How Google+ is Changing Search Results & How Writers Can Profit

Google plus logoEvery writer longs for the coveted top spot in Google search results—the one that everyone will see and, most importantly, the choice that will receive the most “clicks.”  You’ve composed stellar content, tried to figure out the rules of search engine optimization, but your articles still inhabit pages 8 through 10—the veritable internet no man’s land.  Well, stop banging your head on that wall.  No, really, it’s quite distracting.  There is good news for writers, thanks to Google+.

Here are some ways that Google+ is making life a whole lot easier for writers and bloggers.

  1. Pictures = Clicks

By linking your blog posts to your Google+ account, you will create a search engine result that sets you apart from the rest.  It will have your profile image, and everyone knows that the inclusion of a visual prompt makes it more eye appealing.  And if your eyes are drawn to it, your mouse will likely follow.  Simply put, a professional headshot and a link to your Google+ account will increase your blog’s traffic and readership.

  1. Bios = Clicks

Thanks to Google+, people now have the chance to click on your name, exposing them to a portfolio of your works.  It’s like having your own Google search engine.  And all of the results lead back to you!

Now, potential followers will be re-directed to other posts that tickle their fancy—making them much more likely to join your readership.  If you install a “Google+” recommendation button on your blog, it will also increase your Google+ rankings, which will push your blog further up the search engine results.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  1. Good Writing = Rewards

Illiterate hacks will not be rewarded by Google+, but literary masters and rapier-witted humorists will.  If someone clicks on a page, but only stays there for a blink of an eye, nothing happens.  After all, the visitor moved on, unimpressed with what they found.

If, however, said visitor stays for a few minutes, captivated by a blogger’s clever prose and sharp intellect, this blogger will reap the rewards for a post well done.  When the visitor presses the “back” button, they will see that your search result has changed.  Beneath the original text, they will see a line that says “more by [insert your name here]” with the links to more of your works.  Yes, your reward is more “clicks” and increased traffic—and that is exactly what every writer hopes for.

  1. Original Works = Rewards

Google+ enables Google’s search engine to verify authorship.  This means that a post by the original author will be much higher in search engine rankings than a copycat’s hack job.  After all, it is your creative property, so you alone should receive the applause.

  1. Separating the Smiths

If you were blessed, or in this case cursed, with a very common moniker, you are likely tired of having your works confused with those of other “Jim Smiths” or “Jennifer Joneses.”  Thanks to Google+ authorship, you can now mark your masterpieces as your own—and set yourself apart from those who only wish they had your talent.  Google’s search engine will finally be able to recognize you as the unique individual that you are—and so will potential followers.

So stop punishing your cranium and create a Google+ profile, instead.  Your writing career and online reputation as a master wordsmith will thank you.  And your landlord will greatly appreciate less holes in his walls.

What tips do you have for maximizing a Google+ following?  How has Google+ helped your career?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger. A relative newcomer to the land of “plussers,” she is thoroughly enjoying building up her following. Her Facebook account, however, is feeling rather neglected. She clamors for attention at http://theembiggensproject.wordpress.com/.

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Author Solutions Rep to Skeptic: 'All I Can Tell You Is The Facts'

Author Solutions Penguin: Liar, LiarGot an email today from an author, Kevin, who had an entertaining exchange with an Author Solutions rep calling himself Eric Emlinger.

Now, Kevin was pitched by iUniverse back in the day, but decided not sign on the dotted line because they failed to answer all of his questions satisfactorily. Basically, Kevin sensed something sleazy was afoot and walked away.

Well, he recently received another email from Author Solutions. It was their typical spiel.

[toggle title_open=”Hide Email” title_closed=”Read Author Solutions’ Email Pitch” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]

Kevin,

Thank you for requesting publishing information from iUniverse, one of the most established and respected brands in the independent publishing industry. In a recent study, iUniverse sold twice as many books in the retail channel as other leading self-publishing brands.

iUniverse offers the most extensive variety of publishing services to help individuals publish, market, and sell fiction, poetry, and nonfiction books. Our company utilizes print-on-demand technology, and is one of the largest self-publishing companies in the United States, publishing more than 5,000 new titles each year.

This link will help you with information and details about our Publishing Packages – click here —> [LINK REMOVED]

The iUniverse management team has extensive editorial and managerial experience with traditional publishers such as HarperCollins, Putnam, Simon & Schuster and Holtzbrinck. iUniverse partners with industry leading author organizations, including the Authors Guild, the Harlem Writers Guild, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) to bring innovative programs to their members. iUniverse has strategic alliances with Barnes & Noble, Inc. in the U.S. and Chapters Indigo in Canada and has offices in New York City and Bloomington, IN.

iUniverse was created to be as similar to a traditional publishing experience as possible, while permitting the author to maintain all rights and control of the process.

Another iUniverse author gets a book deal! [LINK REMOVED]

“iUniverse has a thorough process to identify promising new writers, and then invests real dollars in promoting their books. Their editorial review process greatly enhances the quality of the books they publish. The iUniverse Star Program is a great opportunity to discover new authors and bring them to market.” – Barnes and Noble CEO Steve Riggio.

Through our recognition programs and awards, we make real investments to support titles that demonstrate a high level of editorial quality and marketability. These programs open the door to more opportunities for retail presentation and placement. This is the only self-publishing series of its kind established to identify, celebrate and support authors. Our recognition programs include:

The Star Program books are republished free of charge under the Star imprint, presented to Barnes & Noble for in-store placement, and offered to booksellers with attractive retail terms and returnable status.

Rising Star is the only program of its kind to guarantee titles will be presented by a commissioned sales force to national, regional and local booksellers. Each Rising Star title is featured in the Rising Star Special Collections boutique on Barnes & Noble.com.

iUniverse chooses only those titles that have the essential qualities of a professionally published book to be part of our Editor’s Choice program. Books that receive a positive Editorial Evaluation are sent to our Editorial Board for careful consideration.

Editorial excellence is important, but so are book sales. The iUniverse Reader’s Choice designation recognizes authors who have achieved both editorial excellence and sales success.

No other self publishing organization offers the unique and successful iUniverse Author Recognition and Marketing Programs.

First, I would like to know more about you, your book and your motivation to publish. To help me better understand your needs, I have outlined a few questions that I hope you will answer in detail for me:

-What type of book have you written?
-Who is your target audience?
-Are you finished writing the book?
-What computer program did you use to write your book?
-Will your book have images on the interior pages or text only?
-Do you plan to publish those images in color, or black and white?
-How many pages do you estimate that your book will have?
-Would you like to have your book published in softcover or hardcover?
-When would you like to be holding your very first copy?

Author Solutions, the parent company of iUniverse, is now a member of the Penguin Group. Read full press release here.

[LINK REMOVED]

I look forward to speaking with you.

Sincerely,

Eric Emlinger
PUBLISHING CONSULTANT

1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
US Toll Free: (800) 288-4677 Ext. 5377
Fax: (812) 349-0747
[LINK REMOVED]

Author Solutions, the parent company of iUniverse, is a Penguin Random House Company.

iUniverse authors win Independent Publisher Book Awards: [LINK REMOVED][/toggle]

A few points about their first email:

  • Notice how they’re humping that Penguin-Random House association to add an air of legitimacy the Author Solutions name can’t conjure on its own.
  • Notice what B&N’s CEO is quoted as saying about the Author Solutions/iUniverse editorial review process. (So that’s why my B&N closed! Now I get it.)
  • Don’t miss the rest of their corporate name dropping. Plenty of brands to be leery of including: HarperCollins, Putnam, Simon & Schuster and Holtzbrinck, Authors Guild, the Harlem Writers Guild, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Barnes & Noble, Inc. and Chapters Indigo.
  • Be sure you laugh at the part where they say iUniverse is designed to be “as similar to a traditional publishing experience as possible.” (Where to begin with this…)
  • And finally, check out this line: “No other self publishing organization offers the unique and successful iUniverse Author Recognition and Marketing Programs.” (Except Xlibris, AuthorHouse, Trafford, et al because they’re owned by Author Solutions too.)

At any rate, Kevin picked up on what was going on, and shot an email back to Eric:

Ugh, I didn’t realize this was iUniverse under another name.  I’ll pass thanks.  I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about how little authors get and how you people upsell for next to nothing in return.

To which Eric responded with this gem:

Hello Kevin,

Such horror stories are from websites that are being sued for racketeering, their [sic] essentially hiring people to write bad reviews about big companies. I don’t expect you to believe me, all I can tell you is the facts. We’ve been in business for 15 years, published over 91,000 books, we have an A with the Better Business Bureau, we are regulated by the FCC, and our company is a part of the Penguin Random House group. Many of my authors have even returned in recent months to publish their second and third book. I hope we hear from you again.

Sincerely,

Eric Emlinger
PUBLISHING CONSULTANT

Oh. My. God. That’s so delicious. Racketeering? You wouldn’t be making shit up now, would you Eric?

‘Cause, umm, who’s suing whom?

[box]Author Solutions & iUniverse Complaints: The Complete Index[/box]