How Writers Can Get More From Facebook

How writers can increase their book sales using facebook

Should writers use Facebook?

How writers can increase their book sales using facebook Can writers benefit by using Facebook? Will it help them sell more books, build a community, increase brand awareness?

I’ve recently come across a number of authors who are saying that Facebook, for them, has been a waste of time, that their reach has dropped, that they are finding it hard to increase their likes, that it just isn’t resulting in click throughs to their website or to book purchases. While I agree that increasing your reach on Facebook has become more challenging, I still believe it is well worth the effort.

You must have a personal profile on facebook before you can create a facebook page, for example, my personal profile is under my own name Lorna Sixsmith, and it’s where I share news with many friends.  It is relatively straightforward to create. Sign up at by following the steps and facebook will even help you to locate some of your friends.

To create a page, you need to visit this link, choose ‘brand or product’ and follow the steps to create a facebook page. Most authors name their facebook pages as their own name and add ‘books’ or ‘author’. You will need to upload two photographs. One is your avatar and will be resized to 180 x 180. Many authors use a photo of themselves, sometimes reading a book or holding their own book.  The cover photo is a wide landscape photo with the dimensions of 851 by 315. Many authors use a collage of their books or a picture from their launch for this image.

You should have a number of goals for your Facebook page, I’m going to list them below and show you examples of how I (using my own author page) and other authors are doing it well. I hope it inspires you to stick with it and increase your own book sales from your use of Facebook.

#1. Test Your Market

One reason I like having a Facebook page is because I’m interesting in the response to particular stories. If I’ve written a blog post about a subject that I might include in my next non fiction book, I’m intrigued to see if I will get much response on the blog, Facebook page and Twitter. As my next book is going to be tongue-in-cheek humour, focusing on farm wives, I was delighted to see that a post  focusing on a similar topic I shared from Buzzfeed reached over 6000 (my usual reach on facebook updates is 200-400 from a follower number of 850).

Use Facebook to test the market

Think of Facebook as a place not to sell, sell, sell but to communicate with your readers and one of the benefits of that is receiving feedback – both on existing books and perhaps on ideas for your next ones.

#2. Promote Your Book

All authors want to promote their books but that doesn’t mean that every update can be about book promotion. It will come across as too salesy and just won’t interest people. However, there’s a number of ways you can promote your upcoming or new books, pique people’s interest and gain sales – all without seeming a hard sales.

If you are genuinely excited about your new book and share those emotions with sneak peeks of illustrations, the front cover or even very short extracts, they will all serve to whet the appetite of your potential readers.

Sharing news with your readers

Louise Phillips shares a photograph of her finished first draft – as one of her avid fans, I’m already looking forward to reading it.

Most authors display their books on the cover image or avatar. Adding a testimonial by a well known author or critic will really give it kudos and sparkle!

Use your cover image and avator to promote your book


Hazel Gaynor won an RNA award recently and it’s displayed quite subtlely (yet is noticeable) on her avatar. Both avatar and cover image look very effective in promoting both books.

#3. Grow A Community

Many of your followers will become your community, your brand ambassadors and yes, your friends. I now feel that I know some of my followers so well (because they comment regularly) that I’m almost surprised I haven’t met them in person yet, I actually feel like I have. Be chatty and friendly on your Facebook page, acknowledge any comments with by clicking the ‘like’ button or replying individually to them.

Have you ever thought of having a Facebook book launch for those who can’t make it to your launch in a physical venue. You could run it for an entire day, uploading a new update every hour on the hour.  Content could include quizzes, sneak peeks, competitions for a free copy, sharing some new information about the inspiration for your book, making your secret ‘inspiration’ boards on Pinterest public and share them to your Facebook page, include a video, share photographs from where you are spending the launch day – anything people will be interested in but ensure they come back again and again by promising competitions and they will come back to see who won too.

 #4. Tell Them You’re An Author Worth Reading

If others are enjoying your books, you will feel that you want to shout it from the rooftops and compel others to go out and buy it.Don’t make every update a bragging one but when you achieve something, be it getting into charts or being featured in a magazine, do share the good news. Sharing occasional reviews is a nice way to do it too – just mix these with entertaining or informational content too.

How Authors Can Use Facebook To Reach Fans


Here, Nat Russo shares his good news about getting back in the US charts. Remember that images are good so taking a screenshot or photograph works well to emphasise your progress.

I find that, in particular, those who supported you in your early days will really go out of their way to congratulate you as they feel part of the journey. They are your ambassadors so always thank them for their comments or shares.

#5. Grow Your Readers

How do you increase your fans and grow your readers? You can, of course, pay for Facebook Ads and / or boost posts but if you want to do it for free, here’s a few tips.

Optimum Timings

Check your insights (Facebook analytics) and check the time of day when the majority of your fans are using Facebook. As you’ll see from this screenshot of my account, posting updates in the evenings will help me reach many more people than posting in the early mornings. While I do vary content throughout the day, I do tend to post most material about my own book (links to blog posts especially) in the evenings.


Schedule three of the next five Facebook updates to go out at those times and see if that increases your reach. It should do. Measure the effectiveness over the next month and then evaluate. Don’t saturate your account with content – I would recommend posting once a day, twice occasionally but don’t go mad and post three or four times. Create good content and spread it out.

Provide Relevant Content

You need to work out why people are following you – are they just interested in you, your book or are they looking for content that’s related to the genre of your book. If you write crime fiction, your audience are bound to be interested in hearing about true unsolved crimes as well as tips on how crimes are solved, stories about detection dogs and your opinion of other novels. . If your style of writing is comedic, then provide some content designed to make them laugh. If you are writing cookery books, share links and pictures of recipes you would recommend and yes, a few of your own too.

Those who follow my author page do so because they are interested in farming but they’re also looking for some humour – preferably to do with farming.

Use text on photos for emphasis

Anyone who has ever bottle fed lambs, calves or any other young animals will know the relief when they feed easily as a couple of slow feeders can wear you out when you’re already tired from lack of sleep. Adding some text to this photo of my daughter bottle feeding a calf achieved good reach because of the humour. Without the text, I doubt it would have worked as well.

Size of Images

When using images, remember that portrait images will be displayed with white space at the side so when uploading an image, it is better to use square or landscape images for more impact.  It’s very easy to share a photo from your smart phone but remember, taking a few minutes to edit it in terms of size or adding text could make all the difference in terms of increasing the engagement and reach.

(Here’s how to add text to a photo using Picmonkey)

Author Jody Hedlund has a very active Facebook page and rewards her followers by telling them about various giveaways so they have a chance of winning copies of her book. This photograph of her latest book is an excellent image but you can see the white space beside it lessens its impact.

Use square or landscape photos on Facebook

Whereas, this landscape photo within the blog link fills the space and the collage of the three books should certainly capture attention in the newsfeeds.

Landscape photos work well on Facebook

Sneak Peeks

Another way to grow your readers is to whet their appetite and Felicity Hayes McCoy always does this very well by incorporating a quote from her book with a beautiful photograph from where her book House on an Irish Hillside is set in beautiful Co. Kerry.


Use Video

Videos are getting increased reach on Facebook now. The videos don’t have to be elaborately edited pieces although more authors are creating trailer videos now to promote their books. Vine videos are easy to make and as they can be watched in six seconds, they will get high numbers of views in people’s newsfeeds.

Using vine videos on Facebook

Suzanna of Zwarbles Ireland isn’t an author as yet but just watch this space I think. She’s recently started making Vine videos of her beautiful sheep and has received millions of views to date. Sharing them to Facebook increases the charm of both her page and the number of views.

Any Other Ideas?

If you’re an author and you’ve found that something else works well to engage your followers and generate sales, do share it with us.

Remember if you are hoping to get a traditional publishing deal, most publishers will be looking for evidence of your following across various social media platforms so having an engaged following on Facebook will help your cause. Having a Facebook page isn’t all about selling but by creating good content, interacting with your followers and growing your community, the sales will follow.

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Creating A Compelling Crowdfunding Campaign – I Interview Creator of Pogwin


Crowdfunding is a really interesting concept and is becoming increasingly popular – it works by creators presenting their community, creative or business idea on a crowdfunding platform, providing rewards in turn for pledges and ask people to pledge money to make it happen, quite often asking them to pre-buy a product and wait a number of months for delivery.

I first met Jamie when he delivered a talk introducing the concept of crowdfunding as part of an ACT Ireland Wales conference. As I sat there listening to him talk about the crowdfunding campaign he had assisted, a germ of an idea came into my head regarding the potential of using crowdfunding for my book idea. Would crowdfunding help me to test the market and see if there might be genuine interest in my book? Would it help me to raise finance so I could minimise the risk of printing numerous copies? Might it help me to increase brand awareness of the book? I spoke to James about my ideas and he was very encouraging. He told me afterwards he knew I was determined to do it but I think even he was surprised when I launched a campaign just seven weeks later.

I’ve written some blog posts about the steep learning curve I experienced when running my crowdfunding campaign. Coincidentally, I was interviewed recently about my crowdfunding adventure, sharing tips from my experiences. My interview, along with two others, is available on this podcast.

Jamie has now launched his own crowdfunding campaign for a beautiful picture book and I am delighted to bring you an interview with him, revealing his inspiration and some insight into the whole process.

Hi Jamie, many congratulations on producing a beautiful book, it looks like it is the fruit of many many months of hard work, love and attention to detail. Do tell us about the inspirations for the book and the creation of Pogwin.

The inspiration was a roundabout! I wonder if anything so mundane has ever inspired a picture book before? The roundabout is on the outskirts of Neath in South Wales and in its centre is a large grove of trees. We see this quite often on our travels and Chris imagined that, hidden amongst the undergrowth is its only resident; a quiet, solitary character, very comfortable in his own skin.

The creation of the book is collaboration between the two of us. We both developed the story outline. Chris is the illustrator and I’m the writer. The whole thing is told through Pogwin’s words; a strange rhyming babbling language that reflects what he’s thinking at every moment.


We’re both passionate about conservation. I’ve noticed too many urban developments that have just quietly flattened ‘scruffy’ woodland and built on it. Who knows how many creatures like Pogwin have been made refugees! Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world and picture books help educate the young. Pogwin is our attempt to capture the imagination of children and also introduce them to problems with deforestation and unrestrained development. We are also planning to plant trees if we are able to raise enough funds to publish the book. We have 7 acres available! Please help support by sharing.

Why have you decided to crowdfund? Are the reasons more than monetary? 

Traditional routes to children’s publishing are difficult with many gatekeepers. We want to connect directly with the audience for the book. We’re keen to develop more books in the Pogwin series and retain creative control along the way. Kickstarter is more than just a site to attract funding; although that’s a crucial part of it! It’s where we hope to connect with a community. We’re also making friends across social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Writing a book for children is incredibly difficult as you have to please and interest both the children and their parents. Did you find it difficult to write?

I love writing Pogwin and I don’t find it difficult at all. Maybe that’s because I identify with the little chap. People who know me would laugh at that.

Pogwin speaks in stunted rhythmical stanza’s; “Bend and stoop. Munch and nibble. Nettle soup. Makes me dribble”, etc.

What is difficult is to write well! I often go back to the things I’ve written days before and edit or discard. It’s part of the process.

Pogwin Over City


Many congrats on achieving £1548 in just six days. I know there’s some way to go but that’s a great start. What methods are you using to try and secure pledgers? Are you trying to get press coverage?

There are so many approaches we are taking. The main channels are Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter we are posting regular content that we hope is interesting to followers and the wider world. Careful use of hashtags are important. Our main tweet is pinned to the top of the page. We have asked for retweets and sent direct messages; this has lead to backers. I’ve joined a number of relevant Facebook Groups relating to children’s publishing and also the environment. I regularly post to these and this have proved successful.  I make sure the timing of these posts are right though. It means a late night if we want to attract the attention of our friends in the USA.

When I ran my crowdfunding campaign, one of my aims was to test the market. I didn’t really have anything to show potential pledgers apart from a popular blog post. When I look back, I wonder how  I succeeded as I didn’t have a front cover to show, I didn’t have any illustrations not to mention extracts from the book. I’m wondering how on earth I managed to raise €6,000 – pure determination perhaps. Your campaigns looks very polished in comparison, partly as your book looks ready to go to the printers. What made you decide to wait to launch the campaign at such an advanced stage? (Incidentally, I think it’s an excellent idea and know it will pay off for you.) 

 We both write and illustrate so holding us back from doing the creative work is difficult! That’s the bit we love. There’s room for changes to the storylines and some of the illustrations. I think it’s important to leave space for this for after the campaign has finished because feedback may influence our creative direction. We’re not creating by committee but we will be influenced by our potential readers and will respond if we feel that’s the way to go.

You had something amazing; a great idea for a book and a large connected following. We’re not so connected so we’re relying on the message getting out. It’s essential. The more people share the better. Hint to your readers : )

I notice you are crowdfunding with Kickstarter which means it’s an ‘all or nothing’ campaign. If you don’t raise the total, you don’t get anything. Personally I prefer pledging to campaigns like that but why did you decide to opt for an ‘all or nothing’?

It was more the platform. I have some experience of working on Kickstarter campaigns so that has proved useful. I also wanted a to work on a publishing project, a new thing for me, and test the market via Kickstarter. ‘All-or-nothing’ is good in that it forced me to develop a carefully considered income and expenditure forecast.

The obvious reward for a campaign for a book is a copy of the book – did you have difficulty in coming up with rewards for higher and lower values? What is proving to be the most popular reward?

It wasn’t too difficult as there are established structures for reward tiers for children’s picture books i.e. providing limited edition prints of illustrations and even offering original artwork – which I’d highly recommend people look at! Chris’s illustrations are beautiful.  The most popular reward is the hardcover book but the lovely slip-case version is popular too. Both would make a great gift. One fun reward for all the tree lovers out there is that we will plant 100 trees if we reach our target. It’s in keeping with the theme. I have seven acres to play with so we’ll start our own copse just without the roundabout.


 Have you had any influential people support you and has their recommendation resulted in more pledges (I noticed a tweet from someone with 90K followers last night)?

That’s an interesting story. Zach Weinersmith (@zachweiner) is a gent. He successfully funded a chillden’s book called Augie and the Green Knight on Kickstarter. I emailed him for advice and asked him what he thought of the campaign. He thought the book and the pricing looked good. What I learnt from him was that he was very well connected during his campaign, much more than we are. So we are working on it! This project is a fantastic way to learn and we’re working hard on those connections.

know you have helped others with their crowdfunding campaigns in the past, is there anything about running your own campaign, as yet, that has surprised you? Is it more work than you had anticipated?

The hard work is in getting the message out. It’s a lot of work. You never know when or where it will pay off but getting the message out is so important. I’m very keen to talk to key influencers, such as yourself, about the project. Thanks for the interview Lorna!


There you have it. Less than a week into their crowdfunding campaign and Pogwin is doing well having secured $1548 from 36 backers. The grand total in this ‘all or nothing’ campaign is £7,500. I suspect you will pledge for this book planning to give it to a child (son / daughter / niece / nephew / grandchild) as a gift but you just might end up keeping it for yourself! It’s a great example of a well planned and executed campaign – beautiful images and graphics, snapshots of the writing, clear indications of the quality and a video which shows the product and the two creators. What are you waiting for? Go and have a look at the wonderful Pogwin.

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How To Give Your Blog The Gift Of Eloquence

How to give your blog the gift of eloquence

The Irish are renowned for their ability to chat, to blather, to talk baloney and to have the gift of the gab. Visitors to Ireland can allegedly gain the similar gift of easy chat and eloquence by kissing the blarney stone. Rather than having to hang over a steep precipice supported by two strong men, to be granted the gift of eloquent speaking, I’m going to show you how you can make the tone of your posts much more friendly as well as appeal to your target reader.

How to give your blog the gift of eloquence Photo Credit: Blarney Castle

Visualise Your Reader

To be eloquent and chatty, it really helps if you can visualise what your ideal or target reader looks like so you can imagine him or her smiling and nodding back at you as you are writing. Imagining their favourable response as you are writing really helps to make the words flow.  Hence, you need to work out:

  • Gender of your target market?
  • Age profile of your target market?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their buying power? Do they want to know about luxury goods or how to shop on a shoe-string?
  • Are they single? Married? Parents?
  • What do they need from you?

Once you have a picture in your mind of your target reader, some people find it convenient to find a photograph of a suitable person, print it out and pin it to your desk so you can look at him / her while typing.  For example, for my other blog Irish Farmerette, I visualise my reader as being female, probably 25-50, involved in farming to some extent or certainly interested in learning more about farming and looking for something that is amusing and entertaining to read. Almost without realising it, I find myself picturing one of my regular commentators reading it and this really helps to focus my writing.

Purpose – Fun, Information or Help?

Consider the purpose of your blog posts – I know you want to increase sales, leads or bookings but in attracting those customers, what’s the best way to do it? What do your readers want from you to persuade them to buy?

If you are selling tickets for a comedy show or a humourous book, then your readers expect to find humour in your blog post – they come to be entertained. If they enjoy the humour in your post, there’s a much higher chance of them going on to book tickets or purchase your book.

If your business involves selling electrical items, your target market is going to be looking for information so posts comparing and reviewing different electrical items would be deemed useful and should lead to sales. If I am going to buy a vacuum cleaner, I’d love to find an honest post reviewing the best hoovers for pet owners (then I know it will cope with what my children produce!)

If you are involved in healthcare, for example, a dentist, optician or osteopath, your target market won’t be expecting you to be cracking jokes but will be looking for helpful tips so posts on preventing back pain, the best teeth whitener to use or how to take care of contact lenses are going to be appropriate and will encourage faith in your professionalism.

Once you focus on what your target market want and need from you, it makes it much easier to decide on topics, your approach and your tone.

Answer Questions

Listen to your customers when they ask questions. Are the same questions being repeated again and again? Ask your customers what do they want from you as well as checking out the highest searched keywords on the google keyword planner.

Write down those questions and use them as topics for your blog posts. I find that my most popular blog posts on this blog are the ones I write in response to questions. The reason is if a few people are wondering about something, it’s a pretty safe bet that others will be looking for the answers in the search engines and there’s your blog post with the perfect answer.

Not only are you providing useful information, you’re reaching a new audience too – all because you knew exactly what they wanted to know.

By knowing your target readers, focusing on what they want / need and answering their questions, your blog posts will be focused and fluent as you write about your services or products with conviction. By all means, visit the Blarney Stone but maybe follow these tips too for your blogging!

If you would like to learn how to improve your blog, our next eLearning Blogging For Improvers course starts on 23rd March and runs for three weeks. It covers many technical aspects of blogging such as improving your images, adding plugins and widgets as well as showing you how to hook in those readers and convert traffic to sales. You will receive a lesson by email each weekday morning and once you complete the assignments, you’ll get individual feedback too.




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Pinterest Tip: Your Pictorial Curriculum Vitae

Pinterest Tip - Using a Pinterest Board as your Pictorial Resume

Pinterest Tip - Using a Pinterest Board as your Pictorial Resume Have you considered using Pinterest as your “Pictorial Curriculum Vitae”? A picture tells a thousand words – you can show people just how good you are by including pictures of you at work or within press coverage.

I have a ‘Press’ page on my other website, that page contains links to book reviews as well as a number of images showing me with various TV or Radio personalities having being interviewed. However, when I decided to create a board entitled “Lorna Sixsmith in the Media” and went looking through my photo archives, I discovered I actually had many more photos than I originally thought.

Setting up the Pinterest board has also taught me to always save the link for radio interviews and to always get a photograph taken with the interviewer – if I had done so, I would have many more. If you can’t get a photograph taken with the interviewer, get one taken standing beside the radio station or TV channel logo.  The collection of press coverage highlights and showcases my writing, my involvement in social media and the community via the blog awards coverage, and my social media knowledge.


Pinterest Board – Lorna Sixsmith in the Media

What are the advantages of setting up a Media board on Pinterest?

People can see, at a glance, where your skills lie. It’s unlikely a business person will get press coverage and interviews unless they are reasonably good at what they do. The links to newspaper articles, features and interviews means they can check you out in more detail but a number of press clippings curated within a single board should convince them of your expertise. Think of this pinterest board as your pictorial LinkedIn profile too.

What if you haven’t got any press coverage yet? It doesn’t necessarily have to be print or radio coverage. If you are interviewed within a blog post , featured within a curated post or if you guest blog for notable blogs, I suggest you include them within a Pinterest board too. I was recently included in a curated post featuring 27 Social Media Marketers and I’ve included that within my “Media” board.

You can also emphasise your skills within your pinterest boards. Create boards showing you in action – whether it is sharing “Stuff I’ve Written” or showing you teaching or doing demonstrations or designing and building that kitchen from scratch. For example, if you are a kitchen designer, don’t just take photographs of the kitchen design and the completed kitchen, take photographs of you designing the kitchen on AutoCad, on choosing the materials, on planing the wood, on putting the kitchen larder in place, of standing beside the finished kitchen. If you are an author, create a board for your book signings and photographs with other (famous) authors. I was delighted to be photographed with Donal Ryan when we both spoke at an event last Christmas.

I hope you find this Pinterest tip useful and that it inspires you to showcase your expertise on Pinterest in new ways. One more tip by the way, if you are pinning lots of material to this board when first creating it, you might prefer to create the board as a secret board, fill it with all of your images and then make it public. You probably don’t want to flood your account with ‘me, me, me’ media coverage pins all in one afternoon.

Follow Lorna Sixsmith ‘s board Lorna Sixsmith in the Media on Pinterest.

For more Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogging Tips, do download our book 365 Social Media Tips

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Pinterest Tip: Going Green for St Patrick’s Day

Go green on St Patrick's Day on Pinterest

Go green on St Patrick's Day on Pinterest Have you thought of doing something on social media for St Patrick’s Day?

Here’s a quick and easy way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on your Pinterest account.

If you wish to emphasise the Irishness of your business, to appeal to customers who are Irish (be it living in Ireland or outside Ireland) or appeal to those who enjoy celebrating St Patrick’s Day, create a St Patrick’s Day board today (there’s two weeks to go) and position it at the top of your boards page once you have populated it with pins.

You can move your boards around by dragging and dropping them into place on your boards page. Once dropped into place, they will stay there until moved again.

So many pinners have St Patrick’s Day boards. After all, this festival is celebrated all over the world, the parades are shown on television, millions of people take part, our Taoiseach visits the White House each year. It is an occasion that gets immense coverage and it’s also a hugely popular board title on Pinterest.

Pinterest Tip: Going Green for St Patrick's Day

Take it one step further and make the cover image of each of your boards a different shade of green. After all, they say there are ‘forty shades of green’ so there’s plenty of choice. If you sell products, feature a different product on each board – just make sure each one is green!

Here’s how to change your board covers quickly and easily.

Going Green for St Patrick's Day

It’s a little more difficult for me as I don’t sell products but here’s what I’ve done with quite a few of my Pinterest boards.  Have fun with going green and I hope you have a lovely St Patrick’s Day on 17th March.

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Pinterest Tip: How To Find Your Ambassadors on Pinterest

Pinterest Tip - How to find your ambassadors on Pinterest

Pinterest Tip - How to find your ambassadors on Pinterest Do you know how to measure success on Pinterest?

Do you know which pins are sending the most traffic to your website?

Do you know which of your pins are the most successful?

Do you know who is pinning from your website?

Do you know who your best ambassadors are on Pinterest?

Do you know who pins from your websites and generates repins and traffic for you?

Here’s how to find your Pinterest Ambassadors:

1. Go to your Pinterest analytics by clicking on your name in the top right hand corner and you’ll find analytics in the drop down menu from the cog. If it isn’t there, you’ll need to convert your account to a business account and verify your website first.

Who are your ambassadors on Pinterest?

2. Go to ‘Activity from xxx your website’ and you’ll see the top performing pins as well as the boards they are pinned to. You’ll see the number of click throughs, repins, impressions and likes.

Who are your Pinterest ambassadors?

3. When I clicked on the top performing pin and board, I find that the pinner has not only pinned from my website but has also recommended my Pinterest content by writing ‘This lady shares great ways to use Pinterest’ which is nice to see.

4. Analytics shows that this pin received 124 repins but the pin itself shows 269 suggesting that it was repinned from others further down the line.

5. What should you do next? I suggest you follow your ambassadors and interact with them by commenting on the pin they pinned or other ones.

If you enjoyed this Pinterest tip and would like to avail of more, do download our ebook on Amazon – 365 Social Media Tips.

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Pinterest Tip: How To Move, Copy and Delete Pins

Pinterest Tip How to move, copy and delete pins

Pinterest Tip How to move, copy and delete pins Have you ever wanted to move pins from one board to another without the hassle of repinning each and every one?

Have you ever wanted to copy a number of pins from one board to another without having to repin each one individually?

Have you ever discovered that you’ve set up two or three boards that are quite similar and want to amalgamate them into one board?

Would you like to delete a number of pins in one fell swoop?


Pinterest Tip: Move, Copy and Delete Pins: Here’s how:

1. Open up the board you want to move the pins FROM.

How to move pins on Pinterest

2. Click ‘Move’ on the top right.

3. Choose the pins you wish to move by ticking the box on the top right hand corner of each pin. You can select more than one pin but they all need to be going to the same board.

How to move, copy and delete pins

4. Choose ‘Move’ if you wish to remove them from that board, ‘copy’ if you wish to have them on both boards. Then just choose the board and that’s it.

5. You can also delete pins this way too – by selecting each pin and clicking ‘delete’.

I hope you found this useful. That’s my quick Pinterest tip for today – do download our book from Amazon if you would like to avail of 365 more social media tips.

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Costs for Self Publishing Your Book

What does it cost to self publish a book

What does it cost to self publish a book How much does it cost to self publish your book?

The quick answer is ‘how long is a piece of string?’ as prices can vary so much – often depending on your own existing knowledge, whether you are self publishing as an ebook only or if you are printing as a paperback too. Another factor that affects costs depends on if you can do some of the non writing work yourself such as creating your own book covers.

There’s now quite a number of self publishing businesses whereby they will undertake to edit and publish your book, holding your hand every step of the way. I’m not a fan of this method as I feel it will have added costs built in plus you are limited to their editorial and design staff. I prefer to outsource to various experts that I find myself.

Experience of Four Authors

This post reveals the costs from four self published authors (and thank you to Clare at The TBR Pile for including it in her curated post where I discovered it).

To summarise the results from the featured authors’ Self Publishing Costs

Editing costs varied between being free (using beta readers only) to $1500. Those paying higher costs were using structural editors, developmental editors, copy editors and proofreaders. However, one writer quoted the $1500 as the cost for one editor and a proofreader so it’s unclear what the full editing cost was for this writer.

Front Cover design costs varied from free (author did it herself) to $360.

Formatting costs varied between free (doing it herself) to $299.

Printing costs – all of the authors recommended using Create Space and print-on-demand to save costs.

As you can see, costs vary hugely. Some authors will do a considerable amount of the work themselves which is certainly brave.  However, is it sensible? I think it is impossible to edit your own work. You may be able to create your own cover design if you have graphic design or photoshop talents though! You will also need a website / blog so people can find you online and of course, your blog should lead to more sales. Catherine Ryan Howard developed her own wordpress site and many other authors will use the free wordpress platform too. However, if you want a customized website or an ecommerce platform, you’re probably going to need to pay a web developer.

For comparison purposes, here are my costs for self publishing Would You Marry A Farmer?

Note my prices are in euro and those above are in American dollars.

Editing - (general editing and proofreading of 50,000 words) €300

Front cover design and 20 illustrations – €500

Formatting - I formatted the manuscript for the paperback myself (although I almost went grey while doing so) but had to get the printer to insert the illustrations. I had to get an expert to format it for the ebook version which cost €250.

Ecommerce website design – €900

ISBN numbers – €170 for ten numbers (if I remember correctly)

Photographs – €130

Printing – I opted for hardbacks for my first print run of 1000 copies which cost €5,500. Subsequent print runs of 1000 paperback copies have cost €3000. What was nice with my third print run was that I received 1080 books but only had to pay for 1000.

Printing your books adds a huge cost. I decided to print partly because I knew my target market (farming families) would prefer the printed books and yes, that has proved to be the case with whole extended families reading the book. I also ran a crowdfunding campaign before I self published which provided me with some capital – not to mention more confidence in my investment. I know some authors have ordered a box or two of their own books on Create Space to supply local shops.

If you are wondering how much do I make on each copy, the wholesalers take 55% of the purchase price. For each copy sold in bookshops, I make €3 per copy. Regarding copies sold from my own website (as I include postage to Irish addresses within the purchase cost), I make almost €7. As you can tell, I’m not going to get rich any time soon. I’ve sold about 2000.

Pat Fitzpatrick is another author who has shared the self publishing costs of his novel as an ebook, totalling at €1517. I’d consider a minimum spend to be €1000 for most authors- for editing, front cover design and formatting. On a positive note, I’ve heard of two authors who each received €2,000 in grants towards their writing. Some of the Local Enterprise Offices provide grants via their Art Links and previously, the Partnerships were giving grants if your subject matter ticked the right boxes. I haven’t applied for any grants so I can’t advise on the ease or difficulty of getting a grant but it’s certainly worth investigating.

What will I be spending on my second book?

I’ll be paying about €650 for front cover design and illustrations, then the editing cost, there will be a developer cost for changes to the website and I will probably invest in getting it formatted for paperback and ebook unless I can work out how to slot in the twenty illustrations! I’ll decide on the size of the print run nearer the time but it is likely to be 1000 books which will cost about €3000.

Is Self-Publishing A Hobby or A Business?

Self publishing a book means that your book is now a business in my opinion. However, even if it is a hobby, most people spend money each week on enjoying their hobbies so perhaps perfecting your writing could carry a weekly cost too. Books need to be marketed, just like any other business. Every small business owner realises that they need to invest in their business be it investing in a website, social media training, printing of business cards and perhaps advertising. Authors need to invest in their products to ensure that their book is formatted, edited and designed to such a standard that it can stand in a bookshop and compare well with traditionally published books.

Perhaps partly because I am a self published author, I really want to see all self published authors flying the flag high and presenting books that compare well to all traditionally published books.  Barter by all means but do recognise your own limitations and hire professionals to do what they are good at. Authors should also invest in using social media, not just to help sell their own books but also if they are hoping to land a traditional publishing deal.

Have you self-published? Were you able to get a grant? Do you think the costs of self-publishing are off-putting to authors? I’d love to hear what you think. 

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Pinterest Tip: How To Change Your Board Covers

Have you thought about ‘spring-cleaning’ your Pinterest account? One easy way to refresh all of your boards is to change the board covers. When others view your boards, they will see one dominant pin from each board and the four most recent pins underneath.

Why You Should Change Your Board Covers

How to change your board covers on Pinterest

  • To freshen up your board – make it appealing to prospective followers.
  • To ensure that the cover pin reflects the content of the board.
  • To tie in with a colour scheme e.g. pastel colours for Easter or forty shades of green for St Patrick’s Day.
  • To ensure that the cover pin is a recently pinned pin – it can be frustrating for pinners to try and find the cover pin on your board if it is way down the bottom of the pile.
  • To ensure the cover pin is one of your own pins, ideally one that links to your own website.
  • To showcase a new product, new article or a new recipe.
  • If it is a group board and you are the owner, remember that this board will show on the boards page for all of the contributors so do make it stand out.


How To Change Your Board Covers

This is a new method of changing the board covers since Pinterest moved things around about two or three months ago.

  • Click on ‘edit’ below the board.

how to change your board cover on Pinterest

  • You will see ‘change cover’ in the pop up box. Click on it and keep scrolling on the arrow until you find an image you like and that fits well into the space available. It’s a good idea to make the cover pin one of your own pins (and that links to your website).

how to change your board covers on Pinterest

  • Remember to click ‘ save changes’.

And that is it! Simple when you know how. If you’d like to read more tips that save you time and angst, as well as making your social media more efficient and effective, do download our ebook 365 Social Media Tips from Amazon.

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