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Archive for the ‘self-publishing’ Category

 

You may have noticed my new spiffy link over on the right—thanks to David Gaughran’s post introducing his followers to the wonders of Mail Chimp.

At first, I glanced over the idea of a mailing list. Why would I need a mailing list? I have a blog where I can send out promotional news to my followers. But then I put the first book of my series on extended promotion (5,000 downloads in one week!), and I realized all those people were my market. How would they know about the next release of the series?

Most self-publishers don’t have a promotional team with a brick and mortar marketing budget, who can spread the word of a new release to the world. In a year, when my third book is planned to release, my readers most likely won’t be waiting with bated breath. I needed a way for those fans to ONLY get the announcement of releases.

The majority of my blog focuses on my self-publishing journey and the struggles I face as a writer. Most fans wouldn’t want to follow my blog. They usually VISIT my website for the historical background information, book trailers, and my bio page. So, I needed to find a way to get release news to these readers.

Mail Chimp.

As usual, David Gaughran is ahead of the game. A self-published author NEEDS a mailing list. You must have an option for fans to sign up only for release news. You need to capture these readers and continue to market to them. Um, and have I mentioned that it’s free!

Go to Mail Chimp’s website and follow the simple instructions to create your own mailing list. Remember, I am NOT tech-savvy. If I could figure this out you can. Once you’ve signed up and put the link on your widget, Mail Chimp sends you emails over the next few days, slowly introducing you to how the mailing list operates. Very easy.

Just be sure to specify that the mailing list will ONLY be used for release notifications. Folks are so  spam wary now-a-days and don’t want to be notified every time your book changes price, interviews on such-and-such’s blog, or the you’ve just received a rave review. If they did, they’d follow your blog.

This is especially a good idea before a major promotion or free day. You want to hold the attention of that new market and have a way to advertise to them later.

If anyone has any questions, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to help you out.

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Wow, I’ve never seen my book fly this fast!

Yesterday afternoon, Infinite Sacrifice took off and I couldn’t believe how quickly it’s being downloaded. It’s now #1 on both the historic fantasy and Epic free list, and #84 on the free kindle list. Best of all, I’ve sold five times the usual sales for Infinite Devotion. I can’t believe I’m seeing results this soon.

I hope it keeps up!

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The birds are chirping, the trees are budding, and I’m trying out a new promotional strategy!

Spring has arrived early and made me want to get outside more to write in my hammock. So where am I going to find that time?

Less time promoting.

*Cheers!*

I got this idea after I noticed there were a bunch of first books of a series hanging around at the top of the free kindle charts— month after month. I watched to see if they fell in rankings over time, but the downloading stayed strong and they ruled the free top ten. I also noticed that many of these authors’ other books held high positions in the paid rankings.

Then I read this wonderful guest post on David Gaughran’s blog by Sarah Woodbury. She revealed how she needed something to boost her lagging sales and stay afloat as many authors experimented with the new KDP select option. So she made her prequel free for the last four months and, wow, was she successful.

Well, that blog sold me, and it took a few weeks to make my first novel free.

Reasons:

  • This type of promotion works well with a series.
  • I made my first book shorter specifically so that I could have the option of doing this sort of promotion at lower cost (i.e. editors & formatters charge less for shorter books).
  • I’ve sold it for five months and made back enough that I can make it free for a bit.
  • I want (need) to write more and promote less, and being on the free list can do my promoting for me. I’ll never get this third book out if I have to keep flagging people toward my book.
  • Truth is, I want readers. I know that it’s hard to trust a book with an unknown author and, with the happy price of free, more people will pick up my first book. If they like it, then I’ve got a reader for my whole series.
  • I would like more reviews. When you have massive downloads of a book, odds are some of them will leave reviews. Like it or hate it, I just love to see what readers experience after reading my book.
  • I made my second book, Infinite Devotion, $3.99. That way, if a reader enjoys my series and writing style they will invest more. Then I can make up for the sale of the first book with a happy costumer. If someone didn’t like the series, then they lose nothing.

I’m going to see how well this works for a month and then decide if I want it to stay free for longer. I will report back here to let everyone know how it worked out.

If you haven’t picked up a free copy yet, grab one up either on Amazon or at Smashwords.

Of course, if you want to thank me for the freebie, please, please, please *kneels* let me know what you think of it on Amazon, Smashwords, or Goodreads (or anywhere else!).

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Infinite Devotion by L.E. Waters

Infinite Devotion

by L.E. Waters

Giveaway ends March 25, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Devotion

The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to ocean –
Holding the curve of one position
Counting an endless repetition.

~Robert Frost

Happy Valentine’s Launch Day!

All those clutching their valentines and stuffing their faces with Godivas: pull cupid’s arrow out of your backside for one moment to feast your eyes on this…

Ta-da!

I’ve launched the second book in the Infinite Series!

Finally!

If you haven’t heard me talk about it before, here is a description of the sequel:

Maya continues to delve into her past lives after death, and strives to complete the tentative journey required to reunite with her loved ones in heaven.

She must relive and explore her former incarnations as the scandalous and misunderstood Lucrezia Borgia in Renaissance Italy; a young stowaway on the doomed Spanish Armada fleet; and the rebellious Irish Robin Hood, Count Redmond O’Hanlon.

Her companions prove truer while her enemies grow stronger as her bygone adventures spin forth. This time she must experience the trials of loyalty and endure the hardships that only supreme devotion brings.


As an extra treat for being such amazing blog supporters, I want to offer my sequel’s ebook for free!

No strings attached!

Email me for your Smashwords coupon today.

*In a rushed, hushed voice* Offer ends either at midnight tonight or until after the first fifty requests; whichever comes first.

However, if after reading this epic novel you cannot resist posting me a review, I will not be upset 🙂

To all those interested in a print copy: they will be available in a few days via Amazon.

(And Dad, you’re not allowed to buy eight copies like you did before!)

Thanks everyone for your support and have a wonderful day!

Special Note: Infinite Devotion is not a standalone; side effects of reading the series out-of-order include headache, confusion, and, though extremely rare, disinterest in continuing the series.

Commence Valentine’s day proceedings…

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and I haven’t launched Infinite Devotion yet.

Due to unforseen baby showers and baptism parties (and extra editing) I’ve had to delay my release a tad. Since the title of this sequel is titled Infinite Devotion, I thought it would be fitting to attempt to release it on Valentine’s Day.

That’s a terrible day for a launch you say?

Yes, while many people will be enjoying the day filled with sappy cards, chocolates, dinners, and romantic interludes, there will be plenty of people looking for something to entertain them (as I remember from my single days). And my husband and I will be lucky to enjoy a dinner without disruption from our little kiddies, so why not add some thrill to the day!

So, be sure to meet me back here on V-day! (Unless you have better plans 😉 )

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Yes, it is a superhero talent to weed through and catch every error from comma placement to sentence structure to checking historical facts. And after all that, they still comprehend the work enough to make sweeping editorial changes!

How do they do all that?

I’m completely impressed by my editor’s talents. Both times I sent my ms to her I thought, I really feel like a caught everything this time. And both times, my ms came back painted with insertions, deletions, and editorial suggestions. My editor is the person who double-checks my parachute before I jump out the airplane. That added bit of confidence that I have produced the best novel that I can is priceless. Although, even with that extra pack inspection, every parachutist still has a backup parachute.

A proofreader (or copyeditor) is that extra parachute.

It’s important to get another pair of discerning eyes to pick up on the oversights the first editor missed. As authors, we’ve all experienced the moment when someone points out an obvious error and you say to yourself, I must have read that sentence a hundred times before, how could I have missed that!  Well, your editor is only human–although mine is as close to superhero as you can get–and they can overlook as well. Since my editor is making comments on practically every other sentence, things can get harder to spot. I do send it back for a second look through, but again, things may still slip on by.

Since the sequel is much longer (epicly long), I toyed with the idea that maybe I didn’t need a proofreader since my first editor is so amazing. The proofreader did find a few instances where she really saved my professional tukus in the first novel, but my editor caught most of the problems. So the cheap side of me tried to overcome the perfectionist side of me, but my OCD girl won out, and I opened up my wallet to hire the proofreader as well. The good news is that a proofread usually costs half of what the editor costs.

Phew! Was I glad I did get the proofread!

It must have been because this book is so much longer that it caused more opportunities for oversight, but she really caught some critical things. At one point I added something during the revision process and used the wrong name for a character and the proofreader caught that. That would have majorly confused someone. That one catch was worth her whole payment.

No matter how incredible your editor is, they are only human and can’t be 100% accurate.

The best evidence that all self-publishers should use an editor and a proofreader (if they can afford it) is that traditional publishers have a whole team of editors and copy-editors, all triple-checking your novel before release. As a self-publisher, I strive to mirror as many of the steps that a traditional publisher would carry out—at a lower cost of course.

So, you still might decide to only use an editor to save money, but if you hear feedback from an eagle-eyed reader about an error somewhere in your published novel, you’ll end up paying a formatter to go back and make those corrections for you, not to mention the fact that every review or rating you get mentioning that error is permanent.

My advice: hire the safety inspector and splurge for the backup parachute. It’s money well spent.

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//

From one of my FAVORITE movies ever (Dumb and Dumber):

Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together?

Mary: Well, that’s pretty difficult to say.

Lloyd: Hit me with it! I’ve come a long way to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

Mary: Not good.

Lloyd: You mean not good like 1 out of a 100?

Marry: I’d say more like 1 out of a million.

Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance. YEEah!

So this pretty much sums up how I feel about self-publishing. In the vast sea of  books, my book is like throwing a pebble into that sea. I should be worried about how I’ll get my book seen among so many, yet, I feel just like Lloyd right now.

YEEah!

Why? Because I’m optimistic.

  • I’ve reached all my pre-launch goals.
  • I had a great launch day where I made some sales that weren’t actually friends or family (love you whoever you are!).
  • My early reviewers left fantastic reviews (thank you all so much!).
  • My crit partner, Bethany Yeager, wrote this truly amazing blog review (you have my undying gratitude).
  • I sent out like fifty ebooks to reviewers and already ten have promised me reviews within a few months.
  • Plus, I’ve got some promotional tools up my sleeve that I’ll use in the next few months.

So, I’m trying to think of sales like a swine flu…you infect one person who goes spreading it around to others and you have an outbreak. I’m happy to take this one reader at a time. I’m going to continue with Lloyd’s optimism for now, because I think it’s much better than looking back and saying,

“I could’ve been a contender.”

(PS remember to join the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway if you haven’t already!)

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For less than a latte, you can support a poor, fantasy-prone writer’s delusion.

Seriously though, I’m proud to say that I’ve reached all my goals thus far. I did everything I said I would, (besides losing all the baby weight), and in fact, launched on the day I chose months ago!

Yay!

*Crowds cheer*

I’m so happy to say that my debut novel and first of the Infinite Series, Infinite Sacrifice, can now be purchased at Amazon, Smashwords, and B & N. There is also a print version available here.

Maya’s shocked to discover it’s not the heaven she imagined;in fact, a life of adventure begins the moment you die.

Zachariah, her faithful spirit guide, explains the rules of the dead: in order to regain complete awareness and reunite with loved ones all souls must review their previous lives.

Maya plunges warily into her turbulent pasts as a sociopathic High Priest in ancient Egypt; an independent mother protecting a dangerous secret in glorious Sparta; an Irish boy kidnapped and enslaved by Vikings; and a doctor’s wife forced to make an ethical stand in plague-ridden England.

All the while, Maya yearns to be with those she cares about most and worries that she hasn’t learned all of heaven’s most vital lessons. Will she be forced to leave the tranquility of heaven to survive yet another painful and tumultuous
life? Or worse, accept the bitter reality of having to go back alone?

To kick-off off the launch, I wanted to host a little giveaway…

A $20 gift card from Amazon!

$20 can buy you…

…and you might even have enough left to buy a certain someone’s newly released ebook . *wink-wink*

Rules of the giveaway:

1) One point for subscribing to my blog or already being a subscriber (you guys rock!)

2) One point for twittering news of my book launch

3) One point for mentioning my book launch on your blog

4) One point for answering this question in the comments:

If we really do reincarnate, do you have a particular affinity for a time or place? Feel free to list them all.


No purchase is necessary. Please post in the comment section your total points, each point will get your name added into the random generator-thingy, and I’ll announce the winner on my blog next Friday.

Well, good luck to all you launch promoters, and I just wanted to say thank you to all my amazing, supportive blog followers for sticking with me throughout all of this.

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Oh, it’s the time I dread most of all. Book reviewers! I feel like I’m turning my term paper in and most of my grade depends upon it. There is something so scary about sending your baby off to someone who is going to look your it over and point out all the flaws to the public. Hopefully, you chose carefully enough that you pick the right match for your book but anything can happen after you hit the send button.

I’ve found that most reviewers have three-month backlists, so the sooner you send them your book the better. The process is very similar to agent querying: you need to check each reviewers guidelines and follow it to the tee. They all want different formats, but I found that the Smashwords coupon was the most accepted form and the easiest. Another great reason to upload on Smashwords. It took me most of the day, reading the kindle boards for suggested reviewers, finding good matches, and submitting to them.

Here is a list I’ve gathered of indie book reviewers:
Motherlode

Readers Favorite

SF Book Reviews (Submisions closed until 2012)

The Tattered Scroll

The Fantasy Book Critic

The Self-Publishing Review (Costs $40, but you’re allowed to decide to publish review)

POD People

The New Podler Review of Books  (Submisions closed until 2012)

The Compulsive Reader

The Indie Spotlight

Rambles.net

Books on the Knob

Candy’s Raves

Fyrefly’s Book Blog

Good Book Alert

Adarna SF

Doubleshot Reviews

To Publish or Not to Publish

Daily Ebook Reviews

…and for an amazing list of book reviewers that I have yet to attack here.

A few say they won’t review the book if it’s less than three stars–these I like. The ones that can be brutal and will point out all the problems, are the ones I’m worried about. But negative press is better than no press at all, right? Oh, I hope so.

Do you know of any other book reviewers (large or small) that are willing to review a fantasy indie book? Let us know.

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