[@IndiesUnlimited] What’s Smashwords Good For? #reblogged @ #MotownWriters

What’s Smashwords Good For?

by Laurie Boris

Smashwords LogoRecently, 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

Laurie Boris | July 19, 2016 at 5:00 am | Tags: Smashwords | Categories: Staff Articles | URL:
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[NEW VIDEO] What Stops you from #Writing? #TimeManagement #WritingDoubts #WritersBlockNoT #Inspiration

Talking how I overcome and get to #Writing despite daily life, benefit jobs, Mommying and so forth.

Subscribe on my youtube for more updates… More videos to come

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One-A-Day Book Marketing Gets Results for Authors #MotownWriters


Expert Author Harriet Hodgson

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.

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How to Get Qualified Bloggers to Review Your Book #MotownWriters


Expert Author 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.

  • Do an internet search. Your best friend at this point is the search engine. Type in your niche genre + “blog” and start digging around. This is definitely time-consuming but you’ll dig up some gems if you stick with it. Find a few, and start building your list of potential blogger-reviewers. One essential tip here is to use the “blogroll” feature that’s found on most blogs. It’s a list of other related blogs, with links to them. This is how these bloggers form their networks: by helping one another and sharing links. For you, it’s an instant web of potential reviewers.
  • Use Twitter. If you have a Twitter account and you haven’t built it up, start doing so now. Once you have a few thousand followers, your tweets may get noticed by enough people so that you can connect with potential review bloggers (or better yet: customers!). If your book sounds interesting, people may even ask you for a review copy! Granted, building up your Twitter account takes time and effort so this tip works best for people who have already done this. By the way, all this applies to other social media platforms as well.
  • Consider Reddit. If you’re an expert in a highly specific niche, chances are there’s a thread for you. Become part of that community, interact, and you may get some like-minded bloggers on there who will review your book very willingly, given you’re both interested in the same ultra-niche topic.

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:

  1. Explain how you found the blogger.
  2. Tell why you contacted the blogger (i.e. “you’re a fan of ***” and “I’ve written a book about ***”)
  3. Ask politely if they’d like to take a look at your book.
  4. If you can, offer something in return, like a guest blog post (see below*).
  5. A Thank You
  6. A summary of your book.
  7. Links to where the blogger can read an excerpt or a chapter, if you have a website. Some authors even create a promotional video and post it on YouTube

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

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How to Host a Book Launch That Doesn’t Suck #MotownWriters



Expert Author Stephanie J. Hale

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:

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[Indies Unlimited] Authors: Do You Have A Business Plan?

Authors: Do You Have A Business Plan?

by Melissa Pearl

business plan for authors business-idea-831053_960_720One of the hardest things about being an indie author is learning the business side of writing. You can be the best writer in the world, but if you can’t figure out a way to sell books and maintain those sales, then it’s going to be really hard to turn your talent into a career.

Read more of this post

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[Indies Unlimited] After the Book Release: An Author To-Do List

After the Book Release: An Author To-Do List

by Melissa Bowersock

book launch rocket-launch-67641_640So you’ve completed your magnum opus and you’ve just released it out into the world. Time to sit back and enjoy the rave reviews and rich royalties that come rolling your way? No, not quite. You still have some work to do. As a matter of fact, with the reach of the Internet and so many social media forums, there are a zillion things that you could do, should do, can do, to include the new book in your online presence and to get the word out. After all, you want to ride that wave before the 30-day cliff hits!

Having a check list is a good idea, because it would be easy to overlook those areas where you don’t check in frequently or spend a lot of time. How many times have you stumbled over an old bio tucked away somewhere, and it doesn’t have your last three books? Your profiles are already out there; don’t waste the opportunity to tout the new book.

Update Your Online Presence Read more of this post

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[@IndiesUnlimited] Handwriting Your Book #amwriting

New post on Indies Unlimited

Handwriting Your Book

by Melissa Bowersock

handwriting a book letter-761653_640I’m guessing that most of us are always on the outlook for ways to increase our productivity, to open wider to inspiration, and get/keep the ideas flowing. But writing, like any art, is a process that defies capture, that eludes attempts to analyze, to reduce, to constrain. What works for one person won’t work for the next. All we can do is keep trying new things, or simply keep doing what has worked for us in the past. On a whim, I wrote my latest book in longhand.

Yes, I heard the gasps, the sudden intake of shocked breaths. Longhand?? Like on lined paper? With a pen? Yes, exactly. Read more of this post

Melissa Bowersock | December 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Tags: cursive writing, inspiration for writers | Categories: Staff Articles | URL:
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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.



Great gift for that writer this holiday #BoogieBoard w/Bluetooth Sync

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Classes Writers can take for free via @Mashables #MotownWriters

Mashables had an indept list for all to take in all types of classes. I looked through them and choose specific classes Authors should consider taking to enhance technical, social media and marketing skills.

You can see the full list by clicking this link:

Beginner’s Guide to Image Editing in Photoshop, Digital Tutors

This series of step-by-step videos will teach you Photoshop terms and definitions and get you started with using basic tools and techniques. You’ll start off by resizing and resampling images, then move on to correcting the colors of an image and removing unwanted information. You’d be surprised by how much you can learn in 90 minutes!

Duration: 1.5 hours / 10 lessons

 Getting Started With Photoshop CC, Udemy

Udemy’s introduction course covers the basics so you can get started using Photoshop CC as soon as possible. Want to learn to use the marquee tool in detail, feather a selection, or refine edge command? You’ve come to the right place.

Duration: 2 hours / 23 lessons

How to Get Started With Adobe Illustrator CS6 — 10 Things Beginners Want to Know How to Do, Adobe TV

In this 40-minute tutorial, Adobe Creative Suite Podcast’s Terry White will show you the basics that’ll help you get started using Adobe Illustrator CS6. Duration: 40 Minutes / 1 Lesson

Online Advertising, OPEN2STUDY

Want to find out more about major digital platforms, social and mobile search, and how online ads are priced and delivered? If so, then OPEN2STUDY’s Online Advertising course is perfect for you. Be prepared to learn how to set realistic and measurable campaign objectives, identify the steps involved in digital campaign planning, and understand the process of selling an online ad program.

Duration: 16 hours / 33 lessons

Social Media 101, Social Media Quickstarter

Email marketing provider Constant Contact created this online tutorial to get you started on building your social media presence across all of the top social networks — from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

Duration: 1.5 hours / 1 Lesson

 SEO for SEO Beginners, Udemy

Heard of SEO, but never got the chance to understand what it actually is? This is the course for you. Upon completing the class, you’ll become an expert on the three pillars of powerful SEO, resulting in you knowing how to get to the top of the search results.

Duration: 1 hour / 15 lessons

Getting Started With Email Marketing, Skillshare

In this class, MailChimp’s Allyson Van Houten teaches you how to craft an email marketing strategy that will help you achieve your business goals. Whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, or a part of a startup team, you’ll be able to learn from the bite-sized lessons packed with core email marketing concepts, guiding questions, and practical resources.

Duration: 1.5 hours / 14 lessons

Start Writing Fiction, FutureLearn

Intended for anyone with an interest in fiction writing (with no prior experience necessary), this course teaches you how to develop your ideas and reflect on the writing and editing process. You’ll hear other writers talk about their approaches to research and consider different plot strategies.

Duration: 24 hours / 8 lessons

Copyright Made Easy, Udemy

Designed by a licensed attorney, this class gives you a comprehensive introduction to copyright law. At the end of two hours, you’ll understand the benefits that intellectual property brings and learn how to apply copyright law to your content.

Duration: 2 hours / 8 lessons

Like I said you can see the full list at

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Being Your Own Publicist – Book Promotion is a Full-time Job

Being Your Own Publicist – Book Promotion is a Full-time Job

via Being Your Own Publicist – Book Promotion is a Full-time Job.

via Being Your Own Publicist – Book Promotion is a Full-time Job.

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Does Encouragement equal Support for #IndiePub Authors?

Does Encouragement equal Support for #IndiePub Authors?.

via Does Encouragement equal Support for #IndiePub Authors?.

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A-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon @Nicholas_Rossis

Pearseus, Rise of the Prince (book 2 in the series) book cover

Pearseus, Rise of the Prince (book 2 in the series) book coverA-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon.

via A-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon.


This was an amazing article I read in my research hour on Nicolas Rossis’ website that I must share with you!

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Reaching Readers: How To Choose Self-Publishing Distribution Options for Ebooks

Reaching Readers: How To Choose Self-Publishing Distribution Options for Ebooks.

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Detroit Actress Kristin Dawn-Dumas to star in ‘Presumed Incompetent’

!click pic for tix!

!click pic for tix!

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Awesome #Promo Tool for #Authors: #Smashwords Does Interviews! Ck mine out!

I’ve always been impressed with @MarkCoker’s success with Smashwords and I’ve wished him all the best.

His platform to make publishing to ebooks easy has been clearly groundbreaking and now he’s taking authors to a whole new level in helping them promote themselves and ultimately SELL MORE BOOKS!


The Author pages at Smashwords is nothing more than outstanding. Giving authors not only a way to sell their books as ebooks, but also helping them link their books to the paperback as well.

Plus you get to add your social media connections along with your website and blog. As an additional plus, there’s a link for Wattpad as well!


Now comes interviews; Giving authors a chance to tell their story behind the story and promote themselves; brand themselves; sell themselves.


If you haven’t done your author interview yet on Smashwords, now is the time!

Log into your Smashwords account now and complete your author profile interview now!

Click here (

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