What influences you to buy a book? #amreading #poll

Forgive me cheating a bit with a poll today. I’m deep into a major rewrite of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, and haven’t had time to be online much. I will be back this weekend, with news, excerpts and maybe a sneak peek or two.


What influences you to buy a book?

This is the magic question for authors and publishers. We try so many different ways to tell readers about our books, but which ones really work? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Whether you are a reader or an author, please let me know what influences you. I will compile the results into a later post with some discussion.

I would love to see a lot of reader comments on the topic. What’s the best way for us to give you the information you need to make a decision? Or would you rather get information from friends, peers and “neutral” sources?

Leave a comment about any of these issues for a chance to win an e-book from my backlist.

For the most important factor, I’m trying to go beyond cover, blurb, and except, since we know those are important. Which of these social and external factors most affect your decision?

[BTW, “other” in the following poll stems from people combining several items into one, so it doesn’t reflect a true most important factor. I’ve disabled the option to add your own answer, but if there is one specific thing I haven’t mentioned here, please leave a comment.]

Which is the most important influence for you?


What keeps you from buying a book?

There are plenty of books we don’t want to buy, for a variety of reasons. Why might you decide not to buy a book, besides the obvious that you aren’t interested in the subject matter? Please add your own answer if it’s not listed and feel free to add comments, rants, raves, etc. I’m even more interested in this topic!

What turns you off about a book? (choose all that apply)



11 Tips for Using Triberr More Effectively from @EMLynley

Recently, Triberr added some awesome new features, so I’ve updated my tips list to include those.

I’m not particularly hip to new social media sites: It took me a few years to even get a Facebook account, so when I first heard of Triberr I admit I ignored it. But author Kayelle Allen made me think twice about using the service. And I’m glad I did.

I’ve absolutely gotten more traffic to my blog since joining. I don’t know whether or not it’s boosted sales, but they can’t buy if they don’t see it, so I’m considering this a win.

(If you haven’t used Triberr, it’s a way to connect with other bloggers: you share links to their blog posts and they share links to yours, magnifying your reach. The bloggers are organized into “tribes” based on subject matter).

What’s not to like about that arrangement? Well, as I started working with it, I found ways to use it more efficiently and effectively.


1. Plan your sharing schedule with some care.

When you log into new posts you’re bombarded with pages of new posts to share (if you belong to enough tribes). It’s tempting to just approve a lot of posts and get out of there.

I filter the posts to my most important tribe, and then I share the ones from my friends or people who share a lot of my posts. I want to reward people who share mine and I want to help out my friends. I make sure these friends’ posts don’t end up going during the middle of the night.

Check for time-sensitive posts and approve those first. The bloggers will appreciate you.

Triberr now estimates how long it takes to read each post. I tend to favor the ones with higher reading times (4 min read over 0 min read) and I’m sure your twitter followers will too.


2. Use the “Affinity” setting, which displays posts from sharers first. This way you can repay a share with a share. You don’t have to look at all the stats to see who shared your stuff recently.

You have to TURN ON Affinity in the settings section.

Go to Account à Settings à Tribal Streamà

The last options is “Show posts from people who share your content on top?” Select YES.

Hit Save.

Now when you look at the stream, you will see “Affinity” below the sample blurb from each post at the top. You can still hover over the user’s icon to see their sharing/posting stats (mentioned below).

3. Manage how many approved posts you have

If you have your sharing setting for one post per hour and you share 40 posts, then it’s going to be 40 hours before the whole set gets shared. Some posts go in the middle of the night. And if you do the same thing the next day, some posts might not get shared for days. (One friend of mine had a 10-day lag on posts appearing, not useful if the post is time-sensitive such as for a contest or release date event).

Triberr limits you to 100 approved posts at a time, but if you do one an hour, that’s 4 full days’ worth of posts.  At 15-minute intervals, you’re down to a day.

I have mine set for 45 minutes between posts so I know approximately how long until a post goes live. I try to log into Triberr in the morning, so I can fill the day with posts.


4. Discover who your “friends” are with sharing stats

In the new layout, if you hover your cursor over the blogger’s icon on the “New Posts” screen, a stats section pops up showing how many posts they wrote that week, how many they shared and whether they shared your post.


Some bloggers post many times in a week and don’t share anything. No matter who they are, I ignore them. They aren’t playing by the rules so they don’t deserve exposure on my twitter feed. I’ve considered sending the freeloaders a message, since some people don’t really understand how to log in and share.

I reward people who share my posts. I also reward people who share lots of posts, even if it’s not mine. I figure sooner or later they’ll share mine.  However, when someone shares too many, consider the lag issue. I definitely check to make sure the person is sharing more than they are posting.

If a blogger posts once or twice a week, I’ll try to share all their posts. For a blogger who posts 10 times a week, I’ll share a few times.


5. Choose wisely: Facebook, Twitter, or both? (aka avoid overload)

At first I shared on both FB and twitter. Then I realized that when I shared on FB a lot of people thought they were clicking through to my blog. It also meant that any of my own links I shared got lost in the noise if I were to share the polite amount of posts each week on my FB wall.

Now I just share Triberr posts on Twitter. It’s a much more fleeting medium, and much higher-volume content anyway. My twitter followers still seem to find and click on my links even if I’m sharing Triberr posts too. One Triberr post every 45 minutes won’t overload these users the way it would on Facebook. (Remember point #2).

For friends and particularly great Triberr posts, I’ll manually share them on Facebook. See #5.


6. Use Manual Share to highlight specific posts (especially yours)

You can click the “manually share” link under the post. Icons for twitter, FB, etc., will appear. You choose to send just that post to FB. I do this for a select few posts. The post gets shared immediately.

triberrmanualshareYou can also re-post anything. Go to the “Approved Posts” or the “Sent Posts” tabs and re-approve a post and it will get shared again after everything else in the queue. You can also manually share from these pages to post immediately.

I also do this for all of my own posts. I can control when they show up this way and I can post in several different time zones to make sure international users see my posts too.

Manually sharing a post does not interrupt the regular schedule of posting from the queue of approved posts.


7. Put more care into your blog post titles and use the title edit option on Triberr

I’ll lump these under one point, though your blog post title is KEY in getting your post shared and clicked.  If it’s too generic, too vague or doesn’t mention your name it’s a lot less likely to get shared or be of much use to you as promo. It’s a fact of life.  When I see a title like “Super busy week!” I don’t think it’s going to have much value added for my followers. They probably think it’s about me, or they just don’t care about my week (or some total stranger’s). When I have to prioritize which posts I share I’m going for the ones with meaty, interesting titles. And those will interest your followers too.

See that little arrow icon next to the title of each post?Click it to edit the title.  I like to add the blogger’s name if there’s any chance my twitter followers might think it’s about me. This also helps your friends by putting their name directly on the posts.

Even better, you can edit YOUR post title, add hashtags, etc. to make it more twitter-friendly.  Some writers do this on their blogs already, but if you don’t want to, make sure to add relevant hashtags once the post gets imported into Triberr. Just go to “My Posts” and edit the title there.


8.  Leave comments on other people’s posts

Triberr is great in that it lets you preview the post right on the site without clicking away. And there’s a handy comment box. Leave a nice message about the blog post and you’ll find that people will return the favor, and perhaps be more likely to share your posts in the future.

It’s social media, and that means give and take. Be social with the other bloggers on Triberr. It will pay off.


9. Think twice about whether your fleeting thought is really worth a blog post

Now that lots more people are seeing (and hopefully sharing) your posts, consider making each one more thoughtful and useful to your audience.  You probably don’t want to be one of those people with 12 posts per week because they probably won’t all get shared.

If the topic is of great importance to your own followers, go ahead, and don’t worry about what the Triberr friends think. Which leads to the next point:

10. Don’t change your blogging style just for Triberr

Keep blogging for your own fans and followers. They should come first, whether or not Triberr members keep sharing your stuff. If you have a large following, Triberr won’t make a huge difference to you anyway. If you’re starting out and you don’t have a group of fans with specific expectations, then using Triberr to best advantage will mean something different for you.

11. Check your blog stats

Monitor which posts are most popular and which sites are referring them. If you have a hit, try something similar a week or two later to see if the topic, timing, title, etc., are the reason or if it was just the randomness of the internet.

Feel free to share your own tips for making Triberr easier or more effective.

If you enjoyed this, please tweet! and follow me on twitter @emlynley

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.emlynley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/em-only-bent-con-hat.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]EM Lynley is a multi-published author of 9 novels and two dozen shorter works of fiction as well as How to Be a NaNoWriMo Winner. Her 2013 NaNo Novel Bound for Trouble has been contracted by Dreamspinner Press for a July 2014 publication date. She also runs Smooth Draft Editing, offering a range of services from proofreading to developmental editing and coaching for writers. Visit her Amazon Author page, or contact her at em@emlynley.com[/author_info] [/author]