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Looking for a new website or blog? Authorlicious might be just what you need.

Looking for a new website or blog? Authorlicious might be just what you need.

Hello there!


You may or may not know that my *real* job is working with authors on their book marketing and promotions.  


Part of that used to mean designing and developing websites for authors to promote themselves, and their books on. 


Well, while I think we did a great job building custom sites, it was of course expensive for authors. So, we racked our brains on how we could offer an affordable solution for authors to have a website that THEY could manage and update, that looked fantastic, and that was designed to help sell them more books.


Today we are officially introducing the Authorlicious WordPress website theme!


Q. So what is Authorlicious?


A. A WordPress Theme for self-published authors to maximize their book sales, Mini-Tutorials to help authors control every aspect of their site, a Community & More!


How we stumbled upon the idea


Brandon and I have been working in self-publishing and with indie authors for nearly 3 years. We saw a big problem.


1) Authors had a website that they could use to blog/ update a little, but it made them look unprofessional and did not help them to sell books.


2) Authors had a beautiful, professional site, but it cost them the earth, AND they didn’t know how to update or control it.


We first started talking to developers about the idea in December 2011. We saw a real need for it, but wanted to make sure we had the right team working on it.


We interviewed a bunch of folk from around the Seattle area, and as soon as we met with the team we eventually hired, we knew this was going to be amazing! Development started in January, our beta launch was in early August, and today – TODAY! – is our official launch day.


*Raising my glass at ya!*


Why was there a need for this?


There are a ton of great WordPress themes available out there – both free and paid – but nothing that catered for the self-published author website in the way we wanted it to.


A good author website should showcase the author as a professional, display our books prominently, drive sales through simple navigation, allow us to interact and engage with our readers, and attract press and media.


On top of that, we realized that not everyone is comfortable with maintaining and updating their sites. Since I used to be in that boat myself, I know the frustration it can lead to. You just want to fix a typo on your homepage, or the size of an image in the sidebar, but it can take hours (hours!) of trying. Authorlicious comes with 30+ mini video tutorials that cover all aspects of WordPress, so you can dive in and find the answer to any trouble you’re having on your site right away.


Oh, and if you’re still having trouble, Brandon and I are here to answer your questions via email for 1 year after purchase! Customer service is a big deal to us. We’re here to help.


Here’s what we got for you:


– A beautiful WordPress theme designed by both indie authors and book marketers for indie authors and book marketers.

– 30+ Mini video tutorials (all hosted online) to teach you how simple-to-use WordPress is, and all of the awesome features of the theme!

– A full year of email support from Laura & Brandon at 30 Day Books plus a forum to meet other indie authors on.


(Bonus! If you purchase Authorlicious during 2012 and use one of our preferred hosting companies, we’ll even set up your hosting and domain accounts for you for $0!)


Want to know more?

If you’ve been looking for a new website, or if you want to upgrade your WordPress site to a better-suiting theme, check out a preview of the Authorlicious theme and tutorial package. And feel free to email me with any questions! laura (at) ladieswhocritique.com. I know the world of websites can be confusing, and I want to make sure that I answer your questions as thoroughly as possible.




– Laura

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‘Command Your Brand’, a Guest Post by Joanne DeMaio, Whole Latte Life

‘Command Your Brand’, a Guest Post by Joanne DeMaio, Whole Latte Life

Joanne DeMaio, author of Whole Latte Life shares her wisdom on commanding your brand
in the post below. Great – and important – topic!

Take it away Joanne! – Laura


They say there’s room on the shelf for everyone, no matter what the craft. Books, fashion design, paintings, recipes, songs. And there is, but if you are one of many, you can get lost in that crowd rather than rise above it. It’s important to find your own niche, your own identifiable trait within your work, and accentuate it so that the trait becomes your brand. You are recognized because of it.

Like these sunflowers. They not only rise above the crowd of flowers, they practically rise above the house! They have several distinguishing traits, but their truly identifiable one? Definitely height. What other flower rises to this soaring level? And the gardener here has played-up this trait to effectively draw an audience.


I refer to my debut novel Whole Latte Life as coffee-branded women’s fiction.  I’m all about the coffee and what it stands for.  Readers relate to its energy, its comfort, and the life questions we mull over a fresh-brewed cup.  So you’ll see coffee winds its way into much of my work:  I’ve brought it to my websites, my social networking, and yes, even my novel’s cover.

So branding is useful in helping you rise above the crowd in an identifiable way.  And as the artist you must first define your unique brand. So let’s do a little branding today. This gardener sold us on the flowers’ height …

What about “you” will you market? In a query, in a pitch, in a craft show, on your blog, at an exhibit, on the bookshelf, what will be your identifiable brand?

 I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the Comments, and thanks Laura for hosting me today.

Coffee Cheers 🙂 ~Joanne 




Joanne DeMaio is an author of contemporary women’s fiction, blending family,
coffee and friendship on the page.  Her novel Whole Latte Life is an Amazon best seller
in Women’s Fiction-Friendship as well as a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. 

Find out more about the book on her website, and see it on Amazon.com here!

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Book trailers… what’s your take? Plus, some ideas to make a good one!

*Note, this is a modified post that originally appeared on my company website, 30 Day Books. 30 Day Books is the publisher of Kathy Lynn Harris’s Blue Straggler and offers book marketing and self publishing advice and help for independent and traditionally published authors.*


Book trailers have become a popular way of marketing books over the last couple of years. Much like movie trailers, they aim to introduce the book to potential readers and capture their attention in a novel way (pun intended ;P) 

Much like marmite (UK), or vegemite (Oz), or [insert controversial food item here if you are from North America and have not had the fortune of encountering aforementioned yeast extract spread], people either love or hate this medium of book marketing.

Perhaps because when done well, they’re really good. And when done badly, well their… awful.


Our aim with the book trailer for Blue Straggler was that viewers of the book trailer would say YES to the following questions after watching the trailer:


– Did it grab your attention?

– Do you want to share it with someone?

– Do you want to watch it again?

– Most importantly, are you going to check out the book now?!


 We hope we pulled it off! Here it is…




Here’s a recap of the key elements we tried to keep in mind when putting it together. You might want to think about some of these points when making your effective book trailer.


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Confused about the role of Twitter in Author Marketing? Try this guide

Confused about the role of Twitter in Author Marketing? Try this guide

The Twitter Guide for Authors – 3rd Edition by Dana Lynn Smith is designed to help authors understand and use Twitter as a powerful tool in their marketing efforts.

From Dana’s website: “Networking on Twitter is terrific way to meet and develop relationships with potential customers as well as other authors, experts, and key influencers in your field or genre. But, Twitter can be baffling at first, and many authors don’t understand how to use this powerful tool to its full potential.”

I was sent a copy for review from Dana and here are my thoughts: (*The review was complimentary but I received no compensation for this review*)

The guide is a great introduction for Twitter newbies, or anyone who doesn’t have a good grasp of how powerful Twitter can be for authors marketing their work online.

The guide starts out with an Introduction to Online Marketing, including the invaluable 9 Common Mistakes that Authors Make, as well as some tips on branding and managing privacy online, something that is a real concern in the Internet age.

There is a great section on networking on Twitter – how to find people to follow as well as attract followers which can be tricky for first-time Twitter users.

Something that I still find confusing even after a year on Twitter is the use of lists, but Dana clarifies how and when to use them in her very useful explanation.

– One of the things that many new Twitter users struggle with in the beginning (and it can take a while to get right) is what exactly to tweet about. Dana gives us some good tips and examples of what to, and what not to, say.

– Finally, the action plan in the final section is great for ensuring that one goes through all of the necessary steps from creating a Twitter account and profile to tweeting and networking effectively. This is a great time saver, as without a clear action plan, Twitter can be a huge timesuck just understanding how it works.

If you have been thinking about using Twitter as part of your Marketing strategy but are unsure as to where to begin or how it would ever benefit your sales, I recommend Dana’s Twitter Guide for Authors as an up to date and comprehensive introduction.


The 62 page eBook (PDF) is available for $15, along with 3 bonuses (an audio guide and 2 free reports). Find out more on Dana’s website, Book Marketing Maven. To find out more about Dana’s other social media guides, check out this page.

To put your new found Twitter skills into practice, follow Dana on Twitter @bookmarketer.

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Awesome Tools & Resources for Writers (Mainly Free) Part 4: Promoting & Marketing a Book

Awesome Tools & Resources for Writers (Mainly Free) Part 4: Promoting & Marketing a Book

4. Promoting a Book: 10 Sites You Can Use in Your Promotions

Image Courtesy of sellingbooks.com

*This is part 4 in the series Awesome Tools & Resources for Writers (Mostly Free). Find part 1, Writing a Book here. Part 2, Querying a Book here. Part 3: Producing a Book (for self-publishers) here.*


1. Amazon Author Central Be sure to fill out your Amazon author central profile, claim your books, import your blog and Twitter feed in order to make the most of the free profile Amazon offers you.

2. Vistaprint Create marketing materials such as bookmarks, business cards, Tshirts, pens & fliers for a low cost at Vistaprint.com.

3. CafePress – Merchandise can be designed and ordered in a print on demand fashion, at CafePress. This can help with offline PR efforts, and is a lot of fun too! For example, here is the CafePress Ladies Who Critique shop.

4. YouTube: Make a video blog (vlog) or book trailer and upload it to a YouTube channel for free. Make it interesting or entertaining and it might just go viral.

(You can read this great article from NovelPublicity about the why and how of book promotion on YouTube).

5. Quibblo: Quibblo online quizzes are a great way to introduce your characters and story to potential readers. Create character quizzes, fun surveys, polls & personality quizzes. Make your own quiz for your blog or Facebook.

 6. HARO.com Help a Reporter Out – “No such thing as free PR? Over 50000 journalists use HARO to locate experts for on-air interviews, article quotes and more.If your book is non-fiction, or has some non-fiction PR angles, be sure to read the HARO emails each day where journalists and other media peops send out requests for experts or people with knowledge in a certain field to quote. That could well be you!

7. Animoto.com: Animoto is a slide show software that allows you to add pictures and music – a great, low budget way of making book trailers. It’s free for up to 30 seconds, longer videos are available for a low cost.

See an example book trailer made with Animoto.com:


Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

8. Blogging platforms: WordPress is my platform of choice (very customizable and flexible – Ladies Who Critique is hosted on WordPress), Blogger is also a popular (and free) option.

If you want a great resource to learn how and what to blog about in order to create a successful blog, I suggest Kristen Lamb’s Are You There Blog, It’s Me Writer.

9. Email marketing services: Mailchimp/ Constant Contact are both great services for emailing several people at once; perfect for author newsletters or for spreading news about your writing/ books and keeping a complete list of subscribers. Mailchimp is my fave, plus it’s free up to 2000 contacts.

Here is an article from Joanna Penn of the Creative Penn on building an email list for author marketing.

10. Reddit: Users add news links, but these don’t really have to be “news” in the traditional sense. You can upload links to your latest blogpost, photos, or anything that might be of interest. Votes by other users promote stories to the front page (but you can also be voted down so be sure to add something of value!) Great for promoting your own articles and news. As a writer, be sure to join these groups: writing, nanowrimo, selfpublish, books, literature.

 The next post in this series will cover social media sites you can use in your promotions: stay tuned post-Thanksgiving!



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Is Your Book a Hobby or a Business? Learn to Think Like an Authorpreneur! | Dana Lynn Smith

Is Your Book a Hobby or a Business? Learn to Think Like an Authorpreneur! | Dana Lynn Smith

Today I am super excited to welcome Dana Lynn Smith, aka The Savvy Book Marketer. Dana is one of those wonderful people who loves to share her knowledge for free and uses her experience and background to help authors and writers to become bigger and better. I found her website to be a godsend when I was putting together my own self-published book, Wow! Glowing Bride in 30 Days. Dana tells us how, if you want your book to sell, you need to start treating it like a business. And I know from personal experience she couldn’t be more right! Over to the Savvy Book Marketer herself…

Authors write books for different reasons. Many write for the sheer joy of writing—the stories in their heads are just begging to get out. Some dream of being a bestselling author. Consultants write nonfiction books to enhance their expert status and generate income. People write memoirs to share their story with family and friends. Many authors are motivated by a desire to help others or promote a cause. Politicians and celebrities often seek self-promotion.

Writing for personal fulfillment is a wonderful thing, but if you want to make money from your book you need to treat it like a business. Here are some tips for thinking like an authorpreneur:

Understand the industry. It’s vital to understand how the publishing industry works, in order to make informed decisions about how to best publish, distribute, and market your book. We are fortunate in the publishing industry to have numerous experts who share their wealth of knowledge and ideas through books, teleseminars, networks, articles, forums, blogs, ezines, and other venues. Many of these resources are free, but it’s a good idea to purchase some books, classes and/or consulting services to shorten your learning curve in the writing, publishing, and marketing your book.

Conduct market research. Before you write anything, you should understand who your target markets are and what they want. Who is your ideal customer? Who are your secondary markets? What are their characteristics, interests, fears, and motivations? Also research your competition to understand what material is already available on your topic. Determine how your book can be slanted to provide something new or better.

Create a book marketing plan. Some authors tend to jump from one promotional activity to another, without any clear strategy. A written book marketing plan will give you a blueprint for promoting your book and keep you focused on what’s most important.

Manage your finances. If you are publishing independently or through a publishing services company, you will need to budget for upfront costs like editing, book design, and ISBNs. And all authors need a book promotion budget. You will need a source of funding for these expenses and you’ll need to handle bookkeeping and tax returns.

Track your progress. Successful business owners set goals, measure their progress, and make adjustments to their plans as necessary. Set up a system for tracking metrics like book sales, revenue and expenses, website traffic, sales conversion rates, opt-in signups, friends and followers on social networks, and more.

Use the right tools. Organize your paper and computer files. Schedule regular computer backups. Use a program such as Outlook to manage your email. Learn to use a spreadsheet program like Excel and learn how to create PDF documents.

Manage your time wisely. It’s important to prioritize and to focus your time and money on those tasks that are most likely to produce results. Learn some time management techniques and group tasks together to be more efficient. Delegate to consultants or virtual assistants if it’s feasible.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the myriad of tasks involved in writing, publishing, and marketing your book. Think like an authorpreneur: devote some time to learning, research your market, develop a plan, get organized, manage your time and finances, and get help when you need it. You can do it!

About the Author

Drawing on her 16 years of publishing experience and degree in marketing, Dana Lynn Smith helps authors learn how to promote their books through her how-to guides, one-on-one coaching, blog, and newsletter. Get a free copy of her ebook, Savvy Book Marketing Secrets: 52 Experts Share Insider Tips for Selling More Books. For more tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter

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