And this week I have someone whom I met years ago on Google+ (remember that thing that was supposed to beat down Facebook?) book group and someone who knows what she talking about when it comes to book marketing.
So let me introduce you all to Susan Barton!
Say hi to Susan, people!
Susan is an avid reader, book reviewer and author with seven published non-fiction, children’s and YA books. She is also a marketer, copywriter and editor/proofreader with over three decades of professional experience.
From Author to Marketer
So you’ve published your first book. Congratulations! Sitting in front of your computer for several months or more, plugging away, planning, strategizing, editing and rewriting is A LOT of work. That’s a wonderful accomplishment and something to be proud of.
But guess what? Your work is just beginning. I can hear your groans already. I’m sorry… I really am, but I’m here to tell you that this is no time to relax. Instead, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and turn your attention to marketing your book.
Even if you are an introvert!
Many, MANY authors struggle with book marketing. After all, writing is often a solitary, isolating business. Writers enjoy an introverted life of quiet introspection. We’re often not comfortable tooting our own horns. Yet that’s exactly what book marketing is. It’s about letting potential readers know how much they need to read our books.
Like it or not, if you want to sell your book, you’re going to have to put yourself out there for all to see. Fear not, however, there are still some effective ways to quietly, subtly promote your book. The great thing is that these techniques are perfect for all of us introverts!
Here are four SUPER simple ways to do just that:
1. Schedule a Freebie
Promoting your eBook with a free download for one or two days is probably one of the best ways to get people to have a look at your book, and then download and review it.
Many authors are worried about giving away their books, but I’ve personally seen freebie downloads result in dozens of book reviews. This is a valuable book marketing technique that’s definitely worth doing.
Add a newsletter signup form on your author website and send out a monthly (or quarterly, or whatever works best for you) newsletter to let readers know what you’ve been up to.
Add other book-related news and discounts for added value to your readers. Just remember, you can only add newsletter subscribers to your list if they’ve specifically signed up to receive your newsletter. Otherwise, it’s considered spam.
3. Create a Giveaway
Giveaways are excellent ways to generate book buzz. You can give away copies of your book, along with a curated book swag package. Most giveaway participants are excited to enter for a chance to receive these goodies.
Bookmarks, original book illustrations, novelty items and more can be included in your swag. Be original and creative! Add your giveaway to your website and share, share, share via social media.
I told you these four tips would be super simple and I left the simplest technique of all for last. Your email signature should always include information about you and your book. That means adding the links to your book purchase page, your author website and your social media platforms at the end of your email signature.
Every time you email someone they’ll see your info and have the opportunity to click, click and click. Simple!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these four simple book marketing tips and use them soon. If you do, please let me know how they work for you.
If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of marketing your book contact me and I’ll be happy to help!
I am back! I am just here to thank her for taking time off her busy schedule to write us a guest post. You can follow and contact her through these links.
I am here as promised with the piece of news that I have been talking about excitedly for almost a month now. Yes, the series of guest posts from indie authors and relevant people from the independent publishing community is here!
For the first edition we have Kathleen Jowitt talking about the highs and lows of writing as she sees as an author herself and ways to keep yourself motivated through the whole process. So let me hand it over to her and get out of the away after a round of introduction.
Say hi to Kathleen!
Kathleen Jowitt is an author and trade union officer. Her first novel, Speak Its Name, was the first self-published work ever shortlisted for the prestigious Betty Trask Prize.
Again, I am so pumped with the posts I have scheduled already in this series guys. Okay, I am off and K Jo is here!
The highs and lows of writing
Self-publishing can be a lonely business. Writing can be a lonely business even if you’re conventionally published – there are long stretches when it’s just you and the keyboard – but when you don’t have an agent checking in with you, or a publisher checking up on you, you’ve only got yourself to keep you going.
And it can be dispiriting. When you’re at the early stage of a new book and are reluctant to show your work to anyone else, you end up without talking to anyone about your writing, and there’s nobody to counter the negative voice that suggests maybe this one isn’t very good. If it’s been a while since you last published something, and you haven’t had an Amazon or Goodreads review in ages, it can start to feel as if nobody’s reading any of your work at all.
I’ve had a reasonable amount of success with self-publishing. In 2017 I was the first – and, so far, the only – self-published author to be shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize, which is awarded to the best debut by an author under the age of 35.
When the news broke, I had most of the second one done, and I was able to use the momentum from the excitement of the shortlisting to carry me through the final round of editing all the way through to the publication and launch.
And now what?
Seven months on, with another cycle of awards passed and gone, nothing very exciting in the way of sales, and a measly 10,000 words down on the next novel, I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit flat. I know that this is a temporary state of affairs.
There’s a reason why my work in progress doesn’t seem like it’s going to be very good, and it’s this: it isn’t finished yet. I know that the only way out of this patch of the doldrums is through it. There’s just one problem: I’ve got to keep writing, when the very thought of writing is getting me down.
“[…] the only way out of this patch of the doldrums is through it. There’s just one problem: I’ve got to keep writing, when the very thought of writing is getting me down.” says Jowitt on “the highs and lows of writing”.Click to Tweet
There are two ways to approach this conundrum, and I tend to apply both at once.
Remember that you’re not alone
Firstly, keep reaching out. If nobody’s talking to me, then I’m going to have to be the one to talk to them. Here are some ways that I do that:
Talk to other writers. Do it on Twitter, or in a writing group, or anywhere else that you can have a sensible, encouraging conversation. You might feel like you’re alone, but you’re not the only one.
And remember that even a self-published author shouldn’t be doing everything on their own. At the very least, you need a beta reader. Find the right one, and you might find that they’re a staunch ally and cheerleader for years to come.
Keep asking for reviews. If your book is still available, then it’s still worth looking for people to review it. Earlier this year I found a list of reviewers who specialise in F/F fiction, and I contacted all those that I hadn’t come across before.
And three of them were entirely happy to review my first novel, even though it was over two years old at that point. Meanwhile, a reviewer who has just finished my newest book has come back to me with a set of thought-provoking interview questions, which has cheered me right up. The prospect of having an intelligent conversation about my writing has done wonders.
While I’m on the subject, there’s nothing wrong with reading your old reviews. They tell you that you have produced something that other people have enjoyed reading, and, therefore, that you can do it again. It’s a useful reminder.
“[..]there’s nothing wrong with reading your old reviews. They tell you that you have produced something that other people have enjoyed reading, and, therefore, that you can do it again.” Hear more from Kathleen Jowitt!Click to Tweet
Remember to please yourself
Secondly, look after yourself. Remember why you started doing this in the first place. If you’ve chosen to write, and particularly if you’ve chosen to go it alone, it may well be that you’re doing it because nobody else is writing the kind of books that you want to read.
In short, you’re writing to please yourself. So please yourself. Put in the silly plots, the jokes that only you and two other people will get, the cheesy pop culture references – whatever makes you smile and keeps you writing. You can always take it out again later.
Take a break if you need to. You don’t have to write every day. Personally, I always find that going for a walk helps. There’s something about being out in the open air, away from my desk, and with nothing to do but put one foot in front in the other, that seems to shake the ideas loose.
And enjoy other people’s work – books, films, art, music, whatever makes you feel refreshed, curious, or inspired. You can only put so much out into the world before you need to replenish your own resources. If you honestly don’t feel like writing at the moment, then there’s probably a good reason for that. Take care of your own needs.
Give yourself time. Give yourself company. But don’t give up. There’s a way through this, I promise.
Kathleen Jowitt talks on the highs and lows of writing “Give yourself time. Give yourself company. But don’t give up. There’s a way through this, I promise.”Click to Tweet
Thanks K Jo!
I am back! I am just here to thank her for taking time off her busy schedule to write us a guest post. You can follow and contact her through these links. I am adding a Goodreads link to her latest book!
Do you ever feel that writing is a lonely business? And how far does being in writer’s group, physically or virtually help you out when the lows hit you? What do you do to celebrate your highs and get out off your lows? Let us talk.
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If you think you have what it takes please contact me right away. Send me your guest post pitch through the contact form and we will work on it.
We all love meeting new authors and their books especially independent or as we call them indies. And no prize for guessing what my first question would be to any newly found author – yes their favorite books!
So here I have Greg answering that ‘not so totally random’ question through a guest post. Don’t we love a good book list?
Philosophical novels use fictional stories to explore thought-provoking questions that are often challenging, overlooked or controversial.
The collection of philosophical novels listed below range from contemporary science fiction to inspirational to a mind-bending thought experiment to a few literary stalwarts, all of them devotedly enjoyed by a group of die-hard fans.
These books delve into topics like the existence of God, the nature of self-hood, humanity’s place in the world and more in ways that have inspired thousands of devoted readers.
The Cult Favorites of Philosophical Fiction
1) Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Nominated for both the British Science Fiction Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Stephenson’s popular sci-fi novel follows pizza delivery boy and computer hacker Hiro Protagonist as he fights a nefarious virtual villain.
Along the way, it taps into virtual reality, Sumerian myth and the burgeoning information age and explores other topics in history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography and philosophy.
2) The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This fable by a litigation lawyer-turned-motivational speaker and author follows Julian Mantle, a dissatisfied attorney who sells his vacation home and titular car and undertakes a life-changing spiritual journey through the Himalayas.
Sharma originally self-published this book, but it proved so popular that it was picked up by HarperCollins a few years later.
3) God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment by Scott Adams
The first non-humor book by the creator of the comic strip Dilbert introduces readers to a being who claims to know “literally everything” and explains the mysteries of quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity and more in a way that seems to make perfect sense.
Skeptical about the appeal of a non-Dilbert book by Adams, his publishers first released the novel as an ebook but quickly produced a hard copy version after its rapid success.
4) Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess
A virus spread through the use of language devastates the small Canadian town of Pontypool, causing victims to lose their linguistic abilities and devolve into madness, rage and animalistic violence.
Burgess adapted the novel into a screenplay for the 2008 film Pontypool, which was nominated for three Canadian film awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.
5) The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
A favorite in literary circles that never seemed to achieve the same level of popular appeal, this novel about a New Orleans stockbroker’s quest to find his inner self won the 1962 U.S. National Book Award in fiction.
It was ranked sixtieth on Modern Library’s list of the 100 best novels of the twentieth century and was included in Time’s 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005.
6) The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Pessoa, who attributed his prolific writing to several alternate selves with different biographies and ideologies, left behind this posthumously published “autobiography” of one those selves.
This incomplete collection of 500-plus fragments of essay, diary, poetry and narrative touches on many of life’s essential questions in what Electric Lit called “the weirdest autobiography ever.”
What are your favorite philosophical fictionalized books? Do you like fiction coupled with philosophy or do you read for just pleasure? Let us talk.
I seldom lose my cool when I see those glaring plot holes in books and movies. If the book has more than a few, I feel completely turned off and may even DNF the book. Many of us do that and it is not wrong to DNF.
I realized these inconsistencies are much more common than I realized and I decided to explore more on it. In order to make it easier to find and fill those damn holes, I will try and classify the holes in terms of plot and story line into groups.
1. Illogical and impossible scenes
I hate it when in the movies the actor gets shot in their chest with a gun, continues to fight the villain and deliver a fatal blow , yet a single bullet can explode moving cars every time. Don’t you?
For me the simple measure to group these illogical scenes in a plot is to ask myself if they make go ‘But how did he/she?’. More often than not, those questions are rhetorical because we know that couldn’t happen, unless there was a miracle. And if your story is about magic and miracle, please elaborate on how it happened. If not, that is a hole for you to fix.
Let us see some examples shall we?
The highly frustrated curly girl in me, wants to mention about how easy the makeovers are – removing the glass and straightening the hair.
Here are some more that would just make me pull the hair off my head.
A person who is trapped in a dungeon appears from nowhere at the last moment to defuse the bomb. He WAS TRAPPED!
You were beaten black and blue in a fight earlier, but without any more new reinforcements you win him the next day. What changed and how?
How did you know land the bull’s eye if you never learnt archery? At the least tell me in advance that you were good at darts. Look out for those events that could not have happened because of something else that happened in the book and kick them off.
3. Unresolved conflicts:
I cannot emphasis too much on this one at all. I mean am sure no one would like to wait for eternity to know what those smaller characters did next in your story. Of course I hate cliffhangers, but I am not talking about them.
While love having lots ofa fewjust the right number of side plots and characters in a story but only when you intend to make them reach their destiny er.. I mean solution. Why else would you include about them, except perhaps to add some conflicts just for the heck of it?
I know some of these might sound a bit over the top but they do happen. As a beta reader I do point out such inconsistencies in the manuscript but it saves a lot of time and your efforts to fix them when you revise your manuscript before you send it to the beta reader or the editor.
Just remember, if it doesn’t make sense to you, your readers won’t understand it either.
What is the most blatant plot hole you have come across in a movie or a book? Do you find these gaps in the plot annoying or they completely obtrusive? Do share with me.
Almost everyone I know and follow on the blog world is either taking part in the #NaNoWriMo or cheering for someone who does. I definitely am in the latter category and all am hoping is to not get stuck in a blogging rut once again. *knocks wood*.
But as a writer, be a blogger or a novelist or a poet, getting into a rut seems too scary, yet it is very possible that any day you might. There are days when I just stare at the blank page waiting for the words to pour out for hours and they wouldn’t.
Well, if this scenario sounds a little true for you then this article is for you. If not, please let us know what kinda crazy potion do you drink each night.
I am gonna try and tell you the secrets of managing the slump or rut so that your writing doesn’t have to stop.
10. Write like you talk
Do not worry about your writing voice.
Why try to change a voice that you use daily to talk to people in your real life? Talk to your readers as you would talk to your friends and family. Don’t try to be the pompous ass that you are not in real life. If you are one real life, DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVICE.
9. Talk to a person
More often than not, I get stuck when I try to generalize my readers and talk to them, as a faceless crowd. It is easier to think of that one person who would enjoy your story or post and just write for them. It is definitely less intimidating.
8. Don’t self sabotage
Negative thoughts send us down a spiral. It happens to the best of us and it is easier to say to be positive. But to truly overcome that try and understand its pattern and then solve the cause.
Worried that you are you not organized? Get a spreadsheet or a planner. Worried that you are you not creative enough? Start writing. You are not a real writer? Write MORE.You can do it.
7. Best laid plans
One can never stress enough on the importance on planning. Instead of waiting for an inspiration to strike every time you need to post on your blog, working with a plan makes sense doesn’t it?
Every week I start with a blog plan and schedule for the week which avoids the time I spend on frantically searching for topic when I actually write.
6. That elusive perfect ritual
Every post or article we write is different and the process we end up might be different as well. What I am trying to say is, do not fixate on your perfecting a writing ritual.
There is no one perfect writing process. If you do have one, please share it below in the comment section.
5. Write a spinoff
When you are stuck without knowing what to write read some of your old works. Write a sequel or part two of your most favorite. If you are a blogger, I believe every post can off shoot more posts.
Despite all these I do suffer from ‘staring at the white sheet’ more often than I would like to admit, and there is only one thing that gets me going. I set a timer for a short time, say 20 minutes and start freewheeling. I am sure you will start making sense in one or two bouts.
Lastly but the most important thing is: write for yourself and enjoy what you do. When you push and push you might end up frustrated, which ultimately is not achieving anything. Write for writing sake and enjoy the writing craft, I am sure your readers will thank you for it.
These are some of the things I do when I have to get over the writing rut, be it for a blog post or copy writing. Let me know if it works for you.
How often do you struggle to write an article or post? What are the things that you do to manage the rut? Do you follow any of these ideas? Let us talk more.