There are Many Indie Author Groups to Choose From

25 Jul
July 25, 2014

file000909879658We have been discussing the many benefits available to indie authors who join author groups. From collaboration opportunities to the support of other authors, indie author groups can take you out of your isolated world of writing alone. The groups listed below are some of the most prominent, but we’d love to hear from you if you are aware of other author groups worth highlighting.

The Independent Author Network

The Independent Author Network is probably the largest author group around, and lifetime membership at the basic level is only $25. Membership values increase from there, with platinum membership costing $19.95 per month, but they offer quite a bit of ongoing promotion for your eBooks at this level. Even at the basic level, however, you get an author page, the ability to list up to six eBooks with purchase links, a bio and book excerpts.

Worldwide Indie Novelists

Worldwide Indie Novelist is a Yahoo group. It is open to all indie authors and provides a platform on which authors can promote their eBooks, websites and blogs. Indie authors in the group provide support and advice to each other and assist each other with promotions.

World Literary Café

World Literary Café is a community of authors, along with dedicated readers and reviewers, who help to promote authors. Joining is free and there are a number of resources available on the website, but there are also paid advertising services available.

Celebrating Authors

Celebrating Author is a Facebook page that encourages “shameless self-promotion.”

When considering which groups to join, remember that it is better to choose two or three and really become an active member than to join every group out there.

Should I Join an Indie Author Group?

23 Jul
July 23, 2014

file5401330566286Indie authors benefit from the digital publishing revolution by being able to bring their eBooks to market without the hoop-jumping required of print book authors, but being an indie author can feel rather isolating. Instead of having agents and publishers at your beck and call, you are pretty much going it alone, and that can be frustrating. Writing is already an independent effort, and devoid of outside support, it can be easy to feel disconnected from the rest the world.

Why Join an Indie Author Group

Joining an indie author group is one of the best ways to overcome feelings of isolation as an indie author. In fact, there are several indie author groups designed to provide support and guidance so that you can have better success with your independent publishing.

Connecting with other indie authors can help you realize you’re not alone. You may discover opportunities to collaborate; you may discover indie authors who have experienced the challenges you are facing and have ideas and suggestions to help. You will definitely discover that it is easier to keep up with trends, find encouragement and have access to more promotional opportunities by being involved in author groups. Next time, we’ll go over some of the more prominent indie author groups to help you decide which one(s) you should join, should you choose to do so.

Marketing Your Free eBook

18 Jul
July 18, 2014

5There is more to marketing a free eBook than just dropping the price. To get the most out of offering your eBook for free, be sure that you market it well. Not only will this be an excellent time to launch a blog tour, but you can also benefit from the many sites that feature free eBooks. While many of these sites are driven by Kindle, there are plenty of sites that work with authors who sell eBooks on their own websites as well.

Marketing Your Free eBook – Paid and Free Options

Some of the promotions may require payment; some charge nothing to promote your eBook. The trick is to get as many people as possible to talk about your eBook and share a download link. You want eyes reading your eBook, reviewing your eBook and wanting to be a part of your community.

This list of promotional sites is by no means exhaustive, but they are worth investigating:

Kirkus Reviews

Compass Book Ratings

The Reading Retreat

Corinne’s Book Reviews

ask David

eBook Booster

BookBub

BookDaily

The Fussy Librarian

Free & Discounted Books

World Literary Café

Tweet Your Books

Manic Readers

Night Owl Reviews

Bargain Booksy

Do you know of other eBook promotion sites we should include? Let us know!

Can Free eBooks Result in More Sales?

16 Jul
July 16, 2014

freeOne of the benefits of offering something for free is that people are more willing to take risks on something they don’t have to pay for. Yes, you have worked hard writing your eBook, so allowing people to read your work way for free may feel painful. However, if you’re trying to build a loyal following that will stick around for – and buy – future eBooks, then giving your initial offering away for free can pay off in the long run.

One of the biggest benefits of offering your eBook for free is that you can often reach a wider audience. If you typically only have readers in the mystery category, free eBooks often cross over to audiences who would normally prefer thriller or detective novels. They may be willing to take a risk on your eBook because it’s not costing them anything but time.

If you choose to give away an eBook, don’t just list it as free and walk away. Use your free offer as a way to:

  • Capture leads
  • Create a fan base
  • Generate reviews
  • Hook readers for future installments
  • Build a community with your eBook readers

If you’ve written a long novel or non-fiction eBook into which you’ve invested too much time and money to justify it giving it away, that’s okay. Use your talents to create something you can give away for free: a workbook that complements the guide you wrote, or a novella that fills in the details of a side story in your fiction eBook.

Leveraging Creativity to Create Fans of Your Fiction eBooks

10 Jul
July 10, 2014

SONY DSCHow can an indie author leverage creativity to sell more eBooks? If you’re writing fiction eBooks, you already have a creative streak. You have created a world and populated it with characters interesting enough for people to like and even become infatuated with.

Creating Lifelong Fiction eBook Fans

You can now further develop those characters and turn them into fiction eBook seller helpers. How? Give them more life! Try one of these ideas to help make more people interested enough in your characters to want to read your eBook:

  • On your website, create character pages where you have images, biographical data, and fun ways for your audience to engage with each character.
  • Create social-media character profiles for your fans to engage with.
  • Organize reader contests, to determine which actors and actresses would play your characters in a movie.
  • Let the characters from your fiction eBook answer fan mail.

One of the reasons readers hate finishing a book is because they have to disconnect from the characters they have come to know and love. If you’ve created characters that are hard to walk away from, let them live on for your readers in ways that will grow and deepen your audience.

Do you have other creative ways to leverage your creativity? Let us know!

Fiction eBook Writer Tools: Personal Connections with Readers

08 Jul
July 8, 2014

1The non-fiction eBook writer has a plethora of tools at his or her disposal, including professional knowledge or reputation, clients or business partners to help promote the eBook, and education that allows the author to be considered an expert. In many ways, it can be easier for the non-fiction eBook author to reach an audience because the writer is often targeting a niche audience or offering specialized information. While competing in a larger arena,  the fiction eBook writer likewise has tools, albeit of a different variety.

Fiction eBook Authors: The Best Tool

One of the biggest tools the fiction eBook writer has is personality. Fiction readers and fans love getting to know the author behind the eBook. Engaging with your fans and readers – responding to emails, blogging, hosting online chats on social media, sending newsletters – can create a personal connection between you and your readers that makes them invested in your success.

To be successful, however, you have to be genuine. You need to be gracious about criticism and grateful for praise. Be real with your readers and be accessible to them. Your readers can be your secret to better success if you just let them.

Building a Loyal Fan Base

03 Jul
July 3, 2014

Unless you are only ever planning to write one eBook and then go back to whatever life and job you already had, you will want to do whatever you can to build a loyal fan base so that selling subsequent eBooks is not as difficult as it might have been to sell the first. There are a number of ways to build a loyal fan base, but it all begins with having a way to capture the email address and name of each person so that you can keep in touch with them.

salesThere are a number of email marketing services available, including AWeber, Constant Contact, and ViPlus, but MailChimp allows you to have up to 2,000 people on your list before they charge you to use their service, making it ideal for start-up indie authors. As well, MailChimp is versatile and highly compatible with WordPress. So how do you get people to sign up to be on your mailing list?

Building Your List

To build a list of loyal followers and fans, you need to provide an incentive to encourage them to sign up and give you their name and email address. Of course, capturing that information will do you no good if you plan to use it to harrass or spam the person, so be sure once you have their email address that you only send emails that matter – and promise them as much when they sign up.

Offering something free is a great incentive. Some people choose to offer their first eBook or short story for free to those who sign up; others offer early access to an upcoming eBook. Some even offer a special eBook that is only available to those who sign up.

Using Your List

Once you begin building a loyal fan base, keep in touch with them. Send regular updates that include information about what you’re writing, news that matters, and even times and dates you’ll be available for virtual chats. Enlist their help, but make it easy on them. Provide links that make it easy for them to review your eBooks, tweet about your sales, or share your website link on Facebook.

Do you have tips for building a loyal fan base? Share them with us!

How Much Does It Cost to Write an eBook?

30 Jun
June 30, 2014

1453428_10152055749742664_159123381_nThe cost to write an eBook varies from indie author to indie author. Of course, the actual writing of the eBook costs nothing. If you already have a laptop and word processing software, you can simply sit down and begin writing. There are costs, however:

  • The time you invest in writing the eBook is time you could be spending doing other things, whether it’s work that earns you money or time with family.
  • Making a commitment to writing an eBook may require you to consider other investments.
  • Selling the eBook will likely require an investment of some kind.

While there is no real cost to write an eBook, if you really want to have an eBook that will sell, you will want to consider having a budget for publishing and marketing the eBook. The follow costs are considered wise investments:

  • Editing and proofreading.
  • Cover design and graphics.
  • Social media and book tour marketing.
  • Website development.

In addition, you will need to consider that you will either be paying exorbitant fees to someone like Amazon or you will need to invest in an ecommerce solution that will allow you to sell your eBooks on your own website.

How much does it cost to write an eBook? Nothing, really…unless you want it to sell.

How to Launch a Successful Blog Tour

27 Jun
June 27, 2014

blogtour2As promised, we’re going to dig deeper into the strategy of initiating a successful blog tour to promote your eBook. Blog tours require a lot of logistics; planning, coordinating and communicating are critical. You may want to enlist the help of a virtual assistant or a branding-and-visibility expert to help you.

Step One. Reach out to bloggers and book reviewers to see if they will participate in your blog tour. Make it easy on yourself and create a Google form that interested reviewers can fill out. Be sure to include fields for their names, email addresses, websites, the dates they can participate and whether or not they want a review copy of the eBook.

Step Two: Create a blog tour badge; participants will post this badge on their site to indicate that they are part of your tour. The badge can be a simple graphic that somehow represents your eBook and indicates the dates of the tour.

Step Three: Compile a list of the participating bloggers; each participant will post the entire list with the dates, the links to the websites and the types of tour stops scheduled, so that people can follow the tour from one stop to the next.

Step Four: Have images (eBook cover, author photo and additional photos if needed) ready along with a solidly written eBook blurb and author bio.

Step Five: Fulfill the requests for individual bloggers. Some will ask for guest posts; some will ask for excerpts from the book to share; some will submit interview questions to be answered by the author.

Step Six: Several days before the start of the blog tour, send all participants the images, blurb, bio and tour list. Be sure to include a link to the eBook purchase page, a link to your website and links to your social media accounts. Tell all of the participants about any relevant news, such as the sale price of the eBook and how long it will be on sale. Send each individual participant their requested feature, and confirm the date they will publish their tour stop.

While that’s all it takes to get your blog tour up and running, your job doesn’t end there. As the author, you should be available to answer last-minute questions and provide additional information throughout the tour. You should also be sure to lavish thanks and praise on the participants by mentioning them on Facebook and Twitter. As each tour stop goes live, share the link to that stop and help the blogger get traffic. It’s a mutually-beneficial arrangement that can really give your sales a boost.

Share your blog tour experience with us!

Why You Should Have a Blog Tour to Promote Your eBook

25 Jun
June 25, 2014

blogtourWhat’s better than an indie author promoting his or her own eBook?

An indie author with an entire street team of evangelists, talking about how amazing an eBook is, combined with a limited-time sale of the eBook, and timed with a press release for the eBook is a stellar way of promoting a completed work.

What is a Blog Tour?

A blog tour is a scheduled stream of posts over a certain number of days, by participating bloggers who help promote your eBook. They can do this by sharing a review, an interview or an excerpt from your eBook. Some bloggers also host giveaways to encourage their readers to get involved.

What is a Street Team?

Rather than paying exorbitant prices for advertising (which may not be effective in the new media world anyway), you enlist a team of happy readers who love your eBook and offer to help spread the word by talking to friends, tweeting about the book and actively sharing their love for your eBook and you as an author.

Why the Price Drop?

There’s nothing better to incentivize a huge push in purchasers than by lowering your price for a limited amount of time. You may make less per sale, but you’ll have a window of time in which you are the most talked about indie author out there.

In our next post, we’ll talk about how to launch a successful blog tour.