Learning Scrivener To Write Better Books

One of the biggest problems with Scrivener is the deep learning curve. I myself avoided this software for the longest time because of that. Actually I had installed the writing software on my computer and opened the program and said this is way to complicated for me to use.

Then after hearing over and over from my author friends and people on Facebook I decided to give it another try. I had a conversation with Karen Prince who wrote a book all about Scrivener and I took the time to learn it. She has two books, one for Mac and one for the PC.

 

Karen Prince was raised on a wildlife farm in Zimbabwe; a perfect childhood for someone who always wanted to become a writer. Between searching for wild dogs and other dangerous creatures on horseback and cooling off in the nearby dam – which was occupied by at least one crocodile – it was a wonder she survived. This chaotic life was balanced during the school term by the harsh discipline and unreasonable constraints of attendance at an all girls boarding school, an overnight train ride away. This was where Karen became an avid writer. Mostly of heartfelt pleas to anyone who would listen, to rescue her soon.

 

For a writing tool that’s raved about in every writing community there is, this seems to be where the truth is really being told. The worst part is, so many of these people’s frustrations went unanswered for years! This is what pure torture feels like.

But this is exactly the reason why I had to create Learn Scrivener Fast. I’m a teacher at heart, and there was no way I could let anyone else feel this way about using Scrivener.

FREE Scrivener Mini Course – YouTube
Jumpstart your Scrivener journey by learning all the ins and outs plus extra tips and goodies. Access the free mini course here http://awesomegang.com/learn-scrivener

 

For my first book, I used MS Word and it was a nightmare to cut and paste everything, as I’m not a linear writer. When I discovered Scrivener, the world became a better place! Then I discovered I could use it to publish in Kindle and ePub formats. Wow! I now recommend it to everyone.

 

Do you want to write faster? Learn how to write faster with Scrivener. It’s an amazing tool that helps get more organised and write faster.

 

Scrivener is a name that gets tossed around a lot in writing circles, but it’s not immediately clear how it’s useful. Subsequently, I’ve avoided it for years. Then, on a whim recently, I checked it out, and now I can’t imagine writing anything without it. Here’s what I’ve learned in my time.

 

As a full-time writer, I take my tools seriously. With a blog, a podcast, speeches, and a new book in the works, I have to maximize my productivity. I have a daily word count goal, and I can’t afford to let the tools get in the way. But, unfortunately, they often do. Until a month […]

 

Scrivener Series:How I Wrote a Book in a Month → (Next Post) How to Write a Novel in 30 DaysUsing Scrivener and Evernote to Write Your BookHow I Wrote a Book in a MonthWant to Write? Write A Short Story FirstScrivener: The Ultimate Guide to Exporting Ebooks (Kindle, ePub, etc.)Scrivener: An Introduction to Novel WritingHow …

Author Marketing Live Was A Great Event For Authors

Author Marketing Live was a great event and so glad I was able to present on getting fans and readers using social media. Our sessions had a very good reaction and I am sure many authors at the event have added some of the tools we mentioned to their To-Do List.

Author Marketing Live

Below is just a small sample of what attendees had to say. Jim Kukral really put on a first class event.

Here is our slide deck with the tools we use on social media to get fans.

 

Awesomegang Results From Paid Promo

I receive emails all the time from authors that are happy with our paid promo service. This week we received one from author Joy Tremay whose book “Passion Never Dies” went to #1 in the free store for her romance category.

Awesomegang results for passion never dies book

Congrats to Joy and thanks for the lovely email letting us know about your results. You can pick up Joy’s book here.

Awesomegang Results

We don’t post about Awesomegang results that often as our main focus is getting readers for authors. Click here if you want to see some other testimonials for Awesomegang authors.

A Year and a Day as an Indie Author by Jackie Weger

Today we are in for a treat as we are privileged to have Jackie Weger stop by and tell us what it has been like as a first year Indie author.

A Year and a Day as an Indie Author

by Jackie Weger

There is something wonderful and magical about stepping into the indie author universe. There are thousands upon thousands of us—all trying to sell our books to the reading public—mostly on Amazon which sells to 65% of the reading public worldwide. You can dispute that that—if you have the facts.

I’ve learned a few things over the past year. I’ve learned who I can trust, who can help me, who won’t and who is all talk and no do. I’ve learned the best sites to promote my books, Facebook protocol, how to Tweet, how to use a hashtag and and bitly. Absolute key to success as an indie author is knowing who to listen to. l listen to Martin Crosbie, David Gaughran and Donna Fasano. All three are best-selling authors. Real ones. I’ve learned who can best edit my books, build and maintain my webpages and who can format my books. I have learned an immense amount about reviews.

Any fool can throw up a blog and tell you that reviews increase a title’s Amazon Best Seller stats. It ain’t so. Only sales lift your book stats out of sucking mud. Sales! Amazon does watch those reviews and how fast they come in—especially after a promotion. Reviews can help keep your title in the ‘also bought’ and ‘also viewed’ line beneath other books in the same genre—thus in front of book buyers. If you run a FREE promotion and achieve astronomical downloads, Amazon might place your book onto its popularity list in your genre. If that happens, you are gonna sell books. Amazon does have an algorithm that keeps tags on the number of reviews and the title’s average review rate. One and two star reviews drag the Review Average Rate down. That’s why you see authors on certain FB sites asking for ‘friends’ to go on Amazon and tag the low starred reviews as unhelpful to push them down. That is unethical and NOT the done thing and does not! Make them go away. Nor does it increase the Review Average. Here is a truth: Never chastise or argue with a reviewer. You can’t win. Two weeks ago an author hassled a reviewer for giving a book a three star review. The reviewer went on Amazon and changed the review to a one star and gave the reasons. Oops.

Here is what a top 1000 Reviews Amazon reviewer told me when she heard of that fiasco. “No legitimate reviewer will touch that book now. We stay on top of stuff like this and we don’t like our reviews being ticked as unhelpful.”

We need reviews on our books and an average review rating of at least 3.8/5.0 to get on some of the best promotion sites, such as Bookbub, Kindle Nation Daily and Kebooks. One Hundred Free Books (OHFB) will seldom promote a book with less than 100 reviews and at least a 4.5 average rate. Let me tell you! It is difficult to keep an average review rate up that high on 100 or 200 reviews or more. If you do—you have surely got a best seller! However, we are indie authors, so you must promote the book to get it in front of readers and buyers.

I can just about hear you yelling over the cyberwaves right now: “Forget 100 reviews! I just want the first dozen or the first twenty!” Okay. I’m gonna help you out. Go to The Indie View. The page this links you to has a list of 340 Reviewers who review indie books. Check it out.

I seldom do an article about indie publishing without suggesting indie authors include this little gem at the end of their book after THE END.

Thank you for taking time to read “Title of book“. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you.

It works. Readers have posted more than 450 reviews on two of my indie titles since I put the gem at the foot of my books. And yes! There are some one and two star reviews. Don’t touch ‘em. I don’t. Those reviews belong to the reviewer–not the author.

If you want to read the real skinny on reviews as told by a top Amazon and Goodreads reviewer go here: Reviews, the Good , the Bad and the Ugly

‘Til next time…

Jackie Weger

eNovel Authors at Work

Jackie WegerJackie Weger has been writing romance novels off and on for thirty years. Meeting her characters is like meeting and making new friends. She’s earned a little money writing and found that all of the things she’d hoped one day to own no longer appeals. What she enjoys is destination travel–going to new and strange places, meeting natives, learning their customs, their foods, how they survive good times and bad. She lived part of one winter with trappers in the Louisiana Swamps, volunteered at a sister of Mercy Mission in Colon, Panama–and had one of the most interesting conversations in her life with an old man and his dog as they sat on a bench waiting for a train in the Village of Versailles. Right this minute Jackie is sitting still to write another romance -but her passport is up to date–handy for when the travel bug nips her heels once again. Who knows? She might end up in your neighborhood one day. Jackie loves, coffee, tea, cats, gossip and all things Southern.

Get Jackie’s Books

Finding home jackie weger

Persimmon Road

reluctant hero book cover

How to Get More Followers on Twitter

Twitter logoWhen I first signed up for a twitter account years ago, I did not know what to do with twitter. I just followed my friends and acquaintances, sharing my experiences and talking to my friends. I was not even aware of the importance of having people follow you.

Then eventually, I realized how useful it was when I had my first online business. I would share my thoughts about online shopping, my mood, and other stuff. People who follow me on twitter see my updates and now lots of people that followed me on twitter get to see my product updates when I post them.

So how can we get more followers on twitter in just a short span of time? Well, here are some tips that might help you:

1. Create a good profile

Fill out your profile with all the information that you want your followers to see. When filling out your profile, please make sure to upload your photo to catch the viewer’s trust and attention. Do not forget to fill out the descriptions as well, this is very important because people will able to see that you properly promoting your products or your business. There is a place for you to upload a url which is great place to promote your author website. If you don’t have one put your amazon author page url. You can also put Awesomegang.com there if you feel like helping us spread the word.

2. Follow the right people

So here is the thing, follow the right people. Word of mouth is very essential when you are into business. These people will help you to promote your products without even paying them a single penny. For example, if you are an Author, follow those people who usually read books, other authors (because they might give some tips also how to promote your book properly). If you follow the right people, there are possibilities that they will follow you back.

3. Hashtag and Monitor Keywords

Yes, hashtags plays an important role in twitter. To keep your finger on your industry’s pulse you need to set up your hashtags and keyword monitoring in HootSuite. You can also monitor a topic, a genre or any other keyword you can think of. You may want to follow #Amazon
 #amreading #author #book #bookmarketing #freebook #ilovebooks and of course our hashtag #awgang

4. Provide Content That Most People Care About

Yes, this is so true. Your potential customers care a lot about your business that is why it is very important to make good content that is relevant to them. Be a resource of interesting topics and information. I also try to be a little funny and I always use good language as if I was talking to my grandmother.

5. Be on Twitter Often.

Tweet often. Tweeting regularly is a good way to promote your brand or products. However, do not tweet too often because your followers might think you are a spammer especially when you tweet a hard-sell message over and over, it will lead them to un-follow you on twitter, which is not a good idea, right? Make sure that your tweets are helpful to your followers.

6. Retweet worthy information

When you retweet one of the people you are following, it shows to them that you are connecting and listening to them. Thus, it will lead them to follow you if they are not following you yet. Then eventually, they will also retweet your posts.

You should build up a few author friends and plan on retweeting each other. This works really good if all writers are in the same genre. Log into your twitter account and do a hashtag search in your writing genre and find a few authors with a lot of followers and retweet them a few times. After a couple of days send them a dm and ask if they would like to join your RT club.

Get 4 -10 authors all helping each other spread the word about each others books and you will find your follower count going up quickly. The followers of the other authors start to follow you because they see you in their Twitter stream. You end up with followers in your niche for free and very little work.

How To Sign Up For Instagram

Instagram has been very popular since 2012. Did you know that Instagram is not just for personal use,  it can be also good for any type of business? Yes, that is correct. Instagram is a very good way to promote your books through posting the images and video in your Instagram account. Your followers will likely see how good your books are and it will lead you to potential buyers and customers.

One good thing with Instagram is that you can connect it with your other social media account such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. That means that there is no need for your post your images in all your social accounts since Instagram will be the one to post it on your behalf. I will give you tips on how to sign up for Instagram account.

1.Download Instagram app in your phone. For IOS device download it in App Store and for Android device, you can download it in Google Play store. Then click the register button.

Picture of Instagram

2 After you have successfully downloaded the app and clicked the register button, the screen below will show up. Fill in all the information asked in the registration page including your photo. Your username is visible to people who will try to search you. Here is a small tip; if it is for business account make it sure that your username reflects your organization.

register for Instagram

3.After filling in all the information, you will have an option to invite your Facebook friends to follow you on Instagram. This is a good way to get followers asap.

Facebook Screenshot

4.You will also have an option to search friends from your contacts (phone contacts). You can skip this step if you want to.

contacts screenshot

5.Instagram will provide you a list of suggested people you might want to follow. It is up to you to decide if you want to follow them or not. Once you are done following people in Instagram, you can now click “Done” button.

suggested friends screenshot

6.Now, you are done setting up your account, however you are not done yet setting up your profile. In the image below, you can see 5 icons at the bottom, so this will serve you as your profile settings.

Test account for Instagram

7.When you click “Edit Your Profile”, the image below will show up. On this page, you can add additional details about yourself such as your website URL, your photo, a short bio, etc. Once done, click “save” and you are now ready for your followers! If you don’t have a website you can put you amazon authors page URL there.

edit profile screenshot

You can now share things like book covers, book trailers or any image you think your readers will like and also attract new readers.

My View on Research

When I first began publishing my stories I readily admitted that I didn’t do research. I was almost proud of it. I wrote about what I knew and made up the rest. You can do that in fiction. I think I associated research with school, and I hated school with a passion! Plus, back in my day any research I had to do meant spending hours in the library, and involved a thick, heavy encyclopedia. Anyone recall what those are?

Now, with easy internet access to anything I want to know about it doesn’t seem like research. I find that it’s actually fun learning something new, and wow, all of a sudden I feel…intelligent! If only it had been that easy in school. Maybe I would have liked it more.

Well, I held off doing any real research as long as I could, but I can no longer say, I don’t do it. Once again I have to eat my words. Yesterday I did research, and today I was able to write the first chapter of an erotic biker romance. It’s not just about how to ride a hog, it’s about the culture and history, and using the right language.

I’m also lucky in that one of my oldest, dearest friends used to be a biker chick. She’s enlightened me on a few things, and will be a great source of information when it comes to her personal experiences. Of course I’ll change her name to protect the innocent.

As eager as I am to continue with my new story, I need to get back to finishing up Lovers, book 5 in my Serve and Submit Series. It’s due out in July. But you know how it is when you get an idea in your head. You just have to go with it.

Tory Richards

Best Podcast For Authors To Learn Marketing

My Top 5 Podcast for Book Marketing

I like to listen to podcast when I am either writing a book or working on my website. These are the top podcast that I have saved and listen to while I am working online. If you are tired of watching the doom and gloom that is on the television news lately take a break and listen to some of these podcast. Most feature authors that are rocking the self-publishing industry.

I was on the first podcast and was planning on being a co-host but Deborah has taken over and is connecting readers and authors. Our goal for our podcast is to teach, inform and to interview authors that are self publishing. I learn something every episode as each author is always doing something that others are missing.

 

The Sell More Books Show is a weekly podcast focusing on helping new and experienced authors stay up-to-date with the latest self-publishing and indie news, tools and book selling/marketing strategies.

Jim Kukral and Bryan Cohen bring you all the latest in what is happening in the book marketing world. Be sure to subscribe to them on iTunes to get the latest episodes.

 

Nothing like this has ever been done. Staring June 1, 2014, Team SPP will conceive, conceptualize, outline, write, edit, polish, perfect, dress, publish and market our book — all in 30 days — with each word from every stage of the story captured, along with each meeting and email! YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THE UNBOXING!

 

Michael is doing a PhD in Ottoman history and is living in Turkey, he was working a part time job teaching English, trading hours for dollars and wanted to move away from that and create a product that people would purchase.

 

Hi, I’m Joanna Penn, an author, just like you, and on this site I share my own lessons from the writing journey. I have made so many mistakes, I want to try and save you time, money and heartache along the way. Audios will be posted at least every two weeks and will cover Interviews, Inspiration and Information on Writing, Publishing Options and Boo

Do you have a favorite podcast that we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know!

How To Set Up A Facebook Page For Authors

Facebook logoFor all Authors around the world, having a Facebook Fan page is the best way to promote your books. We all know facebook is the best advertising method these days because it allows your followers or your friends to share and recommend your books or writings to other people. It increases your followers and readers and your sales as well.

Whether you are internet savvy or not, you can easily create your Facebook fan page because it is incredible user friendly. All features are usually simplified even if they update their site from time to time.

You have to take note, that your Facebook fanpage is public for all your followers whether you are friends or a stranger. However, your facebook account is your private account, so you cannot just add a stranger, because there is a possibility that you will be annoyed with their nasty comments, etc. You should know to differentiate both of this.

There are four 4 steps to create your Facebook Fan page.

First Step: Create an email address
You have to create a one (1) professional email address in order to register to Facebook. Please take note that if you already have facebook account, there is no need for you to register again.

Go to www.facebook.com and enter all the necessary information needed on the sign up page.

Second Step: Create Page
With your personal Facebook profile, you need to click the cog icon in the upper part of the page and select “Create Page” or you can simple click here to go directly to the page creation.

Facebook page

Once you clicked the link, there are six (6) choices that will appear on the page. Click the ‘Artist, Band or Public Figure’. Then you have to select the “Author” from the dropdown menu you will see and enter your pen name.
There you go! You just have created your facebook fan page as an Author. You can switch user between your personal account and your author fan page using the cog icon menu.

Third Step: Build your Profile
Facebook usually changes their profile layout, but one thing that is constant is the use of profile pictures. Your profile picture will always be 160x160px size on the top left of the page. You need to upload a profile picture that will definitely describe you, whether your picture or the image of your book would be a good choice.

You will also need a good cover photo which is 851x315px background picture of your page. These images are only visible to the people who already liked your page, however your public posts will still be seen by people even if they did not click the like button of your page.

The About Me section of your fan page must be filled out as well. It is up to you how you will describe yourself as an author, usually readers will check this section in order for them to know what type of Author are you. It is like a short biography of you. If you have a website be sure to enter in the URL of that page in the description. This will cause it to show on the page itself. It is also a good idea to mention the genre you usually write in.

Most importantly, add content on your page. Having good content (Status, links to your online content, pictures or videos), will definitely help your audience to like your page. However, your content should be relevant to your books or what you are selling. Your content must be good content and helpful to your readers. Once you build up an audience it is a good idea to ask questions to cause interaction on the page. You can get personal with your fans but don’t forget the main objective is to sell more books.

Fourth Step: Ask your Friends to Like your Page

Liking your page is important because it is like people are subscribing to your updates, once they liked your page, they will eventually get updates from your every time you posts something on your page. The number of likes of your page will be displayed as well so people will see how many subscribers you have.

You can also advertise your page on Twitter, LinkedIn, or even in Google+ to increase your Facebook likes. Aside from that, you can easily increase your followers through advertising your page in Facebook by paying a certain fee which will appear on Facebook to an audience of your choice or simply your target users.

If you would like tips like this delivered straight to your email then join our once a week email newsletter for authors.

How To Find Followers on Twitter That Want To Read My Book

I often get asked by authors how to connect with people that will read my book. While it is a slightly painstaking thing to do once you get set up and look in the right places you can find readers on Twitter. A big time wasting mistake is to follow other authors at random. I am sure you have other friends that are authors and thats ok but don’t go following other authors just thinking their fans will buy your book.

The key is to follow authors in your genre. If you are writing Harry Potter like books wouldn’t it make sense to follow some people that are following J.K. Rowling? Twitter has a good search tool to find people that are similar to you or have the same interest. Make sure you are logged into Twitter and click on the Who to Follow tool. You are bound to find authors in your genre hat have a big following. You can also get to this from your profile page. See the Yellow Arrow and red circle in the picture below.

follow authors on Twitter

Finding Your Writing Genre Followers

Once you view the recommended followers on Twitter you will get to a screen that looks like this. For the sake of this article lets say we are writing in the thriller genre. I would think that following and account called eBookThrillers would be a good place to start. We go and follow them since they are in the genre. They are not an author but a service that helps people find the best thrillers. This is like hitting the jackpot.

Thriller authors on Twitter

Looks like we have found a great place to start. They have over  10,000 people following them on Twitter. Click on the followers that I highlighted with the red circle.

twitterfollowersgenre

I am sure a lot are people that buy thriller books since they are following a Twitter account that  blast out new thrillers. We click on their followers and find some people that look interesting.

thriller followers

While the tops ones are not exactly what we are looking for you can see a list of who follows eBookThrillers and go and find some readers to follow. As I am scrolling and looking I will also look for other authors in the genre and see if they have a big following and follow some of their followers in the same way I described above. Personally I do this as a daily task. I do about 50 – 100 a day and you could do more if you wish. I think Twitter allows you to follow about 2000 people a day based on the amount of people you are already following of course.

Sometimes you can look at the peoples list and find some good ones to follow. On the upper left hand side under favorites you will see List. Click on that and you may find some great places to find more readers. if you want to find readers that are local to you check out our Twitter for book signings page. It has some great information for finding local Twitter followers.

Awesome Author Interview List

Over the years we have had authors subscribe to our free book list that didn’t really want alerts about free books. They wanted to read the author interviews and pick up tips from other authors. With this in mind I bring you our Awesome Authors List.

This is a weekly email that brings you the best of the author interviews as well as any news that authors should know about. Come join our no pressure list and learn about what other authors are doing and what is working for them.

I will also send out tips about getting more book sales by using social media and other methods like building an email list.

Social Media Tips For Authors

I just came across a nicely put together infographic on social media and I think a lot of authors could benefit from it. I get a lot of questions about promoting books and this is a good guide for how to create the perfect post. While it has information about Vine at the end most authors can ignore that network for book promotion since there really isn’t a use for that as an author. How to create the perfect social media post
How to create the perfect social media post is an infographic that was produced by mycleveragency

Two Golden Rules When You Write Romance

You don’t kill off the hero, and you have a happy ending, or at least a happily for now ending. Don’t you agree? If you’re reading fiction, and it’s a romance, wouldn’t you expect it to end happily? I would. I read romances to feel good.

Not too long ago I read an erotic, Viking romance. For the most part I liked the story, yet it wasn’t erotic by any means. The sex was good, but there wasn’t enough of it. Then there was the problem with the ending. The author killed off the hero, leaving his lady love alone, and pregnant.

I was so upset! I didn’t see it coming. And my disappointment was reflected in my review. Once the hero was killed off that was it for me. As far as I was concerned it ruined the whole romance. Looking at the other reviews, it was clear others felt the same way.

So let this be a warning my friends, you won’t be reading any books written by me that ends with a dead hero.

An Eye Opening Experience

My first book is finally published. Release day has come and gone. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the dough to roll in. Well, I did, and it didn’t.  In fact, I was more apt to get bread, (dough get it?), than money.

I thought becoming a published author was all I had to do before I could sit back and reap the rewards of my dreams coming true. I would just continue writing my books, and find a publisher. That’s all there was to it, right?  In my dreams! How naive I was! And I’m sure I wasn’t alone. I soon found out that writing my book, and getting it published was just the first part of a long, time-consuming process.

Since getting my first novel published in 2005 I’ve acquired websites, blogs, joined MySpace, Facebook, twitter, Coffee Time Romance, Goodreads, Author Island, countless bookstores, yahoo groups, just too many to list. After a while you forget half of them anyway, and just recently I read somewhere that you’re supposed to pick 3-5 good promoting sites, and build up your following there. Yeah, right! Because you never know which avenues will work for you, and no one can tell you.

One of the most important things I realized in time is that you have to connect with readers. That means more than just popping in and leaving a promo, and not going back until the next promo. Now, I admit that I’ve been guilty of that, and it’s okay to do once in a while. But you have to get to know people. Build relationships so that they see you as a person, and not just another author looking for someone to buy their books. Get involved, comment on their posts, and ask questions. That’s one of the easiest ways of getting a conversation started, and keep it going.

Besides the hours and hours spent on networking, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on promotional items from expensive magazine ads, post cards, magnets, labels, book marks and contest prizes. Not to mention the postage spent on mailing all that stuff out to various organizations. In the beginning I spent more than I took in. But look around, there are a lot of websites that offer free promotion in the way of guests posts, reviews, and contests. Ask author friends if you can be a guest on their blog one day, and tell them you’ll reciprocate.

Since I’ve retired from Disney I’ve slowed down spending money, and limit it to the occasional contest prize, and any good deals I find for promoting. Free ebooks are always welcomed by readers. Join author tours, and blog hops. I have a page of up-coming blog hops so check it out. They’re fun, and can draw a big crowd when prizes are involved. I’ve found that I spend just as much time promoting, if not more, than actually writing.

So, how does one keep up with it all and work a full time job? Because let’s face it, unless you get really lucky with your first few books, or you’re married to a spouse who can support you both, you will probably be working 9-5, five days a week. I was surprised when I found out how many authors still worked full-time jobs outside of the home. Just another misconception that the millions would roll in after my first book was published. It takes time my friends. Dues have to be paid, and success doesn’t happen over night. So don’t up and quit your day job right away. There’s a lot of competition out there and you gain readers one reader at a time.

So write your book, find a publisher, but don’t sit back and wait for the money. Success comes from time spent, friendships made, lots of networking, a little money, and perseverance.

To date I have 20 ebooks published. Bishop’s Angel is my latest.

Bishop's Angel 200x3002

After ten years of sacrificing everything for his country as a Navy SEAL, Bishop is looking for salvation, and something more permanent in his life. Angel, a pretty kindergarten teacher, thinks she’s just what he needs. Their chemistry is instant, and explosive, only Bishop has trouble letting go of his commitment to his country. It’s up to Angel to prove there’s room for her in his life.

Written by Tory Richards-www.toryrichards.com

Using Twitter For Local Book Signings

The other day on our Facebook authors group we were talking about using social media to get more people to your book signing. I asked how many people used Twitter to find people that may be interested in your book and may come to your book signing. I was surprised no one had used Twitter for this. Consider this a guide for you just change out the city and use your own.

I am going to assume that you already have a Twitter account. If you don’t go to Twitter and sign up. This will work best if you have a few weeks before your book signing and I promise it won’t take much time.

Ready! Set! Go!

OK the first thing we have to do is find out if the bookstore or wherever you are signing books has a Twitter account. When you find that account go and follow all the people that have tweeted at the bookstore recently. In this example I am going to use New York City.

Lets say I am signing at St Marks Books. A nice book store in Manhattan. I find their Twitter account which is @stmarksbookshop. Right now they have 1400 followers. Hmm 1400 people that are already fans of the bookstore. I am sure they would be interested in coming to a book signing in a store they like already. I go and click on their followers and follow them all if I have enough room in my Twitter account without hitting the limit for the day.

If you don’t have enough space and only want the serious followers I usually follow only the people that have tweeted out about the store or had some recent interaction with them. This way I don’t get their followers that haven’t been on Twitter in a while. You do this using the Twitter search box with the @ symbol and their twitter account.

Since we are following the bookstore where your signing will be send them a Tweet, something like this. “I am excited to be coming to your store to sign books on (include the date and time)”. Their followers will be familiar with you by the time the signing happens. I would tweet this once a day myself.

Another thing I would do is find their Facebook page and post a “Looking forward to signing books at your store.” In this case St Marks has 5000 fans so that is the place I would be marketing also. But Facebook marketing is for another post. You can take some of these methods and apply it to Facebook if you have time.

Rinse and Repeat This Method

St Marks is in the East Village so the next thing I would be doing is look for popular Twitter accounts in the Village. Lets see the first thing that pops in my mind is the newspaper “The Village Voice. In this case I am going to follow everyone that the Village Voice follows which is mostly staff. I will also look for other people that may be local in their followers list and follow who they are following.

I just noticed they are following reporters that are also near the East Village, Sweet that is a home run. They are also following a popular East Village website NSAYEastVillage. I will go through their followers and also email the site and alert them to the book signing. They also have 6000 people on their Facebook so I would make a post there too.

But Vinny I Don’t Have These Huge Resources.

I realize that NYC is huge and has a lot of resources that some other cities don’t have but I am only using the East Village section so in a way it is a small town. I want you to pull up a map of the address where you are doing the book signing. Here is a map where St Marks Book Shop is.

east village map

If you look closely on the map you will see about 20 locations that are near the book store. I see three or four churches, a few restaurants, a few parks. There are even a few schools, last time I looked there were teachers that read there. Using your local map search for their website and/or Twitter account. If your local Starbucks has it’s own Twitter account that is a good place also.

You can find the popular places in your town by finding the Twitter accounts for

  1. Chamber of Commerce
  2. Local Radio Station
  3. Local Newspaper
  4. Neighborhood stores
  5. The Mayor or local politicians
  6. Police or Fire Stations
  7. Local TV News Station and/or popular anchors
  8. Local Parks

Do the same thing we did with the other accounts. I personally like using the @symbol in searches so I get the most recent people in my searches. I have found this works better.

Between all these accounts your book signing should be a major success. After the end of the book signing I would also contact as many people as possible thanking them for their help getting the word out.

While you are doing all this Twitter following why not follow me https://twitter.com/ourawesomegang.

Facebook Tips For Writers

Facebook like buttonFacebook is not only one of the most highly visited online sites, it is also the most popular social media site on the web today; as a writer, you have to take advantage of this. You want to make your profile shine, and you want to let people know who you are. Some simple Facebook tips for writers include giving visitors a short bio, teaching them and showing them the content you produce, and creating a page that would appeal to those who are most likely going to be reading the content and books that you create.

Depending on the type of books you write, there are different layouts for your page, and unique ways to set up your bio, in order to appeal to your niche audience. These Facebook tips for writers will help you create a profile that is noticeable, and one that people are going to find.

Complete your profile
If you have a personal Facebook page, it is more than likely you leave out some personal information (such as phone number, address, etc); but, for your writer page, you must fill in ever section on your profile page. You don’t have to put down a physical address and personal phone number, but include things like: City, DOB, work phone number, type of content you create, current books, etc. The more visitors know about you as a writer, especially those who are brand new to your Facebook page, the more they will gather about you as a writer, without ever having seen any of your work.

Make it public
Again, with personal pages, you can create privacy settings where only friends can see your page; but, with a business account for your writer bio, make it public. You want people to find you. From publishers to possible readers, to individuals who are looking to join a book club. The more followers you have, the easier you will become to find on SEO searches and through other online searches. So, go public, and allow people to find you, otherwise you will lose out on a large potential pool of readers, and might shut out an entire group of people without even knowing it.

Keep them updated
Your followers and fans want to know what you are doing. So, create and post updates regularly. If you are working on a book, and have to push back the first draft date, let fans know. If you are going to do a book signing, or writing an online article or blog, inform those who visit your page. By keeping them updated with news on your work, what you have recently done, and what is to come, they are more likely to keep following you, and fans are going to be more likely to see your content when it comes out. If your fans do not know what you are doing, when a book is being released, or when you are adding new content online, how are they going to see it? – So, even though it seems basic enough, keeping them informed, and letting fans know what is taking place, on a regular basis, is very important to your profile page on your public Facebook account.

Have a photo
Doing this puts a face to the name. This is one of the most basic Facebook tips for writers, yet it is one that so many writers, and other public figures, ignore. You want to connect with those you are trying to sell to. If you have a picture, people can see you, and can connect the type of writing you do, your current books, and other publications, to the face they see. When you do post a photo, make sure it is one that truly showcases you professionally, and avoid those where you were playing beer pong at a college party. Your public writer page speaks volumes of you, and your photo is one of the first things visitors are going to want to see when they visit your profile page.

Be selective
This goes not only for the fans you accept to your page, but also to content, photos, and anything else that goes up on your page. If you suggest another writer’s page, make sure their work compliments yours; if you add new fans, make sure they are not going to tarnish your site or reputation. Your site, and the content on it, are all public, and are all going to portray you to the public. Every and anything that goes on the page, has to be quality content, and has to portray you as a positive influence, and showcase the work you do on and offline.

Think before you act
If you have a profile as a writer, as well as a personal one, make sure you think before posting a photo. You have to know that everything you put online, from the picture at a party, to information about a relationship, is public, especially if you have a public page. So, make sure you only put things online that showcase you in your best light; people are not going to buy books from a writer that is a bad influence, or does things that are not morally correct. You have to know anything you put online will be there forever, even if you personally delete it. So, before you post it, think, and make sure you are only portraying yourself in the best possible light.

No matter what kind of writing you do, what kind of content you create, or who your niche audience is, with the right Facebook profile page, your surely going to shine and get the followers you want to get. It is important that you keep fans updated, let them know what is going on, and give them information and updates regularly. The more they know, the more likely it is they are going to continue to follow you, and will make future purchases for the books and other content that you create on and offline for fans.

Marketing Tips For Authors

As an author, it is extremely important that you are using the right online resources, and available marketing tips for authors, to help you get your name and book out to the general public. Depending on the type of work you do, the type of story lines you create, and what audience you are trying to reach out to, there are different resources for different authors to use. The end goal is they should want to build a following, and find the right niche reader.

Regardless of the type of work you do, or the kind of writing you do, today it is important to use all available resources, especially online resources. This way you can reach out to a diverse consumer and reader base, for a very low out of pocket cost, and in some cases, no out of pocket cost to market.

Social media sites
Whether it is a tweet with the latest book title, a Facebook message talking about a new book you are planning on writing, or any other hints or messages about your new or up and coming work, social media sites are a hot bed when trying to reach the most people, and the right target audience. Today, nearly everyone online has at least one social media account, regardless of age and demographics. Therefore, as an author, creating a social media fan page, your own posts about your books, and other content related to your work, is one of the best things you can do online, when trying to promote the book. If you do choose to use social media you must:
– Create a relevant page, where those who follow you or are fans on your page know what you do, know about your work, and about the content you create.
– Offer people incentives to join your page; whether it is a free book to a random follower, or a signed copy to a random follower, these are some ways to draw in new followers to your page.
– If using sites like Twitter, make your tweets short, relevant, and meaningful; only tease the viewer, don’t give them a full synopsis in a tweet.
– With Facebook, interact. Replying to questions and talking to those that follow you is what social media is all about; if followers feel there is no benefit to following you, and keeping up with updates, it is going to be difficult to get people interested in your new work.

Email marketing
More email addresses means more leads. If you know the email address of those who have purchased your work in the past, of those who follow you on social media, and those who read your blog, you have a pretty large email listing. From those names, you can get leads, and possible referrals, for others who might be interested in your work as well.

When you choose to send out news, information, or any new content about books, future release dates, signings or some kind of discount, make sure the email messages are meaningful. People are only going to give you their email address, if they are going to get something out of it. So, offer a free copy of an e book when its released, or provide those who give you their email address some kind of coupons or deal towards the next book they purchase.

No matter what it is, you must give them some kind of value; offering discounts, savings, promotions, or even free products, are all ways to get email addresses, to get leads, and to eventually build on sales.

Blog about it -
Using blogs is one of the best ways to interact; using a blog allows you to:
– Get instant feedback from reviews, and what those who read and respond to your blog post have to say about your work, and future work you have done.
– Keep in touch with your followers, and those who enjoy your work, by keeping them up to date on the latest news, changes in release dates, and any other information about the books.
– Learn what people think about your work by reading comments, and the interactions that are going on about your blogs; and,
– Allows you to give teasers, information, and newsworthy stories that you think your audience might enjoy, in a simple format online, and in a community that you have built for those who follow your work.

Integrate on and offline marketing -
If you have an older audience, or those who do not know about social media and other sites, you may still want to use offline marketing. Using something like a brochure, and adding your email address, and site URL to the brochure is a great idea. Or, creating a magazine page with your picture, book release date, and your site URL are some simple things you can do. This allows people to see what you are marketing in print, and it allows them to then go to your site for further or complimentary information and updates, if they are interested in learning more, keeping up, and possibly finding out when your book is being released, or if new information has come out about your book.

These simple marketing tips for authors allows you to reach out to a broad consumer base, to a wide age range, and to all demographics. By integrating on and offline marketing, not only does the author reach out to all potential readers, they are also able to focus their efforts on the niche that they feel is most likely to read their book, and the content that they create.

It does not matter if you are a fiction or non fiction writer, thrill or adventure writer, using the right tools to get your name out there, information about your content, and future books, is something all authors should do. By following these simple tips, you can reach your niche audience, as well as try to break in to a new niche, without having to spend extra money to market to those who already read your content and writing.

Submitting Your Book to Free Promotion Websites
There are many website where you can submit your book and get more readers. We have compiled a list of sites that take book submissions. These sites work by filling out a little bit of information about both the book and about the author.

Join Author Groups
You can learn a lot by discussing what works and more importantly what doesn’t work. There is a lot of authors out there and most have tried one thing or the other and they know what is just a waste of time. By participating in these groups you can learn a lot from others. Our author group on Facebook has a very diverse group of authors that can help you. I encourage you to join and ask questions.

Author Marketing Club
The best place we have found for authors is the Author Marketing Club. Jim Kukral has a ton of resources built into the site to help authors. I am a premium member myself and highly recommend it.

Writing Contests – Golden Opportunities For Unpublished Writers

* Editors Note: This is a guest post by Rosemary McCracken Author of the book “Safe Harbor”

If you’ve completed your first manuscript and are starting down the road to publication, take a look at contests for unpublished authors that you are eligible to enter. These are golden opportunities. The cash prizes are usually small, but winning and short-listed entries are often published in a magazine or an anthology. That will launch a newbie writer into print and provide “publications” to list in query letters and on your website. Two of my short stories were published in literary magazines when they were shortlisted in writing contests several years ago.

I now write crime fiction, and this genre has a number of contest opportunities. Some, such as the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers First Crime Novel Competition for unpublished traditional mystery novels, have big stakes. Writers of any nationality who have never had a novel published – and who write in English – can enter, and St. Martin’s Minotaur will publish the winning manuscript. Submissions for the 2013 contest had to be in by Dec. 13, 2012, but check out the link next fall.

Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association is gearing up for another round of the Debut Dagger competition, its annual search for the best unpublished English-language crime fiction novel. This fabulous contest closes on Feb. 2, so crime fiction writers from anywhere in the world who haven’t had a novel published still have a few weeks to submit the first 3,000 words of their manuscripts. Check out the CWA’s website for details on how to enter.

Winning the Debut Dagger doesn’t guarantee publication, but the contest’s organizers send out the shortlisted titles to any agents and editors who want a look at them. And writers have seen some amazing successes as a result. One of them was Louise Penny, the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Armand Gamache series. She rose to fame after Still Life was “highly commended” by the Debut Dagger judges (meaning it took second place) in the 2004 event.

Just getting judges’ attention can be the fuel writers need to spur them on. Shortlisting in Crime Writers of Canada’s inaugural Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel in 2007 did that for me. I didn’t win the top prize, but the fact that I was a finalist told me there were people out there who liked my work. That’s a big boost for an unpublished writer and it kept me going. And shortlisted authors can also mention being a finalist in letters, on their websites and in promotional material.

Some contests – not all – provide feedback from the judges, which is another great opportunity. You may not win the award, but you’ll probably get some helpful advice.

Romance Writers of America holds an annual contest for unpublished romance writers. Golden Heart Award winners in seven categories (contemporary series romance, contemporary single-title romance, historical romance, inspirational romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense gain and young adult romance) gain exposure that often results in selling their manuscripts. The deadline of the 2013 contest was Jan. 2, but check out the RWA’s Golden Heart page when the contest reopens next fall.

It goes without saying that published authors should enter their works in any contests they can. Some competitions won’t accept self-published works, but there are now contests that recognize excellence in independent publishing. One of them is the Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPY Awards. This year’s deadline is March 15, and there are 75 categories to enter, including fitness and recreation, self-help, parenting, finance and the usual fiction categories. Click here to find out how to enter.

The Readers Favorite Awards are another opportunity to have your published and unpublished works recognized. The contest receives submissions from independent authors, small presses and large publishers, and there are 100 categories in which to enter your work this year. The deadline is May 1; find out the contest details here.

Don’t turn your back on local contests. The city where you live and your local newspaper may hold book contests. Some awards will include cash prizes; even better, winning or shortlisting will bring you recognition and sales.

Be wary, however, of contests that promise instant publication and big awards, and those that ask for large entry fees. Fees should cover the cost of sending your material out to judges
and small honorariums.

Rosemary McCrackenRosemary McCracken is a fiction writer and freelance journalist who lives in Toronto, Canada. Her first mystery novel, Safe Harbor, was shortlisted for Britain’s Debut Dagger in 2010.

It opens when a frightened woman barges into financial advisor Pat Tierney’s office with a shocking request: “Look after my boy; he’s your late husband’s son.” The next day the woman is murdered and police say her seven-year-old child may be the killer’s next target.

Safe Harbor BookSafe Harbor was published by Imajin Books this spring, and is available as an ebook and a paperback on Amazon.com; also as a paperback on Amazon.ca and Barnes & Noble. Visit Rosemary on her website and her blog.

Get your Book In Front of More Readers

We have just set up Facebook so your book gets out to more readers as it will automatically post your book out to our Facebook page. If you are an author and you have used our “Free book submission” form you can now leave comments on the page we made for your book and have your Facebook friends and fans see the comments.

I am sure that this will help bring more people to the site and in turn to your books. If you have had your book featured here I would appreciate it if you gave our Facebook page a “Like”.