More About Using Goodreads: “My Books”


Two weeks ago we taught you how to sign up for Goodreads and create your own account using the Author Program. However, to get the most out of your Goodreads profile, you have to be able to use it as a reader as well. Otherwise everyone will think you’re only interested in promoting yourself without actually getting involved in the community!

The easiest and best way you can use your Goodreads account to the fullest is by reviewing the books you’ve read. We showed you what the front page looked like last time around — now let’s take a look at the “My books” tab.

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The left side of the screen lists all the different bookshelves on which your book reviews are listed. Originally you start out with “read,” “currently reading,” and “to read,” but you can also create your own by clicking on “add shelf” below. I like to categorize mine by genre, though I also have several shelves to delineate the books I read in high school and college.

To add a new book to one of your shelves, go to the top search bar where you can input a title, author, or ISBN.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.08.27 AM You should come up with a search results page that looks like this:

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Now, if you want to, you can add a book to your bookshelf right here by clicking on the “Want to read” button. Clicking that will automatically add it to your “to-read” shelf, but you can also move it to whichever shelf you want using the button to the right. You can also add a quick 1 to 5 star review here, if you’d like.

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But what if you’ve already read the book you’re adding and you want to write up an elaborate review to share with friends and other likeminded readers? The easiest way to do that is by clicking on the title of the book in question to access its individual page,, and editing a review from there.

If you scroll down at that page, you’ll find this:

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Clicking “edit review” will take you here:

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.18.12 AMFrom here you can choose shelves, change the edition that you’re reviewing, edit the date that you finished the book, and write your review. The more reviews you write, the more you’ll be able to share your views with other Goodreads users, and the better your reputation will be as a reader and writer. When you add and review more books, you’ll also get better recommendations using the Goodreads “recommendation” engine. Just don’t spend so much time writing reviews that you forget to write your own book!


What is Klout? Can It Help You Manage Your Social Media Presence?

If you’re very active on a wide range of social media networks, you’ve probably heard of the website Klout. Launched in 2009, this application boasts the ability to track how influential you are on sites like Facebook and Twitter and calculates that influence into a simple numerical score. But how successful is it at figuring out just how influential you are? Is it worth signing up for? Today we’ll take you through the basics of what Klout does and whether or not it can do anything for you as a self-publisher.

When you sign into Klout, you’re taken to a dashboard that shows you how your score has changed over the past 90 days:

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This is my Klout dashboard. As you can see, it calculates a score for you each day and charts whether or not that score has grown or diminished over a period of time. The scores range from 1 to 100 — the more influential you are, the closer you get to 100. It also shows you the most recent activity that impacts your score — though it’s not completely up to date!

Klout also shows you where your influence reaches on each social media network — though it’s currently only calibrated to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and Instagram. Of course, it responds most favorably to Twitter, and measures influence there by using your following count, follower count, retweets, list memberships, how many spam accounts are following you, and the Klout scores of those who are interacting with you.

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When you click on “Network breakdown,” this is what you see. Apparently I’m most influential on Twitter by a long shot, but there are also a good number of people interacting with my Facebook posts as well.

As with LinkedIn, Klout also gives you opportunity to boast what skills you have and what you’re most influential in. Usually it will try to guess where your influence lies based on what you’ve talked about in your tweets and Facebook posts, and occasionally it will get things wrong. However, you can always choose to highlight different skills so that your Klout topics better reflect what you’re actually interested in.

To check out your own topics, go to the “Manage Your Topics” button at the bottom of the Home Page. Here’s what mine looks like:

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They’re not wrong about my interest in Doctor Who, by the way. It’s a great show!

Your score isn’t just good for bragging rights, of course — you can also snag great coupons and exclusive deals through Klout’s partnerships with other companies. For example, as one of the “perks” of using a Klout account, I’ve been offered everything from free magazine subscriptions to organic cocktails shipped to my door. It’s also possible to get a Klout score for your business or brand as well, if you have a specially branded Facebook page or Twitter account.

But how important is it that you know your Klout score? Honestly, it’s hard to tell right now — but it’s probably not all that important. Currently it’s difficult to figure out how exactly how they calculate their scores – a few years back I even knew a person who worked in social media for a living and who had a Klout score of zero. There was also controversy a few years back that President Barack Obama had a lower Klout score than some professional bloggers, which clearly isn’t indicative of the level of influence Obama has at all. So obviously there are still some kinks that need to be worked out!

However, Klout is useful in that it gives you an idea of which social media network you use gets you the most attention, so you can decide whether or not it’s worth focusing exclusively on one network. If you put a lot of energy into curating your Google+ page, for example, and find that you don’t have a whole lot of followers or people interacting with your content there, then it might be best to move in and devote your time to something else. Similarly, if you like tweeting pictures to your followers and realize that you have an instagram account you never use that a good chunk of people follow, you might want to start tweeting those pictures through the instagram account so that more people see them.

All in all, Klout is a great way to sync all your networks up together and track them from one consolidated site – and it’s just fun to see how someone asking you a question on Twitter can influence and change your entire web presence. And the perks are pretty great, too! Best of all, it’s free to use, so it couldn’t hurt to give it a test run and see what new things you can learn about the social media networks you use.

Try it out for yourself here and let us know what you think. It’s very easy to sign up for an account — all you have to do is connect with Facebook or sign in using your Twitter account. No need for a new password or log-in.

Check Out the Top Twitter Apps For Managing Your Tweets

Let’s say you want one Twitter account for all of your personal tweets and another for a book you’d like raise awareness for. How do you manage two accounts at once? You could just log in and out of each account, but that can be a lot of work. That’s why a lot of people who use Twitter professionally have separate third party applications that they use not only to tweet from two accounts at once, but to schedule tweets in advance and so much more. Here are the top four apps that Twitter gurus love — why not try one out for yourself?

1. Tweetdeck


Not only is this app free to use and created by the team behind, it’s super customizable so you fit each column of the app to suit your personal preferences. You can use it to display your Twitter timeline, mentions, direct messages, trending topics, search results and hashtags. You can also sync it with multiple Twitter accounts and schedule tweets in advance.

2. Hootsuite


Hootsuite is similar to Tweetdeck in that you can customize, schedule, and display tweets. However, it can also be integrated with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace and WordPress as well. There’s a free version of Hootsuite that you can try, but you have to pay for the extra features, which might be worth it if you have multiple social networking accounts that you want to keep track of.

2. Twitterfeed

twitterfeed_defaultIf you use an RSS feed to get your news and information from the Internet and want to share it with your Twitter followers, then Twitterfeed is a great way to do just that. This app syncs up with your RSS feed and automatically posts the stories and links that you’d get there up onto Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you have a blog you really like and follow constantly, then using Twitterfeed to put that blog’s posts up to your social media page might be easier than doing it manually yourself!

4. Buffer


As we’ve covered before, Buffer is a great way to schedule your tweets hours and days in advance of posting. It works with your web browser, so creating a new tweet out of an interesting link is as easy as clicking a button on your toolbar. It also schedules your tweets at completely random times rather than on the hour or half hour, so it looks less like a scheduled post and seems more natural.

Personally, my favorite of these apps is Tweetdeck, but you should take some time to download a few free ones and decide which is right for you. Once you do, it’ll be easy to schedule tweets and manage multiple accounts, which will make creating a brand easier for yourself!

Amazon to Begin Selling Kindles All Over the World


Good new for those of us who may consider self-publishing in foreign markets — yesterday Amazon announced that starting June 13, it will begin selling Kindle HD to 170 different countries and territories across the world. The Kindles are available through preorder at and come pre-registered, so users will be able to log on and buy ebooks immediately.

This will make Amazon the farthest-reaching and most easily purchasable tablet or eReader in the world. As a point of comparison, Apple products are sold in retail stores in 14 different countries, while Barnes and Noble only offers theirs in UK and a few other English-speaking countries, and Kobo is looking tentatively to offer theirs in 24 countries.

What will this mean for self-published ebooks available on the Kindle marketplace? It’s hard to say for sure. Certainly it will make understanding copyright and what rights an author can be expected to maintain more difficult, as each country has different rules and laws.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

(via Digital Book World)

Scrivener App now on sale at Amazon!

imagesIt’s no secret that I love Scrivener. Ever since checking it out for our piece on word processors a few months back, I haven’t used anything else for my writing. It’s so easy to organize different sections or parts of a whole piece, even if you aren’t trying to put together a lengthy novel. In fact, I use it most frequently for all the different blogs and websites I contribute to.

Here’s the file I have on my computer for the BookWorks blog as an example:

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I have a different file for every website I write for and organize both them by the month and day that they’re published, all in different colors. On the right I keep category and tag information for when I post the articles onto our blog, as well as outside links that I reference in the post. It’s also very simple to export individual articles into Word Documents and other formats for easy archiving.

If you’re writing a book and need to keep everything in one place, then Scrivener is absolutely perfect for you. It has character reference templates, a place to store research, and lots of little tools for you to keep everything neat and tidy.

Usually Scrivener costs $40 for PC and $45 for Mac, and it’s worth every penny of that price. However, Amazon is currently selling the App for 50% off at $20 and $22.50 respectively, so if you’re ready to check it out then now’s the time! You can also download a free trial as well to get yourself acquainted with the software, and it includes an extensive tutorial to teach you just how to use it.

Made a typo on Twitter? Here’s what you should do


We love Mediabistro’s Galleycat, so it’s no surprise that we find ourselves linking to their stories often for this blog! Yesterday they alerted us to an awesome program that generates strikethrough text on Twitter posts so you can make a correction without deleting the tweet.

Unlike Facebook comments and blog posts, Tweets are fixed once you post them — they can’t be edited for mistakes. The only recourse, usually, is to delete the tweet, but  sometimes that can cause confusion and is often seen as bad Twitter etiquette.

Social Times suggests using a program called in this way:

In the fast-paced world of journalism, mistakes happen. It’s common for publishers to post a correction loudly and proudly on their websites by crossing out the bad information part that needs updating so that readers can see what’s been changed. Now there’s a way to do it on Twitter.

You’ll find a tool for generating strikethrough text on Simply copy and paste the text from your Tweet (or write it in manually) and then copy and paste the crossed out text that appears in a new Twitter post.

Note that doing this will double the size of the characters in the post, so you’ll need to limit your Tweets to 70 characters instead of 140.

This won’t alter the already existing Twitter post, but the visual of the strikethrough is much more effective than trying to verbally explain a mistake.  Try it and let us know what you think!

Some Simple Ways to Monetize Your Online Presence

images-1When you’re a self-publisher, every penny of added income helps — especially when you’re just starting out and can’t immediately rely on a strong personal brand or passionate base of fans. If you can, though, even better: there are more and more ways to monetize your online presence so that your fans will be able to help you offset some of your costs without even trying. Third party ads, affiliate programs, and reward tools are all great ways to make your personal website work for you!

Remember, the internet user is a fickle beast, and too much advertising might lead them to believe that you’re some kind of sell-out. Be careful about the number of ads you allow on your page, or you might not get any page views at all!

Let’s look at some of the ways you can subtly and easily add revenue to your site:

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