Twitter

Guest Blog: 3 Ways Authors can Get Exposure for Their Recently-published Books

Today’s post comes from fellow epic fantasy writer, Daniel Adorno. He is the author of The Blade Heir which was released just a few months ago. Take it away, Daniel!

Stack of Library BooksSo you’ve spent months, maybe years, writing and editing your book so you can self-publish. The moment finally arrives when you decide to hit that Publish button and send your masterpiece off into the world, but once you’ve done that, you first thought might be similar to mine: “Now what?”

You’ve done an amazing thing by completing a novel and the accomplishment should never be understated, but as you’ll hear many veteran authors tell you, completing the book is only the first step in a really long journey. After the book is published, you’ve got to market and promote it otherwise nobody except your family and friends will ever know it’s out there swimming in the overcrowded sea of self-published works. There are no shortage of methods and strategies online for you to follow in promoting your book, but I want to focus on three simple ways you can get the word out about your book and maximize exposure.

Create a Goodreads giveaway or event

Goodreads is the social media equivalent of Facebook for readers. It’s the place to be if you’re an author because the discussion is always centered around books. You can easily connect your Facebook account to Goodreads and create a user profile from their homepage. Once you’ve done that, join their Author Program and get access to an author profile on the site. The author profile allows readers to connect with you and add your book to the site. It also gives you the option of creating a blog or syncing an existing blog to your profile, so readers can see the latest posts on your website. The best thing about Goodreads though is that you can create giveaways or events that readers can see.

Creating a giveaway involves offering up one or more physical copies of your book to readers who sign up. You add your book, set the length of time the giveaway is good for, and then Goodreads advertises it (for free!) on their Giveaways page. The benefit of giving away copies of your book is that readers will usually add it to their reading lists and this activity will be shown on their feeds for all their friends to see, so it exposes your book to a larger audience. Alternatively, the winners of the giveaway might review your book which will also increases visibility, but don’t ever expect this since it is entirely optional.

If you only have an ebook copy of your book to giveaway, don’t despair, you can still offer it to readers through an event. Creating an event is as simple as creating a giveaway. I would recommend you always create events for author signings, blog tours, etc. But you can also use the events feature to give away a free ebook. Invite everyone on your friends list who likes the genre you write in and set it up for a week or less. You can randomly choose a winners from your RSVP list and send them copies of the ebook. Whether you create a Goodreads giveaway or event, both options will significantly boost your book’s presence on the site and garner readers’ attentions. Refer to this video for more in-depth details on how to maximize engagement on Goodreads.

Businessman Speaking Through MegaphoneHost a Twitter party

Twitter is a bustling social media marketplace and one of the easiest places to create valuable connections that benefit authors. If you’ve never hosted a Twitter party before, I would recommend you at least attend a few parties before you tackle hosting. The concept is simple: you invite guests to Twitter to tweet about your book or its genre and give away prizes to attendees. Create invitations for the party at least a week in advance; use a program like Photoshop or GIMP to make a compelling graphic that can be posted on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. You’ll also need to create a unique hashtag that your partygoers can use in their tweets. For example, at my debut novel’s party I used #BladeHeirparty. Having a hashtag will allow everyone to keep track of the discussion on Twitter and it will get the attention of your guests’ followers.

During the party, try to have discussion questions written out so when there’s a lull in the conversation you can spur more tweeting with a thoughtful question or comment. Don’t try to control the tweeting too much though. The tweets will come quick and there will be lots of side discussions going on, which is a good sign that people are enjoying the party! Try to have a set time for the party to start and end (usually an hour or two will suffice) and before its over, give out prizes to a few guests. Prizes can include a free copy of your book, a gift card, or something promotional like a signed poster of your book’s cover art. There’s no expectation to have an extravagant prize like a trip to Maui, just provide prizes relevant to your book and worth coming to your party. For more info on Twitter party strategies, read this insightful article.

Bundle your ebook with BitLit

Pile of TextbooksOne of the growing trends in the music and movie industries is the act of bundling. You rarely see a new movie released on DVD that isn’t bundled with a Blu-Ray disc and a digital copy for all kinds of devices. Similarly, more music albums on physical media are being bundled with vinyl records or iTunes download codes. So why not do the same with books? One company called BitLit is doing just that by allowing readers who own physical copies of a book to download the ebook version for free or at a reduced cost. Amazon provides a similar service under the MatchBook program, but if readers buy a paperback copy of your book at an independent bookstore or directly from your website, MatchBook is useless to them. This is where BitLit comes in with their wonderful app, whereby a reader can take a picture of the book’s copyright page and receive a link to download the ebook.

Why is this beneficial for an author?

Because it’s a simple way to promote your books and provide value to readers. Imagine being at an author signing selling paperbacks and encountering attendees who admit they read exclusively on their Kindle, Nook, or iPad and don’t buy physical books anymore. You can easily persuade them to purchase a paperback by informing them of BitLit and how they can get a free ebook by owning the physical copy. I think both BitLit and MatchBook provide unseen potential for authors to give readers more options and sell more books. If you want more info on BitLit and how to participate, check out this informative post on Pubslush.

Incorporating these three simple strategies after releasing your book into the world can move your new book from an obscure position in a crowded online marketplace to a visible blip on readers’ radars.

——–

Daniel Adorno is an indie author who loves to write fantasy and sci-fi stories. He enjoys sharing writing tips and publishing advice to writers on his blog. His debut novel, The Blade Heir, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Thanks for providing today’s blog, Daniel. You can also find him on his blog and his contact information here.

What are your ideas for marketing your books? What venues have worked or not in gaining your book exposure? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

Stack of Library Books — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

You Blog With What?

TypingScrivener is a widely used software among writers and people who write frequently. Since it is used for a wide variety of reasons the software is extremely versatile. It can be used for developing fiction and non-fiction books. Also it can be used for short stories, articles and other forms of shorter writing projects. You can download a trial copy here.

Additionally, the software can be used to manage writing projects so it’s up to the user to adjust their development habits to suit what they are writing. Scrivener easily allows writers to break their books into chapters and scenes using the Binder. But not only can these be divided easily they can also be moved around in the scheme so that it serves as a functional outline tool which allows an author to re-organize edit by simply moving containers around. This makes for great structural editing on a book.

Among the uses some people put Scrivener to is blogging. After all, a blog is really just an article written for a website. With the research folder in the Scrivener’s Binder writers can develop their ideas with references, artwork and a host of other files that can be added for use later or just reference. I, and many other, use this to “cast” characters with photos of real people to help visualize their fiction.

Scivener BinderBut as a blogging tool, Scrivener is much more powerful than just developing a blog. If you are planning a blog series, Scrivener is very handy for the reasons noted above. Folders can be created in the Binder that represent individual blog posts. It’s a great way to write a post which is what I’m doing now. I’m also using Scrivener in just the way I’m describing to develop two new blog series which I will start this week. I anticipate the work-flow to be very organized and organic so that my posts will flow into one another and read consistently throughout each series.

However, there’s more to this organization than just a simple way to develop a whole series of posts. I can also look ahead with this basic organization to develop the content further than the blog. If I see that the posts are useful and there is more information to cover I can easily add more posts than I’ve already planned – or reduce as needed. Additionally, I have a ready-made outline to further develop these into short e-books for publication. Since Scrivener also compiles content into e-book formats I can save the blog posts as Word, pdf or full e-book formats. Of course there is other pieces to fit with the content such as cover and proper formatting but with Scrivener I have my content ready to develop into something else beside blogs.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

If you haven’t tried Scrivener, why haven’t you? If you already use this powerful software what other tips to you have for its usage? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Cover art image licensed from iStockPhoto.com

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

Book Cover

Blog Tour: The Genesis Saga #1 – Passion & Struggle

THE GENESIS SAGA TOUR

I’m grateful to my host of this thirteenth post of THE GENESIS SAGA TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules of 4WillsPublishing who arranged it all! The full lineup for this tour can be found @ http://wp.me/P43s9i-2g

My purpose, is to give readers a greater familiarity with planet Genesis – within the Equations universe created by author and friend, Kenneth Tam.

Book CoverTo this end, we embarked upon a series of interviews of some key players in Book One of The Genesis Saga: PASSION & STRUGGLE. Nonnie Jules of the famed interviews, Who’s On The Shelf With Nonnie Jules?’ agreed to lend her formidable skills to this process. She gave me the nickname “Fio” a while back – so keep that in mind in case she opts to use it!

In our last episode, Nonnie and I disappeared from the Campus Café after Annie and Marie left to track down Marco. We reappeared in the formal living room of Marco’s campus home, several weeks later.

NJ:       (Nonnie looks around at the familiar room and is visibly calmer.)

            This is Marco’s house, Fio. Where is Marco? Is he alright?

JF:        Yes, you are correct on both counts, Nonnie. I know you love a good romance, so I thought you might like to have a peek at Marco and Marie’s first date.

NJ:       (Indignantly) I’m no peeping Thomasina, Fio! I suppose we’re invisible again…

(Her statement is cut off as a tall black man arrives in the front foyer from the rear of the house. Nonnie’s jaw drops and she looks at me raising an eyebrow in question. The man doesn’t see us and proceeds to open the door, graciously welcoming Marco and Marie.)

NJ:       Fio, who is that guy! The butler?

JF:        (Chuckling) No, that’s the third member of Marco’s security team… shhh, let’s just watch and listen…

As Marco and Marie exited the car and approached the front door, Drury parked the vehicle in the small garage. Gallo followed them as far as the door. Agent Ben Grafton ushered Marco and Marie inside, and then Gallo did a thorough inspection of the grounds with Drury. Since the Inauguration, they were extra careful. Marco led Marie into the living room and offered to get her a drink while he finished the dinner preparations.

“May I keep you company in the kitchen, Marco?”

“You want to make sure I don’t have any hired help doing the cooking,” he chuckled, good-naturedly. “Maybe I’ll put you to work. Can you pour us both a glass of wine?”

“Sounds good to me,” she chirped, as she followed him through the dining room and into a spacious kitchen. “You haven’t moved yet. Will this be the official residence for the Vice President? It’s… cute.”

“Thank you, Marie, but it’s just temporary. The President of the University offered to let me stay here until Genesis House is completed.”

“So both you and the President will live at Genesis House? How will that work?” Marie asked, as she opened the bottle of red wine and poured two glasses. Visions of Rossini and Hastings – both single – living under the same roof filled her mind’s eye. That didn’t sound appropriate, and she judged the Church was not going to approve.

Marco bent over to check the roast in the oven, and then added a few potatoes wrapped in foil. “Off the record – the building is designed with three separate wings. One wing will house the President, and his or her family, on the second floor, with business offices for the President and staff on the first floor. A second wing houses the Vice President and family – a similar setup on each floor. The third wing will have kitchen facilities, a large ballroom for state affairs, etc. The basement areas will feature the Command and Control room, recreational facilities, a gymnasium, and staff quarters. Now let’s see, do you mind preparing ingredients for the salad while I prepare the dressing?”

Marie smiled, “I might manage that.”

“Wait. Let me get you an apron to protect your clothes.” He snatched an apron hanging on a hook by the kitchen door, and chuckled as he strode towards her. The black material sported white lettering which read, ‘I COOK BECAUSE MEN DO IT BETTER!’ Grinning, he held it out to her. Marie feigned insult as she read the apron, then giggled as she wrapped it around her. “It was a gift from Pat… honest!” Marco protested.

They both relaxed and worked companionably getting the dinner ready to serve. Marco had set the dining room table beforehand, creating an intimate setting complete with a centerpiece of brightly colored flowers, and candles for romantic lighting. As Marie lit the candles, she felt very special. Marco had gone to a lot of trouble for her. She shook her head remembering the other Neanderthals she had dated – she gave and they took. She wasn’t used to this, but she loved it.  Marco interrupted her thoughts as he carried in the salad and the wine bottle.

“Sit, Marie, I’ll serve.”

He refilled their wine glasses and served the salad. With a flourish, he snapped her cloth napkin open and laid it on her lap. Once sitting, he raised his glass and proposed a toast.

“Let’s drink to new beginnings.”

As they ate their salads, Marie suddenly noticed that they had been alone since the agent had ushered them in the door, “Marco, where did the security people go? Aren’t they eating dinner?”

He looked up and gave her a wide smile, “Let’s not tempt the fates. The boys said they were not going to hover, and they’ve kept their word. After only two weeks, I’m surprised at how well we get along. Are you comfortable being alone with me?”

Marie blushed slightly, thinking his question implied that perhaps she didn’t trust him. “I’m fine, and I’m enjoying this salad.”

“Good. Let me get the main course served while you finish that salad.”

It took Marco two trips to the kitchen to bring in the main course meat platter and bowls of vegetables. He’d checked outside the kitchen window, but hadn’t seen his three agents. Rossini shrugged and gave thanks that they could enjoy their food in privacy. He reclaimed his place at the table, hoping somewhat nervously, that the meal had turned out well.

As he sampled the portions on his own plate, Marco was reassured that the meal was delicious – one less worry. Marie was quick to compliment the dinner, and she ate with obvious relish.

“Marco, do you think that people will object to the cost of Genesis House? It sounds as if it’ll be a palace.”

“Liz and I were concerned too. But the Congressional building committee and the High Chancellor thought that both Congressional Hall and Genesis House should be impressive – symbols that the planet is moving into a new era. Do you think the buildings should be scaled back?”

Marie thought for a moment as she savored a mouthful of tender beef, “I can see the symbolic importance, but I question the cost. We just finished an expensive war, and the ongoing social reforms aren’t cheap.”

Marco sighed, “I suppose there will be grumbling. But I imagine that most people will reserve judgment until the building is done. Liz and I figure it will be a year before we can move in.”

The conversation continued, revolving around Marco’s expectations, politically, in the months ahead, and the social reforms being, slowly and painfully, put in place. After enjoying a light dessert of fresh fruits and coffee, they cleared the table, put the food away, disposed of the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. Marco poured them each a small glass of liqueur and led the way into the living room where they settled together on the couch.

Marie perched on the edge of the couch and turned so she could face Marco. “Here we are, finished dinner, and we haven’t swapped any of our stories yet. I meant what I said at the party. I want to get to know you, and I don’t want to play games.”

Marco nodded, and she continued. She described her career and the hurtful relationships she had endured, noting Marco’s reactions. He listened intently and reached for her hand as she shared the painful moments.

“So I decided that if I was going to see you socially, I‘d talk about myself honestly,” she concluded. “I hope you’ll do the same.”

Rossini closed his eyes for a moment and squeezed her hand lightly to reassure her. Not sure why, he believed that he could share his feelings honestly with Marie. They were kindred spirits, in a way – lonely, wary from difficult relationships in the past, both longing for honesty and understanding. Pat Conroy was the only human being Marco had ever trusted with his personal failures and longings… but he admired Marie’s candor and was encouraged by it.

“I’ve had bad experiences too, Marie. At the risk of scaring you away, I’ll be honest with you. Except for my friendship with Pat, and now Sarah, my personal life has been disappointing. So I’ve given up my dream of having a loving wife and family. I don’t know what I expected last week, but it certainly wasn’t you… a woman in whom I could confide.”

Marco paused a moment before continuing. “Marie, five years ago, I deliberately closed myself against the possibility of a serious relationship with a woman. I understood that meant giving up my dream, but I also believed that I could never survive another Melanie.”

Marie looked into his eyes and gave his hand a squeeze. “I’m still here, Marco, and I’m not scared. Tell me the story.”

Rossini lowered his head for a few moments, took a deep breath, and recounted his tale. Marie listened, without interrupting, and her heart reached out to his tortured soul. She didn’t understand how she could instinctively trust a man she barely knew, but she realized that it was right to do so.

Marco searched her face as he fell silent. In the dimming light, unshed tears glistened in her soft, brown eyes. Her quivering lips beckoned his own. The last remaining stones, of the wall he had erected around his heart, fell away. He felt an overwhelming desire to crush her against his chest and never release her. The thought frightened him. He couldn’t risk rejection. Agitated, he got up and paced over to the window.

NJ:       Oh Fio, they are such a cute couple!

JF:        Yes they are. Time to go…

Join us for our last installment of the Genesis Saga Tour…

Author Bio:

 Author PhotoJohn Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.

The Genesis Saga Trailer:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUqwuCcAEyU

Contacts: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fiora-Books/516763875088924?ref=hl

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FioraBooks

Website:  https://fiorabooks.cm

Book Purchase Links: 

Amazon USA:  http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B00O7X5SXK/

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/ebook/dp/B00O7X5SXK/

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/ebook/dp/B00O7X5SXK/

Amazon Australia:  http://www.amazon.com.au/ebook/dp/B00O7X5SXK/

Chapters/Indigo Canada:  http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/9780993655821

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/1120573892?ean=9780993655821

Blog Tour Links:

Goodreads Event Page – https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/953117-the-genesis-saga-tour

Rafflecopter Giveaway Page – http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4af5be7f10/?

This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.