Bookmarketology Link Salad for 25th November 2013

Here’s another selection of links-of-interest that have crossed the Bookmarketologists’ radar since the last Link Salad post.

Writing, Publishing

Read This! Steven Pressfield recently launched his new book The Authentic Swing with a multimedia and email backed campaign to engage both his current readership and new readers. Callie Oettinger explains how: Portrait of a Launch.

Over on the Buffer blog, Leo Widrich offers A Scientific Guide to Writing Great Headlines on Twitter, Facebook and Your Blog (thanks to @iainemsley for sending that one in).

… and Belle Beth Cooper, also writing for the Buffer blog, shares 8 Simple Copywriting Tips, Backed By Science (they’re big fans of Backing things with Science, over on the Buffer blog…)

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Good Graphic Design is Vital – Get Your Author Website Visuals Right

Part of the Regular Series:

Quick Website Essentials series recap: so far I’ve detailed a series outline and have explained why your author website needs to make a good first impression.

In this post, I’m going to explain why your author website’s visuals need to look good. Not necessarily amazing, or beautiful, or stunning, but good. And I’m going to suggest a few practical graphic design tips for achieving this modest but vital goal. Or at least, making sure your website doesn’t end up an ugly-ass mess.

Simple, elegant, understated. Lovely, no?

Beauty is Always in the Eye of the Beholder

Although functionality and content are the most important elements of your website in the long run, there’s still that initial good impression to make. The visuals – a website’s ‘look and feel’ – are a key factor in influencing the sort of split-second judgement that could determine whether a website visitor hangs around long enough to actually read any of your content. So it’s vital that your website’s graphics don’t let you down and drive potential visitors away before they get to the story you want to tell them.

Bear in mind, aesthetics are subjective. One person’s reaction to your website isn’t necessarily going to be the same as the next person’s. There’s simply no way to please everyone, no way to design and build a website with a look and feel that will be universally admired and adored. To my mind that’s a fine reason to aim for ‘good enough’ rather than ‘perfect’.

As long as you stick to a few tried-and-tested conventions and avoid making a few cardinal mistakes, you’ll have a good chance of encouraging your visitors to stick around long enough to actually read your content.

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Bookmarketology Link Salad for 17th October 2013

Here’s our latest selection of links-of-interest that we’ve spotted since the last Link Salad post on 2nd October

Writing, Publishing

Read This: Bestselling author and attitude adjuster Steven Pressfield answers the question “Is Money Necessary?” (or is it the Art that’s important?)

Digital Book World reports on the launch of a new ebook subscription service from Scribd.com, which is set to rival the likes of Oyster and eReatah.

Jeff Bullas asks: “Should you Sell your eBook on Amazon or your Blog?” and provides a few handy pros and cons based on his own experience.

The 206th episode of the SFSignal Podcast brings John Joseph Adams, Mary Robinette Kowal, Matt Forbeck and Tobias Buckell together to discuss the use of Kickstarter to fund new publishing projects.

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The Kickstarter Diaries Part 2: The Granola Effect

Part of the Regular Series:

Previously on the Kickstarter Diaries:

America! Breakfast! Project! Job Offer! Acceptance! Thoughts about Twitter!

Now, we continue.

Granola!

2. Why Kickstarter is like granola

I had the Breakfast, in May. Since then, Dan and I have talked once, often twice a week via the wonders of Skype. We’d go over the project, what we wanted to do and what we thought good rewards would be. Because make no mistake, crowdfunding is all about people voluntarily letting you whack them with a stick in return for a carrot a couple of months later. The rewards, and the pledge levels, are where a project lives and dies and that’s where we spent a lot of time.

I mean, a lot of time.

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Kickstarter Diaries, Part 1: Breakfast of Champions

Part of the Regular Series:

Welcome to¬†Kickstarter Diaries. Every week, for the next four weeks I’ll be walking you through the details of a fantastic Kickstarter project that I’m currently working on: the genesis of the project, exactly what I’m doing for it and, most importantly, the PR secrets I’m learning from it. So, let’s get started with breakfast shall we?

Breakfast of Champions!

About five hours ago as I write this, a Kickstarter to produce a full cast audio production of Crudrat, an unpublished Gail Carriger novel, went live. This is something I’ve been working on for four months. If this job comes off, then not only will something particularly lovely finally make its way into the world but some very hard working, very creative people will see their work released and vindicated.

I got this job because I went to breakfast.

See? It really is the most important meal of the day.

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Bookmarketology Link Salad for 2nd October 2013

Here’s another selection of links of interest that have crossed our radar since the last Link Salad post on 13th September.

Writing, Publishing

Read This: following on from a discussion at the recent Digital Book World Marketing and Publishing Services Conference, during which a panel of publishing professionals (wrongly, but understandably, from a publisher’s p.o.v.) concluded that author websites aren’t worth the effort, Jane Friedman asks “Why Don’t Publishers Believe in Author Websites?”. (Lots more from me on the subject at a later date – Darren)

Mike Shatzkin suggests that Future systems needs for publishers to manage marketing [are] becoming clear but concludes that “the right comprehensive tool hasn’t been created yet” that can manage and analyse the processes of marketing experimentation and ROI analysis.

Chuck Wendig explains “Why I Don’t Like to Negatively Review Other Authors’ Books” and follows up with a post on why he thinks it’s an equally bad idea to mix You and Your Bad Reviews.

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Your Website Must Create a Good First Impression – Here’s Why

Part of the Regular Series:

Let’s get the Website Essentials ball rolling, with a look at why it’s so vitally important to create a good first impression through your author website.

That'll do.

In the Blink of an Eye…

In his 2006 book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell tells us how and why we, as human beings, are pre-disposed towards making snap judgements, more often than not without realising we’re doing it.

In a series of readable and accessible anecdotes, Gladwell explains the mechanisms by which the unconscious mind reacts to situations or stimuli, analyses patterns and forms impressions long before the conscious mind gets around to drawing a conclusion and deciding on a course of action. He explores concepts such as rapid cognition, thin-slicing, automatic association and unconscious bias to reveal just how we continuously make those snap judgements on the basis of instinct and prior experience rather than investigation and logic, as well as how much our subconscious thought-processes dictate our conscious actions and reactions.

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Bookmarketology Link Salad for 13th September 2013

You want links? We got links. Here’s a selection of interesting, thought-provoking and/or just plain useful content that we’ve found elsewhere lately:

Writing, Publishing

Chuck Wendig re-brands the concept of self-publishing: Why I Like the Term: “Author-Publisher”. (Please N.B. Chuck Wendig contains swears)

Bestselling author and author-publisher Tobias Buckell offers advice on how to analyse an author’s return-on-investment from showing up book and media conventions: Conventions and Authors.

Publishing Industry mover and shaker Mike Shatzkin predicts that Marketing will replace editorial as the driving force behind publishing houses “before too long”.

Watch This: Bestselling author-publisher Barry Eisler engages in a wide-ranging conversation with Guy Kawasaki, Shawn Welch and Peg Fitzpatrick that touches on writing, the state of the publishing industry, marketing, branding, self-publishing, piracy, obscurity, the economics of book pricing… you name it.

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Website Essentials: 15 Must-Have Elements for Your Author Website

Part of the Regular Series:

As an author – whether pro-published, author-published or pre-published – your website should be the single most valuable piece of online real estate that you possess. Social media channels provide opportunities to reach potentially huge audiences, but without developing and delivering a bank of content that attracts, informs, entertains and engages that potential audience, you’ll have nothing worthwhile to offer. And without a means of tracking and measuring the popularity of and response to that content, you’ll have no way of knowing what works and what doesn’t.

Your Website, Your Gateway to the Wide World of the Web

Running your own, regularly updated, content-rich website is the best way to hit that first goal. Ensuring that your website is properly built and equipped to perform vital support and data-gathering tasks is the best way to hit the second. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg where the benefits of investing in your own website are concerned.

I’ve been designing, building and running websites for the past ten years. Most of my work has been for book publishers and published authors and by now I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. So I’m going to kick off my Website Essentials series here on Bookmarketology.com with an overview of 15 essential elements that you author website must have, in order to work as hard for you as it possibly can.

The pointers below are very brief, summary-level overviews. I’ll be going into more detail on each of the points below in future Website Essentials posts. And whilst this introductory post focuses on websites that support and promote the work of authors, do bear in mind that these website essentials can (and should) also be applied to Publisher, Agent and Indie Bookseller websites (plus a great many others) as well. I’ll also be talking about variants to suit other website types later on.

Right then, shall we begin?

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Welcome to Bookmarketology.com

Hello and welcome to Bookmarketology.com, a new website, social media and podcast project hosted by Alasdair Stuart and Darren Turpin.

Welcome to Bookmarketology

What’s the Big Idea?

Our aim is to help you find new and improved ways to sell more books. It’s one of those ideas that’s both big and clever, not to mention difficult. And that’s where we come in.

We’ll be posting a range of practical suggestions, tips, tutorials and general advice for authors, publishers, agents and indie booksellers on the subject of all things marketing-related. And by ‘marketing’ we mean… well, pretty anything that takes place as part of the publishing process, for reasons we’ll go into in detail at a later date.

Our central theme throughout everything we talk about will be the benefits of adopting an organized, planned, best-practice approach to all your marketing activity, whatever your role or level of involvement in the process. There’s science to this, and we’ll walk you through it and show you how disciplined, enthusiastic thought and action will pay dividends for you and your career.

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