I posted this tip a while ago and got some positive feedback. If you set up buying links for your books, many of you are probably posting Amazon links for each country that you think your book will likely realize some sales.
There is no need to do this.
I was getting frustrated when I ran a free book promotion weekend and experimented with placing a Facebook ad that reached out to multiple countries. My dilemma with doing this is that I didn’t have a way to post all of the links for the various Amazon sites in other countries on my ad without it looking clumsy.
I searched for a way to create a universal link for my book. A universal link, when clicked by a potential reader, is designed to take them to my book on the appropriate Amazon page for their country.
I have been lucky enough to take several cruises to Alaska, and I hope to take more. It’s a fantastic place to visit, especially by water, and especially if you love nature. Though I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything, here are some of the highlights of my experiences.
The first time I heard the “white thunder” of a glacier calving, the first time a seal looked up at me from an iceberg, the first time our ship broke the ice in front of us to get closer to the glacier–all those moments were magical, but so was the fifth time I sailed into Glacier Bay and so will be the next time. The magic never dies. Be sure to bundle up and spend plenty of time on the outer decks enjoying the magnificence of nature.
I grew up in a mining town, so when my first Alaskan cruise didn’t go to Skagway, I was like, “Oh well. Mining…yawn.” Not yawn. My second (and all subsequent) cruises have stopped in Skagway, and it’s probably my favorite of all the common ports. Buildings: cute. History: fascinating. Free walking tours from the Park Service: awesome. Hiking: spectacular. Surrounding mountains: massive. The cruise in through Lynn Canal’s blue-green water: gorgeous. Then there’s White Pass and the famous railroad. The whole place is magical. Just be prepared for literally thousands of other tourists and you’ll love it.
I love the humpback whales spouting in the distance, surfacing gently every once in a while near the ship, showing their unique tails as they dive. Perhaps my favorites are the sea otters floating on their backs and rough-housing with each other. I get a thrill watching seals, sea lions, porpoises, and orcas. And I’ll never forget the time, late at night, those dolphins played in the dark alongside our ship, jumping in the wake and racing us. No one else was around. Just me and the dolphins. I felt indescribably blessed.
I’m not talking about eating salmon—though most cruise lines will give you at least one chance to indulge in the delicious Alaskan specialty. I’m talking about the actual fish. Their life cycle is awe-inspiring. Born in fresh water, sometimes far inland, they move out to sea to spend most of their lives until instinct drives them back to the place of their birth to spawn and die. The journey home can be a long and rigorous one, swimming against rapids, jumping up cascades. Some species have been found 200 miles upstream in the Yukon. And after this epic journey, they die, sacrificing their lives for the next generation. It’s tragic and beautiful at the same time, and you can see some of it first hand on an Alaskan cruise, especially if you go late in July or August.
Creek Street in Ketchikan during the height of a salmon run is like a freeway at rush hour, and watching them struggle to the top of the little falls always humbles me. I’ve seen the water froth with tiny shark-like fins outside a hatchery in Sitka. At Mendenhall Glacier, we watched a beautiful red and green female sockeye scooping out a nice egg-laying spot while a male defended her from his competition. In Anchorage, you can watch people “combat fishing” for them. It’s a huge part of not just the nature of Alaska, but the culture.
I love hiking, and by “hiking” I mean getting out in nature and walking, be it short and easy or long and steep. Alaska’s a great place to do it, even if you’re only in port for a few hours. Here are some of my favorites. The often-wet and mysterious Deer Mountain Trail in Ketchikan takes you to some nice views of the islands in the strait. You can play in and around the blue-green waters of Lynn Canal on the easy stroll to Yakutania Point in Skagway. Portage Glacier Pass Trail in Whitter takes 45 minutes to get from the ship to the tree line on a trail that may still have patches of snow in late summer. At the top, miniature alpine plants, dwarf trees, and tiny pools of clear water compete in glory only with stark-white Portage Glacier in the distance. The hike above Exit Glacier to sprawling Harding Icefield in Seward is nothing short of spectacular. Plan enough time to do it justice.
Perhaps my favorite is the steep and rigorous climb to Upper Dewey Lake from Skagway. The lake is serene, the views breathtaking, and part of the trail follows a waterfall-like section of stream. I went on a sunny day, and I really don’t know if anything could be more beautiful.
If you’ve been on an Alaska cruise, share your highlights below. If you haven’t, I encourage you to go and see some of this beautiful land for yourself. Only then will you know what your highlights will be.
Melinda Brasher fell in love with Alaska on her first cruise there. She spends her time hiking, writing, traveling, and teaching English as a second language in places like Poland, Mexico, Arizona, and the Czech Republic (Czechia). You can find links to her travel writing and plenty of posts about Alaska on her blog: www.melindabrasher.com
I wanted to share with you a few options for marketing on Facebook even if you do not want to have an active Facebook account for yourself.
Facebook is a huge opportunity for authors that are looking for just one more book sale, one more reader and that elusive one more fan. Many people do not trust Facebook as a platform where they want to spend their time and do not enjoy sharing their personal information with the powers that be like Zuckerburg and other corporate entities. I have the perfect solution for you as an author.
Create a Facebook account. A master account as it were. You do not need to have friends, photos, locations or any of the other more intrusive information listed. It is enough to say Your name or Pen name and your occupation as Author.
Once you have that created you are able to build pages. These are simple enough to create you simply use the drop down arrow on the very edge of your facebook header and click Create Page.
Next name your page The Title of your book. Once you have chosen the style and titled your page, you will want to add the book’s cover art, your blurb or back cover description and other information that you feel will help sell your book to potential readers.
Now comes the tricky part. This is where the images will come in handy. On the top of your new page, you will go to settings. Click settings and you will see the settings options come onto the screen.
On the left-hand panel, you will find Edit Page as the third option from the top. Click Edit Page. The Edit page screen will appear and you will be looking for Templates.
Click Edit beside the current template and you will be asked to choose which template you want to use on your new book page. Choose Shopping. It is actually about half way down the list. When you exit the screen you will see your page now has a shop now button.
On the left-hand panel of your page, you will see the shop option has been added to the list. Click Shop.
Click add Products in the center of the screen. This is where you will add products to your page. Go to the Amazon or other Retail link and get the URL for your book. Add your book cover in the add photo slot.
Name your product the title of your book and the price that it is available on Amazon or another retailer. If the product is on sale, you are able to share that on this screen. Once again describe your product using genre and other keywords that describe your book. Add the retail URL in the space provided and slide share this product on your page. Hit Save.
The last steps will take you back to the Book Title page and hover over Shop Now. A drop down menu will appear and you will click Edit Button. You will click Shop on your Website.
Once you click Shop on your website, a box will come up that asks for the URL of the book once again. Add it again in the space provided and you are able to have people buying your book without having to hang around on Facebook giving personal information.
You are able to do this with each of your books. There is a second part that is just as important. When you find reviews about your books click share to facebook, use the drop down menu and share the post on your books page using hashtags like
There is a second part that is just as important. When you find reviews about your books anywhere on the internet remember to click share to facebook, use the drop down menu and share the post on your book’s pages using hashtags like #fivestarreview, #mybooktitle, or #myauthorname.
Your posts are advertising for you, sharing your good news and keeping you off of the Facebook platform. The sharing of posts to the Book’s Facebook page works even if you are active on Facebook. It keeps your book in the public eye and invites readers to take a peek at your work. Share any book signing event posts or author interviews on the book pages too. It is a wonderful tool reaching potentially thousands (read millions) of new readers.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little trick about promoting your book. If so, leave me a comment. I will keep looking for special little-known tips and tricks for you.
Welcome to this lesson of David Kummer’s writing course. That’s me, by the way. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, success stories, or just something fun to say, email me at email@example.com. I’d love to talk about anything and everything, especially if that everything has to do with books, basketball, or Chinese food. I am a teenager, after all. So that’s that! Head on down and read what might be the best writing course of your life, but also might be the worst 😉 You won’t know until you try!