How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook #wwwBlogs #GuestPost #NaNoWriMo

Thousands of writers’ are frantically tapping away at their keyboards this November in the hope to complete the first draft of their novel, but what will those dedicated writers’ do with their manuscript once they reach the finish line?

Last week I shared a guest post from Susan at Perfect Prose Services; Top Ten Tips for NaNoWriMo from an Editor’s Perspective, where she talked us through the editing process for your NaNo draft – you can read that post HERE.

Once that novel is complete and edited, then the next logical step would be to publish. Today, I’m sharing another guest post from Kelly Smith, a passionate writer who works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. Kelly is sharing her tips on promoting your self-published eBook. Over to Kelly…

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How to promote your self-published eBook

When you self-publish an eBook, you are in control of everything. Most people see this as a great benefit, but it also means that you are in charge of everything! This includes promotion, which you have to do if you want your book to sell well. Here are some steps that you can take to ensure that your eBook becomes successful: Continue reading “How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook #wwwBlogs #GuestPost #NaNoWriMo”

Author Interview – Meet Stephan Myers #Children’s author

Today I am joined by author, Stephan Myers who writes beautifully illustrated children’s fiction.

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The Fun Five:

1 What part of the world do you come from? 

I was actually born in Hull but coming from a forces family we moved around a lot.

2 What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m not sure I’ve ever really grown up. They say you are as old as you feel but I’ve always wanted to write books. I think I am very lucky to be doing something that I truly enjoy.

3 List three words to describe yourself.  Continue reading “Author Interview – Meet Stephan Myers #Children’s author”

Selling Your Books at Craft Fairs

Gazing out of the window, I see grey skies, muddy puddles and a blustery wind, forcing my neighbours to grip tightly to their umbrellas and briefcases, as they hurry to work.  For me, however, I have the luxury of tapping away on my keyboard, still wearing my fluffy pyjamas, no make-up and nursing a steaming mug of coffee.  I love working from home.

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But this isolation can come with a few drawbacks.  I often go days without communicating with the living (I write fantasy, so I am in constant contact with the deceased!).  My children do speak to me in passing, as they hurtle in and out of the house for school, college, or their lively social lives (me, jealous?).  My mum is always on the end of the phone when I need her, but meeting people face-to-face can often be shoved to the bottom of the to-do list, especially when a deadline looms. Continue reading “Selling Your Books at Craft Fairs”

A Self-Help Chain Reaction

 

There is a film I re-watch when I need to have a good laugh, and sob my heart out, all within a two hour period.  That film is Steel Magnolias.  A 1989 classic starring Dolly Parton, Sally Fields and Julia Roberts.

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If you plan on watching it, you’ll need more boxes of Kleenex than a Game of Thrones fan!  However, it warms the heart, tickles the funny bone and reminds you just how bad our fashion sense was back then.

Near the end of the film Dolly’s character is taken on a surprise outing by her husband.  He pulls up outside a hair and beauty salon informing her that it now belongs to her.  With two salons to her name, Dolly cries ‘I’m a chain’.

I understand exactly how she feels.  Not because I own a chain of salons, but because I have a book series – okay, two books in a series, but still – can’t a girl get excited about it!

In 2013 I published the first book in my Wellbeing Workshop Series.  Meditation for Beginners was written with my meditation students in mind.  A handbag guide that they could carry around with them, to help with motivation, in between classes.  They loved it and so I published it to try and reach more people.  At a tiny 35 pages, it really is a pocket guide, but it escorts you through the benefits, science and the step-by-step process of meditating in a down-to-earth format.

Continue reading “A Self-Help Chain Reaction”

Can Facebook Help Your Writing Career?

 

 

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Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and LinkedIn – they each invoke the Marmite reaction from us. You either love it or you hate it.

I love Twitter; I adore Facebook. I haven’t ventured into the Tumblr or Instagram domain as yet. I do have a LinkedIn account that I avoid as much as possible – it feels too grown up for me; like I’m a student who stumbled into the staff room.

Love them or hate them, if it wasn’t for the ability to share on social media sites most of you wouldn’t be reading this blog, my books would remain undiscovered and my friend list would be much shorter.

Social Media sites are where we sell our wares. Hopefully, this is done in a subtle way; dripping out promos in amongst the chit chat, shared jokes and networking, and NOT in a buy, buy, buy way.

I’m a naturally chatty individual. My school reports always said the same thing, ‘if she stopped talking and worked she could make something of herself.’ Hmm, I wonder if any of the TED speakers or stand-up comedians ever received similar reports.

As I matured (!!) I used my ability to chat and engage others as a beneficial part of my career. Socialising was a necessity when working in hospitality and remains important within the holistic health sector. Putting people at ease and making them feel great about themselves is a rewarding life path.  Interaction is a good thing.

But where do Facebook and Twitter fit in? I dedicate my twitter account to my writing career. I engage with readers and other authors. It is the most supportive group I am involved with. I have made some wonderful new friends and discovered an array of new blogs, books and websites thanks to this platform. I wrote a post about my top ten favourite blogs last week which I found through Twitter; you can read that here.

On Facebook, I run several pages. I have my personal page where I share sites/videos/images that may be of interest to my friends while also helping to promote all my entrepreneurial buddies who run small businesses.

I have a page for my motivational blog http://www.facebook.com/resolutionchallenge which also covers my non-fiction books. Then there is a page dedicated to my young adult fantasy fiction http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson. I told you I loved Facebook!

There are many people who dislike this platform, and I respect and understand that, I see every day how people misuse the site. For me, it is a place to chat, share, engage and interact with my readers, family and friends who live far away, and to meet fellow writers/bloggers. If I may refer you back to my school reports; Facebook allows me to chat for more than 140 characters!

I did wonder if the time had come to cut back when Facebook implemented their most recent changes. I told myself to give it a few months, and if my organic reach dropped significantly then I would look elsewhere, which upset me as I do enjoy using this platform.

Luckily I have continued to reach a decent amount of people per post. With my fantasy fiction page, I used the insights button to work out where my followers were based (90% in America), and targeted my posts for this audience and time zone. It means I schedule a large portion of my posts to go out at 2am UK time, but I am greeted with comments, likes and shares when I get up.

With my motivational blog Facebook page, I like to share inspirational quotes, resolution updates and my recent blog posts. This page was ticking over slowly but with the release of my young adult fantasy book, I had neglected it quite a bit. Taking an hour out of my day, I looked at the insights for this page and realised the majority of my followers were UK based and the same age as me. We also had a lot in common. Taking this information on board, I decided to post a funny picture instead of my usual uplifting messages of encouragement.

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One week after posting this image, my Facebook page received 299 new page likes, and 11 clicks on my ‘shop now’ button. The image I shared received 1,524,736 views, it was liked 59,817 times, received 16,956 comments and was shared 16,830 times. My inbox was overwhelmed with notifications, and all from sharing one picture.

The lesson I took away from this was one that relates closely to writing – you MUST know your audience. I had assumed that my motivational quotes and inspirational messages were enough, but I forgot one fundamental factor – having a sense of humour is important too.

Since I posted this image, I have had a wonderful mix of interaction on the page. Followers are digging deeper and discovering posts, links and quotes from years ago that they are resonating with. It has resurrected my faith in Facebook. None of the stats above were paid for – I didn’t boost the post or create an ad. Organic reach is possible if you take the time to look at who is liking your page and how they are using it.

My non-fiction book has become visible to another group of people who are sharing their knowledge and increasing my reach.  We may write alone, but we must market ourselves as loudly as we can.  For me, Facebook and Twitter work tremendously well.

I’m interested to hear about your success with social media sites, especially where you haven’t used paid advertising.  Please feel free to share in the comments below.

 

I must add a closing note to stress that when I found the above image I tried to trace it back to the source. Unfortunately, it had been shared across the platform so often that I was unable to find where it originated. Since deciding to write this post I have discovered a website that includes work from the artist – you can find the link here.

‘Share’ Image courtesy of Master isolated Images at Freedigitalphotos.net

Using Pinterest as a Writer

 

As a kid, the walls of my bedroom were covered in posters. I had favourite bands and artists, and also the actors from TV shows I followed, they were spread across every square inch of space. Posters were one of the simple pleasures in life, one that I miss now I’m a grown up.

Fortunately, a few years ago, I discovered Pinterest. An online pin board where you save, or ‘pin’, all your favourite pictures, quotes and article links. It’s a visual site with minimal text so appeals to my ‘visual learner’ personality.

One of the first boards I created was a ‘my favourite people’ board. I spent a happy hour searching for all my old crushes (Michael Praed – Robin of Sherwood was awesome!), along with a few new faces (Kit Harington). It was like taking your teenage bedroom walls with you wherever you went – whatever your age! images (7)

Since that first board, I have gone on to create another forty plus boards in a huge variety of topics. From tattoos to vampires, garden ideas to favourite authors, the possibilities are endless.

When the time came for me to get serious about my writing, I chose Pinterest to help me visualise the ideas I had. Quite a few of the authors I also follow have novel inspiration boards. It’s like taking a secret peak inside the minds of the authors I admire. You get a feel for how they pictured their protagonist, or where the inspiration had come from for a particular world/scene.

I found this to be incredibly helpful when writing my fantasy series. I found numerous images that resonated with my idea. They included characters as well as places/setting. Sharing my boards with my readers also helped them to bond with my characters before the book was even published. I could tease my readers with ‘guess who’ games and they engaged in this passionately.

When writing my non-fiction books, I chose to create boards that centred on my blog and inspirational quotes or affirmations. This helped to raise interest in not only my motivational blog but in the books I had written.

As a writer, you can link your books to your boards, sending your readers directly to your Amazon page, or wherever you need to send them.

Pinterest can also be a useful tool for comparing your favourite authors. Start a board and pin their book covers – see if there is a theme to what you are pinning. If you are creating your own book cover then Pinterest can help to collect all your ideas in one place.

It is a highly beneficial tool for both writer and reader, and with more and more people engaging in this platform, it might be time for you to sign up.

If you are interested in joining the fastest growing social media site, then follow these steps:

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Originally you could only sign up using your Facebook or Twitter account, this is still possible, but you also have an email sign-up option now.

Choose which way you would like to sign up and follow the instructions.

For this example, I used the email sign up.

You will be asked for your first and last name, your age and gender. Enter and hit ‘Join us.’

You will then be directed to a page with ‘what are you interested in?’ This is where you can click on all the topics that interest you and allow Pinterest to share appropriate boards. You can click on as many as you like. When you’re ready click ‘Follow.’

Pinterest will then tell you they are searching for boards.

You will be reminded to confirm your email address and then a page full of ‘pinned’ images will appear.

Before you can pin anything, you need to create a board. In the top right of the screen, you will see your name in a box with a white pin in a red circle next to it. Click on your name and you’ll be taken to your profile page.

Click on ‘Edit Profile’ to fill in some more information about yourself.

Once you’ve done this, you can start to create boards.

On your profile page, you will see a light grey box that says ‘Create a Board’. Click on this and you will be taken to a board page – enter the relevant information. What is the board about? You can name it however you like. You are also asked to choose a category; e.g., Hobbies. You also have the option to keep your board private.

For example, I have a board called Campervan Crazy, this is where I pin anything to do with VW Campers. This is my most visited board!

On my account I have a mixture of professional and personal boards, you are free to create a board on any subject you want. I’ve seen some users who have a board for every letter in the alphabet, and others who have colour coded boards. The choice is yours.

When you’ve finished creating your board click ‘Create’ and your new board will come up – you will notice the title you chose, in bold at the top of the page. There will now be a light grey box that says ‘Add a Pin’, this is where you can upload your own image from the Web or your computer. I use this feature when I upload my cover art for my books, linked to my Amazon page.

To search the millions of pins within Pinterest, type what you are looking for in the search bar at the very top of the screen. As you type, a drop-down menu appears to help you search. All the pins are taken from other people’s boards. If you see an image you like then hover your mouse over the image and you will see three options at the top of every image. You can ‘pin it’, ‘send it’ or ‘like it’ (a tiny heart shape). If you press ‘Pin it’ you will be given the option of choosing which of your boards you want to pin the image on. Click the pin it button and the image will be saved to your board. Simple as that.

To log out of your board, click on the cog symbol next to your name on your profile page. This will also link you to the ‘settings’ page and ‘find friends’, where you can follow the boards of all your friends. Unlike Facebook, you don’t need to request to be a friend, you can follow any board you like and their pins will show up in your notifications – you can access this by clicking on the small button of two grey pins just next to your name.

To return to your profile at any time just click on your name in the top right. You will notice that your board/s are displayed below your name.

In a nutshell, that’s it. The next thing you need to do is pour yourself a large coffee and have fun – beware though; Pinterest is addictive.

I’d love to hear how Pinterest has helped you with your writing. Or if you are an avid reader, has this platform aided your search for interesting authors and books?

 

New BHC Authors Website – Connecting Readers to Authors

Blue Harvest Creative is excited to announce the next generation of independence has arrived!

 

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Welcome to the BHC Authors website—a place dedicated to bringing readers and authors together. If you love to read, this is the place to be. Find a new favorite genre or author. Check out new releases and titles. Or enter a giveaway or promotion.

 

Here’s what you’ll find when you visit BHCAuthors.com

 

  • Author spotlights—Get up close and personal. Enter our monthly giveaway for a chance to win autographed print titles or eBooks from featured authors.
  • Reader/ARC (advanced reader copy) Program—Love to read? Want to see new titles before they are released? Enjoy giving feedback and discovering new authors or genres? Be sure to sign up for our ARC program.

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  • News and events—Check our calendar often. You never know where a BHC Author will turn up!
  • Are you a reviewer, blogger, or journalist interested in review copies or scheduling an interview? Visit our media center, and we’ll be sure to get you everything you need.
  • Librarians and booksellers can also contact us at the media center. We’re here to make your job easier.
  • If you run a readers’ group, we offer book club reader’s guides for many of our titles and we’re always adding more.
  • Purchases titles and other nifty products from our Amazon affiliate store—From books to writer’s tools of the trade, and more, you’ll find it all here, right at your fingertips.
  • Meet the BHC Authors—many are multi-award winning and USA Today bestsellers—and get to know their work.

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  • Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know about new titles, promotions, events, sales, and more. We hate spam as much as the next person, so we only send out about one email per month. Our intent is not to solicit services. Our newsletters only feature information about BHC Authors.We’re just gearing up, and we’ll be adding more exciting features. Love our website? Have an idea to share or something you’d like to see featured? We’d love to hear from you, and we appreciate and value your ideas and suggestions. Please email us at: Feedback (at) BHCAuthors (dot) com
  • Thanks for stopping by and supporting independently published authors! Click HERE to visit the BHC Authors website.