Category Archives: Social Media

Reviews – When You’re Self Publishing

One of the more difficult aspects of self publishing is collecting book reviews. Whether on or Goodreads, a posted review helps get the word out about your book. You can’t count on friends and family members to write up their view points even though you ask often, they nod their heads and then nothing happens. Statistics show as little as one in ten people will take the time to post a review of a book they’ve read. Why go through the time and expense of getting reviews? It can mean much in getting the attention of new readers.

The costs of packaging and sending out review copies should be considered as part of your marketing budget. Advance review copies (ARC) can either be a short-run of books printed, or part of your larger run. Understand books sent to review services will not be returned. One thing to keep in mind, sending copies of your book out for review around the holidays is not the best idea. You are not guaranteed a review from whomever, and they may give away your book as a gift to someone else.

The big names such as Kirkus and Library Journal Reviews want submissions from traditional publishers at a minimum of ninety days before the release date of the book. However, Kirkus does have an Indie division which will review the book for $425.00. A hefty price tag, but the well-known name holds weight in the literary world. There is no guarantee you will receive a positive review, they will weigh the professional look of your cover and interior pages as well as grammar and story structure.

Another heavy player in the book review world is Midwest Book Review, established in 1976, dedicated to showcasing reviews of small press, independently published or self-published books. Guidelines for submitting your book can be found on their website. They request two copies of your printed book. If you’re sending an eBook, PDF or advance review copy (ARC), there is a reader’s fee. MBR reviews will appear on if you’ve set up to sell your book with Amazon. You can add a piece of your MBR review as a back cover blurb on future printings. Or use it in promotional materials you send to bookstores.

Online book reviews held build an internet presence for you and your book. One place is . You sign up as an author and designate how many copies of your book you will provide for review, filling out the form with a synopsis and categories of your book. You will be contacted to send a copy of the book to the reviewer(s) who has chosen to read your book. The great thing is you only send out a book when a reviewer has requested one.

A bad review is like baking a cake
with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.

Danielle Steel

Due to the quantity of books a reviewing service may receive at any one time, your book may not be reviewed despite your best efforts. Unless otherwise noted from the reviewer, you should not interpret the absence of a review as a judgment about the quality of your book. There may not be enough reviewers available for the demand.

Use your social media outlets to remind friends and others to take a moment and leave a review about your book. It doesn’t have to be long, even a short blurb is counted.

The door on reviews swings both ways, have you left reviews for the book(s) you just finished reading? The author would love to hear your thoughts.

Speaker + Self Publishing = Success

Ready for a new marketing “shot in the arm” for yourself or your business? Wait a minute, marketing? The title of the blog says self publishing, why are you suddenly talking about marketing? Because self publishingPurchase a copy a book of tips and/or ideas about a subject you know best is a great way to increase your audience of potential customers and clients. The book becomes an incredible new marketing tool.

Over the last decade self publishing has exploded making the process simpler to create a book. Whether you’re thinking an industry-standard trade paperback or eBook available to potential business worldwide, having a book becomes a marketing perk.

As a speaker, schedule more presentations, engagements and you’ll enjoy back of the room sales. Produce a YouTube video and highlight this new book’s availability. Marketing the book in essence markets you and your company, a fresh, enduring avenue of marketing. MaherCoverEPUBSocial media posts in Facebook or Twitter ripple the attention across the globe.

You can do this – jump in the pool of publishing and expand your marketing power.

Puppies at Gorham Printing

The three-day Memorial Day weekend is almost here and one thing on my to-do list (above working on my sequel romantic comedy) in my other spare time was to pick up two sweet bundles of fluff I was adopting from a woman in Vancouver, Washington. Two brothers (toy Pomeranians) born April 3 would be old enough to leave home and start a new adventure in Olympia. Best laid plans and circumstances change, of course. It came to be that the pups could be delivered Wednesday night.

Guess who I brought to the shop? That’s right, Brugh and Bouncer are spending these days at Gorham Printing

Kathleen Shaputis, Customer Service, and Brugh and Bouncer.

Kathleen Shaputis, Customer Service,
and Brugh and Bouncer.

All two pounds of them, each, maybe. Working with self-publishing authors all day, I typically hear dogs barking over the phone as the author talks about their book. I knew they’d probably understand if squeaky noises came from this side of the phone for a change but the boys have been fairly quiet.

Memoirs, novels and spiritual revelation books have come across my desk today and I wonder if the author has a dog. Writing can be a very solitary process, yet a warm four-footed friend at your feet helps keep you grounded and not alone. And piddle parties are a natural break to get up from the desk and stretch now and again.

Now time to get back to work.

5 Keys to Using Twitter to Sell Your Book

Twitter can be a very powerful tool for helping you to promote and sell your book. Below is a quick guide to get you started.

1. Use hashtags. Hashtags are Twitter’s system for organizing tweets. You can create your own hashtag, or search for relevant hashtags other users have created. Hashtags can be used to run a contest, host a tweet chat or get involved in someone else’s chat! You can read more about hashtags here.

2. Consider the name of your book. Before Twitter existed, the length of your title may not have mattered so much. But in a universe of 140 characters, the length of your book title becomes very important. You can always use an acronym instead of the full title, but make sure it’s unique and memorable.

3. Create content people want. Twitter is most effective when you have original content to link back to. A blog is an excellent way to post excerpts from your book or share your writing process. Try to make most of your content useful to others. Use a url shortener, such as, to link back to your blog.

4. Limit self promotion. This might seem counter-intuitive. After all, isn’t self-promotion the whole point of using Twitter when you’re trying to sell something? You need to add value (see point number 3) before you can expect people to want to buy something from you. Keep the self promotion to a minimum and keep creating content people want.

5. Build relationships. Social media is, at its core, about building relationships with others. It’s about widening our idea of who our neighbor is and allowing us to connect with people who have similar interests, ideals and philosophies as us–as well as those with completely opposing views. The more connections you make, the more avenues you have that you can use to sell your book!