Promoting on eReader News Today

ereadernewstoday

I have an ad running today to promote my Kindle Countdown for Danny Dirks over at eReader News Today (ENT). I paid $15 for inclusion in their email list, a post to their blog, and a Facebook post. Their Facebook page has ~475k followers, but knowing Facebook, only 400 people will see that post. ENT recently changed their advertising format to mirror that of BookBub, but I don’t think they’re anywhere near the same scale (yet). At $15, I only have to sell ~22 books to recoup the fee. ENT’s book of the day feature is much more reliable, but nearly impossible to land. They have a one-time submission at the beginning of the year and then fill all of their slots in one shot. But, with a rate of $15, it’s hard to not give their new email venture a try. There are certainly more expensive and less effective venues out there. Stay tuned as I’ll post a follow up later this week for those interested in the returns.

Have experience with ENT? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

Honestly, Don’t Bother With Facebook Advertising

Facebook

Many moons ago (ok, over the summer), I wrote a piece denouncing Facebook as a valid platform for investing your advertising dollars. Well, with the recent news of impending change, I’d say that piece is even more justified. Essentially, Facebook wants you, as an entrepreneur, to pay for 99.9% of your interactions. So, remember when you could reach a few of your followers just by posting a link to your book on Amazon? Well, not anymore. My recommendation? Keep your Facebook page. Post updates on occasion. But, put your marketing dollars and your social media energies elsewhere.

Self-publishing Isn’t…

…About Giving Up

Guess what? Despite what you’ve heard, self-published authors share the same goals and dreams as traditionally published authors. We really still all want the same things; recognition of our writing from readers and colleagues. We also still secretly want to see our books on the shelf in the bookstore. But, I get the sense that, to many, self-publishing appears to be a final decision. That is, once you self publish, there’s no going back. But that isn’t true! Self publishing is an option and a valid one at that. You can self-publish and still pursue traditional publishers with your other books. Better yet, if you establish a strong readership, you may be able to pick up a publisher more quickly. Of course, if you establish a readership, you might not need a publisher. And you can always do both! Hybrid authors publish both traditionally and through self-publishing venues. It’s not about giving up. It’s about making the right choice for each book you write.

…The Easy Way Out

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: “Don’t self-publish if you think it’s easy.” It’s not. You have to do a lot of work, or farm out a lot of the work. However, all of the rewards are yours and yours alone if you do it the right way. Professional editing, cover design, internal formatting, proofreading, and marketing will cost you money up front, but it will also allow you to deliver the same kind of content you would expect to find in a bookstore. Will a traditional publisher do all this for you? Sure, but most often you’ll have to give up all of the rights to your work, a huge chunk of your royalties, AND still do a lot of the marketing yourself (unless you’re one of those amazing top 1% authors). Self publishing isn’t the easy way out, but it can be very rewarding when it’s done well.

…Pretend Publishing

We’ve all heard it, “I don’t want to self publish because I want to be a real writer” or something like it. This one gets me. This one hits where it hurts. So, what you’re saying is that I don’t have “real” readers? That the ~90,000 folks who have a copy of my book are make believe. Hmm…I’m not sure who should be more insulted? Me or my readers? Let’s get something straight. I’m a real writer. I write novels and publish them through a worldwide distributor and readers buy them… with real money. That’s what makes a writer. Not some inflated ideal of third-party validation. Have you looked at the NY Times top 100? USA Today? Amazon? All are littered with self-published authors. I bet you might have even read one or two without even noticing. So, go ahead and keep waiting to be a “real writer.” Just don’t underestimate anything about the people doing it or the quality of work being created.

…For Everyone

Lastly, self-publishing isn’t for everyone. Do your homework. Read folks like Joe Konrath, Hugh Howey, and David Gaughran. Self-publishing’s gurus have a wealth of knowledge. If you do choose to self publish, be sure to check out sites like Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors. Great resources that will point you in the right direction for freelance help and steer you clear of the scams.

What’s your self-publishing experience been like? Share with us in the comments and thanks for stopping by! 😀

WIP – Opening lines

I hope your writing is going well. Been a busy week, so I thought I’d just share the opening paragraph from my work-in-progress (WIP).

Father is shaking me, whispering hot stale breath in my face. Run! I grab the satchel that he’s
handing me and don’t ask twice. I am only two steps behind him. I can smell the smoke before we reach
the town walls. I can see the light from the flames casting my long shadow into the night. We are not far
away enough when the screaming begins.

You can read a little more about this NaNoWriMo project in a previous post.

Would that make you want to read more? 😉

Get your creativity flowing…: November 17th

Author Christina Paul featured all of the authors (including yours truly) who attended the Hillsborough NJ Public Library event on Saturday. Be sure to head over and check out the roll call of talented scribblers.

Get your creativity flowing…: November 17th.

My Current WIP

Ash is the tentative title of my current work-in-progress (WIP) and the book I’m working on for NaNoWriMo. It’s definitely something new for me on many levels. It’s first person, which I haven’t touched in years. Very challenging, but fun to work with. It’s post-apocalyptic, which gives me a bit of a clean slate (boy is it clean!) to work with. It’s YA, so that’s always fun. And, lastly, it’s got elements of paranormal, which I’ve never really written. And that is a lot of fun! It’s exciting how the story is coming along and I’m looking forward to getting the first draft wrapped up by December. I’ve written about 15000 words for NaNo and have ~27,000 words altogether. I’m aiming for 65k.

So, what’s Ash about? That’s difficult to answer. On the surface, it’s a story of survival and family and love. Beneath the surface is a complex tale of humans trying to gain a foothold in a world that is no longer theirs to control. I based the theme on a simple idea: What if the Great Flood was the Earth’s attempt to cleanse itself of man? And while it slept off the energy hangover that followed, man simply flourished into the parasitic catalyst of destruction it is today. This time, when the Earth reawakens, its method is fire. 95% of the world’s population is destroyed. Everything that is flammable and some that is not, burns and melts back into the earth. Life as we know it ends. My story begins at least 100 years after The Burning, maybe more. The Earth has changed. The humans who survived band together in small villages in an attempt to rebuild. Some humans, though, have gone wild. And, some, have changed in ways that only fairy tales would have you believe. Meet 17-year-old Ash. A boy unlike any other.

While this book is set to be a stand alone, I envision the potential for additional stories down the road. But, when I finish this first draft, I have to get back to my existing series. A book no one has read is always exciting, but I have readers itching for the next books in my Danny Dirks series and my Trilogy of the Six (by Andy Rane). I must appease the masses! Ok, there’s like one or two. That counts as a mass, right? 😉

How’s your writing going? What’s your latest WIP about?

Barnes & Noble Opens Up POD Service

NookPressPrint

And it’s pretty much useless. No, seriously. I’m not really sure what to say about Nook Press Book Publishing. “What were you thinking?” comes to mind. You see, a print-on-demand (POD) service exists, primarily, for two reasons. The first is to be able to create paper copies of your book. Simple. The second is where the real potential for value comes into play for a self-published author. Where can your POD service distribute your book to?

CreateSpace, Lightning Source, and most major POD services will distribute your book to Amazon and B&N so that it’s available for customers to purchase. They also make it available to bookstores and libraries if you can convince them to pick up copies. Do I sell a lot of paperbacks online? No, but it’s nice to know that they’re there. So, you would think that B&N’s new service would at least distribute to bn.com, right? Nope. They don’t distribute anywhere, not even to themselves. Go ahead, go back and read that and make sure you’ve got it. THEY’RE A POD SERVICE THAT DOESN’T EVEN SERVICE ITSELF! That sounds wrong on a variety of levels, but you get what I mean.

While they do offer the ability to produce a hardcover option (something CreateSpace doesn’t do), this whole concept is a bit of a head scratcher. There’s just no incentive to use this service! Why would I even bother? Is it possible that this service might change in the future? Sure, but it’s barely worth a second look at the moment. There are better, established, POD services that actually provide you with… you know, a service.

Self-publishing needs stronger competition. As happy as I am with Amazon, there needs to be a company of equal quality and value for authors to turn to. B&N could be that competition, but it seems like every time they have a chance to get in the game, they fall well short. Nook Press is a poor alternative to Kindle Direct Publishing, and this new addition almost feels like the punchline to a bad joke.

I use CreateSpace for my POD books. Who do you use? What’s been your experience with POD? Let us know in the comments and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Take a poll! It’ll be fun! Please? Pretty please? :-D

Poll

So, there’s probably been a flood of polls up on WordPress blogs these last few days. You can blame the folks running Blogging 201. 😉 But, I figure I’d join in the fray to get a better idea of what brings you back here (or brought you here in the first place). I post a little bit of everything related to writing and publishing (though primarily self-publishing), and I’m considering opening up the blog to guests in a weekly feature that would be focused on a particular craft or self-publishing topic. But, what I’d really like to know is what kind of posts are most worth your time. What do you like to see and what is the most helpful to you? So, if you have a moment, click away at the poll below!

If the choices in the poll don’t cut it, feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by! 😀

P.S. This poll will self-destruct on November 7th.