Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why Too Many Facebook Likes Hurt Your Page

In one of my Facebook groups, I saw a thread about buying Facebook likes. Some hadn’t heard of it, and I was very happy to see that the general consensus was that it’s a bad idea.

Here’s my two cents.

Some people buy likes because of vanity, others because it gives them an appearance of legitimacy. For example, there are some companies who won't work with you unless your page has a reached a certain number of likes.

The fact is, besides being dishonest, buying likes instead of getting likes organically (naturally) actually REALLY hurts your page. 

You know all those people who complain about their page content not being seen since FB changed now newsfeeds work? They actually changed it so that what you see in your feed is based on what you will most likely enjoy the most. This is based off of your FB activity and the popularity of posts. If there’s a friend or page you’ve interacted with, FB is more likely to show you posts from that friend or page. If a page you’ve interacted with posts something, you’re more likely to see it, especially if it’s been liked, shared, or commented on. That likelihood goes up if your friends engaged with that post. Likewise, if there’s a FB page that you’ve liked but haven’t interacted much, but their post is very popular, FB is more likely to put it in your newsfeed.

Businesses are finally realizing that engagement rather than likes more accurately reflects a page's performance. When you inflate your number like that, with people who have absolutely no interest in your page, your ratio of page likes to engagement goes WAY down. So, if someone is looking into working with you and they see only 3 out of 2000 fans actually engaged with your posts (liked, shared, or commented), they won’t be impressed.

Another problem is that many of the likes that people might buy come from fake accounts. Facebook actually screens accounts to find these fakes ones and deletes them. If your page likes have been inflated by a bunch of dummy accounts, and those accounts get deleted, your number of likes will drop dramatically. And that really doesn’t look good...

Bottom line, page likes aren’t nearly as important as engagement. If you have just a few likes but a LOT of engagement, your posts will be popping up all over the place because your ratio is so high. On the other hand, if you have a lot of likes and very little engagement, no one will see you.

-Laura 

I'll be posting more about using Facebook soon. In the mean time, sign up for my email updates so you'll be in the loop. 

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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Cat Who Lost His Meow

The Cat Who Lost His Meow by Angela Muse

About the Book

Title: The Cat Who Lost His Meow | Author: Angela Muse | Illustrator: Helen H. Wu | Publication Date: June 1, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3+ Summary: Chester the lazy calico cat has suddenly lost his meow. He’s looking everywhere, but can’t seem to find his voice. When Chester puts himself in a frightening situation he not only finds his voice return, but he also finds his courage. This experience makes Chester appreciate things a little bit more than he had before. Amazon    

About the Author: Angela Muse

[caption id="attachment_14776" align="alignleft" width="200"]Angela Muse, Author Angela Muse[/caption] Angela Muse was born in California to a military family. This meant that she got used to being the "new kid" in school every couple of years. It was hard trying to make new friends, but Angela discovered she had a knack for writing. In high school Angela began writing poetry and song lyrics. Expressing herself through writing seemed very natural. After becoming a Mom in 2003, Angela continued her storytelling to her own children. In 2009 she wrote and published her first rhyming children's book aimed at toddlers. Since then she has released several more children's picture books and released her first young adult romance series, The Alpha Girls, in 2012.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

   

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: July 29, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Angela Muse and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Ugly Truth: What You Need to Know About Children's Books

This article is meant to be a wakeup call for the many aspiring children's book authors out there who need to know what they're getting into. The first thing you need to know is that it's the most competitive, expensive, and least accessible part of the publishing industry.Most children's books cost more to make than the author will ever get back. Does that mean you shouldn’t bother? That depends entirely on you—how much you want it, how much you're willing to invest...how determined you are. If writing children's books is your dream, then it is absolutely worth it! Here's what you need to know.

Traditional vs. Self-Publishing Children’s Books

In the cutthroat world that is children’s literature, the harsh reality is that, unless they are self-published, most children’s books will never be printed. That’s one of the biggest reasons many authors go indie. Independent publishing has a lot going for it. You have more freedom than being under the thumb of a publisher, profit margins are higher, and you are your own boss. However, you also have to pay for the costs of your book on your own upfront, whereas a publisher will take those costs out of your royalty check after your books start selling. 

Costs

Children’s books are expensive! To many of us, it seems like these books should cost less, after all, they don’t take as long to write, editing costs less, etc. The biggest cost is getting your book illustrated. On average, a decent professional illustrator will charge $300 or more PER illustration. The average children’s book is anywhere from 24-62 pages. That’s $7,200-$18,600 just for illustrations, assuming you get a low price, and that there’s only one picture per page (many books use more than one.)  Now ad editing, formatting, printing, advertising and marketing costs…. Do you have sticker shock yet?

General Tips

  • NEVER do your own illustrations unless you are literally a professional illustrator! I’m not talking about how you took a few art classes. Books need high quality illustrations. The ebook market is flooded with cute kid books that are permanently free because their horrible illustrations make them unsellable. 

  • Unless you're self-publishing, or do your own professional quality illustrations, don't get your book formatted and illustrated! Publishers will want to see your naked manuscript. They want to know that you will be flexible and easy to work with. Having your book laid out and complete with illustrations can give the impression that you are set on one style and you'll be harder to work with. Perhaps most importantly, they don't want to see your book already illustrated because they don't want to worry about copyright issues and having to worry about working with two clients (you and the illustrator) instead of one. Also, most publishers will already have an illustrator on hand that they like to work with. 

  • Never sign a contract without knowing exactly what every part of it means! Get a lawyer or another professional to look it over. Need one good reason why? For starters, look up non-compete clauses, they can ruin your future career. 

  • When hiring an illustrator, be sure to sign a contract that gives both you and the illustrator the copyrights you need. You’ll want the rights to the images to use for your books, promos, website, etc. The illustrator may want use of them for a portfolio, etc. Do NOT give an illustrator the rights to use the images that you are commissioning in other books. If you do that, you may as well be paying for stock art (which is a heck of a lot cheaper!) Sign a contract before ANY work is done and paid for!

-Laura 
If you have more questions about children's book or illustrations, contact author and illustrator Deirdra Eden, she is an expert in this field and absolutely wonderful!

I'll be posting more about writing and publishing soon. In the mean time, sign up for my email updates so you'll be in the loop! 

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Response to "Sorry, but Social Media Will Not Sell Your Book"

National Post recently published a Special by author Hilary Davidson entitled “Sorry, but social media will not sell your book.” In this, she mentions how authors tend to think that simply being on social media will sell their product for them, that it’s a shortcut to fame and fortune.

 “I won’t say that’s never happened, but it’s a bit like pointing at a lottery winner and saying you’re going to follow her get-rich strategy.”

She’s right, social media is no shortcut, but not in the sense you may think. You can’t just sign up, start posting, and watch the money roll in. If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick scheme that requires none of this, then there’s no point in reading the rest of this. Marketing and promoting on social media takes time, energy, knowledge, and resources.

Writers are told by their publishers that they need to be on social media, like it’s some magical world that can make or break a career, but nobody tells authors what to do when they get there. Some only talk about their own work, and they don’t understand why no one is listening.”

When a potential reader sees your post, what will their reaction be? There’s a common marketing quote, "When marketers move in, buyers move out." People don't want to be sold to, they want to experience. The most successful marketing campaigns make us feel. Humor, joy, compassion, pride, belonging, hunger..... These are things that people will connect with. Connecting is what social media is all about. In that same article, Davidson said:

"Social media is an amazing creation for many reasons, and I’m an avid fan. It has let me meet people all over the world. It inspires conversations and ideas. It makes it easier to go to book festivals and introduce myself to people who would otherwise be total strangers. It can help answer research questions. If you’re passionate about something — for me, that’s a list which includes crime fiction, travel, gluten-free food, and cemeteries — social media will hook you up with others who share those obsessions. It’s an amazing thing, expanding your social circle without leaving your desk."

All these reasons (and more) are exactly what make social media such a powerful marketing tool. What if all that passion, obsession, interaction, and sharing was about your book? Even if you market it well, your book may never “go viral,” you may never win that lottery, but done right, social media marketing can make a huge difference. The key is, you have to learn how to use it right or get someone like me who already knows how.

Don’t be that author who’s hawking their product in every forum on the internet and wondering why people aren’t buying. Take a basic marketing class, attend a seminar, read up on it, and learn all you can. If you’re too busy, can’t figure it out, or just don’t want to, hire a social media marketing specialist or online publicist.

If you aren’t ready to focus on an online marketing campaign, work on building your online presence. Keep supporting and promoting other authors, get your name out there any way you can, search engines will pick it up eventually and people will see more of you and your books.
-Laura

Friday, June 20, 2014

Effective Websites

Your website is the foundation of your online presence. It is an all-important tool that will either draw a potential reader's interest or lose it, in a matter of seconds. An effective website should have a clear purpose, be clean and easy to read/navigate, informative, and encourage reader interaction. 

Purpose

As a writer, the most important motivating factor behind a website is to sell more books. Sorry if that sounds crass, but it's true. A good website tells the reader about you, your books, gives them information about your schedule (tours, book signings, etc.), gives fans access to exclusive content and promotions. 

What Does Effective Website Look Like?

An effective website is attractive and clean (not cluttered.) Yes, you need widgets and buttons, but don't go overboard. Avoid any extras that you don't need. I can't tell you how many websites I've gone to and immediately left because of visual overload. Keep it simple! A reader should be able to figure out where they are, and the basic navigation of your website within seconds of entering it. 

Effective Content

Your website needs: 
  • A clear title - somewhere at the top of the page, so readers know they're at the right place. 
  • An easy navigation menu - Be it a top menu bar or side links, make it painfully obvious what your site offers.
  • Info about your books - What are your books about and where can they be purchased? 
  • Info about you - Be it long or short, readers want to know who you are and why they should care, give it to them. Tell them what your favorite books are, how you got into writing, etc. 
  • Social Media Buttons and Links - Everyone has different tastes and preferences. A variety of social media options give your readers a choice of how to interact with you, which increases the chance they'll see what you want them to. 
  • Schedule - Let your readers know where they can find you signing books, speaking at an event, or touring. 
  • Exclusive content - Fans want exclusives, offer them unpublished exclusives, and insider content. Remember all those secondary characters you did write ups for? Instead of throwing them away, offer them as deleted scenes. Write posts about your inspiration, your writing process, and why you chose one path for your protagonist over another. Your fans will eat it up
  • Promotions - Offer occasional giveaways, sales, free ebook copies, etc. Give them a reason to check your site regularly, so they don't miss out. 
  • A "call to action" - A call to action is a text or graphic that encourages your reader to do something. It can be a "subscribe" button, a link directing them to a relevant post on your site, a "share" button, a link to buy or read more about your book, etc.  
  • Analytics - Analytic tools help you gage how popular your page is and where your traffic is coming from.  They keep track of how many people visit your site, which pages they view, how long they stay, and what part of the world they access your site from. This lets you see which type of posts are the most popular, etc. and see how your fans are engaging with your website. 
  • Contact info - A contact form or email address is essential! Your fans need to know you are accessable.
  • Memorable site address - Be sure your website's address that is easy to remember. 
-Laura

Great articles:
Author Website Checklist
10  Techniques for an Effective Call to Action

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Most Effective Advertising Resources, According to Authors

*This post will be updated periodically. If you know of a wonderful advertising resource which needs to be shared, please contact me."

I asked authors all over the world about their favorite/most effective places to advertise their books. Here's what they said: 
 
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Facebook seems to be a favorite among authors, including author Holly Kelly, who said, "I promote in Facebook groups (lots of them, daily). It's free, and I've sold thousands of copies of my books - so it has worked for me."


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Author Kathleen S Harsch, like many authors, suggests that "Being a guest author on a well-read blog." This method is used often in blog tours (read more about it here.)

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If your book isn't listed on Goodreads yet, either you or your agent aren't doing your job. With over 10 MILLION users, this site is a must for every author. There is also a giveaway feature that authors swear by. 

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Several authors, such as Patricia Kiyono, have mentioned EReader News Today"Once you get ten Amazon reviews, EReaderNews today is phenomenal for getting your book out there. Your book needs to be 99 cents (my publisher will lower the price for this promotion) and then you pay a percentage of the sales generated from click-throughs. I've had three books featured on their daily lists and ALL have ended up at #10 or higher on Amazon lists!"

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askDavid.com is a review site that focuses on books and does free book promotions for authors, the only requirement is that your book has to be listed on Amazon.com

Special thanks to Florence Osmond for sharing this!

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indiebookoftheday.com features one indie book per day, which is awarded their "Indie Book of the Day" award. This book is featured on the front of their page with its blur, author bio, and Amazon review. Read their selection criteria before submitting your book.

Special thanks to Florence Osmond for telling me about this!

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Kindle Direct Publishing lets Prime members borrow your book for free for one month (which give you a LOT of free advertising), allows you to set free and sale prices for giveaways, and give you a bonus for being a KPD member. The downside is, you sign to exclusively sell that ebook on Amazon.

"I thought it might be a good idea to run the giveaway the week before Christmas and then return my book to $2.99, on the 23rd right before the sales boom. So, I set my five days up and held my breath. The result was tremendous. I gave away 2200 books in 5 days. I got a ton of reviews, sequel notification emails and Facebook friends. My book rating sky-rocketed (from 15,000 to 6,000) and I began selling quite a few more titles each day. I went from selling five books a day before Christmas to selling 15 a day after the promotion. And the wave still hasn't peaked. This month I am selling twenty-five books a day with little to no promotional leg work." - Katie French 


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I was suspicious of authormarketingclub.com at first, but I've done quite a bit of digging, and this site is legit. It has helpful resources like *marketing tutorials and lists of Amazon reviewers you can submit your book to.

Most features of their site are free to members (email address is required for sign up), but they do offer a premium membership that costs money.

*Disclaimer: I have not gone through their marketing tutorials yet, so I don't know about the quality of their information, I'm just going on what other authors have told me. 

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digitalbooktoday.com does free and paid book promos. I cannot recommend the paid options yet, as I've not heard much about them and their subscriber numbers are relatively low for such, but the free option is a way to get your book seen by 9,800 daily email subscribers.

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"The Midlist highlights talented authors who we believe produce books that are bestseller quality, even if those books aren't necessarily bestsellers on the charts."They promote approved "high quality" media books for free via email list and social media.

The Midlist does both free features and paid advertising. Be sure to build up some following, get great reviews, etc. before submitting to them. To possibly be featured, you must meet their criteria: Books must be free or on sale, must be submitted 10+ business days before your sale or promo date (unless it's a long running promo that's not ending before you might get featured.)
"We select titles based on a combination of literary merit, reader activity around the title, and social brand engagement around the author. We also pay close attention to data around what our readers are most likely to click on, download, or purchase, which are large factors that determine the types of books we accept."

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Listmania and "So You'd Like" by Amazon
Both FREE, you create lists of things that people will like if they like something similar. These lists show up as people are browsing on Amazon. You MUST read and follow Amazon's instructions!
For example, you can put a competing book on your list, and let others know that if they like that, they may also like your book. Their readers can be your readers. It's simple, free, and VERY effective!

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Press Releases and Advertorials
"Surprisingly, a press release can be an inexpensive form of book promotion. It's not because the world is so interested in the fact that Juli Herren just published a multimedia "novel in snippets" for tablet and smartphone -- it's because of the fact that so many people make a living off the re-purposing of press-release content. The search-engine "spiders" will seize upon this activity with vigor, which works to the author's advantage."
Juli Herren


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Wattpad is a community where authors of all levels can share what they've written, and readers can see it, comment, critique, and vote on it, for free. While some authors do and have acquired huge followings, you don't have to post an entire book for free. They also offer a Featured Book option that costs $25. Personally, I consider this to be a great deal because your book will be well advertised to many of their approx. 25 MILLION users per month. 

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Costing $3-$6, The Fussy Librarian is an amazing way to get your ebook out to 13,500 daily email subscribers, and potentially into schools!

Requirements: Must have 10 4 star Amazon reviews (or other, see requirements here), must cost $5.99 or less (the prefer $2.99), and have a quality cover.

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Almost everytime I hear an advertising discussion among authors, BookBub comes up. As far as advertising resources on this list, this probably the most expensive and highly rated.

"BookBub charges by genre and book price and it's fairly expensive, though I only know one person who said she didn't make her money back and then some."

- Author Alexez Razevich


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Paid social media and google ads
For a small cost per click, you can run an inexpensive and highly effective marketing campaign targeted directly at your perspective readers. These ads can be run my anyone, and you can learn to do it yourself, but the best results will come from a social media marketing specialist.

The benefits of using a professional are many, but most importantly, you get the services of someone specially trained to help authors reach their readers, which is much more cost effective since you're not throwing your money at people and shouting, "BUY MY BOOK!"

Also, if you have a specialist who knows her/his business, you can easily use such campaigns to get your book on the radars of libraries, schools, newspapers, and publishers.



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"I do Goodreads Giveaways, guest blogs, blog hops, blogging and social media to get my name and books out there. I've never paid for advertising - with the exception of my publisher's ezine, which was a waste of money. My target audience won't see my ads. The only way for MG authors to get their books in front of their target audience is to get in schools, libraries, and connect with parents and teachers. At least this is what I've found so far. Patience is the name of the game in this industry."
Author Sharon Ledwith


Before you try any or all of these methods, take this advice to heart. "As far as advertising goes, I feel the same way about advertising as I do publishing. Every author must find their own way. For some authors, standing in front of a crowd of Jr. high students won't work for them. For others, they love this and have the energy and charisma to entertain a bunch of media zapped teenagers. Some authors can really social network through blogging, and for others, they like to go to fairs dressed up at their main character. Some find a niche like church groups, medieval fairs, children being hospitalized for cancer etc. These groups are very specific, but chances are you will get a higher sales rate." - Author Deirdra Eden

Monday, June 16, 2014

Turning Rivaly into Sales

I once sat down to lunch with a New York Times Best Selling Author who complained that another author had stolen his idea, and now he couldn't write about that topic because that author's series was so successful.

For some reason, like that author, in our author community, there is a terrible scarcity mentality. Coined by Stephen R. Coveyscarcity mentality means a destructive and unnecessary competition based on the idea that if someone else wins or is successful in a situation, that means you lose; not considering the possibility of all parties winning (in some way or another) in a given situationThis mindset is rampant in our author community, and it is also WRONG! 

I know it's not easy for us creative people, but let's switch the the yucky side of our brain and look at this from a business perspective. Whether you're selling books or giving them away for free, your book is your product (something that is bought, given away, or exchanged.) In this post, we're going to look at two types of products: consumable and non-consumable.

Consumable products are usually things like food, makeup, toiletries, cleaners, etc. that you use and replenish over time, after you use them. Non-consumable items are products like furniture, clothing (for some of us ;), appliances, etc... Things that are expected to last forever or at least for a really long time. Which describes your product (book)?

While books really do last a long time and may be kept forever, books are technically a consumable product because once a reader is done with a book, they'll eventually read another. Unless you absolutely never read, you're not just going to read one book in your life and say, "Ok, I've read a book, I'm good..." and never read again. Do you see what mean? Books are a consumable product, the demand for new books will never end. Even if your book is a historical nonfiction or instructional, it can always been updated.

This is one of the main reasons that scarcity mentality is so damaging to authors. Whenever we assume we can't write something because it's already been written or can't sell our book because a rival is successful, we limit ourselves. Think of how many books have ever been written. Chances are, your story has been told in some form or another. Generally, there aren't many new ideas, just new creative ways to present them. As a writer, your job is to make whatever you write sound new and exciting, even if "it's been done before."

I've seen two main attitudes among authors: that competitive scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality. Yes, another Stephen R. Covey term. (If you haven't ready The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, do it now, it can change your life. It changed mine.)  Abundance mentality is "a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others. Individuals with an abundance mentality reject the notion of zero-sum games and are able to celebrate the success of others rather than feel threatened by it."

Author, illustrator, and business owner Deirdra Eden, of Eden Literary, related an experience she had with another cover designer:

"She was my biggest competitor in our niche market, we both created quality covers at a decent price. I got a new client in New York. It was a huge job, and a great opportunity, but I knew that I couldn't do it with my workload at that time. So, I contacted this rival and asked her if she wanted this job, because I knew that she did comparable work at a comparable price, and I trusted her to do a good job. She took the job and was happy to have it, and she even paid me a referral fee. After that, we both talked about how we had a lot of work, we were backlogged. To this day, we still give each other work when we've got too much going on, or if there's something I know she'll enjoy, I'll send it over to her." 

This working relationship that Deirdra developed is a perfect example of this abundance mentality, it's a win-win (or if you're a fan of The Office, win-win-win.) Both cover designers got something out of it, and the client was happy.


As authors, we have a very unique community. I've seen authors sacrifice and work to promote the work of others. (I've also seen authors do really mean things, but let's not get into that.) When I meet a stranger, and we find out we're both authors, we're instantly friends, if not family. As such, we have the opportunity to build each other up through competitive collaboration.

What in the world is that? Your competition can help build your brand. Working together and helping each other, like family or friends, we actually sell more books. Let's say your rival is selling a similar book to the one you're promoting. The world is ending! Right? Heck no! Selling a similar book is actually a powerful marketing tool.

Why do you think you see so many movies come out with similar plots at the same time? People want to see which they like best. Yes, you will be compared, but to compare your books, they need to read your books. Have you noticed the ads on Facebook or sites where you're looking at books? Notice they'll say something like, "If you like this book, you'll love this book!" Use it to your advantage! Their fans are your fans.

Don't alienate your coworkers and clients with a bad attitude. We're a community, be a good neighbor.

-Laura

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Your Book is Your Business: What Are You Investing?

Whether you're traditionally or self-published, profit or non-profit, your book is your business. You invest time, money, creativity, effort, and, hopefully, heart into your work. Why wouldn't you do your best to make it successful?

Regardless of whether you're in it for the money, if you're publishing a book, you want people to read what you've written. To do that, your book needs to be good quality, and people need to know it exists. There are some key investments you need to make in both traditional and self-publishing. This article by The Cadence Group does a great job of pointing out the cost of publishing that many don't think about.

Once your book is written, you need professional editing, formatting, a great cover, and a business plan. Yes, you do need a professional cover design. Think about it this way: Let's say you just started a gourmet restaurant. You wouldn't serve this perfect food to your guests in a used dog food bowl, right? How about on some paper plates? Why not? Of course, it's bacause the quality of the presentation doesn't match the food. It's an instant turn off.

Readers pay for a quality product, just like any other consumer. When you package your book in substandard material, your customer's expectations drop. If your cover looks like your cousin made it in beginning art class, or worse, that you made it yourself with little or no experience, readers will expect the same quality of work on the inside. Yes, we actually do judge books by their covers. Don't jeopardize the success of your book by not investing in an amazing cover.

Let's assume that you did the smart thing and invested in a profession cover design. Now that you've grabbed your reader's attention and they've started reading your book, what will they find? Not to be redundant, but let's go with the restaurant analogy again. Your customer has been seated in your professionally decorated gorgeous restaurant, and their mouth is watering as they wait for their food. They savor each bite, it's so satisfying...until they discover a bug in their food. You might find a few people willing to eat around it, but their opinion of your fine establishment just dropped. We avoid this by getting our books professionally edited. Critique groups are amazing, use them! But when they've helped all they can, hire a professional editor to do the rest, or your readers WILL find bugs in their food.

At last, you have the world's best book, and you're ready to change people's lives. Time to throw it up on Amazon, the book's so great, it'll sell itself! Dead wrong. With very rare exception, the only books that sell themselves are porn. If you don't believe me, just think about it. If you want your book to be seen, you need to make it visible. Yes, of course I'm going to talk about marketing, I'm a marketing specialist, it's what I do.

Do you know that, in the publishing industry, a book that sells one thousand copies is considered to be a success? How successful do you want your book to be? What are you goals? Is that one thousand your dream number, or do you want more? If that number sounds good, then you can probably sell most of them to family and friends. If you want more, you need a marketing professional and a professional marketing plan. You can't just spam, "HEY! BUY MY BOOK!" if you want to sell. People don't like things thrown in their face. This is where the strategies come into play.

Again, your restaurant just opened. The food is exquisite, the place is amazing, but no one shows up. Way too many authors experience this, it's the main reason I started this website! I understand that, for most of us authors, money can be tight, but you can get creative. I promise to write more about this later.

I could go on forever, and you know I probably will later, but I'll leave you with these thoughts. There's a famous story about Dr. Seuss talking to a brain surgeon. The surgeon said that someday he should take a month off and write a book. Dr. Seuss replied, "Maybe someday I should take a month off and try brain surgery." Forgive me if I didn't word it exactly right, but I hope you get the point. Every aspect of writing and publishing requires expertise. Do NOT attempt brain surgery if you're not a surgeon.

When you invest so much to write your book, why would you sabotage it by not putting enough into getting it published? Remember, no matter how emotionally attached you are, your book is a business and must be treated like one.

-Laura

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Silver Series Mass Book Giveaway!

Please leave a comment with your email if you would like to be entered in to win the entire Silver Series by Cheree Alsop!!!

Character blurb from Jaze Carso:
 
“Werewolves hide among you; it’s a secret we have fought for centuries to keep. We were almost wiped out once, and know better than to let the secret out again. But just like humans, werewolves are impulsive and sometimes uncontrollable. That’s where I come in. My job is to protect the werewolves and help them live full and happy lives. There are Hunters and others who don’t believe werewolves have rights and should be hunted and exterminated like animals. I’ve done what I can to smooth Hunter-werewolf relations, but extremists, fighting rings, and covert agencies feel that the fate of werewolves should be to die, be forced to fight for the entertainment of humans who watch the mutilation and bloodshed like it’s a sport, or be experimented upon to unlock the secrets of our superior strength and increased healing capabilities.

I have seen things that would break me if I didn’t remember what I was fighting for. I found my father hacked apart by Hunters, and have rescued friends and comrades from fates worse than death. I feel a noose closing in as though those I care about are in danger, but I can’t find the source of it quickly enough to save them. There are so many werewolves in trouble, and though my team and the Hunters and werewolves that make up what some consider my private army work night and day to rescue them, it’s not enough. We need to do more, and so I am creating a team strong enough and smart enough to stop the threats hurled against us by ignorant humans who fear what they don’t understand.

I am a high school student, and my attempt to live a normal life is shadowed by the werewolves who need my help. Charts of recent werewolf activity hang from my bedroom walls in place of posters. A computer tracking the rogue packs that intimidate the local wolves and endanger innocent humans sits by my bed. In place of text books, pens, and paper, my backpack is filled with guns, knives, and the occasional bag of beef jerky (you don’t want to mess with a hungry werewolf). Instead of studying for classes, my friends spend their days creating high-tech monitoring devices and tracking down the locations of fighting rings, torture chambers, and laboratories.

I have loved with all of my heart, which is the way of the wolf. I have tracked through fields lit by the light of the full moon as it rested upon my shoulders like a cloak of strength. I have suffered to see the pains other werewolves have gone through, and almost died saving a human girl who stole my heart and gave me my life back. I live in the hopes of avenging my father’s death by saving those in pain, and I give every day-”

A sound reverberated through the room. Jaze Carso set down his pen and a smile spread across his face. The curtains to either side of the open window swayed gently in the breeze to create dancing trails of moonlight across the page. Jaze opened his hand and let it play across his palm. A welcome shudder ran through his body. He stood as the howl sounded again, more persistent this time. He took off his clothes and didn’t fight the phase. His joints shifted, pulling him onto his hands and knees. His ears elongated and moved to higher points on his head while his muzzle grew and sharp canines lengthened. Jet black fur ran up his arms and down his body, covering his shoulders and back in a soft undercoat followed by the thick, longer guard hairs. It felt good to be in wolf form again, like putting on a pair of worn shoes molded by time to fit only the wearer’s feet. Jaze shook to settle into his wolf form, then stretched.

Another howl rose and other voices joined it. The notes took on the warm, rounded tones of his pack ready for a night run beneath the welcome embrace of the full moon. Jaze pushed aside the curtain with his muzzle and the moonlight cast his brown eyes with a golden glow. Stars glittered within the inky blanket of night and the full orb above washed the city in an other-worldly glow. Eyes watched him from below, one pair dark blue, another deep crimson red, one set violet, and the last golden and deep with the secrets of the wild. Jaze gave a wolfish grin and leaped from the window.

My Social Media Links:

website: www.chereealsop.com

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorchereealsop 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chereealsop 

Amazon for paperback & ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Cheree-Alsop/e/B006NPWD2Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1372913544&sr=8-2-ent

Barnes&Noble for ebook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/cheree-alsop?store=allproducts&keyword=cheree+alsop 

Smashwords for all ebook formats: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=cheree+alsop 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heart of the Wolf Part Two by Cheree Alsop



When Prince Edric saved the life of Fade, a Wolf Shifter, he had no idea the events that would follow. Now Fade’s life is on the line not only for Edric, but for the entire kingdom of Anira. Fade has to decide how far he will go as his strength, spirit, and his love for Princess Kelianna are tested to their limits. Anira hangs in the balance as Fade is forced to choose between aligning himself with the Kaidan warriors who threaten it, or risk losing everything to a peril greater than any imagined.


Social Media Links:

website: www.chereealsop.com

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorchereealsop 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chereealsop 

Amazon for paperback & ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Cheree-Alsop/e/B006NPWD2Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1372913544&sr=8-2-ent

Barnes&Noble for ebook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/cheree-alsop?store=allproducts&keyword=cheree+alsop 

Smashwords for all ebook formats: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=cheree+alsop 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cover Reveal for REWIND TO YOU

Cover Reveal, About the Author, a Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU and Rafflecopter Giveaway


Genre: Clean Contemporary YA Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2014; Available for PREORDER now

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

About the Author:

Laura Johnston lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and two children. Growing up in Orem, Utah with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, dancing (deduced to dancing around the kitchen while cooking dinner these days), traveling, writing, writing and more writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU, her debut novel, was inspired by the loss of her father as a teenager.

A Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU:





Giveaway: Signed Copy of REWIND TO YOU and $25 Amazon Gift Card


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner, chosen by Rafflecopter, will be announced here on April 29th as well as emailed. The winner will have 5 days to respond at which point a new winner will be chosen. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Book Review: Empty Nest by Victoria Lynn



Empty Nest is an allegory in which a mother bird lays eggs, raises chicks and eventually watches them fly away.
Mother bird shares her emotions when she becomes an “Empty Nester.”
Mother bird gives insights on how she deals with the loss and loneliness, and how she keeps her spirits bright by serving and developing many different kinds of relationships, including relationships with her grandchildren.
The book’s simple, yet elegant illustrations display so much emotion and help tell the story beautifully.

You can get the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Empty-Nest-Victoria-Lynn/dp/1495101355