Episode # 09 – Developing an Online Presence with Lindsay Buroker

In Business, Full time writing, Social Media, Websites by Simon Whistler15 Comments

Lindsay Buroker cover

In this episode I talk to Lindsay Buroker about building an online presence with a website as well as using social media to your advantage. Lindsay has been doing this sort of marketing before she was even a writer so she knows her stuff. It’s a value packed episode and there’s plenty to implement to improve your book sales!

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Links:

The Emperor’s Edge Series

Amazon Profile

Lindsay’s Website

Mentions:

Scrivener – 5 free copies being given away! Click for more info.

JA Konrath’s blog – How Lindsay found out about self publishing.

Couple of great posts by Lindsay on her blog:

Tracy Falbe – Excellent example of selling on site books herself.

Show notes:

Lindsay has a background in blogging (before blogging was cool!). She made websites and wrote non-fiction articles on them – required a lot of marketing and this is where she learned about how to make a website visible and get people to visit it.

She started her blog to share what she was learning and promote her books. Many people came to check out her writing advice and then moved onto her fiction.

Websites

Lindsay thinks that everyone should have a website, own your domain name, this was also said by Lisa Grace in a previous episode. GoDaddy and NameCheap have domains, it’s cheap ($10-12 per year).

Having your own hosted site can be a good idea ($50-60 per year) as then you own it. Lindsay says this will be more professional and removes the risk of your site being shut down by Blogger (might be a potential issue for erotic authors). She uses BlueHost, RSP is on Hostgator, both are excellent.

You then need to add the WordPress system to your site, with that installed it’s quite easy to put a site together. If you are not a techie, go to Craigslist, Elance or the kid next door and get someone to do it for you. I found this gig on Fiverr where someone will do it for you for $5! 

Mailing Lists

Building a mailing list is essential – a website allows you to do this! If you have a good subscriber list you can email those people when you launch a book and it will get a lot of early sales and jump to the top of the lists from there you will get a whole number of other sales.

Blogging and newsletters are a great way to keep your name in your readers minds.

Downsides of Blogging

  • Despite having a very popular blog, most of Lindsay’s sales do come from Amazon.
  • You have to find something you are passionate to write about outside of your books which can be challenging.
  • A blog can take 6-12 months to get off the ground – it is not a quick fix.

Networking

Rule: Do something for people before you ask them for something. Retweet their stuff, comment on their blogs etc.

Two great options for getting mentioned on big blogs:

1. Find people who are blogging in your genre and contact them (easy through their website) and say “Hey, I’d love to write a post for your blog on X topic.” If they say yes you’ll get exposure to their audience.

2. Contact a book review website saying “I just read XYZ book, I’d love to write a review for it for your site.”

In both of these cases you’ll get a small area to mention your book after the article.

Sales

Diversify your income streams – don’t just rely on Amazon for your income. Sell your books everywhere because if it drops off Amazon for whatever reason you want to have a backup.
In the back of her books Lindsay has a note saying you can buy the next book in the series on her site so she will take a higher percentage. Tracy Falbe does this very well.

Tracking Sales

Lindsay uses the Amazon affiliate program to see whether the sales of the books are coming from her website or not. By placing these affiliate adverts on her website she knows in Amazon what percentage of her sales are from her website visitors. Many authors would like to be able to track where there sales are coming from but it is largely impossible – this is a small way of doing it.

Free Books as a Lead In

Give away the first book in the series for free. If you don’t have many books, writes a novella prequel and give that away. You could also include a free excerpt in the end of the novella of the main book. Remember to tell people they can buy the next book in the series! You can also include your website and social links at the end of the free book.

Tip for new writers:

Self publishing is easy but that doesn’t mean you should rush out a book before it is ready. Make sure you’ve got advice from others (not just your family and friends) before you go ahead and publish.

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Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 09 – Developing an Online Presence with Lindsay Buroker
  • Lindsay Buroker

    Thanks for having me, Simon! Wow, you really did have to type up a lot of notes. 😀

    • SimonRSP

      My pleasure, it was great to have you on! So much information with the episode the notes were essential. 🙂

  • Pingback: Hear Me Talk About Self-Publishing, Marketing, Blogging, & Social Media | Lindsay Buroker()

  • joesephine

    I’ve been a fan of Lindsay’s for a while now, I think she gives great advice. And Simon you have an immensely pleasant voice to listen to! Thank you for this podcast.

    • SimonRSP

      I’m glad you liked it! Thank you for listening as well as the compliment :). Lindsay does have great advice, I just added her blog to the resources page!

    • Lindsay Buroker

      Thanks for taking a listen, Joesephine! Simon does seem to have that English accent down… I wonder how long it took him to perfect it? 😀

      • SimonRSP

        Decades of hard work and practice! 😉

  • R.M. Prioleau

    This was great! Such an informative interview! I am definitely going to try blogging more.

    • Lindsay Buroker

      Thanks for listening, RM! 🙂

    • SimonRSP

      Thanks! Glad it was useful! I’ll keep an eye on your blog 🙂

  • I loved, loved, loved this episode. Thanks Lindsay for your insights.
    Kevin B Leigh

    • SimonRSP

      3 times love… got to be a good one 😉

      • No really, I’m working on the newsletter idea now. An idea I completely missed and I have been doing this quite a while. Thanks again for the episode.

  • Great interview- I’m late to the party on this one, but it’s further proof that your email list works. Lindsay was extremely generous with her advice. The points she made near the end about connecting with your readers, rather than spending so much time with other authors on social media was, (sorry, I can’t help it . . .) brilliant.

    • SimonRSP

      Glad to see that people are still enjoying the archives :). Yep, building a list of readers has been mentioned time and time again in this interview and others. Such an important step.