What’s an Indie author? The word “indie” comes from the root word individual. An Indie author is an individual author who has self-published a book without help from other entities. A lot of people may find this to be uncommon, but it’s not at all. Hundreds of years ago, every author had to go through a press in order to get noticed and published. Times change, people change. Today, media and technology is advertising a lot of Indie authors and supporting them through countless interviews and book blurbs. So, what’s the status quo, Carl? It’s been predicted by many researchers that Indie authors will become more prevalent and presses will become nonexistent by 2020. Yeah, 2020! Perfect vision, perfect writing! Why? The root reason is Indie authors are taking the time to learn all of the loops in getting a book published. Recently, I wrote a blog post about Book Publishing 101. Myself, as well as others, have had these experiences and going through a press for an agent and/or editor becomes unnecessary. Many presses of today do not publish certain books because of their content, theme, and the notion of them not making an abundant of purchases. It’s vital for Indie authors to understand how to manuever through the hidden fees they encounter. To conclude, Indie authors must build up a network of readers and writers, as well as doing freebies to draw a bigger audience. The bigger your network, the more successful you become in advertising your book!
25 FREE Audible copies of “Poetic Expressions”
Hey There! It’s that time again! Hope each of you are enjoying your National Poetry Month and enjoyed Tax Day yesterday! Today, I have a new offer for you.
It’s a first come, first serve basis! I give away 25 downloadable Audible copies of my first book written, “Poetic Expressions”. Adam Meggs is a famous auditor and has voiced this book for you to listen to rather than read. Instructions and discount codes are included below.
1. Visit http://www.audible.com/at/redeem
2. Enter the download code into the “Redeem Your Promotional Code” field
and click “Redeem”.
3. If you’re not an Audible customer, you’ll need to create a new Audible.com account. Don’t worry, you can use your Amazon account to do this.
4. Follow the instructions. You’ll have 1 credit applied to your account.
5. Go to my book’s listing and add the book “Poetic Expressions” to your cart. When you check out, you will see a free credit applied to your book.
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FREE Marketing Channels for Authors
I strongly believe one of the top failures for new, emerging authors is the marketing techniques they use in promoting their book. Typically, many authors purchase press kits with their publisher to help get their book recognized. Press kits are a good start point, but one should not fully rely on them. When I wrote my first three books, I did not use a press kit. I did “personal marketing.” Personal marketing and know how to do it well causes your book to be globally and locally recognized. I want to share some of the tactics and tools I have personally used in promoting my books. I also had help designing a website from Web Chimpy, they did a great job.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing gives an author the opportunity to convert the manuscript of their book into an e-Book version. If you’re an author that is limited on funds, this is your first source for marketing. Try to sell your book electronically and see how well it goes. If you make good ebook sales, begin transitioning into print copies through Amazon Marketplace.
Amazon Advantage Program
Amazon Advantage Program offers the opportunity for authors to send in print copies of their book to the warehouse. It’s imperative that I state you should make sure you send the exact amount of print copies you requested in your purchase order. When you submit your purchase order, Amazon will give you a shipping label and packaging label to make sure the correct personnel receives your book.
Personal Author Website
No matter what genre of writing you choose to pursue, every author needs a personal website that displays their book and how to go about purchasing it. Preferably, use your name as the web domain. If it’s not available, use the title of your book. Start with a .com domain and then search for available domains, if these options are not available.
Do not overdo your website. My very first website I created had too much information on it. The basic components should consist of an intro/welcome to your site, the author’s bio (keep it brief), the marketing outlets that have your book(s) available for purchase, and a way readers and visitors can contact you for more information. It’s imperative to have an email address correspondent to your website. For instance, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel your works will be huge, it’s wise to set up separate email addresses for each entity. Entities could be copyrights, book purchases, book reviews, ratings, interviews, endorsement letters, and author appearances (bookings).
Google SEO/ Google Analytics
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I didn’t take advantage of Google Analytics or SEO until I wrote my fourth book. This software, patented by Google, shows you the location of the visitors on your website. You can get hit counts, web statistics, and pull up reports for your website. SEO is setup in your website within your metatags, to help Google easily locate your website. When someone searches your name on Google, your website should be the first link to show up.
After your author website is established and you have SEO generated in the background, you can enroll into Google Authorship. This tool simply verifies your rights as an author and places your name to the right when someone searches for you. In order to use this, you have to embed code, from Google, into a website that includes your name as an author. You can even do this for newspaper articles, blogs, and journal entries.
NOOK Press is an online self-publishing tool created by Barnes & Noble. The online software allows you to upload your manuscript and book cover, and then sell it as an email on a NOOK device. Barnes & Noble is just as reputable as Amazon and I encourage every author to use both platforms. I see many authors on Kindle and not on NOOK; as if NOOK is phasing away.
Amazon Author Central
Amazon Author Central is a platform that allows authors to create a profile and claim their books already being sold on Amazon. With Amazon Central, you can set up your upcoming events, embed an RSS feed or blog, upload pictures of yourself, and display videos about you and/or your book(s).
Amazon AudioBook Exchange (ACX)
Audiobooks are becoming a new thing in today’s publishing era. Once your books are available for sale on either Kindle or print, you can get an auditor to record your book. Royalties and contracts are setup and those that cannot read or see your book, can listen to your book through Audible.
When I first joined Goodreads, I freaked out because I didn’t understand why I could not create an author page. Before establishing an author page, you must recommend, read, and rate so many books. You begin by searching for your book. If Goodreads does not pull up anything, a button will appear that says “manually add my book(s)”. As I began to get ratings and reviews on my book, I added friends and joined different communities. This opened up my understanding and I began setting up critique groups, writing blog posts, include my works of writing, and uploading pictures.
One great feature, as a Goodreads author, I encourage is book giveaways. Setting up quizzes and trivia on your book sounds great, but to gain exposure you have to give away something for free. Even if you give away 1 copy, you can gain a lot of readers. When I did my first book giveaway, I only gave away 1 free copy of my book. The amount of contestants I had was 992 at the closeout. Take advantage of the giveaways.
LibraryThing is a cataloging platform where librarians catalog books in their library and books of interest. You can still create an author page, upload photo(s), and contribute to the Common Knowledge placed on your books. Your readings and events can be added on LibraryThing and to find people of similar interest, you can join the Hobnob with Authors group.
All three of these social media platforms are free. If you have written multiple works, I suggest only creating one author page and displaying all of your works there. If you are concerned with privacy, block unwanted users and set your profile to private. Keep in mind that a private profile is harder to find than a public one.
Distraction-Free Writing: How to Handle Distractions
I’m making it a habit to write daily; that is, whatever comes to mind. A person can write for years and become good at it. Yet, they suffer with distractions. Writers are not exempt from distractions. Every writer has a personal life outside of writing and they too, have to deal with this. It agitates me madly when I’m trying to write down my thoughts and a train passes by my place of stay. My neighbors, sometimes, family will play loud music or constantly knock on my door. Better yet, the phone seems to never stop ringing. No one is calling about something important and you think, “Couldn’t this wait until a later time?” Writing in a world filled with distractions is very difficult. It takes a lot of skill and technique to get beyond it. Today, I want to share some techniques with you that I think could help you as a writer, author, novelist, poet, lyricist, or whatever form of writing you enjoy doing.
My first tip is staying focused. Writing is considered a goal. There’s an end and a finish to it. You pick up your pen or pencil, apply it to paper, and then let your thoughts ride. The minute I notice a distraction, I speak to my inner self and remind myself to keep going. You can’t quit till you cross the finish line and feel satisfied with your writing piece.
The second tip I have to offer is taking a break. What! Are you sure? Yes, I am sure. You have to give your brain and thought process a break after a certain amount of hours. My rule of thumb is every four hours. During your break, leave your current setting and find a new atmosphere. Find a spot that’s calm and relaxing, such as a park. Remember to bring a notebook and something to write with. Don’t make it an intention to write because this is a break, remember? I am asking you to bring a notebook because you can run into something that intrigues you. I call this the test of the wills. Thoughts come and go, and you cannot expect your brain to remember the ones coming at you rapidly.
The third tip is finding the perfect timeframe. This is very difficult, though it sounds easy. Some writers have to write late at night when everyone in the house is sleep and all personal errands are done for the day. Other writers prefer to write in wee morning hours before any chaos hits the day. I have even seen some writers write in the middle of the day, during their lunch breaks from work, and at certain times designated for writing.
I want you all to succeed in your writing. The very last tip I have to offer is grabbing a cup of coffee or tea. Drinking something hot stimulates the mind and pushes you to continue writing down your thoughts when distractions are near. Please do not flatter yourself into thinking that you will not have to deal with distractions when you write. Distractions come in many forms; down to the sound of forceful wind. It’s how you handle them and how well you use emotional intelligence to balance your attitude about the distractions.
Good luck and promote “distraction-free writing” wherever you go!
Free Cell Phone Service From Scratch Wireless
It’s no secret that cell phone companies take advantage of their customers by charging crazy prices for their phones and then when you get the phone you end up paying more than you should for service just so you can use it. Why are we being taken advantage of? That’s what got me thinking about other options in the cellular market, and it didn’t take me long to discover Scratch Wireless. This cellular provider offers something that made me question my sanity, FREE cell service with no strings attached!
Here’s how it works. First, you buy their Android Smartphone, the brilliant Motorola Photon Q. I was shocked by how nice the phone is. It sports an amazing color display, a pretty nice camera, a slide-out keyboard, and a ton of other features. I compared it to my iPhone’s interface, and found that I preferred the freshness of the Android operating system. After you have the phone, it takes about 5 minutes total to get things set up and running.
The cellular service works like this. Anytime you are around a wi-fi network, you connect to it and the cell phone uses the wireless network to make phone calls, send txt messages, and do things that require data. If you’re away from a wi-fi network then you can still send unlimited free txt messages, but if you want to make a call or use data you have the option to buy a pass. Passes are super affordable, starting at just $1.99 for a day pass, which gives you 30 minutes of talk time. You might just be surprised at how often you’re around a wireless signal though.
At home, at work, at college, at Starbucks, almost anywhere you go there is usually a wi-fi network that you can connect to. This is the ideal phone for anyone who wants to cut their wireless bill or even eliminate it completely! The entire idea operates flawlessly and I haven’t found anything to complain about. When you aren’t on wi-fi the phone will use the Sprint network for service, and even in the somewhat rural area where we are located, we had a nice signal to go off of.
One thing to note is that you currently cannot send MMS txt messages, so no pictures unless you use an app like Kik. When you look at all of the benefits of getting a Scratch Wireless phone, it really makes you wonder why you’ve been paying such a high cell phone bill all of these years. The phone is great, the service is spectacular, and we recommend it to anyone who doesn’t enjoy paying a fortune for cell service and prefers FREE over paid. For more information or to get a Scratch Wireless phone, visit www.ScratchWireless.com.
Who doesn’t love a surprise? Healthy Surprise is one company that is bringing us all really great snacks that are healthy and taste amazing. They are really setting themselves apart from all of the other subscription food boxes on the market by making their boxes bigger and better than the competition. There are a few plans and each one has enough food for you and a few friends to enjoy.
This service gets it’s name honestly, Healthy Surprise sends you vegan, gluten free, soy free, natural foods that you are sure to love. In fact they are so sure that you will like the food that they offer a 110% guarantee! There’s no commitment and you can cancel at any time too. The types of food vary that they send every month so it’s always something new and interesting, and we’re being honest when we say that this box is very generous with portion sizes.
Don’t waste time tracking down healthy food companies then worrying if you will like the food or not once you get it in the mail. This place does all of the work for you. You don’t have to worry about it tasting good because they only include foods that are super amazing in the taste department. The search is literally over for the perfect monthly subscription box for health food lovers, Healthy Surprise has it all: tasty food, good portions, and a guarantee that cannot be matched. Quit ordering food boxes that only you can enjoy by yourself, these boxes were made to share!
For more information or to subscribe to a Healthy Surprise box, visit them online at www.HealthySurprise.com.
Think healthy, now think how hard it can be sometimes to eat that way. What would you say to getting a box filled with super healthy and gluten free snacks delivered right to your front door each and every month? Believe it or not, Gfreely is a company that is making this a reality. For only $19 a month plus shipping you will get your surprise box delivered right to you or a loved one every month.
You will get super cool snacks, recipes, and of course GFree foods in the box. It’s different each month, so there’s never any fear of growing bored with what they send. You may or may not know that it can sometimes be quite difficult to find gluten free foods at your local supermarket and if you do they don’t always taste the best. What’s cool about this monthly box is they hand pick foods that taste amazing and are good for you.
A lot of monthly subscription boxes offer small sample sized portions of the products that they feature, and while you will get sample sizes in this box, they also include full sized foods and even things you can cook and eat as your entire meal. They don’t just send you cheap food, they send you a whole new lifestyle in a box. You will feel better and notice that the food you eat taste better when you try eating gluten free, and there is no better time or way to start than right now with a Gfreely subscription.
For more information on Gfreely or to subscribe to their monthly box be sure to check out their website, Facebook, or Twitter.
What would you say if I told you that you could stay home and get really cool environmentally friendly products sent straight to your door each and every month for only $15? Well, that’s exactly what Eco-Emi’s subscription service does! Every month your box will include five to ten samples of natural, organic, green, eco-friendly, cruelty free, vegan, vegetarian or Fair Trade products and they are all packaged and wrapped very nicely, perfect and ready for gift giving!
One of the coolest parts about this box is it’s a surprise as to what you will get. For me, the surprise alone is worth the price. There is a theme for each month, so for example the October box was packaged in some really fun halloween materials and one of the items in the box was a fantastic coffee flavored soap! It wouldn’t be fall without some coffee, or coffee soap that is! Everything from the packaging to the items was quite magical and makes you feel like you are getting something truly special.
Right now there is a waiting list for the box, which means that this little box is growing in popularity, and to that we are excited! Eco-Emi is a wonderful subscription box that deserves all of the attention it can get and the fact that their goal is to deliver high quality products that you can feel good about using right to you front door, is a goal that more and more companies should strive towards. To find out more about the box or to get on the waiting list, just visit EcoEmi.com.
Apps For A Healthier You
It seems anymore that technology is a permeant fixture in the lives of just about everyone. To some this may be an excuse to not live healthy or put health on a lesser priority, but it is actually a great way to stay healthy. Some of the most effective and popular apps on the market today deserve some recognition. If you own any iod device, basically an Apple product such as an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, then you already have the base for what these apps are all about! Here are the best fitness and health apps on the market.
MyFitnessPal – Now you don’t need an ios device for this because they have a website that does the same thing, but this app makes it very simple to track weight loss, manage your diet, connect with other people wanting to stay healthy and loose weight, and it has just about every feature someone looking to stay healthy on the go would want. This app is FREE!
Couch-to-5K – Talk about an effective app! This app not only sets a simple to follow plan to get you healthy and ready to run a 5K if you want to, but it has a built in music player for when you are doing the plan, three different digital trainers to choose from to guide you along, and offers the option for finding 5K’s near you and even gives you a discount for registering for a 5K. This app cost $1.99.
Sleep Cycle – Everyone knows that you can’t exercise and be healthy if you are tired and exhausted to begin with. Sleep Cycle is an app that monitors your motion while you sleep and determines when you are in your lesser sleep cycle, meaning you aren’t in as deep a sleep, and it goes by the time you set to be woken up. It gradually wakes you up by playing your choice of sound, music, or regular alarm noise. This app is important because it wakes you up on time and does it in a way that makes you feel like you have gotten a great nights sleep every time! This app is $0.99.
Pedometer – There is a paid and free version of this app, both are great! This app takes the pedometer to the next level by allowing you to listen to your music while walking, running, jogging, etc. it also records spikes in how fast you are going, as well as time, and it does all of this while setting goals for walking with you. If you plan on having your ios device with you, then this is the app to get, but it is ment for iPod Touch and iPhone, sorry but I doubt you would want to carry an iPad with you while you go jogging.
These are some of the best health and fitness apps on the market, some are free, and some cost, but none are over $3. Health is such an important thing, so I have a feeling you won’t mind putting down a dollar or two to make your tech life a little more healthy.
We are all becoming ever familiar with online shops that are member exclusive. Especially those where you can join regardless of who you are, you just have to go through a pesky registration process. Well, one online shop is taking that marketing strategy, but adding in their own little twist. SneakPeeq is a new website where each day you get around 20 or so “peeqs” that let you peek at the price of the item you are interested in. You earn badges and in effect cool deals along the way. Get this, for signing up you get $10 + a free welcome gift that is a nice little ring. Now, I’m a guy, so I felt a little left out with the welcome gift, but I signed up for it anyway to test and see if it was in fact 100% free as a welcome gift, and in fact it was. Already got the ring in the mail, have no use for it, but if I may make one suggestion to them, add a welcome gift that works for guys or girls or an option for something else for guys. Regardless, it is free, even shipping. I also found that when you go to place your first order and use your $10 credit, you can do a quick option to post to Facebook and you will also get free shipping. I got a Bamboo Bottle that cost around $20+ for literally $4 after my credit, free shipping, and a discount for liking their Facebook page. So if you’re looking for some amazing items, on an affordable budget, check out SneakPeeq!