Thursday, 17 November 2011

Jo Linsdell Demystifies Live Twitter

 One thing we Slow and Steady Writers have time to do is build ourselves an author platform well in advance of our book's release,
Welcome Jo Linsdell, organiser of Promo Day, to explain how and why to use Live Twitter.
 Over to Jo...

 Why you need Twitter

Twitter has grown a huge amount since Jack Dorsey (@Jack) sent out the first tweet on 21st March 2006. The micro-blogging site is now considered one of the most popular and powerful social media sites on the web and boasts over 100 million active users across the globe.

This free viral marketing machine is perfect for writers and authors wanting to spread the word about their latest releases. Don't be put off by the 140 character limit. You can do a lot more with the site than you might think.

LIVE interviews (also referred to as tweeterviews or twitterviews) are just one way you can use Twitter to extend your message and reach the masses.

The twitter character limit can also be a good thing as it forces both the interviewer and the interviewee to be clear and concise.

How to Follow Live Twitter
There are various ways you can go about following a LIVE interview:

  1. Use twitter search to follow a hashtag #
  2. Use one of the numerous monitoring tools to follow a hashtag e.g.
  3. Use one of the sites out there made specifically for LIVE interviews like or

I prefer to use for a number of reasons. It's available to everyone and you can easily sign in with your twitter account. Just type in the hashtag you are using (for my current tour it's I4Ttour) and tweetchat will automatically add it each time you tweet. You can see a LIVE stream of everyone using your hashtag and by using the reply button people can see the question you are answering.

How to Advertise your Interview

For the best results you should advertise the interview in advance and send reminders prior to the event. It's also a good idea to let your followers know what you're doing during the event by occasionally tweeting "This is a LIVE twitter interview with @username".

A twitter interview provides with the perfect opportunity to keep the conversation going and to interact with your followers. Plus it gives you material for other features e.g. you can post the transcript to your blog or other social media sites.

 More About Jo

Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer living in Rome, Italy. She writes articles for websites, newspapers and magazines. Her books Italian for Tourists and A Guide to Weddings in Italy are currently available from various online bookstores including; and They can also be found at along with her various e-books.
She organises PROMO DAY,an annual online event each May for people in the writing industry.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Writers On The Move: Optimising Social Networking for Authors

Writers On The Move: Optimising Social Networking for Authors: I know that all of you are social media mavens. I know that you've all got Facebook, LinkedIn, a range of Ning accounts, use Shelfari, Libr...

Italian for Tourists

Italian for Tourists  Virtual Book Tour 2011

Italian For Tourists: Pocket Edition is a basic guide to the Italian language covering phrases and words most needed by tourists. It includes all the words and phrases a tourist is likely to need during their stay in Italy as well as a pronunciation guide and a map of Italy.

The phrasebook is divided into 17 chapters including; Emergency, The basics, Common expressions, Learning Italian, Greetings and introducing yourself, Transport, Hotel, Sightseeing, Asking and giving directions, Food and drink, Health, Shopping, Offices and bureaucracy and Signs and notices and more.

Jo Linsdell came to Italy from the UK in June 2001 and now lives in Rome working as a freelance writer. She wrote the book drawing on her own experience. She explains “A tourist doesn’t need to know everything about Italian grammar or the in’s and out’s of buying an apartment. They want to have an easy to use reference book of the language they will need to use and understand during their stay”.

So why do Jo and her book fit so well into the Slow and Steady writers theme?

Writing Tips

This type of planning is ideal for those of us who write slowly. 

  • Divide your project into chapter headings
  • Give yourself a set time in which to complete each chapter or even each section of a chapter
  • Pinpoint your ideal reader. Don't write for the world. Write for that one tourist, that one romance reader, that one individual who is looking for just the information you are providing
Goes without saying, you want that one person to represent hundreds more with the same need to read a book like yours.

Find a hole in the market and bed yourself right in.

Marketing Tips 1

 Jo's main keyword is Italian. It's the first word in her title, the first word in her book blurb and it's used again once in her last paragraph.

That's enough to make her visible in search engines and not overused to flag her as spam.

It's backed up by a couple of references to Italy.
Her secondary keyword--tourists--is again sensibly repeated throughout the text.

Marketing Tips 2

Photographs are great for attracting attention and especially useful at conveying information quickly and easily. This one shows not only the book cover but also Jo looking professional and business-like at her computer.

Extra detail is the insertion of book tour dates and her website URL. A tiny photo but a one-step promotion that's extra branding without being pushy.

 Marketing Tips 3

Make sure your copy is always free from mistakes and that you have made each word count. 

Jo's last paragraph includes a tiny bio which does everything needed to establish her credentials and outline her ideal reader.

Bring Twitter a-LIVE

I'll be interviewing Jo here soon and publishing her information on working with LIVE Twitter. 

First saw that in action with Paolo Coelho answering questions in four different languages.

It's something I need to know more about and I hope you'll join me here next Friday, November 18, to learn from Jo.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Why Buy Books?

Why do readers buy books? How do we choose what we want to read?

This is perhaps the most important question of all for a writer to answer. If you want someone, apart from family and friends, to buy the book you're writing, you must know what motivates your ideal reader.

Why would he or she be interested in buying your book? 

  1. For information. How-to books never fall out of fashion. A concise and easy-to-follow book relaying your area of expertise be it Making Toys for Poodles or Teaching Your Cat Swahili will always find an audience. The trick is to be sure you choose a subject which appeals to a reasonable number of people and which is not over-populated already.
  2. For pleasure or stress-busting. All readers have favourite genres from literary fiction to paranormal romance.
  3.  For interest. Put another way, readers buy from curiosity. I buy books through reviews I read in newspapers, magazines or the Internet. More and more I buy from trusted recommendations on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, and from authors I cybermeet and find interesting on these or similar sites.
 How do you write a best seller?

Ideally you will choose a niche which is popular but not flooded with best selling authors already. In practice, writers are apt to know what they want to write. And this is often what they like to read.

But, as a  slow writer,you cannot rely on jumping on this year's band wagon. The wagons inevitably roll  by and leave you polished, edited and stranded as yesterday's news. 

Both you and your book demand that you become equally proficient at communicating with your potential readers and this is a task you can never start too early.

Brand yourself as a writer.

There has never been a better time to learn how to do this. Many writers are paying back all the help they had at the start by encouraging and helping newbie authors.

Two websites I  recommend are Writers on the Move and  Writers and Authors.

Writers on the Move, the brainsite of marketing and promotion expert Karen Cioffi is peopled by a collection of savvy award-winning authors and marketing experts like Carolyn Howard Johnson. The article on her initial  Amazon launch is subtitled learning from mistakes.The new edition of The Frugal Book Promoter is now released on Amazon, expanded and updated and full of excellent budget ideas for making the best possible platform for your book sales.

Writers and Authors is edited by Jo Linsdell, a British writer now living with her husband in Italy. Jo is indefatigable when it comes to promotion and I am hoping to welcome her here later in the week on her blog tour celebrating her latest publication  Italian for Tourists.

Cast an eye over either or both of these sites and share what you learn that will make a difference to your own brand promotion whether your book is published or still a cherished WIP.

Not to be missed

Writers on The Move November Workshop 

Create and sell an Informational Product. A free how-to session on November 18. What could be better than that?

Low-cost workshop packages will be available for this and past workshop packages are listed on the site.