Friday, September 27, 2013

Use The "Landing Page" To Pitch Your Book Pt1

Not too long ago I was among the legions of authors using Twitter to pitch my books.  Review quotes from readers with a call to 'buy my book' were my method.  But late last year I started getting away from this type of pitch.  I changed because my tweets stopped being effective.  On Super Bowl Sunday 2012 my tweets: Not watching the Super Bowl today?  Have I got a HELL of a read for you garnered me enough sales to propel Boyfriend From Hell onto several Amazon top 100 lists for a few hours.  Yet by September of that same year my blatant pitch tweets had become less and less effective.  The main reason was, when I started tweeting 'buy my book' back in 2011 there were possibly thousands of authors doing this.  By the end of last year there were 10s of thousands or more.  My once very effective tweets had become Twitter clutter or worse--SPAM.

This is the first of three posts about changing up your strategy by using a landing page to attract new readers to your books.  I'm going to begin by dealing with the question: what is a landing page?

Wikipedia states: Landing pages are often linked to from social media, email campaigns or search engine marketing campaigns in order to enhance the effectiveness of the advertisements.

A piece on CopyBlogger states: A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result.

A good way for us to answer this question is to first establish what a landing page is not. A landing page can't be any page on your website.  They're all pages on which one might "land," but for our purposes, a landing page is a page where you can send traffic so that you can make a broader, more impassioned pitch about your book or books. 

I began reading about landing pages last January, and started experimenting with one of my own.  I'm still experimenting, updating my page to make it more effective while trying to discover new ways to get readers to the page.  The post I referenced earlier in Copyblogger states: Think of a golf course… a landing page is the putting green that you drive the ball (prospect) to.  That's very well stated.

A landing page is a good idea for any author, but it's an even more effective tool if you're writing a book series or have a number of books available. Here's a screenshot of Ted Dekker's landing page, touting his up-coming novel while still making you aware of the rest of the series:

Here's a link to my own landing page.  Remember, it's still a work in progress:

So, a landing page is a page where you send prospective readers in order to make a strong pitch for them to download your book. In a growing marketplace, your landing page can distinguish you from other authors. Think of it as a chance to tell a reader more about you and your book to help influence their buying decision.

In part 2 of this series I'm going to tell you how you can build your own landing page in less than an hour, and what should be included on that page. In part 3 we'll discuss how to use Twitter and other marketing tools to find prospects to send to your page.  And while you're on my page, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.   Please leave a comment letting me know what you think of this piece and my landing page.  Thanks.


Friday, September 6, 2013

The Review Contest Winner

My Review Contest started mid July and ended this past Monday.  All summer long frans and fans submitted their reviews in hopes of winning The Awesome Swag Bag.  I'm a bit old fashioned, so instead of using Rafflecopter to choose the winner of The Review Contest, I decided to hold my drawing the old fashioned way.  I wrote the names of each entry (some of you had as many as 8) on little slips of paper and placed the slips in my very handy hat.  Then I enlisted the aid of my good friend G's son, umm... err... Spider Man, to draw the name of the winner.

Spidey was up for the challenge

He dug deeeep

and selected the perfect person to win the prize

"Here Daddy" 
Yes, Spider Man always consults his father when making life altering decisions.

And the winner is.....

Yay! Congratulations! 
Thank you all for playing.  I'm so glad I had so many entries.  Let's all give a round of applause to Lindsay Weber who beat out over 50 of you.  And while we're at it, let's thank Spider Man D for his excellent assistance. 
There are never any losers in E's world.  The final book in The Falling Angels Saga, Falling, will be out this winter, just in time for the holidays.  And trust me, it's a winner.  Until then, look out for another excerpt from the new book, the cover reveal, and if I find the time, maybe even a little something special for Halloween.  And for those of you who still aren't fans of The Falling Angels Saga, here's the first 4 chapters of book #1 Boyfriend From Hell--FREE--to whet your appetites: SAMPLE.  Enjoy your fall ya'll.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Guest Post: Annabelle Blume on Consistent Characters

Hey frans, I've got a special treat for you, and I do mean special.  My friend, author, Annabelle Blume's up-coming novel, Melted Tears (Due out on September 9th) is on blog tour (Sept 2-20th), and today's stop is here with us at E's Blog.  I met Annabelle when she became a fan of The Falling Angels Saga, and ultimately a fran, like a lot of you.  I had no idea she had aspirations to become an author until I happened to see a tweet about her first novel, Frozen Heart.  I got my hands on Frozen Heart when it first came out and I have to tell you, I love, LOVE, LOVED it!  An amazing dystopian romantic adventure with some sizzling sex scenes.  I was so happy for Annabelle and jealous (in a good way) that her very first book could be so damn good.  You can find her first novel, the prequel to Melted Tears, here: FROZEN HEART

Flash forward to this past spring when Annabelle asked me to write a blurb for the sequel.  You know I said Yes! I loved the first one so much, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the new one, and let me tell you I was not disappointed.  AND if you look at the front cover--Huzzah! A blurb by yours truly.  DO NOT make my first blurb ever go to waste.  Support this book!

But enough about my needs...

Today Annabelle is sharing a guest post about creating consistent characters.  It's a good lesson for some of us and a great reminder for others.  But before her post, here's a little bit about the woman herself.

                      About Annabelle Blume


Annabelle is a Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Romance author, that is, when she's not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Wife, mother, and creator of alternate worlds, Annabelle has a penchant for that which is outside the norm.

Her Sociology degree has given her the ability to construct worlds that exist only in her head and translate them passionately to the page. The time spent studying individuals, interpersonal relationships, and particularly, women, within the constraints of our society led to Annabelle's unabashed ability to talk about sex as it fits into our modern lives.

Annabelle's official author page
You can find her on Twitter: Twitter@AnnebelleBlume  and stay up-to-date via her Facebook Author Page



I believe creating consistent characters is one of the hardest things about writing. And fewer writers are successful at it than you think. I see it all the time, even in blockbuster movies and my favorite TV shows; a character saying something completely out of line with their typical thought processes or jumping ahead in their character arc without any solid footing to support their transformation. I’ll never forget when I saw a character on my favorite show, Supernatural, leave a woman possessed by the strongest demon they’d ever seen completely unattended. I mean come ON! These guys have been fighting monsters for their whole lives and they’re going to make a bonehead mistake like that? I think not.

So how do you avoid this in your own writing? First, you have to push yourself. Don’t ever allow yourself to write a character doing or saying something just because it’s convenient to the plot. If your character has to play dumb, or mean, or weak when they usually aren’t, then your plot isn’t supporting this element. Go back and try again.

Next, you must, and I mean MUST, have a critique partner who is honest with you. When I was writing Melted Tears, I had a tendency to allow Cressenda to dwell on her fear that Beckett might leave her in the West Fallen work camp. My critique partner, Amy, kicked my butt! It was totally out of character for Cressenda to be mopey and self defeating and with Amy’s help I got Cressie straightened out and back to her bad ass self.

Lastly, if you have a scene or introduction of a plot element that you’re unsure of, read it out loud. If you’re lucky, your computer may have a function that will read your writing back to you, but if not  lock yourself away (car, bathroom, closet, wherever) and read that puppy with all the passion and fervor you imagined when you wrote it. If it doesn’t flow you’ll know you’ve got to clean it up.

Yes, it’s hard work, likely inconvenient, and a pain in your neck – literally and figuratively – but your work will reach new levels of professionalism when you push yourself to do better and be better.
A terrific lesson for us all.  Now go forth and support this fabulous author. 

Here's your chance to win a FREE ecopy of Annabelle's sizzling second novel, Melted Tears.  Just click here: GIVEAWAY.