FREE Marketing Channels for Authors

FREE Marketing Channels for AuthorsI 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

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 carl@carlmckever.com. 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.

Google Authorship

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.

FREE Marketing Channels for AuthorsNOOK Press

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.

Goodreads

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

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.

Twitter/FaceBook/GooglePlus

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

Distraction-Free Writing- How to Handle DistractionsI’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.

Distraction-Free Writing- How to Handle DistractionsThe 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!

 

Writer’s Block: Re-fuel Your Passion!

Writer’s Block: Re-fuel Your Passion!Writers write in different stages and with different moods. Sometimes, we have a gratifying, uncontrollable passion that keeps us up in the late nights and wee hours of the morning. You could look at our hands and see calluses on the back upper portion of our fingers. Our eyes look weary from staring at a monitor or a notepad for countless hours. The cups of coffee and slices of pie diminish; being used to invigorate the creative passion that lies trapped inside of us. This is the good mood, the good times as a writer.

Unfortunately, writers run into a stagnant mood called writer’s block. Writer’s block, to me, is the inability to think and the loss of passion in writing. It’s impossible for a writer to say their passion for writing is high while they face the excruciating battle of writer’s block. So, how does one refuel their passion? How long does this phase last? What caused writer’s block, anyways? These are questions I am willing to ask based off of pure experience.

The biggest cause of writer’s block is becoming dissatisfied with your own work. Time progresses, writings increase, but the satisfaction of the things we write about doesn’t increase. Each writing piece should give us a fresh dosage of satisfaction and encouragement. Another cause is running out of things to write about. Let me tell you … I run into this one a lot. To conquer this, change your atmospheric surroundings. Walk somewhere new, travel, carry a notebook in places you haven’t before, Internet research the latest poetry trends with poetry associations, and network with other poets who write for the same cause as you. Two is better than one! Change the time of day that you write. If you have been writing late at night, start trying it in the morning before the day gets busy. Personally, I love writing as soon as I arise from bed; when my thoughts are freshly anew and I’m not tired or weighed down from life’s burdens.

A person facing writer’s block remains in this phase until they realize they don’t have to. I learned this the hard way; waiting for others to pat me on the back and pump me up. You have to encourage yourself as a writer and write for others while building your very own self up. Rejection is another reason that leads writers into writer’s block. I do understand how one feels that writes constantly and is not recognized nor appreciated for any of their writings. Yes, it’s a terrible feeling. Yet, when this feeling comes, you have to ask yourself, “Why do I write? Who am I writing for? Is writing to heal and/or motivate me? Is writing all about others?” These questions will help you reinvent your passion and reasoning for becoming a writer. To conclude, overlook your past failures and rejections. It’s a new season, it’s a new day, and it’s a new you; waiting to write away!

Apps For A Healthier You

A Healthier YouIt 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.

Apps For A Healthier You