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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Signing Your Book Virtually

Once in a while I post an article or some other help from my SharingwithWriters newsletter. I just can't help myself. It give me a chance to show you what you're missing if you don't subscribe to both this blog and the newsletter. I mean, you wouldn't want to miss something that would help make your book soar, right?

 I'll even subscribe for you. All you need do is put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line of an e-mail to me and send it to HoJoNews (at) AOL (dot) com. 

Anyway, here is a new resource for you. I see it being especially valuable for online readings or presentations:

A Little Book Signing Story

So, I’m dreaming about the importance of personal contact with readers—on blogs, through book clubs, etc. And I’m bemoaning that one can’t do that with e-books. And then I run into an entry in Dan Poynter’s newsletter about Kindlegraph.com and it includes a link to a video (http://screencast.com/t/qtGuelwX). I’m busy. I’m tempted to forget it, but I do it anyway. Then I can’t resist going on over to the Kindlegraph site and checking it out. So, I get suckered into it—for your sake. So I can tell you how easy it is, give you an idea of how it might work, and that, as nearly as I can tell, it is f r ~ ~ for the author. Find me at my own personal address (so far this signature feature is only for The Frugal Book Promoter): http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/FrugalBookPromo .

Here are the upsides I’ve discovered so far.

~It’s a personal way to reach readers.
~When you get requests for your signature, you can personalize it. I. e., you can include a personal message to the reader, just as you would if you were signing at a bookstore.
~It’s frugal.
~It’s easy to negotiate.
~It is my understanding that it is f r ~ ~ to the readers.
~Evan Jacobs, the genius author who did this for us gets an affiliate fee when people “order” a signature, but it doesn’t cost the author or the reader anything. Fair is fair.
Here are the downsides:

~It is difficult for me to get the hyphen in my name.
~Is is more than a little difficult to get a true impression of your real-life signature. A disclaimer here. I am left-handed. That probably exacerbated the problem, but I think it is inherent in the hand/eye/computer/mouse configuration. Thus I finally used an “adopted” signature, which is a whole lot better looking than the one I tried to do on my own using a mouse, but still not beautiful. And it is certainly very different from my true signature.

Here’s what I don’t know.

~I don’t know if it will work; that is I don’t know if many readers will use it or if many even know if it is available.
~I don’t know how easy it will be for an author to find your book on the site. Evan says there are 3500 authors with 15,000 books listed so far and he says, “
Readers can find books and authors either by navigating directly to an author page [using the URL provided by the authors in his or her marketing] or by using the search box. I'm also working on implementing additional navigation methods for genres, categories, and groups.”
~I don’t know (yet) how much promotion I will need to do to make Kindlegraph work for me and for my author.
~I don’t know if I want Kindlegraph to get the affiliate fees I now sometimes earn when I use my own affiliate account to sell my books or those of others. If you don’t use Amazon’s affiliate feature, this will not affect you one way or the other.

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 . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog: