Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ta-weet to-who

Hey there. I’ve been meaning to make a small change to the author bio at the end of my book. In it, I refer to myself as an ‘avid blogger’ which I was at the time of writing. However, I’ve also become a busy writer with a freelance contract and a new novel underway with more work on the horizon. (There’s also the whole being a mom thing, too.) So, I think I may have to change it to ‘sporadic blogger’. What do you think?

I’ve also been trying to figure out how to market my book in the twitterspere and, quite honestly, it’s frustrating at best. I’ve picked up a few followers and I’ve followed other authors, book types and publishers. The result? No new sales and a newsfeed filled with ‘buy my book’ and ‘read my blog’ tweets. It’s nothing but advertising and it’s so annoying that I won’t click on the links out of principle.

I realize that sounds pretty sour. I promise you it’s not meant to be.

Just to give you an idea, I currently follow 75 writers, publishers and bibliophiles. In the 15 minutes it has taken me to write this post, 89 new messages have appeared in my feed and they are ALL book ads.

So my new focus  is to locate readers instead of pushing my book on other writers. How do I do that? Well, a good start is to think about which writers I follow on my personal twitter account and why I follow them:

  1. They’re funny and interesting.
  2. They know that I know how to search for their books on Amazon. Comfortable in the intelligence of their readers, they do not constantly send out the link to their book.
  3. They let readers post favourite quotes from the book instead of bombarding their followers with stuff they’ve already written.
  4. They tweet about ideas, events and silliness that touch them personally.
  5. They don’t reek of desperation. Period.

Granted, these are established writers that I’m talking about, but even as an emerging writer I see no benefit in annoying those who follow me. (I’m assuming, of course, that everyone gets as annoyed as I do with constant advertising. I could be wrong, but I’m not.)

So, from now on, my @foolsfootsteps tweets will come from my own observations  and funny bone. My blog posts will also appear, but they’re sporadic (remember?), so shouldn’t be annoying. 🙂

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Filed under ePublishing, Marketing, Self-publishing

Book Riot is giving away a set of 10 Margaret Atwood books

This is one of the coolest contests I’ve ever come across. In a nutshell, the purveyors of the site Book Riot want to give away this fantastic set of books to someone who doesn’t know where to start reading Atwood. In order to enter the contest, all they ask is that you spread the word. So, I’m spreading the word. It’s a brilliant idea and so very cool I think everyone should know about it.

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How Did the E-Author Sign Her E-Books?

When I first announced my intentions to self-publish, a common question was whether or not hard copies would be available (yes) because people want a signed copy, and how on earth would I be able to sign an ebook? I pondered it and initially came up with nothing.

There are clever digital signature programs out there but I hesitate to rely on technology on the spot while people wait in line. Then I ventured into the scary and intimidating world of Twitter. There I saw something wonderful – a lightbulb moment, if you will. One of my favourite authors, Christopher Moore (@theauthorguy) was touring with his latest novel, Sacre Bleu, and a fan brought a handmade book jacket for an ereader that she asked Mr. Moore to sign. He took a picture and tweeted it.

I don’t know who the fan was, so I can’t give her credit, but I did steal her idea. Here is the result…

This is the template I used. I created a table in Word, sized the cells to the proper dimensions and inserted the picture.

The finished product after cutting, folding and gluing.

I think this lends a lovely tactility to an otherwise virtual experience. It’s a nod to the phenomenology of traditional books.

Have you bought a copy of the ebook that you would like signed? Email me at simplicty[dot]kh[at]gmail[dot]com.

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Filed under ePublishing, In The Fool's Footsteps

“I’ll send an SOS to the world…”

As I walk farther along the self-publishing path, deeper into the promotional woods, I can’t help but feel a little lost and alone from time to time. The internet is full of advice, some of it useful, a lot of it, not so much.

Bloggers insist that I should be updating my blog daily, following every other blog I can find about indie authors and commenting prolifically. My Twitter feed is full of other self-published authors promoting their books, indie publishers advising and admonishing, and even some authors boasting about their huge sales. (That’s more than a little depressing to me, especially after purchasing one of said books to find out that it’s terrible.)  I’m on Wattpad and Goodreads. I’m still learning the pros and cons of self-publishing on Amazon (like that you need to purchase expanded distribution to make your book available on Amazon.ca even if you’re a Canadian author).

And I’ve barely written a word for my latest project because my precious writing time is spent keeping up with social media.

Since the early days of this process, I have stubbornly insisted on not blogging unless I actually had something to say and was happy with what I wrote. And there’s the uneasy feeling that spending too much time on marketing and promotions was not only going to have a negative impact on my creative life, but also be a complete and utter waste of what little time I have to dedicate to writing.

Social media and the internet in general is amazingly powerful, but tweeting and blogging is also a little like sending a message in a bottle out into the wide, wide ocean. Or hundreds of bottles, if that’s your strategy. At best, it will work. At worst, you will annoy someone who may otherwise have been inclined to read your stuff. Most likely is that it will go completely unnoticed.

Then, I came across this blog post by Michael J. Sullivan and I feel much better. In a nutshell, Michael reminds us that we have to build our fanbase one reader at a time. It sounds daunting, but for me, it’s a reason to hope that it will happen.

So, for now, I’m sticking to my guns and ignoring the blog and Twitter hype around self-publishing (especially the 50 Shades of Nonsense), and choosing to concentrate instead on arranging readings, reviews and interviews. Maybe I’m old school, but I don’t think anything is more effective than person-to-person interaction. Maybe it’s slow, but just a few months ago, my book was still hidden in a drawer.

Besides, I have another trick up my sleeve…

If you are interested in writing a review of In the Fool’s Footsteps, email me at simplicity[dot]kh[at]gmail[dot]com.

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July 23, 2012 · 8:32 pm

It Just Is

I’ve just recently joined Wattpad, an online writing community. I’m starting off by posting a play I wrote 5 years ago that was produced at the Junction Arts Festival in Toronto. Here’s the poster:

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The earliest of reviews…

As I’ve been learning this business of self-publishing and self-promotion, I’ve read again and again that reviews are the key to success. I’ll also add that getting your friends to post the first reviews seems like a smart thing to do (although, I’m probably not nearly pushy enough in that arena). I’ve heard reports that subway and bus stops have been missed, and that alarm clocks have gone off too early because the book was too hard to put down the night before. I humbly accept full responsibility.

Here’s what a couple of readers had to say:

“…I finished the book in two days and absolutely loved it. My first thought when I finished, without a word of a lie, was ‘Wow! This would make a great movie!” … You have a talent that should be acknowledged, and I have a feeling you’re going to be one of Canada’s best selling authors. I hear you’re working on another and I can’t wait to read it.”

A portion of the first review to appear on Amazon.com:

“…The first day reading, 10 pages in, I missed my subway stop and was late for work. Attention captured… It is a completely captivating story of the journey of a diary passed through several hands over a 76 year period; lives lived, and lives being lived. The book is full of believable, colorful characters like you may have encountered, or could imagine encountering in any city or town.
I managed to read this book over one weekend… I could hardly put it down. This is a fantastic story by an exciting new author, and I will be anxiously awaiting her next novel.”(5 stars)

Click here to read the full Amazon review.

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