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message 1: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Okay, so everyone that is included in this knows, I plan on making this a blog post on my site. If you object to that, you need to tell me in a PM, and I will remove you from the blog.

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
Hey Folks,

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)
-brief description
-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 
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 
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
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. 
- FREE
- 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.)

Alysiaur26@yahoo.com

annliviandrews@gmail.com

Rileyamosreviews@gmail.com

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!

Larissa 

Penny 

Philip 

For Sci-fi/Fantasy writers- Betty 

Reedsy

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:

1. http://www.blurb.ca/blog/writing-blur...

2. http://marilynnbyerly.com/blurb.html

3. http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/...

4. http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/1...

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. 


message 2: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
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:

ebook only: 
basic $50
custom basic $75
custom advanced $125

print only:
basic $100
custom basic $150
custom advanced $200

print and ebook:
basic $125
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/
Scott

All of these resources are amazing, USE THEM!!! They will get you noticed!


message 3: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)


message 4: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
This is not a promotion thread. If you come in and drop a promotion, it will be deleted. These are author resources that are used on a daily basis by me, or what I used to help get the word out on my books. If you have a service you'd like to promote, we have a promotion board for your use.


message 5: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (last edited Apr 28, 2015 10:16PM) (new)


message 6: by Gary (new)

Gary Tenuta (code9) | 1 comments Riley wrote: "This is not a promotion thread. If you come in and drop a promotion, it will be deleted. These are author resources that are used on a daily basis by me, or what I used to help get the word out on ..."

Ah! Cool. Thanks. I totally missed the promo thread. :-)


message 7: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
It's all good, just trying to keep the board reasonably clean. ( as much as it can be with authors over it anyways)


message 8: by Randall (last edited May 03, 2015 06:48AM) (new)

Randall S. Davis (randalls) | 43 comments Since this an author resources thread, does anyone have any info on AMC - The Author Marketing Club? 149 dollars seems like a lot of money unless the results are worth the price. Anyone out there who has experience with them, please share your thoughts.


message 9: by James (new)

James Aura (jamesaura) | 22 comments This could be big news for independent authors: Paypal will most likely get into the eBook and app business:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/04...


message 10: by H.O. (new)

H.O. Tanager (hotanager) | 18 comments Randall - I joined for the reviewer grabber tool and the Amazon listing formatting. My listing looks great, but overall I don't get much out of the service. This goodreads group is s much better resource for my needs and style.


message 11: by Randall (new)

Randall S. Davis (randalls) | 43 comments Thanks H.O. Much appreciated.


message 12: by L.J. (new)

L.J. Kendall (luke_kendall) A friend sent me a link to the 2015 Library Journal ebook contest (programme?) for promoting self-published ebooks: Best Self-published books 2015
I wasn't sure where to mention sites like that, but thought perhaps it fitted in this topic as an author resource (a resource for the marketing side of things, rather than for the writing side). If that's wrong, please let me know, and/or delete this post.

In case anyone's interested in my thoughts, I also wrote about it at more length on my little blog, here: Self-e, Library Journal, and Kindle Unlimited


message 13: by L.J. (new)

L.J. Kendall (luke_kendall) One tool which I find invaluable when I'm writing is something a bit paradoxical: software that nudges me when I got too engrossed, and suggests I take a little or a longer break: Workrave, which is the free software version of a more powerful commercial system for preventing RSI: Wellnomics' Workpace. I find if I take the breaks, I'm good. And on the occasions where I ignore it and carry on beavering away till I'm happy: I suffer with a badly aching neck.

A good thing about Workrave, besides being free, is that it works on Linux, too.




message 14: by H.O. (new)

H.O. Tanager (hotanager) | 18 comments Riley wrote: "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 s..."


Riley, my iPad isn't allowing me to "click here" for your formatting info. Could you please post the link? Are there links to work examples? I am researching options for books with illustrations. Thanks!


message 15: by Landon (new)

Landon Roussel (landonroussel) | 1 comments Just came across this podcast series on how to be successful as a self-published author. This is one of the best resources I've found yet:
http://www.authority.pub/podcast/


message 16: by Roxanne (last edited Nov 12, 2015 03:11AM) (new)

Roxanne Bland (roxanne2) | 102 comments Don't know if this is the right place for this, but for indie authors, I came across a site for garnering book reviews. It's called The Indie View. You pitch the reviewer, and they decide whether they'll take on your book or not. The reviewers have blogs (of course) and they're not paid. Some cross-post on Amazon, Goodreads, Librarything, etc. I've tried it, and received three promised reviews within a week. Most will take longer to respond, according to their websites. But still, it's worth a shot, and the site's free. http://www.theindieview.com/indie-rev...


message 17: by Harald (new)

Harald | 120 comments Roxanne wrote: "Don't know if this is the right place for this, but for indie authors, I came across a site for garnering book reviews. It's called The Indie View. You pitch the reviewer, and they decide whether t..."

Hmmm... that entire site is down (404 Not Found). Know anything about that?


message 18: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 153 comments It's back up today if that's a help?


message 19: by Harald (new)

Harald | 120 comments Cool... there it is. Interesting site. Thanks.


message 20: by Connie (new)

Connie Jordan (poetseyes) | 12 comments Thank you guys, I have been stumbling but I finally ended up here thanks to lethe and things are becoming more and more clear - I appreciate this page!!!

Connie


message 21: by Victor (new)

Victor | 5 comments Some interesting sites information. I'll have to check them out.
Thanks, guys.


message 22: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) I may have missed it but if you haven't got this site then www.indiesunlimited.com is a great site with many helpful articles, a superb list of places for PR, really friendly and helpful people running it, and best of all, if you are a baby beginner at being Indie then the basics are clearly and helpfully here.


message 23: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) If you are interested in the real economic facts about traditional and Indie publishing these blokes are great. And reading their results is a big cheer up for any Indie writer who is struggling with their sales.

http://authorearnings.com/


message 24: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 153 comments Thanks for those resources P.D.R. I've bookmarked them. I especially found the Author Earnings report for UK sales fascinating.


message 25: by Charles (new)

Charles | 148 comments Once again, SIA comes through with some valuable information for Indie authors!


message 26: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) The author earnings site is great. If you have time to go through their reports you can see the facts about the success of Indies and the truth about trad publishing.


message 27: by Dan (new)

Dan Martin (danmartinlikesyou) | 7 comments Question: Has anyone explored getting their book translated into a foreign language? I'm thinking of doing this for my upcoming book this year and wondering if there were other indie authors who have treaded this water before?


message 28: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Esplin | 81 comments Also wondering about translation.


message 29: by Randall (new)

Randall S. Davis (randalls) | 43 comments Check out The Creative Penn, Johanna Penn's website.

She has had her books translated and if you write to her she should be more than welcome to give you assistance. She's helped me quite a bit.


message 30: by Mary (new)

Mary Wyatt (motivationalmary) | 17 comments Did you know Amazon KDP allows you to embed books on your website now? This feature is great because it allows others to see inside your book. Just in case you haven't received the newsletter from them.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Mary wrote: "Did you know Amazon KDP allows you to embed books on your website now? This feature is great because it allows others to see inside your book. Just in case you haven't received the newsletter from ..."

I found this out yesterday. It's an awesome feature. I added to my website.


message 32: by Mary (last edited Jan 26, 2016 11:31AM) (new)

Mary Wyatt (motivationalmary) | 17 comments Samantha wrote: "Mary wrote: "Did you know Amazon KDP allows you to embed books on your website now? This feature is great because it allows others to see inside your book. Just in case you haven't received the new..."

Sounds like both of us was thinking alike. Let's hope for more reviews, sales and exposure.


message 33: by Anika (new)

Anika Redhed (anikaredhed) | 12 comments Dan wrote: "Question: Has anyone explored getting their book translated into a foreign language? I'm thinking of doing this for my upcoming book this year and wondering if there were other indie authors who ha..."

I will one day, but haven't yet. I read the advice somewhere to offer a translater a part of the profits, so you don't have to invest a lot of money. Don't know if anybody would, translating is a lot of work!


message 34: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) There are quite a few people offering to translate novels. Just get a sample and then find a native speaker to comment. I've not find anyone good enough yet!


message 35: by Anika (new)

Anika Redhed (anikaredhed) | 12 comments Good advice! Get a sample! I did so too when I was looking for an editor. Very different quality.
And being a native doesn't mean you are a good translator. Good luck!


message 36: by Karen (new)

Karen Ingalls (kareningalls) I need a translator for two books. One gentleman came highly recommended but was way out of my budget. If someone has a name to recommend for French and Spanish, please let me know. I like the idea of offering a percentage of the profits.


message 37: by Randall (new)

Randall S. Davis (randalls) | 43 comments Question is:
How do you offer a percentage. Do you arrange it with Amazon, or does one person trust the other to show sales.
And do you offer a percentage of the gross or net, and how do you work it at tax time.
Anyone know those answers, please respond.


message 38: by P.D. (last edited Feb 16, 2016 05:09AM) (new)

P.D. Workman (pdworkman) I have a few translations out now. I always get a native speaker to review the translation. Keep looking until you found the right one. No point in getting a product that isn't any good!


message 39: by Karen (new)

Karen Ingalls (kareningalls) Randall wrote: "Question is:
How do you offer a percentage. Do you arrange it with Amazon, or does one person trust the other to show sales.
And do you offer a percentage of the gross or net, and how do you wor..."

That is a good question, Randall. That would be something to explore and find the answers to.


message 40: by Neil (new)

Neil Anderson | 4 comments Hi guys, new to the group and authoring (if that's a word). I'm looking for ways to promote my book The Relic Keeper so more people than my mum read it. I Imagine there's something on here already but I can't find it. Can someone help! N


message 41: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Here's a thread to start with: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

But the whole Marketing & Promo section is worth a look for a lot of helpful hints and advice.


message 42: by Neil (new)

Neil Anderson | 4 comments Thanks Ken.


message 43: by P.D.R. (last edited Feb 01, 2016 07:27PM) (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) This is a great, easy read, nicely explained list of all you need to do to successfully publish. They start with your website, social media, and things to do six months before the book is published, as well as a whole heap more. There's a useful shortened version at the end you can pin up above your desk.
http://bookmarketingtools.com/freegui...

This is a good website. Sign up for their newsletter and listen to those author podcasts.


message 44: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) Fretting about keywords? There's a free tool from Internet Marketing Ninjas which helps you with keyword density analysis.
http://writ.rs/keyworddensityanalysis


message 45: by Emmanuel (new)

Emmanuel Nataf | 1 comments The Reedsy Book Editor is now available. A free tool to create professionally-designed books in seconds: https://reedsy.com/write-a-book


message 46: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) For anyone struggling with making interactive books - text and image books - my colleagues at Writing magazine tell me
www.redjumper.net/bookcreator/ is good.


message 47: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Snyder | 4 comments Can anyone recommend a freelance fiction editor?


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