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|Where to Find Ideas for Your Novel
The following is part one of a series of guest posts by Janice Hardy, the founder of Fiction University, a website with “over 1,000 articles to help you take your writing to the next level!”
Where to Find Ideas for Your Novel
Although ideas may come to us at any time, creating a novel idea on demand is often difficult. No one can truly tell you where to begin—they can only offer only suggestions on where to look for inspiration. I know what works for me, but if you’re the type of writer who always starts with characters, giving you a plot point to brainstorm with will probably get you nowhere. If you build up from a premise, giving you ways to create cool characters might muddle your brain.
One thing is consistent though. No matter how you develop an idea, something triggers that first spark of inspiration.
Here are some common activities that can spark inspiration: CLICK HERE
by Laurie Boris
Recently, for a number of reasons that will take too long to explain here, I decided to pull a few of my titles from theKDPS (Kindle Direct Publishing Select) program and make them available for other retailers as well as Amazon.
But this left me with another choice: I could publish with each of the big retailers individually, I could pay a company like BookBaby to do it for me, or I could publish through an eBook aggregator like Smashwords, Draft2Digital, or Pronoun (formerly Vook and now owned by MacMillan Publishers).
The idea of publishing vendor by vendor gave me a headache;Read more of this post
How can you boost book sales? There is no quick answer to this question because book marketing is an ongoing process. Still, you can have some marketing strategies and take steps that will impact sales. Each day, no matter what is going on, no matter how busy you are, you can take a proactive step.
Keeping a book marketing log is one way to track your steps. That’s what I do and the method is working for me. I also keep and update a financial sheet.
Although I can crank out a manuscript quickly, format it for submission, post on social media, and send emails, my skills end there. So I search for simple solutions like keeping a book log. Reading past entries made me realize that my marketing steps fall into several groups: reviews, social media, special websites, “freebies,” and new directions.
Get Amazon reviews. This company is the largest book seller in the nation. Website visitors pay attention to the reviews, so the publisher advised authors to get at least 10 reviews, and strive for more. As I discovered, getting reviews is slow. Friends who agree to write reviews are often busy with their own lives. Some people are too busy to read a book, let alone write a review. Allow lots of lead time if you pursue this route.
Tap social media. I found a social media marketing service that looked like a good fit for me, and signed up for two promotions. The company is posting on social media and created two ads–services that cost me just over $200. Although many people are reposting, only time will tell if these efforts lead to substantial sales. According to my publisher, sales are picking up.
Give books away. Surprising as it may seem, giving books away is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, form of advertising. “Freebies” are cheaper than print and television ads. I keep a supply of books on hand and have given them to potential reviewers and community groups. As a former publisher explained, “People feel special when you give them a book.”
Use review websites. Your publisher may post your book on a website that downloads free books in return for reviews. But the people who receive your book may not follow through with a review. My publisher sends me the email addresses for those who received my book, and I send them an email thank you. Hopefully, my thanks will prompt the person to write a review. You may also contact a professional reviewing service and pay for a review. If you do this, be prepared for a favorable or unfavorable review.
Follow leads. I donated books to an elder network organization in my home town and The Salvation Army, two organizations that work together. When I donated the books, I offered to give talks and workshops that expand my books. Both organizations have expressed interest in this idea. In order to follow leads, you need to be on the lookout for them. New leads can lead to new sales.
I am following my own one-a-day advice. Every day I take one step to foster book sales. This approach has energized me, led to new contacts, and generated more Internet listings. The one-a-day approach may work for you.
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years, is the author of thousands of articles, and 35 books. Her latest releases: Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, The Family Caregiver’s Guide, Affirmations for Family Caregivers, and A Journal for Family Caregivers. Visit her website and learn more about this busy author, grandmother, and caregiver.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Harriet_Hodgson/7963
By Amy Harrop
If you want to become a self-published author, your largest hurdle (other than finishing your book) is promotion. The bulk of your readership will no doubt come from the internet, which is a tremendous market to cover.
That can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry: there are ways to reach your target audience and distinguish yourself from the crowd. One of them is through bloggers.
Don’t underestimate the power of bloggers in eBook promotion.
It’s safe to say bloggers might be among the most important assets you have in your marketing toolkit. They’ll publish a review of your book and broadcast it to their followers, expanding your market reach in ways you could never do alone.
They’ll also provide those crucial first reviews, which you’ll need before you can even begin thinking about listing your book in the big e-publishing markets like Amazon.
But how exactly to go about getting bloggers to review your books? There are a few simple rules to follow, and the rest is just good old-fashioned perseverance.
Before you start issuing review requests, however, read this next section carefully. It shows you how to find the right bloggers, whose followers would be especially interested in reading your book.
What to look for in a blogger-reviewer
The trick is finding the bloggers whose audience matches your own. The expanse of the internet may seem too huge to handle, but the good thing is: it’s large but it’s also capable of incredible specificity.
In fact, when searching for bloggers to review your book, you should feel free to go beyond broad book genres and go for niches instead. Tailor your efforts to your book’s niche category and you’ll see better results. For example, “Young Adult” is a very broad genre. So is “fiction”. For something more niche, try “Young Adult Disaster Fiction”. If that describes your book, and there are bloggers out there with the same area of interest, you might have made a match made in heaven!
Finding bloggers in your niche isn’t only a good idea, it’s required. Approaching bloggers who don’t review your type of book is a dead end, not to mention very annoying for that blogger. Before making a review request, read the blogger’s review policy. If they don’t have one, you can figure it out by browsing his or her review history.
Here are 3 ways to find bloggers in your niche.
How to make a review request.
Probably the biggest mistake you can make is to send a generic request that’s impersonal and unmemorable. You are asking a busy blogger to read your book, so it makes sense to craft a request that not only catches the eye, but also stands out from the rest.
In other words, think of your review request as an advertisement for your eBook. The aim here is to entice the blogger to want to review your book!
You should compose a letter that includes the following items:
Offer to do a guest post
Like you, bloggers are busy people so they often welcome guest bloggers on their sites. Offer to do a guest post (let them choose the topic, just to be nice), and either make it clear you’d like a review in return, or hit them up later once they’ve gotten to know you as a guest blogger.
Either way, it’s about forming a professional relationship, with an end result that’s mutually beneficial. In fact, that pretty much sums up what you’re trying to do here no matter which technique you try. Marketing on the internet is about forming relationships, remember. By the way, this is a good reminder to get those social media accounts up and running!
Good luck with your review requests!
Check out my blog for more publishing tips. Amy Harrop Blog
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Amy_Harrop/695929
The most memorable literary event I’ve ever attended was held at an art gallery in London. I’d been a judge for some writers’ awards. It was a black tie event so everyone was dressed up to the nines.
Half-way through the evening, the doors were sealed, security guards appeared and a “surprise guest” was announced. Salman Rushdie walked in looking defiant, gave a speech, mingled, and promptly disappeared again.
It was in the early 1990s, just after he had gone into hiding. But I still remember it like it was yesterday. I can still see those canapés dusted with gold icing, the artistic bowls they were served in, and the strategically-placed minimalist sculptures. We were mesmerised even before Salman entered the room. When he did, we were blown away. The thought and planning that went into that event were phenomenal.
Equally, I’ve known of some pretty dire events. At the worst end of the scale, a multi-millionaire business author and TV personality hired a mansion in an exclusive part of London and sold tickets, promoting it as an opportunity to mix with high net worth entrepreneurs. She had a large cake made, with the cover of her book on it, and set up a “mini-bar” and a sound system.
What happened next by all accounts was a cross between a football scrum and a school disco. More people showed up than expected, and jostled with each other for space. Wine had to be served from boxes in white plastic cups. Vases were broken. The neighbours complained about the goings on next door, and the landlord was called. Of course, no permission had been given to hold an event of this scale on the premises. So everyone was asked to leave. Not quite the impression you would want to give, unless perhaps you are one of the Gallagher brothers.
Generally though, book launches tend to follow a pretty standard format whether they’re held in bookshops, libraries or galleries.
A glass of Merlot awaits you when you roll up. You stand around mingling with the great and the good for an hour. The author makes a speech thanking everyone who has helped them. A request is made for you to buy the book if you haven’t already. Half an hour later, it’s time to go home. You’ve enjoyed yourself, but there’s very little to distinguish one event from another.
So the question is: how can you host a memorable book launch that really stands out, regardless of your budget? Any author can do this if you apply the same degree of creativity that went into writing your book in the first place:
1. Find a venue that complements your book
A bookshop or library is a safe, but conventional, option. If you’re looking for something more prestigious, then pick an upmarket venue like an art gallery, a museum, or a university function room. If it’s the height of summer, then consider a BBQ in a park or garden. If you’re a speaker, then why not tie in your book launch with a talk you’re giving? If you’re a children’s author, can you hold the event in a park, a school or a zoo? If you have the resources, how about a boat, a place of historic interest or a castle? One of my clients wrote her book on her laptop while sitting in Costa’s, so it was natural for her to host a signing there. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make an impact.
2. Set the mood for the event
How can you set the mood from the moment your guests walk in? Do you want candlelight, day light, or fluorescent lighting? Will your guests drink from plastic cups or glass goblets or champagne flutes? Will you offer them Beaujolais or bubbly? Will they have cheese on cocktail sticks, or something more exotic? Will they be served on paper plates or silver platters? Will the room be decorated in bunting or photographs that tie in with your book? Roller banners, with your business logo or your book cover, are a very cost-effective way to make an impression.
3. What will your photos look like?
Imagine a photograph of yourself signing a book at your launch. Would you prefer the event to have a serious or a fun feel? Would you like attendees to wear dress suits or jeans? Should it be upmarket or informal? Is this a no-children affair or a family event? How about a theme where people wear fancy dress? If you’ve written a novel set in the 1920s, could you play jazz, serve Mint julep cocktails, and ask the women to wear flapper dresses? I remember a children’s book launch where the author dressed as a big yellow bird with stripy legs. These photographs will be around for a long time to come. You and your attendees will post them on social media and share them. How will you like to feel when you see these photos: proud and happy, or slightly awkward?
4. Determine your grand finale
A finale is essential for any book launch. Often, a speech or a reading from the author will suffice. But you can be more inventive than this. One of my clients taped copies of his book beneath the seats of 150 people who attended a property event. They had no idea until he told them to look under their seats. He then asked everyone to look at a certain word on a certain page inside their books. The person who had the book with the word highlighted in yellow won a £500 prize. The event was fun. Everyone then stood up and gave him a standing ovation.
Another author I’ve worked with enticed people to pay £65 for his book and attend his event, by offering a seminar to teach attendees how to create a successful million dollar business.
How can you surprise or wow your own audience so that you over-deliver on their expectations and they remember your event for a long time to come?
5. How can you attract the media?
A client of mine wrote an anti-evolution book and invited Ireland’s Minister for Science to launch it (though it caused such a controversy that he didn’t). “Darwin” showed up at the book launch, linking arms with a Gorilla. The author had a glass bowl filled with 15 tennis balls which he announced he would dump on the floor to see if they would arrange themselves in a perfect circle. Of course they didn’t. The author had media coverage in over 50 outlets.
Another property author held a book launch at an event near Marble Arch, in London. She held an auction that raised thousands of pounds for a shelter for homeless people, and the event had coverage in various papers including The Times.
Why were journalists interested in these events? Because they were different: they weren’t traditional book launches.
6. Your invitation should excite your attendees
Many authors send out invitations that have an undercurrent of fear and insecurity. You can almost hear the cogs whirring in their head: “What if no one comes?” They say things like: “Please bring along your friends, neighbours and anyone else you know”. What can you offer them that will make sure they’ll move other events in their diary just to be there? Strike a confident tone with your invitation: you are offering a never-to-be-repeated opportunity for a limited number of people. When the tickets are gone, they’re gone. They’d be foolish not to come. Offer more than just a book launch and set the tone of your expectations. Take for example, the author who recently held a launch at The Ritz in Mayfair, telling attendees to “dress to impress!” and bring along a business card to share with others.
7. How can you have impact and influence beyond this event?
It’s been like sales day at Harrods. People have been desperate for you to sign their books. They’ve loved your idea. But once the wine or champagne has gone, and guests start to drift away, what impact will you have? You’ve had a great event. But what can you do to ensure these people buy your future books, come to other events that you host, or want to work with you? Can you give guests a reason to sign up on your Facebook page, your blog or your newsletter? Can you hand out flyers offering them a free consultation with you? Can you ensure that everyone has your business card or contact details? I’ve had clients who have trebled their speaking engagements after publishing their book, authors who have generated weekly leads for their business several years after their launch, clients who’ve got their own magazine columns. What impact will you have?
Pay attention to all these small details and you should have a book launch that really sings!
Stephanie J Hale is award-winning author of “How to Sell One Million Books” and “Millionaire Author”.
Sign up right now for your free report “How to Write a Six-Figure Book and Why Most Writers Get This Wrong” at:http://www.millionaireauthorsbootcamp.com/report
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stephanie_J._Hale/314831
New post on Indies Unlimited
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My thoughts on this post:
I actually committed myself to writing out a book using a Boogie Board with the Sync blue tooth that actually records my writing and sends it to Evernote to keep.
I could actually write two books at one time I learned.
One I could type and the other I could hand write and I got so much done.
I carry my boogie board with me at all times for notes and thoughts and ideas and I tell you, my productivity level is so on point and I don’t forget those stories that pop into my head that I want to write more about later.
Typing yes is good, but hand writing does something to the creativity level of my brain that typing couldn’t.
I loved this article.
The link to the Boogie Board is there. http://amzn.to/1mabb8F
Great gift for that writer this holiday http://amzn.to/1mabb8F #BoogieBoard w/Bluetooth Sync
Being Your Own Publicist – Book Promotion is a Full-time Job