Sunday, 25 August 2013

Guest Post: Bella Harte 5 Minute Marketing for Authors

Bella Harte is author of The Seraphoenix Saga.  Here she talks about must-know PR....

While this subject is as broad as it is long, this is my personal take on the matter in less than 5 minutes, and what may seem obvious to some, others may have inadvertently overlooked.

In my humble opinion - most importantly you need to arm yourself with the following basics:
However using so many will eat away at your time, which is precious enough.  So stick with a few and update, update, update. Interact as much as you can, by following, friending, commenting, liking, tweeting and offer to host authors on your blog. If you promote them, the chances are they will promote you. 
Be open to guest posting too, this is another way to garner a wider readership. 

Two rules not to forget:  Be interested in others, if you’re not interested in them, how can they be interested in you. Secondly always say, thank you.

Online Book Blog Tours are another great way to promote your novel/s. There are many choices available; I actually work with Lady Amber’s Tours to promote many different authors and genres with Blog Tours, Book Blitz’s, Day Release Blitz’s and Give-Aways.  When there is a potential team of over 200 bloggers working for you all over the world, this equals great publicity. 

Offer ARC’s, Advance Reading Copies of your novel to Bloggers, not only do you get feedback prior to general release, you also get featured reviews. 

Another idea, when Tweeting use a hashtag that’s associated with your novel. For example I use #YAPNR #YALIT & #ASMSG these denote: Young Adult Paranormal Romance – Young Adult Literature – Authors Social Media Support Group.  Plus you’re more likely to get retweets if you’re more targeted with your approach to tweeting. Try not to ‘spam tweet’ no-one wants being bombarded with an endless sales pitch of ‘buy my novel’  - be a little more engaging in your approach. Build rapport, not a wall.

There are so many other ways to target your audience, but sadly my word count is up. (Actually I think I blew it! Many apologies  )

If you have any questions or would like to tell me that you already knew this and wanted something else, please leave a comment.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Guest Blogger: Charlotte Howard on Self Publishing

You probably think that as I have no authority when it comes to telling someone how to self-publish successfully. You’d be right. I have a publishing contract, and my attempt at self-publication failed miserably. So rather than telling you how to do it, I’m going to tell you how not to do it by pointing out all the mistakes I made.

1.      Ignore the word count and tell yourself 48,000 is a full-length novel.
2.      Don’t edit it at all, in any way, shape or form.
3.      Definitely don’t get edited professionally!
4.      Take your family and friend’s critics as gospel and ignore everyone else’s comments. Especially those Negative Nellies.
5.      Self-publish just because you got rejected by the ‘Big Six’
6.      Sign up to Amazon KDP and give them full exclusivity just for the free promotion days.
7.      Create your own book jacket using Paint or Word.
8.      Over price it at $14.99 even though all the other books in the same genre are at $9.99
9.      Don’t do any marketing, don’t create Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, or a website.
10.  Expect to be an instant best-seller and make millions so that you can retire after writing one book.
11.  Cry when it fails, blame those idiots who left negative reviews, and refuse to write ever again.

Do all of this, and you too can join the club of thousands of failed writers!

Or… You can do the opposite, make your book the very best that it can be, and reap in the rewards by self-publishing successfully.
Charlotte Howard is the author of Seven Dirty Words (US$13.46) available in print & e-book, on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound. ISBN 0988493330 

After my failed attempt, I picked myself up, joined my local writer’s group, and spent longer editing my book than I did writing it. Voila! One publishing contract, one book and one sequel waiting to be published…

Monday, 12 August 2013

Coming Out Of The Closet

You may have guessed that Storm Chase isn't my real name. When I started writing romance erotica last year, I picked a pen name for several reasons.

First, I write for newspapers and magazines for a living and I wanted a separate personality for my fiction.  The reason I didn't want to capitalise on that is because I live in Malaysia, a Muslim country. Although I'm not Muslim, I didn't want to attract too much attention to the fact that I also write erotica. People here can be very weird about that.

When I was accidentally outed by a magazine a few months ago, I waited to see what would happen. Nothing spectacular happened, except that people began writing to the real me rather than to Storm Chase. This is a relief!

I also discovered it's pretty difficult to interact on Facebook as a Page because I can't befriend fellow authors, only fellow author Pages.  So to consolidate my fiction writing, I've decided to close down my Storm Chase facebook page and to move everything to my real profile.

So here it is: my name is Ellen Whyte, and I write romance erotica, contemporary romance with a hint of crime, as well as cat stories and word histories. If you want to come and hang out on Facebook, you'll find me here.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Should You Opt For Traditional Covers For eBooks?

When I set up my publishing plan, I thought long and hard about covers. For romance, and romance erotica, it's traditional to have a man who has lost his shirt, and a sexy looking girl who is about to lose her top. Problem is, I don't like those covers. I think they're tacky, tawdry and everything nasty that starts with a T.

So the question was: should I go for industry standard or not?

I looked at the online shops and discovered that all the ebooks look the same. That decided it. I made my own design.

I've been earning my living by writing for 16 years but cover design is new to me. I struggled and threw away umpteen designs before hitting on a look that I liked. My covers have lots of white space. This goes totally against the trend but I'm hoping it makes them visible and (really hoping here!) iconic. What do you think?

Storm Chase romance and romance erotica are available here, in Kindle, Mobi and other platforms, and for Paypal, Visa etc.