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Beginners guide to Indie Author Jargon: Book Marketing Glossary Jay Artale

Book Expo BEA 2017 IAF LogoThis post is part of Book Expo Indie Author Fringe, an online author conference that showcases the best self-publishing advice and education for authors across the world — harnessing the global reach of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ network. Our self-publishing conference features well-known indie authors and advisors, for 24 sessions over 24-hours, in a one-day extravaganza of self-publishing expertise straight to your email inbox.

We hope you enjoy this session. Let us know if you have any questions or input on this self-publishing topic. Visit our Hot Seat and join in the conversation there, or leave your questions and feedback in the comments section below.

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Headshot of Jay Artale

After someone has been writing and Indie publishing for a few years it’s easy to forget how little they knew when they started out.

In this Book Marketing Glossary, Jay Artale collaborated with ALLi members to find out what book marketing and promotion jargon or acronyms they didn’t know when they started out, which would have helped them demystify their indie author journey. As well as being a handy glossary of marketing and promotional terms, Jay has added links to ALLi and external articles to help you delve into each topic further.


 

A

Aggregators  An Aggregator is a service provider that publishes books to a variety of distributors to reach retail outlets. Examples of Aggregators are Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and BookBaby

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

Amazon Ads Authors can advertise on Amazon via Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), which can be accessed by your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) dashboard. You can use Pay Per Click Amazon Ads to:

  • Target readers by keyword, product or interest – including related genres, titles, or authors
  • Promote titles alongside similar books and authors

Recommended Reading/Watching from ALLi:

The Fundamentals of Facebook & Amazon Ads: David Penny

External Resources:

Amazon Author Central Amazon Author Central allows you to publish your Author Profile and feature your books that are available on Amazon. It’s a free resource and if you sell your books on Amazon at a minimum you should set up your author profile on the US, and UK sites. Author Central varies slightly by territory (e.g. on the US site you can include an RSS feed to your blog, but in the UK that feature isn’t available).

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

Author Brand Your Author brand provides you with name recognition and a consistent message to help you market and sell your books. It’s a representation of your identity and image, and helps your readers connect with you and your books.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

Author Platform “Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. But by far the easiest explanation is: an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.” Jane Friedman

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Algorithm
An algorithm is a process or set of rules that is followed in a calculation, and book retailers like Amazon use an algorithm to calculate your book’s sales ranking.
Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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Advance Review Copy (ARC) Your ARC is a book draft distributed to beta readers or book reviewers prior its publication to get feedback, reviews, endorsements.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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Author Bio Your Author Bio helps you connect with your readers and should include a summary of your books, interests, and achievements. You can create bios of different lengths for different purposes so that they can be used to build your Author Brand.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

Advance Information Sell Sheet (AIS)

An AIS provides basic book details including: key selling points, a blurb, a cover image, and a brief author overview, but most importantly it includes information about your book’s availability and ordering information.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

B

 Beta Readers Beta readers don’t need to be writers, but they should be readers in your genre. They give you feedback on their subjective impressions about your characters, plot, story flow (fiction), and content organization (non-fiction). Some beta readers also provide feedback on spelling and grammar, but they shouldn’t be used in lieu of a proof reader. Some Beta Readers provide their overall impression about what worked and what didn’t, while others go into more detail.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Blog A blog is a regularly updated section on your website and is a useful way to help you establish your subject matter expertise and connect with your readers.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Blog Hop A Blog Hop is also known as a Link Up and allows bloggers to add their blog link to a list of other blog links. The Blog Hop list can be featured on multiple sites or may just appear on the website of the blogger hosting the hop.

Blog Hops make it easy for the audience to navigate to other blogs included in the hop, are are a way for blogs to get more exposure and followers. Each Hop has different rules (set by the host), and when you add your blog to the list the expectation is that you visit other blogs on the list and leave comments on the blogs you enjoy.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

Blog Tour A blog tour is series of pre-arranged blog posts, usually scheduled during the months just before and just after a book launch.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Book Blurb A Book Blurb a short description of a book. It can refer to both a back (or description) blurb that you write for the back cover of your book or a review blurb, which is featured on retailer sites and in your marketing materials.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 BookBub BookBub is a free daily email that notifies readers about deep discounts on ebooks.

Recommended Watching/Reading from ALLi:

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Book Review(s) A Book Review is a critical summary of your book written by a reader or media professional (e.g. newspaper columnist, magazine editor, blogger).

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Book2Look German publisher Ralph Möller devised the Book2Look widget, which offers samples from your book side-by-side with social links, to be a “viral marketing tool for books” in the German, English and Spanish-speaking worlds.

Recommended Watching from ALLi:

  • Book2Look: What is it? And how does it work for self-publishers?

 

C

Click-Through 

Click-Through Rate

Click-Through Open Rate (CTOR)

Click-through is the process of clicking on a hyperlink (in an email newsletter for example) or online advertisement, to the target destination.

The Click-through Rate (CTR) is the average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Click-Through Open Rate are metrics used to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and lets you know how many of emails were opened by the recipients.

External Resources:

Call to Action (CTA) The Call to Action is the part of a marketing message that attempts to persuade a person to perform a desired action. e.g. “Click here to Buy my Book.”

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Content Marketing Content Marketing involves the creation and sharing of online material like videos, blogs, and social media posts. It doesn’t explicitly promote a brand but it’s intended to stimulate interest in your products or services.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) In order to measure the success of your author advertising efforts you will need to measure how much money that new customer cost you. For example, if you spent $100 on Facebook advertising, and you only sold two books based on that advertising effort – your customer acquisition cost would be $50.

External Resources:

D

 Discoverability Metadata, such as a book’s title or it’s description, affects how discoverable it is online. Your mission as an author is to make sure your readers can discover you, so that they can buy your books; metadata is at the heart of this.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

 Deep Linking Deep Linking is a fancy term for linking to a web page other than your site’s home page, and is used to direct your site visitors to specific web pages more easily so they don’t have to navigate from your home page.

E

Endorsement Quotes Endorsements are short reviews of your book written by a well-known author, professional or personality in your author niche.

Endorsements can be placed on your front or back cover, or in the introductory pages of your book, and used for promotional purposes.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

 eBook Formats
ePub is an e-book file format with the extension .epub that can be downloaded and read on devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, or e-readers.

MOBI is the propriety Amazon equivalent e-book file format that is used on Kindle devices.

You need to determine which eBook format versions you need to create when you plan your book distribution strategy.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

 email Marketing Email marketing is the promotion of products or services via email, and this type of marketing is an ideal way for self-published authors to create a direct relationship with their readers. Here’s some of the most common email marketing terms

  • autoresponder – an email services that sends an automatic response to incoming emails, which helps to reduce the amount of manual email traffic you need to generate.
  • email spam – unwanted, unsolicited email. Don’t do it!
  • lead magnet – a specific deliverable (like a free download or promotional offer) that is used to entice your readers to join your email list.

The good news for indie authors is that you can jump-start your email Marketing activities by signing up for a free account using a service like MailChimp.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

F

Facebook Ads  Facebook Ads allow you to choose your target audience based on demographics, behaviours or contact information.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

  • Paid Advertising: Is It Right For Your Book? by Mark Dawson

External Resources:

 Forums Online forums are places where people with common interests or backgrounds come together to find and share information and discuss any topics of interest. Writing can be a lonely process, and forums are a way of connecting with other writers to gain support, advice and inspiration. But forums are also a breeding ground for public opinion and a cheap and easy way to get to know your target audience better, and to learn what they’re interested in or what they think about other books in your niche.

G

Galley Copy A galley copy is a pre-release copy of your book, often not the final version, which is sent to media contacts to inquire about book reviews or sent to request endorsements. Galley copies can be either physical books or electronic files.
Goodreads Goodreads is a social media site owned by Amazon, which is just for books. Readers connect with friends, get book recommendations, write reviews, and make reading lists.

Authors can use the Goodreads Author Program to claim their profile page to promote their book and engage with readers. Once verified, your author profile will include the official Goodreads Author badge, which you can use to tell your fans to follow you on Goodreads.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

 Goodreads Advertising Goodreads uses a Pay Per Click advertising model. You can include an image and short ad description to entice potential readers to visit your book’s Goodreads page and mark it as “to-read”.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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Goodreads Giveaway A Goodreads Giveaway is an online book giveaway hosted on Goodreads that any Goodreads member can enter. You can give away as few or as many books as you like and run your giveaway for any length of time.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

 Guest Blogging Guest Blogging: Writing a post (or short article) for someone else’s blog.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Google AdWords With text-based search ads that show up next to Google search results, graphic display ads that show up on websites or apps, or YouTube video ads that show up during videos, authors have a variety of different ways to reach their target readers using Google AdWords.

So I used Google Adwords from the first day on for a few months, making sure that I had sales every day for a long stretch. I saw my books moving from the 27th page of the search results for legal thrillers up to the first page. John Ellsworth

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Headshot A professional looking photograph of yourself used for promotional purposes. It should be a high-resolution image taken within the past five years.

External Resources:

 House Ad A House Ad is a self-promotional ad that you run on your own website to sell your own products.

I

Instafreebie You can use Instafreebie to provide a link for people to download your book for free. This is a streamlined way to send book copies to reviewers, beta readers or bloggers. You can also use it to run book promotions and giveaways. You upload your ebook file to Instafreebie and set the number of copies and expiration date, then generate a download link to share. They have free and paid plans, and the free plan allows unlimited giveaways and distribution but doesn’t allow you to build your mailing list (for this you need a paid plan).

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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Imprint  A name used by a publisher to identify their books. Imprints are frequently genre-specific, and a single publisher may have multiple imprints.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Impression Each time an online ad is being displayed it’s counted as an impression.

 

 Inbound Marketing Inbound Marketing is a model that relies on the initiative of your customer to find and purchase a product. So rather than relying on ads to draw your readers to your website to lead them down your sales funnel, you use content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization.

External Resources:

J

K

Keywords and Keyphrases A word used to perform a search is known as a Keyword, and when you use these to put your message or product in front of people who are searching the web using specific keywords or keyphrases, you’re engaging in keyword marketing.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

L

Launch Party  Your Book Launch event is scheduled on or around your book’s publication date. Launch parties can be hosted at any location, but popular spots include bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, or the author’s home. You can also host a virtual book launch online.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

M

Marketing Plan A Marketing Plan is a strategic plan that details all of the activities you need to deliver to promote yourself and your book. Your plan can include social media activities, launch parties, books signings, advertising, website content and activity an blogging.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

Metadata Your book’s metadata is all its details other than its actual text, such as your author name, the book’s publisher, the book description, and its keywords.

Recommended Watching/Reading from ALLi:

  • Authors: Metadata is your Brand – get yours in shape Kathy Meis

External Resources:

 Media Outlet Newspapers, magazines, radio shows, TV shows, online news sites, podcasts, blogs, and any other method of disseminating news about your book is known as a Media Outlet.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

Media Kit (aka Press Kit) Your press kit simplifies the dissemination of key information to media or journalists, retailers, book bloggers, event planners, editors, or  anyone who plans on writing about you and your book. Key press kit elements can include an author photo and bio, a book cover image, a full synopsis of your book, a one-sentance book description, book details, frequently asked questions, a book excerpt, and reviews or media coverage.

Recommended Watching/Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

Media List Your Media List is a collection of media outlets and contacts that you reach out to in order to increase awareness of your book.

N

NetGalley NetGalley is an online book reviewing site. Book reviewers, librarians, booksellers, educators, and media professionals request complimentary ebooks to read in exchange for their reviews.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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O

P

Pre-Orders
A Book Pre-order incentive is a marketing tactic used by authors to offer readers the opportunity of reserving a copy of their book prior to its official release date. 

Recommended Watching/Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

 Pitch Emails Authors use pitch emails to target media contacts to get coverage for their book. Your pitch email should include key points about the book and author.
 Press Release A one-page announcement of your book release used to entice media outlets to cover your book. Your book’s press release should include key information about your book, it’s publication date, and any endorsements or quotes.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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 Permafree A permafree book strategy entails setting one book as free in order to entice readers to buy your other books. It’s a risk-reduction tactic, because it exposes readers to your book at no financial risk. For example, if you have 3 books in a series, you would set your first book at zero cost to entice readers into your sales funnel.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

Pay Per Click and Pay Per Impression See Cost Per Click and Cost Per Impression listing

 Q

 
 QR Code A QR Code is a machine-readable code that consists of black and white squares and is typically used for storing URLs. These codes can be read by the camera on a smartphone.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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R

Return on Investment (aka ROI) The bigger the Return on Investment the better. What this means is for the amount you spend how much money relatively are you going to earn.   So let’s say I buy an advert on a website like Bookbub for $400, then to work out the Return on Investment I need to know how much money I made from this advert.  If I sell a hundred eBooks in the week after the advert at $9.99 then with a royalty rate of 70% I will earn $699 in royalties (70% of $9.99 x 100).  So for that advert we can estimate the ROI is: ($699-$400)/$400 = 74.75% (example provided by ALLi member Tim Lewis)

S

 Sales Handle A sales handle is a one-sentence “buy me” for the back of your book, which is frequently used in online marketing.
 Synopsis Don’t confuse your book’s synopsis with the sales copy, e.g. the kind of content that might appear on your back cover or in an Amazon description. Your synopsis introduces your main characters, the main conflict, and basic emotional arc of your story.

External Resources:

 Sales Funnel The primary goal of your sales funnel is to move your online visitors from website and social media visitors into paying readers, by leading them down the path to purchase your books. Your sales funnel can be a simple one step process, or a long, complex series of steps.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

 Split A/B Test A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of a something to see which performs better. It could be a website landing page, a book cover design, your ad copy or images, or the subject line in your emails. But the key is to measure the success of each to see which version gets the better reception or higher conversion rate, so that the version you’re using is the most effective.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

 T

Target Audience  Although your goal may be to sell your books to everyone on the planet, you’ll have more chance of increasing sales if you identify your Target Audience. This is the specific audience that is most likely to buy your books and is usually based off demographical information or their areas of interest. Take the time to define your target audience and you’ll have more success in reaching the readers that will buy your books.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

U

Universal Links One of the biggest challenges with author discoverability is that if you book is available on multiple retailers it can be cumbersome for you, and overwhelming for your readers to find the right link to use to buy your book. Universal links simplify the process, so that your book customers are directed to their preferred online retailer. For example, you can set up a universal link for all of the Amazon stores, so that when your reader clicks on the link it takes them to the Amazon store in their territory.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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V

 Video Videos displayed on websites can not only increase traffic, but keep visitors engaged longer, which is why many authors are turning to videos and “vlogging” to replace long articles of text. We know the written word can never be replaced, but video can be a creative way of delivering information and reaping the rewards.

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

External Resources:

Vlogging A vlog (or video blog) is a blog that contains video content. This growing segment of the blogosphere devoted to vlogs is sometimes referred to as the vlogosphere. How about mixing up your blogs content by interspersing it with some videos.

External Resources:

  • “Why Authors Should Be YouTubers” – Vlogging Advice From Lindsay Mead

W

Word of Mouth  Considered to be the most effective form of promotion, Word of Mouth is when a satisfied reader recommends your book to their family, friends, or anyone else who is listening to them. “Readers trust other readers.”

Recommended Reading from ALLi:

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X

Y

 YouTube YouTube is a free video sharing website that makes it easy to watch online videos. You can even create and upload your own videos to share with others. Originally created in 2005, YouTube is now one of the most popular sites on the Web, and was bought out by Google. It’s just one more effective way that authors can reach more readers, and at a minimum you should be hosting your book trailers on YouTube.

External Resources:

Z

 

#IndieAuthorFringe Beginners guide to Indie Author Jargon @BirdsOAFpress http://bit.ly/2rR2SFi Click To Tweet

What questions or feedback do you have for Jay Artale? What is missing from this Book Marketing Glossary? Leave her a comment below, or send her a Tweet using @BirdsOAFpress and our event hashtag #IndieAuthorFringe


Giveaway

Jay is giving away 5 eBook copies of her “Freewriting for Travel Writers: How to use a creative freewriting technique to improve your travel writing” book. Are you a travel writer or travel blogger who has suffered from writer’s block? Don’t worry, we all have at some point, and that’s why her new book is an invaluable resource for travel writers.

Jay Artale

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4 Responses to Beginners guide to Indie Author Jargon: Book Marketing Glossary Jay Artale

  1. Karl Drinkwater June 6, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    Thanks Jay, that will be useful to a lot of people. Shared.

    • Jay Artale July 30, 2017 at 9:25 am #

      Thanks Karl .. if you can think of any others to add, just let me know and I’ll update the listing.

  2. Leila June 5, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    Epic resource! Thanks Jay. Will tell all my authors to bookmark this!

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