6 Common Book Launch Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs: Guest Post by Desiree Villena

6 Common Book Launch Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs:
Guest Post by Desiree Villena

Launching your book is arguably more challenging than writing it. After all, you’re a writer, not a marketer, and there’s a massive to-do list of tasks:
—sending offers to your email subscribers
—deciding on price promotions
—possibly even planning a launch party!
Publishers will lend you a hand if you’re going the traditional route, but when self-publishing, you’ll do most of the work yourself — and that’s where mistakes can happen.

On that note, let’s talk about six of the most common book launch mistakes and how not to make them, so that you have a smooth(er) launch. We’ll be focusing on the digital aspect because online marketing is essential whether you are a novelist or nonfiction writer and regardless of how much experience you have.

Mistake #1:
Not Investing in a Strong Book Cover

(Covers, above, by Isabelle Arné, Jason Anscomb and Patrick Knowles, from the gallery of book cover art)

Unfortunately, despite the overused idiom, people do tend to judge books by their covers — at least when they’re considering whether to buy them. Even when buying classic books that have been reprinted numerous times, we already more-or-less know what’s inside, so our decision to buy often rests on how the volume looks.

And for lesser-known books, the group to which yours likely belongs, a visually unappealing cover can lead to readers’ disregarding it altogether. Unless they’re first compelled to click on your book cover, they probably won’t even make it to the first line.

Many self-publishing authors, especially those working on their first launches, are tempted to cut costs by making their own covers. However, unless you are very familiar with design tools and artistic styles, this decision is bound to backfire. Now’s not the time to skimp! A professional cover will pay for itself once you launch your book.

On a separate but related note, your book’s interior design should also be perfected (and, yes, this is crucial, even if you’re only selling ebooks!). Regardless of medium, reading is about more than just enjoying a book’s content; you also need to facilitate a smooth visual experience, and interior design is a huge part of that.

Mistake #2:
Failing to Utilize Back Matter

Speaking of what’s inside your book, let’s talk about back matter, or end matter. This comes after the main contents of your book and often includes an epilogue, acknowledgements and an appendix. But don’t limit your back matter to just these things — instead, try to tap further into the interests of your readers while they’re still thinking about your work!

Consider providing some personal information about yourself and your book — perhaps its conception or charming stories about the writing process. You might include a Q & A from yourself, ideally led by another author, to shed light on certain details. If this is a nonfiction book, include a guide or a link to your website for more useful information.

Indeed, encouraging readers to visit your primary landing page helps you build a rapport with them. It also increases the chances of their buying your future books.

Marketing has to be continuous if you’re building a career as an author, so don’t make the mistake of passing over this opportunity! Not only will you be adding readers to your leads, you’ll be taking them one step closer to a platform where they can buy and review your book.

Mistake #3:
Rushing Through the Book Description

Once you’ve ensured your book is optimally designed and structured for its launch, it’s time to return to Amazon and construct a perfect product page. Amazon self-publishing can be your best friend, if you know how to do it efficiently, and that means writing a stellar book description!

But make no mistake, your book’s blurb is not its description, and you can’t just stick it on your product page and call it a day. Ideally, a blurb summarizes the book’s content in a way that makes the reader curious about it, while a description does more than that — it addresses the reader more directly. Think of your description as a sales pitch; if you’ve cranked out an attractive blurb, you’re about one-third of the way there.

The other two-thirds include the parts that sandwich your blurb: a first-line hook and an encouraging ending. The hook should be short but impressive, while the end can be more elaborate.

One effective technique is to let readers know what to expect in terms of genre by mentioning well-known similar books or comparable titles. You could also include a review or two to boost the credibility of such comparisons:

(above, from the Amazon product page for This Changes Everything by Sally Ember, Ed.D., The Spanners Series, Volume I)

Make sure to put your “grabby” bits at the beginning! Amazon only displays the first couple of lines of your description by default — the buyers will have to click “read more” if they’re curious — so this book description structure can really make a difference in terms of converting traffic into sales.

(Note that these tips also apply to your Amazon Author Page, but that’s less crucial to sales than your book product page itself.)

Mistake #4:
Planning for a Short Launch

Setting your book’s presentation aside for now, let’s dive into actual marketing strategy. As mentioned, book marketing is an ongoing task for most authors, although many believe it’s only a one-time thing. As a result, a lot of authors start their marketing campaigns too close to their launch dates and end them too early.

To combat this, consider dividing your campaign into pre-launch, soft-launch, and the final move in order to generate a constant flow of new buyers. Given that the Amazon algorithm tends to favor books with steady sales over a longer period of time, you should definitely plan for a process that lasts at least a month, from pre-launch to finally letting your book sell on its own.

There are plenty of strategies and tools you can use to fill up this month. For example, for the pre-launch, it’s generally good practice to provide free previews for people who are already following you before the release date, so you can attract reviews as soon as possible.

For the soft launch, consider making your book free or deeply discounted for several days, especially if you are a new author and have limited preexisting reach. Otherwise, just be ready to sell the book cheaply for a week or so to gain traffic and reviews!

The final phase of this gradual process is to increase to the standard price. Maybe do one last round of email marketing to those who haven’t responded to your previous calls to action.

Mistake #5:
Not Optimizing Your Ads

One cannot talk about launching a book without advertisement — but optimizing your book’s ads can be tricky. There are three main platforms to choose from when it comes to advertising your book: Facebook, Amazon, and BookBub. If you are publishing through Amazon, it’s handy to use its advertisement tool as well, since you’ve already done most of the work by creating the perfect book description with good keywords and category tags.

Unfortunately, things aren’t so simple when it comes to advertising on other platforms. The audiences on Facebook and BookBub are very different, since Facebook is obviously a much less book-focused community. Consequently, advertising on each requires different practices (you can learn more about that from Mark Dawson and David Gaughran, respectively). It may seem harmless to ignore these subtle differences, but you’ll save yourself a world of stress and money if you can adapt specifically to the algorithm of each platform.

Mistake #6:
Disregarding Professional Help

So you need to maintain an online presence on several platforms, refine your Amazon product and author pages, create extra promotional materials, and get your Facebook and BookBub ads going. Despite all there is to do, most authors simply roll up their sleeves and take it on — because how hard can it be, right? On top of that, doing things yourself means cutting costs.

But of course, the day-to-day responsibilities of promoting a book can really add up. On any given day, you could be researching anything from Amazon algorithms to Facebook ads. The five mistakes previously covered should give you an idea of how much can go wrong when you don’t have the expertise. Also, even if you can handle each small task individually, it’s unlikely that you can give 100% to all of them at once.

The result may be that nothing will be of high quality. What’s worse, you won’t be able to keep track of how each part of your campaign is working, i.e., what is most effective in increasing traffic and fostering conversion. Consequently, it’ll be hard to know how to revise your strategies for maximum success.

The truth is, you’ll do much better with professional help. Most authors have at least one weak spot where they could use some assistance: a fiction author who writes in a popular genre may want advice on how to narrow down the vast market, while a nonfiction writer may want help dealing with metadata and website optimization. No matter what your situation, rest assured that hiring the right marketers will not be a waste. If anything, it’s a valuable investment not just in your current launch, but in your next launch, too.

*******************************

Launching a book can sometimes feel like launching a rocket. It may be a bumpy journey from here, but don’t be discouraged; at least now you can avoid making some common mistakes (and you can access even more tips through the guide linked here). With the right help and mindset, you’ll be able to get through it all.

Good luck, and happy marketing!

***********************************************
Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories. She’s very passionate about indie publishing and hopes to help as many authors as possible achieve their dreams!
Connect with Desiree Villena:
https://www.instagram.com/reedsy_hq/
https://twitter.com/ReedsyHQ

#selfpublish #selfpublishing #selfpublishingtips #indiepublishing #indiepub #authormarketing #bookpromotion #authorbrand #pubtips #authoradvice

#Ebooks #Smashwords 11th Annual Summer/Winter Sale for 10 More Days! #Free, 50 – 75% off! 7/1—7/31/19

#Ebooks #Smashwords 11th Annual Summer/Winter Sale for 10 More Days!
#Free, 50 – 75% off! 7/1—7/31/19

logoAuthorsDen
The Spanners Series first three Volumes of utopian science-fiction/romance by Sally Ember, Ed.D. are on sale NOW! Proud member of Clean Indie Reads #CR4U and Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network #FSFnet

The Spanners Series‘ cover art and logo by WillowRaven: http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/

Smashwords is having its 11th Annual Summer/Winter Sale and The Spanners Series‘ ebooks in every format (reader’s choice) are on sale!
free (Volume I)
only $2.00 (Volume II) COUPON CODE for Volume II, good on Smashwords, only, 7/1–7/31/19: TL98M
only $1.00 (Volume III) COUPON CODE for Volume III, good on Smashwords, only, 7/1–7/31/19: DK23V

(usually $3.99 each for ebooks) for the the month of July, 2019! See below for links and more info.

And, go browse on Smashwords for other great discounts and sales for the month of July, 2019! https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos/1/any/any

Whether you’re sweating, freezing, rained or snowed on or anywhere in between, there is still time to READ!
Give ebooks for gifts for birthdays, graduations, holidays, anniversaries, vacations: any time!

The paperbacks of all three Volumes are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program at Amazon!
See below for links, details and coupon codes (on Smashwords, only) for each of the Volumes.

SpannersVolume1coverfinal
This Changes Everything, Vol. I, The Spanners Series

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are.

Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Chief Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions.

In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

This Changes Everything spans the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series.

Are YOU ready for the changes?

Volume I, This Changes Everything:
Ebooks are PERMAFREE on Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197
and Amazon: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8 

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart (in this case, download Volume I for free), you get a discount for the total package. Vol I Amazon link: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8

Spannersvolume2coverfinal
This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol. II, The Spanners Series

Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back in Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever.

Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman. Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II.

How would YOU do with the changes?

Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever:
EBOOKS now $2.00, 50% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE TL98M on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol II Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B00KU5Q7KC

Spannersvolume3coverfinal
This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Vol. III, The Spanners Series

Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back in This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III of The Spanners Series. Psi-Defiers launch increasingly violent protests during this five-year Transition, attempting to block Earth’s membership into the Many Worlds Collective. Earth’s nations and borders must dissolve and Psi-Warriors must strengthen in their battle against the rebels.

Clara, as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, also juggles family conflicts and danger while creating psi skills training Campuses to help Earth through the Psi Wars. Clara timults alternate versions of their futures as the leaders’ duties and consciences force them to make difficult choices across multiple timelines, continuing to train and fight.

Will the Psi-Warriors’ and other leaders’ increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough for Earth to make it through The Transition intact? If there is no clear path for Clara’s and Epifanio’s love, does she partner with Steve or go it alone?

What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted changes?

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change:
EBOOKS now $1.00, 75% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE DK23V on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol III Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B0177Z1KRM

3 paperbacks
The Spanners Series‘ three paperbacks.


Print editions and ebooks published under Timult Books

logo Timult Books


REVIEWERS: Ask for FREE Ebook coupon codes for Volumes II and III on Smashwords any time: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com


For more information about Sally Ember, Ed.D., her bio, books, blog, video talk show (CHANGES conversations between authors), guest blog posts and guidelines, links to author interviews, book trailers and more: http://www.sallyember.com

#Ebooks #Smashwords 10th Annual 2nd Annual End-of-Year Sale FINAL Days! #Free, 50 – 75% off! Through 1/1/19

#Ebooks #Smashwords 2nd Annual End-of-Year Sale FINAL Days!
#Free, 50 – 75% off! Through 1/1/19

logoAuthorsDen
The Spanners Series first three Volumes of utopian science-fiction/romance by Sally Ember, Ed.D. are on sale NOW! Proud member of Clean Indie Reads #CR4U and Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network #FSFnet

The Spanners Series‘ cover art and logo by WillowRaven: http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/

Smashwords is having its 2nd Annual End-of-Year Sale and The Spanners Series‘ ebooks in every format (reader’s choice) are on sale for 3 more days only!
free (Volume I)
only $2.99 (Volume II) COUPON CODE for Volume II, good on Smashwords, only, 12/25/18–1/1/19: SEY25
only $2.00 (Volume III) COUPON CODE for Volume III, good on Smashwords, only, 12/25/18–1/1/19: SEY50

(usually $3.99 each for ebooks) for the the month of July, 2018! See below for links and more info.

And, go browse on Smashwords for other great discounts and sales for the month of July, 2018!

Whether you’re sweating, freezing, rained or snowed on or anywhere in between, there is still time to READ!
Give ebooks for gifts for birthdays, graduations, holidays, anniversaries, vacations: any time!

The paperbacks of all three Volumes are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program at Amazon!
See below for links, details and coupon codes (on Smashwords, only) for each of the Volumes.

SpannersVolume1coverfinal
This Changes Everything, Vol. I, The Spanners Series

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are.

Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Chief Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions.

In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

This Changes Everything spans the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series.

Are YOU ready for the changes?

Volume I, This Changes Everything:
Ebooks are PERMAFREE on Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197
and Amazon: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8 

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart (in this case, download Volume I for free), you get a discount for the total package. Vol I Amazon link: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8

Spannersvolume2coverfinal
This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol. II, The Spanners Series

Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back in Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever.

Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman. Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II.

How would YOU do with the changes?

Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever:
EBOOKS now $2.99, 25% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE SEY25 on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol II Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B00KU5Q7KC

Spannersvolume3coverfinal
This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Vol. III, The Spanners Series

Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back in This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III of The Spanners Series. Psi-Defiers launch increasingly violent protests during this five-year Transition, attempting to block Earth’s membership into the Many Worlds Collective. Earth’s nations and borders must dissolve and Psi-Warriors must strengthen in their battle against the rebels.

Clara, as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, also juggles family conflicts and danger while creating psi skills training Campuses to help Earth through the Psi Wars. Clara timults alternate versions of their futures as the leaders’ duties and consciences force them to make difficult choices across multiple timelines, continuing to train and fight.

Will the Psi-Warriors’ and other leaders’ increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough for Earth to make it through The Transition intact? If there is no clear path for Clara’s and Epifanio’s love, does she partner with Steve or go it alone?

What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted changes?

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change:
EBOOKS now $2.00, 50% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE SEY50 on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol III Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B0177Z1KRM

3 paperbacks
The Spanners Series‘ three paperbacks.


Print editions and ebooks published under Timult Books

logo Timult Books


REVIEWERS: Ask for FREE Ebook coupon codes for Volumes II and III on Smashwords any time: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com


For more information about Sally Ember, Ed.D., her bio, books, blog, video talk show (CHANGES conversations between authors), guest blog posts and guidelines, links to author interviews, book trailers and more: http://www.sallyember.com

REBLOGGING: “Locally Grown #Book #Marketing for #Indie #Authors” from Author Marketing Expert

REBLOGGING: “Locally Grown #Book #Marketing for #Indie #Authors” from Author Marketing Expert

https://www.amarketingexpert.com/book-marketing-locally-grown/

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 Day 2016, At a Library Near You?

Indie Author Day 2016, At a Library Near You?

All below is from BookWorks

“Calling all indie authors! We’re pleased to announce a nationwide event that, literally, has your name written all over it. Indie Author Day 2016 is happening on October 8th and you’re not going to want to miss it!

Emilie Hancock, Content and Media Editor of BiblioLabs/BiblioBoard and their partners Library Journal/Self-e, gives us the scoop on the event, along with ways you can participate and help make it a huge success.

“Take it away, Emilie…”

“As the indie book movement continues to develop, authors are constantly looking for ways to reach new audiences. Through a ton of hard work and a bit of luck, indies have been making their way onto the shelves—and into the hearts—of new readers. Their successes are largely due to strong support systems provided both in their local communities and across a global network. The first annual Indie Author Day, set for October 8th, takes that powerhouse duo and runs with it.

What Is Indie Author Day?
Indie Author Day is a one-day, all-out occasion for local authors, libraries and publishing industry experts to celebrate, educate and collaborate. Libraries across North America will host local events, then come together at 2 PM EST USA for a digital gathering that will offer inspiration, information and advice for authors. It’s a chance for the indie writing community to unite through library systems both physically and digitally, and an opportunity to meet, network, make friends and form business partnerships.

What Kinds of Events Will There Be?
“Besides the aforementioned digital presentation, which will bring together all participating libraries, each library will hold its own local event. These can include, but are not limited to, 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 and informative presentations and workshops about tools available to the writing community through the library.

Indie Author Day 2016
http://BookWorks.com

Indie Author Day 2016

Why at the Library?
“Libraries are magical places—or, as the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform campaign likes to call them, maker-spaces. As their traditional role transcends being warehouses for books, we see them increasingly becoming havens for creative minds in the community. A plethora of tools and guidance are now available in libraries and beyond, placing libraries in a better position than ever to make a genuine impact in the lives and careers of local writers. As the self-publishing and indie industries grow, writers who may not have been discovered through traditional channels are able to get their voices heard.

Who’s on Board?
“So far, over 200 libraries have registered to be Indie Author Day hosts across the United States and Canada, where several thousand authors are expected to gather. It’s easy for libraries to sign up, and for authors to get their local library on board. In addition, Indie Author Day partners comprise over 20 author and library organizations:

BookWorks – BookBaby – IngramSpark – SELF-e/Library Journal – BookLife – Pressbooks Public – Califa – Rails Libraries – IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Assocation) – IndieReader – Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project – Bibliolabs – Massachusetts Library System – Where Writers Win – No Shelf Required – Author U – Read Local – Written Word Media – Indies Unlimited – Publishers & Writers of San Diego (PWSD)/Publishers & Writers of Orange County (PWOC)

Next Steps
“The early and general deadlines have already passed, but libraries still have until the final deadline on September 1st to become an Indie Author Day host.

“Authors who want to attend events but don’t see that their library is participating can inform the Indie Author Day team.

“Authors and libraries who already know they’ll be involved can keep up with the latest news on the Indie Author Day website [http://indieauthorday.com/?utm_source=BookWorksBlog&utm_medium=blogPost&utm_campaign=IndieAuthorDay ] and by following or tweeting with the hashtag #AuthorDay16.

GET INVOLVED!
“During the Inaugural Indie Author Day on October 8, 2016, libraries from all across North America will host their own local author events with the support of the Indie Author Day team.

“In addition to these local programs, each library’s indie community will come together for an hour-long digital gathering at 2 PM Eastern USA time featuring Q & A with writers, agents and other industry leaders. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity for libraries and authors to connect on both local and global levels!

“Be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming announcement about the rock star industry specialists who will be talking about their experiences and giving advice during the digital panel.”

SELF-e_IndieAuthorDay_Logo_White-02-e1462825520372

See more at: https://www.bookworks.com/2016/07/indie-author-day-2016-coming-to-library-near-you/#sthash.qMW1ZQhQ.dpuf

10-22-16 is the last of three: Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is sponsoring INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2016 – for Authors, by Authors

Alliance of Independent Authors has sponsored two INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2016 – for Authors, by Authors which occurred on April 15 and May 14. The third and final occurs October 22, 2016

[All Info and logos, below, are from Alli‘s page and emails in March and September from Orna Ross]

Alli logo

Alli is hosting three, one-day, online events, as fringe options to the three main global publishing events of the year: London Book Fair, Book Expo America and Frankfurt Book Fair.

http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-fair-2016/

Each Indie Author Fringe event is an FREE ONLINE AUTHOR CONFERENCE, offering expertise and experience from indies and self-publishing services around the globe.​
Register here: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/86364

Third event starts on October 22 at 10 AM Frankfurt Time.

Yes, it’s Indie Author Fringe time again. Our next — third and final — online conference of the year will be on Saturday 22nd October, for the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Its theme is Running an Indie Author Business, and again, we’re lining up a roster of world-class speakers who’ll be sharing their experience and expertise to help you turn your creative endeavors into an enterprise that delivers commercial satisfaction too.

Whether you’re trying to decide if you’re ready to launch your author business or you’re already up and running and need guidance to streamline or improve, our conference will answer all your questions and save you time, money and effort as you go.

Speaker Update

6 weeks to our speakers and their sessions. View the speaker line-up here
http://selfpublishingadvice.org/fbf-indie-author-fringe-2016-speakers/

Launch of the Best Website Competition

The focus of our competition this time is Best Websites for Indie Authors. What website would you recommend as a resource to another indie? A panel of judges will review all entries and the Winner will be recognized and awarded by ALLi. You can submit your own website, or somebody else’s. Please check the submission guidelines.
http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-fair-2016/fbf16-website-competition-submission/

Your Free Book

alli-free-book-2016

And, don’t forget to download your free copy of Opening up to Indie Authors. All Fringe delegates receive this free ebook, which tells you how to get your book into book stores, literary festivals, libraries and wherever good books are found. Use this link to get your free ebook: http://dl.bookfunnel.com/4c4f35haln

HOT OFF THE PRESS

In Celebration of Ingram Spark‘s Gold sponsorship at Indie Author Fringe, they are offering the following:
—All setup costs waived on new titles
—Setup your existing paperback titles in hardback for no additional cost
—Visit their sponsor page for more information
—Enter INDIEFRINGE16 as the Promo code when setting up your title.

Ingram Spark‘s Offer: TERMS & CONDITIONS

Offer valid September 8th to November 30th, 2016
Applies to all printing options
Both print and ebook setup fees will be waived

About The Alliance of Independent Authors
(ALLi, pronounced “ally”) is a global, nonprofit association for writers who self-publish. Read about the benefits of becoming an ALLi member.

WHAT TO EXPECT

—24-hours of advice and expertise, conversations and connections.

How Does a Virtual Conference Work?

As each hour ticks by on October 22, we’ll publish a new Session on our Event Home Page.

Our first Indie Author Fringe primarily focused on “How To Create a Better Book,” though we have sessions on selling and marketing in each Conference. Different sessions are aimed at beginner, intermediate and advanced level, so no matter where you are as an indie author, you’ll find something for you.​

Indie Author Fringe FAQ

What is Indie Author Fringe?

Indie Author Fringe (formerly known as IndieReCon) offers FREE ONLINE DAY CONFERENCES for authors interested in self-publishing, alongside three of the biggest publishing fairs.

How many Indie Author Fringe events are you hosting in 2016?

We have held two already and now will be having our third of three online international events in 2016:
Frankfurt Book Fair (19th-23rd October 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event will be on October 22nd

London Book Fair (April 12th-14th 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event was on April 15th

Book Expo America (May 11th-13th 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event was on May 14th

What does Indie Author Fringe Offer?

We offer the best self-publishing advice and education for indie authors across the world — using the global reach of the ALLi</strong> network.

How much does it cost to attend Indie Author Fringe?

We are (and always will be) run by authors for authors, so it’s all free!

What Indie Author topics will your cover?

Over the course of the year, our online conference events will take authors through the entire indie author journey, from writing to promotion and beyond. Each event will offer 24 hours of non-stop advice and inspiration, organized around key self-publishing topics.

St. Louis Indie Book Fair is TOMORROW! Saturday, May 7, 2016, 10 – 5: FREE!

Come one, come all! St. Louis Indie Book Fair is TOMORROW! Saturday, May 7, 2016, 10 – 5: FREE!

2016 Indie Book Fair logo
image and all organizational work by Mark Pannebecker

All genres, all ages, fiction and nonfiction, books for children, YA and adult readers!

WHERE? St.Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO USA 63103

Author readings are all day! Mine, from Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, is at 11:18 AM or thereabouts for about 10 minutes. Also, discounts/authors’ giveaways, autographs, conversations, food, more!

Join me (and ask for a special Spanners Series‘ paperbacks discount when you see me!) and many other authors, including Debbie Manber Kupfer.

ALSO: Please come me and other authors share from our work at the public reading auditorium.
11:18 AM!

Full list of participants here: http://www.markpannebecker.com/#!itinerary/c9um

For more information: http://www.markpannebecker.com/#!st-louis-indie-book-fair/c1pz

#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

You’re Not Alone: An Indie Authors Anthology in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support Group

You’re Not Alone: An Indie Authors Anthology
in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support Group

is being Released 7/15/15!

[I am promoting this excellent compilation for a great cause. Info below. I’m NOT one of the authors, FYI, just helping out.–Sally Ember, Ed.D. http://www.sallyember.com]

Indie Anthology cover

The following info comes directly from their “Press Pack”:

What is You’re Not Alone?
“An international group of #indie #authors, inspired by the personal grief of one, decided to collaborate in the spring of 2015 in a project to create this multi-genre smorgasbord of original short stories, all with the same potent theme – relationships. Some are heartfelt, some funny, some poignant, and some are just a little bit scary – much like relationships themselves. All are by authors fired by the shared enthusiasm to give something back in aid of Macmillan #Cancer Support. Cancer touches us all. It has in some way affected those who have contributed their time and talent here. This is our way of showing that we care.

“Indie authors carry forward a revolutionary shift in publishing, which allows the author to be creative director in their own work. There are many exceptional, experienced and acclaimed writers who have decided to take this bold step in publishing. In producing this anthology, we have also had the inestimable assistance on board of artists, graphic designers, and bloggers – all of whom have a place in our acknowledgements. You, the discerning reader, are the other vital part of this equation. By buying this book you are supporting the work of indie authors, as well as discovering their worth. You are also supporting the charity to which we have chosen to dedicate our work.”

100% of the royalties earned or accrued in the purchase of this book, in all formats, will go to the Pamela Winton Tribute Fund, which is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Worldwide Links for You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology
http://smarturl.it/YoureNotAloneAnth
http://bookshow.me/B00Y5RCOOE
The above links will take readers to the Amazon store in their country of registration from anywhere in the world.

“Artist Christine Southworth’s original sketch interpretation…is quite simply, amazing. So talented.”

TABLE OF CONTENTS

01. A YEAR AFTERWARDS By Lesley Hayes
10. CLOSURE By BL Pride
19. COLIN AND SANDY By Anthony Randall
29. ONE OF THOSE DAYS By Ian D. Moore
37. DOLPHINS DANCE By Mike Billington
51. A SPECIAL EVENING By D. Avraham
59. AT THE HANDS OF THE HEALER By Sallyann Phillips
67. DAD By Kayla Howarth
77. FOREVER YOURS By Christoph Fischer
87. FRUITS By Phyllis Edgerly Ring
91. THE YOGA BOWL By Felipe Adan Lerma
96. LILIES FOR THE MANTEL By Sylva Fae
102. GABRIEL AND THE MINISTER BIRD By Andy Updegrove
108. INSIDE OUT By Penny Luker
116. WITCH’S MARK By Katerina Sestakova Novotna
127. LOVE’S SILENT ACHE By Lisa Shambrook
133. GOALS By Tom Benson
144. IF THE SHOE FITS By Katharine E. Hamilton
154. THE BIRTH By Lucinda E. Clarke
157. LOTTA BLUM By Barbara Doran
163. NEVER TOO OLD By Angela Lockwood
168. OOH AIR MARGRIT By Rebecca Bryn
173. BABES By Max Power
182. LAST GOODBYES… By Paul Ruddock
188. A STITCH IN TIME By S.K. Holmesley
198. DAY LATE, DOLLAR SHORT By Eric Lahti
207. LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR By S. E. Meyer
215. NO LONGER BROKEN By Nico Laeser

Indie anthology working cover

Meet the Indie Authors

All contributing authors were asked: “Why have you given your time and work to this cause”
Below, you will find a list of their individual answers and links to their books or websites, to help you discover more about them and their other works.

IARE collage authors photos and names

Lisa Shambrook: Carmarthenshire, Wales
“My family life has been touched by cancer with two of my children’s grandparents suffering. We’ve seen both those who’ve won and lost the battle, and this is a chance to do something to help.”
http://www.lisashambrook.com
http://www.thelastkrystallos.wordpress.com

Sallyann Phillips: Swansea, Wales
“My dad died of cancer, but his strength and determination amazed me. This is my way of honouring him, and the nurses who helped keep his spirits up.”
http://www.Angelsblood.co.uk

Penny Luker: Cheshire, England
“I wanted to contribute to this anthology because of the dear friends I have lost to cancer and because the Macmillan nurses gave them such help and support.”
http://www.pennyluker.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/pennyluker.writer?

Anthony Randall: Dorset, England
“Both of my Grandmothers died from cancer. My maternal Grandmother spent her last week in a hospice where she received brilliant care, the nurses were formidable. It’s an essential charity that I am more than happy to support in this humble way.”
http://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Sombrero-Nothing-but-run-ebook/dp/B00IHH209W
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-English-Sombrero/555658614480373

Katharine Hamilton: Texas, Unites States of America
“In memory of my cousin, Melissa. One of the most hilarious, kind-hearted, and genuine women I have ever known. Fifteen years later, I still wish I had taken that crazy car ride around Murfreesboro with you. But thank you for making my awkward, teenage-self feel cool… even if it was in Arkansas.”
http://www.katharinehamilton.com

Christoph Fischer: Carmarthenshire, Wales [He organized the press packet: THANKS, Christoph!]
“I lost both of my parents to cancer and also a few close friends, so I’m naturally committed to the MacMillan cause. I have seen the MacMillan nurses in action and couldn’t be happier to support their marvellous work.”
http://www.christophfischerbooks.com
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ

SK Holmesley: Colorado, United States of America
“I contributed because Ian asked, and it was a way that I could say: ‘Sorry you lost a loved one.’”

Rebecca Bryn: St David’s, Pembrokeshire, Wales
“My mother was a volunteer cancer nurse, and also nursed my father who died from prostate cancer. This is my chance to honour their courage, love and strength.”
http://www.rebeccabrynandsarahstuart-novels.co.uk
http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/rebecca-bryn

D. Avraham: Hebron Hills, Israel
“When I lost my mom, it would have been that much harder if there hadn’t been caring people supporting us at the time. Ian’s project reminded me of need to thank them. I have donated my piece in their honor, a small gesture to say thank you.”
The Shepherd King Chronicles: Foundation Stone (Beith David Publishing, 2010).
Off-Wire (Lulu 2014), and the author/illustrator of the children’s book, Squared (beith David Publishing 2013).

Tom Benson: Scotland
“I lost both my father-in-law and mother-in-law to cancer before I really got to know either of them.”
http://www.tombensonauthor.com/

Ian D. Moore: North Yorkshire, England
“I began and contributed to this anthology to support the work that the Macmillan Nurses do. My father, father-in-law and mother-in-law were all taken by cancer. This is a tribute to them all.”
https://www.iandmoore.com

Andy Updegrove: Marblehead, Massachusetts, United States of America
“I have dedicated this story to the memory of my father, mother and sister, all of whom died from cancer.”
https://updegrove.wordpress.com/

Lesley Hayes: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
“I’ve been alongside several people affected by cancer. One familiar emotion is powerlessness. Contributing here seems a concrete way of continuing to be alongside, and to show that I care.”
http://www.lesleyhayes.co.uk

Nico Laeser: British Columbia, Canada
“I took a brief hiatus from writing my third novel for the opportunity to work alongside the many incredible authors taking part in this project, and to offer whatever help I could to such a worthy cause. You can find my novels on Amazon by searching ‘Nico Laeser’ or by visiting my author page:”
http://www.amazon.com/Nico-Laeser/e/B00SF3C732

Max Power: Maynooth, Republic of Ireland.
“Having lost my father through cancer, when asked, I had no hesitation in making a contribution through my writing, to this most worthy cause.”
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
http://www.facebook.com/maxpowerbooks

Eric Lahti: New Mexico, United States of America
“I joined the anthology, at the time, because another story was needed. As I started to write, my story became a kind of goodbye to my dad and grandfather who died in 2001 and 2008 respectively.”
Arise: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PX710Y0
Henchmen: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GRXB5Ik

Phyllis Edgerly Ring: New Hampshire, United States of America
“In memory of my father, I am grateful to contribute to this healing resource of hope and compassion.”
http://phyllisedgerlyring.wordpress.com
http://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-Edgerly-Ring/e/B001RXUFD6

S.E. Meyer: Wisconsin, United States of America
“I made the decision to donate my time to this cause for my brother-in-law, Paul, who just recently fought and won the battle against testicular cancer.”
http://www.facebook.com/semeyerbooks
http://www.amazon.com/S.-E.-Meyer/e/B00CFRHL9Y

Christine Southworth: Lancashire, England
“I am involved in this project as a thank you to those who cared for my husband.”
Twitter: @bearprintstudio

Sylva Fae: Cheshire, England
“Helping with this anthology allows me to show my appreciation for those who cared for my dad.”
Sylvanian Ramblings: http://www.sylvafae.co.uk

Barbara Doran: Munster, Westfalen, Germany
“I submitted my story, Lotta Blum, to this Anthology because it’s for a good cause. Ian D. Moore wrote a moving statement on the wonderful works of the Macmillan cancer nurses in a recent post on an Indie Review Group and I responded. You can find my musings here:”
http://www.eclecticwrite.wordpress.com
http://www.serendipitydoit.wordpress.com

Kayla Howarth: Queensland, Australia
“Knowing it was for a good cause, I decided to try something I’d never done before: write a short story. This experience has been uplifting and therapeutic, and I’m glad I took up the challenge.”
http://www.kaylahowarth.com
https://www.facebook.com/KaylaHowarthTheInstituteSeries

Angela Lockwood: France
“Never too old, has been inspired by my mother, who lost her husband and my father to cancer in 1993. I wanted to add a positive story about life afterwards.”
http://www.cruftslover.adzl.com
http://languageintheblood.blogspot.fr

Katerina Sestakova Novotna: Honolulu, United States of America
“It was just an automatic response to a post that I saw. If my thoughts may support a good cause, it’s a great honor to get involved.”
http://www.amazon.com/Hawaiian-Shrunken-Katerina-Sestakova-Novotna-ebook/dp/B00OYUSO1Y

BL Pride: Slovenia
“After a close encounter with cancer I decided it was time I started pursuing my dreams. Being a part of this project is a tribute to a life-changing experience.”
http://www.blpride.com

Mike Billington: Reus, Spain
“I wrote this story for the anthology because, as a cancer survivor myself, I know first-hand just how important the kind of support MacMillan Cancer Nurses provide is. My hope is that Dolphins Dance reminds readers that life is better when we are connected to other people.”
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KCABGK
http://www.amazon.com/author/billington

Felipe Adan Lerma: Austin, Texas, United States of America
“The simplest answer is of course because I wanted to share some of what I feel when writing. The question of whether we are ever truly alone sharpened my focus for this story, shifting the action several times. I am very grateful for the impetus to bring my thoughts to expression in this very short work.”
http://www.amazon.com/Felipe-Adan-Lerma/e/B005XCUUK0
http://www.felipeadanlerma.com

Paul Ruddock: London, England
“Having witnessed cancer first-hand I was absolutely delighted to contribute to such a worthwhile project in support of Macmillan Nurses.”
http://www.paulruddockauthor.com
http://www.echoesofthepen.com

Lucinda E. Clarke: Spain
“My father died when I was two years old, from cancer. When I was diagnosed with the same insidious disease in 1999 I was terrified. I have enormous respect and gratitude for the medical team that saved my life and I hope this is a small way of saying thank you.”
http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com
http://www.lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Look who’s featured on 7/6/15 as part of Indie Authors’ Month: Sally Ember, Ed.D.!

Look who’s featured on 7/6/15 as part of Indie Authors’ Month: Sally Ember, Ed.D.!

Visit every day this month and honor Indie Authors! Thanks, Mel Cusick-Jones and Tony Talbot, for organizing and promoting this event and including me!
http://Asidefromwriting.com

iam-2015-topper

Indie Author Month 2015 is finally here! Thirty-one days, thirty-one indie authors for you to meet, sharing the best of what it is to be an indie author from their own experiences…

So, welcome to the first day of our Indie Author Month – now in its fourth year, we’re excited to be hosting more fantastic indie authors during the event, which will run throughout July.

As in previous years, the event aims to bring indie authors into the spotlight, helping them find new readers, as well as letting them share their experiences of writing and publishing as an indie author. There are highs and lows to this creative life and everyone’s experience and approach is slightly different…

This year specifically, we have opened up the event to authors of every genre – variety is the spice of life! The only thing we’ve asked from each of them is to tell us about their experiences as an indie writer…from their personal writing journey, to the things they’ve learned about self-publishing, you’ll find it all here this month.

We hope you’ll keep coming back each day through the event, to meet the authors and chat with them about their writing.

Download and purchase Indie Authors’ books!
Write #comments on our #blogs!
Post #bookreviews and ratings of our books on sale sites, especially Amazon, and on Goodreads, Booklikes, Shelfari, Library Thing, nook, Kobo and iBooks!

All links for FREE downloads and purchase of ebooks in The Spanners Series as well as places to post comments and reviews: http://www.sallyember.com Look right; scroll down.

THANKS!

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 II: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Book #Reviews and #Reviewers

Part II: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Book #Reviews and #Reviewers

This is Letter Two of Four of my “open letter to my earlier self” series that first appeared on The Book Cove, http://www.thebookcove.com/2014/12/author-sally-ember-edd-open-letter-to.html, late November – December, 2014.
Letter One appeared on my site, http://www.sallyember.com/blog, on 3/26/15.
Letters Three and Four post on April 11 and 18, 2015.

bookreviews_logo

I published my first ebook in December, 2013, and my second in June, 2014. My third just published last month, March, 2015. What I wish I had known before my first ebook went into pre-sales in November, 2013, about book reviews and reviewers could probably fill a book all by itself. I will try to make my life lessons more pithy, here.

Dear Sally,

You undoubtedly feel all excited about your first science-fiction/romance ebook’s publication, as you should. You are eager to read the first reviews, wondering how readers will respond, right?

Part of your preparation has been to read reviews and write reviews yourself on Goodreads. You have mostly been reading books you get from the library from rather well-known authors and writing reviews of those.

Alternatively, you have been reading a few works-in-progress by new and indie authors on http://www.Authonomy.com and http://www.Wattpad.com and leaving comments. Some authors have been commenting on your excerpts, also.

Several authors and bloggers are volunteering to review your first ebook and you are searching sites for other possible reviewers. You have been lucky: several have agreed, so you are able to put some of their choice reviewers’ comments into the final epub version’s front matter of your first Volume of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, prior to its actual release!

5 stars and lower

image from http://mandydegeit.wordpress.com

You are feeling great! Many of the reviewers are quite positive, giving the book 5 and 4 stars. Even the 3-star reviews have positive comments amidst the critiques and offer valuable points of view. You are psyched!

Then, the DNF (Did Not Finish) “reviews” start to appear, with 1- or 2-star ratings even though they didn’t read even half (and in some cases, even one-quarter) of your 323-pg book. Now come the lessons.

DNF quote

image from http://authorceo.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 1: Do not expect all reviewers actually to read your book or to behave like professional reviewers.

    What? How do non-readers get to call themselves “reviewers”?

    People who only watch a few minutes of a movie or TV show or walk out at intermission for a live performance aren’t entitled to submit a full review much less a rating. Why are these readers doing this? What gives them any right to even comment, much less evaluate your book with so little experience of it? Reviewers are supposed to READ the book, first, aren’t they?

    HA HA HA HA HA! You wish!

    It’s all right. Calm down. Blog about DNFs and move on. Enjoy their snarky comments(some of the are quite witty and even funny), post them right along with the other reviewers’ insightful remarks. What do you care? It’s not as if their DNF opinions matter: they did not read your book! Ignore.

    NO DNF logo

    image from http://frodosco.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 2: Not all readers will comment; not all downloads lead to readers.

    Do not expect all readers to leave comments or reviews.

    No comment bubble

    image from http://oscarmini.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 3: Reviewers are all volunteers (or mostly) and often do not have the ability to meet stated deadlines.

    Do not expect all reviewers who say they will review your book to do it in a timely fashion or at all. Waiting for reviews? May as well be waiting for Godot. “There is nothing to be done.”

    Waiting for Godot

    image from http://blogs.mprnews.org

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 4: Reviewers will not always respond to requests.

    Do not be surprised when requests for reviews are ignored even when you follow all the reviewers’ guidelines and fill out their forms, even when your book falls within their genre specifications and meets their criteria perfectly, not even when they claim they will respond to all requests.

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 5: Be open to a “swap” or don’t join the clubs.

    When you say that you are not a “review swap” kind of author, explaining that, on the rare occasion you do accept another author’s book to read and review (because you’re very busy writing), that:
    a) you cannot promise to provide their book with a 4- or 5-Star ranking,
    b) you do not know what you will think of their book prior to reading it, and
    c) you can’t promise a “positive” review,
    do not be surprised when some reviewers/authors refuse to review your book at all (and some are quite snarky about it).

    The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) developed a Code of Ethics(#ethicalauthor) http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/ethical-author-campaign/ in November, 2014, that included these statements in the Reviewing and Rating books section, which I like (except for the missing apostrophe on the final use of reader):
    “I do not review or rate my own or another author’s books in any way that misleads or deceives the reader. I am transparent about my relationships with other authors when reviewing their books.

    “I am transparent about any reciprocal reviewing arrangements, and avoid any practices that result in the reader being deceived.”

    Then, they also included this part in Reacting to reviews, which I thoroughly agree with:

    “I do not react to any book review by harassing the reviewer, getting a third party to harass the reviewer, or making any form of intrusive contact with the reviewer. If I’ve been the subject of a personal attack in a review, I respond in a way that is consistent with professional behaviour.”

    Read the entire Ethical Author Code and decide if you, as an author, want to adhere to it, or you as a reader want authors to adhere to it. If you do, download the badge, below, and spread the word! http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/alli-campaigns/ethical-author/

    ALLiEthicalAuthor_Final-Outlines-300x173

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 6: Most reviews and authors’ groups do not accept “negative” reviews.

    Some even have agreements up front that they will not post or give any books lower than a 3-Stars ranking. They consider a 3 (out of 5) to be a “terrible” rating.

    When you are involved with some authors’ groups which require “review swaps” as part of “belonging” to their “club” (which I heartily recommend AGAINST joining for precisely that reason and more besides) and you read the book you have chosen or been assigned and discover that it is a book you have to give a 2-star rating to (and that is being generous, in your opinion), do not be surprised when the club leaders seem supportive but it turns out that they are not.

    Be prepared for the author to tell you that s/he is “too thin-skinned” to talk to you about your responses prior to your posting the review. You do wonder, however, how anyone can publish books, put their writing out in public, expect all their readers to react positively every time and make no emotional preparations for the eventuality of rejection or negative feedback from readers.

    Take it in stride when the leaders refuse to post your review even though it meets all their stated criteria, you warned them in advance that it was not “positive,” and they emailed you that “an honest opinion was all they wanted or expected from their members.” Do not take their lack of integrity personally, even when they cast aspersions on your character and hint that you are “being unfair” and “unkind.” Do not take the bait, even when they keep asking you questions that imply how heartless you are to rate that book so low, such as, “Don’t you know how hard this author worked on that book?”

    We wish everyone realized that rational, negative reviews can be helpful, as blogger Jody Hedlund points out in this great meme:

    Negative reviews can be helpful

    image from http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 7: Even the readers who chose to review your book may not like your genre or understand your book, yet will blame you for their lack of enjoyment and comprehension.

    Why, you wonder, would a reader who already knows she doesn’t like science-fiction choose to read, much less claim to want to review, a science-fiction book? There are ALIENS on the cover. There is no mistaking the genre of this book! What is the deal?

    The components of Buddhism and Judaism figure prominently in your books and you make that clear in blurbs and your bio. So, why would a born-again Christian, a devout Muslim or Catholic or any other religious-leaning person who has problems accepting Buddhism or Judaism in fictional characters and plots (or in real life, actually) choose YOUR books to review? What were they imagining would happen?

    You put information right in the first chapters of your books regarding its format (all in the present tense on purpose, for example, and presentations of multiple timelines), yet some reviewers will criticize your writing for these exact components, commenting that you “needed a better editor” since you “obviously don’t know how to use verb tenses,” or complain that “there were too many versions of the same story.”

We authors can’t please everyone, nor should we even try. Write your best book, Sally. Appreciate ALL reviews, even the DNFs. Keep going. By the time you get to Volume III or IV, this “newbie indie author” phase will seem as if it happened in another lifetime.

Meanwhile, support other indie authors. Write and leave reviews, rankings, comments and LIKES.

Support indie authors 2

image from http://alifeboundbybooks.blogspot.com

10 Criteria for Joining #Online #Groups/#Communities for #Writers

10 Criteria for Joining #Online #Groups/#Communities for #Writers

What is the value of social networks in easing the loneliness of the solo writer? How do online groups/communities provide opportunities for sharing ideas? How do today’s writers, especially for those newly published or about to seek options in publication, benefit from building communities of virtual friends?

There are now thousands of online groups/communities a writer can join. Some are only available via membership in existing social media sites, such as Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. Others are stand-alone groups that have their own websites and memberships but may also host a page on any of the other social media sites to attract and inform potential members and continue to post info to members regularly.

Then, there are the groups, chat rooms or fora one can join, lurk on and/or contribute to on Yahoo, KindleBoards, Smashwords, Bublish, Authonomy, Jukepop Serial, Wattpad, and probably hundreds more, Add to that specific professional sites’ groups, such as Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, etc., plus international groups and marketing sites and it makes one’s head spin.

If you are a blogger as well as a fiction writer, if you are a new and/or indie pub author or just one of millions who has no outside PR firm hired to market your books, you NEED groups/communities to get your “brand” known, find readers, attract followers and fans, get “pingbacks,” improve your ALEXA rating, your KLOUT or SNAP scores, get a Google Page Ranking for your website….

Don’t you?

How does a busy writer wade through all these opportunities to decide where to plant one’s online presence “flag” and still have time to write? The discerning writer who actually wants to protect your time and keep writing while marketing effectively can use these 10 criteria to choose your online memberships.

10 Criteria for Joining #Online #Groups/#Communities for #Writers

Join-us-banner

image from: http://www.tabularasa.com.au

DECIDE whether or not to:

1. PAY or stick with FREE memberships?
Some groups are free; some start out free or have a free level but change into/have paid memberships that provide additional services or opportunities to those who pay. If you have an unlimited budget or find yourself drawn to one or more of these groups and can afford it, go ahead and become a paid (upper-level) member. Some of these groups’ upper levels really do offer services to authors that are useful; some just say they do but when you read carefully, the “services” are not much more than occasional tweets.

Beware of those that over-promise, do not deliver, or are vague about what paid membership avails members of before paying. Research them: search for the group’s hashtag or tweet handle and then privately message someone [not the leader] about specific ways that being a paid member benefits him/her.

So far, the most I have paid to “belong” to any group or purchase any “marketing” service was $15 and it wasn’t worthwhile. If you do join a group and pay your fees or dues, make sure you’re getting what you pay for and only renew if it’s worth it: no automatic renewals!

pay dues

2. Participate in “review swaps”?
As a newbie desperate for reviews for seemingly invisible books, I found these groups to be so tempting. They seemed so supportive. They offer REVIEWS, sometimes in great quantity, sometimes with rankings and votes as well. But, free or not, these review “exchanges” come with several “prices,” and I personally decided the prices were too high.

For one, I am not comfortable providing pre-arranged and necessarily positive reviews (usually these swaps require/request a review rating of 4 or higher) for books I haven’t yet read in order to get the same for my own books (which the “reviewers” may or may not fully read). I “got into trouble” for daring to critique the books I read for being under-edited, overwritten, poorly constructed, badly plotted, shallow, etc.

Second, and much more chilling: if you join these groups and participate, you run the risk of having any or all of your reviews summarily removed from Amazon for not being inauthentic (some rightly so).

Third, some social media sites (Goodreads, for one) monitors members’ activities and sends messages to those members it believes are abusing the site, such as by “buying” or “trading” votes on Listopia, for example, or providing “fake” 5-star reviews to numerous members’ books. If you even get accused and especially when caught, you will discover that most sites’ TOS say they can suspend your account permanently and remove your books’ reviews, rankings, votes, etc., often with no warning and no recourse.

banned from Amazon

Although I joined some of these groups initially, I found out all of this later. Then, I removed myself within a few months of joining. I never paid to join.

If you are comfortable with the risks and conditions, go right ahead and participate.

3. Participate in Blog Hops and other “required” activities?
Some of these are great and worth doing. Others, not so much.

Look around, visit a few, comment, see what happens. THEN, decide.

4. Join a “Tweet” team or use group hashtags when posting?
This is highly recommended by some, disregarded by many. When someone posts nothing on Twitter but lists of others’ handles and the group’s hashtag, NO ONE CARES. Don’t do that.

But, if your group actually retweets, comments, replies, shares, ENGAGES with each others’ tweets or posts, that is worthwhile and those groups are worth joining.

5. Become a regular responder/poster or stay in the “shadows” (read/lurk but don’t comment, “LIKE,” +1 or post)?
I highly recommend lurking/reading many days’ or months’ worth of posts for some “Boards,” Communities or Groups before posting yourself. Get the “culture” of the group: the tone, the topics, the length, the repartee, the purposes. See if these resonate with you and your “brand” or style. If yes, go right ahead and join in the conversation. If not, move on.
Do not join a group to argue, criticize, lambast or attack.

Remember: the internet is “forever”: if you get into a “flame war,” readers/fans and publishers (and employers) can find it years later. Perhaps use a pseudonym for controversial posts.

Zooey Deschanel quote about trolls

6. Become a “help offered,” “help requested” or both type of participant?
You can become a resource to others on many sites (Quora, Ask an Expert, Reddit, etc.) or request help yourself.

Respect, assistance and expertise are admired. Whining, complaining, false information or bragging: not.

7. Join as yourself, your brand/books/website, your pseudonym?
EVERYTHING you post becomes part of your brand unless you use pseudonyms. The intentional and judicious use of pseudonyms is recommended, particularly if you write in vastly different genres (children’s books and erotica) or want to comment on controversial topics but not affect your brand.

If you become a “content curator,” offering information, help, creative/fun posts, and these are consistent (or at least not contradictory) with your brand, go for it! Join groups and comment/post frequently as yourself. Get to know/be known by the members, become a fan /follower of theirs.

I belong to several groups whose members and I are becoming virtual friends. We support each other’s efforts.

encouragers-wanted

image from: http://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com

These are the groups worth joining and continuing to be active in and are valuable even when you have little time. If you comment here with one of yours, I’ll share some of mine!

Dump the rest.

8. Join any genre-specific or topic-specific groups?
If you are a “genre” writer, then, YES: join one or more of these groups.

I belong to sci-fi, romance, paranormal, ebooks, indie pub, fantasy, “clean” indie, female-oriented, YA, speculative fiction, blogger, author, writer, marketing, science, tech, G+ HOA help and many other groups that I interact with, enjoy and learn from weekly.

Be sure to read and follow each group’s posting guidelines carefully to avoid getting disliked, kicked out or otherwise censored.

9. Offer any giveaways, have contests, provide guest spots yourself?
If you have print books or swag, go right ahead and offer it/them. I highly recommend that you think of what you have to offer and start offering (e.g., free PDFs of writing tips, samples of your writing, free passes, discount coupons) whenever you can.

I have a blog (http://www.sallyember.com/blog) and an almost-weekly Google+ Hangout On Air (CHANGES HOA), so I can and do offer guest blog opportunities and guest starring spots. If you’d like to propose a guest blog topic and date and/or be on CHANGES, get in touch with me here: sallyember@yahoo.com

I am also a series ebooks novelist, so I offer the first book in The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, as “permafree,” which is highly recommended for newbies to do, once we have subsequent books for sale.

When you are doing many other types of writing and interacting regularly with several online groups/communities, you can occasionally plug your own books! Like, NOW!

logoAuthorsDen

10. Enter any contests or pay for reviews or marketing?

When a group’s entire purpose is to further its own ends and fill its coffers with entry fees, service charges, etc., these make me suspicious. But, I am naturally cynical.

I decided early on not to pay to enter any writing contests, not to pay for reviews, not to pay for “members’ services” and mostly not to pay for marketing. These are my decisions and not everyone agrees with them.

Some individuals offer a combination of free and for sale services/marketing, so you can decide which you want to participate in/join. I have met several great people and had excellent experiences in some groups in this way: I participated in their free activities and then did not continue when the next steps required payment since I couldn’t afford or did not need those services at that point. I do give these “helpers” regular “shout-outs” and thank them publicly for all they do/have done, actions which I hope make up for my lack of financial support to them.

The professionals left me alone when I asked them to do so. The ones who wouldn’t stop emailing and kept on when I asked them to stop or when I told them I wasn’t buying got relegated to spam and ignored.

You have to decide for yourself. However, if you are considering paying for any of these, please research the contest, reviewers, PR person, etc., thoroughly.

Writing Community

It’s bad enough not to win or not to get what you paid for; it’s worse when you’ve paid a lot. BEWARE!

If/when you find groups worth joining, please comment about them here.

Best of luck to you all!

15 reasons I could only give a 2-Star #Review for The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide, 2015

I received an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide and promised to write and post an honest review here on my own blog and on at lesat one other ebook site (see links, below) in exchange.

Self-publishing Ultimate cover

According to the co-editors, this Guide “is the first and largest collection of curated and verified resources for independent authors who plan to publish their own books. Produced by a team with long experience in both traditional and independent publishing, the over 850 resources are listed in an easy-to-use format that includes live links, phone numbers, email addresses and brief descriptive copy. The Guide makes vendors and other resources easy to find by separating them into 33 distinct categories within the 3 main tasks the self-publisher must deal with. How to Prepare, Publish, and Promote their books.”

15 reasons I could only give a 2-Star #Review for

The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide

PERSONAL NOTE: This Guide already received some excellent endorsements from “heavy-hitters” in the Indie-Publishing industry, several of whom happen to be my unofficial mentors: Mark Coker of Smashwords, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, and Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, to name a few.

I’m daring to add to and not to agree with these experts’ opinions, here. If I were you, I’d also go read theirs! And, please: I’m trying to be constructive, so I give a lot of recommendations and make many pleas. It’s not just a pan.

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to give it 5 stars. I cannot.

The best thing I can say about this is that the editors promise that they want it to be improved and added to quarterly or annually.

I am NOT trying to be snarky or mean. I genuinely went in with high hopes and expectations, given all the hype and positive endorsements this Guide has had. These hopes were dashed in the first few chapters and it did not get better as I went along.

I hope they will take my critique and others’ feedback to make the Guide better, not just longer.

Here are my 15 reasons for giving Guide only 2 stars:

  1. Why isn’t this an actual GUIDE? Why is the Guide almost entirely just a lot of somewhat organized lists?
    Instead of directing, informing, and assisting new indie authors with each selected aspect (and I do like the aspects, or chapters, they decided to include), there is a lot of information not given. This info is either missing, such as the reasons a writer would need to use a section or how to use the information provided, or withheld, such as the providing of a rating system or users’ experiences for each resource—annotations, as in YELP or Angie’s List—for each entry.
    If we wanted to acquire a list of resources, we could do that from many other places.
    The editors say these have been vetted, but where is the evidence of that? What did they assess? Why don’t they include their assessments, or a summary of why each listing is “better” than those not included, and for what, exactly?
    I was very disappointed in the editors’ lack of interaction with each listing provided. They seem to have merely collected a lot of self-written descriptions or blurbs about each entry (meaning, written by each resource provider, not the editors or users) and put the selected listings in alphabetical order.
    Since they say they vetted each entry and rejected some, why aren’t we reading more about WHY they included each entry?
    If I had paid for this “GUIDE,” I’d want a refund.

  2. This book was poorly written and edited. However, the authors’ long, impressive bios (see below) list extensive experiences in editing and proofreading. They also exhort the need for both in this Guide .
    However, even though I wasn’t looking for or expecting to find mistakes, find them I did. There were numerous mistakes in grammar, punctuation and syntax as well as inexcusably sloppy and poor writing in almost every one of their brief intros/summaries for each section/chapter. Finding so many problems was surprising and very disappointing.

  3. The editors mention more than once a warning to readers to “read the fine print” if they choose to enter into contracts, but nowhere do they provide any tips or hints about exactly what to watch out for, what to avoid, what to accept. Why?
    Their advice is so vague as to be trite and useless; without specifics, they’re not helping anyone. Why not a chapter on “Don’ts” or “Beware of…”?
    [It’s as if they started to write a guide and then, halfway through, made it a listing service instead. It makes me wonder if there was some money exchanging hands, ensuring certain listings and keeping out others.
    Is that just my inner cynic talking? There is no evidence of resource providers’ purchasing their listings….]

  4. Why did they not include a chapter on authors’ support networking? There are so many indie authors’ forums, Kindle Boards, authors’ groups, etc.
    If they take my advice and add that chapter, I hope they make notations as to which resources/ groups/ providers are fee-based and which are free, and what the fee ranges are, if applicable, and what the fees avail members of, specifically.
    Fee information is crucial but missing from every chapter.
    Also, I hope they weed out the “review swap” groups, since these violate Amazon’s Terms of Service, and I hope they would EXPLAIN the TOS violation consequences (removal of reviews, for example) in their new chapter.

  5. Why is there a chapter on websites for authors? What makes a website for authors particularly unique vs. a website for bloggers, e.g., or vs. any other small business? This claim of distinction is never explained, yet there is a chapter devoted to a list of people they are supporting who supposedly create websites “for authors.”
    I’m scratching my head over this. If the editors explained their rationale, I might be on board. However, again, no explanations are given.

  6. There is a chapter devoted to Book Reviews with no mention of the extremely important and controversial issue of paid vs. free reviews, and no annotations as to which of those listed charges authors for providing reviews nor how much they charge.
    These omissions are significant oversights. Must correct in future revisions, please.

  7. There are several chapters that are devoted to formatting one’s book—ebooks vs. print vs. Print On Demand vs. “Short Run” [sic]—with no explanation as to the differences among these formats or which to do first and the reasons.
    Also, what about the issue of whether or not even to have a print version: why? when? at what cost? Many of us do not have any print versions: what are the consequences of going ebook-only for each genre?
    Furthermore, when introducing each type of formatting, there is no explanation about the reasons/ bases for ebooks’ formatting issues or the assistance offered, via Smashwords vs. Amazon, for example, or about difficulties of passing through Smashwords‘ “meatgrinder” successfully and what that success generates in benefits; no mention is made of that nor that Digital2Digital does not use such gate-keeping, for example.
    If this is truly going to serve as a guide, MORE ANNOTATIONS and information are needed.

  8. What is a Short Run [sic]? I have never heard of it (since I have no print books, yet) and it was not sufficiently explained (nor hyphenated?). Why include it if not also to explain more completely what it is?

  9. Several key “players” were omitted, which I know can be corrected, but since some of them provided endorsements or reviews, I’m baffled by their absences. Many of those missing are very prominent in the blogosphere, Google+ or Twitter but not so much on Facebook. What about those who shine on Pinterest, Instagram, or Tsu?
    Maybe these editors not as active on the other social media platforms? The Book Marketing Tools and its free ebooks listing tool, e.g., were not included.
    In order to be an actual GUIDE and not just a list, part of this chapter should include annotations giving pros and cons of authors’ activity on each platform and who the leaders are on each.

  10. Social media platforms are the not the only places authors need to “go” or be “seen.” Start with: Blog Talk Radio shows that feature authors and books, like Indie Books with Will Wilson, The Backporch Writer with Kori Miller, and so many more; Google+ LIVE and taped Hangouts on Air, such as my show, CHANGES, which then go to Youtube; D’vorah Lansky’s and others’ teleseminars and webinars devoted to books, book marketing and authors; The Authors Show, A Book and a Chat and many others on their own “channels”; podcasts and other shows, such as The Author Hangout, with Shawn Manaher and R.J. Adams, via iTunes and other sources, and so many more.
    Please request and create a chapter with annotated listings of opportunities of this type and how to access them.

  11. There was no mention of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and the controversies/problems indie authors face regarding this, nor was a distinction made between Kindle Select and Kindle Direct.
    These are exactly the types of explanations missing from this book that need to be put in, please.

  12. Why was there such a small number of “Social Media Consultants” included? I could come up with more than that, yet I am not one myself nor have I used one.
    The editors need to do better outreach, here, and a LOT of annotating, since many who call themselves “experts” are NOT; I know vetting is something these editors say they have been doing, so let’s see the results.

  13. There needs to be more info about money. For example, if the chapter on contests and awards is going to be useful as more then an incomplete list, each entry needs to be annotated to include info on entry fees and deadlines as well as more about the actual value of winning or placing in each.
    These contests can take a lot of time: show us what’s required, specifically, to enter, please, and what we might gain from winning.
    Great to include a chapter on acquiring funding, too, but that also seemed a bit “light.” There are many more opportunities out there, but at least there were several clearinghouses, like C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers, listed.
    Such lacks make this book more of a jumping-off point than a guide, though.

  14. I also don’t understand why those who provide services in more than one area (as delineated by these editors) are not dually or triply listed, as often ought to be the case. Readers/users will find resources only in the chapters they go to skim and may not read other chapters at all.
    For example, Judith Briles is listed for her private site, but Author U is not listed at all, anywhere I could find.
    I know it would make the Guide longer, but there must be a way to show readers that a listing appears elsewhere in the book, or could appear elsewhere (and in what chapters) but editors decided to list each resource only once for space reasons, right?

  15. I do not think Book Promoters are the same as book PR people, but perhaps I’m alone in this. In any case, I think having the word “Promoters” missing from the chapter headings is confusing.

If/when most or all of these omissions, errors and improvements are managed, I’d love to see that version. Or, maybe they should change the title from “Ultimate Resource Guide” to “Resource Compendium” or “Resource Listings.” They’d have fewer changes to make if they did that.

I wouldn’t think that would be as useful, though, as my revised version could be. I hope SOMEONE makes that version!

Meanwhile, although I believe The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide may be worthwhile as a starting point, it is far from being the “Ultimate Resource Guide” at this point.

Any newbie to self-publishing would have to pick up many other and better guides to make this one useful.


On their book’s website, in the FAQs, they state: “We plan to update the ebook edition of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide monthly after the launch, eventually moving to a quarterly update. The print edition will be updated once each year, so we’ll have a new edition reflecting all the changes at the end of 2015.”

Proof? they post this excellent exhortation/invitation on the “CONTACT” page:

The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide is a living document.

Although we have tried to gather the most valuable resources for indie authors, it’s inevitable that some have been missed, and new products and services are constantly being introduced. We want your help to make it even better. If you know of a person, company, product, or service of value to independent authors that’s not included in this guide, please let us know. You can send submissions to be included in the next edition of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide by the contact form below. Thank you.

Essential Qualification Guidelines for those who wish to be listed in The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide.

Extensive, professional experience in serving the self-publishing community.
A current, informative, interactive website.
Complete contact information; location (city, state/province, country), phone number, email address, and contact person if applicable.
Outstanding reputation; positive client/customer testimonials and/or reviews.
The final decision on all listings is at the editors’ discretion.

Note: Personal connection or recommendation of resource/business, is meant for anyone who is recommending someone else’s business. Say you are an author and use an editor not listed in the book. You can put that into the submission as your connection (I am an author who uses these services) and recommendation (what you think of the services you receive). It would not apply to someone who is asking for their own company to be included.


For more information: http://www.spresourceguide.com/

Ebook Purchase and Review Links:
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QSKUS2Q/
B&N (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-self-publisherr-joel-friedlander/1120927172?ean=2940150138957
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-self-publisher-s-ultimate-resource-guide
Apple (iBooks): https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/self-publishers-ultimate-resource/id950440919?mt=11

The Authors/Editors:

Joel Friedlander
“…is an award-winning book designer and blogger who has been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994 from his book design and consulting practice at Marin Bookworks in San Rafael, California. Joel is a self-published author and the blogger behind http://TheBookDesigner.com, a popular and award-winning blog on book design, book marketing, and the future of the book. Joel is also the founder of The Self-Publishing Roadmap, a training course for authors, and http://TheBookMakers.com and http://BookDesignTemplates.com, where he provides tools and services for authors who publish their own books. He speaks often at publishing industry events and is a past president of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.”

Joel-2014-headshot-300x

Betty Kelly Sargent
“…is the founder of BookWorks, and the founder of The Educated Author, and writes a monthly column on self-publishing for Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the Independent Editors Group (EIG) and has spent more than 30 years in the traditional publishing business, most recently as editor-in-chief of William Morrow, where at one point she had three books on the New York Times best-seller list at once. She has also been executive editor at HarperCollins, executive editor at Delacorte Press, Fiction and Books editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, and book reviewer for CNN. She is the author of seven traditionally published books and one self-published book. She moderates panels and workshops in New York City and Los Angeles and is passionate about helping indie authors learn to navigate the ever-changing landscape of self-publishing.”

Betty-photo-1

Copyright © 2015 Marin Bookworks, All rights reserved.

CONTACT:
The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide Editors,
Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent
Marin Bookworks
369-B THIRD STREET #572
SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901
editor@spresourceguide.com

Tell me What Types of Posts you Want More of for 2015! Summary & Links to Posts from 2014’s Sally Ember, Ed.D., Blog by Category

Tell me What Types of Posts you Want More of for 2015! Summary & Links to Posts from 2014’s Sally Ember, Ed.D., Blog by Category

Welcome to all my new readers, followers, and returning ones to this year-end review. I am grateful for all of your attention, especially when you reblog, comment, ask questions or poke at my opinions. THANK YOU for being a part of this writer’s blog experience this year and I hope you continue to visit!

Quick Year-in-Review Stats and Info:

  • My post, Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups, 2/20/14, brought the most visitors in one day (195).
  • My post, 15 Points about the Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains, 5/2/14, was the most-viewed post (356) (see below for list of ALL my posts, by category and date).
  • My post, How to STUPENDIFY my #Ebook’s Release with a Virtual Book Tour, garnered the most comments (22).
  • This blog was viewed about 14,000 times with visitors from 127 countries.
  • Nicholas C. Rossis was my most active commenter: THANKS, Nicholas!

Link to full annual stats report: https://sallyember.com/2014/annual-report/

If you are new-ish to this blog, you may especially appreciate that I have listed most of my blog posts and major categories, below, so you can cruise around by topic rather than date, if you choose. I am a sci-fi/ romance/ utopian/ multiverse/ paranormal (psi) ebooks author who also has a keen interest in many other subjects, most notably: science, social issues/politics, writing/publishing/ book marketing/ reviews, and spirituality/meditation. Because of a fall that caused a concussion last spring, I also became engrossed in Traumatic Brain Injury and its aftermaths, especially as it impacts meditation.

In addition to the posts listed, below, I also have Author Interviews (with me as the subject), videos of each of my CHANGES conversations (we’re up to Episode 16, to date), links to my guest blog posts and much more on my website (I’m providing the link here in case you’re reading this elsewhere):
http://www.sallyember.com

My broad interests are loosely grouped into the categories I’ve centered and bolded, below, but some posts had to be listed as “doubled” because they straddled more than one area.

I’ve highlighted the TOP (1st, 2nd and 3rd), as in most-viewed, posts as well as some of the least-viewed.

Regarding the least-viewed, many of these are not listed, below, because I didn’t originate the content and/or the posts were not about my own books, but these posts which had between 1 – 3 views included: most reblogs of others’ posts; links to interviews of me or others as Authors; links and excerpts from my books’ reviews and The Spanners Series‘ Vol II’s serialized excerpts; personal stories from my meditation retreat and experiences; announcements of The Spanners Series‘ book trailers, releases, reviews; announcements of my being on someone else’s radio show, blog or other format as an author; some of my opinion pieces on various topics.

No pattern, there, so not sure what to make of these low-readership posts. Wrong day? Wrong week? Not enough followers, yet, when posted? We’ll see in future months!

If you missed a post, enjoyed a topic but didn’t realize I had more posts in that same area, or want to comment on any of this year’s posts, now’s your chance! Please do comment! I reply to all. And, feel free to share/reblog, curate/use any of my content (giving me credit, please, and excerpting ethically, of course).

I hope your holiday celebrations or whatever activities you have been doing lately have brought you joy. Best to you all!

WIN_20141113_151054

About My Books and Other Science-Fiction

1/8/14: “Finishing the Hat” or, in my case, another #eBook
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/08/finishing-the-hat-or-in-my-case-another-ebook/

logoAuthorsDen

1-16-14: “5 Wonderful Stars” for #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING!
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/16/618/

1/18/14: #DNF Review for #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING still shines!
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/18/dnf-review-for-thischangeseverything-still-shines/

1/23/14: Surprisingly Glowing #Review by Carrie Shepherd of This Changes Everything
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/23/surprisingly-glowing-review-by-carrie-shepherd-of-this-changes-everything/

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

1/24/14: Stellar Review by David ben Efraim for This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series: “The End of Humankind’s Loneliness”
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/24/5-star-review-by-david-ben-efraim-of-this-changes-everything-volume-i-the-spanners-series-the-end-of-humankinds-loneliness/

1/25/14: New Book Trailer for This Changes Everything right here!
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/25/new-book-trailer-for-this-changes-everything-right-here/

1/28/14: 3 Stars for This Changes Everything from Alexander Crommich: Book Review
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/28/3-stars-for-this-changes-everything-from-alexander-crommich-book-review/

2/5/14: “Complex, Creative, and Compelling – 4 Stars” from B.C. Brown for This Changes Everything!
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/05/complex-creative-and-compelling-4-stars-from-b-c-brown-for-this-changes-everything/

2/6/14: 4 Stars from “April” for This Changes Everything on Amazon and elsewhere
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/06/4-stars-from-april-for-this-changes-everything-on-amazon-and-elsewhere/

2/6/14: 2nd #BookTrailer for #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING, Vol. I, #THESPANNERSSERIES
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/06/2nd-booktrailer-for-thischangeseverything-vol-i-thespannersseries/

2/10/14: High Praise from Rebecca T for #ThisChangesEverything!
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/10/5-stars-from-rebecca-t-for-this-changes-everything/

2/18/14: #ThisChangesEverything #BookTrailer with #Multiverse Focus
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/18/thischangeseverything-booktrailer-with-multiverse-focus/

2/28/14: #Multiverse #Experiment this week: Tomorrow’s Story Written Today
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/28/multiverse-experiment-this-week-tomorrows-story-written-today/

3/13/14 – 4/18/14: LEAST-VIEWED POSTS (most with only 1 view), so probably will not do for Volumes III and beyond unless YOU encourage me! “Acclaimed, eagerly-awaited SPANNERS SERIES’ Volume II Excerpts”
https://sallyember.com/2014/03/13/acclaimed-eagerly-awaited-spanners-series-volume-ii-excerpts-starting-31614/

3/30/14: 4 stars! #BookReview #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING by Nick LeVar, Free World Authors
https://sallyember.com/2014/03/30/bookreview-thischangeseverything-by-nick-levar-free-world-authors/

4/1/14: #COVER #REVEAL! #THISCHANGESMYFAMILY&MYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES
https://sallyember.com/2014/04/01/cover-reveal-thischangesmyfamilymylifeforever-vol-ii-thespannersseries/

final cover print

4/3/14: Another 4-Star Review for #ThisChangesEverything, Vol. I, #TheSpannersSeries
https://sallyember.com/2014/04/03/another-4-star-review-for-thischangeseverything-vol-i-thespannersseries/

5/9/14 (doubled category): 3 Reasons That This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, is Permafree
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/09/3-reasons-that-this-changes-everything-volume-i-of-the-spanners-series-is-permafree/

6/3/14: 4-Star #Review for #THISCHANGESVERYTHING, Vol I, #THESPANNERSSERIES
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/03/4-star-review-for-thischangesverything-vol-i-thespannersseries/

6/6/14: 5-Star #Review of #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/06/review-of-thischangesmyfamilyandmylifeforever-vol-ii-thespannersseries/

6/9/14: RT and SHARE: Release Date is TODAY! #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES on sale NOW!
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/09/rt-and-share-release-date-is-today-thischangesmyfamilyandmylifeforever-vol-ii-thespannersseries-on-sale-now/

8/9/14: 5-Stars for Volume II of The Spanners Series on Goodreads!
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/09/5-stars-for-volume-ii-of-the-spanners-series-on-goodreads/

9/10/14: “Mrs. G” Reviewed This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/10/mrs-g-reviewed-this-changes-everything-volume-i-the-spanners-series/

9/25/14: 5 Stars for This Changes Everything from “Raving in Alaska” on Amazon!
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/25/5-stars-for-this-changes-everything-from-raving-in-alaska-on-amazon/

10/4/14: “Quick Book Reviews” Gives “Thumbs Up” to This Changes Everything, Vol I, The Spanners Series!
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/04/quick-book-reviews-gives-thumbs-up-to-this-changes-everything-vol-i-the-spanners-series/

11/11/14: **** for This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol II of The Spanners Series
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/11/for-this-changes-my-family-and-my-life-forever-vol-ii-of-the-spanners-series/

12/20/14: SF The Spanners Series, Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, excerpt
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/20/the-spanners-series-volume-iii-this-isis-not-the-way-i-want-things-to-change-excerpt/

Creativity at Work, Here

3/29/14: The Cloud People Dance at #sallyember.com
https://sallyember.com/2014/03/29/the-cloud-people-dance-at-sallyember-com/

Women writer upholding book

7/18/14: Criteria for Selecting Speculative Fiction for Younger Readers: What to Discuss and Why
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/18/criteria-for-selecting-speculative-fiction-for-younger-readers-what-to-discuss-and-why/

8/18/14: My Best Give-Away Story: “Our Family Table becomes Ryan and Gina’s Family Table”
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/18/my-best-give-away-story-our-family-table-becomes-ryan-and-ginas-family-table/

8/19/14: #iamsubject story: “I Find Myself Wherever I Live and I Move A Lot!”
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/19/iamsubject-story-i-find-myself-wherever-i-live-and-i-move-a-lot/

9/4/14: Moving back “home” after living elsewhere for over 40 years https://sallyember.com/2014/09/04/moving-back-home-after-living-elsewhere-for-over-40-years/

9/8/14: How I Benefit from the Celebrities I Grew Up /Worked with and Still Do
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/08/how-i-benefitted-from-the-celebrities-i-grew-up-worked-with-and-still-do/

9/22/14 (doubled category): Goodreads’ Genre-Specific Review Group’s Fall 2014 Blog Hop Tour: “COMFORT”
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/22/goodreads-genre-specific-review-groups-fall-2014-blog-hop-tour-comfort/

9/27/14: My post for the Goodreads’ Genre-Specific Review Group’s Fall 2014 Blog Hop Tour: “COMFORT” is this year’s theme.
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/27/my-post-for-the-goodreads-genre-specific-review-groups-fall-2014-blog-hop-tour-comfort-is-this-years-theme/

10/1/14: My Fall #NewTVShows Reviews: 2014 is a VERY Mixed Season, thru 10/1/14
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/01/my-fall-newtvshows-reviews-2014-is-a-very-mixed-season-so-far/

11/8/14: Today, in #SPAM
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/08/today-in-spam/

12/10/14: “Non-Reciprocity Leads to Less Selfishness”
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/10/what-do-we-have-to-lose/

12/16/14: “Discovering My Inner Con,” for Where do I find it?, Yeah Write Poetry Challenge #192
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/16/discovering-my-inner-con-where-do-i-find-it-for-yeah-write-poetry-challenge-192/

12/23/14: “Most-Anticipated” #Films of #2015: Yeah or Nay? And, one look back at 2014 #SciFi and #Fantasy Films
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/23/most-anticipated-films-of-2015-yeah-or-nay/

About Science

1/30/14 (doubled category): #Buddhism and #Science: the Facts, the Yogis, the Practices
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/30/buddhism-and-science-a-marriage-of-minds-convenience-a-sham-the-truth/

parallel universes image 1

2/14/14: Because of Hormesis: When Heartache Doesn’t Wreck You, It Makes You Stronger
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/14/because-of-hormesis-when-heartache-doesnt-wreck-you-it-makes-you-stronger/

3/14/14: My #1980s #Computer Tutors: Thanks to Jaye Alper (sorely missed ) and Mario Cossa
https://sallyember.com/2014/03/14/my-1980s-computer-tutors-thanks-to-jaye-alper-sorely-missed-and-mario-cossa/

4/11/14 (doubled category): What are the Four Major Upsides and Downsides of #Paranormal #Presentiment?
https://sallyember.com/2014/04/11/what-are-the-four-major-upsides-and-downsides-of-paranormal-presentiment/

8/2/14 (doubled category): Proven, Long-term Effects on Physical Health of those who suffered childhood Trauma, Abuse, Neglect and Bullying
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/02/how-childhood-trauma-can-have-lifelong-consequences/

8/20/14 (doubled category): Bras and Shoes: Breast Cancer, Bunions, Back Strain and “Beauty” Lies
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/20/bras-and-shoes-breast-cancer-bunions-back-strain-and-beauty-lies/

8/28/14 (doubled category): Deadly Eye Makeup and other “Beauty” “Aids”: STOP USING THESE!
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/28/deadly-eye-makeup-and-other-beauty-aids-stop-using-these/

9/18/14 (doubled category): “Actualists” vs. “Realists”: The Evolution of Modern #Fiction thanks to #Quantum #Physics
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/18/actualists-vs-realists-the-evolution-of-modern-fiction-thanks-to-quantum-physics/

10/16/14: #Love According to #Psychology and #Biology
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/16/love-according-to-psychology-and-biology/

10/21/14 (doubled category): Lead Lipsticks, Folliculitis with MRSA from Hair Removal, and other Deadly “Beauty” Choices
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/21/lead-lipsticks-folliculitis-with-mrsa-from-hair-removal-and-other-deadly-beauty-choices/

11/10/14: Latest News in #ParallelUniverses and/or the #Multiverse, According to #Science in 2014
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/10/latest-news-in-paralleluniverses-andor-the-multiverse-according-to-science-in-2014/

About Social Issues and Politics

2/3/14: 15 Ways I PERSONALLY #Conserve #Water and You MUST, Too!
ttp://sallyember.com/2014/02/03/15-ways-i-personally-conserve-water-and-you-must-too/

Where_Water_Is_Used

5/20/14: Guilty is Guilty: Step up and Take Your Punishments
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/20/guilty-is-guilty-step-up-and-take-your-punishments/

6/10/14: #Sexist, #Racist Dress Codes? What is “Proper #School Attire” in the 2010’s?
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/10/sexist-racist-dress-codes-what-is-proper-school-attire-in-the-2010s/

6/27/14: 3rd TOP POST: 271 Views, Why posting about fruit is insulting to women: DO NOT PARTICIPATE in this year’s “Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign”
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/27/why-posting-about-fruit-is-insulting-to-women-do-not-participate-in-this-years-breast-cancer-awareness-campaign/

7/1/14: Facts about #BPA, #Water Bottles, Shower Curtains, #Cans, More, and What to Do
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/01/facts-about-bpa-water-bottles-shower-curtains-cans-more-and-what-to-do/

7/7/14: ‘BOT v. HUMAN: Score 2 for the Human! Transcript of Actual Online Chat with AT & T “Service Representative,” July, 2014
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/07/bot-v-human-score-2-for-the-human-transcript-of-actual-online-chat-with-at-t-service-representative-july-2014/

7/29/14: Supporting gender and sexual orientation diversity is important: It’s sometimes a matter of life and death
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/29/supporting-gender-and-sexual-orientation-diversity-is-important-its-sometimes-a-matter-of-life-and-death/

8/2/14 (doubled category): Proven, Long-term Effects on Physical Health of those who suffered childhood Trauma, Abuse, Neglect and Bullying
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/02/how-childhood-trauma-can-have-lifelong-consequences/

8/20/14 (doubled category): Bras and Shoes: Breast Cancer, Bunions, Back Strain and “Beauty” Lies
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/20/bras-and-shoes-breast-cancer-bunions-back-strain-and-beauty-lies/

8/28/14 (doubled category): Deadly Eye Makeup and other “Beauty” “Aids”: STOP USING THESE!
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/28/deadly-eye-makeup-and-other-beauty-aids-stop-using-these/

9/16/14: Being #Single vs. Social #Isolation: Benefits and Costs of #Solitude
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/16/being-single-vs-social-isolation-benefits-and-costs-of-solitude/

10/13/14: #Nobel Prize Winners 2014: Why we should pay attention and be grateful
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/13/nobel-prize-winners-2014-why-we-should-pay-attention-and-be-grateful/

10/21/14 (doubled category): Lead Lipsticks, Folliculitis with MRSA from Hair Removal, and other Deadly “Beauty” Choices
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/21/lead-lipsticks-folliculitis-with-mrsa-from-hair-removal-and-other-deadly-beauty-choices/

10/24/14: No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/24/no-woman-wants-to-have-an-abortion-but-we-must-support-every-womans-right-to-choose/

10/28/14 (doubled category): CONTROVERSY: #Buddhists and #Organ Donation at #Death
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/28/controversy-buddhists-and-organ-donation-at-death/

11/20/14: We Should All Contribute to Raising All Children
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/20/we-should-all-contribute-to-raising-all-children/

12/9/14: “Waiting For Your Boyfriend to Marry You” My Response
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/09/waiting-for-your-boyfriend-to-marry-you/

12/11/14: TEN Ways to Encourage #Victims of Any Age to #Report #Sexual and Other #Abuse
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/11/ten-ways-to-encourage-victims-of-any-age-to-report-sexual-and-other-abuse/

12/30/14: You need to reorganize your life if you are outsourcing your dating activities
https://sallyember.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/you-need-to-reorganize-your-life-if-you-are-outsourcing-your-dating-activities/

About my talk show, CHANGES, a Google+ HOA (Hangout On Air)

7/21/14: “Getting Comfortable with #Technology Takes Time,” Meloney Hall’s “Lights, Camera, #HOA” with Sally Ember, Ed.D., from 7/21/14
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/23/getting-comfortable-with-technology-takes-time-meloney-halls-lights-camera-hoa-with-sally-ember-ed-d-from-72114/

CHANGES Theme Image_3

7/28/14: Sally Ember’s CHANGES Google + HOA (Hangouts On Air) Start August 6
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/28/sally-embers-changes-google-hoa-hangouts-on-air-start-august-6/

8/8/14: CHANGES Episode 1 on Youtube Google+ HOA with Sally Ember and Shay West
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/08/changes-episode-1-on-youtube-google-hoa-with-sally-ember-and-shay-west/

12/9/14 (doubled category): #Crowdfunding with #Patreon: Sally Ember’s Campaign Needs Your Support!
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/09/crowdfunding-with-patreon-sally-embers-campaign-needs-your-support/

12/26/14 (doubled category): Sally Ember’s #Crowdfunding Song
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/26/sally-embers-crowdfunding-song/

12/29/14 (Doubled category): The Very Inspiring #Blogger# Award Landed Here!
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/29/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-landed-here/

Lama D laughing 2012

My Teacher, Lama Padma Drimed Norbu, known as Lama Drimed

About Meditation and Spiritual Practice

1/11/14: When #Spiritual #Teachers Respond with #Countertransference
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/11/when-spiritual-teachers-respond-with-countertransference/

1/14/14: Another Friend’s Death: Mortality in Daily Life https://sallyember.com/2014/01/14/another-friends-death-mortality-in-daily-life/

1/30/14 (doubled category): #Buddhism and #Science: the Facts, the Yogis, the Practices
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/30/buddhism-and-science-a-marriage-of-minds-convenience-a-sham-the-truth/

2/17/14: How Having a #Buddhist #Spiritual #Teacher Changes Me
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/17/how-having-a-spiritual-teacher-changes-me/

2/23/14: 18 Tweets/3 photos inspired by the live speech of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, 2-23-14, Berkeley, CA https://sallyember.com/2014/02/23/18-tweets3-photos-inspired-by-the-live-speech-of-his-holiness-the-14th-dalai-lama-2-23-14-berkeley-ca/

2/25/14: The Swan Song of my #Buddhist Mini Home #Retreat Sung a Bit Early
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/25/the-swan-song-of-my-buddhist-mini-home-retreat-sung-a-bit-early/

5/2/14 TOP POST, 356 Views (doubled category): 15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/02/the-effects-of-concussions-on-meditators-brains/

6/20/14: #60for60: 60 ACTS OF #KINDNESS AND GRATITUDE– each of the days before my 60TH
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/20/60-for-60-60-acts-of-kindness-and-gratitude-for-the-60-days-preceding-my-60th-birthday/

6/26/14: I can #Meditate, Again! Ahhhh!
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/23/i-can-meditate-again-ahhhh/

7/14/14: The #Freedom to Die without Regret: Post for #RaveReviewsBookClub #Blog #Recruitment Day
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/14/the-freedom-to-die-without-regret/

8/22/14: #60for60 ENDS Today! 6/21 – 8/22/14
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/22/60for60-starts-today-621-82214/

9/22/14: 10Q begins September 24th, 2014 (Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah)
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/22/10q-begins-september-24th-2014-jewish-new-year-rosh-hashanah/

10/28/14 (doubled category): CONTROVERSY: #Buddhists and #Organ Donation at #Death
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/28/controversy-buddhists-and-organ-donation-at-death/

11/3/14: 5 Ways for #Giving 1% to Offset the Splurging Inspired by the Holidays
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/03/5-ways-for-giving-1-to-offset-the-splurging-inspired-by-the-holidays/

12/13/14 (doubled category): Linda Ronstadt’s Rendition of Desperado Burst my Grief Dam
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/13/linda-ronstadts-rendition-of-desperado-burst-my-grief-dam/

About Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and Concussions

4/11/14 (doubled category): What are the Four Major Upsides and Downsides of #Paranormal #Presentiment?
https://sallyember.com/2014/04/11/what-are-the-four-major-upsides-and-downsides-of-paranormal-presentiment/

meditation-mind-brain-waves

5/2/14 (doubled category): 15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/02/the-effects-of-concussions-on-meditators-brains/

6/25/14: The Latest Research on Traumatic Brain Injury (#TBI): Causes, Diagnostics, Treatments
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/25/the-latest-research-on-traumatic-brain-injury-tbi-causes-diagnostics-treatments/

9/12/14: #Injuries to the #Mind, #Brain and #Psyche that Cause Difficulties with #Meditation
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/12/injuries-to-the-mind-brain-and-psyche-that-cause-difficulties-with-meditation/

12/13/14 (doubled category): Linda Ronstadt’s Rendition of Desperado Burst my Grief Dam
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/13/linda-ronstadts-rendition-of-desperado-burst-my-grief-dam/

About Publishing, Book Marketing, Writing, Writers

1/20/14: My #Writing Process: Revealed!
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/20/my-writing-process-revealed/

SWpreorders

1/21/14: My #Pinterest Boards are for you, my #Readers and #Fans
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/21/my-pinterest-boards-are-for-you-my-readers-and-fans/

1/27/14: My #Literary #Meh List 2014: 15 Plots, Devices, Characters I’m BORED with
https://sallyember.com/2014/01/27/my-literary-meh-list-2014-15-plots-devices-characters-im-sick-of/

2/15/14: #Smashwords vs. #Amazon for #Indie #Authors #ebook #epub: Pros and Cons
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/15/smashwords-vs-amazon-for-indie-authors-ebook-epub-pros-and-cons/

2/16/14: #Female #ebook #Authors: Getting Checked Out More at #Libraries
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/16/libraries-top-circulating-print-books-and-ebooks-in-jan-2014-how-ebooks-are-leveling-the-gender-playing-field/

2/20/14: Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/20/pros-and-cons-of-writers-critique-groups/

2/23/14: 2nd TOP POST: 310 Views, Why My First Experience with Using #Pre-Orders Will Help Get My NEXT #Ebook Higher on #Best-Seller Lists
https://sallyember.com/2014/02/23/why-my-first-experience-with-using-pre-orders-will-help-get-my-next-ebook-higher-on-best-seller-lists/

3/12/14: my #SFRB post: Lending Actual People’s Bios to #Fictional #Characters: Pros and Cons
https://sallyember.com/2014/03/12/945/

3/29/14: “I write like Ursula K. Le Guin”! Couldn’t have been more honored! https://sallyember.com/2014/03/29/i-write-like-ursula-k-le-guin-couldnt-have-been-more-honored/

4/29/14: 5 Things Wrong with #Sex Scenes in #Romance Novels and How to Improve Them https://sallyember.com/2014/04/29/5-things-wrong-with-sex-scenes-in-romance-novels-and-how-to-improve-them/

5/9/14 (doubled category): 3 Reasons That This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, is Permafree
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/09/3-reasons-that-this-changes-everything-volume-i-of-the-spanners-series-is-permafree/

5/14/14: The Anguish of Posting a 2-Star Review of a Colleague’s Book
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/14/the-anguish-of-posting-a-2-star-review-of-a-colleagues-book/

5/16/14: Important Perspectives on #Book #Reviews for #Authors
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/16/important-perspectives-on-book-reviews-for-authors/

5/22/14: #AUTHORS: #Plot Spice, or the 5 Worst Places to Wake Up Unexpectedly
https://sallyember.com/2014/05/22/authors-plot-spice-or-the-5-worst-places-to-wake-up-unexpectedly/

5/27/14: 16 Ways I Use #Goodreads https://sallyember.com/2014/05/27/16-ways-i-use-goodreads/

6/6/14: How to STUPENDIFY my #Ebook’s Release with a Virtual Book Tour
https://sallyember.com/2014/06/06/how-to-stupendify-my-ebooks-release-with-a-virtual-book-tour/

7/2/14: Guest Blog Post: “#Utopian #Sci-fi/#Speculative Fiction: Why it’s Intriguing and Necessary” https://sallyember.com/2014/07/02/guest-blog-post-utopian-sci-fispeculative-fiction-why-its-intriguing-and-necessary/

7/3/14: Excavating your Soul! – Indie and Proud
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/03/excavating-your-soul-indie-and-proud/

7/6/14: 10 Ways to Celebrate #Indie #Authors https://sallyember.com/2014/07/06/10-ways-to-celebrate-indie-authors/

7/10/14: Guest Post: “The Politics of Speculative/ Science-Fiction”
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/10/guest-post-the-politics-of-speculative-science-fiction/

7/16/14: Good #Writing DOES Require #Talent, Not just Hard Work
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/16/writing-does-require-talent-not-just-hard-work/

7/22/14: Parallel Construction: What it is, what it isn’t, and how to write better despite hating your 8th-grade English teacher
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/22/parallel-construction-what-it-is-what-it-isnt-and-how-to-write-better-despite-hating-your-8th-grade-english-teacher/

7/24/14: A DNF (Did Not Finish) Experience Does NOT Qualify for a “Review”
https://sallyember.com/2014/07/24/a-dnf-did-not-finish-experience-does-not-qualify-for-a-review/

8/10/14: My Blogaversary and 1st year of Book Marketing: Report Card
https://sallyember.com/2014/08/10/my-blogaversary-and-1st-year-of-book-marketing-report-card/

9/2/14: Book Sales are like PotLucks: You Don’t Know Who Appreciates Your Creation
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/02/book-sales-are-like-potlucks-you-dont-know-who-appreciates-your-creation/

9/18/14 (doubled category): “Actualists” vs. “Realists”: The Evolution of Modern #Fiction thanks to #Quantum #Physics
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/18/actualists-vs-realists-the-evolution-of-modern-fiction-thanks-to-quantum-physics/

9/22/14 (doubled category): Goodreads’ Genre-Specific Review Group’s Fall 2014 Blog Hop Tour: “COMFORT”
https://sallyember.com/2014/09/22/goodreads-genre-specific-review-groups-fall-2014-blog-hop-tour-comfort/

10/31/14: NOT DOING #NaNoWriMo Writing Plans
https://sallyember.com/2014/10/31/not-doing-nanowrimo-writing-plans/

11/16/14: 15 #Fiction #Promos that should be Revised or Trashed Completely
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/16/15-fiction-promos-that-should-be-revised-or-trashed-completely/

11/17/14: SHARE! EXPERIENCED #editor #proofreader available for quick-turn around jobs
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/17/experienced-editor-proofreader-available-for-quick-turn-around-jobs/

11/18/14: Stale writing? 4 Underused Literary Devices: Aphorism, Hyperbole, Tmesis and Zeugma
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/18/stale-writing-4-underused-literary-devices-aphorism-hyperbole-tmesis-and-zeugma/

11/21/14: Why I LOVE the #Smashwords Blog and you should, too!
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/21/why-i-love-the-smashwords-blog-and-you-should-too/

11/24/14: “What I Wish I had Known for #Indiepub #Ebooks 1 and 2: An Open Letter to my Earlier Self,” Guest Post on The Book Cove
https://sallyember.com/2014/11/24/what-i-wish-i-had-known-for-indiepub-ebooks-1-and-2-an-open-letter-to-my-earlier-self-guest-post-on-the-book-cove/

12/1/14: “An Open Letter to my Earlier Self about #Book #Reviews and #Reviewers,” Guest Post on The Book Cove
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/01/an-open-letter-to-my-earlier-self-about-book-reviews-and-reviewers-guest-post-on-the-book-cove-goes-live-today/

12/8/14: “Part III: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Preorders,” Guest Post on The Book Cove
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/08/part-iii-letter-to-my-earlier-self-about-preorders-guest-blogger-post-on-the-book-cove-reviews/

12/9/14 (doubled category): #Crowdfunding with #Patreon: Sally Ember’s Campaign Needs Your Support!
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/09/crowdfunding-with-patreon-sally-embers-campaign-needs-your-support/

12/15/14: “Part IV: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Blog #Hops and #Virtual #Book #Tours,” Guest Post on The Book Cove
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/15/part-iv-letter-to-my-earlier-self-about-blog-hops-and-virtual-book-tours-guest-blogger-post-on-the-book-cove-reviews/

12/26/14 (doubled category): Sally Ember’s #Crowdfunding Song
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/26/sally-embers-crowdfunding-song/

12/29/14 (Doubled category): The Very Inspiring #Blogger# Award Landed Here!
https://sallyember.com/2014/12/29/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-landed-here/

Part IV: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Blog #Hops and #Virtual #Book #Tours, Guest Blogger Post on The Book Cove Reviews

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

This is Letter IV 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

Part IV: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Blog #Hops and #Virtual #Book #Tours, Guest Blogger Post on The Book Cove Reviews 

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

This is Letter IV 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

#SMASHWORDS READ TUESDAY 12/9/14 and beyond, #EBOOKS SALE!

Read Tuesday 2 logo

To counteract “Black Friday” and all the other rampant consumerism in the days surrounding the winter holidays in which people spend many dollars (or abuse credit) in service of items that do not enhance their lives significantly, SMASHWORDS and many authors have gotten together to create a great new holiday: READ TUESDAY on 12/9/14.

http://readtuesday.com/contact-us/ for #authors to learn more/sign up.

http://www.sallyember.com/blog on 12/8/14 for links to my books!

Don’t just buy stuff! BUY BOOKS!

Many #Smashwords authors are offering discounted or free books on, before, and after this date. Visit Smashwords to find out what you can get!

swlogo

Remember: as always, authors appreciate your downloads and purchases and other readers very much appreciate your posting comments, rankings, ratings, and reviews on Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, nook, Goodreads, Shelfari, BookLikes and elsewhere! Please support indie authors during the holiday season!

Here are my two Smashwords READ TUESDAY sale offers, both ebooks in The Spanners Series, unique sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian novels for youth and adults.

logoAuthorsDen

Get both and be all caught up in time for the release of Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things To Change, some time in the Spring of 2015!

Use COUPON CODE NH97X for 25% OFF at Checkout for This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II of The Spanners Series, 12/9/14 – 1/2/15.
Usually $3.99, now $2.99 for this sale! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969

final cover print

This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, is FREE every day! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-contests 600 x 900

If you already own my ebooks PLEASE POST REVIEWS!

And, if you’re feeling “flush” and would like to donate to support THIS author, there is a DONATE button on my website: http://www.sallyember.com

Read Tuesday logo

#SMASHWORDS READ TUESDAY 12/9/14 and beyond, #EBOOKS SALE!

Read Tuesday 2 logo

To counteract “Black Friday” and all the other rampant consumerism in the days surrounding the winter holidays in which people spend many dollars (or abuse credit) in service of items that do not enhance their lives significantly, SMASHWORDS and many authors have gotten together to create a great new holiday: READ TUESDAY on 12/9/14.

http://readtuesday.com/contact-us/ for #authors to learn more/sign up.

http://www.sallyember.com/blog on 12/8/14 for links to my books!

Don’t just buy stuff! BUY BOOKS!

Many #Smashwords authors are offering discounted or free books on, before, and after this date. Visit Smashwords to find out what you can get!

swlogo

Remember: as always, authors appreciate your downloads and purchases and other readers very much appreciate your posting comments, rankings, ratings, and reviews on Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, nook, Goodreads, Shelfari, BookLikes and elsewhere! Please support indie authors during the holiday season!

Here are my two Smashwords READ TUESDAY sale offers, both ebooks in The Spanners Series, unique sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian novels for youth and adults.

logoAuthorsDen

Get both and be all caught up in time for the release of Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things To Change, some time in the Spring of 2015!

Use COUPON CODE NH97X for 25% OFF at Checkout for This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II of The Spanners Series, 12/9/14 – 1/2/15.
Usually $3.99, now $2.99 for this sale! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969

final cover print

This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, is FREE every day! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-contests 600 x 900

If you already own my ebooks PLEASE POST REVIEWS!

And, if you’re feeling “flush” and would like to donate to support THIS author, there is a DONATE button on my website: http://www.sallyember.com

Read Tuesday logo

#Book #Marketing Buzz Blog‘s post: Happy Thanksgiving Day, Books!

BookMarketingBuzzBlog‘s post: Happy Thanksgiving Day, Books!
Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:45 AM PST

Brian Feinblum posted this on his site, Book Marketing Buzz Blog, which I highly recommend that you subscribe to if you are an #author.

Brian’s blog is “A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.”

buy-books-and-feel-good

image from http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot.com

I link to the full post here and quote a bit of it. Thanks, Brian!

Brian offered his own intro, then asked: “How can we spread the word about the power of books?

Here are some of his answers. Read his post for the entire, excellent list.

· Start by gifting [books] this holiday season.

· Read more books

· Serve as a literacy tutor to young kids or ESL adults

· Keep buying books – don’t settle for free ebooks

· Form a book group or join one

· Attend author signing and speaking events

· Donate more books to schools, libraries, and chairties.

· Discuss books with others. Don’t ask your friends if they saw the latest movie. Ask what they’re reading.

· Read to your kids and then discuss what was read. Learning becomes fun this way.

· Reproduce your favorite book covers, frame them – and hang them on your walls

Link to full post: http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/happy-thanksgiving-day-books.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Bookmarketingbuzzblog+%28BookMarketingBuzzBlog%29

Brian Feinblum can be found:
on Twitter @theprexpert
via email brianfeinblum@gmail.com.

His post is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2014

#Book #Marketing Buzz Blog’s post: Happy Thanksgiving Day, Books!

BookMarketingBuzzBlog‘s post: Happy Thanksgiving Day, Books!
Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:45 AM PST

Brian Feinblum posted this on his site, Book Marketing Buzz Blog, which I highly recommend that you subscribe to if you are an #author.

Brian’s blog is “A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.”

buy-books-and-feel-good

image from http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot.com

I link to the full post here and quote a bit of it. Thanks, Brian!

Brian offered his own intro, then asked: “How can we spread the word about the power of books?

Here are some of his answers. Read his post for the entire, excellent list.

· Start by gifting [books] this holiday season.

· Read more books

· Serve as a literacy tutor to young kids or ESL adults

· Keep buying books – don’t settle for free ebooks

· Form a book group or join one

· Attend author signing and speaking events

· Donate more books to schools, libraries, and chairties.

· Discuss books with others. Don’t ask your friends if they saw the latest movie. Ask what they’re reading.

· Read to your kids and then discuss what was read. Learning becomes fun this way.

· Reproduce your favorite book covers, frame them – and hang them on your walls

Link to full post: http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/happy-thanksgiving-day-books.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Bookmarketingbuzzblog+%28BookMarketingBuzzBlog%29

Brian Feinblum can be found:
on Twitter @theprexpert
via email brianfeinblum@gmail.com.

His post is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2014

Why I LOVE the #Smashwords Blog and you should, too!

I started with #Smashwords after months of research, watching every one of the owner/founder, Mark Coker’s, informative videos, visiting many other forum and chat room sites and investigating other options thoroughly, in early 2013. I have not been sorry in the least.

Smashwords Logo

In addition to their excellent customer support, easy-to-navigate website and ongoing info for #indie #authors, Smashwords publishes an excellent blog with researched, important, up-to-the minute updates.

Excerpts and the link to the full article from their most recent posting are here. READ and SHARE!

Smashwords Blog: Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult from Here –
Here’s How to Succeed

Posted: 19 Nov 2014 03:59 PM PST

The article starts with “good news,” which I won’t rehash, here, but it is worth reading.

It’s the “bad news” we’re all needing to know about, for sure. Here are some highlights, but please go read the details.

“…most major ebook retailers have suffered anemic or declining sales over the last 12-18 months.”

“… after a decade of exponential growth in ebooks with indies partying like it was 1999, growth was slowing.”

“It’s easy to succeed when everything’s growing like gangbusters. It’s when things slow down that your mettle is tested.”

The article goes into depth about “What’s causing the slowdown,” which I also encourage you to read fully. Headlines, here.

“1. There’s a glut of high-quality #ebooks.”

“2. The rate of growth in the supply of ebooks is outstripping the growth in demand for ebooks.”

“3. The rate of transition from print books to ebooks is slowing.”

What can an indie author do, especially one like me, who still ONLY has ebooks?

I love Mark’s optimistic overview, including: “…tremendous opportunities still lie ahead.”
and “…there’s never been a better time to be an indie author. Millions of readers are hungry to discover, purchase and read their next great book.”

He then provides tips and tricks for our use, immediately and in the future, for “how to succeed” right now. Read about and incorporate them!

“1. Take the long view.”

“2. Good isn’t good enough.”

“3. Write more, publish more and get better.”

“4. Diversify your distribution.”

“5. Network with fellow indies.”
Mark Coker also penned the Indie Author Manifesto, well worth reading!

“6. Publish multi-author box set collaborations.”

“7. Leverage professional publishing tools.”

“8. Best practices bring incremental advantage.”

Mark offers his free ebook, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, and reminds us of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide and to “review [his] prior blogs posts here, or watch [his] ebook publishing tutorial videos at YouTube.”

As I said, I watched all Coker’s videos. If you are an indie author, regardless of how many ebooks/print books you’re self-published or published with a small press, these videos are well worth your time.

If you’re new and you’re trying to decide where to start, I highly recommend starting with your own word processing program and then using Smashwords as your first “publisher,” because that means you MUST put your ebook into the format that succeeds going through their “meatgrinder” and having it come out fine. If you follow Smashwords’ free formatting manual EXACTLY (and I recommend you start to do it NOW, prior to your final draft) that experience then forces your ebook into the format the Smashwords’ meatgrinder accepts.

Once you fulfill that, you’ll have EVERY ebook version you need for your manuscript, correctly formatted already. With a few tweaks (literally, taking fewer than 10 minutes), your Kindle format (.mobi) is ready to upload to #Amazon directly from your having downloaded it to your own computer from Smashwords.

Smashwords also provides a PDF, an RTF, an epub (needed for #nook, #iBooks, #Kobo and other ebook retailers) and excerpt-size versions (your choice of how large an excerpt) of all these formats for you to download as well.

That means you can email ARCs of your ebook in any format to potential beta readers, reviewers, family, as soon as it’s in the pre-order phase at Smashwords (which I highly recommend you utilize).

Then, about ten days prior to its actual release, you can fix any last-minute errors readers/ reviewers/ you found, add any review excerpts to the front matter and update your links before submitting the final revision. You need that 10-day lead for the revision to get sent in its new version to all Smashwords’ retailer partners.

THIS IS ALL FREE! Smashwords takes a very small percentage of every sale, but that is it.

NOTE: Using Smashwords first means you can’t use Kindle Select Publication (KSP), only Kindle Direct Publication (KDP), but it’s worth it.

“9. You’re running a business.”
I print these in their entirety, to entice you to follow the link, below, and read this entire article. FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!

Mark’s Unconventional (but proven effective) Rules for Business:
1. Be a nice person. Treat partners, fellow authors and readers with kindness, respect and integrity. You’ll find as you develop your career, the publishing industry will feel smaller and smaller as you get to know everyone, and as everyone gets to know you. It takes a village to reach readers. All these people – fellow authors, critique partners, beta readers, editors, publishers, cover designers, publicists, retailers, and distributors – have the potential to open doors for you.
2. Be honest. Business relationships are built on trust and honesty. The fastest way to destroy a relationship is to be dishonest.
3. Be Ethical. Don’t cheat. Do unto others as you’d want done unto you.
4. Be Humble. Yeah, I’ve told you have superawesome potential within you. But know that you can always be better. Celebrate those who help you succeed. Always know that none of us can achieve anything without the support, encouragement and love of those around us. It takes a village.

“10. Pinch your pennies (an American saying that means, ‘be frugal with your money’).”

“11. Time Management.”

“12. Take risks, experiment, and fail often.”

“13. Dream big dreams.”

“14. Be delusional.”
I love this story, so I also print it here. Mark Coker is the real deal. An indie author himself (and that is one of the main reasons he founded Smashwords), he is also funny, smart, and insightful.

At the Pikes Peak writers conference three years ago, I had a fun conversation with uber-agent Donald Maas. Don had just told a room full of writers that self-publishing was a fine option if they didn’t want to sell any books. Later that night, we crossed paths at dinner. I told him I thought he was underestimating the impact self-published authors would have on the publishing industry. He told me he thought I was delusional. When someone doubts me, I feel energized. To have vision – to see what doesn’t yet exist – that’s delusional. Be delusional. What’s your vision? Know that every NY Times bestseller was absolutely nuts to write a book. Most books fail. Three months ago, three years after my conversation with Mr. Maas, Inc. Magazine named Smashwords to its INC 500 list of America’s fastest-growing companies in recognition of indie authors at Smashwords who sold over $30 million worth of books at retail last year. Who’s delusional now?

“15. Embrace your doubters.”

“16. Celebrate your fellow authors’ success.”

“17. Past success is no guarantee of future success.”

“18. Never Quit.”

“19. Dream big dreams.”

“20. Know that your writing is important.”
Mark supports and exhorts us authors so well, here, that I quote most of it:

“You are the creator of books. That makes you special, and it also burdens you with a special responsibility. No one else can create what you have within you. Your writing represents the manifestation of your life, your dreams, your soul and your talent. You’re special. Others might think you’re suffering from delusions of grandiosity but so what? What do they know? If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?”

“If you publish for the right reasons and you adopt best practices that make your books more available and more desirable to readers, your future is as bright as your imagination.”

“Thank you for everything you do.”

No, #MarkCoker: THANK YOU!

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE:
http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/11/ebook-publishing-gets-more-difficult.html

Why I LOVE the #Smashwords Blog and you should, too!

I started with #Smashwords after months of research, watching every one of the owner/founder, Mark Coker’s, informative videos, visiting many other forum and chat room sites and investigating other options thoroughly, in early 2013. I have not been sorry in the least.

Smashwords Logo

In addition to their excellent customer support, easy-to-navigate website and ongoing info for #indie #authors, Smashwords publishes an excellent blog with researched, important, up-to-the minute updates.

Excerpts and the link to the full article from their most recent posting are here. READ and SHARE!

Smashwords Blog: Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult from Here –
Here’s How to Succeed

Posted: 19 Nov 2014 03:59 PM PST

The article starts with “good news,” which I won’t rehash, here, but it is worth reading.

It’s the “bad news” we’re all needing to know about, for sure. Here are some highlights, but please go read the details.

“…most major ebook retailers have suffered anemic or declining sales over the last 12-18 months.”

“… after a decade of exponential growth in ebooks with indies partying like it was 1999, growth was slowing.”

“It’s easy to succeed when everything’s growing like gangbusters. It’s when things slow down that your mettle is tested.”

The article goes into depth about “What’s causing the slowdown,” which I also encourage you to read fully. Headlines, here.

“1. There’s a glut of high-quality #ebooks.”

“2. The rate of growth in the supply of ebooks is outstripping the growth in demand for ebooks.”

“3. The rate of transition from print books to ebooks is slowing.”

What can an indie author do, especially one like me, who still ONLY has ebooks?

I love Mark’s optimistic overview, including: “…tremendous opportunities still lie ahead.”
and “…there’s never been a better time to be an indie author. Millions of readers are hungry to discover, purchase and read their next great book.”

He then provides tips and tricks for our use, immediately and in the future, for “how to succeed” right now. Read about and incorporate them!

“1. Take the long view.”

“2. Good isn’t good enough.”

“3. Write more, publish more and get better.”

“4. Diversify your distribution.”

“5. Network with fellow indies.”
Mark Coker also penned the Indie Author Manifesto, well worth reading!

“6. Publish multi-author box set collaborations.”

“7. Leverage professional publishing tools.”

“8. Best practices bring incremental advantage.”

Mark offers his free ebook, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, and reminds us of the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide and to “review [his] prior blogs posts here, or watch [his] ebook publishing tutorial videos at YouTube.”

As I said, I watched all Coker’s videos. If you are an indie author, regardless of how many ebooks/print books you’re self-published or published with a small press, these videos are well worth your time.

If you’re new and you’re trying to decide where to start, I highly recommend starting with your own word processing program and then using Smashwords as your first “publisher,” because that means you MUST put your ebook into the format that succeeds going through their “meatgrinder” and having it come out fine. If you follow Smashwords’ free formatting manual EXACTLY (and I recommend you start to do it NOW, prior to your final draft) that experience then forces your ebook into the format the Smashwords’ meatgrinder accepts.

Once you fulfill that, you’ll have EVERY ebook version you need for your manuscript, correctly formatted already. With a few tweaks (literally, taking fewer than 10 minutes), your Kindle format (.mobi) is ready to upload to #Amazon directly from your having downloaded it to your own computer from Smashwords.

Smashwords also provides a PDF, an RTF, an epub (needed for #nook, #iBooks, #Kobo and other ebook retailers) and excerpt-size versions (your choice of how large an excerpt) of all these formats for you to download as well.

That means you can email ARCs of your ebook in any format to potential beta readers, reviewers, family, as soon as it’s in the pre-order phase at Smashwords (which I highly recommend you utilize).

Then, about ten days prior to its actual release, you can fix any last-minute errors readers/ reviewers/ you found, add any review excerpts to the front matter and update your links before submitting the final revision. You need that 10-day lead for the revision to get sent in its new version to all Smashwords’ retailer partners.

THIS IS ALL FREE! Smashwords takes a very small percentage of every sale, but that is it.

NOTE: Using Smashwords first means you can’t use Kindle Select Publication (KSP), only Kindle Direct Publication (KDP), but it’s worth it.

“9. You’re running a business.”
I print these in their entirety, to entice you to follow the link, below, and read this entire article. FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!

Mark’s Unconventional (but proven effective) Rules for Business:
1. Be a nice person. Treat partners, fellow authors and readers with kindness, respect and integrity. You’ll find as you develop your career, the publishing industry will feel smaller and smaller as you get to know everyone, and as everyone gets to know you. It takes a village to reach readers. All these people – fellow authors, critique partners, beta readers, editors, publishers, cover designers, publicists, retailers, and distributors – have the potential to open doors for you.
2. Be honest. Business relationships are built on trust and honesty. The fastest way to destroy a relationship is to be dishonest.
3. Be Ethical. Don’t cheat. Do unto others as you’d want done unto you.
4. Be Humble. Yeah, I’ve told you have superawesome potential within you. But know that you can always be better. Celebrate those who help you succeed. Always know that none of us can achieve anything without the support, encouragement and love of those around us. It takes a village.

“10. Pinch your pennies (an American saying that means, ‘be frugal with your money’).”

“11. Time Management.”

“12. Take risks, experiment, and fail often.”

“13. Dream big dreams.”

“14. Be delusional.”
I love this story, so I also print it here. Mark Coker is the real deal. An indie author himself (and that is one of the main reasons he founded Smashwords), he is also funny, smart, and insightful.

At the Pikes Peak writers conference three years ago, I had a fun conversation with uber-agent Donald Maas. Don had just told a room full of writers that self-publishing was a fine option if they didn’t want to sell any books. Later that night, we crossed paths at dinner. I told him I thought he was underestimating the impact self-published authors would have on the publishing industry. He told me he thought I was delusional. When someone doubts me, I feel energized. To have vision – to see what doesn’t yet exist – that’s delusional. Be delusional. What’s your vision? Know that every NY Times bestseller was absolutely nuts to write a book. Most books fail. Three months ago, three years after my conversation with Mr. Maas, Inc. Magazine named Smashwords to its INC 500 list of America’s fastest-growing companies in recognition of indie authors at Smashwords who sold over $30 million worth of books at retail last year. Who’s delusional now?

“15. Embrace your doubters.”

“16. Celebrate your fellow authors’ success.”

“17. Past success is no guarantee of future success.”

“18. Never Quit.”

“19. Dream big dreams.”

“20. Know that your writing is important.”
Mark supports and exhorts us authors so well, here, that I quote most of it:

“You are the creator of books. That makes you special, and it also burdens you with a special responsibility. No one else can create what you have within you. Your writing represents the manifestation of your life, your dreams, your soul and your talent. You’re special. Others might think you’re suffering from delusions of grandiosity but so what? What do they know? If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?”

“If you publish for the right reasons and you adopt best practices that make your books more available and more desirable to readers, your future is as bright as your imagination.”

“Thank you for everything you do.”

No, #MarkCoker: THANK YOU!

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE:
http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/11/ebook-publishing-gets-more-difficult.html

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES: CLEAN INDIE READS (#CIR) Fall #Book #Sale Blog Tour

cir-fall-sale-graphic
http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES
Clean Indie Reads, the home of Flinch-Free Fiction, is having a #Fall #Book #Sale 

October 5 thru October 11!

Check out all the sale books HERE! http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

Or, if you would like to go directly to Amazon and peruse the sale books by genre, check out these on Listmania: http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/byauthor/A1DSK2JI3W8GDJ/ref=cm_aya_bb_lists

To celebrate, we are having a #blog #hop where you can learn more about some of our authors and their books. Our bloggers will also be answering the question: “Do the changing seasons influence your writing and/or choice of books to read?”

Please join the discussion on this site by commenting, below, and please visit all the participating blog sites: you might win a prize or two! Happy Hopping!

My post:

The Sirian Experiments‘ Take on Changing Seasons

The best science-fiction series I have ever read that utilizes the idea of changing seasons is Doris Lessing’s The Sirian Experiments, which won the Man Booker Prize in 1981. It is Volume III of her Canopus in Argos: Archives Series, a masterwork of new ideas in philosophy, gender identity, sexuality, social relationships, ecology, geology, psychology and so much more. I highly recommend you start at the beginning and read the entire series. Then, start over. Really.

The main premise of The Sirian Experiments which relates to today’s thematic question is this: Humans and Earth itself are an experiment conducted by those from the planet Siria. Part of that experiment was to tilt Earth on its axis, creating seasons in most parts of the planet, and then to track the effects of this tilt on humans.

The main way that humans responded to this tilt was that we developed varying emotions. According to the Sirian experimenters, humans’ becoming emotionally labile, meaning quite reactive, sometimes inexplicably positive or negative, was a direct result of the planet’s switch from having temperate, monochromatic climates to having changing/seasonal climates.

Fascinating, right? After many centuries of observation, the Sirian experimenters further theorized that the more extreme the climate seasons changes were, the more radical the changes in the emotions of the humans living in those latitudes became. Those that lived closer to Earth’s equator and therefore experienced fewer and smaller annual seasonal changes were the least emotional, for example.

With the more recent understandings of the ways reduced sunlight affects many people, bringing to our attention extreme reactions, such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and high rates of suicide in latitudes of Earth that have fewer annual days/hours of sunlight, we now have support for Lessing’s “far-fetched” propositions.

Interestingly, SAD wasn’t “discovered” until after Lessing’s books had been published (SAD was formally described and named in 1984). Hmmmm…..

I recently moved from a more monochromatic climate (the San Francisco Bay Area) back to a more temperate/seasonal climate (Missouri). I wonder if I will become more “emotional”? I grew up here and I lived in temperate climates for most of my life, only inhabiting the more monochromatic climates for the last 15 years or so. However, that time also coincided with intensification in my Buddhist meditation practice, higher attendance at more and longer meditation retreats, many periods (years, not months) of unemployment, and fewer intimate relationships, so the experimental “controls” fail for THIS experiment.

All that being known, I am interested to find out how returning to a place that has actual seasons affects me. I’ll let you know!

First: have to buy some new winter boots. Mine rotted and molded from lack of use. LOL.

Second: get some more good books!

If you, as I do, like to curl up with a good book as we sit by a warming fire or other heating source as the weather gets rainier, colder, snowier or frosty, please consider getting the volumes in Lessing’s Sci-Fi series.

Then, for even more fun, download the first volume of my own sci-fi/ romance/ multiverse/ utopian Spanners Series, This Changes Everything (which is free) and then, Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, as well. Also, please try some of the others’ books in this CIR Blog Hop!

Here are my books. All links can be found on my website: http://www.sallyember.com Look right and scroll.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

Now PERMA-FREE everywhere ebooks are sold.

final cover print

Now $3.99 wherever ebooks are sold.

logoAuthorsDen

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, due out early in 2015. Volumes IV – X in process.
All Spanners‘ cover and logo art by Aidana Willowraven.

As always, REVIEWS ARE APPRECIATED!

Blog Hop Schedule
(please note: not all bloggers will be offering giveaways):

Check out all the sale books here.

Disclaimer: Comment by 11:59:59 PM Central time on October 10, 2014 for your chance to win. Please leave your email address with your comment. Winners will be contacted by the blog owner by October 13, 2014. Only one entry per ISP address. The contest is open to international readers unless stated by the blog owner. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. The giveaway is the sole responsibility of the blogger. Clean Indie Reads is in no way responsible for providing prizes during this blog hop. Void where prohibited

 
Please visit the other sites in this Blog Tour! Schedule/URLs above and here: http://lindacovella.com/events-news/clean-indie-reads-fall-sale/

Many thanks to Linda Covello for organizing this and to all who participate as bloggers, all of you who visit, and especially all of your readers who comment, buy, download, read, and review our CIR books!

Enjoy your Clean Indie Reads!

Share /reblog this post!

Proud member of Clean Indie Reads!

CIR_Logo
 

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES: CLEAN INDIE READS (#CIR) Fall #Book #Sale Blog Tour

cir-fall-sale-graphic
http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

FALLING LEAVES, FALLING PRICES
Clean Indie Reads, the home of Flinch-Free Fiction, is having a #Fall #Book #Sale 

October 5 thru October 11!

Check out all the sale books HERE! http://arcaniarts.com/index.php/fall-clean-book-sale

Or, if you would like to go directly to Amazon and peruse the sale books by genre, check out these on Listmania: http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/byauthor/A1DSK2JI3W8GDJ/ref=cm_aya_bb_lists

To celebrate, we are having a #blog #hop where you can learn more about some of our authors and their books. Our bloggers will also be answering the question: “Do the changing seasons influence your writing and/or choice of books to read?”

Please join the discussion on this site by commenting, below, and please visit all the participating blog sites: you might win a prize or two! Happy Hopping!

My post:

The Sirian Experiments‘ Take on Changing Seasons

The best science-fiction series I have ever read that utilizes the idea of changing seasons is Doris Lessing’s The Sirian Experiments, which won the Man Booker Prize in 1981. It is Volume III of her Canopus in Argos: Archives Series, a masterwork of new ideas in philosophy, gender identity, sexuality, social relationships, ecology, geology, psychology and so much more. I highly recommend you start at the beginning and read the entire series. Then, start over. Really.

The main premise of The Sirian Experiments which relates to today’s thematic question is this: Humans and Earth itself are an experiment conducted by those from the planet Siria. Part of that experiment was to tilt Earth on its axis, creating seasons in most parts of the planet, and then to track the effects of this tilt on humans.

The main way that humans responded to this tilt was that we developed varying emotions. According to the Sirian experimenters, humans’ becoming emotionally labile, meaning quite reactive, sometimes inexplicably positive or negative, was a direct result of the planet’s switch from having temperate, monochromatic climates to having changing/seasonal climates.

Fascinating, right? After many centuries of observation, the Sirian experimenters further theorized that the more extreme the climate seasons changes were, the more radical the changes in the emotions of the humans living in those latitudes became. Those that lived closer to Earth’s equator and therefore experienced fewer and smaller annual seasonal changes were the least emotional, for example.

With the more recent understandings of the ways reduced sunlight affects many people, bringing to our attention extreme reactions, such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and high rates of suicide in latitudes of Earth that have fewer annual days/hours of sunlight, we now have support for Lessing’s “far-fetched” propositions.

Interestingly, SAD wasn’t “discovered” until after Lessing’s books had been published (SAD was formally described and named in 1984). Hmmmm…..

I recently moved from a more monochromatic climate (the San Francisco Bay Area) back to a more temperate/seasonal climate (Missouri). I wonder if I will become more “emotional”? I grew up here and I lived in temperate climates for most of my life, only inhabiting the more monochromatic climates for the last 15 years or so. However, that time also coincided with intensification in my Buddhist meditation practice, higher attendance at more and longer meditation retreats, many periods (years, not months) of unemployment, and fewer intimate relationships, so the experimental “controls” fail for THIS experiment.

All that being known, I am interested to find out how returning to a place that has actual seasons affects me. I’ll let you know!

First: have to buy some new winter boots. Mine rotted and molded from lack of use. LOL.

Second: get some more good books!

If you, as I do, like to curl up with a good book as we sit by a warming fire or other heating source as the weather gets rainier, colder, snowier or frosty, please consider getting the volumes in Lessing’s Sci-Fi series.

Then, for even more fun, download the first volume of my own sci-fi/ romance/ multiverse/ utopian Spanners Series, This Changes Everything (which is free) and then, Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, as well. Also, please try some of the others’ books in this CIR Blog Hop!

Here are my books. All links can be found on my website: http://www.sallyember.com Look right and scroll.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

Now PERMA-FREE everywhere ebooks are sold.

final cover print

Now $3.99 wherever ebooks are sold.

logoAuthorsDen

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, due out early in 2015. Volumes IV – X in process.
All Spanners‘ cover and logo art by Aidana Willowraven.

As always, REVIEWS ARE APPRECIATED!

Blog Hop Schedule
(please note: not all bloggers will be offering giveaways):

Check out all the sale books here.

Disclaimer: Comment by 11:59:59 PM Central time on October 10, 2014 for your chance to win. Please leave your email address with your comment. Winners will be contacted by the blog owner by October 13, 2014. Only one entry per ISP address. The contest is open to international readers unless stated by the blog owner. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. The giveaway is the sole responsibility of the blogger. Clean Indie Reads is in no way responsible for providing prizes during this blog hop. Void where prohibited

 
Please visit the other sites in this Blog Tour! Schedule/URLs above and here: http://lindacovella.com/events-news/clean-indie-reads-fall-sale/

Many thanks to Linda Covello for organizing this and to all who participate as bloggers, all of you who visit, and especially all of your readers who comment, buy, download, read, and review our CIR books!

Enjoy your Clean Indie Reads!

Share /reblog this post!

Proud member of Clean Indie Reads!

CIR_Logo
 

Latest #Author #Interview with Sally Ember, Ed.D., on Connie Dunn’s page, goes live TODAY!

Thanks for a fun and great #interview, Connie, conducted/recorded on September 4, 2014, despite numerous technical difficulties!

My interview goes live TODAY, September 29, 2014. We talked about #writing, #science-fiction, The Spanners Series and its #aliens, the Series’ #cover art and Aidana Willowraven as the cover artist,

logoAuthorsDen

my #utopian views, writing in the present tense to emphasize the #multiverse/#paranormal/#psi elements, #science/#research, book #reviews, “crowd creating” and other #collaborations, ghost writing, #series writing, writing across #genres and for multiple audiences/age groups, inspiration/creativity, my writing history (from age 9 on), #editing, #indie publishing and much more.

http://publishwithconnie.com/mondaymorning is the link to Connie’s website. Please visit, look at her books and what she offers to authors!

From there, you can go listen to my interview: http://publishwithconnie.com/teleseminar-dashboard/sally-ember/

My Blogaversary and 1st year of Book Marketing: Report Card

First of all, thanks for financial and technical support to my niece, Sarah Miranda, my sister, Ellen Fleischmann, and my son, Merlyn Ember. Thanks, also, to WordPress.com techhies and Q & A and fora participants.

Second, but equally important, I am grateful to all of my readers, responders, rebloggers, guest bloggers and/or followers for your interest, suggestions, support and interactions. My site would be dead air without you!

On my one-year Anniversary of my Blog, what many call a “Blogaversary,” I am summarizing and analyzing my accomplishments and progress, to date. Let me know what you think!

My Blog Stats

I ended my first full year of blogging with 243 Followers. 208 followers are on WordPress; 35 are on Tumblr.
THANKS, all!

I started with a site that was new and unknown so it wasn’t even rated by ALEXA. I had zero “backlinks.”
Today (8/9/14), I have 128 Backlinks. My ALEXA international rating is 419,061 out of over 4 millions sites.
For the USA, sallyember.com is rated 68,034 out of over 2 million sites.

If you want to check your site’s rankings on ALEXA, get the free extension to your toolbar and check about once every few days by going to your main page/splash page, then clicking on that icon on your toolbar.

I aspire to have a Google Page Ranking: yet to be earned.

followed-blog-200-1x

Total Number of Visitors/Views: 8326

I figured out early on how to cross-post each of my blog entries to my personal/author’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (although I mysteriously have to “refresh” this connection periodically, according to prompts from WordPress).

Later, I added Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, BookLikes, and Google+ as well as my Spanners Series page on Facebook as automatic recipient posting sites.

About twice a month, I utilize one of the images in each of my original content entries and put those posts on my Pinterest “My Blog Posts” board, which then automatically cross-posts to Twitter and Facebook, again.

Mostly due to these cross-posting, my Followers on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Goodreads have all increased dramatically. When I started my Blog, I was brand-new to Pinterest, Author Central, and my series’ pages, and mostly inactive on LinkedIn and Goodreads; and had only 7 Twitter Followers. Here are the Blogaversary comparison stats.

FOLLOWERS/LIKES/CIRCLES TALLIES, August 10, 2013 – August 10, 2014
(all links are on the right sidebar of my website)
Twitter 7 to 3441
Pinterest 0 to 208
LinkedIn 200 to 500+ (LI maxes out the count at 500)
Facebook personal 232 to 1438
Facebook Series page 0 to 937
Google+ personal 0 to 1301
Google+ Series page 0 to 29 (not much action, here; can’t get blog to cross-post)
Goodreads author page 110 to 1113
Amazon Author Central page 0 to 142

PAGE/POST VIEWS

My highest-ever number of views in one day was 197, spread around several posts and pages.

Month-by-month Views/Visitors:
Aug, 2013 = 114 (first day was August 10)
Sept. 200
Oct. 307
Nov. 528
Dec. 535
Jan., 2014 = 999
Feb. 1,144
Mar. 740
Apr. 580
(concussion/accident 4/6/14; offline a lot April – June)
May 830
June 872
Jul. 1,161
Aug.(to date) 326

Highest single-day Views = 197

Average Views/Day
for 2013 (5 months): 13
for 2014 (7 months): 30

Blog Posts
200 of my 357 posts (about 40 are reblogs) had 10 or fewer views. These include ALL of the Serialized Excerpts of my sci-fi series, Volumes I and II, most of the reports of these books’ reviews, and many others that I thought were more popular than that.

Freshly Pressed

One of my posts was featured on “Freshly Pressed,” the elite selection gleaned from among all daily blog posts, highlighted for that day in WordPress’ Blog Reader!

Views by Country
Views by visitors from 111 countries
Highest = USA, with 5,909
2nd = UK, with 484
3rd = Canada, with 354
4th = Australia, with 155
5th = Germany, with 128
6th = India, with 125
The rest are 60 or fewer; many are just 1 or 2, so far.

Highest page views were for my site’s main pages:
–ABOUT (my blog’s splash page), with 2,001
–the Home page’s Archives, with 1,703
The Spanners Series page, with 492

For individual posts, the highest number of views were for:
#Buddhism and #Science: the Facts, the Yogis, the Practices , with 232
My #Literary #Meh List 2014: 15 Plots, Devices, Characters I’m BORED with, with 205
Why My First Experience with Using #Pre-Orders Will Help Get My NEXT #Ebook Higher on #Best-Seller Lists, with 185
15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains, with 160
Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups, with 112
When #Spiritual #Teachers Respond with #Countertransference, with 110

Total number of comments (and half or more are my replies): 202

Setting aside the two posts with the most comments that were part of Blog Hops, the next-most commented-upon post was
15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains, with 12

BLOGGING and BOOK MARKETING ASSESSMENTS

I learned a lot about how to assess my book marketing efforts from many people. I excerpt from PROMOTING MY BOOK , by Lee Gale Gruen, with my commentaries as to my progress/use of these ideas and link to Lee and her sites at the end of this section.
(I first saw this article posted in “Funds for Writers,” compiled weekly by the wonderful Hope Clark: http://www.chopeclark.com Thanks, Hope!)

I am therefore scoring myself on Book Marketing for my first two self-published ebooks according to Lee’s great list, below, of marketing tips and ideas. Let’s see what I learned!

Lee recommends these activities, below, and I agree:

  • 1. Read websites and books such as APE by Guy Kawasaki and Michael Kremer’s books. I also join and watch many free webinars, teleseminars, and Google+ Hangouts On Air regularly for more tips.
  • 2. Join writer’s organizations. Learn from your peers. I joined several here in California with great successes. I will be looking for writers’ groups/clubs in St. Louis in September. Any recommendations?
  • 3. Network at writers’ groups, conferences, online forums, etc. I’ve only been to one conference, so far, but may go to more. How are they worthwhile?
  • 4. Check writers’ websites, materials, author talk/book signings. Learn from their examples. I need to more of this but I do follow quite a few writers’ blogs and learn from their posts.

Lee also talks about “creating” one’s own marketing “tools,” and I get an A+, here! I’ve done them all and I hadn’t even seen this list prior to doing them!

  • 1. Have a website to refer interested people. I have that via my blog, http://www.sallyember.com
  • 2. Purchase your website name (domain) immediately. Thanks to my niece, Sarah Miranda, I did this right off! sallyember.com is MINE!
  • 3. Print flyers with your book cover, synopsis, photo, and bio to hand out at events. I have done this and gotten some new readers from it by handing them out at my writers’ groups.
  • 4. Get business cards. I got free ones from KLOUT, at first, then ordered almost-free ones from Vistaprint.com.
  • 5. Compose a cover letter to email to prospects. I have done this for, in my case, book reviewers.
  • 6. Post a video of yourself discussing your book on http://www.YouTube.com. I did this by accident: the Q & A for my Book Launch talk didn’t work, so there is a 2-hour monologue of me on my youtube channel. Also, 2 more vids of me reading chapters from each of my ebooks and book trailers are on that channel. Starting August 6, almost-weekly episodes from CHANGES, my Google+ HOA, are also there.
  • 7. Add an electronic signature to your emails with links to your website and video. I had done this, but then my son said a signature with many links after it is viewed as “spam” and “shouting” at email recipients, so I removed them. What do you think?

Lee’s advice for how to “Promote Yourself” caused me to realize how much I still have to accomplish here. The BOLD ones are TO BE DONE.

  • 1. Sell yourself as well as your book. Develop a useful message other than just “buy my book.” I mostly do this by curating interesting content and creating it on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. I also repost on some sites like Suvudu, StumpleUpon, Reddit, etc. I’ve also joined and interact with folks in a lot of Groups on Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn and Communities on Google+
  • 2. Give author talk/book signings.
  • 3. Volunteer to speak at book clubs, speakers’ bureaus, panels, etc. I have volunteered to some book clubs, but no invitations have arrived, yet.
  • 4. Mention your book in conversations using your “elevator speech:” a one-minute synopsis of your book with a hook to grab the listener. I don’t do this as often as I should, but I do it.
  • 5. Ask readers to post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If I could find my readers, I would do this more! I wish readers could “opt in” to “author can find me” lists.
  • 6. Submit articles. I’ve been published in my local newspaper and my retirement newsletter. I want to do this.
  • 7. Join HARO (http://www.helpareporter.com) to submit yourself as an interview subject for writers and journalists. I’ve had 6 interviews and will be in an upcoming book. I’ve started my own Google+ Hangout On Air, submitted responses as an Expert on Quora and Ask an Expert, and am considering joining this org, next.
  • 8. Write a blog of interest to your target audience. http://www.sallyember.com is mine. Is it of interest?
  • 9. Look online for similar blogs. Submit guest blogs. Links to my guest posts are on my site. Look to the right and scroll down.

    guest-blogging-image

  • 10. Build an email address list. Email a notice of each appearance, blog, etc. I’ve been slowly building this list, but many commenters or followers don’t provide and I can’t find their email addresses, only Twitter handles or website URLs. How do I get email addresses without paying to get them via a service?
  • 11. Host a book giveaway on http://www.Goodreads.com. Goodreads still doesn’t allow ebook giveaways. SNOBS.
  • 12. Network or search online for professional reviewers. I submitted my book to http://www.midwestbookreview.com for small press publishers. I only do this when there is no fee. I refuse to pay for book reviews.

BIO: Lee Gale Gruen is an actress, author, speaker, and blogger. Her book website is: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com. Her blog, “Reinventing Myself in My Senior Years” is at: http://LeeGaleGruen.Wordpress.com

My Overall Grade/Score for Year One in Blogging and Book Marketing

Well, I give myself an A+ for effort
I earned about a B- for effectiveness, I think (but it’s difficult to make comparisons since I don’t have others’ stats nor know their efforts).

If I’m going by the numbers of books sold (Volume II of The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, just went on sale June 9) or sold and downloaded since Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, went permafree on April 1 and went on sale December 19, 2013, the dates don’t jibe and the numbers won’t be impressive (to me, anyway). We all have Hugh Howey to thank for that, right?

Plus, even though I can get rankings or paid sales stats from some sites, I can’t get sales or free download numbers from all sites. So, the numbers below are not all-inclusive; they’re just what I can get. Here are the stats for book sales and downloads:

12/19/13 – 3/31/14 Sales and 4/1/14 –> Free downloads for
Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything
66 books sold
2296 free downloads
(about 40 for reviewers)

6/9/14 –> Sales for
Volume II of The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever
4 sales
4 free downloads
(all for reviewers)

I look forward to becoming more “visible” via this and other parts of my “author platform” in my second year blogging and being a fiction author.

Please comment and share your experiences! Best to you all!

Guest Post: “Why Gender Identity? Why Now?” by Connie Dunn

I am honored and excited to continue this week of highlighting two ground-breaking children’s books in the areas of gender and sexual orientation identities (two topics dear to my heart since my doctoral research centered on them) by giving you a chance to meet another author and get to know her work: Connie Dunn is guest posting on my site, today. Welcome, Connie!

Why Gender Identity? Why Now?

by Connie Dunn

connie_dunn photo

In a world where bullying has gone online and children and youth, who act or look different, are more likely to get bullied, is it any wonder that gender identity issues cause those individuals to be at a higher risk. It is concerning and the statistics prove it….

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. Suicide attempts by LGB (Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual) youth and questioning youth are four to six times more likely to result in injury, poisoning, or overdose that requires treatment from a doctor or nurse, compared to their straight peers. Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt. LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.

from http://www.TheTrevorReport.com

Hate crimes continue to grow. In Oakland, CA, a teen, who identified as female, wore a skirt to school last November and another teen at the school set the skirt on fire. The teen had second and third degree burns. In Cleveland, Ohio, two trans-women (MTF or Male to Female) were killed in two different incidents, both were considered hate crimes. Hate crimes in New York, San Diego, Canada, and many other places identify gay and lesbians as the victims. The trend of increased hate crimes now show that anti-gay crimes and anti-racial crimes are about equal, according to Brian Mustanski, Ph.D. in an article published in Psychology Today (June 2013).

When I first introduced my new book When Panda Was a Boy: A Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8, I was joyfully surprised that it was met with:
“This is so needed in the world!” “Where have you been?” “I wish I had this book when I was young.”

I actually was prepared for people’s negative responses over what can be a controversial topic. Instead, I have been pleasantly greeted with open arms, which definitely says a lot about how LGBTQ people of all ages are being met by the larger community. But make no mistake; this is still a “hot button” issue.

Panda- Cover

BUY HERE! http://publishwithconnie.com/whenpandawasaboyonamazon

When I first decided to write these stories, it came from my heart strings being pulled. I just couldn’t imagine anyone throwing out a child over their gender identity, whether that be trans (transgender, transsexual, or gender neutral), bisexual, gay, or lesbian. Our gender choices come from our DNA. No one wakes up one day and says, “Hmmm, I think I’ll be a ‘trans’ today.” Instead, it’s something that brews within their core being. Children as young as 2 ½ may begin showing tendencies toward the opposite gender than what their genitalia mandates. It doesn’t mean that they will ultimately be a trans. If a child is supported for who they are in all capacities, they will grow up to be who they are supposed to be.

One hurdle our society must get over is that people who are LGBTQ don’t seek it out as a rebellion; it is part of who they are. It’s in their DNA, which is not changeable. There are no choices to override DNA; it’s simply who you are just like your eye or hair color is part of who you are.

More youth and young adults are supporting trans by identifying as trans, which can be transgender, transsexual, or gender neutral. While most supporting people may be heterosexual; they also want to buck the binary system. There are many people who just don’t want to be “genderized.”

When young children begin to explore who they are between three and five years of age, sometimes as young as two-and-a-half, they explore gender. What happens is that our parents redirect us toward a stereotypical gender based on acceptable societal standards. When a little boy starts to play with dolls, a parent or other adult may say, “Boys don’t play with dolls!” So, they learn: “it’s not safe to be who I am.” These children stuff down these feelings. They don’t really go away; they just get pushed down inside of us. When a little girl wants trucks and cars, a parent will usually say, “Girls don’t play with cars and trucks, they play with dolls.”

Then, when these children go through puberty, another “who am I” comes up for them. This identity extends into gender but also includes their spiritual, religious, political, fashion, virtuous, non-virtuous, and so many other things. Gender is a huge part of who we are and what role we play in family and society. Again, these teenagers explore, but some will again be redirected to stereotypical gender roles. Once again, these youth learn: “It’s not safe to be who I am.” Maybe when these people get into their 20s, 30s, or even into midlife, they will again explore to find “who they are.”

This is also why I wrote When Panda Was a Boy. Young children explore gender, but they don’t often see themselves in storybooks unless they fit into that stereotypical role. Parents do not have the communication skills to deal with these issues, because it just isn’t discussed in most parenting circles. There are few role models in society, so my stories help parents find the right responses to support their children through their gender identity searches.

The stories in When Panda Was a Boy “are gentle stories and I approach the stories in a natural and age-appropriate way.

  • In “Amara’s Birthday Request,” Amara asks her mother for a penis. When Mom explores this with Amara, she finds out that Kamal, a boy at school, has told her that girls cannot sail a ship. Her mother assures her that she can do whatever boys can do. That’s all Amara needed to know.
  • In the story, “When Panda Was a Boy,” Lisa doesn’t want to have a tea party with Grandma, even though Grandma is wearing her fun tea party hat. Instead, Lisa wants to jump in mud puddles with Panda, her stuffed bear. When Grandma encourages the tea party, Lisa tells her that she’s all done being a girl. Lisa is very adamant about not doing any girl things. She tells her Grandma that she’s going to be a boy. Lisa finally asks Grandma if she will still love her if she’s Max or Fred. Grandma assures her that she loves Lisa even if she is Max or Fred.
  • In “Charlie Is a Girl,” we explore some of the obstacles that Christina faces in becoming Charlie. She takes charge in talking with the principal to make it all work out for her to start her school year as Charlie. She even takes a copy of the law that was passed giving her the right to be Charlie, but she finds the biggest item on the agenda was what “restroom” was Charlie going to use? They even worked that out by giving Charlie a key.

Handling things in age-appropriate ways are best, as long as that doesn’t mean stereotypical talk, such as “boys don’t dance, they play football” or “girls don’t play football, they dance.”

These types of statements may seem harmless, but what the child cannot say back to you is that he or she doesn’t feel that gender on the inside. We actually harm kids by telling them what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for their gender. Some crossover is natural. Sometimes it is a sign that there are tendencies toward being trans. Time always tells. Being supportive in this growth is just as important as helping them learn to walk or ride a bike.

When children feel guilty that they cannot be the child that you, the parent, wants them to be, they often cope with these feelings by trying to commit suicide or committing suicide. As parents, we want to help our children to become the best they can be. Why is it so hard to not see being lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender as part of who our child is? To ask them not be who they are is to reject them. Our children try, but failing in that, they move on to depression and manic depression and suicide. No one really wants that for their child.

Children who have a bad self-image, which LGBT children are prone to have, are at higher risk of being bullied. This behavior can also be fatal. A fragile child may not be strong enough to battle with a bully. Again, suicide is often what they see as their best choice, “so no one has to deal with the outcast.”

It is my hope that When Panda Was A Boy will help children in grades K-8 to feel normal about their gender choices, both in to whom they are attracted and to what gender they are inside. No matter what gender is on the outside, children as young as four or five may express their inner gender. Parents can help their children by being supportive and following their lead.
*****************************************

Connie Dunn is an author, speaker, and book writing coach. Her book, When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8, is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.com (http://publishwithconnie.com/whenpandawasaboyonamazon).

Connie also teaches people to write and publish their books. You can find other information about her, her books, and courses at Publish with Connie (http://publishwithconnie.com/)

To receive a FREE Parent’s Guide: 10 Tips for Parents on Talking about Gender Identity to Your Children Sign up at: http://whenpandawasaboy.publishwithconnie.com.

10 Ways to Celebrate #Indie #Authors

Re-posting this to keep supporting the Blog Hop sponsored by Julie’s Book Reviews! #Rafflecopter Give-Away info at the end of this post!

So many #Indie #Authors, so little time! However, WE Indies deserve and need your attention for all our hard work!

Celebrate Indie Authors July 6 posting 2014

Please take a few minutes, maybe every day during these LET’S CELEBRATE INDIE AUTHORS event days’ blog hop, organized by Julie’s Book Reviews, hosted here: http://juliesbookreview.blogspot.com/, July 1 – 14.

AND please do one or more of these supportive actions:

  • 1) Visit, comment, follow, subscribe to the author’s website/blog.
    Here are mine: http://www.sallyember.com and http://sallyember.tumblr.com

  • 2) Go to the author’s books’ sites and CLICK to them on your Wish Lists or download them or buy them on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s nook, Smashwords, other sites that sell ebooks and print books by Indie Authors. All of my books’ links are available to the right of this post and on my main website (if you’re not there, now).

  • 3) LIKE/1+/become a Follower (“Friend” or “Fan” the author’s and/or book’s or series’ pages) on Facebook, Google+, Amazon, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Shelfari, etc.
    Most authors’ websites, like mine, have places for you to link to, click on, or do this right there, or the sites’ links will take you there. Add our books to your “shelves” such as “to read” or “currently reading” and post about them on your social media sites: “I’m reading…. by….” is a great Tweet! So is “I just bought/downloaded… by …..!”

    BTW: if the author’s site has a “Tip Jar” or “Donate” button, especially when s/he has offered free books/ebooks or other content, please consider leaving a donation, however small. Much appreciated!

  • 4) Leave comments, reviews, rankings, ratings!
    Vote our books UP on Listmania lists on Amazon, Listopia lists on Goodreads, Booklikes’ lists: EVERYWHERE you can help us shine, please do! You can find what lists a book is on by scrolling down on its book page on that site.

  • 5) Admire and comment on our series’ logo and/or cover art.
    Visit the cover artist’s page and comment (if you know who it is). Aidana Willowraven is mine, and she ROCKS!

    logoAuthorsDen

    This Changes Everything cover
    Now PERMAFREE everywhere ebooks are sold!

    final cover print
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC @$3.99
    The Spanners Series logo and cover art by Aidana Willowraven

  • 6) If we Indie Authors post excerpts, read, comment on, review, “Shelve,” “Like” them.
    Join free sites to do this, such as Wattpad, Authonomy, Bublish, many other sites. Some, like me, post excerpts on our own websites or Facebook, G+ or other sites. Go on a hunt by author’s name/pen name and become a critiquer/beta reader/fan!

  • 7) Whether or not you’re a blogger or “professional,” you can become a reader/reviewer by commenting, rating, reviewing every Indie book you read, whether it’s from a library or your own download. We LOVE seeing what you think as long as it’s fair and honest, of course. Please give reasons, even if you LOVE the book. Also, even if you don’t become a reviewer, you can read and LIKE/vote up others’ reviews.

    bookreviews_logo

  • 8) If you are also a writer, join a writers’/authors’ support network, such as an online group or social media boosting group on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads, Booklikes, Kindleboards or blog/site OR (shocking, I know), attend an in-person support, critique, sharing group via your local library, your state/regional writers’ clubs, MeetUp: SO MANY! You can do more than one!
    Shout out from me to Clean Indie Reads, Rave Reviews Book Club, Enovel Authors At Work, lots more.

  • 9) Talk Indie Authors up!
    Tell your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, gym or walking buddies, dog walkers, babysitters, postal carries–EVERYWHERE, EVERYONE–about your favorite, most recent or all-time beloved Indie Author! End every text, phone call, party, visit or work day with some comment about an ebook or print book you recommend. Inspire more readers!

  • 10) Join/participate in Indie Authors’ Blog Hops, Facebook or Google Hangout Events (Cover Reveals, Launch Parties, Events of many types, such as THIS ONE).
    Enter to win prizes, receive giveaways (such as a $5 Amazon Gift Card from MY site!) and make connections/friends!

    Click on THIS Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thanks for your celebrating and supporting Indie Authors today and every day! Share!

The Anguish of Posting a 2-Star Review of a Colleague’s Book

As an #Indie #Author, I am keenly sensitive to the ways we are each other’s main support. We have no publishing house, no “team” dedicated to our book unless we gather that team ourselves and pay them individually. Because of this, I have made it a point to join groups on Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere in the blogosphere of fellow indie authors, bloggers and reviewers in order to support one another and be part of a “team.”

Some of these teams are better than others, and I have left a couple of them already (in less than a few months of membership) due to a lack of the very support I joined to acquire. However, some are excellent. #RaveReviewsBookClub is one of those. Its founder, president and fellow author, Nonnie Jules, and the team she has gathered to moderate and administrate the site and its activities (which are many!) are top-notch.

RRBC GOVERNING BOARD MEMBERS:

President – @nonniejules

V. President & Mentor Program Director – @bruceaborders

Secretary & Blog Tour Host Co-Ordinator – @mlh42812

Membership Director – @kathrynctreat

PR/Marketing Director – @DanicaCornell

Newsletter Co-Ordinator – @sharrislaughter

Reviews Co-Ordinator – @voiceofindie

“SPOTLIGHT” Author Consultant – @TeriGarringer

I highly recommend joining this FREE group if you are an indie author wanting to get and provide reviews and other types of support: Nonnie’s own site (which leads to the RRBC site) is: http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/

I belong to several other great Facebook groups: Clean Indie Reads, Amazon Author Support, Female Writers, Science-Fiction Romance Brigade, Gutsy Indie Publishers, eNovel Authors at Work, and more. Many have their own blog or websites and activities beyond Facebook cross-postings and support.

On Google+, I have recently joined several groups that I appreciate. Except for #BookMarketingTools, which provides biweekly Google On Air tools and info shows called “The Author Hangout,” hosted by Shawn Manahar (@ShawnManaher), I am not yet “known” or know many members since I’m not very active, yet.

I am “in” many groups on Goodreads and LinkedIn, but mostly as a reader or sometimes visiting poster/”liker”. Not active, often, as an author, yet. Very much appreciate the tips, tools, ideas and support these offer, regardless of how often I visit, comment or post.

All this is by way of saying: I am anguished to have to post a low rating and poor review of a fellow club member’s indie book. But, I just did. I had to. I do not do many reviews mostly because I am usually writing, marketing and job hunting or working as a consultant: in short, too busy. But,a requirement of joining some groups is to do reviews occasionally.

So, I recently chose a book from the options provided that I thought I’d like and began to read. You can see the results, below.

BTW: When I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give the book a positive review, I reached out to the club moderator, who was very helpful and supportive of my honesty and professional opinions. I also reached out directly to the author. I told her my dilemma and offered her some minimal feedback and also to provide more. She responded and thanked me, but declined.

Since we couldn’t communicate privately, I put my feedback into this review. I sincerely hope my comments and questions inform the author so that, when she is ready to hire an editor and a proofreader for her next book, some new team members could be hired who are better than this book had.

Review of C.E. Wolff‘s Common Denominator

Disappointing: unrealistic and 2-D characters, horrible story arc, unbelievable plot points, poorly proofread /unevenly edited

Common Denominator cover
http://www.amazon.com/Common-Denominator-C-E-Wolff-ebook/dp/B00G8SE5RC

I rarely give bad reviews and hesitate to post this one. I wanted to like this book. I was pulled in, at first. Somewhat interesting story, main characters, situations. Despite some proofreading errors, I continued. Wanted to give a new author the benefit of the doubt.

Then, the number of mistakes became ridiculous. Simple things, but signs of amateurish teamwork that are very frustrating and give indie pubs a bad name. Examples: confusions between “their” and “they’re,” “your” and “you’re,” other spelling and grammar mistakes and overall sentence structure. These all fell short of good publishing standards by a lot. Whatever this author paid the proofreader, it was too much. She should get a refund.

Not wanting to give up because I had made a commitment to review this book, I continued. Parts of the story line and the two main characters showed some promise. However, every one of the secondary characters was a stereotype, without exception. They were 2-dimensionally and boringly depicted or came across as numbingly inconsistent. Each character was an insult to some group: women, men, British citizens, gays, mothers and criminals of all kinds. “Bimbo”? Really? Calling her own sister a “wench”? Harping on age differences between lovers, then going along with it: which is it?

Why are the criminals all “sinister” with zero back stories? Why does the main antagonist have no obvious motivation? We learn more about her taste in clothes and plastic surgery than we ever do about what makes her do what she does.

The main plot, a supposed thirty-year “love” story, is flat-out ridiculous.Maybe if these characters were in their mid-twenties, we could believe they didn’t yet acknowledge/know their true feelings for each other, having been childhood friends, blah blah blah. But, they’re hovering around and over 40, have stayed “best friends” all their lives, and work together every day. Meanwhile, they continually trash each others’ dates/lovers. Unless they have recurring amnesia or personality disorders, the concept is absurd.

The female main character’s obsession with her appearance, physical attributes, clothing and underwear, even in the middle of public places, might have been funny if it weren’t so dysfunctional and unbelievable. What 39-year-old professional, educated woman, the VP of a large corporation, doesn’t know how to dress and conduct herself in public?

And, what 42-year-old male behaves sexually as if he’s seventeen? i could just be out of touch, I suppose. A president of a successful corporation who has remained unmarried and not become a parent obviously has issues.

This begs the question: what do these two see in each other? They’re each a mess. Are they supposed to be anti-heroes? Success.

Whatever she paid the editor: also too much. There is a horrible amount of repetition: I swear, the main character and her sister have the exact same conversations, about two basic topics, more than three times. So do the two main characters. Why? Does this book’s editor not know how to tell an author to CUT and when to insert new material?

The subplots are so thin as to be pulled directly from someone else’s novels and plopped into this one. Not even worth recounting. Cliche after cliche abounds without even one redeeming original moment. Could have phoned it all in.

I stuck it out to the end, hoping she would redeem it, and then POOF: it just stops. No actual ending, no resolution worth discussing.

Up until the non-ending, i was willing to give it three stars for effort and blame most of the problems on her “helpers,” but I just can’t. Two stars. Readers: not worth your time.

I was not paid to review nor did I get the book for free.

P.S. I posted the review on Goodreads and Amazon about two days prior to posting this entry on my blog. On the night of the second day the review appeared, I received this notice: “Fred liked your review of Common Denominator on Goodreads!” This book is also receiving a lot of 5-Star reviews. So it goes!

3 Reasons That This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, is Permafree

Before I put my first sci-fi/romance/multiverse/paranormal/speculative fiction ebook, This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, up for sale, I attended free webinars, read guidebooks and blog posts and did a lot of research to find out how other fiction ebooks authors managed this journey. I discovered many techniques, procedures and tips which I employed, including what price to use for sales, how to use a pre-order period, and when to offer a book for free (and why).

I have blogged about some of these topics already, but I haven’t written, yet, about why I decided to make Volume I “permafree” last month. I just did it. Now for the explanation, which is then going to be further explained and augmented by the article I’m including a link to, below.

As a new fiction author, I do not yet have a significantly sized “following” or “fan base.” So, I spent a lot of time finding out how one acquires readers and keeps them coming back for subsequent books, since I planned a 10-Volume series. I read others’ stories of their journeys, articles about successes and failures, and took extensive notes I still refer to, from the many webinars I attended.

    Here are the 3 reasons that This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, is permafree:

  1. Well-timed permafree works. Pricing is variable year to year, but market research has shown that series authors have been doing well to make the FIRST volume free, forever (permafree) AFTER later volumes come out. This brings in new readers consistently.

    logoAuthorsDen
    cover art for all covers by Aidana Willowraven.

  2. Permafree brings in the curious and good content keeps them coming back. If the first volume in a series is good enough evidenced by its having a sufficient number of UNPAID and UNFAKED reviews showing that the book is well-written and worth reading, more and more readers will come to download it. This creates the beginning of the author’s fanbase and followers. There will also be those readers who just download anything free, which is also great (but works best if they actually read the ebook after downloading it, like it, and decide to look for and purchase subsequent volumes.

    This Changes Everything cover

  3. Diversified authors attract new fans constantly; permafree gives them as easy way “in” to a series. If the author continues to offer good content BETWEEN books (via a blog, postings on social media sites, email newsletters, author interviews on others’ sites and/or Blog Talk Radio and the like, podcasts, Google On Air Hangouts, and perhaps short stories or other genre fiction) and continues to come out with good writing for each subsequent volume, by Volume III or IV, that author will have a solid following, loyal fans and great sales, all still being “fed” by the permafree Volume I.

final cover - digital and web

So, The Spanners Series now has Volume I, This Changes Everything, in permafree status everywhere ebooks are sold because Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, entered its pre-order period @$1.99 on April 1 and goes on sale June 9 at $3.99.

Since Volume I went free, the number of potential readers (reckoned by the number of downloaded volumes) has gone up 4000%. I am not joking.

I can’t see how well the pre-orders are going for Volume II, yet, or know what the sales figures will be. Reviews for it are due any day, now, and will keep coming in over the next several weeks, if all goes as planned.

I plan to post Volume I on more freebie sites and keep doing interviews, blogging, “creating and posting good content” as I work on Volume III, This Is/Is Not The Way I Thought Things Would Change, which is due out late in the fall of 2014.

I will check in periodically here to let you know how sales and downloads are going and what else happens.

Until/unless I become a gazillllllionaire author who doesn’t need to “bring in new readers” (when does that happen?), Volume I will remain free.

All downloading and purchase links for The Spanners Series as well as links to bloggers’ reviews, interviews and my archived blog posts are at http://www.sallyember.com on the right side panel.

If you want to learn more about Book Marketing, #authors, http://buildabusinesswithyourbook.com/access/aff/go/sallyember It starts this week/weekend!
Silver passes are FREE. Gold passes cost money, but I’m on Silver and it’s great! Lots of blog posts, interviews, videos, and more to help us do better with marketing wherever we are in our process. Check it out! Here’a a list of what’s offered just via the blog, just week one!

Sharon Williams: Developing Your Author Platform and Social Media Presence
Deborah Bateman: Building Your Online Platform as an Author
Eric Van Der Hope: 5 Steps to Developing an Effective Author Platform
Gina Akao: Marketing Your Book with a WordPress Blog
David Wogahn: SEO for Books: Optimizing Your Amazon Book Listing
D’vorah Lansky: Harness the Power of Your Amazon Author Central Page
Ellen Violette: How to Market Your Print Book or eBook in Just Minutes a Day
Penny Sansevieri: Harnessing the Power of Goodreads
Leeza Robertson: Quote Yourself on Goodreads
Amy Harrop: Leveraging the Author Tools of Goodreads to Promote Your Books
Michael Bloom: Promoting Your Book on Your Facebook Author Page
Bryan Cohen: Sixteen Heads Are Better Than One, on Facebook

Want to know more about making books permafree and see if these principles apply to YOUR books? Check out this article, linked to below.

Best to you all!

Why Free Is Your Best Marketing Tool And How To Harness It from The Future of Ink by PENNY SANSEVIERI

Great ideas, examples, and info as well as links to other helpful articles for authors like me who are doing our own marketing:
http://thefutureofink.com/free-is-best-marketing-tool/

3 Reasons That This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, is Permafree

Before I put my first sci-fi/romance/multiverse/paranormal/speculative fiction ebook, This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, up for sale, I attended free webinars, read guidebooks and blog posts and did a lot of research to find out how other fiction ebooks authors managed this journey. I discovered many techniques, procedures and tips which I employed, including what price to use for sales, how to use a pre-order period, and when to offer a book for free (and why).

I have blogged about some of these topics already, but I haven’t written, yet, about why I decided to make Volume I “permafree” last month. I just did it. Now for the explanation, which is then going to be further explained and augmented by the article I’m including a link to, below.

As a new fiction author, I do not yet have a significantly sized “following” or “fan base.” So, I spent a lot of time finding out how one acquires readers and keeps them coming back for subsequent books, since I planned a 10-Volume series. I read others’ stories of their journeys, articles about successes and failures, and took extensive notes I still refer to, from the many webinars I attended.

    Here are the 3 reasons that This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series, is permafree:

  1. Well-timed permafree works. Pricing is variable year to year, but market research has shown that series authors have been doing well to make the FIRST volume free, forever (permafree) AFTER later volumes come out. This brings in new readers consistently.

    logoAuthorsDen
    cover art for all covers by Aidana Willowraven.

  2. Permafree brings in the curious and good content keeps them coming back. If the first volume in a series is good enough evidenced by its having a sufficient number of UNPAID and UNFAKED reviews showing that the book is well-written and worth reading, more and more readers will come to download it. This creates the beginning of the author’s fanbase and followers. There will also be those readers who just download anything free, which is also great (but works best if they actually read the ebook after downloading it, like it, and decide to look for and purchase subsequent volumes.

    This Changes Everything cover

  3. Diversified authors attract new fans constantly; permafree gives them as easy way “in” to a series. If the author continues to offer good content BETWEEN books (via a blog, postings on social media sites, email newsletters, author interviews on others’ sites and/or Blog Talk Radio and the like, podcasts, Google On Air Hangouts, and perhaps short stories or other genre fiction) and continues to come out with good writing for each subsequent volume, by Volume III or IV, that author will have a solid following, loyal fans and great sales, all still being “fed” by the permafree Volume I.

final cover - digital and web

So, The Spanners Series now has Volume I, This Changes Everything, in permafree status everywhere ebooks are sold because Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, entered its pre-order period @$1.99 on April 1 and goes on sale June 9 at $3.99.

Since Volume I went free, the number of potential readers (reckoned by the number of downloaded volumes) has gone up 4000%. I am not joking.

I can’t see how well the pre-orders are going for Volume II, yet, or know what the sales figures will be. Reviews for it are due any day, now, and will keep coming in over the next several weeks, if all goes as planned.

I plan to post Volume I on more freebie sites and keep doing interviews, blogging, “creating and posting good content” as I work on Volume III, This Is/Is Not The Way I Thought Things Would Change, which is due out late in the fall of 2014.

I will check in periodically here to let you know how sales and downloads are going and what else happens.

Until/unless I become a gazillllllionaire author who doesn’t need to “bring in new readers” (when does that happen?), Volume I will remain free.

All downloading and purchase links for The Spanners Series as well as links to bloggers’ reviews, interviews and my archived blog posts are at http://www.sallyember.com on the right side panel.

If you want to learn more about Book Marketing, #authors, http://buildabusinesswithyourbook.com/access/aff/go/sallyember It starts this week/weekend!
Silver passes are FREE. Gold passes cost money, but I’m on Silver and it’s great! Lots of blog posts, interviews, videos, and more to help us do better with marketing wherever we are in our process. Check it out! Here’a a list of what’s offered just via the blog, just week one!

Sharon Williams: Developing Your Author Platform and Social Media Presence
Deborah Bateman: Building Your Online Platform as an Author
Eric Van Der Hope: 5 Steps to Developing an Effective Author Platform
Gina Akao: Marketing Your Book with a WordPress Blog
David Wogahn: SEO for Books: Optimizing Your Amazon Book Listing
D’vorah Lansky: Harness the Power of Your Amazon Author Central Page
Ellen Violette: How to Market Your Print Book or eBook in Just Minutes a Day
Penny Sansevieri: Harnessing the Power of Goodreads
Leeza Robertson: Quote Yourself on Goodreads
Amy Harrop: Leveraging the Author Tools of Goodreads to Promote Your Books
Michael Bloom: Promoting Your Book on Your Facebook Author Page
Bryan Cohen: Sixteen Heads Are Better Than One, on Facebook

Want to know more about making books permafree and see if these principles apply to YOUR books? Check out this article, linked to below.

Best to you all!

Why Free Is Your Best Marketing Tool And How To Harness It from The Future of Ink by PENNY SANSEVIERI

Great ideas, examples, and info as well as links to other helpful articles for authors like me who are doing our own marketing:
http://thefutureofink.com/free-is-best-marketing-tool/

Reblogging: “10 Tools to Make Your Social Media Management Easier” by Andrew Jenkins

“Execnote” “Nimble” “Commun.it” “Pocket”

If these sound like foreign terms, you’re not alone. Indie authors and many others doing our own marketing and outreach are inundated with tasks, content, tweets, posts, blogs, podcasts and videos until we’re ready to explode.

We have to get our social media to be more manageable, don’t we?

Let Andrew Jenkins explain and provide reasons for you to learn about and start using these social media management tools!

Thanks, Andrew!

Social media icons\

http://arcompany.co/10-tools-to-make-your-social-media-management-easier/

SUPPORT-INDIE-ART

Want to Read Awesome #Ebooks at Half-Price or Free? THIS WEEK on #Smashwords!

The Many Worlds Collective chooses Dr. Clara Branon, Ph.D., as Earth’s first Liaison! Are you ready for the changes?

Sci-fi, Romance, Paranormal, Aliens, Multiverse, Utopian, Buddhist, Speculative ten-Volume eoooks for Adults, New and Young Adults, <em>The Spanners Series starts with This Changes Everything.

One reviewer says of This Changes Everything: “The experience is mind-altering, and would challenge readers to think beyond the bubble that we live in.”

Another notes: “This is an alien story where the aliens are helping rather than trying to take over the world.”

A third informs: “If you like, sci-fi, fantasy and/or aliens, this is the book for you. I do recommend this book and I hope you try it.”

The Spanners Series is for particular readers: “I have this odd feeling that I’m just not smart enough for this… I don’t have the intelligence level to make good sense of it….If you like very well-structured notes, detailed descriptions of almost everything,… humor (really good humor I might add), and a slight love interest, this book will not fail to impress you. In fact, I guarantee you will love it if these are the types of things you look for in a book,” one reviewer explains.

Facts mix with fiction: can you distinguish? History, politics, biology, sociology, psychology, religion, relationships, technology, physics, interspecies communication, global changes in government and environment are integral to these unique stories.

Find out how Earthers cope with Earth’s becoming a member of the Many Worlds Collective. Read how multiverse timulter, Dr. Clara Branon, chosen to be Earth’s first Chief Communicator, deals with being with/not being with her on/off love, Epifanio Dang.

Meet Esperanza Enlaces, her Chief Media Contact, Clara’s son, Zephyr, and the rest of her family and friends. Find out how they and others respond to and cope with the psi wars and psi skills training programs and the thousands of other changes alien contact catalyzes in Volumes I – X of The Spanners Series, starting in late 2013 – 2018, with one new Volume every six months.

This Changes Everything cover
Cover art by Willowraven.

“Creative, Original Writing!”

“Quality writing, creative and original story!”

What multiverse timeline are YOU in?

KS67Q is the coupon code for 50% off through March 9, 2014 (makes it $2.00!):
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

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FREE to Book Club leaders and Teachers using these ebooks for discussion/study, with coupon directly from author for use on Smashwords, ebook format of reader’s choice, with 10 (or more) Discussion Questions upon request. sallyember@yahoo.com or http://www.sallyember.com

READ AN #EBOOK WEEK AT #SMASHWORDS, 3/2-9/14!

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READ AN #EBOOK WEEK AT #SMASHWORDS, 3/2-9/14! Please consider including MORE #EBOOKS in your library!

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KS67Q is the coupon code for 50% off through March 9, 2014, for my first ebook, a sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian series, Volume I, This Changes Everything, usually $3.99. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

This Changes Everything cover

is from The Spanners Series, which is for adults, NA and YA,

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and prepares you for the more YA/NA Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, coming out in June! Thanks!

Many other deals for free or very discounted ebooks all week. https://www.smashwords.com/ebookweek

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http://www.sallyember.com/spanners

Why My First Experience with Using #Pre-Orders Will Help Get My NEXT #Ebook Higher on #Best-Seller Lists

Thanks to Mark Coker, Founder/CEO of #Smashwords, #indie #authors have lots of information in FREE slide shows and several webinars to help indie ebook authors succeed in self-publishing.

Mark provided excellent instructions, tips and support for my first ebook’s publication last fall, the sci-fi/romance which has been getting great reviews, This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, including persuading me to engage in a “Pre-order” period prior to full sales release.

In his post (link to full post, below), Mark defines Pre-orders:
preorder defn

Mark gives great info on how to schedule a Pre-Order, here:
preorder timing

Furthermore, he details the benefits of Pre-Orders for Authors and Readers:
preorders 5 benefits 1

A great realist, Mark also provided great info as to what to expect, a “Reality Check”:
preorder reality check

So, how did my first experience with pre-orders go?
Not so well.

Let’s review the Tips Mark provided and my own experiences:

Tip One: Plan and implement AGGRESSIVE, multi-week marketing campaign
This was my first time as any kind of book marketer, but luckily (?), I was laid off in August, 2013, which gave me family support (thanks, Ellen Fleischmann, Merlyn Ember, Sarah Miranda, Lauri Stern and Carole Harris) to move my unpublished book forward into self-publication. I began immediately to learn, via Mark Coker’s and others’ Google Hangouts, free webinars, blog posts, groups’ posts and articles, all about the publication and marketing processes for indie authors.

I did it ALL, except pay for PR (no extra funds): I started a new website and blog; I became active on Goodreads and Twitter; I opened Pinterest Boards; I became more active on Facebook, both on my personal and Series pages; I became more active on LinkedIn; I joined Google+ and began to use it more. I joined many Groups/Communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ as well as Goodreads. I engaged a professional cover artist (thanks, Willowraven!) and started tracking my KLOUT, SNAP and ALEXA scores.

I had OUTSTANDING results (I thought) in the first few months, bringing my KLOUT score from 31 to 61 by release day (12/19/13) and my website went from no ranking at all to being in the top 3.5 million via ALEXA. I gave up on Snap. My Twitter #FF went from 7 to over 1600; my blog gained almost 40 #FF (NOT my family, either!). I had almost 300 LIKES on my FB Series page and over 300 contacts personally there and on LinkedIn and Goodreads. 60 were #FF on Pinterest. Seemed good, to me.

I also worked hard networking on Wattpad, Goodreads, and Authonomy as well as the above groups and individuals’ websites to garner several very positive pre-sales day reviews which were posted on/into my front matter, my website, Goodreads and all other social media.

I joined Shelfari and BookLikes, Authors’ Database and other sites with author and then book pages. I created and updated my Author’s book page on Amazon (which doesn’t do Pre-orders, but I already had a nonfiction book authorship, so I could do this prior to uploading my ebook). I provided copy for and linked to postings of several author interviews on several websites and BlogTalkRadio’s IndieBooks show. I gave public readings and then videoed myself doing them and posted these on youtube, to start my Series’ Channel.

Using the Cover, I printed up 50 flyers (second time I spent money on this endeavor, first being the cover) and gave them out everywhere I went (which wasn’t many places, but I tried!).

This Changes Everything cover
cover and logo art by Willowraven

I talked it up everywhere I went, also. I sent out FB and GR reminders of the release date and planned an Author Q & A on Google Hangout and Goodreads for release day as an “EVENT,” which I extensively promoted, along with the pre-orders themselves, for weeks prior to sales date.

I believe I did everything I could to create a strong “Author Platform.” But, being a new author to sci-fi/romance and to ebooks, and an indie, self-published author in a very crowded field, the “splash” I was making, despite KLOUT’s encouraging stats, was not feeling large.

Social media icons
from http://www.bakerviewconsulting.com

Furthermore, I had no way to gauge the success of either my Pre-order marketing via the numbers of Pre-orders, because Smashwords, iBooks, KOBO and nook do not provide ANY kind of info as to the numbers of Pre-orders accumulating to authors, EVER. This is very frustrating and I wish this would change.

It is now two months since TCE’s release date, and I still have no figures, other than ranks on nook and KOBO, to tell me how many actual sales TCE has had.

Smashwords does provide “sales” numbers, but mixes “free” or coupon-use downloads with cash sales. This is mixing apples and oranges since my ebook is only free to reviewers and a select few others. Even with a cash total, this is a net profit figure, not a gross sales total: I have to do the math myself to estimate actual cash sales numbers, something else I wish would change.

iBooks sets up threshold before it puts out even a ranking that my ebook hasn’t met up to now (and neither the gate nor my sales number is known, which is frustrating; also needs to change).

As a regular Kindle (KDP), not Kindle Select, author, I did not have the option to do Pre-orders on Amazon, but at least I can check in on any day, any hour and get not only several different sales and author relative ranks, but go look at my actual sales figures online, including total sales, gross cash intake and net royalties. Yeah, Amazon!

Going solely by Amazon’s and Smashwords’ sales figures (the only ones I have), my Pre-Order and regular sales periods have not yet been huge successes, to say the least. I just got my first royalty checks, from Amazon (since Smashwords only pays quarterly and includes all the other vendors in one check). The total would not even pay for one tank of gas.

BUT, I am now a professional, paid ebook author, nonetheless! Woohoo!

My Recommendations: Every book sales site should provide real-time and accumulated stats to authors during Pre-orders as well as regular sales updates if not hourly, then daily, with no “qualifying” threshold to become eligible to see stats. AND, please do not mix free downloads with paid sales in the figures.

Tip Two: Mobilize fans
I tried to first gather fans (see above) and then mobilize them. However, as a first-time ebook author with no other fiction sales before this, my “fan base” is minimal even now, two months later, and nonexistent prior to Pre-orders. So, great tip, but I couldn’t use it for TCE.

I plan to use my growing fan base extensively for This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, however, which goes into Pre-Orders in April 15-18 (because of policies and schedules not in Smashwords’ control, other ebook vendor sites do not open Pre-orders on the same days as each other) and on sale June 9, 2014.

Tip Three: Special pricing
I took Mark’s advice about pricing all the way. He suggested lower prices or free for Pre-orders, but strongly suggested NOT offering it free if the ebook has no others before it in the Series.

Mark also suggested, based on his extensive research, the “sweet spot” balancing sales with profits for ebooks, currently is set at $3.99.

So, I set TCE’s Pre-Order price at $1.99.
The sales price for TCE has been $3.99 and will stay that way until Volume II goes into Pre-orders, 4/15/14, at which point Volumes I and II will both be set at $1.99.

On Volume II’s release date, 6/9/14, TCMF&MLF will go up to $3.99 and Volume I will become FREE forever more, to all, as recommended for series authors.

When The Spanners Series ebooks start selling well and my fan base has grown even more, I will bump up Volume II’s price to $5.99 during Volume III’s Pre-order period, November – December, 2014, making This Is/Is Not the Way I Thought Things Would Change, Volume III’s Pre-order price $2.99.

Volume III’s sales price, starting in mid-December, 2014, will then probably be $5.99.

If sales aren’t great (YET), I’ll follow my previous pricing plan for a while longer for upcoming Volumes (the series has 10, total).

I do not believe the exact pricing made that much difference, but I really can’t tell. I also don’t know about the switch from Pre-order’s lower price to the higher sales price regarding sales impact. See Tip One: I don’t know, yet, about any sales figures, except on Smashwords, for Pre-orders, and those were not strong the first time, an understatement.

Tip Four: Use your other books to help
Wish I could. Will do for Volumes II onward. Good tip!

Tip Five: (MY TIP): Do it better each time
Yes, I plan to do it all better, as mentioned above.

CHANGES and IMPROVEMENTS:
1) I’m doing more about getting Beta readers for Volume II.

2) I’m turning reviewers for Volume I into reviewers for Volume II. I have more fans, I am involved in several networks of authors and others that help with promoting each others’ social media sites.

3) I now have 3 Book Trailers ( which I created myself, free, via Animoto) so that my youtube Spanners Series Channel GROWS. Each time I released a Book Trailer, my sales went UP on Amazon. Don’t know about the other sites, but my ranks did go up slightly.

4) I now have 50 more flyers and first, via KLOUT, free business cards via MOO, and when those ran out, got inexpensive ones via Vistaprint which I designed. They have my links, TCE book cover and Series logo on them. I give them out EVERYWHERE.

5) I joined and attend workshops with several local writers’ groups.

6) I comment on and re-blog/re-post others’ blog posts instead of always writing my own

7) I use StumbleUpon, Reddit, Quora, AllExperts.com and other sites to raise the visibility of my “brand” and drive traffic to my website (via WordPress.com). My website now has over 120 #FF, which I know is still small, but it’s a 300% increase since launch date 2 months ago!

8) I set up cross-posting and opened a Tumblr website that receives all posts from my WordPress blog, so my blog posts are re-posted on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, Goodreads, Shelfari, BookLikes and Amazon.

9) I use JustUnfollow to keep my Twitter #FF useful, active and not ‘bots. Now up over 2300!

10) I continue to use author networks to share and collaborate for increasing each other’s visibility, rankings and comments. All of my numbers are fairly high and staying there on the book and author sites mostly due to these efforts.

So, with all the above, I am READY for the next Pre-order period much more than I was before. I hope this one ROCKS!

Links to TCE’s Reviews, Author Interviews, Book Trailers and more on http://www.sallyember.com

Link to Mark Coker’s full Pre-order Slide Show post here, which is well worth viewing: take notes! Please share, tweet, USE!
http://www.slideshare.net/Smashwords/hit-the-ebook-bestseller-lists-with-preorders-a-guide-to-preorder-strategy

Thanks, Mark. Next time, I’m ALL OVER IT!

Most #self-pub #ebook #authors are earning more $ on fewer books and earnings discrepancy will grow greater over time

Most #self-pub #ebook #authors are earning more $ on fewer books and earnings discrepancy will grow greater over time, favoring the #indie authors! Full explanation and more data in article linked, below.

A few more excerpts, paraphrased for Twitter, just to whet your appetite!

86% of top 2,500 genre fiction bestsellers + 92% of Top-100 best-selling books in overall Amazon store are e-books!

Indie authors outnumber trad pub authors in every earnings bracket but one. Even extreme outliers do better w/self-pub.

Self-pub authors make 50% more profit than trad pub, even though indie books represent only half of the gross sales revenue.

“Our data suggests that even stellar manuscripts are better off self-published.”

“When given a choice, readers will buy books other than those vetted by [the New York Times]. The Kindle bestseller lists prove this.”

Self-Publishing
image from http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com

Advice self-pub author, Hugh Howey (article author), gave publishers three years ago, when the Big 5 were still the Big 6. Did they follow it? What do YOU think? (From the same article):

“Publishers should stop trying to convince themselves and others that they’re relevant, and start actually being relevant. Here’s how:
1. Offer much better royalties to authors.
2. Release titles faster. It can take 18 months after a book is turned in to be published. I can do it myself in a week.
3. Use up-to-date accounting methods that are trackable by the author, and pay royalties monthly.
4. Lower ebook prices.
5. Stop futilely fighting piracy. Hint: all such fighting is futile. Piracy can only be made redundant with cost and convenience.
6. Start marketing effectively. Ads and catalog copy aren’t enough. Neither is your imprint’s Twitter feed. Especially if your author has more Twitter followers than you do.”

Link to article I’m referencing, here:
http://jakonrath.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/me-hugh-howey-and-legacy-john-on.html

Are you an author (either or both trad and indie/self-pub)? DO THIS!
“The authorearnings.com website is now up and running again. Even if you’ve read the info here, I encourage everyone to visit http://authorearnings.com and take the Author Survey and sign the Petition.”

Thanks, Joe Konrath and Hugh Howey!

If you’d just like to read Hugh’s report without the Q & A and conversation with Joe (less entertaining, but shorter), here is the link:

http://authorearnings.com/the-report/

5-month Blogaversary this Week: Stats & Questions

This week marks my 90th Post and my 5-month Blogaversary. I appreciate greatly how authors, artists, writers, editors and many creative people join together to help increase one another’s reach and visibility on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Booklikes, Shelfari and increasingly, on Google+.

Here are my end-of-first-five-months’ stats and questions (mostly for other authors). Please leave responses to mine or add your own questions in the comments section on the WordPress or Tumblr blog post site. (You will have to sign in via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or your own WP or Tumblr account on these sites to comment.)

First, many thanks for the support and receptivity: on WordPress, my blog now has 50 followers (MY GOAL for 1/1/14!) and 12 on my Tumblr site (which has all cross-posts from the WP site), for a grand and wonderful total of 62 #FF who receive (and an unknown number who read) my posts.

I’m inviting guest bloggers this year.
QUESTION: Would you like to guest blog? (I am restricting guest blogging [for now] to followers of my blogs on WP or Tumblr: good reason to become a follower!)
Please let me know when and on what topic(s).
Topics on which I welcome guest posts: Buddhism, meditation, yoga, meditation retreats, having a spiritual teacher, the influence of your spiritual practice on your writing; writing, publishing, marketing our writing; or, any of the many topics I have already blogged about (read my past posts for hints!).

sallyember.com has gone from being “invisible” (no ranking at all) via ALEXA (Google’s ranking system) to being in the top 3.5 million websites worldwide in only five months.
QUESTION: How much does an ALEXA ranking mean, and what is your site ranked?

Concurrently, Twitter followers have grown from 7 in August to over 1700 this week (almost reached my randomly set goal of 2000 #FF by 1/1/14). @sallyemberedd finds me there. Special thanks to #ASMSG, the World Literary Cafe @worldlitcafe and Keith Fritz’ Author Megasheet on Google for such great contacts and networking opportunities which help build visibility and connections on Twitter. Due to cross-posting via Facebook, Pinterest and my blog, I don’t always post directly on Twitter, but I do have an active presence there.
QUESTION: How much do Twitter followers actually read further/click on Tweets’ links and which ones appeal most to you?

Also, my original Spanners Series page on Facebook now has over 450 LIKES (my modest goal for 1/1/14 was 200!) with many “LIKE for LIKE” events hosted on FB and contacts via Facebook groups, such as the Science-Fiction/Romance Brigade, the World Literary Cafe, Clean Indie Reads, Authors Social Media Support and many others, to offer THANKS for this amazing rise in connections on FB in recent weeks (at the beginning of December, my series page had fewer than 200 LIKES). I also have a lot more “friends” (as Sally Sue Fleischmann Ember) via these same networks and groups for writers/authors and science-fiction fans as well as those interested in Buddhism.
Question: What impact do FB LIKES have on an author’s visibility, in your opinion? If you are an author and your LIKES have risen lately, how exactly have you experienced a change in sales, interactions, or network invitations that you can attribute to this increase?

I am fairly new to having a series page on Google+ (3 weeks), so my Spanners Series page there only has 9 #FF. But, I (as Sally Sue Ember) have joined many groups and hope to increase the number of people in my circles and who follow the series page by connecting and networking more via these opportunities as well. Groups for writers/authors and science-fiction fans as well as those interested in Buddhism are my main ones here, too.
QUESTION: How do you use Google+ and what is your opinion of it?

On youtube, I now have 3 videos of me reading from or talking about The Spanners Series and particularly Volume I, This Changes Everything (about one/month) since October, 2013, but only a handful of viewers, so far.
QUESTION: If you are an author, do you have a book trailer or other writing-related videos on youtube? How successful has your video presence been for driving traffic to your books’ sites, for sales, for views?

Again, partly thanks to networking and support via #ASMSG, on Goodreads, This Changes Everything is getting 4- and 5-star reviews and ratings and moving up on many lists on Listopia. As a member of only about 12 months, my “friends” number has grown to over 650. I also joined some groups here as well.
QUESTION: How do you use Goodreads as a reader? What about as an author?

Since the release date (12/19/13) of This Changes Everything, the first ebook in the The Spanners Series, TCE has been moving erratically but promisingly through the sales rankings on Amazon, Kobo, Nook and Smashwords (don’t have rankings, yet, on iBooks). Many more reviewers are about to post their reviews over the next several weeks, which will help spread the word even more.

Examples: on Amazon, TCE has risen into the top 58,000 (out of 8 million) books on Amazon, and my author rank (so far) has risen to 89,000 (out of over 500,000).
On Kobo, TCE has moved up over 2000 other books in all Fiction and over 300 other books in Romance, Paranormal (through a mix-up, it’s not in Sci-fi, where it belongs) since it’s release date.
On nook, TCE has been in the top 500,000 overall (out of over 2 million books).
QUESTION: If you have published and sell ebooks in the last 12 months, what advice would you give to new ebook authors about these types of stats?

TCE is also on Shelfari, Booklikes and several independent sites (sites that post ebooks, reviews, author interviews and stories about indie books/authors). On http://www.sallyember.com, on the right of each page. Scroll down for live links.
QUESTION: What alternative sites feature you or your writing? What are your experiences with these? Do you do “blog hops,” “cover reveals,” cross-posting of other types? Advice?

The eleven Boards I have on Pinterest which I add to frequently, relate to my writing, the series, authors and music, locations and information connected to the series and my life. Started with NO followers in September; now have almost 70. sallyember is my Pinterest address (button to this on my website).
QUESTION: How do you use Pinterest? Experiences?

Through all these and other efforts and, again, much support from friends, family and colleagues/network members, including on LinkedIn, my KLOUT score has risen to over 61 (anything over 50 is considered good; over 65 is considered excellent).
QUESTION: What is your KLOUT score? How important do you think this ranking is for a new author?

I recently joined some LinkedIn groups for writers/authors and science-fiction fans as well as those interested in Buddhism. Since I’m so new to these (less than 1 month’s membership in most), not sure of the impact, yet.
QUESTION: What LinkedIn groups do you belong to/recommend and why?

Enough for now. Thanks for reading, responding, explaining, advising, recommending, warning, sharing. Best to you all!