Penny Reid's Blog

December 17, 2014

This is where I leave you...
I'm taking the next 2-3 weeks off.
Things that are out of my control have conspired to keep me from the internets, so I'm surrendering to this hovering black hole of nothingness called "family time."
All posts on my author page and elsewhere will be done by Fiona Fischer, my trusty PA and mailer of the books.
See you on the other side, mis amigos.
<3 Penny
 •  flag
3 likes · like  • 
Published on December 17, 2014 13:40 • 69 views

December 16, 2014

Dear Bloggers,
If Penny or 'Love Hacked' or 'Neanderthal Marries Human' or 'Beauty and the Mustache' makes one of your 2014 top ten lists, PLEASE let Penny know!
Email is good: pennreid AT gmail DOT com.
I like to do something special every year for these bloggers.
<3 Penny
 •  flag
2 likes · like  • 
Published on December 16, 2014 12:48 • 69 views

December 12, 2014

Coming on Monday (December 15)
Signup link:

Things you can look forward to reading about:
1. EXCERPT from The Hooker and the Hermit
2. Audiobook news... for all the books
3. Update on Scenes from the City, money raised for Toys for Tots!
4. The price of tea in China
5. More cowbell
6. My favorite cookie recipe
7. Shark update
8. And much more!
Make sure you've signed up if you want to receive the goodies.
 •  flag
1 like · like  • 
Published on December 12, 2014 09:59 • 37 views

December 11, 2014

Let me explain why this book--->

 ... is HILARIOUS.

First, you have to understand a few things about self-publishing and Amazon in particular.
1) Amazon rolled out a program called Kindle Unlimited (KU) over the summer where readers can pay amazon $10 a month and download books enrolled in KU for "free" (so, it's a subscription service)
2) From the self-published author perspective, KU is a very mixed bag. One thing you must know is that the KU subscriber must read 10% of the book in order for the author to receive a royalty from that book sale.
So... KU
A) In order for a book to be enrolled in KU, that book has to be exclusive to Amazon (so, not available anywhere else).
**This is the only reason none of my books are a part of KU. I have readers everywhere and I don't want to only offer my books in just one place, because then the rest of my readers won't be able to read my books and I'd feel like a jerk.
B) The maximum an author will receive as royalty from amazon for books enrolled in KU is $2 per book. It doesn't matter if your list price is $6 and your usual royalty would be $4, the most you'll get is $2.

A) If your list price is $1 and your book is enrolled in KU, you will still get the $2 royalty...

WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO....why this book is hilarious.
This author has written a book that is the letter "A". That's it. BUT, this author has also enrolled this book in KU. This means that every time a KU subscriber downloads this book and reads past 10% (which is basically 3 pages, so 99% of people are going to do this) this author gets $2.00. This person has likely made thousands and thousands of dollars by now.

If my books were enrolled in KU, I might not be very happy about the fact that this clever person is getting $2.00 for every download and spent 10 or 15 minutes drafting this book. Whereas I, who have spent months and thousands of dollars editing, securing a cover, etc. am also getting $2.00 per book.

However, more likely, I would laugh and laugh.

This clever person has beautifully illustrated the fatal flaw in KU and the frustration self-published authors are experiencing with the program, and has done so in a very silly way.

IN SUMMARY: This is not a soapbox post. Love KU, hate KU, whatever. I feel neither. That stated, writing is not my job, therefore I don't really have a horse in this race. But the existence of this book (and what it is doing) is HILARIOUS.
Nothing makes a more effective look-at-this-obvious-problem magnifying glass than living satire. This book is living satire. I say well done.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY: Self-published authors, now I'm speaking directly to you.
The moral of the story is to only release novellas in the KU program and for only 99cents or $1.99. That's what we (as self published authors) must learn from this. Then the 99cent novella yields a $2 royalty (rather than 35cents). Make Amazon KU work for you. :-)
<3 Penny
 •  flag
1 comment
3 likes · like  • 
Published on December 11, 2014 10:20 • 61 views

December 10, 2014

So... you know how Sandra wanted to send Ashley a life-sized cutout of Charlie Hunnam? Well, get what one of my readers did?
That's right.

Thanks, Tina. You're the best. <3

 •  flag
4 likes · like  • 
Published on December 10, 2014 17:32 • 32 views

December 2, 2014

November 26, 2014

Did I forget to mention that I have an online shop?

The Penny Reid Store is now open for your business and pleasure!!!

AND it has the coolest domain name ever---->

Things you will find at the store:SWAG packs... For you, your grandma, or your keyboard cat.Signed books... (Microbe free, hopefully)Bags... You might be able to fit a baby. (But not your grandma)Mugs... Drink anything you want in it and feel superior.Sorry about that. Things have been a little nutty. <3
 •  flag
1 like · like  • 
Published on November 26, 2014 20:59 • 23 views

November 23, 2014

November 22, 2014

Note about this post: I've been asked a few times about what resources I've used for self-publishing. Most of the things I've done are because my brain thought it was a good idea. However, some of the things I've done are because I've talked to other authors and worked through questions/problems.
This series of posts would basically be a brain dump of what I've learned and/or what I've decided to do and why.

Post 1: The Basics How to be a self published author:
1) Be a control freak: First of all, you should know that self-publishing is not for everyone. You have to be a control freak. So make sure you check the "control freak" box before you venture forth.
2) Publish books... so, somewhat self explanatory
3) Build a brand... so, not at all self explanatory
4) Market your books and your brand... :-)

The way I see it, you have to do only three things: publish books, build a brand, market the brand. Simple, right?
But, just to make sure we're all on the same page, let me break these things down for you.

#1 Publish Books and everything involved with writing a book
Love writingWrite the bookLove your book Have beta readers read the bookMake changes to the book to make it betterSend the book to an editorEdit the book to make it betterSend the book to a copy/proof readerEdit the book again to make it betterFinalize the contentGet a cover and make sure it is in line with your author brand and style guide (see below, Build a Brand)Get an ISBN (one for print, one for eBook)Format the book for all various retailersUpload the book to all various retailers Hit publish (everywhere)Thank your readers often. Listen to your readers. Be generous with your readers.  ... congratulations. You've published a book. Yay! Now go read a book on how to be a better writer.
#2 Build a Brand and everything (that I can think of) involved with building a brand
Define your genre and stick to it. If you want to switch genres, build a new brand. Don't confuse people by being more than one thing.Define how you want to be perceived by readers, authors, etc. Define how you want your brand to be perceived by readers, authors, etc. You and your brand (and your books) should fit together.Be unique. Be something new. Be something interesting. Be yourself. Be genuine. Like yourself. People know when you're a bullshitter. They can smell it. It stinks.Create a style guide for your brand (colors, fonts, types of images, etc.) Make sure it's focused, make sure it's consistent, make sure it looks good. 
Make sure all your covers adhere to your style guide and that they look like they all belong to the same author/brand (font, colors, types of images used makes a difference)Decide how much your books/brand are worth. You teach people how to treat you. If you think your books are worth $3, price them at $3. If you think they're worth $.99 then price them at $.99. If you think they're worth $10, then yada yada yada. Price your books CORRECTLY. Don't price a $10 book at $.99 (unless it's on sale for a short time). You are not being generous to your readers by charging less for your books. You are teaching them to be angry/not trust you when you charge the appropriate amount.Only recommend authors whose books you've read and loved. Thank your readers often. Listen to your readers. Be generous with your readers.  #3 Market your books and your brand and everything I can think of related to marketing
Sign up for social media (all social media, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterist, Spotify, etc.) and use social media responsibly/correctly... !!!!!!Create monthly newsletters with Mailchimp, make them awesome so people want to read them.Create general graphics for your social media (Banners, avatars, graphics to share, teasers).
MAKE SURE YOU apply the brand style guide to all your graphics. Be consistent so that you are recognizable in the crowd and consistent.Create a marketing calendar for the entire year (when you will be releasing books)Make a list of all marketing sites related to your book/brand (paid advertisements, non-paid advertisements, social media)Plan out a book release marketing schedule for every release (paid, unpaid, social media, newsletters)Plan out a schedule for non-release months (paid, unpaid, social media, newsletters)Create relationships with bloggers... REAL RELATIONSHIPS! and reviewers. At first you'll need to ask them to read your book. Then, if you write good books, they'll ask you if they can read your books. Create an "Always Advance Read Copy" list of bloggers who typically love what you write. If they don't love 1 of your books, keep them on the list. It's okay. Not everyone will always love everything you write. Thank bloggers. Do it. Make sure your social media, pages, blog, and info are updated monthly (links, bio, book lists, etc.) Go to author signings and sign books. Be nice to people at the signings. Be respectful. Say thank you.Design and make swag/products relating to your books (because if you have readers, chances are they're going to want stuff relating to your books... because they love your books). This is a way to give back to readers, NOT A WAY TO MAKE MONEY. You make money from your books, not from swag/products. Don't be that guy....Build an author store and sell your stuff
Interact with people you like because you like them, not because you want something from them Give back to the world of self publishing, be a resource for others, be supportive, be happy for the successes of others, build people up with no exceptions of reciprocation. Be respectful, assume the best of others. (i.e. be nice).Thank your readers often. Listen to your readers. Be generous with your readers. So, there you go. That's it.
If people find this helpful, I can dig deeper into each of these topics and provide some tips... 
<3 Penny

 •  flag
4 likes · like  • 
Published on November 22, 2014 14:19 • 53 views

November 20, 2014

Honestly, Elements of Chemistry has taken a few turns I was not expecting...

You should know the following:
1) It has more sexy times than my other books. If you are anti-sexy times, don't read this one.
2) It is my attempt at writing in the NEW ADULT genre... so, it's not like my Knitting in the City series; these are not full fledged, reasonable adults. These are people still in the throes of hormones!!
3) You're just going to have to trust me with Martin. Martin is not... well, he's not like my other guys. O.o So, don't freak out. Just trust me.
<3 Penny

 •  flag
11 likes · like  • 
Published on November 20, 2014 12:36 • 110 views