Archive for March, 2012

Do You Know That You’re Spamming?

The first thing we’ve been told about marketing is to… TELL EVERYONE! And, authors think that’s exactly what they need to do on the internet so that people will know they exist and for people to buy their book. However, think about how much of what you are doing is actually marketing? Are you going everywhere and only speaking about YOUR NOVEL and not participating in the conversation?

BUY MY BOOK!

That’s what you’re screaming every time you mention your book on Facebook, Twitter, Forums, and all other social internet places. Unless someone has specifically asked about wanting to know about your novel via email subscriptions, one really should be careful on how often you mention your novel.

One should be tactful on how and when to mention one’s novel.

Give to receive.

That old saying ALWAYS works. If you become one of the many other voices ASKING for something and not GIVING in return, then your voice will be on bitter, as well as, deaf ears. Don’t be a Bug-A-Boo.

Remember that the virtual world is full. There are many voices all wanting something from someone. Try not to be one of those voices and you will stick out amongst the sea. Use your other talents to find eyes to your work: your humor, your intellect, your creativity, your ideas, your words, your purpose. And they will come.

But always remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient and keep writing.


Until Next Time!

I just want to write, Darn IT!

I’m so constantly trying to keep up with my weekly blogs (though I now have plenty of time to finish up some novels too while out on medical leave), that I figured I’d take a peek into Wattpad and Scribd. These are also places to promote your free writing. And it’s actually a fun place to be if you’re that type of author who just want to … WRITE STORIES!

Yeah.

How many times do you want to do just that–just write. Authors don’t want to market. Authors don’t want to sell. Authors don’t want to do the network socializing thing. Authors don’t want to market. Did I say that already? Yeah. Authors want to write, darn it! That’s what authors do. And if you’re determined to do just that after getting your book uploaded and your wonderful cover drawn, then you might want to look into marketing in a way that still have your creative juices flowing, and increase your fan base.

Wattpad and Scribd

These two places are THE perfect places to do just what an author want to do. Just write your dreams, your muse’s inspirations, you heart desires, your funny witticisms. Write it all out there. It’s a GREAT alternative to those who just don’t want to blog or Twitter or LinkedIn or Google+ or do the Facebook Page thingy. The reminded me of, Waaaayyyy back in the day (around 2000/2001) when there was a site called Themestream.com. It was a place where authors got paid by how many readers read their material. It was little pennies, but if you got a lot of views, you were able to make some decent money. Unfortunately, it went under, and a lot of writers were really upset about it, not because of the loss of money, but because it had a community that was unique and wonderful for writers to engage in. I think Wattpad and Scribd is creating that environment once again.

Wattpad is a place where a writer can share stories on the web and across mobile devices. You upload your stories in sections. Even short stories are uploaded in sections because the audience is mainly reading these stories from their cellular phones, and reading in parts is much more easier on a little screen.

Scribd is like a huge book club, somewhat like Goodreads, LibraryThing and Shelfari, accept what you read is actually on the site. It’s received a lot of bad publicity on the internet by authors who said this sight had their works, and was sharing them, without permission, but I believe the site has focused on that area and corrected it for the most part. It’s still a place where millions go to read. If you’ve already logged in with your Facebook account, please note that Scribd will automatically set you up an account based on your Facebook account.

So, those are two places an author could look into and keep writing and gain fans. I think they’re great possibility areas where authors can share their craft. As for me, I know I said I will be looking into these two things, but I just took a quick glance, and I’m currently really need to focus on getting more novels on my virtual book shelf. If I didn’t have my job and had more time to write, these are places I would seek out.

What do you all think? Are there any other areas where writers could just write to gain a fanbase? What have your experiences been on Wattpad and/or Scribd? Does anybody out there still even remember Themestream? LOL!



Free Promotions: Smashwords

Smashwords had a coupon promotion last week were the publisher could offer a discount on their novels anywhere from 25% to 100% making the novel Free! It was from March 4 – 10, 2012.

I jumped on it!

And it was fun watching to see how many novels were going to be “purchased” with the coupons. I set my novel coupons to FREE, of course, except The Made, which I put at a discount. No buys on my discounted book. I then went against my first idea of never making my babe, my very first novel (and very long one at that), free. I made it free the last few hours of the promotion, thinking no one would really see it. I got two (2) buys. It made me smile. Cool!

Overall, I only “sold” a total of 67 books, which had a surprising realization.

Most of the books that were snatched up was my novel, The 9th Symbol. What’s so surprising about that, you ask? Well, it made me look at the purchases for the other two books: Irid and Ruby, Flesh and Heart. Those two books were downloaded previously over a thousand times, during the time that they were set free by me at one time or another months and months ago. So, it appeared to look like that the same people who had those novels were just waiting for when I set my latest novel, The 9th Symbol, free so they could get it.

In a way, that was pretty neat to know. In another way, it let me know that the Smashwords audience might just be there mostly for the coupons and promotions. However, if they really want to buy a novel, I guess they could do that too.

Interesting.

I mean, I may be completely wrong, because, grant it, it’s just li’l ole me and I can’t account for all of the novels out there, but it did make me go… Hmmmmm.

Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that they would tell their friends about my novels. And THAT is what I want. I actually got a review on Goodreads from someone who got my novel free on Smashwords.

And she liked it!! She really liked it!! (Okay. Yeah. A pun from Sally Fields Oscar Award speech)

Just the fact that someone took the time to write a review says something. No. It says EVERYTHING!

So, bottom line, the free thing does help promote. I don’t expect much from my Smashwords promotion week with only 67 books taken up, but I’ll keep doing it whenever there’s a promotional time to do it.

Because….

You just don’t know WHAT might happen. DO EVERYTHING!

Until Next time 🙂

Take A Break

After getting that book novel completed, we research about how to find readers. Then we get into marketing and using the social network. Sometimes, we get hung up and forget the small, itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny thing that … we are writers.

Take a break.

And then go back into writing.

That’s what I’m doing now, but unfortunately for me, it’s a “forced” break meaning recovery time from surgery. This also means, once I can get up to more physical strength, I’ll be getting…MORE WRITING TIME!

I’m expecting to get a lot more writing in, more than normal, since my mental state won’t be, and now isn’t, bogged down with my mental stress of my day job. I’m already feeling the relief of not having to get up at a certain time and having to do that 45 min to 1 hr commute. And then there’s the mental stress of programming, troubleshooting, customer service and the basic IT stuff that goes on every day. That mental stress is ALL GONE.

I read a post at The Writer’s Guide To ePublishing, and it was entertaining regarding the definition the author came up with for those who promote, promote, promote. She called them: Promobots. Prombot. It was pretty funny, and it’s funny because it hurts with truth. We become robots to this marketing and forget all the joy and fun of the creativity. That’s why some authors still choose to go the trade route path instead of self-publishing because they think they don’t have to do anything else but write (which I hear is wrong, but I don’t know. I’ve never been trade published before).

So, it’s Break Time.

It’s good to step away and then you get a better prospective of things. It makes things fresh and new again.

And fresh and new is ALWAYS exciting. Get back into that adventure.

Until Next Time!

Paperback or eBook?

I spoke at a High School about Self-Publishing earlier in February. It was a small school with about 500 students. I say it’s small because my Senior graduating class in California was 900 students. For me, this was a small school. While there, I watched and listened to some of the students after my presentation was finished and answering questions (and before the bell rung for the next period), and it reminded me that not everyone has the privilege of having internet access, let alone the funds to purchase an eReader. Some of them didn’t know what a “blog” was, but they have heard of Facebook and Twitter, though most didn’t participate in it.

I’m going to repeat what I wrote in a comment…

When I travel, I’ve been trying to count how many people in airports use print versus eReaders. It’s been about even in some areas, and then there were all eReaders, and then some mostly print. It’s still a mixture of both depending on where I was. Plus, when I speak to people about my book, the first thing I still hear is, “Where can I get it?” When I tell them it’s online buy only, they’re like, “Oh” and that means, “Nevermind…not for me.” I then tell them they can order the print version from online too. I see their face lift for a moment, but I still get that feeling like, “Oh..I don’t do that much internet shopping.” LOL!!

I had to change my mindset about digital taking over print…and it will, but it still will take some time.

For me, I still get money from eBooks than Paperback, so I focus there. HOWEVER, it’s really easy having paperback available via CreateSpace which is owned Amazon. I have not sent my latest book (The 9th Symbol) to Lightning Source yet (a lot more work and money needed versus Createspace which is very easy), because I just don’t see any revenue there. YET, I do have the files available when I am ready to put it there. It’s just that Barnes and Noble doesn’t have a paperback copy of my latest book…just Amazon does. Yet…hmmm… CreateSpace now has a way to get my paperback to Barnes and Noble for just $25 (see CreateSpace Expanded Distribution), which wasn’t available before, but it is now.

So, for those who want paperback, it’s easier to go down that lane now using CreateSpace.

Doing both format does require some work, but I’ve made templates that you can use…free (you know my favorite ‘F’ word 🙂 ). Just go to my Tools Website and download it.

Either way, make sure you’re putting out the best product you can, because people will be looking and tongues are slick and harsh on the internet world on reviews. Having a good product would at least avoid some of that, and increase your sells when word spreads on recommending your book.

Until Next Time!

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