Tag Archive | marketing

7 Ways to Enhance Your eBook and 6 links to audio/video tools

I’m entrenched in all things editing, self-publishing and marketing these days. I love learning new things!ereaders, Kindle, Nook, iPad

I’ve just learned a bit about enhancing your digital novels and non-fiction to make them fresh and more marketable.

Here are a few ideas, some of which I plan to try:

1. You know the biographies you write about your characters before you write your story? Shorten and polish them. Create a link in your table of contents or in the epilogue to a page of your characters’ bios.

2. You can build an index listing all your characters’ names  and link it to the first place in the book they appear.

3. You can also build an index for non-fiction books linking it to charts, tables or spreadsheets.

4. Link to your other books, if you have a backlist. Or link to a page containing an excerpt of a new book.

5. Using external links, link to your blog and your Amazon author page  and Amazon and B&N product pages.

6. For the version you upload to Apple iBooks, embed a PDF with a map of your book’s location, a group of recipes for food or drinks your characters enjoy, or to fashions that fit the era in which your characters reside.

7. Apple and Barnes & Noble, when you upload directly to them or through a distributor, support embedded podcasts and videos. (PubIt is not set up to handle podcasts or videos.) Choose a story-related musical selection for which you can get permission to use in a podcast. Embed a video book trailer for a new book, a video of photos of the setting, or anything else that pertains to your story.

Note: Amazon can support audio and video, however, their program is in closed beta testing. Currently it will only work on Kindle apps for Apple products. So, expect Amazon to make it available across the board in the future.



Need to learn how to create videos and podcasts? Check these links:

From Joanna Penn: Authors Should Podcast: 5 Reasons You Should Start Now and  How to Create a Podcast,

7 Reasons Why Writers Need to Start using Video for Book Promotion and How to Create a Book Trailer.


From Shelley Hitz: Free Audio Tools and Free Video Editing Software and Other Cool Video Tools


And, because I’m going back to my first chapter to begin my 2nd draft editing, I had to include the inimitable Chuck Wendig’s post, 25 Things to Know About Writing the First Chapter.


Use your imagination…what other ways could you enhance your own self-pubbed book? What stage in writing/publishing are you?

Don’t forget, Lara Schiffbauer is posting at the Life List Club Blog today about ridding yourself of self-doubt. We could use a little help with that from time to time, right?


12 Rules of Writing from Famous Authors and 6 Writing Links

The following respected and popular authors used these ‘rules’ to craft their own best-selling careers. The quotes showcase the authors’ voices and put a new spin on an enduring writing lesson.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

1.  Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”. Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.  Mark Twain – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

2. Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.  Anton Chekhov – The Three Sisters

3. The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector.  This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.  Ernest Hemingway – The Sun Also Rises

4. Write in the third person unless a ­really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly. Jonathan Franzen – The Corrections

5. Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action. Hilary Mantel – A Place of Greater Safety

6. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page. Margaret Atwood – The Year of The Flood

7. Carrot and stick – have protagonists pursued (by an obsession or a villain) and pursuing (idea, object, person, mystery). Michael Moorcock – The Coming of the Terraphiles

8. Pace is crucial. Fine writing isn’t enough. Writing students can be great at producing a single page of well-crafted prose; what they sometimes lack is the ability to take the reader on a journey, with all the changes of terrain, speed and mood that a long journey involves. Again, I find that looking at films can help. Most novels will want to move close, linger, move back, move on, in pretty cinematic ways. Sarah Waters – Tipping the Velvet

9. Respect the way characters may change once they’ve got 50 pages of life in them. Revisit your plan at this stage and see whether certain things have to be altered to take account of these changes. Rose Tremain – The Road Home

10. Learn from cinema. Be economic with descriptions. Sort out the telling detail from the lifeless one. Write dialogue that people would actually speak. Rose Tremain

11. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. George Orwell – Animal Farm

12. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” . . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. Keep your exclamation points ­under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. Elmore Leonard – Raylan


6 Juicy Links

On Writing:

From Writer Unboxed, Going Deeper: A Process Rather Than a Technique  and Flip the Scrip: What to Do With Your Darlings.

From Mystery Writing is Murder, Constructing and Weaving in Subplots.

On Publishing:

From The Creative Penn, Traditional and Self-Publishing Are Not Mutually Exclusive.

From The Book Designer, Publishing Strategies  for the Savvy Self-Publisher.

On Marketing:

From The Book Designer, Finding People to Read, Review and Recommend Your Book.

From The Creative Penn, Secrets of Amazon MetaData From #1 Amazon Best Seller Mark Edwards.

I hope you found something helpful among the quotes and links. If so, please fill me in on your thoughts!

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5 Inexpensive Book Marketing Tips and Great Links

I’m getting closer to finishing my debut book and am beginning to compile information on self-publishing and marketing. I came across a post on The Savvy Book Marketer, written by guest Susan Daffron, a book and software publisher.

Some people spend a fortune on promoting a new book, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Daffron’s list has some interesting ideas that cost next-to-nothing. This is a full repost from Dana Lynn Smith’s blog. I hope it helps you get the word out about your book.

Five Inexpensive Ways to Market Your Book

1. Outsource the “little stuff.”

Many book-marketing tasks require collateral material like banners or simple graphics. If you’re not an artist and don’t have good design tools, doing little blog badges or even working with your book cover graphics can take way longer than it should. For small tasks, check out Fiverr.com. Amazingly enough, everything costs just $5.

2. Create simple videos.

Many people avoid video and YouTube because they’re worried about the technology or they don’t like what they look like. However, it’s easy to create a video that doesn’t require fancy technology or your face. For example, I experimented with a Book Publishing Dog Walk Q &A video. The video is me walking my dog, Fiona, through the forest (it’s fun to watch her little tail bob along). You don’t see me and I didn’t have to worry about sounding out of breath as I toddled through the forest because I did the voice over separately. A video I did for my Vegan Success cookbook didn’t even involve a video camera. I used still photos and transitions with a voice over. It’s not as hard as you might think.make podcasts for marketing books

3. Do audio recordings.

Like video, audio isn’t as difficult as you might expect. I do a podcast/radio show for the PetLifeRadio.com network. I have a little device called a QuickTap from JKAudio that plugs into my phone, so I can record interviews with people at animal shelters and rescues about the pets they have available for adoption. Alternatively, you can get a radio show on BlogTalk radio. You can do one 30-minute show per week for free.

4. Communicate via email.

Periodically you hear that email is dead. Except it’s not. You still send and receive email don’t you? Email newsletters are a great way to communicate with people on a particular topic. On your website either give away a freebie like an eCourse or PDF or just let people subscribe to your blog posts. One way or another, you’ll develop a mailing list of people you can communicate with when something happens related to your book. Remember to post links to those posts or newsletters in social media.

5. Advertise on your own websites.

This idea is so obvious, I’m not sure why more people don’t do it. If you have a blog, put an advertisement for your book on the blog. Or at the end of your articles, include a little teaser text ad for your book. Sure banner ads don’t get many click-throughs, but even if you only got one book sale per month from your ad, that’s 12 books you wouldn’t have sold. And it costs you exactly nothing.

The most expensive idea on this list costs all of $5; the rest are $0. When it comes to book marketing, every little bit helps. All these activities work together to increase awareness about you and your book. And in the end, that means more book sales.

About the Author

Susan Daffron, aka The Book Consultant owns a book and software publishing company. She spends most of her time writing, laying out books in InDesign, or taking her five dogs out for romps in the forest. She also teaches people how to write and publish profitable client-attracting books and puts on the Self-Publishers Online conference every May.

A big thank you goes out to Dana Lynn Smith-The Savvy Book Marketer, and Susan Daffron-The Book Consultant!

Book promotion, marketing, selling

Did you find anything helpful there? Many of you are already using a couple of these ideas but, here are more links to try:

Podcast: Book Marketing and Promotion, Your Questions Answered, by Joanna Penn.

Content marketing for Authors and Writers, by Joanna Penn

89 Book Marketing Ideas That Will Change Your Life, by Author Media

And a whole page of article links, Learn How To Market Your Book and Yourself, by The Savvy Book Marketer

One behind-the-scenes area that a lot of authors pay little attention to is their author biography. Some authors have trouble writing about themselves in a creative way. Mine needs a complete overhaul which gave me the idea to include a couple of links to help myself and others with that task. Did you realize the ‘About’ page rivals your posts for page views?

Is Your Author ‘About Me’ Page Boring Your Readers To Death?, by Author Media

Crafting An Effective “About me” Page, by Kelsey Browning at Author E.M.S.


Before you go, just a reminder…please visit The Life List Club today. Gary Gauthier will be posting and you’re guaranteed to be inspired!

Thanks for joining me today!

ROW80 2/19 Update and Link Luv

Welcome back for another update in the trials and tribulations of my journey toward my goals.ROW80

Updates are in pink:

  1. Continue with my 13-month Health Challenge. Read about that Here.  I posted new goals for the 60 days from February 1st to March 31st in #Hotwriterbods Health Challenge, but I just made a slight change. Instead of working with weights 3 times a week for 30 minutes, I’m going 2 times a week for 60 minutes each. I’m still on track and have 11 walks in so far for the month and loving the weight workouts.
  2. Write on my projects – 4-5 days per week for a weekly total of 2,500 words. I’m too embarrassed to even tell you the tiny number of words I’ve written this week. But I have been doing research for the blog and the short stories, rewriting outlines on two of them and working on another project this week.
  3. Streamline my social media and support efforts so that I visit all my blogger friends and ROW80 friends over the course of each week. Tweeting, also, for my friends to help promote their work.  Still doing pretty well, though I do have several blogs I’m behind on reading – promoting is on track, though. I am using Pinterest now as well, to aid in branding me and my work. I wrote a post this past Friday on why it’s worth pursuing. I will be happy to invite anyone else who may interested in joining Pinterest.

If you haven’t tried a writing challenge before, ROW80 is not intimidating or full of pressure. It’s the challenge that knows you have a life. Set reasonable goals and work at meeting them each week. So many ROW80 veterans will tell you that they’ve learned a lot about themselves and the best methods they’ve found to get the job done.

Please check out ROW80 for yourself! Creator, Kait Nolan, offers a flexible, supportive atmosphere for meeting your writing goals. There are sooo many awesome people involved and they make it so much fun! Meet the Sponsors, too. They are the best cheerleaders you could ever hope to have.

My Friday post on Pinterest was so long that I decided to move my links to today’s post. Here are a few I found that made me smile and kept me interested over the past 2 weeks.

social media links

Link Luv

On Publishing & Marketing

Leadership expert and chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers has begun to use podcasts on his blog to further educate his readers in the realms of leadership, productivity, social media, publishing and more. His first podcast,  10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic. No matter how much you have already heard on this topic, you’ll be glad you listened to Michael’s podcast.  He drives home these important strategies. It’s no wonder people flock to his speaking engagements.

Joel Friedman, the Book Designer, asks self-publishers to heed his warning. He also announces a new course offering a roadmap to self-publishing.

Sonia Simone, CMO of Copyblogger Media, gives some great advice in her post, Are You Making These 7 Mistakes on Your About Page? I think maybe I need to adjust mine a bit, how about you?

On Writing

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story discusses what to do when your antagonist is not your typical villain, in her post There is No Bad Guy.

Jenny Hansen recently had Margie Lawson visiting at More Cowbell to teach us how to Get Fresh: Write Heart-Pounding Visceral Responses. If you haven’t taken one of Margie’s classes, you ought to read this post and others she’s had on Jenny’s blog. Highly recommended.

At Joanna Penn’s blog, The Creative Penn, Ollin Morales guest posted with a different outlook on novel writing in Why Writing Fast is Overrated.

For Your Entertainment

Dan Blank of We Grow Media is man to follow (not in a stalker kind of way). His recent post, Being a Success Without Being a Bestseller, may make you take a second look at how you see your writing career. This article is thought-provoking – what is success for you?

Daemons, Demons and Dramatic Struggle, written by Gene Lempp of Designing From Bones, stayed with me for more than a week. I mean I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I don’t write horror or paranormal stories but, his paragraph about Inner Demons got me thinking about the reasons my protagonist and antagonist behave as they do. So much of their personality was suddenly more clear. This is a must-read, if you missed it.

Parmesan.com is  new beautiful website developed by a small group of folks in my hometown of Syracuse, NY. Parmagiano Reggiano is the only authentic and pure Parmesan cheese and it only comes from Parma, Italy. The site is brand new and not fully functional, yet, but in a month or so it will be and will offer cooking ideas and more history about the cheese and Parma in its pages. Right now you can subscribe to their site to receive news about the site and special offers. If you’re a foodie and a cook like me, you won’t want to miss out on this.

Donna Newton tells an empathic story about encountering a stranger in an odd situation in her post, Stranger at the Door – What Would You Do?

And there you have it, folks…another week of progress and great reads. How was your week of striving for goals? I love hearing from you…come on, tell me something good!

Thursday’s Top Ten

Welcome to Top Ten! Since it’s summer (finally), the blogosphere is fairly quiet, so it was a bit of a challenge to unearth some great posts. See what you think.


7 Powerful Tips to Manage Information and Stay on Task

information hydrant

Are you a victim of Information Overload? Have you experienced blurry eyes, confusion, a feeling of time passing at warp speed?  Do you have a panic attack if the link you clicked in a blog doesn’t open in a new window, and now you’ve lost the page you were on, and there were more links you wanted to visit, and the ‘back’ button isn’t working? AARGH!!! Continue reading

Final 5 Elements of a Killer Blog

Welcome to the Final 5 Elements of a Killer Blog. If you missed the first two installments, please click here and here. Blogging is the base of operations for your author branding. This is where you give the reader a peek into who you really are, what you know and what your plans are. You’ll introduce your books, your knowledge of writing and you’re currently working on. To do all of this you need to bring readers to your blog by giving them quality content to read, making it easy for them to find you, and making it convenient for them to give you feedback or ask questions. This is what the final 5 elements cover. Continue reading