Posts Tagged With: advertising

Author Blog-in Starts Tomorrow!

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The author blog-in is starting tomorrow! Sign up now to get in on the action. Feel free to share the page with your author friends too. Spread the word and widen our audience about our wonderful books!

All the information is here: https://katepolicani.com/author-blog-in/

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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!

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Fantastic Freebie!

I’ve said it before and I felt it deserved its own post: The free sample is the best free advertising an author can get!

Since posting it, I’ve given away 376 download copies of my fantasy short story, The Silver Collar on Smashwords, and had 692 reads on Wattpad. This doesn’t include all the other places I’ve posted it. I haven’t been able to make it free on Amazon yet, partially because people are still buying it! I don’t understand that, but OK.

I’m also currently working on Horarium, a sci-fi short story, and posting on Wattpad as I go. I’m enjoying this kind of work and reaching readers along the way.

My hubby had a fabulous idea about the freebie, too.  (He has lots of those) After my free story, I include information for the reader to find my other works. I even included an excerpt from my upcoming book at the end of the story.

Here is my list of places I’ve posted The Silver Collar:

http://www.getfreeebooks.com/?page_id=81

http://www.scribd.com/

http://www.globusz.com/aut_reg.php

http://www.bookyards.com/

http://www.free-ebooks.net/submissionForm.php

http://www.getfreeebooks.com/?page_id=81

http://www.feedbooks.com/help/self-pub-howto

http://ebookdirectory.com/cgi-bin/addurl.cgi

Do you have a freebie? How has it worked out for you?

Categories: My Books, Publicity | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Trailer Idea Contest for The Lustre

I’ve been puzzling over ideas for a trailer for The Lustre and I’m having trouble coming up with something. So here’s what I’ll do. Post your ideas as a reply to this post or to the book page, based on the synopsis and excerpt. I will make the best one into my trailer and the person who posted it will get a free ebook and print copy of The Lustre as soon as it comes out!
If you don’t have an idea but like one you see on the replies, reply your support of your favorite. I’ll count your replies in my decision.

Categories: My Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Video trailer!

My video trailer is finally finished! I hope you like it!

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Self-publishing Checklist REVISED

Originally when I began my journey, I had the list ordered differently, and that was a mistake. I want to update for you who are starting out. I began publicity just before I sent the book to the editor, and that was a mistake. Start things up while you are still writing the book. If you are sure about the book, start as soon as you know you want to publish it someday.

Self-publising Checklist:

1. Publicity, publicity, publicity. I originally had this after publishing on my list and that was a mistake. Promote while you are writing the book you’re planning to publish. Start as soon as you can because you’ll need that web presence for book sales later. Also, write the book.
2. Choose a pen name. You’ll want all your online activity to feature this name. Your name is your brand just as much as your books’ names. Also, write the book.
3. Establish an email address, a WordPress site, a Facebook profile, and Twitter account for my pen name and a Facebook profile for my book. Also, write the book.
4. Write the book
5. Get 6 or more friends to read the manuscript and give me feedback and work the book over
6. Find an editor and give her the manuscript–I posted a request on Facebook and a social website and found several within a few hours! Thanks Kathleen and Kathryn!
7. Find a cover artist–my social website was full of these guys and I found two great artists who are working as a team on my cover. Heidi and Erik were awesome!
8. Sign up on CreateSpace with my pen name and new email.
9. Work with my cover artists to fine-tune the cover.
10. Once my editor has finished, implement her changes to my manuscript. (This took a lot longer than I thought. I recommend establishing a deadline whether or not you need your book quickly.)
11. Finalize contracts with my editor and cover artists.
12. Publish my book on CreateSpace. CreateSpace provides an ISBN number for my book. (Complicated and easy at the same time!)
13. Register my copyright at http://copyright.gov/ . This can be done online and there is a small fee. (Still have to mail in a copy.)
14. Submit my book to popular book blogs for them to review. (Also took longer than I thought)
15. Possibly publish my book on additional publishing sites.
15. Resarch appropriate websites and expand my web presence for publicity.

A comprehensive booklet with lots of links can be found in my newest Smashwords ebook: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/102331

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Things I Thought Would Be Different About Self-Publishing

This self-publishing thing hasn’t gone exactly the way I thought it would, posting my books on CreateSpace and Smashwords. I tend to think more positively than reality affords, and I’m aware of it, so I’m not surprised very often when I am wrong. Things I was mistaken about:

1. Visibility for my book is low. For some reason I thought people would see my books. My sales numbers have been waywayway lower than I thought they’d be. I’ve been writing so much about self-promotion because I’ve been trying to fix this. You can’t just put them up and see them sold, though. You have to work to draw people toward your books even if they only cost 99 cents as an ebook.

2. Most of my Facebook friends are not interested in my book. They don’t want to read it, or comment about it, or tag it. I have a few wonderful friends who are the ultimate fans, but overall (unless I am also completely invisible on Facebook) people aren’t interested. I had thought that I could get at least 50 sales from facebook. Oh well.

3. Promotion is endless and can take up all your time. I couldn’t just put up my website and go. To promote, I have to constantly post (see these words in front of your eyes), converse in various places about my book and others, read others’ posts, and squeeze each contact out of the internet like the last of the toothpaste. I have recently said ENOUGH and I’m not looking for more promotion ideas, or joining any other communities to promote. There are too many and I do want to write and pay attention to my family occasionally.

4. I may not “pay off” my book with profits before the end of the year. I made deals with my editor and artists, as a concession to my first book status, to accept payment when I made money on the book. I can’t exactly send them checks for percentages of an $8 month’s profits. If things don’t pick up, I’ll have to dip into my household budget to pay them off at the end of the year. I also was (heh) hoping to make enough to pay up front for editing and art for the next book. Yeah, I know. Now I am wondering but not brave enough to ask my husband if we can just suck it up and pay it to get another book out. I really want to keep going, you know?

5. There is more money to be made in promoting someone’s book than in writing and selling a book. If you really want to just write and have somebody else worry about it, you can. I would love to do that, but it will cost money I can’t spare. If I could get paid to do for others what I have done for myself, that would be awesome. But again there is my whopping $8 monthly payout, which wouldn’t cut it with another author paying me to promote them. Grrrr…

6. There was another one that I thought of between 4 and 5 and if I can remember it again I’ll put it here. Yes, this is how I roll. I know. If you have kids or anything else to do in life besides read blogs, you’ll know that it gets worse, not better.

***And I remembered #6 a day later. Dur. I thought when I emailed/filled out forms to get reviews from book review blogs that I would get responses in a week or so. Nope. It’s at least 4 weeks I guess for the bigger blogs if that.***

Anyway…I’m tired of writing and I know most of you won’t read this far. I’ll pull a joke off some random website to end: I Googled “joke write” and got a bunch of tutorials for writing a joke. You know that your joke writing is going entirely the wrong direction if you need a tutorial. I’m just sayin’. So I Googled “joke writers” and found http://sites.google.com/site/writersjokes/jokesaboutwriters and picked the first joke, which was good enough to be first.

“There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define great, he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!” He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.”

(Note for the author of jokesaboutwriters: Why did you use such a tiny font and put so many spaces in your post?)

Also, I can’t see that there is any way to change font size in WordPress. If you know this vital information, please comment. I just clicked “remove formatting” to un-tiny the joke. I will write a review for your book in exchange (unless it is erotica. Women with wild imaginations like me shouldn’t mess with erotica. Bad things happen.)

If you have read all the way down

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Making a Trailer!

Yes, I finally gave into the pressure to produce a trailer, worked out how I would do a trailer for my book, researched it, and am mostly done (translated “waiting for someone else to email me something”).

Here is my recipe for creating a trailer:

  • First, I downloaded Microsoft live Movie Maker for FREE. It’s part of Windows Live Essentials: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials?lc=1033 It was disgustingly easy to use and dummy-friendly. It was fun, and you just plunk everything in there with the “Insert photo” button. You can add effects and text and everything right there and export it in multiple formats.
  • Then I spent hours and hours finding photos for my trailer. Literally. Hours and hours. These are the kind of hours and hours where you say, “Hey! How can it be 7:30 already?!!?” It is VERY important that you find royalty-free photos, unless you want to get sued or pay royalties.
  • I came up with three sites where I got my photos: http://www.sxc.hu/ Has a selection of free and paid photos. For the free photos you must check and see below the pic whether the photographer wants credit or permission to use their photos. I just picked ones that wanted neither. The paid photos on SXC redirect you to istockphoto (below).
  • http://www.dreamstime.com/ These are also paid and free photos, but the free ones are really free and don’t require that you check the photographer’s permissions. The paid photos are about the same price as istockphoto’s paid photos. Both sites require you to purchase points or a subscription to buy their photos. DON’T BE FOOLED. Each photo does NOT cost only one point.
  • and http://www.istockphoto.com/ This is only paid photos. Their subscription is (at the time I wrote this) $18.99 for 12 points, which bought me 2 medium-sized photos and one large. The pics do NOT cost one point each, and two that I did not buy cost 30 points!!! If you can find them free, use those. Totally.
  • I encountered a problem finding a picture of people fighting. All the stock photo of people fighting is cheesy ham shots of men in business suits punching at each other or boxers. I needed a brawl. http://ectopicleiron.blogspot.com/2011/01/fist-fight.html was where I found one, and after extensive searching with no clue as to where the pic came from, I decided to go for it. There were no other choices, really. If this is your blog and I’ve stolen your photo, please contact me for an apology and to let me know if I can use your photo for my trailer. When I tried to comment on the post and ask you that way, it said I wasn’t allowed.
  • For music, I just emailed my dad, the composer with a Masters in music. (You should do that too. It’s really easy and cheap.) But if your dad isn’t a composer, you can contact mine: cdbarker@comcast.net . It won’t necessarily be so cheap for you, I’m afraid. Sorry!
  • If you need free music immediately, you impatient thing, go to this beautiful site: http://www.seabreezecomputers.com/tips/freemusic.htm. I particularly liked their link, http://www.soundclick.com/business/license_list.cfm and found a song there in case Dad didn’t have anything. (But he did. Neener.) WARNING: there is a lot of kooky stuff on musopen. Don’t worry, though, your music isn’t one of the kooky ones, user of musopen who is reading this post. It’s all those other people’s music that is kooky.

And, really all the rest was tweaking the text and pictures and music and stuff (incredibly easy but time-consuming) with Movie Maker. As soon as it is ready, I’ll put it up here and you’ll see if you want to follow my recipe for a trailer or not…

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog tours

I’m still figuring out what blog tours are and how to use them. To help jumpstart my education, I’ve signed up for Novel Publishing Group’s Blog Tour hosting program. http://www.novelpublicity.com/tour/apply/ I met one of their authors who also does book PR, Emlyn Chand, on BookBlogs and thought it would be a good idea to jump into this. I can see that my book publicity is lacking and I need to see some well-done book promos to see how I can improve!

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Marketing on Amazon by Brian Kittrell

I just breezed through the short but sweet ebook Marketing on Amazon by Brian Kittrell. Most of it is stuff I have already read before and posted here, but there were two good nuggets in there I haven’t heard of before.

The first is Tagging on Amazon. Here is the link about that and how to do it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=16238571&qid=1318963174&sr=1-1 Writers will want all their friends to tag their books.

The second is yet another place to get your book reviewed, but this one looks like a biggie: http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ “The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing.” You can also ask them to add your website to their site network.

If you want to read the book yourself, go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/37429

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

More Advice That Is Priceless and Free

Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords and owner of Dovetail Public Relations has a free ebook on marketing for self-published authors. Surprisingly, it is called Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. Go figure!

Definitely, this is an excellent read  full of meaty, juice information for po’ little authors like me.  http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/305/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-book-marketing-guide.pdf

He pointed out an important fact: Your webpage shows up in searches based on its links to other sites and other sites’ links to it, as well as how many people travel there. One big goal is to increase traffic and therefore increase visibility in an exponential way.

Here is my new list of things to do after reading his guide:

  1. Update my email signature to include my web addresses (His reasoning is that we all send lots of emails and replies and should use that to our advantage. He suggests your blog site, any sites where your book is sold, and a webpage if you have one.)
  2. Add the community pages I use to include my web addresses
  3. Updste myTtwitter profile to include my web addresses
  4. Update my Smashwords profile to include my Twitter address (There is a special list on Smashwords of Twitter users with increased visibility)
  5. Write a press release (Scary!)
  6. Participate in HARO (Help a Reporter Online) with my particular expertise (Aliens in the future…yeah…)
  7. Hold a limited coupon promotion on one or more sites: on Smashwords (garnered 200 buys in his example), on the blog, on http://kindleboards.com, or other promotion sites.
  8. Include the promotion on these sites (good links!) www.freeonlinenovels.com , http://online-novels.blogspot.com , www.getfreebooks.com , http://blog.booksontheknob.org , http://ereader.freebies.blogspot.com , www.bookbarista.com

Thank you, Mark for your fabulous advice, since I can’t use your promotion services! I’m passing it on because marketing tips to authors (poor) should be free!

Oh. Now I have to DO all these. Gah!

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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