Yari is making a great point – looking at your manuscript (ms) in a different format and even on a different device can help you spot things you may want to change and things you have to change like errors. I like viewing my ms as a pdf on my tablet. Even going from computer screen to tablet, I notice different things. And I always recommend to my clients to print out their ms and read it that way as well (one of the last edits I do). I also read out loud. Another very helpful editing tool.
This is a post on ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) by Jyolsna Ramacham dran that every author should read. It’s is a step-by-step process of how to pick your best key words on Amazon using Google keyword planner and Amazon’s search engine and how to use those words in your title, subtitle and description (or “About” section on Amazon). Plus she gives you a few “ideas on sales conversion.
Great post, Jyolsna!
“Here’s a handy checklist of pointers to help you optimise your book’s visibility on Amazon – make sure you’re not missing out on any of these valuable tips to help you make your book more discoverable and to sell more books!”…
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality
Very important information from Valerie Biel and her wonderful writer’s blog about book contests. It’s a must read or listen to (youtube video/voiceover) for any author thinking of entering any contest.
Award contests can be a good way to promote and market yourself and your work!
At the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute in April of 2018, I presented a session called “The Winner’s Circle: Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees?”. I discussed the ways to check if a contest is reputable, which ones are good to enter, and what to do if you win. Later, I took my PowerPoint and narrated it before uploading it to YouTube. You can watch it here.
Were Publishing Dreams Become Reality
In the post link below, David Kudler explains various reason to go the free route and various reasons not to. As with most things, it really depends on what works for you at this moment in time. He also explains how to get Amazon to set your book for free, even though they don’t want to. But I wouldn’t go to that effort unless you’re going with perma-free. If you want free on Amazon and you’re not part of their Select program – just do an Amazon giveaway.
Personally, I think the perma-free thing only works if you have A LOT of good reviews for the first book in a book series before you even set it at FREE. (How much is A LOT? – not sure there is a magic number. How many reviews would it take you to pick up a book from an author you didn’t know?)
There are so many ways for readers to get books for free now a days, a free book from a completely unknown (and unread – if you don’t have many reviews) does very little to make a shopper click that button and pick up your book.
That is not to say free for a week or free for a day or book giveaways aren’t a good thing. I think short-term giveaways associated with some other promotion you might be doing aimed at readers you know is a good idea. You do want to get more reviews. But keep in mind, just because you give a book away doesn’t mean you’ll get a review. I’ve given away a lot of books on Amazon and Goodreads and the Fussy Librarian but gotten very few reviews from those. Hopefully I’ve gotten a new reader or two. And it only takes one or two people who read your book to decide they like you and will tell others about you and your book to help get your name out there.
What you can do is set the price for the first book in a series (or a first book in a collection of books you have) at a lower price than the rest. If someone really wants to try your book, $.99 or $1.99 or maybe $2.99 isn’t going to stop them.
And remember, pricing also depends on the length of the book and the genre your book is in. So check out what other unknown authors are charging in your genre to help you decide what to do.
Great resources for video book promotion!
I have seen many people asking the search engines and in various video related Facebook groups questions like: “Where can I find free music to use in my videos?”“Where can I find Royalty free music?” “Free music for commercial use?” Because I see the same questions being asked so often, I thought it was time to do some research and find some useful answers.
We know that video is a great way to market almost anything these days, but when it comes to choosing and adding a soundtrack to your latest video ad, video product review, or even your latest blockbuster, you are entering a minefield!
Although a music track is “royalty free” this does not mean it is actually free to use or that you can just download it to your computer and upload it to your video editor. You need to check any licensing requirements very carefully to…
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Writers tend to be shy people (not all, of course), but being interviewed for a broadcast of some kind might be just the things for a shy person.
Getting on a local radio station, podcast, association website… There are various places to get yourself and your writing in front of others. Tom Corson-Knowles offers writers a step-by-step process to getting interviewed.
I was interviewed once on a local radio program and had a great time doing it. Did I see any change in sales after? It was quite a while ago but I don’t remember any changes in my sales, but then the station broadcast reach was quite small. I still enjoyed it and would do it again.
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality
I want to help other authors this year by featuring them in blog posts. Dan Buri is just such an author.
Here is Dan’s guest post:
The life of an author can be difficult. As writers, we simply love to write. Unfortunately, getting our work published is never as simple as just writing. Often times we can’t sit down and write because there are too many other tasks required of us. Publishing in the current environment of the internet, online publications, and ebooks is almost as simple as a click of button, but writing and publishing successfully is far more daunting. There are thousands of decisions to be made.
I’ve found with anything in life that’s difficult, the best way to approach it is to break it into pieces. Figure out how to write your book in steps. You can’t tackle everything at once, so break it up into actionable pieces that you can accomplish. Soon, as you complete one step after another, you will be holding your own book in your hands, whether that’s your first book or your fiftieth.
If you’ve read my first book, Pieces Like Pottery, you’ll recall one of the lead characters found a list of forty life tips from his former high school teacher, Mr. Smith. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from readers on these forty life tips. They seem to resonate deeply with people. In my blog (Nothinganygood.com) and in my new book on writing—an inspirational guide for indie authors on their writing journey—I’ve applied each of the forty life tips to writing and how they can help you write, market, and sell your book.
Here is a sneak peek into a few truncated versions of those tips from 40 Tips on Creative Writing:
1) Life’s too short to not seize the opportunities with which we are presented.
Always take the chance to do what you love when it comes along. Write that book! Start now! Do you have thirty minutes today? Sit down and start writing.
2) Don’t dress like a bum all day long.
Some people do perfectly well rolling out of bed and doing great things in their underwear all day. I’m not one of those people. If I want to be productive, I prepare for it. Production doesn’t just magically happen. There has to be a plan. Wake up early. Shower. Wear respectable clothes. Eat breakfast. Get your mind right for writing. Then, when you’re good and ready, sit down and write.
3) Have a routine, but avoid being routine.
Having a routine is good. We just finished agreeing not to dress like a bum all day long. This is part of planning to be productive. Having a routine and a schedule can ensure that you are actually writing and not just dreaming about it. But don’t let that routine control you. Follow it as far as it will lead on the road of utility, but the moment you hit a dead end and it’s no longer useful, break away from it. Avoid being routine.
4) Don’t be afraid to see dinosaurs even when everyone else around you doesn’t. Anyone who has ever tried to write anything of worth, and for that matter any creative type who has ever tried to make something out of nothing, knows how exciting and scary that can be at the same time. Take that excitement and fear and use it. Don’t worry about how others say you’re supposed to write. Write the way that you want to write. Sure, soak in all the advice and feedback from writing experts and amateurs alike. Take it all to heart. Let it wash over you. Then filter it through that beautiful brain of yours and write the way you feel called to write.
5) Be quick to show compassion and empathy.
When you find yourself suffering from the clichéd writer’s block, take this advice to heart. Put yourself into your character’s shoes. Show compassion and empathy. What is your lead character feeling? Get yourself into the state mind of your character. As much as you can, put yourself in a place where you can understand and feel everything that your character is going through. It’s the skill of the great writer.
I know writing a book (or another book) can be difficult, but there is a huge author community out there ready to support you. 40 Tips on Creative Writing can be your inspirational guide to a successful book!
Seize the day you have in front of you. You are strong.
You are kind. You are wonderful. Don’t forget it.
― Dan Buri
More from Dan:
40 Tips on Creative Writing is currently available in ebook and print. Dan Buri (@DanBuri777 on Twitter) is a trusted resource for writers to gain insight into the difficult world of indie publishing. His first collection of short fiction — Pieces Like Pottery — which has been recognized on multiple Best Seller Lists, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption. His nonfiction works have been distributed online and in print, in publications including Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. Dan is a founding member of the Independent Writers Guild, a worldwide organization of writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting the interest of indie writers by encouraging public interest in, and fostering an appreciation of, quality indie literature. He is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest, and lives in Oregon with his wife and two young children.
Best of luck to you Dan!
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality