I ran across this article, 11 Things Not to Do Before Your Book Launch by M.J. Rose, last month. I’m not promoting her book because I haven’t read it, but these 11 tips are pretty good. Go read them, then come back here. I’ll wait.

One of the tips that I feel strongly about and regularly expound from a soapbox is this one:

10. Don’t put the “buy the book” links on an inside page of your website where no one can see them or hide them in a corner — it should never take more than 2 seconds for someone to figure out how to buy your book. It is not crass to make it clear how to buy the book that no one has ever heard of before and that you are trying to sell.

I spend a lot of time tracking down fiction by LDS authors for this site and trying to find links to author websites or blogs. When I do finally find a site, often there is NO—as in zip, zilch, nada— information about their book(s) on it!

That just makes my brain stutter.

I know I mention this a lot, but seriously, from the number of authors who are doing this wrong, I need to mention it AGAIN.

Don’t make it so hard to find out about your books!

Put cover images in the sidebar.

Add links to Amazon or Deseret Book or some place where the books can be purchased.

Make a post or a page with a large cover image, backliner text and other information to intrigue your reader, and put a link to it prominently in the sidebar or menu tab!

Seriously, with the ease of ebooks and self-publishing now, it’s a crowded field, and even more important that you do the minimal requirements to let people know that your book exists.


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This post doesn’t deal with the legality of giveaways but rather the logistics. Tracking entrants can me a real pain—especially if you want them to do more than comment on a post.

For this site, I decided to try out a simple form system. I tested quite a few of the free ones and decided to go with Wufoo. It was easy to use and had a clean look, although it’s bigger than I’d like. But hey, FREE.

Here’s a site that lists several other free form makers.

If you want something more than a simple form, try Rafflecopter. I’ve used them on several sites in my real-life job.

Up until now, you had to ask to use them and wait for acceptance, but they’ve just done their official launch and anyone can use them now.

They’re also doing their own giveaway where you can win an iPad2 or a Kindle Fire. Here’s the link to that info. 

And while you’re there entering to win, browse their entire blog. They have lots of good ideas for holding giveaways. (Remember, I don’t know for sure that all their ideas are legal, as I am not an attorney, but some of the info is very, very good.)

Have you used something to track your giveaways that you can recommend? Let us know in the comments.

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GIving Your Books Away — Legally

January 3, 2012

Got this email back before Christmas: I don’t know if you’ve heard this or even if it’s legit, but someone posted [in a forum] that the FTC/FCC is cracking down on book giveaways where the winner is chosen by random because it is essentially a sweepstakes and is governed by very specific rules. Rumor has […]

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Unique Blog Tour Tips by Danyelle Ferguson

September 29, 2011

Most authors – no matter if they are traditionally published or self published – set up their own blog tours. Some authors band together with peers who write in the same genre, then do a big blog tour together or contest together (like the Massive Romance Reader Squee Moment Ahead contest). Other authors send a […]

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The Bare Necessities of an Internet Presence

April 16, 2008

Yesterday, Jeff Savage addressed the topic of blogging over on Six LDS Writers and a Frog. Go read it. I agree with him. For those of you too lazy to click the link, he made the point that if you’re an author and you don’t want to blog, don’t feel like you have to do […]

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Internet Publishing Conflict

January 4, 2008

When it comes to “publishing” your work on the internet, either though blogging or sites like CTRStories, do you need to let a prospective publisher know that it’s been on the internet? For example, if I blog about my child with dyslexia and later decide to write a book about dyslexia using some of what […]

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Establishing a Web Presence

October 16, 2007

When do you think it’s important to establish a web presence? Yesterday. Before you ever have hope of being published(1), after acceptance of your manuscript(2), or when the book comes out(3)? (1) If you want to, yes. Keep it professional so that when editors/publishers google you, it will make you look good. Professional does not […]

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Odds & Ends

July 10, 2007

How will the prospective readers “visit” talk shows and radio shows? On the television and radio, I suppose, but those would probably be local stations in Salt Lake City and would therefore exclude anybody living outside broadcasting range. Turn it into a podcast (easy to do) and post it to author’s & publisher’s websites and […]

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Blogging 101—Extra questions

June 28, 2007

I have a blog site, but no one reads it. How do I attract an audience? Read this post and all the comments. Do you think it’s better to have a separate blog from your website or blog within your website? Or does it matter? Whichever is easiest for you. But if your blog is […]

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Blogging 101—Driving Readers to Your Site

June 27, 2007

I may not get all the blogging terminology correct here because I’m new to blogging myself. Also, I am not a geek—at least, not on Wednesdays. But you’ll be able to get the general concept behind these ideas. The most important thing about having a blog is to get your name and writing style noticed. […]

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Blogging 101—Settings, Part 3

June 26, 2007

Before I start on today’s list, I forgot a setting from yesterday. It’s under “Publishing.” Send Pings—Yes. This notifies the web crawlers that you’ve added new stuff to your blog. The more often you add stuff, the higher you move in the search engines. Template: If you are new to blogging, stick with a standard […]

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Blogging 101—Settings, Part 2

June 25, 2007

I’m using Blogger as my resource for the order in which I talk about settings. I am only discussing the ones that directly effect using your blog as a marketing tool for your writing. In Blogger, many of these settings have a question mark beside them that you can click on for more info. If […]

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Blogging 101-Settings, Part 1

June 22, 2007

If you’re blogging for promotional reasons (and if you’re an author or wanna-be, that should be your #1 focus), there are a few settings and other things that will make this easier for you. Domain name: Choose your domain name carefully because you cannot change it later. Most people will come to your blog through […]

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Blogging 101-Getting Started

June 21, 2007

I’ve been inundated with questions about blogging, so I’ll be doing a short series of posts about where and when and how and all that jazz, with an emphasis on how best to use this to promote your writing career. This will be old hat for some of you who are experienced bloggers but I’m […]

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