Amazon Forum Discussions

success_1405379462-150x150As authors and writers we are always on the lookout for more ways to bring eyes, and then buyers, to our work. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t have hours and hours a day to spend on all the sites out there to try and find those elusive readers and buyers.

Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting a discussion on Amazon about my first book, Back From Chaos. It came about from another discussion held on Facebook with members of a group I belong to. When it was my turn, I decided that, instead of holding the discussion on Facebook, where only a few friends would see it, I would use the discussion feature on Amazon. It was surprisingly easy. Continue reading

Dropbox: A Handy Tool for Authors

DropboxHave you ever lost all the work you’d done because you didn’t back up?  I think it’s happened to all of us.  It’s happened to me. After a power surge in my 100-year-old home, I ended up paying a computer forensics company $1500 to get my data back. That was a long time ago.  And believe me, I learned my lesson.

Last Friday, our Rich Meyer wrote a post about the different ways he backs up his information. Everyone needs to do what’s most convenient for them, otherwise – you know how it goes – we just won’t do it, will we? Personally, I back up to CDs and to an external hard drive. Neither of those are greatly convenient, but I do them anyway. There is something better, however. Continue reading

Saving your stuff the paranoid way

Do you know what to do to save your work? To save your precious art? Well, do you, punk?

Yeah, you don't need to do this.  Art by Tony Tallarico.

Yeah, you don’t need to do this.
Art by Tony Tallarico.

No, I’m not really talking about taking a bullet for your art – though that would be way friggin’ cool – I’m talking about making sure you’re able to keep your art on hand and accessible.

Kat Brooks did a great post on the online service Dropbox awhile back, and while I do use Dropbox and GoogleDrive myself, I prefer to have my work much closer at hand.  I’m paranoid about making sure I have my files.  My published books I don’t worry about too much, since I can always download copies of them, but the books I’m working on and my 3.5 million+ word trivia file, yeah I get a little antsy about them. So here’s what a technophile like me who knows technology can fail does to back-up his important files: Continue reading

Letting a Manuscript Sit

desert of maine sept 2008 photo by K. S. BrooksIn this world of self-publishing and numbers, there is always the “rush to press” or to get that book out there as quickly as possible. After all, time is money. Despite that, I have always been a fan of letting a manuscript sit: getting away from it, clearing my head, and moving on to other things. For at least six months.

Most authors don’t want to do this. And I can understand that.

We’ve had plenty of posts here on IU about putting a second set of eyes on your manuscript. What if that second set of eyes was yours?

I started writing the sequel to my first (and fairly awful yet for some reason popular) novel Lust for Danger back in 1991. Over the years, I added to the sequel, writing out of order as I do, beefing it up, hardening my character. I was proud of this book – it was a far cry from its predecessor – my writing style and my main character had matured greatly. In June of 2011, I finally had a chunk of time I could dedicate to it. did an overhaul, wrote most of the bridging scenes, and found I had accumulated over 60,000 words. 60,000? Well I must be almost done! Finally, publication was around the corner! I would send it on to my editor and betas and this action-adventure thriller blockbuster would be out and knocking people’s socks off by the end of the year! Then life got in the way, as it has the habit of doing.

Thank goodness.

I went back to this project last month. Three years later. I haven’t made it past the opening scene. Ay carumba. What a piece of junk.

Here is what happened. Continue reading

Experts Talk Marketing Strategies at Virginia Book Festival

virginia festival of the book At the Virginia Festival of the Book, this past March 23rd, several authors and experts talked about the best ways to build platform, as well as some specific marketing strategies. Last time we looked at platform building. Now, let’s look at marketing.

First and foremost, when it comes to marketing, think about trying to reach your reader. This is something that indie authors can do particularly well. Jane Friedman, former Writers Digest publisher who now teaches digital publishing at the University of Virginia, noted that traditional publishers have failed in gathering information about readers. “They’re selling to bookstores, so they don’t have these great email lists or insights into the market,” Friedman said. Authors can look more broadly at readers and try to reach them. Email is an especially effective way. Continue reading