Every year I like to look at the progress each TRP author has made and some of them are surprised at how much they've written, progressed and produced.
Others look at this and use it as a motivator to keep going. It's my no means meant to compare authors or make them feel inadequate. But sometimes when you see what is possible it helps with your own goals.
However, I myself sometimes can't help but feel frustrated at my word count so I'm fully prepared to throw a fit, then get over it and make new goals for next year (2016).
Patricia A. Knight
Elizabeth SaFleur had three releases in 2015.
Lovely - 96K
Untouchable - 63K
Riptide in the Undertow Compilation - 24K
Kris Michaels had three releases in 2015.
Jacob - 73K
Joseph - 71K
Backwater Blessing from the Undertow Compilation - 26K
John J. Daly, Jr.
Rachel De Lune
The world of Social Media can be confusing. Many look at it as a chore. The biggest help you can give yourself is changing your mindset. If your bored it's going to be boring to your reader or your going to burn out.
Before you decide what you want to write about, post, or share take a look at where you want to concentrate your efforts.
So now when you’re prepared to go out in the virtual social world, you just need to decide which tools might be best for you. Instead of choosing what’s easiest to use, or most popular at the moment, it’s good to fit it to yours and your audience’s needs.
Here’s a little guide...
If you’re not a big talker behind your computer and you’d rather stick to sharing links, photos and quick messages, you might try Twitter or Instagram. Twitter is the kingdom of quotes, public statements and attention-grabbing shout outs, while Instagram is a goldmine of captured moments, super short films and visual appealing creations of any sort. If you prefer fast texting, instead of sending an e-mail you should definitely try one of them, or even both!
If you’d like to connect with your crowd a bit more, you might try to post your everyday stories on Tumblr or using a custom made Wordpress blog. If you don’t like to write much, but you feel like you have a lot to say, record videos and post vlogs, there’s nothing closer to having a real conversation than this. Sharing your world to the others makes you appear more authentic and open and who knows, maybe you’ll get some videos of your viewers as a comment!
If you find Instagram to be a bit too mainstream for you, you should try Flickr or Pinterest. If you search for inspirational photos and young talents, Flickr is the right place for you. Join groups to discover images from similar categories or create albums for showing a portfolio. If you’re more into style and putting together collages, you should definitely go for Pinterest. You’ll create amazing mood boards, and share your latest “Pins” with your viewers.
Connecting with the right people
If your space will be mostly used for connecting with the world and promoting your work you have some good options with Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Just remember to create professional looking, good information-filled profiles, that are going to be your virtual business cards and start making contacts! Share links and posts from your other accounts so your audience can multiply and grow.
Are you ready? It’s really that simple!
You've got your book up on pre-order for Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, B&N & Apple, Congratulations!! This is the time to CELEBRATE! Woot!! Dance Minions!! Dance!!
Then, while your having that wild party your publisher says It's time to market! Hands become waterfalls of sweat. Breathing becomes a lesson in sucking a golf ball through a garden hose. The brain comes to a screeching halt and all you can think to do is run! Run fast!
Yeah, go ahead, try those things. At the very least it will make you feel like you're doing something to market your book. However, if you don't have the nerve to become astranged from your family and friends and you don't want to be arrested for disturbing the peace, I have compiled a few marketing paid and free promotions to help get the word out.
First I would suggest you set your book to be pre-ordered and spend $200 - $300 for the launch. But there are those that might have more time than money so your strategy might change. For those that have set aside some money, look into these advertisements:
AuthorAd $99 Book Ad Promotion
Bargain Kindle Books - for 99cents
Book Reviews Author & Book Promotions
Book Tweeters | We tweet your book! Twitter book promotion!
eBook Promotion Service
Kindle Nation Daily | Author's Corner
NovelRank | Get Featured - Donation Drive
Pikel Scroll - Feature Your Product
The Kindle Book Review
The Kindle Romance Review
The Romance Reviews (TRR) - for the latest Romance, Erotic and GLBT book reviews, news, contests, author interviews and comments
Wanton Reads | Advertising and Features (Accepts Erotic)
Sponsorships | Indie Book of the Day
Indies Unlimited | Services Directory | Promotional Services
Now if you don't have money, I'd advise going the 99¢ route for pre-order and listing your book here:
20 Free Sites Where You Can Promote Your eBook | BookBaby Blog
50 Web Links to Let Your Book Go Viral! | Savvy Writers & e-Books online
Author Services » Steamy Romance Books
BookMarketingBuzzBlog: Book Marketing & Book Publicity Tool Kit
Digital Book Today - Helping Readers Find Authors In A Digital World | Digital Book Today | Helping Readers Find Authors In A Digital World
GBT Author Services Directory | GoodBooksToday.com Reviews
Generate Immediate Exposure for Your Book with a Free BookDaily Author Account
Pixel of Ink
Pretty Hot | Submit Your Book (Takes Erotica)
Promote Your Book on a Budget: 20 Thrifty Ways to Get Your Writing Out There | BookBaby Blog
first chapter of your book out to 1000s for free. | Kindlemojo's Books and Bacon
I recommend new authors go to one of these a day and fill out what's needed. This will hep you quickly learn what people need from you when you do a book blog tour. I would recommend at least doing that even if you have no money.
So as you wait for your book to come out, slow go through the different sites and fill out what you can, and do what you can. If it's your first book and you don't know what to do, it's okay. You'll learn. By the time your third book comes out, you'll know what to expect!
NaNoWriMo time!! It's a great time, a fun time, full of imaginations and people who want to get that novel done!! Writers!! This is your time of year!!
For those who are still trying to pronounce NaNoWriMo it's short for National Novel Writing Month. All of November joins in for the writing of a 50k word goal! You'll see status updates, badges (we don't need no stinking badges), and your writer friends will be pulling their hair out, mumbling to themselves over calculators (trying to find out how many words they need to write to catch up on those few days they skipped).
In the beginning, I was like: "The F**k? 50,000 words?"
Seriously, I was thinking, how the hell do people do it? How do you write over 2,000 words? Then I got into writing and listening to podcasts and realized, this is something you can do! YES!! EVEN YOU! Even if you hunt and peck at the keyboard, you can get those words out!! Here are some things I do to get me going:
In the beginning I was both thrilled and terrified when I got my first ghostwriting job. Would it be good enough? Would people read my stories? Would I make the deadline? That's all past me now. I know what I can do. Consider NaNoWriMo your time to see what you can do!
Now, after becoming a Ghostwriter I'm thinking:
"I did that last week..."
Okay, it does take me about two weeks, but I realized Ghostwriting is a lot like NaNoWriMo--every month. Writing for others, for money, gets your butt in gear. ACTION ITEM: So this November, make a contract with a friend, pay yourself to get the job done or dare to write a story on a deadline for money. That last one will bring the knowledge of yourself to the surface. See what you can do! Don't stop! Good luck! He-he!
One of my authors wanted to go international after about six months of having her book published. That's when I started researching the details of doing such.
I found one company, Babelcube, who seemed to be the right fit for us at the time and I'm here to report back my findings.
In short, Babelcube is a company that connects authors and publishers with translators. You set your book up on their website and wait for a translator to ask to translate your book or your search and invite them to translate your book. The translators payment comes in the form of royalties, 30% after Babelcube takes their 20%. Because the translator doesn't know how much they will get for their time I suspected the translation would progress very slow. I projected it would take someone 6 months to translate a novel. I haven't been far off.
The service is built on gains from royalties and does everything free--connecting you to a translator and setting up your book in different platforms. You need to supply a translated book cover and new ISBN but otherwise Babelcube sets up the book in many platforms of the language in which its translated for. To me this is the best part of the service. I could not afford to hire a translator and once done--I didn't know how to market it in another language.
Now, here is what I have found. The shorter novellas were completed in short order, however--as I predicted--the novels might take up to 6 - 9 months. Set up is easy, getting the book covers was no problem and Babelcube set it all up and reported back to us what the links were for the different platforms they put them on.
However, it should be noted that you have to wait for a translator to come to you or search through the profiles and invite others to translate your book. Customer service is fairly responsive - somewhere between 24 - 48 hours.
In short this service has potential.
The main question I get is: How do you know the translation is correct?
You don't. Unless you have a friend that is bi-lingual in the translated version, you don't know. Sure, you can buy two or three translation editors but if you can do that, you might not need Babelcube. I discussed this with my author and the end result was, if it's not perfect translation we will accept that. This service was the only way we could go international. So basically it's a question of whether you want to do it or go without.
If you feel there is a market for your books but don't have the money to get it translated, then here is another question: How are you going to market it?
See this was a question I answered to my author: I couldn't. But dreams are big and Babelcube was the best solution. Just remember, you need to market your book in any language or country it's in. There are two sides to selling books. Production and marketing. Make the best book you can then market it.
ACTION ITEM: Before taking your book international--figure out how to market it. Just like writing, translation is the easy part.
I wanted to call this Essentials on hiring a VA, but I find "How to..." more effective for SEO--evil marketer that I am. But I've determined after hiring a few, there are some key elements you might want to think about before hand.
First, do you need a VA?
Silly question because if you're looking for a VA, you've determined you need a VA. However, review your motives for hiring. You'll be able to ask better questions that way and it's possible you can just go to fiverr or mechanical turk for projects.
Next, evaluate yourself. Again, sounds silly, but people don't always express what they are looking for in a VA. If you're a type A personality, you may, or may not, work well with other type A personalities. That needs to be acknowledged and expressed. Type A is difficult to get along with and needs a certain finesse. Here are some things to ask yourself:
Reflect on those answers. Ask your own questions. Manage your expectations and communicate those expectations to your VA.
Next are the questions you should ask the VA to determine if they might fit you well. Based on the answers you give above, ponder on what type of person you want. Here is where that "who is your reader" exercise in writing applies to "who is your VA".
Are they a stay at home mom? Do they work when you're online? Do you want them to report in everyday? Everybody wants a worker who "Pays attention to detail", is "available" at your whim, but lets face reality...unless you pay them a fantastic wage of $50,000 - $150,000/year they have to manage their time with you and other clients. Which means time sensitive projects should be handled by you. Daily work is awesome for VA's. Here are some things to ask your potential VA:
ACTION ITEM: If you're looking for a VA--prepare your questions ahead of time!
I've been searching for book translation companies and I finally settled on Bablecube. So far we've put up 3 books and we've gotten translators within the week signing up to translate "Forever and 365 Days" in Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Italian so far.
Offers come in, we review them and sign the contract. From what I understand the publisher gets 30%, the translator gets 50% and Babelcube gets 20% of the royalties. So it's free to start for the most part but I need to provide the manuscript (of course), and the covers for both Amazon standard ebook and CreateSpace dimensions for print.
There customer service responds within 24 hours. If you're looking for your books to be translated but don't have the money for translators and don't know where to put the books up afterward, I think Bablecube is a company to check out! <-- that would be an ACTION ITEM.
My lazy side is debating if I should just give you a list of Book Blog Tour Companies to go explore, but, I might first want to explain what a book blog tour is, does and does not do for you as an author.
ATOMR explains best what a Book Blog Tour is..."a virtual tour to help an author promote their book without traveling."
The Book Publicity Blog goes into depth as to how a BBT works, but I'll give you the elevator pitch: BBT's are a group of book enthusiasts that blog about your book.
A good BBT will guide you as to what to expect, and half the time, you should expect to work, pay or both.
So that's what a BBT is, let's read about what a BBT does:
- schedule hosts of blogs
- distribute to those hosts
- mediate between author and blog host
Sounds easy, right! Well, scheduling your book tour is like herding cats. So many things can go wrong. Many BBT's do it for the love of books. If you don't believe me, search "book blogs" contact those people, get them to agree to host a guest post on a certain day and make sure you give them what they need and followup with them.
What a BBT does not do for you:
- Guarantee sales
- Guarantee your book will become a NY best seller
ACTION ITEM: There are some great companies out there that really do it for the love of books. Prices range wildly--like from $5 - $700 so make sure you read about everything they give you. Most are very thoughough and give you a check list and instructions as to what to do. Granted you have to know what a guest post is, what an excerpt is and it helps if you are prepared for interview questions to answer, but otherwise, they walk you through their system. The first one is overwhelming, but once you've done it once, it's just the time in writing the posts!
I've been attending The traffic Superhero webinars hosted by Marisa and Murray and I've listened to Jo Barnes, Adam Urbanski, Don Crowther and Alicia Lyttle.
For 2 weeks the Traffic Superhero conference brought in high-powered, impressive entrepreneurs to a free forum in which they can give you some tips and hock their wares. The only one I felt intriqued by was Alicia Lyttle's Daily Deal site 'Traffic Siphon Secrets' where...you can probably guess...we use daily deal sites to gain interest in your product.
My first question was, "Do you work with ebooks and digital products?"
Yes, Alicia Lyttle has.
However, I'm going to spare you the 2 hour presentation (for each webinar and presenter) and give you the main focus on what each stressed as the most important thing about marketing. After 8 hours of taking notes and being pitched $197 deals, the results are in!
The most important thing to connect with your customer/reader is to:
1. Get their email.
2. Get their email.
3. Get their email.
Yep. Every presenter funneled everything into a "get their email" strategy and, they themselves, had a way of getting everyone's email in exchange for a prize or offer.
The one thing that I realized is that it's time to stop learning about marketing and set in to find my way of what works for me. I do have ways to funnel people into a list. I believe I can work on directing people to it now.
The traffic superhero summit also helped me find a new promotional idea to try. Which is--Alicia Lyttle's 'Daily Deal Sites'.
ACTION ITEM: If you don't have a way to get emails, like a link inside your book to something like MailChimp, Aweber or other...plan to set one up and make scheduled emails to your readers.
In the beginning, there is an idea of a cover. If you are lucky, you find it. If you are not, it's probably because you have the idea of the cover stuck in your head and you can't bear to part with it or see another cover for its magnificence.
I agree that most covers "call" to an author. Some respect my eye for covers. I'm not the guru designer end-all-end-all of cover design, but I do the best I can with the budget that I have.
Take for instance, Snow Blood. This series needed 8 covers.
6 for the separate ebook episodes
1 for the ebook full Season One
1 for the print
Why so many? Why so different?
First, sometimes you only have a certain amount of copies you can use for an image. Second, sometimes you want a difference between the print, ebook and audible version. Third, sometimes you want to explore the different possibilities of different styles.
When we did Snow Blood I made a deal with my author. She would get the print cover she wanted, I would get the ebook covers I wanted. It was a compromise.
In the story, Snow Blood is a husky turned vampire dog, but the only creature with enough intelligence and intensity that could pull-off being "Snow Blood" -- was a wolf.
Also, we needed something for the serialized ebooks that looked similar but could be different enough from each other so people could understand these are different books.
For the print and the full ebook of Season 1, I wanted everyone to pay attention to the fact that this was a completely different book--that it was an entire season not just another episode.
In addition to all that, we will be doing another season of Snow Blood -- I'm not sure about the episodes being released separately, but I know there will be another season, and I wanted to make sure both the serial covers and the season covers could be continued in the fashion from Season 1.
For Snow Blood, it was easy. For another serialized story--I'm not so sure. But if I did it again I would make sure to be able to stamp a brand on the covers as well as I did for the Snow Blood serials. I'm very proud of them! Sometimes you just see the image that you know is going to work! I love it when the pieces fall into place!
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
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