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Author Marketing Challenge: Online vs Real World (part 1)

Lynne M. Spreen headshot 2016
Guest post written by Lynne M. Spreen (pictured right). Lynne writes coming-of-age stories about people who are age 50 and over, including her award-winning novel, Dakota Blues. Look for subsequent posts to follow as real world vs online marketing is a great idea for an author marketing challenge. A month ago a friend and I decided to challenge ourselves to an amped-up marketing plan. She was going to implement certain strategies in real life, like looking for opportunities to speak and sell her books in person, and I was going to use Twitter and blog more vigorously. To make it fun, we decided to compete with each other, but the real goal was to see if any of our techniques were effective. ...
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Draft2Digital Adds Ebook Templates

Draft2Digital templates
Formatting ebooks has always been a challenge for self-publishers. Smashwords, the original ebook distributor, literally wrote the book on universal formatting with the Style Guide that teaches authors to do it in ways that will convert and be readable at any retailer. Their system is all about keeping things simple, using basic structure and avoiding fancy aesthetics for assured conversion. A functioning solution that was perhaps a bit plain, plus the instruction was difficult for many authors to follow. Years later when Draft2Digital came out as an ebook distribution service, it distinguished itself from Smashwords by accepting virtually anything uploaded and made an ebook from that using ...
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Draft2Digital Adds Playster to Distribution Network

Playster
For authors selling books through distribution service, Draft2Digital, the outlets just expanded. D2D has been sending ebooks to most of the usual (non-Amazon) suspects for a while now including iBooks, B&N, Kobo, Scribd and more. Now they’ve added Playster. Playster is a subscription-based service that allows readers to pay a low monthly fee for unlimited access to thousands of books (or movies, music, and games, if that’s your thing). Their mantra: Everything Unlimited. Your readers (past, present, and future) can get a 30-day free trial, giving them access to one of the fastest growing digital libraries around. Amazon Prime and Scribd also use subscription-based business models. Smash...
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Why Indie Authors Should Avoid the Big 5 and Instead Focus on Taming the Marketing Beast

big5
Enjoy this guest post from author, Carol Vorvain, of Writers Boon. 3 simple truths about traditional book publishers all authors should know: The Big 5 publishers keep authors on a tight leash. You must write about what they think is marketable. You must publish as fast or as slow as they want. The book must have a certain number of words to be considered a commercial book. They are your employer. So, you’d better listen. You are under a standard contract. You have little or no opportunity to negotiate the provisions. Unless you are already famous, the Big 5 don’t help you with the marketing. They simply don’t have the cash for it.   The Big 5 pay you peanuts. They offer low royalties and se...
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Do I Need to Copyright My Book?

copyright all rights reserved
Like ISBN, copyright questions are common and the legalities of it can be complex. In most cases, copyright is something an author won’t need to spend much time worrying about. The tasks to copyright a book are straightforward, starting with simply writing a book. If you have any concerns, this fact alone should give some relief; By writing your book, you own the copyright. In 1886 The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was signed as an international agreement on copyright. Your creation is your intellectual property. Think of it like this: only you have the “right” to “copy” your work and sell it; nobody else has the right to copy your work and sell it. Your ...
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Should you buy an ISBN?

ISBN Barcode
ISBN is for International Standard Book Number, issued by a select agency in the nation where the publisher resides. You’re probably familiar with 10 or 13 digit ISBNs appearing on the copyright page or above the barcode on the back of a print version book. The barcode just identifies the ISBN and may or may not include a price. Even though ISBN is a number corresponding to a book, it has more to do with the publisher and edition than the title and author. For example, the same ebook could have several ISBNs for different retailers selling it, and it would need another ISBN for a paperback version and yet another for a hardcover or audio book. A separate version is needed for the ePub file c...
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Over 20,000 Books Sold and 500 Amazon Reviews!

allison-maruska-profile
We featured Allison Maruska on Blogging for Authors and Newbies back in 2015. Now her book has sold over 20,000 copies and has 500 Amazon reviews! That’s beyond exciting. That’s a dream come true for most writers. And you can do it too! Here’s what she had to say back then, and below is a link to what she’s learned since. Allison, it’s always nice when your full name exists as a custom URL. Did that make your decision easy? I figured using my name would be the quickest way for my book readers to find me. How long have you had it and how often do you post? I’ve had this blog for a little over a year, but I had a Blogger site for a couple years before that. I try to post at least weekly, usual...
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On Your Mark, Get Set, NaNoWriMo!

marathon-starting-line
flickr.com/photos/funkdooby/9269293676/ It’s that time of year again; November is National Novel Writing Month. Writers, you have 3 options: Wimp out while eating leftover candy and turkey.Participate and write 50,000 words on your next novel.Be a rebel, writing as if possessed for 30 days on anything you want. ( Save 92% Sell Ebooks on Amazon and Major Retailers ) Need more reasons to do it? How about 8? As in at least 8 bestsellers that began during NaNo: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Wool by Hugh Howey The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress by Marissa Meyer I’m going with rebel option 3, hoping to...
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Can a Blog Boost My Business?

snowmobile girl rider
flickr.com/photos/miss604/5214631663/ Can a blog help my business, even if I’m not a writer? Absolutely, though they’re not for everyone. Blogging makes the most sense for people who have material to post at least somewhat regularly. It doesn’t have to be everyday or even close to that, but the more frequent you can post something of interest to someone out there, the better your blog will be received. Save 92% Blogging for Authors and Newbies When I meet new people, I often think about how a blog could complement their business. They’re not always the kind of businesses you’d assume would be a good fit for a blog, like a photographer or author. But almost any business can benefit from one. ...
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Check Your Scribd Sales for a Pleasant Surprise

Scribd author
You might want to check your Scribd sales. If you read that sentence twice and don’t think it applies to you, you could be wrong. I just discovered lately my books have been selling more with Scribd than with Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google Play. My Scribd sales are also to customers in more nations than those other 3 combined! That includes places like Cyprus, Aruba, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore. ( Save 92% Sell Ebooks on Amazon and Major Retailers ) I had no idea. And I admit my sales are nowhere near what some of the super successful indies have done, but isn’t it nice to discover sales at vendors you never thought would really have sales in amounts you’d consider su...
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The 12 Steps to Self-Publishing

12 Steps to Self Publishing - Mitchel Cove Publishing LLC
Liz Lazarus shares her recipe for self-publishing success in this guest post. Enjoy! My mother used to say, “Good thing you got your father’s math skills and my English skills, and not the other way around.” My mother was an art major and my father owned a small business. Mom and I would make up stories together with fascinating characters and my dad taught me the old-school way of manually counting change, rather than relying on the cash register. It was no surprise that my SAT scores for English and Math were identical! As a writer, I’ve relied heavily on my creative, intuitive, artistic right brain – it takes that to write fiction. But, boy did I need my engineering, process-driven, logic...
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Indie Author Earnings Continue Upward Trend

indie author trend
The latest reports from AuthorEarnings (Hugh Howey, Data Guy et al) are very encouraging for indie authors. Just look at the graph! Indie published market share (blue line) continues to take away from that of Big 5 publishers (purple line) with apparent increasing momentum. Here are the conclusions, and you can scroll below to read the full article: Conclusions In 2016, the reach of indie self-published authors isn’t limited by any means to ebooks. Every indie author should seriously consider releasing print-on-demand paperback editions and — as soon as quality narration can be afforded or arranged — audiobook editions of their books. It’s also critical to note that 2015 marked a tipping poi...
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Linkredirector Smart Links to Amazon, Apple and Google

Linkredirector
Linkredirector is not the only free smart link service, but it’s a good one. Try it by entering your book’s URL at one of the major retailers. It will detect your title in all nations for Amazon, Apple iBooks and Google Books. The universal link it creates redirects customers to the most suitable store based on location and their device, like iPhone users to iTunes and customers with the Kindle app installed to Amazon. It even checks if the Kindle app is installed on Android devices, so it knows whether to show the book in the Kindle app or to take a buyer to Google Play. Save 92% Sell Ebooks on Amazon and Major Retailers You can actually use Linkredirector for any store or website you want;...
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