Reaching New Readers With SoundCloud

soundcloud-iconIndie musicians and their fans might already know about SoundCloud, an online audio distribution platform that launched in 2007. You can listen to and share tracks on their website or with the free app version for mobile devices. What’s in it for indie authors, you might ask? How about a chance to reach new readers?

After I heard a Mash Stories podcast featuring a reading of a brilliant short story by former IU staffer David Antrobus, I stole — well, borrowed — the idea to share audio recordings of my flash fiction. But I don’t have high-tech sound editing skills or expensive equipment, so I came up with a way to make and post recordings on my own. Continue reading “Reaching New Readers With SoundCloud”

Goodreads Giveaway Tutorial Update 2016

goodreads logoIf you’ve been avoiding Goodreads giveaways, you might be missing out on one of the best opportunities to reach new readers. I hear the arguments about why more authors are taking a pass, though. Books are expensive. Postage is expensive. Fewer winners are reviewing. And everyone wants something for nothing, right?

Well…yes. But I’m still a fan, for several reasons. If I have a new book coming out, a giveaway can help generate interest. In 2011, almost nine hundred Goodreads members signed up to receive one of eight ARCs (advanced reader copies) of my first published book, The Joke’s on Me. That’s nine hundred readers who hadn’t known about me or my work prior to the event. This boiled down to eighty-some readers who decided to add me to their “to-read” shelf. Okay, not great, but not too shabby for a completely unknown author. And of my eight winners, six gave me a written review or a rating. (Giveaway winners are encouraged, but not required, to reciprocate with reviews.) Continue reading “Goodreads Giveaway Tutorial Update 2016”

The Basics of Agreements for Indie Authors

legal agreements for indie authors document-428335_1280Like it, hate it, curse at it, deny it, but at some point, you’re going to have to face it: If you’re an independent author selling your work, you are running a business. And in some of your transactions with professionals who provide services for independent authors, like editors and designers, you might benefit from having a solid, written agreement.

First, a disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, unless watching Legally Blonde about a dozen times counts. But as an author and an editor, I’ve worked under a few agreements. Let’s look at the basic types and how they might help you: Continue reading “The Basics of Agreements for Indie Authors”

Lessons Learned from Losing NaNoWriMo

author buried in tasks during NanowrimoI’ve been participating in National Novel Writing Month nearly every year since 2004. A couple of my favorite stories have resulted from it, including Don’t Tell Anyone. And since I had to overcome a ton of obstacles to “win” that first NaNoWriMo challenge, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment from pulling it off. I still have the certificate tacked to a bulletin board in my kitchen. Yeah, I know. After a certain age, that’s kinda-sorta pathetic, but it’s my kinda-sorta pathetic, so it’s staying.

Considering what was going on in my life during that first try — an uber-demanding full-time job, family stress, houseguests, a double mastectomy for my mother-in-law — I had no business taking on the added responsibility of hitting the daily word quota to produce something resembling a story. And while the writing was one of my more enjoyable tasks, and an opportunity to escape for an hour and a half or so every day, it took its toll on my health, and I spent half of December recovering.

But I learned from that lesson. Maybe that’s part of the reason the certificate is still on display. It’s a reminder to take care with my commitments. I’m pretty good at juggling — little round objects as well as responsibilities — but if I have too many balls in the air, odds are that one of them is going to succumb to the laws of gravity. Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Losing NaNoWriMo”