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KDP Select: Is it worth it? (6 Takeaways From My Experience)

As if it wasn’t difficult enough for us to keep up with our social media accounts, emails and writing — the authors’ life also calls for us to stay on top of ever-changing technology.

photo by appsmanillaWe were just getting the hang of Smashwords when Amazon rolled out their new pride and joy (and their charming mea culpa for withholding a huge chunk of author’s eBook profits for so long), Kindle Direct Publishing.

KDP and its more devout sibling, KDP Select, offer a bevy of new options and promises for the modern day author — higher royalties, exclusive promotional opportunities and access to the Kindle Lending Library, among them.

But these bonuses come with one pretty heavy stipulation. Authors participating in the KDP Select program cannot sell their eBooks through any other website (Barnes & Noble, Apple, Smashwords, etc.) during their 90 day sign-up with Amazon.

So the question becomes: Is it worth it?

I decided to take the plunge and submit my debut novel to KDP Select during the holiday season.Continue Reading

Painlessly Use Social Media to Build an Evangelist-Filled Fan Base, Part 2 [Guest Post]

The following is part two of a guest post by Tracy R. Atkins. Be sure to read Part 1 first!

The “Twice Method”

To ensure you get enough exposure to matter, or reach critical mass for growth, follow the simple “Twice Method” as the bare minimum:

  • Tweet something compelling twice per day.
  • Social network something unique twice a day.
  • Add unique content to your hub twice a week.
  • Guest contribute unique content to a major outpost twice a month.
  • Release/publish a new and unique major product twice a year.

After a year, you will have:

  • Tweeted 730 compelling or interesting tweets. (Twitter, duh!)
  • Posted 730 pieces of valuable social commentary. (Facebook, Genre Forum, etc)
  • Built your blog “hub” to include 104 notable articles that are all your own. (Your Author Blog)
  • Shared your expertise 24 times at major outpost locations across the web. (Blogs, Squidoo, etc)
  • Published 2 novels, novellas, guides, etc that can make you money. (Amazon, B&N, Apple, etc)

That’s 1,590 ways that you are exposed to the public, in a positive way, in just one year. Your footprint will be quite large with a minimal effort. At the end of year two, it will be double that!

Continue Reading

Why Ignoring Offline Promotion is a Baaaad Idea (and 9 Ideas to Get You Started)

Have you ever been totally sidelined by (what should be) a simple sickness?

You know the ones I’m talking about: that cold or flu that just won’t quit! I don’t get sick often, but, over the past week, I’ve been kept offline by the nastiest cold I can remember.

Wanna hear a secret?

Aside from the general ickiness I felt (exacerbated by taking care of my also-sick family)…I kind of liked it.

Even though I’m still having problems tasting food (coffee, I miss you!), I found spending time in the “real world” to be quite refreshing — and it brought to mind an important book marketing lesson.

Continue Reading

Painlessly Use Social Media to Build an Evangelist-Filled Fan Base, Part 1 [Guest Post]

The following is part 1 of a guest post by Tracy Atkins. Check back next week for part 2!

Every single day, authors are bombarded with instructions to get cracking on social media.

You hear advice to tweet, build up your Facebook following, and post on your author blog. Marketing gurus dish sound advice to write articles for major blogs, and get out there in the world as an extrovert-expert.

You look at the bevy of URLs and accounts you need to maintain, and it feels like you are planning a trip to scale Mt. Vesuvius.

As confusing or unfocused as social media may be on the surface, the truth is that social media is an essential tool to build a fan base. Those fans are what you need most.

Gaining the recognition and respect from someone who enjoys your contributions to the social media world is the best way to turn a stranger into a fan.Continue Reading

The Ultimate Guide to a Killer Book Signing

I’m a little nervous.

photo by Iris DragonLike, butterflies in my tummy that sometimes feel a little more like angry pterodactyls.

Really, it’s more than nerves. It’s that unique blend of excitement, hope and a tiny twinge of sheer terror.

It’s a trademark sign that you’re about to host a book signing.

You remember when I told you about my book signing fail, right? Well, I’ve decided to get back on the proverbial horse this holiday season and have another one.

But this time, my excitement far outweighs my fears because I know I’m going to have a better experience.

Why? Because I learned from my mistakes (I know, what a concept, right?)

Seriously though, I learned so much from my traumatic *facepalm* experience, including what an idiot I was for not applying my marketing knowledge to actually plan and execute a successful event.

A successful book signing is not something you can throw together at the last minute. But it is something you can use to boost your sales and your fan base — if you know how to do it right.

So I thought I’d share what I’m doing differently this time around so you can rock your next book signing too!Continue Reading