Week TWO Info for “The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017,” run by Lisa DeSpain

“The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017” is hosted by:
Lisa DeSpain, “The Successful Author’s Book Coach” (her own eponym), who can be reached at: lisa@book2bestseller.com, and who can be found (and more info, also) at: http://book2bestseller.com
[I am not endorsing, recommending, or benefitting, myself. I have attended worthwhile webinars/workshops online led by a few of these presenters. Sharing, therefore.]

Lisa sent this note and schedule, below, to those of us who subscribe to her newsletter and who signed up to be notified of this coming week’s events in the The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017 (which runs May 8 – 19, 2017).

Sign up here: http://www.book2bestseller.com/authors-adventure-summit/ to get on the list, access the free events, or decide to pay and access more (I am not paying).

Hi – just a quick note to let you know what’s happening this upcoming week. I’ll be sending a daily schedule with links so you can easily click through to the summit interviews for the day. Here’s an overview of the week:

WEEK TWO SCHEDULE

Monday, May 15
Derek Murphy, “Fantastic Fiction Promotional Strategies” http://book2bestseller.com/derek-murphy
Jill Celeste, “The Director of Marketing for Your Book Business” http://book2bestseller.com/jill-celeste
Elena Rahrig, “Traditional Publisher or Self-Publisher?” http://book2bestseller.com/elena-rahrig

Tuesday, May 16
Eric Van Der Hope, “Finding Your Tribe & Building Your Platform” http://book2bestseller.com/eric-van-der-hope
Lori Hardegree, “Facebook Secrets for Authors (The Red Hot Edition)” http://book2bestseller.com/lori-hardegree
Penny Sansevieri, “Offline and Online Marketing Strategies” http://book2bestseller.com/penny-sansevieri

Wednesday, May 17
Shari Stauch, “Fun Ways to Build Your Author Platform” http://book2bestseller.com/shari-stauch
Kiki Chatfield, “New Publicity Methods You’ve Never Heard Of” http://book2bestseller.com/kiki-chatfield
Kimberley Grabas, “6 Essential Elements of a Flawless Book Launch” http://book2bestseller.com/kimberley-grabas

Thursday, May 18
Sharon Hamilton, “Becoming a Bestselling Author” http://book2bestseller.com/sharon-hamilton
Alinka Rutkowska, “Why 72% of Self-Published Authors Never Sell
More Than 1,000 Books” http://book2bestseller.com/alinka-rutkowska
Jen Levitz, “5 Keys to Writing a Lead Generating Business Book” http://book2bestseller.com/jen-levitz

Friday, May 19
Judith Briles, “The Book Shepherd” http://book2bestseller.com/judith-briles
Lisa DeSpain, “Summit Wrap-Up” http://book2bestseller.com/lisa-interview

WEEK ONE SCHEDULE (may need to pay to view older shows…)

Monday, May 8
Randy Peyser, “How to Get a Book Deal with a Publisher” http://book2bestseller.com/randy-peyser
Tamara Monosoff, “Adding Interactivity and Working with Affiliates” http://book2bestseller.com/tamara-monosoff
Tenita Johnson, “Beyond the Bestseller List” http://book2bestseller.com/tenita-johnson

Tuesday, May 9
Valerie Gangas, “Going Pro on the Path to Enlightenment” http://book2bestseller.com/valerie-gangas
Laila Ali, “From Traditional to Self-Published” http://book2bestseller.com/laila-ali
Rocky Callen, “Learning How to Bleed Ink” http://book2bestseller.com/rocky-callen

Wednesday, May 10
Amanda Young, “Finding Clarity as You Write Your Book” http://book2bestseller.com/amanda-young
Ellie McLove, “Editing: When to Change it or Leave it for Style” http://book2bestseller.com/ellie-mclove
Nina Amir, “Inspiration to Creation” http://book2bestseller.com/nina-amir

Thursday, May 11
Tamara Dever, “The Selling Power of Book Design” http://book2bestseller.com/tamara-dever
Joel Friedlander, “Secret Ways that Authors Really Make Money” http://book2bestseller.com/joel-friedlander
Robin Cutler, “Getting Ingram Distribution through IngramSpark” http://book2bestseller.com/robin-cutler

Friday, May 12
Steven Spatz, “Distribution + Service = A Winning Combination” http://book2bestseller.com/steven-spatz
Kristin Steele & Dan Verdick,”The Top 4 Things You Need to Know About Book
Marketing” http://book2bestseller.com/kristin-and-dan

The Presenters for both weeks of The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017

Lisa ended her email with a few cute lines, then this info:

P.S. If you think you’re going to have trouble watching the interviews on their live dates, you might want to get a VIP access pass (if you haven’t already). Here’s the link to become a VIP: http://www.book2bestseller.com/masterclass-vip/

Indie Author Fringe’s 2nd online conference, “Fringe to BookExpo,” is Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

2017’s Indie Author Fringe 2nd of 3 online conferences, “Fringe to BookExpo,”, happens in a few weeks, on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017. Click here for more info and to register: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/what-is-indie-author-fringe/

This year’s conference “features 24-hours of self-publishing sessions for authors with an independent spirit. The agenda we’re developing will help you reach more readers and sell more books, and includes tips, tools, and techniques for marketing and promoting yourself and your book.”

I am a proud member of Alli, and this message is from one of the three organizers, Orna Ross, of Alli (the Alliance of Independent Authors)(David Penny and Jay Artale are the other two):

SPEAKERS

We’ve added more speakers and you can click here, http://selfpublishingadvice.org/bookexpo-indie-author-fringe-2017-speakers/ , to view the bios we’ve published so far.

COMPETITION

It’s free to enter our Book Cover Competition here, http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-2017-cover-competition-submission/ , and you can check out the competition entries we’ve already received [on that site as well].

Over the coming weeks, we’ll let you know about the Sponsor deals and discounts, and reveal the changes we’re implementing for this upcoming Indie Author Fringe event.

Until then, happy writing and publishing…

Next Alli Indie Author Fringe online conference: October 14, 2017.

#Indie #Author Day 2017: Saturday, October 14! Start Planning NOW!

#Indie #Author Day 2017: Saturday, October 14!

The second annual Indie Author Day will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017. This event brings together libraries and local writers around the world for a day of celebration and inspiration devoted to indie authorship.

Registration for Indie Author Day 2017 is officially open. Visit the Indie Author Day website, https://goo.gl/6HJZG3 . to learn more information about this year’s event and how to get involved in IAD programming near you.


From the Indie Author Day website:

HOSTING AN EVENT

In addition to a selection of on-demand video workshops that will be available from Indie Author Day sponsors, there are many activities for your #library to offer as part of its Indie Author Day 2017 event.

To get you brainstorming, here are some suggested activities that #libraries have done at past events:

—An #author panel featuring traditional, hybrid and self-published #authors from the community
—Presentations from local indie authors about writing, marketing and more
—Book readings and / or signings from local authors
—Presentations from local industry leaders
—Writing workshops
—Presentations and workshops to inform the writing community about tools available for them to use through the library
—Author readings and open mics, featuring short segments of each author’s works

Check out our Brandisty page, https://brandisty.com/indieauthorday . for logos, web banners, posters and postcards to help you promote your Indie Author Day!

Alert the media with our Press Release templates for Authors and Libraries [there are downloads for each on this website].

Are you a #library hosting Indie Author Day? Spread the word with these pre-written social media post. http://indieauthorday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Indie-Author-Day-Social-Media-Posts.pdfs [there are downloads for images, logos, more, on this website, such as the Partners’ Logo, below]!


Here are their sample posts (you can add your own hashtags and other info, such as “RT,” to these):
— Calling all #indieauthors! Join us as we celebrate our local authors for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct.
14!
— We’re hosting an event for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct. 14! Join us if want to support our local
#selfpub and #indieauthors!
— Are you an #indieauthor? We’re #indie you! Join us for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct. 14!
— We’re excited to support our local authors for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct. 14!

#BookMarketing: What I haven’t done and intend to do soon

Thanks to Doris-Maria Heilmann of Savvy Book Writers for her Free Checklist for “Passive” Book Marketing, I now have (and am sharing) a great list and resources within it. Link below.
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/free-checklist-for-passive-book-marketing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SavvyBookWriters+%28Savvy+Book+Writers%29

#BookMarketing: What I haven’t done and intend to do soon

Never heard about this!

Bowker’s Worldwide Listing
http://www.bowkerlink.com

Bowker Link logo

“You may know Bowker from ordering your ISBN numbers, but they are also the provider for “Books In Print and Global Books In Print” that contain listings of bibliographical information for international book titles available in the USA or any other part of the world, in bookstores and libraries. Setting up a new book on Bowkerlink is easy and FREE. Read more in this blog post: http://www.savvybookwriters.com/is-your-book-listed-worldwide/

I felt better when I went to the link, above, and read the intro:
“Few authors have ever heard about BowkerLink: a source for publishers and distributors seeking to update or add to title listings, found in ‘Books In Print,’ ‘Global Books In Print,’ and the ‘Publisher Authority Database.’ How can readers, bookstores or librarians in Japan, Australia, UK or Belize find your book and read, buy or lend it?”

Doris-Maria Heilmann provides a step-by-step sequence for putting a book on Bowkerlink right here. Do it and whatever else you have neglected to do to market your book from her great list.

Check out the rest of her site as well, with many archived posts that are still relevant and useful (this one is from 2013)! http://www.savvybookwriters.com

Luckily, I am not new to marketing, so as I ramp up for the release of my third ebook, Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change of The Spanners Series (sci-fi/romance, adults/YA/NA), which goes into pre-orders @ half-price on 11/1/15, $1.99 through 12/7/15, then becomes $3.99 on release day, 12/8/15, with a cover reveal on 10/26/15 on http://www.aleshaescobar.com), I am pleased to discover that I have already accomplished (but need to update) most of what’s on the above list.

logoAuthorsDen

Volume I, This Changes Everything, became permafree when I released Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, in the spring of 2014, which is also $3.99.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks
All links, reviews, author interviews and updates: http://www.sallyember.com

final cover print

“Let’s Talk #Anthologies: How To Put One Together And Sell It”: Guest Blog Post by Alesha Escobar

I am so pleased to welcome Alesha Escobar as my guest blogger today. Alesha is a #fantasy/science-fiction and thriller author who does “mash-ups.” Alesha also concocted the idea of and edited an anthology of stories related to time travel, one of my favorite topics!

To honor the release of the anthology, Masters of Time (MOT), this month and because many of the included topics appear in my own writing, via The Spanners Series, http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners-2, we both welcome your comments, questions and experiences! Join the conversation, please!

Because MOT includes contributions from one of my CHANGES conversations between authors Google+/Youtube Hangout On Air (HOA) guests who is guest blogging here next week (July 15, ) about MOT-related themes, Devorah (Dee) Fox, and a previous guest blogger, Samantha LaFantasie (November 5, 2014, “5 Ways to Deal with Writer’s Block”), I am especially glad to help publicize this new anthology.

For more information about how to reach Alesha and know more about her writing, to become a guest on CHANGES or become a guest blogger on my site, see below this post.

Thanks for visiting!


Let’s Talk #Anthologies: How To Put One Together And Sell It
by Alesha Escobar

If I could gather some of my favorite sci-fi and fantasy authors into one room, I’d politely inform them that they couldn’t leave until they’ve handed over a compilation of new, addictive stories for my reading pleasure.

Except George R.R. Martin. I’d only let him participate if he promised to stop killing characters.

One of the best things about settling into a good sci-fi/fantasy book is being taken away to an imaginative world, running alongside characters you care about and feeling their heartache and triumphs. An anthology is a tasty buffet of good stories, whether they’re short tales or full-length ones. They can treat you to the scope of a single author’s creativity or a varied range of authors collaborating with each other.

Last year in an end-of-the-year blog post, I predicted (as much as one could) that we would see an uptick in time-travel stories. I decided to put my money where my mouth was and compile a time-travel anthology, Masters of Time.

mastersoftimecover

Now that I had the concept down (science-fiction and fantasy time travel), I knew I had to reach out to authors I respected and whose work I’ve enjoyed. Once I had that taken care of, then came in the “business aspect.”

If you’re an author thinking about contributing to an anthology or compiling one, I’ll share about this process in the hopes that it gives you an idea of the amount of work it takes, as well as how to avoid some pitfalls.

So, You’ve Got Your Book’s Theme and Your Author Line-up: Now What?

Contracts, Baby!

I’m the co-owner of a micro-press, Creative Alchemy, Inc. Not only was I going to contribute to this anthology as an author, I was also going to publish it through Creative Alchemy. As much as my co-authors love me, they have busy lives, projects, and bills to pay. They weren’t going to contribute a story for free, and as savvy writers, they wanted to know the royalties breakdown, publishing rights, and the length of time they’d have to wait before they could publish their individual stories on their own.

These are all valid concerns, so I drew up contracts in order to have it all settled and agreed upon. Even if the people you’re working with are friends or are trustworthy, still: have a signed contract. It won’t hurt.

Secure an Editor

I highly recommend that your editor is someone who is not a co-author of the project. It will help with objectivity, it will be one fewer thing you have to worry about, and it will guarantee that you’ll come out with a polished book. When compiling Masters of Time, our amazing editor, Charmaine, had no qualms with throwing us into the re-write dungeon when needed. Her insight, constructive criticism and feedback helped shape our work and mold it into something we could be proud of.

Set Deadlines

When is the first draft due? The second? And the last? Try to have a tentative release date scheduled as early as possible so you can work “backwards” toward that goal. Having specific dates written down also motivates writers and keep them accountable for turning in manuscripts.

Get a Professional to Format the Book

When six or more people email you their stories in MS Word format, they’re going to be coming in different fonts and sizes and with different formatting. Y’all know how picky Smashwords is with its vetting system and you don’t want to upload to Kindle Direct Publishing and use the preview feature only to find that your book looks horrible.

Save yourself the headache; once all the stories are compiled into a master document and edited, send it off to the formatter. This is also the perfect time to remind you to get your cover artist and work on the best image you believe will perfectly represent the book.

Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s

Don’t neglect things like spelling the co-authors’ names the way that they want them to be spelled. One of my co-authors always needs his middle initial included, otherwise he is confused with another author by the same name. Does your author want to go by a pen name? Make sure you’ve got that down as well.

Have your co-authors submit their bios, book links and social media profiles, storing them in Evernote or another handy place. It’s a pain to ask them twenty times for this information because you never bothered to copy it down.

Double-check each story title and make sure they’re the final choices. Sometimes authors will start off with one title (or a temporary one) and then change it for the final version. Everything should be up-to-date and consistent.

And, after all has been edited and formatted, do another comb-through!

Don’t Wait Until Release Day to Tell the World about It

I swear I still have friends and relatives shrugging their shoulders and telling me, “Sweetie, why didn’t you say you wrote a book? I didn’t know!” Oh, believe me, I’ve been saying it 😉

Many people, including interested readers, lead busy lives. The internet throws loads of information at us all day, every day, and our social media feeds get more crowded by the second. It’s not a surprise that some people miss the exciting news that your latest project has just been released—so don’t wait until release day to alert people.

Masters of Time will be officially released July 13, but I’ve been advertising the anthology since the beginning of this year. How? As soon as I could, I put the book on pre-order and alerted my email subscribers (if you don’t have an author newsletter, start one). Several book promotion sites will advertise your pre-order, and then there are some seriously cool book bloggers out there who will also be happy to do a cover reveal, an interview, feature or a review of an advanced copy. Bloggers also love giveaways, so if you have a giveaway attached to your book release, it’s a plus!

I’ve announced my anthology at my own blog as well as brought in and featured my co-authors. We’ve exchanged guest posts. I hit the social media pavement and let my Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ friends know. As we got closer to July, the advertising became more urgent, and I did all this while abiding by the principle of not spamming. It’s great to tell people about your book, but remember not to spam.

Also, while the bulk of your efforts may be through the internet, don’t neglect creating awareness in real life: is your local bookstore or library open to your holding an event? Can you share bookmarks, cards or flyers? Perhaps you can host a speaking engagement at your nearest book club or school campus? Get creative with the ways you can reach people and grow visibility for your book.

Now, Here Are Some Things I Already Wish I’d Done Differently

  1. I wish I would’ve added a few more authors to the anthology. While this collection is an amazing read, there are six of us contributing short stories and it’s 100 pages total. Not bad, but some promotion sites are used to presenting 800-page book collections and boxsets to their audience. I should’ve considered book length as one of my goals, though in my gut I do believe I chose the right authors and stories. This won’t necessarily harm us, but it will definitely be part of my planning process next time.
  2. I wish I would’ve done cross-critique among my co-authors. Though my in-house editor oversaw the book, I think there is additional value in authors reading one another’s contributing stories and offering feedback. This was done with the New Myths anthology I contributed to for HDWP Books, and it was an amazing process. It also lets your co-authors know what the other stories are about and it gives them room to mention these stories in interviews and blog posts.
  3. I wish I hadn’t had a “this is my responsibility” mentality. My co-authors were (and are) willing and ready to boost promotion and cross-promote, but sometimes I shied away because I felt that I needed to “prove myself” and show that I knew how to market a book. I also didn’t want to disappoint them. Duh! There is strength in numbers. If you’re the publisher or “leader” of an anthology, there’s nothing wrong with being open to letting your cohorts help you pick up the marketing and promotion slack. In fact, it’s better to have them all on board, helping. We have various skills, gifts, contacts and audience sizes. Working together to promote the book will only benefit the group—you’re in this together.

Hopefully, sharing my anthology process has given you an idea of what it’s like and what you should plan for.

If you’re a reader, perhaps this has been a nice peek into the world of writing and what it takes to get that amazing, finished product out to you.


Thank you, Sally, for inviting me today, and I hope you all continue to be entertained and inspired by great stories!


About the Author

Alesha Escobar writes fantasy to support her chocolate habit. She enjoys everything from Tolkien and Dante to the Dresden Files and Hellblazer comics. She resides in California with her partner-in-crime, Luis Escobar, a 20-year art veteran on The Simpsons television show.

Alesha is the author of The Gray Tower Trilogy, an action-packed, supernatural spy thriller set in an alternate 1940’s. The trilogy books have hit the Amazon bestsellers lists for Historical Fantasy and Mashups.

You can find Alesha at her weekly blog, Fantasy, Mashups, & Mayhem, where she discusses fantasy and science-fiction TV shows, movies and books, and celebrity gossip…She’s just kidding about the celebrity gossip.

But, there IS a giveaway for MOT: http://timeanthology.blogspot.com/p/enter-giveaway.html

The Black Dagger Gods (short story, New Myths Anthology)

 
Find Alesha on:

Alesha Escobar


MOT links:

webpage: http://timeanthology.blogspot.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Masters-Time-Science-Fiction-Anthology/dp/1514173727
Trailer: http://youtu.be/PovabW4fyjQ
Apple iBooks/iTunes: http://apple.co/1bp77vK
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1K3ggGi
Barnes & Noble/ nook: http://bit.ly/1Kkkr0C


CHANGES conversations between authors is an almost-weekly, Google+/Youtube video chat show. Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time: http://goo.gl/eX0D8T

OPENINGS occur frequently! #Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on CHANGES, and
#Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest: http://goo.gl/1dbkZV


If you’d like to be a Guest Blogger, please visit my Guest Bloggers’ Hall of Fame and learn what’s involved.

Thanks for visiting, commenting, following, and enjoying this site! http://www.sallyember.com

Part IV: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Blog #Hops and #Virtual #Book #Tours

Part IV: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Blog #Hops and #Virtual #Book #Tours

This is Letter Four of Four of my “open letter to my earlier self” series that first appeared on The Book Cove Reviews, http://www.thebookcove.com/2014/12/author-sally-ember-edd-letter-to-my_15.html, late November – December, 2014.
Letter One appeared on my site, http://www.sallyember.com/blog , on 3/26/15.
Letter One posted on 3/26/15; Letter Two appeared on 4/4/15 and Letter Three on 4/11/15.

blog-hop-for-writers

image from http://phyllisiturner.com

I published my first ebook in December, 2013, and my second in June, 2014. I intend to publish my third in April, 2015. What I wish I had known before my first ebook went into pre-sales in November, 2013, about Virtual Book Tours and Blog Hops and other kinds of “shared” PR continues to grow. I write these Open Letters in order to share my wisdom “backwards” to my earlier self from today’s vantage point.

Dear Sally,

Now that you know you are going to be an indie published author, and you know you’re going to start with only ebooks and then see what happens, your choices about book marketing are more limited than if you were going to have both print and ebooks available or if a major or even minor publisher were backing your books. Mostly, your entire author platform and writing life are going to exist almost exclusively online.

That all means no book signings (you have no books to sign). It also means that you will have few or not any public readings, at least, not yet, since those usually go with book signings. You won’t be paying for much publicity since you have almost no budget for it, so forget print ads, posters, or other signage in the “real” world. Your PR is going to all be virtual.

What does this new type of non-in-person, non-print PR include besides your blog? You will have online “stores,” places that sell your books online, where the cover, blurb and reviews live. You can post your photo and bio there (on some, anyway). You should have author pages and book pages on vendor sites. What else?

Blog Hops and Virtual Book Tours.

Well, no wonder you have no idea what a “Blog Hop” or “Virtual Book Tour” is: You just barely started to blog last August, 2013, and barely know what blogging is. You have recently published your first fiction book while is also your first ebook. It’s hard to be more of a newbie than you are!

When someone invites you to “join” a Blog Hop or be part of a Virtual Book Tour, you don’t know what you’re saying “Yes” or “No” to, do you? How could you?

First of all, go visit/go on a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour at least once, each. Be a visitor to one or more that have some of the same organizer(s), authors and/or books as the Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour you’re considering as a participant.

Take notes: what do you like/not like? What is confusing/clear? How appealing are the promos, widgets, banners, graphics? Since you are also a reader, consider: would YOU be more or newly interested in these authors/these books because of this Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour?

If the answer is “NO,” stop there. You might want to join a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour, but not THIS one.

Visit some more until you can say “Yes” to these questions, above.

Now that you know what you like, it’s time to get more educated. There are hundreds of (free or fee-based) webinars, Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOAs), teleseminars, podcasts, blog posts, and, don’t forget: BOOKS and EBOOKS devoted to explaining everything about creating or joining a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour and all aspects of book marketing.

I won’t even try to recap it all here. Nonfiction can or should be marketed differently than fiction, short fiction differently than long. Target audience for and chosen genre/subgenre of your writing change the PR scene as well. Poetry and memoirs are in their own niches. Etc.

Attend, read, watch. Take more notes.

There was an excellent month-long series of educational events and posts I attended last May, 2014. Well worth it. Thanks, D’vorah Lansky! The Book Marketing Challenge has both free and paid options. Look into them! Email D’Vorah and ask about the next round: support@bookmarketingmadeeasy.com

blog-hop-150x150 BMC 2014

image from http://buildabusinesswithyourbook.com/community-blog-hop/

If you are leaning toward “Yes,” before deciding whether or not to join a particular Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour or to create your own, regardless of how enticing the organizers or instructors make it sound or you found theirs to be, there are some key questions to ask:

  • What are the requirements? Are they easy, moderately easy or arduous to fulfill? If you have to create or acquire a lot of new graphics, redesign or add to your website, write new blurbs or text to fit their guidelines, is it worthwhile? Answer the other questions, below, to determine that.
  • What’s in it for you? Are you allowed to promote/feature your own books, your blog, or just others’ books and blogs?

    Virtual Book Tour

    image from http://acupofteaandabigbook.blogspot.com

  • How much of your precious writing time will be given over to this endeavor?
  • How long does it go on? Does that timeframe work with your schedule (i.e., for visiting others’ sites, cross-promoting, posting widgets/modifying your own site, commenting, etc.)?
  • Can you be ready to submit everything by the deadlines and post on your day as scheduled?
  • How much does it cost to join, e.g., do you have to provide a “Raffle” prize, a “giveaway,” or any other “swag,” discount coupons, gift cards, or what? Is that affordable?

    Vegas Vacation Book Tour

    image from http://www.crystaljordan.com

  • What amount of traffic is likely to be driven to your site from these other sites, i.e., how many followers do they have, what are their ALEXA scores?
  • Are the other Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour participants in the same or similar or at least compatible genres/subgenres with yours?
  • Are the other blogs/sites/books/authors’ brands compatible with yours (NSFW [Not Safe For Work] vs. SFW [Safe For Work], for example)?
  • Is this organized by a paid promoter or someone else with experience organizing a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour so that there is at least one person who will handle the responsibilities of corralling, collecting, scheduling, managing this event professionally and well?
  • How many other participants’ sites are being visited on the same day as yours? Do that number and variety seem likely to be competitive, supportive, confusing, appropriate?
  • What possible benefits will there be and how likely are they to accrue to YOU?

    monthly book sales

    image from http://www.rtbookreviews.com

  • Having answered all these questions, is this Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour a worthwhile endeavor?

Bottom line, Sally, is that your writing time MUST be a priority, but you also have to put in time to create relationships in order to find readers, get more visible, be part of an online community with important and meaningful connections, and, oh, yeah, MARKET your books. Be cautious, be discerning, be wise.

I hope you are finding this series of Open Letters helpful to your decision-making and planning for your first and subsequent book launches and ongoing marketing and promotions. I might add to this series as I get even more experienced; we’ll see.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to ENJOY the ride!

Best to you!

Your future Sally

Part I: Letter to my Earlier Self, What I Wish I had Known for #Indiepub #Ebooks 1 and 2

Part I: Letter to my Earlier Self, What I Wish I had Known for #Indiepub #Ebooks 1 and 2

This was originally posted on 11/24/14 as a Guest Blogger on http://www.thebookcove.com/2014/11/author-sally-ember-edd-what-i-wish-i.html, when I was still writing Vol III and before I had written enough of these posts to make a series of “Open Letters.”

Now, there is a series, and I am re-posting them in order, one per week.
(The Book Cove posted one per week, November through December.)
This is Letter One of four, total.

As I get ready to release Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, in my sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian The Spanners Series, I consider what I wish I had known for ebooks 1 and 2 of this series, my first launch and second foray into being an indiepub author after having been traditionally published.

I decided to write a series of letters to my pre-publication self, since I believe in simultaneous time. I know that this letter and all the subsequent ones are already written and I am already reading them before I publish Volume I, This Changes Everything, and Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever. I’m sharing this information with the public here (again).

Follow that? It helps to be a sci-fi or quantum physics fan, for sure.

Here is Part I of my tips for my earlier self and therefore, all new indie authors who are about to publish their first ebook (or even afterward). There will be a series of such letters advising myself. I need a lot of help!

I appreciate the The Book Cove Reviews for allowing their blog to be the place these letters first appear. My tips had a chance to reach a much wider audience on that site. I hope many budding and newer indie authors besides my earlier self found them helpful when these letters were first published last fall, 2014!

What I Wish I had Known for #Indiepub #Ebooks 1 and 2:
An Open Letter to my Earlier Self

Part I

Dear Earlier Sally,

So, here you are, in December, 2011, writing your first sci-fi novel. You don’t know, yet, that you’re going to become an “indie” author, or even what that is.

Let’s recap what a sorry state you’re in, as an author, and see what, if anything, we can do to rectify this ignorance that could short-circuit your incipient writing career.

  • You still think you’re going to write query letters, try to find an agent, seek a publication “house” and become a published author the way you’ve seen it happen with your previous nonfiction books and countless others’ fiction books. You haven’t even considered not having a print book and haven’t even read or seen an ebook at this point. You have no idea how much this industry is about to BOOM!

    ebook sales to 2013

  • In fact, even though you’ve heard of Kindles and other ereaders, you’ve never seen one and don’t know anyone who owns or uses one, yet. You’ve never heard of or seen anything about Google+, “author platforms,” or blogging by authors. You think those who blog are self-centered, boring, unemployed journalists or stay-at-home workers who have time to surf the net and write drivel about their lives that you can’t imagine anyone wanting to read.
  • You aren’t on or aware of most of social media. For example, Twitter: you have no Followers except by accident (you now have 7). You never tweet, retweet, or favorite anyone’s tweets. In fact, you never read and respond on Twitter at all. Furthermore, your Facebook activity is conducted strictly to stay in touch with friends and family, people you actually know. You belong to no Facebook groups except those that include people you know and have a specific purpose (your high school reunion group, a meditation group).

    Social media icons

  • Additionally, even though someone told you to sign up for and join Goodreads, you almost never visit it and have no idea what it’s for. You also believe that people who use it are just sharing book lists and books they like. You never read or write reviews there or on Amazon and rarely buy books from online stores; you prefer bricks-and-mortar bookstores when you buy books and mostly use lending libraries.
  • You don’t consider yourself a book marketer and have not the faintest idea what book marketing entails, nor do you want to know. In fact, you plan to have all that done by your publisher and perhaps your agent (you’re a little fuzzy on who does what and when). You believe that their experienced and intensive marketing efforts will succeed in getting you/your book on TV, radio, and in print reviews and ads which will make your book rocket to best-seller status very quickly, since you’re sure it’s that good.
  • You’ve ever heard of or used any Google+ Communities, Hangouts, or Circles.
  • You have never heard of Metadata and wouldn’t know how to apply that to your ebooks, either.

    Metadata topics

  • You do not know about most of nor do you belong to any in-person much less virtual writers’ groups, authors’ groups, marketing groups, review sharing groups, or any professional writers’ groups of any kind.
  • You’ve never heard of ALEXA, Google Page Ranks, Google Authorship or KLOUT scores and you don’t know much about having an online presence. The extent of your knowledge is that you check Google every now and then to make sure nobody else is using your name or is saying bad things about you online.

Oy, vey.

Can your writing career be salvaged? Can you become a published author and have ANYONE know it? How will your book get reviews? How will you acquire any followers, much less readers? Will you sell even one book to anyone outside your friends and family?

How and when will you ever figure out that you need to create and maintain a website, build and improve your author’s platform, join and become active in online and virtual communities/groups, become KNOWN as YOU, your brand, online, as a sci-fi author and blogger, a creator and curator of useful content?

Writing Community

Tip #1: Forget the query letters, hunts for agents/publishers and all that trad pub jazz. Indie is the way to go. Ebooks are rocking the readers. Believe me. I know.

Tip #2: You may have noticed that I’ve actually decided to write these letters to you to offer a kind of road map to your salvation as an author. If you read and research each of the words or phrases I’ve put into BOLD in this letter, for example, those are the dots you have to connect, the work you have to do, to create the best future for your books and for you as an author.

Do a lot of it NOW, before you publish, and then keep doing more. That is key!

Stay tuned for Part II and subsequent Parts to this intraself communication which will contain advice for many indie authors as we continue on this journey of educating this indie author, earlier Sally: YOU!

Get to work!

Present Sally
http://www.sallyember.com
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HEV2UEW