I fancy myself a writer.

Digital Marketing

Book #Giveaway! Enter to win one of ten free copies of Valley of the Bees #1! #VotB

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post discussing how to set up a Rafflecopter to administer a book giveaway. Well, today the giveaway is live, and I discovered that I did not add a link to the section where entrants can comment on a blog post to enter the giveaway. (OOPS!) So, this blog post right here will be the official post to comment on to enter to win a copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1. Once you have posted your comment below, be sure to click through to the Rafflecopter to check off the box for commenting on the blog post.

You can also click on the Rafflecopter image below for more ways to enter.

Click here to enter!

Click here to enter!

As long as I’m updating you on what didn’t work when I set up my Rafflecopter, I might as well also tell you what I came up with as a work-around for the fact that you can’t embed the widget in the free version of WordPress. It was really simple, really. All I did was take a screenshot of the widget on my Facebook page and add the image to the blog post. Then, I hyperlinked the image to the mobile-friendly link that I got from the Facebook app, y voila! A somewhat functional Rafflecopter giveaway on my blog post. (more…)


How to give your books away on #Rafflecopter

Current book

You can enter to win a free copy of “With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1” for a limited time. | Current book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My marketing plan for Book 1 of the Valley of the Bees eBook serial is moving right along. I got a small pop of pre-orders that assured me of a spike (however tiny) in sales on release day. The final manuscript for book 2 is almost ready to be uploaded, so I went ahead and set up my pre-order pages for that book so I could add links to buy at the end of Book 1. And now that Book 2 is available for pre-order, I’m ready to give away several free copies of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #2 to keep the ball rolling!

Now, you might be asking why in the world I would want to start giving away free copies of a book that just released two weeks ago. Lucky for you, I like sharing what I’ve learned about book marketing, so I’m going to tell you why! It’s very simple, really. A book giveaway at this point will do two things for me (I hope): (more…)


Book description, Book 2 of Valley of the Bees #VotB

I am currently working my way through the process of finalizing my manuscript for With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 so I can upload the file to my retailers. It is an arduous process. My latest task was to convert my manuscript to an ePub file so I could read through it on my phone. You wouldn’t believe the errors I caught just by looking at the book in a different file format on a different device!

Valley of the Bees Logo

Valley of the Bees Logo by Jendy at https://jendy.threadless.com/.

Anyway, this afternoon I am working on a description of Book 2 so I can add some marketing copy to the end of Book 1. This is the description I am working on for marketing book two in my Valley of the Bees series:

Would you read this book?

(more…)


How to buy and read eBooks from Smashwords

English: A variety of laptops, smartphones, ta...

English: A variety of laptops, smartphones, tablets and ebook readers arranged. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few of my readers have been confused about how to purchase and read eBooks from Smashwords, and I can understand why. How can you know which book format to choose if you don’t know that your Kindle reads .mobi files? One aspect of eBook marketing that I believe Smashwords has failed to recognize is that not all readers are as familiar with our publishing jargon as we publishers are. So, I’ve decided to provide my readers with a quick Smashwords buying guide to help you download and read mine and other indie books with as little frustration as possible.

Formats

The first thing you need to know when downloading eBooks from Smashwords is what format your particular device uses. Of course, you can choose to read online, but a dedicated eReader often offers a more seamless reading experience. The following are a few eBook formats that are available for most Smashwords books. I have listed each of them with their corresponding device/app. (more…)


Who here has a #blog?

None - This image is in the public domain and ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello, readers! I am in the process of planning out a marketing campaign for my upcoming novel, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1, and I was wondering if any of you who have blogs would be interested in helping out.

My goal is to set up a pre-order of the book and then plan one promotional activity per week for several weeks in order to build some buzz around my novel. One such activity that I would like to engage in – if I can find bloggers who would be interested in helping out – is a blog tour.

The blog stops on my tour could consist of an author interview or Q&A, or you could read my novel in advance of the launch and write a book review: whatever works best for you! (more…)


How to help a fellow #indie author by reading her books for #free

Rain at three, short story

“Rain at Three” is now available at Smashwords for FREE.

I just finished reading the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide in an effort to find more ways to market my books. One of the topics this book discusses is how reviews help improve a book’s discoverability. Additionally, when an author offers at least one of his or her titles for free, it increases the likelihood that readers will 1) discover that book, 2) review that book, thus improving its discoverability, and 3) purchase another book from the same author (if the reader enjoyed the free book). The guide also stresses the point that we, as indie authors, have to help each other out with this.

Anyone who has browsed the free books at Smashwords and other book distributors will know that there are a lot of garbage eBooks out there. However, if you browse long enough, you are bound to strike gold eventually. Most of the time, I know whether or not I want to read a book after reviewing the first page or two. Personally, I wouldn’t mind being the person who discovered the next big author. I definitely wouldn’t mind being discovered in this same way!

Having mulled over this information for the past two days, I have come up with a plan that I think will help both me and other as-of-yet undiscovered authors. (more…)


Book release & #GIVEAWAY: As Good as a Feast     

As Good as a Feast is now available on Kindle and in print!

As Good as a Feast: Essays on Enough is now available on Kindle and in print!

I am pleased to announce the release of my latest project, As Good as a Feast: Essays on Enough, which is now available on Kindle and in print! To kick things off, I am hosting a couple of book giveaways that I hope you will all enter.

The first giveaway, which is going on right now, is through Amazon. You can enter here. Please feel free to share this giveaway with all of your reading and writing friends!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. This giveaway started March 22, 2016 7:44 PM PDT and ends the earlier of March 29, 2016 11:59 PM PDT or when all prizes have been awarded.

The second giveaway will be through GoodReads, and I will announce that one officially when it becomes available.

I am currently accepting short stories and creative nonfiction essays for my next two anthology projects. For submission guidelines and additional information, please visit the Elderfly Press Submissions page.

Book Giveaways: A How-to

This is the first time that I have done giveaways of actual print edition books, so it has been a learning process. As always, I want to bring my writing readers along with me on this process and share a bit of what I am learning. (more…)


My Final Paper | Teaching Life Writing as a Life Skill: Normalizing the Deviant Self via Personal Narrative

I finally finished the class I was taking this semester and turned in my 22-page final paper on Thursday. Yay! While I shared several of my earlier papers here on my blog throughout the semester, this paper is just way too long for that. So, I decided to see this as an opportunity to explore a new (to me) publishing platform that I had previously only used for reading: Scribd.

It turns out, Scribd is super easy to use. You can embed your documents right into your blog as I have done above so your readers don’t even have to leave your website! You can also charge people to read your documents on the Scribd website. I’m not going to do that with this paper, though. You may feel free to read it here in tiny text, or click through to the Scribd website or app to read it for free at your leisure! (more…)


Been there, done that, got a cat

I am sharing this instead of writing a blog post because today I just don’t care.

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Writing is your business: justify the investment

BLACK BALLOON SALESMAN ON SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO'S...

Zemanta offered this image up in response to my blog post. I love it! Could anything (even writing) be more fanciful than selling balloons on the street? How is that somehow more acceptable than investing in a writing business? | BALLOON SALESMAN ON SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO’S 47TH STREET MANY OF THE CITY’S BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS STARTED WITH… – NARA – 556217 (Photo and description credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know 50 to 70 percent of small businesses fail within the first 18 months? I am curious as to how that statistic stacks up in the entrepreneurwriter world. How many would-be writers give up within the first 18 months?

Have you ever considered taking time off work to write? Did you then decide not to because you couldn’t “afford it?” How do you justify the time spent on an activity that may or may not pay out in the long term? Well, let me ask you this: How do most small business owners justify the time and expense sunk into the more than half a million small businesses opened in the U.S. each year? When you consider the odds, how can anyone believe they can afford to open a small business? (more…)