Thursday, February 11, 2010

Enid Wilson

Enid Wilson is stopping by here today. Enid is the author of In Quest of Theta Magic, Bargain with the Devil and her latest, Really Angelic. She writes sexy and erotic, romance - be it modern, historical, paranormal, or science fiction. She lives in Sydney and works in advertising. The expertise at advertising might be why she’s an expert at guest blogging around the world and promoting her books. She’s here today to share some of her promotion tips with us.

Welcome, Enid!

How to maintain a web presence

Thanks Helen for having me back again. I love visiting Straight from Hel because Helen always provides very useful and interesting tips for new authors and writers, especially for self-published authors like myself.

I’ve three books released from January last year. My last book Bargain with the Devil reached top 50 best-selling historical romances in Amazon USA. It was a Pride and Prejudice retelling so JA’s name helped the sales. But I’m still amazed with the result since I self published it and didn’t manage to get any physical bookshops to stock the book. All the marketing was done online.

Today, I’d like to share my experience in promoting my books on the Internet with you.

1. Join forums

If you write romance, join some romance fan fiction forums and post some of your short stories for free there. If you write mystery, join the mystery ones. You will get readers to notice your work.

I actually did the reverse. I started out as a fan fiction writer before I turned into self-publishing. The forum I frequent, is a Jane Austen fan fiction site. It has over 5000 members and I post my short stories there. Each story will get around 1500 hits. So I have a circle of fans from there who love my stories and I’m thrilled that they are willing to buy my books.

But be active! Don’t just visit the forums only when you have a book release. Join and visit the forums as often as you can and with a supporting attitude.

2. Create a blog

You can create a blog within minutes by joining Google blog or Wordpress. It’s a bit better than having a website because your daily or weekly update can be fed to your author page on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc.

Google search engine will rank your blog higher when there is update. From experience, the update on my website didn’t get picked up that easily by Google search than from my blog.

I’m happy that I joined the Blog Book Tour yahoo group last May. Dani, Helen and other buddies provided heaps of tips to improve my blog. Here are a few tricks I learned:
• Post at least two or three times a week. If you can post daily, that’s even better.

• Write short posts; say around 300 to 500 words. It’s about getting noticed on the Internet. If you tend to write long, break it up into several posts.

• Have a focus with your blog. For example, mine is about spicy stories. Or if you choose not to have a focus, show readers you’re a “human”, by writing your likes and dislikes, your hobbies and interests. Readers like to buy books from authors whom they know more personally, not from a publicist or a marketing machine.

• Have photos (make sure you cite the source) and internal links.

• A good heading will get more search (e.g. Mr. Darcy is A Single Man or Colin Firth is A Single Man, are headings I used to talk about Colin Firth’s latest movies).

• Put a site meter there. Make sure it shows you where the referrals come from. For example, I check my referral at every week and note down some of the key words used by readers who searched and reached my blog. They include steamy stories, quotes about love, vibrators (shocking?!), etc. Then I will write more posts about them in future.

• Don’t be discouraged by low traffic or response. As long as you have visitors, even one or two per week, they still help your sales.

• Comment on other blogs as often as you can and make sure you put your blog address as your siggie. I comment on Jane Austen sites very often (because that’s my interest) and I got a lot of people clicking back to my blog from my siggie.
3. Organise a Blog Book Tour

I had no clue what a BBT was before I joined the yahoo group. With my first book, I searched for book reviewer websites and begged for a review. The result was tiring, time consuming and unsuccessful.

But I learned many tricks from the yahoo group:
• It’s easier to get blog hosts to agree to guest posts and giveaways than getting them to review a book, because blog hosts are snowed in with book review requests too.

• Aim high and get blogs with higher traffic, like 100 visitors a day. Writing guest posts take time and you should aim high so that your time is best rewarded. I managed to get 10 high traffic stops on my last book tour. This time with my latest novel Really Angelic, it’s easier to get the BBT organised because I’ve established rapports with the previous 10 hosts (just one hasn’t replied and another on maternity leave). I had time to approach others and secured three more hosts.

• Look for blog hosts outside of your genre. For example, I managed to secure a stop at a high traffic relationship advice blog for Really Angelic BBT.

• Write relevant guest posts for your hosts. It’s about appealing to the readers of your blog hosts, not just about promoting your books. So for Helen, I write about tips useful for writers. For Julie Lomoe’s Musings Mysterioso, Julie writes psychological mystery so my guest post in her blog is about the psychological relationship of mother and daughter
I can definitely tell you that BBT helps my book sales because sales for Really Angelic only picked up after the BBT started.

4. Join Twitter and Facebook

I’m less eloquent with these two social networking tools but there are still visits from people who visit my Twitter and Facebook pages.

I hope the above information helps your next book promotion. Last time when I had my stop here with Helen, I was overseas. But this time, I’ll glue to the computer and reply to your comments sooner (just allow me time for my beauty sleep as I’m from Australia!)

Please share your experience on promoting your books or yourself online here. I’ll give out a copy of Really Angelic: Pride and Prejudice with a paranormal twist to one of the commenters. Thanks Helen for having me here again. You can visit my blog at

Thank you, Enid!

Super information. The panel I was on this past weekend at the Story Circle Network national conference was called Getting Published and it was the definite consensus of the panel that today writers have to get out on the Internet and promote themselves and their book - and they need to set up their platform before the book is published. Enid has given us all some really valuable tips on how to do that.

Visit the comment section and leave her a note or ask a question. And don’t forget the book giveaway.
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  1. Thanks Helen for having me. Hope the info is of interesting to some of your readers.

  2. Thanks Enid - this was very helpful - I am still unsure about the usefulness of twitter however. I feel like I spend too much time as it is away from my writing and wonder if it is really helpful or appears to be? Any thoughts? I've just added the counter to my blog so thank you!

  3. Enid, so many dismiss fan-fic, but there's some excellent writers out there doing fan-fic! I manage an online writer's club and if I could name the ten best writers in the group, half would be fan-fic writers. Glad you are bold enough to tell everyone that's where you began!

  4. Great points, here! I'm tweeting this article. Good luck with the new release, Enid!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. Thanks, Enid. Your post was very informative.

    Jan, I don't spend nearly as much time on Twitter as I used to. I try to tweet my blog's post a couple of times a day, then reply to direct tweets to me and tweet interesting blogs I visit.

  6. Still mulling over Twitter...but there are some neat tips here. Thanks.

  7. Great advice, Enid. Just this week I've been seeing discussions on the blogs about Social Networking, and many choose the blogs over Twitter and FB. It seems the blogs give a better portrait of the writer, and can be so engaging in comment dialogue. Best wishes with your writing!

  8. Sound and well written advice, Enid. Good to see you out there showing the way and sharing with others. Here's to some smashingly huge success for your new release!

    Marvin D Wilson

  9. Helpful tips! I really need to get on Twitter or Facebook soon.

  10. This is excellent. Thanks so much Helen and Enid. I'm with the others on Twitter. I have not gotten the hang of it and don't see the value, although I know one person who found her agent thru Twitter.

  11. To me, the value of Twitter is directing people toward my blog or newsletter, but it's important that you not tweet just the things you want to promote. Tweet others and reply to folks, too.

  12. Good tips. Thanks for sharing them, Enid. I agree that it is important to do more than just promote on the social sites.

  13. Great post with lots of wonderful tips. Thanks for hosting her, Helen.

  14. Very interesting post with great tips. The book sounds good. Anything with a twist always catches my attention. Thanks Helen for introducing me to a new author. I'm off to check out her blog.

  15. Thanks Jan, Diane, Elizabeth, Joanne, Mason, Marvin, Liza, Alex, Karen, Maryanne and Carol for commenting. Jan, I'm not very convinced of the usefulness of twitter too. But Helen's right. It did direct traffic to my blog. Diane, I've seen some really good fan fict writers too. But they are shy from publishing. I have thick skin. LOL

  16. Thanks for the tips, Enid. I'm glad to see you've been successful at self-publishing. Goes to show there are lots of ways to get out to the public, not just the traditional ones.

    Morgan Mandel

  17. Yes, Morgan, the Internet has given us a lot of opportunities.

  18. Enid and Helen, this was a terrific post! So much great information. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Great advice, Enid! I really enjoyed your post :)

  20. I look forward to reading Enid's books.


  21. Thanks again, Enid. It's fun having you stop by.

  22. I always like reading advice like this even though I should already know this. It gets me motivated to do better with my blog.

  23. Thanks Elizabeth, Jemi, BM and Susan for the comment. Yes, a lot of the info is very basic but it's always good to get a reminder.

  24. This is great info! Thanks Helen for visiting my blog today!


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