New things. I love learning new things. The publishing business is filled with things to learn.
First of all, I joined Twitter yesterday after a friend gave me some very good advice. What an odd thing – a website devoted to sound bites called Tweets. Each Tweet is whatever you can say in 140 characters or less and people comment or state all manner of things they deem worthy to share. I plan to give updates, blog notices, and hopefully make connections with fans and colleagues. I might even insert a few suave sexy comments from my man S. Surely that’ll get some notice!
I found on a man on there after creating an account for myself, a reviewer for the New York Times. I sent a Tweet (lol) but as of today, he hasn’t Tweeted back yet. I’d love to know the mechanics of getting read by the Times. How does one manage that exactly? I hope he sees the question for what it was and not me actually asking him to review Hermes Online. Even the prospect of that idea gives me a stomach ache. Still, it’s a goal. Someday, the Times will review my work and it will be a good one too. 🙂 Yep, that’s right. I’m planning ahead and attempting to manifest my destiny by dreaming it into being.
I’ve learned about Beta Readers recently… never heard of that one before. Generally Beta Readers are other writers who agree to read your work and point out any mistakes, gaps, or hanging questions. With a different pair of eyes, they go over the plot and other things like grammar, spelling, punctuation, their purpose to catch errors that the writer might have missed. I’ll tell you, I can work on a chapter for days, read it over and over for days. The minute I read it out loud to someone or print it out, the mistake I never caught is right there as big as day. What a valuable thing it would be to have someone read and catch this junk before you send it to the editors. It’s nice to know I’ve several offers for readers to fall back on. Typically this service is reciprocated. I can sniff out a plot error like a bloodhound. Put a “ ; “ in front of me and forget it. There’s just no way another author should trust their grammatical structure to me!
I had some smart Beta Reader advice given to me so I’m passing it on here for any author stopping by. It shouldn’t be some fly by night person online. It should be a person you have some sort of established relationship with. Things get stolen all the time. Yes, intellectual property has some protection, especially if you’re copyrighted. However, people steal all the time.
Speaking of thieves. I’ve found Hermes Online on five pirate sites so far. I have a weird sort of ambivalence toward piracy of my work. I really dislike the professional sites giving my book away (that “sticking it to the man” thing really makes me mad. I’ve said before — I’m not the man.). Last week I stumbled upon a blog, a fan site saying these books are really good, here download and see for yourself! I sent her my DCMA the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, then because I recognized the names of several authors I know, I sent a post to the author groups so they might send her their DMCA too.
I was content just to have the person realize she was stealing my property and take it off, but other authors reported her to Blogger and they took her blog down for breaking their rules. She was part of a four or five person blog cluster of people doing the same illegal thing. She’s gone, they’re not. But the others did remove their download offers, so her lesson taught them something as well. Again I’m sorry she lost her entire blog. To me, a fan sharing my book is different than a business sharing my book. I feel this way because I’ve happily borrowed many a book in my life. It’s a shame our world is like this.
A piece of good news though….
There’s a website devoted to good news. http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org . Why did I just think of posting this? I get this newsletter occasionally and today I read about the Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) program. The title is brilliant. The program steers technology developers toward doing good. Maybe we’ll have less computer viruses in the future. Or maybe they’ll be a way to enter your book’s ISBN like a code and then the pirate site loses your download. Who knows where technology will go. It’s nice to know there are good things going on in the world even if the media forgets to mention them. This site is worth a look, here’s the article:
I signed up for Award-winning author, Kathleen O’Reilly’s online seminar on How to Create Living, Breathing, Lovable Characters. Offered through CoffeeTime Chatters, http://coffeetimeromance.com/ , the information I’ve read so far is really, really, good.
Another thing I’m considering right now is a year-long membership on a well-known author promotion site. There’s a package deal for $365 for 13 months of membership. As my author friend pointed out, that’s less than a dollar a day to propel my brain child smack into the public eye. For that money, the author gets everything listed below. I was told by one friend that after signing on, her sales doubled and her website hits soared, and her twitter followers jumped to 1800. Here’s the rundown I’m considering right now. It shows two ways to go with different prices, but the package I just mentioned includes all of this:
Here’s What Standard Membership Includes:
- Author page with bio, picture and links to your website, social networks, etc.
- Up to FIVE book pages with blurb, cover and link to buy/excerpt/trailer.
- Excerpt posting of your FIVE books in our excerpt section.
- Trailer posting of your FIVE books in our trailer section (if you have them).
- Interview posting in our Author Interview section.
- Your events posted on our Calendar
- Access to our Author News Blog – to post any awards, new releases, great reviews, etc.
- Banner in rotation at the top of all this site’s pages.
- Contest posting (one per month) on our contest page and announced in our newsletter.
- Guest Blogger opportunities.
- Use of our Book of the Day Spotlight giveaway, as available.
- Priority disbursement of your promotional goodies to readers/libraries/bookstores – we send roughly 50 goodie boxes/prizes a month and also distributed to readers at any events and book fairs we attend.
Here’s What a Book Launch Package for Members Includes:
- Book page with blurb, cover and link to buy/excerpt/trailer.
- Excerpt posting of book in our excerpt section.
- Trailer posting of book in our trailer section (if you have one).
- Book listed on front page of this site (just under the Book of the Day) on scheduled launch day.
- Book listed on front page of Spotlight section of genre chosen on scheduled launch day.
- Book listed in our Newsletter the next month after scheduled launch date.
- Book announced on our Cyber Launch Party Blog and New Release Blog and can be coordinated with a virtual book tour.
- Book announced on our social networks such as Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and Goodreads (book is also added if needed).
On top of all this, when the site owner also adds you to her Twitter, she ends up telling 1500 followers about you. Holy cow. The thought of 1500 books selling in a day just flashed before my eyes. I need to discuss this with my finance manager (hubby) and see if this is something worth our while. I may wait until Dreamscape is released. That’s two books and double the bang for the buck. I’ll update here when I decide and give the site link too.
As far as writing goes, at my husband’s suggestion I’ve temporarily honed it down to one story instead of three. I made a fabulous contact with an amazing graphics designer. She’s working on two banners with Dreamscape and my as-yet-unnamed Scottish story as the visual impetus behind the designs. Very, very cool. I hadn’t thought about pre-release coming soon banners for advertising the up and coming works. I honestly learn something new about this business every single day. Some days are extraordinary in all they have to show me.
Now back to my WIP (work in progress) (I recently learned to say WIP). See? Learning the language of the business is something new too. 🙂
Oh wow I had no idea someone was ‘sharing’ your book without your consent. That’s just not right.
A friend of mine who’s a writer gave me some advice about promos. She’s done it all, tried it all, and she says she’s never seen much change in book sales regardless of the amount of promo. She says what has helped her sales is publishing new books. If someone reads and likes your book, they’ll look for other books you’ve written. Just something to chew on. 🙂
I appreciate the input Bree. You know, I’ve heard that too – “The best way to sell what you’ve written is to write more”. A few author friends of mine treat their promoting like a science so I listen carefully to how all of them have done things so far. I’m open to any and all information..and of course I’m writing writing writing just in case!…by the time I’m ready to retire I’ll have so many books out it won’t matter if they sell for peanuts. The shear volume will reel readers in! Muahahahaaaa