Thursday, December 22, 2016

Don't Forget the Marketing

There are many ways that indie authors can market their books today, reaching out to hundreds of millions of potential readers with a small investment of cash, as little as $10 in some cases, and some requiring $100 minimum or more. It depends on how prominent you want your ad to be and how long you want it to run. Per-click ads on sites like those noted below are the best marketing friend an indie author can have.

If you've been wondering what options are available to you, in addition to those trusted standards like magazines and newspapers, you may want to consider online ad campaigns on sites like Goodreads, and on social media sites like Facebook. There are also high-impact options like Google Ad Words that can get your books in front of hundreds of millions of people. And don't forget to talk to your local newspaper about an online ad for their website. They may cost a bit more, but they are key to reaching local as well as more distant readers.

Check into advertising on sites and in groups that are focused on your target audience. Most sites offering advertising options will permit you to select your daily budget amount, the price to be deducted from your prepaid advertising budget amount, and the duration you want your ad to run. And, most sites providing paid advertising options also provide data that can help you target your future ads more effectively. And, you may want to approach other indie authors and consider swapping linked ads on their space for placing an ad for their book(s) on yours.

And, most importantly, don't forget to put ads for your books on your own website and link those book covers back to where those books can be purchased, i.e., your Createspace e-store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc.

Here are a few articles that will provide some insights into online advertising. Remember, producing the book is only one part of a successful outcome in the whole writing + publishing equation.

Publishers Weekly Articles
Google Ads 101: A Guide for Indie Authors
Facebook Ads: A Guide for Indie Authors
Goodreads Ads for Indie Authors
Targeted Book Advertising Strategies for Indie Authors

Regardless of what means you choose for advertising your books, it's important to do your homework, and don't feel locked in to just one site. Spread the word about your book by doing ad campaigns on a variety of sites. You'll be surprised what increased sales you may see from a very small initial investment.

Happy advertising - Susan.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

KDP to Offer Paperback Publishing for Authors

(The opinions stated herein are my own, personally, and don't necessarily reflect those of every author within our writing group. Just thought some of our authors might be interested in knowing this little piece of information. Happy reading.)

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), the e-book arm of Amazon's publishing services, has begun offering KDP authors the opportunity to print paperback copies of their e-books from within the KDP website. The program is in beta testing right now. However, under this beta system, authors will not yet able to purchase author wholesale copies, print proof copies, nor can they opt-in for expanded distribution to libraries, universities, and direct-to-retailer sales. The one significant change, beyond not having to copy files back into Createspace in order to publish in print, is that the Japanese market, unavailable to Createspace  authors in the distribution settings, will be accessible through KDP print.

KDP indicates on their information page about this new opportunity that it will eventually be adding the features presently available in Createspace  to the KDP menu of choices. The intention behind this change seems to be to streamline the overall print and e-book publishing process for authors.

Presently, Createspace  authors publish their print copies at Createspace , order their author copies, and have access to expanded distribution channels. Libraries, universities, and retailers have the option of purchasing directly from Createspace . Once the Createspace book is approved and published, authors can opt-in to have their book file transferred to KDP in order to publish it in e-book form. They then then have to go to the KDP site and finalize the transfer by reviewing the electronic proof, setting their publishing choices, and approving it for final release. It's one extra step in the publishing process, but so far it seems to work relatively flawlessly.

The new opportunity to publish print copies and e-books in one location would eliminate that one extra step in the total publishing process, potentially saving authors times, and reducing redundant selections in the distribution end of things.

According to the KDP site, authors can transfer their present Createspace  titles over to KDP now without negatively affecting their Createspace titles already available to the buying market. Authors then would have the option of making those KDP print copies available in the Japanese market. A huge benefit, to be sure.

Authors should explore this new option carefully before transferring. There is information available at the KDP site and it should be read and considered. KDP authors who still want to purchase wholesale copies of their titles for resale locally or consignment to local stores, or who want to ensure their print copies are accessible directly to libraries, universities, and retailers will still need to go the Createspace  route, too. However, for KDP e-book authors who haven't, in the past, been able to offer the option of print copies without going through Createspace , this is a terrific opportunity to tap into the die-hard print readers without having to transfer anything.

Definitely a new opportunity skipping down the publishing path and worthy of consideration. Streamlining functions is, for the most part, a good idea. Less time on the technical end means more time writing.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Literary Speaking

There are a great number of notable literary journals out there where authors can submit their work for consideration. Many also have award contests that unpublished and emerging writers can enter to gain exposure. Many of the journals have somewhat longer lead times for publication than monthly magazines, usually several months, and like those they have something that is of supreme benefit for writers . . . loyal subscribers that devour every issue. 

In my online journeys in search of reputable publications here are just a few that I have gleaned from the cyber fields. Most of them have been around for quite a while. That fact alone means they must be doing something right. 

Ploughshares  A publication of Emerson College. View their submission guidelines. Share information about their Emerging Writer's Contest with an aspiring writer. 

All Aboard for the Glimmer Train! This is a creative literary journal with a longstanding readership. Polish up that short story you've been meaning to send in and submit it. You can view their guidelines for submissions here and find out more about their Family Matters contest, and how they help new writers get off to a good start

The Missouri Review is another publication where new and previously published story writers may get heard. Info about submitting to regular issues and contests can be found here. All those poets and writers out there should give it careful consideration. 

For a more comprehensive list of publications you may want to check, and even subscribe, to the publication titled Poets & Writers and check out their online database of publications. This database lets you search by genre and subgenre so you can more effectively focus on publication best suited to your particular writing or poetry. There are so many to choose from. 

Hope these little tidbits help. Have a terrific day. 


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thanks For The Support!

Photo by Jennifer Seipel, Maryville Hy-Vee
The Maryville Chapter of the Missouri Writer's Guild would like to thank everyone who attended the book sale & signing and purchased books and stopped to pick up brochures and chat with the authors. It was a very busy day and we're glad you have taken such an interest in the works of local authors.
We particularly want to thank Hy-Vee, Darren and Karla, for providing space for our group to hold the book sale and for the encouragement and support for local authors. And particularly Jennifer Seipel for helping with getting the video posted.
We are grateful to Nodaway News Leader reporter Kathryn Rice and Maryville Daily Forum staff writer Tony Brown for publishing the interviews and information concerning the event as well as the articles about local authors and their books. We know many people read your publications and commented to us that they saw the articles in your papers.
We want to thank the Nodaway County Historical Society Museum for their support of local authors, and for providing another venue for folks to purchase books. We trust your bake sale fundraiser was a great success Saturday (I snagged my share of goodies!). We are looking forward to your military exhibit on December 7, and your reopening in the spring of 2017.
We also want to thank Minnie Lane, Maryville's newest gift and collectibles shop at 112 E. Third Street, owner Melody Blair, for carrying books by local authors. We hope your new business is a great success!

Writers in attendance were: Don & Sue Nothstine, Amy Houts, Irene Alexander, Lee Jackson, and Susan Cronk