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IGOR ELISEEV The Austin Paradox

"A Powerful and fascinating foray into the future of science and its unforeseen consequences"

By John Reese, Jun 20 2018 01:57PM

We have said it before and make no apology for saying it again. The days when an author could simply write for a living are over. Whether you write best-selling crime fiction novels or something more mundane authors are increasingly becoming publishing entrepreneurs and yet far too many are missing out on potential book sales because they don’t appreciate the real power of SEO.

It’s not enough for an author to have a busy Twitter feed and make daily posts on Facebook. It may seem like these two giants of Social Media are here for eternity but there is always the next big thing and that is why authors can’t afford to ignore SEO.

Good SEO will make your website highly visible in terms of search engine ranking and any author committed to selling their books needs to aim for the highest possible search engine ranking for books in their genre with the ultimate goal of appearing on page one of Googles search results. It’s not rocket science. Search engines rank sites utilizing keywords that make up the site. When potential customers are on search engines and looking for those keywords, they may or may not find your site in the search results. If they click on your link back through to your site, it creates organic traffic and therein resides the magic. Twitter, Facebook, even Instagram might eventually decline in popularity but SEO gives any author a competitive advantage that to a large extent is within their control. Think of SEO as the bait that brings a stream of potential readers to your site, and it’s what search engines are looking for when displaying search results to users.

Scour the web and you will find yourself inundated with SEO advice from bonafide experts to self-proclaimed gurus but there’s no doubt that an author intent on maximising their SEO to attract more readers should start with an SEO strategy. A strategy can be as simple or as complex as you care to make it but we have taken the guesswork out of it by focusing on the essentials and the actions you can take straight away to ensure the best return from your investment. An author should first and foremost write novels so below you will find the top 5 SEO actions you must take to ensure the best investment of your valuable time. Yes there are other things we could add and we will cover them in a later post but these are the must-haves.

Step One: Know Who Your Readers Are.

Any author wanting to attract new readers must know the kind of readers they are trying to attract. At the bare minimum, you will need to have a clear view of age, gender, education level and broad interests.

Step Two: Identify Essential Keywords for Content Optimization

Look through your Google Analytics or another analytics platform like Keyword Finder, and review the keywords people are searching on. You are looking for what content to optimize, and which keywords you should focus your website improvements on.

Step Three: Know Your Ranking

Everyone has to start somewhere and whichever point you start from will be your baseline so that you can accurately measure your success in terms of organic lead generation. Find out which of your website's pages are your key web pages and rank them in terms of conversions. The first page you should optimize should always be your homepage but don’t get fooled into thinking that the more complex the analysis the better. Keep it simple by ensuring you are signed up to Google Analytics for your website and do a weekly audit to determine which of your pages are converting to visitors.

Step Four: Refine And Review

A regular site audit is essential for ensuring SEO errors don’t mar your efforts. Set aside time to search for your target keywords, and compare where you rank against other authors in your genre. Don't be afraid to try new combinations and change when needed as your efforts become more refined.

Step Five: Blog it

Yes, the popularity of blogging seems to wax and wane depending on whose opinion is being offered but your blog is still a powerful tool for authors seeking to maximize their SEO. Audit your existing content, adding relevant links, correct subheadings, and consistently post relevant relatable content. Include as many of the keywords that you targeted earlier in each and every post. Attempt to add those keywords to meta descriptions, headlines, subhead lines, alt tags  for your images. Utilise every opportunity to promote the keywords you want to rank for.

We started by saying that authors are increasingly becoming publishing entrepreneurs and yet far too many are missing out on potential book sales because they don’t appreciate the real power of SEO. One author who has mastered it and as a result seen her books build a highly enthusiastic following is International Bestselling author Jennifer Chase. We had the pleasure of reviewing her latest release Scene Of The Crime and a visit to her website is always inspiring. Click HERE to read our review and visit Jennifer’s author webpage.

Now before we go we need to state the obvious. Mastering SEO requires a commitment of time and more often than not it takes several months to start building real momentum but stick with it and the results will certainly come.

By John Reese, Jun 11 2018 04:33PM

How Best Selling Authors Best Writers Block

As Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright and screenwriter Ayn Rand once said, “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” It‘s an interesting thought and solicits much by the way of reflection. Creativity is a mindset and a way of processing the world but what happens when the creative juices stop flowing and how do authors avoid the dreaded writers block to ensure their prose remain original meaningful and above all delight their readers?

Writing a novel is no small undertaking. Nurturing and growing a story till it becomes a fully-fledged novel is a journey on which many established and budding authors find themselves faltering as their creative leanings wax and wane, but with a little forethought it needn’t be the case. Our top three tips are taken from our author benchmark surveys and with a survey pool of over 5000 authors you can be sure they will work for you.

1. Step back and think of something else.

We said it before but it’s a point that needs repeating. Writing a novel is no small undertaking. Think of it as a giant jigsaw that your mind needs to piece together. Sometimes it feels like your thoughts are caught in the midst of a maelstrom and you can’t think straight let alone combine exciting plot threads in surprising ways. No one can write a novel in one sitting. It’s a journey that starts with one page followed by another. Sometimes you just need to stop, take a step back and do something different. Many authors feel guilty at the thought of doing this because they feel unproductive. This isn’t the case. Once an idea for a novel has taken shape the creative mind works on multiple levels of consciousness. Step away and let your subconscious do the work and you will find creativity begin to flourish.

2. Loosen up!

We don’t mean stretch a little or undo a few buttons. Being creative is at its best a spontaneous manifestation of our thoughts. We can schedule our day, put aside time to write, but creativity needs time and space to grow. Some authors favour a set time to write each day, others are more flexible but whatever your approach you need to clear your mind. Today’s evolving publishing landscape means indie authors in particular have to wear many hats and with so many demands competing for their attention it can be both stressful and distracting. Automating as many tasks as you can and becoming proficient in the software you use will negate a lot of that stress. Allowing your mind to more readily wander and the ideas to flow.

3 Crib a little

There is no such thing as an original idea. Yes, there may be some authors jumping up and down with indignation on reading this but with several million authors on the planet at any one time the odds are against a single original idea for a book. It is simply down to who brings it to fruition and who lets it drift on by. Ideas are simply an evolution of stimuli and thought and for the vast majority of authors it’s their love of reading that leads them to write a book of their own and it’s the influence of favoured authors that on a subliminal level feeds the creative mind. When writers block strikes, clear the decks and pick up a good book in the genre in which you write. Let’s be clear and say ‘cribbing a little’ doesn’t mean stealing ideas. We simply mean allowing the influence of the writers you’ve come to love to nourish and nurture your thoughts.

So there you have it. Succinct and informed by the thoughts of over 5000 authors who contribute towards our publishing benchmark surveys. When faced with writer's block step back, loosen up and crib a little and those creative juices will soon start flowing again.

It doesn’t matter what genre you write in these tips will work for you but we’d like to take a moment or two to focus on science fiction. It's a genre we will expand on in a new blog post but needless to say, there are those novels that are true to the classics which permit the 'suspension of disbelief' necessary to enjoy the genre to its fullest and there is the more generic improbable melodrama which is little more than pulp fiction. The tips in this blog post not only help beat writer's block they will also help you take your writing to a higher level and at Bookviral we’ve been honoured to review the very best. Springing readily to mind is K K Edin’s debut novel The Measurements Of Decay. Highly recommended you can catch our review on the link HERE.

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