Tuesday, December 29, 2015

10 New Author Marketing Must-dos Before Publishing

Salt Lake Comic Con 2015
Wouldn't it be great if we could use a little HOCUS POCUS to sell our books like crazy? 
I get emails all the time giving advice to new and seasoned authors alike. When I like what I see, I take notes or keep the articles. I chose some things from those emails and posts and added my own 
2 cents to come up with this list. 

This post is to all those newbie authors out there and even the ones who got off on the wrong foot. Already published a book? That's okay, step back and follow these 10 steps to ensure 
your next release is a good one.

  1. Keywords– Brainstorm keywords for your book. what is your book about? Create a list of topics, ideas, similar authors, etc that fit your book. Use these keywords on the various sales channels, in your book’s description, on your blog, and in ads.
  2. Beta-readers – Find people willing to read and give honest feedback on your book. This not only creates early buzz for your book, but also gives you initial reviews to post once the book is published. Ask for these beta-readers on your social networks and through your newsletter.
  3. Hashtags  –what is your genre? What are your keywords? Use Twitter’s search functions and TwiTag.com and Hashtags.org to find hash tags that are used by readers of books like yours. This will not only help you to find readers to follow but also give you a good idea of the hashtags you should use when promoting your books on Twitter.
  4. Facebook groups and pages – Using the keyword list you brainstormed, find Facebook pages and Facebook groups that you can contribute to with what you know and questions you might have. Don't be there only to promote your book. The more people interact with you the more likely they are to read your book.
  5. Google+ communities  – Google Plus has a ton of communities that have to do with your keywords. Search them and then join the communities that are most active and be active yourself. Remember, you are not there to tell them to buy your book all the time. 
  6. Forums Find forums that are dedicated to your genre. If you write YA books, then go to the forums that cater to those who read YA books. Your keywords can also help you find forums that fit what your write. Be sure to link to your author website if it is allowed.
  7. Schedule – Have a plan. Don't just publish when you are finished with the book. You need time to set up all your launch promotions and get all your ducks in a row before you put your book out there. You want buzz that will put you in hot new release categories on book selling sites for as long as possible-you can't do that if you just throw it up.
  8. FB party – Set up a Facebook party and start inviting people. The forums, communities, and groups you became a part of will be invaluable for this. Send an invite (if allowed in that group) once, maybe twice, but that is all. You could even do a review blog tour that links to the party to get more people to come. Use keywords to find blogs to highlight it or hire someone to do the tour. Be active in the party even after the party is over.
  9. Who are your fans and where do they hang out? – You will want to figure out who would love to read your book. Think about your keywords and genre as you brainstorm. Find out where those people hang out online. Just like the forums and blogs-don't spam them with posts to purchase. Become a part of the groups and sales will come naturally.
  10. Cross-promotion  – Find authors that have books similar to yours (genre and content) and connect with them. Form a group and plan and hold promotions together. You will all benefit.
Need cozy read? Enjoy the Castle Collection. Snuggle up. You're going to love it. 
Only .99 cents or free with Kindle Unlimited

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Making Time This Time of Year

by Donna K. Weaver

This is a crazy time. 
So many obligations. 
So many distractions. 
So many opportunities to spend time with loved ones.
While your mind swirls with story scenes
and imagines new characters and conversations,
don't begrudge your commitments
to family and friends.

the time you give
to the people most important to you.
Live in these real-life moments.

It's not only good for you,
it's good for your writing.

Greetings of the Season to you all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gifts for Writers

I know, I'm preaching to the choir, right? You are the writer, you know what to get. Here's where you can send your family still looking for the perfect gift. There's still time.....

Here's 10:

1. A fun shirt

2.  Writers Tool Box--To get the ideas flowing

3. The Emotion Thesaurus If you already have that, look for other writing helps books by this author.

4. Office supplies--think Post-it notes, pens, pencils, notebooks, reams of paper. 

5. A gift card to buy books! (Or an Amazon card for ebooks!) 

6. A writing Retreat!! iWN happens to have two a year.....

7. Scrivener 

8. A new laptop-- Mac or PC 

9. Read their book! and Review!

10. A subscription to a writing magazine

***What would you add?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Di$tribution and Dollar$

Tune out now if you don’t want to hear about it. Still here? Okay.

A little over a year ago, when Deanna and I published our first book as Jo Noelle, we uploaded files to all the major names for indie publishing for paperbacks and ebooks, then we started writing a new story and hoped to collect royalties. 

They came in slowly! As our little brand continued to grow, we saw a little larger returns for the next 6 months, and a very significant detail--ALL the money came from one source.

We switched our distribution plan and saw an immediate jump by 300%, and each month that number continues to rise. The simple thing we did, though we felt like it was a huge risk at the time, was to remove all our books from all vendors except Amazon, and enroll them in KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited is a library on Amazon that loans our titles out to subscribers (BTW I’m a subscriber too since I also love reading books.) and then we get paid on how many pages the subscribers read in a month. Before you think this is an Amazon advertisement, it's not. Many authors have their books in various distribution channels and do well. I'm just sharing our recent history.

So we kind of have perma-free books for subscribers, but we still make money on those free books!

For example, on Kindle Unlimited Lending Library we rent 384 pages at $0.005 per page = $1.92 per book read; if that same book is on promotion at $0.99 per ebook, we get 35% = $0.35 per book purchased; and if it’s at the regular price for an ebook of $3.99 and we get 70% = $2.79 per book purchased. Paperbacks seem more profitable with a sales price of $12.99, and we make a little over $5 of that, but we don’t sell many of them.

Our most active book on KULL rented over 100,000 pages last month.
Then + income from selling ebooks,
+ income from selling paperbacks, 
+ the income from these 3 sources for all our other books
= publishing is more than a hobby now. YAY! When we started writing, we didn't see it as a business, but it's turning into one.

This isn’t the right avenue for every author, or every book, but it’s working for us right now. The romance genre seems to work on KULL. In the ever-changing climate of publishing, it’s good to see what options are out there.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

BookReport ... Where Have You Been All My Life?

Self-published authors, rejoice!

Maybe I'm massively behind the times, but I just recently started using BookReport, and it has made my life so much easier.

You know how it gets confusing trying to read the Kindle sales board, especially now that we're trying to figure out pages read and all that mumbo-jumbo? BookReport does it for you. That's right - you just open your sales page, click on your BookReport bookmark, and you can see what you've made that day and that month.

You can try it free for two weeks. After that, it's $10 a month.  Click here, and see what you think!