How to get tagged, tweeted, and most of all read!

Hawk on perch

Hawk your book in the right places!

Many authors will tell you . . . “writing isn’t the hard part.  It’s the marketing.”    As the market continues to get flooded by everyone under the sun who has had a book in their head, it becomes evermore important for a writer to create their presence, their brand, their own way on social media.   The recommendation from the pros in the book industry is to find your niche.   It will be the perfect niche that will hook your writers.

Initially, it will be easy for you to find other authors.   In following them, and they in turn following you,  your presence will expand on social media.  However, it will quickly become apparent from the frequented #hashtags out there, that gaining a following of only other authors will not sell your books.   Your numbers will go up to be sure.   But unfortunately, not your sales.  Only your mates that are fellow authors might buy your book.   For you see, other authors are trying to sell their own books.  You must find readers.   But a good start is to build your brand by promotion of fellow authors.

In building up a colleagial relationship with fellow authors, you must promote their books.   Tweet them, blog them, facebook them.   Extol your fellow author’s talents.  In turn, if they are savvy about book marketing, they will return the favor and promote yours.   One such writers conference that encourages such efforts is Lexicon.   According to the philosophy here, readers would much rather hear another author promoting a strong book, as opposed to an author screeching “Buy my book.”  As such, it is important that you promote brands that match your own caliber of writing and style.   Promoting every wanna-be writer out there, one whose material isn’t quality will water down your brand.   Preview their work, surf their blog and webpage, then if you like what you see, promote away!

Here are two examples of successful Indie marketing journeys:

The first is a pair of writers, Buck Steinke and Ken Farmer.    Both have presence on social media.   Their niche?  #historicalfiction and #militaryfiction.  As such, in developing their marketing plan, they booked themselves into events which characterized the themes of their writing.   Some of their most successful sales have been gun shows, military gatherings and cowboy events.  In these events, they dress the part in character.   Set up a display with objects related to the theme.  They visit.  Greet.  And yes, even flirt.   The results?  Sales.  Sales.  Sales out the wazoo!    One of their books, The Nations is now in the top 50 books on Amazon in historical fiction.    Wow! The Nations - a historical fiction in Amazon's top 100 - Ken Farmer and Buck Steinke

A second example is even more grassroots.    Brinda Carey is a survivor of incest and domestic abuse.   Her book tells of that story.   Brinda who initially found it hard to talk about the subject, must less write about it, found comfort in sharing her story to help other women.  As such, she speaks at women’s shelters, public health forums, groups which attempt to prevent domestic violence.  Her tweets and blogs are directed at helping other women break free of the imprisonment of domestic violence and abuse.    She provides them comfort and strength.   It is through her public speaking appearances that she has sold over 1000 ebooks in the first year of publication for her debut memoir, Don’t Cry Daddy’sHere.

Don't Cry Daddy's Here book on Amazon

A must read for anyone dealing with abuse!

Finding a niche isn’t easy.    Sometimes it is hit or miss.   From what I have learned in seeing a work of my own, Flying Solo published this year, I can already see the mistakes I made initially, that could have boosted sales.    But no need to cry over spilt milk.   A historical fiction, well written has no expiration date.    One advantage of the genre to be sure.    Take your time, do your research.   Explore and experiment with several multi-tiered layers of marketing.    Be a hawk!   But most of all, don’t give up and keep on writing!   The world is waiting to read your words.

The Next Best Thing? SOLO VIETNAM

SOLO VIETNAM an A-4 Skyhawk cats off the deck of the USS Coral Sea

Ready, set, go . . into the Vietnam war zone.

Welcome to the blog hop.   This is an event where author’s showcase their next projects.   This bloghop The Next Best Thing  was created by Gail M Baugniet and what a success it is to behold.  My books were nominated by several colleagues from the Lexicon Writer’s Group, namely Evelyn M Byrne.  You can find out about them by clicking here.    The founder of this blog hop is an Indie Writer herself.  So here we go, hopping along with the Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

1. What is the working title of your book?   SOLO VIETNAM  and it’s not the working title.  It is THE title.  Says it all about the story as the sequel to FLYING SOLO.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? So many people have asked me what happens next to the characters in FLYING SOLO.  Do Nora and Steve ever see each again?   What happened to the baby?    The book ended in a cliff hanger of sorts.  Lots of unanswered questions.   SOLO VIETNAM takes the on a bizarre journey, to the war zone of the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War.   Action, flying, intrigue, passion, and drama are all part of SOLO VIETNAM.    Find out what happens next to our aviators.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Definitely historical fiction.  It is set during the years of 1967 to 1968.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? In the movie rendition, a great lead for Nora would definitely be Natalie Portman or Selma Hayek.  But they have to be able to sing with a voice like spun sugar!    For the gorgeous male pilot, Steve could be Jude Law, Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Can lost love be found in a war zone?

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I am definitely going Indie again with the small, quirky publishing company that published FLYING SOLO.   Their name is AgeView Press.   They are always looking to highlight fresh new writers with a voice.   I love Indie.   It is changing the world.   Forget the Big Six!  Indie rocks!!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  The first draft takes me about six months.  But it is the careful rewrites where the nuances and texture come alive.   Edit, edit, edit!!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? This is definitely not a romance for sure, this is pure drama in a classic time period.   So I would have to say,  Rampant RaiderIn Love and War,  and Flying Through Midnight.

9. Who or What inspired you to write thisbook? Definitely the men and women who served side by side in Vietnam – they are the unsung heroes whose stories need to be told this the young generation.

Unsung heros of the air

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? In my books, I take the reader there.  Sights, sounds, feelings.  They will feel like they were transported back to 1967 amidst war protestors at Haight Ashbury, midtown New Orleans, and of course the jungles, beaches, and skies of the Vietnam War.   They’ll be right there trapping on the carrier deck of the USS Coral Sea,  dodging surface to air missiles with Steve in the cockpit of his A-4 Skyhawk.   It is a page turner for sure.

And as is the custom, here are  5 great readers that you will want to follow in the blog hop:

Amy Gallagher

  JE Pendleton

Ken Farmer and Buck Steinke

TC Miller

 Mitch Haynes

 

Enjoy the blog hop as it hops along to find great writers for readers just like you!

Write a Review and Win an Amazon Gift Card $$

AgeView Press Book Review Contest

Enter Today!

At the moment, there are over 4000 copies of my debut novel, FLYING SOLO in circulation world wide.   Readers are not only from the US, but also from Canada, France, Italy, Australia, Great Britain and the UK.    AgeView Press, the Indie Press that made publication of FLYING SOLO possible is sponsoring a book review contest!   It is so easy to enter!    If you have read a copy of flying solo, just simply write a review and post it on Amazon!       That simple!   There are three categories. . . . Book Bloggers, Bookclubs and Readers.

For book bloggers, AgeView asks that you post the review to your blog and Amazon.     In return, AgeView Press will tweet you, facebook you, and market you socially.    The winning book blogger will also be featured here for a guest blog.     Prize:  $50 Amazon gift card.

For book clubs, AgeView will interview your organizer, promote you with social media, and feature  your bookclub on a post on their website and in this blog.   In addition, the bookclub winner will receive a personal appearance from the author (if within 150 miles of DFW) or via SKYPE for one of your meetings.  Additional prize:  $50 Amazon gift card.

For readers, you will receive not only your $50 Amazon gift card, but an additionl personalized signed copy of the book and other prizes.

Here is all you have to do.     Get a copy of the book to read.   You can order it here:     www.ageviewpress.com    or through Amazon .  If  bookclubs or readers order from AgeView Press, you will get 20% off.    Just type in the code DFW Meetups.     For book bloggers, request a copy of the book via the contact  link at AgeView Press. 

Your review should be at least three paragraphs.   It will judged on originality, style, and content.    Fleshing out the themes and highlighting what you enjoyed about the book and why it is a page turning Must Read are key!    Submit the review in two places.   Send one copy to info@ageviewpress.com     Post the other to Amazon here.   Encourage all your followers to “like” FLYING SOLO on the Amazon book page.   That’s it!

The judges for the contest are an independently selected team of writers and editors from the Lexicon Group.    The contest is open as of TODAY!    Absolute dealine for entries is October 31st.   Winners will be announced November 1st.    Best of luck to all.  Can’t wait to read your reviews.

Unfriending, unfollowing, unsubscribing. . . what gives?

Tortoise with Tweet sign on shell

Slow and steady wins the race!

So you’re in writer’s marketing high gear.   You’ve set up your blog.  Tweeted and twittered.  Facebooked, liked, and followed.   You’ve read the marketing tips, blogs on social media success, tips on tweeting.   Smile on your face, you are surfing the social media maze.   Mail Chimp geared up, you’ve drafted a slick newsletter proclaiming your worthiness and upcoming events.    Poised, polished and ready to hit . . . . send.   Click.

And then BAM, your friend unfriended you.   Your follower unfollowed.  Your co-worker unsubscribed to your email blast.   What gives?   All that work.  All that energy.   How could they?  Why would they?  Why would they hurt your feelings so?

In a recent Forbes article, Eric Limer writes “Most of the time it’s due to offensive comments, or the fact that you were never real friends with people in the first place. But you can also get cut off for updating too frequently or too infrequently. If it makes you feel any better, “physical attractiveness” and “increasing friend count” rank 4 and 5 on the list of reasons to friend people in the first place, so you’re probably better off with fewer friends in that case.”  He goes on to list the following top six reasons that people unfriend, unfollow, and unsubscribe as:

1.  Offensive comments

2.  Don’t know you well

3.  You are trying to sell something

4.  You make depressing comments

5.  You don’t interact much with others

6.  You make political comments

Diana Adams, a social media blogger concurs.  In addition, she confirms that too much self promotion, obvious automation, being offensive, posting too many hashtags, and not driving real conversations are all doomsday for tweets.   Don’t be a used car salesman.   Sure, it takes about three or four points of contact before someone will make the connection and buy your book.   That is why follow-up is important.   Just don’t overdo it.   Pay it foward through promotion of others work as well.   A tweet or blurb about a book is always more powerful when it comes from someone other than you.    It’s more genuine.

So, it is essential that you create a blog, facebook page, and twitter page that present the brand and image that you want to show positively.   Keep your snide and downer comments in your personal diary.  Far, far away from your reading public.    As a writer, promo perky as you try to be; the rejection can be tough.    You put in hours of work and effort to have your neighbor down the street, click UN-     Harsh!

Balance your time with social media.   Don’t let it overwhelm you.    Writing is your gift.  Make sure you are giving it enough time.    Set a time limit for your social media and don’t let it drive you crazy!    Slap some Neosporin on your war wounds and just keep going.  Let the momentum build.   Slowly, but surely.  In the book marketing game, the tortoise wins the race.

Pirates of the ebook! How vulnerable are you?

Kindle with a pirate picture being held with two hands

Is your book being pirated?

This week was an introduction to how piracy really does exist!    A fellow tweeter posted that several authors whom she recognized had books on a now defunct site called LendInk.   This site advertised ebooks that could be downloaded for free.  Totally free, and not through some Kindle Free Day.  It was stunning.   Going to the site, it appeared to be true.   This pirate firm had downloaded hundreds of books and the covers.  It was so slickly put together, that it appeared legit, even posting the actual logos  from Amazon and Kindle.

Pirating of ebooks has always been a risk in the epub market.  It is nothing new.  Bloggers, like GalleyCat have posted excellent articles on this same subject in the past.  But it is shocking when it happens to you!

Amazon Kindle was contacted and most authors received emails stating that this site LendInk did not have any electronic rights to their books.   Amazon, as large as it is, was no help however in shutting the pirate down.    Authors were advised it was up to them to file copyright infringement complaints legally.

Like wildfire, via facebook and twitter, as each author found out their book had been pirated, outrage swelled.   Texts, tweets, and facebook postings grew to thousands in protest in just hours.   The owner of the site was contacted via email and tweets, but of course did not respond.    Authors were furious to see that their hard work had been stolen.  Their small profits via ebook squashed with this free pirate on the loose.

Luckily, there is indeed strength in numbers.   The internet makes running a scam business difficult due to transparency.   After the owner ignored the pleas to remove the pirated books, a clever blogger got his personal information from GoDaddy.   Thank goodness GoDaddy for recording the ownership information for domains.   Lawyers contacted the pirate and within 24 hours, the website and the the facebook site for LendInk was demolished!

Way to go, fellow authors!    Kudos and thank you for rescuing my book, FLYING SOLO from absolute copyright pirating.    Your power and allegiance to each other whipped forth like lightening.    Powerful, momentous, and victorious.    So what is the message here?   Support your fellow author.   Reach out and connect to them.   If you promo it forward for them, they will for you, too.    Put  #sharethelove4authors on your tweets.  Connect through facebook.   Unite, share and experience the power of numbers with Indie writers bookstores, and publishers.