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The Book Review Rumpus

What’s a Rumpus? The dictionary describes it this way; noun: a noisy disturbance; a commotion.

That’s what it feels like when I’m trying to get a reader to ask for a review. I feel like I’m disturbing them, causing a commotion, maybe not a noisy one. I’m usually quite polite about it but I get the feeling that they would prefer I didn’t ask. I’ll ask anyway, of course. We have to, right?

Now, if they like the book, then most people will say they will leave a review, but there are lots of things that get in their way: other things in their lives, amazon’s review policy, their memory, their need to go a bit out of there way to pull up a website to put the review on . . . just to name a few.

One thing you can do is ask for reviews from places like Publishers Weekly or Library Journal. And Kirkus even has a review you can get for free, or it used to be. But with these places, you have to do it at least 3 months before you even publish. You can do that if you create an ARC (advanced reader copy – book form or pdf) and you can hold off publishing.

I have to admit, I haven’t been very good at waiting, especially since I usually have spent a lot of time and money on creating my books and I’m anxious to get it out there, see what people think and recoup the costs of publishing.

There are paid services for reviews too. And I usually tell my clients not to use those, unless they want to, of course. But it’s a bit of a gamble.

NetGalley Discount

However, the one review service I have paid for that I thought was a good deal is NetGalley. NetGalley is a service that has lots of lots of people that have signed up specifically to review books, I am guessing they do this just because they like reading. They don’t get paid to do it but they do get free books to read from any genre they choose. There are over 360,000 reviewers on NetGalley – All pre-approved! Many are librarians, newspaper reviewers, top Amazon reviewers, and influential bloggers.

Getting into NetGalley is normally not cheap. The company I used was BooksGoSocial. And just like now, on occasion they have a sale for their Netgalley service, which is when I signed up.

So right now you can get their NetGalley service for 40% off (normally $79-$199 depending on now many months you want your book up on NetGalley). Click on this NetGalley Link, and enter the code ntgdisc and you’ll get 40% off whatever NetGalley service you choose.

BooksGoSocial will give you great information about your book from the reviewer (Here is a video that explains more) and even email address of all who sign up to review your book. Quite valuable information! It was over a year ago that I did this so I don’t remember how many reviews I got (I know it was at least 4 or maybe it was 6) = but I remember one reviewer was very popular on Goodreads, so she shared her positive review of my book with her many followers and I did get a couple sales from that one reviewer!

I only recommend things to authors that I’ve tried or that I know from other reputable authors recommends. This service I would recommend.

And they have other services too. I am seriously considering their Amazon ad service. I’ve set up an Amazon ad before (I broke even, basically), but it’s a royal pain in the you know what. When I break down and try their ad service, I’ll let you know how it goes. For any folks who read this blog and want to get a $20 discount on any of BooksGoSocial services, just contact me and I’ll email you the discount code.

Image: Business photo created by pressfoto – www.freepik.com
Note: I am an affiliate of BooksGoSocial, so I get a small compensation for any sales from this post. But I still would recommend them (and I have before I became an affiliate).

If you give them a try, let me know how it goes. I like to keep up on what works and what doesn’t work for people.

Happy writing!
And Happy Turkey Day – for those in the US!

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Pricing your ebook at a discount: Why do it, when, and how to promote 

By Flash Alexander via Pixabay

Here are some suggestions about how to price your ebook and why it might be a good idea to have an occasional sale!

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There are a number of benefits to pricing your ebook at a discount or for free. If you’re aiming to attract new readers and ultimately increase sales, here’s what to do…

Source: Pricing your ebook at a discount: Why do it, when, and how to promote | For Authors | The Fussy Librarian

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

How and Why to Write Your Back-Cover Synopsis Early 

Tim Storm gives some good examples of the ever-difficult back cover blurb for fiction and deconstructs them.

I heard someone say once, write 5-10 different version of the same blurb, then narrow down from there. I agree. Narrow down to 3-4 and share with people you know who read. Ask them, “Which one would make you want to pick up this book?”

I have never done this step early, but I do agree that, just like writing your elevator pitch early, it will help you focus as you write. Or when you’re editing, it will help you know what you can cut.

Thanks Tim!

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The back-cover synopsis lays out the book’s premise and piques reader interest. Here’s how and why you should write one early and often.

Source: How and Why to Write Your Back-Cover Synopsis Early | Craft Articles

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

55 Social Media Hashtags For Book Authors (And How To Use Them) 

Are you confused by hashtages like I am?

The staff at Web Design Relief put this handy list together so you don’t have to be confused about what hashtag to use to connect with more readers or other authors.

Plus they give us guidelines for using hashtags: (thank you!!)

  • Use hashtags specific to your message (examples in the post)
  • Try to take advantage of the important keywords in your post’s text (examples in the post)
  • Or, add hashtags at the end of the post
  • Don’t use too many hashtags (1-2), except on Instagram, where it doesn’t seem to matter

Below is the link to the post.

Thanks Web Design Relief staff!

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Writers: Boost engagement on social media by harnessing the power of writing and publishing hashtags.

Source: 55 Social Media Hashtags For Book Authors (And How To Use Them) | Web Design Relief

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Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

How to Find Profitable Amazon Book Advertisement Keywords [2020]

Many of you may know Dave Chesson. He is a wealth of knowledge for anyone looking for information about publishing. He also has some products to sell related to that as well (which I am not endorsing here but I do trust him – he’s been around the book world for quite a while). Part of the reason I trust Dave is because he gives a lot of good information away for free. This post is an example.

I have done Amazon ads and I’ve hired others to do it for me as well. Both times I’d say I came out about even in the money I spent and the money I gained. It gave me more readers (not a lot, and not sure that translated to purchases of any of my other books) but I’m still on the fence whether it was worth all the time I spent on doing it myself, since I just broke even.

If you’ve even tried ads yourself, he’s right, key words are KEY! (pardon my pun). His post helps you a bit in that direction. (link below)

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“Learn how you can create a list of profitable Amazon ads keywords for your book advertisements and start earning now on your ads!…”

Source: How to Find Profitable Amazon Book Advertisement Keywords [2020]

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Do I Need a Platform and If So, How High?

Anne Greenwood Brown talks about platforms for authors. She showcases a fiction author who’s book has in interesting premise – celebery crushes.

Notice she says getting a following can take years. I think she’s right, for most of us authors, so patience and persistance is a must, whether you’re going the traditional route or self-publishing.

Have a read…

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In 2010, when I first dipped my toe into the publishing world, the biggest mystery to me was—besides figuring out the difference between a query and a synopsis—this thing called a “platform.” At th…

Source: Do I Need a Platform and If So, How High?

Amazon Eliminates Two Promotional Options 

Amazon is shutting down it’s giveaway option (which was a great promtional tool) and it’s matching program (which allowed a reader who bought your print book to buy the ebook at a reduced rate).

I didn’t know this, so I wanted to make sure you-all had heard.

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Source: Amazon Eliminates Two Promotional Options | Self-Publishing Review

Advertising Your Books – Part Two: Facebook Ads | Valerie Biel

Valerie Biel has given authors a wonderful step by step process for setting up a Facebook ad, in addition to tips on how to monitor that ad and make sure it is working for you.

I particularly like the advice on setting up a universal purchase link for your other books in the back of your ebook. Great idea. And BTW draft2digital lets you use their universal link creator even if you don’t publish through them. They have another company: Book2read that allows you to create this universal link for free. How nice is that! (And still I wonder, what is the catch? The pragmatist in me says nothing is for free. But maybe there isn’t a catch. I’ll use it and let you know.)

Amazon also has a linking service that will direct buyers to the correct Amazon “store” for them (US, UK, Japan, France…). Their service is booklinkerI’m going to use this one too!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Facebook ad, so I’m sure I’ll use this post to help me when I try it again.

Thanks Val!

If you click on her post for her bookbub ad, you’ll notice, Valerie compared the various ad’s she created for her bookbub ad. Lawrence O’Bryan also talks about comparing ads plus other things that we can compare. Take a look at his post about A/B testing.

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Advertising Your Books – Part One taught you how to get started with BookBub ads. I’ve continued my ad testing on that platform and have updated that article with more notes on my results HERE. The article below details how to advertise on Facebook.

Source: Advertising Your Books – Part Two: Facebook Ads | Valerie Biel

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Where Publishing Dream Become Reality

(This is the picture I used for my just released “All is Revealed in Russia” – the final book in the Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure Series. front cover - AIRIR Don’t I look lovely! – And mysterious!)

Top 10 FAQs About Book Publicity and Promotion 

Some good information about promotion by Joan Stewart. I particularly like the list of free press release distribution services. I have not tried any of these but will definitely look into them.

Joan also lists a couple paid services that she prefers, though one would have to wonder if she says The main reason you’re publishing your press release isn’t so media reprint it. Few if any will. You’re publishing it so it pulls traffic to your website and serves as collateral material for a well-written, customized pitch to a journalist, reviewer, influencer or someone else who can help you, I’m not sure that would be money well spent. I would think the free services would suffice. But what do I know about this? Nothing, really.

Anyone else know about these PR services?

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The number one question authors ask? “How long do I have to market my book?” Here are the most frequently asked questions I hear about book publicity…

Source: Top 10 FAQs About Book Publicity and Promotion – The Book Designer

Advertising Your Books – Part One: BookBub Ads 

Great post by Valarie Biel on Book ad, with details on book bub! Thanks Val!

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We often discuss the free ways to achieve attention for your books through social media and traditional media publicity. But what about paid advertising? Is this ever a good idea? Yes, paid advertising can give your books a sales’ boost. Particularly, after the buzz of your book launch has died down and you’re trying to gain some traction with sales. However, there’s a lot to know, and it’s important not to spend your advertising dollars before you’ve done your homework.

Source: Advertising Your Books – Part One: BookBub Ads | Valerie Biel

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality