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New Page! Courses, classes and workshops

October 17, 2021-We’ve added a brand new page to our site where you can see the educational resources age opportunities that we’re offering! Whether you’re just starting your education with us, or continuing your quest for knowledge, we have something for everyone. Check out our brand new page here https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/virtual-courses-classes-and-workshops/, and visit again soon as we have new classes added frequently.

Happy learning!

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Blog Life

September 28, 2021– In a couple of days, we’ll wrap up our theme for this month, continuing education for authors. Today we’re going to chat about why every author should have a blog and some key tips to educate you on the importance of blogging for authors.

Businesses use blogs as marketing tools to share tips, industry news, updates on products, how to use the products, etc. They have become an excellent place for offering readers multi-media experiences through audio/visual options. People love reading blogs because of the conversational tone and the engagement with the author.

Here are 5 reasons why you should have a blog:

  • Search Engines: Interesting content and consistency are the two key ingredients search engines use to find you and your business. Having a blog with the correct keywords, content, and frequency can put you on the first page of Google and other search engines, making it easy for your audience to find your books.
  • Shareable: When folks find things they like online, they tend to share them via social networks or email. Your website should have social sharing buttons so that readers can share things from your blog posts that they find interesting. Perhaps you wrote about, e.g., anxiety in children and 3 easy exercises you can do anywhere, parents will want to share valuable information like this. Make it easy for them!
  • Expertise: You’re seen as an expert in your field when you regularly share relevant, valuable information. People buy from companies and businesses that show they are experts in their industry. You’ve got a great opportunity here with blog posts showing your expertise in whatever area you choose relevant to your skills.
  • Cross-Promote: Blogs are great networking tools. You can widen your net by inviting experts to guest post on your blog/podcast and talk about things that your readers care about. This is the ultimate in adding value. Plus, when you invite experts into your space as a guest, chances are, they will invite you to post on their blog and chat about your book series in reciprocity. This is a great way to reach a larger/untapped audience that otherwise you may not have been able to reach on your own.

So, as you can see, if you’re an author who is blogless, you’re missing out! Another key bonus to blogging is that it will force you to write and keep your skills sharp. What are you waiting for? Get started today!

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LinkedIn Best Practices for Authors

September 24, 2021– I hope that you’ve been enjoying our theme this month, continuing education for authors! Today we’re talking about best practices for LinkedIn, let’s dig in.

LinkedIn helps people establish themselves as an expert in their field. They can interact with their community on branded pages and groups and can connect via LinkedIn messaging.

Quick tip: LinkedIn has a right way and a wrong way to use it. It’s not Facebook, yet most people treat it the same which has undesirable consequences such as loss of connections, ignoring messages because the person is seen as unprofessional, and unable to connect to their target audience.

Why you need to be on LinkedIn as an Author

Endorsements and Testimonials: Your peers can endorse your skills and write recommendations, and this goes a long way with people who are looking for an expert in the field that you’re in. If you can get a professional to endorse your series, you’ll have a ton of potential business based on just their recommendation.

Connections: You never know who will accept your invitation to connect so dream big. Get noticed by other authors, publishers, distributors, and professionals who can open new doors for you and your books.

Groups: There are thousands of online groups that you can connect with that are within your niche of writing. Join the ones that are right for you!

News:  Your LinkedIn connections post news, tips, and updates and you can link your book to trends in the industry. E.g., Skyrocketing mental health concerns for students heading back to class after COVID.

Research: This is excellent for finding out who you can cross-promote with. Do your research on which people and businesses you’d like to partner with and connect with them.

Introductions: Your profile has spots for books, academic papers, links to your blog, website, and online content. This drives traffic and sales to your books!

Top Tip: Focus on your first-degree connections and building a strong relationship with them. They are the ones who are most likely do business with you and recommend/endorse your skills and products.

Remember to treat LinkedIn as the professional site that it is. Update your followers regularly and link your book to things happening in the industry.  Here is my LinkedIn page if you want to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lacey-l-bakker-743599120/

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5 Free Ways to Continue Your Author Education

September 23, 2021– We’re almost done with our theme this month: continuing education for authors! We’ve covered topics such as how to launch your book, travel writing sub-genres, how to stand out from the crowd, and everything in between. Be sure to subscribe to our blog (on the right-hand side of your screen) so that you never miss a post!

Today we’re talking about 5 free things you can do to continue your education as an author:

  1. Read books. There are so many books out there on a number of topics! You can find subjects on marketing, social media, how to write for your specific genre, and more. There is an endless array of things that you can study to improve your craft and your business acumen. By using your public library or participating in a book swap/little free library, you can get loads of fabulously free information.
  2. Library classes. The library is another great resource for classes, workshops, and free seminars! I’ve done free talks on self-publishing, traditional publishing, and marketing for authors over the years and have also attended some classes at the library as a student. Check your local listings to see what’s up and coming, and most libraries offer a course catalogue online. Use the resources available to you and take classes in what you’re interested in!
  3. Free online seminars. I can’t even begin to tell you how many free online seminars I’ve taken over the years, and some of them have been absolutely vital to my growth as a publisher. Use Google to search free seminars for whatever topic you want to learn about. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Keep in mind that free online seminars are usually tidbits of info presented so that you’ll enroll in their course, but some of that free info is invaluable!
  4. Blogs.  As you know, this blog is free! There are many great blogs that are also free of charge and contain tons of valuable information, tips, tricks, best practices, and insight. Blogs are great because usually they’re written in a conversational, easy-to-understand tone for even the most difficult fields of study.
  5. Podcasts. Podcasts offer a well of free information that is uniquely portable. You can learn about pretty much anything you want from a podcast, and I especially love them because I pop in my Airpods and go about my day. You can listen to podcasts on the road, while cleaning, while working out, and past episodes are easy to access if you can’t write something down that you want to remember later. Our podcast is available here, and we constantly give away free, valuable information for authors: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-hfi92-10dfda6

Lack of funds is a weak excuse for not continuing your education; there are free resources available to you; you just have to find them and, most importantly, put them into practice! Happy Learning!

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Travel Sub-Genres

September 22, 2021– I’m writing you from the good ole US of A! We’re road tripping across the country and are having a blast while getting a lot of things accomplished in the book business. Today, as we continue our theme of continuing education for authors, we’re going to talk about Travel writing which I think is a nice edition and on point with what we’re doing now!

Let’s talk about three sug-genres of travel writing that aren’t obvious such as writing about a journey or quest where the character has travelled abroad.
1) Echotourism- Your main character follows in the footsteps of another traveller and visits the places an earlier traveller visited in this subgenre; they echo their journey and try to recreate the path their ancestors/friend/ family member took with a unique experience through their eyes.

2) Expat- Don’t confuse books about passing through a temporary location; this genre is all about the protagonist moving to a different place from their home country. They reveal what it’s like to move/live there and the struggles, triumphs, and even chaos they face. It’s a great idea to blend humour in this genre. Whatever can go wrong should, as long as it’s believable.

3) Mode-In this subgenre, the focus is on the mode of transport such as by foot, boat, kayak, bike, motorcycle, train, plane, etc. Maybe your main character is travelling cross-country as a stowaway on a train or kayaking to a camping site near the foot of a mountain; whatever you choose for them, do your research into the modes of transportation and the physical/emotional toll that each would take on the character, e.g., motorcycle in the rain etc. Think of Daniel Radcliffe’s character in the movie Jungle or Rambo, among hundreds of others.
I hope you learned something new today and that you’ve been enjoying the content and education thus far. Be sure to check out our classes and products here: http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop
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Stand Out

September 21, 2021-We’re about a week away from wrapping up our theme this month which is continuing education for authors! Let’s dig into today’s topic with how to make your book stand out from the crowd.

Did you know that more than 250,000 new books are published each year? EACH YEAR! That’s an insane amount to think about. But what if you didn’t have to think about that and just focused on perfecting your book? Here are three ways that you can make your book stand out from the sea of endless titles.

  1. Cover art. This is what draws readers to your book from across the bookstore. They see it on the shelf, and they are immediately inspired to walk over to get a closer look (if you’ve done it right!) and pick it up. Cover art should be interesting, unique, and relevant to what is inside the book in terms of the story.
  2. Font. Changing up the font of your book can do wonders for making it one of a kind! I’ve seen authors create their own font, and the results were breathtaking. We’re not only talking about an epic font on the inside but also for the title of your book. Only one thing to remember-it MUST be legible or the message will be lost.
  3. Formatting. There are so many beautiful poetry books out there that are more than just words on a page. The arrangement in some of them is what gets me every time; poetry formatted to look like the shape of a flower in a vase or a sonnet made to look like a balcony are just a few things that I’ve seen over the years that have intrigued me so much! Take a risk on the formatting of your book (the layout of the words on the page) and see how it changes things up for your readers and piques their interest.

To see how you can make your book stand out from the crowd, check out one of our courses that helps you do just that! Course: Get Your Book Noticed and Increase Your Sales – Pandamonium Publishing House

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5 Easy Steps Social Media Best Practices

September 20, 2021– We’re talking about continuing education for authors, and I can’t believe that we’re almost done with our theme for this month! Where is time going? It’s flying by, that’s for sure.

To keep in line with our theme, today, we’ll focus on optimizing your social media in five easy steps. We won’t focus on each one individually, but we will do more of a general overview.

  1. Links to events. If you’re having a book launch, signing, new release, virtual or in-person event, your social media should contain links to where people can find you and your products! Perhaps you’re doing a Barnes and Noble tour or a Facebook Live party; whatever you’re doing, put up the pertinent details for your followers to see, such as time, place, capacity, and what you’ll be offering.
  2. Update photos and videos regularly. This allows your followers to get a good idea of who you are and what you do, plus it’s fun to share photos and videos about your book-writing adventures. Maybe a family pet inspired your work; share a photo of them! Perhaps you want to share a glimpse of your new book cover mock-up or a video of you reading an excerpt from a novel you’re working on. There are tons of ideas to share to keep your readers/followers/friends in the loop.
  3. Links to your site. If you have a blog or online store, be sure to link your social media to it. This is where your audience can read more about you and what you’re working on, plus they’ll know where to purchase your products and how to attend your next event!
  4. How to/behind the scenes. Maybe you’ve got some great tips on how to outline a novel quickly that you want to share with your audience, or perhaps you’ve got some great behind the scenes stuff that you want to let your readers in on, like that time you visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a painting inspired your book. Whatever it is, people love to find out what goes on behind the scenes!
  5. Relevant hashtags. I know we said we wouldn’t get overly specific, but this one pertains directly to Instagram for the most part. Relevant hashtags (words that align with your book or what you’re doing) give you more exposure to your audience when they search for specific terms and lets them find you!

We’re adding new classes all the time! Check out some of the courses we have available by visiting: http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop

 

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Digital Integration

September 15, 2021– Our theme is continuing education for authors this month and today, we’re talking about Integrating Press Releases with Social Media. Here’s what I learned while studying Crafting Viral and Contagious Content at Wharton Business School; let’s dig in:

I know what you’re thinking…press releases in this day and age? Yes. But let me explain:

Even though we aren’t only dealing with news outlets, radio stations, and newspaper journalists, press release distribution is still important. Influencers, bloggers, e-zine authors, editors, and online publications are essential in getting the word out about your books.

Social media is a great way to engage with your audience, be used as a public relations medium, and are relatively cost-effective when it comes to comparison pricing in traditional advertising. Have you ever heard of a Snap-Chat model? Yes, this is a real thing, and they’re pulling in over six figures a year (sometimes a month, sometimes per post). Social media has now surpassed all forms of advertising when engaging and interacting with your audience. It’s got a personal approach behind it, and there are ways to integrate it with press releases. Here’s how:

  • Brand Recognition-building brand recognition is the main goal for all businesses. Getting your name in front of an audience is essential to your success and brings you publicity at an extremely low or even free cost. Posts like your participation in community events, people seen with your book, or a link to a podcast or article you’ve been featured in are excellent tools for building your brand. Adding your social media to your press release where your images are linked will help build your brand quickly and effectively. Essentially, people will go ‘down the rabbit hole.’
  • Driving Traffic- Driving traffic to your website is imperative to your success. Online press releases will have a link to your website and social media where people can learn more about your products, what you do, why you do it, and the story behind the story.
  • Improve Rankings- When you send out a digital press release with inbound links to your site, you improve your site and social media rankings, not only by acquiring new followers/customers, but Google also heavily celebrates rich content by moving your site up their search list. Your visibility on preferred search terms will also increase especially if you include keywords in your press releases.
  • In the News- Journalists who write about you, bloggers and podcasters who interview you, and radio stations who have you on as guests boost your credibility and extend your reach. Adding all of the places you’ve been featured to your press release will encourage others to check out your work, the articles, and links.
  • Announcements/Events- Putting out a digital press release that lets the media, the public, your readers, and everyone else know where you are and what you’re doing (e.g., a book signing, vendor at a street festival etc.) while announcing your product is the most traditional use of press releases (especially when announcing a new book).

Top Tips:

  • Bloggers– Using them as a distribution channel is a genius way to get the word out. Identify the appropriate bloggers and other influencers and get them to post your news. The best way to do this is to email them (or email them a link to your press release) to see if they would share your article with their readers. You’re pitching them your book so give them all the info they require to share. Also, mention why your press release would be a good fit for their blog. E.g., A mental health for kids blog that shares your press release for your new book on emotions and techniques for kids to cope.
  • Content Matters– Interest level, content, tone and engagement are keys to a compelling press release and getting people to share. When going digital, keep it to 400 words or less!
  • Use Hashtags and Key Words– As usual, hashtags and keywords matter. Be sure that keywords and tags are included in your press release’s headline or first paragraph, and use some of your primary search terms.

Education in this space is so important as the world is digitally moving at a breakneck speed, and you don’t want to get left behind!

 

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Book Launch Quick Tips (Continuing Education)

September 14, 2021-We’re talking about continuing education for authors during September, and today I’ve got some tips to share with you about book launches. Be sure to listen to our podcast on Podbean every Tuesday and Thursday for additional content and tips; the app is always free to download and listen along.

The goal of a book launch is to celebrate the release of your book with your readers, customers, and target audience. You’ve made it, and your book has finally hit the market, but the real work is about to begin!

Your launch sets the tone for your series and will show your readers how awesome/fun/educational your books are. It’s essential to prepare thoroughly! Here are some tips to help with your book launch.

  • Choose a date and time asap: Knowing when you’ll launch and working backward is the best way to get organized. You’ll need no more than 2 weeks before the date you’ve chosen to build buzz about your book launch. Anything sooner than that is too soon (and won’t allow people to save the date), and anything longer than that is too much time in between the buzz building and the actual event-this means that most people will have time to forget and book something else that day if you leave too many weeks from announcement to event.
  • Over-invite: A huge key to a successful launch is to have as many attendees as possible. According to statistics, a third of those invited will attend. Use your Facebook friend list, social media contacts, and people you know to create your guest list and invite people to your event.
  • Create buzz: Social media is an excellent way to create buzz for your book launch. Announce to your family, friends, acquaintances, and target market that you’ve got a brand-new book out and that they have the opportunity to celebrate with you. Direct people to your Facebook business page, where you share information about your series and post lots of photos, blog posts, status updates, and videos well before your official launch date. Let them know when and how they can attend, whether virtually or in person.
  • Offer bonuses: Bonuses plain and simple draw people to your table. People love free stuff, whether it’s colouring sheets, word games, activities for kids, or stickers! Offering bonuses shows your customer that you care about them and that you’re invested in connecting with them. People often feel a need to reciprocate when they are given something for free, so this simple act of offering a bonus (without purchase) can have a massive impact on your sales. Plus, if you can draw kids to your table and engage them, chances are the parents will take a closer look at what you’re offering.
  • Marketing is Queen: If cash is King, marketing is Queen! Be sure to bring things to hand out to people at your book launches, such as catalogues, business cards, bookmarks, brochures, infographics, and feature sheets. Sometimes people will go home and order your books online if they’re in a rush and just popping into the bookstore for a quick second, or they’ll want to do more research to see if your book is right for their child. Either way, they need to be able to find you and order your books. Your marketing should include where they can purchase your book, your social media, and how to contact you.

A huge pet peeve of mine is barriers to payment. It drives me crazy when vendors at shows only accept cash! The world is almost cashless, and you will miss out on a ton of sales if this is the only form of payment that you accept. Invest in a square reader or other type of payment processor. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your customers!

We’re coming out with new courses all the time, so be sure to stay in the know by hitting the subscribe button on the right-hand side of this page. Check out our courses and classes at http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop

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SEO (Search Engine Oddity)

September 13, 2021– We’re talking about continuing education for authors this month, and I hope you’re learning about the importance of brushing up on your skills and seeking continual improvement in your craft. Today I’m giving you some tips on social media marketing for authors that I’ve learned over the years from some of the many courses that I’ve taken. Let’s dig into Search Engine Optimization for authors:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to draw your qualified target market to your website and turn them into customers. A strong foundation in your SEO helps direct traffic from your social media presence to your website/shopping page. Remember that you’re chasing profits, not popularity (which is social media’s main focus), or the number of fans, likes, or followers.

The number one thing to remember is that none of the SEO tactics will work if you don’t have excellent, engaging content that holds your audience’s attention.

Quick tip: Use standard search terms on social media profiles and use more rarely used terms on individual posts, photo captions, and updates.

SEO Terms

Organic search: The type of search results produced by a search engine’s own algorithm when indexing unpaid submissions.

Paid search: A submission fee has been paid to appear as sponsorships at the top of a search page (pay-per-click) ads in the right margin or the top of the list of search results.

Search engine marketing (SEM): Combines organic and paid search activities.

Search engine optimization (SEO): Is the process of tailoring websites, web pages, and social media pages to get higher up on the list in search engine results. Ideally, you want to be on the first page in the number 1 spot.

Social media optimization: Same as above, but on social media profiles and postings.

Spiders, crawlers, bots (robots): Automated programs used by search engines to visit websites and index their content.

Top Tip: Focus on the top search engines (there are only 2), Google and Bing. Ignore the ridiculous emails you get regarding submissions to 3,000 search engines; the top 2 are the only ones that matter, and when you submit to Bing, you’re also listed on Yahoo.

The Stats: 92.3% of all searches in June 2020 were on Google. Google executed 13 times as many searches as Bing (its closest competition). The remaining search engines combined accounted for 6.7% of searches. Primary search engines spider the web constantly.

  • Google users are more likely to be male, while females use Bing more often.
  • The search engines skew according to age. Users younger than 35 are more likely to use Google, while older ones are more likely to use Bing.
  • Google users tend to search during work hours on weekdays, while Bing users search early mornings or weekends.
  • Google users are night owls, most often searching from 8 pm to midnight, while Bing users are early birds with prime usage from 4 am to 7 am.
  • Mobile searchers are more likely to use Google, while tablet searchers use Bing.
  • Households with children and households with more than $75 thousand in household income are more likely to use Bing.

Don’t worry; we are all as surprised as you at the above information, and we fall into the group that is the exception to the rule. For the record, I’ve never used Bing a day in my life. Google for everything.

I quickly pulled our statistics for last week as a sample of how our customers found us:

50% of visitors to our site used Google
36% used Safari
26% used Safari in-app
15% used Yahoo
9% used Bing

Some interesting numbers for sure! And if you’re an author and not tracking this stuff, you should be! Data analysis is essential to your success because you can’t hit a target that you can’t see.