Tag Archive | valerie biel

Some Website Builders for Authors 

Thinking about setting up a website and not sure which company might be best to use?

This post by Alessandra Torre doesn’t go into any depth, but it gives you a bit of information about three of the most common companies.

I use wordpress for two of my websites: my personal one (free), and my work one (this one you’re on -$99/year, site ground for my domain name $15.95/year). I use wix for my books ($126/year for a 3 year contract, Hover for the domain name $15.17/year).

My wordpress accounts are not ones where I have to know code (wordpress.com), so they were fairly easy to set up. It takes a lot of time, but it’s fairly user friendly. There is also a different type of wordpress account you can have that takes more computer knowledge (self-hosting wordpress. I think that’s the type Alessandra is referring to). I know Jane Friedman has blogged on setting up a website, including a wordpress account, so if you want to learn more, go to her site.

I agree that wix is fairly easy to use but both wordpress (my type of account) and wix take a bit of computer knowledge, but neither requires coding. I don’t think the “just a few hours” comment Alessandra makes is quite accurate, but it won’t take you weeks, maybe days.

I am not a computer wiz by any means so I understand if you would prefer to have someone else do it for you. I highly recommend Valerie Biel at Lost Lake Press for setting up your website. She is an author as well, so she knows where we are coming from and what we need. I am also familiar with Joanne Sprott – Cosmic Whispers Design; she’s part of an editor group I am also a part of where she was recommended as a web designer (EFA – Editorial Freelance Association).

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Your author website is the cornerstone of your brand and should highlight your books, yourself, and your newsletter signup. If you don’t have a website yet – don’t worry! There are several easy website builders that will allow a complete novice to build a site in just a few hours.

Source: Best Website Builders for Authors — Alessandra Torre Ink

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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(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!)

Writing Tip: Conflict

I’m working with a client that has written a story – the pantser method – that now needs some plotting work. This is not a bad way to write. I write this way most of the time. It is a slower way to write but if, like this writer – who is retired, you aren’t particularly in a hurry, it’s a fine way to write. I’m not about to tell anyone how to write.

But the story, now done, does need plotting work to pull the story theme together in a compelling way. I was reading a post on plotting vs panting on Valerie Biel’s wonderful writer’s site and came across this wonderful tip by Deeanne Gist.  It is a very helpful tip when taking a second look at your story, or planning it out for the first time (whatever way floats your boat). Take a look:

Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees? 

I’ve shared this information before, but it’s always good to review. Here’s a great post on the topic from Valerie Biel.

Thanks Valerie!

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We all want a shiny gold sticker for our cover! With more and more writing contests popping up every day, it’s important to determine which ones are reputable, whether entry fees are acceptable, and how to spot dangerous terms that infringe on your copyright. To watch a video version of this blog click below:

Source: Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees? | Valerie Biel

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Shady Writing Contest Rules – from the ALA? | Valerie Biel

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!

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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.

Source: Shady Writing Contest Rules – from the ALA? | Valerie Biel


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