Facebook’s Call to Action Button

facebook logoPerhaps in an effort to convince small businesses that Facebook fan pages aren’t useless unless they buy an ad (whoops – did I say that with my outside voice?), Facebook has instituted a new feature: a Call to Action button.

In marketing-speak, a call to action is the question or suggestion that gets you to do what the salesperson wants you to do: fill out a survey, sign up for a mailing list, buy a product, and so on. That’s exactly what this button does – and you get to pick what you want it to do. Continue reading

Pressbooks: another formatting resource for Indie writers

Pressbooks LogoI recently mentioned using Pressbooks to format books in my post about memoirs. It occurred to me that I had yet to wax lyrical about this great website. So, this month I’m going to give you a guided tour.

I found Pressbooks.com a few years ago, when I wanted to generate epub and mobi files of a book that would never see a formal distribution channel. My client just wanted to be able to place files on a website for readers to download free of charge. At the time it was a new site, still in beta, and those of us who used it chatted back and forth with the developers occasionally. I found them charming, clever and helpful; I remain fond of the site as a result.

These days it’s pukka, with paid services, distribution channels and a string of glowing reviews from small publishers. Although it now goes way beyond simple ebook production, you can still access the services completely free. Who would want to though, and why? Continue reading

Increasing the “Look Inside” Preview on Amazon

Look Inside the BookOne of the best marketing tools self-published authors have is the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. If things go well, your title, cover, and book description will catch the attention of a reader who eagerly clicks “Look Inside” to read a sample of your writing, and they see…

…nothing more than your copyright page and table of contents? Well, that’s not very helpful, is it? I’ve honestly never known anyone to buy a book based on the “Look Inside” preview of a copyright page. This is especially problematic if you’re hoping to send your book out for reviews or list it on a site that vets books for quality (ahem…IU, anyone?). From formatting to tone, to grammar usage and typos, the first pages of your story show it all. But what if they aren’t displayed? Continue reading

How to Plan a Pre-order Deadline

timerOne of the biggest challenges of the pre-ordering process on Amazon is the dreaded deadline. If you’re not accustomed to hitting deadlines, or if they’ve been a kind of self-imposed suggestion for you (not that I’m judging), it can be especially hard to do it with a book. A lot of moving parts must come together before you can hit the publish button. Also, there are consequences for not meeting this date: you lose your Amazon pre-ordering privileges for a year, and you could end up disappointing a bunch of potential readers. Continue reading