4 Steps to Getting Your Book On “Amazon’s Hot New Releases” List

Hot New Release

Yes, it’s possible, even for Indie publishers.

My book, Cold Coffee and Speed Limits hit #6 on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” Parenting and Family Humor category. It was released less than a week ago and I don’t have any major publishers or big-time book reviewers backing me. For brief shining moment, my book was in front of Whoopi Goldberg’s and Jim Gaffigan’s!  It’s updated hourly.

I published my first novel through a traditional small press publisher (so yes, someone bought it and I signed an actual contract), but when it was time to put out my second book I decided to do it Indie-style–on my own.

Here’s what I’ve done–and it’s WORKED.

1. I promoted my book on social media for the last 6 months. I used Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest the most.I’ve been posting little teasers on my Facebook posts.I created a Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest page for my book. It’s free advertising. I chatted it up to my friends, who also chatted it up with their friends. Word of mouth goes a long way!

2. For the last year, I’ve been blogging. This has cost me nothing but my time, although I have invested in a nice-looking template and a few other goodies. Blogging has helped establish me as an “expert” in my field as well as given me material for my book. In addition, it helps my “Google-ability” or my social media presence. I don’t blog JUST about my book (nobody wants to read just commercials!), but it’s one of the topics I cover.  I’ve also gained readers who are interested in my blog about parenting teens, so naturally many of these same readers are also interested in buying a book about the same topic. If you spend time giving people valuable information (or inspiration, or entertainment), they will come back for more.

3. I had a professionally designed cover made. When I was working on my draft, I had a really cute picture of my son and his girlfriend for the temporary cover, then I asked my friend Josh Kennah who’s a pro in graphics and marketing to help me. I paid him in ENCHILADAS, people. I mean, they’re pretty good enchiladas, but I know he was on the losing end of this deal. A professionally designed cover sets you apart and gives you an edge.

Tina Book Cover

4. I recruited people to help me. In exchange for an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC), readers promised to 1) give me HONEST feedback 2) tell me of any spelling/grammar/continuity issues 3) write a short review and 4) help me promote my book on social media. It’s a cheap price to pay, AND I placed excerpts of the reviews in the beginning of the book so that people who were just checking it out might be motivated to KEEP READING.  This cost me nothing. When my book was released, I asked these guys (as well as others) to go on Amazon and post a review there. Reviews (even less than 5 stars!) add a legitimacy to your book.

So remember, PLAN AHEAD. You don’t have big bucks for promotion, but you do have to spend some time. It’s all worth it to see your book on the list!

Get Tina Coleman Bausinger’s book Cold Coffee and Speed Limits today!

6 Ways to Protect Your Teen on the Internet


ImageMancub loves the internet…and for good reason. His favorite games are 100 times more fun when he can play online. He recently joined Facebook and Twitter, and so far so good. As a responsible parent, I worry about my kids on cyberspace, and for good reason. They Skype more than talk on their phones…and I don’t always know who they are talking to. As an adult, I’ve accidentally wandered into some dark places–and I wasn’t even trying to! I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I’m scarred for life…and it was scary enough of an experience to make me want to host an old-fashioned book burning in my back yard…only with computers. I can just see it now–a pile of laptops and smartphones set ablaze in my yard–the neighbors, rubbing their hands together in glee becuase they finally have the evidence they need to send me away–and the perfect smoke clouds hovering over my house like storm clouds.

Ok, so that’s not realistic.

So what ARE we supposed to do to help our kids be safe online? I have researched and found 5 good suggestions.

1. Move your kid’s computer out of his room and into the open.It just makes sense. If you have already allowed your kid to have his computer in his room and you’re afraid it’s gonna cause a stink to move it…do it anyway. Sometimes being a parent means making unpopular decisions. They will get over it.

2. Be your kid’s “friend” on Facebook. This is an easy one. You can also go in and set their privacy settings so they can be safer and less public. Facebook does some of this on its own if your kid gives his correct age when signing up, but it’s not enough. Make sure their posts are not public and feel free to snoop around on their profiles. Safety first.

3. Talk to your kids about the dangers of social media. Remind them that what they post, even if they erase it, is never really gone. Keep an eye on their pictures and their friends. If something looks fishy, investigate. It’s your duty as their protector.

4. Install a filter on their computer. By no means is it foolproof, but it’s still a help.

5. Check your kid’s browser history. Again, this might be considered “spying” but it’s for their own good.

6. Many internet search engines have built-in filters that parents can set themselves. Bing, Google and Yahoo all have these.

None of these ideas are fool proof by any means, but it’s a good start. What have you tried that worked or didn’t work? Leave a comment below.