How to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book – Guest Post Written By Savannah Cordova

Every self-published author knows that getting your book out there isn’t actually the finish line; it’s really only reaching the three-quarters mark. The rest of the ride is all about making sure that the right people pick it up!

Without an established publisher, indie authors have to put in a little extra elbow grease — but that doesn’t mean the marketing journey has to be unpleasant. To help you out, here’s how to find new readers for your self-published book, and maybe even have some fun along the way.

1. Make sure your cover fits industry standards

We’re told not to judge books by their covers, but your cover is a crucial part of getting new readers to notice your work! In ebook stores, independent bookstores, Goodreads feeds, and more, your book will almost always be displayed alongside many other titles of the same genre… which means you’ll lean on your cover to help it stand out.

You want this cover to be professional and comparable to similar books, while remaining unique and eye-catching. At bare minimum, your cover should be professionally up to scratch — no clipart, no poorly formatted title text, etc. If it doesn’t appeal to readers in the first place, the following tips won’t be nearly as effective in getting them fully on board.

2. Choose your keywords wisely

On Amazon, you get to choose keywords for your book when you publish it. These are what readers will search up when they look for something, meaning that keywords are one of the most useful tools for directing your target audience toward your book.

Each book is allowed seven Amazon keywords, so do your research and pick those that have a decent amount of search volume, but aren’t too competitive; for example, a household-name bestseller on the first page usually means that keyword is difficult to rank for. And always choose keywords that represent your book — if your novel has no romance elements to it, for example, don’t select a romance-related keyword simply because the search volume is higher!

3. Discount and promote your book

The next thing that you can do to get more traction for your book on Amazon (and various other ebook publishing platforms) is to put it on sale. If any reader were on the fence about buying before, you knocking a few dollars off the price will certainly nudge them in the right direction.

Sales are also great for getting wider-scale promotion. Amazon already sends personalized emails about on-sale books to its customers, but what’s more exciting is that discounting your book can give you access to book promotion services.

Newsletter services like BookBub — which has millions of subscribers across multiple genres — are dedicated to spreading the word about book deals to readers. In other words, by cutting the price of your book by a little, you potentially open your doors to thousands of new readers!

So don’t be afraid to drop the price for a limited period. That said, the problem for many self-published authors often isn’t the money, but the accessibility of newsletter services that help make a discount work. Popular newsletters with huge mailing lists like BookBub and Freebooksy are very sought-after avenues, which means that the number of authors submitting their books far exceeds the slots available in the newsletter.

But all hope isn’t lost! There are plenty of promotion services out there, many of which are smaller but much less competitive — it’s definitely worth applying to a few of them to accumulate their effects.

4. Try a newsletter swap

Another way to access a new audience is to find another author who writes in the same genre as you and arrange a newsletter swap. This is pretty straightforward: in an upcoming newsletter, this author will promote your book to their subscribers, and you’ll do the same with their book.

This is why it’s best if the other author is someone with a similar follower base to yours — with a swap, each of you gets access to a new pool of highly relevant readers who might not have heard of you. Not to mention the added benefit of not costing a penny!

To be extra-effective, organize your swap around the time of your discount deals. We know that deals are a great promotional tool, and since you’ve already agreed to forgo some of your revenue anyway, why not make the most of this investment by compounding your sales boost with a newsletter swap?

In terms of finding a partner for this cross-promotion, you can discover plenty on Twitter’s #WritingCommunity, or simply by searching for books and authors in your genre. Remember to ask someone with roughly the same following as yours, and get to know them and their book first so that you can personalize your pitch to them.

If this swap goes well, you can carry on with other cross-promotions down the road — or maybe even work on a project together to pool your influences and increase visibility!

5. Reach out to “bookfluencers”

Another vital aspect to a book’s success is word of mouth; for most readers, nothing beats a wholehearted recommendation from a fellow bibliophile. Which is why you might also want to get in contact with the best-connected readers there are: Bookstagrammers, BookTubers, and yes, BookTokers.

These portmanteaus refer to influential readers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok respectively. On such platforms, book lovers can display their books with style yet intimacy, which means that they’re incredibly popular and often trusted for recommendations… and one influencer’s TBR or book review will influence another, and another, and another. Done right, a bit of social media promotion can create a wave of enthusiasm for your book that just keeps rolling and rolling.

To promote your book, get in touch with some of these influencers — they often have a work email listed somewhere on their platform — and offer an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can also organize a giveaway with them, or suggest doing a live Q&A to show the friendly voice behind your book.

Hopefully these tips have given you a few solid ideas on how to market your self-published book and find new readers for it. It may take a lot of trial and error in order to find what works best for you, but just keep at it, and maybe one day your book will top the charts!


Savannah Cordova is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best resources and professionals. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories.

How to spot common red flags in phishing emails – Written By Tim

You clicked the link in the email to reset your online banking password. But are you really sure that the bank security team sent that email? Too late. You just fell for a phishing email scam, and now your account data is compromised. 

However, most phishing emails contain glaring red flags. You just didn’t spot them in time—but you can learn how to. Sometimes it’s still the most obvious tricks that catch people out, and phishing emails are a common example.

What exactly is phishing?

Phishing is a type of social engineering designed to manipulate you into giving up sensitive personal information like your passwords, credit card, or bank details, or installing malicious software on your device. 

Phishing uses communication—usually in the form of emails or text messages—pretending to be from someone you trust, such as a company whose services you use. This is why you are willing to give your information to them.

Once an attacker has successfully duped you and has stolen your information or gained access to your device, they can log in to your accounts, change the password, and potentially access other linked accounts. 

Read more: Before your download: Is that app a scam?

According to an Avast survey of its users, 61% of Americans are at risk of falling victim to phishing scams. Phishing emails accounted for 59% of the cases where users admitted to falling for a phishing scam.

While it’s true that it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish a fake email from a legitimate one, most phishing emails still contain red flags that should make you suspicious—if you know what to look for.

So let’s take a look at an example of a phishing email and the red flags contained within.

Example of a phishing email scam with glaring red flags.

1. The email was unsolicited

As a rule, most companies won’t send you unsolicited emails. So ask yourself, why should you have received this email at all? Attackers expect you to open these emails and click the links without verifying their authenticity.

2. A shouty subject line

Attackers know they’re competing for your attention in a crowded inbox. So a common tactic is to use shouty subject lines—in this case: “Important! Your Password will expire in 1 day(s).” 

Such threats and a sense of urgency are designed to make you click suspicious links within the body of the email. This should put you on alert that something phishy might be going on. 

3. Slightly misspelled email address or domain

If you’re suspicious about an email’s origins, check the sender. Scammers often use an email address that looks very close to a legitimate one. Close, but no cigar: and that difference is vital. 

The sender name, “LegitBank Security Team,” sounds legit, right? But notice the two spelling errors in the email address: “securiity@legitbamk.com.” 

A top tip is to type the company’s name in a search engine to see what email domain it uses, or by looking up an email you’ve previously received from them. 

4. Unfamiliar or vague greeting

Organizations like your bank have personal details, including your name—so receiving an official-looking email with a vague greeting like “Dear LegitBank user” should put you on alert. If the tone of the rest of the email also sounds out of character, that’s another huge red flag.

5. Obvious spelling and grammar mistakes

Many phishing emails contain several spelling and grammar mistakes, which is uncommon from large, professional organizations like banks.

In this example, you can see the inconsistent capitalization of the subject line, the bad grammar in the email text (“Your account password is expire in 24 hours”), and even spelling mistakes in the link URL.

Don’t click suspicious links

If you’re suspicious about an email’s origins or intent, definitely don’t click any links within. 

You can even see that the link in this phishing email has a spelling mistake in the URL (LegitBank is spelled with two “i”s). If you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a fake site that may look identical to the original, where you will be prompted to enter your login details or other sensitive information like payment details. 

Sometimes, the fake site will even redirect you to the legitimate site, where you will log in again (this time for real). But it’s too late: Your logins are compromised, and the attacker can access your account. By the time you notice something amiss, they might have already changed the password and the email address for account recovery, locking you out.

Don’t click on suspicious attachments

Attackers need you to open malicious attachments, so will make them look as harmless as possible. The attachment on this phishing email appears harmless enough, instructions for updating your password—but if you’ve already spotted red flags elsewhere, think before you click.

Once opened, the harmless-looking ZIP file could spread malware onto your device (though a malicious PDF or DOC could be just as devastating), which may allow an attacker to log your keystrokes (capturing logins, passwords, email addresses, bank accounts) or install ransomware on your device, encrypting your documents to block access unless you pay a ransom. (Which is another good reason to back your data up regularly.) 

Keep an eye out for things that just look odd

Did you notice that the copyright notice at the bottom of the email is out of date? It says “2011” instead of “2021”. Big corporations are unlikely not to have updated such details in over 10 years, so even small details could be red flags.

At the end of the day, attackers who send phishing emails are relying on you to drop your guard and trust that everything is normal. So always be on alert for glaring red flags that mean something phishing may be going on. 

For more tips on cybersecurity awareness and the biggest news in tech privacy, sign up for the ExpressVPN blog newsletter.

Tim likes to keep an eye on the exciting developments in cryptocurrencies and data privacy when he’s not deep in a podcast, a TV show, or new albums.

(Source: https://www.expressvpn.com/blog/phishing-emails-red-flags/?utm_source=blog_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blog_newsletter_20211014)


I thought, this was a warning that needs to be spread. There are still far too many people falling for pishing. I found that article on my VPN provider’s newsletter, which I get regularly. I’m using VPN for quite some time now and find it extremely useful. It offers me safety and protection. If you’d like to try it, you can do so for one month, or longer. Click here to check it out: https://www.expressvpn.com/what-is-vpn – Let me know if you’d like a link to subscribe, I’d be happy to assist you!

5 Reasons Tech Can’t Replace Editors – Written By Lisa Norman

on Writers in the Storm Blog:

Have you seen the new products on the market to replace live editors with an automated intelligence? I see authors spending a lot of money on these services, while being excited that they can now save the money they used to spend on editors.

I see editors moving to other careers or accepting impoverishing fees just trying to stay marketable.

Pick up a newspaper and you’ll see that more and more publications are using automation instead of live, intuitive, experienced editors.

A friend recently asked me to help decipher a recipe that was in a published, highly rated cookbook. It included such ingredients as “tortured cream” (whipped cream) and “evening meal exercises” (dinner rolls).

Aside from the above silliness, here are my top 5 reasons why I was horrified to learn some publishers are switching to automation for editing their clients’ books:

Continue reading HERE

TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO IF YOU DECIDE TO SELF-PUBLISH YOUR BOOK – Written By John W. Howell

Photo by ron dyar on Unsplash

This post originally ran on October 12th, 2015. Those with memories of an elephant might like it again. For the rest of us, I hope you enjoy it.

* * *

The inspiration for this list is my latest effort to self-publish the next John J. Cannon story titled His Revenge. Since I had absolutely no experience in publishing, the journey was a long winding road marked by plenty of mistakes. I’m sure the trial and error method is not over yet, but here is some of what I learned. Don’t forget I’m a fiction writer, so some of these lessons have been enhanced with dubious facts to make them more exciting and hopefully humorous. I would, therefore, resist publishing this list on the Huffington Post. (hear that, Arianna?)

Top Ten Things Not to Do if You Decide to Self-Publish Your Book

10 If you decide to self-Publish your book, do not drink any alcoholic beverages four weeks before and two weeks after you hit the publish button. If you do, at best, those little things you forgot are not necessary. At worst, you find out after six weeks you submitted the wrong cover with the manuscript. (You know the one. It has “fiction” spelled “fuction”).

9 If you decide to self-publish your book, do not try to edit the manuscript yourself. If you do, at best, you will have a fool for an editor. At worst, your book will be featured on a blog with the lovely title of “The Poorest Written Books of the Year.” (You are so lucky to have the top position)

8 If you decide to self-publish your book, do not think you don’t need to know how to format the interior. If you do, at best, your readers will be treated to several blank lines. At worst, your book will resemble something created by a room full of monkeys on keyboards. (Yeah, it can be done, but that one page with only the word “then” on it took the cake)

CONTINUE READING HERE

What to Do When You’re Approached by an Overseas Publisher – Written By AskALLi Team

on Self Publishing Advice:

The moment you receive an email from a publisher or licenser pitching you for a potential rights deal, is an exciting moment.

While there are also lots of scammers in the world, there are also many genuine publishers and licensers out there who really do want to partner with you.

Today, the Alliance of Independent Authors AskALLi team looks at what you should do when you’re approached by an overseas publisher.

As soon as you achieve success as an indie author, you’re going to be approached directly regarding foreign rights or other rights deals as–unless you have an agent–you are the point of call for your books.

This might feel odd at first. You might instinctively think it’s a scam, as we’re so used to doing things independently, with no help or support. This post will help you weed out the scam from the genuine deal and tell you what to do when you’re approached by an overseas publisher or other rights buyer.

Continue reading HERE

Getting Started with BookBub Ads: Growing a New Pen Name – Written By Sophie Brent

on BookBub Insights:

Over the past few years, advertising via BookBub Ads and other display ad platforms has become an increasingly important part of many authors’ book marketing plans, but getting started with ad campaigns can be a daunting experience.

To help guide authors who are dipping their toes into digital advertising for the first time, we interviewed four authors who created their very first BookBub Ads campaigns earlier this year. We’re sharing their experiences in a four-part series where they each discuss why they decided to start running BookBub Ads, what resources they used to set themselves up for success, how they set up their first campaigns, and everything they learned along the way!

In this post, cozy mystery author Sophie Brent — who also writes traditionally published romance and self-published nonfiction guides for writers under the name Nina Harrington —  shares the lessons she learned about running ads to establish an audience for this new pen name.

Continue reading HERE

What Are the Types of Editing? (6 Types To Know) – Written By Sarah Rexford

on The Book Designer:

If you’re a writer, by now you likely personally understand the phrase: all writing is rewriting. Writers get an idea, convert that idea into a draft, and then edit, edit, edit until they’re satisfied with every word.

It’s a long process, but knowing the impact writing makes in the lives of readers is worth it.

Here’s some good news: You can shorten the process.

Taking the time to really understand the different types of editing and which one is best for your particular process will save you time and energy. It will also help get your book out into the world with edits specific to your book’s needs, and take it from good to great.

As said above, all writing is rewriting. But there are different types of rewriting. Each type of rewrite focuses on a different aspect of your story. Depending on what you’re writing, why you’re writing it, and who you’re writing it for will play a big part in choosing what type of editing is best for you.

Continue reading HERE

7 New Agents Seeking Commercial Fiction (all genres), Memoir, Literary Fiction, Kidlit, Romance, Fantasy and more – Written By Erica Verrillo

on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:

Here are seven new agents actively expanding their client lists.

Hannah Todd (UK) is actively looking for commercial fiction across all genres including women’s fiction; police procedurals; clever thrillers; cosy crime; romantic comedies; accessible historical fiction focusing on WW2 and including dual timeline novels; sagas; emotional issues-led fiction.

Madison Scalera wants domestic fiction, historical fiction, romance, and memoirs, particularly coming-of-age novels.

Dani Segelbaum is looking for narrative non-fiction, popular culture, fashion, lifestyle, feminism, memoir, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, politics, and cookbooks.

Elizabeth Fithian is looking for creators and creator/illustrators who create non-fiction, picture books, middle grade, YA fiction, and graphic novels. On the adult side, she’s eager to find a debut novel, as well as book club fiction, narrative non-fiction, literary fiction, memoir, fantasy, and mystery.

Tasneem Motala is interested in character-driven MG and YA fiction and graphic novels, with or without a touch of magic, written by BIPOC (black, indigenous, and other people of color) authors only.

Rachel Altemose represents a diverse array of genres (children’s through adult) and is particularly keen on narratives with unique voices, diverse perspectives, immersive settings, complicated familial relationships, young/twenty-something protagonists, magical realism/surrealism, or experimental style.

Barbara Jones is looking for fiction and nonfiction, from highly literary works to much more commercial fare.

Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change. 

NOTEDon’t submit to two agents at the same agency simultaneously. If one rejects you, you may then submit to another.

Get Full Details HERE

How To Self-Publish Short Stories On Amazon KDP – Written By Derek Haines…

on Just Publishing Advice:

Can you self-publish short stories on Amazon KDP? Yes, you can.

There are many sites online where you can publish your short stories for free. If you are a new writer, it’s a great way to find readers.

However, if you want to earn money from your writing, self-publishing your short stories as a Kindle ebook is the best route to take.

Before you jump in though, you need to make sure that your short story ebook complies with the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) guidelines.

Continue reading HERE