Resources

Review Submission Service – NEW

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I hope this will be a huge help to you! I realized how hard it is to find time to submit reviews, and thought maybe this would be a great Author Service. So many authors I know say “I never have time to submit my book for review!” What do you think?

New! – Review Submittal Service – $30

Book reviews are the key to success in self-publishing. I will research and submit your book review request to book review sites with your information. I do not guarantee you receive a review, but I will research reviewers appropriate to your genre, submit your book, and supply you with a record of each submission and the estimated time for reply if the site offers one.

The first three reviews for a book will cost extra due to setup time, but each additional 5 for the same book will cost the same, even long after the initial requests. (I won’t have to do as much research, so you get more review requests.) If you don’t have a review request letter written yet, I will write it for you (see price below).

In addition, at no cost, I will provide you with feedback on how easy it is to find you and your books online. Rather than have you provide me with links, I will go looking for you and see if I can find your books for sale.

Each book, First 3 review requests – $30

Same book, Additional 5 review requests – $30

Custom-written Review Request Letter – $10

Click Here to see my full Author Services page and sign up!

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PNWA: Connections and Reflections

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I have been honored this weekend to participate in the PNWA Writer’s Conference, and let me tell you, it is an amazing experience! Never in my life have I attended an event where everyone there has something amazing in common with me, and where I can walk up to a total stranger and know exactly what to say with a guaranteed enthusiastic response. “Oh, I see by your nametag that you write Literary Fiction. What are you writing now? Are you pitching?” (If you don’t know about literary conferences, we pitch our books to agents, not baseballs.)

Hi to all my amazing new PNWA friends, and sorry/not sorry that I am here on the couch instead of driving down to SeaTac again to join you for the last day. I just exhausted myself and had to sleep in and sit at home on my couch instead of those chairs from hell. (Well, I guess they are not actually from hell unless you sit on them for almost 16 hours for multiple days.)

One important thing, though: I was astonished how many of my new writer friends had zero social media presence! As a self-published author, that seems like an impossible thing. But they don’t and it gave me an idea to resurrect my Author Services pages with some new options:

Twitter setup

Facebook setup for authors who “Don’t do Facebook” (This will offer and option with NO Facebook presence except related to books.)

WordPress blog setup

WordPress social media connection activation

BlogSpot social media connection activation

and more!

I will start on my page in Author Services after I have had my coffee with pricing and details. If I met you at PNWA I would love to trade services with you instead of charging you money!

Until my information is up, if you just can’t wait for my help, email me at katepolicani (at) gmail.com.

Cheers!

 

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Goal Setting for Success

Are you someone who makes New Years Resolutions? Do you set personal goals? Well, statistics show that goal setting helps propel you to success!

A great infographic from OnlineEducation.netSetting Goals Infographic

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High time for some links!

I haven’t done this in such a long time! Here are some good old-fashioned links for you! I decided to focus on the topic of “Promotion” this time.

http://addictivestory.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/calling-all-indie-authors-who-wants-book-promotion-prompt-16/ This looks like a great opportunity to promote! I’m totally signed up!

http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/persuasion/ Here is a blog on marketing discussing the AIDA method of promotion.

http://anovelperspective.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/book-wars-the-pr-offices-of-my-book-is-better-than-yours/ Here is a cool article on a particular etiquett,e problem for promoting authors.

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/weblogs.html  is a good breakdown of how to make good blog posts especially number 3 about post titles!

http://paulstamatiou.com/how-to-boost-your-blog-traffic This one had lots of meaty goodness. I followed a lot of his suggestions.

And this one was just funny: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2012/08/the-publishing-process-in-gif-form.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NathanBransford+%28Nathan+Bransford%2C+Author%29

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Claim on Technorati

Q36HVDWT59KC is my code to claim my blog on technorati.com, an  internet search engine for searching blogs. This was recommended to me in a post I read because my blog traffic seems to be deflating. Check it out! http://paulstamatiou.com/how-to-boost-your-blog-traffic

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The Mystery Win

Starting August 1st, my downloads on Smashwords of my free ebook, The Silver Collar have shot up by over 1,000 downloads! This means that somewhere, my book was listed in a spot that people saw and clicked. But where?

I posted it on four different book-posting sites in July:

http://www.free-ebooks.net

http://www.getfreeebooks.com

http://www.feedbooks.com

http://ebookdirectory.com Continue reading

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Initial Report: Book Marketing Services

Book Marketing Services

After a little bit of digging for people’s experiences with book marketing services, I realized this is going to have to be an ongoing investigation and report process. Overall it seemed that everybody was interested but hadn’t had any experiences. I only managed to get a few and I only included ones with people’s direct experience with the service. Here’s what I found:

KindlePromo – “actively promotes” books with tweets £15 for Indie Book Listing service

Kindle Daily Nation – $160 “with no result” (used to be great but saturated with too many books)

BookWhirl – SCAM! http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=8338

Goddess Fish  Promotions – (5-blog tour and reviews, $30) “didn’t break even” but supplied publicity.

Orangeberry Summer Splash Tour – participant’s tour hasn’t begun yet (August)- $25

Sizzling PR – “Nice people and very affordable.” $15 up to $75 blog tour options

99 cent Network – No obvious return for money ($45 intro rate for 3 months) and no visibility of book on site. No answers to emails inquiring about where to find the book.

A few more were mentioned but they didn’t provide more than names. I’m bargain hunting enough at this stage that if the one who mentions it doesn’t talk about price and their website doesn’t talk about price, then I figure they’re too expensive or don’t cater to self-published authors.

The conversational approach seems to work better than a poll, and people in the forums had the most to say.

Anyone else had any experiences, good or bad, with a book marketing company?

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Book Marketing Companies Poll

Let me know what you think of book marketing companies you have used. I couldn’t find any comprehensive rating online, so I decided to make one!

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Kickstarter Success!

My kickstarter project is funded! It just goes to show you that there are some awesome people out there. It was saved at the last minute by a few kind folks.

I learned a bit about Kickstarter and how it works, and I think that a hallmark to success is selling your vision with the audience in a compelling way. It isn’t enough to just state your objectives and offer nice incentives. That is good, but what sells people is your own passion for what you want to accomplish. I’m going to focus on this next time I do a kickstarter.

 

Categories: Book Launch, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rafflecopter

That name sounds funny. Hur hur. Rafflecopter. Wafflecopter. Rafflewafflecopter. Hur hur. (There isn’t really any waffles in there, but it sounds like there should be.)

http://www.rafflecopter.com

Well it’s really a pretty cool site. You can set up a raffle and it makes it look spiffy and organized. Sign-up is easy and you can fill in your criteria, add some neat-o linking promotional thingies, like a tweet about your raffle or a Facebook post. It calculates the winner for you and everybody’s happy! Good stuff! I wish this had been around for my last virtual launch. I’m definitely going to use this in my next one.

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Business Plan

My wonderful hubby, an director-level analyst and planner, just outlined a business plan for me and I’m filling it in. I confess, I didn’t have one until now. I heard it was a good thing but hadn’t gotten around to it, when hubby stepped in.

My questions for you:

Do you have a business plan?

Where did you get it?

How is it working for you?

 

Is there anything that stands out in your business plan as an amazing help?

Do you think a business plan is even necessary for an author?

I’ll write some more about this when I’m finished filling in my plan.

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Links

I haven’t done this for a while. Here are some links for you:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/06/22/book-marketing-grow-readership/

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/7-simple-ways-to-make-a-good-story-great?et_mid=563087&rid=233645588

And a tiny turtle eating a strawberry:

 

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Promoting Do’s and Don’ts

If you’re a self-published author, you have to promote your work. If you can’t pay someone else do do it, you have to do it yourself.

There are some things that are great, some things that are a waste of time, and some you just shouldn’t do. Here are some of each from my experience. A lot of it is about etiquette, because there are a lot of rude writers out there. Unfortunately, the people making the rude mistakes probably aren’t reading posts like this.

Don’t consider other writers as your opponents. Readers aren’t going to choose just one book. They’ll read what they see. If they see your book on seven other sites because you’ve promoted those seven other writers’ books, they’re seven times more likely to buy your book. We’re all in this together.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you want people to review your book, review theirs. If you want people to tweet about your book release, tweet theirs. Until you are a bestselling author, people probably won’t promote you if they get no value out of it.

Don’t keep all your promotions to yourself. Trading promos is an awesome way to spread your influence. Also, people like you better if you aren’t all about yourself.

Do provide people with other value besides what you’re selling. Free, interesting content is like a sample of what they’ll get if they buy your work. The more variety you provide, the more variety you’ll get in your attention.

Don’t tweet or post on facebook like a maniac every 30 seconds to advertise your work. Nobody likes that and you’ll lose all your followers, plus you’ll gain a ton of maniacs like yourself who only want to broadcast like a crazy person. If what you are saying is valuable, people will notice.

Do rotate your promotions between your groups. Poll your facebook friends, run a contest on your blog, tweet your reviews on Twitter, but Don’t broadcast everything to everyone every time.

Don’t promote as if people already want what you have and were just waiting to hear about it. They don’t care and they aren’t impressed. Hubris is ugly. You’ll set people up against you instead of drawing them in.

Do focus on the people who are interested. Give them a little extra, like a beta-reader position or a review copy. They aren’t interested because you are hot stuff and you deserve followers. They like what you do and should be appreciated.

Don’t give your beta-readers your manuscript chapter-by-chapter as you write it. They will get sick of your book right away. You may want to read through your work again and again, but most other people won’t. Keep your work like a secret before you finish and people will want to know more about it.

Do promote in ways you enjoy and understand. You’ll be more natural and likable if you enjoy what you’re doing. If you hate it all, maybe you should save up and hire someone else to do that part.

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What Is Working

So some things are working for me as an author, and some aren’t. Here they are:

  • My short storyI have 334 downloads of The Silver Collar on Smashwords. A surprising number of people have bought it for kindle too, even though it is free on Smashwords and I put a link as a comment. I wonder when Amazon will get around to fixing that….
  • https://www.facebook.com/weloveebooks – This one worked for me and got me 10 sales in one day. The problem is, that is all I got and I’m not sure if I can put more books on there or what.
  • Lots of Connections – I made a serious push to put The Lustre out where as many people could see it as possible. Also, I put my free short story everywhere I could find to put it. That seems to have upped my visibility a little and I get a few sales here and there where The Disenchanted Pet  has gotten none.
  • Having more books out there – It seems that the more books I have available, the more people are reading.
  • Time – Yes, the time I have been online and the time my books have been available has worked in my favor. This is another plug for starting your platform early. If I had 140 blog followers and 432 twitter followers before I first published, I think things would have been easier for me.

Things that didn’t work/aren’t working:

  • Kickstarter – My campaign didn’t earn even a fraction of its amount. Maybe I tried too soon or asked too much. I noticed the ones with lots of support had some kind of perk outside of the book itself – a contribution to a charity or something.
  • The 99 cent Network – My book was up initially, but now I can’t find my book on the site at all, even though I paid for four months. I emailed them about this and have heard zip-o in return. Boo! I also have no way of knowing if I got any sales through them.
  • Selling my books at places other than the biggies – I found a lot of little side ebook sellers and posted there. I didn’t see any extra sales, though. No one has sent me big checks because my book is a bigger fish in a smaller pond. I don’t think I am hurt by it, but I don’t know if I will spend the time and effort to put future books out there if I get no return.
  • Kindle Select – I had hoped that putting the zero-sales Disenchanted Pet up as a Kindle Select title would give me a little boost, but I’ve seen no new sales.

A little about book reviews and getting them: I sent out requests for review of The Lustre to 11 different bloggers in March and recieved 2 replies, one a yes and one a no. It isn’t easy to even get a reply, let alone a review. (Don’t feel bad if you email 3 and don’t get any response.)

As a book reviewer, I am getting lots and lots of requests, even though my list is so long. I’ve amended my review policy and have said “no” to some books I didn’t think I could enjoy enough to give a good review. I still have enough time to reply to everyone, but I can see where an established reviewer would have a hard time.

Categories: My Books, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

River of Emails

When you embark on something like author publicity, you open yourself up to floods of emails. There isn’t really any way to avoid it if you don’t want to work part time unsubscribing from mailing lists. What do you do about it?

I feel like I have a pretty good handle on it so I’ll tell you what I do.

  • I have lots of separate email addresses. This seems like it would cause more email confusion, but I use each like a seperate inbox just for one kind of communication. I have an email address for personal use that I only share with family and close friends. I have a “commercial” email address for all my web commerce not connected with my author endeavors. I have a “security” email address for account alerts. I have my author email address for just author business. And I have a private notes email address that I use exclusively to send notes via text and email to myself.
  • I make lots of folders for everything so I can find things I’m looking for right away. Each email address has its own sub-folders. The most useful is the “services” folder for all the ads everybody sends like mad. I also sometimes name it “commercial”. I usually skim those for any useful stuff and then mark it all “read”. Here is a picture of the folders I’ve created for my author email address:
  • I use Outlook’s rules to sort my mail into folders. You sort them into the folders using Outlook’s rules, found by right-clicking on the email you want to sort. Outlook can then sort all the emails in the folder and each future incoming email. (I sort emails at the inbox but I showed the picture in the “Services” folder so you can’t see all my secrets.)

Checking my email on my phone ruins my sorting, but I can fix this by opening the “Manage Rules & Alerts….” option and choosing the “run rules now” option.

What do you think? How do you sort all those emails?

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