Are You Using Social Media Correctly?

Hey Indie authors of all stripes, we need to keep this in mind… especially when it seems tough to find your tribe, don’t opt to start spamming people on social media (and yes…that’s exactly what it is.)
Have you ever been having a great conversation with friends and had a very loose acquaintance interrupt and try to sell you all on Amway/whatever pyramid scheme is currently popular? That’s an exact parallel to “using social media as a sales channel.” Read this article for more!

Marketing Christian Books

Contrary to popular belief, social media is not a marketing channel.

You are probably thinking, “What?! I thought social media is how you build an audience for books.”

Exactly! Social media is an audience building tool, not an advertising tool. Unless you are purchasing ads on social media sites or offering your followers an announcement or special on your books, the information you share via social media should not be broadcast marketing messages.

Many authors don’t understand this concept. These authors use social media to shout about their books. Recently, an indie author had the courtesy of asking if she could post about her book on Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) Facebook Page.

This author wrote:

“Good evening! I’d love to post a blurb about a faith-based children’s book that I wrote and published on your Facebook page. Is this something you allow publishers to do?”

I wrote her…

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State of Writing

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I’m so close to having this short story done! It’s taken me almost as long to write as my last novel… partly because of content and partly because of my schedule. This is my last super crazy week, though, and I do hope to finish it this week.

“Grandma Ethel’s Donuts and Hollowpoints.” Grandma Ethel’s got a long day ahead of her: a pile of cancer medications, a fistful of bullets, and a plate full of donuts. Good thing her car does 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds… if only she could see over the steering wheel.

State of Writing

Very little writing done this week… But I guess it’s not all about the keyboard. I did get a few very minor things accomplished. Mostly, however, I worked on my rental property that got trashed by renters (but at least they also jacked me on 5 months rent, too.) I’ve spent every spare scrap of time these last two months doing major renovations and I finally finished! The market’s hot, so hopefully I can flip this thing and recoup some lost income and pay down debts!

As for my goals, I did not finish my short story. I don’t think I can venture a guess about its eta. I’m pretty well consumed by this month of camps I’m in charge of. It’s a ton of spinning plates and it seems that people are insisting on trying to knock them off.

Still, keep your fingers crossed. I might yet get to it. Also, please stop by and visit the big SF/F event at Roseville MN Barnes and Noble that I’m co-hosting with some friends this Saturday! It’s gonna be a fun one.

State of Writing

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I got to spend all weekend at a SF con and hang out a little with one of my literary heroes who inspired me to begin writing my own SF in a round about way. Sold some books, met lots of great people and made some solid contacts! (Timothy Zahn put me in touch with his son who is a pro editor, so keep your fingers crossed there. Maybe something comes of it.)

Though it was a successful con for me, it had lots of downtime–good for networking and writing. I outlined my new short story I’m doing and wrote another 500 words. I’m about a thousand in so far and want to keep it between 10-15k. I guess my goal is to finish it by next week… two weeks tops… also to catch up on sleep. I hope to still be in bed by the time this auto-posts in the morning. I love cons. I hate the travel and hotels.

Review: Darling Girls

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Darling girls isn’t my usual kind of novel, but I do like vampire books and tropes. The setting and feel of Darling girls is more like Pretty Little Liars meets Vampires than it is Underworld. I’m more an Underworld kind of guy (so take my review with a grain of salt.) I also love White Wolf/WoD stuff and this book really has a World of Darkness kind of feel, but more with battles of intrigue than straight up adrenaline fueled slugfests. Continue reading Review: Darling Girls

Steps to Take If Indie Publishing a Previously Published Title

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Last week I talked about answers to the question, “what happens when my publishing contract expires?” I’m going to assume you chose the option to republish your work as an Indie title and will use Createspace or Kindle in order to accomplish that. (By the way, self-publishing as an Indie should not cost you a dime provided you have the necessary items. Any company who tells you otherwise is a scam. I have a step by step book that can guide you in the process, more on that below… or just Follow and go deep into my blog articles for the same basic content.)

You will need a few things in order to move your book into the Indiesphere:

  1. A new ISBN
  2. Cover artwork
  3. Enough time to match previous formatting
  4. A platform to relaunch
  5. Createspace or Kindle Account
  6. Contact Customer Service to link books

Firstly, ISBNs usually need to change. Here is a message I got from Createspace:

“You are welcome to republish the book with CreateSpace once your contract ends with the other publisher.

You can use the ISBN if you purchased it independently. If the ISBN was provided by the publisher then it will most likely belong to that publisher and will be unusable on our platform… [if you] need a new one, we can provide you with a new ISBN for free. The book would then have different ISBN’s but we could link the Amazon detail pages provided that you do not change the content, title name or the author.” Continue reading Steps to Take If Indie Publishing a Previously Published Title

State of Writing

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Good week for me. Work is back in full swing and I feel accomplished.

In my writing world, I did more business stuff than I wanted to (wished I could’ve spent more time writing, but that’s how it goes.) I did finish the “second act” for my current short novel and I’m about halfway through it. I believe I can finish it by the end of January… it should be done by the MN Writer’s Workshop at the latest (which is my planned start time for the Hidden Rings series.)

After a lull in creativity, I wrote some future blogs. It continually amazes me how much there is that I don’t know or what new writing resources I find… there’s some good author tips coming regularly through the next couple months.

I got a chance to update some of my dates on my convention calendar and put them on my Amazon Author profile. Methinks I’m starting out 2018 with good plans and good intentions… we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Calling All Indie Authors. Submit to an Indie only bookstore

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Random Friday message here!

I am one of three people involved with an Indie-only bookstore here in Minnesota called 3 Maesters & A Crooked Quill. We are planning to launch our bookstore late summer (I can’t say much more than that at this time) but we are looking for MN authors (or those in bordering states) who would be interested in having books on our shelves. (We are primarily fiction, especially Fantasy, SF, horror/paranormal, and similar genre fiction)

If you’d like to get on our list of authors to be considered, please sign-up at this link:
http://eepurl.com/c_H5hf

If you’d like to be on the 3 Maester’s email list as a reader or supporter we’d love to have you sign up here:
http://eepurl.com/c_HxQ9

We’re hoping to launch out big and strong and do this thing right! It may involve some crowdfunding elements… and honestly, if we don’t get some paperwork approval in Feb then we might not be able to move forward, but everything is looking great so far and we’d love to be proactive about establishing a base so we can launch strong. Thanks!

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Last Day for Kindle Free Day!

Wanted to say a huge thank-you to those who already downloaded a free copy of Wolf of the Tesseract from Amazon. I’m currently running a free promotion that ends today. If you want to download a free copy of it to read on your Kindle, tablet/ereader, or smartphone (kindle app) just click here to get a copy! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JGOEKK6

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You might be wondering why authors give away books? Amazon, Facebook, and other online companies use fancy algorithms (basically, a math based AI) to determine who gets showed the most often and gets best placement in sales rankings, etc.) The more activity (even free downloads) that a book gets, the more interest Amazon has in presenting the book to others.

King among these metrics is good reviews. (BTW, a 3 star review is a “bad” review for amazon, most people think that’s the baseline, but only 4 or 5 is positive.) What writers really need are reviews, and the best way is to get people to read the book and then hope someone leaves positive comments (a little less than 1% or people leave reviews).

If you’d leave me a high review after downloading for free, I’d be as happy as Mabel with some Smile Dip!

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State of Writing

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Man. It was a good week, but it blurred by.

I didn’t do much solid writing, but I got some outlining done for Hidden Rings and have 2 of 5 books’ rough outlines done. I’m hoping to complete them all in December so I can concentrate on writing the series throughout 2018. Over the weekend I did two, small holiday craft shows that were scheduled, locally (I literally called the day before each one and made the arrangements) … between the two I think I sold more than 30 books, so I’m very stoked about that.

This week I’m going to aim for outlining another of the 5 books… and reading. I’m in the middle of a couple good books I’d like to finish as well. If I can, I’m also attempting to set up some last-minute, out of state events for next month so I’ll be making some cold-calls to book stores, so cross your fingers.

Today is Cyber Monday and my publisher is running a free giveaway on Wolf of the Tesseract! I’ll be doing another birthday giveaway at the end of the month and will send out a larger push then, but get the book for free on Amazon today and tomorrow only! All I really want for Christmas are book reviews!