Tips & Tutorials

Need some tips and tricks?  Insider hints?  Want to know how to wrangle Amazon's Look Inside the Book?  Look no further. Chances are, we've already discussed it here. We also happily welcome suggestions for articles and how-tos, so don't be shy.  


 

Cover Cover Cover Cover Cover Chameleon...

It Goes Around, It Goes Aroouuuunnnnd the book...

An issue that seems to be cropping up, repeatedly these days, is the incident of self-publishers who decide to do a print version of the book and don't realize that they need a cover for that print book that is different than the eBook cover. An eBook cover is one thing--it's the front.  The glamorous part, right?  The pretty part. The part where you get to sit and think about how great it's going to look. The images, the ideas, the fonts...all that great stuff. Right?

But here's the thing.  There's no mystical cover maker, for a print book, where you just pop-in your front cover, and VOILA!, your print cover is magically made.  You, Publisher, are the person responsible for ensuring that the cover--called a wraparound--gets made.  

That doesn't mean that you can present a book producer, or Createspace or IngramSpark, etc., with three pieces of a cover, and think that they're going to make the cover for you.  They won't.  Nor will anyone else.  

I've lost track of the number of times we've had a client get to what we think is the end of their time with us--we've given them their eBooks and their print interior--and suddenly, an email arrives, telling us that their "cover" is being rejected at Kindle Print Beta or Createspace or some other place, because the cover that they're trying to upload is their eBook cover.  Or, they put a cover together, somehow, and it's completely the wrong size or shape or some other problem.  And there have been any number of times that this same publisher scheduled a book launch, or a pre-sale, or some other promotional event--and there's no time for the cover to be made.  

Don't let this be you.  If you're going to do a print book, you have to have a wraparound cover. This is a cover with a front, back and spine--all in a single piece.  Not in multiple pieces.  (That question seems to come up a lot!)  What are the parts that make up a wraparound cover?  

Full Book Cover Parts

Really, that's all there is to it--the three parts that you're already used to looking at--the front, rear, and spine of a printed book--all in a single piece.  Although I used colored boxes to segregate the parts, in this sample image, the wraparound cover is always given to the printer or POD company in a single PDF file--all three pieces merged seamlessly.  You can see examples without my boxes drawn on them in the example gallery below.  

I borrowed a few mocked-up covers from our friend, Derek Murphy, of Creativindie.com and its sister site, DIYBookCovers.com, (which we highly recommend for publishers on a tight budget!) for the purposes of demonstrating the difference. It's not really complex, but do you want to be the author caught out, with a ready-to-go print interior and an eBook cover, only?  No, of course not.  So, what's the difference?

Examples below--click any thumbnail to bring up the full image. 

{2jtoolbox gallery id:9}

So:  now you know what to expect.  If you've only done an eBook before this moment in time, and you've decided to take that leap of faith, into print, make sure that you invest the time needed to figure out what you're going to do, about getting a full-sized wraparound cover for your print edition.  

Add a comment
The Createspace Cover Template Creator

How To Create Your Print Book Cover For Createspace

nce your print book is in production with us for layout, it's time to think about the creation of your full cover--front, back, and spine. You can't just take three pieces to Createspace and hope that they'll get your cover right. Instead, you or your cover designer will go here: Createspace Cover Template Maker.

You or s/he will input your page count and your paper type. Obviously, if you have just started your print layout, you probably won't have a number for your total page count yet. If not, wait for that figure, from your designer, and then input it into the Template maker. You'll get back a PDF template, all in one piece.

Createspace Cover Creator Print

As you can see from the image, it's hardly difficult.  You will already know your trim size, and you've probably already thought about what paper you want.  (Note:  if you have images of any kind, it is usually dramatically better to choose WHITE, rather than CREAM.  Particularly if you have B&W images!  Just a handy tidbit of information for you.) 

Your cover designer will then create your final print book cover, marrying the front, back and spine portions of her design. She'll give that back to you in PDF form. When you are ready to publish your book, you'll upload the PDF of the interior and the PDF of the exterior. Createspace then binds the cover to the interior when making your book--and you're off and running.

Note: experienced authors will do many of the Createspace steps in the Dashboard before they have their final PDF or PDFs. We heartily endorse that idea, both for your print book and your eBook. Taking care of the simple, but important, things while you are in production makes sense. Oftentimes, new authors get so excited over a book that they get too rushed to do the Dashboard items (like categories, keywords, the description/blurbs) correctly, or with the care that will help you get your book sold.

Good luck!

Add a comment
13 Questions You'll Ask At the KDP, And The Answers

13 Things You'll Ask at Amazon's KDP Program, Part 1

Here at Booknook.Biz, we've been doing this for quite a while now.  One thing I can't help but notice is that the same questions get asked at the KDP Publisher's forums, over and over again.  To help prospective publishers, I'm going to answer them here.

Do I have to register my copyright before I publish?  

No, you don't.  In the United States of America, your book is copyrighted as soon as you've completed writing it.  If your book is stolen/pirated, however, you can't file suit until the copyright is registered, which you can do with $35 and the link to ECO, the Electronic Copyright Office. Here's the link to ECO and here's a link to the Tutorial. 

Does enrolling in KDP mean I can't sell my books anywhere else?

 No, it doesn't.  If you enter your book in the KDP, you can sell it any place you'd like (Barnes & Noble, iBooks, KoboBoks, etc.).  The KDP contract does stipulate that you can't sell your eBook at a lower price anywhere else.  If Amazon discovers that you are selling your book for less somewhere else, they'll lower the price of your book (price-match) for the duration that the book is lower-priced elsewhere.  If you join KDP Select, however, then, yes--you are required to give exclusivity for 90 days in return for the features of the KDP Select Program. These features include the ability to make your book free for any five days out of the 90, and capacity to join other marketing programs. 

(Con't.)

Add a comment
Read more ...
An Example of Amazon Look Inside The Book Gone Wrong

How Do I Fix The Look Inside the Book on Amazon?

Is Your Look Inside the Book a Wreck?

One of the questions that I see posted, all the time, at the Amazon KDP Forums is this one--some variant on, "my Look Inside is a mess!," or, "How do I fix the Look Inside, because all my nice page breaks are gone!"

Here's the bottom line:  mostly, you can't.  

I know, I know--now, you're horrified.  But here's the thing:  while an eBook like a Kindle or an ePUB is made out of HTML, so are the Amazon webpages.  The problem is, it's not the same kind of HTML.  While the HTML itself is the same, HTML is controlled by something else, called "stylesheets."  That's how companies like ours make things like fonts work--by using Stylesheets.  In HTML, they are called "CSS." (Cascading Style Sheets).  They're called cascading because a more important style will override a less important style, to put it simply.  Or, a more detailed style will override a less detailed style.  

Add a comment
Read more ...
An eBook made from a Commercial Template

Can You Sucessfully Use eBook Templates?

Once upon a time, (okay, about two months ago or so)  in a fit of curiosity, I decided to buy one of those advertised templates—you know the ones—make your ebook from WORD!  Why?  Because we get a lot of inquiries here.  In fact, we receive about 300 emails a day, believe it or not.  We get people asking why our services are “better” or different than what they can do themselves. A lot of what we do is invisible to the human eye.  This makes it hard to answer those types of questions without sounding self-serving. 

As in, “well, gosh, we export and clean up the HTML, so that all the bad code that you can’t see with the naked eye doesn’t make your book go wonky when it’s opened on a Kindle.” This is a difficult sell, to be honest.  It’s the same difficult sell that I run into when I try to explain that Smashwords does not do the same thing that we do.  But, when you look at a sausage, do you know what’s inside it? Can you tell that one sausage-maker lovingly crafted his sausage from the BEST stuff, while the other used what remained on the floor after the first guy finished?  No, you can’t.  Not unless you already do this for a living, and if you did, we wouldn't be having this conversation--would we?

An eBook-making Test:  Show, Not Tell.

In that vein, I decided to test what we do against those "DIY Word" templates that you can buy all over the Internet.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Perhaps, I thought, if I simply used one of those commercial templates, I could show--not tell--people the difference.  I made sure that I bought a well-written template, from one of the most reputable and best-known websites on the topic of bookmaking.  For both ebooks and print books.  Below, see the original, unstyled Word file.  (click ANY image to enlarge/lightbox).  

Read on to see my test.

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

What is The Best eBook Format For Kindle?

What Is the Best File Format For Kindle?  Why, The One that Works, Of Course!
What Is the Best File Format For Kindle? Why, The One that Works, Of Course!

About eBook Formats

One of the questions that we are often asked is, "what is the best eBook format for Kindle? I'm not always sure what question I'm being asked.  Is the person asking to find out what file format they should upload to Amazon? Are they asking what's the best way to make a book for the Amazon-Kindle ecosystem? Really, there are only two eBook formats that are still remaining in the USA, and, when you look around, in the world. Those formats are:

  • ePUB: which stands for ePUBlication (clever, eh?), which is used by B&N, iBooks, Sony, KoboBooks, and Google, and,
  • MOBI format, which is the preferred Kindle file format.

If you've Googled, you've likely seen all sorts of claims, ranging from some folks telling you that you can put an ePUB on Kindle, to the idea that using Word is the best "Kindle eBook format." The bottom line is, the files that Amazon sells to its readers are, by and large, a single file format, called "MOBI."

What Format Does Kindle Use?

Now, if you've run across various forums, you may have seen people refer to AZW format, or AZW3 format. The former is the actual, final, encrypted Kindle format that is dispensed from the Amazon store, to your Kindle as a purchased book. That's not a format that you can make yourself. And, even if you could, you can't upload that format at the KDP, the Kindle Digital Publishing platform. The latter, AZW3, is a file format, created to emulate what's called "KF8," (the more-advanced Kindle formatting) by a piece of free library software called Calibre. However, just like AZW, you can't upload an AZW3 file format at the KDP. You can certainly make a file in that format, and side-load it to your own Kindle device, but you can't publish it. Obviously, that format, then, lacks utility.  Fine for personal use, but useless for publishing.  If someone starts yammering away at you, talking about how you can convert your file to AZW or AZW3 format, for the purposes of publishing--that's not someone to whom you should be listening.

Add a comment
Read more ...

Why is a MOBI Kindle File like a Cake?

Curious As To Why You Might Ever Want or Need an ePUB File?  Read On!

Your MOBI is just like a cake.
How is your Kindle MOBI file just like a cake? Read on to learn more.

How Can A MOBI File Be Anything Like A CAKE?

When we’re called by prospective clients, we’re asked a lot of questions. Some of them are about layout, some about functionality, and some are simply what seem to be practical questions, to the typical person or new eBook publisher.

One of the things that I’m often asked is “Why do I need an ePUB file? I only want to publish to the Amazon Kindle program, which uses MOBI, so why do I need to pay for an ePUB?”

What is an ePUB File? What's in a MOBI File?

As background, to address this, it helps to know that of all the major retailers, Amazon uses an eBook format called “MOBI,” and all the others (B&N, iBooks, KoboBooks, Sony, etc.) use the other major eBook format, “ePUB.” Basically, the eBook DNA of both formats is 98% identical; only at the very end of the process does the bookmaker make the decisions that end up creating an ePUB file versus a MOBI file, or vice-versa. So, by and large, it’s not twice as much for a company to give you both formats (and if anyone tells you that—find a different formatter!); it’s only a bit more money, as a large part of the work is the same.

The exception to this is what’s called “Fixed Layout” or “Fixed Format,” but that’s a topic for another day.

BUT:  MOBI Kindle Files are not editable.  

What most folks don’t know is that a MOBI Kindle file is not editable. When I tell people that, they naturally ask me, “but, if I want to make changes, how does that happen?” So, here’s the real deal on the basics between ePUB and MOBI:

A MOBI file is a finished, completed product. It is, essentially, like a Cake. When it’s finished, it’s great—but if you wanted to, you couldn’t take that cake apart and get your ingredients back. You couldn’t decide that you wanted to replace (say), half your white sugar with brown sugar. You can’t get your eggs, your flour, your sugar or flavorings back. It’s great, but it’s CAKE, not cake ingredients. If you decide to change your cake, you have to make a whole new cake, from new ingredients.  

(If you want to get techy—a MOBI file is a binary database file that is built from its HTML source).

But, What If You Need To Change Your MOBI File?

But an ePUB file, on the other hand, isn’t just CAKE. It’s a cake that you can disassemble, if you need to. You can get your flour, your eggs, your sugar and your flavorings back from your ePUB. Your ePUB exists in two ways simultaneously; it’s both a finished book (cake!) and the ingredients. This is because an ePUB format isn’t like a MOBI format—it’s a bunch of files (ingredients) zipped into a unique format (ePUB). The “book” exists when it’s zipped into that special ePUB format. But if you know how, you can simply open up that formatted book, and you can add sugar, eggs, flour (text, formatting, other elements), make your changes, and zip those ingredients right back up into…a BOOK. It’s a bit like magic. You can wave your wand at an ePUB, and say “EPUB-liarmus!” and you can take it apart, and then put it right back together as you see fit.

"ePUB-liarmus!" Yup--that's how we do it!

Most professional eBook conversion and formatting firms will use an ePUB, or the constituent parts of the ePUB, to build the MOBI file. What does this mean for you, as a publisher? Well, think about it: if your formatting firm only gives you the MOBI file (cake!), and you later decide that you want to make changes—what do you do? You’re forced to go back to the same firm. You don’t have your source materials (your ingredients) any longer. I’ve even been told by some folks who’ve come to us that some companies will charge you as if it’s a brand-new book—a build from scratch, rather than simply revising the files that they must have in their archives.

So, don’t forget: you WANT an ePUB. Firstly, you never know when Amazon might decide to use ePUBs; you never know when you might want to change your ingredients; and third, heck—you’re paying for your eBook to be created. Make sure you get your own source files, for your future use.

And that way (yes, wait for it!)...you can have your Cake, and eat it, too. 

 

Add a comment

Why Typography Matters

Who Says Typography Matters?

The Stanford Persuasive Technologies Lab did a study, and found that despite the naysayers, typography matters.  Not merely in terms of persuasiveness--in terms of credibility. What did their study find out?

The study found out that "participants made credibility based decisions...based upon...overall visual appeal."  And what elements went into determining "overall visual appeal?"  The very first element was typography, followed by layout, font size, and color scheme.  Why does this matter to you, as an author? 

Add a comment
Read more ...

How To Write An eBook

Getting Started:

One of the questions that I am frequently asked is about how to write an ebook. The great answer to this is: it's not hard, and it's not different than any other kind of book, pamphlet, or document. You simply sit down and write. Is it actual, real work? You betcha. I can tell you simply from writing all the web and FAQ articles that I have to create that writing isn't magical; it's not easy-peasy, and it's not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it does work. Like anything else, you simply have to put in the effort.

Is there an eBook on How To Write an eBook?

I don't think that there are any specific books on "how to write an ebook," particularly. And if there are, I probably wouldn't recommend them--that would sound like one of those "get rich quick" type things. To write a great eBook, you simply have to write something that's great to begin with. One of the best "how to" books on writing that is still around and taking names is the "Writing Fiction for Dummies" book by The Snowflake Guy, Randy Ingermanson. It's in ebook format, so in addition to being a how-to book, it's an ebook itself. You can buy it in Kindle Format from Amazon.  Another book that is hugely popular and, I've been told, the "right stuff" is Barb Asselin's book,  Write a Kindle Bestseller: How to Write, Format, Publish, and Market a Kindle Bestseller (Writing Non-Fiction and Fiction Books).

Is writing a How-To Book different than Other books?

We convert a lot of "how-to" books. Another question I hear fairly often is, "how to write a how-to ebook," to be sold on Amazon's Kindle platform. Again, this isn't any different than writing any other type of book. Marketing that type of book, though, might be a completely different task than, say, marketing a fiction book. One of the best marketing books out there, for non-fiction books, is Mike Alear's "How To Make a Killing on Kindle," (although Mike disagrees with me about blogging--but that's his prerogative as a successful author!) which gives you pretty good advice on strategizing a) what types of books to write, b) how to find the best keywords on Amazon, and c) how to market your efforts, using those precious ebook keywords and keyword strings.

How To Get Started Writing How-To Books:

One of the things that many authors don't think about is "how to" blogging, as a platform. A place to start. A way to start thinking about, experimenting with, and creating valuable interaction with your market base. What's a better place to use, from which to sell your "how To" book? An author page on Amazon, one of millions, or an active blogsite, that already has thousands of folks that come by, to see what you--a self-help guru who has established herself--has to say?

Not only does blogging give you writing experience--it helps you find out what people want to KNOW. And how they want to know it. Do they need long, detailed blog posts? Detailed instructions, or short, less-demanding pieces of the instructions?

Consider blogging, to find out what your audience wants, if you don't already know. And if you haven't established yourself as a guru, now is a good time to start. It will help drive book sales, in numerous ways.

Add a comment

28 Book Review Sites for the Self-Published Author

Below is a list of 28 websites, ezines, and blogs, whose contributors post more in-depth reviews of featured books and ebooks. Again, the sites are ranked by Alexa number: the lower the number, the more popular the site. You can submit your work to all of them, although it goes without saying that a submission will not necessarily result in a review, favorable or otherwise!

 

 

Give 'em a try, and let us know if any of these are particularly fabulous--or particularly bad.  We like to keep our clients and folks who drop by updated!  Thanks!

 

Add a comment

How To Use Twitter

Steve explains how to compose an effective profile bio, what #hashtags are, why you should use links, and offers up examples of good, bad, and ugly self-promotional tweets.

1. Create an informative, concise, and unique bio.

You want potential followers to know who you are, what you do, and why you do it, without appearing arrogant, hasty, or a bore. Think like a (micro)journalist: answer the obligatory who? what? when? where? and why? as briefly as possible. Alternatively, think like you're filling out an online dating application. What kind of followers are you trying to attract? Bloggers? Reviewers? Agents? Readers? Ex-cons? Marine Biologists?

Example of a good profile bio:

Ellen Jones   @ellenjones
Oakland-based motorcycle rider and author of the Jane Smith YA mystery series. Read more about Jane's latest adventures: www.janegoestowashington.thebook.com

Why this bio is good:

It tells us that a woman (presumably) named Ellen lives in California, likes to do crazy things like ride motorcycles (without obnoxiously proclaiming "I'm wild! I ride motorcycles!"), and writes a mystery series of young adult novels about a girl named Jane who most recently took on Washington. If I'm curious, I can click on her link for more information. Short and sweet.

Example of a bad profile:

Joe Smith   @joesmithcool
My name is Joe Smith. I am an author. I have written 4 books. Two were published with Book Publishing, Inc. One is self-published because I'm trying to stick it to The Man! My books are, without a doubt, some of the bestest books in the whole wide world!!! Read more about "The Awesome Series" (including tons of 5-star reviews) on Amazon!!

Why this bio is bad:

It tells us that an author named Joe Smith has written 4 books, is bitter about the fact that only 2 of them were traditionally published, and is (likely unfoundedly) convinced that he's an extraordinary writer. The extraneous exclamation points take up unnecessary space and suggest he might secretly be a 6th grade girl. I know the title of his book series, but if I want to read it, I have to search for it on my own. This bio is long-winded, immature, and ineffectual.

2. Self-promotional tweets

When tweeting to promote to your followers, be it an event you're publicizing, a blog entry you'd like them to read, or a product you'd like them to buy, tread carefully. In a world ripe with bombarding advertisement, it's difficult to convince people that your self-promotion is any different from or better than everyone else's self-promotion. Make it your goal to pique interest. Promote creatively, humbly, and concisely. Come up with 140-character phrases that would make even the busiest, pickiest reader just have to know more.

And... Never underestimate the value of hyperlinks and hashtags.

For the uninitiated, a hashtag consists of a # sign followed by a word or words that categorize a tweet (no spaces in between). #books denotes a tweet about a book or books. #Obama2012 denotes a tweet about Obama's reelection campaign, including event listings, press coverage, and commentary. Anyone can employ any hashtag at any time. Hashtags that are trending as I write (you can find trends on the left hand side of your Twitter home page) include #MayWeather, denoting tweets about thunderstorms and sunshine, and #AJBurnett, denoting tweets about whatever sport that dude is playing right now.

Hashtags authors commonly use:

#books
#ebooks
#kindle
#nook
#amreading
#mustread
#read
#bookclub

Hashtags useful in promoting KDP free days:

#freekindlebook
#freebooks
#freeebook (that's "free ebook")
#free

Why these hashtags will help you:

If I'm searching for a new book to read, I can type "#books," for example, in the search field located in Twitter's upper right hand menu. Twitter will send me to a page listing all tweets including the hashtag #books, whether I'm following those users or not. If I'm looking for a replacement for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I've just finished reading, I can search for #thriller, #crimenovel, or #SteigLarsson.

This search feature works for promoters as well. If I've just written a crime novel I would compare to Larsson's series, I can run searches for those books in Twitter and use hashtags I find in my own future tweets, such as #MillenniumTrilogy.

Apart from using by the book (no pun intended) categorical hashtags, use your imagination in your tweets! Don't be afraid to be funny.

Bad self-promotional tweet:

Back to Basics is free today! Please Retweet you guys! I love you!

Why this tweet is bad:

It's lacking information. Remember that people use Twitter for various reasons, not just to find books they'd just like to buy and read and share with their friends. We have no idea what "Back to Basics" is. A book? A work-out video? Even if I were to assume Back to Basics is this author's book, there's no link to it, which means I'd have to search for it. Then he asks me to retweet to my followers with the additional qualifier that he loves me. Not only am I annoyed, I'm a little creeped out.

Good self-promotional tweet:

#freekindlebook: Back to Basics www.amazon.com/backtobasicsbook A case for resuscitating the electric #car. #books #nonfiction #amreading #green #energy #algore #hybrids #free

Why this tweet is good:

Right off the bat, it informs followers that the tweet is about a free kindle book. It gives the book's title, a direct link to where it can be purchased, and a phrase explaining what the book is about. Hashtags in the tweet explain that the product is a book, is nonfiction, and pertains to energy policy, green energy, that it is related to hybrid vehicles, and that it is a free product.

More examples of good self-promotional tweets:

Now out on #kindle: #Murder in #Miami, the 2nd #book in the Jan Austin #mystery series: www.amazon.com/janaustinbooks #chicklit #femalesleuth #romance #florida #mustread

Is #Twitter REALLY an effective tool for #selfpromotion? An interview with #selfpub #author @JackieJCollins www.interviewjackie.com

"Joe Jones does it again. Before There Was #Coffee is #hilarious & #moving. A page-turner to the last drop." www.link.com #books #satire #humor #capitalism #starbucks

Non-promotional tweets:

Don't use Twitter only to sell yourself! Think of it as a bar conversation with an acquaintance. Retweet (denoted by "RT") tweets you're interested in by large publications and individuals, ask your followers questions, find common ground with other Twitter users, start conversations with those you follow, make small talk about day-to-day happenings. You wouldn't talk incessantly about your job or divulge gory details about your recent divorce to the stranger sipping a beer on the bar stool to your right; don't do it on Twitter, either.

3. Quick Tips:

Twitter now has a built-in link shortener, which automatically codes your hyperlinks to take up no more than 20 characters. This means you can copy and paste links without having to worry about losing precious characters.


Running out of room in a tweet? Can't figure out how to shorten it any further? Replace "and"s with "&," and compound words w/ (hint!) contractions.

Add a comment

How to Use SocialOomph.com: The Basic (and Free!) Features

How To Get Started With SocialOomph

Go to socialoomph.com to sign up for an account, which requires a username of your choice, password, email address, and a preferred time zone from which future updates will launch. You may sign up for a free account or a month-long free trial of a professional account.

Go to socialoomph.com to sign up for an account, which requires a username of your choice, password, email address, and a preferred time zone from which future updates will launch. You may sign up for a free account or a month-long free trial of a professional account.

Starting With Twitter

To synch your existing twitter account with your newly created socialoomph account, sign in and navigate via the blue menu on the left-hand side of the homepage. Conveniently, you will always be able to see this blue menu, and presumably, avoid getting lost. Scroll down to "Social Accounts." Select this option and you will be asked to authorize SocialOomph to activate your Twitter account. Once your authorization is confirmed (via email), you may begin to schedule new updates.

To schedule a new Twitter update, within the blue main menu, select "Schedule New Update." A page will appear front and center enabling you to compose the text of a future tweet, including a button to the left that shortens URLs (links) within the SocialOomph system "in-house" (This way, you can avoid using an outside link shortener, like bit.ly).

After you've reached no more than 140 characters, you can opt to:

  • save the text update as a draft
  • publish the update right now
  • publish the update a selected number of hours from now
  • or "publish at this exact date and time": you specify in the provided box

Below this update information and possible options, click on the Twitter account name you would like the update to apply to, and click the "save" button. 

To Get Started With Automation

To automate recurring messages (set the same messages to tweet itself several times a day or week), and to be able to schedule @Replies within SocialOomph (to tweet a message to a specific Twitter user), you must update to SocialOomph Professional. In the professional service of this section, you will see these features in plain view on this "Schedule New Update" page.

To automate followers, set up automatic welcome messages, and manage your @Replies Digest Email, go to "Social Accounts" in the main menu, and in the drop-down menu select "Manage Accounts." You will now see your SocialOomph-affiliated Twitter accounts in a grid, with specified automated options.

Across the top from left to right, you can see:

  • the total number of updates scheduled through SocialOomph (TOT)
  • the number of unpublished scheduled updates (Q'D)
  • whether you've automated a welcome message to new followers (MSG)
  • whether you have authorized to automatically follow those who follow you (FLW)
  • whether you have chosen to vet all your followers (VET)
  • whether you have opted to automatically unfollow certain followers (UNF)
  • and whether you have set up an @Replies digest to receive email notifications of twitter users sending you messages via @Reply.

 

To edit any of these features, click on "Edit" under the "Actions" box in the grid at the far right. Here, you can check/un-check "Auto Welcome" to send automated welcome messages to new followers; below this option, you may write your welcome message. Note: some savvy networking/marketing types suggest that your AutoWelcome message be some sort of clever question, which, depending on your purposes for using Twitter, might enable you to better facilitate conversation with your followers (i.e.: Thanks for following! What is your #1 reason for tweeting?")

Below the auto welcome section, you can check or un-check "Auto Follow" to automatically follow new followers. Alternatively, you can check or un-check "Vet Followers" to receive an email when a person follows you, placing the automation of a new follower on hold for 3 days so that you can manually approve or reject the action. If you have checked this option, in order to edit new followers, go to the left-hand main menu, and click on "Followers/Friends." Select "Vet Followers/Friends" in the drop down menu. Here you will see a list of new followers, which you can choose to follow/unfollow. You may also select "Settings" in the middle of the page to set specific parameters regarding what kinds of followers you do or do not follow, for example, based on how long that Twitter account has been in use, how active it is, etc. Presumably, this helps you filter out Twitter accounts that are likely to spam.

At the bottom of this page is an "Optional @Replies Digest Email" option. To receive an email notification from SocialOomph every time a Twitter user mentions you in their feed as an @Reply, click the "Email me an @replies digest" box.

To keep track of how many new followers you may or may not have, go to the main menu, then go down to "Social Accounts," and click "Automation Stats" in the drop down menu. Here, SocialOomph tells you how many new followers you have and how many new DirectMessages have gone out to your new followers, and how many messages are pending. These stats change every 10 hours, and SocialOomph specifies in this section how much time is left before the next turnaround in counting followers.

Using SocialOomph's free account, you may also monitor your followers by category and set up email alerts by keyword. In the main menu, go down to "Monitors" then click on Channels > View Channels. With a free account, you can view the updates of those you follow by categories provided by SocialOomph, i.e., you can view only updates pertaining to "Breaking News," "Twitter Management," or "Entertainment." To view and/or change these channels, click on the drop down arrow at the top of the page and select a channel, or upgrade to a professional account to create your own channels.

To monitor happenings on Twitter via keyword, go down to "Monitors" in the main menu then click on "Keyword Alert Emails" in the drop down menu. On the main page, you can now list keywords you would like SocialOomph to keep track of among those you follow, and you can specify how often you'd like to receive an alert by email. You can choose to use the "Power Keyword Wizard" located at the top of this page to set up exact phrases of keywords, searches by hashtag, language, specific people, and locations. This feature allows you to keep track of trends on Twitter and interact more efficiently with those you follow and those who follow you, without the burden of staying logged in to Twitter all day every day.

Add a comment

Latest Blogs

30 October 2017

Change to Office Hours

Hey, folks! As many of you know, we've been open ...

06 October 2017

SnazzySnaps Popup

Are you looking for Snazzles? SnazzySnaps? Yo...

16 September 2017

Cover Cover Cover Cover Cover Chameleon...

It Goes Around, It Goes Aroouuuunnnnd the book... ...

02 September 2017

CLOSED for Labor Day 2017!

Closed for Labor Day, 2017 Saturday, September...

20 December 2016

CLOSED for our annual Midwinter Break!

Howdy, gang. Yes, it's true. We're going to be ...

20 December 2016

CLOSED for the 24 Hours of LeMans!

  Closed for the 24 Hours of LeMans, 2017 Saturd...

Are you looking for Snazzles? SnazzySnaps?  

Looking for SnazzySnaps?  You're in the right place.

You're in the right place.  Just click here, and you'll be taken to the SnazzySnaps.photos page.

Go To SnazzySnaps!