I fancy myself a writer.

eBooks

Fixing your #Smashwords ebook file: The nuclear option isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds!

Valley of the Bees proof 2

Many of the most common issues indie publishers encounter when converting Word files to eBook files can be eliminated by properly setting up each Word document and sticking to specific formatting practices throughout the writing process. However, this can be difficult when you format your manuscript with the intent to publish it in print first, and then try to convert your print manuscript file to an eBook file. I learned this first-hand this past weekend when I took the beautiful Word file that I had formatted for the print version of Valley of the Bees and converted it into an eBook.

A Valley of the Bees promotional ad

Luckily, Kindle’s .mobi format is very flexible and doesn’t seem to be quite so picky. With a few simple adjustments, my manuscript became a Kindle eBook with almost no effort on my part. It even retained the cool honeybee icon that I had placed at the top of each chapter! Unfortunately, uploading my manuscript to Smashwords for distribution in other formats wasn’t so easy. I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and let it go. And then, two days later, I received the dreaded email informing me that my book had failed the ePub review. (more…)


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…)


Today is the Day! #VotB #1 is LIVE! #Read now!

Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.

Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.

This is it, folks! My latest eBook has officially launched! With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 has released. If you pre-ordered your copy, make sure it downloads to your device. For those of you who haven’t yet purchased the book, you are in luck! I have decided to keep the 99 cent price open for a few more days.

I am so excited to hear what readers think about Valley of the Bees, so once you have read it, please do me a huge favor and post a review. You can review the book at the retailer website where you purchased it, on GoodReads, or even on your blog. The more reviews the better! Remember, every review you post for a book that you enjoyed makes it that much easier for other readers to discover and enjoy the book as well.

Do you still need to get your copy? Links to buy are posted below. So, grab your copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 today!

With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is currently available for purchase in eBook format from these and other fine retailers:

(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…)


New cover design & website reveal

Today, I am excited to reveal the official, professional cover design of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 and also announce that Valley of the Bees has its very own website!

Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.

Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.

Early this month, I learned that Smashwords was having a giant, sitewide sale that sounded like the perfect opportunity to market my new novel. If only I had my book set up for pre-order, I would be able to add links to the end of all of my other books and offer those books for free for the entire month. But I didn’t yet have my pre-order set up.

What to do? Get my pre-order set up already and get to work, of course! (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…)


How to expand your audience with Smashwords

Like many indie publishers, I began my publishing journey with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Since learning to publish an eBook was more than enough knowledge to digest on its own without learning to publish on multiple platforms at once, I decided to stick with KDP for a while until I had a better idea of what I was doing. However, with the launch of my latest book project, I decided it was time to finally expand beyond Kindle and Nook and learn how to use Smashwords.

Capture

The leap from Kindle to Nook eBook publishing was a no-brainer. I wanted my print books to be available in brick and mortar bookstores like Barnes and Noble, and I wanted my B&N customers to also be able to access my books on their eReaders. But I knew there was still a vast audience that had no access to my books. (more…)


Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber

book cover
book cover

My new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents.

I am giving myself a sweet birthday present today and announcing that my new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents!

It feels great to get back on the fiction-writing horse. I wrote this 4,000 word story in one day! (Don’t worry, I edited it before I published it! Although, if you do find any errors, please let me know so I can fix them!)

Description

Amber is finally forced to deal with her dysfunctional marriage while mourning the death of her teenage daughter. Meanwhile, an even bigger disaster looms near as the outside world struggles with its own uncertain fate. In this prequel to her upcoming novel, Valley of the Bees, author Amanda L. Webster introduces you to the matriarch of what is destined to become a powerful – yet still dysfunctional – family in a not-so-distant dystopian future.

Buy your copy of Her Name was Amber on Kindle today! (more…)