donovanmneal

Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

I’ve written my novel: now what?

In Its resource Monday! on June 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

I've finished my novel now what

 

Happy Monday!  Today I want to introduce a resource that I’ve been wanting to provide for sometime.  A new non-fiction book entitled “I’ve finished writing my novel:  Now what?”

In the book readers will find a host of information.  Here’s a taste.

5 pros of traditional publishing
6 cons to traditional publishing
4 self-publishing myths
5 steps to publication
7 costs you must budget for
The 3 phases of editing
5 Self editing tips
Why its hard to self edit your own work
The 2 most important types of editing
The various types of editing
Where to find editors
Places to acquire great cover art based on your budget.
5 types of publication options
How to develop a marketing plan
What is a platform and why you need it.
How to create your author email list
How social media works in your marketing
7 inexpensive marketing options

All of the items are needed questions I wish I had known prior to launching my first novel, and answers to questions that I’ve learned over my experience now as a published indie author.

I figure people can learn from my mistakes and success, and go even further.  The actual hard back book is not complete yet but I’ve developed the seminar where I’ve distilled a lot of the information into a a nice PDF.  I’ve you would like a copy of that PDF for free…yes free! Just sign up here for my monthly newsletter, and I will send you a copy.  I guarantee you will be happy that you did.

In addition, I want to give a free autographed copy of my novel!  Yep an autographed copy in celebration of a couple things!

1. My getting my novel’s audio book version done.

2. The impending new release of this non-fiction book

3. The kindle countdown that starts tomorrow!  Yep my novel will be on sale starting tomorrow until Friday and you can get it for 99cents!

To get in on the raffle go on over to my website and enter!

Keep coming by my blog and I’ll be making more announcements shortly.  Until then sign up for the email list (no your email stays just with me..it’s not given to anyone.) so you can get your pdf!

 

Blessings!

 

Donovan

 

Interview with Christian blogger: Peter Younghusband

In Author Interviews on May 15, 2014 at 7:00 am

Peter-Younghusband

Today I’d like to do a something a little different.  On occasion I run into authors and in doing so like to do interviews about them. This time I’ve run into a blogger by the name of Peter Younghusband.  His blog is dedicated solely to Christian fiction.  Bloggers provide an important function in that they help to promote authors through their blog to their readers and sometimes provide reviews.  I met Peter while browsing through Amazon’s Shelfari.  When I saw his profile what impressed me was the sheer volume of novels he had read.  One need only visit his blog or check out his presence on Shelfari or Goodreads to see what I mean.  Today’s blog is going to be a bit long, but there is much to takeaway from Peter’s experience, and those that enjoy blogging, reading christian fiction and or authors will take something away from today’s interview.

Peter gave me a generous review when I solicited him about my own work sevral months ago, and after exchanging emails, and dialogue I just felt that he was someone that people should hear more about.  If you enjoy Christian speculative fiction.  Peter simply put is a man who can recommend a book.  Having said that welcome Peter.  Lets get started!

So tell us about your blog.  Why did you write it and who is it targeted towards?

My blog is called Peter Younghusband’s Christian Fiction Review. Address is www.christianfictionreviewguru.blogspot.com.au.
I started it when an author, Steve Goodwin (http://www.stevegoodwin.org/) contacted to say thanks for a very comprehensive review of his first book. He had investigated my other reviews on Amazon and suggested that I should start a blog as he believed my reviews, being longer and more comprehensive would encourage authors and readers alike. It is targeted towards anyone who enjoys the genres of:

spiritual warfare involving angels and demons,

edgy speculative Christian fiction

horror from a Biblical point of view

Christian special ops, military

supernatural themes

Nephilim related (Genesis 6:4)

Christian mystery​/thriller

Christian science fiction or fantasy

Christian time travel

Christian Steampunk

​​What were some of the biggest challenges in getting it off the ground?

​Getting used to HTML! My initial introduction to setting up the blog from was from Steve Goodwin whom I mentioned above who is also a software programmer and he was talking me through this set up over Facebook chat. I got so frustrated that I told him to forget it. It was only talking to another Christian at work about books, reviewing and blogging that he encouraged me to give it another go. So I did and this time round, I understand the HTML and got it off the ground.

 What advice would you give new bloggers?​

​Do you homework first. Read about the format you are thinking about, whether Google Blogger or WordPress or any other format. Do you want to use a free service or paid? Check out their features. This will help you decide what is best for your blog. Don’

t give up. Seek advice from friends, colleagues that may know about blogging and the different formats or programs such as Google blogger or WordPress, search the Net, buy a book on blogging (and /or HTML), ask other bloggers. Blogging does not have to be rocket science! Keep your content relevant and appropriate.

Tell us about your journey of faith.  How did you become a Christian?

I was brought up Catholic. Very sheltered upbringing due to having much older parents than my peers. When I started my Registered Nurse training at 19 years, I did not cope with life being away from home. The other male and female student nurses were involved in smoking, drinking, partying, swearing, recreational drugs all of which I had no exposure to growing up. It was not long before I was engaged in some of those activities just to fit in and it went against every part of me. I was not happy. We had a student join our second year and he was the only one whom I felt comfortable and safe with. He started witnessing to me about God and getting out of this destructive lifestyle. I spent my holidays that year on his parents farm and by the time I returned I had accepted Jesus and been born again. However, there was no follow up from a church when I started my studies again and I fell  back to my old ways. Another Christian nurse I worked with invited me to his church and at the altar call I rededicated my life to God. I stayed at this church and when I left the hospital a few years later to start my career as an Occupational Health Nurse, I met my wife who was my boss at the time! That  was in 1987 and we have been married since and now have two daughters, 22 and 19 respectively. We now attend a Presbyterian Church.

Who are some of your favorite authors and or books to read?

My first favourite author was Roger Elwood whose book Dwellers (1990, now out of print) which introduced me to the subject of the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6:4. This also introduced me reading Christian fiction. HIs other books, Angelwalk, Fallen Angel and Darien introduced me to angels and demons.  I then read the first two novels of Frakn Peretti that introduced me to spiritual warfare. Other favourite authors are Sigmund Brouwer, Jess Hanna, Steve Goodwin, Tim Downs, Alton Gansky, Ted Dekker, Bill Myers, Randy Alcorn, Jerry B Jenkins, Guy Stanton III, Ian Acheson, Graham Carter. Mike Dellosso, Mark Carver, David Alderman, Joseph Max Lewis, Dante Forstson, Cary Green, Clifton Voshen, Gary Rodenius, Timothy Tron, Bryan M Litfin, John Lyman, Robin Parrish, Joanna Penn, Tom Pawlik, Martin Roth, Joel C Rosenberg, Michael J Webb, James Somers,

Oh, and I have come across this new author who happens to have the same name as yourself!! LOL

I have already mentioned some of the genres I love to read and these authors all write in these.

Are there any other ventures similar to your blog you might be looking at?

I have been invited to be on an author’s Radio show to discuss my blog and anything Christian fiction! I would not mind doing the same in the future. Interviewing authors and reviewers. It has also been suggested that I try video reviewing, but I would need to invest in the appropriate equipment for this; the same for the radio show. But food for thought for the future.

When did you start blogging?

As I mentioned above, it was my second attempt that got the blog up an running and this was in October 2013.

What’s some of the best experiences you have had in your blogging experience?

When a new author who does not have any reviews or very few contacts me and states my review was a great encouragement and confirmed to them that they had made the right decision to become an author. Or that they say that my review captured what they wanted the reader to get out of the story. When they ask you for your permission to use your review on their website or in any promotional activities for their book. Also, when they ask you to become a beta reader for future books. One author states that my blog is the place for him to go to for his next novel to read.  Having an author request a review from a recommendation from an author you have reviewed. Word of mouth is a great advertiser!!

Also, when fellow readers buy the book you have reviewed based mainly on your review and they also state that if they want to find a good book, they will come to the blog and ​c​heck out the blog archives​.

Any negative experiences you would like to avoid?​

Having to write a review that is not positive or uplifting, but does reflect the problems with the book/author and you have to be honest, and deciding what is the best action: publish to the blog for all the world to see knowing this could upset the author, especially if it is a new author, or contact the author out of the public eye. Despite most authors wanting you to be honest and will be ok receiving negative feedback even on a blog or elsewhere, it is never easy. This is most unavoidable. An honest reviewer is an author’s greatest asset.

 What books have most influenced your life most?

Apart from the Bible, fiction genres of spiritual warfare or any Christian fiction no matter what genre, that educates, uplifts, and honors God. Some examples are Methusela’s Table by Gary Rodenius and Bruecke To Heaven by Timothy Tron, The Warrior Kind series by Guy Stanton III, the Chiveis Trilogy by Bryan M Litfin, The Road To Hell and Adverse Possession by Jess Hanna. All debut authors and all have had a huge impact on me.

What book are you reading now?

The Seal of the King by Ralph Smith, debut author, first in a trilogy. Christian fantasy, spiritual warfare. This was free on Amazon on March 29 and I was very much attracted to this based on it being fantasy, spiritual warfare and majority of reviews 4/5 or 5/5 stars. Later that day I received contact from the author requesting me to review his book! He had google searched “Christian fiction review” and my blog name came up! We were both surprised at how this came to happen on the same day and realised it was not a coincidence! I had about 5 books in the queue to review before getting to this. Ralph has been very patient!

Are there any new bloggers/authors that have grasped your interest? 

Yourself, and Dante Fortson as both bloggers and authors. Gary Rodenius and Timothy Tron as new authors.

Have you thought about writing a novel yourself?

I have thought about writing a novel and it has been suggested by family, friends, fellow readers and some of the authors I have chatted with. I have not ruled this out  and I guess it needs to be in God’s timing. I know now is not the right time but I know it would be good to think about what I would like to do.

Do you have any advice for other bloggers and writers?

Keep your blog uncluttered. I have seen a few that are so cluttered with adverts, banners from other sites they belong to or support and other widgets/gadgets or backgrounds that it can be hard to navigate the site and see what you have come to see. I find this very frustrating and I usually don’t stay long, return or subscribe/follow. Keep everything you add appropriate and relevant to the purpose of your blog.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Writers spend months researching writing, developing their characters, plot and everything else necessary to complete the novel ready for us to read and enjoy, be informed, educated or inspired. The only feedback they receive to show whether they have achieved their aims and successfully executed their talent and passion is reader feedback. Readers are a writers best asset in this regard. I would encourage every reader to write a review to show how much they enjoyed or did not enjoy the writer’s work. It can be our way to say thanks for a great novel and affirmation of a great or promising talent or that the author needs to improve their craft. Honesty is the key here. If you want some guidelines on how to write a review go here. A review also encourages readers to choose quality books, increase their exposure to new genres, new authors and promotes an author and their work to readers who may not be convinced of its description on the back of the book or on a book website such as Amazon.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your blog to life

Even before I started the blog, if I felt it necessary, I would research the author by going to their website either their author or book website, their Amazon author page, their blog or any other internet site connected with them as author. I would read the previous reviews of their books. I would contact the author for further information on events or concepts that intrigue me or are causing me to stumble reading the book and enjoying it or I just want more information. See the last two posts in my blog for examples of this, Methuselah’s Table and Bruecke To Heaven.

That is me; I am not saying or suggesting that anyone else needs to do this to be a reviewer. Most reviewers just stay within the confines of the content of the book for their review and that is fine and on a basic level all an author requires and wants.

Are you part of any associations, blogging or otherwise?  If not any plans to be?

I am on the Judging Panel for ​The Crossover Alliance Anthology​;a collection of short written pieces that represent edgy Christian speculative fiction. The Crossover Alliance exists to bring attention to literary works that merge Christian themes, speculative fiction, and real-world content​​.​I subscribe to and/or follow the following blogs:

Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers: 

A group of readers and writers who enjoy edgy fiction, and in particular edgy Christian fiction.

http://edgychristianfictionlovers.ning.com/

John 3: 16 Network Marketing 

http://john316mn.blogspot.com.au/

Steve Goodwin: Author, Programmer

http://www.stevegoodwin.org/

Australiasian Christian Writers:

http://australasianchristianwriters.blogspot.com.au/

Around the World of Inspired Fiction

http://christianfictionreaders.blogspot.com.au/

Mike Dellosso: Wide Eyed Fiction

http://mikedellosso.com/what-mike-says/

David N Alderman: Author of Edgy Christian Speculative Fiction

http://davidnalderman.blogspot.com.au/

Mark Carver: 

http://www.markcarverbooks.com/

​Well, there you have it, Donovan! ​Thanks for this experience! I appreciate it.

It’s been my pleasure Peter, thanks for coming by and sharing with my readers!

 

If you enjoyed this blog entry and would like to receive exclusive upcoming information about my works.  Please sign up for my newsletter!  In exchange I want to give you a free copy of non-fiction book the Gospel Explained! You can sign up here!

 

 

 

 

 

The Third Heaven is free today! See the second books debut trailer!

In My novel: The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars, On Marketing, Uncategorized on February 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

announcement-PICTURE

I want to thank everyone for helping make my novel a success.  It’s getting into the hands of readers and people are enjoying the read.  Reviews are good, and people are being entertained, which is the point!

To celebrate, for the next three days–Sunday Feb 9th- Tuesday Feb 11th 2014.  You can get the novel for free.  Yes absolutely freaking free, exclusively on Amazon.  If you don’t have a kindle that’s OK download it to your PC or smartphone which can read it via Amazon’s kindle app.

098948050X.main samller imageI want to thank everyone,because as of today the novel is #23 in Christian Fantasy and is moving towards the top!

I’ve already started working on the second novel in the series, and expect to giving people a peek at the prologue and the first two chapters as the year progresses.

In the mean time enjoy the new 2014 debut trailer for the second book tentatively entitled “The Birth of God”

Enjoy…oh and don’t forget to pick up your free copy of the novel here!

And after you finish reading leave reviews on Amazon!  Authors love reviews!

D

Author Interview with Tony Ross

In Author Interviews, On writing on January 31, 2014 at 8:00 am

Tony Ross

Today’s interview is with writer Tony Ross.  Tony is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). His first novel, “Victor,” was released in 2011 and is currently out of print. “Victor: The Reloaded Edition” was released in January 2013 with a few details and minor changes made to the original story. The sequel “Orion” was released in October of 2013.

1.     So tell us about your book.  Why did you write it and who is it targeted towards?

I have two books on the market right now: “Victor: The Reloaded Edition” and its sequel “Orion.” Both are supernatural/sci-fi thrillers, aimed primarily at younger adults who read those genres. Readers have compared my style to Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker and Stephen King. I’ve also drawn comparisons, at least with “Victor,” to Robert Ludlum’s “Bourne” series. The action and suspense probably appeal more to men, but I’ve heard good things from female readers too.

Victor“Victor” won a silver medal in the Readers’ Favorite 2013 International Award Contest. The story is set in 2040 in fictional Sunlight City, where choice is the only law and all things are permissible. The decisions of three people will influence the future of the world: a gifted assassin trying to hold together his fraying sanity, a brilliant scientist with a world-changing secret who must unlock the assassin’s mind in order to survive him, and a streetwise, energetic detective with secrets of his own.  All three are bound by the darkest of secrets. Only the truth will set them free.

“Orion” features a young man, David, protecting a frightened woman from a killer. Faced with a deadly ultimatum, trapped by the weather in an overcrowded hotel slowly boiling over with fear and mistrust, David must protect the woman, find and stop the killer… and confront the darkest secrets of his heart.

I write these crazy stories, believe it or not, to minister. I don’t write Christian fiction strictly for Christians. We’ve heard the message already. Not everyone will read a book that’s clearly about Jesus, salvation, or Christian living. But if I can work those things into a fast-paced and entertaining novel, maybe a reader who doesn’t know God will decide, “Y’know, maybe I need to look into Christianity a little more.” And maybe I can encourage the Christian readers to take their walk with God a little deeper, beyond religion to relationship.

2.       What were some of the biggest challenges in writing the book?

Time to write is always a bit difficult to come by. Between family, work, ministry, etc., there are only so many hours in a day. I wrote most of “Orion” sitting at the kitchen table while my homeschooling kids did their homework. Beyond that, turning off my internal editor is always a trick. I need to tell myself that writing a truly “rough” draft is okay. I sometimes get hung up on plot points and stop writing for a few days while I kick things around in my head.

3.       What advice would you give new novelists?

Number one, write. It doesn’t have to be the next great American novel. Just write. I’ve done poetry, articles, short stories… You can’t hone your craft without using it. God’s given you the desire and the ability. Take every opportunity you can to perfect it.

Number two, read. A lot. Find out what good writing is. Why did this best-selling novel stand out? What didn’t you like in that other novel? What would you do differently? Don’t copy anyone, but learn from their styles and develop your own. Every good writer is a student too. Don’t be afraid or too proud to learn from those who have gone before. Learn from their experience.

Number three, pray every time you sit down with pen, pencil or keyboard. What does God want you to write? Really look for His will. You might have a plan, but God’s is going to be better and ultimately more fulfilling.

Other than that, research your publishing options. There are plenty out there and not all are good. I spent thousands to publish the original version of “Victor” and was less than satisfied with the results. I pulled “Victor” off the market, revised a few things, and released it as “Victor: The Reloaded Edition” through a different publisher. This time I saved thousands and am much happier with the end result. Save yourself the heartache and do your research before you publish.

4.       Tell us about your journey of faith.  How did you become a Christian?

This is a long story. Let’s see if I can provide a Cliff’s Notes version. I walked away from God in my teenage years. I had a lot of anger, bitterness and hurt to work through. By the time I turned twenty-two in 1994 I was a depressed, suicidal alcoholic who expected to be dead or in prison by twenty-five. God put a young lady into my life at that time who invited me to church. At the time she’d asked, I’d hit rock bottom and had nothing left to lose.

I went with that young lady to Calvary Apostolic Church in Clintonville, Wisconsin. I found a church that prayed and worshiped unashamedly, preached directly from the Word of God and welcomed me and all my issues with open arms. Over the next several months, I repented of my sins, was baptized by immersion in Jesus’ name and was filled with the Holy Ghost, just like we find in Acts chapter 2. God took a life that was completely hopeless, flipped it around and gave me a new and living hope.

Fast forward to the present day. I’ve been married to that lovely young lady since 1996. I have five beautiful kids, two boys and three girls. I’m part of the ministry team at Calvary Apostolic and have preached there since 2004. God has really done great things for me and I’m looking forward to the rest of the journey.

5.       Who are some of your favorite authors and or books to read?

My bookshelf is fairly diverse. Supernatural thrillers are my favorite, but I enjoy fantasy, mystery, westerns, a little bit of everything. I’m a big fan of Frank Peretti. I have a lot of Ted Dekker on my shelf. Robert Liparulo, Bryan Davis, and Mike Dellosso are also among the ranks.

6.       Now that you’ve written the book what other projects if any are you working on?

I’m just underway on “Brimstone,” the third book in my series. I’ve got a fourth in mind that should finish out the series, but I’m contemplating a series of short and very affordable ebooks, 20,000 words or so, featuring my characters at different points in their lives, telling new stories or letting readers see other sides of them.

7.       When did you start writing?

Oh, I don’t like math questions… (Laughs) Tenth grade. This would be… 1987-88. My English teacher had us write a journal. The first week we introduced a character, the next a second character. The third week was conflict, and so on. Most of my classmates wrote a sentence or two, a paragraph tops. I was writing pages. By the end of the year I had a 140-page handwritten epic, which really wasn’t very good, but I was hooked. At the end of the year my teacher told me, “Tony, you have one assignment for the summer. Get published.” I finally was in 2009. I hope she’s not mad that I’m late.

Tony Ross was born in Shawano, Wisconsin in 1972. In addition to full time factory work, Tony has been part of the ministry team at Calvary Apostolic Church in nearby Clintonville since 2004. He was married in 1996 and has five children.

Tony does somehow still find time to write what he calls “thrillers for thinkers,” novels that not only entertain but invite the reader to contemplate deeper spiritual points. While a Christian thriller may seem like an oxymoron, Tony believes it’s all a matter of perspective

I want to thank Tony for allowing me to get to know him and for spending time with my readers.  If you want to learn more about him and his books you can check out his website here.

What it is like to be a writer.

In On writing, Personal on January 14, 2014 at 5:38 am
Revision doesn't have to be hard.

Revision doesn’t have to be hard.

I was once asked what it was like to be a writer.  And though I would never presume to speak for all writers.  I can definitely comment on my own experience.

Writing my novel was a labor of love.  Honestly, I don’t know if I should put more emphasis on the labor or the love part of that statement.

It meant being alone a lot.  Thinking about how subject matter should and could be tackled.  It meant discovering what the Bible had to say about the subject I was writing and what level of creative license I would take to explore things the Biblical text did not address.

It meant envisioning a world that I had never seen but only heard and read about.  Creating personalities, as opposed to automatons.  Characters that you might emphasize with, laugh with, champion, and learn to hate. It meant creating a world that was simple enough that people could engage in and view the movie that played in my head.  It meant asking what was this characters conflict?  What could prevent them from achieving their goals.  Figuring out plot lines. Learning more about grammar.  Realizing my limitations and seeking out more information.  It meant writers block, trying to figure out what ‘writers block’ was, and learning to overcome it.  It meant being disciplined sometimes, and not others.  It meant counting words, and seeing if I progressed today.  Figuring how to transition between scenes, how long chapters should be.  If the verbiage sounded right, or not write at all.  It meant, reading my work so much that I got tired of reading it.  To write 5, even 10 pages of text, then realize its drivel, and to delete a days or more work.

That’s some of the labor part.

Writing a novel is bringing something from nothing into reality.  It is just a concept, an idea, but to finally hold the completed work in your hand.  It’s an awesome feeling.  It’s an awesome feeling when you go to the copyright offices website and register your book.  It’s an awesome feeling when you see the cover of your novel for the first time.  It’s an harrowing endeavor to hand it over to an editor and then get it back knowing that you have to remove scenes or other bits of dialogue that don’t make sense.

It’s a nerve wracking experience to send out query letters to agents, and essentially trying to sell them to “pick me!” “pick me!”.  It’s painful when your work is rejected.  And then making the decision to do it again.  And again…and again….and again.  It’s a sense of wow, now how do I get this in the hands of readers?  It’s the soberness that comes when you realize that, your book is but one book out of the millions on Amazon.  When you realize, you need to start a business if you want to actually sell the book.  That you are more than a writer.  You are an authorpreneur, a marketer, graphic design specialist, editor, publisher, lay out artist, publicist.   The revelation that the author hat is only one of a hydra of hats.

It’s exciting to see your name and have others see your book and say,” wow, you’re an author?”  Or “Did you write that?”  “Where can I get a copy?”  “What’s your book about?”  There is an inevitable smile that occurs when the statement or question is raised.

That’s some of the love part.

You are elated when you get a one page registration letter from the copyright office indicating that they have your book on file and it’s officially registered.  There is no greater feeling than when someone reads your book, and they tell you how exciting it was to read, or what they learned, or how amazed they were.  It hits you in the gut though when someone tells you it stinks.  If your like me in those moments you look then to some of your favorite writers and see that they too have bad reviews.  And then you accept the reality that you are indeed an author.  You’re not just a writer anymore.  But a published author.

You lament when you find errors you thought you had corrected, embarrassed over a plot hole that you can see but others can’t.  Cringe when someone tells you it’s not a book Christians should read. Then confused when other Christians love it and get exactly what you were writing at.  It’s then that you realize that you have moved beyond your comfort zone of your own world, into the big world of…well the world.

You are excited over every blog post comment, interaction with readers, more and more you get it.  You are constantly reminded why you wrote the book.  You look at sales numbers.  You learn how to market.  You make connections that help strengthen you and your team that assists you.  You wonder where family and friends are or not in talking about your endeavors.  You make new friends and associates.

You learn how much to talk about your book without crossing the line of bragging or spamming or being inordinate in the accomplishment and promotion of your work.  You wonder if you’re me how to balance scriptural principles you’ve learned with the business of promotion.

You stretch, you live, you cry, you wait…you do a lot of waiting.

You learn a lot about people, yourself, and the business. And when no one else is looking.  When all eyes are not looking at you.  You sit silently behind your keyboard, hearing the clitty tap, sound of your keys while you quickly attempt to place on ‘paper’ the rapidly developing pictures and dialogue that is flooding your mind and which sometimes you can’t get out of your head fast enough.  You backspace, and try not to edit, and then sometimes you do, but the words, nouns, and verbs leap off the page screaming for you to allow them to live, to tell the next story.  To be part of the next piece of creative written prose given to you.  They scream with every stroke of deletion, lamenting in anguish that they have failed to be apart of the creative world you are imagining.  Yet others are arranged in such a way that they collectively sing in choral praise, excited to be brought forth into the world.

And that’s what its like to be a author.

And then you do it all over again.

 

D

It’s resource Monday: Story Cartel

In Great Resources, Its resource Monday! on December 2, 2013 at 11:04 am

Greetings fellow human being and authors.  Yes I make a distinction.  Today I bring you another resource to assist the fellow author in their quest to achieve the heights of best seller status, or at the very least assist you in your publishing goals.

Today’s resource is a gem that I have stumbled upon (no pun intended) called Storycartel 

In their own words Storycartel is a website that allows you to post your book on their website for free.  Yes I said free. Don’t panic.  In addition to posting your book for free you will be asked to provide a giveaway to readers who in exchange for getting your book for free acquire a chance to receive the giveaway, will give you an honest review.  Only those who actually post a review are eligible for the giveaway.

You have several options available to you to give away; again per the website, “We help every author on Story Cartel hold a drawing to give their reviewers one of the following prizes of the author’s choice: five print copies of their book, three $10 Amazon gift cards, or one Kindle eReader.”  The presumption here is that the eReader will draw more people to download your book, and subsequently to write a review.

In any event I chose the gift card route as it costed out to be the most economical choice in my case.

The authors book is posted for four weeks.   During this time Story Cartel will give you an estimate of the number of reviews you can expect to obtain based off of the numbers who are downloading your book.

Story Cartel keeps track of the number of downloads and gives authors access to a spreadsheet of the reviewers’ names and email addresses.  Remember, these individuals have wanted to read your book.  So used carefully these emails are a marketing gold mine.

After the conclusion of your campaign Story Cartel will email your reviewers reminding them to post their review and only those who submit a review are eligible to receive the final gift.

I found it to be a very rewarding experience, and if your an author in need of reviews I believe you will find it well worth your time as well.

D

Resource Monday: How to format your ebook for Smashwords to pass AutoVetter for $5

In Its resource Monday! on November 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm
Photo by tribehut

Photo by tribehut

Formatting you book for publishing is one of self publishing’s little known dirty secrets.  The reality is that no matter how good of a writer you are.  You will need to layout or rather format your work into one of several approved formats before it can be published.  It does not matter if it’s for kindle, epub or for some other format for you book.

When I tried to format my book to make it available for epub. I had a a difficult time doing it.  Barnes and Noble allows you to edit your book within their site if you are publishing.  But even then it was still unwieldy.  When I tried to upload my book to Smashwords, the “auto meat-grinder” gave me several errors, and it was a mess.  So much so that after hours I just called it quits.  Since then I’ve learned the best course of action is to simply have someone format the book for you so you can take the guess work and labor out of it.  To this end I have discovered a wonderful resource on http://fiverr.com/.

Ladies and gentlemen please meet my new friend Bookaholic.  Per his website…

“For only $5 I will format your Word document to pass Smashwords AutoVetter on the first run and be submitted to Premium Catalog (guaranteed!).

I follow Smashwords’ strict rules and my formatting always passes!

This offer is for documents under 50,000 words. For other options see my gig extras below, or order multiple gigs.

3 day duration is for longer queues, normally I format in a day or two.”

Now I don;t know about you, but to have someone take my document which in my case was $15 dollars for his services as I had over a 100k document was a wonderful thing.  He successfully converted my MS word document to a epub format that can get past the gatekeeper that is the meat grinder of Smashwords.  Because he converted it, it means it will work on ALL epub readers.  I can use the files he gave me to upload to any other publishing service (again think Barnes and Noble).  I have also used this file he gave me to update my kindle book on Amazon.  Needless to say.  Everything was perfect.

It was the best 15 dollars spent on my book.  And I have to highly recommend his services if you want your book laid out properly.

You can thank me later!  🙂

Donovan

Ever thought about having your books in airport bookstores? Here’s how!

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Authors have to think of various ways to market and to get their books into the market place. Here in the book shepherd Dr. Judith Briles has given some brief pointers on how to do just that!

Enjoy the post!

http://thebookshepherd.com/getting-your-book-into-the-friendly-skies.html#!

Want Your Self-Published Book in Stores? Consider this…

In Great Resources, On Marketing on July 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm

thCASV650KEvery author dreams of having their books in brick and mortar stores.  This author is no different.  However, self-published authors have certain barriers to overcome that those going the traditional route don’t have to contend with.

In my efforts to promote not just my own works but also those of others I have come across an article that answers the above question.  Chocked full of great information you will find in this article a path to help determine how best to distribute and get your work to consumers.

The link can be found below

Enjoy!

http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/06/want-your-self-published-book-in-stores-weigh-the-options161

15 Places to post your online content

In Great Resources, On Marketing, Uncategorized on July 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

PR_microphone

15 Places to post your online content

“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”

Ec 11:1

The internet is a huge space.  To become noticed it helps to have some knowledge about where to post your content if you desire for it to be seen.  To that end I have found a link on squiddo that gives 15 places anyone that is seeking to expose their content to the masses online should consider.  It’s a great start, but are there other options and ideas that you can think of?

Feel free to comment and share what you have learned and or what works for you.

D