Tag: marketing

social media

Easy Video Tool for Social Media

Ever feel like Sisyphos? In Greek mythology, the gods punished Sisyphos for his greed and deceit by assigning an impossible task. He had to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down when it reached near the top. And he had to do it for eternity.

Gaining traction for social media author pages often feels like a Sisyphean ordeal. Just when we think we’ve reached our goal—whether deciphering Facebook algorithms or reaching a new level of followers—the standards change. The proverbial boulder rolls back down the hill and we have to start again.

For example, first we needed engaging posts. Then we were told the posts needed images. Now the experts tell us static images are not enough. Videos are the way to engage our followers.

Social videos can do more than entertain. They can educate, tell a story, promote an event, highlight a testimonial, or provide a summary of your publications.

Still, many of us lack the time, money, or technical know-how to create engaging videos week after week, myself included. But I recently discovered Lumen5, a free app (there’s also a paid version with additional features) that enables me to create video stories with ease from my blog posts.

The first week I tried Lumen5, my Facebook engagement statistics achieved a significant increase. Weekly reach jumped 288%–from 861 to 3.35K. By the 3rd week, my weekly reach jumped to 5.8K. People engaged increased 164%, from 100 to 264 and then to 645. Even my Page “likes” increased. People I did not know shared the post and then became followers. All in the first 3 weeks! And that trend continued with subsequent video posts.

Using Lumen5 is easy, even for a non-techy like me:

  1. I uploaded my blog link (or you can copy and paste your content from Word):


  1. Select a format by clicking on one of the three options. I chose landscape…

Lumen5 format

  1. …And click on a theme:

Lumen5 themes

  1. Then I scrolled through the content and clicked on the significant sentences I wanted included in the video. Each time you click on a new sentence, it’s automatically paired with a new suggested visual slide.

Lumen5 content

  1. I went back and swapped out some of the photos for ones that were a better match. Click on Media and choose a different suggested image or use the search feature for more suggestions. Or upload your own photo.

Lumen5 photos

  1. You can also edit the text, reposition the text on the image, and highlight particular words for emphasis:

Lumen5 edits

  1. Then choose music to accompany your video. I chose a calm selection to fit my content.

Lumen5 music

  1. Finally, preview your video.

Lumen5 preview

  1. You can always go back to edit it further before you select Finish.

Lumen5 finalize


Here’s the final result:

Give it a try! Then share a link to your results in the comments!

(Note: this post first appeared on Blogging Bistro.)

Marketing Your Children’s Book

Marketing a book can be overwhelming! Planning social media posts, website updates, blog posts, mail campaigns, book signings, and speaking engagements can cause an author’s head to spin. And then there’s that next book to write. And all these tasks occur at the same time!

How can you cover all the bases of marketing?

  1. Start with a list of the marketing tasks you’d like to do. If you’re not sure what things to include, consult one of the many reputable books on the topic or talk with a seasoned author.
  2. Create a game plan. Grab a calendar, and pencil in things that you want to accomplish. For example, if posting on Facebook is a daily goal, write that goal in each day’s block.
  3. Don’t get sidetracked. For example, if you plan to create a Pinterest board highlighting the kind of clothing worn by characters in your book, don’t get sidetracked looking for great recipes for dinner. Stay on track.
  4. Remember that little things add up. Staying the course on your marketing plan and doing a little each day as planned will eventually lead to a well-developed outreach to your readers.

What would you add to the list above? How have you used a calendar to map out your marketing efforts? Share with us in the comments!


Carol McAdams Moore writes for children and youth in the general and Christian markets. Learn more about Carol and her tween devos Dare U 2 Open This Book—Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It—90 Devotions and Just Sayin’—Write ‘em, Draw ‘em, Hide ‘em in Your Heart at CarolMcadamsMoore.blogspot.com.

Little Things Mean A Lot

New year, new calendar. I love the potential of a brand new calendar, don’t you? All those pristine pages with their empty little boxes…well, they started out pristine when I unwrapped the cellophane. But they’re filling up quickly!

As I look back on the past year, I had so many thoughts about how to market my book. I had planned certain tasks monthly, weekly, daily…you get the idea. Unfortunately, the calendar got away from me, and many of those ideas remained unfulfilled. I began to view the dwindling 2015 calendar as my enemy.

New calendar, new resolutions. Okay, maybe not new resolutions. It’s probably more accurate to say same resolutions, but new determination. Instead of the 2016 calendar being my enemy, I will ensure it becomes my friend. Here’s how I plan to do it…I will commit to do something every day, no matter how small. For example:

Use of Social Media
Very little time or effort is required to tweet or post something on Facebook on a daily basis. The content doesn’t always have to be about my book. You’ve heard it before: social media is just that – social! I need to spend time nurturing relationships with friends and readers instead of constantly trumpeting a marketing message.

Update profiles
Those profile boxes on Amazon’s Author Page, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, and all the other social media sites are there for a reason. Others read these profiles to determine whether to follow me. If I don’t keep them updated, I’m overlooking an effective way to market my book.

Effective use of email…and e-newsletters
Update my email signature to include information about the book that’s out AND the next book that’s in the pipeline. And of course, include links to my website, Facebook Author Page, and Twitter account.

I will start a quarterly e-newsletter this year. E-newsletters are an effective way to communicate with those interested in my writing. Some social media platforms control the number of people who see my posts. But with an e-newsletter I don’t have to worry about a third-party blocking my communications.

Commit to a weekly blog schedule. I know there are bloggers who post five days a week and some who blog three days weekly. If I tried either of those schedules, I’d be setting myself up for failure. But I can blog weekly. That’s a reasonable commitment for me. I’d rather blog consistently on a once-a-week basis than to attempt blogging more frequently and be inconsistent.

Comment on other people’s blogs
I subscribe to several blogs and often read them without commenting. This year I commit to commenting on at least one blog each day. By comments, I don’t mean “great blog.” I mean a comment that adds to the discussion.

Five Alive
I will apply the “Five Alive” rule to:

– pitching magazine articles related to the subject of my book.
– contacting a church or other organization about being a speaker
– contacting a bookstore about a book-signing

For each declination I receive, I will send out another query, keeping five requests active at any given time.


Of course, there are many other things I will do to market my book, but that’s for another post. Still, if I can faithfully do the little things I’ve just listed, that’s a great start!

What bite-sized marketing activities will you commit to doing this new year?


Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. Additionally, Ava is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids,  including Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Called.

In addition to her writing, Ava also teaches a weekly, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, visit her at www.AvaWrites.com.

Affirmation by the Numbers

I was never much of a numbers person. Words are more my thing. Lots and lots of words, if you ask my husband! Numbers . . . not so much.

It’s one of the reasons I love to write. To be able to communicate using myriad combinations of a mere twenty-six letters is nothing short of amazing. Still, my writing life is slowly being consumed by numbers.

Sales numbers and sales rankings. Number of blog readers and blog subscribers. Blog commenters and friends lists totals. Website views and page views.


I used to think the most difficult part of the publishing process was actually writing the book . . . until I wrote the book.

Then I thought the most difficult part of the publishing process was convincing a publisher that my book was exactly what he or she wanted. Not anymore.

I have joined the assembly of authors who have all learned that hard work doesn’t end with a book contract. The question now consuming my thoughts is whether people will purchase my book. Does anyone even know it’s available? So the impulse to examine the numbers begins.How many page views did my website receive this week? How many Facebook friends “like” my Author Page? How many people commented on my most recent blog post? Was it more than the week before? If not, why not?

My latest compulsion is to check for book reviews. As of today, Amazon shows thirty-nine mostly five-star reviews. Whew! But Christianbook.com shows only fifteen. Should I be concerned?

Just when I begin to get carried away by the numbers, I’m reminded that God is more concerned with people than with numbers. In Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, pastor and author Jim Cymbala notes, “The Bible does not say we should aim at numbers, but rather urges us faithfully to proclaim God’s message in the boldness of the Holy Spirit.”

Rather than fall prey to the lure of numbers, I must remember that God works, one person at a time, to build His kingdom. If the reason He prompted me to write this book is to benefit only one person, then it is a successful venture in His sight. If I’m doing what He has called me to do, then I must trust Him for the results . . . and for my affirmation.

Of course, I will do everything I can to market Daily Reflections on the Names of God. But ultimately, I must choose: is my focus on finite numbers or on my infinite God?

How do you resist the lure of numbers to bring you affirmation?


Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts Ministries founder Kay Arthur. Additionally, Ava is co-author of the Faith Basics for Kids series. The first two books in the series are Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and CalledIn addition, Ava teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. She is a passionate speaker and teacher and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s Word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, visit her at AvaWrites.com.



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