Photo Credit: J.P.Robertson via Compfight cc
Word of warning: this post is all over the place!
I've been watching some of my authors and I've noticed a bit of the frazzles coming out their ears lately.
So today's post is dedicated to them. Okay, so all my posts are dedicated to them. I write these things specifically for them. Ever hear of the advice write to one person? Well, I am directly writing to my authors, but everyone else gets to see the benifits--or stumbles.
We have a lot going on this month! Patricia's first book comes out in June and we're doing everything to get it finalized.
I've been tempted to tell you that no one will buy it so you don't get frazzled over sales. That might sound harsh to the rest of ya'll but my authors get my sense of humor.
What I'm really saying is we're in it together. You've spent time and money, I've spent time and money, we believe in your story and truthfully it had to be available to the public! There was no way I was going to let that one go into obscurity. I feel the same way about Carol's book. It was not allowed to go into obsurity. And Luke's Tale will finally be available free the first week of June. Luke's Tale also goes on virtual blog tour the last week of the month.
KDP is a hit or miss for people and we're going to see what happens. It doesn't matter though. Keep writing.
But the reason I titled this blog the time is now is because it is.
One, if you're an aspiring author, do it! Plan it, set a date and go for it!
I have to tell you, I joined a program that teaches you how to become an authority in your field. I've done very little with the program because I haven't made time. Just as one of my authors put a project on hold to deal with the virtual blog tour, I've decided that this other project is something I want to do, but later. You see...it's not time.
This is my backwards way of telling you that planning your goals and acting on them is what's going to make them successful.
Planning is the key. Everyday I go to my phone in the morning and plan my day. I have an app for that. It's called Any.Do - yeah funny name but great app. I love it's email feature, alarm features and reminders.
So do you plan your day? You might have a list of things to do, but do you actually figure out how much time the tasks take? Do you try to improve on your efficiency? Have you found any short-cuts to save time? Everyone talks about planning your day but they forget one of the reason WHY planning is so important.
Plan your day, so you can review and see where you can save time. Take the extra five minutes to go back to your list and think about how you can get more done. Not in a frantic way, but in a way that give you five minutes to do some yoga, focus your brain from frazzled to focused.
Deepak Chopra is running a Conscious Lifestyle blog on LinkedIn and I'm finding that he's right--focus on the here and now prevents burn out. I'm not writing when I'm walking Emma. I'm not running Amazon numbers in my head when I'm at the job that pays the base bills.
When I say the time is now, I'm not only saying that right now is the time to "do", but also a reminder of being in the moment. Be here, right now. How does this post make you feel? Is your brain buzzing? can you focus on each word as an individual or are you scanning? When you're with your horse are you riding or thinking about what you have to do in the office? The mind affects the body and vice versa. Stay focused. Plan your day. Be in the moment. Bring yourself to center by connecting your palms together and breathing. Now is it time, or not?
Look at your to do list. Are there things you can do more efficiently?
Are you here and now? Can you focus on this sentence? If not, maybe collect yourself and bring in the thoughts going out. (That is if you haven't scanned the sentence). :)
Well now...I've started a trend! LOL okay I know you don't take me seriously but I found this article and found it to be a wonderful addition to the previous topic.
I especially agree with points #1 & #6. Not so much 2 &3 and point 5 is just...outdated.
A tag line is very useful. Something short. So far we have:
Key Class Etiquette.
Unconditional Love as seen through a dogs eyes.
Dirty stories revolving around Social Taboos.
Epic Adventures in Sex.
Dark Heart Heroes and Shorts-off are also brands.
As far as points 2 & 3...well, I'm not doing hard cover and some of us write erotica...a memorable picture will not include an image of the author. Some of them want to keep their anonymity thank-you for the thought!
Point 4 I'm doing with my own Shorts-off AND including an excerpt, and a link to previous books, and a link to the author website so...I think I've got the links covered.
Point 5 Amazon controls. I don't have any say in the matter. What I can do is have a decent amount of text in the front, but Amazon gives you something like 10% of the book to review so...this is either an old post or the guy hasn't really paid attention to the rules of Amazon. You're not allowed to expose more than 10% even when giving an excerpt on other sites. Thems' the Amazon rules. I try not to piss off the mogul of book sales.
Point 6 Book Cover Continuity I'm all in! Notice he's referencing a serial. Not exactly helpful when you've got unrelated books, but--you can immortalize the author name with font, color or an unusual pen name. My favorite font/color combo immortilization is Patricia A. Knight.
I could be bias though as truenotdreams and I created that together.
Yeah, love that...
Point 7 which is viral Word of mouth. Yes, a well written book will get noticed, but if you don't put it in front of readers, people aren't going to just get a mental telegraph thinking ~ I'll buy Carol McKibben's book today! Never mind that I've never heard of her.
Jeez, this guy just thinks getting readers is ALL to chance? Really? Seriously? Books are a business. You have to treat it like a business. Yes some businesses get really well known really fast, when fast = 10 years.
Yes, book cover design, a nifty slogan, ease of buying and all that is part of becoming legendary. But there is a formula. I've seen it happen. When you have a good product people will buy. But first they have to know it exists.
Do you like your tag line? Is this what you want to be known for? If so, let's find a way to put it on your social media pages. We can also put it on your books. Give me the shout out!
You know what I'm talking about. The mythical readers. You're unable to believe stats of 20 million e-readers out there there because the sales of your book don't seem to reflect there are any e-readers in the world. First, the prep talk. Take this to heart.
1. It takes me an average of six years to find the latest greatest author of my heart. I did not find Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison until they were on their 6th or 7th book of their respective series. I did not find Atlas Shrugged until twenty-five years after the author died. I did not realize Konrath lived until his two hundred and twelfth book. Okay, yes, Konrath doesn't have that many books--yet (I think). But he's on his way!
2. There are 3,000 e-books uploaded to kindle every month/day -- something like that. So, give your readers some time to catch-up!
3. Readers may not find you first. You may have to reach out and grab them before they know they love you.
So now you're going to ask me--how do I reach out and grab them?
Well, if I came out and said it you'd laugh at me. I am going to blurt it, but you're still going to laugh. Ready?
go ahead...laugh...I'll wait. But your curiosity is going to get the better of you.
You see, my author Facebook site is actually a hub. No it's not terribly active. I don't have beautiful pictures of all the great places I'm visiting because I'm right here at my desk, writing to you on how to get more readers. But I do spend maybe $40 a month on Facebook getting more people on my email list.
It's simple. I give them a free story, they give me an email. I tell them if they like my stories, here they are. 99 cents is a good price for my shorty-shorts. I get fan mail. I connect with my fans--they actually have my email and I respond to everyone.
Brian Moran would shake his head at me and tell me to do it for free and not buy ads, but I'm a busy writer and have to expedite my time.
But I'm here to tell you the email plan works. Build your list, find your fans and write!
Here's the 1,2,3 if you don't understand how to gain people.
1. Have an author page. You want more than 2,000 fans right? So don't limit yourself to the personal 2,000 limit. Plus you need widgets to put on your page.
2. Get set up with an email list manager. MailChimp, A-weber, Constant Contact--anything that will help manage your list. I use MailChimp because it's easy.
3. Put up a Facebook ad. Get a good picture, offer something for free and connect that free something in exchange for an email.
That's it. Then you can scrub your email list with people who really love you vs. those that are just one time curious. Real fans will emerge. Offer people something and they will come back.
After scrapping two pennies together and handing them over to Titan InKorp for a very special deal, I received a banner, a mobile phone site, a QR code for Luke's Tale and...the reason why I bought the package...a book trailer!
Researched showed me that book trailers are somewhere in the $200 - $500 range. There was.. Just. No. Way.
Book trailers are a part of marketing but I wasn't going to pay for it when I could do it in my copious amounts of spare time. (Notice how I jumped at the chance to get it outsourced)
The secret to book trailers is...do them yourself. You're a writer, your creative, you can do it--I believe in you! And here's what I was going to do for Luke's Tale before one of my lovely connections offered this special:
1. Pick out photo's of Luke, the actual (dog) inspiration for the book.
2. Write a script. Carol and I did and that's what you'll see in the trailer.
3. Plug everything into a video manager (I had flip in mind but their no longer in business) including music, photos and script.
4. Voila--book trailer!
Now, I was hoping for something a little more homey, but when you're paying 50 cents for a video, you can't beat what I got!
Will book trailers sell books? Probably not. But, it's a good promo piece and people love videos! With no further ado, may I present to you, Luke's Tale the book trailer!
The package I purchase also included a banner...
A QR Code...
And a mobile phone link complete with Amazon link to but the book!
I will admit, I'm not sure where to put this or how to use it other than maybe on here so ya'll can search your phones for it...but I have one!
Also, just so you know, you can get a free QR code at
so don't feel like you have to pay for something like that.
So what's a book trailer's role in marketing? To remind people about your book without you having to scream buy, buy, buy! This is a wonderful reminder and if you make a trailer more on how to solve a problem, or as entertainment than people will watch and enjoy!
What's your Action Item today?
1. Decide how a book trailer will help you promote your book.
2. Ponder if you want to spend the time to make a book trailer.
3. Ask me questions on what kind of trailer you might want to do and we'll brainstorm on your project!
Check me out on Book Daily! This is a post on how to get reviews!
Action Item: follow this link--
Our first attempt at Amazon's KDP Free Days will begin with Luke's Tale on 06/03/13 - 06/07/13!
Let me tell you the process was...arduous. I'm in praise of Author Marketing Club for the Submission tool!
Click that link to save time! You'll find links on other sites, but you'll have to find the submission forms to offer your books free days for kindle. Author Marketing Club gives you links straight to the submission forms. What a relief.
Now that I've gone through the process, here's what you need to know.
1. Be prepared to submit your dates to these sites early.
2. Be prepared to submit your dates to these sites on the day OF your free promotion.
3. Be prepared to submit your dates to these sites every day of your free promotion.
4. Save about $100 to promote on these sites for a guaranteed exposure of your free eBook.
5. Go to the Author Marketing Club tool HERE to save time on submitting your free eBook.
It took me about 90 minutes to go through all the links and submit the info. I went with totally free because I have plans to promote it on Facebook. Every promotion is different and we'll find out what works. But having the links ready for me saved so much frustration. Read the guidelines for each site because some don't let you promote without four star reviews or/and a certain amount of reviews. You might want to think about paying for guaranteed exposure too. We'll see if we can conquer KDP Free days!
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
Books on Kindle