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!

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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

Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Confused About Your Twitter Header? Here Are 10 Tips

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. Henry Ward Beecher

There is wasted space on the internet. Have you noticed it?

I’m specifically talking about Twitter header images. How often have you visited an author’s Twitter profile only to discover that the header image is solid blue, or green, or a picture of an author’s dog?

Twitter gives you ample space, 1500 pixels in width X 500 pixels in height, to extend your brand, publicize your books, or upload an image that matches the mood of your newest book.

What so many authors do instead is they leave the space blank, or fill it with pictures of puppies, kittens, or flowers. Or their images leave you questioning the purpose or reason for the chosen header picture.

Like I said, there’s a lot of wasted space on the internet that authors could be using to promote their brand, their books, their successes, and their careers.

Let’s look at how some authors neglected this valuable online real estate.

This historical fiction author could have, instead of the floral image, created a lovely header image that promoted her books. With a free tool, such as, or a paid tool, such as, you can lift a scene from your book, include your book cover, or create another image that reflects your genre.

The picture below doesn’t do much for this author’s brand, does it?

Twitter header


Believe it or not, the author with the scary header writes romance novels. There’s a definite mismatch between her brand and the header image.

Twitter header

Here are a header image and avatar from another historical fiction author. Let’s look at the avatar. Your avatar needs to be a picture of you. Not your canary, dog, Frappuccino, or cat. You.

It shouldn’t even be a drawing of a character in your novel. Readers want to connect with you, see you, and engage with you. When you use a depiction of a character, as in this example, readers wonder who you are.

Now, for the header, it’s difficult to know if this castle is part of a story. As it stands, the image is boring.

Twitter header

Don’t ever follow this example. Use that blue space to promote your books and don’t be an egghead. Ask someone – a professional photographer, friend, or family member – to take a picture of you and upload it to all of your social media profiles.

Twitter header


There are a couple of things wrong with this header image. First, no one cares (except you) about the name of your publishing company. Secondly, your image needs to be properly centered.

Twitter header image


In this example, I can see that this author tried to get it right. He probably uploaded the cover of his book, without resizing it first, and was only able to capture part of the title. Unfortunately, his avatar blocks part of the title.

Twitter header image


Now let’s transition to some header images that work.

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 14, 2017

Social Media Weekly Update

This week’s Social Media Update covers everything from ebook production to making more money with your books to book why the news feed may be outdated.

Are you enjoying spring yet? We got a taste of it one weekend, followed by days of rain again. I hear that hiking the local trails — one of my passions — will be less fun due to the abundance of ticks and poison  oak. However you spend your time on weekends, I hope you stay safe and have fun.

Indie Author Updates

4 eBook Platforms Offering Cool Data, Distribution & Marketing Tools from BookWorks and by Carla King: “There are a lot of eBook platforms out there—how many do you know? I bet you haven’t heard of Kbuuk, PublishDrive, Scribl, or StreetLib but I’ll also bet you’ll want to try at least one of them by the end of this post. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your existing service (IngramSpark, Smashwords, Amazon KDP), but add one or more of these to the mix.”

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup July 29, 2016

indie author

As an indie author, how do you succeed in today’s publishing landscape? I hope today’s roundup will help to provide some of the answers you need. You’ll find posts by Elizabeth S. Spann, Carla King, Jane Friedman, and a post I wrote for Joel Friedlander. When you’re not writing and working on your marketing, I hope you take time to enjoy the sounds and beauty of a beach near you.

Indie Author Roundup

Distributing Free Books  by Elizabeth S. Craig: “It used to annoy me when I’d read about how important it was to offer a free book to readers for newsletter signups or as rewards for newsletter subscribers. The advice was all well and good, but it rarely got into the nitty-gritty of it.  How exactly were we supposed to give away these freebies?  Surely I wasn’t expected to monitor signups and send out individual emails to subscribers?”

[clickToTweet tweet=”Do you give away free books to entice email signups? @CaballoFrances” quote=”Do you give away free books to entice email signups? “]

Note: I use BookFunnel to distribute free copies of my books but in this post Elizabeth discusses syncing Instafreebie with MailChimp. If you distribute ebook advance review copies to readers, this is a post you need to read.

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