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Twitter: Why it Does More Than Simply Sell Books

This is a great blog post with useful information about Twitter for all authors (new and experienced)!

Elyse Salpeter

Come follow me @elysesalpeter Come follow me @elysesalpeter Today’s blog is about the power of twitter. Many writer’s only media platforms include using Twitter and Facebook to promote their books. I never see them talking to people, just at people, and I think that’s a huge mistake and missed opportunity. These same authors get frustrated when they don’t get a lot of sales with this strategy and they come to the conclusion that “twitter really doesn’t help with book sales, at all.” I tend to agree, to a point. I believe twitter offers writers amazing exposure and I believe it holds the key to so much more that they haven’t even explored yet. Here’s some interesting things I do with twitter that have nothing to do with me just posting a “read my book” link.

#1) WRITING GAMES: On Fridays there is this awesome cool hashtag called #FP, which stands for Friday Phrases. What…

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5 * Review for Vampire Next Door

*** This post was originally blogged by Lane Hart on her Blogger at http://www.lanehartbooks.com/2014/03/5-review-for-vampire-next-door-by.html?spref=tw ***

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5 * Review for Vampire Next Door by Angela Snyder

I was instantly drawn to this book after reading the first few pages of the suspenseful sample. It starts out with an unknown woman fighting for her life. There are so many questions that the reader will instantly want to know: Who is the woman? What happened to her? And what connection does Sebastian Alexander have to the mysterious girl?

There are a lot of great twists and turns, character development, and romance, which is exactly what I look for in a good book.

You can learn more about the author and pick up your own copy from Amazon by clicking here!

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Find more info about Lane Hart’s newest book “Wild About You: The Strange Life of Emily Hunter (Emily Hunter Series)” on Amazon by clicking on the picture below.
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Author Spotlight: Angela Snyder

Authors Welcome: Author Spotlight – Angela Snyder

Authors Welcome

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After being left for dead in the woods, a woman wakes up from a coma. With no memory of her past, she is given the name Jane Doe. While trying to adjust to her new life, tragedy strikes again. However, this time a mysterious and handsome next-door neighbor is there to help her pick up the pieces. But is he really a stranger, or does he hold the key to unlocking her past and finding out who wants her dead?

Today’s Author Spotlight is on author Angela Snyder and her first novel The Vampire Next Door. We had the opportunity to chat with Angela about her book and her writing and publishing experiences.

AW: Tell us a little bit about your book.

Angela:The Vampire Next Door is a romantic suspense novel with a little bit of everything.  The book starts out with a woman being found in the woods…

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Guest Blog by Joseph Forte

Self-Publishing

Traditional or Independent

Written by: Joseph Forte

Self-publishing, to no one’s surprise, has evolved a great deal in the last ten years, and it continues to shift with no real end in sight. I’m extremely new to the business of being an author, but the learning curve I have been on is like no other experience I’ve been through. When self-publishing first came to life, companies offered their services to get words turned into books. It’s no different today as they are still very prominent in the publishing world, but so are independent platforms such as Amazon KDP and Smashwords where the writer uploads, creates, sets and implements all the pieces of the puzzle. Essentially, the middle man has been dashed and so are some of the costs.

Throughout this blog, I will focus on and share the experiences I’ve had with Friesen Press (they’re an amazing company) as they assisted me in self-publishing my first children’s book, At the Window. In addition, I will discuss Amazon KDP (which I also used to create an eBook version of my children’s book) and what I will be using for my upcoming story, Always There. Both paths have positive and negative aspects, just like anything in life, so it is ultimately up to the writer to decide which approach is the best fit.

A traditional self-publishing company such as Friesen Press offers plenty of freedom as the writer is in complete control of their work. A variety of packages are available at different costs and each level offers assorted features for the book. For example, they offer an editorial evaluation of the work, custom layouts, revision rounds, information on royalties and print distribution all over the world as well as marketing tips and online assistance when help is required. However, the downfall to this option is the final (and sometimes never ending) package cost which must be recouped via book sales. Another downfall to take into account with self-publishing companies, and it may not be visibly outlined, is the taxes and shipping costs which I found to be high. Let me try to paint a clearer picture. In my situation, an additional $1.10 (in taxes and shipping) per book was not accounted for when I set my retail price. This is huge, when for example, a $500 dollar deficit is left and five hundred personal book sales were made. It’s a break even mistake. Again, this could have been rectified with an increase in book price, but who am I to charge more than $10 dollars for my first book? It’s something to consider.

Independent or do-it-yourself publishing via Amazon KDP has its perks. First and foremost, this self-publishing avenue has essentially a zero dollar cost but this can rise to minimal as book covers, editing, ISBNs and promotion expenses can be incurred. From my limited experience, I can vouch that it is nowhere near the cost of having a company (prepaid package) do all the leg work. Downfalls are evident, however. I realize that my picture eBook, At the Window, does not resemble anything that Friesen Press created as KDP cannot support a PDF file. In conversing with authors and technology based people, I’ve heard it’s possible but very expensive to create a PDF which defeats the purpose of trying to keep costs down. My eBook, on the other hand, is a simple word document with pictures followed by text and so on. Placing text on the actual pictures is something that I am not capable of but, if in the hands of someone who can, then the possibility is there. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my product as sales continue to grow but it doesn’t resemble a traditional children’s book by any means. Besides all of this, the freedom that comes along with KDP is excellent as prices, cover designs and newer, updated versions or editions of your eBook can occur at the click of the mouse.

Self-publishing platforms such as CreateSpace (again, which I plan to use for Always There) afford authors the opportunity to create traditional paperback or hard cover, hand held books. Many people live and die by them (I am one) so having this option is a good idea. Again, CreateSpace places the control in the hands of the writer as the author is responsible for everything from uploading images and manuscripts to setting the price and examining the format. Essentially, the middle man is eliminated once again and costs are significantly reduced making it much more feasible to publish a book and ultimately have less of a deficit once the book is released. This is based on some research I have done; but I, unfortunately, do not have concrete numbers, as I have not taken this path just yet. Platforms such as these offer many print on demand options in addition to shipping selections that meet the many needs of authors. Finally, all the hard work will pay off once the product is live and readers all across the world have access to order your book by means of internet via online distribution channels such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Publishing a book, whether through a traditional publisher or a self-publishing company, is not easy and it never will be. The time, effort and work involved is endless. Technology has provided new indie authors the opportunity to show case their work via the many self-publishing companies available at our finger tips so taking advantage of this is definitely one to consider.

If you found this guest post interesting and would like to subscribe to my newsletter, please visit Joseph Forte Writing – Where Word Come Alive. I hope the information provided assists you, in one way or another, or at the very least creates questions to ask as your publishing journey continues. With that, I can say I have learned a great deal since the release of At the Window (October 2013) and I continue to learn more and more every day. It is a rewarding path, one that I look forward to continuing for many books to come.

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Reviews

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   Today I’m going to talk about reviews.  Any indie author you talk to will say the same thing…a review is one of the most important things you can do for them.  A review lets other potential readers know what they can expect from the book they are about to purchase, and it can also be a deciding factor between someone passing up a book or purchasing it.  Even if you leave a few words in a review like “I loved it!” or “I liked it!” and leave some stars, you are amazing in the indie authors eyes!  If you think that your review won’t matter, TRUST ME, it does!  So if you have a favorite indie author out there, please leave a review.  They will be very grateful for it!

Every five-star review I receive is like a dream over and over again.  Never did I dream that I would publish a book that so many people would tell me time and time again that they couldn’t put down and that they fell in love with the characters.  Vampire Next Door wouldn’t be where it is today without my small, but increasing, group of fans!  I love each and every one of my reviews and each and every one of my fans.  It’s so nice to be on Twitter and Facebook and have people retweet and favorite/share and comment things that I post.  So for that, I say thank you!!

My newest review is five stars, and it is from fellow writer, Joseph Forte.  You can find Joey’s review on his reviews and recommendations page on his blog: http://www.josephfortewriting.com/?page_id=22

His review is on the Amazon (Canada) website, and it reads:

“Vampire Next Door is an edge of your seat, romantic, paranormal thing of beauty that will have your eyes screaming for more. I was hooked before I cracked the book open as the cover, as plain and simple as it once was, gave an eerie, dark feeling of what was to be expected. The cover was spilling with anticipation and this novel clearly delivered in all aspects. From the onset, the author reels in her readers by using imaginative and figurative language in addition to a writing style that leaves a sweet craving in the reading mind, always wanting to turn to the next page and read, just one more chapter. The story line is fabulous and character development is wonderful as they both keep the reader in suspense as the words fall off the page with ease. If you’re looking for a romantic, suspenseful novel with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end, then Vampire Next Door by Angela Snyder is a book to engage in. Be sure to pick up a soft cover or eBook right now as it is well worth the money invested.”

Read Joseph’s review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Next-Door-Angela-Snyder-ebook/product-reviews/B00EV69622/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

    You can find out more about Joseph and his book, At the Window, at his website:

http://www.josephfortewriting.com/

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Book Giveaway

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In celebration of 1,000 fans on Facebook, I am holding a giveaway on my Facebook author page.

www.facebook.com/AuthorAngelaSnyder

There are two prizes up for grab:  A signed copy of Vampire Next Door and an e-book copy of The List, my new novella.

So go like the Facebook page, and find the giveaway post at the top of the page.  You have to be a fan of the in order to be qualified to win.  The winners will be chosen at random.  Like the post and comment with your choice of the two prizes.  That’s all there is to it!  The giveaway ends March 8th.

Good luck!

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Tips and Tricks For New Authors Part 3

Smashwords Review

So you’re ready to publish through Smashwords.  You should take some time to consider this if you are transitioning from Amazon exclusively.  A lot of authors have complained about less sales through Smashwords than with Amazon.  And, of course, you lose all the perks like the lending library, free days (if you choose to do that) and the new Kindle Countdown Days.

First thing is first.  Go to http://www.smashwords.com and make an account.  Get all of your information filled out including payment and tax info.  Once you are done with that, you are ready to upload your book.  Click on the PUBLISH tab at the top of the Smashwords website.  You are going to input all of your book info.  A lot of this can be copied and pasted from Amazon.

The biggest obstacle is going to be the formatting.  If you are using a Kindle formatted file, it will be almost perfect enough for Smashwords to not yell at you to change a million things.  If your book is not perfect, Smashwords will not include it in the premium catalog, and your book will not be sent to Barnes and Noble, etc.  So it is very important that you pass all of the requirements and fix all of the errors.

The biggest error was that my font was too big.  This only applied to the first page of my formatted book as the title and my name were too big.
The copyright also needs to be changed to something like this:

Book Title

FirstName LastName

Copyright 2010 by FirstName LastName

Smashwords Edition

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Or, this is a good short one too

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Book Title

FirstName LastName

Copyright FirstName LastName 2010

Published at Smashwords

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Or, if you’re a publisher, this is a good one

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Book Title

FirstName LastName

Copyright FirstName LastName 2010

Published by CoolCats Publishing at Smashwords

    You can also add this blurb after your copyright:  “This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.”

   Any of the examples above are acceptable with the blurb following after.

It took about a week to be approved for the Premium Catalog.  After you are approved, you will be able to find out all of your channel information by going to your dashboard and clicking on “Channel Manager” in the left-sided list.  Your Channel Manager will tell you what companies you have opted in or out with, if your book has been shipped, if your book is going to be reshipped, when the next shipment is and any notes.  Helpful Tip:  Smashwords ships daily to Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble (B&N daily shipments commenced August 5, 2013!) most business days, and once-weekly (usually Thursdays) to other retailers.

    If your e-book has already been published through Amazon KDP, I would suggest opting out of Smashwords shipping to Amazon.  You want to opt out of that as soon as you publish your book on Smashwords.  Go into your dashboard and Channel Manager and opt out of Amazon.

   It took less than a week for my e-book to be put on the Barnes and Noble website for Nook and about a week for it to appear in the iTunes/iBooks library.  All the various channels will vary depending on your book content.  Smashwords makes it very clear that if you are writing erotica or a book that is not the “norm”, so to speak, you are probably going to run into problems.  For example, iTunes could take up to a month to approve your book if it’s erotica, so be prepared for the time delay.