building relationships and promotion in social media.

Don't hold your readers at gunpoint. Know when to cut back, slow down, and move on to the next project. I have to admit I haven’t mastered this, but a book isn’t “perpetually releasing”. There’s only so much saturation your market can take before readers turn to something new. I’m not saying not to talk about your backlist. Not at all. But pouring more advertising time and dollars into an old title FOREVER might not be in your best interests. So…what to do...

Build your Herd

There comes a point when the best thing an author can do is to write (and sell!) another book ASAP. A corral full of great fiction for readers to find is really worth more than continually promoting the one or two books you have out.

Networked blogs. I got nothing on this, but this is next on my list to check out!

You know, with a little more practice, I might be able to corral this social media mustang!

To read what some of the seasoned wranglers have to say about social media and marketing, check out these posts in Seekerville:

Shellie Johannes-Wells - Biggest Marketing Bang for your Buck
Cathy Shouse - Ten + Tips to Turbocharge Your Marketing
Sabrina Sumsion - Publicity 101

Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family. She can be found on the web at

We're giving away a Christmas book today. The winner will have their choice of Stealing Jake (ebook only) by Pam Hillman, or any other Christmas book by a Seeker. Browse the Seeker Bookstore to see the choices. Please indicate in your comment if you would like to be included in the drawing. Thanks!


  1. Have liked your FB page. Will review the rest in the morning. However, please don't include me in the giveaway as I already have a copy of Stealing Jake.

  2. Great advice, Pam! As an aspiring writer, I'm working on building connections with other writers, authors, reviewers, and friends through blogger, facebook, and twitter.

    Your post was really helpful for me and I will be keeping it in mind for the future! :-)

  3. Hey Pam! You gave us a huge passel of information! This post is definitely a printout-and-stick-to-the-wall one.

    I "liked" your Facebook page (I'm #6!), and checked out "Social Media Marketing for Writers" - did you know it's only 99 cents for Kindle? What a deal.

    Like Walt, I'll be back tomorrow!

  4. I always feel so overwhelmed with what authors need to do to promote their books. I'm so glad for people like you who write blogs to give us ideas and tell uswhat works.
    I love that you give away kindles w/books already loaded on them. I can't wait to see how that works out for you.

    The cabin pic on your facebook page looks so warm and inviting. Love it.

  5. I was #5!!!!

    Does that make me special?

    Then got sidetracked by a 10yo itching out of her skin /sigh/. To the point where I'm wondering if it's not much more than 'just' excema and not an allergic reaction to her new med or something. But the worst of it is confined to the front of her torso... /sigh/ Took pics and emailed them to our [friend the] pediatric nurse practitioner so when I call the office in the morning I can say 'hey I emailed pics if that helps you decide if we need to see you guys or the dermatologist [and if so would you mind calling over there because it'll take me two weeks to get in] or if there's really nothing more to do but keep doing what we're doing'.

    /more sighing/

    I am past 43K for NaNo though and raced with the ever lovely Pepa a little while ago.

    Okay... Now Pammer...

    Some great advice. Nothing makes me want to unfollow someone faster than every post being 'buy my book!!!!' [as in a literal retweet etc]. On the other hand, I love following progress of my fave authors. Candy Calvert is great at this I think. Most days she posts her word count for the day and a tidbit about where she's at [like 'trying to get them to a first kiss - without a gerbil interrupting them!' or something]. Of course, she also drives us insane the same way. And sometimes she'll post about a page worth in her notes.

    This is when she's not making us hungry by telling us the amazing things she's making for dinner /different kind of sigh/. I wanna go live at her house!

    Er, right. So I think she's a good example of someone who's doing things right. At least I think so. Not a clue how it's translating as far as sales and such go...

    She's also repped by Natasha Kern so you know she's in good company...

    And now, I should probably be in bed. I have a feeling tomorrow will be interrupted by a doc appt in a day that already has a 6yo being taken somewhere for a school thing [but it's JUST her so they need me to transport though they're reimbursing me for it...]

    I already have [and love!] Stealing Jake :).

  6. I like your FB page also. And I do agree about Goodreads I love the groups that interact with each other and we get to see authors too. The Love Inspired Historical is a good example of a blog where readers and authors mix well. (Camys Q & A group is good too)
    I like the idea of a big giveaway rather than lots of little ones.
    I am a blogger who is always willing to help host an author on my blog to help promote books as I am starting to get more Aussie readers. I know at least on of my Aussie readers read Stealing Jake after I posted my review and had Pam on my blog. She loved it. She actually messaged me to thank me for recommending it.

  7. Oh, My, Gosh.

    I am exhausted.

    This is invaluable.

    But can I find someone to do all this for me is the question?

    Ah yes! Virtual Assistant to fake Social Media for me.


  8. I loved, loved, loved Stealing Jake!

    Pam, this is a great walk-through about taming the wild beast within social media. I'm going to add one thing:

    Be yourself. The way you are, the "who" God made you. When you're chatting on blogs or fb (I dont' tweet as often because there are only so many hours in a day and I'm working a lot of those. FB and blogging are my weapons of choice)

    But I like being "me". That way readers get to know you, they get a feel for you. And one more thing that probably seems obvious: I do not whine on facebook. Nor do I get political. Yes, it's a Pollyanna defense and I'm okay with that. I'm there to show people the softer side of Ruthy... and have fun... and maybe market some books... while shamelessly exploiting small children and puppies!

  9. WOW. Excellent tips! I'm on Goodreads but can't figure how to work the stinker. lol
    But FB is awesome and I'm slowly getting into twitter. Thanks for sharing your tips, Pam!

  10. Pammers, I love, love, love this post. I like how you related it to the West. And it is all such important information.

    I've always admired your handle on the social media and promotion. Maybe its those spreadsheets. Can you come stay with me for a week and teach me?

    Thanks for sharing.

    And Ruthy is right about letting your personality shine through. I get amazed at how much I enjoy my cyber friends. I' so thankful. And its especially fun when we meet some of them at conferences.

    Thanks Pam. I'm off to check out your blog.

  11. What a fantastic post, so creatively done! This was jam packed full of useful info. Thank you so much.


  12. Walt, thanks for the LIKE and I can see that my giveaway commment didn't save correctly!

    Blogger threw me a curve last night.

    The giveaway will be a choice of any Seeker Christmas book. There are several: Myra's, Ruthy has a couple, Missy, my book Stealing Jake is technically a Christmas book, and Mary has a couple, and her new novella with Robin Lee Hatcher is wonderful. Read both this weekend on my Kindle. Both great stories!

  13. Katie, you have the right idea. Start making contacts now. Nobody survives the harsh landscape of publishing and marketing alone.

    This is easier for some that others, but with a little practice, you can do it.

  14. Wow, Pam! Your post is packed full of stuff I need to know and do. Very impressive! Social Media is a struggle for me. Printing this off.

    I've given away books on Goodreads with a huge response. Nice way to get your name out and garner reviews. Love the LIH chats.

    I'm off to decorate our church for Christmas. Will check out your author page when I return.


  15. Pam, what a practical,excellent post! I am definitely holding on to this one. I have such a long ways to go in the social media realm. :) You just gave me a lot of food for thought.

    I haven't figured out Goodreads yet, but I should. :) FB is my friend, but haven't figured out when to squeeze Twitter into my day.

    One of my goals for next year is to figure out how to make blogging work in my schedule.

    BTW, I'm enjoying Stealing Jake--getting through it slowly as I finish up NaNo.

    Carol, congrats on your 43K words, that's great!

  16. Jan! Thanks for the Like and looking at Social Media. It's a short read, but has some good content.

    I actually invited Edie, Sarah, Kellie, and Cathy to stop by and share some of their wisdom!

    I used a shotgun to pepper the social media scene. I'm sure their methods are not as messy, but I am who I am.

    Hey, I just added a coffeepot to my lonely ol' cabin on the cold moutainside. Well, not so lonely now! I've got a host of friends stopping by for my Open House. Better go make more coffee!

    PS...I'm sure I'm as transparent as glass, but since today is about marketing using social media, my fertile imagination came up with the idea to have an Open House for my new facebook author page. And since I write historicals and love old books, rustic furniture, warm fireplaces, and bear rugs (okay, I've never actually SEEN a bear rug), the Northern Lights exploded in my head and this little marketing ploy was birthed yesterday.

    Why start a ho-hum facebook author page and half-heartedly invite my friends to Like it? Do something fresh and original. Just put more thought into it when you do it! lol I tend to get an idea and it's IMPERATIVE to implement it IMMEDIATELY.

    Of course it was... That cabin was way too cold and lonely to wait!

  17. Connie, getting out there in a big way IS overwhelming. Edie mentions in her Social media book that she comments on two blogs daily, posts to facebook and Twitter on a regular schedule just a couple of times a day.

    You don't have to do it all, and you certainly don't have to do it all at once. Pick something you enjoy doing and experiment with it. Once you've mastered that, corral another marketing idea.

    And...I'll add here that some teachers say don't blog if you don't want to, don't become active on facebook or twitter, etc. That's fine because your ultimate goal is to write great books, but if you plan to do a lot of marketing, you'll be better prepared if you've learned the ropes on some of this stuff ahead of time.

  18. Pam, what a great, information packed post!!! I'm a little overwhelmed to be included in it, but thank you. For those who noticed my book is 99cents on Kindle - it's also 99cents on Nook as well.
    As far as being overwhelmed by social networking - we are all. I think we each have to find our own personal balance point. It's that place where we are connecting with new people, but also NOT giving up valuable writing time.
    One thing that turned me away from so many social networking experts was the way they pushed me to do it to the exclusion of my calling - writing! I wrote my book because I wanted an option out there for those of us who don't want social media to become our main focus.
    Pam, I already have Stealing Jake and LOVED it!!!! Thanks again for all the great ideas and especially for including them all in one place. Blessings, E

  19. What a great round up of social media tips, Pam. Kudos on getting your FB author page up. I've "liked" it. =)

  20. Carol said: And sometimes she'll [Candy Calvert] post about a page worth in her notes.

    What an excellent idea! Tosca Lee is another one who is great at putting herself out there with true-to-life web-cam pictures on facebook. She's a braver woman than I am! Course she's absolutely gorgeous, so that helps.

  21. I'm itching too. Break out the benadryl...hope kiddo is feeling better today!

  22. Tina sez: Virtual Assistant to fake Social Media for me.

    I SO agree. So, how much of what I posted did I do, and how much did my Virtual Assistant do? That is the question.

    Is this ME typing this to you right now or a VA stationed in Sri Lanka???


    To set your minds at ease, this is ME, and I did all the stuff listed in the blog, but I would love to have a VA who could come alongside me, but it hasn't happened yet, and I'm not sure how to let go of some of that. So much of it is one-on-one HEARTFELT contact between the author and her readers.

    I'm still trying to figure out how a VA would/could fit in.

    And there's just no ROOM in that cabin for anybody else!!!!!

  23. Ruthy, just got to your comment on BE YOURSELF after I posted my reason for not bringing in a VA yet.

    This is so true, and why it's important to get out there and network long before your first book comes out, just like you guys are doing here in Seekerville.

    I imagine there are lurkers today who are a little intimidated about posting a comment, or starting a blog, or creating a facebook account. If you're out there and an aspiring author, take a baby step (one thing) to developing your online presence for the day you have a book to promote. In a few weeks, or months, take another step, then another.

  24. Jessica! You're on the right track. I signed up for Goodreads back in June and SO wish I had started a long time ago.

    We need an expert to write an ebook about making the best of!

  25. Sandra, I don't feel like I have a handle on social media at all....

    I feel like "I have a castle" most of the time. A shiny new idea hits and I think, "oh, that would be cool to do that" and I'm off and running, and just about the time I get everything set up, I get another idea and I'm off again.

    It would be better to do 5 things REALLY well, than to do 20 things haphazardly. Really. Trust me. Do what I say, not what I do! lol

    But you guys will be so proud of me. I have shelved some COOL promotion ideas because I couldn't work out the logistics. See, I am learning restraint!

  26. Janet, a Goodreads expert! Woman, we need to TALK!

    Carla, I hope you lasso a gem you can use in promotion. We're all in this together!

  27. Oh Jeanne T!!! I'm so happy to hear you're reading Stealing Jake.

    All this fuss about social media, and fb and twitter and goodreads, and TBCN and the ACFW Book Club, and BLOGGING... and... STOP already.

    Just grab a great book and enjoy the read.

    Ah bliss!

  28. Thanks Keli!

    Okay, folks. I've got to go check the traps so I'll be away from the cabin for awhile. Sorry about that.

    Keep the coffee pot hot and the cinnamon rolls coming. PS. If I have a good day in the traps, we'll have possum stew for supper.

    Oh, my, I just discovered HELEN is missing!!! Break out the snowshoes! Grab the Mackinaws!


    I bet she got lost trying to get to my cabin on facebook!!!

  29. What Would Will Do?

    If they but had social media
    back in Shakespeare’s day
    he would have sold more tickets
    to each and every play.

    And while this would be fine
    we should never forget
    there would have been scant time
    to write Hamlet and Macbeth.
    (To say nothing of Julius Caesar
    or Romeo and Juliette)

    But 10,000 more friends
    would have made Will
    a more popular fellow
    -- a small price to pay
    for losing Othello.

    But methinks this is all
    but a glorious illusion:
    a tale told by an idiot*
    full of sound and furry
    signifying confusion.

    But therein lies to rub:
    To tweet or not to tweet
    that is the question?
    Whether tis nobler in the mind
    to suffer the slings and arrows
    of outrageous critics
    or to take arms against
    a sea of social media
    and by opposing
    Unfriend them.


    *Disclaimer: the ’tale told by an idiot’ refers only to the current public obsession with social media and bares no relationship to this post or its author both of which I highly admire.

  30. Pam:

    Here I am. I spent 3 days out of town "holidaying" with my kids. Now I'm trying to get back into writing mode.

    Looks like you have the coffee situation well in hand. But here's another pot, just in case you should need it later.

    I read this last night, but I didn't comment because I'm a social media failure. I have a Facebook page, I come here, and I have a web page. I don't update the web page often because I haven't gotten any "exciting" news to add, and I don't post real often on Facebook because I never feel like I have anything to say that would be all that interesting to others.

    I have the first chapter of a new project done, which took me several days, as usual with a first chapter. Now I'm trying to establish consistancy with a daily quota.


  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. I've 'friended' you on Facebook, Pammy.

    No WAIT! I friended you a long time ago. I just newly LIKED your author page.

    And can we abuse the words Friend and Like anymore than we already are?


  33. Wonderful advice! Thank you so much, Pam. And thank you for sharing all the fabulous links.

  34. Has anyone else heard that Facebook will no longer let you auto-load your blog? I'm not sure about twitter. I think I read that on a message from Facebook and soon.

    I do this all the time. So now what? I've got to go to Facebook everyday and type in my blog links manually? Hello??? Next they'll be making me chisel my blog in a cave wall!!!!


  36. Hey, Pam! I think you did a great job promoting your book! You were everywhere. Me, I get overwhelmed too easily, and after a while I just want to quit. Plus, I hate talking about myself! Ugh. But I try to do my part. And leave the rest to God and Zondervan. LOL!

  37. What a GREAT post!!

    I LOVE Goodreads, I'll have to look you up. I'm on that site way too often. ;-)

    Tweetdeck is AWESOME and really, not that hard to figure out. The only down side is you have to type out everyone's @handle--it doesn't guess what you are trying to write.

    I love your suggestions and can see how always have a connection back to you is huge. And giving a kindle(s)! away is huge. It's become such a hot item to gift.

    Way to go Pam! :)

    (please enter me)

  38. Edie, thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion.

    Instead of feeling like the cowboys corralling the horses, we're all beginning to feel like the horses themselves, running in circles and trying to master all of this social media stuff.

    It's a balancing act for sure. I envy those who manage to write without distractions and get to all the marketing stuff too.

    You DON'T want to know how much time I put in to today's post!


  39. PS - Edie, forgot to say THANK YOU. I'm so glad you enjoyed Stealing Jake!

  40. Vince, love the poem!!! Did you write that especially for us today?? You are an amazingly talented man!

    It's tongue in cheek, but SO TRUE!!!

    At what point do we boycott promoting social media in order to spend our time writing? Goes back to cutting our nose off to spite our face.

    Balance. Think balance.

    And a VA. lol

  41. Helen, a social media failure is in the eye of the beholder. I think of your presence here and how faithful you are. You're growing your confidence in posting online.

    Sometimes it's hard to visit blogs and feel I have something to contribute to the discussion. Most of the time I would rather just read what others have to say.

    You'll find your passion and you can turn that into something you'll enjoy blogging about and pointing others to.

    I'm sure of it!

  42. MELLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you see my pic?! What I got in the mail and has been sitting in my mailbox since AT LEAST Saturday because no one checked the mail?!

    Er, right. Pam - that's on Benadryl /sigh/. But in the doc's office right now waiting.

    I have an on and off relationship with Twitter. We'll see how it goes long term.

    Mary - I *think* you can still use Networked blogs - at least for now. If you can't anymore... then maybe set your Twitter feed up to go to Facebook? And your blogs to post to Twitter [which then forwards them]? I dunno...

  43. Aaaaaagh! Social media!!!!

    Is ANYTHING more overwhelming when all a writer wants to do is WRITE???

  44. Okay, I had more thoughts to add to that, but somehow I hit the wrong key.

    See what even THINKING about social media does to my brain????

    Pam, I do truly appreciate this insightful (and creative) look at the topic and will be taking your post back to the barn with me for further reading while I chew on some hay.

  45. Sherri, you are welcome! Hope they come in handy!

    Mary, you're probably right about facebook. I'm sure their ultimate goal is to get the entire world penned in, then cut all links to other media...unless of course the other media agrees to pay for the priviledge of being linked to facebook... hmmmm, not a bad idea if you're the one raking in the fees... Hope the facebook marketing folks don't read this. lol

  46. Melanie, I know what you mean. I feel funny (not funny like Mary is funny though) talking about my book all the time, everywhere, but I bit the bullet and did it.

    But promoting in person? Handing my bookmarks to the dental hygienist or to the bank teller?


    I haven't mastered that at ALL!

  47. Casey, thanks for the tips on Tweetdeck. The problem so far is that I haven't gotten the "deck" to download to my laptop yet. I'm not sure what the problem is.

    I'm going to give it another whirl as soon as I have time.

  48. Carol, if blogger ever allows "feeds" the social world is going to implode in upon itself with an endless loop.

    Blog post "A" feeds to twitter, which feeds to facebook, which feeds to LinkdIn, which feeds back to the blog, which feeds to twitter, then to facebook...then to..


  49. Carol! No! Haven't seen the pic! I'm sick too! Been trying to call the doctor all day and can't get through! And I have a live TV interview this afternoon! I can barely talk! NOT GOOD! But you getting my book in the mail IS GOOD!

    Pam, I haven't mastered the in-person stuff either!!! AWKWARD!

    Can I use any more exclamation points? Maybe!!!

  50. Melanie!

    Praying for you today.


  51. Myra, I hope I haven't offended anyone by calling us a bunch of horses.


    Maybe we should we just break out and run free!

  52. Will be praying, Melanie!

    My husband and I were interviewed on the local news over the weekend, but I really don't think it counts for my social media platform...they spelled my name wrong and only asked me about Christmas shopping...

  53. Great post. Wow, being social takes a lot of work!

  54. HAHAHA Vince!!! I love your poems.

    Pam, I'm suing from the pepper spray damage!!

    I follow a few authors and I have to agree with Carol on the 'buy my book' tweets. They don't last long on my feed. Let's see if I can list my faves: Pam, Shannon Hale, Ruthy, The Unromantic Child, The Happiness Project, Melanie, and Mary. I might have missed some folks.
    What I love about them is that I get to know them from their posts. Some post a lot of personal tidbits, some not so much. Even the 'big' groups like The Happiness Project have a good group feeling. She'll ask a question and everyone will answer, then the conversation gets started. In a good way!
    Ruthy is definitely a personal poster and I love it! The Unromantic Child page is less so, but the quotes and poems she posts are just beautiful.
    There are a few author pages I've 'unliked' because every tweet is a sale post or a gripe or what number they rank on Amazon. There are no comments and no community feeling, either.


    This is a keeper for sure, and I plan to print it off. Also, I "liked" your page -- it's very cool!!

    You said, "Create your author page on Amazon, and feed your blog to it."

    Man, I know this is one area I have really been delinquent in, so thanks for the push. Didn't know you could do that, so not sure if I'll be able to, but will give it a shot.


  56. Okay, Seekervillers. I have a question for you all. It's a question about genre.

    What elements must a book/series have in order to be considered "romantic suspense?"

  57. Merry, you hit the nail on the with that comment. It takes a lot more work than any of us ever imagined.

    That's the beauty and the beast of the internet, I suppose!

  58. Great post, Pam! Lots of helpful info. It reminded me of a few things I need to do soon! :)

    Someone may have said this already, but anyone can tag a book as long as they're signed in Amazon.

  59. Thanks so much for all this info! Will implement some now and tucking the rest away for future reference. Hopping over to your FB page now! :)

  60. Pam,

    What great tips for working with social media. Congratulations on the success of your debut novel!

    Another idea I'd suggest is writing articles for Online and Offline publications. Choose your topic so that you can interview people you want to meet.

    I recently published a story in a Ft. Wayne newspaper about buying an e-reader. I interviewed a librarian about their e-book lending policies.
    The librarian e-mailed and said she would like to meet me. (It's at, then click on Features and look for an e-book story published November 18)

    Although I am an experienced nonfiction writer, others could do this. I think the main thing is not to be intimidated and write about what you know. That particular article is pretty informal.

    I turned it in early, and they wanted some additional information, which I was happy to add in there.

    When appropriate, ask to have your byline say "Writer Cathy Shouse is author of 'Images of America: Fairmount.'"

    Social media is fantastic. I would just suggest that you try to become a star in your own community. I've been helping local businesses with publicity for free in the tiny local town newspaper. Whether Online or in person, it's really about helping others. It's fun and when your time comes, others are happy to help you.

    Sorry for the long post.

    I'd love to read your e-book, Pam!

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

  61. That's a great idea, Cathy. Our local paper often has notices that they're looking for help on a certain topic - that would be a good way to get your foot in the door.

    Writing inflammatory letters to the editor is probably a bad way to get them to notice you...

  62. Virginia, I think this is why authors have hesitated to create author pages. It's hard to figure out what to do differently than that they're already doing on their blog, their personal facebook page, and their newsletter.

  63. Missy, tagging and rankings are two different things (unless I'm missing a key component here.)

    Yes, anyone can tag, but Rankings are the official rankings that show up right under the Product Details ABOVE the reviews. Here's the Ranking info. for Stealing Jake:

    Product Details
    Format: Kindle Edition
    File Size: 543 KB
    Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 24, 2011)
    Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
    Language: English
    ASIN: B0057Z87DK
    Lending: Enabled
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
    60 Reviews
    5 star: (37)
    4 star: (16)
    3 star: (5)
    2 star: (2)
    1 star: (0)

    › See all 60 customer reviews...

    Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

    Notice Jake does not have any genre-specific "Rankings" associated with it. All those wonderful "Lists" you can search for on Amazon need those genre-specific Rankings, IMO. Or maybe I'm just greedy! lol

    Also, the Customer Tags you're talking about are much further down the page....below the reviews.

  64. Cathy, so glad you stopped by, and thank you for lassoing another "social media" mustang and dragging it into the corral.

    Using your writing talent locally is definitely another way to connect with readers.

  65. Jan, I suspect you're right about that! Non-inflammatory is the best way to go! lol

  66. Mary if you are in network blogs it will add your post to facebook.
    otherwise I think you have to do it yourself. forgot about that. but I noticed my latest ones were there thanks to network blogs.

  67. Hi Pam:

    Yes, I wrote the poem just for you today because I have seen too many times successful businesses fail when they forgot what business they were in.

    When Vince Lombardi wanted to refocus and get back to basics he would hold up a football and say:

    “This is a football.”

    When I read Debby’s “A Writer’s Prayer”, I see nothing about blogging, tweeting or Facebook friending.

    What I read, in part, is this:

    “Breathe your spirit into my characters so they come alive on the written page. Help me develop intriguing plots full of twists and turns that capture the imagination and move the story to a satisfying resolution. Keep me focused and on schedule…”

    This is a prayer a writer can believe it.

    Time away from writing can mean more than less books. It can also mean less time researching, less time layering and less time polishing.

    I must admit I enjoy being a guest. I relish the warm glow of a spotlight upon me. I find it far more fun to talk about writing than go into my lonely room and face the tyranny of the blank page (or screen).

    I know we cannot hold back the tide but neither should we allow it to drag us out to sea.

    I only say this because I have had to be rescued myself more than once.


    P.S. Please consider this post my gadfly duty. : )

  68. Thank you for the amazing information.
    And, please do enter me in the draw.


  69. Thanks for all the advice today. Please include me in the giveaway.
    Jackie Layton

  70. This is definitely a keeper for my notebook. I always appreciate the gems and jewels you all pass on to us.

    I already have a copy of Stealing Jake, but I would love to be considered for a Christmas Seeker book.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  71. DD10 is now on an oral steroid to control the flare up and already feeling better :).

    I would like to be entered for a Seeker Christmas book please :).

    There was something else I was going to say. But I don't remember what it was.

    Except I've been spending way too much time [when I was home] social media-ing and not nearly enough writing something to need social media for... ;)

  72. Hi Pam, I loved the Western look to your post, reminded me of my daddy who read western books.
    I would love to be in your drawing but dont like E-books, should I win a Christmas book would be great to have, thanks for sharing today.
    Paula O(

  73. Such great advice :) I just really love all the cowboy and horse pictures on the post.
    I would love to read Stealing Jake :) It's on my list :D

  74. Many thanks, for the tips for getting into social media. I've been trying in small increments to get my name out there. Surprised when an editor on our local newspaper contacted me through my website asking to do a feature article on me. She loves the Chicken Soup books and was at a book signing and picked up one along with my business card. I have Stealing Jake thanks to leaving a comment at Favorite PasTimes blog. I thank you for it, Pam, and looking forward to getting to it soon.

  75. I love the images used in this post, Pam! I guess everyone with a "horseman's heart" will! The advice, as usual, was helpful. Self-advertisement is obviously a huge part of being a successful author.

    Please enter me in the drawing for a Seeker book. : )


  76. Such powerful words: I know we cannot hold back the tide but neither should we allow it to drag us out to sea.

    Thank you, Vince!

    Striving for that balance, one foot on the land and one foot on the sea. That is the goal.

  77. Janet K, you're in the drawing! Jackie, you too. And Cindy W. an Carol, got you both down.

  78. Paula, you're down for the drawing. Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm a huge fan of Louis L'Amour and I've got a bookcase full of old Westerns.

    The Sundowners, by Jon Cleary, 1952

    The Sierra Trail, by Frederick Colt, 1962

    They're ex-library and old and ragged, but they remind me of battle-hardened soldiers marching on!

    I love 'em!

  79. I just read Vince's post. I loved the Vince Lombardi line about "This is a football" and shared it with my husband. Hubby is untouched by social networking and asked who Vince was, as though I might have hidden someone in the room. lol

    Vince, do you know the coach quote
    "If you aren't making mistakes, you aren't doing anything"?

    As someone with perfectionist tendencies, that is a good reminder.

  80. Faye, girl, thanks for the comment, and you're in the drawing for sure!

    PatJeanne, those little contacts sometimes add up. Looks like you're on the right path.

    Whitney, you're IN! I love anything western, horses, baby calves. My den is unfinished cedar siding with a totally western feel. Pictures of dh's cattle adorn the walls. My mantle is a slab of cedar...well, I'll just show you. I'll upload a couple of pics to my author page in a bit.

  81. Speaking of facebook author pages. Several people posted pictures of items they were giving me as a "housewarming" gift for my cozy cabin in the woods. Missy brought me a quilt an Myra hauled a COW up the mountain, bless her heart!

    But these pics are showing on my Wall, and I'm pretty sure others can't see them.

    Does anybody have a clue how to fix this so that pictures shared by others are visible to everyone?

  82. Great post, Pam! I don't have a Kindle so can't read your great book, but would love to be entered for a Seeker Christmas book. Thanks!

  83. Wow, This post is bookmark-able. Thanks, Pam! :)

  84. Thanks Sarah! Glad I could be of help.

  85. HI Pam. Went to your page and 'liked' it. I have to admit that I'm technically challenged, so this part of marketing is a ride. Thankfully, my 30 yr old son lives a mile and half away, and he is generous with talking me through all the phases, questions, passwords, etc. I am fine if I do things every day, but I forget when I'm away too long. I also have a hard time threading the needle on my sewing machine without checking the handbook first, lol.

    Thanks for your social media primer. I will refer to it, I'm sure!


  86. Lyndee, I know exactly what you're talking about. Too many different platforms to learn.

    It's the same with wordprocessors. My son's laptop has Wordperfect (I think that's it) and it takes me forever to figure out the margins and stuff, and it's months before we need it again. Stuff like that drives me crazy!

  87. Hi Cathy:

    I do not recall the below quote:

    "If you aren't making mistakes, you aren't doing anything"?

    But I know from teaching K-9 dogs in the AF that the dogs only learned from their mistakes. If they were doing something right on their own, you could never be sure if it was just a coincidence. It was only after they made a mistake and the handler corrected them that we knew they now knew what was expected of them.

    Here’s a somewhat similar quoate I heard a baseball manager say after a ballgame:

    “As long as you are green you can grow but once you ripen you can only get rotten.”

    And from Ernest Hemingway, I love this quote:

    ”We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”


  88. “As long as you are green you can grow but once you ripen you can only get rotten.”

    Wise quote. I like it. Maybe it's what you do with that small window of "ripened to perfection" that counts. And some things have a longer shelf-life than others.

    Thanks for stoppy by, Debra!

  89. Great post, thank you for sharing all this information. I learned a lot from your post. I am going to keep it for later. Thanks

    Glenda Parker

  90. Glenda, thank you for stopping by! So glad the post was helpful.

  91. I loved this post. Lots of wonderful information. I would love to win one of the Christmas books. I already have Stealing Jake. And I liked your facebook page as well!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net