Fae Books 8K Likes #Giveaway!

8kgiveaway

 

I’m proud to be a part of Fae Books 8K Likes Giveaway, hosted by Sarah Fae Graham. Many, many authors are participating in this event. To tell you more about it, let me introduce Sarah Fae…

 

Hi everyone!

Sarah Fae (Graham) here. We’re celebrating over at FaeBooks.co.uk! We’ve reached over 8000 Likes on Facebook and over 9000 Followers on Twitter. Yay!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us reach this goal. Thank you to all of you for supporting my ventures, and the authors and writers I rant and rave about. Your support is greatly appreciated.

 

Giveaway Details:

Sponsors:

Lekeisha Thomas


Visit the links above to get to know 

the sponsors behind this giveaway!

 

Dates: 

End: June 10th 2014

 

T&Cs:

Several winners and prizes. Only those legally allowed to may enter. Any found cheating on their entries will be placed on the BANNED list and thus be banned from winning any Fae Books giveaways. Giveaway organised by FaeBooks.co.uk. Prizes come from their respective donators. Fae Books is not in control of issuing the prizes.

 

Location:

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. All prizes available internationally.

*~~**~~**~~*

 The Giveaway:

Enter the giveaway below – GOOD LUCK!

 

The Seance – Tricia Drammeh

Tricia Drammeh:

This review made my day! Thanks, Jo.

Originally posted on Jo's Random Book Reviews:

Abby is a freshman in high school with a fascination for the paranormal, but when she and her two best friends, Martha and Yasin, hold a seance, things get out of control. The terrifying message on the ouija board is bad enough, but suddenly Martha won’t talk to her, and though Yasin doesn’t abandon her, he doesn’t buy her paranormal mumbo jumbo, even though Abby knows there’s something in her house.


Things go from bad to worse, and Abby has no one she can turn to. Her pregnant mother is wrapped in her career, her father is too buys with his won job, and with none of her friends listening she’s truly alone. Except Abby is never alone. Something is always with her, and it soon graduates from petty theft to destruction of property, leaving her skeptical parents with only her to blame. In desperation, Abby turns to an over-the-phone…

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Review Bias

If you’re an author or book reviewer, I’m sure you’ve given a lot of thought to the subject of book reviews. A bad review can ruin an author’s week, while a good review can inspire an author to finish that next book in his series. As an author, I know how important a book review can be. I know how sensitive authors can be when it comes to reviews. I’ve often wondered if reviewing books is a conflict of interest for an author. Can I really give an impartial review when part of me is reluctant to hurt an author’s feelings? This is something I’ve struggled with off and on for a couple of years. While there were times I’ve considered giving up reviews, I decided against it.

As an author, I’m biased. This is a fact. I do allow my feelings to cloud my judgment. But I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. All readers are biased. We all bring our baggage to the table. It’s impossible NOT to be biased when we read and review a book. Every experience we have as a human being changes who we are, not only as a person, but as a reader.

Image courtesy of nuttakit via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuttakit via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve often heard non-author friends say they won’t read books that depict any sort of child abuse. Before they became parents, they could read such books, but since having children, they found they could no longer do so. This is a bias they bring to the table every time they pick up a book. If they happen to start reading a book and come across a scene where a child is being abused, they might stop reading. They might give the book a bad review based on their own perception of the book. Does this make them biased? Sure. Does this mean they should stop reviewing books? Absolutely not.

A reader who happens to be a doctor will probably leave a negative review for a book that inaccurately depicts medical procedures. A social worker might leave a harsh review if the book they just finished reading is riddled with inaccuracies about the foster care system. Your police procedural thriller might get five-star reviews from police officers who are impressed that you did your research, while you might get one-star reviews from readers who are upset because the scenes in your books are contrary to what they learned watching television. While one reader might hate your book because the main character doesn’t spend enough time with her children, another reader might love the fact that your book’s romantic heroine is a single mom. Every aspect of who we are–our profession, personality, past, hobbies, interests, and even our religion–will affect the way we perceive a book.

For example, I read Fifty Shades of Grey despite the fact that I knew I probably wouldn’t like it. A friend from book club LOVED the book and insisted that I try it. I ended up hating it more than I ever could have anticipated. I hated it more than any book I’ve ever read. When I began reading the book, I could tune out all the negative things I’d heard about the book from other authors and readers. What I could NOT tune out were my own personal feelings and life experiences that made me detest nearly every aspect of the hero’s and heroine’s characters. I hated their relationship because in my opinion, it was abusive. I hated Anastasia. I hated Christian. I hated the fact that some of the scenes were straight out of Twilight. I could find no redeeming qualities in the book. When I told my book club friend how I felt about the book, she said, “Well, you have to read the rest of the series to see how the relationship evolves.” I told her I’d take a pass. Even though I hated Fifty Shades, I still like and respect my book club friend. I can understand why she might like the book because she has had different life experiences than I have had. My one-star rating of the book is valid and justified, just like her five-star rating is valid and justified. We just happened to disagree on that particular book.

Image courtesy of photostock by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As authors, we have to brace ourselves for negative reviews. Sometimes readers will hate our books because we overuse a word they don’t like. Sometimes they hate our book because some aspect of our main character’s personality reminds them of a girl who bullied them in high school. They can hate our books for any reason–or for no reason at all. Sometimes a reader doesn’t gel with a certain book and they hate it, but can’t quite put their finger on why they reacted so strongly to it.

As a reader, I”m not always going to like every book I read. When I write a negative review, I try to offer helpful criticism. I also try to point out areas of the book I did enjoy. But sometimes, my strong dislike for a book makes it difficult for me to find a nugget of goodness within the pages. While some authors believe a reader should refrain from reviewing if they can’t find anything nice to say, I disagree. Every reader has the right to give their heartfelt, honest opinion of a book they’ve read. As long as the reader doesn’t cross the line and become verbally abusive toward the author, they have every right to say whatever they want about the book.

Authors, how do you feel about negative reviews? As an author, do you think you judge books more harshly than the average reader?

Reviewers, do you leave negative reviews? Have you ever had a strong negative reaction to a book that everyone else seemed to like?

Excerpt Time with Authors to Watch – Children of Shadows Blog Tour Day 3

Tricia Drammeh:

I love the Amaranthine series by Joleene Naylor. The sixth book in the series was recently released, and Joleene brought her vampires over to visit me on Authors to Watch. Please stop by, say hi, and help celebrate the release of Children of Shadows.

Originally posted on Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor:

blog tour banner

Book six, Children of Shadows, is officially unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Join Katelina and Jorick as they battle an ancient vampire cult and meet new allies and enemies.

Katelina only got a seven day vacation on the beach before she had to forsake the ocean surf for the cold of the vampires’ world, but I get twenty-two days away from my blog. That’s twenty-two days of sun, fun, and – since it’s an Amaranthine tour – vampires! So join me as we tour the blogosphere to celebrate the release of Children of Shadows.

Day 3:

palmtreesAuthors to Watch is a blog chalk full of interviews, book reviews and more. Triccia Drammeh isn’t just a blogger, but also an author, so be sure to check out her blog and her work.

Today she has been kind enough to host an excerpt of Children of Shadows, wherein…

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Time to Read

Courtesy of Public Domain Photos

Courtesy of Public Domain Photos

For those of you who follow my other blog (Authors to Watch), you might have noticed I’ve been doing a ton of reading over the past few months. Well, there’s a very good reason for this. Since moving from Missouri to New Hampshire, I haven’t been working outside the home. There’s only so much cleaning, cooking, laundry, and show shoveling one can do, so to fill up the rest of my days and nights, I read. With the exception of Downton Abbey, I very rarely watch television. You can imagine how much time is left for reading and sometimes writing–a lot.

All this is about to change. I’m starting a new job tomorrow, so I’ll have to cut down on some of my writerly activities. I’ll have to cut down on some of my reading, but I refuse to cut back too much. As a writer, reading should be one of my top priorities.

I’ve blogged about this a little in the past, and I’ve read articles by other bloggers who have tackled this issue. I’m sure most of you have run across a writer who says they don’t have time to read. As Stephen King said in his memoir, On Writing, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

I absolutely agree with Stephen King. For a writer, reading isn’t just for enjoyment–it’s also part of our research. It’s how we develop and improve our craft. I’ve learned more about writing from reading fiction than I ever learned in school.

When I first began writing, I thought I was too busy to read. In fact, if it wasn’t for the book club I belonged to and the pressure my mom put on me to keep up with our assigned reading, I probably wouldn’t have read at all. During a nine month period, I only read a book a month. Sometimes less. I’m sure a lot of writers go through a period of reading-drought when they first begin writing. We might read less when we’re in the middle of writing a book, or facing an editing deadline. But to give up reading altogether? Nothing could possibly have a more negative impact on your writing skills than giving up reading.

Something that really baffles me is when I stumble across a writer you says they don’t like to read. Or a writer who says they seldom read before they began writing. As a reader, I would be wary of an author who says something like this. How could a writer possibly tell if their work is any good if they have nothing to compare it to? While I believe it’s advantageous to take classes to improve grammar or creative writing skills, I don’t believe it’s possible to learn everything you need to know about writing fiction if all you’re doing is sitting in a classroom. If you’re writing a non-fiction article about the cancer research you’ve been doing for the past twenty years, I’ll give you a pass on reading fiction. Chances are you’ve truly been too busy to indulge in fiction. By all means, please share your research with the world. But, if you’ve decided to try your hand at writing fiction, you darn well better be reading it.

If you suddenly find yourself short of time, the last thing you should be doing is eliminating reading from your schedule. Cut back if you must, but don’t cut out reading altogether. Your writing–and your readers–will thank you for all those invaluable skills you learn while simply indulging in a good book.

Anyone Can Be a Gatekeeper

Today, I read an article titled “Self-Publishers Should Not Be Called Authors” by Michael Kozlowski. In the article, the blogger states: “Just because its easy to upload your written word, so that it can be downloaded to another machine does not make you an author, any more than me buying a stethoscope allows me to be called a doctor.” This attitude is not uncommon in the publishing world. As more and more self-published authors emerge, there are some in the industry who scoff and say, “Anyone can be an author these days.”

Well, as it turns out, anyone can be a gatekeeper–or, at least they can try. In the past, agents and traditional publishers acted as gatekeepers to the literary world. Now that self-publishing is a viable option for thousands of authors, a few authors and bloggers have decided to be unofficial gatekeepers to the industry. They can’t prevent authors from publishing, so instead they use snobbery and disdain to try to discredit self-published authors. They aren’t the only gatekeepers. Certain professional organizations have rules about who can and cannot join, and most of these rules come down to money. How much of an advance did the author receive? How much money did they make in royalties?

Yes, there are still gatekeepers. It’s still difficult for authors to make their way in the world. And when a blogger writes, “Indie authors and self-published authors who claim they are real authors makes me laugh,” it can be very disheartening to be a self-published author.

While I agree there are some authors who publish before they’re ready and end up publishing a product that could be better, who am I to say they aren’t a “real” author? Who has the right to decide whether or not someone is a legitimate author? Money and earnings cannot be our only guide. Since quality is subjective, a novel that one reader views as well-written, might be utter crap to someone else.

According to Merriam-Webster, an author is “a person who has written something; especially : a person who has written a book or who writes many books.” I don’t know about you, but I like this definition.

If you’ve written something–whether it’s a self-published novel or an article on your blog–you are an author. Michael Kozlowski is an author, even if by his own definition, he would not be able to properly label himself as such.

What do you think? Can anyone be an author? What does it really mean to be an author?

Writing—So Easy a Caveman Can Do It

Tricia Drammeh:

Another EXCELLENT article by Kristen Lamb.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sodanie Chea

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sodanie Chea

Recently a Facebook friend shared a post with me regarding Indie Musicians versus Indie Authors. It appears our culture has a fascination and reverence for the Indie Musician whereas Indie Authors face an immediate stigma. We authors have to continually prove ourselves, whereas musicians don’t (at least not in the same way). My friend seemed perplexed, but to me it’s very simple.

We’re not even going to address the flood of “bad” books. Many writers rush to publish before they’re ready, don’t secure proper editing, etc. But I feel the issue is deeper and it reflects one of the many challenges authors face and always will.

People give automatic respect to a musician because not everyone can play an instrument or sing. Simple. It’s clear that artist can do something many cannot.

As writers, we have an insidious enemy. People…

View original 2,075 more words

Book Promotion Etiquette

Lovelier05Last week, I blogged about Marketing for Introverts. I listed a few marketing tips I hope will be helpful. Today, I’d like to talk about marketing etiquette. As an author and a book blogger/reviewer, I’ve learned a few things I’d like to share with you. Recently, there have been some rumblings on Facebook and Twitter in which other bloggers have voiced their frustration with authors. It seems there are a few authors who might need to brush up on their communication skills. For some of you, the following list of tips might seem like common sense. For others who are new to the art of book promotion, some of these tips might come in handy.

Book Promotion Etiquette:

  1. Paid Blog Tours: When participating in a paid blog tour, you might be tempted to fall back on the old adage “The customer is always right.” As a paying customer, you have the right to certain expectations (you’ll receive the amount of blog spots you paid for, the blog tour company will be courteous and professional, any promotional materials purchased will be provided in a timely manner). As an author, you have certain responsibilities. You must be sure to answer interview questions, provide cover art, or forward excerpts as requested. Blog tour companies work very hard to make sure their tour hosts have the materials they need. You should make a reasonable effort to do your part in making the blog tour a success.
  2. Setting up your own blog tour/ Seeking Reviewers: This category makes up a huge amount of your promotional efforts, so I’m going to break this down:
    1. Be as polite and accommodating as possible. Most bloggers review books and interview authors on their own time. They are not paid for their efforts and receive very little (or no compensation) through ads posted on their site. Since they are promoting your book at no cost to you, please acknowledge their efforts by thanking them. You’d be surprised how many authors fail to do this.
    2. Do not hound the blogger by asking how many hits their blog gets in a month. If you’re not paying us to promote your book–if we’re basically doing YOU a favor–please do not interrogate the blogger or treat our communication like a job interview. I understand that as a busy author, you want to maximize your promotional efforts. We’re busy too. Please don’t ask us how we intend to promote your post. If you do a little research, you can figure out how many views the blog receives or how often the blogger promotes their posts.
    3. Send requested materials before the deadline. Proofread your excerpt or interview answers. Don’t make the blogger have to beg you for materials or put them in the position where they have to do extensive proofreading before posting you promotional spot.
    4. When contacting book reviewers, you need to prepare to do some research ahead of time. It is critical that you thoroughly read their policies and follow their instructions. Does the reviewer accept your genre? Are they accepting reviews at all? Be sure to send them the information they need in the format they’ve requested. If they’ve asked you to email your book information, don’t post your Amazon link in the comment section of their blog. Don’t send them a PDF when they’ve clearly indicated they only accept a MOBI. Don’t tell them you’re only looking for 5 star reviews, and if you can’t provide that, they shouldn’t read your book. And, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT tell them to BUY your book in order to review it. (Yes, people do these things. Yes, that’s why I no longer accept unsolicited review requests.)
    5. After a promotional spot has been posted, it’s okay to notify the blogger if your name is misspelled or if there’s a broken link. Most bloggers are perfectionists and we want our posts to be perfect. If there’s a mistake, let us know.
    6. Correcting misinformation is one thing–demanding that the blogger reorganize his post is quite another. Please don’t email us five times throughout the day demanding that we re-order the interview questions. Or suggest we mention their book won a cheesy cover contest. Or tell us how many times a day we should Tweet about your special sale price.
    7. Prepare to promote. Most book bloggers will promote your post on Twitter or on their own Facebook page. I usually promote twice on Twitter and once on Facebook. If you want your post to receive additional exposure, you should be prepared to share it with others. Not only does it help your book receive attention, it also makes the blogger feel like you appreciate their hard work.
  3. Pimping your book on Facebook:
    1. Groups: There are lots of promotional groups/writers groups on Facebook. Each group has their own rules. Please read and follow the group rules. If the group is strictly for discussion, do not post your book link unless invited to do so. Even groups that allow promotion frown on spam-and-go members. If you don’t intend to interact with members, you shouldn’t join the group.
    2. Pages: In order to promote a book on a Facebook Page, you’ll usually need to contact a Page Admin. Read the “About” section on the page to find out what genre the Page promotes. Be polite when contacting the Admin. You are not in a position to demand anything, so please be courteous when making your requests. Most Admins are more apt to promote your book if you are a regular follower who participates on the page by making comments or sharing.
    3. Your own Newsfeed or Page: I can’t tell you how often to post book links on your own page. Do what feels comfortable. Just be aware that less is more. If you post several times a day, you might find yourself with fewer friends and followers.
  4. Pimping your book on Twitter: I don’t have a vast amount of experience on Twitter, but there are a couple of things that really irk Tweeps:
    1. Misuse of hashtags: Hashtags are used to categorize your Tweets. It’s a way to make keywords standout and can also be used to spark conversations with likeminded people. For example, #amwriting is a hashtag used by writers who are talking about the craft. It is NOT used to promote your book or Facebook page. Be careful when using hashtags. You won’t get kicked off Twitter for misusing hashtags, but you might alienate a bunch of people.
    2. Overusing hashtags: #Check out my #new #book. #kindle #twilight #american idol #awesome #buy now. Be careful not to use too many hashtags. Two or three are quite enough.
    3. Direct messages that link to a Facebook or Amazon page. I’ve never unfollowed someone for sending me a direct message, but some people will. If you want to send an automated tweet to new followers, I won’t stop you. Just be aware most people will delete the message without following your links.
  5. Book Signings: If you want to have a book signing at a bookshop or library, it’s wise to consult their website first to find out what their policies might be. When calling a bookshop, be polite and professional. Find out what materials are provided (table? chair?) and what materials you should bring. Don’t bring candy or cookies unless you clear it with the bookshop owner first. Be sure to clean up afterwards and thank the bookshop owner (in writing) for accommodating you. Some stores will allow you to leave a stack of bookmarks or business cards, but do not do so without asking first.
  6. Asking friends and other authors to promote your book: Here’s where it gets tricky. Authors like to help other authors, but there are limits to what we’re willing to do. If an author-friend shares your book link, it’s nice to reciprocate. You don’t have to do it right away, but be prepared to share their book link somewhere down the line. If they Retweet one of your promotional Tweets, it’s nice to do the same. Share. Reciprocate. And always thank those who help you. So, where do authors draw the line?
    1. Do not ask someone to review your book if they have not read it
    2. Do not “remind” your friends that they “owe” you a review. If they read the book and didn’t like it, you’re putting them in an awkward position.
    3. If an author/friend has been kind enough to review your book, don’t ask them to remove/alter the review because they said something you didn’t like.
    4. Do not ask an author to one-star another author’s book because you’ve engaged in a petty war with that person (This isn’t middle school, folks)
    5. Do not ask other authors to vote for your book in a contest. It’s fine to share a link to the contest to let others know your book has been nominated.
    6. Do not post YOUR book link/book cover/blog link on a friend’s Facebook timeline.
    7. Do not complain about other authors on Facebook/ Twitter. It’s petty and will always come back to bite you in the a$$.

I think we’ve all made mistakes when it comes to marketing and social media. A little kindness, gratitude, and common sense is all you need to navigate the wild world of book promotion and social media. Bloggers, reviewers, and authors are generally nice people. If you’re courteous and professional, most people will be willing to help you out.

Okay, authors–what unwritten rules can you add to the above list? For book bloggers/reviewers out there–what would you like authors to know? Please feel free to add your comments below.

Marketing for Introverts

If you’re a writer (published or unpublished), I’m sure you’ve heard about or experienced the difficulty of marketing a book. It’s hard to draw attention to your book when there are thousands of other books competing for readers’ attention. I’ve blogged about this topic before, so I know I’m not the only one who struggles to shine the spotlight on my book. There’s no single magical, free, easy way to sell books, but for those of you who have time, energy, and very thick skin, here is a list of marketing strategies that have been very effective for many authors:

  1. Blog Tours: You can pay a tour host to organize interviews, book spotlights, and reviews, or you can contact bloggers on your own. It is possible to organize your own blog tour, but it is very time consuming. Some bloggers have huge backlogs. Others will not respond. (Note: I’ve tried both approaches. Sometimes you can find tour companies who are offering sales.)
  2. Seek Reviews: This is a spin-off of tip #1. Contact book reviewers and offer to send them a free book in exchange for an honest review. Again, some bloggers have huge backlogs, so they might not be able to review your book for a long time. Others might not be able to review your book at all. Most bloggers are willing to accept an electronic version of your book. (Note: I usually avoid reviewers who ask for a paperback copy. I’ve sent paperback books to reviewers who never bothered to review the book. It was a costly mistake I’ll never make again.)
  3. Paid advertisements on Facebook, Google, Goodreads, etc. This can get very expensive, but if you have an advertising budget, it might be worth your while.
  4. Contests and giveaways: The rate of return may vary, but some authors swear by giveaways. Rafflecopter and Goodreads are good venues for giveaways. Giveaways can be held in conjunction with blog tours for maximum exposure. If the prizes you’re offering are particularly appealing (Amazon gift cards, a free Kindle Fire, etc), people will be more apt to enter your giveaway and hopefully spread the word. If you’re giving away a signed paperback and some mediocre sway, the response to your giveaway might be somewhat lackluster.
  5. Pimp your book on Facebook: By joining Facebook groups, you’ll have the opportunity to network with other authors and sometimes readers. Some groups will let you promote your books; others will not. You can also ask Facebook Pages to promote your book.
  6. Pimp your book on Twitter: Some authors swear by Twitter. They use hashtags to target certain groups and readers. With Twitter, you can promote your book several times a day by automating Tweets. If you have a huge following on Twitter, you might gets some re-Tweets, thus expanding your audience.
  7. Beat the pavement: Go to local bookshops and ask them to stock your book on their shelf. Contact book clubs and offer to gift everyone a free copy of your book if they agree to discuss your book at their next meeting. Give bookmarks or business cards to everyone you come in contact with: the teller at the bank, your hairdresser, etc.
  8. Book signings: Call local bookshops and libraries and ask them if they will allow you to have a book signing.
  9. Write a press release. Send it to local and national newspapers and magazines and let them know about your book.
  10. Call the newspaper and see if they’d like to interview you. (Note: This worked for one author I know)
  11. Get a free or paid listing on the numerous online book sites. Ask David, The Fussy Librarian, Manic Readers, Awesome Gang, Authors Den, Authors DB, Indies Unlimited, and many other sites offer to feature your book. Some of these sites offer free listings. (Note: I have free listings on a few of these sites, but it hasn’t helped sales. It’s unclear how many readers actually frequent these sites, but it might be worth a try.)

Some of you are probably bookmarking this post, ready to dive headfirst into marketing.

Some of you have already figured this out on your own and are waiting to hear back from the editor at your local newspaper.

Others might be shaking their heads, wondering how they’ll ever have the time or money to follow up on these suggestions.

Still others are recoiling in horror at the thought of visiting their local bookshop or writing a press release.

For those who are shaking your head or recoiling in horror, I understand. I’m with you. I have zero marketing budget and no backbone. I have heart palpitations at the thought of picking up the phone to order a pizza, so the very idea of waltzing into a bookstore with a stack of books to sell fills me with terror. The list of marketing strategies above have worked for some authors, but they might not work for you. This list if for those who are ready to take a fearless approach to marketing. It’s for those who have the time and resources to invest in their books.

For the rest of us–the introverts, the writers with full-time jobs, the author with four kids, the novelist battling health problems–this list might not offer much comfort. So, what do I have to offer you?

I offer you unconditional love, acceptance, and understanding. I understand why you’re terrified at the idea of showing up at your local bookstore with an armload of books and a stack of business cards. I understand why you don’t have time to contact reviewers. I understand why you can’t spend this month’s grocery money on a Goodreads ad. I understand.

We all do what we can. Sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone. Sometimes we have to take risks. I challenge everyone to try just one tip on the list above. Send one Tweet. If you don’t want to tell everyone how great your book is, I’ll do it for you. If you don’t have time to contact a list of bloggers, send me an email. I’ll promote your book on Authors to Watch. It might not make an immediate difference in terms of sales, but that one Tweet might be the start of something. That one feature on Authors to Watch might give you the incentive to reach for more.

I’ve recently decided to promote myself on Twitter once a day. For some authors, this might sound like nothing, but for me, this is a big step. Maybe one day I’ll work up the nerve to contact a local bookshop, but for now, I do what I can. I believe in myself even if I might not be in a position to act on some of the marketing tips I listed above. I haven’t given up. Neither should you.

I believe in you. I have faith in you. Your books deserve to sell. Even though marketing can be expensive, time-consuming, and frightening, we owe it to ourselves to do what we can, even if it’s only one Tweet per week. At least it’s something. So, don’t give up. Email me at tricia_drammeh@yahoo.com if you’d like to be featured on Authors to Watch, or if you just want to talk. If you have any marketing tips, leave a comment and I’ll update the list above.

 

What Do You Really Think About Self-Publishing?

A few years ago, I belonged to a local writers group. I’d just completed my first novel a few months prior and knew little nothing about the publishing process. The group was a mix of fiction and non-fiction writers, with a few writers who had self-published, a few writers who were in the midst of working on a novel, and a few folks who were just thinking about writing some day. There was one author who had recently signed with a moderate-sized independent publisher after self-publishing four books. When the group leader asked him about self-publishing, he said, “Self-publishing is the only viable option for everyone sitting in this room.”

Well, I immediately disagreed. Not out loud, of course. “Self-publish? No way would I even consider self-publishing. This guy doesn’t get it. My book is good. I’m going to land an agent and get a big huge publishing contract and possibly a movie deal.”

For me, self-publishing wasn’t a last resort–it wasn’t even a possibility. As many of you know, I have self-published two books. How did I go from “hell no, it’s not going to happen” to pushing that “publish” button on KDP? Well, the journey wasn’t easy.

When I finished my first book, I had crazy starry-eyed dreams of agents and movie deals. When I thought about self-publishing, I conjured up the image of some crazy woman selling poorly printed memoirs out of her garage. There are some people (authors and readers) who still view self-publishing this way. Admittedly, there are some books out there that “give publishing a bad name.” But to be quite honest, the main reason I changed my opinion about self-publishing and the authors who choose to publish their own books is because I’ve seen some exceptional books out there that are every bit as good (or better) than some of the books the Big Publishers are cranking out.

Obviously, my opinion about self-publishing has changed over the years. I think there’s been an overall shift in the way the publishing industry looks at self-publishing. I’ve heard of authors who have decided to ditch their traditional publisher in favor of going it alone. There are some authors out there who immediately choose the self-publishing route because they like the freedom of having creative control. There are other authors who wouldn’t rather leave their manuscript sitting in a drawer for all eternity than even consider self-publishing. And, that’s fine. Every author is different. Every book is different. We all have different goals. But, self-publishing is NOT a bad thing. It took me a while to figure that out. 

I’d really like to hear from authors and readers out there. How do you feel about self-publishing? Do you think there’s still a bias against those who choose to take this route? Have you self-published a book, or have you considered doing so? What are some of the negative and positive things you’ve heard about self-publishing?

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