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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Relatively New Amazon/Twitter Benefits for All Authors and Their Books


You have probably noticed that I encourage authors--traditionally published and self-published authors-- to use all the benefits Amazon offers them—even if you’re not much of an Amazon fan. That includes helping one another out (and encouraging fellow writers and friends) to add your book to their Wish Lists. Why? Because it helps your exposure and your algorithms on Amazon.com, that’s why. Here’s a recent message I gleaned from a recent e-mail direct from Amazon about the new Twitter/Amazon partnership that will help you with that:

Here's how to let Twitter Make Using Amazon Wish List Easy

To Add to your wish list directly from Twitter:
 
  1. Find a tweet containing an Amazon product link
  2. Hit the reply butoone with and include an Amazon hashtag like this: #AmazonWishList
  3. The item gets added to you Amazon Wish List and you can go back and shop later—easily. No forgetting. No extra steps.

Of course, you can also do this when you’re browsing Amazon, too. Just go to any buypage on Amazon and click on the oval Wish List button located on the right of every buy page. How about trying it with one of mine at http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo. Doing so benefits you, too: Your own icon may appear at the top of those same buy pages—with links to YOUR page or Amazon profile! One click benefits all.

 

PS: Kindle Unlimited is relatively new, too. This new Amazon feature is another reason I hang in there with Kindle Select, even if it means giving Amazon an exclusive on my e-books (not my paperbacks!). Their Kindle Unlimited is now also available on Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom and Ireland), too.  They say these customers "will be able to read as many books as they want from a library of over 650,000 titles [when they are]  subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. All books enrolled in KDP Select with publishing rights in the United Kingdom will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.co.uk.
"Just so you know, you earn a share of the KDP Select global fund each time a customer accesses your book from Kindle Unlimited and reads more than 10% of the book they order—about the length of reading the free sample available in Kindle books—as opposed to a payout when the book is simply downloaded."
I say, this feature exposes your book to a whole new audience of book lovers willing to pay a monthly fee to access e-books! (-: and you still get your royalty--or more.  


----- Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Financing Your Book Using Advertising: What's Good for Journals and Yearbooks Is Good for You, Too.


What's Good for Journals and Yearbooks Is Good for You, Too
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Many of our books—especially free promotional booklets and e-books—are perfect for paid ads and ads in barter if they are focused on the book’s target audience. Now the LA Times reports Amazon will put ads in some Kindle readers and that they will then sell those Kindle units at 18% less than the ad-free device ($114.00). To make it even a better deal, some of those ads offer coupons and discounts to readers. That means ads will help Amazon’s profit margin and help subsidize the cost of the Kindle, too!

So, you’re not convinced this marketing/publishing scheme would work for you? Consider this. Very fine literary journals have been putting ads in the backmatter of their paperback journals for years. Some of them advertise back issues of their own journal but some advertise products that will interest their readers. Think about your high school yearbook. Remember the ads in those and how appreciative you were of those businesses who supported your school? What about the ads in theater programs or programs for charity events? Again, appreciation.

So, you’ve decided to put ads into your books, right? How would you do it? What are the guidelines?

~Though there is no rule that says you couldn’t drop ads into the body of your book, it seems more decorous to put them in the backmatter of your book.
~Accept only professionally produced ads.
~Accept only ads that would interest your target audience. Be prepared to refuse some with the “not quite right” phrase that literary journals use to reject submissions.
~Limit the number of adds to just a few.
~Encourage ads that give discounts or freebies so that the ads are seen as an added value by your readers. When I offered ads for the second edition of the Frugal Book Promoter:
How to get nearly free publicity on your own or partnering with your publisher (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo), I offered the opportunity to only five that I handpicked and encouraged those who were interested to offer a discount on the ad if they offered a freebie or a discount to my readers.

When you use ads this way, your reader benefits. They learn about new resources, and special discounts may even help pay for the book your reader just bought. That would be your book!
 

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. She shares knowledge and experience she has accrued in other industries (like journalism, retailing, and public relations) in her books and with her clients. Because she is also an award-winning novelist and poet she knows that—contrary to accepted wisdom—authors of literary work can promote their books very nearly as easily as writers of nonfiction books can. Learn more about her at www.howtodoitfrugally.com and check out her the new updated and expanded second edition of her Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo ).
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ten Free Gifts to Give an Author This Holiday Season


 

10 Frugal (Like Free) Gifts To Give Writers for the Holidays

You thought I was going to say “buy their book.” But that isn’t free and you may have already bought an author's books or even all of their books. Here are ten ways to show appreciation, anyway.

~ Go to their profile page on Amazon and like it. You can find it by clicking on their name on Amazon, one that shows up with an underline. Do it anonymously or drop them a note wishing them a happy season and let them know you did it. Heck, you could do this for every author you know or every time you open an author’s buypage on Amazon all year long. If you don’t know what a profile page is, here’s mine: http://bit.ly/CarolynsProfilePage.

~Find them on Facebook and friend them. Or Twitter. Or LinkedIn. You get the idea. Don't worry that it's an infringement of their privacy. They don't have to accept, but they will appreciate the gesture regardless.

~Review their book and publish that review on Amazon or another online bookstore. Or on your own blog. It needn’t compete with a New York Times review for professionalism. Just a few heartfelt lines will do.

~Share one of their posts on a social network—especially one that relates to their writing career. You know. They’ve won an award. Published a new book. Have a signing coming up.

~Go to the buypage of an author’s book and find the social media icons in the right column of that page. Click. Click. Click!  Share the book across all your social media networks.

~Nominate their blog or Web site for an award like Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites. Here are Writer's Digest suggested categories for nominations, just to help you get your thinking cap on:

Agent Blogs
Writing Communities
Publishing Resources
Jobs and Markets
Creativity and Challenges
Genres/Niches
General Resources
Fun for Writers

Send comments and nominations for next year’s list to writersdigest@fwmedia.com with “101 Websites” in the subject line (deadline is Jan. 1, 2015). Learn more at
http://writersdigest.com/article/101-websites-2009 .

~Post an image of an author’s bookcover on your Web site with a link and a little blurb or recommendation.

~ My favorite of all. Send your author a thank you note telling her how you enjoyed her book, what it did to help you or relate a little story about it. When I was speaking at Book Publicists of Southern California Christmas meeting, Melinda Sue Norins came by and excitedly told me that my The Frugal Book Promoter had been recommended in Authors Training Manual by Nina Amir  (http://bit.ly/AuthorsTrainingManual) that she had just borrowed from her library. Then she ran online to get an image of the page it was on to show me. I felt that her enthusiasm was greater than any tangible gift tied up with a bow.
~Go to the author’s blog and leave a comment. Try to be specific about how the author has helped you or your career in the past year.

~This idea will take time and creativity, but what a thrill for some author somewhere. Create a little handmade booklet for an author. Use quotes from their work, snapshots, a personal note.  Or make a similar greeting card and send it along. Once the members of my the critique group I lead at my neighborhood library (Chevy Chase) did that. Each participant made one page. That was years ago and I still treasure it.

HERE'S A BONUS IDEA: Do you have a snapshot of you with the author? Search your photo album and send her the picture--either by e-mail or tucked into a holiday card.  It will be the gift that keeps on giving.  

Learn more about Carolyn Howard-Johnson at http://HowToDoItFrugally.com . Use her social networks for more resources, ideas, helpful books and more.
For more writers’ resources on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/FrugalBookPromo
For resources and more personal fun on Facebook:
http://facebook.com/carolynhowardjohnson  
For writers’ resources of all kinds:
http://HowToDoItFrugally.com
To subscribe to SharingwithWriters newsletter:
http://HowToDoItFrugally.com/newsletter_&_blog.htm
Get your cover images on Pinterest; you pin one of her book cover images and she pins one of yours: http://Pinterest.com/chowardjohnson


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Danger Ahead: Avoiding "Publishers" That Don't Market


As you know I sometimes reprint columns from my SharingwithWriters newsletter for subscribers and visitors to this blog. Here is one that touches on a topic that comes up often--on forums, when I speak at conferences, and about anywhere else where authors gather.   You can subscribe to SharingwithWriters by sending me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Once subscribed, you can send questions of your own or just sit back and learn from the travails of other authors.  

Q&A a la Ann Landers

When Trusted Names in the Industry Can Be Dangerous to Your Career
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
QUESTION FROM AN AUTHORU.COM FORUM:

A new author laments that she got scammed by a well-known publisher associated with big five traditional publish so she assumed she could trust them and assumed she would be getting the same kind of service/publishing as if she published traditionally with the big name. She cries out “Do authors really need publishers like this?”

MY ANSWER:

No we don't need publishers "like" the ones you listed. But we still need SOME partner publishers or POD publishers. They are sometimes called vanity publishers, a term I avoid because discrimination in the past has tarnished its name. There is nothing wrong with a little vanity.

We need these independent publishers for SOME books and for SOME authors. Your lament is the reason I wish (unselfishly, I promise!) I could get to more new authors to read  The Frugal Book Promoter and I wish I could get them to read it all the way through. There are so many factors that go into choosing a publisher not least of which are:

1.book bigotry
2.the author's pocketbook
3.the author's personality (willingness to market, ability to market)
4.the author's time limitations
4.the GENRE/TITLE being published.

Once decided, the answer is still not just "what publisher?" Because even good traditional publishers need the author to market his or her own book. The first question to ask, is "Do I really want to be an author?" And the second, after saying "Yes," is "Am I willing to give it everything it takes to have a successful writing career (or at least a successful book)" That, of course, includes what even the big New York publishers do—market books. It’s part of the publishing process. If a publisher doesn’t do that, they aren’t true publishers.

BTW, in The Frugal Book Promoter I suggest avoiding publishers that are immediately identified as what used to be called "vanity" publishers. They often don't do a good job of editing and no job of marketing unless you pay extra for their overpriced “packages.” But those are not the only reasons I don’t recommend them. Because there is still too much book bigotry out there and they are so easily identified, I believe authors do better with independent publishers that don’t screech their inadequacies with their easily identified brand names. There are many partner publishers out there to choose from. And self-publishers can sure hire people to do specific things they can't do or can't do well (like formatting, covers, etc) so they can truly self-publish. No author need be an island unless he or she wants to be and is willing to take that uphill climb to do it.

Here’s the link to that AuthorU conversation: 



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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making Sure Your Readers KNOW How To Access Your Kindle E-Book


Amazon has a new widget that presumably appears on every book’s Kindle page. I’ve been talking about Kindle as a one-stop publishing place for e-book a long time now, but Amazon just got around to putting the necessary information up front and smack where readers will get the message before they click to buy an e-book. It reads:

"Free Kindle Reading App"

That means anybody with a computer or a reader can read Kindle books—even if they don’t have a Kindle device with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number in the window where it asks for your e-mail and click!

If this widget doesn’t appear on your Amazon buy page, why not e-mail to gently prod Amazon to get with it and add it to your page. (-:
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .