What is Search Engine Optimization? Why Do You Care?

By Lori Culwell

I believe I promised you all (the readers of this site) that I would be totally honest with you about what worked, what did not work, and when something REALLY did not work.   One of those times is upon us, when I tell you about something I did that not only did not work, but that did not work in such a spectacular way, I am shaking my head about it even now.    Let me tell you a little about it so you can share… Continue Reading

Weebly? Wix? WordPress? Which Website Platform is Right for You?

By Lori Culwell

So, I got into a heated debate with an author in a Facebook group the other day, and I thought I would share both the debate and my opinion on it here for your edification.   Here’s what happened (in brief, because the debate was on Facebook and went on for HOURS): One author says “what is the best place for me to make a website?” Another author jumps on and says: “I made mine out of Weebly and I love it.” This is where I… Continue Reading

Why Your Facebook Fan Page Traffic Sucks (And How to Change That)

By Lisa Hazen

When you first created your Facebook Fan Page, you were probably thrilled how easy it was to build your fans and easily connect with your audience. (And all for free.) In fact, I know many authors have decided to use Facebook as their exclusive Web presence, rather than building and maintaining a site on their own. It was a tough deal to beat—a free networked Web presence with an easy way to share information. Gradually and quietly, that has all been changing. About a year… Continue Reading

Booktrack: Creating Soundtracks for Books

By Lisa Hazen

Depending on who you ask, integrating digital content into e-books is either an exciting development that will vastly enhance the reader’s experience or a needless distraction that diminishes the medium. A service getting a lot of attention is Booktrack—a content creation and distribution platform that adds a synchronized soundtrack to an e-book or other digital text based on an individual’s reading speed. Music, sound effects, and other audio are recorded separately and then paced specifically to the user’s reading pace. Booktrack says it is “transforming… Continue Reading

Setting Goals in Google Analytics

By Lisa Hazen

The new year is a great time to set yourself up for success not only personally, but professionally. Experts prove that quantifying your goals can greatly improve your chances of achieving them. Using Google Analytics’ goals tool, you can quantify the effectiveness of how users interact with your site, and then use that information to improve how you serve information. (You are already using Analytics on your site, right? If not, here’s why I think you should be.) To set your goals through Google Analytics,… Continue Reading

Using Analytics to Optimize Your Site

By Lisa Hazen
Google Analytics

The first thing I do when I sit down to my computer each morning—before I check email or even Facebook—is check my site’s Web stats. Knowing who is visiting my site—and what they’re reading while they’re there isn’t just a way to indulge my voyeuristic side. Here, I uncover valuable information about which of my services are generating the most interest, how people are finding me, and who they are. You can also use the information you find in your stats to help discover what… Continue Reading

Why You Should Join Amazon AuthorCentral

By Lisa Hazen
Amazon AuthorCentral - BookPromotion.com

A lot of my author clients aren’t fans of Amazon. I get it—the advent of Amazon has threatened the existence of indie bookstores and irrevocably changed the way people buy and read books. But when it comes to participating in Amazon’s AuthorCentral program, in my opinion, this is a case of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” You may never end up loving Amazon, or choose to be their customer. But when you create an author profile through AuthorCentral, you will be helping to… Continue Reading

Steps You Can Take to Protect Your WordPress Site

By Lisa Hazen

It’s safe to say that I am a huge WordPress fan—I’ve built more than 70 sites using this platform. And suffice to say that there are a variety of other platforms that I can name that I am emphatically not a fan of. (But that’s fodder for another column.) My clients also tend to love WordPress as well. Usually within an hour or two, I can train them to update most of the elements on their site with minimal stress. Even some of my most… Continue Reading

Various Media Enrich Marisha Pessi’s Night Film

By Lisa Hazen
Night Film Cover

Marisha Pessi’s new thriller Night Film was eagerly anticipated by fans of her debut blockbuster, Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I picked it up the first day it came out—and I’ve been plowing through its 600+ pages every chance I get. A compelling addition to Pessi’s latest novel is her use of imagery and technology to both enhance and promote the story. Like many other books, there is a compelling book trailer—which almost feels more like a movie trailer in terms of production. (For more… Continue Reading

Time-Saving Tool: IFTTT

By Lisa Hazen

So you already know that you need a Facebook fan page. And a Twitter account. You probably already know that Pinterest is a great way to promote curated links. And that LinkedIn is a valuable resource for business networking. In addition, you might blog in addition to maintaining your site. (And don’t even try to tell me you don’t have time to put together a site.) I could go on. No wonder so many people are intimidated by the prospect of using social media—or even… Continue Reading