Friday, December 12, 2008

Using jokes to spread the word

I was looking for a new and easy way to expand my advertising, and then FunGuppy came my way...

FunGuppy is a jokes and funny pictures site. You sign up for free and enter your ad. Then you wait for the funny emails, and send them on to your friends, who send them on to their friends, and so on... and when those people come to the FunGuppy site to look for more funny stuff, they see your ad, on the left near the top of the page. This is super excellent viral advertising!

You can refer people to the site directly, and you can also post the funny picture of the day on your blog or website to increase exposure.

This is definitely a painless way to get the word out. FunGuppy is free to join. I'm adding it to my toolkit now.

p.s. FunGuppy has added a link submission service, post your link daily here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This isn't free, but it's cheap

I've just paid $5 to have my site visited 1000 times at LinkGrand. I'll come back when the 1000 visits are used up and tell you if I got any sales! LinkGrand and similar sites pay people to look at sites, in this case about .3 of a cent. Lots of people do this paid-to-click stuff for extra money, so that is how your 1000 (or more) visits are guaranteed.

Here's the link if you want to check it out:

p.s. My 1000 links came and went, and no sales resulted. It might take more than 1000 views to get a sale of my book. Perhaps something in a more popular genre would get better results.

List your book at

HumanMade is a small site offering a listing service for any individual's products. Click on the banner to find out more. At the very least it's another backlink.

humanmade Search & Find Talents

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Get a backlink to your book's website here

It always helps to have other sites linking to yours, this makes your site seem more important to Google and the other search engines.

So, tell us about your book, and make sure you put a link in your comment or as part of your ID. This is something you can do whenever and wherever you comment on someone else's blog, or even on a forum. Put your link in your signature. It all helps.

I'll harvest the links from the comments and put them into this post as well.

If you'd like to put a reciprocal link on your blog, that is very much appreciated.

So, here are some books:

Sojourn with a Stranger

K. Celeste Bryan

Available at New Concept Publishing

Where the Rain is Made

K. Celeste Bryan

Available at The Wild Rose Press

In Search of the Displaced Persons

Andy Evans and Vesna Kovac

Available at

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another look at WordPress blogs...

I have had another look at WordPress blogs, and found a really great facility in WordPress.

With both WordPress and Blogger, your posts are organized in order of entry with the newest one at the top. But what do you do if you have a post or topic which you want to keep always at the top, so that everyone who reads your blog will see it? WordPress has solved this problem by adding "pages", which have tabs across the top of the blog and can be seen immediately.

Once I found out about this facility, I immediately understood why Wordpress blogs are so popular!

Here, by way of example, is the WordPress blog which I have created to tie together my book and several of my blogs:

There you will see my first and only post for the moment, and big tabs across the top for "About me", my book "Choose to Live!" and my "Grief Log" blog.

If I want people to go directly to the "Choose to Live!" page, I can give them this link: and I can also use this link to advertise my book on the traffic exchanges.

This is a fantastic way to tie together several ideas or forms of expression, it's exactly what I've been looking for.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting your blog pinged at Technorati

Pinging is a way of informing the search engines that you have added a new post to your blog. The more search engines are aware of your blog, the more likely you are to get visitors who are searching for information on your topic.

Blogger will automatically ping your new blog posts, but it is still a good idea to ping your blog at Technorati for greater exposure.

Go to to begin the process.

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Use a free blog to promote your book

If you find the idea of a website too challenging and complicated, think about using a blog. Blogs are about the easiest way to set up your internet presence, and you'll be able to easily add, change and remove elements such a photos, posts and links.

Two free blog providers are Blogger and Wordpress. There are others which you can find by doing a google search for free blogs, but these are the most popular ones. You might like to try them both before you decide which one suits you best. I prefer Blogger, but as far as I can tell opinion is about evenly divided.

You can also use the blog facility provided by your social network. This is good because people already know you there and are likely to read your blog out of friendliness or curiosity, but on the other hand you won't get visitors from outside the network.

So, what will you write about in your blog? You can write about a topic which is related to your book. That should be easy. You are already a writer, and you know a lot about your topic. On the other hand, you can write about anything which takes your fancy and appeals to readers, and simply advertise your book in the sidebar. It's up to you, but it's best to have a topic which you feel motivated about, as regular blog entries will make your blog rank more highly with the search engines which should lead to more readers.

Here are some examples of book promotion in blogs : Antonio the Saint, The New Energy Journey, Living in Eden, Australia. As you can see, it's a very individual thing, but what you are doing is getting some attention and hoping that readers of your blog will then be interested in checking out your book.

Once you have your blog started, you will need to promote the link so that people will find it. Here are some places where you can put your link:

- in your email signature
- in your signature on forums (where allowed - check the rules of the forum you are using)
- in comments you make on other people's blogs
- on a friend's blog or site - ask them for a reciprocal link. This means that they put your link on their blog, and you put their link on yours. The more links you have pointing to your blog, the higher the search engines will rank it.
- on your page at Yuwie, Facebook, MySpace -wherever people usually find you
- on your page at Squidoo
- on your HubPage
- on your free storefront at Lulu.

Once you get started you will see how other people do it, and you will get more ideas. The important thing is to start somewhere. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just keep going until you get results.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Using traffic exchanges to put your book in front of people

Want to advertise your book's website globally? You can do it yourself for free on traffic exchanges. In a traffic exchange, people look at other people's websites in exchange for credits, which they use to display their own site. Don't worry, it works very simply and most exchanges are free. All you need to provide is your contact information, including email address, and the link to your website.

Most advertising on traffic exchanges is about "business opportunities", so if you have a book or some other unique product, you will get noticed simply because you are promoting something different. I have boosted the sales of the Creator Cards in this way. (I'll be advertising my book next.)

Here are links to some traffic exchanges which you can try out. Just click on the banners:

WebBizInsider is the biggest, with over 100,000 members.

Join HitSafari

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kitchen reflections

Have you run out of inspiration for the moment? Take a break from book promotion, and do something personal for yourself. In this way, you will create a better balance in your day. Trust that the things you have set in motion are working for you. Allow them time to bear fruit.

Sometimes, the best ideas come while we are not fully engaged in thinking about them. Small manual tasks such as washing dishes or walking often allow us to get into the relaxed, day dream state which allows new solutions to appear in our thoughts.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Get yourself a HubPage, and a little about Web 2.0

HubPages is similar to Squidoo. You get a free page where you can write an interesting article to entice people to look at your book. You can add a photo and links, an Amazon section, and so on. Mine looks like this: Reclaim your life and find happiness again

When you use a site like HubPages or Squidoo, you are harnessing the power of the collective to give your page greater authority and search engine recognition.

This is the power of what the marketing experts are calling Web 2.0, a great networking of individuals. For more on Web 2.0, see Wikipedia.

Be a part of the great sharing!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Free publicity at Squidoo

Squidoo's philosophy is that everyone is an expert. They are allowing anyone to have a page on any topic, for free. The system is funded by advertising revenue.

The benefits are all explained on their home page, here:

You can showcase your book, add links to it's page at Lulu or wherever, links to your blog and Amazon, say what you want about it, and get feedback too. There are common interest groups you can join, and the system will allow you to create a page about yourself. In addition, there is a lot of cross-linking on the site, which gives you higher ranking on Google and other search engines.

Here is the link to my page, by way of example:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Author websites which promote your book for free

There are websites which will promote your book for free. The ones I've seen seem to have largely altruistic motives, as they are also self-published authors looking for exposure. Some use the promotion to get a kickback on sales from Amazon. Either way, it works for the author.

Here are some which you might like to try:

Anne's Book Corner - offers free book review exchange.

The Book Attic - offers free book review exchange.

Here are some more, added 17 June 2008:

The Story Behind the Book - send in the background story of your book and it will be posted in their blog.

Book Marketing Buzz - send in your request for free publicity.

Beyond the Books - submit a request to be interviewed.

Sheila Stewart's Book Cover Lovers - email Sheila from the link in the sidebar.

Use your social networks - forums, facebook, myspace, yuwie...

Do you belong to any chat forums? Tell your virtual friends about your book. Put a link or title of the book in your signature. It doesn't have to be heavy selling, just mention it.

Facebook, Myspace and Yuwie are all examples of social networking sites where people blatantly promote themselves. Some do it with more finesse than others, but everyone wants to be noticed and so they will make an effort to look at your page too, just to be sociable. Yuwie users have the added incentive of being paid for page views, so they are a very friendly bunch. In addition, Yuwie is flooded with ideas for promotion of anything under the sun!

The main thing you need to do is to set up your page on any of these sites. This will include a photo of you (or whatever picture you like, it could be your book cover), your interests and your contact details (which can include your book's web page or your blog). It is up to you how much information you provide or make public, but don't make it too hard for people to see your page, or you'll defeat the purpose. Then, it is time to meet people. Contact on these sites is usually pretty "light" and uncomplicated, not too stressful at all.

Social networking sites have groups or clubs, which you can easily start up, or join. The groups cover many topics and you will easily find one or more which might have an audience for your book. There are also author promotion groups, which sometimes have good information.

Lulu and Amazon have widgets which you can install on your social networking site to feature your books. The Lulu Facebook widget is quite nice and extremely easy to add. (A widget is a piece of code which they provide, and which is usually quite easy to install.)

Promote locally

Walk into your local newspaper or radio station and tell them that you are a local author. You will probably get an interview or book review, and that is free publicity.

Leave copies of your book on consignment with any shop which will take them. Think outside the square. In addition to bookshops and newsagencies, try the local tourist information centre, knick-knack shops in small towns on the highway, any place where people are likely to wander around with some time and money to spare.

Leave posters advertising your book at the local library, cafes, bulletin boards.

Donate a copy to your local library. Leave free copies at your local cafe, with contact details inside.

Tell all your friends and relations about your book. Those who can afford it will be happy to buy a copy to show their support.

Publish for free

I published my first book in May 2007 with a local publisher. It cost me $8000 for 1000 copies.

Later I found out about Lulu Press ( At Lulu, you can self publish your book for free. This is possible because Lulu print the books as they are ordered, so there is no up-front cost.

Once your book is available on Lulu, it has it's own free web page, and you have your own storefront. All payments and shipping are handled by Lulu, and you get paid once a month. You can also buy copies of your book from Lulu at a special author price.

For the fee of $99, Lulu will also provide you with a barcode, and your book will be eligible for sale through Amazon and similar online retailers.

I have put all my books on Lulu now. At first I did it in order to have access to Amazon, but now I just automatically go to Lulu as it is the easiest and quickest option, and free! You can see my storefront at Lulu and an individual book's web page.

Why this blog?

I have self-published a couple of books, and since then I've had the challenge of promoting them without the luxury of backing from a publisher or money for extensive advertising or promotion. This has led me to try many different ways to promote my books for free, or for a low cost.

Here I will share what I have learned, and I am hoping to hear about methods which I have not yet considered. If you have any ideas, please share!