Indie Author Weekly Update – October 12, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - October 12, 2018

Welcome to another Indie Author Weekly Update. We’re entering the season of NaNoWriMo and to mark it, there are two blog posts on that topic today. Be sure to read Anne R. Allen’s post on legitimate and seedy publishers as well as David Gaughran’s post on Kindle Unlimited. Finally, Jane Friedman’s blog is always worth a read.

How Can You Tell Legitimate Publishers from the Bad Guys? by Anne R. Allen: “New writers have much to be wary of these days. New publishing scams are landing in writers’ inboxes faster than we can send out warnings. Probably the most dangerous predators for the newbie writer are phony publishers, because they can shatter dreams as well as drain bank accounts.”

To Nano or Not To Nano by Jenny Hansen: “NaNoWriMo, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is National Novel Writing Month, where hundreds of thousands of writers gather to bang out as many words as they can in the month of November. Many writers skip it and many writers treat it as a yearly pilgrimage to Writing Mecca.”

How Do You Create? by Grant Faulkner: “When I begin a story, I sit down with an itch of a story idea stirring in my mind, and I write a sentence, without too much thought, without any maps of logic, and then I write another sentence, and then another, one thing leading to the next, writing in pursuit of faint inklings and distant whispers, writing to discover, writing just to write.”

Kindle Unlimited – A Cheater Magnet by David Gaughran: “I don’t hate Kindle Unlimited. While all my own books are currently wide, I also work on marketing campaigns for others which regularly get 10m reads per month, or more. I’m not saying that to brag — the respective authors are doing the hardest part of the equation by writing books which resonate so widely — I merely state this to show that I understand how to (ethically) work Kindle Unlimited, and that I have nothing against it per se.”

How to Write Better Marketing Copy by Jane Friedman: “Overexposure: every writer has experienced this problem. You work on a manuscript for so long that your perception of it dulls. You become blind to its weaknesses and ignorant of its strengths. Though that’s a well-known phenomenon when it comes to editorial perception, overexposure is less acknowledged by marketers. When you’re marketing what feels like your 100th thriller—as an author or for a publishing house—you might feel like you’ve run out of things to say. You’re bored by your go-to descriptions and want to break out of the box and offer a fresh take. But this can be a dangerous strategy.”

5 Tips for Selling Your Books at Events—on a Budget by ChrysFey: “Being one of many authors at a book festival or signing event can be pricey when you add together the cost of the table, books, swag, travel, meals, and anything else the event requires of you. Sometimes it’s challenging to make back the cost of your books and the price of the table. So, finding cheap but cool things to use at book events is essential.”

How to Understand Your Reader’s Level of Awareness to Grow Your Fanbase from Jane Friedman and by Dave Chesson: “Imagine a reader who thinks they like science fiction books, as compared to one that can specifically tell you they love sci-fi military space marine adventures. The latter is more likely to know what they are looking for and quicker to buy the book when they see it.”

Google+The Death of a Social Media Network

Google+ to Shutter After Reports of Exposed User Data from Social Media Today: “Google announced Monday it would slowly shut down Google+, the search giant’s long-struggling social network, after finding a software bug that divulged the private data of as many as 500,000 users to hundreds of third-party applications, according to a company blog post. The company fixed the flaw in March and didn’t find any evidence that developers misused users’ personal information.”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 28, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - September 28, 2018

Thank you for checking out my new Indie Author Weekly Update. There were so many posts this past week that it’s difficult to select one or two that were my favorites. But if I’m pushed, and if you only have time for one post to read, then don’t miss Anne R. Allen’s phenomenal post on how to self-publish successfully. Her advice is priceless.

Well, fall is officially here, which means that we are in my favorite season. Who doesn’t love seeing leaves turn color or feeling the chill in the air first thing in the morning?

Want to Self-Publish Fiction Successfully? Follow These 9 Tips by Anne R. Allen: “Back when the new-fangled Kindle was flying off the cybershelves and Amazon had no imprints of its own, indie authors were Amazon’s darlings. That’s no longer the case, so selling self-published books is more difficult than it was. But “more difficult” doesn’t mean impossible. Plenty of indie novelists are starting out right now who will make the bestseller lists.  Some will make considerably more money than their traditionally-published counterparts.”

Pre-Publication Marketing: A Van Tour to Bookstores by Jane Friedman: “In November, Weather Woman by Cai Emmons will release from Red Hen Press. To spread the word this summer, Cai drove “the Weather Woman van” to independent bookstores in the Western United States, distributing advance reader copies and chatting with booksellers.”

How Authors’ Openness on Social Media Makes Reading Better from Book Riot: “There’s a lot that’s toxic about social media, for authors, fans, and reviewers alike. But one thing that’s really rewarding for readers and aspiring writers is the transparency that many published authors have brought to Twitter and Instagram about the writing and publishing process, in all its good, bad, and in-between.”

How to Market Your Books with a Specialist Blog  from Alliance of Independent Authors: “It’s received wisdom that every indie author should have a website as the central and authoritative source of information about their books and their writing lives – but how does an unknown author attract potential readers to that website? British crime writer B L (Barry) Faulkner shares his lateral thinking solution that has helped him raise the profile of his books a different way: via a specialist blog about a subject that will appeal to potential readers, including those who have never heard of him.”

6 Ways Video Blogging Can Save Your Author Promotion by Penny Sansevieri: “If saving time isn’t a sweet enough payoff, here are a few more benefits to adding video blogging to your author promotion.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – September 2018 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “I recently met with a Chicago-area author for breakfast who was concerned that she was doing something wrong. This author had written a terrific book, designed the cover properly, promoted the book heavily, placed ads on Amazon, got reviews and consistently worked to sell her book to stores, libraries, online and to organizations. So what was the problem?”

How To Put Together An Indie Author Street Team from Writer’s Edit: “There’s a lot for indie authors to do when it comes to book promotion and marketing. In fact, there’s so much to do that it can often get a little overwhelming. But while being an indie author is largely a solo pursuit, you don’t have to tackle everything entirely on your own! Enter: the indie author street team.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now! 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Solutions for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 21, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

It’s time for another Indie Author Weekly Update. I hope you enjoy this week’s posts on Amazon ads, blog design, self-publishing and more.

The 12 Principles Of Effective Blog Design by Peep Laja: “This is a quote by Dr. Brent Coker, who studied the impact of attractive websites on human behavior. Websites that are more attractive and include more trimmings create a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in consumers.”

Lessons Learned From The Self-Publishing Journey – Guest Post by Melissa Pouliot from Polgarus Studio: “In 2013 I attended a writer’s workshop in my beautiful coastal hometown of Merimbula, Australia, and met an author who was at the forefront of self-publishing technology. She’d been publishing her books on Amazon for a long time and spoke my language. I’d just finished my first crime novel, Write About Me, and a literary agent had returned it to me with a blunt, sharp note attached: Not strong enough for the current fiction market.”

The 4 Most Effective Book Marketing Strategies That Work  by Rachel Thompson: “I’m constantly amazed by the sheer number of writers who are about to release their first book, or have already released their first book, and have zero marketing in place. Nothing, nada, oftentimes less than zero. They remind me of the college kid who walks into a final with a hangover and a broken pencil, hoping to pull the answers out of their you know where.”

10 Top Book Marketing Takeaways from RWA 2018 by Diana Urban: “At last week’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference 2018 — one of the biggest annual writing conferences in the US — many sessions and panels covered book marketing and sales topics. We gathered fantastic tips from authors, agents, and prolific book marketers, and we’re excited to share them with our readers! From branding to backlist promotions, panelists were buzzing about cross-promotion strategies, creating launch plans, and optimizing advertising campaigns.”

The Rising Cost of AMS Ads from Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center: “If you’ve noticed a sharp decline in the effectiveness of your AMS ads recently, you’re not alone. An Amazon cash grab may be at the bottom of it. The New York Times reports Amazon’s revenue from on-site advertising has surged by 130 percent in the first quarter of 2018, up to a staggering $2.2 billion. Take a moment to truly appreciate all those zeroes: $2,200,000,000.00. It’s no surprise then that Amazon has refocused its gaze on this sector, intent on adding a few more zeroes to that figure.”

Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize Announces 2018 Shortlist: “Anna Burns, Esi Edugyan, Daisy Johnson, Rachel Kushner, Richard Powers and Robin Robertson are today, Thursday 20 September, announced as the six authors shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.”

Quote of the Week

Slowly, slowly, I accumulate sentences. I have no idea what I'm doing until suddenly it reveals itself, almost done.-

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now! 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 7, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

It’s Friday, which means that it’s time for a new Indie Authors Weekly Update. Be sure to read Mark Dawson’s post on building a successful author career. Anne R. Allen and David Kudler’s posts are also great.

5 Steps to Building a Successful Author Career by Mark Dawson: “I’ll probably say it again before I have finished, but I’d argue that this is the best time in the history of the world to be a writer. I know – pretty grandiose. Let me explain.  When I started writing at the end of the 1990s, if I wanted to get my writing out to readers I only really had one path that was open to me. Once I had finished my manuscript, I would send the first three chapters and a covering letter to one of the dozens of literary agencies that accepted unsolicited submissions.”

9 Pieces of Bad Publishing Advice New Writers Should Ignore by Anne R. Allen: “Social Media is both a boon and a curse to new writers. Online writing groups and forums are an excellent source of insider information on the publishing industry—stuff we once could only find at expensive classes and writers’ conferences. But social media is also a major source of misinformation and dangerously bad advice.”

Retweeting Your Own Tweets Can Boost Your Reach and Engagement from Buffer: “In February 2018, Twitter updated its rules to prohibit sharing tweets that are identical or substantially similar to one another. Before this rule change, re-sharing top tweets (sparingly) was one of our favorite strategies for increasing our Twitter reach and engagement here at Buffer. And while it was a shame to forgo this strategy, we understand the rationale behind the new rules and are fully supportive of them. So, rather than dwelling on what used to work, we started searching for other strategies to try. Here’s one experiment we’ve been working on (and our results in full).”

Amazon Top Reviewer Secrets: The Must-Read Tell-All by Penny Sansevieri: “When you’re pitching Amazon Top Reviewers, have you ever wondered about the things they love, and the things that will absolutely get you shoved to the bottom of their book review consideration pile? We thought so, too, which is why we took some time to interview several of these top book reviewers. Each of them is anonymous in this piece (with the exception of one).”

10 Instagram Tips for Writers from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Annie Sullivan: “So how can writers use Instagram to their benefit? Here are some easy things to keep in mind to find and engage your target readership on Instagram.”

How to Grow Your Email List With Pinterest by Emily Syring: “Do you have an engaged audience on Pinterest? Wondering how to get your Pinterest followers onto your email list? In this article, you’ll discover how to promote your email opt-in via your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins.”

Words Gone Wild: KDP Keywords Revisited from TheBookDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “I’ve talked about keywords before; they’re an essential piece of metadata that determines how easy it is for the right reader to find your book. They are in many ways the key to discoverability. It is best to think of them, not as single words, but as search phrases — that is to say, groups of words that your ideal reader is likely to search for. Put a different way, what question is your ideal reader likely to ask to which your book is the answer?”

Quote of the Week

Patton Oswalt quote

 

 

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now!

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 31, 2018

indie author weekly update

I hope you enjoy today’s Indie Author Weekly Update. Be sure to check out Carla King’s post on tools for sharing advance reader copies and Sandra Beckwith’s post on three book promotion myths.

Are you enjoying your summer. Well, it’s almost over so be sure to squeeze in as much fun as possible while the sun is still high in the sky.

5 ways authors can save money when working with an editor, formatter, designer or assistant by Chris Kidler: “Time equals money, especially for authors who become indie publishers. That equation becomes all too real when you hire an editor, designer, formatter or author assistant. Sometimes you pay for time explicitly — for instance, you’ll pay an assistant to work ten hours a month to do everything from social media to dealing with distributors. Sometimes you pay a flat fee for a service based on word count or complexity. But when you go beyond the scope of that fee, your hired expert may charge you by the hour.”

How To Win At The Game Of Book Marketing by guest Charli Mills from Rachel Thompson’s blog: “My suitcase on wheels clacked behind me as I followed my boss’s determined strides. Like most business trips with her, we traveled frugal and opted to walk to our hotel from the airport. She opted. In fact, this trip was all about her wanting to leave a legacy for her thirty-plus years as general manager of one of the nation’s most successful natural food grocers. We had flown from Minneapolis to St. Louis to attend a conference among international business leaders of companies that had nothing in common with our industry – most were big manufacturers.”

Then What Happened? 8 Things We Learned Writing Our First Sequel from Mythic Scribes: “In 2017 our team released our first full-length urban fantasy novel. After the frenetic pace of finishing, editing, formatting, publishing, and promoting our first offering, we thought we would take a well-earned vacation before jumping into the sequel. We set out to take a month to regroup, but one month quickly turned into four and we learned our first important lesson about writing sequels.”

Don’t fall for these 3 book promotion myths by Sandra Beckwith: “There’s a frustrating amount of “myth”-information out there about book promotion. I don’t know how the book promotion myths get started, but I do know that they spread pretty quickly. Because I’m constantly educating authors about myth versus reality in author online discussion groups and in my courses, I thought it might help to share three of the most common myths here along with a nice dose of reality.”

Your Advance Reader Copy: 6 Tech Tools for Sharing ARCs by Carla King: “An Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of your book is essential for obtaining reviews from early readers, trade reviewers, paid review sites, the media, influencers, and readers. But as a self-publisher or first-time author, it can be difficult to get book reviews. In this post, you’ll learn about ARC-specific apps and services that help you share your book with reader-reviewers in the format they want to read it in.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now!

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 24, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

There are some great posts in this week’s Indie Author Update. Be sure to read the post by Derek Murphy and Write to Done on how to entice email newsletter signups.

Summer is drawing to a close and fall will soon be upon us. I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer writing and reading.

10 Mistakes I Made as a New Indie Author from Anne R. Allen’s blog and by Derek Murphy: “Book sales are not a complete mystery: if your book isn’t selling, there’s almost always a reason. Often it’s because new authors continue to repeat the same mistakes. Sometimes they’re following bad advice. Or they made choices stemming from their ideologies about doing creative work and the assumed value of their writing. I’ve been self-publishing for almost a decade. Even though I’ve learned a lot about how to sell books, it took me a long time and some very public failures.”

Branding For Authors with Kristine Rusch and by Joanna Penn: “Branding helps readers find your books and enables you to build a long-term career as a writer – but many authors get branding all wrong. In today’s show, Kristine Kathryn Rusch explains what branding really is and how to build your author brand in the most sustainable way.”

10 Ways to Survive Your Debut Author Year from Women Writers: “Find a supportive community of published authors. Make friends with other debut authors. Make friends with other authors who have recently published a book. You need someone to cry to about all the frustrations of the publication process. You need someone to vent to about all the stress and excitement of the book launch.”

Walmart’s eBookstore is Launching Today by Nate Hoffelder: “Walmart is in the process of setting up new ebook sections in the book departments of its stores, Kobo has let slip a promo video for “Walmart eBooks”, and multiple references have been found in Walmart’s help pages.”

How to Get Hordes of Subscribers With an Easy Opt-In Gift from Write to Done: “If you want to ramp up your subscriber numbers, you need to offer an attractive gift for your visitors in return for subscribing. This is called an opt-in gift or lead magnet. But what to offer? Many writers don’t know how to create an opt-in gift. It can be daunting.”

What’s Going On With CreateSpace and KDP Print?  from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “Are you curious about all of the changes going on at CreateSpace and seeing new offerings being announced at Kindle Direct Publishing? I have been, too. I will admit that I have not paid as much attention to KDP Print as I should have. I have been happy with CreateSpace for my Amazon printing and distribution and just did not have the bandwidth to turn my attention to yet ANOTHER platform for my paperbacks. Knowing that CreateSpace could get my paperback on Amazon while IngramSpark/Lightning Source was handling the wholesalers/bookstores/libraries, I thought I had all my bases covered.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

The second edition of Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99!

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

10 Great Resources Writers Need to Know

10 Great Resources Writers Need to Know

Here is a  list of resources for writers that I love and that I believe will make your lives easier. Some will save you money and others will help you to polish your books.

So let’s get’s started with my list of 10 great resources writers need to know about and in some cases start using today.

Make Banners and Images for Pinterest & Social Media

Canva

Have you ever experienced Facebook banner envy? You know, those beautiful Timeline banners that some people pay a great deal of money to graphic designers to create?

Guess what? Canva, a free application, is a tool you can use to create Facebook banners, Twitter headers, cards business cards, photo cards, other image-based messaging, and even book covers. It’s an easy, intuitive tool to use.

Here are a few samples of items I recently created with Canva. First, here’s my Facebook banner.


10 Great Resources Writers Need to Know

Here’s a promotional image I made for an upcoming promotional sale of my book.

I created this image for a client.

I also made this book cover on Canva.

Canva offers free and fee-based templates and images for book covers. See this sample.

Canva book templates

 

Find Canva’s book cover templates and image on this page.

Canva features some images that you can purchase for $1 or you can upload your own. Many of the images and features are free of charge.

PicMonkey

I’ve used PicMonkey to resize and crop photos. But recently I wanted to create some images for Pinterest so I upgraded to the paid plan, about $7.99/month or $71.88/year for the basic plan. Here are a couple of examples of my creations.

Write a Book That Inspires You

And here’s a holiday collage for Pinterest I created just for fun.

Holiday Collage

Once you create and save the images, you can share them directly to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, or Tumblr as well as send them via email to a colleague. You can also use this tool to create Facebook covers or perhaps a collage of some of the books you’ve written. You can also upload your own images.

Pablo

Pablo is a great little application from the people at Buffer, which is a scheduling tool. Anyway, Pablo is perhaps the easiest image app on the internet.

When you navigate to Pablo, you’ll see a column of free (yes free!) images. Just select the image you want to use, enter the text, select the size, and the contrast and your set.

Pablo

Here’s a simple image I made using Pablo.

What’s great is that once you create an image, you can schedule it to Buffer in one easy step.

Pixabay

Pixabay is my go-to place for copyright free images. When you need pictures for your blog or to use as a background for a quote, this is the place to go.

Images are free and in nearly every conceivable topic area. Upload your own images as you sign up for hassle-free downloads. You’ll love this site.

Social Media Scheduling App

SocialOomph

I’ve been using this social media scheduler for years and love it. It’s only practical for LinkedIn and Twitter so if you want to also schedule to Facebook (bad idea because Facebook downgrades scheduled posts in the newsfeed), or Pinterest or Instagram, then use Pinterest.

But with SocialOomph, you can schedule posts, set a recurring update so the post can reappear, have access to analytics, monitor interest channels, and see your feed without going to Twitter, this is the app for you.

As a backup, I recommend Buffer. It’s super easy to set up and use and the customer service is awesome. (The customer service at Social Oomph is great too.)

DIY Tools for Designing Your Next Book

DIY Book Covers

After writing your book you need a great cover. You can hire a designer or you can try to create a cover yourself.

Self-published authors on a tight budget might want to try a DIY tool. Cover designer Derek Murphy of CreativIndie Covers has put together a package of book cover design templates.

Although it sounds like an unlikely pairing, the templates look clean and professional, not only for simple non-fiction covers, but also for all types of fiction. If you’re familiar with using MS Word, customizing the templates to make them unique shouldn’t be difficult.

There’s even a tool on this website to help you make a 3D mockup of your book.

Endorsed by Matt Stone, Pat Flynn, and Joanna Penn, this tool is the real deal.

Book Design Templates and More

Joel FriedlanderAre you tired of paying the high cost of a graphic designer for the layout of your book? Joel Friedlander’s Book Design Templates let Indie authors quickly and easily create the interior layout of their books. There are templates for fiction, memoir, narrative non-fiction, reference, and technical and non-fiction books. In addition, there are templates for children’s books and more.

Plus, Joel offers templates for book covers, and toolkits for blogging, social media, public relations, book launches, and self-publishing on Amazon. Here’s the link to all of his other toolkits, including mine.  😎

Joel is a book designer so self-published authors can trust that the templates carefully balance typographic beauty with ease of reading.

Although I haven’t yet used the template I purchased, a colleague has and she said the process was easy. If you need help, Joel’s team will upload your book into your purchased template. Finally, each template comes with different kinds of interior pages, section breaks, running heads, and page numbers.

These templates will save writers money and help them to produce books that appear professionally designed.

By the way, self-published authors should all become acquainted with Joel’s blog, The Book Designer. You will learn everything you need to know about self-publishing, social media, book covers, and book marketing by reading his posts.

Every Author Needs an Editor

Jordan E. Rosenfeld

Jordan

Jordan says that she has a simple philosophy in her editing, coaching and teaching: “Practice. Polish. Persist.”

She advises, “Make your writing life into an ongoing, deep writing practice that can survive the test of time, discouragement and change. Never stop trying to become better and polish your work, learn new things, take classes and feed both your muse and your craft. But what will set you apart is your persistence. Don’t give up. If you need help with any of these things, I’m here to help you.”

Jordan brings an editor’s attention to both the micro and macro aspects of your fiction project, but she also brings a writer’s ear—having been writing and publishing for two decades (author of the novels Forged in Grace and Women in Red and the writing guides Writing the Intimate Character, A Writer’s Guide to PersistenceWriting Deep Scenes, and Make a Scene & Write Free).

She likes to work with fiction writers at all stages—from the seed of an idea, to the final product—and at all levels, whether the writer needs coaching or a final copyedit. She is especially fond of developmental edits and critiques.

Robbi S. Bryant

Robbi S. BryantAnother wonderful and popular editor is Robbi S. Bryant. She says that an editor does a lot more than correcting grammar and sentence structure. “I am a content editor, which means I review everything from grammar to the breakdown of the story—including focus on plot, scene, character arcs, story arcs, pacing, subtext, dialogue, theme, and voice. In other words, I am a developmental editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader.”

As an award-winning author, she has honed her skills. Over the years, her focus has shifted from writing her own work to helping others write theirs.

She offers a free 10-page edit so potential clients can get a feel for her style.

Robbi says that it’s important for a writer to be comfortable with an editor. Trust is essential. She describes herself as a gentle, thoughtful, and light-handed editor. Respect is crucial as is communication.  She says that she offers all this and more.

Her books include a novella, four novels, five short-story collections, and one book of poetry. She has been published in magazines including Readers DigestRedbook, Penthouse, college textbooks, and several anthologies. As editor in chief of the Redwood Writers 2018 anthology, she supervised the creation and publication of Redemption: Stories From the Edge. Her work was also optioned twice for television’s Movie of the Week, and she appeared on TV’s Jane Whitney Show to discuss her article, “A Victim’s Revenge.”

Go Wide with Your Publishing

Draft2Digital

When you’re ready to go wide with publishing your books, Draft2Digital is the best service available to get your book on more venues than just Amazon.

What’s wonderful about Draft2Digital is that authors are in charge and because they’ve been where you are, they know how important it is to provide informative and quick customer service.

There is no fee for using this service. Draft2Digital will take a 10% commission when your books sell. But if you want to price your books at $0 permanently, that’s fine too.

The people behind Draft2Digital are truly cool and supportive. Try them out for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed reviewing my list of resources for writers. I’d love to hear about your favorite resources too!

 

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99!

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Author Podcasting: 10 Tips You Need

author podcasting

Author podcasting is hot. But is podcasting one more thing that you need to do now to succeed at selling your books?

Absolutely not.

But I tell you this: when I had a podcast, I sold more books.

I’m not going to try to talk you into podcasting. What I want to do is share my perspective and tips.

Interest in Podcasting Rises, Blogging Decreases

Kevin Roose, writing for Forbes, said, “We’re in a golden age of podcasting.”

Why is it occurring? Many say it’s because of the widespread use of smartphones and connected cars.

Just as people are increasingly forgoing cable subscriptions for streaming Netflix, people are turning to the interruption-free programming of the podcast.

According to 9to5mac.com, Apple podcast platforms hit 50 billion downloads, and TechCrunch reported in June that there are now more than 550,000 current shows on iTunes.

That number may seem high but not when you compare it to the 152 million blogs on the Internet. What this means is that there is far less competition in the podcasting realm than there is on the blogosphere.

It seems that while the public’s interest in podcasting is rising while the readership of blogs is declining. When I researched this on Google Trends, I was surprised by the graphs I discovered.

This graph shows a decline in reader interest in blogs over the past five years.author podcastingHowever, there has been significant interest in podcasts over the same five years.

author podcasting

I am not suggesting that you should stop blogging and start podcasting. I am saying that it’s a good time to get your message heard through podcasting.

Each form of media helps you to reach new audiences. I found that my podcast listeners tended to be people who didn’t have time to sit at their computers to read blogs but did have time to listen to podcasts as they traveled on subways or prepared dinner.

Content marketing has always been critical to platform building. Your first book was like the first brick to your platform foundation. Blogging and social media provided further support, and now there’s a relatively new type of brick available: podcasting.

I say reasonably new because podcasting has been around for ten years.

My Journey into Author Podcasting

My journey began in August 2014 when I traveled to Atlanta to attend an intimate workshop with just six attendees. I left that workshop enthused.

Soon, the hard work began.

First, I defined my audience and the goal for my podcast. I also decided that my podcast would air weekly and that I would keep the episodes to no longer than 15 minutes.

Then, over the next several months I created:

  1. An editorial calendar for my first 25 podcast episodes.
  2. A logo (1400 x 1400 pixels) and an episode graphic template.
  3. A template for my scripts.
  4. A template for my show notes.
  5. A landing page for my podcast.
  6. A marketing plan.
  7. My intro and outro copy.
  8. A survey (using Survey Monkey) to find out what topics my audience wanted me to cover in the upcoming episodes.

Also, I:

  1. Purchased equipment, tested the equipment, and then bought new equipment.
  2. I bought urchased music from Audio Junkie.
  3. Purchased and installed Smart Podcast Player on my website to enable me to stream my podcast with my show notes.
  4. Learned how to use Audacity for recording and editing my episodes.

The equipment that I finally settled on included the following:

  • Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
  • Tour Grade Tripod mic stand with boom TGMC66 (I purchased this from a local audio store that musicians rely on)
  • A pop filter (I also purchased this from a local audio store for musicians)

Next, I had to select an RSS feed to host my podcast episodes. Some people use Blubrry while others use SoundCloud or Libsyn. After reading many blog posts and having several conversations with the folks at Libsyn, that’s the RSS feed I chose to use.

Once I uploaded my episodes to Libsyn, I set up an account with iTunes and applied to Stitcher.

author podcasting

I began marketing my podcast at the beginning of December, and my goal was to publish it by January 8, 2015. I think I missed the deadline by a couple of days.

My next challenge was getting reviews. It’s vitally important in the early days after releasing a podcast to secure five reviews. I was able to get them in one weekend.

In February, 600 people downloaded my podcast. Those numbers can’t compare to the popularity of Tim Ferris or Copyblogger’s shows, but I was stoked.

Is podcasting easy? Hardly. I had many frustrating moments. For example, the first mic I purchased, a condenser mic, was horrible.

I initially purchased desktop stands, but they didn’t work for me either.

Finding Your Voice through Author Podcasting

Then there was my voice. I learned that just as writers find their voice through the stories they write, podcasters find their voice through the recordings they make.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 10, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

In today’s Indie Author Weekly Update you can learn how to prevent your reviews from disappearing from Amazon (after working so hard to get them) and learn how to add a video to your Amazon sales page. Instagram is all the rage, especially IGTV, so be sure to check out the post by Neda Dallal.

Audiobook sales soar as some authors forsake print from the Passive Voice: “When Sarah Hall wrote her most recent short story, Sudden Traveller, she read each sentence aloud. It’s not the usual writing practice of the twice-Booker-nominated writer, who finds performing her work “intensely awkward”. This time she felt she should, because instead of being published in print, this story of a bereaved mother was heading to the recording studios of Audible, the audiobook publisher and retailer owned by Amazon. Niggling at the back of Hall’s thoughts was the awareness that she was writing for the voice, not the page.”

Media Publicity for Novelists Using Nonfiction Topics by Chris Well: “This month, I’m speaking directly to you authors who write fiction. Because YES, you too are eligible to harness the amazing power of PR to promote your novel. The key, which is true for ANY author, is that you almost never focus on your book. You need to focus on your expertise. And I don’t mean “writing.” Any author can talk about that. Why should I pick you as my guest when literally any author will do? I’m referring to your expertise that is unique. The inspiration for your novel may be the result of all kinds of real-world stuff.”

How to Prevent Amazon From Deleting Your Reviews by guest from Rachel Thompson’s blog by Iola Goulton: ” Readers also want reviews. Reviews provide social proof, a perceived indication of quality. At least, that’s what reviews are supposed to provide. Amazon is fighting a neverending battle against the rising tide of fake reviews, and are forever refining their algorithms to identify and weed out fake reviews and dishonest reviewers. Their regular review purges are usually followed by some change to their Reviewing Guidelines to prevent that loophole from being exploited in future.”

Adding a Video to Your Book’s Amazon Sales Page from Indies Unlimited: “While perusing Facebook, I noticed a post in the Indies Unlimited Fans Group that piqued my interest — the new “add your video” option for your book’s Amazon sales page. I state upfront that technology and I do not always have an easy relationship, but this looked so promising that I thought se note that not everyone is seeing this option on their books’ pages yet. If you have the capability, this is what it will look like.”

Top 5 Mistakes Indie Authors Make from Joanna Penn and with Ricardo Fayet: “Learn from the most common mistakes that indie authors make and save yourself time, money and heartache in today’s show with Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy.”

News for Authors: Making Videos Social with IGTV by Neda Dallal: “Instagram has debuted many features recently that are great social tools for authors. This article dives into one specific new feature, IGTV, and how authors can use it to broaden their social media voices and followings.”

How to Get Your Email Subscribers to Leave Quality Reviews—Legitimately by Dave Chesson: “One of the most difficult parts of book marketing (if not the most difficult) is getting reviews for your book, particularly quality reviews that exceed one sentence. Why is this?Because each potential reviewer is a busy person with a lot on their plate, so their time is valuable.”

Quote of the Week

indie author

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s written several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Indie Author Weekly Update – August 3, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - August 3, 2018

The theme of this week’s Indie Author update is book marketing. Whether you’re planning for your holiday sales or struggling with marketing your book after your formal launch, this week’s posts offer great tidbits of advice.

How to Keep Your Book Promotion Going Strong for Years: Interview with Anjali Mitter Duva from Writer Unboxed: “In the publication world, there’s a tremendous amount of focus on the publication date as THE time for publicity and promotion. I’ve seen authors throw up their hands the week after publication, when media interest is just starting to trickle in, and say, ‘I guess we struck out.'”

5 Ways to Sell More Books for the Holidays from Jane Friedman and by Penny Sansevieri:”I used to laugh at the ‘Christmas-in-July’ ads until I promoted my first holiday-related book. We actually started the promotion in July, and July turned out to be the perfect time. Why? Maybe no one buys or thinks about December in July, but the holiday buying season is tough. To make any kind of headway, you must start early. When those ‘Christmas-in-July’ ads start to hit radio and TV, social media, and your inbox, consumers— those who like to shop early—start gathering ideas for their shopping lists.”

Is Your Book Good-Looking Enough For The Internet? by Tara Sparling: “I like to title posts with questions. Questions can often be funny, although that’s not why I do it. The reason I do it is because there is always a 23.485% chance that upon seeing the question floating across a Twitter or Facebook feed, someone will click on it, because the question registers in their brain enough for them to think ‘Hmmm. Why DO we always pack 4 times the number of underpants we will need for any given trip?'”

Indie Authors: Launching a Book via by Sabrina Ricci: “At first, launching a book may seem daunting. But it helps to plan the launch in increments, and also, know that ebooks have an indefinite shelf life, so that even though it’s nice to have a strong start, there’s always time to build up buzz and excitement around a book.”

5 ways to promote your book long after the launch by Sandra Beckwith: “’When should I stop promoting my book?’ Authors ask me this question all the time. My answer? When it’s no longer available for purchase. Continue to promote your book long after the book launch. If people can still buy it and the content is still relevant, promote it. I’m surprised at how many authors don’t do this, though. When I ask why not, most say they didn’t know they could. In fact, most authors I’ve talked to think that you can only promote a book when it’s first introduced.”

11 Reasons Your Book Isn’t Selling – And What to Do About It by William Parker: “After countless hours of writing, proofreading, and self-editing, your book is finally ready for publication. However, after you launch, sales are sluggish or nonexistent. Weeks and months go by, but your baby just isn’t selling. What went wrong? How do you determine the issue, or issues, and fix them? In today’s post, I want to address 11 reasons your book isn’t selling, and offer suggestions to get you back on track, and making money with your book.”

News About Self-Publishing

Amazon has made self-publishing lucrative and that may have negative repercussions for the bookselling industry. From The Atlantic and by Alana Semuels: “For most of Prime Day, Amazon’s annual sales bonanza, an unfamiliar face topped the site’s Author Rank page: Mike Omer, a 39-year-old Israeli computer engineer and self-published author whose profile picture is a candid shot of a young, blond man in sunglasses sitting on grass. He was—and at the time of this writing, still is—ranked above J.K. Rowling (No.8), James Patterson (No. 9), and Stephen King (No. 10) in sales of all his books on Amazon.com. His most recent book is ranked tenth on Amazon Charts, which Amazon launched after The New York Times stopped issuing e-book rankings, and which measures sales of individual books on Amazon. (The company does not disclose the metrics behind Author Rank, which is still in beta.)”

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web