Thursday, September 24, 2015

Virtual Tour After Glow: Measuring Promotions Success

Measuring Success 

When Mary E. Martin and I began preparing for the virtual book/blog tour we completed September 1, 2015, we set a few goals.

Some of the social media goals included . . .

  • expanding social media audience base, adding followers
  • increased organic impressions
  • increased mentions
  • increased engagements

Some of the tour goals were . . .

  • Making network connections with other bloggers, strengthening SEO -as an Interest/Information hub, through "cross" and "back" linking and increased traffic activity. 
  • Amazon Boost in Sales Ranking / selling books
  • To celebrate a remarkable mile stone in Mary's writing life.

Measuring the Benefits

It was very exciting to watch the analytic statistics as the tour launched, and over the tour run, including results of the social media tour promotion. 
  • Tweet impressions up by 96.3%
  • Author profile visits during the tour were counted at 1,790, up by 1,601.9%
  • Blog views have risen since the tour, by an average of 120 additional views per day.
  • Facebook following continues to grow . . .

What has been the benefit of the touring and networking activity?

  • Search engine ranking,  using Mary's select key word themes during searches, has her blog and articles placing within the top two entries found. Being found has become that much easier.  
  • Increased book sales. Yes! 
To all who participated as hosts or followed as friends, we thank you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ISW Welcomes the Mary E. Martin Virtual Tour Followers!

Of all the forms of entertainment reading is perhaps the most intimate. Readers often have deep visceral responses to and relationships with the books they read. Authors of the past may have deeply impacted culture and readers' lives, but seemed elusive and distant to the public. In this modern age the relationship between author and reader is rapidly becoming more intimate and less distant. The internet has made the author more accessible to fans and given the reader greater influence over what ideas and whose works become popularized. Authors need and benefit greatly through reader word of mouth referrals, reviews, and yes be-friending. Readers have begun to influence writers through commenting and interacting on blogs and Facebook.

What is an Amazon Boost Campaign and why would you choose today to support Mary E. Martin?

Amazon Boost Campaign
Authors looking to get their books on the shelves of brick and mortar stores need to demonstrate sales. A majority of brick and mortar book stores look to Amazon sales rankings when determining what books they will carry. Guerrilla marketers use Amazon Boost Campaign strategies to elevate their sales and search rankings with Amazon. That translates into promotional efforts which steer traffic to and emphasize purchase incentives, reward packages, and giveaways.

An Amazon Boost Campaign uses social media networking, such as the virtual book tour Mary E. Martin is sponsoring today, purchase incentive giveaways, and rewards to encourage sales during a targeted time block or date. The goal of the boost campaign is to elevate the sales ranking and visibility of a book or author. A noticeable jump in sales has a tremendous impact on search ranking within Amazon.

This virtual tour is supporting a terrific author, Mary E Martin, in her Amazon boost campaign.

The hosts are sharing articles written by the author or offering blog tailored Q&A written interviews, their reviews of Mary's works, book trailers, and more in support of that effort. Today ISW is linking in with blog hosts Sue Magee, of The Book Bag and Norm Goldman of Book Pleasures on the tour.

I encourage those of you visiting this site to assist author Mary E. Martin in her Amazon boost through purchasing today. Your purchase receipt confirmation number can then be used to enter the tour's $200 Amazon gift card giveaway. Once your purchase has been validated the tour will send you a rewards access pass-code, which you can use to claim free e-books and coupon codes, donated by tour blog host sponsors.

Everything you need to know about the tour Schedule, Giveaway Incentive, and Rewards can be found on Mary's Virtual Tour page.

Social media is the author's friend, something readers don't typically think about. Sharing your enjoyment of a book could be the boost that an author needs in sales. Authors are mostly on their own in building an audience and marketing their books. Even authors with the dubious fortune of being published by traditional publishing houses. You don't see many books being marketed on television or through mainstream media because the cost of marketing is so high. Books are low cost items and have to make millions of sales to justify promotional costs and budgets. Typically, an author might see as little as pennies per sale on work that may have taken them years to complete. For that reason, authors need friends and fans that share to help them promote their work.

Mary and I recorded an interview together for BlogTalkRadio, discussing her book marketing experience over the course of her writing career to date. Mary even gets in a few questions of her own, asking me questions about what a virtual tour is, how the are organized, and about Amazon boost campaigns.

"Exploring Virtual Book Tour and Amazon Boost Strategies for Book Marketing" Ink Slinger's Whimsey on BlogTalkRadio

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with inkslngrswhmz on BlogTalkRadio

Author Mary E. Martin

About Mary E. Martin

Mary E. Martin received an Honors degree in history from the University of Toronto in 1968, and in 1972, earned a law degree from Queens University. From 1973- 2000, Martin primarily practiced estate and real estate law in a small Toronto law firm. Married in 1973, she and her husband continue to live in Toronto, where they raised their three children. In 2012, she became the grandmother of two gorgeous grandchildren. In 2000, Martin retired from practicing law to become a full time writer and photographer. As a photographer she has six shows to her credit.

As an author Martin has self published two trilogies, The Osgoode Trilogy and The Trilogy of Remembrance; which have garnered several awards and attracted popular attention and praise with readers through social media recognition. Martin’s popularity has grown with readers through internet promotion activities, as a featured novelist with Wattpad, as a popular guest for podcast interviews, and as a blogger.

Martin’s literary accomplishments include:


Conduct in Question, Martin’s first novel, garnered 962,391 reads as a free featured novel through the popular social media site and its mobile application.
Final Paradox received an Honorable Mention in the Hollywood Book Festival; and garnered 130,552 reads while being promoted as a featured novel through Wattpad.
A Trial of One was the winner of the Reader’s Choice Award, in both The London Book Festival, and The New York Book Festival.


The Drawing Lesson, and The Fate of Pryde, both received Honorable Mentions in the New York Book Festival.
In Dec 2014, The Drawing Lesson, the first novel in the Trilogy of Remembrance, began its promotional debut as a free featured novel through and has a growing readership of 29,337.

Night Crossing, third in the Trilogy of Remembrance, was published in 2014, and has already been awarded an Honorable Mention for Literary Fiction in the 2014 London Book Festival, as well as high praise from reader and critic reviews on and through popular book review sites such as BlueInkReview, ForewordReviews, and BookReadersHeaven. Martin has been a featured guest for the popular Internet podcast host Simon Barrett and for host Fran Lewis over BlogTalk Radio.

Martin continues as a writer of literary fiction, has an author’s blog, and is featured for her art commentary as blogger for Martin’s author blog features themes which include tips about writing and publishing, discourse on creativity, inspiration, Jungian thought, the work of Joseph Campbell, and other creatives, as well as commentary on popular current arts related topics and works.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Giveaway Best Practices!

Mary E. Martin's Virtual Tour is Set to Launch 

Tuesday August 25, 2015!

As a highlight to her tour Mary is running an Amazon Boost Purchase Incentive. The campaign is offering a $200 Amazon gift card giveaway, with valid proof of purchase. Giveaway details, purchase carousels, and an entry form can be accessed from Mary's Virtual Tour page on her website. 

Did you know, more giveaway submissions are entered on Monday nights between 8:00 PM and Midnight EST than at any other time of the week; and that a quarter to a third of the total accumulated entries occur during the final 24 hours? ~ according to blogRafflecopter "5 Effective Promotion Tips For Your Ending Giveaway"

If you are investing in a promotional giveaway, that would be important information you will want to consider when selecting dates for your campaign. Ending your campaign with a count down to finish on a Monday night at Midnight EST, is the best practice for a successful giveaway.  According to Rafflecopter's Market research "Tuesdays and Wednesdays work as well. Thursdays are alright. But Friday, Saturday, & Sunday — are days to avoid."

Anyone self promoting these days needs to glean information about marketing best practices where they can find them. There are no absolute methods for marketing success.  Every audience is different. It may take multiple promotional campaigns, trial and error attempts, data collection, and  incentive offers for you to discover the best formula for engaging the audience you've attracted. 

Selling is never easy and the entertainment market is saturated with marvelous recreational outlets. Readers are also movie enthusiasts and video gamers. You have to give them an incentive to choose your book over a plethora of other pleasing diversions and entertainments. That is where knowing how to use behavioral patterns and human psychology, in regard to purchasing habits, can be of benefit. It is rare for someone investing in self promotion to have access to marketing information of this kind. So, when you run across it, make a mental note and pass the info on to your networks.

See you Tuesday August 25, 2015 for the @MartinTrilogies Virtual Tour Launch.

Entries in the $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway are being accepted through Midnight EST, Monday August 31, 2015. Click here to see details about the bonus reward package of free e-books and coupons from tour host sponsors.

Enter Below To Gain Access to the Rewards Package Without Entering The $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TIP Tuesday: Making Friends in Facebook Groups- a Smart Guerilla Strategy

"Guerrilla Marketing: the employment of unconventional ways of advertising, using smaller budgets and a larger imagination, to capture the attention of consumers."

Marketing outside of the box. If you want to attract attention to your work. . . 

Be different. Stand out. Be unexpected. 

Authors have to be smart about finding and cultivating their audiences. In today's book market the self published author has to take the fate of their book in hand and get busy engaging audiences to build interest and encourage purchasers. How are they doing it? 

Audience engagement is important for SEO and for increasing sales. 

Take a tip from author Mary E. Martin . . . Make friends.

Mary is the kind of author whose books provoke thought. She uses Jungian ideas and themes in her books and when writing her blogs. She can talk about the essays of Joseph Campbell and isn't shy about opening touchy discourse about current affairs, challenging the established cultural paradigms.
So, it is no surprise that I have found her pushing buttons and raising the caliber of  philosophical discussion in several popular Facebook groups with a Jungian or Campbell focus.

What is she doing? She is making friends and adding to the following of her blog and fans of her work in the process.
If you follow her group activity, as I have done, you'll notice that she participates in group discussions. She asks questions, poses intellectual challenges, proposes ideas, and generally engages with other Facebook group members through comments. Next, after she has gotten a number of lively responses, she shares with the group that she has used the group thread for inspiration in a blog she has written, and invites them to comment. Using this tactic, she is successfully moving traffic to her blog, growing the number of friends she is reaching and the quality of comments her threads attract. She is taking her content to the places where the intended audience of her books visit on Facebook, and her tactic for attracting interest is working.

Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing. Presently, The Drawing Lesson is a Wattpad Featured novel which you can read in its entirety through

Monday, July 13, 2015

BlogTalkRadio Interview with Mary E. Martin, Author of The Trilogy of Remembrance

Are you looking for the kind of book which carries you deeper into yourself? What about the kind of book which challenges your preconceptions of life? Do you ever long to enter the sacred mystery, the places where meaning and purpose reside? If you are, The Trilogy of Remembrance is a series that will inspire you.

Author Mary E. Martin is not the average writer. Her work is thoughtful and provocative on levels most books never explore. Full of lush imagery and rich language, Martin's work provokes thought without imposing answers or giving too much. She asks you to join the journey of her characters toward personal transformation, for the gratification of expansion.

Please join me as I host this Blogtalkradio interview with guest author Mary E. Martin, as we discuss The Osgoode Trilogy and the Trilogy of Remembrance.

Hear the author speak about the differences between her two trilogies's protagonists; how each protagonist and series allowed her to explore her chosen themes differently. Martin answers questions about series development, and her creative writing process, as well as real world influences on character creation. She speaks about using setting for greater effect in writing and shares details about where blogging is taking her creatively on the Internet.

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with inkslngrswhmz on BlogTalkRadio

Friday, July 3, 2015

Author Ludwig Sawicki Celebrates a 5th Publishing Anniversary of "Confessions of An Ex-Gun Dealer"

I would like to congratulate one of the most entertaining authors I have ever had the privilege to review and interview, on his 5th year publishing anniversary, by re-posting my review of his work and the podcast interview we did together for WITS back on Friday, November 26, 2010.

I look back on the time we shared preparing and recording that interview with a recollection of surprised and genuine appreciation for how much I enjoyed both the author and the reading. Sawicki is a charming and entertaining conversationalist that has a talent for spinning a tale and a knack for writing. I would love to see more writing come from him and that is my secret ambition in re-posting my review.

If your are out there reading this post Mr. Sawicki. . . You have an interested reader in me. I hope you are still writing. Congratulations on the publishing anniversary of your exceptionally entertaining book.

To listen to that WITS interview and an author read excerpt from, Confessions of An Ex-Gun Dealer, go to

Title: Confessions of An Ex-Gun Dealer
Author: Ludwig Sawicki
Publisher: Outskirts Press (July 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143275839X
ISBN-13: 978-1432758394
Rating: 5/5 Star!
Reviewed by: Vonnie Faroqui

Confessions of an Ex-Gun Dealer - A Side Splitter with Bang Appeal

Since we are into confessions . . . I have one of my own to make. I am a bleeding heart liberal, love animals and although I am not anti-gun I am close to it. When I first picked up this book I was skeptical about how fair I could be to the author and what kind of review I would give. That being said, I really, truly, deeply enjoyed this book.

Southern gentlemen and the Irish aren't the only natural storytellers. Author Ludwig Sawicki can spin out a tale with the best of them. Confessions of an Ex-Gun Dealer is a humorous, intelligent, straight shooting, and honest memoir that reveals much about life. No time is wasted in political correctness and yet the book has a charm about it that allows the reader to remain comfortable, even when challenged with setting aside personal bias.

Sawicki's love of guns is infectious. His knowledge and experience is vast and yet woven into the book with such ease one hardly realizes they are receiving an education. There is an incredible level of joy and love conveyed in every character description and tale. The people and accounts shared by the author seem to come alive.

There are strange things done by men with guns, for the love of the hunting trail . . .
This is a great book for anyone who enjoys the hunting and the shooting sports but it is also a wonderful study in human resilience, determination, and character. The book is full of life experience and wisdom, business acumen, and best of all laughter. Sawicki is damn funny and an astute observer of human nature.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hungry Moon~Quicksilver

One of the things I love best about my life is the time I get to spend reading. There is something deeply satisfying about being able to gift myself a day devoted completely to pleasing myself with a good book. That pleasure enters a whole new dimension of enjoyment when the book of choice is one of Claudy Conn's paranormal romance novels.  Most recently, Hungry Moon~Quicksilver captivated my attention.  Did I make a day of it? Yes, I did. I lounged in my floor length, red silk nightie, with painted toe nails, and generally pampered myself for a whole day. It was blissful.  If that is the kind of respite you need from your otherwise busy life, I highly recommend taking a page out of my book, with Claudy's Quicksilver.

Now, on to my review, because you need to understand why lounging dramatically in pretty lingerie, reading can be so satisfying.

Series/Title: Hungry Moon, (Book 1) Quicksilver
Author: Claudy Conn
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 9, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1481072196
ISBN-13: 978-1481072199
Reviewed by: editor, Vonnie Faroqui
Rating: 4/5

Ravena Macallister, Is a woman on the verge of sexual exploration. Only one problem. She is running from herself and as long as she is doing that, self exploration is going to have to wait. You can think you are ready for the next level in life, and not be ready when you get there. That is Ravena. For all of her beauty, academic achievement, and sleek athleticism, she is still an untried, inexperienced girl, playing with fire and love.  Well, we know what happens when little girls play with fire?

Claudy Conn's heroines usually start out as virginal, with simmering sexual desires carefully hidden below the surface of their persona. Quicksilver's Ravena is no exception. Standing on the edge of the future she prepares to step over the edge of the known and begin her sexual exploration. She is vibrant, powerful, talented and free; a sexual volcano waiting to erupt under just the right amount of heroic pressure. Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking it. Claudy's formula for thrills is a potent and powerful mix. As an author, she has skillfully balanced plot, story line and character development, with steamy sexual erotica.  And her writing has only gotten bolder with time. Claudy, goes there when she writes and she isn't shy about taking you there too. [I digress.]

First off, the heroine is going to be innocent, virginal even. She will be a stunner and will have waited for the right man. He will be a man, all man, virile, powerful,  magically and in physical prowess. He will be a man of purpose, equal to our heroine in nobility of heart and of soul. He will not be virginal. He will, quite probably be afflicted with some curse, or handicap that makes their coming together seem impossible.

We know. those of us who have been following Claudy's many series, that a way will appear in which the hero and heroine will be together in every sense of the word. Because it is destiny!  No matter how much tension Claudy is going to build for her characters, no matter how vile the villain, or terrifying the obstacles may be, nothing is going to prevent our hero and heroine from consummating the intense fires of passion and love burning in their souls. Yes, we know Claudy will take us there. The fun is in discovering how.

What will Claudy throw along their path, our path? Will it be a tragic loss, or a terrible curse. Will there be a monstrous evil to overcome or a sinister unfathomable threat. Will it be pride or humility that prevents one or the other of the lovers from opening up? We may not know the how, but we know in the end it will happen. There will be no denying satisfaction. satisfaction on every level. That is just how good it is going to be.

So, I assure you, Quicksilver is not going to disappoint. It has all of the classic elements of good story telling. There is a villain, he's truly evil. He totally wants the heroine. Thankfully, he is just a little too over confident and that sets the warning bells off.  Our heroine has just been burned by awesome looks and superficial interest, masking as love. She sees Evil coming from a mile away; no real danger of her falling under his love train.  Still there is the threat he might rape her.

The real problem is in how to go about rescuing our hero. He is out of this world, gorgeous, smart, self sacrificing, out of this world! No, I mean it, literally. He is out of this world, unreachable in any way but by magic. And, he is cursed with ill luck. not literally this time. Just, well he's been bit by a were-wolf. It doesn't look good for him, trapped, cursed, full of sexual potency himself. She is in one world and he is in another, helpless to protect her, or help her, forced to watch as her life blood is spilling. It's dramatic.

If only Ravena would stop denying her uniqueness, and surrender to her true nature. Then her power would be a strength instead of a weakness. Ah me. Claudy even manages to weave in a little character building morality along side the sexual tension. Nothing comes too easily. The struggle to find each other may be destined, but in order to overcome the threat of evil and stay together, there is going to be real pain, the kind that grows self knowledge, and enough sacrifice to demonstrate sincerity, giving the relationship value.

I don't want to give you any more or the story than this. You can read the synopsis, and guess at the plot line. The real enjoyment comes when you let go of what you know or think you know, and simply go on the journey. Surrendering to a story is as enjoyable as surrendering to destiny, to love, to great sex. When you are in it, there is nothing else.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tip Tuesday: “Above the Fold”

It is Tip Tuesday!

Expand your online marketing reach by developing effective strategies, SEO best practices and knowledge.

Tuesday's Tip for 11/25/2014  “Above the Fold”

The term “above the fold” refers to the contents of a website which are visible to the user without having to scroll down on their browser.

"Above the Fold"
Did you know the less work people have to do in order to see your offer, announcement, or incentive, the more likely they are to respond to it.

Marketing research shows that the upper right-hand corner is the most effective spot for an opt-in offer.

You can use this knowledge to your advantage.  If the sign-up form for your news letter, the like/share button, the purchase incentive, or that advertisement for your book/music cd/products are not already located above the fold, moving them to a more visible spot will often increase your conversion rate.

Tip Tuesdays, because the more you know . . . the better you do.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How Google's Panda Makes Content "King" for SEO.

"Content is King" for Google's Panda
Bow down because Content is King for search engine optimization.
Google's newest page ranking algorithm, Panda, is smarter than ever, able to recognize and make relevant content distinctions.  This has had a deep impact in online marketing circles and spammy strategies aren't going to yield results.

Google Releases the Panda

In February of 2011, internet marketers everywhere were shocked. Google had released a new update, and with it, changed the way SEO would work forever.

At first, it was difficult to know exactly what the damage was. Massive "authority" websites were reporting HUGE losses in traffic. But it wasn't mindless destruction - no, Google's latest update targeted a specific group of websites with surgical precision.

These were websites who played a crucial role in SEO. Websites like:

Article Directories
Online Forums and Message Boards
Web 2.0 "write-and-earn" Websites (HubPages, Squidoo, etc.)
Online Informational Sites (eHow)
The SEO process relied heavily on these types of websites. Since building backlinks was the most important part of the process, these websites were used to get quick and easy links.

And not just any links - the best type of links you could have. Links on pages with relevant information to your website (written by you). Links in the content of this relevant information. Links Google, before the update, loved. ~

How Does this Impact Authors, and Book Marketing?

It is my opinion that, done with integrity and sincerity, the old strategies are still going to serve authors. If you aren't abusing the system these changes may in fact help you by eliminating many of those competing in the market who are.

Genuine comments and posts in online forums and message boards, comments which include discrete anchor links within a signature or byline, are still likely to be approved and, as long as the links lead back to reputable content, they will continue to hold relevancy for SEO.  Since Google's Panda is able to recognize relevant content, it should be able to discern when your site and book are referenced appropriately.

Article marketing directories may have been severely impacted by the changes affecting search engine optimization, which does mean there is a potential impact on an author's ability to reach audiences using this method, as article directories themselves have taken a hit in relevancy and credibility. On the other hand, excellent content has become even more significant for SEO to bloggers and site owners; who are now forced to offer richer content in order to gain popularity and relevancy ranking. Article marketing websites could retain or gain relevancy themselves by offering richer content using tighter submission guidelines.  I believe that is what has been happening. Article marketing websites have tightened their quality controls, denying publishing acceptance to authors and articles that abuse the privilege of contributing to the directory by filling an article with links that lead to marketing sites.  True and relevant articles are actually going to be in greater demand, as those in need of content seek out quality articles.  Savvy authors will be using their bylines to lead readers back to their sites. These authors benefit by the environment clean up.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marketing Doesn't Have to Kill Your Creative Joy

The writing and publishing worlds have been going through a deconstruction of their traditional roles and relationships ever since authors envisioned using the Internet to self promote, and market their own work. The role of traditional publishers is still being re-framed.

As publishers have less and less to offer aspiring writers, more and more authors choose self publishing. Gone are the days when publishers had budgets to give fat advance checks, or to invest in marketing for their authors. Even their best selling authors are feeling neglected in the pinch, forget marketing for the mid list picks. Within the traditional publishing houses the majority of promotions and marketing efforts are being left squarely in the author's lap. Traditionally published or self published, we are all in the same boat when it comes to getting our books in front of readers. Now is the time to re-imagine how we are going to bring marketing into our creative writing processes.

Don't Separate Marketing from your Creative Writing Process . . . Use it! 

As an author you have to know your target audience. You have to anticipate and plan for your reader's desires. You have to engage them if you are going to keep them reading. You should ask the same questions when choosing your audience, theme, and plot influences, as you would for marketing your book.

What is my audience looking for? What are they going to get from my book?
Are they looking for answers or seeking entertainment? What is it that will attract them to my book and my website over the books and websites of other authors? Is it my themes? Am I teaching a skill, proselytizing an ideal, or prophesying a dire warning? Am I making a political comment or a spiritual declaration? Does my book hold expert or life knowledge? Do I have more to offer than just this book? Can I hook my audience into purchasing and reading my book through a shared interest, a cause, or sentiment?

These may be questions that both influence who an author is writing for or even about, plot devices, and theme development, as well as where and how they might market a book in the future.