Time to consolidate the Author Resources post, and I thought what better way to do it than in a blog post? Now, most of these tips I’ve covered before, so there won’t be a lot new here if you pursue the posts on the SupportIndieAuthors board on goodreads, but there will be a short bit on how to create an ebook giveaway on the site!
First off, a simple cut and paste of the many varied and wide ranging Author Resources up on the board:
Just trying to take and consolidate some of the older posts that have to do with Author resources. The first part of this was written by our very own Virginia McClain
After a few questions that were raised in the introductions thread I thought it might be useful to start a thread that puts all of our knowledge and experience with Indie Publishing (and marketing and publicity) into one convenient location.
To make things easy to find we should perhaps follow a format, so I’ve arbitrarily decided on the following (please let me know if you think it could be improved).
-name of resource -underlined- (please include a link if you can)
-cost (if any)
-whether or not you’ve used it personally
-results if you have, and source of recommendation if you haven’t (please include both positive and negative results)
To demonstrate what I mean I’ll include a few resources that I’ve come across lately that I think are useful.
Goodreads Giveaways allow you to offer up free copies of your book in exchange for an honest review. In addition, being listed on the giveaways page gains you quite a bit of visibility with readers.
-Listing a giveaway is free, however you are responsible for the costs of sending copies of your book to winners of the giveaway
– Yes, I’ve used it myself.
– I just started my first giveaway on Jan. 26th, but 175 people have already entered for a chance to win it, and as a consequence over 100 people have added it to their Goodreads bookshelves. I’ve only offered 3 free copies, so costs should be relatively low. In fact, if just two people buy the book in any format because of the giveaway it will have paid for itself. The only downside I can think of is that if no one buys a copy as a consequence of the giveaway I’ll have spent about 30 bucks for “nothing,” but worst case scenario I think that would just equate to “associated costs” of getting the book reviewed by the winners of the giveaway.
Facebook Author Page
Facebook author pages are free to create. They provide an easy platform for people on Facebook to “like,”share, and help spread the word about you and your work, and can be easier to manage than a website if you struggle with that kind of thing. You can even add an app that connects readers straight to your goodreads author profile.
– It’s free to set up an author page, but there are ways to advertise and boost your posts that cost money.
– Yes, I’ve used it.
– I started my author page back in June of 2014 and it has been exceedingly useful in spreading the word about my books and events. It has also made it much easier to create facebook ads which have led directly to sales and awareness of my new book. The only downside I’ve encountered so far is that people who are already connected to you personally, and who like your author page, may get repeat content from you if you post in both accounts.
Facebook ads are small advertisements that appear in the ads column and in people’s news feeds as “sponsored posts.” They can reach millions of potential customers and are highly customizable.
-They cost as much as you are willing to budget. You choose your budget, the length of your campaign, your targeting, and your marketing goal, and Facebook serves your ad accordingly. The cost per click varies according to how many people actually click on your ad over the length of your campaign.
– Yes, I have used facebook ads.
– My initial experience with Facebook ads wasn’t great, and it has taken some time to sort out what ads are the most effective use of budget. I ran one campaign that wound up charging me $13 per click because it only earned a single click over the life of the two week campaign. My other campaign, which is still running costs about $0.02 per click because it’s getting thousands of clicks over its month long campaign with a maximum budget of $50. In other words: your milage may vary. 😉
Blogger is a free blog creation and management site provided by google. It is user friendly, and allows you to produce a crisp professional looking blog in minutes.
– Yes, I have used it.
– I’ve been using blogger for years now and it has come a long way since its roots. Big plusses are: it provides you with a customized url (for example: virginiamcclain.blogpsot.com), but it also allows you to use a url that you have purchased for yourself (for example: virginiamcclain.com). Also, it’s easy to manage and easy to link to social media. Downsides: currently there is no way to easily add an online store to sell merchandise directly from your website, however, you can link to any other page, so you can link to a different webstore if you have one. Also, it’s only as customizable as the templates allow (which is quite a lot if you’re good with basic html), but not as completely customizable as some other platforms.
Next is a listing of some review resources for those looking for an honest review of their work, these people reserve the right to refuse to read your work! If you need more people, Google free honest book reviews, and thousands of sites will pop up. Remember, half the work of an author is writing the book, the other half is promoting and getting people to read it! PLEASE PUT REQUEST FOR REVIEW IN THE SUBJECT! Less likely to be thought of as spam that way. (Unfortunately most of these are resources for fantasy authors, if you know other resources PLEASE list them here to #SupportIndieAuthors.)
http://www.cywyss.com/review-policy/ Cy from the board here.
And last, a couple resources for you to get author interviews or list your book for free. PLEASE READ THEIR GUIDELINES BEFORE SUBMITTING!
For Sci-fi/Fantasy writers- Betty
A new book listing site with an innovative attempt to give equal opportunity to independent authors. They offer it as a free service for now, but are planning to go to a $5 a year subscription model in the future.
#SupportIndieAuthors board on Goodreads
I do a lot of shameless promotion, and this may be one of those times, but at the same time I have had a lot of great interactions with other authors on this board. Helpful and full of lively conversations, Ann, BB, and VM help me to keep this place reasonably clean.
I had a long hard debate with myself, to automate anything on twitter, or to keep it all me. After trying this site out for a day, some things can afford to be automated. Now I don’t feel like a complete jerkoff as I type up a tweet to promote myself, I can just let the program do it for me! Set up a prearranged pattern of tweets, and it’ll do the rest! Just remember to modify the times it tweets, you don’t want it going off every 10 minutes….people will not be happy if you do.
A very effective tool for creating good hooks for your books. Great for the blurb that goes on the back. The higher your score, the better it will connect with potential readers!
I must admit, I haven’t used this service, but I have heard decent things about it. If you’re a new author, looking to get your feet wet with marketing, these guys aren’t a bad way to go.
Editor association, good place to list a work you would like to have help with, though they aren’t that budget friendly.
Crowd funding for authors!!!
Reasonably priced editing. Though I haven’t used her service myself, I’ve heard positive things from others that have.
I know, I’ve shared this one before, but they really are an awesome resource for authors on twitter. And she will tweet for you! Just send her a message you’d like put out, and she’ll do it within a day or two. Awesome, awesome resource. Can’t stress enough how much they help.
A book reviewer!
I haven’t used this service, but I included it on the list because they’re having a spring sale. $140 for a full edit, that’s a good price. But she has only a few slots left, so don’t wait.
Most of these resources are already listed on my blog: Riley Amos Westbrook Author Page. These are awesome FREE resources to those just starting out and looking for more exposure, USE IT! And keep an eye on my blog. Though you can definitely tell it’s run by a man with ADD, it does hold the occasional pearl of wisdom.
And last but not least….if you are an author looking to get out there and known, you have to realize you are going to have to do a lot of work.
Kindle Owl is an email newsletter service which sends subscribers daily emails with eBook deals tailored to their personal reading tastes. We are currently selecting authors to promote via the newsletter. To promote your book in the coming week, please visit http://www.kindleowl.com
Provided by V.M. Sawh on the Support Indie Authors board:
Here are some useful tips on how to write your blurbs.
These may contain some of the cliches, but might also have some useful advice as well. I submit these for you guys to look over:
If anyone needs help or feedback, let us know and we’ll be happy to workshop it with you.
We Rise Together.
Some interesting advice from Charles on the SIA board:
I’ve not been on Goodreads for very long, but one thing I have noticed are all the rules for writing. So many rules. Do this. Don’t do that. At times it’s like watching a mortician perform an autopsy upon a corpse for their students. I can see them now, gathered around the table, immeasurably bored by the mutilation of a human body. Once you’ve seen the strings, you can’t enjoy the puppet show.
And yet time and time again we see authors break these hallowed rules and rise above the slush. How can this be? There are run on sentences, poor editing, a generic concept, or any other number of issues. Was this even proofed? Etc etc. I could demonize traditionally published authors all day long, call them out on their flaws and lack of diversity and creativity, but that wouldn’t get anyone anywhere, and I would just come across as petty and bitter. How could I fail when these hackneyed chumps have succeeded. Everyone fails. It is just a part of life and learning. If success teaches us anything, it is how to fail.
But I’ve seen no mention of method writing. I suspect it is because it is something that nobody really understands. To an extent, possibly, you either can do it or you cannot. Why does it matter?
There are really two kinds of authors in my opinion. Those that write as an observer, cold and distant from the story and characters, things they’ve culled and molded from intentions and abused cliches. The all seeing eye that sits over everything, monitoring everyone’s thoughts and actions and the process as it churns forwards with no real impact. Those authors have their time and place, and they’re stronger in some genres and styles than others.
Then there are those that become the characters. They become the story. They dredge them up from somewhere inside, born from an ache to express these things for a reason that remains unknown to even themselves. It is a tough way to write, especially if you write darker content. Sliding into the skin of your characters and feeling and thinking and sharing their world vision, regardless of their intents and beliefs. Becoming people you hate. Killing people you love. Suffering with them and laughing with them and living with them and dying with them.
Dare to become your characters. Dare to step inside of them and understand them and take them somewhere you fear to tread. Dare to live your stories. Put yourself in the environments, feel them, breathe them, love them and hate them, because when you are finished, they are gone and you will never be able to recapture that particular feeling ever again.
All the rules and discipline in the world can’t replace that. You are either relegated to watch, or you get the front row experience. When your reader picks up the text, they will most likely follow in your footsteps as either a neutral observer, or become immersed within the text and live it.
Not saying that rules aren’t important to writing. They very much are. I just haven’t seen this addressed anywhere. Everyone loves to debate the technical side of prose, and I’ve learned a lot from those types of discussion, but there is an organic side that seems to be ignored. Some writers choose to live in one world or the other, but I’ve found that blending and balancing the two can often lead to places that you could have never imagined going. There are tools in your toolbox for a reason. Use them all. Use them as they are supposed to be used, and discover new uses for them as well if you can.
I’m not suggesting anyone that is writing a Vampire novel should drink a shot of human blood, or that you should stalk people if you’re writing about serial killers. That’s absurd. Both of those are things that happened too.
And that is my hippie BS about writing stuff 101.
But it works.
A formatting service I would trust, if I didn’t do my own:
I’ve noticed that a lot of formatting services are pricey, and difficult for a start-up indie to afford without running a Kickstarter or similar. In an attempt to help out other indie authors I’ve decided to throw a little competition into the ring.
I’m offering affordable formatting services to indie authors. If you’re interested in more details click here.
Here’s a basic summary of pricing:
custom basic $75
custom advanced $125
custom basic $150
custom advanced $200
print and ebook:
custom basic $200
custom advanced $300
Again, if you’re wondering what any of those terms mean (basic, custom basic, etc.) click here for more info. Or, if you’re interested in buying a package, contact me via this form. Thanks for taking a look.
And last, an important tool for your back cover, offered by Scott on the SIA boards:
Emotion is a part of making a sale. If you can appeal to someone’s emotion, you have a better chance for success. Therefore, the very first line of your back cover (and maybe even your subtitle) should be impactful. But how do you measure it? It turns out that there is a free online tool for doing this.
This tool is one I used for my book, “Secrets of an Over 50 Former Fat Man”. I kept inserting statements until I had a ranking of 75/100 with the statement “Yes, you can have the body you always wanted!”. Note that the website states that most beginners rate 40/100 or less. Striking gold out of the gate could be what sets my book apart. Keep inserting statements and use the highest ranked result for your book.
I’m not going to explain the tool as the web page explains it very well. Good luck and rank high! Remember, writing is a love, publishing is a business. You need all the help you can get from the fine people in this group as well as from tools like this http://www.aminstitute.com/headline/
All of these resources are amazing, USE THEM!!! They will get you noticed!