Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Amazon's KDP Select--Will it Help?

So I've decided to put my Ebook, Saving Mary: The Possession, onto Amazon's KDP Select list. It will be there exclusively for 90 days. Out of that 90 days, I will be offering the Ebook for free for 2 or 3 days. This will, hopefully, get me some needed reviews. KDP Select is a list of Ebooks specifically marketed to Amazon's lending library. I don't expect to make a ton of money being in the library crowd, but out of the 90 days authors are allowed up to 5 days to give their books away for free. And this can help with marketing. If you'd like to know how Amazon Select works go to:
-blog about KDP
-blog, how KDP saved my book
-KDP Select Amazon

Monday, February 27, 2012

An Interview With Four Literary Agents--On The Changing Times

On his blog, Alan Rinzler interviews four agents ...

What’s the most important thing an unpublished writer should do to get an agent?
Candice Fuhrman: Write well! Then seek referrals to agents from other writers who are pleased with their representation.   I would submit to a number of agents simultaneously (even though many agents say they don’t “allow” this).  If you’re good, you’ll have several agents to choose from and you can decide who is the best fit for you.

Visit Alan Rinzler's blog for the full interview.

Also, I found this intriguing marketing idea. Got a book coming out? Why not throw a party! (Okay, something like this might only work in New York City.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Platform Building: Don't Forget Your FanPage on Facebook!

I knew I wanted a fanpage on Facebook set up for my Saving Mary book, so I checked out PageModo and other sites like them. Their costs ran around the 50 buck mark--except, they also wanted $10.00 per month to 'host' the site. Which, in my mind, means doing nothing for 10 bucks every month--come on, it's a facebook page...DO THEY REALLY NEED HOSTING?! My website company said they'd build me one for $500.00 bucks! (AACK! This poor writer almost had a heart attack.) 

In the end I spent a whooping 5 bucks on Fiverr.com and I love my new fanpage! And remember, IT COST 5 BUCKS! To check out both my fanpages follow the links below:

- Like Saving Mary: The Possession here on Facebook
- Like The MotherHeart Conference here on Facebook (this page was FREE and I made it myself)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Great Posts from Agent Rachelle Gardner

Building a platform is not for the weak of heart. After all, the word 'platform' itself brings to mind images of individuals standing on soap boxes crying out "look at me, look at me!" For most writers, however, what we would rather say is, "don't look at me--look at my book!" But somehow we have to get beyond this; we must feel comfortable standing on our soapboxes saying, "look at me and my book." Challenging to say the least. But luckily for writers, blogging has helped in so many ways. When ever I feel alone in this difficult field I simply visit a blog and glean good advice, inspiration or specific direction from people who know what I'm dealing with. From there I keep on keepin' on. This week I've enjoyed agent Rachelle Gardner's blog ... see two helpful posts below:

How to build your own book trailer on Rachelle Gardner's blog

13 Ways to Impress an Agent

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reason # 56 Your Book Was REJECTED

If our goal as a writer is to find that perfect agent, who can land us that most excellent book deal why would we bother to make an Ebook trailer? For one thing, as mentor Michael Larsen tells us in How to Write a Book Proposal, videos of any type "raise your rankings on search engines;" so the more videos you do, the quicker your name shows up on Google. But another reason to do a book trailer (without an agent) is to avoid getting rejected because of mentor Mike Nappa's Reason No.56 - You Have No Sales History to Speak Of. As I said before, generating sales through releasing a self-published book means 'proven potential.' So if you really want to work in the hard-cover book world then release an Ebook and build a book trailer to help market it. 

The trailer above was done on Fiverr.com where you can pay 5 bucks for your voice-over and 5 bucks per 5 seconds of video. You can also go through images on Pond 5 and choose your own images and videos.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Need A Platform? - A Conference Might Help

I've dreamed about having a MotherHeart conference ever since I first started working on my manuscript (I think that was back in 2002). I kept dreaming about a conference even after my pastor (and good friend) advised me to put the manuscript (The MotherHeart of God: Biblical Evidence for the Femininity of the Holy Spirit) away for a few years because there was no way regular Christian folk were going to accept the material inside--it was all just too unexpected and seemingly new. When Wm. Paul Young's fictional book The Shack came out and regular Christian folk liked it and even LOVED it (despite his feminine take on God) I was convinced I would be throwing a conference sooner than later. But it wasn't until I got that one special email from "Prospective Agent Number 34" where he convinced me I would be going nowhere in this day and age without some sort of platform, that I actively began planning (drum roll pls!) ...
               The MotherHeart Conference 2013.

So now with conference gears in motion, I took my five bucks and sent it to fiverr.com to pay for the lovely video of my conference logo set to music. I'm going to use this video on my gorgeous upcoming website. And by the way, wonderful author Wm. Paul Young has confirmed that he will be speaking at  ... The MotherHeart Conference 2013

If speaking about the biblical evidence for the femininity of the Holy Spirit gets you excited then please remember to LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Bought an Original Cartoon For 5 Bucks!

I wanted to add a cartoon to the website I'm building, so I asked my designer for a quote. It came in at $150.00 --so I thought, Wow, that's a lot. I'll hold off for a while. Then I stumbled upon this guy from Fiverr. I sent him my idea and BAM! I got exactly the cartoon I was hoping for (it cost 10 bucks, 5 bucks extra for adding color).

Now I know it may not be up your alley in humor (my daughter told me, mom it's not funny!), but I assure you it is funny--to the right crowd. It makes me giggle...I mean, just look at that little theologian--he's upside-down!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Did I Buy for 5 Bucks at Fiverr?

I browsed through Fiverr for a few hours; yes, I said hours because it's hard to leave. Fiverr's a bit addictive. There are so many interesting and, yes, bizarre things going on there. In fact, it feels like a high school drama club gone techy--and who can resist that?  Certainly not me. So, for 5 bucks one of the first things I bought was the above image: I had my flat book cover turned into this stunning cover. Which I rather like.

I bought lots of other things as well. I bought a whole basketful of interesting and odd things, and I'll show them to you as they come in.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Platform--All For 5 Bucks!

If you'll remember, I promised to build a platform that should be able to convince any agent that:

* I am highly visible on the internet
* I am engaged in social media
* my internet presence is professional
* that I can run a grass roots campaign
* that I can sell books
* that I have PR worthy accomplishments
* that I understand marketing

That being said, theses are the things I plan on doing:
-create an Ebook (creates internet presence and proves I can sell books)
-create two fan pages in Facebook (proves I use social media)
-make a website (to look professional on internet)
-start another blog (for the MotherHeart project--again, proves I use social media)
-throw a conference (to prove I can run a grass roots campaign)
-market my Ebook by creating book trailers (proves that I understand marketing)

Sound expensive? You bet. But here are some tips...
Free Facebook fan page from Pagemodo (you only get 1 freebie)
Free Facebook page from Wix.com (in case you need 2 pages for free)
Free website from Author Central
or one from Authors Den
or from Wix.com
... and then there is...
Any thing for 5 bucks from Fiverr.com

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Inkubate up and Running

So I got an email from Inkubate asking me to finish creating my profile page; Inkubate is all ready to go--and I guess, so am I.

I've added myself as an author and finished my bio, then I included an excerpt and added my proposal. But not without a few hic-ups...at first the site kept refusing to let me add my material, but a quick email was rapidly responded to and eventually every thing got loaded.

Actually, I like Inkubate's setup. I'm able to add enough material that a prospective agent will be able to get a clear feel for my work. (Unlike Webook's AgentInbox--which only allows a short query.)

But still, I'm skeptical. Will real live agents actually take the time to search Inkubate? And will they actually PAY to read my proposal? Only time will tell; I'll keep you posted.

On another note, I'm still enjoying Webook's Page to Fame. My material from Saving Mary is scoring 53% hate it and 42% love it. If you want to vote go to Webook/PagetoFame/Rate/Category/non-fiction...I should be there...somewhere.

Tip: if you decide to upload your own story, be sure to place as lengthy an excerpt as you can...I'm wishing I had put in a longer excerpt.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Giveaway!

Just a reminder that I will be drawing from followers at the end of February. The winner can choose a book from one of our mentors or the big book of agents.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ack! How do I Get My Fab Ebook Out There?!

Ebook Distribution These guys turn your words into Ebooks and upload them to the sellers that you choose...some only upload to the major sellers: Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Google. Remember, these large distributors take a royalty cut--*watch out for Ebook distributors who take a LARGE royalty rate like 50%...shop around. Make sure you are actually getting something for your money! They then pay you your cut and some offer nice on-line accounting details of your sales. Of course, you can choose to be your own distributor and create and upload files yourself (through Smashwords). I am paying a small publishing house (located in my city) to create and distribute the Ebook for me--with no royalty rate.


Reviews on Distributers
Blog on Distributors

 Ebook Retailers So now, with a nice Ebook created, you then upload to retailers who then sell them for you. These guys take a royalty rate. Anywhere from 15% to 60%. (Some are both distributors and retailers.)

Amazon and its affiliate in India junglee.com

...and Google Ebooks, Fictionwise, Diesel, weRead, GoodReads, Epubbooks, Copia where you can social network--while reading! And don't forget ProjectGutenberg (free ebooks)

Interesting video on the different uses of Ebooks and Apps

Okay, that's enough of that. My head hurts now. (I hope all the links work.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Platform Building--The New Slush Pile

It's been said that the slush pile is dead. Meaning, ever since the emergence of the ebook wanna-be authors no longer have to wait (sometimes in vain) hoping, dreaming, praying to be fished out of that dreaded pile of queries that sits, I imagine, in a cardboard box on the office floor of some wonderful perspective agent.

But the slush pile isn't dead--it has just transformed into something beautiful: the indie ebook list. As mentor M tells us, one of the best ways to market your book (and yourself as an author) is to test-market your material by self-publishing. So, in the spirit of revolution I am preparing to release Saving Mary: The Possession as an ebook.

The idea in this is to get my name out there and release my work as a sample of what I do. Thereby generating a fan base and a hunger for more. Of course, this is also a test in marketing...Can I prove to agents (and publishers) that I can actually market a book? Succeeding in this area means I have bypassed Mentor's M's Reason No.32 for getting  REJECTED: You Have No Idea How to Market a Book  -- REMEMBER TO LIKE THIS ON FACEBOOK --

The wonderful part about the ebook slush pile is that the author can actually make money while swimming in the slush--and the money can then be invested in building platform. For the author it's a win-win situation. After all, if your ebook does good, grabbing an agent--for the same book or an additional book--will be easier. If the ebook does mediocre--at least you're out there and bringing in some money. And, of course, if the ebook bombs ...well, at least you know to write another book.

For myself, part of my marketing strategy is to divide my memoir Saving Mary: The Possession and The Deliverance into two books. After all, I don't want to get REJECTED because of mentor M's Reason No. 73 There is No Real Sequel Potential for Your Book

Indie slush pile

Get Known Before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform by Christina Katz