Recap: How an Author Uses WordPress to Grow Readership and Sell Books

Sylvia Hubbard

Detroit author and Metro Detroit WordPress member Sylvia Hubbard was our guest for the November meetup. Here are notes from her presentation.

Step 1: Have a website that’s easily found
Step 2: Provide all your contact information, website, physical address, email, phone number, social networks, evaluation forms
Step 3: Include a book page
Step 4: Include your biography
Step 5: Add a blog
Step 6: Use feeds
Step 7: Use easy to remember URLs

Tips from Sylvia

  • The closer you get to the money, the closer you get to the sale.
  • My social networks serve as breadcrumbs to my website.
  • Intertwine other characters from other stories.
  • Password protected stories: passwords are embedded in books they have to buy.

Attendees at November 2013 meetup

Rules for Writers

  1. Post regular updates
  2. Add pics/videos/audio
  3. Don’t always sell book

Love that WordPress allows Sylvia to post feeds. Google Calendar feeds right into the sidebar. Press This to post reviews on your own author site.

What WordPress Has Done Over the Past Year for Sylvia

  1. Increased my SEO
  2. Can easily add subscription services and forms I control (readers with most comments are rewarded with $25 gift card)
  3. Use Google Alerts to track mentions
  4. Increased stats, searches and stays
  5. Organized my literary world
  6. Understand what my readers want from me

Marketing Efforts

Can’t find out marketing effort for three months, when the royalty check comes in.

Resources for Self-Publishing

  • Use Amazon for publishing your works. Their resource center provides info you need to publish to Kindle, print or audio.
  • Smashwords loads your book to all the ebook distributors. Smashwords takes a cut off the purchase price. They upload your book every two months to Apple Books.
  • Dan Pointer – godfather of self-publishing. Great resource for all things related to writing your book, publishing, promoting, and running your book business.
  • PayLoadz: Sylvia uses it for exclusive books. There’s no cost if you don’t sell over $100 in one month. Will charge client and send the book.
  • E-Junkie: Another option for selling your books.

Every fall Sylvia organizes Annual Essence of Motown Literary Jam & Conference, a literary conference for writers in the metro Detroit area. This year she was able to get support from 360 Digital, a Michigan based publisher/printer that produced the conference program book, Awesome Detroit and the National Writers Union, which helped to pay for the conference.

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2 thoughts on “Recap: How an Author Uses WordPress to Grow Readership and Sell Books

  1. rughooking

    Thanks for the recap. I was unable to attend, but I found a few things that I can add to my process. Did Sylvia mention which shopping cart she used? In particular how she awarded the gift certificate to the frequent posters?

    1. Deborah Edwards-Onoro Post author

      Hi Cindy,

      Sorry you couldn’t make it, Sylvia shared lots of tips and advice. Sylvia is using WordPress.com for her site, which doesn’t allow any plugins to be installed. She uses Amazon, Smashwords, and PayLoadz for selling her books.

      I don’t recall how she manages gift certificates, but you can contact her via our Meetup group, on her website, or on Twitter.

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