BuzzTrace is a new software program to help authors and independent publishers manage and grow their platform. BuzzTrace accomplishes this by giving suggestions about what to post online and sending alerts when someone is talking about your book online.
Well, that’s what happens in theory.
If you’d like to try it, this is how you sign up.
1 - Go to BuzzTrace.com and select a username (your email address) and a unique password.
2 - Indicate your genre and the demographic of your readership. This information is important because it will dictate what suggestions BuzzTrace recommends for posting on social media.
3 - Then connect your Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook accounts.
4 - Next, add your book.
5 - Take the tutorial so you’ll know how to use this application. The tutorial will explain the row of icons in the top taskbar.
The book icon on the left contains information about your book. The Twitter and Facebook icon will lead to links to your news feed and posts. The pencil icon enables you to write a post. The bill is for notifications. The calendar is self-explanatory and the checkmark is where you’ll find suggestions for content for your social media posts. The message icon is for messages and you can find answers by clicking on the question mark.
I had an opportunity to interview the founder, Scott LaCounte, and this is what he had to say.
How does BuzzTrace get indie authors more notice online?
Currently, we help authors by giving them help with what content to post. The suggestions are genre-based and geared at sparking reader response.
We have several other features that will be rolling out over the next couple months that will help with building platform. We are currently testing a giveaway tool that would let authors do email list building by embedding a pop-up into their website to give away short eBooks. We are also working on a contest tool similar to Rafflecopter that lets authors host contests on their blogs and website.
We also will be rolling out better reporting that will show newer authors where more established authors have found success—so, for example, if a mystery author shows a sales increase after being featured on a blog or website, we will suggest that the newer author try to get on that blog or website as well. The biggest complaint we heard from the hundreds of authors we’ve interviewed over the past several months is that they have no real roadmap to success, so our goal is to build that for them.
When will BuzzTrace expand beyond Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads?
We are currently surveying authors about what other social networks they’d like to see, but have not made a decision about which one we will add next.
How does BuzzTrace help authors to increase book sales through their social media marketing?
There’s really only one secret sauce to building platform and selling more books: time. What we’ve seen a lot of, is authors who will give up when they don’t see results after a few days. So what we’re trying to do is keep authors motivated and on task by giving them both tools and ideas about what to post. This month we will also be launching a report that helps authors see exactly how buzz is affecting their sales. The report will let authors pull up any day that they had a boost in sales and see everything that happened online that day. This helps authors get a better understanding of what’s working (or not working).
Under social media engagement, BuzzTrace said that I need to “pick it up.” Yet I tweet twelve times a day. How do you explain that discrepancy?
I believe you are referring to the BuzzTrace Score? This is linked to your social channels and won’t update until you either logout and log back in, or 24 hours passes. So more than likely you are seeing this either because you haven’t connected all of your social networks, or you haven’t logged in again. The score is currently based on all users—so it’s telling you based on other authors who are using the platform, this is how you score. We will be looking at the score more as weeks go by to see how we need to configure the algorithm—ideally a higher score should mean you are selling more books, so the goal is to have the highest score possible.
How should an author use BuzzTrace?
Author is such a broad word, so it’s hard to say. Newer authors will benefit from the daily task suggestions. Everything is time-based, so if they can only spare five or fifteen minutes, they’ll see suggestions that they can do in that range. More established authors who are selling books will be more interested in seeing what buzz is driving sales. Over the next two months, we will also be adding in category and keyword research tools—so whether the author is just starting out or established and publishing a new book, they can making sure they’re placing it in the best category and with the right keywords. We also have a Chrome extension launching soon that will make it easier to add and track books.
I found BuzzTrace easy to sign up for and navigate. The tutorial is helpful and I like that BuzzTrace suggests topics for tweets and Facebook posts. But I think that until BuzzTrace adds more features, the typical indie author may feel frustrated by some of the application’s limitations and their scores. It will be interesting to see how this new software may further develop based on user feedback. If you give it a go, please share yours!
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