Social Media: What Do Authors Say About its Usefulness?

By Jennifer Hallmark

Authors, do you ever wonder if Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other modes of social media really make a difference in the marketing of your book?

I do. With the June 2019 release of my debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, only a year away, I’m asking this question and many more. So I thought I’d take a few minutes and go to one of my favorite sources, Facebook, to see what others would say. The question I asked was “Which, in your own experience, sells more books. (1) Email newsletter (2) word of mouth or (3) social media? Or something else?” Here’s some answers by authors and readers…

Author Mary Watson Hamilton: At this point in my experience, online ads (Amazon, Bookbub, etc) have shown the biggest sales. Next to that, probably word of mouth.

Author Steve Watkins:  Felt need and discoverability sell books. It’s all about what happens on Amazon search engines. Social media will sell a few hundred books at best only if you’ve worked very hard and very smart with your marketing in the months leading to your launch. Sales over the long haul are all about what people are looking for in their searches. Speaking events will sell books if you’re with the right audience. Everything, of course, begins with solid, compelling text that has a voice.

Reader Rose Zemit: Word of mouth. When some one tell you about a book, I remember it and will likely buy it.

Reader Alaina Bryant Bowers: I’m not a writer but personally I buy more books if I hear someone talking about them, but also from social media.

hlcs.org

Author Sandra Backstrom Godfrey: Blitz. All of the above as opportunity comes across your path. Prayer for guidance.  I have a marketing coach. He believes strongly in attending conferences and conventions.

Author Bonita McCoy: Word of mouth. I’ve bought more books because they were recommended by a friend.

Author Shirley Crowder: Recommendation from a friend by either word of mouth, email, newsletter, or social media.

Author and Publisher Tracy Ruckman: Has to be—must be—a combination. One without the others isn’t as effective. But 2, 1, 3 in order of most effective.

Author Kathy Terry Houser: Word of mouth, social media, advertising. Go to local paper and get them to do a article on you and your book.

And the kicker is, as mentioned by Cathe Swanson, most word of mouth IS social media.

I believe social media is here to stay and as authors, we should make use of it in whatever way we see fit. Whether a little or a lot, it can make a difference in getting your name and book in front of a lot of people at once.

So get social!

Click to tweet: The question I asked was “Which, in your own experience, sells more books. (1) Email newsletter (2) word of mouth or (3) social media? Or something else?” Here’s some answers by authors and readers. #amwriting #socialmedia

Writing Prompt: It’s your turn. Tell us in the comments what sells books to you personally. Is it one of the ways mentioned above? Or do you have another answer? We want to know…

3 Questions Wednesday ~ Susan Neal

Good morning, dear reader. Welcome to another 3QW. Today, we have Susan Neal with us. Susan’s desire is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She published three books, Scripture Yoga a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, Yoga for Beginners which ranked #3, and 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.

Welcome, Susan! Can you describe yourself in three words?

Susan: Happy health-nut. I live a vital, happy life free from disease, low energy, and brain fog because I pay attention to what I eat. My mission is to improve the health of the body of Christ because over half of Americans live with a chronic illness and a third suffer from obesity.

Helping people is always a positive. Great answer. Now . . .

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

 Susan: I would travel to the Galapagos Islands to disprove Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Wow. That’s quite a mission.  Last question . . .

What’s your favorite movie?

Susan: My favorite movies are the Star Wars movies. I even wrote, but never published, a Bible study about the good and evil that can be seen within each of these movies. This week I saw the Han Solo Star Wars movie. It was so sad how a significant person in Han’s life chose the Darkside over him.

Over half of Americans live with a chronic illness, primarily due to the over consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates provides a day-by-day plan to wean your body off of these addictive products and regain your health. These changes in your eating habits will start your lifestyle journey to the abundant life Jesus wants you to experience. Not a life filled with disease and poor health. 

You will learn:
•how to eliminate brain fog, cure diseases, and lose weight

•foods that damage versus foods that are beneficial—the ones God gave us to eat, not the food industry 
•healthy food alternatives and menu planning
•the science behind food addiction, Candida, and emotional reasons we overeat 
•to identify food triggers and use God’s Word to fight impulsive eating 
•resources—educational videos and books, meal planning, support organizations, recipes 

Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (TLB). Are you living life in its fullness? Is your health or weight impeding you from embracing a healthy, bountiful life? Take these simple seven steps and regain the life you were created for. You will love the new you!


Susan’s desire is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She has her RN and MBA degrees, as well as a master’s in health science. She is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She published three books, Scripture Yoga a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, Yoga for Beginners which ranked #3, and 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. She published two sets of Christian Yoga Card Decks, “How to Receive God’s Peace” and “Fruit of the Spirit” and two Christian Yoga DVDs, God’s Mighty Angels and What the Bible Says About Prayer. Her two digital products Eat to Live with a Low-Carbohydrate, Low-Glycemic, Anti-Inflammatory Diet, and How to Prevent, Improve, and Reverse Alzheimer’s and Dementia are great resources for attaining optimal health. Susan blogs and provides healthy menus, recipes, and corresponding grocery lists on HealthyLivingSeriesBlog.com.

You can follow Susan on:

https://www.facebook.com/SusanUllrichNeal

https://www.facebook.com/ScriptureYoga/

https://www.facebook.com/HealthyLivingSeries/

https://twitter.com/SusanNealYoga

https://www.youtube.com/c/SusanNealScriptureYoga/

https://www.pinterest.com/SusanNealYoga/

https://www.instagram.com/scriptureyoga/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susannealyoga/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SusanNealScriptureYoga

Is God Real? Prove it! A Child’s Defense by Pam Antoun

Today we’d like to welcome author, Pam Antoun, to the Inspired Prompt blog and introduce her new book. After her daughter was confronted on the playground because she was Christian, Pam wrote a children’s book, Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense to help children defend their faith.

Glad you could join us, Pam! Do you have any interesting writing rituals?

Pam:  For the past four years, my car has been my portable office as I chauffeur my daughters to and from school, martial arts and music lessons. There were many productive writing sessions in school car lines and during my daughters’ after school activities.

What is your book about?

Pam: How do you know God is real? Is it a mere feeling or a hope? Or is there something more you can point to that proves you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a loving and majestic God?

In Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense, two middle grade children, Amanda and Josiah are confronted with this very challenge. Nine-year-old Gavin has a difficult past that fuels his cynical attitude toward God and church; he craves love, acceptance, and meaning, but he struggles with distrust. When he sees Amanda and Josiah excited about an upcoming church event, Gavin is shocked anyone can happily attend church or believe in God. As Amanda and Josiah answer Gavin, another quick witted schoolmate, Sophia, joins in questioning, and sees something different in Josiah and Amanda – a warmth and peace she desires for herself.

Both Gavin and Sophia believe they are fine living without God.  Can Amanda and Josiah stand their ground without shaking their faith in God? Even more, can they share their faith and help their friends embrace the good news?

What is your favorite part of the book?

Pam: The way children speak honestly and directly about what they believe, the obstacles many children face to establishing a relationship with God, and how children can help others overcome their obstacles. This book could be read individually and can also be used in discussion settings. It includes questions and answers for each chapter along with Bible references explaining the answer source.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will grasp?

Pam: 

  • God commands us to know the reason for our hope in Him and be prepared to explain it to others when asked. Over 70% of children are falling away from the Christian faith after entering high school and college. Children need to be equipped to defend their faith before entering high school.
  • God created us because He wants a loving relationship with us. The most important decision in life is whether we choose to establish a relationship with Him. The only way we can have a relationship with God is through Jesus Christ.
  • Certainty that God is real and increased confidence in speaking about why the reader is certain. God gives everyone clear evidence of His existence.

Where can readers find you online?

Pam: Here’s where you can connect with me on social media.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PamAntounAuthor

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/PamAntounAuthor

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pam-antoun-author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PamAntounAuthor

Website: pamantoun.com (coming soon)

Click to tweet: Pam Antoun’s book asks: How do you know God is real? Is it a mere feeling or a hope? Or is there something more you can point to that proves you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a loving and majestic God?  #amwriting #children


Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense

Gavin, with a difficult past, and Sophia’s quick witted curiosity challenge Amanda and Josiah’s faith in God. Can Amanda and Josiah stand their ground without shaking their faith?

“Is God Real? Prove It!”:

– answers tough questions about God

– defends the Christian faith

– helps establish a relationship with God

– encourages spiritual growth

– includes discussion and reflection questions.


Pam Antoun

Author/Editor/Teacher

Pam Antoun has over 20 years of experience teaching children in Sunday school and Bible camp environments. After her daughter was confronted on the playground because she was Christian, Pam wrote a children’s book, “Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense” to help children defend their faith. She strives to draw people closer to God and equip them to defend their faith. In addition to writing, she enjoys raising her daughters, swimming, trips to the beach, and painting.

Prior to starting a family, Pam worked extensively in software engineering, quality assurance, and process improvement.

Favorite Bible verse: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (New American Standard Bible)

Professional Affiliations: Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Word Weavers International, Toastmasters International

Education: Master of Science/Systems Engineering, Bachelor of Science/Computer Science

3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Slattery

Good morning! It is a great pleasure to welcome back my friend, Jennifer Slattery, to Inspired Prompt. Jennifer has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. She does this through speaking, blogging, and writing novels. I’m eager to learn even more about Jennifer. How about you?

Good morning, Jennifer.

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Jennifer: This is hard–largely because I’m not sure I can do anything in three words. ha! I had to ask my husband. He said energetic, talkative, communicator.

I totally agree. I’d add in loyal friend. But that’s two words. 🙂 Next Question:

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Jennifer: Hmm … I think one of the beach towns in northern Washington, like LaConner or Cooperville, because I love the west coast and small, unique towns pregnant with history.

Washington is a beautiful state. Now…

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Jennifer: “Never Once” by Matt Redman. God’s never, not once, has God forsaken me. 🙂

A great choice. Here’s a sample…

 

Click to Tweet: Jennifer Slattery is with us today on Inspired Prompt @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway

Readers, Jennifer is offering to giveaway a book to one reader, Kindle (Mobi or PDF, readers choice), so please leave a comment to be entered.


 Dancing in the Rain

On the verge of college graduation, Loni Parker seeks employment as a music teacher, but no one will hire her since she’s blind. Or so she thinks. To take her mind off her troubles, her roommate invites her to spring retreat at Camp Hope in the gorgeous North Carolina mountains.

Unbeknownst to Loni, Michael Ackerman, the director, is an ex-con responsible for the accident that caused her blindness. When Loni warms up to camp and wants to return as a summer counselor, Michael opposes the idea, which only makes Loni want to prove herself all the more. Though she doesn’t expect to fall for the guy. Still, her need for independence and dream of teaching win out, taking her far away from her beloved Camp Hope . . . and a certain director.

Camp director Michael Ackerman recognizes Lonie instantly and wants to avoid her at all costs. Yet, despite the guilt pushing him from her, a growing attraction draws him to the determined woman. She sees more with her heart than the average person does with his eyes. But her presence also dredges up a long-buried anger toward his alcoholic father that he’d just as soon keep hidden. When circumstances spin out of control, Michael is forced to face a past that may destroy his present.

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CSH8F97


 Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She’s the author of six contemporary novels maintains a devotional blog found at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.

She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

 

 

Is Twitter a Good Tool for Authors?

By Jennifer Hallmark

Twitter is a part of social media and that, in itself, can be a useful device for authors. With Facebook, you often have local community friends to share your latest writing news and fun or not-so-fun things happening in your life. Instagram is a good place to also gather community friends and family and post photos and memes sharing your books and love for writing and reading. And Pinterest is just plain entertaining. The biggest thing to remember about social media is the word “social.”

Twitter is a bit different. If you go to the “about” page on Twitter.com, you’ll find these words…

Twitter is what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.

I  find that true in my own experience. If there is something new going on and I want to know about it, I don’t go to Facebook or Instagram or even Pinterest. Twitter is my first stop because it’s all about breaking news and information going viral.

Twitter is simple. You join, set up a profile, and start tweeting. What’s a tweet? Simply a message you share with the world. One important part of this way to communicate is the use of hashtags. Hashtags identify messages on a specific topic.

Go to Twitter, type #write in the search box and it pulls up an avalanche of writing-related tweets. You need to add one to three hashtags per tweet for optimal effect. As a writer, some of my favorites are:

  • #amwriting
  • #amreading
  • #fiction
  • #writing
  • #WriterWednesday
  • #Fridayreads
  • #ACFW

So now you have a super simple introduction to Twitter. How can authors use this happening place to their advantage?

According to a Jeff Goins article I read, Twitter is a “networking event.” I agree. For me, my aim is to find people with similar interests and share information that I think might be helpful to them.

Note I did not say try to sell them everything I can.

The quickest way to be blocked from my Twitter friends is to constantly try to sell something. Or to be a single guy with a “fake” military pic or something romantic for the avatar. I’m not buying.

The Golden Rule works on all social media, just like in real life. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I keep my tweets very specific. I tweet about:

  • Writing
  • Reading/books
  • Acts of kindness
  • Faith-based topics
  • Sports/mainly football

If anyone follows me, this is what they are going to find. Not 10,000 totally unrelated subjects. I’m intentional in my use of social media, except Pinterest. I’m very ecletic on the boards I have but with Pinterest, it works.

Because of my intentional topics, I’ve found my messages often shared or myself added to lists. Both are positive and help spread word about yourself and subjects of interests you enjoy. People trust you and then and only then can you occasionally mention a book or products you have to offer and make a sale.

That part is the same on all social media.

I’ve barely scratched the surface here but if you want to know more about Twitter, go to Edie Melson’s blog and type in Twitter in the search box. She has a slew of interesting articles filled with helpful information.

Or better yet, follow Edie on Twitter. Tell her I sent you 😊

Click to tweet:  If there is something new going on and I want to know about it, I don’t go to Facebook or Instagram or even Pinterest. Twitter is my first stop because it’s all about breaking news and information going viral. #write #Twitter

Writing Prompt: Jill grabbed her phone and started to chunk it out the window. But it wouldn’t help. She wanted the book she’d written to go viral on Twitter but instead…